Jump to content

  • Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

Welcome to BZPower!

Hi there, while we hope you enjoy browsing through the site, there's a lot more you can do if you register. The process is easy and you can use your Google, Facebook, or Twitter account to make it even faster. Some perks of joining include:
  • Create your own topics, participate in existing discussions, and vote in polls
  • Show off your creations, stories, art, music, and movies and play member and staff-run games
  • Enter contests to win free LEGO sets and other prizes, and vote to decide the winners
  • Participate in raffles, including exclusive raffles for new members, and win free LEGO sets
  • Send private messages to other members
  • Organize with other members to attend or send your MOCs to LEGO fan events all over the world
  • Much, much more!
Enjoy your visit!


The Herald Of Darkness - Review Topic

  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 Offline ZOMBI3S

  • Members
  • Toa

  • 115 posts

Posted Mar 24 2012 - 07:20 PM

Welcome to the review topic for my epic!



This is the first epic I have ever written, and to be quite frank, will probably be my last. I have worked a very long time on this story, and while it is not by any means perfect, I am happy with it, and I hope you will enjoy it. I hope to release a new chapter once a week (plus any other day that I'm feeling productive), but don't get your panties in a knot if I miss a day. Actually, on second thought, do get your panties in a knot, because it'll show me you care, thus giving me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, thus reinforcing my will to post every week.


As for background information, this story takes place on the island of Mata Nui, many years after the events of the the mask of light saga. I somewhat stopped following the bionicle saga after 2003, and so this story will be true the common beliefs of that time (Mata Nui is a great spirit, not a giant robot, Makuta is his brother, not a cloud of antidermis). It focuses about an artifact known as the Atouri, a war between the Matoran and a bug-like race of creatures known as the kryll, and a group of Matoran as they travel across the land. I tried to capture the smallness of the 2001 saga, as well as put in my own style. There will be some familiar characters, but most of the main ones will be of my own creation.


As with any epic, any type of feedback is welcome, so let me know what you think! You can find the epic here and I hope you enjoy it!







Chapter 1 - The Spring Solstice

Chapter 2 - The Tale of Atouri

Chapter 3 - Learning of the Stars

Chapter 4 - Approaching Shadows

Chapter 5 - Unanswered Questions

Chapter 6 - Visions

Chapter 7 - Just In Case

Chapter 8 - Blood on the Leaves

Chapter 9 - The Burning Tree

Chapter 10 - Air and Shadow

Chapter 11 - Tears



Chapter 1 - The Cold, Hard World

Chapter 2 - A New Beginning

Chapter 3 - Brutality and Guilt

Chapter 4 - The Wastes

Chapter 5 - Into the Abyss

Chapter 6 - Lost

Chapter 7 - Hope From Shadow

Chapter 8 - Duty

Chapter 9 - Reunion

Chapter 10 - Council and Uncertainty



Chapter 1 - Misfits

Chapter 2 - The Great Takea

Chapter 3 - Decisions and Distrust

Chapter 4 - A Terrible Discovery

Chapter 5 - Descent Into Madness

Chapter 6 - Echos of Home

Chapter 7 - The Coming Storm

Chapter 8 - The Drums of War

Chapter 9 - Heroes

Chapter 10 - The Way of Battle

Chapter 11 - The Last Stand

Chapter 12 - Return



Chapter 1 - Looking Through Ice

Chapter 2 - Catching Up

Chapter 3 - The Shrouded City

Chapter 4 - A New Turaga

Chapter 5 - Answers and Questions

Chapter 6 - The Tale of Saku

Edited by ZOMBI3S, Jul 29 2014 - 08:40 AM.

  • 0

#2 Offline Cederak

  • Outstanding BZPower Citizens
  • Axiomatic

  • 4,137 posts
  •   Outstanding BZPower Citizen

Posted Apr 02 2012 - 11:46 PM

Hello, ZOMBI3S, here is your official ECC review. I must say, after reading the small bit of an epic you've posted thus far, The Herald of Darkness as a title is very cryptic. I like that - among a number of other things I'll be discussing later. I really want to address the errors beforehand, mostly for the sake of ending on a high note.I noticed throughout your writing that the words Matoran, Toa, and Turaga would sometimes be capitalized and sometimes they wouldn't. There ought to be some consistency in that department, and a Ctrl+F hunt should expedite the process of capitalizing each word (as in the canon), or not.

It a typical day in the city of Le-koro.

It was a typical day

Le-Koro was the best place to hide it,

Semicolon rather than a comma

“The butcher won’t let me play in his kitchen…” She said sadly.

she said sadly

watching the clouds slowly roll across the sky above them,

Semicolon rather than a comma

The middle one wore an Akakau,

Spelled Akaku

shops began to start closing for the night.

This seems awkwardly written. "began to close" or "started closing" would both work fine.

all the way pas the outskirts,

Did you mean "past the outskirts"?

“Look! Look what I found!”

Your first quotation mark being a line above is probably just a posting thing.

The matoran shied away from him.

You wanted "shyed".

“Too early…” He mumbled as he reached over smacked the glass pane of his window.

Lowercase the first "He" and add an "and" before "smacked."

“Alright, I’m up.”

All right

“You moron, it’s the spring solstice!” Replied Jaka

Lowercase "Replied"

“Takua, will you please come up?” The Turaga said.

Lowercase "The"

In fact, I believe she is here today, are you here Talim?”

Period after today, capitalize "are"

Even though Takua was considered a somewhat of a misfit,

Remove the first "a"

“You were supposed to work today, Takua.” He said.

Lowercase "He"

As the afternoon waned, and people had started to gather

The "and" here really suggests more is coming in the sentence. Get rid of the "and"17 errors can seem like a lot more when they're spaced out, but these are all quick fixes. My recommendation is to scan your chapters more carefully before posting. Enough grammar and spelling though, let's get down to the story at hand. We're dealing with a non-canon Mata Nui island with some strong overtones that really tie it to the 2001 feel. Of course, you were kind enough to mention that the age of the Toa Nuva was a while ago, and you seem to have quite literally left behind the "time before time" by introducing clocks into your universe. Ironic, if not amusing.I understand now why your review topic mentions the "smallness of the 2001 saga," because the story hasn't even ventured beyond Le-Wahi yet. Each region, in its scope, is vast without the knowledge or idea of a Matoran Universe below it. It is a shame that you came for a request before I got a glimpse of the kryll you mention. My mind drifted to Gears of War at the very name, but something tells me they're entirely different creatures. Moving on…I loved the storyteller in Chapter 2. Despite not being a Turaga, the wisdom of the elderly returns to the stage and really sells me on your non-canon Mata Nui. I was rather skeptical up until then, which may or may not be justified. It was left to my assumption that your Matoran are actually born. If I'm wrong, please tell me. That aside, you have Takua. Not the Takua, but a Takua nonetheless. I feel like the name was an attempt at symbolism and maybe even foreshadowing (again, you asked for a review with little to work with) but I can only speculate. Also, if Talim was ever mentioned by a type (female Le-Matoran? Out-of-place Ga-Matoran) I must've missed it. Definitely wouldn't have hurt to paint a picture in my head. Back to my earlier point though, your callback to the deep mythology of Mata Nui's inhabitants was very much appreciated by this critic and your execution of the legend is perfect. Your Mata Nui and Makuta are two sides of the same coin, and they echo similar thoughts for opposing reasons. They're not the main characters by any means, but by returning to Makuta being the antithesis to all that is good and true, only adds to the sinister nature of his being. It reminds me that sometimes, what lurks in the dark is far more terrifying than what you can see.Now, you brought up putting 2001 in your own style, and that was accomplished here. I should say this now. You're not Greg, and I can tell. And I don't mean that because of the errors or anything. Moreover, I want to stress that your reimagining, as it were, drives the same highway, but in a different vehicle. And that's important. You have a legendary object like the Atouri that has become a part of ancient Matoran lore and carries a sense of danger and intrigue, much like the Mask of Light once did.I find myself a tad disappointed that I'm reviewing this too early to catch the conflict between the Matoran and the Kryll that will apparently work its way into your story later on. I didn't feel very connected to this epic at first, but the story starts to grow, and you certainly played upon nostalgia a bit to reel me in. I'll probably be following this epic further now that I'm legitimately curious about where it will go. You said this is your first epic, but I feel like you have some writing history under your belt already. I wouldn't say this epic is mind-blowing or anything, but you have a grasp of story structure and making solid characters. Beyond that, you seem to realize that story is a means to an end. The end is managing to draw in my attention to the point that I want more. In that sense, you've done a remarkable job. If this truly is your last epic, I hope you take anything and everything you learn while posting it and continue writing elsewhere. Because if you've taught me anything in three chapters, it's that you have a lot of potential. Keep at it, ZOMBI3S.-Ced

  • 0

#3 Offline ZOMBI3S

  • Members
  • Toa

  • 115 posts

Posted Apr 03 2012 - 09:51 AM

Thanks so much for the review! Wow, I thought I did proofread, but I guess not enough. Oops. As for the capitalization problems (at least for Toa and Turaga), I tried to capitalize when the word was used as a title, but not when it was used to describe a being. Looking back, I'll probably just capitalize everything, just to simplify things.In terms of the smallness, I'm glad you could feel it! The story takes place in seven parts (kind of a lot, i know), one for each region of the island, plus an extra one. As for the kryll, they'll show up later in part one. I named them a long time ago, before i even knew about Gears of War, so that's just bad luck I suppose.I'm really glad you liked the storyteller and the legend! I am really happy by how it turned out, and I feel it accurately portrays the mood I was going for. I have had some experience as a writer, as I wrote a couple of short stories a few years ago, but other than that my only experience is what I've learned in high school and college.Oh and before I forget: yes, it is assumed that matoran are born, although I never delve much into family lives. Also, Talim is in fact a female Le-matoran. As a kid I always pictured that all kinds of matoran had equal populations of both sexes, and was somewhat confused when I was told otherwise. Sorry for the confusion!Thanks again for the review! I hope I can keep you interested!
  • 0

#4 Offline Cederak

  • Outstanding BZPower Citizens
  • Axiomatic

  • 4,137 posts
  •   Outstanding BZPower Citizen

Posted May 08 2012 - 07:35 PM

Still no other reviews? Man, people are missing out. This is becoming as engaging as I initally expected. If I had a blog on this site (which may happen soon), I'll definitely be recommending this epic to others. Great stuff, ZOMBI3S!-Ced
  • 0

#5 Offline ZOMBI3S

  • Members
  • Toa

  • 115 posts

Posted May 09 2012 - 01:23 PM

Still no other reviews? Man, people are missing out. This is becoming as engaging as I initally expected. If I had a blog on this site (which may happen soon), I'll definitely be recommending this epic to others. Great stuff, ZOMBI3S!-Ced

Wow thanks, that means a lot! I prefer to think that people are intimidated by my beautiful storytelling and are too shy to post...but you know how it is. I've just revamped the epic and the this topic to make it look more professional.....hopefully that'll get the kids to come!

  • 0

#6 Offline GSR

  • Premier Member
  • Premier Forum Leaders
  • Book Badger

  • 993 posts
  •   BZP Leader

Posted Aug 07 2012 - 01:50 AM

Congrats! You get a second ECC review at absolutely no charge, because us interns have to have something to do. I'm not much of one for tracking down every little awkward phrasing or typo, so instead I'll be giving some general guidelines throughout this review based on select examples. I'll also be doing my usual sort of split here and discussing the prose and the plot/characters/setting separately, starting with the prose. So let's get this show on the road!First off, orthographically speaking you need to take a little more care with your capitalization and the like. The one that really stuck out to me was your inconsistent capitalization of "Le-Koro" - it really is "Le-Koro", with the capital K. Be on the lookout also for other Bionicle proper nouns - the Kraahkan is the Mask of Shadows, the kraahkan is not the mask of shadows. You also could be a little more liberal with commas in your dialogue. Here's a quick example:

Frantically he said, “What is this Kokani? Tell me.”“No tell me!” Takua interrupted. He needed answers. “Why is he saying my name? I’ve never met this guy in my life let alone done anything to him. What do you know about this?”

Think about how this sounds when read aloud; it's not really natural for the characters to be talking completely rapid-fire, even if they are shaken. It would probably be a little more natural if you wrote it as so:

Frantically he said, “What is this, Kokani? Tell me.”“No, tell me!” Takua interrupted. He needed answers. “Why is he saying my name? I’ve never met this guy in my life, let alone done anything to him. What do you know about this?”

Another point about comma use: they're used for small separations of similar ideas in a sentence. When there's a larger change in subject, or a larger pause, consider using a semicolon, period, or dash. An example:

“I don't know, maybe he knew Takua has the stone and was trying to warn him. This has happened before up north, once someone is attacked, their mind shuts down and only works to keep the body alive." Kokani said as they climbed the ladder up to the Turaga's house.

You might be able to better rewrite this as:

“I don't know - maybe he knew Takua has the stone and was trying to warn him. This has happened before up north; once someone is attacked, their mind shuts down and only works to keep the body alive," Kokani said as they climbed the ladder up to the Turaga's house.

I also took the liberty of making another change in this excerpt; namely, I adjusted the period ending the dialogue to a comma. Ending dialogue with a period is fine if the following text is a separate action, but if you're qualifying the dialogue with description (in this case, "Kokani said"), you should end it with a comma rather than a period. (Exclamation marks and question marks are fine.) This is something I noticed a lot, so keep an eye out for it. Switching gears, I've also noticed you've got a proclivity towards unnecessary repetition. Here's an example:

"Takua, I'm sorry, we just don't know yet. I promise we will tell you everything that we learn." He fingered the chain of Takua's stone in his hands as he spoke. "I can understand that you're worried, but we can't help you yet." He stared at the black stone. "There are..."He trailed off as he stared at the black stone. That black stone that stood for eternity. Never dying eternity. The corners of his mouth slid into a scowl as he held the stone and looked back at Takua.

Repeating the phrase "he stared at the black stone" so quickly feels sort of clunky and redundant. The simplest fix in this case would be to reword the second usage to a similar phrase, such as "He trailed off, continuing to stare at the stone in his hand." I've also noticed that you're very insistent on Saku's mask being shaped like a serpent's head, which is fine when Takua describes the character to others, but starts to get a little redundant in the narration. The instance of that that really grated on me was the end of chapter 9, where the character is established as Saku first, and then his mask described as if it's meant to reveal the identity of the character.Next, I'd like to drop a favorite adage of mine on you here: describe, don't transcribe. Sounds rarely translate well to written word. Here's an example:

"Brriiiing!""Aah!" Takua screamed as he jolted up, smacking his head on the notorious shelf. "Mata Nui!" he cried out as he began to spout various curses.

It's probably better to provide the "Aah!" in narration rather than attempting to transcribe it; just saying "Takua yelped as he jolted out of bed" or something like that would serve the same purpose and feel a little more natural. The "Brriiing!" is also a little iffy to me, though in this case it works a bit better due to acting as a way to jolt the audience from the previous scene. Still, I'd maybe consider putting it in italics rather than quotation marks to emphasize it's a sudden sound, and as with the "Aah!" it's always an option to rewrite it as narration (perhaps as something like "The shrill of his alarm clock ripped through the scene.")And one piece of general advice: it always helps to re-read. On a few occasions you've got small errors, like a missing or extra word, that can sometimes be caught by an extra do-over. What can be really helpful is to read the sentence aloud - that'll help you spot any syntactical issues, and it has the added bonus of making it easier to decide if the sentence sounds natural.Before we move on to plot, setting, and the like: I would like to say I rather liked your style for the tale of Atouri. It meshed well with the content and context of the tale (something I'll mention again in a bit) and was quite enjoyable. The fight scene in chapter 10 between Matau and Saku was also quite well done.Now, onto the content of the story. My first objection to you here is how you've established the setting. You see, I'm 11 chapters in, and I'm still not 100% sure on a mental picture of Le-Koro. It's clearly some sort of AU taking place well after the Toa Mata/Nuva (who seem to have vanished), but I'm a little lost on the characters themselves. Are they standard Matoran? The references to flesh and blood, romance (which I guess is still canon going by the early years, so that's not really that big a deal), and even the occasional bit of not-so-subtextual-subtext (“They’re big where it matters") suggests not, yet the masks and the like suggest this isn't 100% "human Bionicle", either. I can overlook these bits and pieces, but it's still a little jarring. You've also got some unexpected elements, such as clocks and taverns, which also blur the line on what exactly the setting is. With regards to the plot, there's quite a few pieces here that I've seen before - the amnesiac protagonist, the One Ring-esque talisman, the 'girl next door'. But you know what? That's not necessarily a bad thing. A story can be like a Lego set, if you'll pardon this horrible analogy: it's not what the individual pieces are, it's how you put them together. Granted, the fact that the pieces are 'visible', so to speak, is a sign that things aren't gelling quite as perfectly as they could be - but I am a critic, and looking for the pieces is part of my job. Let me get to the point here: it may not be 100% original, but it's still quite entertaining. The fact you mentioned in your intro to the story in the review topic that you're going for a 2001-2003ish feel in the first place means that the elements of the story being familiar actually sort of helps the effect. And this isn't to say you're being entirely unoriginal here or anything like that - Saku seems like he could be an interesting villain, apparently a Toa of Shadow, and I will admit I wasn't expecting Talim to bite the dust (or at least not that early). And, of course, focusing on characters named Takua and Jaka certainly gets the reader ready for some parallels to the early days of the story. At the moment, Takua and Jaka seem fairly static, but it has only been the first part of what I presume is to be several; I expect you'll flesh them out more as the story goes on. As I said above, Saku could be interesting - Takua never had a direct rival, after all, if that's what you're aiming for - and it's good to see old Makuta as Makuta and not Teridax, if that makes sense.I'd also like to say, I very much enjoy the backstory you're putting together here. The story in chapter 2, while simple, was very well-told, and reinforces the idea that this really is the Mata Nui of the early years, the land of legends and magic rather than grand science and biological engineering. To sum things up, then, it's been enjoyable so far, but I think there's room for improvement. Your prose is a little clunky - something that will improve with practice - and the setting is a bit muddled at times, but the plot has a certain traditional charm to it. So here's your homework: keep just one eye out while you're writing and ask yourself how your work is coming off tonally, for lack of a better term. The story's parallels to the early years are some of its stronger points, but the aforementioned blemishes can keep that strength from shining through as well as it could. Obviously, it doesn't have to be a complete lift of 2001-2003 - you said yourself you wanted some of your own style in it, and good on you for that, as you'd be rather letting yourself down as a writer if you didn't - but just make sure the sense of adventure you'd like to portray is coming through as well as possible. You mentioned in your review topic that the story will eventually open up with a war and a journey, and to that I say - carpe diem. Grab the reader by the throat and drag 'em into your world. They'll thank you for it.

Edited by GSR, Aug 07 2012 - 01:51 AM.

  • 0

I am moving across the country! I'll be on the road until Wednesday, August 20th, so please allow me time to reply to any messages/etc. Thanks!

(That's a blog link for what it's worth)

The Q&A Compendium
Stories: Fractures | An Aftermath | Three Stories | LSO 2012 Epics: Team Three | The Shadow and the Sea | The Days They Were Needed | Glitches | Transformations

BZPRPG: Komae · Soraya · Bohrei

#7 Offline Cederak

  • Outstanding BZPower Citizens
  • Axiomatic

  • 4,137 posts
  •   Outstanding BZPower Citizen

Posted Aug 09 2012 - 02:06 PM

Still no other reviews? Man, people are missing out. This is becoming as engaging as I initally expected. If I had a blog on this site (which may happen soon), I'll definitely be recommending this epic to others. Great stuff, ZOMBI3S!-Ced

Wow thanks, that means a lot! I prefer to think that people are intimidated by my beautiful storytelling and are too shy to post...but you know how it is. I've just revamped the epic and the this topic to make it look more professional.....hopefully that'll get the kids to come!

Yes, the chapters have names now! Nice addition. Part One ended on a very exciting note and I'm interested to see where things will go from here. You're doing great.

  • 0

#8 Offline ZOMBI3S

  • Members
  • Toa

  • 115 posts

Posted Aug 11 2012 - 10:33 AM

Hey thanks for the second review! I'm still working on my prose, thats always something I've struggled with, even after I read over a chapter three or four times. Story wise, I hope part one accurately portrays the rest of the epic. Theres much more to come!
  • 0

#9 Offline Cederak

  • Outstanding BZPower Citizens
  • Axiomatic

  • 4,137 posts
  •   Outstanding BZPower Citizen

Posted Sep 27 2012 - 08:25 PM

Of all the cliffhangery chapters for me to catch back up on this story at, it had to be the cliffhanger ending to Chapter 7. :lol: Act 2 is looking good thus far, with Takua handling the aftermath of losing his home and friends - you're exploring that rather nicely. Your Ko-Wahi is excellently described throughout too, hearkening back to that early Bionicle feel you were aiming for. Keep it up, ZOMBI3S.-Ced
  • 0

#10 Offline ZOMBI3S

  • Members
  • Toa

  • 115 posts

Posted Nov 27 2012 - 12:23 PM

Part II is now complete! I hope you liked it, because there's more soon to come!
  • 0

#11 Offline ZOMBI3S

  • Members
  • Toa

  • 115 posts

Posted Jan 26 2014 - 04:59 PM

It has come to my attention that the formatting for The Herald of Darkness is, quite frankly, messed up. Many chapters have lost all form of paragraphs, and others have lost all their quotation marks. I am not sure why this is or how it happened, but I am in the process of fixing it. It just might take a while.


I would also like to address how bad I am at posting chapters. Yes, I am aware that it is very infrequent, and I apologize for that. I just have a lot of real life responsibilities (ew, responsibilities). However, if I go a very long time without posting, feel free to post here or PM me and tell me to get my life together, as I will never abandon this epic. Its my baby. 


So sorry for any inconvenience, and as always, thanks for reading!

  • 0

#12 Offline Glenfoxx

  • Members
  • Tohunga

  • 22 posts

Posted Feb 02 2014 - 05:11 PM

I'm new here, but I've been following this epic for quite a while. I have to say, this isn't just good fan fiction, it's a good story period.

I seriously don't know where to begin. This story brings me back to the time when Mata Nui was an incredible place of mystic wonder, with something to discover under every rock. It really made me love what made Bionicle, for me, originally so great when it first dropped from the sky in canisters. Namely, it's esoteric mystery and mythical adventure. The legend of the Atouri was quite a nice touch, and the powerful dueling forces that were Mata Nui and Makuta brought back that sense of mythology that I appreciate.

Story wise, I was gradually hooked and reeled in, and now I can see a clear picture of what might be and is. I'm impressed by your ability to take Bionicle and make a story that I find not lacking and easy to understand.

Probably the most intense moment for me was the battle of Le-Koro where Talim and Matau…died. Gasp! He's actually killed a memorable character from the original story! What madness! :OMG:   :P  It was truly a…surreal moment. And I don't say that lightly.

All your characters are definable and as far as I can tell, none are abstract. You make all the characters come to life, which brings me to your writing.

Your latest chapter was just as good as the rest that came before. I like this character Kokani. The battle of Po-Koro had a very Lord of The Rings Battle for Minas Tirith feel…I thought it was a nice touch.

You write quite well. In fact, I was first interested in this epic at first because of the very impressive way it was written. It wasn't all "She said he said they went their something happened". You took a lot of attention to detail, and you quite simple just write well.

I can't really point out anything you could do better. Maybe I see through rose-colored glasses, but whatever. I enjoy this story. 

I look forward to your future chapters. I like to write myself, and this epic was an inspiration. Keep up the good work! :bowdown:  :thumbsup:

…It has been a while since I originally read it from the beginning, and I simply must do so again. 

  • 0
Signature Guidelines: Signature may not exceed the 800x300 limit. For more reference use the box located in your signature editor.

#13 Offline ZOMBI3S

  • Members
  • Toa

  • 115 posts

Posted Feb 03 2014 - 06:47 PM

I'm glad you like it! That really means a lot, and its definitely nice to know someone is reading!  :D 

Kokani is one of the more complex characters in the story, so its good to know that he comes off as at least a little likeable! I'm in the process of wrapping up part III right now, and I hope to get it out sometime in the near future. I tried to make it as epic as possible, so with any luck it won't disappoint.  ;)


Thanks again for reading!

  • 0

0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users