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The siege (Read 3757 times)
Thearos
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The siege
May 27th, 2010 at 6:35pm
 
The first, probing assault on the city came at midday, after the besiegers finally finished installling their camp. The storming detachments moved out slowly, through the olive groves and gardens, past the remains of the shacks that had just been demolished, out into the open grounds in front of the city walls. Just out of range of the slingstones and the arrows that already flew tentatively from the city walls, the huddle of shielded, armoured men shook itself into three ladder parties, each surrounded by a swarm of slingers. Once the ladder parties shifted into their starting positions, the slingers kicked up a steady stream of aimed shots at the wall, with heavy lead bullets that outranged the defenders, killing two archers and sending the others scrabbling behind the protection of the battlements. The ladder parties rushed out, with the slingers keeping up the curtain of lead bullets smacking into the wall or buzzing past the battlements. The attackers briskly covered the three hundred paces to the wall, placed their ladders, and the double-pay men started up first, and the slingers fired concentrated shots at any defenders who appeared at the battlements, shielded heavy infantry. The scaling ladders had been measured correctly, and placed at exactly the right angle, gave no purchase to push them away. The slingers ceased fire when the double pay men were at the top, trying to clear the defenders away with the blade and the pommel of their swords. They nearly succeeded in gaining their footing, but a rescue squad of mercenaries, hired by the city with their Cretan captain, arrived in time to kill the attackers or hurl them off; each ladder was pushed away by a mercenary with a pitchfork, shielded by a companion, as they had practised before the siege had started.
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Thearos
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Re: The siege
Reply #1 - May 27th, 2010 at 6:43pm
 
The Cretan finished wiping his face with his cloak, and asked to see the sling bullets that had been found in the city. "Hmm, what have we here", he smiled at the first one as he turned it over in his hand, "I see Babyrtas has come, and Euboulidas too-- so he's still alive, I wondered what had become of him--  gone over to the One-Eyed. Nice scorpions on these, I wonder whose they are. Oh, they've got a detachment from the Peloponnese too, that'll be interesting."
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Thearos
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Re: The siege
Reply #2 - May 27th, 2010 at 6:52pm
 
"I speak seriously now. We need all the lead there is in the city-- from workshops, loom weights, pots, and someone who can work clay. We'll use one of the bullets from our friends outside as a model for the mould. But we should hurry"
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« Last Edit: May 27th, 2010 at 8:44pm by Thearos »  
 
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Curious Aardvark
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Re: The siege
Reply #3 - May 28th, 2010 at 7:06am
 
the cretan is no cretin Wink

Good bit of narrative.
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Do All things with Honour and Generosity: Regret Nothing, Envy None, Apologise Seldom and Bow your head to No One  - works for me Smiley
 
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Thearos
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Re: The siege
Reply #4 - May 28th, 2010 at 12:43pm
 
Thanks. Did it just for the hell of it, really.
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Re: The siege
Reply #5 - May 28th, 2010 at 2:56pm
 
the writing has improved a lot since the first piece you did. I'm looking forward to the novel now !

Read all tom holts historic novels - I reckon you could do at least as good a job, and a damn site better on the slinging side lol

Abd lets face it ancient history is very fashionable at the moment. Those long Summer holidays coming up, go on write a novel, you know you want to Smiley
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Do All things with Honour and Generosity: Regret Nothing, Envy None, Apologise Seldom and Bow your head to No One  - works for me Smiley
 
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Thearos
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Re: The siege
Reply #6 - May 28th, 2010 at 8:38pm
 
I find writing any sort of fiction very difficult-- you have to have the "literary eye" for sentence flow. And in historical fiction, it's even harder to get the tone right-- between "Hail forsooth my lord" and "Aye them Vikings is right 'ard bastards"

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Curious Aardvark
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Re: The siege
Reply #7 - May 29th, 2010 at 6:38am
 
true, but I think you've pretty much cracked it.
And I don't say that lightly.

Wrote a lot of fiction, back in the day - had a fair few short stories published, just never saw a way of earning a living from it.

Still haven't finished a novel lol (started a few)
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Do All things with Honour and Generosity: Regret Nothing, Envy None, Apologise Seldom and Bow your head to No One  - works for me Smiley
 
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Thearos
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Re: The siege
Reply #8 - May 29th, 2010 at 8:47am
 
Wow, that's impressive. I suppose the age when people lived off short stories and novels, without necessarily being blockbuster writers, is sort of past ?

Of course, that sounds silly-- there still are many writers, and tons of books get published. But I don't see (maybe this is just my ignorance) people living like e.g. the SF short story writers of the '50s, or even the serial novel writiers of the C19th, by cranking out, fluently and easily, fodder for an eager readership.
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Curious Aardvark
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Re: The siege
Reply #9 - May 30th, 2010 at 3:43pm
 
yeah the internet is a wonderful thing, but it pretty much spelt the deathknell of the small presses and the short story oriented magazines.

I've had a couple of yarns published in hardback anthologies as well, but that was some years ago now.
And one was down to collaborating on a story with a friend who has the drive to just keep sending stuff out.
He stuck at it and does seem to be making some mainstream headway.
It helps that he doesn't have to work for  a living any more Smiley

If you fancy reading some dark horror/sf - give paul pinn a try:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=paul+pinn&tag=yahhyd-21&index=stripb...
http://paulpinn.webs.com/
One the the stories we wrote together is in the collection: Ideopathic condition red - called The flayer, not for the faint hearted lol
Not sure what happened to the other one, hell i can't even remember what it was called.
I do remember it ws about auto-cannabilism Wink
Paul doesn't do fluffy. And I only wrote a few horror yarns, sf, fantasy and space opera are my true loves.
(lol just realised I've got half authorship on a story in a book being sold on amazon ! God bless ya paul Wink

These days short story collections are generally only published if you're already an established author. And that is getting harder and harder to do.
Technology has made vanity publishing easier - but if it's good enough to be published I believe you shouldn't have to pay for it yourself.
(although I am planning on self publishing the cookery books - so who knows lol)

We have a member who wrote a seriously great fantasy novel. Easily as good as anything i've read that has been published.
A lot of us were lucky enough to be proof readers for her. It had a little slinging in it which is how she ended up here.
She managed to find an agent (no easy task in itself).
And was told she needed to rewrite for a younger readership if she was serious about getting it published.

Harry potter has a lot to answer for. Publishing houses now seem to believe that only fiction aimed at younger readers will make them rich.  

But historical fiction is popular at the moment so there's definitely something to aim for thearos Smiley
I currently lack the discipline to write for a living. I'll  get back to it at some point Smiley
Every now and then i add a few paragraphs to something or other.

I've even recently added a slinger to one story. Might be the kick up the arse I need to do some writing, who knows Smiley
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Do All things with Honour and Generosity: Regret Nothing, Envy None, Apologise Seldom and Bow your head to No One  - works for me Smiley
 
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bigkahuna
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Re: The siege
Reply #10 - Jun 4th, 2010 at 10:43pm
 
Good writing! Keep it up. Wink
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Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
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xxkid123
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Re: The siege
Reply #11 - Jun 20th, 2010 at 8:33pm
 
nice dude, great short...stories?
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