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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Time Spiral - Chapter 6



Time for Radha to unleash her inner Keld.


Time Spiral - Chapter 6

Radha watches the battle unfold while she tries to exercise the patience that Freyalise always tells her to have. The Skyshroud rangers are more resilient than she and the Gathan berserkers gave them credit for, but the Gathans are quite formidable. Elven arrows fly true and hit their marks but the Gathans just rip out the arrows and ignore their wounds and press on. The sides clash and the elves work in small groups to fend off each one.

As for the newcomers, Radha is impressed as the smaller lizard creature darts in and out of the enemy's defenses, impaling the false Keldons with its knife-like tail, while the larger one relies more on its razor sharp claws. The human woman shoots blasts of flame from her batons while the man throws flaming bolas with deadly accuracy. More often than not the bolas hit their mark and wind about each warrior's neck. As the ends spin about and finally wind down and collide into the warrior's head, they explode.

However each blow from the colos horn very noticeably reinvigorates the Gathans. They seem to be more determined, more coordinated, and more deadly with each blast. Another wave of Gathans is sent in, and she sees the horn transfer hands. Here's her chance. Warlord Greht is entering the battle. He seems to be impossibly muscled and covers his face with an iron mask and she can't wait to fight him one on one.

The elves do their best, but they can't hold forever. Llamach himself nearly falls but barely gets away with his life. As for the human woman, one of the Gathans gets too close and her batons are no match for the Gathan axe and it slices through her batons and shears off two of her fingers. She strikes out with her good hand, but he catches her fist in his own. Her fireball barely fazes him. Fire is no stranger to them, and he begins to crush her head with his hands.

Radha makes her move.


She throws a metal disk shaped like an elongated teardrop and it bites deep his face. The Gathan falls.

"The fires of Keld," Radha said loudly, "burn only for Keldons."

(Alright. Nice entrance...)

"There's only one Keldon in this valley," Radha snarled,"and you're all looking at her."

(...*wince* spoke too soon.)

Driven by an unseen wind, Radha's hair spread out behind her like a cobra's hood. Her eyes flashed. The air around her head and shoulders hissed and popped as it filled with tiny green flames, each one distinctly shaped like a small oak leaf. Soon there were more than a dozen of the magnificent emerald blooms flickering around her.

Radha howls and charges into the fray, with a cloud of emerald flame trailing behind her.

(Great recovery.)


...In the skies above...

Teferi asks who and what is she. Freyalise says she's a reckless and disobedient child of her forest that wishes to be a warrior of Keld. Teferi sees a beautiful being that draws mana to her like the mages of old. There's no relying on mana stars, nor Freyalise's gift, nor the the power of someone like a Keldon warlord. Her mana is pure and comes from a source he doesn't understand.

He needs her. He needs to study her, and of course Freyalise refuses. They go back and forth once more bargaining with each other her life in a way that only omnipotent beings can. In the end, they confirm that she will go with Teferi if she can be convinced, he'll still leave her forest when the battle is over, and the moment Radha wishes to go home she is to be returned.

Teferi bows and the deal is done. Time for Teferi to go to work.

* * *


Dialogue

Let's just say I'm not a fan of anyone ever writing any variation of:

"And you're lookin' at him."

It's like saying:

"Who's got two thumbs and is the most awesome guy in the room?" 

*points thumbs at self* 

"This guy!"

If you're trying to be funny, or trying to be cheesy, there are times and places where that can work beautifully. Trying to write a character so they come off as the dominant warrior on the battlefield is neither.

Take a look as this slight tweak:

"There's only one Keldon in this valley," Radha snarled.

Driven by an unseen wind, Radha's hair spread out behind her like a cobra's hood. Her eyes flashed. The air around her head and shoulders hissed and popped as it filled with tiny green flames, each one distinctly shaped like a small oak leaf. Soon there were more than a dozen of the magnificent emerald blooms flickering around her.

See how much better that is? All I did was remove the "and you're all looking at her." The italics I added might not even be necessary. If her words aren't clear enough, the cloud of fire surrounding her is a strong sign that she's referring to herself. Just take off that last bit and that layer of cheese comes right off. It's just unnecessary calories you don't need anyway.


And More Dialogue

Sometimes the dialogue between the planeswalkers comes off as a bit dry.

"I will ask again, Protector of Skyshroud." Teferi spoke solemnly. "But I will be more precise: what is she?"

Freyalise glanced up at Teferi. "She is a child of my forest. A disobedient child. A reckless child."

"Does she have the spark?"

The protector of Skyshroud's face was inscrutable. "You tell me. We planeswalkers tend to recognize each other, even before we ascend. What do you see in her?"

When one omnipotent being talks to another, maybe it's best to keep things pretty formal so things don't escalate into a full blown confrontation like Teferi wants to avoid, which gives some excuse, but while what McGough has done here works fine, in this particular conversation I feel like it wasn't quite at the same level as the rest of the book up to this point.


Radha of the Living Flame

I love what McGough has done with Radha . I think he's done a great job in capturing the essence of Radha's card through her actions. It's great.


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