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Great Frickin' Literature by TheSkull31


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November 30, 2012
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"What do you mean -- The same as me?"  Rifel quizzed Duncan, gesturing vaguely at the fog.

"What you said earlier... It seemed to imply that because of the fog, you saw nothingness. And because of that nothingness, your mind was fettered with the possibilities of what it could contain. I simply meant to imply that I feel the same as you. Ignorance in important fields is an abomination."

"I see." Rifel said softly. "Is that truly how you feel?"

"Yes, of course. Sometimes what you can't see is more frightening than what's available to the naked eye. There could be anything down there, sir."

"You're not lying solely for my benefit? The knowledge that you will replace me as the fourth triumvir when I die isn't affecting your answer in... any way?"

"Goodness no, Rifel. That's honestly how I feel."

The vulpine took a deep breath, as if a great deal of stress had just been lifted from upon his back. "Well, if you're honest. I must be as well."

Duncan turned to the older male, no longer facing the horizon, but instead towards his teacher. "I don't understand. What do you mean?"

"There is a reason that you didn't know what called you here today. Why The Triumvirate didn't tell you the specifics when they mentioned my inaction."

"Go on." Duncan nodded, as if the motion of his head would urge Rifel to continue. "I expected a surprise, that something was going on here."

This instantly got Valessa more engulfed in the conversation, as the notepad in her paw proceeded to get marked with numerous notable facts. Come on.... she thought. This might be big!

Well, she knew the specifics because of her frequent visits here, though to anyone else this information would surely seem overwhelming and frightening – leaving them to drown in a sea of information without any foreseeable context.

In The Triumvirate's early attempts at introducing plausible deniability, they hired on an unofficial 'fourth triumvir' to carry out the work they deemed to controversial or immoral to conduct by themselves. This included rooting out many of the infantile rebellions and enacting the slaughter of those who had opposed their rule. It was ruthless, of course – but no one knew about this except for a very privileged few, including Valessa, the rebellion, and Rifel and Duncan themselves.

This would in fact not be known to anyone except the two on the cliff and The Triumvirate themselves if Valessa hadn't extracted it at an earlier date. It was rather depressing, Valessa thought. Every normal kin belived The Triumvirate was God, because they had the ability to make their will manifest itself into action while still remaining stagnant in their chambers. None of them knew the truth, they were no more Gods than Valessa herself – they merely had puppets acting in the shadows to make their rule seem absolute. Because the fourth triumvir was a very dangerous job in and of itself for quite obvious reasons, the current hire was always forced to train a replacement to follow them after their inevitable death in the field.

This adequately explained the relationship between Rifel and Duncan, mentor and protege. Valessa could hear sadness in Rifel's words; a male who was tired of doing unspeakable things for the entirety of his life – and she could hear counterpoint eagerness in Duncan; someone who couldn't wait to serve those he thought were God. In ten years, Valessa was almost certain that Duncan would be where Rifel now stood, with his trainee as eager as he was today. That absolutely would happen, a continued and vicious cycle.

The sun seemed to make the white fur of Rifel almost unbearable to look at, lest one be blinded. If Valessa were observing anyone else but him, she would have thought that their fur displayed a sort of majesty. The black fur of Duncan however, made him seem as a shadow to Rifel, insignificant in comparison, only there to tag along.  Then, Rifel's next words jerked her back to cognition, along with the realization of how ironic her previous thoughts had been.

"We were told to meet here – because... The Triumvirate desires your death."

Suddenly Rifel's inaction made perfect sense, as did his hesitance when he spoke those words.
Just the next part. Simple enough.
Got some criticism telling me to flesh out the characters more.
So I tried explaining their motivations, places in society etc...
I also tried to explain Rifel and Duncan's base appearance in a way that represented their characters. I hope it worked.
After this you should understand the relationship between these characters a little more, and just how bad The Triumvirate actually is.

CHANGELOG
12/03/12:
- Changed it's and its to be correct
- Changed some dialogue to fit the characters better
- Changed men to male and will change woman to female to be more animalistic and less human.

12/09/12:
- Minor dialogue and flow changes to make it more readable.
- FINAL VERSION
Add a Comment:
 
:icondoggonepony:
So, this is my first time writing a critique. Hope it helps or at least makes sense! Here goes...

You're off to a good start. The elements of a strong story are starting to develop. You seem to be finding a good balance between action and description. Keep working on that mixture. I find that blending character or setting descriptions with actions helps. (e.g. "With a quick flick of the paw, he swept the soft, near luminescent fur from his eyes" - this helps truncate the story and keep the rhythm smooth.)

I've noticed several instances of expository writing. Now, this falls more under 'personal preferences', but some readers can be turned off when the author consistently tells them what the characters are thinking or feeling, rather than showing their demeanor through action. But again, this is about you finding your own style and voice, so everything here should be taken with a grain of salt. You may try experimenting with this, though, if it suits you.

As far as characters go: obviously, we're only a few posts in, so a true sense of character is all but impossible to present, but I'd really like to get to know Duncan better before the Triumvirate, well, you know... If we're given a chance to truly understand and connect with a character - to learn the quirks that make them unique and likeable - it really heightens the impact of their tragedy (if he does, indeed, meet his maker). And that goes for every character. Protagonist or antagonist. Main character or supporting role. That, in turn, should help you further demonstrate the true depths of deplorability within the Triumvirate. The more we care for a character, the more we'll despise those who do them harm.

Finally, I need to mention how much I love the language you use. I think you do a great job of not only painting some strong imagery, but also giving a good sense of the society within which these characters live day-to-day. If it feels natural, maybe try playing around with character speech patterns to help further differentiate between each individual character. Speech and dialogue are just as important (in my opinion, at least) in shaping a character's identity as action. How someone talks - not just accents, but vocabulary, slang, etc. - can really paint a wonderful and immediate picture of what sort of personalities we as readers are dealing with.

Anywho, I think that about wraps up my 2 cents (or 100.... sorry). I really really hope I didn't come across as douchey, and if I did, I wholeheartedly apologize. I sincerely believe you've got the makings of a good story here. I try to make my critique of any work as positive and helpful as I can. You're welcome to take all my advice (*snort*) or absolutely none of it. I hope that this was even the teensiest bit useful. If not, I'm sorry. In either case, I look forward to reading the next installment!! :D
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
5 out of 5 deviants thought this was fair.

:iconapersonalcharm:
Very nice continuation. I appreciate the casually delivered insights into the rule of the Triumvirate, and the cliffhanger at the end. Again, though, I have a few bones to pick.

""What do you mean -- The same as me?" Rifel quizzed Duncan, while moving his paws in tandem with his speech – an intricate attempt to deliver his words more credence."

I like the phrasing of the actions, but it doesn't belong here, in my opinion. When you have a character deliver a speech that has an imploring tone to it, please use this! Right here, though, use a simpler (and much quicker) motion, such as "Rifel queried, gesturing vaguely at the fog".

Then, I have a few doubts about the conversation. Why does Riful think Duncan may be lying? ("You're not lying solely for my benefit?") Apparently Duncan will take his position eventually - but only once Riful himself is dead, so why should he try to deceive his mentor?
Also - Duncan is apparently of the same opinion as his teacher. So why does this knowledge cause Riful to take "a deep breath, as if a great deal of stress had just been lifted from upon his back"? Shouldn't it make him feel more pressured, if he knows he has to kill his student, who reflects the same opinion as he himself? Unless the weight was lifted off his back because now he has decided that he will not kill him.. Alright, don't answer that question ^^

I like the way you segued from the conversation to Valessa's insights into the reign of the Triumvirate. But one part is awkward. Here's the section in question:

"This instantly got Valessa more engulfed in the conversation, as the notepad in her paw started to crave information. Come on.... she thought. I don't have all day."

This seems inconsistent on Valessa's part - one moment she's "engulfed", the next moment she impatiently says that she doesn't "have all day". Just change it a little bit, so that it sounds like she's itching for the information because she's curious, not because she doesn't have time. The phrase "the notepad in her paw started to crave information" is slightly strange, too.. It seems like the notepad is almost sentient. Keep the attention fixed on Valessa, not her notepad. "This instantly got Valessa more engulfed in the conversation, pausing her notations as she cocked an ear for the revelation. She already had gathered a fair amount of information from previous visits, but to anyone else that information would surely seem overwhelming and frightening. The more puzzle pieces she could gather, the better.

In The Triumvirate's early attempts at introducing plausible deniability, they hired on an unofficial 'fourth triumvir' to carry out the work they deemed to controversial or immoral to conduct by themselves. This included rooting out many of the infantile rebellions and enacting the slaughter of those who had opposed their rule. It was ruthless, of course – but no one knew about this except for a very privileged few, including Valessa, the rebellion, and Rifel and Duncan themselves."

One other, smaller point.
"The black fur of Duncan, however, made him seem as a shadow to Rifel, insignificant in comparison, only there to tag along. How ironic she thought, before Rifel's next words jerked her back to cognition."

Why does she think it's ironic? It seems ironic once we know that Rifel is to kill Duncan (thus making him the inferior), but before getting that knowledge, what causes her to think it's ironic? You could preempt the coming revelation by saying something like "Then Rifel's next words jerked her back to cognition, and she realized how ironic those thoughts were."

Great development in this story. On to the next part! (And I hope you don't mind my suggestions - I'm just trying to help ^^)
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:iconwolfcraz-11:
wolfcraz-11 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
What? No don't kill Duncan! He's so nice sounding. Guess I'll have to read to find out. Wonder if there will be lapins in this story. I am such a wolf fan. The triumverate is starting to sound scary. Who replaces the them? Ack I want to know but I just have to keep reading. Good chapter!
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:iconkykyminnyny:
kykyminnyny Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014
cool loved it
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:iconshadowequinox:
shadowequinox Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I LOVE this!
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:iconstanleythecat:
stanleythecat Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Student Artist
Dude this is getting addicting
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:iconboolosuspichu86:
BoolosusPichu86 Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
BLUH! cliffhanger :3

must know what happens next :P
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:iconkylelambert:
KyleLambert Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Professional Writer
Hehe, you will! And I hope you enjoy it! Tell your friends!
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:iconkitsuneichigo:
KitsuneIchigo Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013
So far I am really liking this, the end was a good twist. I'm kind of disappointed you don't have more in your gallery, but then again if you are looking to publish that's for obvious reasons. I like how you include Valessa enough to let us see her perspective, but it doesn't really mess with anything flow-wise. Kudos there.
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:iconkylelambert:
KyleLambert Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Professional Writer
Aww, thank you very much! My personal favourite entry is 004, I hope you enjoy it as much as me.
I plan to start uploading more -- you caught me right in the beginning of my story, I'm still uploading it on a page by page basis.
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:iconizaya-fangirl-103:
Izaya-fangirl-103 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Quite interesting I say! Can't wait to read more!
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:iconamnesiarose:
AmnesiaRose Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Oooo! This is good!:D
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