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Haunter
16th October 2005, 6:04 PM
Warnings: None, I don’t think.


The Markiye Chronicles
Prologue

Markiye. A vast, untamed wilderness filled with history, wonderful people and wild pokémon. Markiye was huge and rested in the Eastern Seas. Two “arms” of the continent stretched out, one pointing west, to Kanto, and one pointing north, to the vast expanse of the North Sea and the great desert of the Pole. There was an island south of the continent called Parafral. Dotted throughout the Western Seas were small groups of islands and, one such group north-east of the continent, was called the Navidan Archipelago. The only reason it was of any note is because on one island there was a pokémon Gym and on another there was a Coliseum and on another, a Contest Hall.

There was a rudimentary Pokémon League in Markiye although it didn’t have too many challengers as Markiye was considered by many too big to traverse. It was structured differently than the other Leagues, too. Instead of fighting four elite trainers and then going on to fight the Champion, you’d fight four pairs of elite trainers in Double Battles. Then, if you were lucky enough, you’d get to face the Champion Duo.

The rules of the League state that: “Two trainers, being of sound mind and body, over the approved age of fourteen years may take the Challenge issued by the Markiye Administration Pokémon League. Markiye, as defined by the Administration, includes Parafral, the Navidan Archipelago, the continent itself and the Pole. These rules apply in these places and in these places only.”

It then proceeds to go on about approved pokémon and number of badges needed to enter the League. It also stated that only a pokémon caught in the wild or received from a Breeder was allowed as a “Starting pokémon.”

There were five fully-qualified, licensed pokémon Breeders in Markiye. Breeders Whitney and Falkner, Breeder Analise and Breeders Raphael and Courtney. Breeders Whitney and Falkner lived somewhere off the west coast of Markiye on an island, Breeder Analise lived in Tal Markiye and Breeders Raphael and Courtney lived on Parafral.


*

Two young children, about six or seven years old, one a boy and one a girl, ran through the large pine forest that covered most of Parafral with mischievous grins. The girl had long, flaxen hair that was knotted and muddied though her large grin with its two front teeth missing showed that she didn’t care about the rather sorry state of her hair. The boy, too, had a less-than-toothy smile and his short, curly brown hair was knotted and muddy.

The forest was dimly lit with a light that shot beams of gold with leaves and other things falling through the air, creating shadow. The boy and girl scrambled over a fallen log and carried on running. They eventually came out into a clearing with a large, clear-bottomed freshwater lake. There was an old, large weeping willow on the bank with a colossal trunk that arched out into the middle of the lake. It was an ideal spot for swimming and a place that the two children regularly visited to swim and to play games.

The two children quickly undressed and ran tittering into the lake. They jumped in and sprayed water everywhere and then started splashing water at each other. They began giggling and swam out to the middle of the tarn, kicking their legs idly. A few magikarp and koira fled from them and a poliwhirl croaked.

“’Hayn,” said the little girl, her hair knotty and floating atop the water, “wanna jump off the tree?”

The boy, ’Hayn, replied to her, “Yeah! C’mon let’s go climb it!” He started swimming over to the old, large willow and his female friend followed him, quickly overtaking him and clambering up the bank and onto the rough-barked trunk. A group of larkin took off when ‘Hayn’s chubby hand almost removed it of its tailfeathers. The girl soon reached the top and jumped off, drawing her knees up to her chest and held them with her hands, splashing into the water with a loud crash. Her friend followed her, whooping as he dived into the lake.

The two swam to the bank and lay there, drying off in the sun. A pidgeotto crowed in the distance and a brightly coloured draphly hovered above a berry tree, possibly pecha or leppa.

Hayn turned to the girl. “’Cor,” he asked, “will we be friends forever?” he asked innocently, turning his head to her. She looked back and him and smiled.

She said, simply, “Yes.”


*

Miles away on the vast prairie of the mainland, the sun was just setting over the pointed, uneven horizon of the Mightyena Valley, and the inhabitants of the Mightyena Camp of the Markiye were mostly eating or making sure that their tasks for the day were complete. One member of the camp, a girl of around ten years of age, sat playing with her doll, a plain, female doll with a cotton dress, no facial features, and black hair from the tail of Coyote, the camp’s resident alpha male mightyena.

“Mai!” called a strong, ancient voice. “Come. It is time for our meal.” The woman who called was tall, deeply wrinkled and had dark, dark skin. Her hair was a black-grey colour and fell about her neck elegantly. She held a long stick tipped with feathers and mightyena fur. The girl, named Mai, got to her feet and followed the woman into a tauros-hide tent where a large man with a lock of hair running down his head, a woman sitting, legs crossed, head bowed and a small child with a taillow on his shoulder.

Suddenly, the taillow flapped his wings and flew off. Tied to its leg was a piece of parchment that the by was happy to see gone.

“Mai,” said the man. “Sit. Eat. The harvest was plentiful,” he said.

“I shall, Father, and may it be so every harvest,” she answered with the customary reply. She sat and began to eat with her family. The little boy spoke.

“Papa,” he said, “when will we be moving camps?”

“When the swellow fly south twice, there is your answer, child,” answered the old woman before the man could get to it. He did not seem surprised that she did this; everyone knew that the old woman could pick the thoughts out of your head and speak them herself. The boy looked to his father for confirmation. The man nodded.

“Gentlefeather,” began the younger woman, “where shall we go next? Our lands are … diminished,” she ended.

“We shall go where we have always gone,” she replied sagely.

“But much of our land now belongs to White men,” said the woman, “including where we set up camp.”

“We shall go where we always go, Bluefeather,” said the old woman, and that was the end of the discussion. The family continued eating until a well-built, bare-chested young man lifted up the tent flap. Above his left nipple there was a tattoo of a mightyena’s footprint.

“Cokuum!” he said. “You are needed at the corral! A pack of houndoom is attacking the miltank!” Cokuum rose to his feet, touched his son’s head and exited the tent. Moments later a fierce, chilling war cry echoed about the camp as Cokuum mounted his noctallion and sped towards the corral.


*

Hundreds of miles away, atop a large, weathered rock face, two feminine figures stood. They seemed to be conversing about something that was rather important, or at least was to them.

One was tall and slender, the other small and bulky. The moon shone down on them, illuminating their forms. The tall, slender one had an ethereal beauty to her; she looked graceful, elegant, and her looks just commanded attention. Every inch of her face was defined; her eyes shone brilliantly and were large, round and stunningly blue. She was dressed in a simple, brown cotton dress but somehow she managed to make it look striking.

The other had an earthy look about her. She was beautiful, though in a very unconventional way, and her chubbiness only enhanced her. Her jet-black hair shone brightly and her eyes were round and expressive with a green shine. A few bug pokémon chirped and a noctowl hooted.

“What are we to do, Sumartal?” asked the short one.

“Nothing, Springah. We wait, and see how events play out.”

“But surely, if we do that then all can be lost,” answered Springah. Sumartal nodded grimly.

“We must confer with our sisters,” she said and began walking away from the rock face. Springah followed her, a look of grim determination in her face.

_

Again, revised, with all of the errors fixed. Chapter 1 –should- be up soon.

katiekitten
18th October 2005, 8:39 AM
This is pretty good! I don't understand why it did't get any reviews... Anyway here is what I have to say:

Good Points

Hmm... Wel it has very good language, you chose good words to include and always respect that if they are used in the right context, as they are here. :)
Not any grammatical errors that I can see, always a plus.
Good descriptive writing. I could vizulise the children. :)

Bad Points

Well... Not any at the moment. I am not the best reviewer, I am rubbish at helping people who are at or near the same level as me, and this is definately close. Other, better reviewers might have some things to point out, but all you'll get from me is a thumbs up.

*thumbs up and smile*

Haunter
20th November 2005, 2:18 PM
Thank you for your review, katiekitten.

I've revised it, so anyone who has already read it, reread.

Ava27_11
20th November 2005, 4:08 PM
j00 rock! ^^ It was good, I liked it, even though I detest Pokemon. And it doesn't have that much pokemon, so yay. As I said, you need more of a style sort of thing. But, it's still great!

<3 Ava

Haunter
20th November 2005, 4:09 PM
Thanks, Ava! Yeah, yeah, style. I pwn j00r sox!

Negrek
28th November 2005, 2:25 AM
Huh, thought there was more than just a prologue. Here's your review for it, anyway...


Markiye was huge and rested in the Western Seas west of Kanto.
Well, since it's the Western Sea, there's really no need to reiterate that it's west of Kanto. However, since Johto is west of Kanto, is the ocean actually beyond that, in the very west?


Two “arms” of the continent stretched out, one pointing west, to Kanto, and one pointing north, to the vast expanse of the North Sea and the great desert of the Pole.
I think you're al little confused in your directions, there. If it's west of Kanto, then the only way that it can be pointing towards the continent is if it's pointing east.


Dotted throughout the Western Seas were small groups of islands and, one such group, north-east of the continent, was called the Navidan Archipelago.
Remove the comma before "one such group".



The rules of the League state that: “Two trainers, being of sound mind and body, over the approved age of fourteen years may take the Challenge issued by the Markiye Administration Pok&#233;mon League. Markiye, as defined by the Administration, includes Parafral, the Navidan Archipelago, the continent itself and the Pole. These rules apply in these places and in these places only.”

I'm a bit leery of the colon there; I think that it should just be a comma.

- Having Whitney and Falkner in here seems sort of random. Why aren't they taking part of their gyms in Johto? Why aren't they in Johto, period?


The girl had long, flaxen hair that was knotted and muddied, though the large grin with its two front teeth missing showed that she didn’t care about the rather sorry state of her hair.
I would lean towards saying her grin instead of just the grin. In addition, I'd try to find some way to reword so that you aren't mentioning her hair twice in one sentence, once at the beginning and then at the end.



The forest was dimly lit with a sort of flittering, golden light that shot beams of gold with leaves and other things falling through the air, creating shadow.
This sentence is a bit nasty. Flittering isn't a good word here, as sunlight cannot really move at all, so it doesn't make real sense. Also, you've got gold in there twice in close proximity, and the sentence as a whole sounds really strange and doesn't make a lot of sense.


There was an old, large weeping willow on the bank that arched out into the middle of the lake.
This sentence is ambiguous. What is arching, the bank or the weeping willow?



The two children quickly undressed and ran giggling into the lake. They jumped in with a splash and started splashing water at each other. They began giggling and swam out to the middle of the tarn, kicking their legs idly. A few magikarp and koira fled from them and a poliwhirl croaked.

Note how "giggling" and "splashing" are repeated in the above sentence. If at all possible, try to avoid reusing the same word in such a short space of time.



“’Hayn,” said the little girl, her hair knotty and floating atop the water, “wanna jump off the tree?”


- Overtaking is one word. In addition, you've described the willow as old and large twice now. In addition, just replacing that descriptor with words that mean virtually exactly the same things (from old, large to ancient, gigantic in one sentence) doesn't really do much to aid in variety. Why not say something else about the tree? Does it have real knobbly bark or is it smoother? Is there anything that lives in its crown? And so forth.


She reached the top and jumped off, drawing her knees up to her chest and holding them with her hands, splashing into the water with a loud crash.


“’Cor,” he said. “Will we be friends forever?” he asked innocently, turning his head to her.
It's rather awkward to see the dialogue broken up in this fashion. I think it would work better if you just rewrote it as "'Cor," he asked, "will we be friends forever?"



Miles away on the vast prairie of the mainland, the sun was just setting over the pointed, uneven horizon of the Mightyena Valley, and the inhabitants of the Mightyena Camp of the Markiye were mostly eating or making sure that their tasks for the day were complete.
That's a bit of a long, unwieldy sentence.


One member of the camp, a girl of around ten years of age, sat playing with her doll, a plain, female doll with a cotton dress, no facial features and her black hair was from the tail of Coyote, the camp’s resident alpha male mightyena.
Okay,a few problems there. You're repeating doll again. Also, the list at the end is a bit botched. You need to either replace the comma after dress with an "and" and then put a comma after features, or add a comma after features and remove "her" and "was" in the next clause.


The woman who called this girl named Mai was tall, deeply wrinkled and had dark, dark skin.
Adding the "this girl named Mai" part to the center is a bit unwieldy. Perhaps just "The woman who called was tall..." instead?


The girl, named Mai, got to her feet and followed the woman into a tauros-hide tent where a large man with a lock of hair running down his head, a woman sitting, legs crossed, head bowed and a small child with a taillow on his shoulder.
Oops, forgot the predicate for this sentence. What are the man, woman, and child w/taillow doing? The sentence builds up to that, but never delivers.


“We shall go where we always go, Bluefeather,” said the old woman, and that was the end of the subject.
I think that it should be "discussion" there, not "subject".



One was tall and slender, the other small and bulky. The moon shone down on them, illuminating their forms. The tall, slender one had an ethereal beauty to her; she looked graceful, elegant, and her looks just commanded attention.


She was beautiful, though in a very unconventional way, and her chubbiness only enhanced her.



“But surely, if we do that then all can be lost,” answered Springah. Sumartal nodded grimly.

All right, I only picked this out once in the narrative once, but it was something that kept happening over and over again, so I figured I'd save it until the end. You do fine with punctuating dialogue where it's in the form, "Blah blah blah," she said. However, when you break it up ("Blah blah blah," she exclaimed, "blah blah!") you aren't doing it correctly. If the second part of dialogue is a continuation of the sentence begun in the first, you need to end the interrupting narration with a comma instead of a period and decapitalize the first letter of the second bit of dialogue. A couple more examples from the piece itself:


“Papa,” he said, “when will we be moving camps?”



“Gentlefeather,” began the younger woman, “where shall we go next?”

Now, a couple other functional things to note before we move on to the general review. First, you kept changing tenses at the beginning (Markiye was, the rules state, and so on). You picked past tense and stayed with it for the rest, which was good, but you might want to take a look at that beginning part again and convert that all to the past tense. In addition, in some places you suffer from lack of sentence variety. This is particularly obvious during the scene in the Mightyena camp, where it's just one simple sentence after another. This messes up the flow of your writing, making it sound jerky and stilted. Try to experiment with using different sentence types to smooth things out and improve the flow of the narration. The need to vary your word choices was stated earlier, but I think I'll reiterate it, as it seems to be one of your larger problems. Just try to think of different words that can convey the same idea or, better yet, change what you're describing to avoid repetition as much as possible.


As this is only the prologue, it's a bit hard to talk about the story as a whole yet. As prologues go, it's pretty standard. I think that your opening could be a little better; the "overview of the region" is something commonly done to begin a new-region 'fic, and while it does lay out the scene nicely, I think that there are alternatives that would be more engaging. Yours isn't too bad, as it isn't really long-winded or rambling, but I think that it's information that could be worked in later. Also, why do trainers have to start at fourteen in Markiye?

Can't really comment on characters. Plot either.

However, I will say that, if I remember the original version of this correctly, this is a massive step up from where you were last time. Your writing was tidy and clear, and while it did have a few minor problems, your prose was overall very nice and pleasant to read. If you can follow through on the prologue with some nice chapters, resolve a few of the issues that I've mentioned above, and continue to improve at such a quick rate, you'll soon be an excellent writer. I'm very impressed!

Haunter
28th November 2005, 5:17 PM
Thank you, Negrek.

Well, I did get a little mixed up with my directions. Markiye is in the Eastern Sea. [insert shame here]

Well, they start at fourteen in Markiye because of two reasons:

One, the region is very dangerous and big. They start out at fourteen in the hope that they'll be able to handle the dangers that they'll face.

Two, it is based on an old Markiye custom which still takes place. At the age of fourteen, a child would be marked with their totem-mark and be given a companion pokemon.

In the Mightyena Camp this was usually a poochyena or perhaps a houndour and it, of course, varied with the Camp.

The settlers decided to adopt the custom to make the changeover go smoothly.

Whitney and Falkner being here ins't really random. It was done to show how things change. And there's a story behind it. And ... they tied me up and made me write them in.

...Yeah, let's go with that.