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Conker
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icon Non-Contest First Job story (+5)  
Hi. Well, owing to some alleged "date/time conversion problems" on the site, my entry to the competition was submitted just under an hour too late. The deadline appeared on my screen as 1pm, but Malarame, in a PM, said it was supposed to be 12. It's apparantly not going to be included (I did ask, mentioning that it would have been a tad clearer to include a timezone, rather than leaving us to assume he meant his own - which I gathered from his profile -, and secondly that there were already existing reasons for remaking the poll, such as all the immature people who are voting 1 for every story. However, this was approximately two days ago, and I have since received no reply. Hmm.)

So what the hell. I've got to say, I'm quite disillusioned with the whole contest process for the way this was handled, but regardless, I decided to post this here. Enjoy it. I can't lose; positive criticism is always welcome, and as for negative, well, you'd be making me feel better by posting to let me know I'd have had no chance of placing in the competition anyway :P

Edit: I've attached the file in .doc format as well, because posts on this board don't seem to preserve formatting, and [tt] didn't seem to work.

A Delver

The same pale, sickly light that had filled the last three rooms illuminated this one as well. Dazed, and slightly delirious, Beethro briefly wondered where it came from as he stumbled in. He’d been worried, leaving the first room, that the tomb would quickly turn pitch black. Fears of Roaches creeping up on him in the dark, of falling down some bottomless pit, of being eaten by a grue, all had haunted him. But they had proved groundless.
Beethro’s thoughts started to wander. His mind quickly focussed, however, when he heard it. Just there, almost beyond the audible range, coming from somewhere just out of sight. He wasn’t alone.
The chittering. They were here, then. Beethro was only on the first level of his first dungeon, and already, he was sick of the sight of them.
He’d known, of course, what he was going to encounter. When he’d proudly told every Smitemaster he knew of his first appointment – a petty job, by their standards; little more than airing out a dusty old crypt – they’d look at each other, give a conspiratorial wink, and tell him of “Roaches so big they’ll be rippin' yer arm straight off, sword an' all, boy!”. By the time he’d talked to half of the senior Smitemasters, the young Beethro was terrified. If the Roaches – which were, he was now informed, big enough to tower over him, breathed fire, and would crush him like, for lack of a better word, a bug – didn’t get him, and if the Wraithwings didn’t spirit him away, then he’d be eaten alive by Living Tar. It was a grim prospect.
But, despite this, Beethro did not cancel his assignment. And so, on that cold Onsuary morning, he stood outside the tomb. The gate seemed ominous and forbidding , and his hands trembled. But Beethro would not back down. He’d never get into the Smitemaster’s guild if he ran away from his first real job. He had accepted a contract to clear the tomb of the Portly Earl Munfus, His Most Excellent Earlness, and clear it he would.
It was a matter of honour; but even more than that, it was what he was meant to do. Because Beethro knew. He was a Delver.

And now here he was, about to be eaten by Roaches, only four rooms into his first dungeon. Not exactly a promising start to his career. Hanging his head in resignation, his eyes half shut, Beethro almost missed the arrow under his feet. Almost.
“Huh? Arrow? Well… I suddenly have a strange need to only travel in this general direction. Odd.”.
Round and round the maze of arrows, Beethro travelled. Until, suddenly, he found the source of the noise. There it was. The terrible cuisinart of mandibles and chitinous scales. He’d found the Roach.
But then Beethro noticed something. And he laughed. He roared with laughter, and when his sides hurt, and he felt like he couldn’t laugh anymore, he did anyway. He laughed until tears ran from his eyes, and he was almost doubled over from the powerful convulsions.
Because underneath the Roach, Beethro saw an arrow, pointing to the wall. By now, Beethro had uncovered the secret of these arrows, and their strange force. He knew that the Roach could not reach him. But Beethro could reach it.
And he did.

As he prepared another succulent meal of Roach meat, Beethro thought back on the path of carnage behind him, considering what a near-miss he’d had reaching this room so weak and unprepared to fight. “Damned Architects and their conundrums, and stupid mind-games.”, he thought to himself. “Would it kill them to make a room that a normal person could understand!?”


* * *

Beethro had sat for too long to measure. The hours had turned into days, and still it didn’t move. He couldn’t speak to it, and behind the smooth, shiny surface, there seemed a kind of hidden malevolence. An unmistakable sense of impending doom, wafting around it like a dark cloud. In short, the orb seemed evil.
But eventually, days later, having fended off stony-hearted Hunger only through his quick-witted application of the appropriate resources (that Roach meat made quite the stew, actually. Maybe they were good for something after all), Beethro won his freedom. At last, he had learned the secret of the orb! Simply by striking its enigmatic surface with his sword, it caused the yellow wall in front of him to vanish. Marvelling at the fiendish sorcery of the Architects, Beethro lurched to his feet, and entered the fourth room. There was a job still to be done, and he would do it.

Because he was a Delver.

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05-22-2005 at 09:11 PM
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silver
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icon Re: Non-Contest First Job story (0)  
Since this story is not in the contest, I can give people an idea how I judged things in the contest by showing how'd I'd judge this.

No character development, major canon violation (Beethro discovered tar in KDD many years later), minor canon violation (use of Delver), bizarre dialogue ("suddenly I have a strange need"? who talks to himself like that?), inappropriate language (no need to cuss when we've heard canonical examples of him saying things like "grebbing" instead)

On the plus side, the grammar and spelling are correct.

4.

but, as I said before, I'm a harsher critic than most. It probably would have gotten better marks from the other judges (minus some of the "everything is a one" people).

This isn't a personal attack, I'm just saying I have high standards for stories. Sorry if it bugs you. I do give you marks (and a mod point :) ) for trying.



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05-22-2005 at 10:09 PM
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Conker
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icon Re: Non-Contest First Job story (0)  
quote:
silver wrote:
major canon violation (Beethro discovered tar in KDD many years later)


I read elsewhere (possibly in the original thread) that thought Beethro first encountered Tar in KDD, it was already known to have existed. I think the quote went something like "It was something only experienced Smitemasters tended to encounter."
My story didn't have Beethro encounter Tar, only be told about it, by the senior Smitemasters. So I think you're wrong there.

As for Delver... You're probably right, but I decided as the contest briefing used the word several times, it may be appropriate. It was either that or Dunger (rhythm, 2 syllables), and Dunger has negative connotations. On reflection, Smiter may have been a better choice.
quote:
silver wrote:
Bizarre dialogue... "I suddenly have a strange need to only travel in this general direction. Odd."


That particular piece of dialogue was meant to be humourous. Slightly spoofing the whole idea of force arrows, as opposed to taking it seriously. The stories were meant to entertain, after all. I thought the "Odd" in particular made that quite obvious, but, maybe not.

"Damned"... I didn't really see that as cussing, myself, but then, we're all a product of our upbringing.

quote:
]silver wrote:
No character development,

Character development... Perhaps not. Though his desire to get into the profession, and the overcoming of his fear, is shown.

Anyway, many thanks for your comments.

Edit: I just looked.
quote:
Mattcrampy wrote:
Beethro hadn't seen tar before, but he'd heard of it. It's not all that common, and only the experienced smitemasters tend to run into it. (Of which Beethro is now one.)




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05-22-2005 at 10:24 PM
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silver
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icon Re: Non-Contest First Job story (0)  
Apologies for the tar reference. that adds a point or two.

Character development: he decided to get into the profession before the story started, apparently, and never had any other choice or any chance of choosing anything else...?

And, uh, sorry I didn't get your joke.


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05-22-2005 at 10:44 PM
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Malarame
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icon Re: Non-Contest First Job story (0)  
I'll address this point by point, I guess.

quote:
Conker wrote:
Hi. Well, owing to some alleged "date/time conversion problems" on the site, my entry to the competition was submitted just under an hour too late. The deadline appeared on my screen as 1pm, but Malarame, in a PM, said it was supposed to be 12.

I can't be responsible if for some reason the deadline date didn't appear correctly on your screen. When I made the post, I was very careful about that and on my computer it appeared as 12:00. Your entry arrived in my PM inbox at 12:58. The poll was posted at 12:49.

In other words, your entry was 58 minutes late. It came 9 minutes after I made the poll. Why are you so mad at me about not including your story? I made a deadline for a reason. I don't know about you, but I usually follow the rules, especially rules I myself make.

quote:
It's apparantly not going to be included (I did ask, mentioning that it would have been a tad clearer to include a timezone, rather than leaving us to assume he meant his own - which I gathered from his profile

I agree -- in retrospect, I should have included my time zone and the deadline in my time in the original post. However, I assumed the localtime tag would take care of all of that. If it didn't work for some reason, I'm not responsible.

However, your argument falls apart when you look at the reply I made to techant asking specifically when the deadline was:
quote:
Malarame wrote:
Well, technically, it's tomorrow at noon where I am, which is the eastern timezone.

What's unclear about that?

quote:
...and secondly that there were already existing reasons for remaking the poll, such as all the immature people who are voting 1 for every story.

As you can see, I haven't remade the poll. Unless more people chime in with their opinions and there's an overwhelming concensus, it's going to stay just how it is. You submitting a story past the deadline isn't enough to make me redo the poll.

quote:
However, this was approximately two days ago, and I have since received no reply. Hmm.)

Forgive me for having a life outside of DROD, but for the past several days I've been very busy and I've had very little free time. Carrying on an argument with someone who's upset that I won't break the rules just for them isn't high on my list of priorities.


So what the hell. I've got to say, I'm quite disillusioned with the whole contest process for the way this was handled, but regardless, I decided to post this here.

How are you disillusioned? You submitted a story past the deadline and after I made the poll (in which I said, and I quote, "I'm not accepting any new entries") and it wasn't accepted. What's there to argue about? Why are you so upset?

You had a total of 18 days to write and submit a story, yet you waited until the last minute and sent one in an hour late. Then, when I tell you that I can't accept it, you get mad and blame me. I'm sorry, but I have no sympathy for you.

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05-22-2005 at 11:06 PM
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goldenlion
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icon Re: Non-Contest First Job story (+2)  
quote:
silver wrote:
[...]inappropriate language (no need to cuss when we've heard canonical examples of him saying things like "grebbing" instead)


Incorrect. Although Beethro doesn't exactly swear a blue streak, we have canonical examples of him saying "damn" written by the big guy, Erik himself.

From Chapter Two of Beethro the Delver, The Pink Threat:
quote:
There was a knock at the door.

"Okay. Send Halph down next week, and we'll get him straightened out," said Beethro.

At the front door was a King's Messenger, trying his best to look splendid in a worn-out uniform. Seeing the door opened, he drew a mini-trumpet to his lips and squeaked a triumphant little tune.

"Stop that!" said Beethro. "What is it?"

Much throat-clearing ensued, and then: "The Hand of his Highness. In all Its Glorius Kinglitude. The Fair and Lovely Hand of King Dugan. The Third. Of Dugandy. Did move with Mighty Flourishes while a pen rested betwixt His Noble Fingers. The Heavenly Hand brought forth Profound Words to paper, enscribed--"

"Just give me that damned letter." [italics mine] Beethro grabbed a pink envelope from the messenger. The man then considered if he should repeat his announcement, since it was not completed. Beethro simply shut the front door and went back inside.

There's another canonical example of "damn" written by Mr. Claythro Budkin as well.

Just FYI.

btw -- That story was well written, Conker. Most canonical stories have an element of seriousness, but for the most part are tongue-in-cheek and don't take themselves too seriously. While you didn't get that style precisely spot-on, you did as good a job as anyone in the contest (and better than most.) Also, grammar and spelling were solid (although again, not perfect.) I don't think your story especially stands out in terms of plot or character development, but all other elements are solid. Overall, you'd be in my top 5 in this competition.


[Edited by goldenlion at Local Time:05-23-2005 at 01:31 AM: comments on conker's story]

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05-23-2005 at 01:19 AM
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Schik
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icon Re: Non-Contest First Job story (+2)  
quote:
Malarame wrote:
When I made the post, I was very careful about that and on my computer it appeared as 12:00.
Really? I just looked right now, and for me it shows the end time as 7:00 AM (CST). Looking at the text of your post, your localtime tag is as follows:
quote:
[localtime]May 20, 2005 12:00 PM[/localtime]
If you look at the Forum Help, it states that the time you put in a localtime tag should be in GMT. So you put the wrong time in, and Conker, seeing a time that was not 5 hours off of what you later stated, but only 1 hour off, assumed you must have put your local time in the post.

Conker, at this point I'm sorry to say that I can't add you to the poll. However, I'll make sure you get credit as having competed in the contest, and I'll give you some rank points for your trouble.

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05-23-2005 at 01:20 AM
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silver
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icon Re: Non-Contest First Job story (0)  
quote:
goldenlion wrote:
Incorrect. Although Beethro doesn't exactly swear a blue streak, we have canonical examples of him saying "damn" written by the big guy, Erik himself.
...
Just FYI.


thank you.
I've studied everything written by Erik three or four times over, but occasionally miss this stuff.

I still don't like to see stories with things in them that wouldn't be appropriate to say at a job interview, but that's just me now, and no longer an issue with the universe.

edit: and now I have to bug Erik and find out if this is actually an error in canon :) It occurs to me that in a world without Judaism or any of its offshoots, that probably isn't an invective.



[Edited by silver at Local Time:05-23-2005 at 01:51 AM]

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05-23-2005 at 01:28 AM
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Mattcrampy
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icon Re: Non-Contest First Job story (0)  
Well, strictly speaking Beethro isn't speaking English.

But then that excuse never flies - 'damn', like 'Jeebus' and other mild cusses, actually have roots in Eighth history, although they've been around a lot longer and so they've been corrupted considerably.

For instance, did you know that 'Jeebus' comes from an old Empire word for 'overlord'? No? Well, that makes sense, I guess, as I just made that up to screw with you.

If we want to nitpick over canon, Beethro would have known what an orb was. They don't send you down green, you know - you get some training with stuffed wubbas and wooden targets and the like, entirely appropriate for a montage, and learn about some of the more common dungeon elements, like arrows and orbs. But I won't nitpick over canon, because it's petty and I barely respect Eighth canon as it is. (For instance, Beethro could have not been listening in Smitemaster's School with regards to theory.)

Matt

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05-23-2005 at 08:36 AM
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Malarame
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quote:
Schik wrote:
If you look at the Forum Help, it states that the time you put in a localtime tag should be in GMT. So you put the wrong time in, and Conker, seeing a time that was not 5 hours off of what you later stated, but only 1 hour off, assumed you must have put your local time in the post.

Conker, at this point I'm sorry to say that I can't add you to the poll. However, I'll make sure you get credit as having competed in the contest, and I'll give you some rank points for your trouble.

I see what I did now. I apologize for that, and I'll be more careful in the future.

However, this only makes Conker's entry that much later. A deadline of 12:00 GMT corresponds to 8:00am where I am. That means Conker sent his entry in 5 hours late.

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05-23-2005 at 01:15 PM
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Schik
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quote:
Malarame wrote:
However, this only makes Conker's entry that much later. A deadline of 12:00 GMT corresponds to 8:00am where I am. That means Conker sent his entry in 5 hours late.
If you want to argue that, then you should probably remove from consideration all entries that came in after 8:00AM your time.

Look at it from Conker's point of view: He saw "1:00 PM" as the time in the first post, and maybe wasn't sure what time zone that was. Then you mentioned that it was noon your time, and did a little math from your time zone to his: 12:00 + 5 hours = 5:00. Hmmm. No, the time in the first post says 1:00, not 12:00 or 5:00. Either he's off by 1 hour or by 4... I guess he's off by 1 hour, and posted his local time.

One thing I think I can do to make this sort of problem less likely in the future is to change the output from [localtime] to show the time zone it has converted to.

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05-23-2005 at 02:33 PM
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Malarame
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quote:
Schik wrote:
One thing I think I can do to make this sort of problem less likely in the future is to change the output from [localtime] to show the time zone it has converted to.

That's a good idea. Also, is it possible to make a different localtime tag that works from putting your own local time in?

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05-23-2005 at 02:54 PM
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Conker
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icon Re: Non-Contest First Job story (+3)  
quote:
Schik wrote:
Conker, at this point I'm sorry to say that I can't add you to the poll. However, I'll make sure you get credit as having competed in the contest, and I'll give you some rank points for your trouble.


It's alright, about the poll. I mean, yeah, I was a bit disappointed at first, but it's only a contest. I appreciate the friendly general message of basically "Sorry about this, bad luck man" - It's fine. I mean, hey, **** happens, right?

quote:
Schik wrote:
Look at it from Conker's point of view: He saw "1:00 PM" as the time in the first post, and maybe wasn't sure what time zone that was. Then you mentioned that it was noon your time, and did a little math from your time zone to his: 12:00 + 5 hours = 5:00. Hmmm. No, the time in the first post says 1:00, not 12:00 or 5:00. Either he's off by 1 hour or by 4... I guess he's off by 1 hour, and posted his local time.


That's pretty much what happened. Although, when I saw the post on the second page, saying "noon my time", I assumed Malarame was just being approximate (1 pm is pretty much noon), and that the 1 PM was the specific deadline. And so I did the math and wound up at 6pm GMT. In all fairness, I should have probably submitted it a lot earlier, but I'd been very busy with exams.

As for the story, everyone who mentioned character development, you have a good point. Not an excessive amount of it (though Beethro does discover the tasty properties of Roachmeat, which serves him well after KDD :P)

Anyway, thank you, very much, for your consideration and understanding (and rank points, hehe). I can accept the entry being too late, and certainly don't hold any grudges over silly mistakes with localtime tags (which confuse me anyway :P).

Oh, and as for the orb - being stuck for days even seemed a tad implausible to me, but, I just couldn't resist :)

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05-23-2005 at 04:11 PM
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