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Rats
Lead Developer
03 Jul 2012



inspiration struck me, but i struck it back. here's a little something about the arnesian war and skylamps. unfinished, escpecially ending-wise, but do share your thoughts.

The Skylamp Night



an account of breaking the siege of Tear during the Arnesian War as it was narrated by the honorable serjo Vaalthys Sur-Enaren to his scribe

We stand atop the walls of Tear and look down on the plains where the Argonians have set their camp. In the dark distance the tiny flickering lights of their torches and campfires can be seen, so tiny that they don't give away the crude fortifications they've built around their tents, the poisoned wooden stakes lined in a phalanx to face the city, or the chain of small rafts tied together with a massive vine rope with which they've blockaded the mouth of the river barring any ships from leaving the harbor.

It is the thirty-sixth night of the siege. Already we are starving. The Betmeri Wells have been flooded with burning water the day before, their inhabitants killed. The meat of the lizards tastes like sawdust and mold.

The skylamps are set loose in the dead of night. Dozens of them. No riders, just the animals. The war-netches have been bred by the many clan-families of the Deshaan, each gas-filled giant painted with the insignia of that family. They also carry words of magick, powerful sigils and daunting letters woven on their leathery skin by the spellbinders of Tear. The massive beasts float silent in the air towards the Argonians that know no better. The master beasthandler gives a signal and a flock of flaming arrows is released on the skylamps setting them on fire.

The burning beasts cry out in a howl so low it can be heard only barely, but makes your heartsrings tremble. The skylamps have been trained well - even as they are burning alive they steadily approach and finally reach the Argonian encampment. Then, one by one, they explode and set the night sky ablaze with brilliant colors. One elder clansmer next to me hides his eyes as for a second he mistakes the bright lights for the day's sun. Down in the fields before the walls and in their camp the Argonians scatter and look for cover from the fire that has suddenly descended upon them.

As we open the gates and storm out to drive out the invader n'wah the dry land has turned into mud. The skylamps shower down in a rain of violet and tangerine and crimson painting the world. Rivers of jade and aquamarine flow slowly in the cracks of the earth and form small palette lakes. Across the lakes we dance into battle and clash with the enemy. Sound and color become one.

White is the sound of a gigantic pale lizard galloping blindly through the mud roaring with thunder's voice. Light blue is the sound of a group of Argonians ripping through from underneath the carcass of a fallen skylamp on their way to reach us. Dark purple is the sound of a soul-stealer shaman hissing its curses, conjuring the bones of some long-dead reptile to do its bidding, and cold gray are the blades of the brave clansguard who cut the shaman down and hack the skeletal abomination into pieces. Muddy brown is the sound of an Argonian warrior breaking its neck while trying to wrangle itself free from a mancatcher's claw. Blue-and-yellow is the sound of a fire consuming a hundred barricade rafts releasing them on the merciless river that carries the rafters out to the salty sea upon which no lizard can survive. Warcries and screams of hatred and horror are spewed out cyan and pink. Blood is spilled orange and bright green. The night is black and the battlefield below is a swirling rainbow. Were it not a battle it would be a mighty spectacle to witness. Truly, a carnival of life and death.

The fighting continues all through the night. The colorful chaos is slowly waned by the pale, rising sun. Its light breaks through the smoke-filled air and reveals the true and dull grayness of the world-after-battle. Hundreds of prisoners are taken and the once empty slave pits are full again. The shackled warleaders of Old Arnesia are impaled by the steely tendrils of the fallen skylamps, their dry skins left colorful like signal flags. We hang them on the trees to mark the new border.

Xuth-taijleel, the Argonians still say. Accursed skylamps.

Ai, we who remember the siege of Tear say. Blessed be the skylamps of our ancestors.



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Last edited by Rats on Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:00 pm; edited 6 times in total
Post Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:02 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
immortal_pigs
Developer
15 May 2008

Location: Utrecht

I enjoyed reading this.

In the dark distance the tiny flickering lights of their torches and campfires can be seen, so tiny that they don't give away the crude fortifications they've built around their tents

I would suggest not using "tiny" twice in the same sentence.

Also the ending seems a bit abrupt, and one of the last paragraphs is perhaps a bit too large (not saying anything needs to be removed: just add in a line break I guess).

Also not really sure about ascribing colors to sounds, it seems a bit forced to connect the colors to sounds per se.

In any case I enjoyed the imagery: rainbow carnage.
Post Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:23 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

Well this is weird. I was just myself mulling over an account of a battle from the Arnesian war, in which rainbows feature prominently. Your version is better though.

Two small suggestions- the explanation as to why the slave pits were flooded is unnecessary. Let the reader work it out for themselves. And if there's some way you could avoid describing people as 'Dres' I think it might sound more natural. Presumably the writer/narrator is a Dres themselves, after all.

But this is good stuff.

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Post Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:23 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
arvisrend
Lead Developer
04 Oct 2010

Location: substitutional world

Fun to read and looks like it could replace Hero of the Indoril. Great job, Rats!
Post Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:21 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
rot
Lead Developer
21 Oct 2012



yeah!

If the implication is that the flooding itself did the killing it may have to be something other than water...

Quote:
it seems a bit forced to connect the colors to sounds


it *really* isn't; probably the most natural form of synaesthesia.
Post Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:24 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Rats
Lead Developer
03 Jul 2012



Updated a new version with better wording here and there and a finished ending. Thanks for you comments guys! Smile The use of sounds as colors is the reason I wrote this. The repetition of the word tiny is an intentional (poetic) device; they are tiny, so tiny...
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Post Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:48 am Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Gnomey
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

I really like the flow of the text. I'm somewhat divided on the ending, though. I like it as-is, but am wondering whether it wouldn't have a better effect if kept short, to keep the focus on the skylamps and vivid imagery of the account rather than the historical sequence of events. Maybe something like this:

Rats wrote:
[...]

The fighting continues all through the night. The colorful chaos is slowly waned by the pale, rising sun. Its light breaks through the smoke-filled air and reveals the true and dull grayness of the world-after-battle. The shackled warleaders of Old Arnesia are impaled by the steely tendrils of the fallen skylamps, their dry skins left colorful like signal flags. We hang them on the trees to mark the new border.

Xuth-taijleel, the Argonians still say. Accursed skylamps.


Other than that, I stumbled a little on the following passage:

Rats wrote:
Blue-and-yellow is the sound of a fire consuming a hundred barricade rafts releasing them on the merciless river who carries the rafters out to the salty sea from which no lizard can survive.


The river is personified while the sea is not. On a second glance, the pronouns used for the Argonians are also not uniform. I'd suggest:

Rats wrote:
The massive beasts float silent in the air towards the Argonians that know no better.

[...]

Dark purple is the sound of a soul-stealer shaman hissing its curses, conjuring the bones of some long-dead reptile to do its bidding, [...]


The text is really nicely done. It makes me want to paint the scene. Smile
Post Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:01 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Rats
Lead Developer
03 Jul 2012



Did minor last minute edits and added relevant book art, and am now happy with this. Thanks for all the precious feedback, guys!

the writing in Daedric script reads "Doom descends upon the n'wah"

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Post Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:20 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Ragox
Developer
20 Jul 2013



Really interesting and pleasant read Smile

The picture is amazing, too.
Post Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:47 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
arvisrend
Lead Developer
04 Oct 2010

Location: substitutional world

Rats, could something be wrong with the dds?

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/83265276/skl.jpg

Source:

Code:

TR_bk_DawnsDisplacement becomes TR_bk_SkylampNight_Rats
The Skylamp Night

<DIV ALIGN="CENTER"><FONT COLOR="640F0F" SIZE="3" FACE="Magic Cards"><BR>The Skylamp Night<BR><BR>
<IMG SRC="TR\TR_skylamp_640_256.dds" WIDTH="640" HEIGHT="256"><BR><BR>
<DIV ALIGN="LEFT"><BR><FONT COLOR="821E00" SIZE="3" FACE="Magic Cards">an account of breaking the siege of Tear during the Arnesian War as it was narrated by the honorable serjo Vaalthys Sur-Enaren to his scribe <BR>
<BR><FONT COLOR="000000" SIZE="3" FACE="Magic Cards"> <BR> <BR>
 We stand atop the walls of Tear and look down on the plains where the Argonians have set their camp. In the dark distance the tiny flickering lights of their torches and campfires can be seen, so tiny that they don't give away the crude fortifications they've built around their tents, the poisoned wooden stakes lined in a phalanx to face the city, or the chain of small rafts tied together with a massive vine rope with which they've blockaded the mouth of the river barring any ships from leaving the harbor. <BR>
 <BR>
It is the thirty-sixth night of the siege. Already we are starving. The Betmeri Wells have been flooded with burning water the day before, their inhabitants killed. The meat of the lizards tastes like sawdust and mold. <BR>
 <BR>
The skylamps are set loose in the dead of night. Dozens of them. No riders, just the animals. The war-netches have been bred by the many clan-families of the Deshaan, each gas-filled giant painted with the insignia of that family. They also carry words of magick, powerful sigils and daunting letters woven on their leathery skin by the spellbinders of Tear. The massive beasts float silent in the air towards the Argonians that know no better. The master beasthandler gives a signal and a flock of flaming arrows is released on the skylamps setting them on fire. <BR>
 <BR>
The burning beasts cry out in a howl so low it can be heard only barely, but makes your heartsrings tremble. The skylamps have been trained well - even as they are burning alive they steadily approach and finally reach the Argonian encampment. Then, one by one, they explode and set the night sky ablaze with brilliant colors. One elder clansmer next to me hides his eyes as for a second he mistakes the bright lights for the day's sun. Down in the fields before the walls and in their camp the Argonians scatter and look for cover from the fire that has suddenly descended upon them. <BR>
 <BR>
As we open the gates and storm out to drive out the invader n'wah the dry land has turned into mud. The skylamps shower down in a rain of violet and tangerine and crimson painting the world. Rivers of jade and aquamarine flow slowly in the cracks of the earth and form small palette lakes. Across the lakes we dance into battle and clash with the enemy. Sound and color become one. <BR>
 <BR>
White is the sound of a gigantic pale lizard galloping blindly through the mud roaring with thunder's voice. Light blue is the sound of a group of Argonians ripping through from underneath the carcass of a fallen skylamp on their way to reach us. Dark purple is the sound of a soul-stealer shaman hissing its curses, conjuring the bones of some long-dead reptile to do its bidding, and cold gray are the blades of the brave clansguard who cut the shaman down and hack the skeletal abomination into pieces. Muddy brown is the sound of an Argonian warrior breaking its neck while trying to wrangle itself free from a mancatcher's claw. Blue-and-yellow is the sound of a fire consuming a hundred barricade rafts releasing them on the merciless river that carries the rafters out to the salty sea upon which no lizard can survive. Warcries and screams of hatred and horror are spewed out cyan and pink. Blood is spilled orange and bright green. The night is black and the battlefield below is a swirling rainbow. Were it not a battle it would be a mighty spectacle to witness. Truly, a carnival of life and death. <BR>
 <BR>
The fighting continues all through the night. The colorful chaos is slowly waned by the pale, rising sun. Its light breaks through the smoke-filled air and reveals the true and dull grayness of the world-after-battle. Hundreds of prisoners are taken and the once empty slave pits are full again. The shackled warleaders of Old Arnesia are impaled by the steely tendrils of the fallen skylamps, their dry skins left colorful like signal flags. We hang them on the trees to mark the new border. <BR>
 <BR>
Xuth-taijleel, the Argonians still say. Accursed skylamps. <BR>
 <BR>
Ai, we who remember the siege of Tear say. Blessed be the skylamps of our ancestors.  <BR>
Post Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:52 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Rats
Lead Developer
03 Jul 2012



Oh, yeah. This works with "512" width and "256" height.


TR_skylamp_512_256.dds
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 Filename:  TR_skylamp_512_256.dds
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Post Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:04 am Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
arvisrend
Lead Developer
04 Oct 2010

Location: substitutional world

Thank you!

It cuts out the left and the right parts of the picture, though.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/83265276/skl.jpg
Is that part of your intention?
Post Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:23 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Aeven
Lead Developer
17 Aug 2008

Location: Groningen

I'd suggest sizing it down to a 'full' rendition, maybe adding some kind of decorative banners or something, so it doesn't have a gaping space above and below.
Post Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:46 pm Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Terrifying Daedric Foe
Developer
26 Aug 2010

Location: England

Nothing to do with the picture, but I think the first line should be formatted as a proper sentence, with a capital letter at the start and a full stop at the end. At the moment it looks unfinished, imo.
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Post Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:54 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
arvisrend
Lead Developer
04 Oct 2010

Location: substitutional world

You mean the "an account..." thing? It's a subtitle and does not look like it should be a sentence to me.
Post Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:56 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Terrifying Daedric Foe
Developer
26 Aug 2010

Location: England

Yes, that's the line I'm talking about.
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Post Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:02 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Tes96
Reviewer
06 Sep 2009

Location: Armun Ashlands, Morrowind

@Arvisrend, why not keep Hero of the Indoril? There should be more than one book on the same topic and subject, especially regarding war.



@ Rats:
5th paragraph 1st sentence sounds incomplete. "As we open the gates to do this and do that...." It should end with something that reads "as we open the gates to do this and to do that... thus something else happens...." Beginning with "As" implies that something else is happening or will happen.

3rd paragraph
The beginning sentences are too short to be complete sentences on their own. This may be incorrect using two semicolons but maybe someone with better knowledge can help. "The Skylamps are set loose in the dead of night; dozens of them; no riders, just the animals."

3rd paragraph
"The massive beasts float silently in the air..." Use adverb instead of adjective.

Great read, if I do say so myself.
Who are these clan-families of the Deshaan? Are they ashlanders? Ordinary dunmeri nomads?

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Post Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:55 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
gro-Dhal
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

^Your first and second comments are incorrect. The third is something that I can take or leave personally.
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Post Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:56 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Yeti
Lead Developer
15 Feb 2009

Location: Minnesota: The Land of 11,842 Lakes

I think silent fits the style of the piece, personally.
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Post Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:38 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Tes96
Reviewer
06 Sep 2009

Location: Armun Ashlands, Morrowind

Well, those sentences sound incomplete when I read them.
"silent" describes a noun and "silently" describes an action. How do the massive beasts float through the air? They float silently. You wouldn't say "they float silent". "silently" is describing the verb, in this case, "float". [/code]

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Post Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:31 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Rats
Lead Developer
03 Jul 2012



'Tis me being romantic with the word silent.

John Keats wrote:
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.


Lord Byron wrote:
That heart, no longer free,
Must bear the love it cannot show,
And silent ache for thee.


William Blake wrote:
Thro' the ranks, silent, walk'd the Ambassador back to the Nation's Assembly, and told The unwelcome message. Silent they heard; then a thunder roll'd round loud and louder [...]



As for the short sentences that's ultimately a matter of what tickles one's literary tastebuds. This being a narrated recollection of a war veteran, though, I think taking more liberties with the syntax is not an issue.

Clan-families of Deshaan refers to the minor houses retaining to House Dres.

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Post Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:43 am Send private message       Send e-mail       Reply with quote                   up  
Tes96
Reviewer
06 Sep 2009

Location: Armun Ashlands, Morrowind

Rats wrote:
Clan-families of Deshaan refers to the minor houses retaining to House Dres.
What minor houses? The only references I've found to any minor houses are House Mora and House Sotha.
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Post Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:02 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Rats
Lead Developer
03 Jul 2012



Meaning all the families that comprise House Dres. The expression "clan-families" is pretty vague, so there's no need to read too much into it.
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