Reviews for Project: Bestiary
Pixiepie chapter 1 . 7/10/2008
I just finished reading all you have posted of this story and find myself eagerly awaiting more, more, more. Your style of writing is gripping, to say the least. While using more than one pov in a story can be confusing to readers, you do it so well that I knew immediately what was happening. Can't wait to find out just who Jai is, the extent of his abilities, what's up with the black knife, and why he is so determined to kill Darius. After all, poor Darius didn't ask the monks to take him in. He thought he was dead until he awoke, then he warned them right away of what was coming and did everything he could to fight it. Looking forward to the reunion between him and Jai.

You manage to keep the action going while describing every little stimulus to the senses. I can visualize the characters, their actions and even their attitudes to the extent that they are immediately people to me, doing real things, instead of names and actions in a story. I certainly plan to sample more of your writing. Thanks.
Mockingbyrd's Tune chapter 6 . 7/9/2008
“If Jai heard the words over the wind, he showed no sign of it. Instead, he checked the straps on his hide pack,” Ha! I knew it! I *knew* he would end up accompanying Darius! (From Princess Bride: “Yes, you’re very smart. Shut-up.”)

“‘I haven’t,’ Jai kept his eyes fixed on the ground. ‘A few times during the autumn, Brother Viri takes me hunting. Otherwise, I only know about the world through travelers’ stories.’” I have a hard time believing he’s been hunting and doesn’t know about skirting the critters.

“The abbot asked me to take you as far as Candor, but he never asked me to do anything after I arrived there.” So this is a temporary situation. The abbot’s counting on Darius to discover he needs Jai once he gets to Candor, maybe?

“The remains of the creature stood in a small pool of oily, viscous fluid. Bits of armor, shearing claws, and twitching barbs protruded from it. ‘They don’t have a name. I just kill them.’” (Grinning) “Darius: A small, scuttling creature found north of the Mire.” Even better! I love the witty remarks as the travelers break their trek; it complements the mood of the story.

“It…Betrayer Drove…Traitor Down… Malim, Shane, Alder, and-” Whoa. (Flipping back a chapter; revisiting “abbey’s betrayer.”) Ah, the dense smoke of my mind clears. Jai is trying to kill Darius… but, why? Has the abbot told him to do this? Or is it something to do with his tattoo? Is Jai the possessed one?

“There was a scuttling of dry legs, and the predator faded back into the night.” Does this foreshadow that Jai is not going to make it on his own?

“a trickle of smoke still sought the stars” Superb imagery and personification. Poetically pleasing, too.

Since this remains unfinished, I’ll compile my list of what I’d like to know:

1. Is Darius possessed? – Or what exactly did Red Eyes do to him when it put its bony digits across his chest?

2. What’s the story behind Jai and his tattoo? Who or what directs his homicidal side?

3. Will Jai make it out of the mire? Will Darius and he meet up in Candor?

4. Is it really the end of Red Eyes or just the beginning?

– M.T.
Mockingbyrd's Tune chapter 5 . 7/9/2008
You did not just pull a POV switch at the cliffy. Brutal.

Okay, so this tells me that Jai is more important than his pen, his book, and his tattoo; he’s pivotal to the story.

“conjuring eddies from the still air” what does that mean? Is he really conjuring – as in magic? Or is this just a figurative means of twiddling thumbs?

“…to be replaced with a bleeding, panting silence.” There is something artistically profound about ‘bleeding silence’ in this sentence, though it’s technically odd.

“…but it felt utterly different. There was a sense, a feeling radiating from the thing that it was somehow more whole, more real.” Does Jai only feel this?

“All it would take would be a quick dash. The dagger flying free of its sheathe, it would slice air and bone to find comfort in the chest of the Abbey’s betrayer.” Wait, I’m lost. Who’s the Abbey’s betrayer? Red Eyes?

“If he carried through, he would never be able to look the abbot in the face again.” Is Jai not allowed to kill monsters?

“Darius saw two flames dancing before his face. Teeth glittered in a lipless smile.” Making him drop his sword like he’s a puppet is fear-provoking, but then for it to draw its ‘head’ face to face with him… I’m spooked. Chilling.

“A flash lit the air in negative, turning torches into blazing pillars of dark and illuminating the sky.” Oh, I like this. You have a talent for turning the climactic into the anticlimactic; here it is the opposite. You’ve inversely claimed the climax of the scene, and it really works!

“It might have been a kidney.” Ha! So, me thinks he’s possessed and doesn’t know it?

“Something about the contact between cloth and skin felt wrong.” That’s what happens when you become a host to a Dancing Skeleton.

“The creatures in the sanctuary collapsed when the burning man died.” So, Red Eyes “died.” Hmm… Again with the anti-climatic. The build-up of having the hunter attack and seem to prevail, only to crumble to dust. What happened?

“He twisted uncomfortably beneath the blankets, their fabric scraping where his scars had been.” Oh, it’s just the healed scars that feel funny then, not monster possession.

So, the abbot wants a favor. My guess: he wants Jai to accompany Darius. I’ve been set on this since I met Jai’s pen.

Great chapter! - M.T.
Mockingbyrd's Tune chapter 4 . 7/3/2008
The nightgown: a subtle expression of vulnerability and comic relief combined!

“The walls of the abbey looked as thin as shadow.” Great simile, and depicting vulnerability again.

“Abbot, does your order bury its dead by the walls?” Impactful. The mystery of the fleshless hand is brought into light succinctly.

The mutated bone beings are interesting! “A set of three vertebra snaked up from the top of the creature, with a pair of hands mounted on them. They snapped wetly, like the jaws of an alligator.” Vertebra ‘snaking’ is horrific. ‘Snapping wetly,’ (shudder). I believe ‘vertebra’ is singular; the plural can be either ‘vertebrae’ or ‘vertebras’.

What is the pulsing thing in the chest of the Skeleton Dancers? It’s probably me, but after two or three lines describing the “parry and thrust” of the fighting, the scene becomes dull. Visually, it can be incredible, but translating it to my mind’s eye from script is challenging to follow.

“Darius turned and set off at a stumbling run towards the entrance to the sanctuary.” ‘Bout time! If they’re make-shifting bone parts, rest assured they’re hording them for more soldiers. Frugal enemies are the worst.

“Beyond the iron gate were two pinpricks of light, both burning red.” Ah, now the confrontation with Red Eyes!

Curiosity abounds! Perfect cliffhanger.

Btw, your explanation of the context of your story only made me want to ask more questions:

Why no guns? Are they too susceptible to the chemical changes borne from the remnants of magic? – M.T.
Mockingbyrd's Tune chapter 3 . 7/1/2008
More flesh to the story in this chapter. (Yey!) A Behemoth! I subscribe to the belief that a behemoth was not an elephant/mammoth. It’s been described as having a tail like a cedar tree.

Ah, “red eyes” shreds trees! Does it use some kind of contained energy to do this, like laser beams?

“Every pore on his body sprang open, sucking oxygen, while at the same time needles of ice were hammered through them.” Cool imagery! Yeah, that wouldn’t feel good.

“His thoughts became glaciers, and his pulse the sluggish pull of an undertow, sweeping him downward into the freezing depths.” This is better than the last description. Lovely metaphors.

“twisting calligraphic lines” Brilliant variation for a furrowed brow.

“Reaching under the bed, he drew his sheathed falchion out. One hand settled on the handle, while the other held the bound blade.” “Sheathed” is redundant because you mention “bound blade.” You seem rather over-fond of the term, “sheath.” Just bringing it to your attention.

“It crinkled and muttered and disgorged dust while the monk fussed with it.” Nice personification.

Father ‘Pious’? (chuckle) This word does not have the same meaning it did once.

Looked up “barite.” Considered toxic because it is insoluble? Hm… You’ve made it magic resistant. Is this an idea influenced by the fantasy gameworld or your own?

Wow, a view of the blueprints of the abbey. I love this kind of stuff. You did a great job explaining where the important buildings were, too, without getting tangled in the details of specific locations.

“I’m well enough to fight again…” I thought the reason he hadn’t left the abbey was due to his weakened state. This is a bit of a hole in the story: He asked for refuge there because he couldn’t leave the abbey wounded. When he is healed, not only is he sticking around, the monks are preparing to fight something that hasn’t attacked them or given evidence of its approach in a night and half a day. What am I missing here?

“I don’t suppose any of you have a pair of pants?” Scottish brogue: Cud always be warse, lad. Ye might be farced to do battle in a kilt, ye know.
Mockingbyrd's Tune chapter 2 . 7/1/2008
Monks. I knew it!

Ah, the monks don’t know/refuse to talk about the thing with the eyes. They ignore the loony one with the freakish visions. Figures.

Yes, always ask where your weapon is when you return to consciousness. If they’ve hidden it from you, they are likely to wait until you’re fully healed to use it on you. (Snicker)

“Darius muttered something unflattering about the monk, and then about religion in general.” Not the Templar, Hospitaller, or Teutonic knight-type, I gather.

A trencher! (It’s the little details that delight.)

“…Darius polished off the black bread scoop and started drinking soup from the bowl.” You keep using ‘soup.’ This sentence would be completely understandable if you dropped the word entirely.

Anachronistic pen with ink cartridge: that’s intriguing. So is the book. The pen is magical! So, if Darius wants the pen, he has to agree to a sidekick. Fair enough; come along, Tattoo Boy.

I’m still entranced. You write as though the words just flow from your mind in full forty-page chapters. I’d be envious, but I don’t have time to wallow in it and read the next chapter simultaneously.

- M.T.
Mockingbyrd's Tune chapter 1 . 7/1/2008
Realizing this one is suspended, it still caught my eye. Who knows, maybe you'll pick it up again?

The first sentence was sort of anti-climatic. Yet, the explanation reconstructs the concept of “monsters.” You are recreating the connotation? Fantastic, in both senses.

A falchion sword! Am I dreaming? This is historically used by a knight. Since this is fantasy, I’ll postpone further analysis on that point. “Sheathe” is a verb. Drop the “e” for the noun form. Add “un” before the word for wielding purposes.

“One hand dropped from his side to the hilt of the falchion, and a faint red splotch began to bloom from the area it had left.” I’m so dense; it took me five perusals to finally realize ‘it’ meant his side, not the creature in the water or the sword. (I was convinced the sword was burning red, similar to Sting’s orc-loving blue glow.)

Your vivid terms! I actually taste “brackish.”

“The bearer of the glowing eyes.” Is that really a sentence? I don’t think so, but who cares; it’s full of menace.

“Writhing things” between his toes. (Shudder.)

“A poet might have used words like unearthly and pall to describe it, but Darius knew that he was near death. Death only makes poets out of those far from it.” Something about these lines felt wrong. The first sentence was plausible in context, but the last sentence threw me out of the narrative. It is a thought that comes from the author, not the character, Darius. But, if I had penned that last line, I would find it excruciating to remove it. It’s so clever.

Darius’ thoughts are lucid and concise; they don’t ramble like some writers are known to do in the midst of a perilous situation. This definitely conveys the intenseness.

“The iron blade in his hands was dead weight, but he clasped it against his chest like a doll. It had seen him through so much already...” Okay, so this guy has mad sword-fighting skills. Wounded to the brink of death and still wielding iron.

“The force of the blow spun him…” Realistic.

“The momentum was stronger than he expected, and his feet faltered.” No, he’s almost there! Cruel, SC.

Purple? Smelled like panic? He must be delirious.

Your particular style is an oasis in the midst of a vast desert. - M.T.
Inarra Lake chapter 1 . 2/3/2008
Shouting something purple? Sounds just like The Thirteen Clocks.

It smelled like panic?


Whoever you are, you are very beautiful, and if I wasn't entirely inept in the field of Romance,I might try to be attractive so you'd think I was special.
deletethisaccountplease9 chapter 6 . 8/6/2007
There are probably not many words you havent heard to describe the awesomeness of this story, so I am not going to even try in fear of making an understatement. I will say that I could SEE the creatures, and feel the fear that you portrayed in the characters. I seriously hope that you write more of this, because right now I feel as if I have been left hanging ;)
WyrdWolf chapter 6 . 1/29/2007
Ah, a bit of depth into why monsters reside there. Cool, and logical in its reasoning-well-spoken, too.

So Jai's decided to accompany him. He didn't seem to be much of a monk, at any rate, so it's all for the best. Is it mutual, though, or did Jai just decide to come along? He doesn't seem fit for an adventurer's life, either, though maybe Darius could be his mentor in that aspect...

Ah, it was requested by the abbot. Seems foolish, but it is the least Darius could do to repay him.

'Wet crackle'...I've been trying to imagine what that would sound like, but I just can't. *thinks* Nope, no clue. Little odd, that.

'The Darius.' I can't help but laugh. Jai just might be a bit too curious for his own good, but at least he's showing some interest.

Is that or is that not the second time that Jai has attempted to murder Darius? Does he have some kind of problem, like, mentally? It's not his fault those people died.

*whistles* Well, does Jai plan to go back to the abbey? Maybe he could be Darius' permanent stalker/rival (although, admittedly, he wouldn't make much of a challenge). That would be rather fun...

Alas, I've reached the end-well, the point where it stops, at any rate. I do hope to see more of this, really, and in the meantime perhaps I'll check out this 'Faustus' story for which you seem to just be launching out chapters.

Gothshake chapter 6 . 1/27/2007
Very good story.

I like how you described the situations.

And i love the monsters.
WyrdWolf chapter 5 . 1/24/2007
Interesting, innovative representation of the abbot's weight. It's a neat proposal that is mind-catching, plus it kind of hooks the whole holy thing pretty well.

What I'm really puzzling about is why Jai is such an important person that he has to be shooed away from danger at all costs. A good take on the little quirks of the various monks, though-it gives miscellaneous characters some personality but not enough so that the reader is overloaded. And, ooh, I spotted my name. Fantastic!

I do rather like this Jai's perspective. It's a change of pace and even though it strays from the main warrior/character, the action and turmoil is palpable. Jai is some kind of double agent? Probably a bad phrase for this, but all I can come up with aside from backstabber, which is astoundingly awkward.

I love Darius' battle with the skeleton. It very effectively conveys the hopelessness of the whole situation; Darius is tired, injured (well, not so much after being healed, but still), and looking death in the face, and all of his attemps to attack are failing. Powerful.

Wow, Daruis' body brought anew. The abbot's quite powerful...and has the good ability to keep a good face while telling someone to get out before he gets more people killed. Respectable man, this abbot.

I do believe I've fallen for this story, enough so that I'm sad I've only one chapter to go. Wishing you'll write more...! *crosses fingers*

Awaking kills the Dream chapter 6 . 1/23/2007
Well, apparently this is the last chapter as for now when it comes to this story. You better keep your promise and update with a new chapter if/when you write it...

1) The first three paragraphs are nice touches. It's nice to get some background information. Also, I like the feel in them, that beasts are wild, and that they may not be the servants that we want them to be.

2)Wow, Jai is leaving the abbey? Huh, ok. This'll get exciting :)

3)"Ditches and pits had filled with runoff, or been bored deep enough that the swamp could seep into them. Darius skirted these carefully, keeping one eye on the murky water. Jai seemed to ignore them, trudging recklessly forward. It was only after he nearly tumbled into a well-screened pit that he decided to follow Darius’ example." - giggle. XP

4)"“You act like you’ve never been outside the monastery.”

“I haven’t,” Jai kept his eyes fixed on the ground." - as if you couldn't tell XP

5)"but he never asked me to do anything after I arrived there,” Hazel eyes swam in the fading sunlight" - I'd say you should have two full stops here. One after 'here', and one after 'sunlight'.

6)"“You want to stay still right now. Really still.”" - uh-oh. What now then?

7)"Behind Jai, something chattered. He froze. “What is it?” Tiny, metallic hooks gripped the back of his robe.

Darius avoided meeting his eyes. “Hold still.” Jai went as rigid as a statue." - oh, come on. Tell me already!

8)"Wrenching the falchion free of its sheathe, " - sheath

9)"Darius swept the flat of his falchion through the grass, and then returned it to his sheathe." - see previous note.

10)"“What is that?” The remains of the creature stood in a small pool of oily, viscous fluid. Bits of armor, shearing claws, and twitching barbs protruded from it.

“They don’t have a name. I just kill them.”" - XP

Doesn't really sound like an animal though. Armour, barbs and shearing claws?

11)"Every once in a while his left eye would twitch, and he’d cast a glance behind himself. He only looked half-relieved that nothing was there." - poor guy. I guess being outdoors for real for the first time would make anyone jumpy. Especially since this world is even more dangerous than you average Earth :P

12)"“Describe the creature you killed back there, when I was sitting down.”

Darius glanced through the shifting orange shadows at him. “Ugly.”

“No,” Jai shook his head, the slight motion fanning the flames. “What does it eat? How does it hunt? Where does it live? What hurts it?”

“Don’t care. It sneaks up behind you. Under a rock, probably. And swords.”" - XP

13)"Darius: A small, scuttling creature found north of the Mire. Its hooked legs are well suited to the rocky soil, enabling it to move undetected. An armored shell protects it from beaks and claws, but won’t stand up to an honest weapon. The Darius is amply supplied with barbs and claws, and should be considered a threat to the weary traveler." - I'm sure Darius is very flattered over being the name twin of the Darius...XP

14)"The Darius is exceptionally ugly, according to sightings." - Lol! Also, see previous note :P

15)"Turning away, he started into the darkness in the direction of Candor." - hey, wait, no, this can't be right! Now what? What happens now? What about Jai? You can't just leave it like this! You got to update this too, man! _

well, since you haven't got any other chapters here, I guess I'll just have to continue on something else of your writing then...*sigh*. And I really wanted to learn more about this world too...
Awaking kills the Dream chapter 5 . 1/23/2007
1)"When Darius shoved the abbot, sprinting into the sanctuary while the old man lay splayed out on the ground, Jai had helped him back to his feet. Throwing one withered arm over his shoulder, the two had hobbled across the lawn. The abbot had been astonishingly light, almost bird-like, amid the darkness and erupting earth. It was as if part of him was made of light, and lost its substance under the stars. As soon as the two reached the well-lit dining hall, the abbot became much heavier, tearing the cloths from tables and setting them with the wounded. Jai had been ordered to go upstairs and hide." - I really like this paragraph. I dunno. Perhaps it's because of the mixture of seriousness and funny-ness. 'Go to your room. Now.' XP

2)"A shriek leeched through the stone wall, slowly sinking into the room." - you search for alternative verbs a lot when you write, don't you? I like the use of 'leech' :)

3)"Jai felt his pulse begin to quicken. Brothers Salliu and Verdault and Tacitus were out there, men he’d know his entire life. They might be ripped apart while he sat and thought and kicked his heels. Heaving himself off the bed, Jai began to pace the room." - poor guy. That's what I told you; it's the waiting that's the killer XP

4)"The stone was cool under bare feet. He tried to draw the coldness up through his legs; to let it rest inside of him. It refused to be drawn. He was pacing too fast for it to keep up, anyways." - very nice. :)

5)"There was Deru, who taught self-defense and herbal lore, sometimes mixing the practices and kicking weeds in the garden." - sounds like an interesting teacher

6)"Next to him lay Geran, who kept a secret cache of turnip-wine under his cot." - no matter how I try, I can't make that an appealing alcohol to consume.

7)"Jai stood stock still, his hand creeping towards one of the inner pockets of his robe. That was the stranger, Darius, who had brought the monsters to Saint Beaudine’s Abbey. Pale fingers closed around a hilt, and uncertain feet took an involuntary step forward. Malim and Shane and Alder. He took another step." - uh-oh, is he going to kill Darius on top of it all? (not that I don't understand why. But it's still unneccessary. It'll only result in even more killing after all)

8)"Darius used a word that brother Geran had used before, when he thought no one was listening." XP

9)"He awoke in a warm, white bed. Déjà vu was tapping irritably against the side of his head, and there was a cold place in his chest." - XP

10)"It felt like something important used to belong there. He ran through a quick mental checklist. It might have been a kidney." - what can I say, other than XP

11)"With that reassurance, he rolled back over. The white sheets crinkled and shifted. They were almost familiar now. If he got maimed and knocked out a few more times, he reasoned, they’d probably feel like home." - I bet. And with his luck, it just might happen :P

12)"There was no network of scars. No web of criss-crossing lines to map the places he had been. His gaze shifted to his arms. Those too were free of scars. There were faint, white tracings against tan skin where the scars should have been. Frantic, he struggled out of the covers. There wasn’t a single scar left on him. The memories of wrestling a swamp beast and pulling his arm from the mouth of a wolf had vanished from his surface. There was, however, a single pale handprint over his heart. It was so detailed that he could pick out the individual bones in the fingers." - creepy. :S

13)"“If I had to guess, I might say that the energies I poured into you took the place of rest. There were a few other side effects, too.”" - ah. I was beginning to wonder where the other scars went.

14)"Brother Saliu will bring them to your room,” The abbot started towards the door, pausing on the threshold." - I'd consider just a normal full stop.

Well, I guess there was more things to mention about this chapter, but I'm getting caught up in just reading...sorry XP
Awaking kills the Dream chapter 4 . 1/23/2007
1)"Darius stood in the center of the abbey, pale moonlight reflecting off his" - you really have your way of creating a good opening sentence...

"-nightgown." and then ruin it all with just one word...XP This was the beginning of a truely heroic and dramatic scene, and you had to mention the nightgown, huh? :P

2)"A thin, cool breeze was busy snaking around his legs," - I actually pictured the breeze as a snake here. It made a pretty funny image in my mind...:P

3)"They both lay by the lip, staring off into the flame-lit blackness." - nicely put. There may be fires to give light to the night, but it's still quite dark inbetween the light sources.

4)"brother Solemnus" - I bet this is your cameo XP

5)"The stress of a siege was insidious. People spoke in strained voices; laughed too long over old jokes. Twitches developed, and men found themselves glancing about nervously. By the time an attack finally came, the defenders were always stressed and exhausted." - twitches developed? XP

Nice job describing this. It's the waiting that's a killer.

6)"The wind mumbled nonsense in his ears." - Your descriptions of mundane things are so entertaining sometimes. Where you get it all from?

7)"“I think I saw something,”" - Just a full stop I think

8)"There followed a long moment of soft, uninterrupted nothing." - XP

9)"Darius tried a yawn, but it sounded weird and distorted. One of the monks by the far wall started and half-turned toward him." - ah, it's so funny to read this :P

10)"He had fallen over backward and was frantically brushing at his leg. Ants? The thought rose and Darius dismissed it. Something was jutting from the ground, clutching at the man’s ankle. It was yellow and cluttered with clods of earth, but it was a human hand. The flesh and sinew had been stripped away, leaving only aged bone." - ugh...:S

11)"His hands were limned faintly in blue." - never heard of 'limned' before. What's that? Lined? Illuminated?

12)"“Abbot, does your order bury its dead by the walls?”" - uh-oh...:S

13)"“Yes,” Confusion rippled across the old man’s features." - a full stop, please

14)"“Where do you inter them after that?”

“In the crypt under the sanctuary.”

In the darkness behind the men, something creaked." - gah!

15)"The falchion left its sheathe as he charged through the entryway," - sheath

16)"Darius hauled him to his feet. “Get out of here. Head for the dormitories. Take your brothers and the abbot with you. Yell at me later.”" - yeah, yell at him later...take his advice.

17)"It walked with a hesitating shuffle, unsure how to distribute its weight. Its feet were two pelvic bones, turned upside down and with a femur stuck into each to form legs. From there, ribs and arm bones were stacked sideways to make a square cage." - this made quite a funny image in my mind, apart from the creepy-ness of it all XP

18)" It was still wrapped in the tatters of a funeral robe, and its bones were configured more like those of a human. There was a skull embedded in one kneecap, and teeth ran up and down the length of its arms. Its spine simply ended, a bare stalk. Inside its chest, something beat." - you do know that you've probably given my imagination quite the right pictures to feast upon when it decides to give me nightmares? *accusing glare*

19)"Something scraped a red line across his back, tearing the fabric of the nightgown." - I'd totally forgotten about the nightgown by now. Good thing you brought that one up again, just so I could make a really humiliating picture of the hero, valiently fighting the a nightgown...XP

20)"Its center was a ball of ribs and black plaster, bones sticking out at impossible angles. A skull had been stuck in the center of that, half buried in the mass. Only the eyes and the mouth were visible, trapped in a scream. From the center, four spindly limbs sprouted. Each was formed from long bones of differing lengths, leading to a hand which was pressed palm down on the floor. It scuttled forward like a spider." - gaah! Stop this! I don't want to have nightmares! I *hate* spiders. I *hate* skeletons coming back to life. And I have a sinking feeling that I won't be too fond of skeletons coming back to life shaped like spiders... *whine*

21)"It reared onto its hind feet, bending at an impossible angle, and began to rub its forelimbs together. One long, bone bow scraped over the other, producing a sound like the whine of a cricket." - a bone spider cricket?...

22)"Through the slashing of skeletal limbs and the blurring of fists, he thought he caught sight of Tacitus. There was a split in the skin on one side of his forehead, and a red channel snaked down his face. His lips were drawn back and his teeth bared. Something inhuman glinted in his eyes." - eerie

23)"One arm was thrown over and unfamiliar back, and he half-ran, half-hobbled through the door to the dormitories." - thrown over 'an' unfamiliar back.

24)"The sound of tearing metal rent the air as the bars of the gate were twisted and tossed aside. Through the gap, a single ivory foot stepped. The creature that climbed into view was a skeleton, paler than the ones inside the sanctuary. There wasn’t a drop of black tar anywhere on its frame. Instead, its bones floated next to each other, silhouetted in crimson light. Flames danced in empty eye sockets and a bloated pink mass filled its chest, distorted like a tumor. Tendrils snaked out from it, winding down its limbs and twining about its fingers. One hand held an iron bar from the gate. The creature dropped it with a soft thump." - As if I can stop reading now...curse you, now I *have* to read the next chapter right away...don't you know that it's evil to make your stories too interesting? _

(have you ever noted that my compliments tend to be very oddly phrased? But they're there, really. You just have to search for them, and think a little XP)

Onwards, my brave men, to new chapters, and lands overflowing with wine!
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