Author Topic: May 23 – Hubay – Lord Domestic Ch 10  (Read 945 times)

hubay

  • Level 7
  • ****
  • Posts: 203
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
May 23 – Hubay – Lord Domestic Ch 10
« on: May 23, 2011, 10:02:13 PM »
Alright, chapter 10! I introduce a new character here, so let me know what you think. He has a fox familiar, which intoduces a new kind of magic as well, so I'm curious what you think of both the ability and how I explain it.

Other than that, this chapter is all a huge build up for the next chapter, which is the first big battle of the book. It's a lot of discussion of tactics and such, so I'd appreciate any feedback on how good my planning sounds, and if it's all necessary/not enough.

Hubay – Lord Domestic Ch10 (L,V,S)

Summary
Jhuz had to kill one of his men yesterday because he was going to rape a prisoner. He's a little worried about the implications of that. They're still concened about food, low morale, and a possible mutiny.

This chapter:
Jhuz meets a new character, and a Nothroi host approaches. Tension in the war room, and Ezlio forces Jhuz to make a decision.

Will777r

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 58
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: May 23 – Hubay – Lord Domestic Ch 10
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2011, 09:02:20 PM »
Just finished reading your chapter. My first thought was that I wished I had the prior 9 chapters to read. Jumping into this chapter gave me the feeling of being dropped into a vast world, so it took me a bit to settle in.

First off, I thought the tension in your planning session was excellent. To be honest, I felt it was less about tactics and more about the people, which is good. Although the amount of people involved the discussion made it hard to follow (since I've been dropped into this chapter w/out prior introduction to these folks), the tension connected very well, even if I didn't feel connected to those who were being affected by the tension.

The opening section was hard for me to feel. Some of that has to do with not reading the first 9 chapters. But some of it seemed forced. There would be anger, then immediate laughter. Whereas the tension flowed smoothly in the 2nd scene (tactics), I didn't feel it here.

That being said, I like the part where he explains how his familiar power works. It was clear, unique, and seemed to fit perfectly within your world. I really liked the section where they ask Rince if he's every gotten someone to kill a person. It made sense the way you explained it.

The part right at the end of the scene totally lost me. Maybe it has to do with something earlier in the story that I haven't read, but it seemed out of place and was kind of a deflater from the cool explanation of the fox-familiar power thing. Unless necessary, it seemed more natural to end the scene after he finishes describing the fox power.

It might just be me, but the world felt large, with all the various kinds of troops. On numerous occasions I thought, "That sounds cool - I'd like to read more about those things". The squids that can throw up a smoke screen was very cool in my opinion.

The final part of the chapter seemed out of place - But again, that's probably due to me coming in so late in the story.

Nice job - I look forward to reading more :)

Will777r

hubay

  • Level 7
  • ****
  • Posts: 203
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: May 23 – Hubay – Lord Domestic Ch 10
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2011, 09:29:03 PM »
Thanks for the feedback! You might be right about some of those sections, we'll have to wait until we get feedback from some of the older members to see for sure.

If you want I can email you my old chapters, but here's a crash course in my magic/world:

Men are Faunametsi and women are Florimetsi, which is to say, men have animal familiars and women have plants. There are four types of metsi: Com (talking to that kind of plant/animal), Dom (controlling it), Mani- (manipulating the flesh or fibers of it) and Potemetsi, which is the most magical of the four. Potemetsi make up about a tenth of the population, and they can get powers from the familiar: birdmetsi fly, fishmetsi swim, ivymetsi walk on walls, aloemetsi heal, etc. Most people draw 'lesser' creatures like cows and dogs, or wildflowers and shrubbery. Predators, trees, and more 'exotic' wildlife are rarer, but they tend to be more powerful and therefore are the elites of society.

So one of the big problems, probably the biggest, in my world is how to refer to all the different types of metsi. The squiddies aren't actually squids, just people with squid familiars. But the way I'm writing right now, people refer to metsi colloquially as squiddies or birdies, with some of the more common ones having official names like the Herd and Hive. It's not very coherent, so I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!


Will777r

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 58
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: May 23 – Hubay – Lord Domestic Ch 10
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2011, 01:43:08 AM »
Well, all I can say is that your magic system sounds even cooler with your explanation. I definitely would like to read the first 9 chapters if you can send them to me. Might take me a bit. Or might not if it hooks me enough hehe.

Will777r

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 58
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: May 23 – Hubay – Lord Domestic Ch 10
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2011, 02:25:33 AM »
Just finished the first 9 chapters. Excellent storyline. I'm definitely interested to see where it goes from here.  Chapter 10 makes much more sense now.

akoebel

  • Level 5
  • *
  • Posts: 123
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: May 23 – Hubay – Lord Domestic Ch 10
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2011, 09:20:34 PM »
I have mixed feelings on this chapter. It was as interesting as the earlier ones, but left me a little troubled, especially at the end.

Here are my objections:

* A decurion is the equivalent of a Centurion for Auxiliae, often cavalry. Here, the man looks like a soldier (good with a bow), not like an officer (despite the fact that he acts like one).

* Killing the eagle and the porcupine look like grave insults. Rince makes it look like it was only a joke, but it wasn't funny at all, and downright stupid.

* I didn't get how foxes related to Rince's abilities ; that doesn't connect with the rest of the metsi we have seen so far.

* The war council felt a little wrong to me. I get that the commander is inexperimented, but he didn't look like he knew what he was doing. His outburst at Brusco didn't seem justified (which is OK), but I believe that Jhuz should have known the reason of the outburst. Since Jhuz didn't mention it, I feel like the entire scene is crooked here.

* Why are the men throwing javelins in the front line? It seems reasonable to mount a shield wall between the throwers and the enemy. And yes, charging boars should be met like cavalry, by a spear wall; if regulars are prepared, they should be able to meet this charge.

* Now, my biggest issue is with the scene about Jhuz's orders : first, Jhuz gives in much too easily. I expected some more internal turmoil before he signed the paper (given what I know of the character). We now learn that his father built a revolt that brought down the entire family. We should have been given this information way earlier, since it's one of the defining events of Jhuz's past. BTW, why did the emperor send him to the academy instead of killing off the entire family?

Aside from that, it was very enjoyable. I'm waiting to see the big battle next!

hubay

  • Level 7
  • ****
  • Posts: 203
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: May 23 – Hubay – Lord Domestic Ch 10
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2011, 12:26:58 AM »
@akoebel: a decurion just commands 10 men, so he's the lowest ranking officer. My army doesn't quite conform to roman standards, it just borrows a lot of lingo. But i'll make sure to make that more apparent.

The reason rince killed the two animals was as a sort of revenge for them killing the fox; it wasn't meant to be cruel. But if that isn't coming across I'll have to lengthen the tension a little bit or something. Hm.

As for Rince's metsi: I wanted the fox to have a sort of 'trickster' power, but I didn't want it to be an illusion because I have other animals planned out for that. I'm not set on this one power yet – that is, I want to use it at some point, but it doesn't have to be for a fox – so let me know if someone comes up with a better idea for his metsi.

The javelin tactics is actually how rome started charges; they'd throw a volley of javelins, hopefully weakening the enemy lines, and then charge in before they had chance to recoup. Might have to show this happening in earlier battles.

And good advice on Jhuz's struggle at the end. I think  I'll show more of his thought process throughout the last few days. Thanks!

akoebel

  • Level 5
  • *
  • Posts: 123
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: May 23 – Hubay – Lord Domestic Ch 10
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2011, 11:37:58 AM »
For the Decurion, I would worry a little about using well known words in a slightly different meaning than the original one: that generates some confusion (even if those are small details).

For Rince's reason, I completely forgot that Jhuz had hunted the fox before. Maybe you should add a comment from Jhuz stating that this was some sort of payback for this event.

I'm all ok with the 'trickster' aspect of Foxes. Redirecting emotions didn't feel much like a trickster capacity (even if it can be used in that manner).

For the Javelin tactics, I'll bet that Romans used different tactics when facing different types of enemies (barbarian warriors or trained soldiers) or different formations (cavalry or infantry). It seems stupid to throw javelins at something like cavalry when cavalry can pretty much evade the incoming missiles. In that respect, boar enemies can be seen as heavy cavalry. So, even if your soldiers used the standard tactics once (when they didn't know what their opponents have in store), they should not even consider using the same tactics now that they know what they are up against (fool me once...). Instead, you tell us that those soldiers only know this one tactical move and can't use another? I should add that having soldiers fake the throwing of their javelins is a little too complicated to implement (especially without training).


SkyhunterCommander

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: May 23 – Hubay – Lord Domestic Ch 10
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2011, 05:31:31 PM »
And my marathon continues... ;D

I enjoyed this chapter a lot, particularly because of the introduction of Rince. I really like his character. I feel, given the situation that the army is in, that having someone to lighten tension is a very good thing, both for the characters and for the reader.

And I did remember that Ezlio had killed a fox a few chapters back (it helps to have read a bunch in a row), so I understood why Rince killed the porcupine and eagle, and I liked that he did it, because it showed me that while he brings a little lightheartedness to the  story, he is definitely not a 'comic relief character'.

The only minor issues I had were with the war council and Jhuz so easily agreeing to seal the promotion order, but that's been discussed already.

And thanks for posting a general description of the magic, now I think I understand it all, (and I'm pleased at how much I was able to figure out by reading chapters 7-12 before seeing that).

Only one other question. How do people like the squiddies transport their familiars? If their familiar is an underwater creature, do they need to carry around tanks or something? And wouldn't that be a huge liability in battle?
I will get around to giving feedback to my fellow Reading Excuses members. As soon as I can.

Asmodemon

  • Level 6
  • *
  • Posts: 175
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: May 23 – Hubay – Lord Domestic Ch 10
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2011, 02:52:35 PM »
There was a lot of ‘were starting’, ‘were subsiding’, ‘was walking’, ‘was taking’, etc, through the chapter. It took the pace of the piece down and there wasn’t a lot of it to begin with as the chapter is mostly setup for the coming battle.

I didn’t really understand the interaction between Jhuz, Ezlio and Rince. It all comes back to discipline, which I’ve harped about before. Rince is a minor officer, he takes a great risk by doing something offensive, even a joke; Jhuz is a superior officer and can reprimand him, it’s well within his rights. Pissing off, or risking pissing off, your superiors is by and large not a good idea. The fact that Jhuz worries about offending the troops by taking measures against a minor officer who is doing wrong tells me discipline is far to be found. I expect this army to break when it gets into a fight. Aside from Jhuz’s behaviour I also don’t buy into Rince’s, since I don’t think it’s likely that lower ranking officers are so easily invited to sit with the higher ranks, or even approach them, especially when they’ve had no prior contact.

I’m having trouble with Rince’s power. The effects of the other metsi such as how the birds can fly, the porcupine can create spikes, bee metsi use their sting, etc, are all based on the animals. The the plant metsi use the aspects of the plants to create an effect, like Ela who listens through plants. Changing or redirecting emotions is not a power a real fox possesses, even though foxes in mythologies (such as kitsune) are portrayed as tricksters it’s not a physical aspect of the fox itself. This power is also different in that animal metsi effects are only applicable on the metsi himself, not on someone else, but Rince’s  does affect others. Also, his explanation is for the reader’s benefit and not the story, there is no gain for Rince in telling the others exactly how his powers work; now that people know they can figure out his weaknesses.

Jhuz is supposed to be a high ranking officer, but he doesn’t act like one. He shouldn’t be glad Rince reprimanded the bee-metsi, he shouldn’t think that because Rince did it the reprimand was valid. Jhuz is their superior, he doesn’t need excuses or proxies.

I’m not a fan of war councils, instead of people talking about how they’ll do battle in the coming chapter(s) I’d rather see the battle. Also, an hour to have both the war council with all the troop leaders and array the troops afterward before the battle begins is very short, too short perhaps. They should be setting up right away and prepare for advance troops to harry their lines and probe for weaknesses, not talk about how they’ll set up.