[IC] To Be Chancellor

10/07/2012 11:38 AMPosted by Asuryån
some deskbound varlet who knows not the difference between a mamelon and a ravelin

Haha, oh you. Great read overall.
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100 Human Warrior
9525
A fine story, to be sure.
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100 Blood Elf Death Knight
13505
Do you keep a writers blog? I'd love to read/stalk it.
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95 Human Warlock
12890
10/07/2012 02:13 PMPosted by Orazio
Haha, oh you. Great read overall.


There's a ton of little references like that in there. Though I suppose that is the most obvious.

10/07/2012 03:55 PMPosted by Felthier
Do you keep a writers blog? I'd love to read/stalk it.


Alas, I do not. Though perhaps I should start one.

As for everyone else; again, I thank you for the kind words. If anyone is up to it, I'd appreciate knowing (post it here; whisper me; IM me; mail me) what specifically made you enjoy the piece, and what (if anything) you felt didn't jive with the tone or could use work.
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90 Pandaren Shaman
5600
This story sucked I hate it so much. It's terrible.

You should go be a butcher or something.
Edited by Lidun on 10/7/2012 4:47 PM PDT
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90 Human Paladin
12960
You should definitely start one, Eld.
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As for everyone else; again, I thank you for the kind words. If anyone is up to it, I'd appreciate knowing (post it here; whisper me; IM me; mail me) what specifically made you enjoy the piece, and what (if anything) you felt didn't jive with the tone or could use work.


Has it been touched upon why Asuryan is plagued with so many waking nightmares? They seem to be a heavy core in a lot of his stories.
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92 Gnome Warlock
6745
To be honest, it's your language and use of imagery that I like about your story. It adds so much more depth and visual comparisons that I can see it in my mind better, but left open ended enough that its open to interpretation by anyone, not nailed down to a very specific action or visual.

At least that's how I see it, and what makes me enjoy it so :)
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Two turtles up!
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90 Human Warlock
7420
Your writing is as excellent as ever, though I do feel like this story is a bit rushed. Like Brutaria said though, the language and use of imagery is sensational. Poor Tyladrin ):
Edited by Cythe on 10/7/2012 11:11 PM PDT
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88 Human Warrior
8085
First off, there are few things I love more than eloquent cursing. I also liked the nightmares, as they've been termed, and the big bite of them at the beginning left me with enough of an impression that the later nibbles could invoke a lot with less effort.
Edited by Lito on 10/7/2012 11:56 PM PDT
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100 Blood Elf Priest
11295
Wonderfully written! You've a very particular literary voice that makes me want to dust off my keyboard and write.
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100 Human Warrior
13945
Well written story. Exactly what I've come to expect from Moon Guard's second best writer.
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95 Human Warlock
12890
10/07/2012 04:54 PMPosted by Malere
Has it been touched upon why Asuryan is plagued with so many waking nightmares? They seem to be a heavy core in a lot of his stories.


I've hinted at it, but never outright said it, I don't think; Asuryan suffers from extreme PTSD.

10/07/2012 05:17 PMPosted by Brutaria
To be honest, it's your language and use of imagery that I like about your story. It adds so much more depth and visual comparisons that I can see it in my mind better, but left open ended enough that its open to interpretation by anyone, not nailed down to a very specific action or visual.


Thank you for the specific feedback! Really appreciate it!

10/07/2012 11:11 PMPosted by Cythe
Your writing is as excellent as ever, though I do feel like this story is a bit rushed. Like Brutaria said though, the language and use of imagery is sensational. Poor Tyladrin ):


Good eye because it actually was rushed; especially the ending.
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85 Troll Warrior
5535
10/07/2012 11:41 AMPosted by Asuryån
You would do well to meditate upon that saying."


I lol'd when I read this.

Anyway, good read. Sorry that I missed it earlier honestly.

I wonder who the men picked for that mission will be. Just throwing it out there, Fishel is pretty boss and is pretty intent on living.
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95 Human Warlock
12890
The Lord Chancellor's question was one of those elusive queries that was fated to never be answered. A hastily-born thing, forged of mounting anger and shouted in obvious rage as he strode down the halls of the Albrecht manse in Stormwind, towards the wing of the great building dedicated solely to the offices of Her Majesty's Chancery. It was well that the hour was so late and the halls stood naked of sentries and servants, for the Lord Chancellor's voice was a hoary growl that sounded far more bestial than human.

"Why, in the name of Lothar's bristling beard, did you have to bring the man here?!"

Eventaria Forisi walked at his side, struggling to keep pace with the Chancellor's long-legged stride. Struggling, too, to make herself heard over Asuryan's procession of profanity. Her voice, too, was a scowl; considerably more pleasing to the ear, but a scowl nonetheless. The Dame's lips were drawn taut, presenting a determined expression even as the Lord Chancellor hauled open a heavy door and strode through. "There was no time to secure off-property holding," she snapped, her jaw set tight: "And to transport him to Blackmarsh would have taken time to arrange; time our enemies could use to get wind of his imprisonment."

Asuryan stopped in front of a second, heavier door. His lips twisted into a sheer and he violently shook his head. "Imprisonment?" The sarcasm dripped from parted lips, thick enough to slice with a blade. "Is that what this is, Miss Forisi? I had thought imprisonment to be the final step of a legal process, during which a man is brought before his accuser, presented with his crimes and granted a trial of evidence or of combat." For a moment, he paused. That sneer turned to a smile; overly saccharine and full of the sweetness of truly forbidden fruit. "I imagine," Asuryan continued with obvious merriment on the tip of his tongue, "That this man is tied to a chair, after you beat him senseless in a dark alley and drug him here in the back of a cadaver cart. Would I be incorrect, Miss Forisi?"

Her silence was all the answer Asuryan needed, and he turned from Eventaria to haul open the second door.

As he'd suspected, the 'prisoner' was held in a considerably less-formal confinement than incarceration might entail. He'd been stripped to the waist and seated on one of the high-backed chairs common of the Chancery offices, arms lashed to the side rests and his legs likewise affixed to the legs of the chair by numerous coils of taut rope. Behind the chair stood an armored man, his surcoat bearing the blood-red livery of Lordaeron Restored. A sword was buckled to his belt, and his armored hands held a short-hafted blackjack that had obviously seen recent use. The 'prisoner''s face was a bloody, swollen mess, his teeth likely retained in his mouth solely through the luxury of the gag tied tight around his face. Asuryan suspected that the cloth had once been an off-white, or perhaps a darker gray; it was now a muddied mixture of red and brown from dried blood.

After studying the prisoner for a moment, Asuryan turned his attentions to the smaller figure standing in the shadow of the chair. His expression softened, for just a moment. "It was you," he asked, "Who told Miss Forisi where this man was to be found?"

Wald Digger had no words for the Lord Chancellor. He nodded, slowly, and Asuryan found an almost fatherly smile perishing the last vestiges of his scowl. It had been Wald Digger -- little Runt -- who had first come to Asuryan some months ago, to tell him of the rather crass comments he'd overheard some of the Manse's household making about the Queen. It had been Wald Digger, who, three weeks past, had come to the Chancellor and told him -- hesitantly, hesitantly of course -- about the kitchen wretch who'd dug a tunnel from the scullery to the inside of the Exchequer Vault. At first, Asuryan had taken Wald's information-gathering to be the idle observations of a precocious youth, too long confined to the inside of the estate and yearning for entertainment; but the boy had persisted far longer than a flight of pique and fancy would entail.

'Why are you telling me this?' Asuryan had asked him one day, after Wald had reported the latest licentious gossip circulating through the barracks. And Wald, with nary an expression on his face had said, 'It would hurt The Queen if she knew they were saying those things about her.'

And some days later, when the men in question had mysteriously vanished during a night of carousing in one of Stormwind's rougher districts, Wald had not even cared to inquire if Asuryan was responsible for their disappearance. Asuryan was sure the boy knew the truth. Perhaps not the specifics; not that their throats had been cut and their bodies unceremoniously left outside the walls, in a culvert drain as fodder for water-snakes and fowl; but Wald knew.
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95 Human Warlock
12890
Asuryan smiled. He understood. The boy was defending The Queen as best his age and station allowed. Descending to a knee, Asuryan peered Wald in the eyes. Beneath the Chancellor's burning, amaranthine gaze, within which men had purportedly seen burning felfire, Wald Digger did not wince; he did not look away. The boy nodded again, and Asuryan lifted a hand and patted his shoulder, softly. "You did very well, Wald," he whispered. The boy smiled, for a moment. The Queen, Asuryan suspected, did not lavish much praise upon little Wald. It would make him hard, that could not be doubted. It would steel him; and Wald Digger would grow to become something more than Her Majesty's Chancellor, Asuryan Caernough; he would eclipse the glories of The Lance of Lordaeron and the Shining Mountain; of the Conqueror of Naxxramas himself and even, in all her radiance, Queen Madelynne I.

"I'd like you to stay, Wald," Asuryan said as he rose to his feet. "And observe this." The Chancellor's attentions turned to Eventaria, and to the soldier standing sentry behind the prisoner's chair. "Miss Forisi. Mister Bloodjoy. Pray, leave me with this man, that I might hear his grievances."

The two soldiers exchanged glances, and then made to exit. Asuryan stepped in front of the prisoner, waiting until he heard the door close to remove the man's gag. As he'd expected, the first thing to emerge from the man's mouth was a succession of broken teeth. The second was a litany of profanity that Asuryan silenced by grabbing his hair in one hand, and pressing the other down firmly over his mouth.

"When I remove my hand," Asuryan said in a level, even voice, "You are not going to scream. You're not going to shout, or curse me." The man was squirming under his hand; struggling. Asuryan gamely pinched his nose shut between his thumb and index finger. The struggling intensified. "We are," Asuryan continued, mindful of the rocking chair, "Going to converse as two gentlemen, mindful of the world's realities, and consigned to our lot in life." He paused, for a moment and stared the man in the eyes. "Do I make myself clear?"

Slowly, not without obvious reluctance, the struggling ceased and Asuryan drew his hand away. He glanced at the soiled glove and wiped away a mixture of spittle and blood with some distaste, smearing the foul miasma on the back of a nearby piece of paper plucked from an adjacent desk. "T'ank you, m'lord," the man rasped. Asuryan frowned. "It's 'my lord'. Two words." The frown deepened and Asuryan leaned forwards, staring the man in the eye again. "Why do you transgress against Her Majesty, sir? What has she done to earn your ire?"

"She ain't nothin' bot a !@#$%," the man snapped, the chair rocking from his sheer excitement. "Two-faced slattern 'at says 'un thing an' does another! I was there! Years back, in the north! She left us, sir! She left us all to die!"

"You were a soldier, then?" Asuryan asked, ever the face of calm. He chanced a look at Wald; the boy was standing a foot behind him, likewise wearing a blank expression. Wald was studying the man intently, his jaw set to a studious clench and his eyes holding the half-focused stare of a man carefully digesting each word.

"Aye, m'lor--my lord. We was called Crimson, then. An she just up and left us, when the goin' got tough! Nary a 'by yer leave' or even a 'thank ya fer fightin, my soldiers!' She left us!"

Asuryan frowned and calmly tugged the man's gag back into place. Immediately, the struggling began again. But Soult Bloodjoy had served the Alliance Navy during the great campaigns of the Second War; he was an old hand with knots. Those bonds held fast, though the chair did threaten to tip. Asuryan's hand fell upon the bridge of the high back, steadying the seat. His attentions dipped down, lingering upon the simpering wretch. He knew the realities of which the man spoke; the accusations were true, of course. No matter how much The Queen had changed since those days, how sincere her present desire for justice, there would always be shadows of the past ready to drag the gleaming future back into the darkness of yesteryear.

Men that heard the tale would not be inclined to contrast such actions with the Queen's newly-given grace. Her Majesty had enough detractors that what a reasonable man would take as a moment of folly since atoned for, raving lunatics would seize hold of such a secret and shout it up and down the high street, nostrils flailing with barely-focused mania as they sought to utilize even tragic circumstances to unseat Her Majesty. Asuryan had seen it before; all too often. Stormwind was full of such foul men.

Azgevin Hopesfire was suddenly standing behind the chair. His hands were steepled beneath his chin and he stared at Asuryan with a half-smile. 'None so foul as you, eh?'
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95 Human Warlock
12890
Emerald eyes closed for a moment and he swallowed hard. He turned to Wald, then showing the spectre his back. "The world is full of ugly things, Wald," he said softly. "When you show me, or bring me men whose word and deed would upset or injure The Queen, their fate is not a kind one. I suspect you know this."

Silent, Wald nodded. Asuryan continued speaking. "If we tried this man, he would shout his tale for half the world to hear. And it would not matter, anything we said against him. It would not even matter if he was lying, for there are far too many whose hate for Her Majesty has blinded them to reason and virtue. Even more, he is guilty of no crime save speaking the truth, abject may it be." Asuryan smiled, then. "You're a young man, Wald. But soon you will grow, and the time will come for you, too, to serve The Queen. You will serve her as best you can, of this I am sure. You will defend her to the end, as you do now."

Slowly, Asuryan brought his hands to his shoulders. Fingers curled around the golden, L-linked chain of his livery collar and he lifted it free of his person. "Whatever you do, Wald, whatever comes of you -- I beg you remember this. The Queen is a radiant being. She is pristine, she is free from the follies of mere men. For hers is a Grace given by the Light, infalliable and eternal. She is above reproach and she must forever be free of dirt and grime."

He ran the chain through his fingers, and then brought his hand to a fist. The collar's heavy golden amulet hung free, blazoned with the great seal of Lordaeron. "Secrets, too, Wald," Asuryan said softly. Sadly. "She must forever be free of secrets. I am Her Majesty's Chancellor, Wald. But I am too the keeper of her secrets. I am the guardian of the truth. I serve The Queen and I would fall on my sword in a moment if she demand it, for she is worthy."

"This, then," Asuryan finished in a bare whisper as he turned from the boy to the prisoner. "Is what it means to be Chancellor."

His left hand came on high and he brought the limb down hard. The golden amulet smashed into the prisoner's brow, breaking bone and sundering flesh. Fresh blood ran down the man's face, soaking his gag anew and flooding his mouth to further stymy agonized screams. Asuryan lifted his hand again and once more the amulet descended, golden pallete shining in the light of flickering torches as it crashed into broken flesh. Again and again, Asuryan beat the man with his chain. He beat him until his face was but a gory crater of blood and broken bone; he beat him until the man's frantic struggling ceased forever and he beat him until his amulet was covered in bits of bone and gore and the floor beneath the chair was covered in a mixture of blood and urine.

Breathing heavily, Asuryan turned to look at Wald. The boy had stood, unflinching, as the Chancellor worked his bloody, bone-breaking task. He'd said not a word and shifted not an inch. After a moment of staring at the dead man, his body slumped in the chair, he looked at Asuryan. Wald said nothing. He needed not to, for Asuryan saw beneath the innocence of those wide eyes the lurking steel. "Why did you do it yourself?" he asked Asuryan, at last.

Her Majesty's Chancellor smiled, trying in vain to clean his collar on the same piece of blood-smeared paper. "I sought to show you something, Wald. Teach you something, perhaps. But more than all that, I wished to know your measure. And I know it now."

There was confusion on the boy's face and he went to speak, but Asuryan silenced him with a wave of the hand. "Come." He was smiling wide. "We shall fetch you some sweet rolls from the kitchen before we send you to bed." He ushered Wald towards the door. "Miss Forisi and Mister Bloodjoy will clean up the mess, fret not. You're a good boy, Wald, more than you know. If Her Majesty ever scolds you it's for good reason; everything a Queen does has reason, you see..."

Like a father to a son, Asuryan Caernough praised little Wald Digger as behind them, a dead man's blood spread across the floor like growing shadows.
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90 Worgen Druid
10460
I just re-read the first story, and found what I (believe to be) a few small parts of the writing that can be improved. I'm by no means as skilled a writer as you, but I think you used the word 'evenly' and the word 'excessively' a bit too often. Moreso with the former then the latter.
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95 Human Warlock
12890
It's quite possible, I'll take a look back in a few minutes. Every writer has 'pet' words that seem to end up excessively* slipped into their narrative. Martin does it with 'wroth' and a few other words.

*I did that on purpose.
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