Pride & Destiny (fan fiction)

Kahlan winced and groaned a few times, slowly gaining consciousness, and then gasped for air.
She needed a moment, struggling against the biting pain, which was still raging under her skin; greedily tearing at her consciousness like a starving wolf tearing at a bloody piece of flesh…

Only tediously her mind started working.

It was cold.
Hard, cold stone dig into her bones where she lay sprawled on the ground; and in her neck there was still this nagging feeling of a dark threat, so near, that her hackles started raising even before she turned her head. As if there was still a shadow lurking behind her, ready to lunge at her…

She frowned, trying to remember what had happened.
Because something had happened. Something had gone terribly wrong! It had dragged her away from Richard…

– Richard!! –

She jerked into an upright position, wheezing with the pang that shot through her muscles, but warily scanning her surroundings with squinted eyes while her hands fumbled for her daggers.

The attack came in a sudden, but after all not unexpected rush – there was a low cracking, like of a withered twig breaking under a swift step – and in a split second Kahlan came to her feet, jerking her arms up with her daggers crossed to block the strike and immediately countering and in turn attacking her foe with all her strength.

The Mord Sith hit her quickly and decidedly; and with a catlike litheness that made it nearly impossible to anticipate her next moves.

Not yet recovered from the effort of taming the Power of Orden, Kahlan found herself hassled with such an amount of savage ferocity that she slowly but inevitably lost ground. The strikes of an agiel, combined with a hitting fist and kicking boots rained down on her mercilessly and it took all her strength to avoid the cruelest pain and block the arm of the blonde warrior. In a quick lunge she managed to slice a bloody trail into the red leather covering the arm of her foe, but the Mord Sith barely slowed down, sneering at her with bluish green, hateful eyes. Only to rush forward again; as if fueled by the pain she felt and the blood that trickled.

Soon Kahlan panted heavily. At least she caught the opportunity to whirl around, jerking her foot upwards, desperately trying to kick the agiel out of her foe´s hand. But the Mord Sith deftly countered, blocking her supporting leg. And in the following moment she would have brought Kahlan down – if it had not been for a club that hit the blonde´s shoulder in this exact moment. It knocked her down with her face distorted in a mixture of pain and angry surprise . The Confessor could hear her harsh groan as she turned to face the new attacker.

From behind the Mord Sith  a few men appeared and hurled themselves into the fight; Kahlan breathed a sigh of relief;  for a fleeting moment feeling something like appreciation for the Creator´s intervention. Though it didn´t last for long…

At the sight of an ax, preparing to come down on her, she quickly realized that she had come out of the frying pan into the fire… This was no daring rescue!
Wherever these men had come from, they were bloodthirsty and dangerous! Foes! Obviously not only aiming to kill the Mord Sith but the Confessor too…

Kahlan reacted out of instinct. In a quick move she threw a dagger against the man with the ax and, though she knew she hadn´t aimed well, she heard the satisfying sound of his painful shout, while, with a wet thud, her second dagger found its home in the brawny chest of another man. His dead body still slumping down, she ripped her weapon out of him.
From the corner of her eyes she saw the tall man, who had wielded the ax, turn away from the fighting and grab the boxes hastily; and in the next moment he vanished into the shadows of the trees…
Kahlan gasped. Spirits, no!!  He has the Boxes of Orden!!

The Confessor shot a quick glance around, seeing the Mord Sith still detracted by two other men, and  secured by that she reeled to search for the thief.

The Boxes of Orden!

Kahlan couldn´t allow him to escape! The Boxes were too precious; and too dangerous to be put into the wrong hands…

She didn´t hesitate any longer. She quickly dodged  another adversarial strike, resolutely dragging her blade across the bastard´s throat in a flowing motion  and then sprinted away into the shadows, close on the thief´s heels….

:::::::::::::::::::::::::

Kahlan followed the guy for quite a while. The stranger seemed to be in a hurry, given to the fact that he didn´t waste any time to duck or run for cover. He seemed oblivious to the possibility that he might be followed.
After what seemed to Kahlan a little more than a league, he finally slowed down and the Confessor detected  a small camp in a little distance. The burning fire lightened a few makeshift bivouacs. Carefully she stalked closer, quietly cursing as she barely found some cover with her white garb shining between the trees. It took a lot of her skills to sneak up on the men. But at last she found herself pressing into the shadow of an old, half withered minie, just twenty steps beside the fire, to get a picture of her foes.

Her brows furrowed at the sight of the tattered bedrolls that lay ducked into the shadows of some rocks; nothing but a few bundles of dirty rags seemed to be their covers for the night.
At the fire sat two more men, both in an almost deplorable condition: their clothes were filthy, torn and haggled, and dangling from their haggard bodies. Only one of them owned shoes, though they seemed to be remnants of better times. Now they looked as if they had been walked for years and thousands of leagues through the Midlands, given to the gaping holes in their feet. The other one had wrapped his right ankle with a frazzle; its grey-brown color was sprinkled with dots that reminded Kahlan of old rust. She assumed it was blood, and it seemed to be from a wound that still pained the man. She saw him limping as he rose now. Apparently his face hadn´t seen any water nor soap for quite some time; a scraggy beard proliferated untamed on his face and the stench of body-odor and bottom shelf liquor hung heavily in the air.

The Confessor ducked deeper into the shadow behind the tree and listened closely.

14 thoughts on “Pride & Destiny (fan fiction)

  1. Alex Zaykov says:

    One of the things that always carries me easily through a story is a good fight. The showdown in the beginning of “Pride & Destiny” was interesting enough to sustain me through the end of the excerpt. The things that, I think, could have been done better:
    – I wouldn’t use “tedious” for a mind recovering after a shock or blackout (minor thing).
    – “Something had gone terribly wrong” rings like a cliché.
    – The mentioning of Richard is without context or follow-up and is left hanging there without sufficient clarification for the reader.
    – The name Mord Sith is one bit too similar sounding to some Star Wars character and may prove to be a distraction when the reader draws the scene in his/her mind.
    – Without better understanding of the battle sequences described I am failing to appreciate the fighting scene in its full potential. Do “hitting fist and kicking boots” represent a sufficiently elaborate martial sequence or is it simply good old punches and kicks with fancy names? As it may be pretty cumbersome to describe in detail many new moves in a single battle one can shoot for focusing on one especially nasty sequence that has always eluded the apprentice in the past and s/he is forced to endure its full might as an evidence for his/her failure. Or the display of one or two moves that are so overwhelming and surprising that they become one of those “insurmountable” obstacles for more battles to come. When one of these is used for a second time in the book the focus might shift on the psychological effect or the tactic that the hero has hammered out to counter its devastating effects.
    – “Wherever these men had come from, they were bloodthirsty and dangerous! Foes! Obviously not only aiming to kill the Mord Sith but the Confessor too…” – For me the first half is redundant. You show as much with the axe wielding attacker. The second is telling and the reader should be given the opportunity to figure it our from the fight itself.
    – When the box of Orden is stolen I am confused what happens next. From “The Confessor shot a quick glance around, seeing the Mord Sith still detracted by two other men, and secured by that she reeled to search for the thief.” I understand that the Confessor will be chasing the thief, but from what follows it is actually Kahlan giving pursuit.
    – “two more men, both in an almost deplorable condition” – what follows as description is a pretty darn deplorable state, if you ask me. 😉

    Overall, as myself and almost all of us, you are going along a well beaten track and a plot that has been used up quite a lot. So, you will need a perfect story telling, captivating characters or an entertaining voice, or all of them together, to score big with the publishers. I wish you good luck!
    You’re welcome to review my beginning, “The Paeonian”, in Historical.
    Thanks!

    • chickinwhite says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time for reading – and giving me such an attentive review! You´ve pointed some things out that I wasn´t aware of. So, that´s very helpful! Thanks!

  2. CKB says:

    Hello!

    It took me a little while to realize where this is from, (it’s a Legend of the Seeker fan fiction, correct?) which meant that I had no idea who these people were or what they looked like, or what kind of threat they posed and to whom. But once I figured it out, everything made sense. That being said, if you want non-fans to read this, you should give them more clues.

    I like how descriptive and specific your writing is, but it slows down the pace of the fight. I think you could cut half the extraneous words out and use more words to direct the action of the fight. It’s like they’re fighting in slow motion and all I want to do is hit the play button to return it to normal.

    Where is Richard in all of this? Does Kahlan chose the boxes over him, or does she just forget about him?

    Is Kahlan hurt after waking up in pain, and her fight with the Mord Sith, and then trekking for a league?

    Good work, and good luck!

    • chickinwhite says:

      Hey there! Good to see s.o. knows about LotS. You are right, it´s easier (MUCH! easier) to understand and follow when you have an idea about the show.
      (In original I have a short prologue to introduce the fans to the setting. (it´s about the last episode of the first season: Instead of Richard, it is Kahlan who is magically thrown into a future without Richard. And the Mord Sith is Cara, the one that will be following Richard through season two…)
      Thank you very much for reading and commenting!! And for the good wishes 🙂

  3. Jennifer F. Santucci says:

    Although there were grammatical errors in verb tense and some word choice that caused the flow of some of the sentences to stumble, but I read the whole submission. Writing fanfic (in different fandoms) is how I got started in writing before I decided to pursue original fic, so I wanted to read yours out of curiosity.

    I don’t know a lot about this particular series. I watched half of the first season of the show, but never read the books. Even though I have a little background on the story and characters, there were some parts that were confusing. When writing fanfic, a lot of backstory is already established, so readers of that fandom know what to expect, but as someone reading it as a stand alone story, parts of it felt underdeveloped.

    There isn’t any context for the story. Where is Khalan? The “cold hard stone” implies maybe a temple? But then she hears a “withered twig breaking under a swift step”. Not a temple, but woods? The reader doesn’t get confirmation of the setting until near the end of the scene when she’s chasing the thief through the woods. Also, there’s not context for the characters. Who is Khalan? Why do we care about her? I knew she was also a Confessor, but had I not, I would’ve been confused and there’s no connection made in the scene that Khalan is a Confessor. Also, I thought the Mord Sith was a man until I read the blonde description later. (I looked back to see that catlike and blonde warrior were also used earlier, but I didn’t register it the first time.) The Boxes of Orden sound like something important, but their importance isn’t really clear. They are referred to as precious and dangerous in the wrong hands, but we don’t know why.

    It’s hard connecting to the story and the characters when the reader doesn’t have any context. This is a great action scene, but without any reasons why we should care about it, it doesn’t retain the readers’ attention.

  4. chickinwhite says:

    Hi! So you are a fanficwriter, too? Great thing!
    Of course, you are right: if the reader doesn´t know about the background of the show, they do not find enough explanation throughout this short piece. So, perhaps it has been a little bold to throw it out here without any context…
    ( mentioned above, I have a short prologue to introduce to the setting in my original postings. Though, for the fans there would be no need to explain the circumstances…)
    Thank you so much for your comment! And for giving me this detailed review. It´s really helpful! 😉

  5. Bjorn Schievers says:

    I started reading for two reasons: it’s in the fantasy category and I was curious what fanfiction this was. When you mentioned Kahlan that was enough to point me in the right direction. I never read the SOT books, but I loved Legend Of The Seeker. It still bothers me they canceled that show after only two seasons. So I’m prejudiced! I love these characters and had to read till the end.

    There were indeed some grammatical errors, making this submission feel rushed. However, you seem to have put quite some time into the description of the fighting. That I personally enjoyed a lot! I think if you polish this up some, most importantly the grammar, it will be very enjoyable.

    Even as a fan of the show I could have used a little refresher about the power of orden. The beginning feels a little too slow, I think it’s because you overly describe things “greedily tearing at her consciousness like a starving wolf tearing at a bloody piece of flesh”. And even though I love the description of the battle I think that can be polished up a bit as well, making it flow faster.

    Overall I loved reading it!

  6. chickinwhite says:

    :mr.green:
    Hey there, LotS-fan! Good to see you! LotS fans are always more than welcome 😀
    And many thanks for your kind words.
    It´s true, there are some grammar issues, and I have no beta-reader this time. So, sadly this story might keep its boos, well, at least most of it.. English grammar is a world of its own, you know…
    But I will rewrite the fight to make it more exciting in its flow, I promise! And for the beginning I will try to tighten it. – I have posted up to 8chapters already. Seems like I have to do a lot of homework to work them over… 😉 If you´re interested in some good ol´LotS-feelings? You can find some really awesome stories on fanfiction.net)
    Thank you for taking the time and for giving me this great review!
    May the Spirits be with you!! 😉

  7. sam says:

    Hi Author, thanks for submitting you start so we could all read it!

    Here are my thoughts/reactions

    I stopped reading at “… scanning her surroundings with squinted eyes while her hands fumbled for her daggers.”

    My first reaction when we opened up on a woman waking up was this:
    -if we only have a thousand words, then more than half of that will have to be spent on this character ‘coming to’ and remembering stuff out of nowhere, and wondering what happened, etc… that doesn’t give me a good feeling to start…

    The reason i stopped at “… scanning her surroundings with squinted eyes while her hands fumbled for her daggers.”

    I was relatively sure that this was a human woman during the first few sentences…Then i thought, oh “dark threat in her neck… she must be a vampire…” But then i thought “…Hackles, oh… and earlier she foreshadowed with ‘…like a starving wolf…’ So this character must be a weirwolf, maybe, in wolf form (hence, her “hackles”)

    then i got to “…her hands fumbled for her daggers.” and suddenly I thought she was a human again… I couldn’t tell if that misdirection was intentional.. but i just didn’t have enough interest to figure it out.

    I can tell you’re a good writer, so keep on going! Best of luck to you!

  8. chickinwhite says:

    Thank you for giving it a try, though! I was not aware that the first paragraph could lead to such confusion… 😉
    No, it was not intentional, ´cause there are no vampires nor weres in this story…
    Thanks for your kind words after all! It´s really motivating…

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