[BF20] - So much for sleep...

BrikWars fiction in long-prose form. Trigger warning: Walls of text

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[BF20] - So much for sleep...

Post by Gorvoslov » Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:20 am

Boris fell into bed, exhausted. He had finally officially been accepted as a Bard within the tribe, which naturally required partying way later than was reasonable. From the very first time he heard The Metal, it had taken hold of him, spoken to his very being. He had known from that day that he needed to learn all there was about it, and to become one of the greatest Bards of all time, possibly even as great as the legendary Stabface Explosion himself. But now, finally, after way too much partying, he was mercifully free to pass out for a few hours before the absolutely brutal reality of the hangover.

At least, that was the idea right up until some jerk shook him awake while saying “The Seer is requesting you”. Unfortunately for Boris, this wasn't one of the other young orcs of his tribe playing a prank, this was one of their most seasoned warriors, long overdue for his glorious death in battle. Boris debated giving it to him for this, but a summons by the tribe Seer was not to be taken lightly, especially for one who still had so much to learn.

“Ugh, fine. They had better have a reason for this, it's officially past stupid o'clock. I'll go see the crone...”

The Seer's hut, as always, is at the edge of the encampment, as far away from the others as possible while still being able to keep an eye on it. This is mostly so that none of the orcs have to put up with the strange smells coming from it at all hours. This distance also served to make a “journey” to see her all the more annoying for someone who at this point just wanted to go to bed. Of course whatever she wanted couldn't wait until morning, that would be way too convenient.

As he approached the Seer's hut, Boris couldn't help but try to identify the smells coming from it. Was that... Bergamot?? As a Bard, Boris was now required to know a bunch of random things about everything. And yet, another thing all orcs learned at a young age: You never know what to expect from the Seer, but she is powerful and wise. When she decides to give you advice, it's best listened to. So despite all the weird citrus smells, Boris pressed on.

When Boris reached the door of the hut, Chief Bolzolog was leaving, and for a split second, he stared at Boris with what Boris could only interpret as sadness. Maybe pity? The thought distracted him enough he nearly forgot to salute the Chief, not that the Chief seemed to care. Certainly not how Boris was used to seeing his Chief. Normally, failing to salute fast enough would get you a smack from a club, sometimes even from the Chief himself.

Upon entry, Boris could see the Seer was waiting for him, with steam coming from a teapot. She poured him a cup. “Earl Grey.”

“No thank you, I'd like to sleep after this.”

“I wasn't asking.” replied the Seer as she handed him the cup. She waited for Boris to take a few sips before continuing. “What do you know about the literary construct known as a 'Hero's Journey'?”. Oh, a Bard test. This should be easy. Seriously, this could have waited until morning though.

“It's a very popular framework, mostly because it resonates extremely well with audiences. Quite frankly, it's overdone. Writers would be better served to have the heroes lose some of the time, plot armour is just annoying. I get why they would be hesitant to kill off the characters they've built up, but when everyone is running around in plot armour, the audience loses interest. If that's all you wanted, can I please go to bed now?” Boris replied confidently. He knew he'd nailed it.

“So should I take that as you refusing The Call?” she replied.


“I must apologize for being so oblique, unfortunately you're not allowed to understand everything yet, but you'll get some exposition now. Keep drinking please. You see, our people have worshipped The Metal for a long time. Sure, some humans see the way, some even accomplish great things, but none of them have it in their blood the same way we do as a people. It's both a blessing and a curse. It calls to us in ways others cannot understand. This makes us strong, it leads to great deeds in battle, but it also means we can lose our will. Far too often on other worlds, The Metal has consumed those like us. A corrupted version of it, it turns us into, quite frankly, idiots. We lose our ways, simply becoming drones in a mindless war of destruction. There's a reason I gave you tea instead of coffee for instance. Coffee is dangerous. It makes us more susceptible to this transformation. This is why our tribe bans it.” Boris had always wondered about that rule. Most of them made sense: Of course you only get a good afterlife for dying in battle, cowards do not deserve comfort. Of course it's an unforgivable crime to kill a fellow orc during a sweet guitar solo, Metal is awesome. Of course one should not cross the Chief or the Seer of their tribe, they'd be squished in a rather dishonourable way for that. Of course one should be fair to their fellow orcs, after all, they're all hunted by the cruel Elves the same way. But not allowing coffee while allowing every other liquid intoxicant known? It seemed so random. But some sort of weird biological sensitivity, now that made sense. He had after all seen what happened to some of the young orcs that couldn't resist the temptation of the forbidden black liquid and knew he didn't dare risk it.

“So what do I actually get to know?” Boris said with a surprisingly scratchy voice. Good thing the other orcs weren't here, they would think he was afraid. He was not afraid, there's just something strange in his throat. He tried to cough.

“You get to know that I truly am sorry for this. As is Chief Bolzolog. You do not get to die today. In fact, I'm not sure when you get to die this time around, but it shouldn't be for an embarrassingly long time. Oh, many will try, but they're going to find that it never goes according to plan. The poison I put in your tea will merely paralyze you, and you will be captured when we are wiped out here in a bit. You and I are about to be the last remnants of this tribe you see. Technically, that will make you Chief in a few minutes even, congratulations. Stabface Explosion himself has made it clear it is to be this way. I'm sure our fellow warriors will put up a glorious fight that sadly, you will be unable to write a song about. Mostly because you'll be in here the entire time.” At this point, Boris was definitely feeling something in his throat and he began to cough violently. “I'm sorry, you'll pass out soon and it will stop, you did say you wanted to sleep after all... They're about to spring their ambush now, so I need to be leaving. I'm sure you'll hear from the great Stabface Explosion himself eventually, but for now, I will simply tell you that all of our people, in fact all of this world, are actually counting on you. There's a threat coming, and only by uniting all the orcs under your banner specifically can it be stopped, or at least turned away. For quite possibly the first time ever. We will meet again some day, I am sure of that.”. The last few things Boris remembered before passing out were collapsing to the ground in a coughing fit as the Seer left the hut in the direction away from the rest of the tribe and the sounds of battle. Battle he wasn't a part of! The indignity! He wouldn't even be able to write songs about the triumph or fall of his tribe! Boris had one job now as a tribe Bard, he desperately crawled towards the door, coughing the whole time. And then, he passed out in the doorway, barely seeing a blur of some of the tents on fire. He had failed his task of documenting the great and final deeds of his tribe.

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Re: [BF20] - So much for sleep...

Post by Bragallot » Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:58 am

Fantasy battles - Scifi battles
Kommander Ken wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:04 pm
Wtf is this thread?

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Re: [BF20] - So much for sleep...

Post by Venge » Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:27 pm

Concept and Theme: 8/10 - This feels like a beginning of a much longer saga. I would've liked a tiny bit more background information, maybe on their conflict with the elves (btw I do like the reversal of the usual "good elves, bad orcs" trope), as that would've helped set the scene and make the reader a little bit more invested. Still, what is there is intriguing enough that I was fully invested in the story.

Form: 9/10 - That sneaky Seer! I knew something was up with the tea! The framework here is perfectly fine, and moves the plot forward as it should.

Voice: 8/10 - Again, I would've liked to see a little more backstory and history of the characters (blame my world-building fetish), but what is there is compelling enough that it works.

Style: 17/20 - Less violent and more emotional that the BrikVerse usually is, the saga of Boris the Bard is off to an exciting start.

Presentation: 10/10 - I didn't catch any typos or errors.

Total Score: 42
Total Score + Tiebreaker: 52

Final Comments: I'd love to hear more about of our little green friend in the future! One suggestion that occured to me (which you may or may not agree with), is to put the direct thoughts of characters, like "Oh, a Bard test. This should be easy. Seriously, this could have waited until morning though." in italics.
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Re: [BF20] - So much for sleep...

Post by SirZaphod » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:43 am

Concepts and theme: 8 Orks and a prolog for a bigger story makes a good start to a new chapter in the Brikwars! saga. Brings to mind Warcraft III.

Form: 9 good flow from point to point, fairly easy read.

Voice: 9 The story is clear to follow, information is given as needed and it is not bogged down.

Style: 18 I like the flip of a Brikwars! scripted on this we start in an ork camp but they are not preparing for war, it's a party that as far as I can tell lacks bloodshed and when the battle comes our protagonist is forced to sit it out, what with being unconscious.

Total: 44
Presentation: 10 Nothing I could see wrong.

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Re: [BF20] - So much for sleep...

Post by RedRover » Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:06 pm

Concept and Theme --9

Form --8
Nothing to complain about here

Voice -- 9
Good origin story vibes

Style -- 18
Well done!

Presentation (tie breaker) --8

Total --46

Rover Points (redeemable at your nearest Chuck-E-Cheese) -- Mountain Dew

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