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Duel

Ambage Story

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#1 Online The Otter

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Posted Aug 10 2012 - 02:27 AM

"Duel."

 

With that word, the two combatants activated their lightfoils, glaring down at each other. There were two of them-one was dressed resplendently in gold and black robes, trimmed with reddish thread, his head held high as he gazed in contempt at his opponent.

 

 

The other was dressed in a typical smuggler's outfit, a billowing white shirt with a dark, open vest, dark pants as well, and tall boots. He smiled slightly as he fell into an en garde position, his tied back long hair still managing to be as unruly as possible.

 

 

"It looks like your chrematistic ways are soon to end, Kalten," the dark haired man said with a slight bow. The other let out a small sigh as he settled into his own position.

 

 

"So you think, Ajax," he growled. "So you think." He advanced quickly, his blade held out far but low, forcing Ajax to retreat a step. And again. And a third time. Then he lunged, his body springing out to cover the space between the two duelists in a heartbeat.

 

 

Ajax rolled his wrist, catching his enemy's blade on his and forcing it away from his body and above his right shoulder, before the duelist slashed out with a quick riposte. Kalten had to cross back to evade getting his throat gashed, before he came in with a quick stab. Ajax slid over to the side, allowing the blade to pass by him, before he brought his blade in a lazy sweep upwards.

 

 

Kalten quickly withdrew his hand and blade, avoiding the loss of either limb or weapon to the younger duelist. He scowled, before stepping back. Ajax stood calmly as another man came into a room, Kalten's dark haired advisor, his most trusted myrmidon, the slimy filth that he'd managed to dredge up from the sewers of his homeworld.

 

 

That man activated a lightfoil as well, and Ajax Wennel smiled, waving off the protests of the other witness to the duel, the one who had given the command to launch it into action.

 

 

Soon enough they both rushed him, using powerful overhead strikes to catch him a in a scissor of plasma,, after he had shifted himself so that he faced both of them. He brought his blade up in a high parry, catching both of them.

 

 

"Come now," Ajax said with a brilliant smile, "Two against one? That's terribly unfair. You'd need at least five people on your side, for the chance of a stalemate. Ten to win." He smoothly rolled away from the two, dropping back into a relaxed en garde, as they warily watched him.

 

 

"Well, what are you waiting for? Aren't you trying to kill me?" the Knight asked with a lazy smile. "Come and get me!" The unkempt male that Kalten had brought in with him growled, before lunging out in rage-despite Kalten's attempts to make him stop.

 

 

Ajax easily popped the servant's blade up much too high, before he smoothly brought his blade down, slicing a small gash in the man's chest. As the man looked down in surprise Ajax smoothly stabbed, leaning into it just as he was taught.

 

 

Ajax had caught the man through the heart. The servant looked down at the blade protruding from his chest as Kalten's eyes widened in horror, before Ajax pulled his blade out.

 

 

Kalten's myrmidon fell to the ground with a lugubrious sigh, his life coming out with that last breath. Ajax looked at the body a moment, uttering a short prayer, before he turned back to Kalten, his lightfoil still active, still thirsty for blood, as he stepped out of the way of the body.

 

 

"Your move," he said to the other duelist. Kalten watched him warily, checking him for any muscle tremors or other signs that he was preparing an attack, or that he was getting tired. They slowly strafed each other for nearly a minute, the two combatants watching each other, sizing each other up yet again.

 

 

Suddenly Kalten lunged forward, similar to his first attack. Ajax easily sidestepped it, slamming his opponents blade down to the floor, before he viciously slashed for Kalten's head and neck. The resplendently dressed being had to limbo under the Knight's blade, barely avoiding death as he rolled backwards.

 

 

After a moment he came up, snarling like a diseased animal. He ran forward, all grace forgotten as he launched a clumsy, backhanded slash towards Ajax.

 

 

Ajax easily blocked the slash, forcing his opponent's blade down for a final blow. Within a moment his own blade rode along the other, up towards Kalten's arm, shearing it off as fast as lightning - an aided autotomy that resulted in Kalten's gasping in shock, clutching at his stump of an arm.

 

 

"What...I...how did you do it?" he choked out, looking up to Ajax, who smiled down at him.

 

 

"I told you: Out of everybody in the Tapani Sector...I'm the best."

 

Kalten had one last chance to roll his eyes before they were darkened forever.

 

 

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

So anyways...Disclaimer: I do not own the Star Wars franchise. Sir Ajax Wennel and the name "Lightfoil" are both owned by George Lucas, once you go high enough up. =P

 

 

The name Kalten randomly came to me, due to my needing another "Saber Rake" for this, but meh. I betcha somebody else has used that before too.

 

 

But, anyways, I hoped ya liked this little piece of fan fiction.


Edited by The Otter, Jan 28 2013 - 11:57 PM.

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#2 Offline Zaxvo

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Posted Jan 28 2013 - 11:22 PM

A few quick grammar notes, just to get them out of the way before the main stuff:You use the word "chrematistic" which...actually sin't a word. Perhaps you were looking for "charismatic"?Also, "Duel" is one word...but your next sentence is "With those words".Just a few things to think about.Now, on to the story. I love Ajax's smug confidence. It's perfect. Honestly, in general, I really like the story. It's well written, the characters are good, and the dialogue is for the most part believable.But there are a bunch of small things that add up. First -- plot holes/unexplained things. Who said the first word, "Duel"? It can't have been any of the three characters -- people don't usually wait until one of them declares go to being fighting. Any why are these guys fighting to the death? Nothing is ever explained beyond the "Your charismatic ways will end" line -- but charisma, on its own, isn't necessarily a bad thing.And at the end, Ajax says he's the "best in the system" -- what system? Is this all computerized? Is it some sort of brutal rotation fight to the death on some outer rim planet?Lastly, while you are very descriptive, in places you're overly descriptive. Especially, the fight sequences; you don't need to go on and on and on about the battle. The structure of your sentences will convey the speed and sheer urgency of the fights, but only if you let them. But by writing out long sentences in long paragraphs describing every tiny detail, you slow those battles down. It's a bit like watching an entire movie in slow motion; it's good in short bursts, but it would ruin the overall effect when used too liberally.For example, near the end, you write this:
He ran forward, all grace forgotten as he executed a deadly backhanded slash towards Ajax.Ajax easily blocked the slash, forcing his opponent's blade down yet again, before he rode along it up towards Kalten's arm, and, as fast as lightning, he sheared it off just below the elbow, an aided autotomy that resulted in Kalten's gasping in shock.
Well, first, you don't need to mention that the slash is deadly, that's kind of obvious. Next, the phrasing "executed a...slash towards" is very awkward. Try "he slashed at". It's short, ore concise, and gets the exact same point across. On that note, take a moment and try and do a backhanded slash, right now. First you need to bring your arm across your body and only then can you actually slash. In concept it's cool, yeah, but in reality Kalten probably would use that particular move from that position. He'd probably just slash fronthand.The next sentence is very long; I'd cut in two and trim some of the description. And now the last bit is an excellent example of what I was referring to earlier; it's obvious that Kalten losing his arm would gasp in shock, so you don't need to say that flat out.Finally, the phrase "aided autotomy" is altogether slightly ridiculous, when you think about it. It's almost an oxymoron, in that "autotomy" means self-amputation and "aided" is pretty explicit in implying that there's someone else present. This phrase implies that Ajax pushed Kalten's sword down and then pushed that same sword up to cut off Kalten's arm. I don't know about you, but I think it's pretty hard to use someone else's sword to cut off the arm they're using to hold it at the moment, and so my initial understanding of the story was that Ajax forced Kalten's blade down, then slid his blade along that one to sever Kalten's arm with his own sword. To me that makes more sense, although I'd think he sever it near the wrist as opposed to the elbow. Anyhow, that's irrelevant, the point is that that bit was altogether too unclear, and a lack of clarity is the last thing you want in a fight scene.you want the reader to race through there, eagerly reading to get to the end, to eliminate his suspense. You don't want him/her to stop and think about the words that much; it's a frantic fight scene. Make the reader feel like they're there!So I've compiled those suggestions and this is how I'd write that paragraph. 
He ran forward, all grace forgotten as he slashed towards Ajax.Ajax easily blocked, forcing his opponent's blade down yet again. Lighting-fast, he rode his blade up along Kalten's and severed his arm.Kalten gasped.
I feel like I might be forcing your style out of it, so if you read this and think to yourself "No, I'd never it THAT way." well then good for you. Keep building your style of writing, because it is deliciously and meticulously detailed. However, too much detail, or detail in the wrong places, can drag a story down. Your readers are not fools; don't feel like you need to tell them everything.I've criticized your story a lot and I just want you to know that these criticisms are directed towards minor points. Looking at the big picture, you've written an engaging and exciting piece of fanfiction; I'm just trying to help you make it better.

Edited by Zaxvo, Jan 28 2013 - 11:22 PM.

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#3 Online The Otter

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Posted Jan 28 2013 - 11:50 PM

Hmm. I won't deny that I could likely have expanded upon the fact that there was an extra witness to the duel who basically told them to begin fighting, or that I didn't expand upon which specific star system they're in, or the fact that some of my sentences are overly long; I'll get to editing that...whenever.

 

Although, one thing, at the beginning of that: Chrematistic is a word. If you wish, I would suggest you read about Chrematistics, the art of getting rich, descended from a Greek word; look upon it as an adjective, and one could easily figure out how it could be used in a negative sense, as it was by Sir Ajax Wennel here. I hope that clarifies something.

 

...Although I won't deny that I'm slightly perplexed as to why you're here. Did I sign this up to be reviewed or something? xP


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