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The Walker's Excursion

ambage flash-fiction tablet of transit better entry!

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#1 Offline Chro

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Posted Nov 05 2012 - 09:22 PM

The wind died suddenly, as if ashamed of its ferocity and the damage it had wrought. The fire borne upon it faded as well. Along with the danger so too, gradually, ended the fear of the villagers. They rose from their ruined town to rebuild what they could, although they knew the wind and the fire would return. It always did. The one structure untouched by the tempests every single time was the old Brotherhood fortress in the western hills outside the village. This understandably led to rumors that it was the source of the winds, and everything else for that matter. And it very well might have been; the word was that Rahkshi were periodically unleashed from the foreboding edifice, sent to run free and wreak havoc on the town.The diversity of these monstrosities meant that the damage was always different; be it plasma-charged tornados, a weakening plague of silence, or any other terrible result, the people of the village feared it all the same. These attacks were meant perhaps to keep the Matoran in check, although thoughts of rebellion of any sort had long ago been eradicated. Even hope of peace was merely a fiction to them now.This truth was unanimous save for a single person. He wore a weathered grey cloak, and nobody had seen him at all, save for his granite-hued feet and hands. The being’s voice was low and carried the weight of ages. The Walker, they called him. He was not of the same village, a nomadic traveler; still, he had remained there for a few weeks, his road onward being blocked by the ferocious windstorms, as well as their source.But at the end of the storms, as the villagers emerged, the Walker set out with a purpose, striding stoically through the rubble, off west towards the hills and the fortress. Nobody knew what he intended, nobody knew why; but they all stepped aside as he walked on. Straying from the village, though they knew not why, the Matoran silently lined the windswept dusty road into the hills. The path ended, and the traveler walked on; and still the Matoran followed in his wake. At last he reached the hills, not slowing down. Unblinkingly he drew a black, roughly triangular stone tablet from within his cloak, and continued on, clutching it in his right fist. Coming briskly and purposefully to the dread black gates, he raised his left arm across his chest without slowing, still a few bio away. Fingers splayed, he threw his arm horizontally away from him; the old iron flew open with a tremendous clang, and the Walker continued unfazed. His entourage slowly spilled through behind him, fanning out to either side.The being went on. The Matoran of the decimated village continued behind as if in a trance. At last the Walker stopped, immediately at the vast black doors. There was a flawless silence. Finally a great creaking of rust and blight cut the quiet off, as though of a beast unwilling to be shifted; but the great black doors began to slide apart. The crowd and their leader held like stones. Only darkness emanated from within the fortress; no light, no joy.The Walker noiselessly raised his arm, and held up the Tablet of Transit that he dared to carry. It was pointed towards the fortress, or rather the unseen occupants that no doubt lurked inside.Another rumbling sounded from within. This was undoubtedly movement, not the stationary weight of the doors. A large form stepped into the light, though it remained clothed perfectly in darkness. Bifold points flared to life, bright lavender in the dark, though they lit nothing but themselves. Whorls of pure emptiness, the essence of the dark, spiraled out from the imposing figure, shadowed eddies reaching toward the Matoran, creeping along the ground like baneful smoke towards their feet.Emboldened by the courage of the Walker, they remained where they stood, though whether this was truly foolishness or bravery, they did not know. The figure in the door still did not change his position, but an intense vibe of malevolence shone off of him. The Walker and his people did not move as black winds swirled around their heads. The tail of his cloak billowed to one side, though his hood stayed up, as did his hand, with the Tablet.The barrage of umbrage and dark power ended abruptly. The Makuta had clearly seen the triangular stone. He blinked and spoke, his voice rich and deep, echoing wisdom and earth, rather than the corruption and fear that his species was associated with.“You bear a Tablet of Transit. You... are a friend of the Makuta. I ask you, wise one, what is it you wish for these people?” He gestured to the Matoran.The Walker had had enough. "Life. Harmony. No more destruction.”“Perhaps I can do this. Give me the stone.” The Walker stepped forward. The shadows swirled thoughtfully about the rock, before it was lifted into the doorway and enveloped by the dark. The being in the door turned and walked inside. Before he was fully out of sight again, two lavender points gazed back over his shoulder. “You must know, wise one, that there is a price for using this.”“I know. That’s why I brought it.”The gates rumbled slowly shut. The Matoran began to slowly walk back to the ruins of their village, though the Walker stood right where he was. Nobody was still around that night to see him traipse off into the hills again.Two years had passed from the day of the Walker’s excursion. The village was prospering, the fortress was abandoned, and the attacks had ceased.A herald sprinted into the home of the town’s leader bearing melancholy news.An old Turaga of Iron had been found lying outside the town’s perimeter. He was dead, arms crossed on his chest, a cloak folded neatly beside him, and a smile on his face.Hope you all liked that. I decided to write another (better) entry, after my first one turned out poorly. Rings in at exactly 999 words! Decided to go with my strength- original, non-canon scenes and characters. This one portrays the Tablets themselves slightly differently than they are mentioned officially- more like a token than a free pass, if you know what I mean. Anyway, feedback is appreciated!EDIT- Just noticed I typoed the title. Son of a gun. Can I get that fixed somehow?

Edited by Chro, Nov 05 2012 - 09:24 PM.

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#2 Offline joev14

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Posted Nov 05 2012 - 10:41 PM

The wind died suddenly, as if ashamed of its ferocity and the damage it had wrought. The fire borne upon it faded as well. Along with the danger so too, gradually, ended the fear of the villagers. They rose from their ruined town to rebuild what they could, although they knew the wind and the fire would return. It always did. The one structure untouched by the tempests every single time was the old Brotherhood fortress in the western hills outside the village. This understandably led to rumors that it was the source of the winds, and everything else for that matter. And it very well might have been; the word was that Rahkshi were periodically unleashed from the foreboding edifice, sent to run free and wreak havoc on the town.

This whole paragraph is just beautiful.

This truth was unanimous save for a single person.

You should change the word 'person' to 'being'. The word person makes me think of a human, just like we wouldn't refere to an animal as a person.

At last the Walker stopped, immediately at the vast black doors.

I feel like that comma should be after 'immediately' instead of 'stopped'.

Bifold points flared to life, bright lavender in the dark, though they lit nothing but themselves.

there should be the word 'a' before 'bright'.

Whorls of pure emptiness, the essence of the dark, spiraled out from the imposing figure, shadowed eddies reaching toward the Matoran, creeping along the ground like baneful smoke towards their feet.

I think you meant 'whirls.'

EDIT- Just noticed I typoed the title. Son of a gun. Can I get that fixed somehow?

You can PM a forum leader (Hahli Husky is probably the best choice), and ask her to change the title.Overall, you did a fantastic job. I love the wide use of adjectives throughout the entire Short Story, you really made me love "The Walker." Who I assume is the Turaga of Iron found outside. You also described the Makuta and the beaten down Matoran as well. Very nice job, I wouldn't be surprised at all if this won.

Edited by joev14, Nov 05 2012 - 11:12 PM.

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#3 Offline Chro

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Posted Nov 06 2012 - 09:08 AM

Thanks for all the positive feedback!

This whole paragraph is just beautiful.

Why thank you. The first sentence is derived from the monthly writing prompt found in the Ambage topic, but the rest is my own, expanding off of that.

You should change the word 'person' to 'being'. The word person makes me think of a human, just like we wouldn't refere to an animal as a person.

While this is not written as a 'human-Bionicle' style story, I still wanted them to feel identifiable, on some level. The Matoran of Metru Nui are people, are they not?

I feel like that comma should be after 'immediately' instead of 'stopped'.

Yes, perhaps. Can't edit it now though, haha.

there should be the word 'a' before 'bright'.

Not here, I think. Lavender describes the lights, it isn't technically supposed to be a separate object, if you know what I mean.

Overall, you did a fantastic job. I love the wide use of adjectives throughout the entire Short Story, you really made me love "The Walker." Who I assume is the Turaga of Iron found outside. You also described the Makuta and the beaten down Matoran as well. Very nice job, I wouldn't be surprised at all if this won.

Thank you, again. Yes, the Walker was that Turaga. I was putting specific attention to description on, well, everything here, thanks for noticing that as well. I hope it does win, haha. :lol:

Edited by Chro, Nov 06 2012 - 09:09 AM.

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#4 Offline joev14

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Posted Nov 06 2012 - 11:50 AM

I feel like that comma should be after 'immediately' instead of 'stopped'.

Yes, perhaps. Can't edit it now though, haha.

Why not?

Edited by joev14, Nov 06 2012 - 11:51 AM.

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The Last Memories | Birth of the Kal | Key of the Codrex | Web of Karzahni
The Depths Below | Monster | Out of the Darkness | Archive

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The Powers That Be Continuation | The Yesterday Quest Continuation
Secrets of the Star Cont. | End of the Beginning Cont. (VIDEO PODCAST SERIES) | Element of Surprise Cont.

.

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Bionicle: ANP aims to create narrated versions of all the Bionicle books, with voice actors for each character, and music taken from various media to enhance the story. PM me if you're interested in auditioning for a role! Check here if you're interested in role casting, and here for the chapters that've already been released!


#5 Offline Cederak

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Posted Nov 06 2012 - 01:30 PM

I feel like that comma should be after 'immediately' instead of 'stopped'.

Yes, perhaps. Can't edit it now though, haha.

Why not?

Joev raises a good point. Ambage contest entry pieces can be modified up until we are no longer accepting entries. So you still have another week to make necessary changes.-Ced

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#6 Offline Chro

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Posted Nov 06 2012 - 02:10 PM

Are you sure?

Oops, sorry, I forgot to edit it in the first post. The deadline for the contest is Monday, November 5th, at 11:59 PM PST. =] Posted Image


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#7 Offline Cederak

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Posted Nov 06 2012 - 02:26 PM

Well, sure enough. I sorta thought the FFFC was open for two weeks, but I was mistaken. Guess you're outta luck then. :P-Ced
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#8 Offline Chro

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Posted Nov 07 2012 - 01:07 PM

Yeah, the schedule confuses me too... :lol:Also, thanks to HH for fixing the title of the topic. :)

Edited by Chro, Nov 07 2012 - 01:09 PM.

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#9 Offline Toa Smoke Monster

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Posted Nov 08 2012 - 03:10 PM

I enjoyed this story a lot. I liked how you described the village's situation with the Makuta and all the details you put into the story. (Like with the winds blowing and the Makuta using his powers on the village, for name two examples.) The Walker is also a really cool character. Though it is sad that he died in the end, it makes sense for that to be the price he paid for saving the village. One minor complaint I have is that it is a little unclear (to me, anyway) as to why the Walker wanted to save the village. I know that the Makuta was attacking the village and the Turaga spent a few weeks there, but you never really explained why the Walker, a traveler as stated in the story, would care enough to give his life for the village. I think that a little more explanation as to why he wanted to save the village would help with this.But still, I really liked this story. Good luck in the contest! :)
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#10 Offline Chro

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Posted Nov 08 2012 - 08:06 PM

I enjoyed this story a lot. I liked how you described the village's situation with the Makuta and all the details you put into the story. (Like with the winds blowing and the Makuta using his powers on the village, for name two examples.) The Walker is also a really cool character. Though it is sad that he died in the end, it makes sense for that to be the price he paid for saving the village. One minor complaint I have is that it is a little unclear (to me, anyway) as to why the Walker wanted to save the village. I know that the Makuta was attacking the village and the Turaga spent a few weeks there, but you never really explained why the Walker, a traveler as stated in the story, would care enough to give his life for the village. I think that a little more explanation as to why he wanted to save the village would help with this.But still, I really liked this story. Good luck in the contest! :)

Well I don't know really... the Walker was a Turaga and he likely felt it was his duty to protect Matoran. I had a vague backstory for him in my mind, which I couldn't properly factor into the story without sounding cheesy, or ruining the mystery around him. Part of this backstory was that he used to live there as a Matoran and Toa, then left after he failed to protect them form some kind of danger or other. I guess part of the mystery around him (which was not really the focus of the story even if it sometimes seemed to be) was that, although they were certainly good, his exact motives were unknown.Thanks again! :lol:

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#11 Offline fishers64

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Posted Nov 22 2012 - 04:53 AM

This story is beautiful. The Walker's sacrifice was touching, and that whole scene with the Matoran following the Walker is an excellent example of how a sense of purpose can attract attention. Well done here.
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#12 Offline Chro

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Posted Dec 08 2012 - 04:54 PM

[font="verdana, geneva, sans-serif;"][color=#808080;]Thank you, [/color]fishers[color=#808080;]. This has turned out to be probably my favorite Bionicle-related story that I've written, so I'm glad it's gotten some positive feedback. :lol:[/color][/font]


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#13 Online Tolkien

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Posted Dec 21 2012 - 10:48 PM

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Hi Chro. You asked for a SSCC review, and by golly you’ll get one.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Definitely an interesting story, and a unique take on the Table of Transit theme. You used your words wisely to paint a bleak picture of the life of these Matoran, along with the heroic actions of the Walker in aiding them. I certainly still had questions when the story was over (Where was the Walker going originally? How did he die? Who was the Makuta?), but that’s okay, because this is flash fiction, and it’s meant to be short. All in all, well done. I can’t criticize the plot much, so instead (as usual) I’ll focus on the writing style and structure itself. It’s easier to go through the story and pull out certain things that might be improved, so I’ll use a list format. Okay? Okay:[/font]

 

Along with the danger so too, gradually, ended the fear of the villagers.

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Phrasing felt a bit awkward here. I understand the thought that you’re trying to convey, but you might consider rewording slightly. One possibility would be to connect this sentence with the preceding (in addition to rewording):[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“The fire borne upon it faded as well, and along with the danger, so too did the fear of the villagers fade.”[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]The diversity of these monstrosities meant that the damage was always different;[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]A bit too formal in tone.[/font]

 

Unblinkingly he drew a black, roughly triangular stone tablet from within his cloak...

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Since we’ve been told that no one can see the Walker’s face, this adverb doesn’t quite work.[/font]

 

Bifold points flared to life, bright lavender in the dark, though they lit nothing but themselves.

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Great description here, but while I understand the image, “bifold points” feels much too obtuse of a way to say “two eyes”.[/font]

 

The figure in the door still did not change his position, but an intense vibe of malevolence shone off of him.

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Another odd turn of phrase. Does a “vibe of malevolence” shine? I’d suggest rewording there.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]That concludes the list, actually. I didn't see too much more. The only other issue that I’ll mention is the writing structure itself. Some of the events felt wonky, disconnected. When you’re constructing extended scenes that involve a progression of action—several events one after the other—the trick is to make things fit together and flow naturally, so that the reader doesn’t get hung up on an awkward sentence or repetitive phrasing. I’ll use one paragraph to illustrate this, but these principles can be applied throughout your story:[/font]

 

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]Straying from the village, though they knew not why, the Matoran silently lined the windswept dusty road into the hills. The path ended, and the traveler walked on; and still the Matoran followed in his wake. At last he reached the hills, not slowing down. Unblinkingly he drew a black, roughly triangular stone tablet from within his cloak, and continued on, clutching it in his right fist. Coming briskly and purposefully to the dread black gates, he raised his left arm across his chest without slowing, still a few bio away. Fingers splayed, he threw his arm horizontally away from him; the old iron flew open with a tremendous clang, and the Walker continued unfazed. His entourage slowly spilled through behind him, fanning out to either side.[/font]

 

 

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]There’s a long series of events in this paragraph, and many of them follow the same format:[/font]

 

Straying from the village...the Matoran...lined the windswept dusty road...

Unblinkingly he drew a...stone tablet from within his cloak…

Coming briskly and purposefully to the dread black gates, he raised his left arm...

Fingers splayed, he threw his arm horizontally away from him...

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]The pattern here is [modifying clause...subject verb-ed]. This isn’t necessarily bad. These events are somewhat scattered throughout the paragraph, but because they are important events, they stand out, and the repetitive structure becomes very noticeable (at least to me). Combined with the presence of a second, less-noticeable pattern, this makes the series of events in the paragraph feel clunky and slightly disjointed:[/font]

 

At last he reached the hills, not slowing down.

...and continued on, clutching it in his right fist

His entourage slowly spilled through behind him, fanning out to either side.

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]The pattern here is almost the opposite of the first pattern. Again—the pattern itself isn’t bad, it’s the repetition of these two patterns that makes things awkward. My suggestion is to simplify things—these are complex constructions. If at all possible, go for shorter, simpler sentences (or simple clauses joined by conjunctions) that can move the action forward efficiently. Trim off excess description (not all of it, but all things in moderation). Here’s one possible revision of the first few sentences:[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]“Many followed, though they did not know why, and soon the dusty road into the hills was lined with Matoran. When the path ended, the traveler went on, and still they followed in his wake. At last he reached the hills and stopped for a moment. He drew out a black, triangular stone from his cloak and clutched it in his fist. Then he went on...”[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]That’s only one of infinite possible revisions, so do what you want, but I hope you can see the principle at work. Straightforward sentences make for a straightforward narrative, and when you’re describing progressive events, things need to be clear so the reader can follow along.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]And that’s where I’ll end things. Good work, Chro. I look forward to more.[/font]

 

[font="'times new roman', times, serif;"]JRRT[/font]


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