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Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago
Commended by Nightwatch on 4/19/2021 12:00:54 PM

I started working on this storygame again as a break from my main project. I had originally started this, I think for one of the spooky halloween contests, never finished it, then I wrote some more for one of Maras jam and still didnt finish it. Now I'm just working on it for fun. I have more but I rewrote the first segment because I have better ideas for it now and sort of how everything fits together. Let me know what you think, or give feedback if you have any.

Even as I'm posting this I've still gone and changed some stuff in the first few sentences lol


Introduction

A soft bell tolls, echoing across the hills of Fendora. It beckons, and you rise.

Somewhere past the old roads, a flame, pale and weak calls to you. Lights your path.

From the peripheries of your mind, distant echoes hum. You are but one of many on this quest. 

The flame takes you always one way, despite all, the brighter it burns, the more desperate you are to feel its warmth.

 Rain envelopes you. Wind threatens to tear your flesh from their bones. In time, a small cabin appears, shifting into and fading in this realm and the next. A bright pale flame burns from within. 

Your guiding starlight. From the heavens beyond the moon, down to the lowest depths, from the hills to the great waters.

Only the most reverent can see.

Warmth.

With every step your life returns to you, hollow husk of what once was.

 The door opens before you can fully reach the handle, a soft creak. 

On one side is a humble study, and by the fireplace a pot rests over the fire. A man sits on a stool, leafing through a great tome. He turns his head, regarding you without surprise or judgment.

“Hello there,” he says, standing, “you’ve come a long way. You must wash up.”

You are led to a small room, with a simple curtain over the entrance for privacy. There is a wash basin filled with steaming hot water. You rest in it for a while. It seems you sit there for an age, and perhaps you do, pondering as memories swirl with the water.

 Eventually you are able to wash away what once was. It is time to begin anew. 

Drying off, you find a neatly folded set of clothes laying on a stool. They fit perfectly. The perfect attire for one of your calling. Durable trousers, a simple shirt, a vest with many useful pockets, and an old worn coat. Lastly you place on the gloves, you tie a grey cloth around your mouth and neck to keep the beastly residue away. Lastly, you don an old worn hat. 

You step out, and the man motions to a seat by the fire, and you sit. There are a multitude of hunting instruments along the wall, and a table with a variety of half taken apart tools.

“Are you ready to hunt again?”

You nod your head.

He takes a silver pipe, with ancient inscriptions unreadable to the average eye. On the stummel, is an image engraved. A man wields a bident, the points rest in the heart of a beast. The creature is quite indiscernible, being various parts man, lion, dog, and winged. And perhaps things not meant to be known in this realm.

The image depicts the death throes of an ancient evil, and now it rests.

The man blows into the pipe, handing it to you. You breath it in, and in an instant a flash of light overtakes your senses. The Pale Flame ignites within your chest. Life returns to this husk, once hollow and devoid of being.

Now imbued, the Pale Flame guides you. The white haired man takes the pipe and sets it down in an intricately carved wooden box. He gently closes the lid before turning back to you.

The events leading you here since the bell tolled, are hazy at best, and everything before that lost to time. You live only now. 

“Now you are truly ready,” he says, “the hour of the beast is here, and the night is full of monstrosities, both mortal and of another plane. Fear not, and let the Pale Flame guide your step.”


You go to the array of weapons and gear on the one side of the cabin, used by ones like yourself since time immemorial. An ancient silver bladed glaive, perfect for slashing and stabbing, it will rend the flesh of many a foul thing tonight. 

Next you find a silver dagger laying on the table. Runes line the thing, but unlike the glaive it is a relic of a more recent past. The blade extends at the flick of a switch. Useful in a more personal situation, but when extended, offers a better chance to survive on last resort. Should your skill in all other manner fail.

The blood letter. A long, serrated tool used for cutting the flesh of monsters, however it functions not as a weapon. It is a tool for collecting the blood of the profaned. It will serve you well in your duty.

Several black powder explosives you clip to your belt. Fire and wrath the bane of many marked by blood.

The old man stands next to you, opening up a box made of oak, inlaid with fine silk. Inside is a silver revolver. Prying up the padding reveals many silver bullets. These you take.

“Go now, hunter. Your destiny calls to you.”

You exit. The stars align elsewhere, the cabin moves on. 

The shivering, silent echoes of the night reach you, and horrors become clear to you. 

The first, a hallowed hunter, now victim of blood. The mistress of dusk and a host of wicked beasts. They roam the valley on the far side of the capital, Fendora. They pillage and haunt, taking many for their wicked ritual. Deep beyond swamp and cave, is a grove corrupted by its unholy congregation. Purge this site, and return your former sister to the flame. 

 The next. Not far, in the abandoned stronghold of Lorid Vora, dark wings take flight. A creature of ever shifting form howls madly into the night. Find the Watcher, beyond the labyrinthian madness, and collect the ichor from its heart.

On this hour, you must pick a foe to slay.

Many dangers await you on your journey. Use discernment, remain resolute, and you will not be lost. The Pale Flame will guide your each and every step.

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago
How detailed of a response are you looking for? It's very late where I am so I'll have to look at this again with fresh eyes in the morning.

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago
I went for low detail, so you should go for full detail (especially since you'll be nice and refreshed after getting enough sleep, right?).

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago

Beware of over editing. Changing a few sentences over and over is an easy trap to fall into!

Although you haven't necessary fallen into it...but that's beside the point.

2nd and 3rd sentences reminded me of Dark Souls, so that got me looking for comparisons everywhere, aha. But reading more, Bloodborne is a better comparison.

What's the scope here? Picking between two hunts can already be a massive choice. You planning on using variables? Regardless, being aware of the scope can help make sure you're not writing into an endless abyss.

But I bring this up because, depending on what you got planned, consider having just one hunt, or combining them somehow. Granted, you've been working on this already, so mentioning this is probably pointless.

However, I like what you've got. It's a strong setup and I liked the use of imagery too. Will be interesting to see what you do with this!

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago

Hmm... my feedback license is expired, but I'll throw out a few thoughts anyway.

Your grammar and such was relatively good. I don't have any of the usual advise like, "don't switch from past to presence tense ever sentence." However, I feel like there were places where you tried to make the sentences too complex and it just made things confusing. For example, "Somewhere past the old roads, a flame, pale and weak calls to you." First of all, I think it needs another comma after "weak" to be correct. second, I think, "a pale weak flame" would work better. You do a good job of mixing up sentence structure, in my opinion, so you don't need to force it in places where it makes your descriptions more confusing.

There were also some weird things like when the wind threatens to "tear the flesh from their bones" it makes the flesh sound like it belongs to some one else... I think that should be "from your bones" or something similar. There is also the pale flame that is "shifting into and fading from this realm and the next" which didn't really resonate with me. I have no idea what that means or looks like. 

The only other grammar thing I saw was dialogue punctuation. You used commas where there should be periods. Here is an example:

"Now you are truly ready," he says, "the hour of the beast is here..."

In my experience, it should look like the following:

"Now you are truly ready, he says. "The hour of the beast is here..."

It's a small thing, but it showed up almost everywhere there was dialogue.


As for the story, I liked it. Somethings are really unclear, but I assume that is on purpose. Things like what exactly is the main character or who was he. Other things were sort of strange to me from your descriptions. It did create an eerie and mysterious mood, which is what I think you are going for. I would be excited to read more and see how it unfolds.

I do think some of your descriptions are great while others need work. A lot of stuff before the hunter gets to the cabin just didn't make a lot of sense to me. I read through it quickly, and I think it was supposed to be written like the character is in a haze, but it didn't really have the intended effect. Mostly because none of it was stuff that I could actually put an image to in my mind. You should try to replace some of the descriptions and comparisons with things that will paint the correct image for the reader even if they don't fit with what is really happening. An example is below:

"Disappears between this dimension and the next."

"Disappears as if hidden behind a cloud, even though none were visible in the dark sky."

The example isn't great, but I hope some of this helps!

 

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago

"Now you are truly ready," he says, "the hour of the beast is here..."

is correct. This is a dialogue tag / attribution interrupting the dialogue.

That is, you can have the dialogue tag / attribution sit between the spoken dialogue.

Ending 'he says' with a full stop, as you done, is also correct. Then you would punctuate the continuation start, as the one sentence becomes two (and as you done). Both approaches work though, as both have sentences that make sense.

It's too late for me to look for an example in a book, but I'll point at a 2010 article instead (ctrl+f to find 'Dialogue interrupted by dialogue tag'): Punctuation in Dialogue.

Now, which of those two sentences is better to use here...that is the real question!


I liked the eerie early part, but I might've been tainted by thinking about Dark Souls II's opening, so maybe I didn't read it properly, aha.

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago

Ahh, both ways are correct! Ignore that comment then.

Also, the beginning part does set the mood well. I don't think it's necessarily wrong, but it does read as cumbersome and unclear to me. Part of that is the point. It will get tiring after awhile though, I think, and it just doesn't align well with my personal preferences.

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago
I remember you mentioning the whole Pale Flame thing before, nice you're taking a serious stab at it again. Obviously getting some heavy Bloodborne vibes with this one, but I presume that's intentional. And I quite like this as an intro, I can imagine almost every sentence read by the Darkest Dungeon narrator and they each have an impact. My only real concern is that the style established might get a bit exhausting if carried over to the entire story. (For the reader, but especially for you.) Does the glaive have BLOOD GROOVES though? This is important. Shadowdrake already caught the 'their bones' bit which I assume is just a typo. I think you did a good job making it clear the otherworldy nature of the flame, and the cabin and its keeper, as well as your own role all without resorting to a bunch of exposition and Fantasy Nouns. Anyhow, quite looking forward to this new storygame by the celebrated author of such works as Vampy and The Pie.

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago
This could be a great story and I'd be interesting in seeing it complete. I think generally your writing has good bones, but there is a reason Zake warned you about overediting. I don't think overediting is the problem however. Some of the sentences are merely overworked. Shadowdrake hit the big ones that I wanted to point out, so definitely pay attention to his specific critiques.

The line between mysterious and just vague hasn't been clarified. Understanding that this is a Bloodborne fanfiction clarifies some things, but I would rather your writing be able to stand on its own feet. If we only take into account what is discussed on this page, we don't know very much, even about the things we've been told. "Okay, but what does that mean?" is a very real question.

"The flame takes you always one way, despite all, the brighter it burns, the more desperate you are to feel its warmth."

This sentence really doesn't do it for me. I could already assume the flame was situated somewhere, so surely it leads only in that direction. Despite all of what exactly? Why is the brightness changing and why am I desperate for its warmth? Am I cold? Make me feel desperate.

"Your guiding starlight. From the heavens beyond the moon, down to the lowest depths, from the hills to the great waters."

There is no verb here. I'll tolerate correction on the matter, but there is no verb here.

"Only the most reverent can see." See what? The verb from earlier?

...I've just received an unwanted phone call. I'll have to come back to this later.

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago
>>>There is no verb here. I'll tolerate correction on the matter, but there is no verb here.

With the tone established, artistic license in slipping into poetic phrasing didn't stand out as an issue to me.

>>>See what? The verb from earlier?
The flame is still the subject of this entire section.

I bet you hate Cormac Mccarthy.

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago

Thanks for the feedback yall. 

Ill get into more detailed responses later.

But for now I want to clarify this is not a Bloodborne fanfic.

Altho it is inspired by the likes of Bloodborne, Dark Souls, and Darkest Dungeon.

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago
*I'll Story ruined.

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago

Nobody's gone through and done a full grammatical overview yet, so I figure I may as well.

*A soft bell dings. They do not charge anything for it.

*The flame takes you always one way, despite all, the brighter it burns, the more desperate you are to feel its warmth.
There is nothing wrong with this sentence.

*Wind threatens to tear your flesh from bones.
News flash, buddy. Wind can't do that.

*Warmth.
That's not a complete sentence. There are a few of these.

*“Hello there,” he says, standing, “you’ve come a long way.
Is one long run-on sentence. I would break it up like "Hello there." He says, standing. "You've come a long way."

*Durable trousers
Excuse me, this is America, we say pants here.

*The man wields a bident
I'm sure the word you're looking for is "bidet". I don't know how you'd kill monsters with that, but I also don't know what the fuck a bident is supposed to be.

*The blood of the profaned.
Profane is not a verb.

*You exit. The stars align elsewhere, the cabin moves on.
Cabins can't move, smartass.

*They roam the valley on the far side of the capital, Fendora.
It's Fedora, actually.

*Use discernment, remain resolute, and you will not be lost.
There's no way that discernment is a word. You must be looking for "discrement."

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago
>but I also don't know what the fuck a bident is supposed to be. It's a dent that's been cut into two pieces.

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago

Obviously a bidet is more deadly.

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago

Your grammar should really be better if you're going to try and make this a gimmick. 

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago

Maybe you should get better at your own grammar before you try criticizing mine.

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago

I could improve, but I'm certainly better than you it seems. 

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago
Its spelled 'grammer', dumbass.

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago

It's graham cracker. 

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago
Come on Thara, no need for racist slurs.

Asylum of Hunters

2 months ago

My words have been misconstrued. Clearly there's something amiss here.