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Nuin

The Sorceress' Curse

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Part I

     Evelyn was steaming with anger as she descended the stairs of the tower where the sorceresses had held their meeting. How did they all dare tell her off like that? How did they dare pretending to never have done something similar? They all wanted the same. They all worked toward the same goal. How dare they question her methods, when her methods had been fruitful? So some peasants had died and a village had burned to the ground, and maybe she had had something to do with a tiny curse that had caused a bridge to collapse on top of some important tradesmen. But when it all came down to it, she had also made certain the Queen would now take a peaceful approach when dealing with the wandering khajiiti tradesmen.

     “Evelyn!†It was the raspy voice of Whisper-In-Ears calling her name. Of course she would be the one trying to persuade her to come back, always doing the Sorceress’ bidding. Had she been a slave once decades ago? Evelyn was not sure, but something in Whispers serving attitude and her eagerness to please was mindboggling annoying. She had such great powers and yet all she did was teach the children of some nobleman down in Auridon. Evelyn sprang for the door two stairs at a time, grabbed the ornamented handled and wringed it open. The night air cold in her face, she slammed the door shut behind her, before Whisper could reach it, and with an elegant turn and a click of her heals vanished into thin air.

     Whisper-In-Ears stumbled out into the night. “Evelyn, be rea…†her voice trailed off as she realized Evelyn had teleported, probably back home to Crosswych. She sighed, wondering if they had been too harsh in their accusations. Evelyn was young and eager, and when she had set her mind on something she worked relentless towards the goal. Where they to blame for her crimes? Had they asked too much of her, too soon? She had such great powers and a huge potential, all the elders agreed. Whisper-In-Ears shaked her head at the stars above. “May the river carry you back to us Evelyn Wickton†she whispered and went back inside to her sisters. She could hear them arguing upstairs, as she ascended the stairs. Some had taken Evelyn’s side. Not many, but enough and a few where in a position for it to matter a great deal. Whisper whished their leader was here, but she was with the Queen and could not attend. She rarely did these days. She would send Whisper to be her ears and eyes, but Whisper was sure she had other methods of knowing exactly what happened at the meetings aswell. It was no secret that the current leader of the Sorceresses was perhaps the greatest seer ever to have walked the lands of Tamriel.

     Evelyn Wickton appeared with a small crackle and a poof of silvery smoke outside the low fence of a small wooden cottage. Her anger still burning inside her, she pointed her staff at an old apple tree, which stood ablaze and crumbled to ashes within seconds. She was sick and tired of the sisterhood and their strict rules. Do no harm to others. Keep the secret if it costs you your life. If you have such great magic to wield, why settle for a life in the shadows and let others rein? Evelyn never understood why the Seer did not just seize the throne? She could rise up and become the empress Tamriel needed. She had countless mages, witches and sorceresses doing her bidding. An army of magic users might not be strong in the arm, but the mind can conquer the sword. She walked up the small path and kicked open the door. Inside the small kitchen she let more anger flow into her staff to light a fire. “Direct your anger towards something useful Eve†her mother’s soothing voice echoing in her head. Useful. She ought to burn down this forsaken place and leave. The town would be better off without her. She would be better off. Evelyn sat down at the kitchen table, all anger seeping out of her all of a sudden, and she let her head fall down on her arms sobbing.

 

To be continued...

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The perspective shifts quite a lot in the story: at the beginning I thought things are narrated as they happened from Evelyn's perspective. Then it shifted to Whisper-in-Ears, and then back again - but this time, instead of Evelyn's perspective, it felt more like a third person perspective. IMHO try to stabilize the narrator's perspective (I don't know how it'd be called in literature, sorry :P I am just a reader. )

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Thanks for the critique :) it is appreciated.

I see how it can be too confusing with the many shifts of voices. It was and is something I'm trying out, part II has even more views. I think it can work well, but I'll keep in mind I need to practice more to get it to be not confusing :) Can you point to some part that is particular cloudy (copy+paste)?

Maybe it is because the paragraph per view is too short? Making the shifts happen too often?

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Well, I can compare it to Game of Thrones series of books I have been reading as of recent - which do this trick quite masterfully (most classical writers rather narrate everything from third person view, in the same scene; and whenever they want to change the scenery, they just switch to new chapter/part).

 

In GoT, chapters are named after characters, whose perspective the writer chooses to narrate from. That way, you easily keep track of things - each chapter's events rotate around that character. It's easy. Scene, as with classical writers, remains constant throughout chapter.

 

In your 3-4 paragraphs, not only the perspective, but also the scene itself changes 3-4 times. Continuity of storytelling gets broken there, as you hop from place to place, from person to person. That naturally creates abruptness in prose, and that definitely isn't something you want your reader to experience - it's like watching 3-4 TV screens at once :) My strong advice - and I am avid reader - stick to traditions and create new methodologies only if you have proven their psycho-social effects to be within acceptable norms. The thing people hate most, is CHANGE. Don't change things very fast without smooth transition - the rule which applies to any type of art (Rembrandt comes to mind, with his color/shade transitioning revolution in painting; or Beethoven and Gondol from classical music era).

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Thanks. I get your point, I think. And I agree to some extent, and the thing I tried then did not work as intended.

 

I am afraid the chapters will be way too long or too short if I stayed with one character for each, it is why I tried to jump. And I am not aiming to write anything the length of GoT hehe.

 

But I disagree that this is something new (I'm not that creative :P). It is done in stream-of-consciousness like in "Mrs. Dalloway" (not to compare myself to Wolf as I would never dare do that in fear of curses O_O) and I know it is a very hard method of writing to master, and I might have gotten something wrong. I'll practice more ;)

I also disagree that you should not try things out. This is for fun and this is if any, a place to do crazy silly things I think.

 

I did also do this a bit in Malva's story, maybe it worked better because Malva was established as a character before I jumped to others, and also the jumps was within the same scene.

 

I'll rewrite part II and see if I can take out characters :)

 

Thanks for critique! And even though I defend my view on the matter (it is so hard not to!), I do take what you write to me into consideration :)

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I'm not that creative 

 

There can't be such premise - it's losers' motto. Keep your goals high - aim high and do your best to hit the mark.

 

And yes you should try new things: but educated attempts/experiments are the wisest way to go. Otherwise you might end up making same mistake over and over again, and making same mistake more than twice isn't sign of healthy learning mind.

 

If you ask me, DO NOT rewrite part 2. Move on and apply the new stuff you learned to part-3. That way you will have a nice template for healthy comparison and analysis of your learning practices, and will be improving your skills in an effective way.

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Here follows Part II of The Sorceress' Curse.

I had work and I had to rewrite as of the critique from Gelmir, so it has taken some time. I think Part II is better now, than it was before I rewrote it. I've kept the two points of view, but erased a third one I had added. I know "kill your darlings" is a good thing, but I like Whisper-In-Ears, so I decided to keep her point of view.

 

Part II

The sun shining through the small window woke Evelyn up the next morning. The fire had burned down to a fine powder of ashes. Her body ached from the bad sleeping position, and her head was singing with the aftermath of her anger. But the sun was good on her face and some odd clarity had come over her. Through her throbbing head and heavy heart she saw a path lit up in front of her. And it was not with the Sorceresses. Her magic was too great to be hidden away in some silly secret society. She was meant for something more than whispering advices in the ears of noblemen and royalties. She was to shine in front of all, not hide in shadows, weaving webs like ugly hairy spiders. Her mother had been wrong in sending her to her aunt and the sisterhood. Determined she began packing a small back with just the essentials.

 

     “I am worried about her Whisper-In-Ears†The Sorceress pushed her hair away from her eyes and sighed. “She has been gone for days now. No one has heard from her, and I can’t locate her. The water simply evaporates before I can catch a glimpse of herâ€. Whisper fiddled with the hem of her robes. She admired their leader, but she always felt uncomfortable in her presence. She could never shake the feeling that the Sorceress could see right through her skull and read every thought inside her head. Her powers where immense and she seemed to always know everything that was going on, everything that would happen, and where everyone was at all times. It was scary and Whisper was glad she was on her side.

“I send Xari-jo and Diana to her cottage to look for her…†Whisper began, but was interrupted “She has left. Placed some curse upon the area to prevent me from seeing. Shrouded herself. She will not let apprentices find herâ€. Whisper shrugged and let go of her robes.

“You are right, she was gone when they arrived. According to Diana some things are missing from her cottage, so we assume she packed them and left of her own accord.†The Sorceress nodded and waved at her, so Whisper continued. “Xari-jo says Diana got upset being at the cottage, she kicked a bucket through a window breaking it. Diana admits to it. They were good friends. I don’t think Evelyn told Diana where she went, and that is why she is flooded by anger, may her waters soon be smooth.†The Sorceress gave no sign she was hearing Whispers report, her gaze seemed fixed at some object in the far corner of the room. “It might be a good idea to use Diana to find Evelyn? Maybe she will let Diana through her barrier?†Whisper waited for a reply and the silence in the room grew louder. Was the Seers attention somewhere else entirely? In some distant part of Tamriel searching for Evelyn? Or was she staring into the future to see what would happen to Evelyn?

“We could also let her run away.†Whisper tried, mostly to end the silence. “There is no reason to believe she will cause any trouble. She might even come back to us in a few months when she grows tired of roaming the countryside. Tamriel can be harsh in winter, especially the northern parts.†It was a bad plan, Whisper thought. Marianna had trusted them with her only child, and they ought to at least make sure Evelyn was all right.

“We will continue the search. Use Diana, there is a strong bond between them. We owe it to Marianna not to let her daughter get herself caught up in a bad situation.†Her eyes grew darker as she spoke. Whisper shivered, had she seen something in the future? It was always uncertain and nothing was carved in stone with divination, but she was a great seer and sometimes fate was involved and with fate Daedra and if she had seen… Whisper dared not follow the thought further. She nodded “I’ll talk to Diana again, to see if she will be willing to help us. I expect she will, she misses Evelyn†If the bond between the girls where strong enough, it could lead them right to Evelyn. They should have made use of that earlier, Whisper thought as she left the room.  

 

     Evelyn was using all her powers to block the Sorceress’ continues attempts to reveal her location. It was draining her and she had to settle down somewhere where the Sorceress’ eye would be blocked by a natural source. She had wrecked her mind trying to remember, but doing anything at all while keeping the shield up was almost impossible. She had to find sanctuary. But where could she find a place the Lodge had not infiltrated? Her whole body was hurting from travelling by foot through forests and fields and mountains. Her feet was numb and her legs burning. Her back was sore from carrying the backpack. She walked during night, but dare not sleep, so she had been drinking tea made from the leaves of blessed thistle and the red flowers of columbine. It was a tea she would never advice anyone to use, as it drained the life from the body if taken for a longer period. Just a few days might kill you. But she had no choice, it was the only way to get away from the Sorceresses, at since that meeting she knew it was either the tea taking her life, or the elders. She needed to find a safe place badly. And suddenly she knew. It was a perfect place to lay low for a few days to regain her strength and get some sleep. It would be dangerous, but a different danger. Evelyn smiled as she climbed the last part of the mountain and finally stopped walking.

 

To be continued...

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