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  #49  
Old June 10th, 2022, 02:56 PM
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He should definitely get that. (#4)
 
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Re: Drunkenly Reviewing Every Low-Rated & Unranked Fiction h

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Originally Posted by Tornado View Post
Sure. Sometime when I am on my laptop.
Remind in a bit if I forget.
I could use a second opinion for that zombie/buoy story about now.

~TGRF.

Go to my website to read my fan fiction!

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  #50  
Old June 10th, 2022, 04:06 PM
AMIS AMIS is offline
 
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Re: Drunkenly Reviewing Every Low-Rated & Unranked Fiction h

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Grim Reaper's Friend View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tornado View Post
Sure. Sometime when I am on my laptop.
Remind in a bit if I forget.
I could use a second opinion for that zombie/buoy story about now.

~TGRF.
"The Buoy Has Wings?"

I went back and read this...the story has a lot of merit to it. Lots of action without any gore. As a quick story it would definitely be a 9. My only issue is I didn't know Zombies could swim.

Maybe it should have been called "The Zombie Has Water Wings?"

Just when you thought it was all right, someone made it alright.

Good trades with - Porkins / xraine69 / mac122 (x2) / frylock / Ztimster (x2) and probably others I forgotten to mention...sorry.

Last edited by AMIS; June 10th, 2022 at 06:18 PM. Reason: Couldn't resist...and I'm sober.
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  #51  
Old June 10th, 2022, 07:06 PM
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Tornado Tornado is offline
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Re: Drunkenly Reviewing Every Low-Rated & Unranked Fiction h

Totally forgot. Will try to remember this weekend.
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  #52  
Old June 10th, 2022, 09:02 PM
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Re: Drunkenly Reviewing Every Low-Rated & Unranked Fiction h

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Grim Reaper's Friend
First off, your review of Soul of Calradia actually got me fairly interested in it. Something about huge fantasy worlds with original species/magic/plots/what-have-you really gets me. I'm glad EL finally got a 7 with this one, he definitely deserves it.
I think you'd like it a lot. I'd have rated it even higher if it didn't end so abruptly and without promise of a direction. If I had any clue where it was going I'd ask for someone to finish it for me, but alas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Grim Reaper's Friend
I do need to say that the Einar's Battle entry was playing off of the events of the The Quest for Valhalla. It was never stated in the fiction, but the Dan fighting Valkrill was the Dan from the Quest, not Deadeye Dan. Hence the Vydar alignment.
Ha, you've activated my trap card!


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAverageFan
Uh, so Valkrill is interrupted by the Alliance's attack group coming in to kill him. He battles them until it's just him and Deadeye Dan (who they say is following Vydar for some reason). Dan manages to hit Valkrill and this frees Einar up to try to cast a spell to sever the connection for good. this text is here in advance to see if TGRF complains that it's obviously his OC Dan take your bets everyone
This somehow means I win. At what, I'm not sure. Take that, person struggling with illness!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Grim Reaper's Friend
Honestly I'm pretty surprised at the 5 for A Breath of Wind. It wasn't anything spectacular, but from what I remember, I thought it had some good imagery and prose. Definitely one of my better entries. But then again, different stories speak to different readers.
I dunno, it read more like an extended Character Bio for the Varkanaans than a story. Not bad, but nothing that resonated. As for the prose, seriously go back and genuinely take a shot for every Massive. I could probably be talked into bumping the Einar story to a 6—that rating was pretty harsh—but this one fits 5 pretty perfectly to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Grim Reaper's Friend
Light up the Darkness feeling rushed is probably due to the incredibly restrictive word limit which came with the prompt.
Yes, this is what makes rating competition entries out of their proper context rather difficult. The word limit is so restrictive on stories that could otherwise have proper development time, something that I'm a big stickler for. Something to note is that this was the only entry that doesn't have a placement listed for how it fared in the competition*, and that's because it won by default. Because I didn't submit an entry for the prompt. Because the word limit was too short. So I myself didn't even try when put in this position for what it's worth

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Grim Reaper's Friend
The stories balance out to a pretty bleak 6.4, my lowest rating yet. This is getting rough.
Well that's on you for insisting on getting ratings per story rather than the overall 7 You got an impressive 8 last time and downgraded it yourself


Quote:
Originally Posted by AMIS
My only issue is I didn't know Zombies could swim.
Well, they can cross water tiles without being destroyed, so yeah it checks out. This also means that Soulborgs, Obsidian Guards, Spiders, and Fire Elementals can swim as well.

~TAF

TAF was the Storyteller...
in THE ENEMY'S LAST RETREAT


Last edited by TheAverageFan; June 10th, 2022 at 09:07 PM. Reason: * This is false I'm stupid
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  #53  
Old June 12th, 2022, 02:34 PM
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The Grim Reaper's Friend The Grim Reaper's Friend is offline
He should definitely get that. (#4)
 
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Re: Drunkenly Reviewing Every Low-Rated & Unranked Fiction h

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMIS View Post
I went back and read this...the story has a lot of merit to it. Lots of action without any gore. As a quick story it would definitely be a 9. My only issue is I didn't know Zombies could swim.

Maybe it should have been called "The Zombie Has Water Wings?"
If that's an actual rating I'll take it.

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  #54  
Old June 12th, 2022, 06:43 PM
AMIS AMIS is offline
 
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Re: Drunkenly Reviewing Every Low-Rated & Unranked Fiction h

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAverageFan View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMIS
My only issue is I didn't know Zombies could swim.
Well, they can cross water tiles without being destroyed, so yeah it checks out. This also means that Soulborgs, Obsidian Guards, Spiders, and Fire Elementals can swim as well.

~TAF
I assumed they'd walk underneath the surface...on the floor of the body of water. Just a technicality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Grim Reaper's Friend View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMIS View Post
I went back and read this...the story has a lot of merit to it. Lots of action without any gore. As a quick story it would definitely be a 9. My only issue is I didn't know Zombies could swim.

Maybe it should have been called "The Zombie Has Water Wings?"
If that's an actual rating I'll take it.

~TGRF.
It's a rating.

Just when you thought it was all right, someone made it alright.

Good trades with - Porkins / xraine69 / mac122 (x2) / frylock / Ztimster (x2) and probably others I forgotten to mention...sorry.

Last edited by AMIS; June 12th, 2022 at 06:43 PM. Reason: It was well written. The story not this post.
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  #55  
Old June 16th, 2022, 06:31 AM
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The offensive episode

Hello again, and welcome to our penultimate episode of Drunkenly Reviewing Every Low-Rated and Unranked Fiction on Here. Sadly once again due to my medication I will have to do this one sober, because being drunk can be fun but only when it doesn't make your stomach bleed profusely.

Anyhow, before we get to our final boss Pumpkin King, let's talk about the two final unranked works on the list.

#20: Thunderstorm by TheAverageFan

Speaking of internal bleeding, Thunderstorm is the first fiction I put on the site, and at ~250 pages it's no wonder its remained unrated this entire time. Anyone who might attempt to crack it open would also have to jump the hurdle that despite it containing Heroscape characters it has its own completely different lore from Valhalla and its Generals and all that. And if they get past that then they'll have to endure its wall-of-text formatting. And then on top of all that it's not particularly good.

So make no mistake my breakout pieces have definitely always been the Competition entries and not this behemoth. But all that being said it's unrated. And as such it's a target on my list like it or not. So to put it another way sh*t happens, someone's got to deal with it, and who you gonna call?


As I said previously the story takes place in a country called Ensterek rather than Valhalla. The only real similarities between this and the canon Heroscape are the character names and a couple instances of lore lining up (such as the Elven wizards remaining as a pack). And there's some massive differences, such as Brandis Skyhunter being Master Woo's son. If you can wrap your head around that. It's like if you gave a child a bunch of Star Wars toys, telling him only the names of the characters and nothing else, and seeing what he comes up with. An entertaining thought experiment to be sure, though probably not one worth spending 250 pages on.

The real reason for this is that Thunderstorm was a Heroscape campaign I ran with my father first, and a novel second. I compounded the adventures into a story as to not forget about its events. But it obviously makes for a better game than a book, especially when you decide to cut absolutely nothing. You'll see why as I recount the story.

Our hero is Brandis Skyhunter, no one's favorite Ullar archer. He lives alone on an empty plain until one day an army of drow show up and he's forced into action. Taking only his bow and a green keepsake jewel, he fights off the drow but is nonetheless forced to abandon his home and move on.

I do have to say regarding the green gemstone, we really haven't had many run-ins with macguffins during these reviews, which is strange given Heroscape's many glyphs and ancient artifacts that seem perfect for "go get the thing" stories.

Brandis also encounters Sharwin Wildborn—our deuteragonist—who decides to accompany him on his journey, because every protagonist needs a girl character to be interested in him and his quest for no discernable reason, because she apparently has nothing else going on. Sharwin decides to dedicate her life to tag along with some guy and is the only character to be with Brandis on every single mission of the game. Er, I mean the story.


Keeping up so far? I know it's a lot of explaining, but if the text can't be bothered to maintain any coherent pace then why should I when reviewing it? You must be made to suffer as I have.


Okay, so to the main premise: the drow are one of the many armies of Othkurik the Black Dragon. In the old days of Ensterek dragons ruled the people, but as they neared death they all decided to let the humanoids rule themselves and retire their monarchies in order to be progressive. This upset Othkurik who always assumed he would get to rule once the elder dragons died, and so he threatens Ensterek with conquest. He is opposed by the elves of Sohenberg, led by Sonlen. So Brandis and Sharwin go there to see if they can help out in any way.

However it turns out that Sonlen is a big ol' racist and doesn't want a Half-Elf or an Eladrin in his ranks. Brandis thinks about rage-quitting this game, but his father Master Woo turns up and convinces him to keep fighting. Othkurik is still worse than Sonlen after all, so like the last couple U.S. presidential elections Brandis decides to simply side with whoever of the terrible options will cause the least amount of damage overall. He will fight against Othkurik even if he has to do it against Sonlen's supremacist wishes:

Quote:
“So, wait.” Brandis began, “Why are you here if Sonlen hates you? Doesn’t he want you dead?”

Master Woo chuckled, “Sonlen has far bigger problems than me. He has Othkurik’s Guardians to worry about. In fact, he asked me to come here several years ago. I would have declined, but after finding out that Sonlen had built his city so close to where I left you, I had little choice. Sonlen had begun picking fights he couldn’t win with the dragon to prove himself. And when he realized the trouble he had gotten himself into, he asked for my help in the war against Othkurik. Not that any of the U.S.E. besides him and Syvarris, his second-hand man, knew about it. Sonlen is still fighting a losing battle, but his pride is too much for him. He’d never let any of the other elves know. And he’s far too arrogant to ask any of the neighboring kingdoms for help. If it stays that way, Othkurik will destroy him.”

Brandis was quiet for a while. Finally, he got up.

“So, what do we do now?” He asked the monk.

Master Woo only smiled, “What else? We help this doomed city in our own ways. We need to fight Othkurik as soon as we can. He is a far bigger threat than Sonlen could ever hope to be.”
So far so good, yes? Okay, now onto the main plot. Othkurik has EIGHT powerful minions known as his Guardians: Krug, Taelord, Deathwalker 10000, Grimnak, Cyprien Esenwein, Ne-Gok-Sa, the Emperor Shade, and Pelloth. Brandis and his friends will go from one area or dungeon to the next, taking them all down one at a time. The location will change, the general idea of what the Guardian is up to will change, and the roster of who Brandis and Sharwin are fighting alongside will rotate (Woo, Mogrimm, the Wave 8 Elves, and Tandros + Ana). But other than that an enormous chunk of the story is going around the country killing one Guardian after another. And with a few exceptions, they're not especially interesting or deep as antagonists in their own right.

To demonstrate: the story is 243 pages long, the quest to kill the first Guardian starts at page 16, and the final Guardian dies on page 216.


This is only partially an exaggeration there is a huge shake-up in the story about forty pages prior when there are still two Guardians left, but still that's 160 pages of fighting generic bosses

Fortunately our characters are moderately charismatic and likable in the meantime: Brandis is kinda dense but good-natured and overpowered—kind of reminds me of Dilmir—and Sharwin is rude and wry and likes to hear herself talk. There's a very simplistic, blunt, but classic nature to their contrasting relationship. They're like Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc., only one is a girl


There's a lot of killers to the pace other than the repetitious formatting of the story. The battles are told in blow-by-blow style, which can work for quick little skirmishes or intense 1v1 fights. However in this case there's just so much fighting throughout the entire thing that it drags and drags. There was also a need for young me to communicate the difficulty of a particular boss fight in the campaign that we played by having that fight take a long time in the novel. So while a quick battle against some regular enemies could be over fast, a lot of the fight scenes against the Guardians of Othkurik go on and on.

If you don't quite believe me, then here's the fight against the third Guardian in its entirety:

Spoiler Alert!


Additionally the story features a large amount of onomatopoeia—you know the shings and clangs and bangs that I continue to use to this day for some reason. I don't know why, it always feels so amateurish in retrospect. Speaking of awkward and clumsy in retrospect, the story also features spelled-out heavy accents for Scottish, Transylvanian, and, uh, Asian characters. Well it was a good career but it's over now.

Brilliant thing to put in the "racist elves bad" story, past-TAF

Anyway, stuff happens throughout. We learn that Othkurik has his own jewel, a red one. He steals a blue one and is after Brandis for his green gemstone. A bad thing'll happen if all three macguffins are assembled. Brandis kills a bunch of Guardians. He makes allies out of other kingdoms so the country can unite against Othkurik. Sonlen dies. Master Woo dies. Ulginesh dies. Okay, that's 160 pages done right there.

Let's just skip to the end and the patented twist that inevitably appears in every TAF story. Having united Ensterek against Othkurik, Brandis and Sharwin go in to finish him off. However it turns out that everything that had happened all throughout the story was set up by Othkurik and his #1 Guardian Pelloth from the get-go: they knew that Brandis' jewel had the ability to absorb power from those he killed, and so they deliberately had him go around killing Guardians to steal their strength. It turns out that Sharwin was a plant by Othkurik to make sure that Brandis would accomplish this. In one scene it is explained why our protagonist is so overpowered and why the female lead was so inexplicably interested in accompanying him from the beginning. She even made sure he always landed the finishing blow on each enemy. You see, my earlier complaints were a falsehood because it was a plot point all along! Take that, reader!


Brandis is forced to fight Sharwin. Pelloth kills her and steals the green jewel. He gives it to Othkurik who combines the three gems in order to gain ultimate power. Brandis manages to survive, brought back by the remaining cast of other rotating characters and going back in. He kills the Emperor Shade and Pelloth after a century-long fight scene and follows it up by catching up to Othkurik and killing him too despite the half-elf no longer having his power-up macguffin. How he was able to win despite Othkurik having all the power? Well it was either the power of friendship or the influence of a malevolent lovecraftian entity that will be explained in Thunderstorm II. Not that I'll ever finish that: even though it's way better than this story you'd still have to soldier through the first in order to understand the second so not much point there.

I should say there's some theming at work in this story which is worth pointing out: as the theme is the only thing worth talking about in a story, with everything else being either irrelevant or nitpicking (as I learned from my favorite film The Last Jedi). There are a lot of ideas of purpose and contentment at play, especially with Brandis being a nobody trying to find his place in the world and contrasted with Othkurik being so crushed and poisoned with the expectations his upbringing gave him, content with nothing less than absolute rule and power when he already has entire armies that love him and eight Guardians swearing undying loyalty to him—all of which he sacrifices for the sake of some imaginary birthright he feels that he's owed. He is shown to be significantly weaker than his own Guardians and a strangely easy boss for being the main villain, clearly indicating an inferiority complex that a random peasant like Brandis—content with so little—can't even comprehend. The half-elf meanwhile is just trying to find somewhere where he belongs, first being rejected by Sonlen, then losing it with his father's death, then losing it again at Sharwin's betrayal and death... before finally finding it among the random folk he's helped along the way. For all its flaws the final lines of the story do still get to me (spoilers I guess):

Quote:
Othkurik the black dragon… was dead.

Brandis slowly lowered his bow and breathed a sigh of relief. He slumped down to his knees. The wind picked back up, blowing around harshly and kicking up frost from the bloodstained ground into the thin air.

I did it, the half-elf thought, I did what I set out to do. I feel like a great weight has been lifted from me. But… what do I do now? Now that Othkurik is gone, I almost feel like a little part of myself died with him. What purpose do I serve now?

He looked out at the setting sun, rising to his feet and beginning to stride down the mountain, trekking through the snow and the wreckage. It made for some devastating yet beautiful scenery, the half-elf carefully staggering his way down the mountain. After some time, he heard a familiar voice.

“Brandis!” It was Chardris. The elf limped into view, his companions right behind him.

They all looked well enough from the crash (well, they all survived it, anyway—that’s good enough). Brandis hobbled over to them, as relieved to see them as they were to see him.

“I coulda sworn you had died!” Arkmer looked like he was talking to a ghost.

“Thank goodness it’s over…” Jorhdawn sighed, “All this and I’m still an apprentice. I guess I have a long way to go…”

“Eh, this is nothing.” Emiroon assured her.

“It is over, right, Brandis?” Chardris gave the half-elf a concerned glance.

“It is…” Brandis confirmed, “We did it.”

“So Othkurik finally kicks the bucket.” Arkmer kicked at the snow, “Took long enough, I’d say. Ulginesh would be proud.”

“Indeed.” Chardris agreed, “It’s a huge relief to know that it’s finally over and done with.”

The elf turned and began to lead the way downward, heading towards the slopes at the foot of the mountain and onward. Brandis watched the group of elves go, staring at the ground and biting his lip.

“Still,” He mused, “What do we do now?”

Chardris and the others stopped and faced him.

“What do you mean?” Chardris asked, “Let’s go home.”

“You coming, man?” Arkmer pestered, waving the half-elf over. Brandis’ eyes widened, and he stood there staring at them all, looking rather idiotic.

“Oh, right.” Brandis looked down at his dagger, “Yes, let’s go home.”

He followed the elves down, beginning the long trek back to Sohenberg.
So even without the jewel that supposedly made him special, even without those he'd placed everything on and lost, he still finds a place where he can belong. It is kind of beautiful, in a way...


The blow-by-blow fight scene against Pelloth is unironically ten pages long. 4. I can't really recommend checking this one out as the length isn't exactly equal to the reward of having read it. Wars have genuinely been fought and won in a shorter time than it'd take to finish this. So there's not much reason for you to do so other than bragging rights. And while I adore bragging rights I wouldn't voluntarily walk alone through the Sahara desert while wearing shoes full of broken glass just so I could say I did it.

Take a shot every time Emirroon is misspelled as Emiroon, but only if you're okay with not waking up again once you pass out. Next!



#21: Zombies - The End by BassistofDoom

BassistofDoom brings us a short story about an undead apocalypse in America, and while it may on the surface seem like a basic zombie story I believe it to in actuality be a satirical indictment of the Crownsville police department.

Our hero is officer Dante Matthews from Crownsville, New Joysie. He encounters a zombie out of his front door and is killed by it, only for the opening scene to be a dream.


As luck would have it the zombie apocalypse actually occurs later that day. Dante Matthews encounters a man at a car wreck who resembles the zombie from his dream:

Quote:
Suddenly, he saw something that made him step back in shock.
He stared into the man’s eyes and saw the look that made memories of his dream come rushing back to him. The man had the same yellowish eyes and distant look that the monster that attacked him had. This was weird.
Despite this he knowingly leaves the scene to head to another call by his coworker Derek Green. He calls officer Michael Saunders to take charge but of course in the time between him leaving and Michael Saunders arriving the zombie has killed the other bystander of the accident.


DEAD CIVILIANS THANKS TO OUR HEROES: 1

Meanwhile officer Derek Green has been chasing after an apparent killer named Gregory Butler (yes, we are going to refer to the characters by their full name every single time). In reality Gregory Butler only murdered zombies, knowing what's going on already. But the officers are slow to catch up:

Quote:
Derek watched the figure stumble closer and closer, not realizing what was going on and that there was a man who seemed like he intended to harm him. “You will see,” Butler said, “That I am not a psychopath. I know what is going on, and I will show you what that thing is.” Butler used his gun to point at the person in the distance. Big mistake. Both Derek and Dante seized the opportunity. Derek ducked and grabbed a branch on the ground before rolling around to Butler’s side and smashing him in the back with it. Dante stepped out from behind the tree, with his gun trained on Butler, intending to shoot, but after seeing Derek incapacitate him he held his fire. Butler looked up at both of them with malice and a cold stare. “Ok buddy let’s go. You’re going away for a long time.”

“No!” shouted Butler. “He is the one you seek, not me!” He pointed his finger at the man moving towards them, not realizing how close he had gotten. The man bit down on Butler’s hand, ripping off two fingers. Butler screamed and clutched his blood drenched hand, while the thing devoured his fingers with blood dribbling down its chin. “What the-“ Dante and Derek both stepped back and Dante fixed his gun on the man.

DEAD CIVILIANS THANKS TO OUR HEROES: 2

The three cops head back to their base, finding everyone else to be dead. They are joined by a hardcore survivalist and ex-marine named Marcus.


No, not that one!


That's more like it. This dude knows what's up. He's got an assault rifle and a brass-knuckle knife. This ain't your dad's Marcus. He's been waitin' for a situation like this. They hop into Marcus' pickup truck and begin their journey:

Quote:
“Hey rook, bet you can’t get a kill shot on that zombie there,” said Derek, pointing at a stumbling zombie in the distance. “You’re on,” replied Saunders, smiling for the first time in too long.
It's been like three hours since the outbreak.

Quote:
He aimed a pistol and fired just as the truck took a sharp turn. However, the zombie jerked back and fell, lying motionless on the ground. “Ohhhh!” yelled Saunders and Derek, high-fiving each other. Marcus, meanwhile, hit a zombie that was on a curb to send it flying over the top of the truck and almost into Derek and Saunders
Bruh what the hell is wrong with these people.

I guess now is a good time to discuss this sort of thing. As an... """expert""" on zombie writing there's things to balance out when writing for the apocalypse. The first quote concerns what happens when you open on the outbreak and go from there. You don't jump to full apocalypse right away, after all. So it's weird saying stuff like "smiling for the first time in too long..." when it's been less than a day. The Walking Dead cleverly avoids this by having the main character be in a coma for the first few... whatevers of the outbreak. Then they get their cake and eat it too by having a fish-out-of-water protagonist despite the zombies being around for some time.

The second issue is how to handle tone in this kind of story; it was always something I was grappling with when writing TMHW, 'cause you don't want it to be... too miserable. As a lone editor and registered sociopath I wasn't sure how effective my balancing efforts would be, just having to eyeball it based on what seemed about right to my own view. After all, lightening the tone poorly can make your characters seem psychopathic, which for this story I'm just gonna roll with because it makes it more fun that way. It's definitely more lighthearted in tone than other zombie stuff I've read, intentionally or not.

Anyway they all head to a school to barricade themselves. Along the way they meet another civilian: an attorney named Blake Harper, much to everyone's annoyance.

Quote:
The man stuck his hand through the window awkwardly and tried to shake his hand. “Blake Harper, attorney. Thank you so much for stopping.” Saunders shared some of Marcus’s anger. He, Dante, Derek, and Marcus were all calm, in control, fit, and experienced with firearms. This guy was going to drag them down.
These officers are irked that they have to protect a civilian in a time of crisis.

They make it to the school and stop to make sure it's safe, expecting about 20 minutes to do so, which is weird because I thought it took at least 80 minutes for cops to enter a school [note: this joke is not funny]. We also get a vivid scene of all the dead teachers and schoolchildren piled up inside.


Uh, so after a second pointless dream sequence with Dante Matthews the group decides to find a radio so they can get up to speed on what's goin' on. They head to a mall where they can find such a device at Best Buy and LL Bean and other wonderful stores near you. Plus they also find a great Hummer to leave with, since it's a solid vehicle with great design and mileage.


Blake Harper is infected during this visit, somehow having caught the virus despite Marcus and Michael Saunders being there to keep an eye on him. They take no responsibility for his infection. Everyone else escapes.

DEAD CIVILIANS THANKS TO OUR HEROES: 3

The radio tells them to head from New Joisey to Vermont so they depart. Along the way, sadly, tragically, Derek Green is bitten by a zombie. Knowing he's about to kick the bucket, he decides to take down any surrounding undead with him in a final act of bravery:

Quote:
Dante, Saunders, and Marcus watched Derek stroll down the parking lot to the truck while 20-30 zombies slowly trudged after him. He did have a zombie fan club, thought Dante, smiling for a moment in spite of his sadness. Finally, Derek turned and seemed to give a short speech to the zombies before pulling out his pistol and firing a shot into the cargo section of the truck which resounded and seemed to last forever. However, the truck did not explode. “You shot the apple truck Derek!” yelled Dante through the window. “Oh right, thanks!” yelled Derek back. He ran to the other truck and waited for the zombies to follow. Then, Officer Derek Green truly did go out with a bang as the oil truck erupted in a fiery blast which obliterated every zombie in the area.
...+1 Points for that. A clever use of a comic reversal for the comic relief character of the bunch to go out on. This is good. It somehow manages to make one of our... meh... characters more interesting and likable in retrospect, which is impressive.

The rest of the story isn't much to write home about: they go through New York, kill some hostile raiders, and rescue some guy on their way before reaching the safe zone. Amazingly the civilian they save survives to the safe area and the four final survivors can live in peace without a need for their weapons any longer:

Quote:
Dante, Marcus, Russell, and Saunders all walked out of the welcome center towards the car that would bring them to safety for the first time in what seemed like years, though it had only been a couple weeks.
...Wait, weeks?! They were in Crownsville for no more than two days! How long does it take to drive from NJ to Vermont?

6 It's a simple charming story that gets the zombie job done. It doesn't have a lot going on otherwise, other than some fun "what the hell is wrong with our characters?" moments. There's a part where they find the radio really quick so they spend the rest of their time riding an inflatable raft down the mall's up-escalator while trading high-fives. And they talk about how they wish they had some babes to repopulate the planet with even though it's only been two days. It's, it's, it's a ride. Well, at least they managed to save one civilian.


I will say it is a fun, fast read. Check it out if you are interested, though you may have trouble finding it since it's not anywhere on these forums. Seriously, this story has been in the General section of this site instead of the Fan Fiction threads for eleven years now. Can't someone move it?

Where am I? This episode's a disaster.

~TAF, wondering if PK will earn our first 9 or 10, or our first 1 or 2

TAF was the Storyteller...
in THE ENEMY'S LAST RETREAT


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Old June 16th, 2022, 02:01 PM
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He should definitely get that. (#4)
 
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Re: Drunkenly Reviewing Every Low-Rated & Unranked Fiction h

Unfortunately, I made the rule long ago that an author can't rate their own fiction. The ratings are always too biased in one direction or the other, and it would be unfair to start counting them now.

~TGRF, looking forward to PK.

Go to my website to read my fan fiction!

Writing Status: Writing...
Spoiler Alert!

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Old June 17th, 2022, 05:10 PM
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Re: Drunkenly Reviewing Every Low-Rated & Unranked Fiction h

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Grim Reaper's Friend
Unfortunately, I made the rule long ago that an author can't rate their own fiction. The ratings are always too biased in one direction or the other, and it would be unfair to start counting them now.

~TGRF, looking forward to PK.
Hmm, well if someone else has totally read it and happens to agree with all my points and also gives it a 4, they may receive some +rep for no reason whatsoever.

~TAF, who can't have his story be literally the only unranked fiction on here once he's done

TAF was the Storyteller...
in THE ENEMY'S LAST RETREAT

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Old July 1st, 2022, 06:41 AM
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The P_K episode

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAverageFan
And while I adore bragging rights I wouldn't voluntarily walk alone through the Sahara desert while wearing shoes full of broken glass just so I could say I did it.
...


Hello everyone, and welcome back to Drunkenly Reviewing Every Low-Ranking and Unrated Fiction Here, where we dig up and critically analyze your first-draft cringy work from a decade ago when you were in high school. I am finally back and ready for our last episode. It took a long time but this should put the lid on every unranked fiction on the site (except for Thunderstorm and anything not listed on the Fan Fiction section of the Book of Valhalla Fan Art and Fiction). So without further ado let's give our final two rankings to the @Pumpkin_King , who I will Mention because screw it, he's active enough. Also congrats on the SoV inductee!


#22: The Rise And Fall Of The Pumpkin King by Pumpkin_King

So before we could do Having a Marvelous Time by P_K I had to first read this story since it ties into the other one. TRAFOTPK is only 3 thread pages long compared to Marvelous Time's 22, but it doesn't have hardly any comments on it so it's fairly lengthy in its own right, especially at the end where the final chapters are done in Size 1 font for no reason (and if you don't think you can fit a ton of text into a Heroscapers thread page then I dare you to read the opening to Scorp's The Orphanage )

The premise of the story is fairy straightforward: Utgar summons The Pumpkin King in order to better control and coordinate his undead, and while it works The Pumpkin King simply steals all the undead and carves out his own kingdom in Valhalla. Now all the Generals are trying to destroy the newcomer and his pumpkin ghouls.

For reference here is the Pumpkin King; I'm gonna give you a visual to go off of immediately rather than halfway through the story:


The big feet make him look like a Megaman boss to me


Now before I wrote this review, for no reason at all, I decided to rewatch The Nightmare Before Christmas for the first time in like a decade. Just to see how it holds up. It's a pretty damn good movie, probably because Tim Burton didn't direct it. Though I'm not sure what the moral of the story is, stay in your own lane maybe? I dunno, I thought it might shed more light on this story (for no reason at all) but they seem mostly unrelated. Jack Skellington might be the pumpkin king, but The Pumpkin King is not Jack Skellington, kind of like squares and rectangles. And he's also not the Heroscaper Pumpkin_King, so for the sake of simplicity for the rest of this blog anytime I say The Pumpkin King, I'm talking about the character in the story. And anytime I say it without The prefix and with the underscore I'm talking about the Heroscaper. Like with Suicide Squad and The Suicide Squad being two different movies.


Okay, so sadly The Pumpkin King ranks rather low on TAF's OC-Cringe-o-Meter, as seen below:


But that doesn't mean the story can't be a good read. Now, the Pumpkin King is a godlike entity able to raise his own fortress and summon his own army, though he uses his abilities to troll the other Valkyrie more than anything (kind of like Q from TNG). He summons all his kin, like his nephew Sir Christopher, and his friends Sir Aaron and Sir Zachary and Sir Joshua and Lady Kaitlyn and Sir Daniel and Lady Amanda and Sir Austin and Sir Ethan and Sir Gregory. And I'm probably forgetting one... I'm forgetting Lady Mariah, I had to check. I forgot her. I'm sorry.

I'm not going to quiz you on remembering all these other characters because there's way too many of them and I can't keep track of them all myself. I think they may be based on Custom units made by P_K but if that's true I can't find any evidence of it on any of his custom threads.

While The Pumpkin King is doing all his raising and recruiting we at the same time see a Jandarian soldier named Lt. Michaels survive a fatal wound due to the healing powers of a good Shade named Margrett. The frequency of cutting back to Margrett initially made me suspect that she would be the one to ultimately defeat The Pumpkin King somehow, but this does not happen. Instead when he shows up to Jandar he sees her and takes her with him back to his castle. She instead serves as the audience's outside perspective on the charismatic yet mysterious personage of The Pumpkin King. Expectations subverted.


Now only losers like myself every single post prior to this one review something by just summarizing what happens in the story and calling it a day, so I will make the rest of this brief: the remainder of the story is basically the other Valkyrie attacking The Pumpkin King's castle or coming up with some plan to destroy him, being foiled by his super-cool OC units, and then lather rinse repeat the next time. There are some shake-ups and alliances here or there but I won't go into detail or spoil anything since this one is pretty good and you should just read it yourself.

I will say that the ending battle makes up about half the story so it does really drag after awhile with one army attacking after another. Even though the action is consistently good (there's a scene where Margrett has to get from point A to point B and so she rides with Sir Ethan on a motorcycle through a battlefield while at the same time fighting Tornak on his raptor which is a pretty awesome), too much of it really makes the final act feel slow. For instance if that set piece I just described sounds a bit too interesting for you there's a part where Drake fights Cyprien so don't worry.

Additionally The Pumpkin King's people—the ghouls—always seem to easily triumph over anything the existing Valkyrie throw at them, so I was hardly on the edge of my seat wondering who would win any given engagement. There's several players on the board against The Pumpkin King, but only the secret alliance of Einar and Vydar really seemed to have a chance to me, and as such their segments held my attention the most. But like Ceasfire this is a story with a lot of different competing factions constantly plotting against each other so it does get by.

The real main attraction to the story was The Pumpkin King himself (perhaps not surprising given the title), who I found to be a really interesting character. He is typically aloof and witty as one might expect from a discordant godlike being whose entire existence revolves around pumpkin-memorabilia, but once every six chapters he can use his Ult to suddenly become all serious on us. We learn that before he became The Pumpkin King he was just some guy, and learning of his pumpkin heritage and having to take on the mantle destroyed his normal life and relationships, including that with his wife and child. How that relates to him having a pumpkin-man nephew I'm not sure, but it is interesting having his schtick—which he does excel at—kind of also being his façade. He didn't go into life knowing that he was The Pumpkin King, and while he accepts that role it did also in a way ruin who he was. All he really wants now is for his new family of ghouls to have a home of their own, and perhaps for himself a chance to make things right with his original family.


There is a lot of worldbuilding and lore put in to the history of the Pumpkin Kings, and while we're often only given glances it's just enough to get a feel of solid storytelling without ever actually pulling us out of Valhalla. It also tells us just enough about The Pumpkin King without compromising his mysteriousness or making us feel like Pumpkin_King is using ambiguity as a crutch and doesn't actually have any answers. For example we get a lot of the history and strained relationship between The Pumpkin King and his nephew Sir Christopher (the only other ghoul with significant characterization) without ever needing a flashback or extended exposition to show it. They say every character needs a secret and The Pumpkin King is a good figure to examine if you feel like learning more about writing that kind of way.

Overall The Rise and Fall of The Pumpkin King gets a 7 from me. It suffers greatly from a long, long climax, but it does have some good characters (even if it has a few too many of them). And unfortunately the lengthy battles generally feature the less-interesting members of the Pumpkin family, so its pros don't quite override its cons. I do think it's worth reading for The Pumpkin King himself, and overall I'm glad I read it and I'm glad P_K finished it despite the lack of comments throughout.

My only question to P_K is why there was randomly a robotic velociraptor named Leviathan that I never mentioned introduced out of nowhere and then demolished just as quickly. Next!



#23: Having a Marvelous Time by Pumpkin_King

We've saved the longest story on here for last. 22 Thread pages long, but worth the read I'd say. In case the pun of the title was not immediately apparent, this is a story regarding the Marvel Heroscape wave, and one of many attempts to tie the Marvel characters into Heroscape proper. In fact it's actually a sequel to another P_K story HULK SMASH VYDAR, which I didn't notice until now, so I guess we'd better review that too in order to get the full picture:


#24: HULK SMASH VYDAR by Pumpkin_King

The Hulk smashes some Soulborgs. 7


#23: Having a Marvelous Time by Pumpkin_King

Okay, now that we're all caught up, I can begin. The premise is still simple: all the Marvelscape characters have been transported to Valhalla for some reason, and now they all flock to their respective Generals. Spider-Man ends up in Ullar territory, Cap with Jandar, Iron Man with Vydar, the Silver Surfer with Einar, and most of the bad guys with Utgar. The Hulk, as established in HULK SMASH VYDAR, is just out and about smashing without the need for alliances.

Now I should say—to establish clout—that I am what you might call a "normie" in regards to what Marvel lore might be in 2007, one year before the movies I am familiar with started coming out. The only comics I've read to completion are Watchmen and 52, which while good are both DC properties, not Marvel. Beyond that I am dumb and blind. In fact I've decided to make a chart to show my positioning on this matter, based on the listed potential criteria. See where you place!

TAF'S WHAT KIND OF PATHETIC LOSER ARE YOU? GRAPH

Luckily P_K doesn't weigh the story down too much with extraneous Marvel comics lore, save for an alternate timeline Tony Stark and the Gray Hulk. Nothing one couldn't Google or just accept as a thing that can happen. So do not worry if you are not in the know.

Anyway, I won't go into detail with all the plots other than to say that stuff happens. It's not the most compelling plot nor does it feature a great deal of prose or superb characterization, but I do still enjoy it quite a bit and that's because this is essentially a giant crossover special, and P_K treats it like a good crossover should by having fun interactions between the Marvel characters and the Heroscape ones. All a crossover really needs is good character moments and fan service. Everything else is kind of irrelevant. As long as the people from the different franchises interact, the audience will lap it up and clap like the monkeys they are. Just look at the fan reaction to any Smash Bros trailer.

P_K does this by keeping his Marvel characters separate and having them interact with their Heroscape environment. Captain America teams up with Sgt. Drake, Iron Man ends up working together with Laglor tinkering with Vydar's machines, Dr. Doom gets an Orc named Mehnak and other Utgar minions to build a colossal machine. And the Silver Surfer meets Kato Katsuro and learns to become a freaking samurai. And Spider-Man is there, doing his patented spider-quips the whole way through.


Sounds good so far, but why is it so long? I guess that leads me to the main plot, which we get to about halfway through. The Alliance knows about the Hulk and they need an empath to calm him down. That's where the events of Rise and Fall of The Pumpkin King come in, as Margrett from the last story is still around and serves as the empath in question. She actually married Lt. Michaels, the soldier who I mentioned one whole time and now she is somehow pregnant. If you asked me where I thought her story would go after reading TRAFOTPK, getting knocked up and meeting Spider-Man isn't what I would guess. How Michaels got The Drop into her ectoplasm isn't ever made clear, so everyone shrugs it off as it never becomes impotent.


Anyway the Hulk is located in the ruins of The Pumpkin King's abandoned fortress, and one of the wellspring amulets is there as well, so a team is assembled to go out there, calm Banner, and get the amulet before Utgar and Doom do. For this mission Jandar for some reason needs to summon an alternate universe Tony Stark (Anthony Stark here), who in his timeline was a WWII prisoner to the Germans building some kind of steampunk Nazi superweapon.

Jandar takes it to use as an armored transport for some reason, and the gang give the machine a Cap-approved red white an' blue repaint overtop the swastika-branded device. This scene gives a nice visual of taking something evil and turning it around to do some good in this world, but also as a metaphor for the horrors of WWII Nazi weapons and criminal scientists swept under the rug and given an American repaint in order to be used in the nuclear arms race immediately following against the Soviet Union... uh... look, it's Spider-Man!

The point is that Anthony Stark gets to redeem himself.


Anyway they go and they do the thing, and everyone meets up in the castle ruins for a climatic battle. This takes us to the ending, and I'm gonna put it in spoilers in case you want to read the story, because I do recommend reading it but at the same time I have some thoughts about its conclusion:

Spoiler Alert!


It is kind of unfortunate when a review like this goes "praise, praise, praise, I have things to say about the ending". It's the worst thing to mess up. Oh well


8. I was really feeling a 9 throughout most of this one but it drags for a bit in the latter half before having an extremely abrupt climax that renders most of the story meaningless. Nothing our characters did mattered. That being said, I don't think you could find a better Marvelscape story on this site. The crossover interactions are pretty great, especially the Tony/Laglor and Surfer/Samurai stuff. Also this is a good story for Dr. Doom if you aren't too familiar with why he is so great. I definitely recommend checking it out.

Now maybe I could do my part and give this an 8.5 because it's the best Marvelscape fic on here, but I don't do decimals. So here's my challenge to you readers out there: check out this story yourself, and if you like it maybe you can give it a higher rating and together we can boost it closer to the 9 it probably deserves. Because it is a damn shame my travels never ended up yielding a 9 or 10 (or 1 or 2) on this thread. And also somebody give Thunderstorm a 4 so my work here can be complete.

Take a shot every time the same word is used twice in one sentence, and good night. Thanks for taking this journey with me, guys, and until next time...


~TAF

TAF was the Storyteller...
in THE ENEMY'S LAST RETREAT


Last edited by TheAverageFan; July 1st, 2022 at 07:42 AM.
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Old July 8th, 2022, 03:58 AM
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The Bonus Episode

Hello everyone, and welcome back again to Drunkenly Reviewing Every Single Low-Rated and Unranked Fiction Here. You may have thought we were done, because everything was finally rated, but I decided—for no reason at all—to review two last fictions even though they were originally too high-rated for me to tackle. But here they are nonetheless.


Anyway, without further ado, let's take a look at our final two fics:


#24: All Slaves Are Equal by Knight_of_Scape

KoS's only fic on the site is All Slaves Are Equal, also known as A Tale of the Vipers. I was excited to read this because it was highly rated, and also possibly promised a return to form for the Venocs after all the killing-vipers porn Johnny139 gave us.


The premise of the story is simple: the Primadons and the Marro are in a constant state of warfare on their home planet. Both races realize that the only way to break the deadlock is to use the Vipers. We follow the Marro's plan to create viper-Marro hybrids, as our lead Re-Nar-Sa tries Marro serum on a number or animals: including a squirrel (which are apparently also native to Marr), the first-ever Marrden Hounds, and his captive Primadon assistant. Once his assistant dies RNS decides to find a new one, holding a series of rigorous trials to find a cunning Marro to help his experiments. And wouldn't you know it, the most promising candidate is a young warrior named Ne-Gok...

The next few chapters detail the various tests Ne-Gok goes through. While the opening couple entries were written in a very matter-of-fact distant-narration tone this time things are a bit more from the protagonist's point-of-view. Also if you're wondering why the font has changed, if the story can change style for no reason at random intervals then I don't see why my review should be any different.

The first two tests are nothing special, but the third seriously shakes things up in a meta way by having it occur in a cave between the remaining 22 Marro in what Re-Nar-Sa calls THE CURSE OF RE-NAR-SA. Five of the 22 have been Mindshackled and now Ne-Gok and the others must figure out which ones are puppets or not. I'm not sure which is stranger to me, that Ne-Gok-Sa participating in this game is actually a Warrior or that CoN games used to regularly get twenty-two people :\

Anyhow, Ne-Gok passes this test by talking continuously until everyone else literally falls asleep (which is a valid tried-and-true CoN strategy). Then he kills them all. So he becomes RNS's student and begins his studying Lastly we learn of a third Marro: Grek-Nor, who has chosen the pacifist route and is trying to get the Marro to rebel against their violent overlords.

The rest of the story is focused on Grek-Nor, his innate empathy and how he spreads it by teaching the other Marro in his squad. Although they are violent and stupid, he is patient and notices that they all have their own innate humanity which has simply been stamped out over so much time in the Marro war machine. Grek-Nor decides to draw this out of them and teach them morality through storytelling, starting with the story of the five dividers named Be-Zoo.

Now I've actually read this story before (somehow, somewhere), and if it were its own short fiction I'd unironically give it a 10, so here it is in its entirety below:

Spoiler Alert!


The Marro begin to learn, and Grek-Nor begins to suspect that all of them are just as intelligent as he or Ne-Gok are, and that only fear and conditioning has rendered them they way they were before. He is ready to begin breaking that mold.

Anyway, the story abruptly ends so we don't get to see the rest of it or what might've come of this Marro rebellion, or of Ne-Gok's studies, or of Re-Nar-Sa's experiments. Or whatever else I might've forgotten.


I'm waffling between a 6 and a 7 on this one. It has "each chapter written in a week and chronicling whatever I came up with that week" style I always enjoy, even if it means lots of hanging plot points that never end up going anywhere. It also has a lot of odd narrative choices and out-of-place humor, like the aforementioned squirrels and the random CoN game. And there's a Marro who's just named Bill

But it does have good ideas and good theming. The title was in my mind throughout the story, how the Marro culture abuses its own people to the point where they don't even know any better. All the bits with Grek-Nor were really good in diving into this society and how one can break it. It can get pretty profound at times. I'll give you an example:

Quote:
Grek-Nor’s attempts to teach his small band about the truth of the marro were met with little success. Most of them were capable of only the most basic kinds of speech, and one could not speak at all. Grek-Nor considered it an extraordinary triumph when he was able to hear three words strung together. Grek-Nor was somewhat prepared for this ignorance. But he found himself ill equipped to fix it. As he labored in vain, he began to wonder if it was possible to teach a marro. And then, as he lay down to sleep one night, he had an insight.

As he laid his head down to rest, he glanced over at the stinger who lay near him, whose name he had been unable to learn. This stinger was Grek-Nor’s most frustrating pupil, and he was quickly becoming convinced that he was too firmly stuck in the marro’s ways to ever learn what Grek-Nor was trying to teach. But as he watched that night, Grek-Nor saw something odd.

The stinger lay curled up in a small ball, an unusual sleeping position for a marro. And on his cheek he saw something reflecting the moonlight faintly, like a small drop of water. It was something he had seen when he and Ne-Gok had spied upon the settlements of the primadons. But it was not something Grek-Nor had thought marro were capable of producing. Somehow, this divider was crying in his sleep. Uneasy thoughts ran through Grek-Nor’s mind that night.

I have been chastising these marro for taking too long to learn what I am trying to teach them, but in reality, I am the slow learner here. Grek-Nor thought to himself. I should have realized that what these marro needed was not information. They have been denied that, but they are not ready for that. They need something else, something more fundamental. They need that for which I have longed. They need someone to care. I have been viewing them as tools. I have been viewing them as animals. I have been viewing them as nobodies who I may be able to transform into somebodies. I have been as bad as the hivelords. These are marro, just like me. They need compassion and love, not facts to learn. How can one learn if one is not cared for? What would I have done without Ne-Gok? I would never have survived. These marro have never known anyone who cared for them. They have never been given a reason to think. But it is more than that. They have been given a reason not to think. What kind of painful thoughts would they have if they were able to realize their wretched state? In some ways, they may feel more strongly than I. Perhaps the marro have become hard because softness is too painful to bear.

It matters not. I know now that the way to teach a marro morals is to show him a moral life. The way to produce love instead of hate is not by discussion, but by example. I have not been setting standards high enough for myself. I have learned another lesson. I hope I will be able to apply it.


A conclusion to his dilemma reached, Grek-Nor lay down more comfortably, and at last, he was able to sleep.
Even though the Stinger changes into a Divider mid-paragraph, it does still leave an impact on me as a reader.

My real problem, as always, is that I'm not sure where this story would've gone. A confrontation between Grek-Nor and Ne-Gok-Sa maybe? Ne-Gok-Sa betraying and overthrowing his master perhaps? But where in the hell were the Vipers going to fit in? It's just unsatisfying when a story that grips you just abruptly halts without you knowing where it'd go, very much like someone starting to make an interesting point about something and then just never

I know you can hear me, KoS! It's time for the ten-years-after-the-fact reboot every franchise gets when the nostalgia is at its peak! It's time to revamp this story and use it to win the latest prompt in the fan-fic competition!


#25: Tales of Eslo by Tornado

This story is a collection of all the adventures of Tornado's character Elmo Rudkey (pictured below):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tornado
A trapper from the swamps of Michigan Territory. Cursed to carry a demon infused double barreled flintlock pistol. He can not die, for long, his companions are not so lucky.
Intriguing enough elevator pitch. It seems like the kind of character who could have tons and tons of wildly different adventures in Valhalla. Let's begin:


Story 1: Eslo accompanies Eldgrim through the Bleakewoode forest in search of missing troops. We reflect on much of Eslo's lengthy past and origins in Valhalla, before a new Marro monster kills Eldgrim and chases Eslo. I appreciate the detail that Eslo is running faster than ever after Eldgrim has perished. Though it really makes me wonder if Eldgrim has ever survived a Heroscape story... or a Heroscape game for that matter

The monster—called a Kisserflee (which is pretty unique as Tornado's thread is literally the only thing that came up when I Googled this)—tears Eslo in half. But he can't die so with his one arm he finishes it off before passing out. The first half made me suspect OC cringe but it gets pretty grisly in an awesome way so we're off to a good start

Story 2: Once again random font change. This time we follow a death-priest named Spauge looking for Eslo. I assume this is a prequel as it involves a lot of the lore briefly mentioned in the previous story, namely of a war against druids. Which is odd because as a Michigan trapper I assumed Eslo was from Earth, but this gives more fantastical The Gunslinger vibes.

Anyway Spauge interrogates some people at a bar for information on Eslo. We don't get much more beyond that, but for a story where effectively nothing happens it is strangely well-written and tense, with a lot of personality put into these random tavern people. Even if the suthern accents git a lil' heavy at th' bist o' times. Is still prolly th' greatest o' the lot o' these, dispite not havin' Eslo in it at-tall.



Story 3: Eslo is fighting a demon for information on a method to end his curse when some barbarians intervene. It's in first-person now. They, uh, fight a bunch of demons. This one's a lot harder to follow for some reason, even though it's only like a page long. I'll just give you a sample of one of its better instances of prose and we'll call it a day, ok?

Quote:
My flask is quickly replaced by my cursed double barreled flintlock. Where words failed perhaps pain would succeed. Pulling the trigger releases midnight fire veined with crimson. The evil thing is fast and is merely grazed in the leg. Putrid yellow smoke rolls from charred ruby scales.
Story 4: A boy's family is mostly killed through one event or another, forcing his father to agree to hire some necromancers and their animated scarecrows to help protect the farm. Despite this success the boy hates and distrusts the scarecrows and the necromancer who remains to oversee them. Then Eslo shows up and kills the man and all the scarecrows. It's remarkably short for all the story it gets across, though I do have to say that it's odd that Tornado warns us that Story 3 and 5 are PG-13 when this one has lines like these:

Quote:
I had been keeping a keen watch whilst I worked on repairing a cracked section in the old wooden fence where Sapphire’s broken body had been dragged through by that devil in the grass, unmistakable even now, two days latter, its gory path defined by a fine burgundy coating that dappled the tough savannah grass, she had been a good sister, one sorely missed. She had been disemboweled and dragged off wailing.

Quote:
He was preaching about laws and chaos when with a thunderous double boom his head exploded in ebony flames, covering me in his steaming remains. Wiping Vik's brains from my eyes I looked in the direction of the sound and saw a dusty human male climbing over the nearby fence. Dressed unlike any other I had seen he carried a strange smoking wand. "Thank you wizard, I owe you greatly", I called to him still wiping the gore from my face.
(Actually I find this one kinda funny)

This one's pretty damn good too.

Story 5: This is the original version of story 1 apparently, minus the Valhalla bits. Eslo is hunting some more of those nasty druids and their animals. More great prose-killing:

Quote:
The last of the animals swarm in. Eslo torches them all without mercy until a drop croc stampedes in and shatters his left leg below the knee with one terrible bite.
Through stars of pain and descending blackness he struggles to bring the flintlock around, resting both barrels on the croc's skull. Dark fire fills the space where a head once existed.
Anyway after the druid he finds the witch who first cursed him and the fight against the Kisserflee is recreated. After it's destroyed the witch escapes and Eslo lets out a Vader-esque Nooooooooo! The end.



Eslo gets rid of a headache by blowing his brains out, 8. You could argue that Eslo is a generic character but his enigmatic, immortal, drifter cowboy archetype is perfect to build stories around with the interest being everything and everyone he interacts with for each individual entry. And that worked for all of these stories (except #3). It's also really well written, save for random tense changes or lack of paragraph breaks during dialogue. The amount of story Tornado can fit into a few short paragraphs is impressive, as is his occasional use of really creative prose and descriptions.

I do hafta say though that it's strange—given the tons of backstory that always seem present for these characters—that there's no big background story for Eslo anywhere that I'm aware of. Or that there's not more than 4 entries in this collection (counting 1 and 5 as the same). I'd assume that somewhere out there lies some massive tome chronicling his entire story. Surely...?

Take a shot every time Tornado changes from past to present tense or vise versa.



Okay, now we're done for realsies. So congratulations to Tornado for the tiny boost to his story's rating, and condolences to KoS for the miniscule drop in his tale's score. Boy, we're really doing some damage around here. Nothing will ever be the same on this site again.

Whatever everypony pray for me that one day I'll be able to drink booze again, as this thread originally promised *sigh*


~TAF

TAF was the Storyteller...
in THE ENEMY'S LAST RETREAT

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Old July 8th, 2022, 06:48 AM
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Tornado Tornado is offline
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Re: Drunkenly Reviewing Every Low-Rated & Unranked Fiction h

Woah. Awesome.
Eslo Rudkey is a character created by a friend of mine. His name is my friend's name but the letters are scrambled. More of his backstory is in the stories he wrote.
He is originally from Michigan Territory but gets transported to the world of HoD which is the setting for our RPG, then goes to Valhalla.
The Kisserflee (my friend created that) story is sort of a rewrite of a Conan story, The Frost Giants Daughter.
The Sprague story was originally written by my friend and was just Eslo at the bar but I rewrote it into a Sprague story and probably doubled the length or so. There are parts where it goes back and forth between our writings. That is my favorite one.
The barbarian story is a write-up of an RPG game in our system where I was Eslo, my friend was the GM and the other players were the barbarians.
The necromancer story was an original by me trying to give a little glimpse into the world of our RPG. I really dig that one and how it shows how necromancy is starting to be accepted.

I am terrible with tense and struggle with dialogue. I appreciate the praise. I am definitely a minimalist on words and tend to work in flairs of poetry into my writing.
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