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 The Skull King Chronicles: Rise of the Skull King

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Dar Kyram
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PostSubject: The Skull King Chronicles: Rise of the Skull King   Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:10 pm



The Skull King Chronicles: Rise of the Skull King


This is a Legacy Era story. It takes place 40 years After the Battle of Yavin.



Characters:
Dar Kyram, shorter than average and drug addicted Mandalorian.
Bek Mathayus, mountain of a Mando, Dar's best friend.
Ikeira Sov, mysterious captive woman.

Genre: (Action/Adventure)

Plot/Summary:
A sleepy morning is quickly interrupted and Mandalorian warrior, Dar Kyram discovers a link that will finally lead him to his revenge against the pirates that destroyed his life thirteen years earlier. In a quest for blood thirsty vengeance, Dar finds that he has a bigger destiny than he truly knows. Deemed to be Te Kyr'bes'alor, The Skull King, Dar is thrust into a battle for his life and understanding of his future.


----------------------------------------------------------------


Hope you all enjoy it! Feedback of course is highly welcomed!


Last edited by Dar Kyram on Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:22 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Daennika
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PostSubject: Re: The Skull King Chronicles: Rise of the Skull King   Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:36 am

I know of at least 3 people here who'd be interested in reading the story of a tormented mando with faults and weaknesses. I started reading up a bit on the wiki article which got me all excited but I'd much rather have the actual story for a better start.
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Daennika
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PostSubject: Re: The Skull King Chronicles: Rise of the Skull King   Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:56 am

ALRIGHT, so here's my review. Beware because today I love typing.


I'm always a little skeptical about Mando-centered fanfics, not because I suspect Mary/Gary sues but because of the effect of KT's additions to the "lore"... Though by that I mean all the "code" and history within the Clone Wars era. There are so many fans writing using her style and trying to copy the RepCom series it's not even funny.

The thing is, there is none of that Clone-related business in RotSK, aside from the fact that Dar Kyram wears ARC trooper pauldron and kama. So this is all good in my book!

I'm not very Legacy-literate but this story sends me back to the pre-Episode I times when I'd look up Boba Fett fan fiction and was all excited about it. The idea of a Mandalorian bounty hunter back then was not clearly defined, and I'd just drool at the idea of a "simple man making his way in the galaxy."

I love how you're not trying to glorify your main character in everything he does besides the fact that most Mandalorians are expertly trained in being bad-ass, and to kick ass. From the beginning we can tell that he is not perfect: his seemingly easy life with two smoking hot Twi'lek is actually quite shifty, trouble gets in the way of that and like in all relationships there are fights/quarrels. And it's good to see a mando who admits he can't control everything, even if that means to spend hours sulking.

At this point we're not yet fully aware of his story or his thoughts - some narrators like to immerse the reader inside the character's mind like they can hear his every opinion but this is a nice alternative, kept me wanting to know more.

Another thing that I appreciated was the practical aspect of his life: he doesn't own a speeder, he uses the public transport liners, mixes with the crowds and, like most people he's not all-knowing and uses information points to get directions. A nice touch that helped me feel immersed into Star Wars.

Going deeper into analysis now, and bear with me as I won't spoil the others: Dar comes off as a spontaneous, sometimes impulsive young man despite his experience and the purpose of his "mission". I know that each action and reaction is well planned before they're expressed but you managed to master the element of surprise that resides in not showing intent. In a real situation nobody would know what's going on behind that T-visor or why he'd suddenly decide to do something reckless. Normally Mandalorians impose respect and fear because of their reputation. Now that I finished reading the whole thing, I think back to the beginning and I realize that you made Dar seem awfully dangerous. It turns out that I may have a liking for unstable characters! Cool

About the actual events: I loved the characters, you write them well and remained realistic. Special props for certain famous cameos in the last chapters! (I so need me that orange hat now.) And good job at handling chaotic combat action, it felt like I was really there and not reading a sum up of blurred images. At times, the hard-hitting details were unbearable to "watch" - which is why movies are easier on the mind, and the imagination is a horrible, powerful movie generator. Poor little man taking a beating like a punching bag. I was kind of perplexed by his endurance near the end. Or maybe he is THAT tough. The flashbacks to his childhood and his training were reminiscent of KT (sorry Razz) and her own characters but yours didn't linger on the emotional.

Yet I was deeply saddened by the tragedy of it all. The simple writing style and the descriptions helped me relate to the characters even though you don't focus on them and accentuate the attention on the main plot, that is vengeance. The unfairness of Dar's fate made me upset, and it's going to be hard to continue reading his chronicles but... I just... can't... help myself.

I will get back to you about the sequel soon!
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commander-13
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PostSubject: Re: The Skull King Chronicles: Rise of the Skull King   Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:44 pm

Rise of the Skull King


Now that Daennika's opened the floodgates of the review dam, I just have to throw my review in there as well.


The opening scene of RoTSK is definitely a step away from the regular SW fanfics, and there are plenty of fanfics out there. The fact that Dar is a lady killer is actually a change from many of the "cookie cutter" mandalorians. Additionally, being a shorter-than-average mando without any complex about his height is also something that's quite unique. (as far as male mandos go in any case) It's almost like James Bond in a galaxy far far away, just shorter.

I like that he's not "perfect" in many ways (not only because of his height), but also "bad-ass" in other ways. There are certain scenes that made me squirm due to the violence involved (be forewarned, readers, some are quite graphic) but they weren't particularly out of place or overly cliché.

The story in itself is very easy to follow, there's no metaphysical messages or hidden meanings, it's a story of revenge and the bumpy road to get there. (along with the women to bed while he's at it) Dar definitely gets his fair share of bumps, cuts and bruises, but he also gets equal amounts of "consolation".

There were areas where I wanted to take a ruler to your fingers though. It's "hangar" not "hanger" (one's a docking area for star ships, the other is used for clothing) and there are passages where I can tell that the anticipation of the scene got to you, and your fingers got away from your brain and decided to add "on"s and "to"s where they were not required. In the whole though, you did a pretty good job of keeping the narrative very entertaining and I did overlook the typing frenzy in those areas.

Secondary characters are also very interesting, including the two halves of the twi'lek sandwich, Bek, Ikiera, Belnak and even his Granpa, were all very memorable characters, not stealing the show from Dar but complimenting his story nicely. Be careful with your choices in names, because even though the names are different enough, the placement of letters have a tendency to become similar (the way it sounds when read, more than anything) and it makes the "picture" a bit muffled when you're trying to place who is saying what and who is doing what.

You also need to be careful with how you portray Dar as being a cold killing machine though. I understand that he's impulsive and that's definitely part of his charm, but you need to watch his "thirst for blood", so you don't alienate the reader. Dar's "flying off the handle" character is quite believable though, simply because he's still young (in experience in any event) so it's not too over the top when he does get carried away and goes into "overkill" mode, so now I'm curious how that has evolved in the sequel.

Also, watch some of the descriptions of your action scenes, avoid word repetitions because those specific scenes really do deserve to shine. Don't hesitate to "extend" the descriptions in those because you're painting a picture for the audience, it's their moment to get excited, so vary your words so that the action flows with the writing. There are some action scenes that had me scratching my head, simply because the setting, the mood, everything was written in such a way that it should have been epic, but instead I was left with wanting something more. I think it's because I don't usually equate mandalorian fights to be of the fist to fist kind, and I'm very partial to "short" fights if it is hand-to-hand. But as I've said previously, it does fit Dar's background quite well, so I can't really fault the fight scenes too much.

There are very few things I'd actually change to it, the flashbacks to his past are just bit obvious and needs a little polish so that it flows seamlessly with the rest of the story instead of standing out as a flashback. Hold Dar back, just a bit, and by that, I mean a very tiny bit, and I think you have a very very likeable character.

Overall, the story was very enjoyable, because it's a totally different take on the lone mando on a vengeance,
specially because he does use drugs, is just that bit of a "pitbull" in the way he deals with his opponents and of course, he gets the girl(s).

I had no background when it came to Legacy-Era stories, since I have not read anything about the Vong Wars or the era following it, but that didn't really affect my appreciation for the story. I particularly liked some of the references to actors, and movies in general (Lethal weapon came to mind at one point, and of course the Scorpion King's Mathayus) I will be reading the sequel, simply because Dar is an interesting hero (anti-hero) and deserves a captive audience.


There you go, a nice long review.
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Dar Kyram
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PostSubject: Re: The Skull King Chronicles: Rise of the Skull King   Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:24 pm

First of all, let me give a HUGE thank you to both you, Deannika, and you, C-13. I really appreciate the time and enjoyment you both took to read my story. Its having readers like you who keep me enthusiastic about writing.

So let me first address the typo and other grammar errors. Yes, I'm aware that they are there. I've had numerous proof reads, by myself and others, and unfortunately those are the curse of us writers. I've got no excuse other than its my first completed fanfic.



So onto the juicier stuff!

Yes, I'm glad you guys appreciated Dar for what he was. He was the other end of the Mandalorian spectrum! An actual attempt to get people to see the other side of Mandalorians that Karen doesn't show. The nitty gritty hard core, cold hearted, uncaring hard-cases that they were always imagined to be.

When I first created him, he was supposed to be a Jayne Cobb/The Punisher amalgamation. He was designed long before the starting phase of my personal armor. There were just a few things I knew I had wanted. He was gun happy. He had blue armor. He was a hard ass.

But as he developed, I was also getting big into Legacy comics, and the idea of a drug-addicted character seemed so original to me, ala Cade Skywalker, that I wanted to adopt that trait as well.

So much of Dar, as you very well perceived, was a very self-destructive character. It was also during a hard time in my life, so a lot of my own dark feelings went into a world of "what I wish I could be" with Dar being that carrier.


Yes, there were times Dar seemed tough after a brutal beating. I wanted to still have fun with it. All things aside, its still a sci-fi fantasy story. The anti-hero, while obviously flawed and problematic, is still the protagonist. If I were to stick with total realism, than he wouldn't have ever been able to put his suit on by himself in the first chapter. I actually have that armor, and I tell ya, it ain't easy. lol

And from the opinions of the flash backs, which I deemed as a nod to show where his toughness came from and shed some light of understanding to his current situation of mental and emotional issues, I think I'm gonna refrain from them in the future. To be honest, I had no intention on them other than the purpose that they served and I needed filler for the scene in which they were presented.


So all in all, I'm glad you guys enjoyed my first ever completed FanFic!

Yes, though, as time goes on, Dar learns to be a little less brash and straight forward and to be a lot more thoughtful of his situations. He 'grows up' in a sense. But for the times he does react thoughtlessly, he's experiences have evolved so he's able to be spontaneous and successful, less than irrational and getting his ass handed to him. lol

So I open up for any questions or inquiries that I can answer about the story specifically and THANK YOU BOTH so much for your reviews and responses.
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PostSubject: Re: The Skull King Chronicles: Rise of the Skull King   Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:54 pm

I left you a review so far for Chapter 1 on fanfiction.net. I will try to read more and leave my reviews there for you since it's easier for me to bookmark.

In a nutshell, I am interested in the story and would like to read it further. Very Happy
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Kyr'am Werda
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PostSubject: Re: The Skull King Chronicles: Rise of the Skull King   Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:30 pm

When I first came across your story, I DANCED for joy at finding what I would call a real anti-hero. Dark, gritty, hard ass caricatures with issues naturally grab my attention, so I of course fell in love with your story and Dar. I like your writing style, it kept me hooked and I felt immersed in to the story. It's one of those story's I can go back and read it over and over again, and not get tired of it. I for one, loved RotSK and can't wait for the rest of BWotT!
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Dar Kyram
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PostSubject: Re: The Skull King Chronicles: Rise of the Skull King   Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:46 pm

Hey, Kyr'am! I'm glad you liked the story! When I get done with basic training and AIT, I'll start writing some more when life settles down for me. Until then, its unfortunately on hiatus. But just keep your eyes peeled out around after March!
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PostSubject: Re: The Skull King Chronicles: Rise of the Skull King   Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:32 pm

Will do Dar ( As in; I will perch my self on the edge of my seat in anticipation for the next chapter, every night starting in march) ! and again good luck with both your BCT and AIT.
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