1216: Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors – Chapter Eight, Part Four

Title: Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors
Author: Stone-Man85
Media: Movie
Topic: Princess Mononoke
Genre: Adventure/Romance
URL: Chapter 8
Critiqued by SC, Sir Paulo Rori, and Robin Evess

Hello, and welcome back to Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors, by Stone-Man85! I’m your host, SC, and last time (that I was here), Contacts cracked open a bottle of booze so powerful that just the fumes and like two shots put him and Iron Liver Shades out for the count, and gave me an awful hangover. Meanwhile, Specs, Bifocals, and Goldie and his group all pitched in to cover my ass for the weeks I was out, which was very nice of them.

And they left me catch up notes! What a bunch of swell guys.

So, according to their notes… an… ox got… hung up by its harness in a tree? Uh, Paulo, you ran oxen on your family’s old farm, right? Is this something that could logically happen? Because it doesn’t sound like it to me.

Paulo: Yes we did, and no, it cannot. Not unless you seek to do grave harm to the beast.

Yeah, that’s what I thought. Welcome back, by the way.

Paulo: Thank you.

Right, let’s see, what else… Oh dear. It seems that Goldie was suffering immensely when Alex tried to describe a dagger and did it horribly wrong. Oh yeah, and to the surprise of none, the ambush went bust. Who saw that coming? Everybody? Everybody? Yeah, me too.

So, we’re back for part… four, I think, of this chapter. It’s not that this chapter is any longer than the others, it’s just intensely painful to get through, and doing small chunks helps keep me sane. Next week I’ll try and cram the rest of it so that we can move on already. But for now-

Paulo: Before we begin, sir.

Yes’m?

Paulo: Who might the rather green gentleman over there be?

…Oh, him?

O hai, Robin!

O hai, Robin!

Yeah, uh, so I told you coming in that I was doing NaNoWriMo again, didn’t I?

Paulo: You did.

Well, this guy is from my story for this year, Mercalad. His name is Robin Evess, and he’s one of the protagonists of the story. He’s a member of a group of civilians who were displaced from their homes because of the war that the plot is built around and banded together to form a scavenger society that exist on the outskirts of the country so as to avoid the villain’s gaze.

Paulo: Rather immaculate clothing for a scavenger.

Robin: I was a rookie guardsman when the war finally reached my home. I take pride in maintaining my uniform. It reminds me of what I was and helps keep my actions in check.

Yeah, there’s that. He’s a brand new character along with the rest of the cast, so I’m bringing him into this riff to get a feel for his personality for when I start writing my NaNo novel next month.

Paulo: Might I ask what this tale is about?

Well, I don’t see why not. I mean, it’s not like you can read anybody’s stories on the NaNo site anyhow. Unless you can and I just haven’t discovered how yet.

The story starts out two hundred and fifty years after a war between the Old Kingdom of Hallan and invaders from the Republic of Estal, who decided one day that they had the authority to tell Hallan how to live, and invaded the country to overthrow the Old Kingdom’s royal family and tear down the monarchy system so that the land could “properly evolve” according to Estal’s standards. Hallan lost the war with a vengeance. The family of the Estalian general responsible for successfully defeating the Old Kingdom, General Cordo, were given noble rank and placed as wardens in the country to keep the people in check, and every attempt at rebellion, save for a faction known as Kaicadir, was soundly put down, and Kaicadir began tearing themselves apart from the overwhelming challenge of trying to destroy House Cordo. The immortal Kai, agents of the gods themselves, were burned alive as examples to the surviving rebels; what survivors of the royal family who were able to escape were forced into hiding for their own protection; and perhaps worst of all, the sword Mercalad – a beacon to the heavens forged by the immortal Kai, which was responsible for granting the Old Kingdom the power they had before their fall – was stolen away and hidden by servants of the royal family, which, while it provided a ray of hope for the Old Kingdom’s return, sadly robbed them of their strength to fight back.

Cut forward to the present day, and we meet the hero of the story, Ádreo Hallan, a mute boy who was named in honor of the Old Kingdom. He happens to be the son of the last woman of the family bloodline responsible for Mercalad’s theft, and on her deathbed, his mother makes one final request for Ádreo to return her ashes and the sword back to Hallan, both to help her soul find peace, and as one final ditch effort to restore the Old Kingdom by having Ádreo, whose name is widely unknown and who therefore shouldn’t register on House Cordo’s radar, sneak the sword back in and replace it in the ruins of Castle Hallan, thereby reactivating the beacon and strengthening the people once more.

That’s all I’ll say about it for now, though. I might put the story up on my DeviantART page after it’s done so that people can read it.

Paulo: Seems an exciting story.

Boy, I sure hope so.

Anyhow, we’ve screwed around enough here, let’s get to the riff already. You ready for suffering, Robin?

Robin: More than what you already have planned for me in your story?

Yep.

Robin: …Why is this my life.

After he slipped his newly acquired dagger in to his supply sack, the young outlander took hold of the ox’s harness and gave it a tug. “Come Mr. Big Mac,” he said, tugging harder, “Let’s get the hell out of here.”

Big Macs aren’t made of ox meat, you dumbass. Or, I’m pretty sure they’re not.

Paulo: The contents of an item of food warrant speculation?

Well, the company that makes Big Macs has long been accused of employing “mystery meat” in their burgers. Hell, one conspiracy theorist nutjob on Facebook even made the Soylent Green Is People argument and said that Big Macs are a government cover-up where people who know too much about the Illuminati or whatever are ground into burger meat and fed back to the public. He was VERY vehement about it when people rightfully called him out on his bullshit. It was hilarious and made me somewhat worried for his mental state.

Paulo: O-oh, really?

Robin: Uh… huh.

Pretty sure it’s just beef, myself, but that’s my opinion.

The ox jerked at the harness a few times before finally submitting to Alex’s command. With a slight moan of annoyance, the hulking black animal began to follow its new driver through the damp forest.

Now, if I’m reading these notes correctly, this ox was one of the ones recently involved with San’s ambush, and in fact was the one she accidentally stabbed because her aim with throwing knives sucks. So, by that logic, this particular ox should be two seconds from killing Alex’s stupid ass right now. Not because he’s done anything terrible himself, but because the ox is probably still freaked from that incident.

Paulo: He should be dead. An ox is several measures heavier than a man, and strong enough to break a ribcage with one kick. That Alex still lives is a testament to how little about animals the author knows.

Robin: Amongst other things, I’m guessing?

You’ll see.

Not Far in the Forest

…What?

Paulo: No clever quip?

Nah. That joke’s starting to wear out its welcome, honestly. I’ve still got at least twenty-something or so chapters to get through, I can’t keep doing that pun for the whole riff. People’d get sick of it.

Paulo: Fair enough.

San growled with rage

Hemorrhoids will do that to you.

Robin: Ooh. Not a pleasant thing.

They don’t tend to be, no.

as she and her two brothers darted through the forest in search of their injured mother.

They had a stack of fliers with Moro’s face on them and the words, “HAVE YOU SEEN ME?” scrawled at the top, and they were handing them out to all the Kodama.

Paulo: Certainly one of them will have seen her.

She could feel the savage ferocity of her anger coursing through her veins so much that she could almost taste it.

Robin: Oddly, it tasted like spicy curry. Ironic, since she detested human-made food.

You actually know this movie?

Robin: Until you start writing your novel, I’m basically just some idea in your head. I’ve seen the movie because YOU’VE seen the movie.

Aaaaah, got it.

While she clung tightly to the galloping Kiba,

I misread that as “galopping.”

Paulo: How?

It’s been a long day, man.

the young wolf-girl made herself a promise. A solemn vow upon her honor as a member of the wolf clan.

Robin: If this is about to become some sworn oath to avenge the death of [insert mentor character here], I’m done.

Before the that night’s moon touched the highest peak of the sky, her blade would be stained with the gun-woman’s blood.

Robin: That sounds kind of like what I was hoping it wasn’t.

Depends on how you view it. San has been trying canonically to kill Eboshi for years. Sannabe probably just wants to get back at her for ruining their ambush. Take your pick.

Paulo: She plans to strike again before midnight? The fool, she barely escaped with her life just a moment ago.

There’s that, too. Canon San is smart enough to take a day or two and recuperate after the ambush goes bust in the movie. That’s how Ashitaka is able to get a feel for Irontown when he arrives. Sannabe, on the other hand, is so stupid that she wants to get back in the fight despite an open wound. But then, we’ve long since established that she should not be held to the standard that Canon San is, because she will never be that character.

She held her dagger flat against her chest and closed her eyes.

Robin: And then plunged it into her gut, the end.

Keep the dream alive.

Wise Shisha Gami…,‘ she whispered in her mind. ‘Noble spirit of nature… Benevolent master of all the world’s forests… King of the Forest Spirit Gods…

*Shishigami* “For fuck’s sake, WHAT?!”

Also, it’s a bit of a stretch to call Shishigami the lord of ALL the world’s forests. If that were the case, he would be a presence in the forest outlying Ashitaka’s village as well, and it’s shown by how mystified Ashitaka is by him in the movie that he’s clearly not. Not to mention, wherever Shishigami’s presence is, the land is massively effected. That and all the other lesser gods present is why the forest in the west is the way it is. The forest outlying Ashitaka’s village? Just looks like a regular forest. Nago makes it look like a bunch of dry twigs when he’s rampaging through the joint. He couldn’t do that kind of damage in his own forest, I can guarantee you that. Plus, given how easily he gets fucked up by one well-placed gunshot in the movie (though it did unleash his nightwalker form that gave a royal fucking-up to everything in retaliation, but that’s not the point), I’m pretty sure that Shishigami doesn’t have the power required to govern EVERY FOREST IN THE WORLD.

Although, this is also a young girl who’s only definition of the world is the small area of it she happens to live within, and this was during a period where Japan was still coming around to the idea that they had neighbors and weren’t alone in the world, so it could be claimed that she simply doesn’t realize how big the scope of the world actually is. Hard telling.

Paulo: Rather a common thought, that. Until you have left your homeland and seen the world with your own eyes, it is difficult to imagine anything existing beyond the places you know.

Yep. France was a whopper for me.

Grant me the strength I need so that I may slay the ones who threaten our home.

Bit late with that prayer, ace, your ambush already got fucked over.

Her scowl tightened as did her grip on the dagger,

How does one go about tightening a scowl? Do you use a vice to do that?

Robin: I like to imagine that you tie a second knot in it, myself.

Paulo: Perhaps it is more like sinching a saddle?

Grant me the strength that I will need to kill the woman who has taken the land that is rightfully yours and avenge my mother whom she as afflicted.

How about you let Moro get her own revenge, kid? She’s a big girl, she can do that.

Pushing her mask back over her head, San uncovered her glaring eyes and exposed her clenched teeth.

Robin: Grr.

Scary.

She promised herself that nothing was going to stop her from killing the Gun-Woman. Not her riflemen, not her guards, not even the hateful Gun-Woman herself, or even the Girl in White with the demonic strength. Nothing.

Funny, they all did a pretty damn good job of stopping you a few minutes ago.

Also, I appreciate that Stone-Man85 is at least keeping San’s priority target Eboshi, instead of just sidelining her for his Villain Sue. Not that I think he’ll keep very well to the canon, since he sure as hell hasn’t so far, but it’s nice that he’s keeping bits of canon, at least.

Back with the Duo

Robin: But there’s three of us.

Paulo: Incorrect duo, boy.

Robin: Oh, right, the fic characters. My mistake.

When Alex and his two animal companions stepped out from the shade of the trees,

Robin: There’s still three of them!

Look, I think we can all assume by this point that among other things, Stone-Man85 can’t numbers.

they found themselves surrounded by a network of enormous, moss covered boulders and roaring waterfalls.

What part of the forest is this? I don’t recall seeing anything remotely like this in the movie.

Paulo: I was not aware that it is possible to have multiple waterfalls in the same area.

Robin: I mean, maybe if the river split into a fork that happened to waterfall over the same cliff…

It’s a mystery. That I’m sure will turn out to be really easy and make me feel stupid for not knowing later.

Paulo: I should also like to point out that I saw “surrounded by a network,” and my mind immediately suggested, “…of trenches dug around makeshift fox holes left from an unfocused barrage of cannon fire, within which arbalests laid in wait for the order to ambush the incoming scout party.” Truly, I have been a knight for far too many years.

Robin: And you’re going to write me into similar situations in November?

You betcha.

Robin: I hate you.

So do most of my OCs.

The water was brown and foamy and smelled faintly of the forest’s soil, and the cracks and gaps between the boulders were lined with gnarled roots and shrubs.

That… is actually some decent scene building. Alright, Stone-Man85, point in your favor there.

Paulo: I was beginning to feel that he did not have it within his power to present such work.

Well, don’t expect him to do it again for a while after this.

The whole area had a very unearthly feeling of serenity in its atmosphere.

See? We went right back to crap again. “Unearthly feeling of serenity in its atmosphere?” He could have shortened that whole thing by saying the atmosphere was serene.

Robin: Figured it was gonna happen sooner or later.

And for the most part, it was all quite pleasant to be around.

…Yeah, I can agree with that.

Paulo: It would be better if Alex were not present, however.

Yeah, I can agree with that.

While Alex was enjoying the natural beauty of his new surroundings, as he had becoming accustomed to on his journey,

Paulo: Frustratingly, as he has an unpleasant habit of stopping and becoming slack-jawed at every leaf and twig while he has more pressing matters in need of attending to.

Isaac suddenly sprung to his feet on the ox’s back and began barking wildly.

Fox-squirrel, barking. Yeah right. You apparently don’t remember how fox-squirrels sound, Stone-Man85.

Allow me to remind you:

Now did that sound anything like a bark to you? Because it didn’t to me.

Robin: Oddly cute, in a vicious sort of way.

Oh, he’s just a scary wittle monster, don’t you know.

“Hey,” Alex chided the noisy fox-squirrel, “What’s with you all of a sudden?”

“I smell blood, Alex,” Isaac answered, looking rather serious, “There was a battle, or an ambush of sorts. The rain practically washed most of it away, but the scent of blood hasn’t diminished.”

Paulo: It would not. The battle happened only a few minutes prior. The stench would be as fresh and pungent as a wet pile of manure.

Let me guess: you’re well experienced with this?

Paulo: Unfortunately.

When Alex heard that and looked to where his companion was indicating he felt the blood drain from his face.

Floating along the muddy stream were the limp bodies of oxen and a few men. There were other bits and pieces of debris as well.

As I recall mentioning way back in the beginning of the riff, Moro’s attack only actually hurt two men from Eboshi’s convoy non-fatally and didn’t really do much else, but I’m willing to allow that this version was more successful because it’s honestly one of the least offensive things Stone-Man85 has gotten wrong.

Upon seeing this, Alex’s mouth hung wide open as he stared and watched the powerful current of the waters carry away the lifeless forms. Though he had seen it many times since his accidental journey into this time period, the sight of death always seemed to leave the youth nearly frozen in horror. He clutched a handful of his T-shirt and breathed heavily.

Oh God, he’s not gonna go back to moping for the whole damn chapter again, is he?

Paulo: If the gods be benevolent…

When Isaac saw his friend in such a state, he looked to him all reassuringly, “Get a grip Alex…Just don’t think about it…,” he ensured his human companion, “There was nothing you could’ve done.”

Yeah, really. You were at the bottom of the mountain when they were getting wrecked at the top.

“I know, but…,”

Robin: That sounds like he’s about to start moping again.

God damn it.

he stopped as he turned around and began to walk back over to the ox, he found that Isaac was nowhere to be seen. “Now where’d that furry little mooch hobble off too, now?” he asked himself while he searched the area for his missing companion.

“Alex, over here!” Isaac called out, getting Alex’s attention, “Over here, quick! It’s imperative!”

And that’s the end of this riff!

Robin: Really? Wow, that WAS short.

I told you it was gonna be. I also said the next one I’ll try and make longer, so I have that headache to look forward to.

However, that’s next week.

Thanks for reading, folks, and stay tuned for next time! I’m actually gonna try and riff through November this year so that I don’t have a whole month of catching up to do like I did last year. We’ll see how that goes. But that’s a number of days from now yet, so in the meantime, I’m SC, and on behalf of Robin Evess and Sir Paulo Rori, I’ll see you next time!

…So I think you’re gonna end up being a quiet, duty-oriented type.

Robin: Because I didn’t say ask that much and made that one comment about my uniform?

Kind of, yeah. And I have to modify how you speak to fit with the rest of the story, so you might end up sounding more like Paulo.

Paulo: Not A bad way to be, I might add.

Robin: Considering what it’s looking like I’ll be going through, I can’t say it’s the worst thing that’ll happen to me.

You say that like I’m evil or something.

Robin: BECAUSE YOU ARE.

I’m not denying it.

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13 Comments on “1216: Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors – Chapter Eight, Part Four”

  1. SC says:

    Author comment: Missed two blockquote tags. Can’t say that’s the first time that’s happened in a riff of mine.

  2. S.M.F. says:

    That NaNoWriMo project of yours sounds exciting! ^^

    Unlike this fic. :/

  3. Syl says:

    Robin: Oddly cute, in a vicious sort of way.

    Oh, he’s just a scary wittle monster, don’t you know.

    I wants one.

  4. agigabyte says:

    Cain: In other news, today’s Skype Chat was… interesting.


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