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 Post subject: The Skellington Queen [WIP] [Constructive Criticism Welcome]
Post Posted: Mar 20th, '20, 07:08    

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A sprawling kingdom spanned across an entire half of a planet.. At it's center stood a timeless castle built into the largest mountain of Zeppod, the kingdom of the Skeel, where lived the Skellingtons, as the humans called them.

King Urgo had been the undisputed ruler for who knows how long.. what am I talking about.. they didn't have a sense of time back then..

He had raised numerous children.. building them from the bones of the defeated human warriors that invaded their lands.
There were fewer female Skeel for this reason, and they were generally considered weak and cowardly in comparison to the strong boned, sturdy male Skeel.
If they ever saw battle, it was as bonesmiths, the healers of their people, or as destruction mages.
Everyone aside from the king was a prince or princess in those days.. The king's favoritism was all that it took to decide who lived where and who did what.

Their planet was a cylinder shape, hollowed out by the dwasha, or dwarves as the humans called them..
The gravitational field was strong enough to suck in other planets into an awkward spiralized dance. Several of the planets gave off colored lights, and the Skellingtons LOVED to bask in the red glow of planet Zweeba.
The Skeel had no short young except for the rare dwasha boned Skeel, who were exceptionally rare due to the uneasy alliance with the Dwarven kingdom of Sevril.
Being long lived, they mostly only had younger or older human boned Skeel.
Their common language was Rancor, but the elite class had a language called Tu.
Their poor lived in tiny sparse huts made of human leather.
They had no reason to eat, but they liked to try to anyways as a regular running joke.. They even had taverns where the Skeel could go to blow off some steam. Small comedy clubs and bard troupes gathered there to play their instruments and tell stories of accomplished Skeel knights.
Their temples were important to them.. and in their beliefs they found themselves united, with little argument.. They worshipped death and relished nightmares.

Their flag was black and red, with a grimacing Skell head motif.
Despite the kingdom's morbid and terrifying beauty, their people were largely unsatisfied with the witless ancient king. Assassination attempts had increased more and more, but the King's power seemed limitless..
His people thought him weak in his unwillingness to push further into human territory.

King Urgo had many beloved sons and daughters that lived in the castle and the surrounding areas. They were built from the best bones, trained from death in their predetermined careers.

Could you imagine their currency? Why yes, it actually WAS human bones.. until they became scarce from the lack of wars against their human prey.. Afterwards, they collected shiny things they found or traded with the dwasha.
It didn't matter much what shiny things, but it was widely agreed that the more shiny, the happier they felt.

Many brave adventurers lurked the human lands, unearthing old bones in graveyards, hunting the humans as they slept, but the humans were not exactly defenseless...

The humans possessed life magick, which turned Skellingtons into ash with a single upturn of their lips.. It sprung from the human passions for life and living.. and the liveliest of humans could make a brave and ancient skellington warrior weep and turn tail.
Anyways.. one dreadful day, something unforeseen happened..
King Urgo was assassinated by an unknown opponent. All that was left of the king were his ashes, his robes, and his crown of shininess.

The kingdom was in an uproar.. he had been so calm and confident and powerful, he had not even thought to choose an heir..
This was totally unheard of.. the kingdom became divided, and skirmishes broke out anywhere and everywhere.

but there was one thing that everyone in the kingdom knew for sure.. The king had been murdered by a human life mage.

Indeed, panic had set in for the citizens of Zeppod..


For over a century, Medosa, a princess that had only ever lived within the walls of the castle, had found herself quite bored.. Bored with the king, bored with the kingdom.. bored with the boringness of being heavily guarded by her brothers and sisters.
She was glad to hear of her father's death.. Ambition brought a broad, toothy grimace to her face..

She wasn't the only one that was excited, by far, but most were distracted by their fears of the loathsome human that had invaded their country. Or they were too busy brawling in the streets to decide who became the new king.
This could take a while, she thought happily.
Having the run of the castle and a protected status, she had found herself more often than not in the library towers.

She read stories of enthused humans, fables of brave skeel heroes that had made their marks in the history of Zeppod's creation.
She had studied books of tactics and strategies and understood humans as a personal expertise.
She had long yearned for firsthand experience, to meet a human, even a Life Mage.

As was normal for all the Skeel, she had been trained in combat, and had surpassed her brothers, and shown remarkable potential.. but her pitiful father had favored her too much, and was unwilling to use her as a knight.
A true mark of weakness, she thought fiercely.
but now.. she grinned loudly.. now is the time to escape this prison.
Her bodyguards had been paying much less attention to her, less sure in their duties now that their father was dead.. They had resented Medosa anyways.. envy had crept in long ago, corrupting the holes where their hearts should have been. They glanced after her from time to time, but that was all they could feel obligated to do.
They too, would begin dueling each other or searching the castle grounds with the other Skellingtons.
and she took that opportunity to find her way out of the winding and labrythine castle fortress.

This was her chance to shine beneath the ominous glare of the planets.
She skulked and shuffled and rattled as quietly as she could through the many tunnels.. a map she had found in an ancient text firmly gripped in one claw. She lit up at the thought that she might someday bring the humans to their knees, once and for all. Never again, would they reach such power, and they would quake with fear and horror of her noble people.
Something tugged at her attention, though..

Why did her father spare the humans in the first place.. Had he really been so scared of the Fleshlings?

Medosa shivered and clacked in the darkness.. the tunnel went on and on.. she no longer heard the voices of her brothers and sisters. She couldn't see the map in darkness this black.

She started to hallucinate.. she thought she saw herself breathing. Terrified, she wanted to turn back, but she pushed herself forward..

Where am I going?! What am I doing?! I don't even know anymore..
She kept walking on and on until her joints ached and rubbed together painfully.
Eventually, a small light appeared, and she shuffled forward until she reached an exit.
A barred door with lights shining through stood before her. She took a pouch from her bony shoulders, and retrieved a small key. She opened the door and was met with a painfully bright light.
What IS that? she wondered, attempting to shield her eyes with her humerus.


Madosa felt a burning sensation, and shrieked angrily. As suddenly as the sensation appeared, it disappeared.

What on Trell was that?! she panicked.
A young Skell stood before her. She knew he was a youngling because he was made of young bones free of wear, tear, corrosion, ect.
He gave her a questioning look. "Are you going to challenge me to battle? I'm kind of busy at the moment."

"I will require your assistence, so yes, let us duel." She grinned menacingly.

He was grouchy, but accommodating. He threw her an old dagger he had sheathed at his hip. "Here, don't expect me to hold back on you just because you're a female, though."

She took the dagger gratefully, and took her position, as did he.

She waited until he marked the start of battle, and then for his lunge she knew was coming, and upended the gleaming sword from his grip. She then knocked him to the ground for good measure and held the dagger to the place where his throat might have been if he had had one.
"Okay, okay, you win.." he muttered. He seemed a little disappointed, but he didn't seem too surprised.
"What do you need?" he asked, slightly wincing.
"I need supplies. Armor, the best weapon you can get your claws on, a map that will lead me to Ardaga and a pack kind of like that." She pointed to a large human skin pack not far from his camp.

"and I would also like to know what that light was.."
He stood up and walked to his camp. He began rumbling through some things in an old ornate chest. Pulling out some armor, and a good-sized, well balanced sword, he handed the items to her. Then he picked up a pack from under his bed.

"That light was from a human lighthouse. A Life Mage lives there, or so they say. There are rumors that the light is to protect Fleshlings from Skell, and that the closer you get, the more painful and potentially dangerous that light will become."

"How far are we from Ardaga right now?" she asked fearfully.
"Oh yeah, you also asked for a map." He pulled out a long wooden tube and pulled out a map yellowed with age. "Six month's of walking, and you'll reach the harbor that will take you to the Lifelands." He handed the map and pack to her reluctantly.

"Their light reaches pretty far considering it is 6 months of walking away.." She observed grimly.
He nodded to her, done speaking.
She started her long and treturous trek to the Sea of Adalie.


Her travels brought her through many dangerous areas of Zeppod. She avoided her fellow Skell the best she could, but there were plenty of times she was forced to prove her skill in battle. She kept to the planetlight of Gaziris, a color of light most Skellingtons found distasteful and tended to avoid. The color was called Estral and was considered only favored by feminine skell.
She stayed in many a tavern, and drank and sang with her fellow travelers, but was careful not to stand out too much.

[[Im not going to remember most of this terminology Im using, from here on out, am I? Lol.]]
[[Okay, Im going to continue for the fun of it.]]
Madosa stayed on the road for the full six months it took to get where she wanted to go. It would take a long time to describe her boring journey, so please just take my word for it!
So Madosa finally made it to the Lighthouse. There she found a collossal white cylindrical building with a too-bright shining stone at the top of its open windowed canopy. There was green ivy growing on its sides, as if its upkeep had been neglected in favor of a more natural abandoned look.
The stone and its mysterious light was a brilliant cerulean blue, and made her feel enfuriated and terrified all at once.
She heard a loud humming sound, and saw humans dressed in repulsive white robes and nemyss practicing some arcane and incomprehensible rite that would more than likely spell her doom, if she got too close.
She waited and watched from a distance.


An elderly human with a long grizzled beard seemed to be the one in charge of the proceedings. He looked like what the Life Mages from her ancient historical books looked like.
However.. something strange happened.
The humans didnt smile. They actually looked very serious and grim.
She had to admit, she liked that look on humans. The smiling humans from her books had made her physically sick and given her such sweet dreams that if she could projectile retch, she would have.
However.. They were beginning to move in a strange manner. Oh! This must be what humans called *dancing*!
She was more confused by it than anything.
They were humming along with the crystal, now, and she began to shake violently and uncontrollably. The shaking made her bones rattle loudly, too loudly, and the whole congregation turned to face her.
She saw a look of horror and panic on their faces.. Then.. after they themselves were shaking for a while, she saw another, uninterpretable emotion cross over their faces. She hissed at them in her own fear and began to unsheathe her weapon.
Instead of moving to attack or run in fear, they made a deep bowing motion to her, one after the other. She suddenly understood. They had a deep respect for her, as if she was an omen of some kind that was feared but treated with the utmost seriousness.

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 Post subject: Re: The Skellington Queen [WIP] [Constructive Criticism Welc
Post Posted: May 21st, '20, 20:57    

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Hi! I took some notes while reading, but there's one thing that stood out to me more and more as I read on.

There is a whole lot of information that you just throw at your reader. It's great that you've got so many small details thought out for your world, but the best moment to share them is when they are used. If you just share everything at the beginning, the readers' eyes will glaze over, and worse, there will be less to discover as the story goes on.

For example paying in human bones. The best time to mention that is as an off-hand comment when someone is buying something - ex. "I paid four human finger bones for a piece of leather". Same thing would go for every other information you're sharing. We don't need to know about dwarven skellingtons until the princess meets one, and then you would expand on how rare they are because of strained relationships with their kingdom. Give your reader something new to discover every paragraph instead of trying to get all of the information out there before the story even starts.

Basically, I personally think you could start with the assassination of the king and drip-feed the rest of the information you want to give while you go on with the story.

Your world is strange, but it will seem stranger if you act like it's normal happenings. Like yeah I just paid with human bones, I'm not going to expand on that because that's very normal here, why would I need to explain it?

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