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Chapter Four Act Four: Untold Truths


Collygon

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Hey guys! Welcome to act four! 

So I totally forgot that I was doing previously spoilers. Oops! I'll add them back now. Hopefully they help to refresh you guys. 

Let's begin.

 

Previously on The Frost of Ages:

Spoiler

(From: Chapter Four Act Three: Paths Unwind)

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Gerruck: To prevent that from happening again, they gave me his soul and power. It's the reason my other eye is black and it's the reason I... He... almost killed you. He is the reason these people are dead.

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Olivia: Have you taken a look around, Gerruck?

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Olivia: No dragon fit in here!

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Olivia: These people were slain by the sword. Your sword!

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Olivia: They are dead because of me! Because of you!

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Olivia: Don’t you dare ignore the results of our actions, Gerruck!

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(From: Chapter Four Act Three: Paths Unwind)

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Malkor: I know you have your own schemes going on, but if they slow you down again, I’m leaving you behind.

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Castalia: U-understood.

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Malkor: Then hurry up.

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Malkor: We will be there by nightfall.

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(From: Chapter Four Act Three: Paths Unwind)

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Mike: Wh-What the-

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Mike: Davey! Don’t drink-

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Mike: Um… What are you doing?

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Davey: Wha- How- I-

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Davey: I swear this wasn’t me!

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(From: Chapter Four Act Three: Paths Unwind)

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Taeyva: I sense something… It’s…

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Taeyva: One of them is here.

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Sheogorath: What? Not even a thank you?

Talen: Thank you? For what?

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Sheogorath: For saving you in Riften, of course! Call me Sheo. Sheogorath.

 

Spoiler

Sheogorath: At your service.

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A lump forms in Talen’s throat as he feels his body stiffen. He has to blink multiple times, sure that his eyes are playing tricks on him. The daedric prince beaming in front of him exudes a nauseating aura. Talen feels lightheaded as he tries to come up with some kind of response.

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Talen: The daedric prince? The Sheogorath?

Sheogorath smiles, a grin that sends chills down Talen’s spine.

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Sheogorath: The one and only.

Talen sits up and shakes his head.

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Talen: Okay… Hold on. I-I need a moment.

He rubs his head, trying to mitigate the quickly growing migraine. Sheogorath shakes his head, letting out a loud “tsk tsk tsk”.

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Sheogorath: There aren’t going to be many moments left. I don’t think we should waste them.

Sheogorath snaps his fingers, appearing suddenly on the bed beside Talen.

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Talen: What the-

Sheogorath: I could really use your help. And you could really use mine. What do you say?

Talen leaps to his feet and scurries away from the bed.

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Talen: Woah woah woah. No. No no no. That’s nuts.

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Talen: I’m not about to get involved with a daedric prince. Even if you saved me in Riften.

Sheogorath lets out a loud, exasperated sigh, dramatically slouching over like a deflating balloon. He sits up and ogles Talen once more.

Sheogorath: I understand your hesitation.

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Sheogorath: I mean, I am the daedric prince of perfection after all.

Talen huffs, shooting Sheogorath a glare.

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Talen: You’re the daedric prince of Chaos.

At this, Sheogorath wiggles his torso, letting out a meek, excitable squeal.

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Sheogorath: You do know who I am!

Talen sighs through grinding teeth.

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Talen: Yeah. And I’m not about to get involved with any daedra-

He is cut off by Sheogorath’s finger, suddenly inches from his face.

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Talen: Uh-

Sheogorath: But you’ve already done that.

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Sheogorath: Ellia, Boethiah, Taeyva. You have a habit of it.

Talen releases a heavy breath as soon as Sheogorath turns away.

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Talen: Okay, fine. That’s true. But I had a good reason for each of them.

Sheogorath: Oh, I know. Saving the wife, saving the world, saving yourself. That’s a lot of responsibility to take on personally.

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Talen curls his lips as his irritation mounts.

Talen: What’s your point?

Sheogorath spins around and grins.

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Sheogorath: I only have one point, sir.

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Sheogorath: That you need help. Fortunately for you, so do I.

Talen takes a deep breath, trying to regain a leveled head. Sheogorath already has him vexed but ignoring him will surely only make things worse. He narrows his eyes and nods. Sheogorath smiles.

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Sheogorath: Thank you for hearing me out. You see…

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Sheogorath: I don’t want control of Nirn like so many others. It’s too mundane for me.

He slowly trots over to the pillar and leans against it.

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Sheogorath: You can have it, really. I seek another prize.

He goes silent and raises his eyebrows expectantly. Talen sighs.

Talen: And what prize is that?

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Sheogorath smiles a truly wicked grin.

Sheogorath: Have you ever heard of null, Talen?

Talen shakes his head.

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Sheogorath: I didn’t think so. It’s the afterlife when there is no afterlife. It is, by the very definition of the word, nothing.

Talen watches him dubiously. That was not much of a description, even if he is describing “nothing”.

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Talen: If it’s nothing, then why do you want it?

The daedric prince chuckles.

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Sheogorath: If you take nothing and fill it with everything, then you can create anything.

Talen furrows his brow, intrigued, skeptical, and cautious.

Talen: That sounds… malicious. Even from someone like you.

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Talen: What does it have to do with me?

Sheogorath tips his head with a smile.

Sheogorath: Because there’s competition for it. You’ve formed quite the alliance here. I believe my joining of it is mutually beneficial.

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Talen: How?

Sheogorath dips into a shallow bow and smirks.

Sheogorath: I think my work in Riften is proof enough. Imagine what more you could accomplish with me at your side.

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Talen doesn’t respond. He isn’t about to blindly trust this daedra, and even though he is obviously hiding something, there is a strange sense of honesty coming from him. Sheogorath may not be lying right now, but he definitely isn’t telling the whole truth.

Sheogorath: I don’t expect you to trust me yet, Talen.

He spins on his heels and begins walking away.

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Sheogorath: I do expect you to give me a chance. Give me a shout when you’re ready to hear me out.

He raises his hand, fingers poised in a snapping position, but stops. He turns his head.

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Sheogorath: Your caution is understandable. You shouldn’t trust me easily.

His eyes narrow.

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Sheogorath: You shouldn’t trust her so easily either.

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Talen: Who are you-

Without a trace, Sheogorath vanishes.

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Talen: Fine then. I-

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Taeyva: Talen!

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Taeyva’s voice rings through the stone halls. Talen freezes as soon as he hears it, sharp and impatient. He darts around the pillar just as Taeyva and Torund storm into the room. He raises his hand in an awkward wave, only to be interrupted immediately.

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Talen: Hey, Tae-

Taeyva: Shut up. Where is he?

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Talen gulps as apprehension fills him. He should tell Taeyva what had just happened. She’s only been on his side so far and if anyone would know what to do, it’d be her. Yet as soon as he opens his mouth to answer, Sheogorath’s final parting rang in his head. “You shouldn’t trust her so easily either.” As if he has no control over it, he slips out a different response, wincing immediately as if he’d just been pinched.

Talen: Who are you talking about?

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Taeyva glares at him.

Taeyva: I can feel his presence. It lingers.

She nods to Torund.

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Taeyva: Search the room.

Torund hefts his warhammer over his shoulder and carefully moves into the adjacent hall.

Torund: On it.

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Talen: Um, what’s going on?

Taeyva’s glare snaps back to him. She doesn’t skip a beat and stomps in his direction, aggressively.

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Taeyva: That’s my line, Talen.

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Taeyva: Tell me who you were speaking to. Now.

Talen gulps.

Talen: I wasn’t talking to anyone, I swear.

She comes to an aggressive halt and plants her feet firmly.

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Talen: Why are you acting like this?

Taeyva slowly breaths out, her patience thinning.

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Taeyva: Because you’re convening with a daedric prince.

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Torund:Empty. I think they’ve gone.

Taeyva: It seems so.

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Taeyva: I won’t ask again. Who were you speaking to?

Talen’s throat clogs. He doesn’t have a reason to hide this from her. Does he? He really doesn’t know Taeyva as well as everyone thinks. Could Sheogorath’s warning actually have merit? But if trust is the issue, he shouldn’t heed that warning at all.

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Talen: I… uh…

Davey: I don’t know how they disappeared. They just did! I didn’t take them off on purpose, believe me.

Talen glances to the familiar voice and isn’t sure whether to feel relieved or even more on edge.

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Mike: Dude, I believe you, okay? I just really don’t want to look at your crotch anymore.

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Taeyva: Who…

Davey: Well that’s why we need to find my clothes.

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Mike: Really? That’s why? Not the fact that you’re currently marching around the fort naked or anythi-

Mike cuts himself off with a sharp gasp as he and Davey come to a sudden stop, eyes wide.

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Davey: Oh, uh…

Mike: I swear it’s not what it looks like!

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Talen: Aww, geez.

Taeyva: Excuse me?

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There’s a short pause as everyone glances at one another, each sharing a look of their own, unique discomfort.

Mike: This is weird…

While they do, Davey lets out an awkward chuckle and starts rubbing the back of his neck.

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Davey: H-hey, Taeyva. What, uh, what’s up?

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Davey: I’m not naked to impress you or anything. I mean, I know that’s your thing and all.

Mike: Ugh, Davey?

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Taeyva makes no response as her jaw slowly drops, along with her eyes.

Davey: Not that there’s anything wrong with it! Naked is cool. Totally cool.

Mike: Davey, you’re being a lot more obvious than you think, right now…

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Davey quickly glances at Mike then down as the realization hits him.

Davey: Huh? What do you… Oh.

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Davey: Um… I, uh…

He gulps loudly, it seems to reverberate in the room, now uncomfortably quiet. He smiles an awkward, toothy grin as he turns back to Taeyva.

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Davey: Heheh… You, uh… You like?

The silence shatters as both Talen and Mike let out a unanimous groan.

Mike: Oh, Davey…

Talen: Oof…

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Taeyva, on the other hand, didn’t make a sound. But she didn’t have to, her expression being answer enough.

 

Spoiler

Olivia: We should get some rest, figure out what’s next tomorrow. Okay?

She sighs despondently as she says it. They were unable to arrive at a satisfying conclusion in their previous conversation. Olivia thinks they are searching too much for justification. No matter how she looks at it, they are both the villains in this scenario. The only villains? No. Simply put, this war has no heroes. Gerruck seems to have accepted this truth, even though he clearly can’t handle it. Olivia on the other hand has no clue. She accepts it as the truth, but she knows she hasn’t accepted it for herself.

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Gerruck: Right. That’s uh… that’s fine.

Gerruck keeps his eyes cast to the floor. He hasn’t met Olivia’s gaze in a while now.

Olivia sighs.

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Olivia: You’re not alone in this now, at least.

She hesitates for a moment, hoping for a response. When it doesn’t come, she turns to exit into her room.

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Olivia: Goodnight, Gerruck.

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Gerruck: Goodnight, Olivia.

Gerruck closes the door softly behind him. As it shuts, he keeps his hand there, feeling the warmth of the wood. His fingers slowly trace along the ridges as his hand gradually drops to his side. It swings by his side as he stands still, facing the door. Gerruck doesn’t turn away until it stops.

He swallows, blinking a few more times than necessary, and trudges over to the bed. As he sits down on its soft surface, he wonders who would have spent the night here instead. Did he kill them? Or was it the dragons? Does that question really matter?

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Gerruck: It does. I’m not responsible. I’m not.

He chants those same words again, every night now, hoping it would somehow absolve him.

Voice: It doesn’t.

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Gerruck squeezes shut his eyes. The low, fiery voice burns in his head.

Gerruck: No. This is you. Not me.

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A harsh, resonating laugh echoes in Gerruck’s skull.

Alduin: Ah, ha ha ha! We are the same now, you and I. Until you give me control, the responsibility will always belong to you.

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Gerruck: No. We are not. And you will never take me. Never.

Alduin: Oh, but I will. It is only a matter of time.

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Alduin: You grow weaker by the day. You know this.

Gerruck presses his face into his hands, gritting his teeth in an effort to suppress the scream.

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Gerruck: No. No no no! I…

He trails off as tears start to well in his eyes.

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Gerruck: I can’t do this. Not alone. Gods… Elyvaea…

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Gerruck: I miss you so much.

Elyvaea: I love you, Gerruck. Stay strong for me.

Gerruck drops his hands, quickly wiping his cheeks with a sniff.

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Gerruck: I’m trying, Elyvaea.

He sighs as he says the words aloud. They seem to vanish as they play into the empty room.

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Gerruck: It’d be easier if I didn’t have to imagine you.

 

Spoiler

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Elyvaea: Huh?

Elyvaea clutches her chest. The blade is gone; the pain is gone. She glances at her surroundings.

Everything is gone.

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Elyvaea: Where am I?

She blinks, as if it would have any effect. Nothing. With a huff, she forces herself to a stand, surprised at how nimble she feels. She was stabbed. Killed.

Her non-bloodstained clothes and lack of pain makes her doubt the former really happened. As she peers into the vast darkness before her, those doubts quickly vanish.

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Elyvaea: Seems I’m not through yet after all.

Wherever she is, it is proof of one thing.

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She was killed, but she is not dead.

 

Spoiler

Castalia: You shouldn’t be surprised.

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Castalia: You’ve seen what I am capable of.

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Castalia: And she is even stronger.

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Castalia: I’m not expecting any survivors.

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Castalia: Neither should you.

Malkor took off in a sprint immediately upon entering Markarth. The corpses of his recent conquest remained on the streets, but now there were others. The corpses of his own proved the conquest of another.

Castalia rushed after him, down the cobbled streets and up the stone steps into Understone Keep. She found him there, kneeling over a still body of one of The Hunger.

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Malkor: I saw first hand these creature’s power… Boethiah used one to take the city. She used many to defend it, only to still lose.

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Malkor: How could one prophet accomplish this?

He mutters the question under his breath, as if not expecting an answer. Castalia sighs and supplies one anyway.

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Castalia: She’s discarded the one weakness a prophet has. I am mortal; she is not. Though it’s still not that simple.

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Malkor huffs. He clearly heard her, but Castalia isn’t sure if he was listening. As he comes to a stand, Castalia stares at the ruins around them. A part of her wishes she was here to witness the destruction. The rest of her is relieved she avoided it.

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Castalia: She sure did a number on this place. I’m assuming you would have tried to keep the city intact?

Malkor: Yes. The Hunger only killed. It did not destroy.

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Castalia: Well, Erinye does destroy. She’s quite fond of it.

Malkor: It’s unsettling how well you seem to know her. Is this a trap, Castalia?

Castalia shakes her head. She knows better than to try to lie to Malkor. Fortunately, she doesn’t have to. She gestures into the tunnel before them.

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Castalia: Not by my intention. I can tell you that she is here, though. I can sense her through there.

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Malkor narrows his eyes.

Malkor: Does that mean she can sense you as well?

Castalia: Yes.

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Castalia: She is through there; up the stairs and on the left. There is no other presence though.

Malkor grunts.

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Malkor: Then let’s not keep her waiting.

Castalia nods firmly and leads the way. She navigates through the rubble, paying close attention of the presence of Erinye. It doesn’t move, as if in waiting.

They emerge on the other side, keeping low behind the rubble and ruin. Stealth may be unnecessary for her, but she has to believe Erinye is unaware of Malkor’s presence. For now.

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Castalia: Wow…

Her eyes widen as the chamber expands before her. The ancient, proud city, said to be impenetrable, has been laid to waste.

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Castalia: Still surprised?

It takes Malkor a moment to respond. What comes out is a soft gasp of awe, with what Castalia thinks is a tinge of admiration.

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Malkor: Yes…

She lightly shakes her head, readjusting herself, then drops low, facing Malkor. She gulps, immediate worry overcoming her.

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Castalia: We have to believe she doesn’t know you’re here. So please, please lay low. We’re not here to fight, only to discover what she’s done. Okay?

Malkor doesn’t look at her. He sighs angrily, shaking his head.

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Malkor: I will do what I came here for. I’ve worked too hard for her to ruin this.

Her heart sinks, but she is not surprised. With a despondent nod, Castalia responds.

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Castalia: I… I know. Just try to stay back. For me?

Malkor scoffs.

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Malkor: I won’t do anything for you, Cass. Now let’s go.

 

Spoiler

Erinye: I’m surprised to see you here, spiderling.

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Erinye: Where’s your boy toy?

Castalia doesn’t flinch. She marches towards the woman before her, fighting against her instinct to flee. Yet she can’t fight the doubts already beginning to surface. This will not end well.

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Castalia: That doesn’t matter. I’m here for my own reasons. Nothing more.

Erinye chuckles, sinisterly. She adjusts her grip on the large spear in her grip, as if trying to bring attention to it.

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Erinye: And he is here for his own reasons too. Too bad he was too late.

Malkor crouches low behind a toppled pillar, carefully peeking over the edge to get a view.

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Malkor: No…

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Castalia: Yes, I know. I detected no other presence. You work quickly.

Erinye smiles.

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Erinye: I have goals to meet, and little time to spare. For you though…

Erinye turns around. The spear she was holding suddenly vanishes.

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Erinye: …I can make an exception.

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Castalia continues her slow march, tracing her eyes over the bodies between them.

Castalia: You don’t have a scratch on you.

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Castalia: And she put up quite a fight.

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Erinye: Quite so. Though I must give credit…

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Malkor: No. There's no way. No way.

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Erinye: If he hadn’t put her in that frail, mortal body, I wouldn’t have stood a chance.

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Erinye: He must be furious that I took his chance to kill her.

Malkor: You’ve ruined everything!

Malkor's eyes flare. His heart pounds in his chest, thudding harder and harder and his fingers curl in bloodlust. His hand flies to his sword. He screams, leaping out from over the pillar, raising his sword above his head.

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Malkor: Hrraaaah!

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Castalia: Malkor! No!

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Erinye’s eyes snap to her aggressor. Her spear suddenly appears in her hands as Erinye drops low and thrusts her arms upwards.

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Castalia’s eyes go wide as a shrill scream pierces her ears and her sight goes awash in the red spewing from Malkor’s back. Her hand drops in shock as fear paralyzes her.

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Malkor is thrust backwards as Erinye burrows her spear deep inside his chest. She lifts him into the air momentarily before she slams her spear onto the ground. It dislodges from Malkor chest with a sickening spurt. Malkor immediately begins to writhe as screams once again fill the chamber.

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Malkor: Grraaaaaah!

Erinye straightens up and dangles the flail off the tail end of her spear in her palm.

Erinye: Idiot.

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Erinye: How stupid do you take me for? Clearly as stupid as you are.

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Erinye: You’re going to die now. You’ve been stabbed by Malefic.

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Erinye: It’s already poisoned your body and soul, eating away at you bit by bit.

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Malkor: AHHHHHH!

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Castalia stands still; speechless. As she watches Malkor writhing in agony, screaming with a dying pain, she is paralyzed. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. He wasn’t supposed to attack. She never should have brought him here. She never should have seen him again. She-

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She never should have let Erinye speak.

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This is not going to end well…

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…for Erinye.

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To be continued…

 

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So, I'm totally bummed, the whole last segment didn't load for me =(

By the dialogue it sounded epic !

I did love the other ones though, specially the now visible interior conflict in Gerruck, The ghost effect, and of course Davey's boner at the sight of Taeyva!!

I knew it!! Cause no dude could like nonchalantly hang out with her fine ass and not get wood!!

Brilliant stuff, I dunno if the last part is a problem on my end or your image hoster, Lemme know if there's something I'm doing wrong ?

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I really like the whole segment with Taeyva and Talen. ^_^ 
And in general you have a rather pleasant narration style.

7 hours ago, WANOBI12 said:

So, I'm totally bummed, the whole last segment didn't load for me =(

Strange, because for me it did not load too at first, but now everything is normal.

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8 hours ago, WANOBI12 said:

Brilliant stuff, I dunno if the last part is a problem on my end or your image hoster, Lemme know if there's something I'm doing wrong ?

Might be due to the .pngs he's using, I'm not sure. Some images hosters seem to have problems when too many images/too much data is requested. The images loaded fine for me though. But this may have to do with bandwidth on the users end, I'm not sure, but I get loading problems quite often when I'm in a slow WiFi, maybe images hosting sites refuse to stream data to you over a longer period of time or so.

 

Great job with the story and some really nice dialogues! Maybe Sheogorath could have been two numbers crazier, he seemed very rational and reasonable. 

I also appreciate that you reverted a bit back to a more traditional screenshoting style with less tilted images and fancy camera perspectives. I think it serves the story much better. 

Also Erinye has such a cool look:

 



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I really do love this image. :thumbsup:?

 

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On 2/12/2019 at 4:28 PM, WANOBI12 said:

So, I'm totally bummed, the whole last segment didn't load for me =(

By the dialogue it sounded epic !

I did love the other ones though, specially the now visible interior conflict in Gerruck, The ghost effect, and of course Davey's boner at the sight of Taeyva!!

I knew it!! Cause no dude could like nonchalantly hang out with her fine ass and not get wood!!

Brilliant stuff, I dunno if the last part is a problem on my end or your image hoster, Lemme know if there's something I'm doing wrong ?

Dang. That final spoiler was one of my favorites. ? Glad you enjoyed the rest though! I've been dying to do that Davey and Taeyva scene for a while now. I'm threilled you liked it! Thank you!

16 hours ago, Crw said:

I really like the whole segment with Taeyva and Talen. ^_^ 
And in general you have a rather pleasant narration style.

Strange, because for me it did not load too at first, but now everything is normal.

Thanks, Crw :) 

15 hours ago, Alter Native said:

Might be due to the .pngs he's using, I'm not sure. Some images hosters seem to have problems when too many images/too much data is requested. The images loaded fine for me though. But this may have to do with bandwidth on the users end, I'm not sure, but I get loading problems quite often when I'm in a slow WiFi, maybe images hosting sites refuse to stream data to you over a longer period of time or so.

 

Great job with the story and some really nice dialogues! Maybe Sheogorath could have been two numbers crazier, he seemed very rational and reasonable. 

I also appreciate that you reverted a bit back to a more traditional screenshoting style with less tilted images and fancy camera perspectives. I think it serves the story much better. 

Also Erinye has such a cool look:

Sheogorath was tough to write for. I'll admit, I don't think I hit the mark either. I wanted to add his craziness while also supplying the necessary plot dialogue. I'll work on it. And yes, I kept in mind all the advice I had from you and Tirloque about my screenshots when shooting this act. I'm actually quite glad you noticed! Thanks!

8 hours ago, bodabira 01 said:

Very nice chapter!

And damn, Erinye is a bit overpowered, isn't she? ?

Thank you! And if you think so now, wait until the next act. ;) 

8 hours ago, The Gauntman said:

Great shots and well done on the expressions. 

Thank you, Gauntman! :D

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On 2/13/2019 at 11:57 PM, Collygon said:

 

Sheogorath was tough to write for. I'll admit, I don't think I hit the mark either. I wanted to add his craziness while also supplying the necessary plot dialogue. I'll work on it. And yes, I kept in mind all the advice I had from you and Tirloque about my screenshots when shooting this act. I'm actually quite glad you noticed! Thanks!

I think I only noticed it because I spend some time in the last weeks trying to learn how to write proper dialogue, for both  books and movies (I found the later one more helpful for my screenshot stories). It made me get a lot more respect for good written dialogue in general and realize how poorly written my dialogue so far is (which is the first step to improvement).

It also made me realize how well written your dialogue typically is, your writing background shows. The exposition problem you mentioned with Sheogorath is a common problem in screen writing where you can't bore the viewer with hour long monologues and it's really hard to get this short, entertaining and useful (or rather informative).

 

 

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21 hours ago, Alter Native said:

I think I only noticed it because I spend some time in the last weeks trying to learn how to write proper dialogue, for both  books and movies (I found the later one more helpful for my screenshot stories). It made me get a lot more respect for good written dialogue in general and realize how poorly written my dialogue so far is (which is the first step to improvement).

It also made me realize how well written your dialogue typically is, your writing background shows. The exposition problem you mentioned with Sheogorath is a common problem in screen writing where you can't bore the viewer with hour long monologues and it's really hard to get this short, entertaining and useful (or rather informative).

 

 

I highly recommend studying Ernest Hemingway for dialogue. Though he is a book author and not movies, he is considered  pretty revolutionary in writing dialogue. He wrote dialogue how people talk, which was kind of a new thing at the time. Of course, this style has been adopted by pretty much every author nowadays anyway, but I took a lot of inspiration from Hemingway's leading the charge. I would say just write more dialogue. I never found what you have to be poor, but rather what you lack is substantial. I personally dislike images with nothing to read with them as it often forcefully speeds up the tempo. Of course, this is coming from someone who mostly reads. I bet many of your readers enjoy having little to read. 

 

I appreciate your kind words. It makes me happy that many years, and many failures, of writing has been worth something. :) 

13 hours ago, ther1pper said:

Got me hyped for the next chapter, hoping for a badass fight, spear vs sword.

Thanks, r1p! I got some good stuff planned; it will be badass for sure!

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14 hours ago, Collygon said:

I would say just write more dialogue. I never found what you have to be poor, but rather what you lack is substantial.

Thanks for your reply, could you elaborate on that last point, maybe it's my English, but I'm not sure what you mean with substantial. Like in a general sense of lacking a story to tell in the first place? Don't get me wrong I'm interested in your opinion.

 

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I personally dislike images with nothing to read with them as it often forcefully speeds up the tempo. Of course, this is coming from someone who mostly reads. I bet many of your readers enjoy having little to read. 

I think it's just a different way of telling a story. You can have a couple of images in a row that tell a story without a single written word. In movies you have something similar quite often where the story is told by the images alone without any dialogue.

This is what I'm going for, but of course a movie has much more powerful tools.

For example you write very often how a facial expression or the mood of a character changes, which is fine and it works. I try to show the change of the facial expression and their feelings via the admittedly somewhat lacking skyrim emotions and I think it works as well if done correctly.

 

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8 hours ago, Alter Native said:

Thanks for your reply, could you elaborate on that last point, maybe it's my English, but I'm not sure what you mean with substantial. Like in a general sense of lacking a story to tell in the first place? Don't get me wrong I'm interested in your opinion.

 

I think it's just a different way of telling a story. You can have a couple of images in a row that tell a story without a single written word. In movies you have something similar quite often where the story is told by the images alone without any dialogue.

This is what I'm going for, but of course a movie has much more powerful tools.

For example you write very often how a facial expression or the mood of a character changes, which is fine and it works. I try to show the change of the facial expression and their feelings via the admittedly somewhat lacking skyrim emotions and I think it works as well if done correctly.

 

By substantial I meant quantity. As in, there is a large amount of no text. It was a transition into my next point which was the tempo. I have never felt there is a lack of story at all. Though, I'll admit I do miss the comprehensive story in Blood and Pleasure. While I have been absolutely enamored with the latest chapter, the last few chapters have been mostly side stories instead of a consistent chronicle. That's not a bad thing by any means, it's just not my preferred style of story. But you continue to keep my attention anyways :D

 

Yes, movies do have powerful tools. Namely, music and camera. Music has a huge impact on how a scene is displayed. Additionally, a camera can slowly pan over a character or room to build suspense. The latter we can somewhat achieve by using multiple photos, but without music we'll never be able to mimic the same atmosphere that movies can provide. 

 

It's why it is important that we compare our work more closely to books and graphic novels, I think. All of which have very different formats and styles. Whenever I say something about your lack of writing, it is not criticism, but rather personal taste. I enjoy reading; it's that simple. But I also enjoy your story because you do convey emotion and imagery without words better than most blogs. I will always suggest adding more writing though. It has nothing to do with the story itself or a lack of entertainment. Instead, it is because I like reading and if you want to practice your dialogue, then writing more dialogue will really help. :) 

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On 2/13/2019 at 11:57 PM, Collygon said:

Dang. That final spoiler was one of my favorites. ? Glad you enjoyed the rest though! I've been dying to do that Davey and Taeyva scene for a while now. I'm threilled you liked it! Thank you!

Thanks, Crw :)

That final part was unexpectedly rich in twists, stakes and action ; and I must say you emphasized quite well Erynie's power. I like the whole chapter a lot from my part, with Davey's misadventure being hilariously funny, and the whole thing (Sheogorath and Talen potentially conflicting with Taevya, Olivia and Gerruck potentially creating some binds, two prophets about to fight...) full of promises. And with quite the effects (Elyvaea, Alduin), plus awesome screens as always, that chapter was a great moment. Excellent job, Colly ! :D

 

On 2/13/2019 at 11:57 PM, Collygon said:

Sheogorath was tough to write for. I'll admit, I don't think I hit the mark either. I wanted to add his craziness while also supplying the necessary plot dialogue. I'll work on it. And yes, I kept in mind all the advice I had from you and Tirloque about my screenshots when shooting this act. I'm actually quite glad you noticed! Thanks

Oh oh, we've been taken in account ! :classic_blush:

 

I agree with the Sheogorath part though : he's quite rational, though his fast changes of poses do make him a bit hectic. IMO he feels more like the Prince of Chaos than of madness, but each one has his own interpretation of him.
If I could, I also found Elyvaea's presence in null quite lessening to her death. Bringing one people from death do create the surprise, but if you bring too much then it looks like DBZ, Bleach or Fairy tale : you know the author isn't serious about deaths, so you stop taking them seriously. :classic_angel:

On 2/15/2019 at 12:20 AM, Alter Native said:

I think I only noticed it because I spend some time in the last weeks trying to learn how to write proper dialogue, for both  books and movies (I found the later one more helpful for my screenshot stories). It made me get a lot more respect for good written dialogue in general and realize how poorly written my dialogue so far is (which is the first step to improvement).

Your dialogues aren't bad. Bad dialogues would be ones failing to describe their character's personality, motives and emotions adequately. Excellent ones can add some levels of fun/depth to that layer, but as long as that first level is good, dialogues are fine.

On 2/15/2019 at 9:39 PM, Collygon said:

I highly recommend studying Ernest Hemingway for dialogue. Though he is a book author and not movies, he is considered  pretty revolutionary in writing dialogue. He wrote dialogue how people talk, which was kind of a new thing at the time. Of course, this style has been adopted by pretty much every author nowadays anyway, but I took a lot of inspiration from Hemingway's leading the charge.

Interesting. I couldn't even imagine dialogues which wouldn't have made the way people talk for my part, so having it as a step is something new to me. 

On 2/15/2019 at 9:39 PM, Collygon said:

 I never found what you have to be poor, but rather what you lack is substantial. I personally dislike images with nothing to read with them as it often forcefully speeds up the tempo. Of course, this is coming from someone who mostly reads. I bet many of your readers enjoy having little to read.

Haha, Alter is gonna have a stroke. ^^

 

Though the lack of pacing of silent scenes is a thing. I'm not against inserting one or two silent images from time to time, when it serves some purpose, but dialogues and sounds do add temporality to it indeed.

18 hours ago, Collygon said:

Yes, movies do have powerful tools. Namely, music and camera. Music has a huge impact on how a scene is displayed. Additionally, a camera can slowly pan over a character or room to build suspense. The latter we can somewhat achieve by using multiple photos, but without music we'll never be able to mimic the same atmosphere that movies can provide.

Oh ? And what exactly does prevent us from using music ? (last spoiler before the notes :classic_wink:)

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Tirloque said:

That final part was unexpectedly rich in twists, stakes and action ; and I must say you emphasized quite well Erynie's power. I like the whole chapter a lot from my part, with Davey's misadventure being hilariously funny, and the whole thing (Sheogorath and Talen potentially conflicting with Taevya, Olivia and Gerruck potentially creating some binds, two prophets about to fight...) full of promises. And with quite the effects (Elyvaea, Alduin), plus awesome screens as always, that chapter was a great moment. Excellent job, Colly ! :D

Wow! That's some high praise. Thank you, Tirloque! 

4 hours ago, Tirloque said:

I agree with the Sheogorath part though : he's quite rational, though his fast changes of poses do make him a bit hectic. IMO he feels more like the Prince of Chaos than of madness, but each one has his own interpretation of him.

Yeah, Sheogorath's rapid movements were my way of styling his "madness", while keeping his dialogue a little sane. I'll improve on him as I go.

4 hours ago, Tirloque said:

If I could, I also found Elyvaea's presence in null quite lessening to her death. Bringing one people from death do create the surprise, but if you bring too much then it looks like DBZ, Bleach or Fairy tale : you know the author isn't serious about deaths, so you stop taking them seriously. :classic_angel:

I'm very aware of the death trope in those anime and am trying to keep the balance of death in check. Elyvaea is still very much dead; she is just in the afterlife. That being said, that doesn't change the effect of seeing her again; you are right. I do have plans on working with this though. In fact, the next act will be addressing an aspect of death in this world in another way (that sounds like a spoiler, but I assure you it isn't).

4 hours ago, Tirloque said:

Your dialogues aren't bad. Bad dialogues would be ones failing to describe their character's personality, motives and emotions adequately. Excellent ones can add some levels of fun/depth to that layer, but as long as that first level is good, dialogues are fine.

Interesting. I couldn't even imagine dialogues which wouldn't have made the way people talk for my part, so having it as a step is something new to me. 

Haha, Alter is gonna have a stroke. ^^

xD Haha, Alter just might have a stroke indeed. And I agree, Alter's dialogue is more than fine. 

 

4 hours ago, Tirloque said:

Though the lack of pacing of silent scenes is a thing. I'm not against inserting one or two silent images from time to time, when it serves some purpose, but dialogues and sounds do add temporality to it indeed.

Oh ? And what exactly does prevent us from using music ? (last spoiler before the notes :classic_wink:)

Okay okay, you got me there. We can use music. However! What I really meant was synchronizing music to a scene. For instance, a loud gong upon a face reveal or escalating tempo in a sword fight. That music is synced with specific camera shots. No matter how much I try to slow/speed up the pace in my writing, I can't control where a reader will be when the music is playing.

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On 2/16/2019 at 7:47 PM, Collygon said:

By substantial I meant quantity. As in, there is a large amount of no text. It was a transition into my next point which was the tempo. I have never felt there is a lack of story at all. Though, I'll admit I do miss the comprehensive story in Blood and Pleasure. While I have been absolutely enamored with the latest chapter, the last few chapters have been mostly side stories instead of a consistent chronicle. That's not a bad thing by any means, it's just not my preferred style of story. But you continue to keep my attention anyways :D

Thanks I understand you much better now. As you and Tirloque already figured, I do like telling a stories without dialogues because as already mentioned, images alone can create a narrative as well and in some ways they are even more powerful then texts (not always of course).

You are right of the lack of a comprehensive story though and I honestly I don't want to do one. I'd feel too much pressure to finish it, plan long term and set everything up properly.This is in a general a problem of episodically released content (think fifty shades of grey for example that was fan fiction for twilight and the books have very little overarching story.)

I can forsee how much time I have in the next 6-9 month, but I don't know how my life looks in two years. I'd feel more like a burden too me then something I would actually enjoy. 

I admire you for taking the risk of trying that, it's really brave to do that. 

But still there is a bit of an overarching story. For example chapter 5 with Nora killing Eric etc. couldn't have happend without the downfall in chapter 1 that lead to her being reborn in Chaper 2, that made the queen notice her and gave her the Baroness title. At least there is something that carries on inbetween chapters. That's not the same as an overarching story of course. The flashbacks are mostly separated "side stories" that allow me to tell a shorter more dense story at the cost of an overarching narration. 

 

You're probably also right about the tempo problems that none written stories may have as you just scroll through them barely giving the individual screenshots a glimpse. But written dialogue scenes may have the same problem. I myself have jumped from dialogue line to dialogue line without even looking at the screenshots in between...

The obvious solutions are speechbubbles and a comic style, but that's not going to happen on my blog :mrgreen: . Ever. 

 

Quote

Yes, movies do have powerful tools. Namely, music and camera. Music has a huge impact on how a scene is displayed. Additionally, a camera can slowly pan over a character or room to build suspense. The latter we can somewhat achieve by using multiple photos, but without music we'll never be able to mimic the same atmosphere that movies can provide. 

 

It's why it is important that we compare our work more closely to books and graphic novels, I think. All of which have very different formats and styles. Whenever I say something about your lack of writing, it is not criticism, but rather personal taste. I enjoy reading; it's that simple. But I also enjoy your story because you do convey emotion and imagery without words better than most blogs. I will always suggest adding more writing though. It has nothing to do with the story itself or a lack of entertainment. Instead, it is because I like reading and if you want to practice your dialogue, then writing more dialogue will really help. :) 

I honestly think spoken word has even a bigger influence on the scene then music. Music is good at setting the overhaul mood of a scene, but the way a single line can be spoken by many different actors and different pronunciations can completely change it's meaning and it's tone. 

But so can lightning, camera angle and color palette for example and these are tools we have available in our stories. 

 

On 2/17/2019 at 2:46 PM, Tirloque said:

Your dialogues aren't bad. Bad dialogues would be ones failing to describe their character's personality, motives and emotions adequately. Excellent ones can add some levels of fun/depth to that layer, but as long as that first level is good, dialogues are fine.

They are serviceable I agree, but they are not "good".

Whether they are "good" or "bad" depends on your definition of "bad" though. In some countries/cultures the "bad to good scale" starts at "ok" as the lowest grade and ends at "super duper mega amazing... and holy shit..."  in some other countries it ranges from "terrible" to "excellent". At least that's my impression. ;) 

I'm from one of the latter countries where we're a bit more direct... so they are "not good" (for me) but not "terrible" ;) , they do their job but that's about it.

 

Quote

Haha, Alter is gonna have a stroke. ^^

... also I really hate writing dialogue or rather don't enjoy doing it, which makes me skip it wherever possible ?

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I have finally caught up with your whole story! Holy Sheogorath on a cheese-wheel, that was epic! ? I now understand why you are considered one of the best writers here on Loverslab. Quite deservedly so.  Absolutely amazing work! You have a unique plot, an intricate story line, memorable characters and reading your work reminds me of a mix of Tolkien's and Bioware's storytelling (might be a strange combination, but it plays out rather nicely). The thought and detail you put in your screenshots along with the narration are remarkable. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your wonderful creation with us and I'm really looking forward to the next chapter. ?

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On 3/5/2019 at 2:26 PM, Devianna said:

I have finally caught up with your whole story! Holy Sheogorath on a cheese-wheel, that was epic! ? I now understand why you are considered one of the best writers here on Loverslab. Quite deservedly so.  Absolutely amazing work! You have a unique plot, an intricate story line, memorable characters and reading your work reminds me of a mix of Tolkien's and Bioware's storytelling (might be a strange combination, but it plays out rather nicely). The thought and detail you put in your screenshots along with the narration are remarkable. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your wonderful creation with us and I'm really looking forward to the next chapter. ?

Oh my gosh. Wow. This is amazing praise. Thank you so so much. I've been so over burdened lately that I haven't been able to work on stuff nor be active here for a bit, sorry for replying so late. It's really been bringing me down that I haven't been able to make content. But man, your comment is such a huge boost. Seriously, thanks. :) 

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