The Will Of The Lord

Player Rating4.70/8

"Too few ratings to be ranked"
based on 25 ratings since 04/13/2019
played 630 times (finished 33)

Story Difficulty4/8

"march in the swamp"

Play Length5/8

"Not going to lose any sleep"

Maturity Level5/8

"aren't you a little too old to be trick or treating"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 13. If this were a movie, it would probably be PG-13.

Charles IV, king of Bohemia and holy roman emperor was considered one of the most influential and successful rulers of his time. However, not all of his decisions were wise...

Special thanks to mazardark for his advice on historical combat, and to cricket for beta reading.

Also, this is an entry to Corgi's unofficial contest of the lords and my first story on the site.

Player Comments

This was a very good story. I won’t go on to say that it is an amazing piece of art that deserves to be recommended to every new person joining, but that does not detract from the fact that this story is good. While I may claim that the story was good, I did find some issues with it. Though before I get into that let me talk about something that may go underappreciated

The Fights: I loved the fights in this. They are just amazing, and dare I say the most innovative thing in the story! At first I pictured it as a game of rock, paper, siczores. Though I was very surprised to find that this is not the case. What stance you should take depends largely on the skill and build of your oppoint. Though this is a double edged sword. The more I love it, the more I dislike the fact that it is not used a whole lot in the game. Even so, it is a great mechanic.

The Branching: This is a love hate relationship. I loved the entire path of your doom you can end up on twice, but besides that, everything else is issues. First your first choice ends with no difference at all. Second, there are two important choices in the entire game. This is a much bigger problem, as the first is if you go down the ruin path, and the second is if you want to go down the ruin path, and experience the exact same pages differently. If you pick the right choice on both you go through tons of one choice pages to end up at the epilogue. To the stories credit near the end, and in the fights, it has a few one page death paths, but that is about it.

The Ending: This may very well be my biggest issue with this story. In my eyes this story promises much. You get the nobles together, get all but one to support you, then prepare for an epic battle of the ages, and a long hard diplomatic fight with the traitors. Then his brother is introduced, and you get a generic brother take over plot. Not the worst, but disappointing all the same

The Writing: This is what I loved most about the story however. It is written so well that any issues with the plot become a lot more bearable. It is very clear that you have a lot of knowledge, and/or passion about what you are writing.

All in all this is a great story. I am torn between a 5 or a 6, and even though I feel it deserves a 5, I can’t bring myself to give it that. If you have read this review, you should go and read this story right now.

6 out of 8
-- MicroPen on 9/24/2019 7:40:02 PM with a score of 0
Started off nicely with a good establishment of the setting by introducing the Christian influence and historic traditions that would be present in the remainder of the story. Going back a month in time after this opening page also worked well as it made me intrigued for the next few pages to see what events led up to the first page and whether I could change what happens by my choices.

At times I found that there was a lot of dialogue with little action in-between. It is unlikely that the characters were just standing stiff while talking to each other. Even if the conversation is what the characters primary focus is, it’s good practise to throw in some lines to avoid the dialogue sounding like ping-pong. The characters will be doing something like shuffling their feet or looking away. It’s important that these things are included otherwise it starts to drag on and become tedious to read. It doesn’t even have to be an action that one of the speaking characters is doing either, another good way of breaking up dialogue is to bring into short descriptions of what’s happening around the characters (e.g weather, people walking past), what the characters are thinking or just… not another line of dialogue.

The dialogue was also very lengthy. The purpose of dialogue is not to be realistic, it’s to keep the story moving forward and/or provide information about the plot, setting or characters involved. Get rid of anything that doesn’t hold any value to the story, even if the end result doesn’t seem entirely like how a real conversation would go otherwise the reader starts to get bored.

I liked the descriptive paragraphs, especially of the castle. It set up a rather grand and historic atmosphere. I only wish that the descriptive scenes had been woven into the dialogue, and perhaps more of a varied sentence length too. The combat was done well too, in a way that was easy to understand despite the fact that it was all historical.

Generally, the choices were meaningful and invoked thought in the reader. However, I sometimes I found that there were three or four pages in succession that didn’t have any choices and were just consistent reading of text rather than having engagement. Endings were good too as they weren’t random and had decent explanation and reasoning behind them.

Something unique that I found when reading through this was that a lot of research had clearly been carried out through the use of word choice in dialogue and the descriptive settings. I thought it was really cool how when I clicked ‘remember’ I got taught a lot about sword fighting and all of the stances involved. Paying attention to this part was rewarded later in the story too. It’s always nice to learn something new through the process of a story.

I’ll just add in- titles are supposed to be capitalized. “Greetings to the great emperor Charles” should be Great Emperor Charles, with all the titles capitalized. Amen, and King, followed by a name, is always capitalized too.

Overall, some good writing here. The historical element of the story was cool, and it was clear that the author had done their research.
-- ghost11 on 4/17/2019 11:19:00 PM with a score of 0
The first page is a great introduction into this story. It really gives off the holy knight theme. I especially love the use of the word “rustic” here. Fits the scene and setting well. The fact that it starts out in a cathedral with mention to biblical things emphasizes the importance of the vows. I mean, the title includes that element as well, but not everyone thinks of the story title during the game. Or if they do, they don’t always make that connection.

The first words spoken “I do” reminds me of a wedding. It’s like the main character is marrying his duty to rule. The only thing missing is that delicious wedding cake and Pachelbel Canon in the key of D.

I feel it’s worth mentioning that the spacing gaps and font changes are a bit distracting. Not the worst thing in the world. Definitely a better problem to have than poor writing. One is more easily fixed than the other.

The only other thing that affected me negatively were the first three choices presented. They all sort of lead to the same conclusion. Even after picking “set an ambush”, you decide against it on the next page. It would have been a good place for an end game link if the author didn’t want us to make that choice. On second thought, it does take place in the past so maybe it does make sense to “guide” us through the choice.

I think the author did a really good job with using historical things and ritualistic, biblical speech. It allows the reader to use the past historical knowledge they have to play into the story. The characters with high positional status talk like it. They speak in a very diplomatic way which fits their character well as they are probably part of the minor few that are actually educated in this time period.

I do enjoy the grandness of it all. It’s very ceremonial and it’s easy to visualize the armor, buildings, and characters. You do feel the sense of importance because when there’s danger, your men reactively move to protect you. All to say, I expected a good showing from Shoujo’s first storygame and this did definitely met my expectation.
-- ninjapitka on 4/15/2019 11:34:13 AM with a score of 0
Overall, I thought this was a really great story. Historical fiction is kind of lost on me because I'm not knowledgeable enough in history to really get it sometimes (especially medieval time-period stuff, I probably was asleep in social studies class when we went over it lol) but even with my lack of knowledge, I really enjoyed it! I pretty much agree with the other comments in that your strengths really lie in your writing and with the combat mechanics you included--maybe in the future you could capitalize on those aspects of your stories? I also really liked the song excerpts you included! The little details like that made it more immersive. It wasn't perfect, in general it probably attracts a niche audience and there were a couple tiny errors here and there with grammar, but nonetheless it's really strong. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who has an interest in this time period or is fond of combat-based games. Great work!
-- juliemmarch on 4/2/2020 3:15:52 PM with a score of 0
Great use of real historical fighting styles
-- immortal112 on 11/22/2019 1:06:43 AM with a score of 0
This was a fairly entertaining read. It kind of reminded me of the show "The Last Kingdom." The thing that stuck out the most to me was the quality of the visual description. It's pretty high compared to what I normally see here, and I was quite pleased. For example, this little nugget:

"As you step outside, the scene is one full of carnage and destruction. There are dead everywhere, with mangled bodies and blood and gore being spilled on the damp wet ground. Rain water washes the path mixing with the blood in the form of miniature crimson red streams."

I don't know if streams of blood are realistic, but it's still visually arresting. Well done on that. Maybe the writing could be a bit better, but the imagery was done reasonably well.

Anyway, I'm assuming this is historical, and if so, I know nothing of it. But [SPOILER] the brother betraying you was kind of telegraphed.[/SPOILER] Especially on the second page of your dinner with him. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing, but I certainly was not surprised. It's also a little weird that [SPOILER]during the ride back to the catapults, you're the only person not killed by an arrow. [/SPOILER]

Anyway, the final battle in my branch of the story was fairly satisfying. Yeah, there were "insta-death" choices, but it's a battle, so what should you expect? I suppose those could have been further branched, but it was fine for its purposes. I got the "give up the crown" ending. I'll probably play it again at some point to see if I can actually eliminate that "stick picker" and unite the fiefdom.

Flaws include some grammatical and/or spelling errors, probably too many. And I'd probably spell out small numbers. But there was little to complain about in this story. It isn't world changing, and you're probably not going to read it five times, but it's a quality addition to nonetheless.

Lastly, while I said that most of the medieval combat is great, there was one potential issue: With the sword I owned, this, "[Y]ou draw your sword, making the telltale clink sound of drawing from a sheath," definitely doesn't happen. :D
-- Fluxion on 6/20/2019 2:25:15 AM with a score of 0
First off, I think this story deserves a somewhat better rating than it has received so far. Compared to a lot of stuff published on this site, the author clearly did some research into the subject matter and put much effort into the story. That alone should earn "Will of the Lord" a solid 5 points.

I read through the previous reviews, and much was said about the dialog in this story, both good and bad. Having now completed the story and both main story paths, I wholeheartedly disagree with the comment that dialog in a story should serve only as a plot machination, and shouldn't be naturalistic.

If that comment were true, then the entire novel "A Farewell to Arms" could be reduced to six lines, as follows:

Him: "Hey nurse, you want to have sex?"

Her: "Yeah, sure, that sounds like fun. Not like there's anything else to do in a hospital."

Him: "You know what? War sucks. Let's row a boat to Switzerland in the middle of the night."

Her: "I'm pregnant."

Her: "Scratch that. I'm dying."

Him: "Bummer."

So yes, naturalistic dialog is a high art, and something a writer should strive to achieve. To hell with anyone who says otherwise; may such a person find true happiness reading the back of a cereal box.

However, the trick is to balance all of that good dialog with a good scene set-up. Before we get to the witty banter, the reader needs to know who the characters are--not just their names and titles, but their motivations and goals as well. What does each person think of the other? Do their perceptions of each other change while they are talking to each other?

And yes, it is helpful to give the characters something to do while they're talking, especially in a longer scene. It doesn't have to be complicated; maybe they're eating breakfast at Denny's. One guy is having a hard time cutting his sausage link because it keeps rolling away, the other is repeatedly distracted because his eye keeps following the cute waitress. The kid in the next booth is bored and keeps kicking his feet, and the parents are not paying attention and that kicking sound is really annoying and-- oh, what were you saying? I wasn't paying attention there for a moment.

That kind of thing.

So when someone says that dialog serves no purpose other than to advance a plot, point at that person and laugh. I would rather have 10 pages of well-written dialog than 1 page of dry exposition any day.

In terms of this story, "Will of the Lord," there are certainly some punctuation, spelling, vocabulary, and capitalization issues. However, as I understand it, English is not the author's first language, so my hat's off to Shoujo for attempting such an ambitious story. None of the things I just listed couldn't be fixed by a skilled editor; and in my experience, few writers can self-edit anyway, even if they are to the language born. The trick is to find someone who is good at editing and has the time to help you out.

And while I'm on the subject, I did notice that the version of English employed in this story shifted between American and U.K. English fairly frequently. I assume the writer was just unaware of the difference, as are many people, frankly. Even though English is one big happy global language, Americans spell certain words one way ("honor," "realize," "gray," as examples) and Brits spell these same words another way ("honour," "realise," "grey"). Neither way is incorrect; the trick is to just learn the difference, pick which one will be recognized (recognised?)by your audience, and then use it consistently.

Where I struggled was in the set up to this story, which I thought didn't provide me enough information to understand who "I" was, the significance of the title that was being bestowed during the coronation, or why I as the reader needed to be concerned about any of this stuff. And truth be told, I went several pages thinking "I" was the father and not the son. Until the father [CENSORED TO AVOID SPOILING THE STORY].

As the story progressed, however, I did eventually work out that "I" was Wenceslaus, a.k.a. Charles IV. He was apparently a mediocre monarch who struggled to inspire trust in people, or in some cases to himself trust the right people.

I never did get a grasp on Ansel, nor the repeated "stick picker" epithet. Was Ansel truly an evil schemer, or was Wenceslaus just excessively prejudiced against him? Again, there was insufficient detail for me to make that determination.

Therefore even though I could recognize a lot of promise in the dialog scenes, in many instances I wasn't entirely sure what the people were talking about, or why these things were important to them.

For that matter, I've never understood the whole concept of the Holy Roman Empire anyway. All I know is that it was none of the three things described in the name: it was neither holy, Roman, nor an empire. So the scenes in "Will of the Lord" that involved Wenceslaus / Charles IV either plotting and scheming in one story line, or trying to build alliances in the other, were somewhat lost on me, as I did not know the rules of the game, so to speak, let along the significance of any of the players.

All of this being said, I think "Will of the Lord" is better than the ratings indicate, and it shows promise. I am glad I took the time to read it.
-- Bill_Ingersoll on 6/10/2019 1:11:52 AM with a score of 0
I really much enjoyed the introduction to this one. Very well written and a perfect lead-in to an intriguing story, very well done! As a history nut for this kind of niche, it was very satisfying. I enjoyed the father-son dynamic as anyone else would. The historical sword-fighting aspect was really interesting as it would take some considerable research to know things like this and actually required the reader to take detail into examining each informational tidbit about the stances. I found the first half of this game very interesting and I applaud you for that!

As the story dragged on, I began to see some considerable mistakes sprinkled throughout the game. Capitalization errors were what I most struggled with, as it’s really essential to get that nailed down at the get-go. There was a few grammatical errors of the sense, but not as bad as capitalization was. There were some uncomfortable spacings before the choices that I really disliked due to the fact that it left me feeling a bit unsatisfied. The blankness just sort of short-circuited me as far as the story went. You could have fit so much more story there, but no, we had the spaces. :(

The plot was a bit bland, more so the latter half than the first. When the suspense picked up, I was very excited to see what you would do with this story! However it quickly became apparent that the plot twist you had planned was a bit more obvious than I had anticipated. The writing itself was good, but I had no emotional ties to any characters in general. The ending didn’t wrap up well, and I think that was really my biggest issue. There was a very bland ending.

However, I did enjoy the story and your writing as a whole. Continue to grow and prosper as a writer! Keep your reviews in mind :).
-- At_Your_Throat on 4/28/2019 9:39:15 PM with a score of 0
This was a lot of fun, and it got better and better as I read. The prose was well put together, and the setting was interestingly gritty. A good ear for dialogue and fun swordsplay. I was particularly impressed by the feeling of weighty choices. Some of the spacing was a little weird, but nothing that threw me off too much.
-- Gower on 4/27/2019 8:06:27 AM with a score of 0
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