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Author Topic: Ashenbelches My DF playthrough based fiction  (Read 508 times)


  • Escaped Lunatic
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Ashenbelches My DF playthrough based fiction
« on: September 06, 2014, 12:59:01 pm »

The Fall of Ashenbelches

   High above the forest floor surrounding Ashenbelches, Kadol edged out from between the branches, balancing on a branch thinner than his eldest grandmother’s beard. His hunting dog Zakost waited for him far below. Kadol ignored the height, his courage came from the stone within the deepest reaches of the Mountainhome. He had nothing to fear from the pull of the sky.
   Some distance ahead, a falcon drifted. He tracked it with Deathbringer. Kadol’s finger grazed the trigger, a piercing cry from the falcon, the thud of Deathbringer as the bolt surged forward parting the falcon’s breast. A spray of blood feeding the flames of the dying sun, the falcon plummeted.
   Grinning, Kadol loaded a second bolt and scanned the skies for his next kill. A bark of warning from below, he shifted and peered over the edge of his branch. A flash of orange on the edge of his vision slipping between trees heading deeper into the forest. Anticipation crawled the length of his beard. Could it be true? He hesitated then grinned, his eyes had not deceived him. Worthy prey for a master hunter. However, with the sky aflame it is a hunt for another day.
   Latching Deathbringer to the harness tied to his beard Kadol climbed down. Zakost waited for him at the bottom the dead raptor clenched between his jaws. Grabbing the kill Kadol ran a hand through the dog’s brown hair and scanned the surrounding forest once more hoping for a glimpse.
   “I will find you,” he promised, "it is inevitable.” He turned away, “come Zakost,” with a final glance, they left the forest.
   Beneath the hatch that marked the entrance, Ashenbelches teemed with life. Kadol was pleased to see the migrants that arrived from the Mountainhome earlier that day put to work. He greeted those he recognized, and nodded to those he didn’t before stepping into the carptener's workshop.
   “Kadol, a successful hunt?” Isha greeted when he stepped inside.
   Kadol nodded, “and a gift,” he brought forward the flower he had picked for her.
   “Violet,” she gasped breathing in its scent.
   “Like your eyes. Whenever I see them I think of you.” He tied the flower to the end of another fetish decorating her beard.
   “Oh Kadol may stone hold you forever in my heart.”
   Warmth filled Kadol, “and you in mine dear stonewife.” They touched foreheads briefly; Kadol rested a hand on her swollen belly. “I will see you in the hall. I must bring my latest kill to Demak, he has been asking for falcon for three cobbles now.”
   Isha smiled, “until then stone of my heart, may you walk forever in Armok’s shadow.” Touching foreheads, once more Kadol set off for the butcher, pleased and feeling light enough to fall into the sky.
   A quarter of a pebble later Kadol pushed through the wooden doors that led to the meeting hall. A film of dust hung in the cramped space amongst the press of bodies, crowding his lungs and stinging his eyes.
“We are meant for stone Urist,” the strained voice of Geunk pierced the hum; Kadol spotted him standing with Urist in the center of the room. “Ashenbelches has grown too large,” Geunk gestured with his pick at the surrounding dwarves. “We must strike the earth!” He slammed the pick into the ground throwing up a thick cloud of dust.
   Urist coughed.
   “Let us dig to stone and forge a true fortress, a true Mountainhome that even the Queen would call her own.” The dwarves voiced their assent.
   Urist coughed again and waved fervently at the dust. “Patience my Stonekin.” Urist called out." The Baron in all his sound wisdom chose me as leader of this expedition. I too feel your pain. I long for the comfort of solid stone beneath my feet and above my head. But with only two Stonemovers we must have patience.”
   “I’ll help,” someone within the crowd shouted.
   “Me too,” another shouted slamming his mug onto the table.
   “Stenson if you were to join the Stonemovers who would brew our ale? And Teunk we need you working the farms and tending the animals.” Urist raised a hand. “I promise you all we will strike the earth and soon. But first we must complete the moat and bridge.” A cry of uproar shattered the room. Urist struggled to be heard. “These are savage lands, do you think those wooden hatches will protect us for long. A bridge and—” Another uproar, overcoming the elder’s words.
   A soft hand resting on his shoulder drew Kadol’s attention away.
   “Come,” Isha spoke softly in his ear, “let us find a quiet place to enjoy our meal. There will be no rest here this night.”
   Kadol nodded and accepted the offered meal. Together they left the hall and settled on a bench in Isha’s workshop.
   The first half of their meal passed in silence, each focused on regaining energies lost throughout the day. “You are running low on wood,” Kadol observed gesturing toward the dwindling stockpile.
   Isha grunted, “Urist’s request for barrels are endless. I hadn’t the time today to retrieve more. I will have to do so come the morrow.”
   Kadol shook his head, “send someone else, you must avoid the sky and heat of the sun until your birthing.”
   Isha laughed, “Kadol you worry worse than my Stonemother. A few hours will not harm the babe. Mayhaps it will do some good in preparing it to follow in our footsteps. Ashenbelches will always need hunters and carpenters.” Kadol nodded but the wild ore of fear ran deep weakening the stone of his resolve. Isha rested a hand on his jaw and stroked his beard.
   “What troubles shake you so?” Kadol glanced at Isha unsure if he should tell her. She is my stonewife, we have no secrets beneath the surface.
   “There is a beast in the forest,” he began. “I caught but a glimpse toward the end of my hunt but I am certain.” He paused hesitant once more. To speak this legend, to voice these words. He sighed, it is inevitable.“It is a Great Tiger. The first of its kind to be seen since before the days of the Mountainhome.”
   Isha gasped, “Are you certain? Such a beast, such power.” Her eyes glittered, “deep are the legends surrounding such a creature.”
   Kadol nodded. “Aye, there is nothing else to explain what I saw.” He hardend his resolve,“I will have the traps readied. If I can capture it, it will go far in—”
   “Capture?” Ishal interrupted. “Kadol such a powerful creature. The Great Tiger is a beast of legend, of unfathomable strength. You must avoid it, or kill it out right, you cannot hope to tame.”
   Kadol rose, “I do not hope wife I am certain. As certain as the stone that holds the Mountainhome. I will capture the beast and tame it. It shall hunt by my side alongside Zakost and defend Ashenbelches from all who dare threaten it.” Kadol’s beard bristled.
   “I-I am sorry” Isha said eyes downcast. “I merely fear for your life, for the future of our babe. A Great Tiger, such a beast…such power. Your success will bring many gems to our name. Mayhaps even elevate us to nobility…to royalty.” Isha grabbed his hands her eyes aflame with passion. “No one but you is equal to this task Kadol.”
   Kadol swelled with pride and grinned like a boy on his twelfth Stoneday. “With you behind me Stonewife, I cannot fail. Now we must rest, the rising sun brings with it a trying day for us both, and the dawn of a new era for Ashenbelches.” Taking his wife by the hand he led her to the sleeping quarters. 
   Bleary eyed the sun struggled in its climb, hampered by clouds that hung low and thick in the sky. Kadol worked quickly in the gloom of the forest, laying out the mechanisms and installing the cages that would spring forward and ensnare the beast. Zakost stood guard over the bait, a handful of chickens meant to be butchered later that day.
   Kadol was certain Demak would forgive him, for the benefits far outweighed the cost. With the trap set and disguised as best he could manage Kadol arrayed the chickens around it. A few he tied to the ground the rest he let wander. He hoped the tiger would see fit to stop and eat. He could not use the larger livestock. Someone would take notice.
   Satisfied he sent Zakost ahead to scout and climbed a nearby tree. Deathbringer nested comfortably in the crook of his arm, he waited.
   The day dragged on, the sun continued its struggle into the clouded sky and Kadol his vigil. He would not falter, his resolve was stone, his confidence unshakable. As he waited he spotted Isha between the trees, humming to herself and gathering wood. Kadol scowled, would that she stayed beneath the surface. He knew it could not be helped. Everyone must carry their own to ensure the survival of the fortress.
   Kadol sighed and studied the sky, he would have to hunt soon if his prey did not show.
   The soft crunch of leaves down below. Kadol opened his eyes, when had he fallen asleep? No matter, down below his prey stalked a chicken. The foal screamed and struggled against its restraints. Kadol swallowed a curse when it broke free and dashed into the forest. The Great Tiger regarded it, large lambent eyes tracking its progress until it disappeared.
   Claws extended and in a strike faster than Kadol could see the remaining chickens were torn in half, their blood and innards bathing the floor.
   A gasp.
   Kadol’s head jerked in its direction. Isha stood not ten arm spans away in direct view of the tiger. The beast settled its gaze on her, its body coiled.
   “Run,” Kadol shouted. Throwing himself from the tree he fired Deathbringer the bolt sinking into a thickly muscled shoulder. He slammed into the tiger and grabbed rough fur.
   A paw, claws extended flash toward him. Kadol twisted, the paw struck him a glancing blow shredding clothes and ripping flesh. Isha screamed.
   “Run wife run,” Kadol shouted, struggling against the pain and darkness that swarmed his vision.
   The Great Tiger pivoted throwing him into the air. He drifted weightless for a moment before crashing down atop the mechanism. The trap sprung, the cage exploded forward slamming down around Kadol. Shaking itself, the beast pounced, Kadol screamed.
   An elf, lean and lithe stumbled out from behind a tree. The tiger slammed into the elf, pitted golden skin sloughed off from the impact. 
   Undead, Kadol thought his body frozen in terror. To his left another elf appeared, its empty dead eyes passing over him and settling on the Great Tiger.
   “Run. Back to Ashenbelches,” Kadol gasped at a sobbing Isha, who stood frozen before the gruesome display.
   The tiger mauled the undead elf tearing away its limbs and crunching its head between powerful jaws spraying Isha in blood and bone.
   Screams sounded from the direction of the fortress. Demak appeared suddenly stumbling from behind a tree, an undead Urist tearing at his throat. He fell behind Isha struggling feebly against the savage Urist.
   The Great Tiger looked up at her and prepared to pounce. Isha stumbled backwards and tripped over the struggling dwarves. Zakost appeared snarling and leaping past Kadol it sank teeth into the tiger’s shoulder. A deep rumbling hiss from the tiger, it threw itself onto the ground, killing Zakost beneath its weight. Rising it disappeared into the forest.
   Kadol watched horrified as the mangled Urist sunk teeth into Isha’s belly. Isha’s scream shattered the very stone of his soul. Powerless and weakened from loss of blood he collapsed. He awoke to the crunch of bones. The tiger had returned and lay facing Kadol as it fed on Isha’s corpse.
   Kadol screamed and slammed his head against the bars of the cage. High above the trees parted, the sky opened and with a great heave, he fell into the sky. Ashenbelches had fallen.

More to come. Thoughts? Feelings? (Did I post this in the wrong thread?)


  • Bay Watcher
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Re: Ashenbelches My DF playthrough based fiction
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2014, 12:42:30 am »

Your formatting is broken in the title. When you use alignment you've gotta put other kinds of text formatting (like bold, font size, color) inside those.

The beginning was really great, and the imagery is fantastic. I was really enjoying it up until Kadol talked with his wife about the tiger. At that moment the pacing got weird and it only got worse. It felt pretty rushed from that point on, especially near the ending.

Other than that, the actual writing is super good. Great, evocative descriptions, solid dialogue, and it felt like there was a lot going on. A few complaints I have with the grammar here and there:

“Run,” Kadol shouted. Throwing himself from the tree he fired Deathbringer the bolt sinking into a thickly muscled shoulder.
This line for example. Written this way, it seems like he was going to say something else; a conversational pause. That line should've ended with an exclamation mark, since he was actually just stating "Run!" during a dramatic and tense moment of action. Read literally, it's gonna sound really flat in your head, which can hurt the flow of the scene. Nothing that can't be fixed by having someone be your proofreader.

I felt that the destruction of the mountainhome was a bit abrupt, but it's excused on account of DF. :p It could've been helped a bit by a bit of lampshading at how sudden and random the undead attack was, but then this whole thing has quite a serious tone and then it would've turned into some kind of parody.

Also, walltext is difficult to digest. Chop it up into short, manageable paragraphs with some spaces in between so it's easier to look at. Luckily it was compelling enough for me to push through. c:

All in all, very nice work, guy! Keep it up! And welcome to the forums! <3