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Author Topic: A Theory for Sandy's Story  (Read 18711 times)
Oxanna
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« on: October 18, 2007, 01:34:07 AM »

Unlike most wolf tribes, ours didn't receive strangers as guests. I won't go into the details about how they were treated, but the Ferryman, who takes people to and fro between North Island and South Island could give you a pretty good idea.
 As it was, we now actually had three captives in our prison - the Racoon, an honorary member of our tribe, had ordered it. I thought he had gone to far, pushing himself forward as the leader. Why did Gar listen to him at all? He could kill him with one swipe of his paw!
  Yet, our leader left him to himself.
  I could only see two prisoners from the entrance: a Boar and an Elk. Gar's sidekick (who loved boasting to the rest of the pack about his 'abilities') told us the third one was a Fox. I supposed he must have been dozing under the bench, or in a corner.
  The next morning, the pack set off to hunt. They left me behind, in one of the huts, because I was down with a fever. When they came back, they found the cage door open and the prisoners gone. Gar got really mad and, I suppose, was going to kill me, accusing me of letting them go ('fraid he doesn't think very far when he's mad) - when one of his wives suggested it might have been Shiala, the lone warrior. Also, it couldn't have been me, because I was too sick to walk around, let alone cut open the door.
  What made Gar the angriest, however, was that his ancient Human trophy had disappeared. In vain, he ordered his sidekick to search all the huts - but to no avail. So he came to the conclusion that either Shiala or the prisoners must have taken it - the probability resting on the prisoners, seeing as Shiala would have no use for it. He became really mad again. Still nursing his pet theory of my releasing them, he decided to punish me by taking away my most prized possession: my sextant.
  For the next few days, however, nothing really happened. Then, the Racoon realised the whereabouts of the ex-prisoners (the Ancient Ruins), and ordered Gar's sidekick to follow them noiselessly.
  And then, two days after that, the badly bruised wolf reported back to camp, saying the ex-prisoners had thrown the Orb over the side of the dam and the Racoon had jumped after it.
 This was a great shock for Gar. Suddenly, the leadership responsibilities were his! In a panic, he summoned all the male cubs above the age of twelve and under that of fifteen to stand in a row (anyone elder than fifteen was too useful a hunter to send off on some crazy mission) and told them: "The Orb of which Chota the Racoon spoke is missing." All of them knew that by now, but they knew to keep quiet. "You must go out and try find it." the cubs were all glad to be sent on a quest.
 I was watching them - I had just returned from a night in the woods, studying the stars - and I was jealous.
Not realising my inferior position, I spoke up. "I can find the Orb just as good as any of them, Sir," I said. "Let me go out too."
 With a snarl, Gar turned to me. He hated impertinence... at least, he was in a foul mood that day. Its understandable, I guess.
"Go!" he growled. "And don't come back. If you ever survive what's about to happen to you, don't squeak a word of where you come from, or what your real name is. Or else."
  I got a huge fright at the mention of, 'If you survive what's about to happen to you', and I was right to. Gar liked bloody sports, and the Racoon had restricted him from having any for the last few moons, saying they needed every last wolf for a spy or a warrior. Now he  set six of his fastest, strongest warriors on my tail (although he did give me a head start) and told them that, if they caught me, they were free to kill me: slowly. So I ran and ran. Thankfully, they were rather unfit. Oh yes, thought I'd mention this: as I ran away, someone threw a wooden box in a leather case at my head, and I picked it up... I don't think the person who threw it knew what was in it, or they wouldn't have thrown it.
 At last, unable to go any further, I collapsed in the snow on the peak of one of the mountains, where the Snow Wolves found me. They had no use for a cub not accustomed to their way of life, and they sent me away. And so I found the Mixed Tribe. A while ago, a part of the Hunters of the Dark Claw had broken off, tired of attending to the Racoon's every whim. They were such a small part, however, that they needed to collaborate with other kinds of Morph to survive. So that was them. They were happy to have an extra food-bringer, and allowed me to stay with them. So I stayed with them for a few moons. And then an Otter visited. I had seen the Otter before - he was a mercenary, paid to do the dirty work for anybody who wanted dirty work done. And he worked mainly for Gar. Uh-oh, I thought. I didn't know why he was here, but I knew I had to get out of here - fast. Very fast. I got up in the dead of night and headed for the dock. The Ferryman was asleep. Taking a deep breath, I shoved him off the boat and pushed off, into the sea. (Needless to say, he was livid and going crazy as I left.) But I was home free - or so I thought.
  While I was paddling as fast as possible on the sea, making what I thought was a clean getaway, a storm struck up.
 When I awoke, Rif and Rhene were towering over me... and the rest is history.


So that's my theory for Sandy's past life and all. It just leaves one thing unexplained: the black sail. But you could say the Ferryman finally decided to mend his sail and took black for an austere/menacing/cool effect. Actually, I don't think that's the explanation, but ja.  smiley
Please post a reply, I'd like to know what people think of my idea.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2007, 04:15:26 AM by Oxanna » Logged
WolfieInu
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2007, 12:40:46 PM »

Meh, I guess this doesn't count because I told you so in person already, but I think that's champion. Keep it up! Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2007, 08:24:22 AM »

I'll not go into the SPAG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) as this appears to be a quick down and dirty story.  Done my share of those and know how SPAG errors crop up everywhere.

Think there might be a few logic holes in the story.  Think the biggest is the wolf cub knowing the two foxes.  (Rif maybe, but not the other)  Then there is the notation about the racoons.  You say the tribes killed outsiders, yet there are wolves and racoons together and later you mentioned otters having a relationship.

Now I feel like the gauntlet has been laid down and I must snatch it.  Look for my version of Sandy's prehistory following this message no later than this Friday. 

Old hedgehog has set himself up for a bit of a challenge.  So I'll extend it to the rest of those on this board willing to take the bait.  In a thousand words or less, (makes it easier reading online), give a story that explains Sandy's actions to date.  Who knows, maybe the person with the closest story to the reality will win some prize.
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Oxanna
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2007, 04:13:29 AM »

Oh, sorry, I said outsiders... and it looked like outsiders to the tribe. Sorry, I meant outsiders to the island, that is, strangers who came snooping around and so on, and strangers who wouldn't have a tribe that came racing into the Hunters's camp, crying "Revenge, REVENGE!!" and slaughtering wolves left and right. Wink Ja, as I said, I meant Morph with whom they could have a bit of 'fun' with, getting rid of Racoon-enemies in the process. I think I'll go edit that sentence right now... thanks for the tip, I overlooked that.
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2007, 04:48:20 AM »

Not to worry.  Looks like I will be breaking my own rule about the word count.  Seems I'm already at 800 words and am about halfway through the story.  Yeah, I expect some holes, but so far it is flowing together very well.  Anyone else taking up the challenge?
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Oxanna
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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2007, 05:07:00 AM »

Okay, just say the word limit is now 1 600 words.
Well, I think I'll expand on his story a bit, then. Oh, come on, everybody else! Take it! Write it! We must have more competitors! This isn't some kind of weird text-duel or something! We need you for the American Army... I mean, for the contest...  smiley
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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2007, 03:34:37 PM »

The silver furred wolf stood near the railing at the very bow of the corsair, a spyglass up to his eye.  His tail swished back and forth while his hackles formed a ridge along his spine.  With a low growl, the wolf snapped the spyglass shut and barked out the name of his First Officer.

“I see we’ve caught up to those otter pirates that have been sinking our merchant vessels.”

“Captain, shouldn’t we stay further aft and wait for the rest of our fleet?  Rumor has it those pirates raided an old human naval yard called Osinna.  Some say they not only found some ancient artifact, but weapons that hurls lightning bolts.”

Now the Captain gave his officer a look that had many a seaman tucking their tails.  Instead of giving the other wolf the dignity of an immediate answer, he walked aft.  As he passed the many wolves applying themselves to their duties, he would commend those he thought doing a diligent job.  Those singled out would mutter their thanks without stopping whatever task they were doing.  Others would bow as a sign of respect as the Captain passed.

When the two wolves reached the wheel, the Captain relieved the helmsman and took over the duty.  For several moments, neither wolf officer spoke.  Giving a quick scan of their vicinity, the Captain broke the tension.

“That rumor is true, which means the price of our victory will be high.  If there was a way a single ship could take them, I would.  Best we use the tactics of those wolf packs that served the human Naziny centuries ago.  I’m just hoping our fleet returns to our northern homelands.”  The Captain’s ears twitched and his lips parted in a sneer.  “What we need is a plan that offers us the least risk and the greatest chance of success.”

Just then, a young whelp dropped from his perch atop the mizzen mast.  As his paws hit the deck, he released the line he used when sliding down to the wheel deck.  Though his agility marked him as an experienced sea wolf, his age had him no more than a pup on his maiden voyage.

“Shanty, have you been spying on your Captain?  I’ll have you on the main mast feeling the lash if that be the case.”  There was a sharp edge to the First Mate’s voice as he advanced on the wolf pup.

“I heard my Captain ask if there was a way we could snatch that treasure.”

The First Mate was about to respond when the Captain held up his paw.  “We may as well listen.  As the saying goes, ‘wisdom from the mouths of pups.’  Who knows, maybe he has an idea.”

Initially, the Captain thought Shanty’s plan crazy.  After thinking it through, the Captain changed his mind.  That was when the First Officer stated his objection, though he kept his voice low enough that only the Captain heard.

“That pup is yet to master his knots and has no rings in his ear, sir.  Until he kills another beast in battle or steals an enemy’s treasure, there’s no way of knowing which is faster, his blade or his bladder.”

“We’ll give his plan a chance, though I do intend making one modification.  If he is successful, I will personally do the honor of piercing his ear.”

For the rest of the day, the Captain had one work detail assigned to do Shanty’s bidding.  Black paint soon covered one launch and from the stores a large measure of black oil cloth was drawn.  While the sail master sewed the cloth into a workable sail, the wolf ship drew as close as it dared to the pirate warship.

When darkness came, the crew lowered the launch.  Shanty scurried over the boarding net to the floating ship and prepared to cast off when another cub dropped over the side.  Before he could challenge the interloper, the lines were released.

“Lupus, what are you doing here?”  An angry Shanty snarled at the black furred wolf.

Slipping his backpack off, Lupus then fingered the edge of his blade.  “The Captain gave me the task of planting a bomb aboard the otter’s ship.  So while you grab their treasure; I’ll sink their ship.”

Shanty had no option.  If he argued, they lost not only the dark of night, but the favorable winds.  Giving another low snarl, Shanty grabbed the tiller while Lupus raised the black sail. 

Over the next hour, the skiff tacked into the light wind.  Since their vessel offered little drag, they gained on the otter’s ship.  Clouds were just beginning to obscure the gibbon moon when the two cubs drew within a paw’s width of their target.

Pulling out an eyebolt, Shanty started screwing it into the side of the otter’s wooden vessel.  Once the bolt bit deep enough, Shanty slid a small rod through the eye and worked faster.  Though he loathed admitting it, having Lupus at the helm gave him a steady platform and the work went fast.  After dropping the rug covered bumpers over the side, Shanty secured their launch.

It took a few tosses, but the padded grappling hook caught the railing.  As Shanty climbed, he could feel the impatient presence of Lupus brushing against his tail.  Just as Shanty grabbed the railing post, his companion poked his muzzle over the side.  Neither dared make a sound for two otter crewmen were passing their spot.

“Our Captain’s a cold one.  How he can let those sea dog raiders hang off our rudder without a care is beyond me.”

The second otter nodded.  “I heard our Captain’s waiting for their whole fleet.  When they get in range of our heavy weapons, we’ll sink ‘em all.”

Both otters laughed as they descended the starboard stairwell.  For several moments the two cubs remained where they were, their eyes scanning the ship.  Lupus nudged Shanty and pointed upward.  At the top of the main mast an otter stared aft in the direction of their ship.  A quick search of the deck revealed no other creature.

Lupus whispered in Shanty’s ear.  “Check out the Captain’s quarters; I’ll make my way to the bilge.  Just don’t leave without me.”

Shanty climbed over the railing and crept to the entryway of the Captain’s quarters, assuming this ship had the same layout as theirs.  Turning the knob as quietly as possible, the wolf cub slipped inside.  For a while, he allowed his eyes to grow accustomed to the darkness.  His nose sniffed the air, trying to determine if more than the one otter rested inside.  Shanty’s ears detected nothing more than the steady breathing of a creature sleeping.

Approaching the nightstand, he spotted a puzzle box.  Cautiously he tried lifting the lid, but it was locked.   With deft paws, he pinched the prize and placed it in the sack he carried.  Having stolen the treasure, he stalked the sleeping otter.

The pup drew his blade, ready to plunge it into his enemy’s heart; then changed his mind.  Using some ink he spotted on a desk, he poured it onto his paws.  Shanty then made an ink impression of his paw on the nightstand and on the pillow next to the otter Captain’s head.  Then he retreated.

Just as he reached the rope leading to the skiff, Lupus darted out of the shadows.  Drawing closer, he held up his paw and made a fist.  He raised it over his head, and then tapped his forehead, which signaled success.  Shanty mimicked the same move and then showed Lupus his sack. 

“Did you take their Captain’s ear?”  Lupus asked.

Shanty threw out his chest.  “Better, I left my paw print right next to him.  Now he will always fear the unknown wolf who stalked him.”

“Idiot, now I have to finish your job.”

While Lupus made for the Captain’s quarters, Shanty slid down the rope and prepared to cast off his line.  Everything remained quiet aboard the ship.  At least it did for a few moments.  Shouts of “intruder” filled the air and a few seconds later, the other wolf cub launched himself overboard.

Without hesitation, Shanty released the line and turned his skiff back to their vessel.  Lupus climbed aboard just as several crossbow bolts thumped into the deck.  The sound of the bolts biting into the wooden launch startled Shanty and he hesitated.  Then the wolf raised his sail.  Favorable winds soon took them out of range and they listened to the stirred hornet’s nest.  Voices announced the death of the otter Captain and threats were hurled against the retreating intruders.

Then one voice shouted out a series of commands.  The otter ship turned.  Thunder roared twice and the two pups watched twin geysers sprout on either side of their ship.  Again the thunder sounded and this time the main mast disappeared in a ball of flame.  With the wolf ship helpless, the otters drew closer.

“There’s nothing we can do to help.  Best we put distance between us and hope that bomb goes off before they grapple.”  Lupus shouted from the bow.  “We can always return after the fighting is done.”

From their vantage point, the two wolves watched as the warships came side by side.  They remained that way for several seconds before another thunderclap shattered the quiet night.  Even at their distance, the two cubs noted how the otter ship listed.

Shanty veered off, putting distance between them and their ship.  His voice betraying the fear he felt.  “Now we’ll need to wait for the dawn.  Let’s hope the ship flies the red eagle.”

No answer came from the bow.  Shanty secured the lines and shuffled forward, wondering why his friend remained so quiet.  When he reached Lupus, Shanty raised his friend’s muzzle out of the water.  Then he spotted the two crossbow bolts.  Knowing he had to shed any excess weight, Shanty dumped his friend’s body overboard.

All night he sailed with a favorable wind.  When at last the sun rose, Shanty spotted the warship making towards him.  At any other time such a sight would bring him joy.  Today, Shanty panicked.  Flying from the shattered remnant of the mizzen mast flapped a flag bearing the image of a large blue whale. 

Desperate to lose his otter pursuers, Shanty steered the launch towards the maelstrom gathering towards the east.  As he entered the darkened seas, white capped waves raced towards him.  Fearing he would lose the treasure he fought so hard to secure, he tied the sack to his belt. 

Hours passed as he battled the raging storm.  Waves lifted his boat and the wind slashed the sail.  A line parted and the end snapped across the deck like a whip.  Without the rope, the boom swung free.  Shanty had just enough time to see the danger and tried ducking.  At that precise moment, the boat dropped into a wave’s trough, throwing the cub upward.  The boom connected with the back of the wolf’s head, sending him overboard.

The next thing he saw were two foxes looking down at him.  The rest of his memories remained a jumble that he tried piecing together without success.  His body battered by the storm, his strength gone, the shipwrecked wolf pup passed out.
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« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2007, 03:46:28 PM »

For those curious to know how the hedgehog's mind works. 

Word count = 1,880

Osinns = is a corrupted form of the City of Ociana, which is a naval yard near Richmond, Virginia in the United States.

wolf packs that served the human Naziny = again, the Morphs have things not quite right.  During World War Two, the U-Boat hunted in "packs" and were referred to by the Allies as "wolf packs."  The "human" referred to here is Nazi Germany.

I wanted a name close enough to Sandy that the cub would accept it as his own, hence the name "Shanty."

That pup is yet to master his knots = considering the strip for this week, an appropriate line.

Pulling out an eyebolt, Shanty started screwing it into the side of the otter’s wooden vessel.  = That is not fiction.  Barbery Pirates used this tactic to sneak aboard ships anchored in a harbor.

I left my paw print right next to him.  = Native Americans used this tactic, (though they used ash and mud), when a warrior wanted to "count coupe."  A successful warrior doing this to the chief of another tribe was considered exceptionally brave.

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Oxanna
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2007, 12:00:48 AM »

Wow. Okay, I have to admit that's somewhat better than mine. Of course, you have had 42 years more experience...
You even indirectly explained his ability to use the sextant even if he didn't know there was one inside the box!
Only: why did the otter come in search of him? Surely the otters don't have so much free time on their hands so as to chase after a pup who might just as well have perished in the storm?
There's also another thing that's as to yet unexplained (in my story as well) why on earth does he have to be so hostile towards Rif and Rhene?
Oh well, guess that's for Joe Pearce and Allison Hershey to know and for everyone else to find out.

So the long and short of it is: I can't wait to find out what's going to happen next - and I have to wait FIVE DAYS!!
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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2007, 01:34:14 AM »

Well, they're coming after him because he might have overheard them talking about their fleet (which he did).

He's hostile towards Rif and Rhene because they're mere _foxes_ and he's indebted to them...

There's one thing I was wondering, how does the continuity around Lupus' death work? He seems awfully lively when they're already far (?) from the conflict, and then he gets shot. I thought the otters would be too far away, and too busy a) boarding the wolves' ship and b) getting blown up, to manage to kill Lupus at range...


PS. I like the references (e.g. u-boat packs, Native Americans, etc.)... gives it so much more depth.

PS(2). The initial stage setting seems awfully familiar... like "Master and Commander" or the "New Worlds" webcomic or something... ?
« Last Edit: October 26, 2007, 01:38:37 AM by WolfieInu » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2007, 03:26:45 AM »

Good questions that in a longer fan fiction could be answered.

1 --- The otters are giving chase because they know the skiff has their treasure since it wasn't on the captured wolf ship.  So they are checking.  (Remember the reference in the early strips where the ferrets claims "weird things happening lately?")  One crewman found the wolf prints, and the chase is on.

2 --- I'm going to agree with Wolfie since there is a great deal of evidence that the various morph species mistrust each other.

3 --- Forty-two years?  LOL!  My creative writing didn't start until 2003.  True, I have been doing a lot of writing since I started work in 1976, but none of it creative.  Think of it as doing an endless series of term papers where the teacher has dictated the format.

4 --- Lupus was shot just after the escape, but the bolts were not immediately fatal.  Think of the many stories about people that are shot and seem quite active for a time after, only to die from the injury.

5 --- The seafaring setting didn't have anything to do with "Master and Commander," or any other game.  It came from this strip.  Sandy's attire made me think seaman right away, though I assumed he was a member of a fishing boat.  When I saw the otter he imagined, the story clicked in my mind.  Just never thought of posting it.

Additional note
Did you catch the reference to where the wolves live?  Was trying to explain why Sandy is going north, even if he's uncertain as to the why.
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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2007, 07:25:51 PM »

Brilliant stories! 

In the first one, it was interesting to read about an event in the game from the perspective of the wolf pack.   

Having read all twenty-one-and-a-half  "Master & Commander" (Aubrey-Maturin) books by Patrick O'Brian, I was impressed with the use of sea language and technical details in the second one.

My favorite line:
“That pup is yet to master his knots and has no rings in his ear, sir.  Until he kills another beast in battle or steals an enemy’s treasure, there’s no way of knowing which is faster, his blade or his bladder.”

I won't reveal whether any of the stories are true to the mark. That would let the wolf-pup out of the bag. But they do give us an idea how readers perceive the plot as it has been laid out so far. If there are any misunderstandings (that, too, I will not reveal), Joe and I can make some adjustments in the future to make a few things more clear.

Keep writing.  Who knows?  Maybe a detail or two will find its way into one of our strips....

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« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2009, 10:56:39 AM »


I won't reveal whether any of the stories are true to the mark. That would let the wolf-pup out of the bag. But they do give us an idea how readers perceive the plot as it has been laid out so far. If there are any misunderstandings (that, too, I will not reveal), Joe and I can make some adjustments in the future to make a few things more clear.



At least we are learning from the current series of strips (since Rif and Sandy reached the town) how much of these stories were close to the mark.  Think we both were a bit off from what the writers had in mind.
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