Reviews for Warden
V-rcingetorix chapter 6 . 9/25/2015
From a reader here, well done :)

Zevran's attitude was very close to the game version. However, I would suggest you add a little more emoting to his manner of speaking. Part of the convincing aspect of the game was in how he paused between words, taking a breath, exhaling at the beginning of sentences. You have the pauses in some of his speech, but you're missing the eyebrows and eartip movements. Still, very convincing.

Carver's anger is a good feeling here. Protect family, above all else. That is completely understandable, and you made the shift from calm-irritation to anger very believable. His suspicions are also well written.

Last part, the descriptions. Good overall, but you missed two opportunities to add depth. The first one was in how Carver & co were leaving Teagan; what kind of horses were they riding? Were they battle chargers (very expensive) or palfrey's (kinda insulting, but fast)? The individual color is unnecessary, but Leliana could have been brushing her fingers through the thick dark-brown mane of her mount.

The other description was in the Zevran ambush. What kind of trees covered the path? Was it a well-placed ambush? The archers were well placed, but did the fire rain from the sky on their unsuspecting heads? The hiss of an arrow past Carver's cheek, like Death whispering his name from the Beyond?

Otherwise, very very good. The conversation/thought is your strong point, and you have orbited around that aspect very adroitly.

Keep up the good work!
Micah chapter 1 . 9/20/2015
Stupid thing posted before I finished typing, dagnabbit.

ANYWAY BEFORE I WAS RUDELY INTERRUPTED:

Things I liked: The parting between Miranda and Carver, including the "Vivat Hawke" bit. Felt right to me.

The kind of derpy bit between him, Miranda, Niamh. That made me smile.

All in all, good start. I am...still not convinced with Carver. You haven't made me want to stab him less yet. That will take some work ;) Buuuut you might be able to pull it off. I have faith! So. Onward! XD
Lachdannen chapter 1 . 9/20/2015
FINALLY getting to WRITING this thing. Shame on me U.U

Alright, disclaimer that I think I already told you: I did NOT like Carver as character. He pissed me off. So if I while reading this, I will be attempting to NOT want to stab Carver in the face, despite the voice of my Hawke :P

"too late, she's spotted me" - tad redundant with the next bit, and also feels slightly wrong POV with the "seeing him".

"Mother still has people in kirkwall." - er, unless you are changing it, shouldn't that be family? or we have family in kirkwall?

Tower - I am getting the impression I should go replay part of the beginning of Origins. I thought the tower WAS secured, but they darkspawn snuck around under it, because sneaky fucking darkspawn are sneaky. Miranda's arguement still holds water without the reference to the tower, so I'd kind of vote just to rip that part out.

"Are you going into the wilds ser? Only I have a sick..." - Only I? it makes sense in the next paragraph, but this looks like typo.

Why is he going into the wilds? I don't understand what he's doing there as he just kind of ...takes off for it. THEN you get the hound guy bugging him about the flower. Maybe invert that, and let Carver latch onto that as something to do.

tripped - are you trying to use esoteric meanings to mess with me? :P

Carver speech - does anyone follow him? the wording there is...kind of vague, kind of rushed feeling.

darkspawn - while we know what shrieks, and hurlocks, and gemlocks are, they are kind of unique to DA, and I somehow doubt Carver is particularly boned up yet on the kinds of darkspawn. perhaps some tweaks here to remove the name of the Shriek, and have just describe it this time?
A Very Thirsty Megalomaniac chapter 5 . 9/20/2015
Having just wrote a VERY truncated version of Ilos and the crawl to the Citadel and still came up with a 9k word chapter, I am feeling if anything rather envious of your succinct summation of events. Moreover, your Alistair lines actually made me crack up like three times. I never found him particularly funny in the games (though I did like his attitude,) but his "Never mind, let's be heroes all the time" line is making me laugh as I write it.

So again, wild props for Alistair's dialogue - I'm sad to see him off to play with the dwarves. Especially since he'll probably back Harrowmont. The idiot - er, I mean, softy.

I'm surprised at how little screen-time Leliana has had. She was one of my favorite party members in DA:O (though not to the extent that I felt she should be shoehorned into EVERYTHING, Bioware, you gave us the option to kill her!) and hope she'll crop up soon.

Niamh continues to not generate interest, though she is clearly a minor character at this point. I was amused at the mention of her drawings on the map, however.

Sten says very little. This is appropriate.

As for Carver, he felt a little less acidic this chapter, and I like his and Morrigan's relationship. It may seem infantile, but the fact that he is the only Warden in her sight right now means sexy time will likely ensue. I wonder if he will lose that irritatingly pessimistic and fatalistic self-awareness during said time. Otherwise he will have trouble enjoying it.

I saw no errors, hence why I am rambling on about your characters. While I am still getting a slight sense of "goddammit, I need to get to the point where the universe starts changing!" due to relatively breakneck pacing, I may be projecting. I shall be succinct:
Alistair is awesome, Morrigan is awesome, Carver is awesome. I love the character interactions, and am actively hoping you spend more time on those than the plot itself. Actually, that sounds like Bioware's games in general, too. You're awesome as well. I love this chapter.

I suspect Carver is going to kill the kid, isn't he? Ugh, hope not.
A Very Thirsty Megalomaniac chapter 4 . 9/11/2015
I very much like the development between Morrigan and Carver here. They have something in common: a biting wit and the fervent belief that they are superior to all others around them while ignoring their own shortcomings. If they end up together, I strongly suspect it will be a fast-burn. Commonality and physical attraction work, but are hardly sustainable in the face of such acidity from both sides. Plus, Morrigan's plans kind of run counter to a long term relationship anyway.

I must commend you on the dialogue, particularly Morrigan's and Alistair's. Niamh strays a little close to Merril (who I hate, believe it or not) and has lead me to believe that most of the Dalish frequently make use of psychoactive mushrooms. The Dalish in the first game were utterly devoid of humor (barring a Warden Dalish, maybe) and were both solemn and sullen. I hated them. Merril was a ditch par excellence who was supposed to engender protective and amused feelings through Bioware's emotional manipulation. I hated that, too. I'm hoping Niamh hardens up and becomes more of a character in her own right. I have higher hopes for her and Alistair's burgeoning attraction, though.

Sten's sneaky. He'll hide being lazy beneath a veneer of a stern demeanor and proclamations of qunari superiority. I had to smile at his little swear.

I didn't see any errors, reading through this twice. The end felt a little bit rushed, but it looks like you're shooting for a certain chapter length, and the traveling sections were otherwise very well-paced. So I wouldn't change it; where you ended was as good a place to end as any.

Excellent chapter! DA's strength was in the world building and character interactions, and you're doing very well with the character interactions (the world's already built for you :P) which makes me eagerly look forward to Fridays.
V-rcingetorix chapter 4 . 9/11/2015
Still think you got the Alistair character down, although Niamh feels a bit ... ditzy. Did you model her after the DA:II Merrill? The DA:O didn't have a dalish member, so far as I can recall ...

Surroundings, good, although it might work with a little more description. Since Alistair is a good foil, perhaps he could be complaining about the scenery? Not "scenic enough" or something? For me, that's what helps a story shift from a tale around the fire to a story you can vividly recall.

Your conversational style is excellent; I may have to study your method more deeply for my own work. What did you do to develop it?

One possible improvement: longer chapters. Not that the current length is bad, but it feels a little ... fast, if you will? Longer chapters would allow for more gradual transitions. The time has gone from evening to night to day and then afternoon in less than 4k words (estimated). You make that size work very well, don't get me wrong, it's just a preference on my part.

Keep up the good work!
V-rcingetorix chapter 2 . 9/9/2015
You have written Alistair very well. In the game, he always comes off as funny, but that can be easy, considering the player is outside the game. In-game, it might not be so humorous.

Morrigan/Flemeth, an interesting combination. The game always depicted her as old and hale; here, you hint at old age being a problem. Good foreshadowing!

One thing that is a little odd, you listed this story as an Carger H./ Morrigan, but you are also putting a lot of emphasis on Niamh, which is a little confusing. Still, that is your prerogative as a writer, and I will be happily puzzled as I try to unravel the puzzle you have created. Combining Carver's attraction to Niamh with the little phrases Morrigan says around Carver ... *grin*

The SpaG is excellent. No huge typos, dangling gerund phrases ... it's a wonderful way to continue a story at. See? I ended in a preposition, some thing most writers should be incapable of. You keep the grammar to King's English (metaphorically speaking) and that is highly appreciated.
V-rcingetorix chapter 1 . 9/9/2015
An intriguing opening. Origins is one of my all time favorite games, and reading this fic makes me want to get it out again :)

So, Irish elf, eh? The red hair is a little different, but then - red is a subset of blonde.

Having Carver suffocating on camp air is a good plot device, but it could have been slightly smoother. His pondering of the subject feels a little late; why was he moving out of the camp in the first place? The paragraph describing his decision to "throw off his greatsword" et al is very good (I got the sensation of panicked gasping, eyes rolling), but it was short.

To make it a little more fluid, I would suggest having him ignore the urge to leave camp, just following his thoughts; ignoring people is a theme you seem to have for Carver, at least at the moment. Going against the flow also seems to be a Carver specialty, a way to emphasize his individuality if you will.

However, that is just my opinion, do with it as you will.

The ending was very well done, describing the AU shift in a way the decision to leave Miranda Hawke (ME2 fan?) did not. In one short chapter, there are two major AU shifts; not usually a good move for a subtle story, but in this case, well done.

I'm going to have to keep reading, well done!
flamedwing chapter 1 . 9/8/2015
Well, this is the story you asked for in review tag, so this is the story I'll review. I've never played Dragon Age, but I like to give people what they ask for, especially when it's in the 'be careful what you wish for' sort of way. (Mwahah- ack *cough*)

Ahem... Obviously, my lack of knowledge about the canon is a blessing and a curse. On the downside, I can't tell you if the characters are in-character, whether the setting is realistic, or if the plot progression is canonically feasible. On the plus side, I'm still a reader, so I can still point out errors and where you're assuming a reader's canon-knowledge as a short-cut.

So, let me start with what I think you did well.
I think you've captured that older sister-younger brother dynamic. They grate on each other, but it's obvious they still care. Even with as little information as I have, I felt like I got a pretty decent feel as to their relationship.
The scene in the camp also felt realistic. Even though I don't know the significance of why not having the archdemon not show is a big deal, I can tell that it's a bad thing. You've done a good job of portraying soldiers trying to distract themselves by keeping busy or praying, so that there's an ominous foreboding for the battle.
I also think you've done a good job at sprinkling in 'cultural' terms, for lack of a better word. Even though I have no idea what religious significance 'Andraste' has or what 'genlocks' or 'hurlocks' are, they all contribute to the feeling of an interlocking and holistic world.

On the technical side of things, you use italics for thoughts, but there are a few places that I would assume are direct internal thoughts which aren't formatted as such. Obviously that's a subjective thing, but since this is about my opinion, I'll note the ones I think would be better formatted as thoughts.
- Unwinnable? How could that be right? [I'm assuming he's asking himself.]
- Why in Andraste's name would anyone keep these things? [Sounds like another question he's asking himself, coupled with an implicit opinion that it's a stupid thing to do.]
- To delay a dog's death by as much as a single day. [Again, it sounds like internal dialogue, especially as a sentence fragment.]
- Go back to camp, save the dog, and die when the darkspawn hit. [This sounds like self-exhortation to me, having him tell himself to go do something.]

Other technical things:
- It did him no credit, he knew; and more than one person had suggested that he went looking for things to be angry about, rather than stumbling upon real aggravations. [I'd suggest breaking this up into two sentences. It reads a bit awkwardly as is. A semi-colon is supposed to link two sentences that are fully complete, but rely on the other to make sense. These two sentences are capable of standing alone.]

- More unnerving, a large contingent of soldiers, both regular army and Wardens, were praying. Alone or in groups led by a Chantry sister. A good deal of praying. A lot more, in fact, than there should be before an average battle. [This succession of sentences is choppy, with no obvious reason to be so. I'd suggest merging the last three sentences together- something like: 'It was a good deal of praying, alone or in groups led by Chantry sister- far more than there should be in an average battle.']

- Satisfied on that issue at least, Carver headed out into the wilds, his eyes sliding over the landscape in search of his only purpose right now, a flower with a red eye. [This is a long sentence that could be cut in two: 'Satisfied on that issue at least, Carver headed out into the wilds. His eyes slid over the landscape in search of his only purpose right now: a flower with a red eye.']

- But, after a moment, a soldier stepped out of line; then a second, then a third. [I think this line should start a new paragraph. That way, there's a momentary hitch where Carver might seriously think they're going to leave him to go out alone.]

- Halfway to the battle, before they could see more than glints of striking metal through the trees, a roar sounded, and through a break in the trees, Carver spotted an ogre at some distance, waving around what looked like a rag doll in- [This is a long run-on sentence. I'd suggest cutting it after 'a roar sounded' for the most impact.]

- Metal screeched as the thing rent his armor, leaving deep gashes that sank into the flesh beneath. [This line, I feel, should start a new paragraph. If you break up the action, each sentence delivers an impact instead of being muddied up in the chaos.]

- Black blooms exploding across his vision obscured everything, and when it lunged for his face, he barely got his left arm up in time to stop it. [Again, I'd start a new paragraph with this line.]

Conceptually, I think you rely a little too much on canon knowledge for certain things. I have a hard time visualizing the characters.
For example, what color is Miranda's hair? You never say, though you do tell us that her eyes are blue from across a crowd of soldiers. Perhaps you could slide her hair color in by saying something to the effect of 'Carver saw her [whatever color] hair through the crowd as soldiers parted to let her by...'
On a lesser note, when Carver is listening to the king and Loghain argue, perhaps you could give their dialogue some sound cues to let us know the difference between their voices.
I also have no idea what Carver himself looks like. My first imagining was that he was a tall, lanky teenager- given his surly attitude and the fact that his older sister can still whip him in a fight. Then you say he fights with a greatsword, and that forces me out of the story to grapple with this new change in body type. After all a greatsword is called 'great' for a reason, and some lanky teenager isn't going to be carrying one very easily. Granted, it is a fantasy story and I have seen stranger things than a skinny guy swishing around an over-sized sword like it's made of Styrofoam. But that's not going to be my natural assumption.
You do a pretty good job of describing Niamh, less so for Morrigan and Anders. Anders especially gets the short end of the stick, only being described as looking 'friendly.'

To plot points, the whole thing with the guy asking Carver to get the flower felt odd, like it just randomly got plopped into the story. Where did he come from? Why doesn't he go get the flower himself? And Carver, who up until this point seems surly and rebellious, doesn't seem to find it weird at all that some random guy is asking him to do this right before a battle that's making everyone nervous. With a plot point like his sister deserting the battle, I would think it would be forefront in Carver's mind that if he's leaving camp, someone may mistake him as trying to desert on the eve of battle.

Carver's attraction (?) to Niamh also felt off. Too sudden and without any obvious reason. Now, call me a cynic, but I'm no believer in love at first sight. Having him smile at her apparent gaiety is fine, though. It's totally plausible for him to be happy to see someone who isn't miserable, afraid or despairing. That's a good motivation to want to be near someone, especially if they help ease your own fears and anxiety.

On the whole, I'd say you've done a good job. The characters were interesting enough that I read through, wondering what they'd do next. (As a character-driven author myself, character believability is what interests me most.)

Hope this helps some!

- fw
Warden of Lore chapter 3 . 9/7/2015
nice im looking forward to more.
A Very Thirsty Megalomaniac chapter 3 . 9/6/2015
This chapter very much feels like a station of canon, which Lothering pretty much always will be. Here, we met Leliana and Sten, though Leliana got no lines. You also incorporated the DA2 opening and merged the character of the DA:O dog and the DA2 dog, which I thought was clever.

I have issues with how the combat and darkspawn are portrayed. While a part of me is just going "Yeah, let's be honest, it's rather like DA2's gameplay," I'm not sure I can accept lines such as "and Victory ripped the Hurlock's throat out." I've never cared too much regarding showing and telling (only because I have a hard time telling the difference due to questionable mental faculties) but the action scenes were not strong enough. I have a lot of lines about Carver tearing into Darkspawn as if they are nothing, Niamh shooting arrows into people, and dogs ripping people's throats out. But there's no weight. I do not feel remotely concerned for the characters, and I am left regarding the Darkspawn as little more than cannon fodder once more.

So, obviously, my major criticism is the action. As this is an action chapter, that is a criticism I feel needs addressing. You've got how Carver feels down. He's focused on his family. But how about physical exertion? How about the spray of burning blood and mangled flesh as Victory rips a chunk of vital flesh free from a Hurlock? The thud and impact of heavy arrows punching through Darkspawn armor, the shock still clear in their eyes even after the malevolent light died? The feeling of resistance against Carver's mighty greatsword as he cleaves through a genlock's neck and tries to turn and avoid the burning blood?

These are all just suggestions. Moreover, such things are unnecessary. We are here for Carver and Miranda to say their goodbyes, for Carver to leave the dog with the Hawkes. We are here to meet Sten and Leliana, and leave Lothering behind. These things got done.

Right! With that out of the way, I immensely liked the character interactions in this chapter, and there were some very funny beats. Carver's line "if I had any friends" is both fatalist and self-aware. The man knows he has committed himself into being a miserable drip. Such a line is both observational and hilarious. I love it!

Sten's line about not being a hugging type is true to character. He enjoys subtle humor but is very stand-offish, making his line both amusing and accurate.

Alistair's lines are painfully in-character. As in the game, I left between wanting to strangle the man and hug him until he turns purple.

I hope this was helpful. I know I left a lot of Concrit, but know that I still very much enjoyed this chapter, and the story. Vivat Hawke!
A Very Thirsty Megalomaniac chapter 2 . 9/2/2015
Been through the game a few times as well? You've quite mastered the way the characters speak, as well as the twisted relationships Morrigan has with, um, everyone.

I saw two errors this time. Teyrn is again misspelled in the line "I know him. He knows much of the teryns (sic)..." The other is an amusing misspelling of Carver. "Craver staggered back under the weight."

I have a few more suggestions this time. My first would be to include some kind of Archdemon fever dream sequence to make the transition to being a Gray Warden more than, "I woke up and everything was brighter, somehow, I think." Also, it includes the opportunity for trippy imagery that I know I wouldn't pass up! It's just a suggestion though.

I humbly request a speech tag on the "illustrious company" line, because I was confused by who it was for a moment. It could have been either Alistair or Morrigan, and one should not always go without speech tags, though I think you otherwise get away with it.

Finally, Alistair's casual mention of how their lifespan is reduced is a bit of a lore no-no. For one, it's intensely traumatic, and it's around midway through the game (or at least Alistair's conversations) that he brings it up, and the Warden potentially has several rather traumatized responses. I would change it up and bring it up later...except this is already written. Hmm. I still judge it OOC of Alistair, who knows when to drop the levity. Usually. Okay, sometimes.

I find it hilarious that Carver's extremely ill-tempered attempt to save the dog resulted in it latching on to him. I'm surprised he isn't annoyed by that, too. I also loved how he judged everyone ELSE as being a child in some way. Morrigan acts venomous, Niamh acts worried, Alistair tries to deflect everything with humor, and Carver acts with angry resignation. His reaction of becoming a Grey Warden and basically going, "Eh, it's a good enough way to die, I guess," is painful how in-character it is. You chose a fascinating choice for a protagonist, I feel. Better than sodding Anders.

So yes, I like this chapter, I just want some more added to it (and a handful taken out.) It's not wholly necessary, just a suggestion. Good work!
A Very Thirsty Megalomaniac chapter 1 . 8/31/2015
I've been through that camp so many bloody times. It was a strange thing, to come back to it through someone else's eyes, in text form.

Only mistake I saw was that teyrn was misspelled as teryn, in the line..."something the teryn (sic) was unwilling to do."

What to say? A few meta lines I cracked up on: Morrigan calling poor Jory and Daveth completely irrelevant in the long run, the blasted kennel master soliciting everyone he can for help with his dog - yeah, sounds like the opening of Dragon Age that I remember. I never played 2, but I know the story well enough. It feels like you're really captured Carver's resentment coated outer nature, as well as his heart of very grimy gold. My guess is that through this story's events, he will very well end up be more tolerable. The main issue seems to be that he hates being talked down to or overlooked (by his sibling in particular) and being allowed to step out of that shadow would mellow him out immensely.

I suspect getting laid would help, too, but I digress.

I really liked how angry Carver was, and how hard it was for him to control of himself. These aren't brief flashes of unpleasantness, but a man struggling to do the right thing through so many layers of bitterness. I like it. Anyway.

One thing I will note is that, while the first "half" of this chapter is well-paced and interesting, the second "half" regarding battle seems very rushed. He "throws on" his armor. Those gents with Loghain in the cinematic were pretty serious-looking, and I think they were packing plate. That means "throwing on" that armor probably deserves more than a brief remark, even if it is unimportant. Because that's how the battle feels - unimportant. We quickly move on to the retreat, and then Carver sees the king die, and then he is rescued. It's very fast, which I didn't like. I enjoyed being dragged through this man's emotions, and I wanted to really *feel* what was going on as his leader let him down.

But then again, it's a station of canon. We know how it turns out. It's a testament to how much I enjoyed Miranda and Carver's conversation, as well as Carver's thoughts, that I'm asking you to go through what is basically the Eden Prime of Dragon Age more slowly.

So, I like this. And I think it deserves more than what people have given. So I follow, as one should, given the situation.
YunikoYokai chapter 1 . 8/28/2015
Awesome start! Poor Carver, he can't seem to get anything to go his way can he? But looks like he may just get a new, joyous pet at this rate XD

Just a few tips, if I may. I felt like Morrigan was quite rushed in her appearance. I actually had to do a quick double take slightly. Maybe describe her leaving with saying she 'sauntered away into the distance' or some other play of words rather than 'boom, gone'. Its been a while since I've done third person writing though, so I understand putting more description into emotions can be more difficult. So maybe adding a few more emotional descriptions (lip licking, sweating, cold weight in his chest etc) might be able to flesh out what is going through Carver's head a little.

Still awesome though! Curious as to how Carver gets out of this one!
MizDirected chapter 1 . 8/27/2015
Sooo Carver POV, not something we get to see often, and I like how you show what lies under the attitude that we see. I will be interested to see if his POV shows us the roots of all that anger, and hopefully he lives to start seeing his way out of it. My favorite part was his little break down when Miranda left. You really captured him in that moment, and made me feel for him. Very nice.

Random thoughts, etc:

**Apparently, his ruminations slowed him too much for Miranda's purpose, as she snagged his arm to move him along faster. - last I saw she was standing waiting, so I was thrown here when they were going somewhere.

**Miranda watched him, seemingly willing him to understand something.- A bit awkward.

**"No!" She had grabbed him again, - I assumed here that it was him saying No, but then her actions coming after threw me.

**Then she turned her back walked away, - missing word.

** LOVE the moments when Carver realizes that he's alone and has his panic attack. Really good stuff.

**suffocate on camp air, - I LOL'd here. Love the ironic sense of humour. Saves a lot of grouchy characters.

**"Are completely unimportant in the long run," Morrigan interrupted. - Oooo prophesy?

** perhaps they didn't like being dismissed as unimportant. - something Carver can appreciate, I'm sure.

**Halfway to the battle, before they could see more than glints of striking metal through the trees, a roar sounded, and through a break in the trees, Carver spotted an ogre at some distance, waving around what looked like a rag doll in— - thinking maybe break this in two to give Carver spotting the ogre extra punch. Bit of repetition with the through the trees/break in the trees.

**taken down in a gout of blood, then something hit his back, taking him to the ground. - would love a more visceral verb for the second take(ing).

**shriek- because it is an ordinary word, maybe cap it so that we read it as a name not as him being pinned by a scream. I hate it when they make creatures called names that are ordinary words.

** Ouch! That last thought! Ouch, ouch, ouch.

A really interesting start. Can't wait to see how the rest comes together. Great stuff.
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