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Viewing 15 posts - 391 through 405 (of 418 total)
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  • #149034
    Joelle Stone
    @joelle-stone

    @crazywriter,

    Ok, let’s get this puppy finished up!

    ***

    Abner wiped sweat off his brow, and examined the horizon. The detail had been riding for much of the day, and Abner suspected the fort to be somewhere nearby. Dusk approached, and darkness was settling over the land. The men strained their eyes to see anything so much as a light or torch, or to hear the sounds of battle. The dusty earth they rode on kicked up polluting trails, making breathing quite unpleasant. At long last, a man cried out that he saw it, and indeed there, a few miles away, was the fort of Ensteyr. *cue epic music* (Also, this paragraph seems to have a lot of the same sentence structure for most of it: [action], [comma], [“and”], [more action], if that makes sense. Maybe try mixing it up a tad, or reading it out loud to get some flow?)

    The horses (or “horses’ ” if it’s the hooves of more than one horse) hooves thundered toward the gate, lit by two large torches. Abner looked long and hard into the dark, wary of a night ambush, but to his relief, they reached the gate without incident. A knot of sentries were stationed at the gate there, and quickly came to a defensive formation.

    “Who goes there?” Bbarked a harsh, gravelly voice.

    Lieutenant North spoke up. “Reinforcements from the capital.”

    The sentries’ leader narrowed his eyes. “A red sun rises.” He said.

    “But the stars rule all.,” North replied. The distinctly Arhonian code word set the sentries at ease.

    “How many do you bring?” Hhe asked.

    “Fifty horsemen, with over 400 more on the way.,” Abner saidanswered, [insert action tag].

    The leader nodded, then asked, “May I ask the name of your detail’s leader?”

    North glanced at Abner, then said, “It is led by King Abner himself.”

    The leader’s eyes widened, and he saluted Abner. Abner quickly returned it, and glanced again at the dark terrain surrounding them.

    “Lieutenant, we should get inside as soon as possible. You shall report to the fort commander. I will see to it that the men are given food and lodging. I’ll head over to the commander’s office when I’m done.”

    North nodded, and spurred his horse inside the wooden walls. The sentry leader pointed Abner to the stables where the men could hand off their horses to the stable boys. Abner led the detail there, and soon handed the charge of the men over to a captain. He gave Breanon to a stable boy, and stretched, happy to finally be out of the saddle. (Amen!! XD) He asked the captain where the commander’s office was, and soon was on his way up a enclosed stairwell to a room on top of the wall. Abner suspected that in daytime the office must have good visibility of the land around, giving the commander a good way to evaluate the enemy. (Smart.)

    He came to a crude wooden door, and knocked three times. A low, monotone voice said, “Enter.”

    Abner stepped in, to see North and a slim, uniformed man seated across from each other. Both stood in respect of the Kking, but Abner wasted no time.

    “Commander, I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure of meeting you, sir.” (Ah, a polite king!! Something to be admired. *nodnod*)

    “Commander Wise, sire.” The commander’s face was covered in scars, and marks of war. H, his eyes borebearing the grim determination of a soldier, and his trim uniform displayed his pride in his position.

    “Well then, Commander Wise, I would appreciate a briefing. Major Maguire will be arriving with over 450 cavalry, and supplies in the next few days, but we must hold till then.”

    Wise nodded, and took taking a long puff on a wooden pipe between his teeth, taking his time choosing as he chose what to say. “Quite frankly, your Majesty, we are hopeless. Even with reinforcements, its worse than we thought.” He looked at Abner, clenched his jaw, and shook his head. “We thought this to be a small band of near 1,000, and at first it was. But over the last few days, they’ve received more and more troops. We estimate a force of 6,000 now.” (sheesh XD)

    Abner chewed on his lip. His fear of all-out war was coming true.

    Wise continued. “For the first few days, they engaged, and assaulted the walls, and we were able to push them back. But after a while, they just encamped around us, and waited. They waited, and waited, and waited. The dastardly wretches cut off our food supply, and it’s a wonder our messenger was able to  reach the capital.” (Mm, starvation.)

    Abner sighed, and leaned back in his chair. “Commander, this is disheartening news. (Seems like Abner is just stating the obvious here. Maybe get rid of the sentence?) But what do you suggest that we do about it.? We cannot send for more troops from the capital!, because they will be slow, and won’t They’ll never get here in time to help. We are outnumbered, and out-positioned. What say you?”

    Wise looked at Abner, and the look of resignation and hopelessness chilled his soul. Ooh, great sentence there. “The choice is already made for us, sire. They have surrounded us. We must hit them head on; we can do nothing else. Our troops will charge into a crucible of fire and steel, and there shall be no sepulcher for them. No memory for the dead.” Wow. Hopeless. Great ending for this chapter and looking forward to your next one!!!

    https://thepeninspired.wordpress.com

    #149035
    Crazywriter
    @crazywriter

    @joelle-stone

    Thanks! Chapter 4 is almost ready!

    #149038
    Joelle Stone
    @joelle-stone

    @devastate-lasting,

    Agh, I do that too. XD Peeps tag me, then I’m like, “OH! STORY EMBERS! I FORGOT ABOUT THAT!” XD

    https://thepeninspired.wordpress.com

    #149040
    Joelle Stone
    @joelle-stone

    @crazywriter,

    Swaggy!! Send it over whenever you’re ready. 🙂

    https://thepeninspired.wordpress.com

    #149041
    Linyang Zhang
    @devastate-lasting

    @joelle-stone Pfft, yeah, and then I disappear for so long no one ever tags me again.

    How’s your writing going?

    "I set a melody upon the scenery I saw outside my window;
    It's beginning in my spacy world."
    - TK

    #149048
    Emily Waldorf
    @emily-waldorf

    A productive day, on the writing front. (Ig on other fronts, too.)

    I finished something across between a synopsis and an outline for my Robin Hood/Cinderella story, and started my Sleeping Beauty retelling. (I seriously have to think of names for these books!)

    Don't cry for me, for I go where music is born ~J.S. Bach

    #149049
    Joelle Stone
    @joelle-stone

    YOU HAVE A ROBIN HOOD/CINDERELLA RETELLING?!!? THOSE ARE MY TWO FAVORITE FAIRY TALES GIRL I MUST READ THIS!!!!!


    @devastate-lasting
    ,

    I feel ya. 😛

    Writing’s going very well, you?

    https://thepeninspired.wordpress.com

    #149050
    Linyang Zhang
    @devastate-lasting

    @joelle-stone Going better than usual, haha. Working on a lot of different projects right now.

    You have any particular WIP you like?

    "I set a melody upon the scenery I saw outside my window;
    It's beginning in my spacy world."
    - TK

    #149055
    Emily Waldorf
    @emily-waldorf

    @joelle-stone

    THANK YOU!!!! Yes, I’m going through the fairy tales. this one ends up looking a lot more like Robin hood than Cinderella, but…yeah. Of course you can read it. But it’s waiting in the wings, b/c I have a WIP (:<) and my runner-up is Sleeping Beauty. You could read the synopsis, though, lol. Here’s my email if you want it:

    emily waldorf 2021 @ outlook dot com (It’s robot-proof: just remove the spaces and make the dot a .)

    Don't cry for me, for I go where music is born ~J.S. Bach

    #149151
    Crazywriter
    @crazywriter

    @joelle-stone here you go!

     

     

    Chapter 4

     

    In the morning, a gray fog had settled over the fort and the surrounding terrain, minimizing visibility, and giving the land an eery look. Abner woke early, and patrolled the walls, straining his eyes for any sight of the enemy, but the stubborn fog kept them blind.

    Lieutenant North joined him, obviously groggy from just waking.

    “See anything, sir?” He asked.

    Abner scanned again, and shook his head. “Nothing yet, Lieutenant, but that doesn’t mean they’re not out there.”

    North nodded, and shoved his hands deeper into the pockets of his fur coat. “It’s dreadfully cold out here, sire. Doesn’t feel natural.”

    Abner nodded, glancing at the sullen sky, while taking a deep breath. “Just keep a sharp eye, North. All we can do now is wait for Major Maguire.”

    “Yes, sir!” North said, and went a bit further down the wall to try a different view.

    Abner knew the fog would be too thick for the naked eye. Even a eye-glass would be of no use. If the enemy wanted to, they could attack, and Abner wouldn’t know it until he had a knife at his throat.

    He sighed, and decided to calm his nerves by checking on Breanon.

    He walked down the stairs, and across the chilly courtyard, to the stables. He was greeted warmly by a  young, teenage boy, who led him to a stall where Breanon was happily chewing on freshly forked hay. Abner smiled, opened the gate, and slipped in, and stroked Breanon’s long, brown nose. The horse nickered softly, and took a step toward Abner, his longtime friend.

    Abner recalled when he first saw Breanon. He was thirteen at the time, and Breanon was a green-broke colt. It took much time, and many painful falls, but over years, they grew close together, both trusting one another, and now, Abner would ride no other horse. The majestic steed stood at just over sixteen hands, a unusually large warhorse. Rippling muscles covered the horse’s frame, his color a gentle brown, with a white star on his forehead.

    Abner sighed, and leaned on Breanon, closing his eyes, and running his hands through the horse’s mane. He longed for this nightmare to be over. To be back in Dallinor, where peace thrived, and war was a thing of legends. What he had found exciting as a boy was now a burden to him, especially as he knew the likely-hood of the looming massacre of the defenders of Ensteyr.

    A long horn blast shook his thoughts, and both he and Breanon jumped. There was some commotion at the gate, and with a nervous shudder, Abner wondered if the enemy had finally began their attack.

    He raced out of the stables, hand on his sword, and joined North on the walls again. Still hindered b the fog, at first all he saw was a large grey mass waiting outside the gate. Then, with a surge of relief he recognized the standard of Arhon on a cavalry guidon. Major Maguire had arrived.

     

     

     

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

     

     

     

     

    With shouts of triumph, the fort’s defenders welcomed the reinforcements. It took the company of almost 500 men more than an hour to get inside the fort, simply because of the narrow gate, and the many wagons of supplies.

    Major Maguire led the column, but broke away to salute Abner. After the courtesy, he dismounted, entrusting his steed to the stablehand that had appeared at his side.

    “The journey was uneventful, sire. Although, we did have a small incident, regarding a volunteer.”

    Abner looked questioningly at Maguire. “I’m not sure I understand, Major. A volunteer?”

    Maguire chuckled. “Yes, a certain stable-hand from the capital somehow caught up with us, and begged to join us. I have no idea how he was able to find us that fast, let alone find us at all. He says he knows you.”

    Abner’s eyes widened. “Gabriel?”

    Maguire nodded. “He insisted on helping in any way he could.”

    Abner couldn’t help but smile. Though it was bound to be very dangerous on the front, he was glad to have a familiar face around, if only in the stables.

    “Well, I don’t think we should turn away any volunteer, Major. We’ll need every man we have.”

    Maguire nodded grimly. “That’s certain, sir.”

    Abner nodded, chewing his lip. “Major, report to Commander Wise. He’ll fill you in on our plan.”

    Maguire nodded, saluted the king, and left the courtyard. Abner breathed in deeply, and turned towards the stables. Maybe he’d find Gabriel there, helping with the reinforcements mounts.

    He decided it would not be best to rush in and greet his old friend and make a scene, so he waited till the bustle of the newcomers died down before he made his way to the barn.

    The commotion had receded, leaving many busy stablehands running to and fro between stalls, forking hay here, hauling water there. A few were grooming the horses, and Abner was willing to bet that would be where he’d find Gabriel.

    Sure enough, Gabriel was busy grooming a grey-white stallion, who seemed to be enjoying the attention.

    “Gabriel,” Abner said with a smile, “what are you doing here?”

    Gabriel turned, surprised to see his king and close friend standing there. “Oh, I’m sorry, Your Highness.” He said sheepishly. “You see, when you told me that you were going to fight, I was scared. I knew that I should go, and help anyway I could, but the fear of not coming back, and never seeing my family again—”

    He paused, the silence heavy with emotion. He chewed his lip, then continued. “You see, my father’s dead, my mother is terribly sick, my sister’s too young to work. I’m the only way we can live, and if I’m gone, I don’t know what would happen. But I knew I couldn’t just stay here while you went. So, the day after you left I took Blaze, because I knew she was the fastest horse we had. I rode south, and in two days I came upon the main company, and Major Maguire was gracious enough to let me stay.”

    Abner gave a grim smile. “Well, I’ll be honest with you: the situation isn’t looking very good.” Abner paused, gazing at the thick mist beyond the walls. He heaved a sigh, then continued.

    “A part of me fears that we shall be forced to make a costly decision. A very costly decision.” He glanced back at Gabriel, and smiled. “But either way, it’s good to see you. It’s good to have a friend in a time like this.”

    Gabriel grinned, and nodded. Abner smiled back, then glanced back out at the courtyard.

    “I have to go speak with Maguire and Wise, but I’m glad you’re here. Take care of Breanon while I’m gone.”

    “I will, sir.”

    Abner nodded in appreciation, and walked out of the stables, aware of the planning going on in the Commander’s Quarters. Maguire and Wise were probably formulating a plan that they would propose to Abner, and he was sure whatever it was, he wouldn’t like it. The fort seemed too vulnerable if the enemy launched any substantial siege, as it was more of a glorified outpost. The dense fog provided the attackers with cover, to sneak up on the walls, without ever having been seen. The entire situation seemed like a disaster waiting to happen. So, as Maguire and Wise were making their plans, Abner too, was thinking of a way to give them an advantage on the enemy.

     

     

     

     

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

     

     

     

    As night fell, and the sun slipped beneath the horizon, the fort bustled with activity. Various measures were being taken to maximize it’s security, and breastworks were being constructed about twenty yards from the walls. No plan had been decided on, but Abner, Major Maguire, and Commander Wise were all busy providing options.

    Abner paced the wooden floor of the Commander’s Quarters. The waning sunlight slipped in the window, and his steps made a rhythmic thump with every footfall.

    “Charging them head on at night is too dangerous. We can’t see well in the daytime, let alone night, and we don’t know the terrain.”

    Wise shook his head. “That may be, Sire, but the fact of the matter is, if we don’t do anything, they will trap us here forever, and if we try to retreat in the night, with the amount of baggage and men, we won’t make more than thirty miles a day. Perhaps your cavalry may escape, but my men are infantry, and will be slaughtered as soon as the enemy finds out where we went. If we are to die, let us die with honor, not with our backs to the foe.”

    “Glory in battle is good and well, Commander,” said Maguire, “but how is King Abner to explain to the Council if an entire garrison was destroyed by an unnecessarily risky move? And that is assuming he survives the charge in the first place.”

    The truth of this statement left the room in silence, until a Abner suddenly stopped pacing, turned sharply round, and hunkered over the table. He gazed at the map, and a sly smile crept over his face.

    “We won’t need to be slaughtered in retreat if we can make a stand,” his finger hovered over the map, then planted on a spot just south of the Barrow’s west bridge, “here.”

    But how will we make it there, King? I see no difference in the problem if we make a stand there, or have a full retreat.”

    Abner’s slight smile turned into a full-faced grin, as what had seemed a hard situation moments before was now easily solved. “Commander, what if Lieutenant North and I take a handful of our best cavalrymen, and occupy the enemy long enough so that you and the infantry can make it to the fords of the Barrow. Meanwhile, I will send a messenger to Dallinor, to inform them of the situation, and ask for aid at the south fords of the Barrow River, in two days time.  That gives you ample time to travel there, and you will make defensive breastworks around these heights.” He pointed to a group of small hills. “North and I will do all we can to buy you time. Meanwhile, we also shall get an idea of the size of our enemy, and their skill, training, and purpose.”

    The smile covering Abner’s face soon became mutual with the other two men. However, Wise did scrunch his brow and raise a doubt.

    “A marvelous plan indeed, Sire, but how do you intend to have a messenger arrive at the Capital so swiftly? It would surely take more than a regular steed to cover over 60 miles, in under a day.”

    Abner smiled. “Well, I know a certain stableboy, and his horse is anything but a regular steed.”

    Wise smiled, nodding approvingly, then stood. “Well then, let us make haste. And Sire,” Wise said, his smile turning into a solemn expression, “be careful.”

    #149168
    Joelle Stone
    @joelle-stone

    Thx Peter! I’ll get to this ASAP. 🙂

    https://thepeninspired.wordpress.com

    #149415
    Joelle Stone
    @joelle-stone

    @crazywriter

    Sorry it took me so long to get around to this. *fp* Life is nuts. 😛 Anyway! Same format:

    ***

    In the morning, a gray fog had settled over the fort and the surrounding terrain, minimizing visibility, and giving the land an eery eerie look. Abner woke early, and patrolled the walls, straining his eyes for any sight of the enemy, but the stubborn fog (Love that wording) kept them blind.

    Lieutenant North joined him, obviously groggy from just waking.

    “See anything, sire?” Hhe asked.

    Abner scanned again, and shook his head. “Nothing yet, Lieutenant, but that doesn’t mean they’re not out there.”

    North nodded, and shoved his hands deeper into the pockets of his fur coat. “It’s dreadfully cold out here, sire. Doesn’t feel natural.”

    Abner nodded, glancing at the sullen sky, while taking a deep breath. “Just keep a sharp eye, North. All we can do now is wait for Major Maguire.”

    “Yes, sir!” North said, and went a bit further down the wall to try a different view.

    Abner knew the fog would be too thick for the naked eye. Even a eye-glass would be of no use. If the enemy wanted to, they could attack, and Abner wouldn’t know it until he had a knife at his throat. (*shudder*)

    He sighed, and decided to calm his nerves by checking on Breanon.

    He walked down the stairs, and across the chilly courtyard, to the stables. He was greeted warmly by a  young, teenage boy (teenagers tend to be young, so we don’t need that word ;)), who led him to a stall where Breanon was happily chewing on freshly forked hay. Abner smiled, opened the gate, and slipped in, and stroked stroking Breanon’s long, brown nose. The horse nickered softly, and took a step toward Abner, his longtime friend.

    Abner recalled when he first saw Breanon. He was thirteen at the time, and Breanon was a green-broke colt. It took much time, and many painful falls, but over the (? Not sure if you meant “the years” or just plain “years”) years, they grew close together, both trusting one another,. and nNow, Abner would ride no other horse. The majestic steed stood at just over sixteen hands, (sheesh, he’s a big boy) a unusually large warhorse. Rippling muscles covered histhe horse’s frame, his coloring a gentle brown, with a white star on his forehead.

    Abner sighed, and leaned on against Breanon, closing his eyes, and running his hands through the horse’s mane. He longed for this nightmare to be over. To be back in Dallinor, where peace thrived, and war was a thing of legends. What he had found exciting as a boy was now a burden to him, especially as he knew the likely-hood <b>likelihood </b>of the looming massacre of the defenders of Ensteyr. (Ok, I LOVE this paragraph. The longing, the calm before the storm–*chef’s kiss* Great job!)

    A long horn blast shook his thoughts,. (Short, punchy sentences tend to be better for action.) and bBoth man and beasthe and Breanon jumped, hearts picking up speed. There was some commotion at the gate, and, with a nervous shudder, Abner wondered if the enemy had finally began their attack.

    He raced out of the stables, hand on his sword, and joined North on the walls again. Still hindered by the fog, at first all he saw was a large grey mass waiting outside the gate. Then, with a surge of relief, he recognized the standard of Arhon on a cavalry guidon. Major Maguire had arrived.

    ***

    Great job!! I love the feel of this piece. Keep it up! *thumbs up* I’ll get to the next part next week. 🙂

    https://thepeninspired.wordpress.com

    #149445
    Crazywriter
    @crazywriter

    @joelle-stone

    Thanks so much! I’ve got Chapter 5 finished, so when you get done with chapter 4, I’ll send it over. It’s a real tearjerker!

    Sorry, if this is overloading you, but I can’t thank you enough.

    #149518
    Joelle Stone
    @joelle-stone

    @crazywriter,

    OH NO IS IT THAT ONE YOU MENTIONED?!

    Sorry, if this is overloading you, but I can’t thank you enough.

    Hey, no problem! I have time specifically set apart for critiquing, so it’s just a matter of whether I’m diligent or not. 😛

    https://thepeninspired.wordpress.com

    #149631
    Annabelle Batie
    @annabelle-batie

    Hi everyone!

    Um… mind if I join in the conversation? Sorry if I’m like way too late for that…

    I also don’t feel like reading through 27 pages of this, so could somebody update me on what is being talked about now?

    Hi, @joelle-stone! *waves* If you think I’m stalking you, then that is not on purpose. XD You just happen to appear everywhere I am.

    -Annabelle Batie, annabelle.batie.com

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