Reviews for Steel Over Shadow
Wanderer chapter 8 . 5/14/2013
This has to be one of the best I've read on here so far! You have a great deal of attention for detail: light, moisture, hair on a horse, wounds, magic... You successfully draw the reader into the story, and the plots that you are weaving seem to be well thought out, and are interesting in their originality from pretty well everything else I've read here so far. The subtlety and directness is refreshing and well done. I sincerely hope you will be back soon to continue this to the end. Such is my hope, anyway.
DualKatanas chapter 8 . 5/30/2012
Yes, this chapter might be late (even later than my current BaS chapter, which is saying something) but you do have valid excuses. I, on the other hand, don't have any excuses for either the delay of my chapter or the delay of this review... but better late than never, eh?

I definitely like this description in the first paragraph... my new monitor means that even massive paragraphs are rarely more than 3-4 lines long, making it slightly harder to judge length, but this is good, what I see here.

I know I've seen rain-shields before, but they still remain a nice, novel touch of magicka that doesn't exist ingame but logically would in 'real life' (Tamriel real life, but you know what I mean :P).

'we'd stay here at the Feed Bag for a few days while she, ah Parwen flicked a cautious glance at the bartender.' - Methinks you missed a closing speech mark before the 'Parwen' there.

Heh, figures that Parwen would have to create something to do rather than suffer boredom... Frostcrag Spire? Interesting... I would say you don't see much of it in this fandom, but it's been so long since I actively looked at this fandom that I can't be sure any more.

I realy do like this utter contrast between Parwen and Ah-Malz... and, of course, it gives you an excuse to cut that Argonian out of the conversation completely and so make it easier for yourself. Very well done. ;) But I have spotted two paragraph-starting 'The's in a row...

Figures that a mage might not be the most practical sort... well, very practical when it comes to magic, but not with more mundane things like horses. Nice touch.

Hello again, Parwen... for some reason, I suspect this encounter might turn into something a bit more than just handing over a Nirnroot...

I was right. And now I'm laughing at the image of a frantic Parwen sending arrows at a bored, disinterested Dremora who's easily blocking them... all right, this might not be the exact image here, but it still makes me laugh.

Parwen, the Hero of Kvatch? Divines save us all if that's true. Fortunately, it isn't, saving Martin from an inevitable constant pounding headache.

Interesting, that, about the Sigil Stones. They are definitely involved with colossal amounts of energy, so that kind of thing makes sense...

Martin using a Dremora as a messenger... yes, very VERY ironic, that. And probably more reliable than using a Blade, given their sense of honour and personal prowess. I guess the Blades won't be too happy about a Daedra being used for a service they could do themselves, though. :P

'"I was thinking..."

"Dangerous, that."'

You legend. XD

As soon as the letter was handed over to Parwen, I just knew that she was going to open it. I KNEW it... XD

Nice reaction, Ah-Malz. Definitely saved a lot of time, that. XD

A dream? Interesting. They can be good windows to the past, these, or they can come across as cliched, over-done... you name it. You've probably pulled this one off, though...

It's either been so long since I last read this that I've forgotten, or it's a revelation that Elsynia has/had a brother. I'm hoping the latter, because this is a good way to reveal him... and it makes me want to know what would happen next, what happened to him... we'll find out soon enough, I guess. Good description of him, by the way. I do, however, question how he can be the same height as his younger sister when he's two years older than her AND male. Even if he's more Bosmer than Altmer and she's vice versa, they'd have to be at the opposite ends of the relative height spectrums...

A wise notion, those wards. They'll never be as reliable as sentient beings, of course, but a good way to secure yourself when you're alone...

A dismal day to suit her dismal mood...

Not a bad description of the fort itself, but the description after Elsynia stops is certainly excellent and well-positioned.

Ah, hello, Shadowmere, the horse with the horrendously-spelt name. What were Bethesda thinking...? Ah, well, it's yet another portrayal of the aggressive, demonic, horse-dominating fiery steed. I guess it's how she comes across as, but it does tend to get a bit boring when you've read exactly the same thing in every single DB fic.

If she's cleared it out in the past, why would the ruin still be filled with undead? No, as far as she knows, she'll have killed off the last crop and they'd either not have been replaced, or been replaced with something unknown. How would she know what they were already?

Ah. I can take a guess as to what's about to happen at Cloud Ruler Temple...

Yep. It's happened. And that's exactly what you'd expect the Blades to do... actually, no, wait, why would they have opened the gates at all? Rather than fall into a potential trap, why wouldn't they just shout down from the battlements? It's safer that way... Even so, however, this isn't stopping me from snorting with laughter.

And now back to Elsynia, currently occupied with blowing up Fort Farragut. That's one way to get through, I suppose... though the repetition of her name is getting noticeable now. Try to use those alternatives more.

There's a good description of Lachance's personal abode... always good to see.

A good conversation, that. They're certainly... different, for sure. Anyhow, good interaction, and I can sense the plot thickenening despite what Lachance is telling her. And, most importantly, I think you kept him in character. Always good to see. Now, who's this...

Ah, his Silencer... his recent arrival explains why Elsynia didn't see his life signature when she first viewed the room. Anyhow, Lachance is definitely wise in playing this slowly. He's no idiot to move quickly and lose the prize; now I'm eager to see what he comes up with...

And so Elsynia finds out that her friends are currently in danger of being skewered on Akaviri katanas. I still have no idea how THAT one is going to turn out...

Overall, a good chapter, as ever. There were a few grammatical errors and you need to watch your repetition, but apart from that... yes, definitely a good chapter, and don't worry too much about the wait. Mainly because my next chapter is in a catastrophic state at the moment, so I can't really talk. Anyhow, keep up the good work. Quality beats speed any day. And I definitely like how humourous you're making it... always helps, if you can pull it off, which you're definitely doing. :)
cennex chapter 8 . 5/29/2012
Wow, this chapter got a whole lot done! Here's hoping that Parwen and Ah-Malz don't get too far ahead of themselves, though I understand their concern. Also, I really liked Lucien's reaction to Elsynia blowing things up in Fort Farragut. Seriously. His traps can eat it.

And now I'm looking forwards to finding more about this brother of Elsynia and the Brotherhood's subtle plot to ensnare our dashing heroine. There's also the issue of the impending attack of Bruma... Hope you update soon!
Yoyo chapter 8 . 5/13/2012
This is SO great. Please keep writing! The characters have really developed and I lOve all the points of view. Great twist on Oblivion!
Kat chapter 8 . 5/10/2012
Eeeek! Wow, you took a long time in updating :P.

Sooo, I noticed a couple of mistakes in your writing, e.g: "jauffreasked" but apart from that it was all good :D Well, I liked it, great job and, hah, update again soon!
Sniper650m chapter 8 . 5/10/2012
To InkheartFirebringer,

Yay! Another chapter! The story is enjoyed by me from when I read it first. The sadness from non often pasting is mostly healed with reading the newer chapters. Will you speak of what happens to Elsynia's brother? I have hoped that Elsynia will escape the plans of Dark Brotherhood and the Lachance; maybe he would eat one of those poison apples by surprise. With all and above, I await to hope on the next pasting.
P chapter 7 . 1/26/2012
Wow! This is a very good indepth story. I hope you will continue updating it.
DualKatanas chapter 7 . 1/5/2012
Don't worry about the delay too much; you've got a good excuse (I could barely rip myself away from Skyrim even to eat for the first several hours of playing), and quality is worth waiting for. Anyhow, here's hoping your health improves... it's never easy to write when you're burning through a stack of tissues quicker than Gorgoth closes an Oblivion Gate.

And immediately, I'll throw in what might be classified as a nitpick: gauntlets cover the hands and part of the forearm, not the entire arm. So I'd have left that 'gauntleted' off the 'arms'.

*Smirks* Nice one, Ah-Malz. I like him.

That comforting weight of her gold might not seem so comforting when she's lugging it across half of Cyrodiil... which leads me to wonder whether Tamriel has banks. It should do, certainly... I know the Great Houses of Morrowind had treasuries in Vivec.

A pretty good description of the University... in fact, pretty much any description of the exterior of the University is rare. *Coughs guiltily*

Blimey... that's VERY young for an Altmer. Given that they live to many hundreds of years, I wouldn't be surprised if they classified anyone under, say, fifty as 'child' due to their lack of experience and therefore wisdom. And he LEFT the Fighter's Guild at 21? Blimey... he's well-travelled for one so 'young'.

Well, he might be young, but he's still good a good description. As expected, really, given who the author is...

I like him already. And I question Elysnia's concern... he's in the middle of the University. He's not likely to get attacked, and wearing chainmail would only serve to make him uncomfortable. If he left the University, I'd expect him to wear it, but not when he's got no intention of leaving it... it's just common sense.

And he surrenders to her illogical paranoid concern. Maybe I don't like him as much as I thought I did...

Ah, a simple sleeping ward... not a bad idea. That won't do anything about your own dreams, though...

Another thing I like... I missed teleportation. There's no reason for it not to be in Oblivion (or Skyrim). Tirion's findings seem very similar to Gorgoth's, in fact... even teleporting across a fairly large room will cost him extortionate amounts of his massive magicka pool, so he tends not to teleport unless the reason is good enough. And yes, it's very complex...

I'm starting to like Tirion again. Handing over an experimental scroll and telling her to use it when in danger? I like him.

'Ass'? Come, now, you're British. It's 'arse'.

Gah. Why does he tell her? It'd have been much more fun if she'd just found out...

Nice touch with that Apprentice. Figures that they'd be terrfied by these all-powerful mystics of the upper ranks. Even if they are only six-seven years older than them.

Ah, Henantier... good that he got talked out of that. I can just picture Elysnia getting roped in to rescue her father otherwise... XD

Aye, I'd expect an Altmer and an Argonian to not see eye-to-eye at a first meeting, given how supremacist the Altmer are.

Got to love some well-written banter. It looks a bit thin, having so many one-line paragraphs in a row, but... it still works.

I really have no idea why Traven banned necromancy. There's nothing wrong with it, it's just another school of magic that has some unnecessary stigma attached. Just look at Gorgoth- wait, Gorgoth probably isn't the best example to justify a school of magic, but... nothing wrong with necromancy. There's probably quite a lot wrong with a lot of the practitioners, but... nothing wrong with the school itself. I think.

A goblin? *Shakes head* Parwen, goblin doesn't tatse very nice. You might as well try eating Orc. The meat is tougher, but you get more from it. And some Bosmer are cannibalistic, after all...

Ouch... I wasn't expecting that. I will question, however, how the sword managed to break six ribs. It might slice through some, but he didn't HIT her with the flat, so he wouldn't shatter any, let alone six...

Nice description of Restoration there... and I note that your version of Restoration pushes out foriegn bodies. Very nifty, that. It's less omnipotent in the BaS universe...

Boom. They're dead. Though if the agent was just vapourised, wouldn't some part of the fireball have... continued? Or blown up? Well, Tirion's a master of that, I guess he can control it.

And there's a good limitation of magic... no way to put blood back in the body.

'Higher grade' sounds a tad... amaetuerish to my ears. And classifying chainmail as light armour reeks of ingameism. Yes, you can have a light suit of chainmail, delicately made... but more often it could only ever be classified as heavy armour. So all Parwen needs to do is get some heavier-made chainmail. Gin-Wulm will oblige, I'm sure...

Audens? Well, he might be a corrupt bastard, but he's still a Watch Captain, so he'll do his proper job here... just look at Ulrich Leland in BaS. And yes, the Mythic Dawn only exist because they're deluded. If only they stopped to think... the Daedric Lord of Destruction isn't particularly going to care about mortal allies when he'll have his immortal Dremora and other lesser Daedra to back him up once he invades Nirn properly. Idiots...

Overall, it's another good chapter. I like how you've portrayed the Arcane University, for sure, and those rogue mages sound good. It's what you'd expect from controversy like what Traven's done... anyhow, keep up the good work, and try not to let Skyrim distract you TOO much. ;)
cennex chapter 7 . 1/5/2012
I know I can't stress this enough, but I really, really love your dialogue because it breathes a lot of life into your characters. Not only that, but your action sequences are great!

And I really like Tirion too.

Here's hoping for a swift recovery and a quick update!
Kat chapter 7 . 1/5/2012
Okay, first of all - fun chapter *thumbs up*

Secondly, I'm guessing Parwen is a real shopper - just like myself. It was nice of Ah-Malz to let Elsynia go; obviously not the happy shopper.

And I am curious - why did Tirion lend Elsynia his key? Or did she steal it from his room when he wasn't looking? Hehe, I bet she did...

Anyway, I'd love to hear more about Tirion and Elsynia - I love a good romance story and this is just my cup of tea. I hope the pair up soon - if you know what I mean :D.

Hehehe, I also like how oblivious Elsynia is to Tirion's good-looks - like when asking directions from the two Apprentices. She obviously likes him but still thinks of him more of a bomma.

Och, poor Parwen!She was so excited about dinner - and then to get stabbed. How...nice...

Just two things to point out (though, embarrasingly, I can't remember where) you put to words together where their should have been a space and said 'her' instead of 'him'. Sorry - I know that wasn't much help but at least I tried! :)

All in all - great chapter. I look forward to the next :D

P.S Sorry for using sooo many hyphens!
Kat chapter 6 . 12/2/2011
Heya, it's me again - wow, I review this stuff A LOT now I think about it :D. Anyway - Through the Fire and Flames.

It got off to a great start - I loved the playful wrestling between Elsynia and Parwen, and of course the Bosmer's flirtatious nature. I felt during the character's time in Anvil could have had a little more description but - 10,300 words. That's a lot!

The 'Oddballs of Anvil' were incredible spontaintous - fancy a little crazy plotlining? Or are they important for later on...?

The Oblivion gate seemed a little unrealistic to me - if you catch me drift. Randomly opening in Anvil? But still, a great read about their time spent in the Deadlands :).

I also noiced how, nearer the start, you used a couple of words two or three times. I'm not sure if this was on purpose or you wanted to make a point, but check that out and maybe give it a little tweak.

Anyway, all in all, a good chapter. I am looking forward to meeting Tirion; romantic interest...?

Thanks for a fun read - keep writing!
DualKatanas chapter 6 . 11/22/2011
Ah, a good long one. Any chapter that's 10k words in length is too long for some, but for me it's a good length. Which is why my latest happens to be 14,584 words long, but enough about me...

'It was long after the door banged shut behind the last one, when Parwen finally stirred.' - At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, that comma is unnecessary. Personally, I'd also replace the 'when' with a far more suitable 'that'.

Hmm... wouldn't have thought she'd have fallen out of bed just because of that. But I will say that the Redguard walking in is a very lucky man indeed. I'd ogle as well, if I were him. XD Ah... I DO like your Parwen. Especially at times like this.

Ah... lot of barrels. It would be just like the Dark Brotherhood to do something like that... XD

Yeah... you wouldn't want to be gallivanting off to, say, Oblivion with a damaged shield like that. It'd probably be the death of you.

Short and to the point. Fitting, I think. Best not to give too much away.

No, Elven shields aren't that common, especially as I've now finally settled on calling them Ayleid armour/weapons. And I don't think they'll be doing any new production runs any time soon...

Tirion? Have I missed someone, or has he not been introduced yet? Either way, it'll be good to meet him if I haven't already, I'm sure...

Hmm... I think 'Jewel of the Rumare' would work better out of those marks and italicised instead. This works, it just doesn't look as good.

By the Nine, it's M'aiq. Ah, got to love M'aiq... you've captured him well enough, certainly. Good to see a bit of comic relief... which he, without fail, offers. XD On a more critical (or nitpickish) note, you don't need a hyphen between 'soaking' and 'wet'.

Hmm. Reminds me of BaS Chapter 32, though... well, I'll offer no spoilers. I will say, however, that this is a very broad third-person viewpoint, offering thoughts and feelings from all three characters. While that's broad, it does tend to get vague. While it's harder, I also find it better if you focus solely on one character's viewpoint more, and write it more from their perspective than anyone elses until that specific section ends. That said, I'm being hypocritical here, as I've only just got that working myself...

Hello, Mr. Bellamont. Nice description of his stench, by the way.

Ah, and here we have one of my beloved hated ingameisms. Yes, Anvil Whites might well be, on average, hardy and fast, but every single horse is an individual, and they shouldn't necessarily be judged completely on what colour they are. For exaple, Vorguz (Gorgoth's horse in BaS; you haven't met him yet) is as black as a Cheydinhal horse, but no one in their right mind would claim he's the fastest horse in the country. Instead, he's built more for endurance and stamina. Not your archtypical black horse, then, which wouldn't be suitable for Gorgoth anyway. So horses are individualised...

Blimey, an Oblivion Gate... I wasn't completely expecting that, so good show there. It'll be interesting to see how these three get on...

And, as expected, here's a good description of it. Always has been a strong point of yours... I don't blame Ah-Malz for being shaken. An Oblivion Gate might send a tremor through the stoutest heart.

Big army, if such a rabble can be called an army. Relatively big, that is. A few hundred daedra isn't an army in the larger sense. Anyhow, while the Chameleon is good... wouldn't it also be wise to have Detect Life as well?

Instead of 'Fighters Guild members' you can use 'Guildsmen'. Far more streamlined, and it's still the proper term, even though most of them here are women... XD

Hmm... the description is a tad concise here. You haven't described the Deadlands before; go overboard here. A massive chunky paragraph full of description wouldn't go amiss.

A labyrinth... good show. Obviously, the daedra know their way around, but it's a good way to trap an outsider... well played. Still, that might be their downfall; their higher numbers won't be much of an advantage in the cramped conditions.

Good action, good action. Though Ah-Malz's thought would have been better as... not a thought, in my opinion. It's perfectly obvious anyway; he doesn't have to think it.

Impressive spell... very impressive, in fact. Sounds like something Gorgoth would do. That said, I don't think it would leave mere 'spots' in her vision; something far larger would be logical.

Ouch... though I have to wonder how flesh and scales could stick to iron. There was no heat involved... yes, it could have been embedded in his chest, but that doesn't mean it'd stick to it.

'a pair of Dremora and a Fire Artonach' - That's meant to be 'Atronach'. An easy word to misspell. I'm not even sure if they need the capital... eventually, I went for the capital in most cases.

A good description of the Sigillum Sanguis... as concise as previosuly, but that works better than massive chunks in this situation. I have to question, however, why Parwen is firing whilst running. All she'll accomplish is the wasting of ammo and the slowing of her speed.

Ah, telekinesis... I do love it when it's used like that. But what's this? A Dremora attacking from the rear? So very dishonourable... nothing wrong with it, though, of course, in writing, that is. ;)

Hmm... a Dremora is very strong. And a battleaxe is designed to go straight through armour. And, as he was behind her, we can assume he was swinging with all his might, against battered armour. In that case, I'd have assumed that instead of being flung against the wall, Elysnia would simply have had her spine severed.

Ah, more battles to come... always a good thing, because your action is good to read. Your description, however, COULD be expanded in places. That said, however, overall, it's a good chapter. As I've come to expect. Keep up the good work. :)
Kat chapter 5 . 10/23/2011
Wow, this is great! Parwen drunk was perhaps the most amusing thing about this chapter, but I was surprised that she didn't sober up to help her friends - usually you are full of surprises!

Never mind, though I couldn't help dissagreeing with your bandit mixure. An Orc, AND a Dunmer? I thought those races weren't exactly compatable. I like the excitement the unexpected attack provided, though.

I'm beginning to warm to Ah-Malz, he's a tough character with a interesting fun-side.

Anyway, I really enjoyed reading your chapter and I'm desperate to read more. Stuff Uni - get writing!
DualKatanas chapter 5 . 10/18/2011
And so finally I get the time to review this new chapter of yours. Better late then never, eh? Still, I can most certainly empathise about not having much time on your hands. It's wise to back up files, because that kind of thing IS a killer; I was distraught when a half-written chapter got corrupted once, but fortunately for my sanity I was able to recover it... bleh. Enough of my rambling. Here's your review:

Hmm... immediately, a nitpick. Wouldn't Volendrung go right through that table? 'Thump' indicates that force is being used to put it down, and with something as heavy as that you're not going to need much force to break through a wooden table. And that wouldn't be very healthy for Martin's knees. Still, that's a good description of exhaustion.

Bleh, there's nothing wrong with apologising, Elysnia. I dislike that attitude of hers right now... still, I'll say that if I start to dislike a character personally, that's a good thing, because at least I feel SOMETHING for them; a bad character I simply wouldn't care about.

If the snow is two feet deep, then shouldn't Elysnia, as a short half-Bosmer, have difficulty moving through it? It's best to at least mention these things to keep the realism going.

And here's more good description, this time of the Great Hall. Always good to see.

Ah, pride. Can be good or bad, depending on the person. At this moment in time, I'm not liking Elysnia much, so it's presumably bad, but you're not doing anything wrong, don't worry. You appear to have captured Martin well, from what I've seen of him so far...

Wise of her. You wouldn't want to stop at night alone with assassins out for your blood, not even in an inn. Would be different in company, of course, but she's been wise here...

Sending word with a messenger when the next stage of the ritual is deciphered? I would applaud you for using good ideas, but that would be self-serving, as I've done exactly the same later in BaS. XD Well, in any case, it's good. Wise and logical.

'"Getting going, Hero."' - Shouldn't that be 'Get'?

I get the sense that this Argonian might be important, simply because you never get very many Argonians in Bruma. If they're not careful, the climate will kill them. Means he's here on business...

All right, so... the Dark Brotherhood is in the alchemical ingredient market now? It's an odd idea, for sure, but it works - who knows what Lucien will have to try? This original plot line is shaping up to be interesting, for sure. Though I did spot what might be a mistake: 'the plains of Oblivion'. Of course' plains' is a proper word, but in this case 'planes' or 'plane' would work better.

Ah, you made the Odiil quest a Fighter's Guild one... I thought of doing that once, but decided against it because it didn't fit in, but it still works, definitely. You'd think Valus Odiil would be so worried about his sons that he'd hire someone to help them rather than relying on random strangers to do it.

Figures that there'd be a casualty. As it's really too soon to kill Ah-Malz or Parwen, you killed her horse instead... well played. There's always casualties in war... well, that might not have been a war, but it was at least fighting. The same could be said of her shield; no matter how well something is repaired, it's been broken before, and it won't forget that.

Odd... judging by her speech and partly by her actions, Parwen is completely and utterly drunk. Yet she seems to be thinking quite clearly if she can articulate her thoughts on the Dark Brotherhood that well. If he's as drunk as she seems, then I doubt she'd be able to do that, and I also doubt she'd be faking how drunk she is, given the situation.

Get one foot in the door, and things becaome easier. That seems to be the Brotherhood's way of thinking, at least... still, Elysnia is wise for accepting that. Immunity from one of the most feared groups of assassins in the world, in exchage for picking a few flowers? Not half bad. Of course there'll be strings attached, no doubt...

And now, in contrast to earlier, this drunk Parwen just seems childish in not wanting another horse. Oddly fitting. XD And now the business with the sweetroll... good touch of humour. XD

Eh... what? I know Alysnia is distracted, but Ah-Malz should have seen those bandits up ahead a long time before Parwen pointed it out. HE'S not drunk, and nor does he have a near-catatonic Bosmer in his saddle. Not only that, but he's also further ahead of them and therefore closer to the bandits. That just doesn't make sense.

Ah, telekinesis. A good use of it, that. I have to wonder why I don't see it more often.

Now, that's odd... it was mentioned earlier that Elysnia's shield is weaknened, and now a mace just bounces off it, leaving only a small dent. A mace, that is, wielded by an Orc with full force. Even if the defensive angle was good, something as heavy as a mace head moving that fast will cause more than just a dent; if the shield is weak enough, it might well shatter and break Elysnia's arm into the bargain. It probably won't go that far in this case, of course, but I'd expect more than a small dent.

'Boarded'? Well, a nautical term isn't really relevant in this situation, but it certainly made me laugh here. XD I have to wonder why that bandit hasn't been kicked to a pulp by now, though. Two horses against one Imperial? Hardly a fair fight.

I don't think 'lakeshore' is a word. Try 'lake's shore'.

Heh... nice 'cure'. Genius, Ah-Malz. XD

Yes, it's certainly a big chapter at over 8000 words. And that's a good length. Things got done, and were described in detail, without making the chapter over-long. Which is always good to see. And regardless of length, it's a good chapter; I'm eagerly looking forward to the next one. As ever. :)
Kat chapter 4 . 9/16/2011
Hahaha, including some great information and interconnecting storylines. I like the relationship between Ah-Malz and Dar-Ma - it was a sweet twist and Parwen seemed more level-headed in combat than you make her out to be when she's off-duty.

All in all, incredible. I just coudn't tear my eyes of the page - even to sip my glass of water!
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