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Shyyrn

12.5

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Toa Regmar.On walls and scrolls they stand apart,Above the other Toa,Not for deed or duty, role or riseBut for size. They were thirteen strong. Their homelands are lost;Powers and masks are footnotes,Even names are lost in smudged ink and weathered stoneSave two; noble AravAnd poor, mean Carr. Arav was deemed leader, and bore it well.Sure orders, clear eyes, and proud heart lentItself to many victories. And beside him alwaysWas Carr. Ne’er a warrior before, only a reluctantOne thence, but his spirit was true. Stories aboundOf thwarted assassins, protected flanks, even brunt of fireBlast borne—all with modesty. Four virtues, it said,Burned in his heartlight—three for the watching Spirit,The final for Arav. None knows what transpired—walls stand unblemished, scrollsStay furled on the matter. Only confirmed is a sojourn into unmapped jungle, aDesperate charge out. Arav stood worse for wear, armor pockmarked, tissue burnt,Jaw set to bite back screams of pain,…But Carr… He lay immobile, limbs limp, eyes closed,Face set in repose, suggesting the peace that only theDead may lay claim to. Yet the claim was false;He was not at death, though he played it well. His heartlightFlickered as a beacon to a bobbing junk—a lighthouse to theSoul, which had left stable Body to brave the ephemeral Sea. He was, yet was not.Half a being.Arav had brought him back, told a taleOf heroism and sacrifice.“The twelve-and-a-halfth member,”With a quirked smile.The moniker stuck. Such is the story the records display… but know this.Arav’s tale is spun of webs,An opaque screen, hiding from view the terribleTruth.And as the truth stays submerged, the universe is in peril. I am Carr’s stranded spirit, and I implore you,Look beneath Arav's lies.The truth is there; it must be brought to light!


"Let me realize that my past failures at follow-through are no indication of my future performance...

...They're just healthy little fires that are going to light up my resolve."

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Very interesting concept and title choice. When I saw that somebody had written a story for the contest based on "12.5" I had to check it out, and I have to say that I'm very impressed with how it was pulled off. Very creative and original all around.-don't touch my pocket protector


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At ToN said, this grabbed me for the use of the name. Very well done. Arav and Carr are portrayed well, and their characters are developed a surprising amount for eight stanzas. Good job.


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The title grabbed my attention and implored me to read, and I'm glad I did. Firstly, your use of the stanza format was instantly engaging for me. I expected to find some sort of identifiable meter or rhythm, yet found none. Despite that, the words do have a "bouncing" rhythm. I like your extensive use of words with lots of consonants, making for some very fun sentences to say aloud. Seriously, you don't know how much fun I had saying, "Flickering like a beacon to a bobbing junk" over and over again.The word choice in general is brilliant here. I can tell you have an extensive vocabulary and you use it with stylistic aplomb. You also have a good economy of words; that is, saying a lot in a few words. The characters of Arav and Carr are surprisingly well-developed after only eight stanzas.The only criticism I can draw for this story is that it wasn't a story in the typical sense. There was no conflict and resolution. It was still a fun and interesting read, but the lack of an actual plot kept it from being engaging and outstanding. Something that would've been cool is to have these stanzas interwoven into a story about the Toa Regmar, similar to a songfic. Having an actual story about Arav's betrayal of Carr would have lent so much more weight to the final stanza.But still, good work. Unless some other brilliant stories surface, this is, in my opinion, one of the top contenders in the contest. Overall I'd give it a 4/5.

Edited by TheMightyFighty

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Official SSCC ReviewOverall, I liked the idea of this poem. It was nicely structured and it had a clear plot. (Besides, this is a poem and it doesn’t necessarily need one.) For once, you made the leader the bad guy, and I say it’s about time. The cynical lieutenants are too often the evil ones. Now for the nitpicking.

Toa Regmar.On walls and scrolls they stand apart,Above the other Toa,Not for deed or duty, role or riseBut for size. They were thirteen strong.

There’s nothing wrong with this technically, but when I saw this word my first impression was that this poem was about some really tall toa. :P I had to do a double take for me to realize that you were talking about the number of toa. It might have made more sense if you said “above the other teams of toa.” Also why does their number single them out for recognition? (They’re the Toa version of Super Junior!)

Their homelands are lost;Powers and masks are footnotes,Even names are lost in smudged ink and weathered stoneSave two; noble AravAnd poor, mean Carr.

I feel that there should be a "their" on the second line as well. It doesn’t make sense to put it in the first and then drop it in the second when they both have the same structure. I also think that the punctuation should be consistent. There should be two commas or two semicolons, but not both. The second semi-colon should be colon; you’re introducing a list.

Arav was deemed leader, and bore it well.Sure orders, clear eyes, and proud heart lentItself to many victories. And beside him alwaysWas Carr. Ne’er a warrior before, only a reluctantOne thence, but his spirit was true. Stories aboundOf thwarted assassins, protected flanks, even brunt of fireBlast borne—all with modesty. Four virtues, it (was) said,Burned in his heartlight—three for the watching Spirit,The final for Arav.

Again, keep the subject here. This entire sentence feels awkward. How do sure orders, clear eyes, and a proud heart (keep the article) lend themselves to victories? Do victories borrow them? It’s very important to go over sentences like this and read them out to see if they actually make sense. A better sentence would be: “His sure orders, clear eyes and proud heart gave him many victories.”

He lay immobile, limbs limp, eyes closed,Face set in repose, suggesting the peace that only theDead may lay claim to. Yet the claim was false;He was not at death, though he played it well. His heartlightFlickered as a beacon to a bobbing junk—a lighthouse to theSoul, which had left stable Body to brave the ephemeral Sea.

“At death” is just an awkward turn of phrase. Good old “he was not dead” will be fine here.

He was, yet was not.Half a being.Arav had brought him back, told a taleOf heroism and sacrifice.“The twelve-and-a-halfth member,”With a quirked smile.The moniker stuck.

This verse was a bit jarring for me. First, we have all these long, compound and complex sentences, and they all of a sudden we have short fragments. With periods. I don’t know if this exactly what you were aiming for. I think that Carr’s apparent death would deserve this jarring treatment more than the aftermath.In conclusion, I felt there was a bit of dissonance between this poem’s content and its structure. This has the content of an epic poem; it tells a definite story. I suggest you read some epic poems and study their content. Most of them are not written in free verse. Not all of them rhyme, but all of the ones I have read have fairly equal stanzas, definitive rhythm, and a clear structure. I’m not suggesting that you stick to this because everyone else has done it, but think about it for a moment. Free verse poems tend to describe singular events, emotions, and image. I love free verse poetry, and I love writing it; but this is the sort of poem meant to be sung around a fire, telling a clear story that is structured more like a prose peace.Also be careful with archaic language. It’s applicable to grammar and usage laws just like normal english. Good luck, and keep writing. ^^

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