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Ahriman (Name will probably change)


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#1 treacherous

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 06:43 PM

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Suddenly I found myself lying awake. There was little light, save a murky darkness slightly illuminated by an unknown source. Like a wild tiger would attack its prey, a stench that was akin to the innards of some decaying thing saturated my senses. Immediately, nausea hit me like a surging tide. My first thoughts, of course, were of retching. I tried to turn my head, but found myself held down tightly by the head, neck, arms and legs. The vomit within me however, would not be so easily daunted. Soon I would be lying in the remorseless wastes of my own body.

Violently I twisted and jerked at my unforgiving binds. It was useless. The movement only served to torment my queasiness more. So there I sat with vomit covering my face in some uncertain, terror inducing tomb awaiting the unknown. I was still of sane mind, therefore I decided to put it to good use. I couldn’t turn my neck a great deal without choking myself. I had to depend on my peripheral. As my eyes pivoted left to right searching for details to my whereabouts, I found myself constantly heaving at my malodorous predicament. It was nigh impossible to conjure a thought of eating, yet obviously my empty stomach could not give up anymore of its refuse, less I be coughing blood. I focused. From what I could tell, the room was an empty vault.

Cold, heartless stone in every direction greeted my wandering gaze. I could make out no particular light source, yet there was light. The room, for lack of a better term, was rather large: enough to fit several people in a circle around my platform. I say platform because I was perceptibly raised above any adjacent flooring that may have been around. My peripheral revealed no floor. I took this much information in before fear crept back into my being. It was worthless. My next thought amid my almost overwhelming horror was how I came to be in this place.

Personality

To keep my sanity in tact, I began to speak aloud, “I am Dr. Ordierno. I am a philanthropist, professor and crypto zoologist by trade.” Quickly, I changed my speech to thought as the sour taste of my own bile trickled into my mouth. Last I recalled I was in my laboratory deep within a forgotten Huastec ruin in Mexico. Yes. I had many hidden laboratories across the world. So many couldn’t understand the work I was doing was for the benefit of mankind. I had to hide like a rat – negotiating deals with despicable warlords and corrupt leaders across the world. I may have done horrible things, but it was for a greater good – a greater understanding of our world. It was all a means to an end. The cryptids… I kept them all over the globe, but the Huastec was the central locale. So many... Then it came to me - those assistants. Something was rotten about them. One minute they were the most intelligent men and women in the world, the next they were speaking to me…like…like actors reading from a script. Then there was the explosion…the black out... The beasts… the cryptids, a few got free. I was confronted by one. In the dark… Then nothing.

I woke up here. This place. I remembered the assistants were counterfeit... frauds. I remembered faintly them peeling off their facades before my eyes. This was their doing. Yes that I remember. Too much blackness. I remember never truly being awake. Can’t recall what they were doing to me… a séance… chanting… It burned… My god, what did they do to me. I can feel it. It’s still inside of me…and it burned. So much pain.

Then there were voices echoing as if coming from a corridor in the distance. I recognized one of them immediately. In and out of consciousness and pain, it was difficult to make out their words. I didn’t recognize the voice of the other, but I heard a name…Father Bathory. There was more… Something about a church… The natural order? With my body turning against me, it was good to know my sense of hearing was intact. As they approached and their voices became more distinct, I listened. Footsteps were all I heard for a while. Then I saw their shaded images as they entered the room. I quickly played dead and eavesdropped for all it was worth. The clamor of what sounded like dozens of feet raced around my platform. A rustle of clothing followed, then silence but for the sound of breathing all around me. After that…

“He is so peaceful, isn’t he Father?”

“Indeed. The brothers are ready and have cleansed themselves in preparation. His body and mind are also cleansed and ready for the purification rites.”

“Trifling melodramatics, it really doesn’t matter what his body and mind are ready for. For you see, the act takes place now regardless of who is ready. Wake him up. I wish to taunt him.”

“But of course.”

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Augmentation/ Berserker/ Superior

The time for my weakly veiled deception was up. A shockingly cold splash of water hit my face. It was pleasantly refreshing as I was parched and it washed a bit of the refuse from my visage. The slap that followed was not as pleasant, nor was the following three. “Don’t fuck with me, Dr. Odierno. I know you’re not sleep. Open your eyes and confront your destiny.” It was him. That sick assistant of mine. But he wasn’t my assistant at all. No, this was the madman that had obviously killed my aids and took their place. He and his…I don’t know what they are…followers. A cult perhaps. Madmen…all of them. Another slap followed. “What are you thinking about, Dr. Odierno? Do you remember me? I’m different now to you I suppose. You knew me as Dr. Smith. Well, look at me now. Who do you see?”

http://www.electricf...ndpost&p=195144

Violently, my platform and I in it began to shake. I’m not sure how he managed to shake the entire platform like that, but I am sure of the damage it did to my already queasy stomach. I retched out a forceful, yet fruitless heave. He laughed carelessly then the trembling subsided briefly. “You may call me Percy. I don’t normally give my name, but seeing as you are now eternally ours… Anyway, the gentleman next to me is Father Bathory of the Church of the Natural Order. Now, I suppose you’d like to know why you are here.” I did not answer. This madman was full of his self and seemed to like to hear the sound of his own voice. I indulged him. “You sir, are now in the employ of Mr. Bathory. Who likewise looked to myself for a little assistance in the manpower department - brute force and all that. Therefore, you are now and forever a servant of her ever-loving patroness of the Natural Order. You, Dr. Odierno are going to be a legend… a saint. For you sir, are going to introduce the world to the natural order.” He said. “The only order that matters…” He drifted off briefly and then turned back towards me, “…disorder, that is.” He exploded with hysterics followed by a sudden room-shaking tremor. The man in the hooded robe he named as Bathory flung his hood off and began chanting loudly. The other hooded figures surrounding me followed suit. As they did, Bathory showered me with numerous unidentified concoctions. Mixtures of sensations from pain to ecstasy poured through my very essence. Percy roared in laughter as the room spun…literally. The room was indeed moving or at least everyone in it was. But through it all Percy seemed to stay motionless. Was he doing this? I couldn’t think. I couldn’t move. I began to succumb to the madness.

In like manner to the room, my body began to tremor. I convulsed with seizures that were so aggressively strong they broke my bonds. Regardless I was still held down by some powerful, yet straining force. I could feel my own growing strength press against it. What was becoming of me?

Within seconds, I began to see distorted images in my very mind. Faces. Horrible faces and images. Terrible. They taunted me, pushed and pulled me, but my body remained held down. With my own strength I tried to rise and it felt as if my body were being slowly ripped to shreds. My mind screamed in a cacophony of voices. Whose voices? Then they spoke names. Many names. It seemed like endless names. Eventually they began to overlap and become a torrent of garbled nonsense. I begged. Pleaded. Please, please stop… Outside my perception, the chanting grew louder. Unrelenting. They were doing this to me. But what? What were they doing? Finally, I could feel it… as if my own personality had been pressed into the farthest corner of my own psyche. In the forefront were the things. The faces. The horrible things. They cackled and howled at me. My standpoint was that of a child backed into a corner by a sea of molesters. I was helpless within my own body. My wits shredded, I whimpered out the only thought I could muster, “Who are you?” I whispered meekly. At that point, all the horrible faces turned their attentions to me at once and returned…

To be Continued.

#2 Pseudonym

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 07:22 PM

This is not as well written as Old Roger. I don't know if it's the pressure of using first person or maybe this is just a story type you're not used to using - but this feels stunted and unflowy. I do like the plot progression and the characters linking together to make the huge organization that is Rasa Sayang - but this feels like a weak link in the child of the spire story. The Personality section in particular feels like lazy exposition.

Not trying to be mean, just truthful. It needs work.

#3 treacherous

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 08:03 PM

Unfortunately, I will not have any opportunities to do so anytime soon as other things have decided to take me away FPLness for a while.


#4 deojusto

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 08:43 PM

I actually liked it. I agree that the first paragraph in personality might be a tad overly expositional, but the rest worked for me. I really liked the 1st person; getting a hold of all of Odierno's senses and thoughts creates a lot of tension. I don't have a full review since it isn't done yet, but I did notice a few things.

I really like the third line, you might want to find a way to actually start with that. It would be a great opener.

I had to look up Malodorous. It stopped the story's momentum for me. Maybe this word could work if there were more hints at what the word meant by its use in the sentence, but its kind of like mastication for me.

By the by, Father Bathory is dead. Keijo had him crucified for treachery in the Ouroboros character sheet. This is all in past tense so it might work, but you could replace him with Keijo as the high priestesses or Detective Harper as her representative. They were the ones who brought Ourosboros into Sayang so it could fit well.

#5 treacherous

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:53 AM

Two questions:

Pseudonym: how can you see this as a weak link if I'm not finished? You don't know what link it provides in the overall story yet? Also, don't apoligize to me for your opinion. I'm a big boy. I can take it. Apoligize to Mr. Outstanding.

Deo: It would seem you have an abject propensity towards a deridation of my usage of my extensive vocabulary. Your language is suggestive enough for me to believe that you feel I am not technically sufficient in the linguistics of man to bring forth the proper speech patterns of the characters in which I am trying to create. Perhaps you assume that I am parading a masquerade of verbose wordage in order to seem more educated than I am? I would attest that my skills in the human language are sounda and my terminologies are used highly in context with the speaker and enviroment in which these words are spoken (Plus, if you were really paying attention, you'd see my true issue is past, present and future tenses, which I tend to ignore altogether). If you would take note; you would find that each of my central and more pivotal characters have a distinct, unique voice of their own (IE: Tony De Luca, Masuta Tengoku, the Cimmerian Cowboy). Not all are as affluent in the higher echelons of the vernacular as would be distinct in their characteristics. However, the few that are...should be.

In conclusion... I ain't see no problem with a doctor using the word malodorous.

But to each his own. As I am the author and may be a tad bit biased, rather than just offer problems you see, fill me in on some of your ideas on how I could fix it. Again I probably won't be FPLing for a while, soooo....

#6 treacherous

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 12:16 PM

You know what I’ve been looking at this and let’s just open up the door to discussion here. I’ll let this character be the dissected guinea pig. This is a good opportunity for onlookers to see constructive feedback at work. Okay Pseudonym, you say that the personality section is a bit stuttered and not doesn’t flow. I agree entirely, but look at what you have there. An intelligent man being driven to the brink of insanity by being placed in an unfamiliar location, strapped to who knows what for who knows what purpose with spew all over his lips. Now remember his is told from his perspective, at what point should he start reading poetry. Now mind you, I have been reading a bit of Poe recently and I am aware that he accomplishes just that. I am also very VERY aware that I am nowhere near any level close to Poe. But, I’m not writing poetry and therefore see no need for rhythmic prose in this portion. If anything, this guy should be all over the place. I was trying to convey his decent into stuttered WTFness. In the first portion of the Personality, he is trying to regain his composure with a structured remembrance of himself and past events. But of course, his attempts are feeble and he is pulled back to crazyville by the arrival of Percy and the Church. So if it is a bit herky jerky that the pace changed, it probably should be. So with that in mind, I would greatly like to know how I can convey this on a superior level.

Again, this IS NOT an attempt at some flame war. This is me trying to show onlookers (lurkers) that the FPL can have civilized constructive criticism regarding our characters without the regular rip a new one mentality. So, if you would…

Anybody else feel free to comment.

#7 sirmethos

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 12:37 PM

It seems to me, that it would be better to show, that the "regular rip a new one mentality", actually does contain constructive criticism, and isn't just "being mean".

That said, I haven't had time to read through the character yet(ADD has been worse than usual lately), but I'll get on that ASAP, and try to add something constructive to the conversation.

Note: Yes, with the recent changes, I'm getting active on FPL. While I don't intend to write any characters(though I am contemplating if I shouldn't try to re-write the one I've already done, properly), I can still contribute with constructive criticism and giving an honest opinion on people's work(and hopefully add some more activity to FPL :) ).

#8 Pseudonym

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 02:53 PM

What I meant by it being a weak link is that I didn't find it as well written, engaging and such. It might better with progression of the story when you continue if you continue. I didn't mean that my problem with the Personality section was that it was disjointed and rambly. it just seems like a slightly more clever "My name is Doctor. I am fifty years old. I used to be a scientist at the library." Y'know that sort of thing where you're telling not showing. I understand that he's driven to the brink of insanity - but still it feels like just slammed in exposition.

#9 treacherous

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 04:48 PM

That's cool. Now forgive me for grilling you on this, but I’m really trying to see this from a broader perspective. Whereas my standpoint sees this as a triumph, the perspective of the audience sees this as not as well-written. In what way? Is the narrative too disjointed? Is the tone lacking coherence? Do I not follow through on tone? Is it grammatically incorrect (In which case there may be lots of grammatical mistakes for the sake of narrator’s voice). Or is it just in this personality section with the exposition problem? What separates this and Old Roger for you?

#10 Pseudonym

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 05:02 PM

With Old Roger, everything about the character was gleaned through his actions and the world around him. Ahriman's backstory comes from him literally saying it. Out loud. In the middle of his Personality section. Maybe to someone else it might seem different, but to me it violates the central tenet of creative writing "show don't tell."

I'm not trying to be a stickler for rules, because I know rules aren't what writing is about. It's just this section doesn't quite work for me. It doesn't convey his insanity because he can recall everything perfectly well and apparently spout it with pretty good accuracy. It seems like a perfectly sane person telling me his life story with some ellipsis in it.

#11 treacherous

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 05:21 PM

Heh. Indeed. That's good stuff Bubba. Good solid stuff I can work with. Okay, I'm willing to hear anymore if ya have it. Glad to see Sirmethos involved. Can't wait to hear his piece. It'll be good to hear an outside opinion. I like that he's getting interested in this side of the EF as well. There is debate to be had here too Methos. Hell, I might challenge you to a few FPL battle debates. I might have to postpone my sabbatical if Methos gets me all excited about a new voice being around.

#12 sirmethos

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 06:20 PM

Ok. I've read it through now(twice).

I can kinda see what Pseudonym means. While it's generally well-written, it kinda has the feel of someone reading up from a script. There's no actual feeling in it.

I think you might get better results at the dis-jointed, kinda crazy feel, that you're going for, by using Present Tense.

I.e. write the entire thing as the good doctor's thoughts and actions here and now. Since, with the Past Tense that you're using, you seem to be getting more of a "person telling a story" feel to it. Which, if I've understood it correctly, isn't what you're going for.

That also gives you the opportunity to add in, random stray thoughts that might hit the good doctor, which would further enhance the 'insane/disjointed' feel to it. However, Present Tense is, in my experience, a lot more difficult to write, so I could easily understand if you don't want to take that on as a project.


Also, to pick out a specific thing, when the doctor introduces himself, to "keep his sanity intact". it would have a better effect, if he is already having trouble with that.

Example: "I am Doctor... Doctor... Ordierno! I am a philanthropist, professor and crypto zoologist by trade."

Not really a good example, I know, but I hope you get what I'm trying to say.

#13 Pseudonym

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 06:32 PM

I think I figured it out. I think it would be nice to have more sense data in the personality section. And in general. We know that he's tied up, but we don't feel the bonds rubbing his skin raw. We know that he's going insane, but we don't feel sanity spiraling away like the far arms of the galaxy. It's cold, smelly, damp, and awful and we need to feel that more.

#14 treacherous

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:07 PM

Spot on. You guys have inspired me to re-write this sooner than I expected.

#15 sirmethos

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 08:13 AM

To comment on your(treacherous') comment about debating on FPL.

It could be kinda interesting to do 'cbub' style debating, in FPL matches. I.e. who actually wins the match.

Since here on FPL, there is no ambiguity about the capabilities of the characters, and the personality and skills/knowledge, plays (at least)as much a part of the outcome, as the powers.


If there is actually some active debating on FPL, it might also motivate people to make their characters more detailed, in order to (if possible)give a more complete picture of the character's personality.

#16 Darkender

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:25 PM

I thought you created the scene pretty well in my mind. My only problems would be, agreeing with Deo, some of the vocab is kinda randomly placed in. It would be an easy read and then BAM a word I never seen before and now I must create a new tab and paste it into dictionary.com( Which nowadays, I only have to put "d" in the address bar and it knows exactly where I'm trying to get to).

Secondly, the crypto zoologist just doesn't do it for me. IT may just me be my opinion though.

#17 treacherous

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:25 PM

About the vocabulary, has anybody read anything Ivan has written? Just wondering. Now once I told him to tone it down, but nobody else seems to say that to him? Is this just me? Some of the exact same people that told me that Ivan's usage of "big words" was okay are telling me that my usage of "big words" are not okay. I'm a little personally offended (Not really). Now granted nobody here does it much better but if you are opening a new tab for mine, then you are taking online classes for his. I gots me some college degrees too, I know how to use a big word or two properly in a sentence.

...and he's a crypto zoologist. That's pretty much it on that. It's Khazan, Earth. The job exists. If you can go to Khazan and find a talking Cactus and Raptor, then you can be a cryptozoologist.

#18 deojusto

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 01:13 AM

If you want to keep the big words its your choice, but sometimes you have to smother your darlings.

#19 treacherous

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 06:35 AM

Keeping the big words isn't the point, having a basis behind your constructive criticism is. If we are to advise newcomers, be prepared to back up everything with more than just FPL memes (You have to kill your darlings). I've been here (the FPL) since 2004 in one form or another. I have no problem scraping every character I've ever created and starting from scratch. I'm used to an old system that murdered my characters every week. I was on that system much longer and spent many hours throwing characters to the wolves JUST to see what worked. I'll gladly toss this character like yesterday's trash. Really, I'm not sure why you'd tell me that you like it and then tell me to smother it to death? At that point, I'd be confused if I were a new writer and probably quit the FPL altogether. But smothering it to death is not the point.

My thing is this, if the "big words" thing is an issue (which it seems to be), then be consistent. I can link at least three or four Ivan characters that have said "big words", yet no criticism. Again I will be the first to admit that Ivan's usage of big words makes me look like I'm writing with crayons, but that doesn't mean that I am using them incorrectly. Tell me that and I'll scrap them. Otherwise, it would seem to me that I am using them in context with the characters. I wouldn't scrap them just because you need to pull out a dictionary. I like that you need to pick up a dictionary and find out the meaning of new words. That's awesome. Let's learn big words together. See, with Serge opening up the FPL and EF to the world lately with the Google thing, there will be new eyes upon the stage. Sirmethos is watching. He's a bright guy and he's judging us with an outside eye and I don't want good writers to come in here and get scared away by subjective criticism.

#20 sirmethos

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 07:09 AM

Personally I don't really get the criticism on 'big words'.

I can easily see how it puts a stop in the story, if you have to pause and look up a word in a dictionary, but the same goes when you're reading actually published works. At this point in time, I've read so much, and looked up in the dictionary so many times, that I very rarely have to do so any more

That said, I think that the use of 'big words', is not so important as the reason behind it.


When we are reading the story, it is not Treacherous that is using 'big words', it is the good Doctor. But why does he do that?

From what I can read of the character, it doesn't seem to be because he is trying to impress people, waving his superior education and/or intellect in their faces.

But is it due to being socially inept then, is he unable to grasp that other people might not understand them?

Is it more of a protective measure, using big words, waving his intellect and education in peoples faces in order 'scare people away' and in that way, prevent people from getting close to him?

Or is it due to the situation, trapped and going insane, and rolling out the full measure of his vocabulary, if only in his own mind, as another means to cling to his already slipping sanity?


Granted, at this point, the story of the character is far from finished, but currently there is no indication of the reasons behind it.


Note: On the topic of vocabulary, I can recommend this short, but relatively entertaining, little exercise/game. http://dynamo.dictionary.com/




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