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Heroes Community > Tavern of the Rising Sun > Thread: Fiction: Tamika
Thread: Fiction: Tamika This thread is 3 pages long: 1 2 3 · NEXT»
Khaelo
Khaelo


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Underwater
posted September 20, 2004 02:33 AM bonus applied.
Edited By: Khaelo on 10 Oct 2004

Fiction: Tamika

For practice in plot-building, I am writing some HoMM based fanfiction.  Story and character are more important to me than canon, but the inspiration is the HoMM world with recourse to NWN's Forgotten Realms to fill in details.  (In this piece, "Black Riders" = Dread Knights; the names were too confusing with "Death Knights" otherwise.)  I hope the Library is still the place for such things; the decor in the Pyre isn't quite to my taste.  

This particular story is actually done-ish, although it has no title.    Part Two still needs revision and will be posted shortly.  Constructive criticism welcome.  I am particularly interested in the effectiveness of suspense and character development.  Thank you,

~Khaelo

Edit 3: Disclaimer -- Might and Magic, Heroes of Might and Magic, all associated characters, settings, plots, and so on are property of UbiSoft.  If you recognise it from the games, it's not mine.  I'm just playing with this stuff.

Edit: Spell check!
Edit 2: Version 1.1


~~~
Something was amiss.  Tamika noticed the extra life hovering in the vicinity before she was even within sight of her cave.  She slowed her pace and spread her senses.  Aside from the new pulses of life ahead of her, everything seemed normal.  In the blue-black night, she felt only the cool air of early autumn, and leaves slick under her feet from the rain that afternoon.  The damp scent of wet, decaying vegetation pervaded a forest gone silent in her predatory presence.  There was no trace of rotten meat nearby.  Tam had been very careful to clear the area of carrion and make her kills far from her shelter.  The stink of undeath clung to even the liveliest of her potential pursuers, so its absence calmed her.  Perhaps a deer had wandered near?  She couldn’t scent one, but she knew they ran this wood.  After all she had just come from a successful hunt. It was a pity to lose game so convenient, but Tam’s appetite was sated for the night.  She’d have to spook the creature away.

Within a few paces of the cave’s clearing, the life-presence split into two distinct but similar signals.  One was the familiar pulse of Tam’s black mare.  The other belonged not to a deer but to another horse.  A domesticated, trained horse.  Tam stopped cold.

A horse.  Another traveler.  She had been traveling slowly herself, lingering at each obscure shelter.  This spot was one of her better finds.  Was it more easily discovered than she realized?  A cold thought hit her: her possessions were still in the cave, including her Black Rider armor and her signature two-bladed sword.  The distinctive pieces lay hidden, but unguarded.  Anyone who was even slightly aware of local news could connect her gear to the deserter Death Knight, the vanished Captain of the Black Riders.  They would know that Tamika Darkborn had not yet left Nekross, and all her careful planning and tedious travel would be for nothing.  The borders, cautiously opened again months after her disappearance, would slam closed.  The patrols she had evaded for so long would resume.

Tamika’s professional training kicked in.  She made her decision quickly and resumed her silent approach.

To her surprise, she found the second horse to be a chestnut stallion bedecked in Palaedra’s colors.  Hobbled, he grazed quietly by her mare’s pen.  Tam gritted her teeth as she laid eyes on the faded purple and gold insignia on the stallion’s tack.  Her suspicion became certainty as she stepped into the cave.

Damn.  A paladin.

He slept near the entrance, his head resting on his saddlebags.  His muscled arms and torso and the sword at his side marked him as a knight to normal eyes, but Tam sensed Life Magic coursing in him with every heartbeat.  Paladin.  With fear still chilling her blood, she checked his slumber.  It was deep, but troubled.  Something bothered him.  Lightly brushing against his mind, she pressed his sleep deeper as she knelt by his side.  He was human, unsurprisingly, his presence pleasantly warm.  She touched his face, trying to determine if his heat was normal or feverish.  She couldn’t tell.  His brownish hair was tangled with half-dried mud, and there was a place on his jaw, under his beard, that made him murmur and turn away when her fingers passed over.  An odd scent lingered on his lips, possibly some sort of tea.  A pain-killer or sedative, perhaps?  Tam frowned and sat back on her heels.

His right leg rested on another bag.  She moved closer to the elevated foot, finding the ankle bound.  As she unwrapped the crude bandages, it became quickly obvious that his ankle was swollen.  Human illness was foreign to Tamika, but she knew enough of human injury.  She’d caused quite a bit of it herself, and she’d campaigned alongside living death knights and watched them tend wounds.  She probed the swelling.  From what she could see, the paladin’s ankle was probably sprained, if not broken.   Without healing and help, he’d be immobile for weeks.

The man stirred, moaned, but did not wake.  Tam rose and stepped over him gracefully as she removed the sword lying under his limp hand.  Taking a moment to inspect its blade, she found that it was quality steel but no more.  That was for the best; she had no way to dispose of a Holy Avenger or any other Good-enchanted weapon.  She tested its weight in her hand, then set the edge of the blade against the stubble at his throat.

He was a paladin.  She was a vampire.  There was no doubt in her mind that he would destroy her in a minute if he had the chance.  He had probably come to Nekross looking for a crusade of some sort.  She didn’t want to be the target.  She, after all, was leaving the path of evil behind.  She should just kill him and remove the threat.

But that wasn’t leaving evil very far behind, was it?  A man both injured and sleeping, a warrior of virtue at his most vulnerable… Once again, Tam’s private vision ghosted before her eyes.  She wanted to free the vampires from the path of Death that would destroy them.  This mission was the reason she abandoned castle, career, and king to become an outlaw running for the Asylums of Chaos.  From there, she hoped to work her way into the balanced life of the Preserve, though she knew the majority of her people could not leap alignments that far.

Nature was next to Life.

Tam stared at the paladin.  She hadn’t crossed the border of Nekross yet, waiting for Gauldoth to lose patience and reopen the borders.  She hadn’t completely abandoned her career as a Death Knight and Black Rider, not yet.  She could do this, and then leave it all behind later.  He would kill her anyway if she let him live.  It wasn’t evil, it was self-defense.  It wasn’t evil, it was wise.  It was evil, but it didn’t count.

He stirred again, helpless in ensorcelled sleep.  The veins in his neck pulsed with hot, Life-tinged blood, pulsed under the cold touch of his own sword.  Tam found her grip oddly unsteady.

Finally, she put up the blade.  Paladins had a code of honor.  How far did it go?  In a burst of impulsiveness, she decided to find out.  Laying the weapon aside, she re-examined his ankle.  It would need a splint and new, cleaner bandaging, possibly a cooling balm.  The human would also require food and water.  With a combination of anxiety and excitement churning in her heart, Tam set out to provide for her guest.

(part 2 below)
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Khaelo
Khaelo


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Underwater
posted September 20, 2004 03:11 AM
Edited By: Khaelo on 24 Sep 2004

part 2

Edit: Version 1.1

He was already awake when Tamika roused herself late in the afternoon.  The rabbit she caught, cleaned, and cooked just before dawn had vanished.  He sat quietly, staring outside.  Quickly, she turned away from him but made a coughing noise to alert him to her wakefulness.

“Milady?”

“How is your ankle feeling?” she asked.

“It still hurts, but it should heal better now.  You made the splint?”

“I did.  It helps?”

“Yes,” he said.  “The rest has renewed my healing as well.  My foot should mend in a few days at most.  I’ll be out of your hair in no time.”

“Ah…Are you hungry?”  The minute the words were said, Tam regretted them.  If he were hungry, there was nothing she could do about it.  It was broad daylight.

“Um, no.  No, that’s all right, I can cook for myself.  Don’t bother yourself with that.”

Something about his tone alerted her.  She resisted the urge to turn around and instead made a show of digging through her bags.  “Was there something wrong with the rabbit?  It was fresh.”

“Was it?”  There was an awkward pause.  “You’re not an experienced field cook, are you?”

“No,” she admitted.

“In that case, allow me to prepare my own meals.  The rabbit was a bit…charred.”

“Sorry.”

“No harm done.  It was kind of you to make the attempt.”

His manners were as charming and courtly as the stories promised.  Tam rolled her eyes.  “So. I saw your horse outside.  How did you manage to get a sprained ankle while riding?”

“Ah, that.”  The saddlebags creaked as he lay back on them.  “I got off the horse to refill my water skins and slipped down a ravine.  Wet leaves and mud…Since hopping on one foot is a somewhat unpleasant way to travel, I availed myself of the nearest shelter, which happened to be this cave.”

“Oh.  That’s too bad.”

“I agree,” he said genially.  Another long pause stretched between them before he spoke again.  “You can turn around.”

“I’m looking for something.”

“No, you’re not.  That bag’s not that big.  If you were looking for something, you would have found it by now or moved on to another bag.”  She froze as he continued, “You’re a vampire.  I’m not stupid, you know.  Turn around so we can talk face to face.”

Slowly, she spun to look at him.  His sword rested naked in his lap, and his eyes never left her face.  He was sitting in the doorway of the cave now, right in a patch of sunlight.  His hair and beard, which had appeared brown in the dark, now gleamed coppery red, and the mud had been combed out.  He gazed at her with blazing blue eyes and a quirky smile.  Tam had the disconcerting feeling that she had seen that handsome face before, though the identification escaped her.

“Now.  I’ve told you how I got injured.  You tell me why you helped me.”

“Because it was the right thing to do,” she said absent-mindedly.  No, she decided, she had not seen that face before.  Not exactly. But…well…maybe she had…

“Is that so?  And what service do I have that makes sparing my life the right thing to do?”

Maybe all foreign humans just blended together in her mind, Tam mused.  Warm skin, round ears, pleasing scent.

“Stop staring at me.”  His amused smile had deteriorated into a frown.  “You want me to believe that a vampire has offered assistance freely, out of the goodness of her heart?”

“What’s your name?”

His pause was but a moment.  “Nathan Forrester, in grace and service, milady.”

“Nathan Forrester,” she repeated, and noted the troubled look on his face.  “Where are you from?”

“As a paladin errant I wander all over Axeoth, but my base is Fieldrock in Palaedra.  It’s a tiny village; you probably haven’t heard of it.”

Tam smiled and nodded at him.  “And where are you from?  The old world?  Enroth?  Antagarich?”

His expression remained very, very steady as he replied, “I crossed the portals in the company of an enchanter.  He taught me Life magic so I could become a paladin.”

If there was one thing Tam learned well from her human associates in the Necropolis, it was seeing through deception.  Puzzle pieces began to fall together.  She gave the paladin a slight bow.  “Very well.  I am called Tamika, the Darkborn.  Now that you bring it up, there is something you can do for me, Paladin…Forrester.”

His frown grew deeper with her deliberate emphasis on his name, but he said nothing.   Instead, his tone carefully light, he asked, “The Darkborn?”

“It’s what I am.  Darkborn.  My parents were vampiric, so I was a vampire from birth.”

“Really?”  His demeanor changed immediately to genuine interest.  “I didn’t know vampires could reproduce like that.”

She shrugged that off.  “I’m traveling to the Asylum.  I don’t want to serve Death anymore.”

“A vampires seeking to leave Death?  This is something I would like to hear more about.”  He grinned.  “Good thing I’m not going anywhere for a while.”

“Shall I take that to mean you won’t slay me as an unholy monster while I sleep?”

There was mischief in his smile and cunning in his eyes.  “Of course not.  That is why you spared me, isn’t it?  Because you guessed I can’t attack one who has done nothing but assist me, regardless of her kind?”

“I’m not familiar with the details of your code,” she said.  “For my assistance, I ask that you help me learn the ways of light.  Help me leave evil.”

After staring at her for a moment, he said, “You’re lucky.  Some of my colleagues in Life would consider your nature of greater importance than your actions.”

“But not you.”

“But not me,” he confirmed.  “I am your grateful guest, Tamika Darkborn, and I will happily pay my debt by giving you instruction in the ways of Good.”  With a smirk, he added, “Vampiric nature aside, you know that’s an offer no paladin could refuse.”

She nodded. “And I your willing host and student, Nicolai Ironfist.”  At his stricken, frustrated expression, she burst out laughing.

“How did you know?” he demanded.

“You have your father’s face and your mother’s hair.  And you’re terrible at lying.”

“Hey, I was practicing that.”  He glanced out the cave entrance again.  “I’m not on a crusade, you know.  I’m just passing through on my way to an Oracle.  This route technically belongs to Nekross, but the area is so wild and underpopulated that I figured not to encounter too much trouble here.”

“A good plan.  I guess I’ll be helping you on that.”

“Need I tell you it’s dangerous?”

“Not a problem.”  And she smiled at him.

~END~

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BoogieMan
BoogieMan


Famous Hero
The John of Spades
posted September 20, 2004 05:20 PM

It was quite pleasant to read. I like the way you prepare the little surprise regarding the paladin's identity and also the narrative perspective which interweaves with the main character's. I've noticed the latter in your other posted piece of writing too, the one about Aine if I recall? You use the narrator to give a lot of insight on the characters' thoughts. Be careful not to do that excessively though.

btw, I can't find the one about Aine, have you removed it from HC?

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The BoogieMan wrote ... and saw that it was good.

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kwahraps
kwahraps


Adventuring Hero
posted September 20, 2004 07:50 PM

Can be tricky to write vampire stories.  

First, how familiar are your readers with Forgotten Realms vampires???  Everyone seems to have his/her own ideas about what vampires are and how they function.
So, when you imply that your vampire (Tamika) is trying to switch to good, how do we even know if that is possible.  

Second, you say she believes to be "born" into her vampiric heritage.  Then she would have no idea what human beings are really like and how they feel.  More likely, she is being kept hidden from the truth???  I'm not familiar with the Realms world, so I do not understand the history of vampires here.  Do they all report to one vampire leader??  Can vampires reproduce?  There would be a dozen more questions of this nature, delving into shapeshifting, weaknesses, etc.

There are lots of stories about vampires still yearning for their human days, grappling with their vampiric instincts while holding on to human memory.  This area was explored in Interview With A Vampire.  

It seems like most stories about reluctant vampires (that is, vampires that want to be good or human) have to do with love, or just being able to feel again.  Mostly emotional longing, and having hope.  

Perhaps you should explore why Tamika has "hope".  
Would be interesting to have a vampire that doesn't want to be a vampire (she still has faith) and a paladin that doesn't believe in a good cause (he has lost his faith).  Two people, perhaps forced into certain paths that don't want to go down those roads.  Together, they compliment each other.  

Then, he learns necromancy, becomes a lich, they get married, and live evilly ever after.

I'm sorry, just being sarcastic there.

I couldn't get into the story because I didn't have a good grasp as to why Tamika thinks the way she does.  I felt the flow was a little uneven, but the story was structured well.  

If you have any questions, or want me to clarify something, please don't hesitate to ask.


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Khaelo
Khaelo


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Underwater
posted September 25, 2004 02:01 AM

responses, yay!

So, the story's been moved to the Tavern.   Okay.

Thank you to everyone who read it.  As I said, a writer can only see so much in her own work.  Comments are very helpful.  I need to know how readers feel about it.

Clarification (from deleted posts in response to other deleted posts):  This is part of my larger alternative HoMM-verse.  It was supposed to be a stand alone episode. To re-tell the entire cycle would result in a really, really long piece.  ~~~  However, since this apparently doesn't come across as a whole story, I'm going to attempt a full round of the cycle.  The current plan is eight episodes.

Character development is an overstated term for a short story like this. I meant characterization.

~~~
More clarification:  The vampire type here is not from Forgotten Realms.  It is a heavily extrapolated HoMM vampire.  HoMM vampires are undead, suck life and/or blood, fly, are cool in color, have pointy ears, and can pass as elves.  Deyja borders AvLee.  From this, I conclude (quite naturally ) that HoMM vampires are a predatory member of the fey family, relatives of elves and sprites.  Since they're a distict species (unlike lich), I've gone on to extrapolate a normal reproductive process alongside the parasitic one.

The material borrowed from Forgotten Realms mostly regards paladins and paladins' abilities.  Also, the whole Good/Neutral/Evil + Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic alignment system is from D&D, and it's intertwined with the "wheel" alignments from HoMM IV.  I've actively rejected MM X.  

The first part has been revised with an eye towards making Tamika's perceptions more species-sensitive, as well as tightening the prose.  This is third-person limited viewpoint, so the narrator is confined to Tam's view.

I did remove the Aine/Daremyth piece.  It was part of another cycle that wasn't well plotted, and I couldn't continue.  I'd like to return to the genies at some point, but this story is more fully developed so its chances of completion are better.  Priorities...
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gorman
gorman


Promising
Legendary Hero
Been around since before 2003
posted September 25, 2004 02:20 AM

I must admit those stories were very well written. I'm looking forward to seeing more of them
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pandora
pandora


Honorable
Legendary Hero
The Chosen One
posted September 25, 2004 06:47 AM

I really like it too

I thought that

Quote:
He would kill her anyway if she let him live. It wasn’t evil, it was self-defense. It wasn’t evil, it was wise. It was evil, but it didn’t count.


was a nice bit to show Tamika's struggle in choosing good over evil as she tried to justify her thinking.

I really hope you continue to share more. It's a good plan to post your writing here; where you know it's safe - you never know when it could get lost!

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Khaelo
Khaelo


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Underwater
posted October 05, 2004 01:59 AM

exposition ho!

Section 2, part 1, version 1.0
~~~

Tamika entered the little camp to find Nicolai half-asleep again.  It hadn’t taken her an hour to hunt down her prey, and he was dozing?  There wasn’t much time before dawn; couldn’t he wait?  Fortunately, he had already started his cooking fire and set up her tent.  Whatever Tam could say of her new traveling companion, she admitted that he was efficient.  She shoved his shoulder with her boot.  “Wake up.”

His eyes opened.  “I’m awake.  What’d you get?  Rabbit again?  Yum.”

“Would his Highness prefer something else?” she asked sweetly as she handed him her catch.  “My hunting skills are certainly up to it.”

“It’s the middle of the woods.  No titles, please, and this is the third straight day of rabbit.”

“Squirrel, then?  Chipmunk?  Badger?  Perhaps you’d like roast blue jay?  Are bats edible?  Would you like to find out?”

“Fine, fine,” he said, laughing.  “No complaints.”  He knelt with the carcass, pulling out the hunting knife he kept by his side.  Tam sat down across the cooking fire.  Where had a crown prince learned to skin and clean game? she wondered idly.  Nicolai had been quiet for the past four days, his eyes shadowed as he adjusted to nocturnal traveling.  He hadn’t volunteered many details of his quest, and she hadn’t pressed him.  Instead, she led them through the night according to his directions, content with companionship she hadn’t realized she’d missed.

“Tell me about yourself.”

She almost missed the question, lost as she was in reverie.  She glanced at him across the fire.  His movements were still somewhat sluggish, but his gaze was clear and curious.  Tam decided to play with him.  “You want me to answer questions?  Very well, but for every question I answer, you answer one for me.  Tit for tat.”

He nodded.  “Fair enough.  Where are you from?”

“Deyja.  Where are we going?”

“An oracle.”  The prompt, clipped response made her blink.  Then she laughed.  Nicolai grinned at her.  “Tit for tat, yes?”

“As good as your word, Sir Paladin,” Tam acknowledged.  “All right.  My parents were both elves in life.  My father fell in love with my mother about fifty years after becoming a vampire, so he turned her as well.  They settled in northern Deyja near the AvLee border.  That is where I was born and raised.”

“Darkborn,” he said.  “I didn’t know vampires could love.  Your mother was pregnant when she died?”

“No.  My mother was a decade undead when I was born. Now, where are we going?”

“As I told you, we’re headed for an oracle under the north-eastern mountains of Nekross.  It’s a blood-oracle.  The seer uses the seeker’s blood to answer questions of self and family.  It’s an obscure site, but my source assures me that it is effective.  And it doesn’t employ necromancy.  For you: why did you become a death knight?”

“In the first place?”  He nodded, his face solemn, and he looked startled when she laughed.  “Because my father made me get a real job.  My passion is music.  Alas and woe, that is not a viable career in the Necropolis.  I have little talent for magic but all residents of border zones get plenty of experience in combat.  So, I picked the most exotic weapon available and trained as a death knight.  Why is a paladin seeking a blood-oracle?”

“I need information on relatives, why else?”  He took a deep breath, then continued, “In truth, the information I seek is on behalf of my king, who also happens to be my cousin.”

“King Lysander Gryphonheart?”

“Yes.  He sent a call throughout Palaedra in search of his siblings.  Many knights have answered, but none have succeeded.  If the rest of Princess Beatrice’s children are like Lysander, they have no memory of themselves before the attack that separated them.  Traditional methods will fail to find them.  I am the only one, aside from Lysander himself, who can use this oracle to crack the mystery.  It may be the last chance King Lysander has, so I am honor-bound to try.  Does that satisfy you?”

She paused.  “It will do for now.”

“Good.  Why have you left the Necropolis?  In detail.”

This was important to Nicolai, judging by the cold intensity of his eyes.  Tam met that harsh gaze with all the force of her certainty.  “I don’t belong there.  I am darkborn, a vampire in all my being, for all my life.  I have never been anything else.  That’s unusual.  Most of them…most of them were human once, or elven, or goblin, or dwarven, or something.  They were alive once, and it obsesses them.  Obsesses!”  She clenched her hands, trying to verbalize her frustration.  “Maybe it’s better to be truly alive.  I don’t know.  I don’t care!  What I do know is that, as a vampire, I need others to live.  We are predators, my people.  We feed on life.  If there is no life, there is no feeding.  We starve, we go mad, we die.  The necromancers…the necromancers destroy life.  They want to extinguish it.  Out of jealousy, insanity, who knows?  And vampires help them?  Vampires join them?  It makes no sense, not to me.

“They don’t like me.  Turned vampires and necromancers both, they don’t like me.  You can guess why.  The Necromancers’ Guild dominates everything.  It took me a long time, a damned long time, to attain the position I did within Deyja, all of it built on my skill with the twin blades.  Then the Reckoning happened, and it all fell to pieces.  My Black Riders are gone.  I’m back where I started – an odd, lesser vampire with a decent sword and a loud mouth.  The Guild still holds power.  Should I strive to regain my place just to be ignored and mocked again?  I considered it, started it, and then they brought in the demons.  The Kreegan.  If anyone’s worse about life than necromancers, it’s those damn devils.  That was the last straw.  I left.”

Nicolai was silent a few moments before asking, “Where will you go?”

“The Asylum.  The Preserve isn’t likely to take me unless I disguise myself.  I might yet do that, but I want to set an example for my people.”

“I see.  And what do you want from me?”

“Teach me the Good alignment.”

“The Asylum does not require that,” he said with a lifted eyebrow.  “Quite the contrary.”

“I want it anyway.”

“You’re right about the Preserve.  Nature will reject you.  Aranorn won’t accept vampires any more than AvLee did.”

“I want it anyway,” she repeated.

Something that Tam couldn’t name sparkled in his blue eyes, and his smile returned.  “I have already agreed, and I will uphold my agreement.  Now, if you will excuse me, my dinner is finished cooking.”  Deftly, he pried the rabbit off the make-shift spit and began carving it.  

“Hey, you,” Tam objected.  “This conversation isn’t over.  You owe me two more answers.”

His mouth full of meat, Nicolai raised his eyebrows.

“I gave you ‘where are you going’ and ‘what do you want.’  I get more questions.”

He shrugged and made a vague gesture.  While he continued to eat, Tam sorted through her sketchy knowledge of the kingdom of Palaedra, trying to formulate a question that would draw out the most information.  She knew something about human behavior from her fellow death knights, but she grasped only the basics of Haven ideologies.  Nicolai was born and bred to the Castle, and Tam suspected its codes would explain some of his odd behaviors.  Finally, she picked a question.

“Why don’t you have a royal escort?”

“Huh?  What kind of paladin needs a royal escort to defend him?”

Oops.  Tam pressed on anyway.  “You’re a prince.  You should be a king.  Princes and kings get escorts.  Your father had one when I saw him.  Why don’t you have one?”

To her vast surprise, Nicolai flushed a deep red.  “That’s just a matter of state.  The King doesn’t really need an escort.  Lysander’s a knight, you know, just like my father was.  He’s an excellent warrior in his own right.”

“That’s wonderful, your Highness, but it doesn’t answer my question.”

“No titles,” he mumbled, still blushing.  It made him look like a tomato, but Tam found it unaccountably charming.  “Ah.  You remember the name I gave you at first?  Nathan Forrester?”

“Yes.”

“Well, ah, that’s me.  That’s how I’m registered at the outpost at Fieldrock and in the Paladin Order lists at Palen.”

“I see…they don’t know who you really are.  I suppose this also explains why you’re not king.”

“Lysander is king,” he said with sudden heat.  “He founded Palaedra.  He was heroic at the Reckoning and led hundreds of people through the portals.  He’s defended the throne from pretenders.  He’s been a fair and just ruler.  Anyway, we have the same grandfather.  Lysander’s as much a Gryphonheart as I am, and six years older as well.  It’s not like I ever wanted to be king anyway.”  When Tam didn’t respond, Nicolai plunged onward, almost pleading.  “It’s too dangerous for me to be myself.  The kingdom is at peace now but not quite stable.  Look at the rebellion that formed around Sir Worton’s false claim to the throne.  How much worse would it be around me, even if I didn’t press the issue?  There are people from both Erathia and Enroth here, and my claim to both thrones is stronger than Lysander’s.  Every discontent in the realm would jump on me -- my very existence could cause all kinds of problems for King Lysander.  No, better they assume Nicolai Ironfist perished in the Reckoning.  Nathan Forrester is the peasant ward of a wandering enchanter.  He threatens nothing.  It’s better like this.”

“Lying is against the paladins’ code of honor, isn’t it?”

“This is different,” he said, confirming all her suspicions.  “There are very good reasons for this…deception.”

“So you do recognize it for what it is.  You should also be aware that the truth is written plainly on your face.”

He grimaced.  “I know.  That’s why I work out of Fieldrock, a middle-of-nowhere garrison.”

“So, last question.  Tell me:  Provided that you reach this oracle, provided that it gives you a workable answer, provided that you actually locate your missing cousins, provided you get them safely to Lysander’s court, and provided you manage all of this without revealing yourself as the lost heir…how do you plan to explain the feat?  Without mentioning that you used a relatives-only oracle, of course.”

“You’re trying to make my life difficult.”

“Didn’t plan that far, did you?”

“It’ll work out.”

“Will it?  I only saw Roland Ironfist once, from a distance, as he was traveling.  I knew Queen Catherine only by reputation.  Yet, I recognized their features in you in a matter of minutes.  Lysander Gryphonheart’s court is filled with nobles from both Enroth and Erathia, as you said, nobles who had much closer contact with the King and Queen.  If you don’t have a plan, Nicolai, I suggest you make one.”

He set his jaw at that, focusing his attention into the fire, then nodded once.  “Yes.  When the time comes.”  Then he looked up again and captured her gaze.  “My quest is almost as impossible as yours.”

Tam let the subject drop.

(continued)

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Khaelo
Khaelo


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Underwater
posted October 05, 2004 02:01 AM
Edited By: Khaelo on 8 Oct 2004

Section 2, part 2, version 1.11
Edit:  Oi!  The HC autocensor has some issues.  Prickle?  Replaced with synonym anyway.
Edit:  Names adjusted.
~~~

The next evening, Tam woke to a considerably peppier paladin.

“Up, up!”  He knelt by her side, shaking her shoulder.  “We’re really close!  There’s a cemetery…” The rest of his words blurred together as Tam dragged her mind out of a shadowy dream world of drifting horse-scent, a heavy sword in her hand, and Roland Ironfist playing a mournful tune on a fiddle.  “Up, up, up!”

“It’s really stupid for you to rouse me like this,” she muttered at Nicolai.  His wrist was mere inches from her mouth, and she could nearly taste the fragrance of his blood.  “I could bite you without thinking.”

“But you won’t,” he said with maddening confidence.  “Come on, we’re nearly there.  Get up so we can be on our way.”

By the time Tam had dragged on her armor, Nicolai had packed the tent away neatly in a saddlebag and watched her with a lifted eyebrow.  “Vampires are supposed to be fast.”

She stifled an irritated snarl.  “I just woke up!  Go, if you’re so eager.  I’ll catch up to you after I’ve had my breakfast.”

After regarding her for a minute, Nicolai shrugged and mounted.  “The cemetery is about two miles north; you can see the clearing and some monuments from treetop.  I’ll meet you there.”

He’d been climbing trees?  Surely not in his full plate armor!  Tam just mutely nodded, then headed into the brush to scare up something edible.  In truth, Nicolai was correct about her speed.  Poor hunting dragged her down, and there was little she could do about the scarce feeding.  Despite her boast of the night before, she found game to be few and far between.  The region had no registered necromantic castle nearby, but Tam recognized the patter all too well.

After making do with a few squirrels that were entirely too much trouble for the little blood they yielded, Tam headed for the cemetery.  Was this the entrance to the oracle?  She couldn’t remember.  Maybe it was just a landmark, but it certainly sent Nicolai into an excited state…Was that fighting she heard?

Tam quickened her pace and her suspicions firmed to certainty.  Unsheathing her blades, she broke into a run.  Upwind from the battle, she couldn’t scent the combatants, but a slight sharpness in the air soon alerted her to the presence of spell-raised undead.  She burst into a clearing and promptly stumbled over a leaning headstone.  Turning her fall into a tumble, she rolled back up onto her feet, double-bladed sword at the ready.  A pair of ghouls turned to face her.  Nicolai was a few paces behind them, smoothly swirling through a pack of zombies with his longsword and leaving zombie parts in his wake.

Very well.  These were enemies.  The ghouls hadn’t moved, still staring at her sudden appearance.  Tam took an easy swing at the nearer of the two and decapitated it.  Its partner blinked and started to move, but the other blade was already on an arc headed into its torso.  Slicing through flesh and bone like water,  Tam effortlessly sheared the ghoul in two.  By then, however, more ghouls had appeared from the forest of funeral monuments, and she found herself completely occupied with keeping their grasping, raking talons at bay.  One after another, she felled them, ghouls and zombies both.  Yet for all her skill and ease in slaying each individual, three more pressed closer to her, reached for her, tested her guard.  She backed up against a tall sepulcher, trying to maintain enough space to maneuver her weapon but enough protection to offset the advantage of their numbers.  This wasn’t working.  “Nicolai!” she called.  “Nicolai!”

The blast caught her completely unawares.  An unearthly shout filled her.  The zombie hordes vanished in a dazzle.  Sunlight, it was sunlight!  Tam cried out.  Daggers pierced her eyes and drilled the back of her head.  She reeled with a smell like the briny swamp, choking gas, smothering decay, a stink like starvation, madness, death.  A scream, a shriek rose and thrilled in her skull.  The burns seared along her limbs, ate at her skin, and she lost the touch of the sword.  Maybe she dropped it.  She didn’t know.  She couldn’t care.  There was nothing but to run.  Her steps fumbled; she fell to her hands and knees.  A distant voice nagged her.  Her mind spun and battered her onward.  Away!  Away!  The world shifted, she couldn’t figure it out in time, she ended up on her back.  She tried to flip again, tried to move, tried to run.  Away!  Away!

“Tamika!”

The light started to fade.  Familiar shadow moved somewhere beyond the blinding white veil.  Tam struggled.

“Tamika!  Can you hear me?”

Yes, her mind answered against the ringing buzz.  Help me.

“Wake up!  Up!  Damn it, you!”  Hands.  Warm hands.  Not the burning sensation of sun, the welcome touch of living flesh.  Tam reached for the beacon in front of her.  She grasped it, felt the blood flowing inside, held it.  The light became gauzy and uncomfortable but no longer torturous.  Sound still echoed in her ears but no longer sharp.  The stench of death and starvation dissipated, and she brought her face closer to the inviting scent of blood and flesh.  Life.

“Tamika, are you all right?  Gods, gods!  I’m so sorry!  I didn’t think!  Are you awake?  Are you okay?  I’m so sorry!  Tamika?”

Warmth, sweet and soft.  Life, held close.  Bring it closer.  Take it.  Tam felt the skin beneath her lips, touched her tongue to its familiar flavor.  Comfort.  Hunger.

“Uh...Are you licking me?”

Nicolai.

His name burst the trance.  As if pulled abruptly out of water, Tam suddenly heard his pleading voice, smelled his distinctive tang, saw his copper hair.  She blinked and the final blurriness of the white vision vanished.  “Nicolai?”

“Oh, gods!  You’re all right?”

“I…Yes.  I’m…awake.  Mostly.  Ah…zombies.”

“No more zombies.  Don’t worry about them; they’re gone.  I am so sorry, it didn’t even occur to me that you’re…I’m sorry.  Are you sure you’re all right?  Do you need anything?”

He’d pulled her head away from his shoulder, although he still held her, and now he searched her face with wide eyes.  She blinked again, trying to shake her mind as clear as her sight.  “Need anything?  I…I’m hungry.  Prey?”

His expression changed a bit, but Tam couldn’t read it.  Gently, he turned her in his arms and laid her against a cold stone.  Ah, the cemetery.  They were still in the cemetery.  “I’ll get you something to eat,” Nicolai said.  If his voice sounded odd, Tam didn’t comment.

“The zombies?” she asked again, seizing on her rediscovered sense of location.

“No.  The zombies stopped.  They’re dead.  Really dead, I mean.  Stay here.”  With that, he left.

Tam obeyed his instructions, laying her head against the marble.  Keeping it up was hard, she realized.  She closed her eyes and let her troubled mind go still.

“Tamika?  How’s this?”

Tam pried her eyes open to find Nicolai standing in front of her with a large hare.  It struggled weakly against its bonds, bleeding from an arrow-wound.  Tam reached out for it.  “Yes, that’s good.  Please.”

He knelt beside her, allowing her to hold the hare as he untied it.  “Stop that,” he said curtly as she tried to bring the bloody wound to her mouth.  “No, stop, I still need to get this off.”  He swatted her hand.  Finally, after far too much fumbling, he permitted her to seize the animal.  He turned away as she sank her fangs into it, and took the ropes with him.  When the hare was empty, Tam curled up and slept.

(END for now)
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binabik
binabik


Responsible
Legendary Hero
posted October 05, 2004 05:48 AM

Have you considered going to a writer's workshop? My understanding is that they will criticize your work to the point you will want to crawl in a hole and hide, but at the same time you will learn a lot from other writers.

Anyway, my comments are from a reader of fiction, not from a writer. I know you wanted comments on story and character, but I can't help but comment on what "strikes" me first. (It may sound overly critical at first, but compliments are at the end.)

"Something was amiss"

Ah, the hook. What's amiss?.... I must read on to find out.

"Tamika noticed the extra life hovering in the vicinity before she was even within sight of her cave."

This sentence is awkward. I stumbled a little reading this. In other words, the words got in the way of the idea and image. It's a borderline run-on sentence, not because of the length, but because of unnecessary words. The phrase "in the vicinity" could be replaced with "nearby".

The phrase "before she was even within sight of her cave" could be shortened or reworded. An alternative may be "even before she sighted her cave". The entire sentence could be something like this "Tamika noticed the lifeform hovering nearby even before she sighted her cave."

IMHO this second sentence is important because it follows your 3-word hook. It should be short and flow smoothly from the hook. The reader asks "what's amiss?" and the answer is 'something is hovering nearby'. Any extraneous words get in the way of answering the question.

"She slowed her pace and spread her senses."

Maybe "opened her senses"?

"Aside from the new pulses of life ahead of her.."

Maybe "Except for the new pulses..."?

"In the blue-black night, she felt only the cool air of early autumn, and leaves slick under her feet from the rain that afternoon."

Again slightly awkward. The first two phrases are good. The last could be something like "and the leaves slippery under her feet from the rain earlier that day." Or better yet, it could be a separate sentence.  Also, the first comma is not needed. Try reading it both ways, with and without a pause after "night"

"The damp scent of wet, decaying vegetation"

Better if you leave the word "damp" out. It flows better and "damp" sounds redundant with the word "wet".

"The stink of undeath clung to even the liveliest of her potential pursuers, so its absence calmed her."

I don't understand this. I assume her pursuers are living, so why do they smell like undead? If by "undeath" you mean "living", why not say that?

"It was a pity to lose game so convenient"

How about "It was a pity to lose such convenient game."  Adjective before noun and never at the end of a sentence. At the end, it almost sounds like the adverb conveniently which modifies "lose" rather than "game". As in "she conveniently lost the game".

Oh, I'm terrible. I sound like one of my old English teachers. Sorry, but you asked for it. And no, I'm definitely not a stickler for grammar. Too much grammar would be dry and too formal. But you also don't want improper sentence structure to interfere with the flow. Flow and even a bit of cadence are critically important. The reader needs the words to flow by so they don't get in the way of the ideas and imagery.

If you are interested in the images I formed here's what I got from that first paragraph. Tamika has arrived home in the truest sense. It's someplace she's lived for a long time and where she feels comfortable and safe. She's meticulous and cautious ("...very careful to clear the area of carrion..."). She's confident, maybe overly confident....sensing danger, but shrugging her shoulders when nothing is found. As it turns out, she's neither lived there for a long time nor was in danger. But the reader doesn't know that yet. That's OK though because how long she lived there isn't really too important and the sense of danger was real to her at the time. Another thing, maybe unintentional, this feeling of "home sweet home" humanized her. We don't know yet what she is, but if she has the quality of taking comfort in a safe and comfortable home, how bad can she be?

OK, I've already done too much nit-picking, so I'll stop. But I did read the rest and liked it overall. I thought the dialog was very good, probably as good as many "professional" writers I've read. And perhaps the best compliment of all (to compensate for all the criticism) is that I want to read more to find out what happens. That's something that's *NOT* true of a lot of "professional" writers I've read. If it were a published book I would continue reading rather than putting it aside to look for something better.
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Khaelo
Khaelo


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Underwater
posted October 06, 2004 11:20 PM
Edited By: Khaelo on 8 Oct 2004

Thanks, Binabik!  Usually, my mom will run down the nit-pickies for me, but I didn't give her these pieces.  It's helpful to know that I should.    Workshops are something that an ego has to work up to.  

My stuff does tend to go heavy on dialogue -- behold the next portion!  While I'm glad it works, I'm also trying to cut down on it.

For the record, this cycle is now plotted to 8 sections, i.e. broad plot points.  Each section gets broken into a number of parts according to length and/or time.  The next section, "Oracle," requires poetry so it may take a while to write up.  As always, comments are much appreciated.  Thank you so much for reading.  

~~~
Section 2, part 3, version 1.1
Edit: Names adjusted, italics added
~~~
Tamika didn’t sleep long.  When she woke, the night wasn’t yet half gone.  Nicolai sat across from her, his blue gaze solemn and watchful, his sword gleaming in his lap.  It was freshly cleaned and sharpened, but the rest of him didn’t look nearly as neat.  Mud and grass were tangled in his hair and spoiled its flaming color.  A wide scrape, edged in white and dotted in red, crossed his forehead.  Purple shading crept up his cheek from under his beard.  One sleeve dangled in blood-tinged tatters, and there were more dents in his armor than before.

“More fighting?”

He broke his somber visage with a grin.  “Good guess.  Feeling better?”

“Yes.  What happened?”

“Some ghouls made the mistake of coming back.”

“No, before that.  The light.”

The smile twisted oddly.  “Ah.  I used Turn Undead.”

Turn Undead,” she repeated.

“A paladin ability, a holy invocation.”

“I know what it is.”

“It’s second nature for me to use it when swarmed with undead, especially zombies…”

“I can imagine.  It’s powerful.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t think…”

“It worked.”

“That it did.”  He paused.  “You are all right, aren’t you?  It was only supposed to give us some space.”

“The ghouls are gone.  They were driven off?”

“They died, most of them.  I chased down a couple more before noticing you…Can you get up?”

“Give me a hand.”  Actually, Tam felt recovered, but between the marble’s chill at her back and the cool night air, his offer of warmth was too much to resist.  Nick clanked to his feet.  He held out a hand to her, and she allowed him to pull her up.  His strength wasn’t impressive, but it was adequate for a human warrior.

“Hey, you’re pretty light,” he commented as he wrapped her arm around his waist and placed a steady hand on her shoulder.  “Not too tall, either.  I never noticed before.”

Was that supposed to be a compliment?  Tam wasn’t sure, so she didn’t respond.

“How long is your sword?” Nicolai asked casually.

“My sword…!”

“Don’t worry; it’s already on your saddle.  How long?”

“Twenty-four inch blades, eighteen inch handle,” she said.

“Just what I thought.  It’s taller than you are.”

“Yes.”  After a moment, she added, “Vampiric strength.”

“And dexterity.  And speed.”  He tipped his head to her, smiling.  “It’s a nice weapon.  I cleaned it up and gave it some polish for you.  Good steel.  Too heavy for my taste, but I liked the balance…ah!  You’re not protective of your arms, are you?”

She goggled over his having cleaned it for her.  “Uh…no.”

“Some of the other knights, they’ll just go berserk if anyone touches their weapons.  Sorry, I should have thought of that beforehand.”

“Uh, it’s never come up before.  I don’t mind, I guess.  You wouldn’t hurt it.”  As the words came out of her mouth, she realized that she didn’t actually know if he would hurt or compromise her arms.  But she found herself trusting him not to do such a thing.  They came up to the horses, and there was her sword, clean and sheathed and attached very poorly to the saddlebag straps.  She pulled it off and slung it into its baldric across her back, as she was accustomed.

“Do you need help mounting?”

She paused to consider the offer.  “No.  No, that I can do myself.”  She slung herself up nimbly and glanced back at Nicolai.  He was watching her with a small smile.

“First unable to cross a grassy meadow without help, and now hopping on a horse with no trouble at all.  You vamps heal quickly indeed.”

“Well, your Turn Undead was bad enough.  I don’t want to tempt you into Lay on Hands,” she shot back.  He laughed.  She’d only meant it as half-joke, having seen what the holy touch could do to her kind, but she accepted his amusement with a smile and a distraction.  “So, if this isn’t your precious oracle, where is it?”

“Didn’t I tell you?  This cemetery is part of the temple complex where the oracle is housed.  It’s a huge area, though, almost a small city, so we’re going to ride to the inner courtyard.  We can leave the horses in the ruins’ shelter, maybe spend the night…ah, day…and move from there on foot.”

She nodded as he settled into his own saddle.  “Let’s go then.”

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Svarog
Svarog


Honorable
Supreme Hero
statue-loving necrophiliac
posted October 07, 2004 01:23 AM

Intriguing. But I have some remarks.
First, I don’t like the way our heroes turned from Nicolai and Tamika to the Yankee versions of Tam and Nick. It’s not a big problem yet, but it could be when the part comes when they get in bed 2gether and start erotically calling Tammie and Nicky to each other. I’m sure I’d be reluctant to take that so easily.

More serious notes about the plot now.
A question to you, Khaelo: How is a bribe of single hunted rabbit and a wound bandage enough to make a knight give up his code of killing unholy creatures? Wouldn’t it take more for a man of his caliber to put his trust in the hands of a vampire? Or is there something more about Nicolai? We couldn’t know that since it’s the vampiric perspective you’ve chosen to use.
I can understand the benevolence of Tamika and her motives (since you explained them very well in the second part), but what surprises me is the naivety of them both. Nick knew in advance that she’s a vampire, right (even before she turned to him)? Then, it confuses me somewhat, her inability to foresee that danger and protect herself somehow. Instead she calmly sleeps in the cave, waiting for the man for who she hardly knows anything to wake up and decide what to do with her.
It seems to me like they relax their guard too fast, like they meet on a party or something, and not like they are sworn adversaries to each other. It insults their intelligence a bit.

And a second remark. I don’t like the reference you continually make to the alignments in the game. While they are known and logical for us, I doubt how common would they be for the guys in the story to use them (since they sound more like schools of philosophy and imo that practice chops the world of Axeoth into these little pieces, and it’s not an integrated whole anymore, as I, at least, want to see it). Instead, I think the names of the kingdoms would be a better replacement.
Spreading more on the alignments, I think you should give more attention in the reminder of the story to the translocation of her own mind through those alignments and the transformation and doubts in her values and guiding principles so far. This is not a prisoner with definite and eternal truths trying to escape from the Nekros, but someone who’s lived there for her entire life and doesn’t know what awaits her on the other side. Where would one draw all the motivation from, in order to abandon everything and venture in the unknown, even hostile? It’s a very complex character you’ve chosen, and it requires such treatment. The way it looks now to me is like Tam is an opportunist instead of a self-seeker. The lack of inner-struggle and questions in her mind, makes it look as if the mare physical going to those alignments would actually get her there. It takes more than that.

Apart from that, all the rest is almost perfect. I love your narration. A bit more difficult for non-natives to follow because it made me look up in the dictionary couple of times. Somehow everything seems to be in its right place. I don’t know how you manage to pull this, but its working.
The style you use doesn’t necessarily have to be easy to read in my opinion, as Binabik said. Oversimplification may take away from the sophistication and charm it has.
Something that sucks the most in my writing is the dialog construction. I tend to go straight to the point and they look too mechanical. Unlike yours which are really well written and spontaneous. A stunning variety of adjectives and nouns in the rest.
OK for now. I better stop, cause with the length of this, it’ll look like I’m the author of this thread. Keep up the good work. And forgive me cause I’m always more eager to criticize than to praise, so in the end you get a disproportional impression of the good and bad sides. In other words, don’t rely on my judgement.

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binabik
binabik


Responsible
Legendary Hero
posted October 07, 2004 03:01 AM

Wouldn't want to put your mom out of a job.

But, but, but....hops from foot to foot waving hand in air....what about....? (picture Tasslehoff)

OK, I'll resist the temptation.


Quote:
Workshops are something that an ego has to work up to


Ah, desire to write on one side of the scale and pride on the other. If you called a writer's group and told them that, you know what they'd say don't you?

If you haven't done much web searching try this site. I found it as a link from Robin Hobb's web site a few months back.

http://www.sfwa.org
http://www.sfwa.org/writing/


About Svarog's comments

Quote:
I don’t like the way our heroes turned from Nicolai and Tamika to the Yankee versions of Tam and Nick


I see the point. But in a short story? Maybe, but it needs to move fairly quickly.

Quote:
when the part comes when they get in bed 2gether and start erotically calling Tammie and Nicky to each other.


Don't know if it's intentional, but that's the direction it seems to be going.

Quote:
It seems to me like they relax their guard too fast, like they meet on a party or something, and not like they are sworn adversaries to each other. It insults their intelligence a bit.


Yes, they both relaxed their guard quickly. It was enough that I took note of it while reading, but it didn't really get in the way of the story.

Quote:
The style you use doesn’t necessarily have to be easy to read in my opinion, as Binabik said. Oversimplification may take away from the sophistication and charm it has.


Much of what I said was about awkward sentence structure, which is not quite the same as simple vs complex structure. But yes, I personnaly prefer simplier sentence structure. I want just enough to form the image, but that's a matter of preference.
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Asmodean
Asmodean


Responsible
Supreme Hero
Heroine at the weekend.
posted October 08, 2004 06:30 AM
Edited By: Asmodean on 30 Oct 2004

Damn she's a MOD, can't give her a QP. Though to be a bit of a Dingo, I think this belongs in Glade.
I'll leave it in Tavern tough, cos it's the coolest forum
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Lord_Woock
Lord_Woock


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
Daddy Cool with a $90 smile
posted October 09, 2004 11:29 PM

This is not a roleplay and therefore does not necessarily belong in the Glade. So there
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RedSoxFan3
RedSoxFan3


Admirable
Legendary Hero
Fan of Red Sox
posted October 10, 2004 01:34 AM

It's my guess that Ubisoft probably doesn't care too much about fan-fiction, since they are so wonderful with the Homm fans, just from their taking our feedback in Altar. However I think people should know that fan-fiction is technically plagurism even if it's simply posting it on a forum. The reason I say this is because if people start doing all kinds of fan-fiction and one author is particularly picky and agressive about fan-fiction as plagurism, then there may be a problem. So I would be weary when people start fan-fiction threads.
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Svarog
Svarog


Honorable
Supreme Hero
statue-loving necrophiliac
posted October 10, 2004 01:55 AM

??? Very confusing post.
If what I think he thinks about fan-fiction being plagurism (i assume =plagiarism) is true, than its the most illogical thing I've heard for this entire week. (and believe me, i hear stuff like that a lot)
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RedSoxFan3
RedSoxFan3


Admirable
Legendary Hero
Fan of Red Sox
posted October 10, 2004 02:44 AM

Okay here's a link to the website, where I read about Fan-Fiction being posted on the internet as plagurism.

http://www.fictionfactor.com/articles/fanfiction.html

If you are too lazy to go to the link. I will quote what it says.

Quote:

Fan fiction is a popular form of entertainment. In the majority of cases, fan-fiction is written when a reader doesn't want to leave the characters or the world they enjoyed so much, and the temptation to continue the story becomes overwhelming. But it's against the law to publish your fan fiction stories without explicit consent from the author/publisher, even if you only post them to your own website.

This doesn't mean you shouldn't write fan fiction for your own enjoyment but you need to consider the risks before you post it on the web. While some authors will turn a blind eye, other authors are more vigilant about prosecuting fan fiction writers than others. What you need to consider is how serious you are about pursuing a writing career? Do you wish to risk tarnishing your potential career with a copyright or trademark infringement suit?


So reading this one can obviously see that it would be plagurism. Now like I said, I doubt Ubisoft is going to care about a little Fan-Fiction at a site consisting of their most loyal fans. However fan-fiction based on the work of some authors could cause a lot of trouble.
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Svarog
Svarog


Honorable
Supreme Hero
statue-loving necrophiliac
posted October 10, 2004 03:00 AM

Its still confusing. Are you accusing Khaelo of plagiarism?! If you are, I think you should explicitly say that.
Whatever you are up to, I have one thing to say.
Art has no limits. Art knows no boundaries. NO copyright and trademark rights should stand in the way of art. Keep your vicious capitalist claws away from art.

The act of creation is invaluable and the stories Khaelo writes are full of such creative force. So what if she takes the f***ing names from the game! Its only a tiny detail which pales compared to the amount of personal imput she gives.
The only reason some greedy people are concerned about this, is their panic fear that someone might take away their business, and make more money out of the deformed art they call trademark.
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The meek shall inherit the earth, but NOT its mineral rights.

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Khaelo
Khaelo


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Underwater
posted October 10, 2004 04:52 AM

No, RSF is right.  Fan fiction is, legally, plagiarism.  When Buffy the Vampire Slayer switched networks, the new network got upset over the vast amounts of fanfic on the web.  The big sites started getting threatening e-mails from lawyers.  While the law was on their side, the network soon discovered that they were alienating some of the show's most avid fans, so they backed off.  However, had they pressed the issue, they could have really made problems for some of the websites that were devoted to Buffy stories.

I'm willing to take the risk, personally.  Fan fiction is a way to practice my writing skills in such a way that others will be interested in what I write and will give feedback.  In a way, it is just playing.  I can experiment and find out how things work.  My original material doesn't work for this because it's a different world requiring enough exposition for an entire novel (which is the eventual plan).  It doesn't even have the luxury of falling back on the Tolkien-esque standby assumptions.  So, to get reactions, I use a pre-created world that people can identify.

If either UbiSoft or Valeriy want me to remove the HoMM fan fiction, I will do so promptly and without complaint because they are well within their rights to make that request.  Until then, I sail along under the radar.  
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