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John Farson, Bandit Lord

 
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Letum



Joined: 20 Oct 2006
Posts: 149

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:24 pm    Post subject: John Farson, Bandit Lord Reply with quote

It is a chilly morning. Mist winds its tendrils through the undergrowth and settles in the hollows of the land. It drips from trees, sparkles on spiderwebs and dampens nine filthy campers. They were huddled around a small, smoking pile of sticks, each attempting to breathe life into it while explaining to all the others why only he was sufficiently skilled to do so. Eventually an open flame occured, possibly because of some actual skill, but more likely because the spirits of fire were hoping for a lucky break; a band of fools more likely to start a forest fire could not be found anywhere else. They fed the fire until it reached a size fit to cook over, then began to argue about how they would suspend their pots and pans over the fire. The fact that no pots or pans were present could be taken care of later. After some discussion and an amazing bout of cooperation, the group conceived a sturdy frame lashed together from stout branches that would sit over the fire and support their cookware. They set it over the fire. Being made of wood, it caught fire.

The renewed bickering was cut off suddenly as a large, flat rock smashed onto the charred remnants of the device, sending sparks up into the clammy air. They nicely frame the shape of John Farson, who looks down on the other with barely restrained exasperation. He has a decent set of cloth garments under leather jerkin and leggings, contrasting sharply with the stained and rather shoddy bits of leather and cloth worn by the others. He tries to keep his murderous desire out of his voice. "The rock will get hot. Cook on it." He turns around and walks away from the camp, selecting a tree about twenty yards away and leaning against it. He stares intently out into the woods, as if looking at something only he can see. A strange sort of burning smell wafts from the camp along with a snatch of conversation. "Don't let it roll off!" John leans around a tree to see. "For the love of..." John can't actually think of anything he loves, but refuses to falter. He yells out, "BREAK the eggs, THEN cook them!" A triumphant voice proclaims "See? Tolja!" He turns back around and resumes his watch. Overhead a squirrel jumps between trees, dislodging some small piece of debris that falls to the ground and makes a small sound in the brush. John's head snaps to the left. "Ten feet! Either my sight is failing or you're getting better. Either way it's a frightening thought." A form peels itself off of a tree. The man is short and thin, with a razor grin. His leather clothes are tight. Irregular patches of cloth in shades of brown and green are attached at every possible point, completely obscuring all but his eyes. This suit is his most prized possession, not because of the stealth it affords, but because there is a loose thread in his left sleeve that, when pulled, will let free every scrap, allowing him to fight or flee uninhibited. "They nearly laughed me out of the Assassins' Guild when I took up sewing," he will tell anyone who asks, "but they're not laughing any more." Now he walks casually over to John, picks a nearer tree to lean against, and promptly vanishes from untrained sight. "Eh, you was distracted. An' who can blame ya? Bunch of buffoons." He spares a spit towards the group in question, but despite the covert efforts of Neptulon's agents it fails to reach the fire.

"So, what's the news?" asks John. The man gives an eerie impersonation of a talking tree trunk as he delivers his report. "Three wagons, merchant driving two mules. Looks like clothes, weapons and foodstuffs. No passengers to be seen. Escort was four of the Kynge's Men." At this John gives a hearty laugh of merriment. The Kynge's Men! Chivalrous fools! The Kynge's Men was a well-established escort company known for their high-quality weapons and their excellent swordsmanship. This was what made John so happy. He knew personally that the last thing a man wanted to do in a battle was get engaged in a swordfight. They were long and tiresome; they sapped all your energy and, worst of all, there was the chance that you might lose. No, John had his own personal fighting style. It was a very simple process: Hard object to the groin, sharp object in the gut, and skip the first step whenever possible. There were, of course, variations, such as "hard object to the head, sharp object in the neck" and the extremely complicated and specialized "hard object to the kneecap, sharp object staring you in the eye." John preferred to keep things simple, though. "How far?" "Last saw them on the road from John's Town. They'll be here shortly after noon, I'd say. 'Till then, what say we take our fair share of breakfast?" "Whoa there," says John. "I wouldn't touch anything they'd made with a ten-foot pole. Knowing them, they're cooking over poison ivy." A voice chose just that moment to drift to them from between the trees. "Aw egg tuppose oo make yoaw hung feew dum?" "Point taken," says the scout. "Well, I did manage to nab a little something off the back cart." "You didn't! You scoundrel!" shouts John in mock-disapproval. He knows his man wouldn't be seen. The scout takes a biscuit wrapped in paper from some unknowable pocket of his outfit, breaks off half, and passes it to John. "So, four mercs," says John. "Reckon we'll be able to get rid of these buffoons?" "Eh, maybe not," replies the rogue. "But hey, if anyone is left over I'm sure they'll have an unfortunate accident." John smiles and takes a big bite of his biscuit.

NOTE: I am aware that I suddenly change tense at the beginning of the second paragraph. This was entirely unintentional, but I am considering keeping it for artistic purposes. It is an interesting way of showing the John is the mian character; everything is background until he arrives, and then it becomes action. What do you think? Artistic license, or grammatical correctness?

I have also had a critic tell me that the stupid people are overdone. I had intended them to be farcical and to contrast with the darker characters, so I thought overdoing is was just right. Render an opinion? Many thanks.
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Amaunator



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Location: Belgium ... innocuous but intrepid!

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're really going for the farcical way to go, have it your way ^^, but the fact remains that I can't understand what 'Aw egg tuppose oo make yoaw hung feew dum?' means (especilaly 'hung' Confused), so that's a slight flaw in the plan. Make them dumb if you wish, but at least make them understandable as well.

Other than that, I didn't really notice the tense change, which means that it's all down to your own taste. As I have long said: changing tense is not advisable but still possible, and you found the right time for it Smile.

Other than that: keep up the good work Wink.
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Letum



Joined: 20 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That particular phrase was, "Are eggs supposed to make your tongue feel numb?" The comic implication is that, as predicted, they have prepared their eggs over the toxic and debilitating smoke of poison ivy.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Letum wrote:
That particular phrase was, "Are eggs supposed to make your tongue feel numb?" The comic implication is that, as predicted, they have prepared their eggs over the toxic and debilitating smoke of poison ivy.


I figured as much (I had translated the 'numb' successfully Very Happy) but the entire phrase still was a mystery to me Very Happy.

How long do you intend to make this and for what purpose? Smile
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Letum



Joined: 20 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It will probably only be one more post long...and the purpose is yet to be revealed. Maybe one day I will state it plainly, but for now you will have to piece things together yourself.
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Alec



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wasn't the character in your last story named John Farson?
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Amaunator



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Location: Belgium ... innocuous but intrepid!

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The Force is strong in this one..."

Wink

Indeed; He's either reusing this character or filling in the empty patches of John Farson's life Wink.
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Letum



Joined: 20 Oct 2006
Posts: 149

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or both...

Doo dee doo doo...
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Alec



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh man, you are so evil. Teach me of your ways.
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Letum



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Farson stands in the middle of the dirt road, legs spread, defiant. His trusted second slouches on his left, eyeing nearby cover with a shifty glare, and the largest of the goons towers on his right, wearing a grin which is both vapid and sadistic. Another three leer and shift in the flanks as the merchant, taking notice, draws the reigns. The train settles to a stop as the rear mules take note. He's clearly a veteran of the routes, fixing John with an irritated deadpan. He knows he's not likely to be killed no matter how the guards fare, but even if they win they'll be entitled to a commission for active combat, so John means money of out his pocket in every way.

With deliberate rhythm the Kynge's Men jump down from the rear carts, first the forward two, then the rear, and draw their swords as one. Two station themselves at the rear of the train, where the other six ruffians have predictably closed the trap, while the forward two march in unison to the front of the train. The younger sheathes his sword and climbs alongside the driver, taking the reigns. The elder, with an ornate helm and sash, is clearly the captain. He steps in front of the lead cart and plants the tip of his sword in the dirt, draping his palms across the pommel in a defiant parade rest. He looks at John.

He opens his mouth to speak, but stops. He looks more closely at John. He glances obviously at the bandits, and turns and cranes his neck to look at those in the rear. Again he looks at John, who by now is becoming somewhat uncomfortable. At last he speaks. "We killed seven of yours last time you made a raid. How do you keep finding these poor souls?"

John is startled. This is the first time he's been recognized. He never wanted to make a name for himself, but when you do your work in the same place long enough it's bound to happen. Worse, this captain can tell he has a morale problem. He recovers quickly.

"To hear you tell it, you ran them all through in a single thrust!" He snorts. "There's more than enough of us and you know it." "YEAH!," the rabble contribute. "Generally this is the part where I negotiate for peaceful surrender, but if I know you Kynge's Men, things are going to become troublesome for everyone."

The captain smiles, and then smiles further, his face twisting into a savage grin. "More trouble than you know, John." John's heart jumps in his chest. "We're not the Kynge's Men."

The middle cart warps, shimmers, and is replaced: an ornate purple carriage stands where it was. John's second vanishes and is not seen again by anyone involved. The bandits begin to chatter, shout and waver. John stares as the left door of the carriage opens smoothly and three polished oak planks softly float down, forming a short suspended stair. A foot clad in dark leather extends, descends, and plants itself with a sharp rap. The rear bandits have fled, the forward are gathered in a small huddle a few feet behind John, conferring intensely and glancing past him. The fringe of a black cowl sweeps into view as the figure descends. It rounds the door; its face is hooded, its form obscured. It bears a staff of twisted darkwood in one pale hand, its peak lit with green flame. The bandits scatter into the woods with a collective howl.

John's eyes are locked on the figure, his feet seem rooted to the earth. He knows she should be running, talking, thinking, but all he can do is stare. In the corner of his eye the captain's grin continues to grow, twisting on itself like a watch-spring, while the world grows softer and the flame brighter. Footfalls ring like a hammer striking stone. The figure grows until all else is consumed. A veil is drawn, two points of light burn in the darkness. A voice speaks from nowhere, to no-one: "Do not fear when fear is useless, John. That is animal. Surrender yourself to flame. A great destiny awaits you which will not be denied." John opens his mouth, but there is no sound.
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Letum



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There, only took me seven years. Let's finish WoM next.
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