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Dog's life reboot (Update April 24th) :-)
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally! On the home stretch. Couple more scenes and I'll actually be finished! *Hooray*

Enjoy! Smile


And as they drew closer, joining the rear of the crowd( for the crowd was facing away from them ), she saw – and heard - the source of the disturbance.

At the front of the crowd – where the townspeople turned their gaze - a man raised above the mass, in unarmoured calvaryman's dress was speaking; and facing the crowd to his right and left, blocking the far end of the street stood a line of horses.

Horses like hers'.

Snow-white and jet black, chargers of finest pedigree, some mounted by armed and armoured men. Armour whose make even from this distance she too well recognized, from a terror-filled day some weeks before....

Oh Gods. Gods and Mothers -

"Now, it is true - " and the young speaker paused, one arm cocked against his waist, head held high with an archful stare. " - it is yet true, that you fortunate ones (as you have been told ), who live in these western lands, abundant with game, and much land yet unsettled, it is yet true that you have not known the useless groaning of fields barren when they are not rationed out, and empty seas, that you have not felt the sting of clan set against clan and city to city in useless bloodshed brought on by those who conspire in hidden fields where none stand to watch, and so blinkered yet do not feel the weight nor hear the scraping of the chains forged, link by link, while you slept unawares, by those selfsame reddened hands. The fisherman goes about his catch, the farmer his harvest, the tenant his rest untroubled and all is well. What interest of yours, our cause? What care you for another's struggle? But will it be ever so?"

"Is it so even now, brothers?"

"Is not the bleeding of our people strength and fortune to those self claimed lovers of nature whose hypocrisies and conspirings, even those opressors from which we are so newly freed stood ever to oppose? Is not strength to your people fortune for them – for a season?"

"Do not your own numbers swell to fill the lands – even these open western lands – and the mountains draw ever near, and nearer still in the days of your children? Be assured those that rule in secret know this full well, brothers – that what stands today cannot long endure, and when your peoples are pressed against the mountain rocks it will be in that day for your peoples as for us, and when you see the snare too late and cry out for the choice that remains, you will see the true face of those patient vipers who now rule in secret, and what other means they will find to keep their worthless pact."

"And what honour in that pact – with cowards and with brutes! What a kindness, to call the racing prey that in cold blood surrenders the young and lame to fang and claw and death kin to man! Unless there is at least this small truth – that no work of Gods or nature birthed monsters so like nature's work in look and habit save for certain cunning."

"But though all this is what they would have come to pass; it is not what will. For the time is shorter than they knew."

"Brothers! Sisters! I come not today to plea, but charge you who hear me now: Tear the blinders from your eyes! Awake! The lie now is broken; the light dawns, and no dark corner for the rats to hide their shame. Stand while there is time to stand with the light of Progress, not bound and fettered by false mouthings of hippocrites and thieves in nature's name but free in truth, that nature is for those with wisdom to turn Her to their will!"

The sorcerer's cry; in the name of progress!

Sickened, Rebecca could hear no more, though he spoke on the words rolled together to screaming, wordless rhythym. The words mattered little – the meaning was all the same. The shaking inside threatened to migrate out to arms and legs. She put a hand to her forehead. But, a seductive pitch. It sounded good – could be made to sound good, were one inclined to listen. And surely people were listening; a great many people, for them to be here, so openly and far from their base of support. There was no sound of jeering, here too, no sound of protest as the crowd listened. The rhettoric was confident, boastful. Gods' blood, what had happened? A year; only a year! While she rested unaware, a fire-storm had broken, the world was burning – what would stand when it passed? What stood now?

And how long, the laying of kindling, the lighing of the torch to set the blaze? What care you, for another's struggle?

Is it so even now, brothers?

'One thing right', she thought bitterly.

'Our Godsblood problem now, ainnit!'

Her downfaced eyes caught Gray's looking up at her. And now her eyes did blur. Oh Gray, Gray. Now do you see my warning? The stupid, pridefull madness of my kind! She crouched, right hand burrying itself in his fur – perhaps looking for anchor, she conceded to herself. Bent level with his eye. "Might 'ave lived a longer life if you'd stayed 'ome, cousin." she mutted softly. The Wolf only blinked. "I think – I think we'd best leave this street." Rising, she absenly noted with the corner of her eye a cloaked and hooded figure pushed up against her in the crowd. Too late she felt the jab at her back as the woman spoke.

"Buy you a drink, friend?"


Whaddya think? Inspiring little speech, eh? Twisted Evil

I need a shower.... Razz
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More coming for this scene. Wink


Unsurprisingly, Rebecca noted as the door swung aside, the tavern they entered was busy – suffused with the soft light of wine-lamps lit at near every table. Eyes from the bar followed their cloaked – captor? - as she raised a pair of fingers before taking lead. She'd sheathed her blade, making Rebecca feel slightly better at losing her own. Again.

She was really learning to hate that.

Their captor had assured her they'd see to the horse.

"This way, the two of you."

The two of you.

At a table in the far corner, two men stood at their approach, by their dress -


And walked off – though doubtless not too far.

The table jutted from the wallboads, long enough to seat three to a side in a pinch. Their escort took the right side, she the left; Gray stood at the end, not laying at her feet as was his habit. Barely were they settled when a girl arrived with a wooden bottle, and metal cup for each of them. The woman picked up the bottle and started pouring. He hands wore cutoff leather gloves, and within her cloak the soft light cast a dark prescence.

"Didn't catch yer name."

"No." She set the bottle down. "You didn't." Her speech bore the crisp, higher lilt of the east, which was neither here nor there but information. Finished pouring, she settled back in her seat. Waiting.

"Gods, do me the favor." Rebecca mumbled, raising her cup without breaking eyes – hazel eyes, she saw - to drain half in one swallow before returning it to the table. "Huh." her hostess gave a small smile, reaching in the cloak with her left hand. "Wine is best savored slow, yes?"

Feeling the pleasant wamth begin to spread already, Rebecca returned her own small grin. "It's been a good while." The woman nodded, removing a short, thin roll to touch one end to the lamp fire. "So tell me - " in a flash, her right hand shot up - *thunk* - to bury it's blade in the wood. It was twin to her own. Calmly, the girl brought the roll to her lips. "How'd you come by the horse – friend."

Momentarily startled, Rebecca shifted as understading hit.

So. That.

"Previous owner 'ad no more use for it."

"Strange, seems a very useful horse."

"Took some pursuadin'."

"It did, now...I imagine his friends weren't keen on the bargain?"

"Paid the difrence, actully."

"Did they, now?"


The woman took a pull on her smoke, then suddenly bent, coughing. New to it? In a moment it passed. Then turning to Gray. "You had help?"

Sigh. "Yes. I had help."

Back to her. "How many friends, this owner?"

"Four, 'im included. Tell ya worse – I was on foot."

She raised an eyebrow. "If you're looking to convince me - "

"It's the truth!"

Silence. Another thought struck Rebecca. "Gods blast!" she gestured at the Wolf. "Look at 'im! He look captive to you?"

"Maybe. Don't mean s—t."

"What's that supposed t'mean? Listen - "

"I'll tell you what." the woman calmly cut her off, mouthing the smoke. Pushing sideways to slide to her feet, she reached down to yank her blade free of the table – not without a glance to the Wolf. She grabbed drink with the other hand. "You and me finish our drinks at the bar" – glancing that direction, Rebecca noted the bar was quite plainly full. Okay then. - "and you tell a couple of my friends how it happened, and they can come have a nice friendly talk with your friend here."

Rebecca hurried to join her. "Might be a little cranky, y'know."

"Might be a little fool." She locked eyes. "But he isn't – is he?" Rebecca made a noise. "Yer still in one piece, yes?" The lady nodded.

"Not much of a talker, either." Rebecca noted with a small grin.

"We'll manage." She turned to the Wolf. "Wait here."

Rebecca reached for her cup. Turning to leave, she reached to give a nervous-looking Gray's shoulder a squeeze. "It'll be fine."

She fervently hoped they wouldn't make a liar of her.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, more to come. Wink


"So" said Rebecca, shoving to her feet from wooden bench at the bar to meet the girl arriving from the talk with Gray. "I off the noose, or not?" with arms folded.

Their captor's hood was down now, revealing a young girl of about early 20's, red-blond hair cut short to neck length. "Well", she crooked an arm at her side, "being the Wolf backs you – far as can tell – and they know you here, I'd guess yes." She made a motion with her head. "But gods rot you got a gift for timing!"

"Rot yerself." Rebecca shook her own head. "What's happenin', girl? Can't trust a fellow guild - "

"Strange days, cousin." Looking suddenly tired, the girl retrieved her own abandoned drink from the bar and sat facing Rebecca on the bench. After a moment's hesitation, Rebecca joined her. The girl made a gesture to the door. "Strange days."

"Why isn't anyone out there?" Rebecca motioned, herself. "Confrontin' that? Sayin' somethin'?"

"Risks that way, too." The girl turned to her. "We're still trying to get a view of what's happening – Gods, the only reason we know trappers' gone missing now are the ones that've been found - " Rebecca let out a breath. "They wanted found, rather - some of them...aren't pretty. Whatever's broken, it's moving fast; Isles – it's singular now. One."

"What?" Rebecca was shocked. "How - ?"

"How do you think?" The girls' eyes turned sharp. "From inside."

Rebecca shook her head. "Wonder Jake said there's tension 'long the river."

"Worse along the coast, I'd think." the girl nodded. "Maybe they should worry now – maybe not." She took a swallow from her cup. "There's thought they're after bigger game, and want the mainlands quiet."

The reserves! "Gods." Rebecca swallowed. "But that risks war too - ."

"Over what?" The girl gestured with her cup. "A few too many fires, mountains away? Herds gone thin or dead, plague or poisoned dart - who's to say?" Her face was grim. "Such games can play for some time. Trappers would notice soon enough, of course - ."

Rebecca put a hand to her forehead. "Ah, blood!"

The girl nodded. "But even if they did - " her voice held an edge. "What of it? Conventions – not worth a war."

"Th' hell they aren't - !"

"Are they?" she asked sharply. "The Wise, well – they're just. Like. Us. As we're always arguing. Leave them to their own affairs."

"They'll be butchered!" She was mad. "What - ". Catching with the side of her eye, she suddenly cut off. Gray, questioners apparently finished, had already started her way. She motioned with her hand for him to wait; leaned in closer.

"They'll be butchered – dammit yes; they can give hell, 'specially together, but gods! A hundred men can still - "

"Can lay low thousands." the girl cut in. "Even still. But they're just like us, so not our affair. You think people care?"

"I think some might!" Incredulous.

"Man-lovies don't need approval, girl. Apathy does fine. You think Lords and Kings will commit resource and son's blood to a war that may have no end? Another's war, on all sides? When the ones we're fighting for might grow sick of all of us before long, even have cause to? Do you?

"But if we don't stop it - "

"Butchered." with a sigh, the girl took another swallow from her drink. Her next words startled Rebecca.

"Butchered – and it's our fault. Our fault!"
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You guessed it - still another bit after this. Then finally the scene with Rebecca and Gray I've been waiting to get to, and I'll finally be done. Hooray! Smile

"Our fault?"

Instead of answering, the girl reached into her cloak again, turning and stretching with her hand to reach the nearest wine-lamp on the counter with the leaf-rolled smoke. Turning to Rebecca, she took a draw. "You ever - " She coughed once, clearing her throat.

"Ever asked after the making of that 'pact' with Wise we hold so proudly?"

"No - ." Rebecca said, questioning.

"Most don't. But there are records, history for those willing and able to read." Rebecca blinked; 'An' what's your story?' The girl gestured with her smoke. "This promise to never settle beyond the Teeth wasn't the product of long and many meetings between the rulers of men and all the many Wise inhabitants of land and air and sea. We agreed to it among ourselves, humans with humans – then promised the others."

"So what's yer point?" A bit guarded.

"Rebecca, it wasn't indefinite. It wasn't any time at all. The guild persuaded the mainland states to forgo claims to land beyond the Teeth. Easy enough at the time – even for the Isles, I suppose – still had Wise roaming the commons and foots in those days – did you know that?"

Rebecca shook her head, still wondering where she was going.

"Anyway, time passed, convention became tradition, and a pact for no certain time one for all time – and the guild given power in theory to enforce it. But then, the mountains were high and far away. And we - especially the guild – let ourselves imagine tomorrow would never come. We took the separation of ourselves from other Wise for granted, and now with forrests fading in the East and these lovers of man waxing strong, tomorrow's come sooner than we thought. We're out of time to prepare."

"For what?"

Her look was intense; "For the day we cross the Teeth to stay."

"To STAY?" To hear another guild say this! "An just what godsblooded right do we - !"

"Rights?! Rights are life and freedom, and knowing their taking a wrong." the girl snatched Rebecca's drink from the bench with her left hand and took a sip before Rebecca even moved. "That's rights." Holding eyes with a – now glaring - Rebecca, she mouthed the smoke and reached into her cloak to withdrew a knife - Rebecca's blade, holding it handle toward Rebecca. "And this is power." Setting down Rebecca's cup she grasped her wrist with one hand and slapped the blade into it with the other. With a tug she lifted the hand, leaning forward till the blade was against her neck. "Power decides." She released Rebecca's wrist, letting her own arms fall to the sides.

Nonplussed, Rebecca held for a moment; then with a breath jerked the blade away to sheath it.

"Power decides" the girl continued. "For those that lack it, by it's very posession. Intervene or stand fast, sheathe the blade or wield it, strength chooses. There's no out from under it for those that have – and rights have jack-all to say in it! And we – our kind - have power! Other Wise wax and wane like the tide, we flow like river-ice. Wise can learn anything we can, but in forethought and community we stand alone. That's not pride – it's obligation! One day we will cross those mountains – better be ready. But we deny that. We reject it – because we're cowards." Her tone was bitter. "Because it's better to let a thousand die than to err. And now - " she shrugged, spreading her hands. "Where are our allies? Who helps us?"

"So, what – that makes what's happenin' now our fault? Those bastards don't need a reason."

With a crack the side of the girl's fist slammed into the side of the counter. "No, you're right – it's not our fault! Not our fault we pin every right of Wise on their humanity, then with the next breath talk of the seperate worlds of nature and man. Not our fault the man-lovies have their Gods-be-damned excuse. Not our fault where they go now the help we need is busy thinking instead of hypocritical tradition and inconvenient truths, and we are skinned, bloody skinned with our own knives! No; not our fault; we're not shedding blood, our hands are clean – hells, the whole Gods-be mainlands' hands are clean - !" and again a fit of coughing brought her up short.

She really must be new to the habit. Rebecca found herself wondering why she'd started - women seldom took the habit, burning leaf-rolled smokes in leu of pipes.

After half a minute's silence: "Had this argument before, 'ave you?"

The girl looked up at her, glaring. "Yeah."

"Mm-hmh. Gods - " she rubbed her neck. "So, we've made our mistakes. Whatever – we can spend all day cuttin' ourselves up to save the man-lovies th' trouble an' we're still back at the same place."

"Yeah – skinned. I'm telling you – people don't care, not until the knife's at their own throat – . And...what if they're right, too? Maybe we have already failed our cousins; accomplished fact, inevitable, only a question of how much wasted blood - "


"There's sense in the argument."

"F—k sense! Gods – f—k all of 'em! It's wrong; when's right 'n wrong had a thing to do with 'sense'? You don't put someone out on a limb – your limb – then leave the damn tree to burn. It's our Gods-be job to try. Not our choice."

"Of course it's not our choice - the guild's in it!" She made a sweeping gesture. "But try convincing them it's their job. Based on what – our special obligations? Save us from our mistakes - listen to us now! What's in our interest is also to the common good – now; try it! Inconvenient truth's an outsiders game. And we're tradition. And they know it!"

Rot, rot, rot her kind! "So, what do we do - now?"

"We? For the time being – watch each other's back. Travel together – in numbers, when possible. Also wouldn't hurt to carry metal." She held up her half-gloved hands. "These aren't for looks." Fishing in her robe for something near the belt, they came out clutching a tri-blade. Rebecca stared – the make was familiar.

"Nice – where did you get 'em?"

"Lodge – guild commission. I was you I'd find time to make the trip to get some."

A chill went through her. "You mean a special run – these are goin' straight from forge to lodge, to Trappers' hands?"

"Of course – why?"

Gods, and gods. 'Who was it, you bastard! Did I know the one you took 'em from?' She shook her head. "Nothing – " More quietly; "Done is done."

Before the girl could follow up: "An' that's the word? Be safe, watch yer back an' each other's? That's it?"

"That's it for the 'time being; we're still taking count - "

"Still gettin' a look what's happenin', yes yes." Rebecca motioned dismissively. "We think they want to cut out witnesses from other side – they're not makin' a thorough job of it though, are they?" Rebecca waited, hoping.

"The girl shrugged. "Hard to say – certainly haven't limited who they've done to that. You're the first I've seen from other side this season, but that means nothing and the year is young. Still - ."

Still. "Yeah." She sighed. "But still – it wouldn't take that many lurkers in the foots to do the killin' – or anywhere else, too. And you said yerself everythin's guess right now."

The girl leaned forward (Rebecca was suddenly reminded why girls seldom caught her habit. Yech!); "You thinking maybe man-lovies aren't the only ones can hunt in the foots?"

"I'm thinkin' – I'm thinkin' some might be safer now with their own kind."


I see that view count ticking higher; whaddya think of how it's finishing up? Am I ending strong - or just losing the plot? Razz Feedback, please? ( All three of you. Razz ) Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And finally, the last part of this scene. Now it's one final scene with Rebecca and Gray and I'll be done. Woo! Smile

The whole section between the post ending 'our fault!' and this one was hard to for me to get written; I think it still has more polemnic than plot and I might've chucked it for something a good deal shorter (and still might in future edits) if I hadn't comitted myself a bit with that 'our fault' line (comitted because something need to follow on exactly 'why' it's 'their' fault).

On the other hand, this last section below felt as good as anything I've written to write. It just clicked along - 'ah, that'd be the perfect place to put that line I've wanted to get in if it'll work!' Anyways, what do you all think? How'd it come off? Do feed the bears - feedback please. Smile

The girl followed Rebecca's glance to the Wolf. "Well - that's something, all right. Could argue both ways. Not like they'd come after you to get him – what? Indifference is one thing."

Rebecca gestured in the direction of the door. "Not 'indifference' I'm worried about."

"So they leave a few gullibles stronger than when they came. Doesn't mean you'll wake up one evening to find a mob in force, with swords and torches raised. It's a long way from the Isles, Bec."

"Yeah, sure - thought that was the problem, ain't it? An' suposin' they ask a few more gullibles to stay?"

"For what?"

Rebecca shrugged. "Use yer imagination. Any case, you recognised what 'e was sure enough – what's to keep them from? You think the two of us together are enough to earn special attention?" With a sigh, she took another sip – swallow - from her drink. "So, parents like yer chosen trade? ....Yeah – lucky guess." Seeming to change subjects; she shook her head. "Y'know - whenever I'm back home, mother's always naggin' me to settle down; at home, or find some local boy a bit more rooted than – well, funny thing is, comin' back this time, for the first time I was actually thinkin' about it." She gave a laugh. "Nature's blessed irony, huh?"

"Too right she is - an' Necessity's worse. But yer right; th' guild's in it, if nothin' else. Time to think about doin' our own huntin' in the foots. Few enough passes, we can at least give some cover there."

"Sure – as long as they're in nice, shiny armor for easy spotting."

"Rot, that's a thought. Really wanna give us problems they could dress as trappers. Talk about reasons to want everyone off - ." The sentence died on Rebecca's lips. Freezing, her eyes snapped to meet the girl's.

"I could still be lying."

A long moment. Then; "Yes."


The girl shrugged. "You're a known face. The Wolf's backing of course and - " she paused, grasping Rebecca's forearm with her free hand. "And if we cannot risk to trust each other, the guild is broken and we are lost." Rebecca accepted the gesture with a nod. "You know" the girl continued, releasing her arm, "whatever the case for Wise, if you're really thinking of settling down – really, that might be safest for you."

Rebecca frowned slightly. "Maybe. But right?" Then she let a small smile touch her lips. "I did have a place in mind. Y'know that goat 'n sheep keep a half-day's west?"

"Family of yours?"

Rebecca nodded. "Yep – first cousin. Understand they do well enough by it, too." A look to the Wolf. "I thought to see if 'e'd mind some extra help."

The girl's eyes lit. "Out with what the Wolf is, or keep a lid on it?"

", see after we talk it over."

"Uh huh. Well - sounds like something worth seeing."

Rebecca looked at her a little suspiciously; what did she mean by that? Then with a sigh she turned to Gray, thinking. Yes – it would be, at that.

Settle down with Gray. Watch the sheep. Visit home.

While trappers were dying. While fanatics moved in and out from the east and the rulers and powers of her kind stood silent as, just maybe, all she held dear was set to burn.

Gods help her, she was thinking it.


'Gray, my friend - we need to talk.'
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Better late than never.

The dialogue and expressions feel more intricate, richer. More of that "olden" English that reminds me a lot of Vagrant Story for the PS1/ Assassin's Creed (Or even Braveheart). I can see you have really been putting effort into this. I read several pages in a row, loving some of the descriptions. (The "god who cleaved the earth with his axe" analogy was excellent.) Hadn't seen the word "Rot" used as a curse in a loooooooong time.

I have to admit sometimes it's hard for me to make heads or tails of the situation and setting. So far, however, I see that people are being rallied to trespass areas exclusive to Wise and non-wise animals, for the sake of expansion.

Also, Trappers/Hunters understand and respect nature enough to know it's a bad idea to go beyond established boundaries, and as the only ones that would oppose such measures, are being eliminated one by one.

Now, how does Grey fit into all of this? A bit of criticism makes me want to mention that Rebecca could have done all of this by herself. I hope that Grey is more than just an accessory. Is this going to be Princess Mononoke, when the animals fight against the invading forces of man? Are Grey and Rebecca going to sit on the sidelines and see both forces seriously cripple each other? What is the guild going to do? Do I see a Guild+Wise Coalition rising to protect their land?

Get Peter Jackson to direct this, btw. Please forgive the belated response, and take heart. I, at least, am reading this story and want to know what comes next.

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