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Entry #4

Discussion in 'Q2 - April Flash Competition' started by Xiph0, Apr 20, 2020.

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  1. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Yoda Admin

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    "When, if not this morn?"

    "Fain by the day I die, of course..."

    Lord Slytherin scowled, walking off and staring into the lake. The mermen were growing bolder, crawling to the surface by manipulating water around them. The cackle of a hag could be heard from the forest. His scowl deepened; he cared not to see what else dared breathe of his air or burrow in his land. No, it would all have to be put to flight, else thick walls and thicker warding would have to shield the little witches and wizards, the natural world just outside the door. There had to be some way of hastening the process; it would not do to have it said of him he was an old, doddering warlock by the time he finished something he started as a young lord.

    He returned to the carriage by which he had arrived. Lord Gryffindor had been generous to provide a few old Thestrals from his conquests; Lady Ravenclaw added a sense of style, of traveling in comfort that would not have occurred to their partner. Her eyes flitted in his direction once, which was enough for her to read his expression.

    "Ill news, then-"

    "Would that better could come of such an ill-fated plot, a cursed plot of every manner of foul creature, demons of sea and sky... The forest is a miasma; a wizard cannot breathe without sharing the putrid air of a wight." He sighed. It would have to be cut back as far as they could cut it, carefully so, lest the quicker of the beasts realize they lost their possession.

    "What is there established?" the young lady asked. "Thy boots no filth adorns; must there have been a path to walk."

    "But a dwelling of some forgotten line, no greater than a hut could it be named. Never have I heard of the old man within; in his madness he would pass suns and moons before work can but begin. Fie! Fails he to clear the land, he leaves a babe, a little daughter to carry on his toil. A path of pebbles laid he, should there be a drop of magical blood in his line, may he have mine eye, yet he claims a little witch is his progeny, and he her progenitor." He stared out the window of the carriage. "A witch born in muggle womb, brought out by mother's suffering and reared by father's sweat, hast thou heard of it?"

    Looking back to Lady Ravenclaw, she was silent again, as always when some thought consumed her mind and senses. Never had she heard of it, yet the idea interested her; it ensnared her. Lord Slytherin reminded himself that should Lord Gryffindor and his father ever return from Burgandy, he would have to keep from contributing to all the different versions of history she seemed to believe simultaneously.

    "Perhaps, then, possesses she the will to build our great school, raised in toil and born with magic."

    "The will, then, if not the talent passed through seed and womb," he muttered back. "Let Godric and his proper sons and daughters learn the war-bastards if they wish, but mine efforts shall be preserved for the purest." He knew the lady across from him favored taking the cleverest, in her measurement, but there was room for disagreement in a joint venture, as long as there was substantial contribution. On that front, she had herself covered, at the least. He had seen her designs for warding, the secrets of the castle, but if she thought they would all be hers, she was fooling herself. Already he had a nest's worth of eggs, though they would take long enough to hatch. Quietly, he found it fitting, for a beast of such longevity.

    Their waiting proved as dolorous as he had dared to dread.

    For an age they gathered and they planned, they drew up masters-at-wands from Lord Gryffindor's armies who might serve as teachers, while the old man toiled. At length when she spake and thought as a witch grown, they included his daughter Helga, though it was decided she would work for her stake if she should claim one. The senescent laborer continued clearing the forests and beating back the creatures, lowering the lake and muttering to the mermen, even the old dragons of the north could be persuaded to ignore the area if they would be pleased elsewhere. Long enough time passed it would have been far swifter to carry it out themselves with fire and magic, but the same old Hufflepuff to insist on his ancient line insisted on the contract.

    If it were a school for which he waited, he could wait for wisdom first, said he. Perhaps the first could come before the latter, but what kind of school would it be? Maddening though the old man was, his daughter at least shared his efforts, if his obsession with it. As soon as she could levitate a stone without thinking of it, she took their designs and put each into place, trusting none other with minute details or enormous pieces of masonry. She insisted on all being welcome at the school, as if only to vex the proper lords; even Godric wanted the children of those distinguished for valor.

    When the day came it was overcast and raining. Deadly beasts and wicked creatures still surrounded the school, but Lady Ravenclaw's warding would be enough to keep them far enough away. The gold for the rest of what it would need to be called a school had already come from the two Lords.

    "Hast thou wisdom yet, Lord Slytherin?"

    "Address me as a peer again and shall I remove thy tongue," he responded, his voice shaking slightly. "If I have learned, I have learned that never shall I trust thee again." He waited for the other three to come inside before waving his wand to close the door.
     
  2. BTT

    BTT Viol̀e͜n̛t͝ D̶e͡li͡g҉h̛t҉s̀ ~ Prestige ~

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    I'm really not a fan of this dialogue. It sounds overwrought and at some points I actually have to struggle with what is actually said. It sounds less old and more like some Ye Olde Englishe. It's frankly headache-inducing. Stop it.

    The story itself is kind of odd. It's the Founding of Hogwarts! Except by making it seem like some dirty ordeal where the mermen have to be repulsed from the shores and whatnot the actual importance of the event gets kinda removed. Hogwarts is literally levitated into place brick by brick, which seems to me the least magical way to build a magical castle I've ever heard of.

    There are mentions of "wardings" and levitation and magical creatures and that's roughly as far as the magic goes. Your Hogwarts is built of brick, not of magic and wonder.

    1/5.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2020
  3. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    ~989 words
     
  4. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    I had trouble getting into this. The language is a bit over-done, in my opinion. Yes people would have spoken different a thousand years ago. But we just had a thread on how to manage accents or other things about speech properly and I think you try to do a bit too much.


    I get that this is a story about building Hogwarts but I’m struggling not to skim. I had trouble getting my head into this enough to sort out what actually happened, apart from Hogwarts being built.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  5. bking4

    bking4 Second Year ⭐⭐

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    From a technical perspective, I really like this story. You do a phenomenal job of keeping it as a period piece. The dialog is exacting and deliberate, and I loved it. The characters are each vibrant and alive, and you capture them well. I only have two gripes. The first is the transition sentence to describing the man in the hut and his daughter working with them, the second is the adherence to the prompt.

    This sentence threw me. You took an inner monologue detour form Slytherin’s perspective, then continue talking about the things that the did, and I had no reference of the “old man” being the man in the hut. At first read through, I had thought it was a throw away line, and Helga Hufflepuff was somehow a daughter of Lord Gryffindor? I was very confused. I would switch that up into two sentences:

    That’ll just make it more clear that you’re referencing the father from before.

    Secondly, unless “For an age" is supposed to be interpreted as 70 years, I don’t know exactly what this particular story is 70 years from. I don’t know for sure that it fulfills the guidelines of the prompt.

    4/5, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to pick it as a winner, unfortunately.
     
  6. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Minister of Magic DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    You COWARD! I name you coward.

    If you're going to go for hard to read dialogue, then why write so bloody much of it. Why depend on it at all, and why be so half-arsed about it. Forhwý nâteshwôn syndriglic. PROPER OLD ENGLISH I SAY. Where are my thorns. Where is my script that looks less intelligible than tenwar. You should've written it and scanned it in. Anywhose

    Took me a literal half dozen times to read past 'His scowl'. This was not fun to read. Not easy. Not capturing. It was a chore.

    I really didn't enjoy how much dialogue you made us read, while doing your best to make it tedious. If you'd focused on an intelligible narrative, communicating by structure what was happening, the sentiment and the meaning of it through non-verbal cues and his perspective. That would've been amazing. But you made your dialogue hard, and what's worse, you made us depend on it. And you did the narrative in the same style!
    Nah, not for me brew.
     
  7. Gaius

    Gaius Fourth Year

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    hmmm... I’m not the biggest fan of stories set in the founders era and I found this piece to be a little plotless. I found myself skimming because of how much you archaize the characters’ dialogue as well as the language of the narrative with needlessly clunky relative clauses and “hast’s” and “fie’s.”
     
  8. Selethe

    Selethe normalphobe

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    The author of this story is clearly quite talented, but some of the choices that they made make this difficult to read. When I came across a line of dialogue, I groaned a bit, because damn it was so much effort to read through it, despite the content being good. It flows. I'm not quite sure where the prompt comes in.

    "Their waiting proved as dolorous as he had dared to dread." No no. More subtlety required here.
     
  9. WierdFoodStuff

    WierdFoodStuff Sixth Year

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    I never liked stories pertaining to the Founders with only a couple of exceptions, sadly this is the same.
    It's also not helped by the overly verbose dialogue, it doesn't flow well and I found myself skimming it rapidly.
    It's just not my thing.
    1/5
     
  10. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

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    Bleh.

    The dialogue killed this for me. Too ye olde english that kills the story. Much like accents, it's a case where less would have been more, but leaning into it too heavily just makes it needlessly difficult to read.

    1/5
     
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