1341: Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors – Chapter Eleven, Part TwoPosted: February 27, 2016
Title: Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors
Topic: Princess Mononoke
URL: Chapter 11
Critiqued by SC, Warchief Eltain, and Sir Paulo Rori
Hello, and welcome back to Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors, by Stone-Man85! I’m your host, SC, and last time, we all kind of just bitched about how terrible San’s upcoming attack is, both canonically and as far as this fic is concerned. Really, it’s awful – “I’ma launch my ass over the wall and carve my way through every single pissed off gunman until I get to my actual targets?” That might work in Assassin’s Creed, but you know, they’d at least try and be SNEAKY about it. For someone who was raised by wolves, San seems to be lacking in the stealth department.
Anyhow, so we’re here at part two of whatever of chapter eleven, and last time, I recall saying that I should invite the ancestor whose soul Ethan happens to be linked to into a riff… so I did! And he appreciates it just about as little as any of my other OCs.
Meet the ghost of Warchief Eltain:
You’ll note that he looks very similar to Ethan. Not hard to guess that they’re related, based on that alone.
As Paulo mentioned last time, Eltain is a legendary general and war hero who played a major role in protecting his, and by extension Paulo’s, world from an onslaught of darkness. He and his clan hailed from a part of the world known as the Unknown West, because all the inhabitants mysteriously vanished as time went on and the place became too inhospitable for anybody else, so any and all evidence of the past has effectively been lost to history. At least until someone works up the balls enough to try and journey there themselves, I mean. Eltain’s stake in the fighting wasn’t just to save the world, it was also in retaliation against an attack that had seen his people butchered, his eye lost, and his father and grandfather slaughtered publicly before the survivors. All this, ironically, in a preemptive attempt to prevent Eltain’s clan from getting involved. Didn’t really work out so well, huh?
Eltain was known as one of the Eleven Kings, as there were eleven kingdoms (Eltain’s clan was considered a kingdom because of how immense it was) who stood against the darkness, four of which ended up sacrificing everything while the remaining seven held out to victory. Sadly, while Eltain’s clan was one of the “kingdoms” who were strong enough to survive, their leader wasn’t so fortunate: near the end of the war, the surviving kingdoms all launched a mass offensive against the last enemy stronghold, and during the fighting, Eltain was shot to death – along with his wife, a fellow Queen whose kingdom had also been sacked preemptively, and whose army had also prevailed against the odds – by no less than twenty arrows. Mind, that’s about twenty arrows out of the hundreds of thousands that were fired en masse. Their respective forces gathered together and dragged them off the battlefield, and where the two were buried was where their new kingdoms were raised once the war was over.
Now, here’s the interesting bit for Paulo: the band of Eltain’s clan was Clan Revelm.
Paulo: …Oh, indeed?
Yup. For those keeping score, Paulo’s homeland is the kingdom of Revelm. I think you can put two and two together, here.
Paulo: Do you mean to imply that, eventually, Ethan may very well take the throne?
Eltain: I should hope not. The boy is a fool beyond measure. He would see our home burn, simply by his own idiocy.
Hey now, I’m sure he wouldn’t mean to.
Eltain: That is a nice sentiment. We shall see how much it matters to the people when they lose everything to hellfire.
Sheesh, talk about having no faith…
Paulo: This is Ethan we are speaking of.
Oh, and since we are talking about Ethan: If that sword on Eltain’s waist looks familiar, it’s because Ethan wields it now. Though the man himself was slain, his sword managed to survive, and somehow in immaculate condition, to boot.
Eltain: Before me, it was my father’s blade. And before him, my grandfather’s. Whoever first forged this blade made it to last.
Anyhow, so now we’ve met Eltain, let’s get back to a considerably less heroic individual:
Back Inside Iron Town
In the Guest Hut
Eltain: Only the one? Is Irontown unwelcoming of outsiders?
Well, sort of. They probably would be more open to visitors if they weren’t located in a really shitty spot – I mean, it’s great for tactical purposes, but just trying to live? First of all, it’s in the middle of a gigantic forest, on a small island surrounded by a lake, so just getting there’s a pain in the ass. After that, you got pissed off animal gods on one side, scummy nobility trying to sack the joint with their respective armies on the other side, and the place itself is run by a woman who’s pressed the populace into militaristic service to advance her goals. I sure wouldn’t want to go there.
Eltain: I truly hate how familiar this all sounds…
Bad memories of the days when you lived in the Unknown West, huh?
Eltain: And I would thank you not to further remind me of those days. I am already dead, I would like for my soul to rest in peace at some point.
Never in his life had Alex felt more alone, but it was mostly in his thoughts at this point.
Great way to start a riff, having the Stu being an emo edgelord for no reason. I should pat myself on the back for that one.
Paulo: …But not really?
Fuck no, I’m pissed off about this. Of all the spots to start a riff, leave it to fucking me to find THIS one.
As he lay silently on the soft futon he had been given with his head nestled in the cup of his hands, listening to the constant clanging of iron being hammered and hating it, the dark-haired youth’s brain continued to stir in a sea of thoughts. Thoughts about himself, his curse, the mysterious Shisha-Gami, the beautiful wolf girl and her family of giant wolves, Toki and all the other women whom had been bought out of bondage by the benevolent Lady Eboshi, and the crazy Ghost Princess, Princess Yashahime.
Jesus, he managed to dredge up just about the entire fic so far. Let’s see, how many times do I hit the buzzer…
*SC slaps a buzzer eight times*
Shit Nobody Cares About: 12
I’ve never had to hit a buzzer so many times in one sitting, and certainly not at the fucking start of the riff.
Eltain: A personal record, then?
Yeah, but do I count it for myself, or Stone-Man85’s bad storytelling?
Alex’s brow pinched into a frown and he rolled over onto his stomach, burying his face in the pillow.
Paulo: Would someone care to fix Alex’s face? It seems to be slowly imploding on itself. Do we have a healer on staff?
Doc, out in the hall: Nope.
Eltain: Perhaps I might alter this question: Do we have a healer who is of a more compassionate demeanor?
Jim, also out in the hall: Heyo!
There you are. It’s either them or Ishi.
Paulo: Ishi believes leeches to be proper medicine.
It’s a good thing this is Alex we’re talking about, because all of our medics are terrible.
Just the sound of both those woman’s names disturbed him when he thought about it, and thinking about the women themselves were enough to send his mind into a muddled stupor.
Eltain: As evidenced by his sudden lack of understanding of proper literature.
[Bitch, what? I didn’t do anything this time. -Book Specs]
The moment he had laid eyes on her, Alex knew that Eboshi was probably nothing more than a cold hearted, self-righteous, capitalist who could make George W. Bush or Richard Nixon look like an eco saint.
Okay, I’ve caught every single stupid reference the author insisted on shoehorning in so far, but this one just makes no damn sense. Eboshi’s motives aren’t capitalism, she’s making a power play for dominance over her political nemeses and is trying to garner support from the Emperor. The closest thing to capitalism she displays is trading iron for food and necessary supplies. Not money, food and essentials. Shit, Stone-Man85, do you even know what capitalism means?
Paulo: Capitalism: an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.
Paulo: I saw it in a dictionary.
Oh. Okay then.
But after listening to both the old leper and Toki’s stories of how the powerful mistress had freed them and their peers from lives of misery and took them under her wing. The more he thought about it, the more harder it became to keep a solid opinion about Eboshi.
Eltain: This is why I refrain from preliminary judgments. Some of my strongest allies ended up being people that my fellow generals swore would betray me before the battle was done. Similarly, many of my fellow generals first looked upon my people and I and saw little more than savages. I admit to finding some perverse amusement in the shock on their faces when they discovered the truth.
Basically, Eltain’s entire life was one big “fuck the haters.”
Eltain: …Yes it was, now that I think about it.
There was only one thing that Alex was certain of: The woman, Lady Eboshi, was a true enigma with many faces. One minute she could be a saint, and then just as quickly she could be the devil himself.
Paulo: I, too, find myself changing genders as my behavior fluctuates.
Eltain: I see you have been corrupted by Ethan’s sense of humor.
Paulo: Perhaps a touch.
‘Jeez! That woman’s just complicated,‘ he thought,
Yes, how dare Eboshi being multi-dimensional and not made of cardboard. How DARE she.
Paulo: The fiend.
‘Why couldn’t things be so simple, like that Yashahime girl,‘ He turned over onto his back again and thought about the Ghost Princess, ‘I mean, sure she’s beautiful… but she’s insane. She wants to kill the forest just to get even with the Wolf Princess. She’s a masochist and a sadist all in one,‘
You’re wrong on two out of three counts. Quite honestly, I find nothing attractive about her, and she’s not a masochist, because that would imply that she enjoys hurting herself, which is the definition of masochism. How about you learn what a word means before you go trying to show off by tossing it out in a context it doesn’t fit?
he shook his head as he corrected himself, ‘No, I take it back! She’s a sadist, psycho, Adolf Hitler, with a Lindsey Lohan and Lacey Chebert body mixed together.‘
I feel like Stone-Man85 went out of his way to find the most despicable names he could think of just so he could show us how terrible yet seductive Yashahime is. Because God forbid he put any effort to fleshing her villainy out properly, oh goodness me, no.
Oh, and by the way, it’s Lacey Chabert. Could you at least do these people you’re naming the courtesy of getting their names right? It’s only their damn NAMES, after all.
(By the way I have no idea if Lacey Chabert is bad or not. She played in Mean Girls, that’s about the extent of my knowledge.)
however, he shook that one out of his head as he had thought of something that he had almost forgotten while on this journey: his home.
Paulo: I had been quietly counting the chapters until Alex remembered he had a family that he was unceremoniously separated from. It disgusts me that it took this long.
I’ve heard of taking time to get your priorities straight, but this is fucking ridiculous.
‘I wonder what’s happened while I’ve been away? I’m sure my family’s going crazy at this point; Kari’s probably having kittens for the sixth time; crying her poor eyes out seeing that her older brother’s gone missing, and dad…he’s probably been too busy performing plastic surgery on one of his computers to even notice that I’m missing at all.‘
That ain’t how plastic surgery works.
Eltain: Plastic surgery? What stand medicinal practice is that?
It’s, uh… well, it probably won’t hurt you to not have that question answered.
Eltain: Your shift in tone suggests that I would be wise to agree.
Very. Put this way: Plastic surgery can make you look like a whole other person if you pay enough money for enough procedures.
*Paulo chokes on his tea in shock*
Eltain: The tea is meant for your stomach, boy, not your lungs.
Paulo: *cough* I am aware.
His frown increased, ‘But then again… he already knows I’m missing, and that he’s probably going on one of his crazy hysterical moods…‘
Just in case you forgot that Alex’s dad is the super eccentric anime dad trope.
The teenage outlander sighed, ‘Now that I think about it… do I even really want to go home?‘
Oh, for fuck’s sake, THIS argument again? How many times in the Library have we dealt with the, “here’s why you want nothing to do with this world” thing now?
*SC removes his-*
Paulo: Hold, sir. Read on before you unleash your fury.
The thought made him laugh, “Of course you wanna go home, you nimrod! I don’t belong here; I’m from the 21st century,” he said aloud. It’s either that, or stay here in pre-historic Godzilla Country, were something’s trying to kill you every five minutes, be they man, beast, god or demon.”
…Well, I probably would have worded it a bit more eloquently, and with greater details, but… yeah. Basically that.
It was at that moment when the constant sounds of clanging finally got to him, breaching his limit of tolerance. He tossed aside the futon’s heavy blanket and sprung to his feet.
You know you talk about something too much when even your character gets sick of it.
*SC slaps a buzzer*
Shit Nobody Cares About: 13
Clad only in a set of gray boxer brief,
Why the hell do I care what underwear he’s wearing? Alex isn’t even good for fanservice. Ask Glasses, she’s something of a fanservice afficionado.
*SC slaps a buzzer*
Shit Nobody Cares About: 14
he quickly stomped over to the window of his small guest quarters and stuck his head out. Everything went black as he was immediately executed by a professional sniper hidden cleverly in the trees opposite the town.
Eltain: That seems… incorrect.
Paulo: Is this Lady Shades’ handwriting? Her penmanship is quite lovely.
Shades, I don’t like Alex either, but quit fucking with my riff.
[Damn you, mother, for putting me through penmanship school! Damn you! -Shades]
“Hey! Keep it down out there, will ya?” he shouted, “You people think twelve hours straight is long enough? Give it a friggan rest already, gee!” He then closed the shutters with a ‘slam’ and flopped back onto the futon.
And then everybody proceeded to make even more noise to spite him.
Eltain: Some of my clan got in trouble with a fellow general once when he came to inform us that we were being too loud during a rare night of festivities and might draw the enemy. The guilty parties then went to that general’s camp and played music in his tent as loudly as they could. Had he not known they were friendly, I am more than certain that he would have beheaded them in his fright.
I see Paulo’s old platoon gets their pranking habits from your clan, then.
Paulo: I suppose it is fitting, given that I owe my entire heritage to his clan, as I have only recently learned.
Eltain: Certainly, if there is any trait you could hope to inherit from my clan and I, our unbeaten record for successful practical jokes is among the best of them.
His old captain would disagree with you.
Eltain: Let him. He is no concern of mine.
When he looked to his right, he saw Isaac staring at him with yet another one of his patented looks.
I wasn’t aware that was something you could patent. Hey, if you can get one for looks, do you think I could file for a patent for my SC-Style Infodumps?
Paulo: I suppose, if it has your name on it, you are already halfway there.
“Okay, so I have a short fuse, so sue me already.” He exhaled loudly and let his head sink into the softness of his pillow.
“Short fuse.” Yeah, no kidding, Paulo and I found out how short it was when we had Alex here getting his comeuppance from us.
Eltain: I bow to you. I feel that I would not have been able to stand being in his company.
Oh, it was certainly an experience.
“You might wanna work on that then,” Isaac yipped out as he stood up, “That curse’ll feed off it, and get stronger by the minute.”
That’s the most sensible damn thing anybody’s said about the curse since Alex first got hit with it.
“Is there a reason you’re still up,” Alex asked, feeling grouchy now that his sleep was further interrupted.
Oh, you know, plot’s about to happen.
Eltain: Arm yourselves. This promises to be painful.
You have no fucking idea.
Suddenly a rhythmic salvo of sharp metallic clapping reverberated through the entire Iron Town compound, causing Alex to jerk himself upward. “Now what?” he asked.
Bifocals released her clapper droids in the hallway again.
Bifocals, out in the hall: Meine Gott, they will not stop! Why did I even build these things?!
Eltain: Would it surprise you to know that this is not my first time hearing that question?
No, not really.
“The wolves are coming!” someone shouted, “It’s the Princess Mononoke!”
Movie title drop!
*SC dings a small bell on his desk*
Alex shared a quick look with Isaac, as the little Fox-Squirrel pointed out, “That’s what I was gonna warn you about.”
“Son of a… !” he said, scrambling into his freshly cleaned clothes.
Paulo: Scramble faster, you fool, battle is nigh. Trust me when I say this: You do not want to share in my memories of fighting in only the scraps of armor I had time to throw on before enemies beset our barracks.
Boy, he doesn’t even have scraps.
Paulo: Ah, nakedness before an enemy’s blade. The thought chills me.
Eltain: It is a feeling I am well familiar with. I never wore armor during my time in the war.
You think that had something to do with you getting shot to death later?
Eltain: Perhaps a small part, but that was really more to do with the fact that the enemy archers numbered in the tens of thousands and had a height advantage. Even those in armor, my wife included, were struck down by the hellish barrage that battered us. To be expected, of course – we were breaching the last enemy stronghold, after all. The calculated losses even before we engaged numbered roughly into the millions.
Jesus. And by that point in the fight, you were, what, only a few million strong left from the couple billion your combined forces started at?
Eltain: Just under ten million, precisely, of the three billion we once were. That should tell you on its own what odds our world stood united against.
Paulo: I could not even fathom losses of such numbers today.
Eltain: Nor do I wish you to ever have to.
Back Outside the Fortress Walls
San’s hand clutched her blade like the jaws of a wolf on its prey as Kiba barreled down the mountain with ferocious haste.
Holy literary devices, Batman!
Paulo: Is this the first time the author has actually managed to inspire feeling in his writing?
I feel like this might be N’jata’s work. I mean, it still has issues, but it seems too good for Stone-Man85.
The silvery wolf’s pointed ears twitched when the sound of the human alarm touched them. “The humans know we’re coming, San,” he growled.
“Which means they’ll be ready for you when you breach the barrier,” Tsume added.
“Good,” San retorted.
“Good?” Kiba asked half amused, “And just why is that good, San?”
“Because, dear Brother,” the young wolf-girl replied, “There’s no honor in fighting an opponent with their head up their rear.”
Eltain: Nor is there honor in charging headlong at an enemy stronghold, alone and without a battle plan beyond breaching the walls, fool girl. All that this battle will see is disgrace and failure.
Paulo: She seems to have cunning confused with cowardice if she feels that the only honor in battle is for your enemy to see your approach. Some of my most praised victories when I became a commander of my own unit involved swift and silent infiltration, followed by exploitation of the element of surprise to turn the tides soundly in my favor.
Well, remember, San isn’t really being the sharpest tool in the shed here. This battle, even in the movie, was a half-baked ego trip mistaken as an act of honor because San was still sore about what happened to Moro on the mountain pass earlier. Even Moro herself pulled back from this fight and said, “don’t do it, you’re being stupid,” and she’s ostensibly the wolves’ tactician on top of being their leader. She could have concocted a stealth op, I’m sure, but instead forbade any contact on the humans’ turf. That’s honor, knowing when to pull your punches. San’s suicide rush? Yeah, no.
Kiba smirked, his long black lips lifting to expose his razor sharp fangs, “I see.”
Okay, that puts a weird-ass image in my head.
Paulo: You and I both.
Without warning, a swarm of red-hot projectiles struck the ground, missing San and the two wolves by a few feet.
Eltain: They are lucky to stand against relatively untrained civilians. My fellow clansmen took a special pride in being some of the sharpest marksmen ever to set foot upon a battlefield. They would not miss, I assure you – their honor would not stand for it.
Oh trust me, I believe you.
“They’re on the defense, San!” Tsume called out, dodging another round of projectiles, “If you’re going to make your move, the time is now!”
But the young wolf-girl did not reply. Instead she raised her spear high above her head and let loose the most bone chilling cry of war she could conjure.
*Eltain sighs in disappointment*
Not a fan of warcries?
Eltain: They are simply pointless. I do not care if it rallies morale, screaming loud enough to shake mountains, however poetic, is little more than a grand display of bravado. And in my personal opinion, it makes strong, dignified soldiers seem like barbarians. I have no use of warcries. None whatsoever.
So you prefer to stand in dead silence and terrify your opponents with a cold glare, while they’re busy screaming their heads off with as much intimidation as they can muster at you?
Eltain: I would prefer to simply engage combat, and let my strength – not my lungs – tell my enemies of the mistake they’ve made challenging me.
How popular was that opinion amongst the other generals?
Eltain: I received many awkward stares as more than half of them realized that they were guilty of pointless warcries.
Paulo: Your opinion held some weight, though – the Revelmese military forbids warcries, regardless of the reason.
“No screaming, or your commanding officer may scream at you for screaming.”
*Paulo and Eltain chuckle*
She then pointed the spear towards the wall that surrounded Iron Town and tugged the fur of Kiba’s right shoulder.
With a low-pitched growl, the large wolf broke away from his brother and began to make his decent down the steep gully that separated the mountain from Iron Town. As he drew closer to the bottom, San lifted herself onto her feet, keeping perfect balance. When he reached the gully’s bottom , Kiba doubled his speed and charged up the adjoining slope. As the seconds passed, the rows of sharp spikes that ran along the barrier’s perimeter drew closer.
And that’ll do it for now.
Paulo: Gah! Cut it right as it was about to become interesting.
That’s a damn lie and you know it.
Eltain: He is right. Never before has a fight been less attention-holding than this.
Paulo: Truly, though.
Well, that’s it for this week! Thanks for reading, folks, and stay tuned for next time! Sorry this one was late, life came out of nowhere and bitch slapped me like I just dissed its mother. In the meantime, I’m SC, and on behalf of Sir Paulo Rori and Warchief Eltain of Clan Revelm, I’ll see you next time!
…So, does taking over Ethan’s body forcibly like this wear your soul out any?
Eltain: Certainly, it makes me feel very weak. The boy, however much of my blood he carries, is not attuned to battle as I was, and so his body feels like heavy noodles.
Heavy Noodles sounds like a comedy band the Specs and Co. would think up.
Paulo: Please, refrain from giving them ideas.