Chapter I - The Path through the Desolations I

Chapter I - The Path through the Desolations I

A Chapter by Kuandio
"

The ranger is on the dusty trail, crossing the Broken Horns. All he's got is his horse and his guns. A terrible foreboding of doom about what awaits, and a mysterious vision of a beautiful woman

"

The Path through the Desolations I


          The ranger had a feeling this mission was leading him towards a showdown with his greatest fear. So many years gone by now it felt like more than just one lifetime, he’d trained for the day everything would be put to the final test. As he crossed the mountainous desolations, now and then he looked above the barren ridges at the morning-noon sun and pale sky. He sensed black rumbling storm clouds drawing upon time’s horizon, and with the rush of this unseen tempest, found that his most earnest attempts to convince himself that he was prepared to face the Dark Nexus, fell futilely by the wayside, insubstantial as ashen chaff in the wind.

           As he trekked relentlessly on and on westward through the Broken Horn mountains, he prayed for the Powers to fortify him, or better yet, that they free this quest from the source of evil and the vast shadow of the Raven which was its guardian. Despite his petitions, an unwelcome foreboding, like the whisper of a sinister stranger, continued to accompany him on the long lonely journey through the badlands. It was a portent that grew heavier the closer he came to his destination, now about a week away. Despite the uncertainties about what awaited him there, of one thing he was certain - there was no f*****g way in hell that he was going to turn around.

           Hard-soled weather beaten boots crunched upon the sand and shattered shale as the ranger advanced across the blasted auburn and beige-ochre hued mountains. He was taller than most men, and swathed against the cold dry climate in garb of umber and black hues. The raiment was worn, patched and sewn up in a few spots, but it was of tough all purpose make. Following him closely was the massive penumbra of his faithful steed, the mighty Night-Wind, a horse seemingly born from the depths of a midnight sky. Against the backdrop of pale sands, both man and beast advanced like shadow ghosts.

           "Come on  bud, we got a long way to go" he said to the mustang. 

           The onyx coated stallion was equipped with a sturdy saddle and saddle-bags of ox-hide leather and jute, which contained some sparse provisions as well as the indispensable tools of a ranger’s trade; namely, a Strider-hawking .50 lever action rifle along with secondary firearms and plenty of ammunition. Beneath the ranger’s coat, he kept two Roan .45 revolvers at his waist. During assignments he wasn’t always forced to employ these weapons, but when the need did arise, it was best to have them handy than to be caught grasping at smoke.

           As they came higher up into the Broken Horn mountains the ranger lead the big black horse by the reins with one dark gloved hand, and adjusted his long dark coat against the incessant dust laden winds with the other. To shield his eyes from the stinging particles of fine sand he raised his collar and tilted his black wide-rimmed wrangler hat down, shrouding his features in a shelter of shadow. The wind whistled forlornly by his ears, murmuring of ages gone and memories unknown to man.

           From the shadow between hat and collar, two sharp eyes gleamed with a fiery violet tinge, calm as steel, like a puma lurking within the foliage, its gaze fixed on its quarry. Concealing his face from the eyes down was a black veil, like that of an assassin. He’d donned this cloth mask on account of the almost constant dust that blew on the extensive trails he trod, but after years and years he’d become so accustomed to wearing the veil that he seldom removed it in any place, weather, or company. He reckoned that it was best to be an enigma, and better yet to be one that was feared. If others saw too deep, they could find your weaknesses. Therefore he‘d buried his secrets in the shadows behind his cold blooded glare.

           One’s identity was a mysterious thing thought the ranger. He often found himself getting a bit philosophical when he was on the move. Raiden was the name his mother and father had given him. Everything else about him from back then was pretty much gone. When he remembered his parents, and all the others that had left this world to go to the who-knew-where beyond, the memories came to him with an inner wincing, for those people, their faces, and voices seemed to have become forever unfathomable, the echoes getting dimmer. Many years have passed my man. Lots of dust in the drift. Nowadays he was known by many names; Night-Hunter, Long-Walker, Dark-Rider, among others, most of which he didn’t take a fancy to. The one new name he’d kept was the one his master, White Elk, had bestowed him.

           Reminiscing, he could still see the Gold-Eagle tribe’s medicine man - long silver-white hair hanging below his shoulders, and an earthen brown face so deeply lined it was like leather. The day White Elk had given Raiden his new name, the Gold-Eagle elder had been sitting on his favorite rock in the forest, patiently puffing on his feathered pipe, while the ranger sat just below on the grass. White Elk had been silent for quite some time, squinting peacefully at the rays of sunlight that sifted through the pine boughs.

           At length he set the pipe between his teeth to one side, and said, “Since you were not born a Gold-Eagle, you did not undergo the vision-quest, however, you still need a new name, one for this new time in your life, and a new time for the earth,” and then, after some minutes he told it to the ranger, and the way he said it gave the ranger the impression that it’d always been his name, as natural as a bird flies or the moon glows.

          “You will be known as Raiden Dream-Walker”

          When Raiden remembered that was his full name, it reminded him of a lot of the things White Elk had taught him. It made him feel that the old Gold-Eagle medicine man’s spirit was in some way with him wherever he went. That comforted Raiden more than the hard calibers he carried. Four weeks had passed since he’d been charged with this assignment, and he was all on his own. He wanted to believe that there was an invisible power that might help him when the time came.

          So far however, he hadn’t encountered anything threatening on his journey. Indeed, he hadn’t come across a single soul, unless he were to count a few flighty rabbits, some remote birds of prey, and the distant howls he’d heard during a couple cold nights. In this rough country, only the sturdiest and most austere forms of life had any chance at survival. At present, except for the occasional clumping of tough chaparral and sage, there was nothing to suggest anything could live around these parts. Not seeing anyone else was probably a good thing. How long this would hold up he couldn’t say. Thus far he’d only traversed the easternmost escarpments of the Broken Horns. From the Burned-Flats, the trail had ascended steeply up the slopes of the sierra, zigzagging arduously until leveling off moderately among the big headlands he was currently hiking. He was forced to be patient with his progress. The uneven terrain wouldn’t allow for any good riding. There weren’t many places in the Broken Horns that would.

          There were some awe-inspiring sights of monolithic grandeur to behold in these mountains, but this was no jaunt he was on. From under the edge of his hat he constantly scanned the surroundings for any suspicious sign. Emptiness. That’s all there was. Without his beloved faithful horse, Raiden would’ve felt rather alone in the entire world. Besides their steady tread, the only other movement was the wind sighing through the high canyons, raising ghostly drifts of drab dust here and there over rock-ridges and broken tablelands. And there were clouds, vaporous continents that constantly shifted, guided by the wind upon ephemeral courses which crossed his path with the roving patches of shadow they cast.

          Although there wasn’t much to see but sandstone and granite escarpments, Raiden knew that the apparent lifelessness that reigned here couldn’t be trusted. This might be no man’s land, but that didn’t mean there weren’t other things that rambled about. When crossing the desolations you could never be quite certain what could be lurking around the next bend. There were things that stalked the far reaches that few people had ever laid eyes on. Man eating mutants brewed by the toxic poisons in heavily contaminated wastelands, and demonic beasts deft in hunting their prey. Over the years of traveling in such forsaken places, Raiden had crossed paths with plenty of strange creatures and monstrosities. Although he felt relatively confident about his ability to deal with such threats, he still had to be wary where he ventured. If things went bad, he was far from any help out here. The cavalry wasn’t going to be coming. He reckoned it best to second guess even the wind.

           Before setting out on the assignment he’d been debriefed by Aiyanna, the messenger of the Spirit-Circle. She’d informed him of the perils he might encounter. One in particular was at the fore of his mind. The Broken Horns were now presumed to be Warkhan territory, Red-Skull to be exact. The demons had moved in, making the hub of the rocky ranges their new stronghold. They were old enemies of Raiden’s and all rangers. Angry-Bull, their chief, had been seeking vengeance against him for many years. Unbidden came to Raiden’s mind a scene where the Red-Skulls were preparing to accommodate him inside one of the leaping fires around which they danced so wickedly. Raiden aimed to avoid any such unpleasantness. As much as he’d like to settle old scores, it’d have to wait this time around. There was far more important business at hand than to duke it out with those sons of b*****s in the middle of crusty a*s nowhere.

           Unfortunately, there was no alternative but to pass very close to the Red-Skull domain. Across the horizon, currently walled from view by the nearest promontories, were the innermost chains of the Broken Horns. Raiden was going to have to traverse many ridges and lots of canyons, and the deeper he infiltrated, the risk of being discovered would go up. Getting caught in the middle of these mountains could very well mean he wasn’t ever going to leave these mountains. That’s why he meant to try for some of the more remote passes, even if it’d take an extra day or two. A day or two meant little when rushing it could cost you your scalp. There wasn’t much fixing losing your scalp. If the Red-Skulls snared him, he’d be losing a lot more than just the top of his head. If all went well however, Raiden reckoned it’d take about a week to make the passage to the other side of the Broken Horns, and to the Valley of the Winds, where his destination lay.

           Raiden brought Night-Wind around the nearest moraines as he watched the boulder studded slopes, “See anything out there old boy?” he asked his horse.

           This wasn’t yet Red-Skull territory, but the Warkhan routinely sent scouts beyond their indeterminate borders in search of opportunities to hunt and raid. Those scouts were very adept at moving through this kind of terrain, with an infamous ability to conceal themselves and then to suddenly emerge out of seemingly nowhere to capture and murder before melting quickly back into the rockbound wastes. With such stealth on their side, Raiden wouldn’t be surprised if the Red-Skulls were already aware of his presence.

           Warkhan hunters or not, there were certain adversaries, though very rare, that could detect a ranger before a ranger could detect them. Having slipped some of the most tightly secured defenses and eluded some of the most vigilant watchmen, Raiden felt more than less confident that no such vermin was going to get the jump on him, but, he decided it was best to play it safe before covering more ground.

           From one of the deep pockets on the inside of his coat he produced the compass. The navigational apparatus fit comfortably into the palm of his hand. The dark glass screen was at first filled with erratic wavelengths. As he waited for it to come into focus, he recalled that three days ago, while crossing the Burned Flats, he had picked up a signal that had given him reason to suspect that he was being followed. The unidentifiable beacon had been fifteen miles due north, the very edge of the compass’s range radius. During that day he had checked the compass often, noting that the signal seemed to be purposefully keeping pace while maintaining just enough distance to make it undecipherable. One of Raiden’s primary concerns was always the involvement of other demonic orders. If the undertaking of this mission were discovered, then the interference of very powerful enemies could come into play. Being a believer that it was best to deal with a problem from its inception, he was about to deviate from his projected path to inspect the signal. Then, just before sundown, the signal disappeared and had not registered on the compass since.

          The irregular patterning on the compass‘s screen dissipated. There was no needle to indicate the direction of the four quadrants at the circumference, only a glowing neon green liquid within that shifted and morphed into shapes and designs of varying degrees of brightness. By relaying a vibrational signal, the compass formed a map that revealed the layout of the land. Minute data of numbers and measurements provided topographical information. An arrow pulsated in the direction of his destination, and a small dot pinpointed his position. Raiden primarily employed the gadget to locate energy sources, usually those belonging to life forms. It‘s most important function was to forewarn him of dissonant energetic signals, because such could signify a demonic presence. To hone in on this, he clicked a button, and the neon liquid changed into a violet color.

           Raiden sighed. According to the compass, he and Night-Wind were alone, at least within a fifteen mile radius. For the meantime he had to consign the supposition that he was being followed to the probability that it’d been another of those mutant coyotes. There were quite a few of those scraggly sharp toothed mutt-hounds in these parts.

           Nevertheless, his suspicions didn’t completely subside. He couldn’t rely solely on technology, especially the kind he only had a faint notion of how it worked. He placed the compass back in his pocket. Then, standing in place, began to breath slowly, summoning absolute concentration. Gradually, his vision and hearing sharpened to a slight yet definitively perceptible degree. He could see and hear across the boulder studded landscape for miles with the clarity and definition of a finely tuned predator.

           There was nothing out there, nothing but the wind.

           Then he closed his eyes, resting his arms to either side, palms open. He had to be cautious. The one drawback to using his spirit-vision was that if there were others with psychic capability anywhere nearby, he might inadvertently reveal his presence to them, like torchlight in the window of one tower seen from afar by another, through deep clouds and mist. Due to this risk, he only sent out his vision a short distance, ready to draw it back at a moment’s notice. He searched for energetic imprints left behind where others had passed through, or maybe, where they were going to at some point in the future. He also used his spirit-vision to detect presences that were not physically tangible. Combining these extrasensory perceptions with the use of his compass had tipped him off to the most cunning enemies.

          After a few minutes of scanning the terrain, Raiden opened his eyes and relaxed. With the amalgamation of his senses he’d been unable to discern any extraneous energy source. He patted the big black mustang on the shoulder, “Looks like we’re in the clear old boy”

          The horse twitched an ear and snorted softly in accord.

          The ranger and his steed started up anew. Despite verifying that there wasn’t anything to worry about, that ominous foreboding that’d been with him since the start of this mission refused to depart. It had nothing to do with the demons or other dangers that haunted the Broken Horns. When he asked himself what the origin of this unease was, the same answer surfaced from the subterranean well of intuition, a dread in his innards that moved to his extremities.

           The Dark Nexus.

           Raiden clenched his fists so as not to shudder. Was it to this bane that he was going to have to go to find her? How would he ever get past the Raven that was said to guard the nexus? The giant bird of death was said to be invincible. It wasn’t a monstrous beast like the myths told, with beak, talons, and a shrill rending cry that could be heard a hundred miles away, and eyes that could rob a mortal of his life. It was all that and something far worse. It’s name was but a symbol, as was the Dark Nexus‘s. Both were part of the same shadow into which a myriad of evils converged. The Raven was a deception that embodied the Dark Nexus’s most formidable powers.

           Could he see past that deception? Could he tell the difference? Raiden had been a ranger for a long time now, but before you faced a demon with the power that the Raven wielded, you’d better be certain you were a spirit-master. Raiden knew he was still a long ways away from attaining such prowess. There were many mirrors of fear, and very few in this world who had broken them all.

           He remembered what White Elk had said on another occasion while sitting on the boulder in the forest of pines, “Your path has been long and difficult thus far Dream-Walker, and it will continue to be so, but persevere, and in time you will reach the mountaintop you seek. The one from which you will understand the world below” and then the old medicine man held up a finger in warning, “But remember, that what can be done in one day, can also be done in many years. It may seem a great trial to us, but to the Powers, time does not exist”

           Raiden was afraid his master was telling him that decades and decades were going to drag by before his hardships were done with. Such a notion just about unbearable.

           “Isn’t there anyway to speed up the process? A shorter path?”

           “Yes, there is,” the old medicine man had nodded, “But I do not advise it Dream-Walker. If you are ever to face the Shadow of Shadows and survive, your path will be quickened. And if you are victorious, then you will be transformed forever. The past will die. But I warn you Dream-Walker, to face the Shadow of Shadows is to pass through a vast fire”

           These words lent Raiden some meager encouragement, but he knew that to bank on them would be one heck of a gamble, an all or nothing play. One day he’d have to confront the Dark Nexus, and find a way to vanquish it, he just hoped it wasn’t this time. Time, if only he had more of that. He reckoned he might need hundreds, perhaps even thousands of years, before he was ready.

            Enough man. Give the future and the what ifs a rest. Focus on this stage of the journey, on what’s right in front of you. If you don’t make it through these f*****g mountains, then whatevers afterwards isn’t going to matter worth a can of dry dirt.

            Carefully leading his horse, the ranger determinedly ascended a long sand strewn pass. The way widened and the moaning wind blew dust drifts against the ravine’s granite precipices and against the lonely journeyer and his horse. During the monotonous march, as one hour wore into another, with the steady rhythmic grind of boots and hooves on the gravelly ground, part of Raiden’s multifaceted consciousness was lulled into a very mild trancelike state. It didn’t surprise or disconcert him when into this breadth came a vision, brought as if by a will of its own.

            What his spirit-vision saw was a subtle and fleeting phenomenon that had recurred over the past few days. It caused him to ponder profoundly. Did what he was seeing actually exist? Was it a message or warning in the form of a clairvoyant vestige? He held the vision in his mind‘s eye while his corporeal vision unremittingly saw everything before him; the dusty sunlit trail, the bright white clouds floating over the jagged mountains, but if he closed his eyes, then he saw the dream like impression with startling clarity.


           Who was she? In an unknown domain of cold darkness a young woman, her eyes closed, lay upon a bed. She was beautiful. Long dark sinuous hair rested around the contours of her pale cold visage and onto her shoulders. She wore a white dress with soft sky blue embroideries of celestially inspired designs. It was a gown woven of such quality and elegance that it would’ve befitted her if she’d been in attendance at a wedding or royal ball of the highest occasion. Then he wondered whether she were truly asleep, or if the dress had been intended to decorate her in a state of unearthly sleep, a slumber so deep and wintry it might last forever. Yes, he admitted with regret - it looked like it could be funeral attire perhaps. However, there was an intangible presence within her that he believed belied that her spirit had not departed, but instead, was entrapped and unable to awaken her.

           He gazed upon the young woman for what seemed a long while, experiencing a powerful though cautious empathy. For the first time he dared speak to this vision - Who are you?

           There was no answer.

           Where are you from? Tell me, what has happened to you?

           There were so many questions he had, but to none of his inquiries did he receive a response. In this respect, it was as if there were a gulf a thousand miles wide between them. He wanted to know the name of this mysterious sleeping woman. What had her life been like before falling into this cold shadow-gripped affliction? If only he knew more, then he might be able to awaken her. He had to help her. Just by gazing upon her fair countenance, he sensed that she was a sweet and innocent soul, like a child, but who had been imprisoned by fear and lost in dark dreams. Why had she been placed under this fell enchantment? The sleep had been forced upon her, yes, like a spell cast by an evil witch. Raiden could see it on her face. She wanted to scream, but it was as if she were walled away where sound cannot trespass, and so all the answers were hidden, just beneath those closed eyelids, along with a great sorrow and loneliness that few had ever experienced.

            With his spirit-vision he entered deeper into the vision. He longed to touch her cheek. Surely it was as the frost on the eaves of a winter’s morning. He also imagined that her lips, delineated with a faint amethyst-red, were attractive to kiss. Surely she would not have minded in the state she was in? Mostly though, he wanted to feel her breath, however slight it might be, to prove that she was alive, for as it was, there was no discernible rise or fall in her bosom.

            As he stepped closer into the gloom he came to an abrupt halt. There was a detail he’d overlooked during previous contemplations. With it thoughts of affection departed. He have dared not go an inch closer. He wished to do nothing that might disturb her slumber, and in turn stir a tenebrous danger. Protruding ever so slightly from either corner of her mouth were the tips of two white fangs. Raiden carefully retreated from the ghostly vision, as one steps back from the entrance of a lightless cavern, until he peered within no more.


           Shaking his head to relinquish his angst, Raiden’s mind returned fully to this solid realm of daytime skies and big mountains through which he walked. As the trek continued, it was with new gravity he pondered the possible interpretations of this repetitive vision. It was a very powerful vision, and so it followed that its significance was also imperative. To not try to understand it would be foolish. He knew very well that it was often through dreams and visions that paths and manifold possibilities could be discerned through the past, present, and leading into the future, all in flux, like overlapping ripples.

          The beautiful woman in the cold darkness was strangely familiar. There was something about her that told him that he’d been searching for her for a long time. When he meditated upon it he saw the nebulous image of a white house in a lovely green countryside. The meaning of this he didn’t understand either. The visions haunted him, as many things on this quest did.

          Deep down somewhere inside of her, maybe it was just his imagination, but he thought he’d felt the impression of a voice supplicating.

          Please, someone, help me,…

          Raiden knew he'd do anything to free her.

          As he and Night-Wind neared the zenith of the pass he asked himself who she really was? He hoped it wasn’t true. It was preferable that it be nothing more than a hallucination of an anxious mind, and not related in anyway to the young woman the Spirit-Circle had sent him to find " the one named Yarokia.

If it was her, then this mission was more complicated than he’d foreseen. Even if he managed to find Yarokia, it was going to be in vain if she’d transformed into what he feared she had. Contending with a nightwalker was extremely unpredictable and dangerous regardless of the circumstances, but to bring one back from the domain of a Dark Nexus was perhaps an impossible task. Even a seasoned expert like Raiden couldn’t achieve this alone, and on this quest alone he was. He made up his mind - if worse came to worse, and he was forced into a situation where his back was against the wall, he wasn’t going to be stayed by the compassion he harbored her, but he would slay her without mercy. He’d hate to do it, but he’d force himself to drive a stake through her heart and chop off that lovely head of hers.

           He prayed it didn’t come to this. He’d never wanted to help anyone as much as he wanted to help Yarokia. To fail her would be like failing himself.

           “I don’t want to let you down” Raiden whispered into the wind, “Just hold on. I’m coming for you girl”



© 2013 Kuandio


Author's Note

Kuandio
Is it too long? Too short? Do you think it's too slow? Would you like to know less, or more? One of my main concerns is that this is the first chapter and the main character is pretty much alone. However, I don't want to compromise the story just to fit to the recommended recipe for success which many people say is a lot of dialogue and action in the beginning. I will be greatly appreciative of any feedback

My Review

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An interesting read, supernatural western like this does appeal to me despite the fact that for some reason I rarely partake of it. I was finding losing my place briefly in several places, it did have a bit of description overload and is long even by my standards, but even so I can't help but think you're quite the writer. I write some stories myself, but looking at this reminds me of classic literature I've read, and gives me the feeling I could do with adding a bit of descriptive, poetic embellishment. You do a marvelous job of painting the picture, while I focus mostly on advancing the plot. You still accomplish that yourself, so there's nothing I'm really criticizing, but if you can find a way to keep the descriptions solid like they are while toning down the amount, you'd be golden I think.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kuandio

4 Years Ago

Thank you! Always a nice surprise to find a review of one of my books' chapters! It's been over a ye.. read more



Reviews

An interesting read, supernatural western like this does appeal to me despite the fact that for some reason I rarely partake of it. I was finding losing my place briefly in several places, it did have a bit of description overload and is long even by my standards, but even so I can't help but think you're quite the writer. I write some stories myself, but looking at this reminds me of classic literature I've read, and gives me the feeling I could do with adding a bit of descriptive, poetic embellishment. You do a marvelous job of painting the picture, while I focus mostly on advancing the plot. You still accomplish that yourself, so there's nothing I'm really criticizing, but if you can find a way to keep the descriptions solid like they are while toning down the amount, you'd be golden I think.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kuandio

4 Years Ago

Thank you! Always a nice surprise to find a review of one of my books' chapters! It's been over a ye.. read more
This is fascinatingly creative and fanciful, incorporating fairy tales and a number of other legends even reminiscent of Native American ones. I had mixed feelings about the length of this chapter, too, but remained entertained because of your vivid descriptions. I think now the length was necessary to include everything that needed to be said. It definitely piqued an interesting in reading on.

Posted 4 Years Ago


Kuandio

4 Years Ago

Hi there, and many thanks for taking a look at this story. I haven't really been working on it for a.. read more
I don't know if you have worked on this chapter at all since the comments 10 months to over a year ago, but I quite liked the opening chapter. Granted, it was slow, but I think it is a necessary slow to allow us to understand that progress is slow for the protagonist. He is carefully working his way through miles of empty terrain and you transcribe this well.

Although it is slow, you are able to break a part his Chapter 1 journey with the vision of the girl, supplementary detail of the world you are introducing, and scenes from Raiden's past. I think you balance these things well.

On a picky note, I think there are moments where your word choice fails where you are normally quite detailed/wordy. "Big" is used multiple times where I would prefer to see "giant" or "huge" or "immense". Like I said though, your word choice is generally spot on to deliver imagery while maintain flow in your story. Good job, I am looking forward to reading more.

Posted 4 Years Ago


Kuandio

4 Years Ago

Hi there, and many thanks for checking out the beginning of this weird western story. No, I haven't .. read more
My god, the detail haha Amazing. A bit overwhelming as mentioned below but amazing.

Posted 5 Years Ago


Kuandio

5 Years Ago

Thanks. That's the second review I've ever gotten while online. Yeah, that's the main thing with thi.. read more
Nicholas Hagenschneider

5 Years Ago

haha I'm a night owl my friend. Sleep can wait.
I will get back to you on the entirety of this book. I will read all of it. Every line. Then I will go back and post my notes to you and try to show how it could shine brighter if possible. But that will only be my opinion as a writer/avid reader. It already shines with promise or I wouldn't promise this.

Posted 5 Years Ago


Kuandio

5 Years Ago

That is a great honor, thank you so much. You're going to find a lot of things that could be improve.. read more
This is a vast improvement in giving a description with the story content. The first sentence is a grab and the first three paragraphs guarantee the reader will keep going to discover the story.
"He sensed black rumbling storm clouds drawing upon time’s horizon, and with the rush of this unseen tempest, found that his most earnest attempts to convince himself that he was prepared to face the Dark Nexus, fell futilely by the wayside, insubstantial as ashen chaff in the wind." Dramatic, but this is what makes it wordy. It's an ongoing sentence. Cut it back. People don't talk that way. Make it real.
Watch the descriptions. Have me seeing it through his eyes perhaps commenting on it with some emotion pulled in. The sky was...he couldn't help but see...that sort of thing.

Posted 5 Years Ago


Kuandio

5 Years Ago

Thank you so much. You really made my day by reading these chapters. I review many peoples' work and.. read more
Sue Hart

5 Years Ago

Chocolate bar...cute. The length of the chapter depends on what you are trying to portray. Short c.. read more
I seem this a very fascinating cross genre piece.

I did find myself losing focus because of description overload in the middle but the vision of the girl experienced by the protagonist recaptured my interest. It also reminded me of the scene in Eragon where Eragon saw Arya being tortured by Durza, and where Luke Skywalker saw the distress call of Princess Leia.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kuandio

5 Years Ago

Hi, thank you so much for taking time out to read this! How did you even find it? It's gotta be real.. read more
SpeedyHobbit Armstrong

5 Years Ago

I found it because I saw in the feed that you commented on one of my WC friends' writes. I tend to c.. read more
So I'll start be saying that I do not usually read westerns of any kind but I very liked the beginning of this story. The length was fine, not too long but long enough to let us get into the story. I think a hook would be good to insert somewhere near the beginning. Most people wouldn't read so far if they don't find anything of interest.
Your descriptions are really well written, I can visualize the landscape and mountains, and as the landscape is something so large it is quite an accomplishment. The dialog seems fine. though I can't make a concrete assessment of that yet for this chapter doesn't have a lot. I'll wait until I read a conversation.
Every so often you break the deep and profound description with some thoughts from the ranger. For an example somewhere near the beginning of the chapter you stop and say there was no f*****g way in hell that he was going to turn back. I liked it, it sort of reminded me that there was a character there. It gave him some courage even though we have not seen him do anything courageous, if you know what I mean.
I think you could bring a few characteristics of the horse. I know that sounds silly but when you are alone with an animal you start to notice that the animal will have a personality. I know that sounds odd but I just think it's something to think about. I'll read on when I get the chance but as a starting chapter it's a good start. Thanks for sharing.
Good luck and may you never fall from grace.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kuandio

5 Years Ago

Hey, thanks a lot for taking the time to read this chapter. My main concern is that it's too long, b.. read more
I don't think that anything here is too much or too little. You have a good tone in your wording that feels vaguely archaic and yet modern at the same time, which works very well with your story. You occasionally break the tone briefly, but only here and there - the next revision will most likely fix it without you actually realizing it. As for the length, I don't think that this is too long at all. It's long enough to drop all the initial items into the story and yet keep it flowing smoothly instead of feeling like an info dump. I wouldn't try to shorten it, or you will start breaking the flow. To be honest, I would use the length of this as the blueprint for all your succeeding chapters. Your descriptions are solid and well thought out, with just enough detail to make the reader want to know more (the little things like not entirely trusting the compass was an excellent touch).

I would run this through at least two revisions, but put this away and wait about 6 to 8 weeks before coming back to it after each revision- that will give your mind a chance to clear itself and allow you to see with fresh eyes.

I'm very interested in seeing more of this story, and seeing how you run with the dialog. Everything else seems to be well in hand. You are definitely off to a very solid start.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kuandio

5 Years Ago

Thanks for the review! It makes me think that I'm doing something right. Kind of confuses me too, in.. read more
Some great lines....a horse seemingly born from the depths of a midnight sky, murmuring of ages gone and memories unknown to man. I've never read anything quite like this. It's part western and part something else. I like the part about being given a name by the medicine man. I wouldn't worry about length or dialogue. What's important is if it says what you want it to say with this chapter.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kuandio

5 Years Ago

Thanks for checking it out! It definitely says what I want it to, but I think I've got to trim it do.. read more

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14 Reviews
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Shelved in 4 Libraries
Added on August 1, 2013
Last Updated on October 27, 2013
Tags: wester, horror, science fiction, fantasy, epic, adventure, love, romance, spiritual, new age


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Kuandio
Kuandio

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* Note: I've been blocking chapters of Sakura no Yugen. The first are still viewable, but if you want to read more, send me a message and I will temporarily republish them for you I started drawin.. more..

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