Malazan Empire: Extremely Short Piece of Possibly Longer Work - Malazan Empire

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Extremely Short Piece of Possibly Longer Work

#1 User is offline   Brujah 

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 05:37 PM

While creating polls pitting one Malazan character against another, I wrote this extremely small piece to set up the scene for a fight between Shadowthrone and Hood. I was thinking of making this into a full length short story or perhaps start a short story anew, but I am most fond of battle scenes and that's what I'd prefer writing. Any interest?

I named this battle, Death Sees Its Shadow.


Does Death itself cast a Shadow?

And if so, is it afraid?


A raspy sound begins when the silence ends. A broken laugh from a bent form. Inky blackness oozing over onyx stones.

"You would stand in my way?"

The voice is soft like crushed velvet, but full and confident. Soft as a whisper, yet it fills the stony alcove, easily heard by the ancient Jaghut sitting against the smooth stones that make up the archway.

"I prefer sitting over standing these days."

The one who spoke first takes a step forward, idly tapping a cane held lazily in left hand. The supple leather used to fashion gloved hands squeak in protest. The Jaghut finds it odd that the cadence of cane on stone sounds familiar.

The cane strikes a loose stone before coming to a stop.

"Sit or stand," the shadowy man says as his eyes slowly trace the archway. "Choices."
His eyes still hidden. "This path or another. "

The tapping starts anew and the man laments. " These are luxuries I do not have. There IS but one path. All the roads of my life have intertwined." Another heavy thud as he strikes the ground for emphasis. "To bring me here." Another thud . "Now."

The Jaghut hadn't said a word in response, only listened as the man approached, but he lifted his arm, pointing back to the way the stranger approached. "You have the choice to go back."

The slender man was clothed in many layers. His eyes were hidden beneath a heavy shroud, but they flashed a moment of sadness as he responded. " There is no going back." Lightless and anguished he continues, his familiar silky voice slowly softening. "Alas, there is no choice." Both hands now come to rest atop his cane, shoulders squared, form hunched, as if it would fall over if not for the support, as if the slightest shift in the stifled cave air would catch the loose layers dripped about his body and haul him off his feet. Melancholy in voice. "The path lies not behind me, but behind you." The momentary sadness passed like clouds when passing the night's moonlight. "I will enter whether you sit or stand. "

The Jaghut slowly rises, understanding but resolute. The ill light of the dank, dark cavern casts his green skin a sickly yellow. He is larger than the man, much larger. Leather and steel and cloth and tusks, even. The beast of a man is too graceful for his size. The way he moves reminds you of rolling death.

What little moisture hanging in stagnant air starts to form crystals; tiny palaces of ice hovering around the stone. Blue light creeps in on padded feet, pressing against the heavy darkness, as if struggling to breathe. The ice in the air starts a slow descent, covering everything in frost and mist. The temperature drops and the jaghut rises. "On second thought, I think I will stand."

The cloaked figure slowly strides forward.
And when you're Gone, you stay Gone, or you be Gone. You lost all your Seven Cities privileges. - Karsa

you're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be...
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#2 User is offline   Esa1996 

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 08:51 PM

There are some tense errors in the text (You use both past and present tense when you should only use one), and a few somewhat strange sentences ("Melancholy in voice" and "Leather and steel and cloth and tusks, even." for example). Discounting said errors it seems like a decent imitation of SE's writing style.

As for the story, should you finish and post it here, I will definitely read it.
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#3 User is offline   Brujah 

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 03:00 AM

Thank you. I value the help. I'll try to not only correct the mistakes, but work it into my ongoining wisdom.
And when you're Gone, you stay Gone, or you be Gone. You lost all your Seven Cities privileges. - Karsa

you're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be...
- Maynard James Keenan
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#4 User is offline   Brujah 

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 03:13 AM

Would "Melancholy feels his voice," had been more appropriate..?

I realize the "leather and steel and cloth and tusks, even," sounded strange, but I thought....well i dont know what I was thinking now.

How about "He is larger than the man, much larger, clad in leather, steel, and cloth, and sporting two giant Tusks, rising from his lower jawl."
And when you're Gone, you stay Gone, or you be Gone. You lost all your Seven Cities privileges. - Karsa

you're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be...
- Maynard James Keenan
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#5 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 04:22 AM

Overall I really like the passage. It doesn't quite read like Malazan but there is flourish to the whole thing that I like.

Like Esa mentions you switch back and force between tenses but there's a more irritating aspect to the telling. Assuming this passage isn't a prologue, it seems silly that you go out of your way to not mention Hood and Shadowthrone's names or their titles. It seems you go out of your way to speak of them in every other fashion.

There's also some peculiarities in your descriptions. Like for example, if this is Shadowthrone, how can you tell he is thin? ST is always covered in layers of cloaks and shadows. How do you see his eyes flash a moment of sadness if they're hooded? How does a silky voice become more soft or smooth?

I did like the "leather and steel and cloth and tusks, even" line. It reminded me of Lions and tigers and bears.
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#6 User is offline   Brujah 

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 06:49 AM

Thank you. I'm not much of a writer in form, although I like to write, and do so.

I've learned quite a lot from putting small pieces out for proofread.

I assumed Shadowthrone was thin, and for the life of me I can't recall why. The layers of cloth usually accompany a skinny mage in my mind I guess.

As far as his eyes being seen while shrouded, I should specify that I believe he glances up, which allows his eyes to be seen....just.

The voice adjectives I'll have to tweak for better similarities.
And when you're Gone, you stay Gone, or you be Gone. You lost all your Seven Cities privileges. - Karsa

you're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be...
- Maynard James Keenan
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#7 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 09:33 AM

Shadowthrone probably is very thin but I don't know if such a thing would be easily discernible, what with him being cloaked and shrouded in shadows.
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#8 User is offline   Brujah 

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 01:31 PM

All too true. Hmmm...ill work on it. Thanks giys!!!
And when you're Gone, you stay Gone, or you be Gone. You lost all your Seven Cities privileges. - Karsa

you're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be...
- Maynard James Keenan
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#9 User is offline   Brujah 

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 01:32 PM

And to you "guys"!
And when you're Gone, you stay Gone, or you be Gone. You lost all your Seven Cities privileges. - Karsa

you're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be...
- Maynard James Keenan
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