Row80 1/15 Check-in

I’d say it’s been a productive week for me. The first part of my VYA is posted here (go vote!). That’s mainly all I’ve been working on.

I did get to comment on a few other blogs, so I’m happy about that. Otherwise, I did a bit of working with the history of my world (fitting the VYA in) and at least pulled up the document for my serial. I may start working on VYA part 2 tomorrow. As of now, I think I know where the voting is heading. I fear I made one choice too easy. I felt that I had to emphasize it, and went too far. Whoops. When the voting is closed, I’m going to do a follow-up post and get the next one ready.

I’ve included the other ROW80 blogs after the jump. Enjoy!

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Hero’s Tale VYA – Part 1

Comments are closed. Go take a look at the results. Thank you for participating.

This is the first part of a Vote Your Adventure story. More information is here. Voting will close the evening of Monday, January 16, 2012. Enjoy the tale!

Bardulf rubbed the corner of the parchment on the table. He preferred to read the reports in a quiet corner of a tavern to get away from his farm. It was an old habit that he started when reports were brought to him by nobles in his previous career. The only difference now was that he used rough parchment, not fine paper from the Court.

Twin candles illuminated the reports for his eyes with a dim light. He had read through the items multiple times already: numbers for the previous years harvest; the cost of seed for the crops; how much hay was stored in the the barns for the animals. It was all there, staring at him. The numbers looked good, and everything was checked and accounted for. Bardulf closed his eyes and then ran his hands through his thinning hair. His farm was doing well. He just wished that there was a mistake somewhere to break up the monotony of his life.

He glanced at the reports for a moment longer before pushing them aside. Nothing was going to change in them, and he couldn’t concentrate on the numbers any longer. He took a drink from his mug of ale, trying to think of ways to put up with the boredom.

For many years, Bardulf served the kingdom of Karathon as one of the Rangers. They were tasked with keeping the creatures that roamed the untamed wilds around the kingdom at bay. He had always loved wandering the forests as a kid, and becoming a Ranger had been a dream come true. In time, he even became the Ranger Lord. But that all changed when the former king was overthrown and King Orias took the throne. The Ranger Corps was disbanded and forbidden from operating. They were lucky they hadn’t been imprisoned from the rumors.

Without a job, Bardulf returned home to his wife and sons in Belmont Acres and took up farming. It was good, hard work that kept his mind off the past, most of the time. He had lived a life of adventure for all those years, and he missed it. He missed the others in the Corps, and strangely, the reports that the nobles sent him. “Now I am just a farmer,” he grumbled. Bardulf finished his ale, and motioned for another.

He fished some coins out of his pouch and handed them to the serving girl as another mug of ale was set in front of him. Bardulf took another drink, and picked up the parchment again. This was his life now.

The candles on his table flickered as a gust of cool air blew through the tavern, threatening to extinguish one, and succeeding with the other. “Close the door,” someone cried out. Spring may have finally arrived, but the bite of winter still lingered on.

Bardulf looked up at the newcomer. He was a younger man and wore fine clothes – not the dress of a nobleman, nor of a commoner, but somewhere in between. This man was probably a servant of some sort, but Bardulf couldn’t remember for which noble in the town. The man looked around the tavern, searching for someone. He began to turn around to leave when his eyes fell on Bardulf. Even in the dim light, Bardulf could see the relief on the man’s face, and he sighed, understanding that this man was looking for him.

The man strode over to the table, his face regaining the seriousness appropriate of a servant. “Do I have the pleasure of speaking to Bardulf Sylvani?”


A smile cracked the young man’s face for a moment. “You are a hard man to track down, Lord Sylvani. Your wife said you were at a tavern going over reports this evening. But she didn’t know which one. This was the last in town.”

Bardulf chuckled. “I am no Lord. And I was trained to not be found.” He shrugged his shoulders. “Job hazard.”

“That is why I am here,” the man replied. “My master has a job for you. He said that it was a job for a Ranger.”

A job for a Ranger. Bardulf looked at the parchment on the table again. He felt a stirring in his heart, something that had lain almost dormant. A thirst for adventure.

“And your lord is…?”

“Lord Belmont.”

“Ahh. Alain Belmont, Lord of Belmont Acres,” Bardulf mumbled aloud. The lord of the city was offering him a job! There were scant few jobs that a former Ranger would take, and the old guard of nobles knew and respected that. For Lord Belmont to offer a job to him meant it was something big, and most likely it paid well. Through his excitement, Bardulf kept his face calm. He paused before he asked his next question. “What is the job?”

The page shook his head. “Lord Belmont did not divulge that information to me.”

“And he would like to see me, when?”

“He would like you to see him tonight.”

“That is very short notice, and I’ve had a number of drinks tonight,” Bardulf said with a sigh. He looked at the mug of ale in his hand, trying to remember how much. “I’m afraid that if I saw Lord Belmont tonight, I would be hired as a jester, not a Ranger. I would prefer to go tomorrow morning, not make a fool of myself in front of the lord of the city.”

“I understand.” The servant glanced around and leaned in closer, his voice much quieter. “It seemed really urgent, though. It has something to do with a message I brought him earlier in the day. When he read it, his face went white, like a ghost and he was silent for some time. When he spoke again, he asked me to find you. He said that he couldn’t trust anyone else. It’s your choice, though,” he said with a shrug of his shoulders.

Bardulf sighed again. He knew his limits well, and he wasn’t so far drunk that it wasn’t possible. After all, it wasn’t wise to anger the noble who owned the land you farmed. But, if he went in the morning, he could sleep off the alcohol and clear his mind for the meeting.

Health: healthy, but a bit drunk
Inventory: reports, dagger, pouch with a couple of coins

What should Bardulf tell the page?
A) I will go tonight.
B) I will go in the morning.

Row80 1/11 Check-in

I’m going to do a quick check-in today.

I got that blog post up on Monday about what I am doing with my VYA series, so the next one I want to do is either a review or thoughts about a game and how it relates to writers. I’m not sure which yet.

I still believe I can get my VYA up on Friday. Today is for some revisions and getting the next draft out.

I haven’t been as active on Twitter and other ROW80 blogs as I’d like. As I said in my first post, that it would be the hardest. I just don’t have as much time to devote to that. I’m not letting myself off the hook, though.

Other than being more social, I’m doing good. Now, back to some writing. In the mean time, check out the others from ROW80:

Hero’s Tale VYA

Before I post the first part to my VYA, I thought I’d tell you what I’m trying with it. First off, VYA stands for Vote Your Adventure. If you have ever read any of the Choose Your Own Adventure books from the 80’s and early 90’s then you already have the right idea. The twist in this being that you aren’t just choosing the next path by yourself. You, the readers, will vote to decide the next part of the story! And yes, I changed the acronym slightly from VYOA to VYA. It makes more sense this way.

So how is this going to work? Easy, I post the story, and you vote by posting your comments to the blog post. You can also use the hashtag #herostale or send one to the user @HerosTale on Twitter.

I am also going to try to run this a bit like a game. I’m giving you an inventory, and I’ll keep track of your health and injuries that occur. I am also going to give you more than two options to pick from where I am able. I am also going to listen to your comments on what should happen. So when I give you options of attacking or fleeing an enemy, and some of you tell me that we should throw the dagger and run, I’ll take things like that into consideration. Disclaimer: I do reserve the right to remove those features if things get too crazy or unwieldy.

Lastly, I welcome feedback. If you think I’m doing good, let me know. If you think my writing stinks, let me know. Even though I’m running things by people to make sure things make sense, that doesn’t mean things don’t get missed or I wrote something terribly.

Right now, I’m planning on the first part getting posted Friday, January 13. And as I’m typing the date out, I’m thinking about reconsidering… Na, bad luck my foot. Provided I think the story is ready, it’s getting posted.

I’m really excited to do this, and will fun. And one last request. Try not to screw up the story I’m telling too bad.

ROW80 1/8 Check-in

I’m getting this post out late, but it’s still Sunday!

How am I doing on my goals? Not too bad. I have that blog entry almost ready to go. I would have had it yesterday, but I ended up playing with kids and Zelda: Skyward Sword too much yesterday. But, Z:SS is blog material. It will be the subject of the next blog entry I work on.

My VYA piece is coming along well. I revised it and got it sent off to some more people. Still waiting on things, but that’s ok. I decided to post those on Thursdays or Fridays so I will have the week to write, instead of over the weekend when I struggle to write. I’m excited about it, though.

I am going to finish up that blog entry tonight, and post that tomorrow. If I have time, then I will start reading through the comments I have. I’ll be working through those for the next few days.

That’s it for this check-in. Here are the others who have checked-in. Go see how they are doing!