|Reviews for The Call of the Grey|
| V chapter 3 . 5/23/2014
Wait Fergus goes back to Highever and he survives.
| Guest chapter 8 . 2/26/2014
It is an absolute shame that this does not have more reviews
| enid.lee chapter 1 . 6/8/2013
The descriptions are well-done, very haunting. What is the ring you are referencing? I don't remember it from the game.
One thing I would watch out for - because I know I do it too - is repeating the same word more than once in a sentence. An example:
"Bloodlust beginning to set in, Tytannial laughed, mirth flowing in her blood."
Otherwise, very nicely written and a cool idea. I am looking forward to reading the others :)
| Shmegegi chapter 5 . 10/24/2012
After two weeks without Internet, I am once again connected at my new home. Hurray! Normally I would post a review for each chapter, but today I’ll lump chapters four and five together.
Faren Brosca’s predicament is quite interesting. The reader finds him locked up in prison, punished for having killed in the Proving, and the Calling is slowly driving him mad. Frustrated, he impulsively concocts a plan to break free even if it kills him. Already, we’re treated to quite the glimpse into his personality: he’s impulsive, stubborn, and vicious in combat. His “pick the lock” comment makes me think that he’s a rogue, yet Faren ignores the subtler arts. Rather than pick the lock, he decides to taunt the prison guard over to his cell, bash his head open, and steal his key. It suits him perfectly.
Faren’s death at the hands of the guard is somewhat anticlimactic for a Grey Warden, yet it is also plausible. The Hero of Ferelden, Paragon of Orzammar, is without weapons or armor and has been locked in a prison cell for an undetermined time. We don’t know how long he’s gone without water or a meal, either, so it is a real possibility that he would die at the hands of the guards. Faren’s second escape from prison is less successful than his first, and it is his corpse that tumbles out into the streets. It is a sad and less than honorable image, yet it tugs at these heartstrings that he would save the world and then die in the middle of the street, old and alone and wounded.
In the next chapter, we are treated to a point of view from Leliana. Personally, her buggy romance made it difficult to like her: she has fallen in love with every single Warden I’ve ever created regardless of whether or not I intentionally flirted with her, then accused my poor Warden of stringing her along. She was an interesting character, but she had little effect on the plot and her romance was annoying and kind of creepy at times. (She watched my Warden while she slept. It was strange.) So, I like what Leliana was supposed to be, but gameplay made it really difficult to like her.
Still, I like the way you’ve written Leliana. It is clear the prose has taken on a bit of a poetic nature, reflecting Leliana’s bardic skills, and the change in narrative shows her character well.
I want to point this out: “…she fled not from the darkspawn, but ever further into their hold.” We’re talking about physical distance here, so the word should be “farther.”
The romance between Leliana and Sephira appears to be everything the game developers wanted: it is sweet, sensual, and sexy. I also find it interesting that Leliana is twenty years older than she is in Origins, so forty years or older (I can’t remember how old her character file puts her at, it was like 24 or something), and her hair is still vivid red.
The climax is tragic and dramatic: we never see Sephira, for she has become corrupted by her taint and is now a wraith with a swollen belly. A shadow of what she once was, she barely recognizes Leliana and refuses to believe that she is real. It is heartbreaking to read this tragic reunion of lovers. Leliana resolves to kill her love to spare her the torment of becoming a broodmother, and she kills her swiftly. The last paragraph is terribly final, and it leaves Leliana alone in the Deep Roads, standing over the corpse of her long-time love.
Faren’s tale was blunt and drenched in blood and sweat, whereas Sephira’s was polluted and sweet and sad. It is a fantastic contrast. You are an excellent writer.
| Morninglight chapter 5 . 10/23/2012
| Shmegegi chapter 3 . 9/25/2012
Blegh. I’m still sick, but here I am for chapter three!
Cousland is the most popular playthrough on the PS3s that were ever connected to the Internet, according to one of the writers at BioWare. I see a lot of Queen Cousland stories on this website, but it’s neat to find a King-Consort Cousland story.
The first two paragraphs reveal a lot about Kaedan and Anora’s relationship: Kaedan thinks about Anora’s reaction to his disappearance, and he’s certain that she will be able to move on after his death. He thinks about his feelings towards her and how their relationship has grown since they were first married. It is clear they have a political marriage, but Kaedan has tender feelings towards Anora.
I thought it was interesting that Kaedan confronted Morrigan at the eluvian but didn’t follow her through. He thinks he “could not” follow her. Those words show that Kaedan felt had no choice in the matter, that he belonged in Ferelden with Queen Anora.
Highever sounds like an eerie ghost town. It makes sense the superstitious people of Ferelden would avoid Highever, particularly the castle, following the slaughter of the Couslands.
“Moisture that was not blood was running down from his eyes for the first time in nearly two decades.” This is an unusual way to describe crying. The paragraph here never uses the word “tears,” so the action is a little vague, but a second read reveals the intent. It is telling that Kaedan would not think of himself as crying, but having moisture leaking down his face, as if his body were doing something his brain does not approve of.
Kaedan commits suicide in a very violent away: he “slammed his fists, feet, his entire body against the cold stone walls…turned wooden shelves into splinters…set cracks into the stone as he hit, and kicked, and bashed his head against the wall.” This shows a lot of mental instability, that he can literally beat himself to death while overriding his self-preservation instincts—particularly at a time when the Taint is beginning to overwhelm him, and he knows his Calling is upon him.
“She looked just as he’d recalled her.” If your readers have not played through the Human Noble Origin, they’ll have no idea what Eleanor looks like. It would be helpful to have a brief description before or after this statement.
My writing teachers used to tell us that the hardest parts to write were the introduction and conclusion. This story starts off strong and ends strong. I really enjoyed reading it.
| Shmegegi chapter 2 . 9/21/2012
Alright, I am here to read Chapter Two! I’m very sick, but today I think I have the focus to upload another review.
I like the beginning of this chapter. We are treated to a clear picture of the setting: many Dalish elves from across Thedas have gathered together to celebrate their traditions as one people, so the atmosphere is light and celebratory.
The PC is introduced in the second paragraph. We know she is apart from the rest of the celebrations, sitting quietly by herself rather than reminiscing the old ways with her kinsmen. Her attendance to the Arlathven is also explained. Unlike Tytannial, who followed the Grey Warden tradition of descending into the Deep Roads and dying there, Vhenaran has decided to invoke an ancient tradition.
This is a good, strong beginning. I applaud your efforts here.
Right away, we can see that Vhenaran is far different from your other elven Warden, Tytannial. She believes that she has lost her dignity, because she was trained by and consorted with humans and city elves. Tytannial, on the other hand, didn’t really seem to pay attention to this.
I also found it telling that Zathrian is still alive. Dalish loyalty to one another runs deep and strong, it would appear.
I like the reactions of the Keepers. Marethari and Zathrian watched her, but the rest seemed to ignore her completely. I think the lore here is really believable: Vhenaran is the Hero of Ferelden, and though she saved everyone from the Fifth Blight, she did so by leaving her clan (under dire circumstances) and joining the forces of shorter-lived races. And now she returns, aged too quickly, just as the old elvhen feared.
“…her hair beginning to leach of its color…” This is an odd statement. “Leach” is essentially a synonym for “percolate.” I also looked up “leech,” which is essentially a blood-sucker or a parasite or a person who clings to another for personal gain. I can see the poetry of the word “leach,” as if the sun drained her hair of its color, but the meaning and arrangement of words makes the statement sound strange. “…her hair beginning to percolate of its color…” It doesn’t conjure the image of a woman who is graying too early.
“’We have considered your request, da’len.’ Marethari stated, looking Vhenaran in the eye.” I was taught that if a dialogue tag is attached to a spoken statement, the final period would be a comma instead. Example: “’We have considered your request, da’len,’ Marethari stated.” I could be wrong, though, and both might be correct.
I really like that Vhenaran, though she is apparently shamed by the Keepers, continues to be respectful and considerate. Her responses aren’t that of a Grey Warden. She is a Dalish elf here.
“Lanaya stood by, a sapling bound to her staff.” There is something a little odd about this: has Lanaya taken another tree and added it to her staff? Or is her staff bound to a sapling still rooted into the ground? The latter is how I imagined it to begin with. It was kind of funny.
“Vhenaran knelt before the Keepers, looking up as Marethari held out to her a large leaf, which contained a liquid that shone in the setting sun like golden water.” This is a very long sentence. It could be broken into shorter statements, and it would still make sense.
I like the passages that depict Vhenaran drifting off into her slumber. You’ve combined the Rites of Uthenera with her thoughts in a way that depicts a great and powerful sorrow. Even as she drifts away, Vhenaran clings to her traditions and lifestyle as a Dalish elf. She thinks of her gods, not of her companions or loves or experiences as a Warden. I don’t think she’s callous; I think this is how a Dalish elf would depart.
Now that I’ve finished reading this chapter, I think you’ve done an excellent job here. I love that Vhenaran chose to go to the Beyond, rather than descend into the Deep Roads and die fighting Grey Wardens. It is telling of the Dalish Elf Origin, where Mahariel must leave with Duncan or die to the taint. We can see, without words telling us to, that Vhenaran never let go of her bond with her clan, and she never gave up herself as an elf.
This is a sad and captivating chapter. You’re an excellent writer.
| Morninglight chapter 3 . 9/17/2012
Wow, all so lovely and dark. Well-written!
| Shmegegi chapter 1 . 9/17/2012
“The Call of the Grey,” upon first blush, appears to be very well-written. The summary is detailed and the premise is captivating. I also have to add: I don’t know what “Tytannial” means, but that name is just fantastic.
The sentences are packed full of detail. A vivid image is presented here: that of a chilled elf woman with a cowl pulled low over her eyes as she stands at the base of white-capped mountains. Readers know exactly who they are presented with, which is very important in a game like DA, where the protagonist changes depending on the player.
Be wary of redundancy in your statements. “Tytannial Surana shivered in the freezing cold chill of the Frostback Mountains, pulling the dark brown cloth of her cowl over her flaming red hair.” We can assume from the words “shivered” and “Frostback” that Tytannial is presently standing in a cold place. “Freezing cold chill” are a lot of descriptive words that mean relatively the same thing, so one or two of those words could be cut out and the sentence would still make sense. While I am here, “the dark brown cloth of her cowl” runs along a similar vein. We know that a cowl is made of cloth, so that part could also be omitted. “She pulled her dark brown cowl over her flaming red hair” would still make sense.
I like that Tytannial, as she stands at the gates of Orzammar, thinks about the golden earring that Zevran gifted her with. The absence of the earring, and the fact that she thinks of Zevran as “him” rather than by name, is telling in how she dealt with her love before coming to Orzammar.
The plural of “dwarf” is either “dwarves” or “dwarfs,” depending on who you talk to. In the geeky household I was raised in, the plural is always “dwarves.” I can’t remember off the top of my head if DA uses “dwarfs” or “dwarves,” so I shall look the next time I play the game.
We are treated to a lot of sentimentality as Tytannial walks through Orzammar. It paints a detailed picture of just how she responded to the Fifth Blight. Her comparison of Harrowmont to Alistair is also quite telling in her opinion of both.
“Would that she could have requested a second boon, and freed her clansmen of the Dales as well!” The “comma, and” treatment is frequently given to separate two complete thoughts. “Would that she could have requested a second boon” and “and freed her clansmen of the Dales as well” are two incomplete thoughts. The comma should not be there.
“…what lost, dark spelllcraft she’d made consistent use of…” The word “spellcraft” is misspelled here.
Tytannial is a maleficar! I like that she has spent so much of her life on the run. As Rylock in DA:O-A showed, the Chantry doesn’t care if a mage is a Grey Warden if they happen to be a maleficar or “dangerous.” Those rules stand only for those who heed them. So it is very likely that even though Tytannial is the Hero of Ferelden, the Chantry would still persecute her for using blood magic. It’s keeping with the lore. Good stuff, good stuff.
“Tytannial nodded as confirmation, then walked brusquely past the guards, into the Deep Roads, listening behind her to the finality of the heavy stone doors being closed, sealing her in to her fate.” My goodness, there are a lot of commas in this sentence. It could stand to be broken into smaller sentences.
I think it is both interesting and distracting that Tytannial chooses the heat of battle to reflect on how much she has changed as a Grey Warden. On the one hand: this is the end, and Tytannial is comparing herself to her younger self. Now is a time for reflection. On the other hand: this is the beginning of the end. Darkspawn whisper among themselves and the horde knows she is there. She knows the darkspawn outnumber her greatly: though she is strong, she has also come to die. Yet, her mind still wanders.
I’m not quite sure what happened to Tytannial. She welcomed “the changes overcoming her,” and she begins to fight like a beast. Is she controlling the Taint within her? How is she shifting into this…beast-thing and shifting back?
“Blood stained the stone floors of the Deep Roads…” This paragraph is also a little strange. It reads like the start of a new scene, but there is no break in paragraphs or line or anything to show the scene has changed. It seems as though Tytannial just reminisced her way through an epic battle and woke up when everything was dead.
Zevran’s arrival is unexpected, but it is so much like him! If the Warden sacrifices him/herself, the epilogue for Zevran states that he, more or less, “never loved again.” Of course he would figure out that his love had gone on to her Calling, and of course he would follow her into the Deep Roads.
The ending is quite tragic. I was a little surprised by the abrupt change in point-of-view—first it was Tytannial, then Zevran—but it was still sad. Zevran is true to his character, and you did a very good job writing him.
Now that I have read the first chapter, I can see you are a very good writer. This was a blast to read: it was so determined, so haunting, and so sad.