Confessions of an Altoholic

demon hunters, death knights, and druids, oh my!

Ficlet: Where Kings Walk

This was my entry for the Midsummer Night’s RP writing contest sponsored by LoreCrafted, Too Many Annas, and WTT:RP.  It references Where Kings Walk, the final quest in the death knight starting quest chain, and it is set just before the events you’ve read about in the series “From Beyond, She Comes.”

Since it didn’t accomplish what I hoped it would, I am humbly requesting feedback on this one.  The good, the bad, and the ugly – bring it, yo.  I’d like to know what needs to be improved so I can be more awesome in the future.  And trust me, you don’t have to worry about hurting my feelings;  I have a thick skin.  ;)

Enjoy!

—-

Serreina Nightfury stood at the edge of the pier, gazing out across the sea. To the north, across the frozen sea, lay the harsh, unwelcoming continent of Northrend – the home of the Scourge.

The home of the Lich King.

Her jaw tightened; her hands curled into fists at her side. She thought about the letter from Fordring, the letter that had saved her life, such as it was. Its words were forever burned into her memory; bits of the text floated through her mind now.

The soul of a champion. Former hero of the Alliance. Knights of the Ebon Blade … turned against their former master. The end of the Scourge. Blood and honor.

A champion. A hero. Honor.

Serreina laughed. A champion? Oh, yes, some champion she was – raised into the service of the very enemy at whose hands she had died, proud servant to a master who had turned out to be treacherous to the core. A hero? She had died a fool’s death, having failed to pay attention to what approached from behind – she could still see her sisters fall, the enemy sword protruding from her chest, the expressions of horror on the faces of her own husband, son, and daughter as they watched her die. A fleeting glimpse of the demons bearing down on her beloved family as she fell into death.

And honor …

She knelt down and drew Sorrowblade from its sheath, her eyes fixed on the runes etched along its length. These were runes of death and pain and blood, designed to torture and maim and destroy the enemies of the Scourge and draw their souls into the very blade that had killed them. The runeblade had been and still was an extension of her own body and soul; even now it remained inextricably linked to her, constantly whispering, constantly hungering, constantly desiring the blood of its foes.

As a priestess of Elune, yes, she had been a woman of honor. As a death knight, she was the cruelest of killers – cold, heartless, merciless, unrepentant. There was no honor in this. Blood, yes. Honor, no.

Rising, Serreina turned her gaze once again toward Northrend. Was that her goal now? Was that her purpose? To destroy the Scouge and end the Lich King’s reign - that was the stated purpose of the Knights of the Ebon Blade, was it not? But if that was her purpose, then why did she feel so cold and empty? Had the Lich King’s control really changed her so much? Was she truly so damaged?

Serreina stared across the sea for a moment longer; then, with a sigh, she forced herself to turn away. A champion, a hero, a woman of honor … perhaps one day, she would be these things again.

But not yet. She would take care of personal business first, perhaps prove herself in other battlefields; then maybe – maybe – she would join the fight in Northrend.

She took a deep breath, slipped Sorrowblade back into its sheath, and began the walk back to Stormwind.

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August 9, 2009 - Posted by | Roleplay, Serreina, Stories

6 Comments »

  1. Well, other than a couple of spelling mistakes, I felt is was well done. I can feel the inner turmoil of Serreina as she goes through those poignant, but painful memories.

    I may be a little biased since I’ve known you for a little while now, but I wholly enjoy your writings. Please, keep it up. :)

    Comment by Kharendos | August 10, 2009 | Reply

  2. It’s well-written, but it gives the feeling of being incomplete.

    It seems to be a character study, attempting to present the emotional state of someone in a very brief period of time. Unfortunately, the difficulty with these sorts of things is they sometimes feel a bit adrift. There’s nothing wrong with them, precisely, it’s just hard to get a feel, of the events OR of the character.

    You do a good job in attempting to show-not-tell, she does things which imply emotional impact that isn’t really covered. You briefly touch on events of her past. The connection between the two, however, feels like it’s not quite making it.

    If anything, you don’t give enough detail. It’s a bit too brief. I’m uncertain of the rules/restrictions for the contest, but it feels a bit forced. I’m uncertain if you were forcing yourself to follow a theme that just didn’t want to come, or if you were forcing yourself to meet a wordcount (high or low).

    It’s not badly-written at all, but it just doesn’t have the same flow as the rest of your stuff.

    Comment by Jov | August 10, 2009 | Reply

  3. It feels a bit rushed, but only a bit. It has few references to the Midsummer festival, so I would think that is the reason it didn’t “win” anything during the contest. Overall I enjoyed it. I particularly liked the juxtaposition of priest and death knight.

    Comment by Zet | August 10, 2009 | Reply

  4. I like it but, it does need to be fleshed out more. You can feel her conflict, but felt a bit incomplete. Look forward to reading more. :)

    Comment by Ziboo | August 10, 2009 | Reply

  5. You guys are awesome. Thank you for all the comments! <3 I'll try to address them all here in one go, for simplicity. =)

    The general consensus seems to be "needs more rounding out." After reading the piece a few more times (okay, a lot more times) with these comments in mind, I can totally see that. The contest rules specified 500-1000 words; this piece, coming in just around 500, was definitely on the short side. So that is definitely something I'll keep in mind when – not if, but when – I try something like this again.

    Thanks for both the critique and the compliments, everyone! I appreciate the insight – I'm not always objective about my own stuff (okay, I'm pretty much NEVER objective about my own stuff), so I really appreciate your input.

    <3,
    Shizu

    Comment by Shizukera Nightfury | August 10, 2009 | Reply

  6. You’re in good company; no one is objective about their stuff. The important bit is to know a few things:
    1) Decide if you want constructive criticism or sympathy. Sometimes, you think you want one, but you really really want the other.
    2) Learn who you trust to give you each. Who are your cheerleaders who think everything you do is awesome? Who loves you, but is still willing to say “that sucked”?
    3) Figure out who you’re writing for. If you’re writing for yourself, don’t care that other people don’t like it, unless it’s something (like grammar, spelling, etc) which NEEDS to be fixed, and not just you feel should be fixed to make others happy.
    4) Learn to go to the person you need, get what you need from them, and step back and let it go. You’re never going to please 100% of the people 100% of the time. It’s impossible, and the attempts will just drive you batty, and leave you with something you didn’t want anyway.

    Comment by Jov | August 11, 2009 | Reply


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