Wow, this is long :)
Could easily have been broken down into several submissions. I'm not sure all these journal entries are necessary in this piece either. As a reader, I immediately guess where they are going. The tale itself is also rather straightforward but stretched out. It just seems like too many words are used to say, "Greedy guy forces Mage to summon sharks. Ma-O is attracted by the spectacle and magic. One shark is embued with demonic power. Shark becomes a terrible, sentient force that wants retribution and revenge against the two-legged ones that plunder the seas." Now I know that may sound like i'm taking a cheap shot--Anything long can be broken down into a quick synopsis--but Im not! I just think you could have told the same powerful tale with about 600-700 less words, if that makes any sense. As one small example, you don't need the sentence where you say, "a shark's teeth are meant to penetrate the blubber of sea mammals". We know :)
On the other hand, it seems you just gave up at the end with "Role-Playing Ideas" :) This is the part where so much more can be said! The Shark's ability to control the minds of humans needs be explored further! So many possibilities here!!
On to the good!
The concept is an awesome one. An Eco-Avenger from Hell on steroids! The story *is* engrossing, and I found myself transported to your visceral, watery world as usual! The shark itself is perfectly primal and terrifying. Love the fact that it affects the minds of humans. Love that a cult forms around it. The cult could be another sub! Love the creature's single-minded, relentless drive. Some great imagery and phrasing too!
Ok, this comment is now getting to long lol
Welcome back, Maggot! I do enjoy your aquatic madness!!Go to Comment
1. I just can't get this visual out of my head...the shark slowly cruising the murky bay at twilight. Fishermen, dock-workers, etc are going about their business. The shark begins to mentally dominate them...
2. The Cult! When they kill, they chop off arms at the elbows, to emulate shark-fin harvesting. They carve out livers and leave them nailed on walls for obvious reasons. They preach a "return to the sea" from where all creatures once came...Go to Comment
The title made me expect a listing of all kinds of different religious vestments, Kuseru-style which would have been fun (miter, etc)
But this is good too. I mean we've all seen variances of these robes before, but it's still a useful, useable, and straightforward, piece.
One nagging thought is--though they demand "faith" to function properly, that doesn't seem much of an impediment or mental obstacle to the "faithful"...in a world where gods are real. And once a wearer sees them work...one time.Go to Comment
Save the Bait.
A form of fishing I suppose, but the purpose here is not to catch any fish. In fact, as an interesting foot-note, Ogres I've learned, refuse to eat *anything* found in water. Something to do with their convoluted traditions and myths.
Their version of fishing goes something like this:
A living goblin (this theme will repeat itself I'm afraid) is tied securely to a very long rope, one end of which is attached to a sturdy pole, which an ogre grasps tightly with meaty paws. The "bait" or "lure" if you will, (said goblin--quite alive) is then tossed or heaved into the muddy lake, beside the Ogre village. Usually four to five participants (and four to five goblins) compete at once.
The ogres toss their goblins and then wait. Soon comes a horrid creature, responding to the splashing, drowning goblin's struggles in the water.
These fish resemble huge gars, but seem even meaner. Their snouts and maws are narrow and long, akin to a crocodile's, and filled with razor-sharp needle teeth. While they cannot swallow the goblins whole, these fish can mutilate them in short order. *Snap*--there goes a goblin leg. *Snap*--there goes an arm, and so forth.
The competition begins once the gars start snapping at the goblins. At this point the ogres begin pulling on their poles, flinging the goblins out of the water and redepositing them back into the drink moments later, some distance away.
There are rules to this sport, I have come to learn (oh gods please let me die in my sleep tonight!).
An ogre is not allowed to yank his goblin out of the water for more than a few seconds at a time, and must toss the wretch back into the lake almost immediately. (Yes, for those wondering, the ogres have a "referee" watching these gruesome proceedings.)
This morbid nonsense goes on until almost nothing is left of the goblins attached to the ropes. After a certain time limit is up, (I am doing the best that I can to explain this sport, from my poor vantage point) the ogres pull whatever is left of their goblins out of the lake.
By now you have probably guessed how the "winner" is determined. Whichever ogre has the most goblin "meat" left dangling on his rope, wins!
You know, I used to despise the loathsome members of the goblinoid races, much like you folks out there, I am sure. But after witnessing this Ogre "sport" (and other even more gruesome ones), I feel nothing but pity for the miserable little creatures.
The next sport I will document (to myself), involves a huge ogre skull stuffed with--gods know what--and yes, you guessed it--more live goblins.
Oh wait! Here comes my slop!Go to Comment
Today is a special day. The ogres are getting ready for something called--bare with me here--"Ch'razzak."
This sport involves two teams of ogres competing. Six ogres per side. The setting is a large cleared field or meadow. From my limited view it seems the playing field is quite large. As the ogre teams get ready by hurling vile insults at each other across the field of play, other ogres prepare the game "implements."
Sixteen massive ogre skulls (if you are wondering, ogres are fond of saving the skulls of their dead, boiling them for many hours, and---oh never mind, I ramble!) are stuffed with pitch and dirt, and I don't want to guess what else. All except one skull which is stuffed with a small, live goblin, in such a way, that the cramped, "folded" wretch cannot move an inch, and can merely stare out of the skull's eye sockets...and whimper helplessly.
The game begins when the sixteen skulls are all rolled out to the center of the field. An officiating ogre speaks some gibberish, blows some sort of aurochs horn, and the two teams of ogres bum-rush toward the center of the field, looking to grab the right skull.
I am not going to lie to you. This sport is entertaining to watch, though that is probably because I am now bordering on insanity, and am numb to the horrors I witness. Also because the ogres tend to suffer gruesome injuries themselves during the matches. This makes me happy.
The goal of the sport is to advance the skull with the goblin to the opposite end of the field, while the ogres from the opposing team do everything in their power--kick, punch, gouge, smash, jab, tackle, you name it, they do it--the skull "carrier" and retrieve it for their own side, at which point the same thing happens in reverse. One team carrying the skull, and the other team looking to maul them.
There are intricacies involved (I cannot believe I am using that word to describe these savages!) During the bloody melee, the ogres lose track of which skull houses the goblin naturally, and therefore frantically attempt to get *every* skull to their opponents end.
Additionally, spectators hurl insults and gobs of spit upon the participants, and are allowed to toss more skulls (stuffed with dead goblins, oh the trickery!) into the fray from the side-lines, completely confusing the players involved. Chaos reigns for approximately an hour. Bloody, lovely, chaos! (I am losing my mind!)
Finally, some ogre or other (there are usually ogre casualties involved), stumbles with the right skull toward the correct field-end. At this point, the goblin inside the skull actually feels some hope. A bit shook up, but still alive! This hope lasts a mere moment, as the "winning" ogre proceeds to impale the skull, goblin still inside, onto a sharpened stake in the ground, signifying the end of the match.
Much merriment and celebration ensues among the ogres, while the goblin bleeds out, ignored and forgotten.
Thank the gods that I cannot fit inside a boiled ogre skull!Go to Comment
I got it!!
Podvadom(s). Sounds like podvodoy which means underwater and has it as a prefix. Plus it has dom, house. But it's shortened and also sounds like a word meaning something akin to a deep dark cellar, so becomes slightly more modern and dark humor Russian-y. The Federation just calls them "podvods" and uses numbers for naming the few(?) they know of...
I could see them actually being called Podvadoms if they existed. Back me up on this, Alaknog! ;)