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Old 01-03-2008, 06:28 PM View Post #1 (Link) The End of Tae
King Jorge (Offline)
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This is a short story I wrote a while ago which I know needs a lot of improvement, I would appreciate any critisism.



Tae MacLuthrenn held his broadsword before his eyes and lightly ran his finger across one edge feeling every notch and remembering the sword strokes that left them and the men whose blood left the blade crimson. He closed his eyes and remembered the faces of his fallen enemies, they never left his thoughts, and only in battle did the apparitions of the dead shrink to the back of his mind. To live only to take life is a destiny Tae had long since become disgusted with but could not break free from. He would have to die to earn solitude from the ghosts that haunt his consciousness, but to take his own life would be disgraceful and wretched so he will seek his death on the blood stained battle-fields of the earth.
He stood alone on a high mound that overlooked the battle-ground, his red hair blowing in the misty breeze he thrust his sword into the earth and knelt before it head bowed. He prayed. "Morrigu', goddess of war and owner of mine very soul. For all the long years of my life I have served your will, I have slain countless men in your name in many lands under many banners. I ask of you now to release my heart, I no longer want to be your tool, your weapon against mortals. I have become a monster now, a man who feels love for nothing but death. I beg of you to show pity on your servant and allow my ghost passage to Valhalla where I may greet the great hundreds that fell before my sword".
Tae raised his head skyward to see that a raven circled him as if in waiting, the carrion bird was larger than most, jet black with strange white eyes like that of something blind. The raven swooped down to land a few paces in front of him. The warrior stood and wondered at this omen, surely it was a messenger of Morrigu'. It appeared to be staring directly at him and as Tae looked into it's eyes he felt a cold burning in his brain. He felt voices in his mind then. It sounded as if they came from all around, they spoke to him; hundreds of them all at once, some whispered, some spoke at length, some screamed in rage and cursed his life and others just raved and babbled in his ear. He recognized many of them and recognized them as men he had slain in battle. He felt madness take him by the throat as he looked into those alabaster eyes, gripping his head in his hands he fell to his knees unable to break eye contact with the bird. The voices then merged into one definite utterance "Take up your sword, mortal. The dead await you!"
Then there was silence in his mind, the fire gone, the raven also gone like a spirit.
Tae rose to his feet and withdrew his sword from the earth, he returned it to it's sheath on his back. There was a mist behind Tae's eyes as he wondered on his immediate future, he would paint his body like his ancestors of old he decided and meet his end as they did. A soldier approached him at this point and laid his hand on Tae's shoulder, he did not flinch as he heard him coming. "Friend, come, the general is forming lines for attack and has asked for you personally to lead the charge".
"Aye, as I hoped. But I must prepare myself, fetch me woed so that I may apply it to my skin and fight the enemy with pride" Tae replied distantly.
"Will you not don your armour my lord Tae?" the gruff warrior asked, confused at this.
"No, not this day. Now fetch what I asked and be quick about it soldier".
It was some time before the soldier returned carrying a small mortar and pestle containing the blue dye. "As you asked my lord. . . I got it from a dancing girl at camp"
Tae took it from him and stripped down to his waist, he began applying the woed to his body in intricate swirls, he wore only rough leather pants. After this he stared at his sword for long moments mumbling some kind of prayer or death song, the soldier watched this fascinated, he knew Tae was originally from some nameless barbarian tribe but never before had he seen the man revert to any kind of rituals. Tae strapped his sword to his back and marched down to the font of the army, past the archers, lancers, infantry and reserves till he reached the cavalry unit that he was to lead, a man brought his horse but Tae ignored him and continued walking forward towards the distant army. Men called to him but he was deaf to them, his mind was set on one thing alone . . . blood. His march turned into a jog, men who respected him and held him in awe began to follow but were held in check by commands that the order to charge was not made.
The enemy line was directly ahead of him, the ground soft, the sky clear and air hot – Tae drew his broadsword and screamed a guttural roar as he sped up. The enemy knew him through fables and legend, they called him Cursed Red, and the front line waithered, men stepped back and cast nervous glances at their comrades. The general was no fool and sent eight of his favoured warriors to meet the charge of the legend.
Fifty paces from the front line these men formed a semi circle and ran to meet Tae’s singular charge, they all carried longswords except for a bearded giant who carried a large battle axe, Tae recognised him instantly as Crimthann, a man who’s reputation almost rivalled his own. He hit them fast and hard at the centre gutting a soldier with a thrust to the belly, the rest circled round him – two charged him from his front and back. The man to his front stabbed for Tae’s face but the thrust was parried by Tae’s broadsword sending the man off balance, as he stumbled Tae turned to face the other, crossing swords immediately he brought his knee up into the mans groin before slicing him deeply on his chest. The other assailant had regained balance as Tae turned again and sliced at his feet, as graceful as a cat Tae stepped over the blade and sheathed his own in the warrior’s chest. This all happened in a matter of seconds and the other five hesitated before surrounding and advancing upon Tae slowly together. The next few minutes were a flurry of movement as Tae showed these so-called warriors what it meant to be mortal, he was born for this. They attacked all at once making them more clumsy as they avoided their own comrades swords, Tae's broadsword snaked out like a live thing and claimed a head, then an arm before dispatching two more with a thrust to groin and clean slash to chest.
Crimthann remained standing, axe raised, he stood a full head and shoulder over the painted, flame haired warrior. They locked gaze for a moment then began to circle, both men knew that a fight between axe and sword could not last long. Men from both armies could be heard cheering for one or the other. Crimthann struck first sending his axe thundering down forcing Tae to leap to the side. Tae then rolled forward and slashed at Crimthann's legs, the cut was deep to his calves and he fell heavily - without mercy or a second glance Tae dealt the finishing stroke to his fallen enemy. Many more would fall under his blade that day, he had no room in his heart for mercy.
Ignoring the general's commands and shouts the men who were loyal to Tae, some even thought him immortal, charged after him encouraged with his display of skill and bravery. Tae himself had began walking toward the enemy, sword held out to the side.
Thanks to his dramatics all order began to collapse and battle commenced with outright disobedience to the orders bellowed by those in command on both sides. Tae ignored all and took in everything - he had never felt as he did now, there was a strange acceptance which lent him an air of casualty as he cut a bloody path through those who defied his steel. He knocked a man to the earth, a young man with dusty blonde hair who cringed on his belly, beardless and crying he could have been mistaken for a child but Tae ran his sword through his spine nonetheless, barely noticing the crunch and tare as he withdrew his blade from the man and earth below. The pictish swirls painted on his skin now lost their intricacy and clarity as sweat, dirt and clashing bodies smeared the woed, mixing it with blood so he took on the apparel of a dark harbinger of death.
Battle cries mixed in with death screams, it was total chaos and at the centre was Tae, slaying with barely a second thought to guard himself against attack - not that he needed to, men tried hard to keep away but by the time they were close enough in the fray to realise they were face to face with tae they were dead sent to the afterlife to wait.
"Wont have to wait long, boys!"' Tae bellowed aloud, " I'll be joining you soon enough!"

The battle must have lasted no more than 30 minutes but when men's blood is up and the senses are sharper time slows so that it seemed so much longer. Men were fleeing the field now, those who managed to find horses rode others jogged or in some cases swayed. Neither side had victory this day though the opposing army had in fact more men at the time of retreat it was no matter when morale hits so low. “Where are the rest!, where is my death!, my peace!”, Tae roared to the sky, there was no one else for him to kill this day and he had only one or two flesh wounds, nothing mortal, “ You have cheated me Morrigu’!”
He stood amongst a field of corpses, his torso, arms and face a dark red from blood and body paint. He looked down at the earth and sheathed his sword in it with a grunt of bestial rage. “ You wish to have me slay forever till nothing remains”, he says this as no more than a whisper, now his voice grows to that of a boom that surely all gods on all mountain tops heard and trembled, “Then I will start with you ,Morrigu’! . . . Goddess of battle and destruction!, let us see how you fare against my blade!” lastly he withdrew his sword from the ground and in one swift motion swung it above his head screaming his rage to the heavens, such pure hatred and blood-lust in one soul!
Overhead a raven with white eyes circled and at the sound of Tae’s roar those eyes turned to a shocking blue that seemed to steam in the cold air, it squawked back and in that sound could be heard a woman’s laughter touched with amusement.
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:18 PM View Post #2 (Link)
Nyx (Offline)
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Welcome King. Have you introduced yourself in the newbie thread? If not you should! Welcome again. And crit. ticket for your story.
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:23 PM View Post #3 (Link)
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Welcome to the YWO, Mr. King. Here I go a-editing. If my suggestions are stupid, just ignore them.
Comments
Corrected Segments
I make loads of smaller corrections: segmenting run-ons, throwing in commas, sticking in little words, etc.

Tae MacLuthrenn held his broadsword before his eyes and lightly ran his finger across one edge, feeling every notch and remembering the sword strokes that left them and the men whose blood left the blade crimson. This isn't a run-on, but it feels like one due to its length. Chop it up or succint-ify it. He closed his eyes and remembered the faces of his fallen enemies. They never left his thoughts, and only in battle did the apparitions of the dead shrink to the back of his mind. [STRIKE]To live only to take life is a destiny Tae had long since become disgusted with but could not break free from.[/STRIKE] Tae lived only to take the lives of others, a destiny that had long disgusted him, but one he could not break free of. [STRIKE]He would have to die to[/STRIKE]Only in death could he ever earn solitude from the ghosts that haunted his consciousness, but to take his own life would be disgraceful[STRIKE] and wretched so he will seek[/STRIKE] , so Tae must find his death on the blood stained battle-fields of the earth. This has nothing to do with your writing, but that sentence reminded me of the title "Battlefield Earth". As for the story: promising opening. I like the idea of a man who hopes to die in battle, as opposed to a hero longing for victory.

He stood alone on a high mound that overlooked the battle-ground, his red hair blowing in the misty breeze he thrust his sword into the earth and knelt before it [STRIKE]head bowed. [/STRIKE],bowing his head. He prayed.
"Morrigu', goddess of war and owner of my very soul. For all the long years of my life I have served your will. I have slain countless men in your name, in many lands, under many banners. I now ask of you to release my heart. I no longer wish to be your tool, your weapon against mortals. I have become a monster now, a man who feels love for nothing but death. I beg you to show pity on your servant and allow my ghost passage to Valhalla, where I may greet the great hundreds that fell before my sword."
Tae raised his head skyward to see that a raven circled him as if in waiting. The carrion bird was larger than most, jet black with strange white eyes like [STRIKE]that of something blind. [/STRIKE]those of the blind. The raven swooped down to land a few paces in front of him. The warrior stood and wondered at this omen; surely it was a messenger of Morrigu'. It appeared to be staring directly at him and [STRIKE]as Tae looked into its eyes he felt a cold burning in his brain. [/STRIKE]Tae felt a cold burning in his mind as he met its eyes. He felt voices in his mind then. Well, you just used the word "felt". You could improve this sentence saying something along the lines of "the icy coldness circulating his head escalated into a chorus of voices. It sounded as if they came from all around; they spoke to him, hundreds of them, all at once. Some whispered, some spoke at length, some screamed in rage and cursed his life and others just raved and babbled in his ear. He recognized many of them [STRIKE]and recognized them[/STRIKE] as men he had slain in battle. He felt madness take him by the throat as he looked into those alabaster eyes, gripping his head in his hands he fell to his knees, unable to break eye contact with the bird. Excellent. You don't see the word "alabaster" often, either, except for in "America the Beautiful." The only problem is: "madness take him by the throat". Is this a figure of speech saying that he was overcome with madness? It's a little confusing. The voices then merged into one definite utterance: "Take up your sword, mortal. The dead await you!"
Then there was silence in his mind - the fire gone, the raven also gone like a spirit.
Tae rose to his feet and withdrew his sword from the earth. He returned it to its sheath on his back. There was a mist behind Tae's eyes as he wondered [STRIKE]on [/STRIKE]about his immediate future. He would paint his body like his ancestors of old, he decided, and meet his end as they did. A soldier approached him at this [STRIKE]point [/STRIKE]moment and laid his hand on Tae's shoulder, [STRIKE]he did not flinch as he heard him coming.[/STRIKE]who had heard his approaching footsteps and did not flinch.
"Friend, come: the general is forming lines for attack and [STRIKE]asked for you personally[/STRIKE]he requested that you lead the charge".
"Aye, as I hoped," Tae replied distantly. "But I must prepare myself. Fetch me some woed [STRIKE]so [/STRIKE]that I may apply it to my skin and fight the enemy with pride." [STRIKE]Tae replied distantly.[/STRIKE] "Woed" doesn't seem to be a word, and I can't fathom what you intended to write. Paint, maybe?
"Will you not don your armour, my lord Tae?" the gruff warrior asked, confused at this.
"No, not this day. Now fetch what I asked and be quick about it, soldier."
It was some time before the soldier returned carrying a small mortar and pestle containing the blue dye. "As you asked, my lord. . . I got it from a dancing girl at camp."
Tae took it from him and stripped down to his waist, he began applying the woed to his body in intricate swirls[STRIKE], he wore only[/STRIKE], leaving only his rough leather pants. Clearly "woed" wasn't a slip of the fingers. I don't know what it means, but I can guess it's some kind of ink or paint. Sorry if it's a technical term I'm ignorant of. After this he stared at his sword for long [STRIKE]moments[/STRIKE]minutes, mumbling some kind of prayer or death song. The soldier watched this fascinated; he knew Tae was originally from some nameless barbarian tribe, but never before had he seen the man revert to any kind of rituals. "Revert" isn't the right word. It sounds insulting to Tae's beliefs. Tae strapped his sword to his back and marched down to the front of the army, past the archers, lancers, infantry and reserves untill he reached the cavalry unit that he was to lead. A man [STRIKE]brought [/STRIKE]proffered his horse, but Tae ignored him and continued walking forward towards the distant army. His men called to him, but [STRIKE]he was deaf to them[/STRIKE]their cries fell on deaf ears.. Tae's mind was set on one thing alone - blood. His march turned into a jog. Men who respected him and held him in awe began to follow, but were held in check by commands that the order to charge was not yet made.
The enemy line was directly ahead of him, the ground soft, the sky clear and air hot – Tae drew his broadsword and screamed a guttural roar as he sped up. The enemy knew him through fables and legend; they called him Cursed Red, and the front line waithered: men stepped back and cast nervous glances at their comrades. "Waithered"? Do you mean withered?The general was no fool and sent eight of his favoured warriors to [STRIKE]meet [/STRIKE]confrontthe charge of the legend. Or "legendary warrior". Legend has more impact, but it's a tad more confusing.
Fifty paces from the front line, the men formed a semi circle and ran to meet Tae’s singular charge. They all carried longswords except for one singular, gaunt figure. Tae instantly recognised the battle axe wielding bearded giant as Crimthann, a man whose reputation almost rivalled his own. Tae hit them fast and hard at the centre, gutting a soldier with a thrust to the belly. The rest encircled him – two charged [STRIKE]him from[/STRIKE] his front and back. The man to Tae's front stabbed for his face, but the thrust was parried by Tae’s broadsword. The assaulter was thrown off balance. As he stumbled, Tae deftly turned to face the other, clashing swords and crushing his knee up into the man's groin[STRIKE]sending the man off balance, as he stumbled Tae turned to face the other, crossing swords immediately he brought his knee up into the mans groin[/STRIKE] before slicing him deeply on his chest. The other assailant had regained balance as Tae turned again and sliced at his feet. As graceful as a cat, Tae stepped over the blade and sheathed his own in the warrior’s chest. "Sheathed" is unique, but a little misleading. Consider "buried", "jabbed", "pushed", etc. This all happened in a matter of seconds and the other five hesitated before surrounding and advancing upon Tae[STRIKE] slowly together[/STRIKE].
The next few minutes were a flurry of movement as Tae showed these so-called warriors what it meant to be mortal. Nice. He was born for this. They clumsily attacked all at once, avoiding their own comrades swords. Tae's broadsword snaked out like a living thing and claimed a head, then an arm before dispatching two more with a thrust to groin and clean slash to chest. Again: Nice writing.
Crimthann remained standing, axe raised. He stood a full head and shoulder over the painted, flame haired warrior. They locked gaze for a moment then began to circle; both men knew that a fight between axe and sword could not last long. Men from both armies could be heard cheering for one or the other. Crimthann struck first, sending his axe thundering down and forcing Tae to leap to the side. Tae then rolled forward and slashed at Crimthann's legs, resulting in a gash deep to his calves. Crimthann fell heavily. [STRIKE]The cut was deep to his calves and he fell heavily. [/STRIKE]Without mercy or a second glance, Tae dealt the finishing stroke to his fallen enemy. Many more would fall under his blade that day - he had no room in his heart for mercy. Seeing as how Tae just felled a legendary battler, I'd expect a sentence or so more before "Many more would fall...": People's reactions, Crim's last sputters of life, Tae's fatigue.
Ignoring their general's commands and shouts, [STRIKE]the men who were loyal to Tae,[/STRIKE]Tae's loyal men, some [STRIKE]even [/STRIKE]of whom thought him immortal, charged after him, encouraged by his display of skill and bravery. Tae himself had begun walking towards the enemy, sword held out to the side.
Thanks to his dramatics, all order began to collapse and battle commenced with outright disobedience to the orders bellowed by [STRIKE]those in command on both sides[/STRIKE]both sides' commanders.. Tae ignored all and took in everything Oxymoronic phrase... that can either be a good thing or a bad thing. Depends on whether you intended it to be oxymoronic or not. - he had never felt as he did now. There was a strange acceptance which lent him an air of casualty as he cut a bloody path through those who defied his steel. He knocked a man to the earth, a young man with dusty blonde hair who cringed on his belly, beardless and crying. He could have been mistaken for a child, but Tae ran his sword through his spine nonetheless, barely noticing the crunch and tear as he withdrew his blade from the man and earth below. The pictish Pictish? swirls painted on his skin now lost their intricacy and clarity as sweat, dirt and clashing bodies smeared the woed, mixing it with blood. Tae took on the apparel of a dark harbinger of death. I like this so much that you get a pirate: Murder is fun to write about, huh?
Battle cries mixed in with death screams; it was total chaos and at the centre was Tae, slaying with barely a second thought to guard himself against attack - not that he needed to. Men tried hard to keep away, but by the time they were close enough in the fray to realise they were face to face with Tae, they were [STRIKE]dead sent[/STRIKE]spirited off to the afterlife [STRIKE]to wait[/STRIKE].
"Won't have to wait long, boys!"' Tae bellowed [STRIKE]aloud[/STRIKE]. "I'll be joining you soon enough!"

The battle must have lasted no more than 30 minutes, but when men's blood is up and the senses are sharper, time slows so that it seems so much longer. Men were fleeing the field now - those who managed to find horses rode, others jogged or in some cases swayed. "Swayed" implies standing still. And swaying. Spluh. So use another word like stumbled, staggered, or swaggered. Neither side had victory this day; although the opposing army had [STRIKE]in fact[/STRIKE] more men than Tae's, it was no matter once their morale had plummeted so low.[STRIKE]more men at the time of retreat it was no matter when morale hits so low[/STRIKE].
“Where are the rest?" screamed Tae. "Where is my death, my peace?!” He roared to the sky. There was no one else for him to kill this day and he had only one or two flesh wounds, nothing mortal.
“You have cheated me, Morrigu’!”
He stood amongst a field of corpses, his torso, arms and face a dark red from blood and body paint. He looked down at the earth and sheathed his sword in it with a grunt of bestial rage.
“You wish me to slay forever till nothing remains,” he said [STRIKE]this [/STRIKE]as no more than a whisper. His voice grew to [STRIKE]that of [/STRIKE]a boom that surely all gods on the mountain tops heard and trembled.
“Then I will start with you, Morrigu’! Goddess of battle and destruction, let us see how you fare against my blade!” [STRIKE]lastly[/STRIKE] He withdrew his sword from the ground and in one swift motion swung it above his head, screaming his rage to the heavens: such pure hatred and blood-lust in one soul!
Overhead a raven with white eyes circled and at the sound of Tae’s roar those eyes turned to a shocking blue that seemed to steam in the cold air, it squawked back and in that sound could be heard a woman’s laughter touched with amusement. Ooh, powerful ending. But laughter is usually amused. That's a given... and it's usually more than "touched" with amusement, too.

Alright, there you go. You have promising storytelling abilities, that's for sure. Keep an eye on your commas and punctuation, though I corrected any problems I saw. Hope to see you on the YWO more! (Though I myself don't go on too much)

Man, it is exhausting to crit. D: I'm new to this. Maybe it's like exercising, and it gets easier as you go along.
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:20 PM View Post #4 (Link)
Crocolyle (Offline)
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[QUOTE=King Jorge;15128]
Tae MacLuthrenn held his broadsword before his eyes and lightly ran his finger across one edge feeling every notch and remembering the sword strokes that hadleft them and the men whose blood hadleft the blade crimson (Most people I'd assume would clean their swords after combat. Was this directly after combat? Nice parallelism, by the way) . He closed his eyes and remembered the faces of his fallen enemies, they never left his thoughts, and only in battle did the apparitions of the dead shrink to the back of his mind. To live only to take life is a destiny ("destiny" doesn't exactly fit. It's more of the ultimate end someone is moving towards. It also has too positive of a connotation.) Tae had long since become disgusted with but could not break free from. He would have to die to earn solitude from the ghosts that haunted his consciousness (cut "his consciousness." Maybe replace it with "his mind" or "him." It still sounds a little awkward even if you do that, though), but to take his own life would be disgraceful and wretched so he will (Woah, Future tense?) seek his death on the blood stained battle-fields of the earth. I personally don't like this last sentence. It sounds kind of cheesy in my opinion. Play around with it and see what you come up with. Maybe something like, "He knew that the only escape from the ghosts of his enemies was death, but to end his own life would be disgraceful. He was condemned to seek his death on the bloodstained battlefields." That still isn't much better. Just play with it for a while.)

He stood alone on a high mound that overlooked the battle-ground (ground rhymes with mound... you might want to change that), his red hair blowing in the misty breeze he thrust his sword into the earth and knelt before it, head bowed. He prayed. "Morrigu'(why is there a ' at the end of her name. It seems excessive), goddess of war and owner of mine my (it's typically best to not go for faux archaic English) very soul. For all the long years of my life I have served your will,period (two independent clauses) I have slain countless men in your name in many lands under many banners. I ask of you now to release my heart, I no longer want to be your tool, your weapon against mortals. I have become a monster now, a man who feels love for nothing but death. I beg of you to show pity on your servant and allow my ghost ("soul" might work better) passage to Valhalla (Valhalla is usually specific to Norse myth, though it's fine if you use it. You might consider saying the "Hall of Heroes" or the "Hall of the Slain" instead, but Valhalla might actually work better)where I may greet the great hundreds ("great hundreds" sounds kind of odd in my opinion) that fell before my sword".
Tae raised his head skyward to see that a raven circled him as if in waiting,period the carrion bird was larger than most, andjet black with strange white eyes like that of something blind "with blind, white eyes." Maybe. . The raven swooped down to land maybe just "landed." If you really want "swooped down" maybe "swooped down and landed" but I think you only need "landed") a few paces in front of him. The warrior stood and wondered at this omen(Typically I don't think people "wonder at" things. Maybe "stared", periodsurely it was a messenger of Morrigu'. It appeared to be staring directly at him and as Tae looked into it's eyes he felt a cold burning in his brainthis is a little awkward. He felt voices in his mind then. It sounded as if they came from all around, they spoke to him; hundreds of them all at once, some whispered, some spoke at length, some screamed in rage and cursed his life and others just raved and babbled in his ear. He recognized many of them and recognized them as men he had slain in battle. He felt madness take him by the throat as he looked into those alabaster eyes, gripping his head in his hands he fell to his knees unable to break eye contact with the bird. The voices then merged into one definite utterance "Take up your sword, mortal. The dead await you!"
Then there was silence in his mind, the fire gone, the raven also gone like a spirit.
Tae rose to his feet and withdrew his sword from the earth, he returned it to it's sheath on his back. There was a mist behind Tae's eyes as he wondered on his immediate future, he would paint his body like his ancestors of old he decided and meet his end as they did. A soldier approached him at this point and laid his hand on Tae's shoulder, he did not flinch as he heard him coming. "Friend, come, the general is forming lines for attack and has asked for you personally to lead the charge".
"Aye, as I hoped. But I must prepare myself, fetch me woed so that I may apply it to my skin and fight the enemy with pride(I'm not a fan of the archaic language. Maybe "Yes. Give me some woad, so I can paint my skin and fight with honor." " Tae replied distantly.
"Will you not don your armour my lord Tae?" ("Will you wear your armor, my lord Tae?") the gruff warrior asked, confused at this.
"No, not this day. Now fetch what I asked and be quick about it soldier" (No. Bring me what I asked for. Hurry.).
It was some time before the soldier returned carrying a small mortar and pestle containing the blue dye. "As you asked my lord. . . I got it from a dancing girl at camp"
Tae took it from him and stripped down to his waist, he began applying the woed (woad)to his body in intricate swirls, he wore only rough leather pants. After this he stared at his sword for long moments mumbling some kind of prayer or death song, the soldier watched this fascinated, he knew Tae was originally from some nameless barbarian tribe but never before had he seen the man revert to any kind of rituals. Tae strapped his sword to his back and marched down to the font of the army, past the archers, lancers, infantry and reserves till he reached the cavalry unit that he was to lead, a man brought his horse but Tae ignored him and continued walking forward towards the distant army (You can't lead a cavalry charge on foot. You'd be trampled). Men called to him but he was deaf to them, his mind was set on one thing alone . . . (maybe a colon instead of an ellipsis) blood. His march turned into a jog (jog is a relatively modern word I think), men who respected him and held him in awe began to follow but were held in check by commands that the order to charge was not made. wordy
The enemy line was directly ahead of him, the ground soft, the sky clear and air hot – Tae drew his broadsword and screamed a guttural roar as he sped up. The enemy knew him through fables and legend(fable doesn't really work [I can't picture him being a character in an Aesop story]. Maybe "stories and legends"), they called him Cursed Red, and the front line waithered (wavered), men stepped back and cast nervous glances at their comrades (run-on). The general was no fool and sent eight of his favoured (maybe best) warriors to meet the charge of the legend.[Quote]

I'll finish reading this tonight. It's pretty good so far. It holding my interest. Occasionally you need to watch your wording and diction. Sometimes your sentences are also a little wordy. Also, review your punctuation rules. You have a lot of run-ons (you can't join independent clauses with commas. They must be separated by a period or joined with a conjunction)
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:57 AM View Post #5 (Link)
Nyx (Offline)
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Hey, SO here are the colours I use:
Red: Negative
Green: Positive

Originally Posted by King Jorge View Post
Tae MacLuthrenn held his broadsword before his eyes and lightly ran his finger across one edge, feeling every notch and remembering the sword strokes that had left them and the men whose blood had left the blade crimson[Sweet beginning, really good descriptions.]. He closed his eyes and remembered the faces of his fallen enemies, they never left his thoughts, and only in battle did the apparitions of the dead shrink to the back of his mind. To live only to take life is a destiny Tae had long since become disgusted with but could not break free from. He would have to die to earn solitude from the ghosts that haunt his consciousness, but to take his own life would be disgraceful and wretched so he will seek his death on the blood stained battle-fields of the earth. Very well written, almost no big mistakes. Good job.
He [Use his name here because you don't want to say he too much.] stood alone on a high mound that overlooked the battle-ground, his red hair blowing in the misty breeze he thrust his sword into the earth and knelt before it, [I think it'll help the flow if you add "his" here, ex. his head bowed.] head bowed. He prayed. "Morrigu', goddess of war and owner of mine very soul. For all the long years of my life I have served your will, I have slain countless men in your name in many lands under many banners. I ask of you now to release my heart, I no longer want to be your tool, your weapon against mortals. I have become a monster now, a man who feels love for nothing but death. I beg of you to show pity on your servant and allow my ghost passage to Valhalla where I may greet the great hundreds that fell before my sword". [I'm noticing a reality flaw. If he is such a monster, how can he still feel remorse? Or maybe he's too close to becoming a monster, there's a difference though,]
Tae raised his head skyward to see that a raven circled him as if in waiting, the carrion bird was larger than most, jet black with strange white eyes like that of something blind. The raven swooped down to land a few paces in front of him. The warrior stood and wondered at this omen, surely it was a messenger of Morrigu'. It appeared to be staring directly at him and as Tae looked into [STRIKE]it's [/STRIKE] his eyes he felt a cold burning in his brain. He felt voices in his mind [STRIKE]then[/STRIKE]. It sounded as if they came from all around, they spoke to him; hundreds of them all at once, some whispered, some spoke at length, some screamed in rage and cursed his life and others just raved and babbled in his ear[Interesting, I didn't see this coming...]. He recognized many of them and recognized [You already said "recognized" so using it twice makes it repetitive] them as men he had slain in battle. He felt madness take him by the throat as he looked into those alabaster eyes,; gripping his head in his hands he fell to his knees unable to break eye contact with the bird. The voices then merged into one definite utterance "Take up your sword, mortal. The dead await you!"
Then there was silence in his mind, the fire gone, the raven also gone like a spirit. This part was original, but somehow not strong enough. This part is surely an important event, I think you need more emotions and descriptions in there to make it affect a reader.

Tae rose to his feet and withdrew his sword from the earth, he returned it to [STRIKE]it's[/STRIKE] its sheath on his back. There was a mist behind Tae's eyes as he wondered on his immediate future, he would paint his body like his ancestors of old he decided and meet his end as they did. A soldier approached him at this point and laid his hand on Tae's shoulder, he did not flinch as he heard him coming. "Friend, come, the general is forming lines for attack and has asked for you personally to lead the charge".
"Aye, as I hoped. But I must prepare myself, fetch me woed so that I may apply it to my skin and fight the enemy with pride," Tae replied distantly.
"Will you not don your armour my lord Tae?" the gruff warrior asked, confused at this.
"No, not this day. Now fetch what I asked and be quick about it soldier."[STRIKE]. [/STRIKE]
It was some time before the soldier returned, carrying a small mortar and pestle containing the blue dye. "As you asked my lord. . . I got it from a dancing girl at camp"
Tae took it from him and stripped down to his waist, he began applying the woed to his body in intricate swirls, he wore only rough leather pants. After this he stared at his sword for long moments mumbling some kind of prayer or death song, the soldier watched this fascinated, he knew Tae was originally from some nameless barbarian tribe but never before had he seen the man revert to any kind of ritual[STRIKE]s[/STRIKE]. Tae strapped his sword to his back and marched down to the font of the army, past the archers, lancers, infantry and reserves till he reached the cavalry unit that he was to lead, a man brought his horse but Tae ignored him and continued walking forward towards the distant army [That sentence was waaaay too long, try breaking it up in to pieces.. Men called to him but he was deaf to them, his mind was set on one thing alone . . . blood. His march turned into a jog, men who respected him and held him in awe began to follow but were held in check by commands that the order to charge was not made.
The enemy line was directly ahead of him, the ground soft, the sky clear and the air hot – Tae drew his broadsword and screamed a guttural [one doesn't "scream" a roar, roaring is itself the verb, so you could say he let out a roar, or he roared, but screamed a roar just doesn't work]roar as he sped up. The enemy knew him through fables and legend, they called him Cursed Red, and the front line waithered, men stepped back and cast nervous glances at their comrades. The general was no fool and sent eight of his favoured warriors to meet the charge of the legend. I'm kind of at loss of imagery here...somethings that'll be helpful for you to point out: how many warriors are they in the ennemy? What do the four favored ones look like? Are they all wearing matching armours?etc.
Fifty paces from the front line these men formed a semi circle and ran to meet Tae’s singular charge, they all carried longswords except for a bearded giant who carried a large battle axe[STRIKE],[/STRIKE]. Tae recognised him instantly as Crimthann, a man [STRIKE]who’s [/STRIKE] whose reputation almost rivalled his own. He hit them fast and hard at the centre gutting a soldier with a thrust to the belly, the rest circled round him – two charged him from his front and back. The man to his front stabbed for Tae’s face but the thrust was parried by Tae’s broadsword sending the man off balance, as he stumbled, Tae turned to face the other, crossing swords immediately, he brought his knee up into the man's groin before slicing him deeply on his chest. The other assailant had regained balance as Tae turned again and sliced at his feet, as graceful as a cat, Tae stepped over the blade and sheathed his own in the warrior’s chest. This all happened in a matter of seconds and the other five hesitated before surrounding and advancing upon Tae slowly together.[I think you should start a new pargraph here.] The next few minutes were a flurry of movement as Tae showed these so-called warriors what it meant to be mortal, he was born for this. They attacked all at once making them more clumsy as they avoided their own comrades' swords, Tae's broadsword snaked out like a live thing and claimed a head, then an arm before dispatching two more with a thrust to groin and clean slash to chest.
Crimthann remained standing, axe raised, he stood a full head and shoulder over the painted, flame haired warrior. They locked gaze for a moment then began to circle, both men knew that a fight between axe and sword could not last long. Men from both armies could be heard cheering for one or the other. Crimthann struck first sending his axe thundering down forcing Tae to leap to the side. Tae then rolled forward and slashed at Crimthann's legs, the cut was deep to his calves and he fell heavily - without mercy or a second glance Tae dealt the finishing stroke to his fallen enemy. Many more would fall under his blade that day, he had no room in his heart for mercy. I like this last sentence.
Ignoring the general's commands and shouts the men who were loyal to Tae, some even thought him immortal, charged after him encouraged with his display of skill and bravery. Tae himself had began walking toward the enemy, sword held out to the side.
Thanks to his dramatics all order began to collapse and battle commenced with outright disobedience to the orders bellowed by those in command on both sides. Tae ignored all and took in everything - he had never felt as he did now, there was a strange acceptance which lent him an air of casualty as he cut a bloody path through those who defied his steel. He knocked a man to the earth, a young man with dusty blonde hair who cringed on his belly, beardless and crying he could have been mistaken for a child but Tae ran his sword through his spine nonetheless, barely noticing the crunch and tare as he withdrew his blade from the man and earth below. The pictish swirls painted on his skin now lost their intricacy and clarity as sweat, dirt and clashing bodies smeared the woed, mixing it with blood so he took on the apparel of a dark harbinger of death.
Battle cries mixed in with death screams, it was total chaos and at the centre was Tae, slaying with barely a second thought to guard himself against attack - not that he needed to, men tried hard to keep away but by the time they were close enough in the fray to realise they were face to face with [STRIKE]tae[/STRIKE] Tae they were dead, sent to the afterlife to wait.
"Won't have to wait long, boys!"' Tae bellowed aloud, " I'll be joining you soon enough!"

The battle must have lasted no more than 30 minutes but when men's blood is up and the senses are sharper time slows so that it seemed so much longer. Men were fleeing the field now, those who managed to find horses rode, others jogged or in some cases swayed. Neither side had victory this day though the opposing army had in fact more men at the time of retreat it was no matter when morale hits so low. “Where are the rest!, where is my death!, my peace!”, Tae roared to the sky, there was no one else for him to kill this day and he had only one or two flesh wounds, nothing mortal, “ You have cheated me Morrigu’!”
He stood amongst a field of corpses, his torso, arms and face a dark red from blood and body paint. He looked down at the earth and sheathed his sword in it with a grunt of bestial rage. “ You wish to have me slay forever till nothing remains”, he says this as no more than a whisper, now his voice grows to that of a boom that surely all gods on all mountain tops heard and trembled, “Then I will start with you ,Morrigu’! . . . Goddess of battle and destruction!, let us see how you fare against my blade!” lastly he withdrew his sword from the ground and in one swift motion swung it above his head screaming his rage to the heavens, such pure hatred and blood-lust in one soul!
Overhead a raven with white eyes circled and at the sound of Tae’s roar those eyes turned to a shocking blue that seemed to steam in the cold air, it squawked back and in that sound could be heard a woman’s laughter touched with amusement.

Ooh, I was shocked that it wasn't a god but a Goddess. Nice element of surprise This is good so far, just watch out for run-ons and becareful with your punctuation. Good job so far.
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