The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

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Re: The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

Postby LordLucan » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:02 pm

We'd have one 'round' of POVs for chapter one in an ideal world; any additional scenes fromt he black ship can be in flashback or referred to in future chapters in remembrance.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anywho, here's what I've got for Alun's opening section so far (not sure where this will ultimately go; definitely after chapter one though, as it set after Rusarl receives the astropathic message). Here it is:



Alun

“I’m sorry sir. I’m... there were just so many...” Private Casor said through lips cracked with dehydration.

Colonel Alun L. Makard sat opposite this soldier. The two were like perfect contrasts; Alun was clean-shaven, old yet muscular and healthy, while Casor was young, scrawny as a consumptive, and had an unkempt mess of a beard. The only thing they shared was the uniform of the 203rd Vospar Drop legion; grey fatigues over flak plates painted in digital camouflage. Alun looked upon the pathetic sight of his private, and felt little more than pity.

Without saying anything, the Colonel passed the boy his canteen. Casor drank gladly, gulping shamelessly, letting trickles of water spill across his chin. When he was done, he passed it back to his commanding officer, without once looking Alun in the eye.

“You got quite far; two hundred miles out into the desert. Most of the others who went with you died out there; they’re nothing but bleached bones now. I scarce say the orks would have been preferable to death out there. The locals consider the desert, ‘the Desiccation’ as they call it, to be the embodiment of hell,” Alun explained, neither accusation nor exclamation.

Casor’s lip quivered. The young man was coated in white ash dust; in Alun’s command tent, the boy looked like a ghost, the living dead. He would be soon, Alun reflected sadly. He placed his hand on Casor’s shoulder, and the boy, red-eyed, finally held his gaze. If he had any fluid left in his body, he might have cried.

“They’d be wrong sir. When those burna boys ambushed us, I couldn’t... they melted in my arms. I used up all my water just to scrub my arms raw... to be rid of the stench... We just broke. I heard the order to return to battle, but I just couldn’t.”

Alun stood up, ran a hand through his blonde hair and wandered over to refill his canteen from his water butt, before he looked back at the boy. The guardsman was destroyed, he could see it in his eyes, and the way he flinched even at the distant booms of the siege going on half a continent away.

“You know what has to happen, don’t you son?” Alun asked quietly, taking a swig of his canteen.

Casor nodded, wiping his nose with the back of his sleeve. He didn’t resist at all.

“You broke ranks, and you refused to regroup with your brothers in arms when ordered. That’s desertion son. You had a duty and you broke it. If I am to keep the vows I made to the Emperor, if I am to do my duty, you can’t live,” Alun explained. His voice was resolute but not unkind.

Duty; that is what he was, it was everything he was. Guardsmen abandon their families and their world when they take up the lasgun in defence of the Imperium, to be part of something greater. If he was to forget his duty, what good was he? He’d be a killer, a man who slays other men with a gun. Killing had to have a purpose, or it was pointless. No, Casor had to die, but the manner of his passing... Alun could dictate that himself.

The Colonel walked over to his former subordinate, who peered up at him with desolate eyes, like a child uncomprehending of his father’s intent.

“Commissar Vatun wanted to have all deserters flogged to death in the centre of camp. I can’t abide that. I won’t see you humiliated, and I won’t see another kill someone for failing me. It has to be me, and it has to be soon; we leave Ganarada soon.”

As Alun explained, he paced around the tent; passing behind Casor’s seated position. He set the canteen down at his map table gently.

Casor swallowed hard. “In understand sir. Th... thank you sir,” he replied, holding back his fear this time; trying not to fail his Colonel a second time. “When will you-”

Alun grabbed his head and wrenched it up and around, all in one forceful, jerking motion. The snap was almost silent, but the effect was instantaneous. Casor’s arms went limp at his side. When he let go of the boy’s head, it slumped down his chest at an odd angle.

Alun took in a long, shuddering breath before he stepped out of his tent, and into the scorching glare of Ganarada.

Jensen and Jensen, the two bodyguards at the door of his tent, stiffened at his appearance. He nodded to the two brothers in turn.

“Take him away, but be gentle with him; he’s paid for his crime now. Then go and tell the Commissar it’s been done.”

No public flaying today, Alun thought. As soon as his bodyguards dealt with the body, the Colonel set off through the camp to find Major Cawkes.

His camp was many miles from the front line; the Vospar were a drop legion, and they deployed via Valkyrie and grav chute, they were no siege regiment. The desert winds howled through the gunships as they lay idle, and the billowing grey tents of the rest of his regiment.

They had once filled twice as many tents, but after this campaign? He had barely five hundred men left out of a force of ten thousand drop troopers. The sound of heavy artillery echoed all the way to the Vospar camp; an ever present reminder that they were leaving this fight early. If only Casor had held his nerve for a few days more, Alun cursed; then he wouldn’t have needed to desert. An Inquisitor had come to pull them out. There had been no prior warning or a formal request. One message from fleet command; ‘Inquisitor Rusarl and Canoness Irebella of the Convent of the Martyr’s Shield are forming a taskforce to investigate a suspected heretic world. You shall have the honour of aiding in the prosecution of the war’.

Already half of his Valkyries and all the Vendettas had been loaded onto the landing ships that had descended outside the desert camp three days ago, alongside a contingent of Adepta Sororitas. His camp was now swarming with the baroque, power armoured forms of the Sororitas, who walked around the settlement in pairs, bolters clamped to their thighs and white helmets on, robbing them of even a semblance of warmth and humanity. Alun did not appreciate the presence of the battle sisters. He was a loyal soldier, never flinching in his duty, yet the Sororitas feel the need to escort his men’s embarkation? The distrust of the sisters of any counsel but their own was infamous, as was their lack of mercy. Zealotry was rarely a virtue in Alun’s experience.

He eventually found Major Cawks sitting outside the kitchen tent as usual, eating something purple and fragrant from his tin, while Sergeant Kord sat by his side, carefully cleaning the white ash from every part of his Absolution pattern autorifle, his dark eyes intent on his work. Cawks grinned as he saw Alun approaching; an expression rendered hideously asymmetrical by the huge diagonal scar running from his forehead to his chin. Cawks was lucky he hadn’t gotten his head bisected by that orkish cleaver, a fact he never tired of reminding everyone of. His jaw didn’t seem to fit together properly, and his teeth were stained purple from whatever local delicacy he had been shovelling into his mouth before Alun arrived.

“Markie, how does it go? What throne forsaken pit are we off to in such a hurry? Has the big man upstairs let us know yet?” Cawks chuckled, picking the remainder of his meal from his teeth with his bayonet. There were few men in the Vospar who could speak like that to Colonel Alun Makard, and Cawks was one. Friends since basic training, Alun found he could never quite shake Cawks off. He was more a brother than a subordinate. As for the imposing figure of Kord, he had no interest in rank; he was a gun, and he was happy being that.

“Careful you don’t cut your face off again. Bayonets are sharp soldier,” Alun deadpanned. Cawks laughed, and stood to attention. “And no, no word yet. But if the Sisters are with us, I’m banking on the target being heretics.”

Cawks’ smiled faded momentarily, as he stared towards the pillars of smoke beyond the featureless grey-white horizon. “We shouldn’t be going. It’ll look like we ran away from the fight.”

Alun sat down on the pile of crates beside Cawks and Kord. “I don’t care what it looks like. An Inquisitor wants us, that’s what we know. Our honour is untarnished.”

Cawks smirked. “I don’t put much stock in honour, but I suppose you are right Markie. I’m more worried that we’ll get stuck on a long transit with these bitches though.”

Alun chuckled, and even the grim-faced sniper Kord let slip one of his scarce smiles, without looking up from his work.

The three men watched as another duo of battle sisters passed them, looking like wardens of a penal colony more than allies. Cawks sniffed, scratching his bisected chin.

“Do you think they’re really that big?”

Alun looked at him. “What do you mean?”

Cawks mimed a two handed gesture over his chest. “You know? Because I’ve seen plenty of lasses in the guard, and they don’t need to let out their armour,” Cawks explained, as he handed Alun a steaming new tin of the weird local meat broth the Major had been eating. It tasted of figs and grox marinated in a shoe, though not entirely unpleasant.

The Colonel shook his head as he swallowed a mouthful. “The armour is designed to accentuate their forms. It is symbolic, ceremonial. The Ecclesiarchy is forbidden from having men under arms. But the dictates didn’t cover women under arms.”

“Seems a bit of a cheat to me,” Cawks replied.

“It’s working within the letter of the law, something we all do,” Alun responded, in a tone which did not invite a follow up question.

Cawks asked one anyway.

“Yeah, but if the armour is just for show, what’s to stop them having men in the ranks? They might be all blokes for all we know,” Cawks argued, gesticulating as he spoke.

“They’re girls alright,” Kord said suddenly, without looking up. The Sergeant’s deep voice instantly demanded attention. Alun and Cawks peered at him quizzically.

Kord looked up briefly, pointing to one of the marching sisters. “That one is, at least...”

Cawks erupted into filthy laughter, slapping Kord on the back, while the sniper merely shrugged.

Alun smiled with Cawks, but his mind was preoccupied by the Inquisitor’s battleship that loomed over the planet; a machine vast beyond easy comprehension. It was an omnious, persistant reminder that the Inquisitor was waiting on them. Alun stood up again, his voice taking on its authoritative aspect.

“Major Cawks. I want you to ready the men for departure. Kord, return to your Platoon; they are to cooperate with the sisters at all times. We’ll be leaving as soon as possible. Something tells me Rusarl is tired of waiting. Let’s see what’s got him so excited.”
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Re: The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

Postby Ghurlag » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:44 pm

Nice, LL. You get a good sense of a war-weary regiment, and Balfayre as a generic heretic problem (which to the Imperium it is).

I didn't read it with an editor's eye, but I noticed 'private Castor' should be 'Private Castor' in the first line.

I agree on placement, sometime after the first chapter - probably around the 3rd, as the second chapter's not going to be very far past the first. It'd likely work at the start of that chapter.

As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
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Re: The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

Postby Ghurlag » Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:43 pm

Madak


Madak fished the gold chain from the drawer and eyed it with some distaste. The golden 'T' had often struck him as the least inspired of all the various motifs the Council bestowed. 'T' for telepath. Even the open hand of the lower-order empaths had more style to it. Orders were orders, though. He slipped the ornament over his head and turned to examine himself in the mirror.

Aside from a slight fraying of the embroidery on his left sleeve, he looked fine. Well, not quite fine - the rich formal dress robes looked strange on him, there was no mistake about that. Airy, and easy to stumble in, exactly what should be avoided in the labs. He now felt an odd appreciation for the practical comfort of his normal working clothes. But he was presentable, and that was the key thing.

As if to defy that thought, a stray lock of dark hair caught his eye. He swept it back into place, knowing as he did so that it was a futile effort. By the time he reached the facility, it'd no doubt look as uncombed as any other day. It was rebellious stuff.

Checking his chronometer, he realised he was several minutes early. This was the jitters. The morning broadcasts had only reported that an Imperial dignitary was to deliver a message to Parliament, but it was obvious to every Seer that something important was going on behind the scenes. Few outside the Council knew what the hubbub last night had been about, but after the hurried instructions from Segehart this morning, Madak suspected that he soon might be getting some insight. He was abuzz with curiosity.

Seeking some calm, he turned to his view. The apartment's wide south-facing windows afforded him a view of the morning sun breaking across the Azati foothills. It was a great sight; soft, golden light playing over the wheat smallholdings -- so much more picturesque than the giant, flat cornfields of the agri-plains -- and interrupted only by a few scattered buildings, mostly unoccupied country houses belonging to Parliamentarians. Madak had lived in the city, and he had lived in the Seers' training caverns in the northern Belasian mountain range, and this suburban paradise was undoubtedly better than either. Whatever the prole opinion of them, Magos Anthemius and his team sure knew how to breed loyalty in their workforce.

A gentle chime sounded from the door. The groundcar was here.



Ertelt was the first person Madak saw when he arrived at the facility. He was facing away, bent over the front desk at the tasking office, tapping furiously at a data-slate.

"You're wanted in the reception hall," the empath related immediately upon Madak's entrance, putting down his stylus as he turned around. Ertelt didn't need to see you to know who you were.

"Now?"

"Not right now, they're setting up," said Ertelt, "but I think they'll want to do a run-through with you if they have time."

There was a pause as they both looked at each other.

"Emperor's bowels, we look weird," Ertelt commented. Madak pursed his lips and nodded in agreement. He'd never seen Ertelt not wearing his trademark stylish green shirts, but dammit, the man seemed to look snappy in anything. His robes, pinned by an open-hand brooch, looked brand new. Sure, they lacked the richness of embroidery that Madak's had, but what they lacked in ostentation they made up for with a distinct lack of fraying and a fresh-pressed cleanliness that spoke of the good laundry habits Madak had never acquired.

"Do you know what's going on?" Madak asked, cutting past the pleasantries. It was the only question he was really interested in the answer to.

Ertelt waved him closer, hunching conspiratorially.

"Segehart didn't want me to know," he said, "but Adept Mordax let it slip. It's an Inquisitor."

Madak blinked in surprise. An agent of the Holy Inquisition? Here? A basket of worries ran through his mind, each more outlandish than the last.

"Yeah, right?" Ertelt said, widening his eyes to emphasis the shared disbelief. "Apparently that's the dignitary addressing Parliament - and there's more. "

One of Madak's worries flickered to the fore. There were hints from various tech-adepts that Magos Anthemius' research wasn't viewed that positively by some in the Mechanicus hierarchy. Did the Inquisition investigate accusations of heresy against the Emperor-as-Omnissiah?

"They say he's come to demand some kind of tax," said Ertelt in a foreboding tone. "A really big one. We'll be feeling it for years, they say."

The outlandish concerns evaporated, but the relief was tempered by a futile sense of indignation.

"Surely they can't just do that?" Madak asked rhetorically, his brow creasing. "There's got to be some sort of... of limitation."

Ertelt shrugged, indicating simultaneously his powerlessness in the face of received gossip and his lack of understanding of the Imperial taxation system as applied to Balfayre. He looked about to say something further, but the clatter of a side-door interrupted him.

"Praise the Omnissiah, you're wearing your robes," came Magos Anthemius' greeting as he bustled in, a servo-skull buzzing through the door behind him.

"I could say the same," Madak quipped politely. The affable tech-priest was resplendent in the rust-red robes of his order, and the steel surface of his bionic arm looked to have been polished. He didn't seem to notice the content of Madak's reply, his mechandrites were twitching about, a clear sign of agitation.

"I was just coming to tell Ertelt," the Magos began, somewhat excitedly, "the schedule's been altered -- apparently our guest was very curt at Parliament -- so we need to ready right away. I take it Segehart told you? Of course, why else would you be dressed like that? Ertelt, did you make the alterations?"

"Just about," Erterlt responded, picking up the data-slate which had occupied his attention before Madak arrived.

"Let me read it," said Anthemius, plucking it from the empath's hands impatiently with a flexible mechandrite. "Madak, can you go to the reception hall? Adept Mordax is bringing a specimen through from the yard, do make sure it's not a defective."

Madak nodded, and hurried to comply, the Magos already distracted by some error in what he was reading.



From Madak's brief close-up of him, the Inquisitor seemed a surprisingly unremarkable person; a plain, well-tanned face with an expensive-looking bionic eye, a medium-built body hidden beneath a large cloak made out of a strange brown hide. He didn't say very much, but Madak overheard him asking for the heating to be turned up. It was early autumn, and warm, so it seemed he must have come to Balfayre from somewhere with a more tropical climate. The temperature difference didn't seem to affect his companion, however. The hulking, aggressive-looking man -- Madak guessed he was a bodyguard, probably hopped up on combat stimms -- refused to take a seat for the presentation, and lurked menacingly by the entrance to the reception hall. The only person to be seated with the Inquisitor in the audience was a nervous-looking guide whose jacket identified him as affiliated with the spaceport.

After Magos Anthemius had lead the disinterested Inquisitor down the line of staff for inspection, Madak was dismissed to the right of the stage to await his role in the presentation. Obviously still somewhat flustered, Magos Anthemius took the stage and approached the podium. The reception hall, which could seat a good two hundred guests, looked bare.

Anthemius looked down at his notes. He looked up at the mildly-disinterested Inquisitor. Then, a little awkwardly, he began.

"We began, of course, with human material," he said, his voice a little tinny, "the process of connecting the human nervous system to the Most Holy is a well-known, even commonplace affair..."

Oh, so it was that speech. Madak reflexively tuned out the introductory waffle, turning instead to thoughts of this tax. It was within his power to reach out and examine the upper reaches of the Inquisitor's mind, to find out if Ertelt's rumour had any basis in fact. Strictly speaking, such behaviour was prohibited under the Seer Council's guidelines, but that presumed they caught you doing it, and Madak was quite good at going undetected.

"...the telepathic projection of thoughts is a well-observed phenomenon amongst duly-sanctioned psykers such as are commonplace here on Balfayre," Anthemius went on.

That was a good point. The Inquisitor must've known he was coming to a planet with an unusually high psyker population. He would've come prepared, defended somehow. Madak didn't want to find out what an agent of the Inquisition did to those caught intruding on his private thoughts.

"...Trials indicated that operators were made uncomfortable reaching into the minds of the criminally insane," Anthemius continued, his voice now having settled into an emotionless drone, probably to hide the nervousness he'd shown earlier, "so we switched to vat-grown material."

Madak smirked, 'uncomfortable' was an understatement. Some of those minds wrestled with you, raging even through the cocktail of drugs keeping them vulnerable. The Seer Council had insisted all new psyonic servitors were vat-grown, out of consideration for the delicate sensibilities of the Seer population. Some sheltered souls had been shocked to learn that the drones working for them had once been violent offenders.

Anthemius was up to the nymph-nodes now. As he continued to talk, Ertelt managed a demonstration behind him, reaching out with relatively clumsy empathic strokes to activate the larvae brains attached to a series of lights. The nymph-nodes were a real hit with empaths, because they meant they could use their relatively trivial gifts to do something other than cheer people up or calm them down. The empaths were easily the largest section of the Seer population, though, so the nymph-nodes were great selling points.

His demonstration done, Ertelt slunk off-stage. Now Madak had to pay attention.

"Having found some success in co-opting the local fauna," Anthemius said, "we turned to another creature - the Capaldo treerat. This treerat does not have the prodigal fecundity of the locust, but it has a number of other features which draw attention. Firstly, it is intelligent, and a tool-user, suggesting it can handle tasks of the level that might be entrusted to a servitor..."

That was his cue. Madak walked out on stage behind the droning Magos, reaching out with a mental instruction as he did so. The treerat's brain was responsive, and the scraping of metal feet drew the attention of the two-man audience from Anthemius' now-unstoppable monologue. Madak halted halfway across the stage and watched as the treerat servitor approached him. The original rat was tiny in comparison to this machine, barely a foot long if you excluded the bushy tail. This mechanical exoskeleton's skull -- Adept Mordax, on a whimsy, had put together an inflated mold based on the rodent's original features -- came up to his chest. It would've come higher, but the treerats were only used to limited bipedalism, and this instinct meant that they still tended to hunch over when walking, even with a metal spine. Its forearms were equipped with clamps, but Mordax had warned him that the resistors in their circuitry were 'temperamental', so Madak confined the display to having the servitor walk around the stage at his silent commands.

"...appropriate fertility treatments, combined with an automated insemination technique, have remarkable effects on brood size and reproductive rate," said Anthemius, inserting a rare pause. "Our work in this area is as yet incomplete, but soon we hope to demonstrate the benefits of cheaply-manufactured and readily available psychically-receptive servitors, an achievement which marks the unique capabilities afforded to us here on Balfayre as well as the glory of the Omnissiah's will working through the instrument of the Magos Biologicus Neuralis."

That was it. There was no applause, polite or otherwise. The Inquisitor's bodyguard was staring rather suspiciously at the servitor, so Madak got it off the stage. He was glad to follow it.



The rest of the day following the Inquisitor's visit was somewhat of a blur. Magos Anthemius thanked everyone for their effort, making no mention of the complete lack of interest shown by their guest, who appeared to have left without passing much comment. Nobody seemed to be in much mood for work, so Madak buried himself in the nymph-lab, where he could pretend to be working on the message-retention problem nobody had much hope for, and turned on the wireless transceiver.

It was with some incredulity that he heard the news which broke after lunch. The Inquisitor's tax was not money, or even men.

He was here for their children.

He had come with a Black Ship to collect Balfayran children to feed to the Golden Throne on Terra. Even now, Parliament was in an emergency session. The unremarkable man Madak had danced a servitor around for had issued an ultimatum to the planetary government. The broadcasters could hardly conceal their horror. Parents were taking their children from the scholas to prevent them being rounded-up.

Madak listened to the spiral of reporting. It got worse. A report on an urgent petition from the Seer Council was cut short. Some sort of incident had happened in the temple district, a man was dead. The Inquisitor was said to be involved. A riot had broken out in the city centre. Accounts were going around of the Inquisitor gunning down civilians in cold blood.

By the time Madak was reluctantly pulling himself away from the lab, the word was that a mob was at the Imperial compound. The Arbites were out in full force and Parliament was sanctioning the deployment of the Peerguard to 'contain the situation'. He didn't see anyone as he left. He wouldn't have known what to say if he had.

The air outside was fresh, still warm from the dimming sun. From outside the facility's main gates, you could see the city in the distance. There was no sign of the unrest Madak had heard, no indication that children everywhere were in peril. It was just a growing cluster of lights, serene as always.
Last edited by Ghurlag on Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
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Re: The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

Postby Ghurlag » Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:50 pm

Okay, there's a draft of my segment. I'm not all that pleased with it, so please don't be afraid to tear it apart (I mean, you could tear it apart even if I was pleased with it.)

There's two points I'm concerned with, and they're sort of diametrically opposed. One is that I'm worried I didn't give enough detail to certain scenes, the other is that I'm worried it's too long (for reference, it's 2,300 words). Comments on those issues would be particularly helpful, but anything is welcome.

Some of the earlier segments try to draw together some details on the Gilded Seers and geography of Balfayre (I placed the Seers HQ in a different mountain range to the one close to the city, and I made Madak live in the same general area as the Eight Strangers' temple [though he's not a follower, it's just a well-to-do semi-reclusive area]). Thoughts on those liberties are desired.

As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
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Re: The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

Postby LordLucan » Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:15 am

Ghurlag wrote:Okay, there's a draft of my segment. I'm not all that pleased with it, so please don't be afraid to tear it apart (I mean, you could tear it apart even if I was pleased with it.)


I have to say I am rather pleased with it. I liked the little details and personal quirks you added in, and the way you slip in details of Balfayre's geography without making a big deal of it; he lives there everyday, so it wouldn't come as too noteworthy. The confusion and rumors of his colleagues were handled well, and the progression of slowly dawning realisaiton was well paced.

The Inquisitor being a banal figure without lines is a sensible choice. We don't want him to be a cartoon villain, but at the same time we don't want him to be humanised, as he is to be the boogieman of Balfayre in effect. The Balfayre POVs would not like him, so it's right he comes across as an unknown and menacing figure.

There's two points I'm concerned with, and they're sort of diametrically opposed. One is that I'm worried I didn't give enough detail to certain scenes, the other is that I'm worried it's too long (for reference, it's 2,300 words). Comments on those issues would be particularly helpful, but anything is welcome.


I wouldn't worry about the detail. The character stuff is more important; we'll be in balfayre for a long time in this story, so the reader will ahve plenty of time to get to know it.

As for the story segment length, it could be shortened easily by cutting everything after 'They had come for our children'. Bear in mind, this section will come after we have already witnessed the attack on the black ship. I tihnk th epart ends most strongly with the children line; it explains succinctly the fundamental reason for the balfayrian rebellion; they were defending their children and their psychic way of life.

Some of the earlier segments try to draw together some details on the Gilded Seers and geography of Balfayre (I placed the Seers HQ in a different mountain range to the one close to the city, and I made Madak live in the same general area as the Eight Strangers' temple [though he's not a follower, it's just a well-to-do semi-reclusive area]). Thoughts on those liberties are desired.


I can get behind that. It'll make any crossovers with Onolai easier, as the old priest doesn't leave his local area much at all.
Check out my debut fantasy novel from Fox Spirit Books, The Hobgoblin's Herald (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hobgoblins-Herald-R-Aston/dp/1910462047). If you've read it, please rate and review it on amazon; I'd be eternally grateful. The sequel, Eater of Names, is out in 2018, so watch this space.
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Re: The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

Postby Ghurlag » Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:44 am

LordLucan wrote:The Inquisitor being a banal figure without lines is a sensible choice. We don't want him to be a cartoon villain, but at the same time we don't want him to be humanised, as he is to be the boogieman of Balfayre in effect. The Balfayre POVs would not like him, so it's right he comes across as an unknown and menacing figure.


Cheers. I threw in a few details to give him some flavour, but wanted to stay away from Madak having any serious interaction with him. As you say, he's better as a removed entity. At one point we might want to expand on his perception of things, but that's for much later in the game, when the readers are already allied to Balfayre's cause.

As for the story segment length, it could be shortened easily by cutting everything after 'They had come for our children'. Bear in mind, this section will come after we have already witnessed the attack on the black ship. I tihnk th epart ends most strongly with the children line; it explains succinctly the fundamental reason for the balfayrian rebellion; they were defending their children and their psychic way of life.

I agree that that's the strongest line to end on, and you're right that we'll have seen the attack on the ship, but we won't really know about what went on with the Inquisitor in the city (unless schafe covers it as part of his aftermath section).
That's not necessarily a problem (we can cover it in reflection in the second chapter), and given that it's difficult to fit into my segment I'm happy to do as you suggest, I just wanted to explain why that stuff's there in the first place.

As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
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Re: The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

Postby Corrigan Phoenix » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:01 am

One editor's-eye view of Makard's piece.

Disclaimer - LL I know you're a much more talented writer than me, so please ignore any and all comments if you think differently.

Did you mean scrum instead of scrub his arms clean?

flinched even at the far distant booms of the siege going on half a continent away. = Maybe change to even at the distant booms of the siege from half a continent away? Needn’t have the “far”, as you show the distance with the continent comment

“Casor swallowed hard, “In understand sir” should be “I”

shuddering breath, before he stepped out of his – Don’t need that comma between breath and before.

As was their mercilessness – seems a bit wordy just at that point, maybe “as was their lack of mercy”?

The second to last paragraph, about the Inquisitor’s ship, seems a bit disjointed to me – you may want to rearrange it a little.

I really enjoyed that piece LL – shows Makard for the caring leader he is, and also the human. Makes for a very nice contrast to the sister’s blank-faced inhumanity at this point. I agree with Ghurlag; it definitely shows a weary-regiment, which will make for some great parallels later on between them and the Balfayrians.

Ghurlag - I'm moving onto yours now :D
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Re: The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

Postby Corrigan Phoenix » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:24 am

I agree with LL - it'll end much more strongly with that one line about coming for our children.

Ghurlag, wow. I had read the report you posted up, but seeing it piece-meal within the scene makes it actually a whole lot more dynamic, especially when you dot it with the descriptions of the Inquisitor and Madak's inner monologue.

I can't find anything that flags up as needing changing right now, but I'll have another look later.

Let's see if I can get some of Wynn written now eh? I feel left out!
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Re: The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

Postby Ghurlag » Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:37 pm

Nice work, CP, and thanks. Looking forward to seeing the Wynn piece.

I've been going over my segment (offline copy, not the posted one). I moved the end to the children line, and I've been ironing out any clumsy phrasing I noticed - if somebody spots something, let me know.

As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
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Re: The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

Postby LordLucan » Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:22 pm

Corrigan Phoenix wrote:One editor's-eye view of Makard's piece.

Disclaimer - LL I know you're a much more talented writer than me, so please ignore any and all comments if you think differently.



I wouldn't be a very good writer if I ignored my proofreaders now would I? I'll get to editing my piece later, and rewording the last paragraph; I wasn't happy with it either, it was a last minute edit.
Check out my debut fantasy novel from Fox Spirit Books, The Hobgoblin's Herald (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hobgoblins-Herald-R-Aston/dp/1910462047). If you've read it, please rate and review it on amazon; I'd be eternally grateful. The sequel, Eater of Names, is out in 2018, so watch this space.
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Re: The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

Postby Corrigan Phoenix » Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:33 pm

True enough, LL. No problem, either of you.

I've been really struggling with it this afternoon, but I think I have a handle on how it will go down. I should have it up later this evening for you guys to claw at with your editorial appendages.

Have we heard from Schafe at all?
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Re: The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

Postby Corrigan Phoenix » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:36 pm

Sorry for the lack of action guys, I've been struggling with it more and more since yesterday. I'll have something for you before the end of the weekend for sure.
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Re: The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

Postby LordLucan » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:41 pm

Edited my part with phoenix's edits.

I haven't seen schaf on here all week actually.
Check out my debut fantasy novel from Fox Spirit Books, The Hobgoblin's Herald (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hobgoblins-Herald-R-Aston/dp/1910462047). If you've read it, please rate and review it on amazon; I'd be eternally grateful. The sequel, Eater of Names, is out in 2018, so watch this space.
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Re: The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

Postby Corrigan Phoenix » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:42 pm

How strange...can always message him on fb/twitter if needs be.

It's his piece first in the cycle isn't it?

Btw, what is the Capitol of Balfayre called? (if we have it named yet)
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Re: The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

Postby LordLucan » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:27 pm

Corrigan Phoenix wrote:How strange...can always message him on fb/twitter if needs be.

It's his piece first in the cycle isn't it?

Btw, what is the Capitol of Balfayre called? (if we have it named yet)


I don't think anyone has named it yet. It's up to you guys. :D

And yes, his story is first int he cycle, as it covers the aftermath, and then your section during the attack, and finally Ghurlag's section, set before the attack.
Check out my debut fantasy novel from Fox Spirit Books, The Hobgoblin's Herald (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hobgoblins-Herald-R-Aston/dp/1910462047). If you've read it, please rate and review it on amazon; I'd be eternally grateful. The sequel, Eater of Names, is out in 2018, so watch this space.
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Re: The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

Postby Ghurlag » Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:56 pm

The city-name is up to you, CP.

For reference, we have the Azati mountain range whose foothills aren't that far south from the City (the Eight Strangers' temple, the Mechanicus and the 'suburbs' where Madak lives are here).

The Belasian mountain range is to the north somewhere (this is where the Seer Council operates underground. LL described this as 'the great college of warp mysticism, built into the bedrock of Balfayre’s eldest mountain peaks').

There's also agri-plains in some undefined location, presumably taking up a lot of flat land, and overseen by whatever pest-control system keeps the locust swarms away.

The treerats are named 'Capaldo' treerats, but whether that's a geographical reference or the name of their discoverer I've no strong opinion on. That they're treerats indicates woods or forests wherever they're from. They're used as pets by the Seers, so perhaps they're found not far from the Belasian area?

A map might come in handy at some point, I suppose.

As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
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Re: The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

Postby Ghurlag » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:54 pm

Any progress, CP?

schafe, are you out there?

As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
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Re: The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

Postby LordLucan » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:14 pm

Yeah schaf, you've taken on the politcian character, and so your input is rather important to determine how the story progresses.
Check out my debut fantasy novel from Fox Spirit Books, The Hobgoblin's Herald (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hobgoblins-Herald-R-Aston/dp/1910462047). If you've read it, please rate and review it on amazon; I'd be eternally grateful. The sequel, Eater of Names, is out in 2018, so watch this space.
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Re: The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

Postby Corrigan Phoenix » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:31 am

I apologise for the delay guys - I'm working on it as we speak and have 700-odd words as I write this. I SHOULD (read: I damn well am going to try to) have a few thousand done by this afternoon. It should cover the entire Black Ship episode (minus the parts that we're going to flash back to).

Schaf has been active on FB/Twitter, but hasn't been on here for almost two weeks. Just FYI
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Re: The Year We Fell [40K Group story]

Postby LordLucan » Sat May 04, 2013 10:41 am

Any sign of schaf? Are you close to finishing your part phoenix?
Check out my debut fantasy novel from Fox Spirit Books, The Hobgoblin's Herald (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hobgoblins-Herald-R-Aston/dp/1910462047). If you've read it, please rate and review it on amazon; I'd be eternally grateful. The sequel, Eater of Names, is out in 2018, so watch this space.
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