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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

TeeWee

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Chapter 0
This will be an AAR about the Hussite Wars, from the perspective of the Hussite nation and the immediate aftermath. It will probably not extend much beyond this, though if the interest is high, I might be tempted to write more about in this particular setting.

This will be my first posted AAR (though not my first attempt). It is work in progress, so help etc. would be appreciated, also with things like posting schedule. I will post the first part of Chapter 1 following this post so you can get the flavour of the story.

If for some reason you believe my feelings will be hurt by critiqueing in public, feel free to use PM'ing. I have Thick Skin (tm)

Game settings for the interested parties:
AGCEEP 1.51, 1419 start, Bohemia, choosing Hussites when the option arrives.
 
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TeeWee

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Chapter 1, part one - Standing up for Father Hus
Prague, the Summer of 1419

Pavel of Marsovice opened the door of the workshop, carrying two loafs of bread with him. He closed the door behind him, looking around for Master Frantisek. He went through the workshop into the adjoining house and put the bread in the kitchen. When he returned to the workshop, Master Frantisek there, was readying a large vat of water.

“Master, the bread is in the kitchen. Something strange happened though.” Pavel seemed unsure if he should continue.

Frantisek looked up and nodded at the vat of piss standing in the corner.

“The hairs should be loose enough now. After you're finished with those skins, you can help me with the cleaning of this new batch.”

Pavel sighed and walked over to the where the skins were soaking in piss. After all these years apprenticing for Master Frantisek, he hardly noticed the stench. He grabbed the first skin from the vat and methodically scraped the hairs from the skin with a knife.
Frantisek observed his apprentice for a minute.

“Lad. What happened?”

“Master?” Pavel still hesitated. “The baker. Sir, the baker told to me hurry back here. He said there was something in the air. What can he mean?”

Frantisek dumped a dried skin into the vat of water.

“Humph! That man gossips like my aunt!”

Pavel silently continued removing the hairs. A tedious job, but of course an important step in the process of tanning the hides.

“Still, he is right. The council is holding several notable followers of Hus. But that's business unfit for us baseborn.”

Master Frantisek was right of course. A simple tanner's apprentice had no business meddling into the affairs of the city council. He continued his tasks while the Master finished soaking the new skins in water.
Suddenly, the door of the workshop burst open. A slender boy rushed in, the colour of his cheeks showing his excitement.

In between his gasps for breath, he said, “Pavel, quickly! Father Zelivsky is going to demand the release of our brethren!”

“Boy! I will not interfere with how tight or loose Master Vincenc holds his apprentices, but you will not disturb mine from his work! I will have words with Master Vincenc later.”

The carpenter's apprentice looked up in surprise for a moment, seeing Master Frantisek for the first time.

“Beg your pardon, Master Frantisek. Master Vincenc is following Father Zelivsky to City Hall. He said all devout Christians should add their voice to this cause!”

“Then be on your way boy and be a devout Christian. In this workshop, there's work to be done!”

“Pavel! It's Father Zelivsky! Will you come?”

Tomas looked pleadingly at his best friend. Pavel glanced at Master Frantisek and sighed.

“I'm sorry Tomas, I have work to do.”

Tomas slumped, disappointed. He turned around, reached for the door.

“Lad. Quality is in the sharpness of one's mind. You will not be doing any good work today anyway.”

Tomas and Pavel looked up, hopefully.

“Well? On your way now.”

Pavel quickly put his equipment away, rinsing his hands. He joined his friend.

“The work will still be waiting for you tomorrow. By the end of tomorrow, I expect to see it all finished.”

Pavel didn't wait for him to change his mind.

“Yes Master,” he shouted over his shoulder as he and Tomas rushed out of the door.



Outside, the two friends sped towards the city centre.

“Master Frantisek is a dour master. I don't know how you survive that... And the stench!”

Pavel laughed. “He's not that bad!”

“Truly, he is a horrible man. I don't think he ever relaxes his muscles for a single moment.”

“Just because you've been extremely fortunate with Master Vincenc doesn't mean all other masters are horrible men!”

Running through the city, they saw many grim faces. Many more than usual. Pavel started to doubt his wisdom to meddle in such affairs, but he didn't have time to think on it. As they rounded a last corner, they reached the city hall square. A big crowd had gathered there, listening to a dark haired priest with a black beard.

“We shall not bow to mere councilmen who bow their heads to the corrupt bishops. Look how they live in material riches and splendour! Behold, how you, men of Prague, the lifeblood of Bohemia, live in hardship. But look deeper; see! See how your hardship strengthens your resolve and tempers the steel of your lives. And see how the material riches of those... those cowering men, bathing in the luxuries of the world, how it corrupts them to their very souls!”

All thought left Pavel as rapture filled his head. He glanced at his friend and saw the admiration both of them shared for Father Zelivsky.

“And they believe, and want us to believe, that they can buy back the forgiveness of our Lord, that worldly riches can move our Lord to absolve them from their corruption. And how they want us to believe this! For if we follow their lead, even more of your possessions would flow to their pockets. Nay, they are not thieves; they are worse! They steal from the poor with bald lies!”

Pavel shouted, voicing his agreement with fervor.

“And now, now those councilmen are holding our brethren, true followers of our Lord, ready to hand them over to a King whose own brother, our Emperor, broke his promise to our brother Father Hus and burnt him on the stake. Our Emperor, who failed to protect his subjects. Brother to our King. No, our brothers should be set free! Councilmen! Hear us! The will of the people is spoken. Free our brothers!”

“Free our brothers! Brothers! Brothers!”

Pavel chanted on the top of his lungs. The crowd shouted with a single voice. The city hall shook from the shouts.

“Heretics! Heretics,” a voice pierced from the inside of the city hall, “Heretics! You shall be burnt when our King's men arrive!”

“We may be burnt in this life, councilman, but you are mistaken! It is you who will burn. You will burn when it matters. You will burn when our Lord judges you.”

“Burn in Hell!”
“BURN!!”

The priest raised his arms, waiting for the crowd to lower their voices again. He took a deep breath.

“So free our brothers, or truly you will be judged by our Lord! And he will not forget how you caused harm to His flock! Free our brothers!”

Another roar came from the crowd and Pavel shouted his throat raw. Tomas shook his fist in the air, screaming like an animal. Then, unthinkable, Pavel saw something being thrown from the city hall. Unnaturally slow, he saw the object sail towards Father Zelivsky. He grabbed Tomas' shoulder, pointing to the projectile. Tomas shrugged his friend off, enraptured by the priest's words. The projectile hit the priest in the back, knocking him from his feet. The crowd gasped, shocked, silent. Doubt captured the crowd: was this God punishing a heretic?

Years later, Pavel would wonder about his life, where it had led him, when he set his first step on that unforgiving path. He would always come to this point. Why did he set foot on this path? Pavel never found an answer to this. But in his mind, undoubtedly, this was the moment. For why did he, Pavel of Marsovice, in this moment, as the crowd wavered so clearly, why did he choose to raise his voice?

“It... It came from the city hall! The councilmen! They threw a rock at Father Zelivsky! The councilmen!”

In the silence, those words cut through the crowds. A second of silence, another one. Then, an old man, a cloth over one eye, stepped forward and grabbed a stone from the ground.

“They would slay another of our brothers, our beloved Father Zelivsky! Are we not the true faithful? Are we not good subjects to our city, to our King? Are we not the lifeblood of our country? Why should we bow to a German King and Emperor who do not respect his subjects! Freedom for our brothers! We shall free our brothers!”

A shout of agreement, carefully. Then, a roar. More men stepped forwards, and they charged to doors of the city hall, the old man in front. The large doors buckled, buckled again and broke. The crowd chanted.

“Free our brothers, free our brothers!”

Then, a giant crash was heard through the shouting. A councilman was shouting as he flew through the large windows from the city hall down towards the crowd. The crowd reacted immediately, bearing upon him. More councilmen flew down, all shouting. Pavel charged as well, engulfed in the mass of bodies. He lost sight of Tomas, didn't even care. All that was on his mind was that he got hold of that vile councilman, to teach him a lesson he wouldn't forget. That vile man would suffer. That was all that mattered. That vile man must suffer.

After some time, a shout penetrated his mind.

“Brothers! Fellow countrymen! Our brothers are free! And we shall throw down the yoke of our German oppressors. And we will rid ourselves from the corrupt in the clergy.”

The one-eyed man was standing on the steps in front of the city hall, several men in rags behind him. Beside him stood Father Zelivsky, shakily.

“You have spilled blood today,” Father Zelivsky said in a soft voice, “but it was for a good cause. For you have defended our Lord's faithful from the corrupt.”

Pavel looked at his hands. They were red with blood. Not his own. As he looked around, he saw several dead bodies, wrapped in the torn clothes of a councilman. He was shocked, scared. He looked up, saw more scared men among the crowd. Tomas, he couldn't find Tomas. The old man was speaking again, but Pavel didn't listen to his words.

Shaken, Pavel ran away from the square.
 
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TeeWee

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This is the first bit of Chapter one. My chapters seem too long for web posting, but I'll see what happens. If you have any advice on this, I'll be happy to hear it.
 
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stnylan

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Promising start indeed. I always like a Hussite AAR.

Regarding length: this first update, given that it contains a lot of dialogue, appears to be of a pretty decent length. I would be somewhat cautious about regularly posting updates much longer. Indeed, in cases like this above update where you have two sizeable scenes it may at times make sense to post them as two separate updates. Though, given this was a first post that is not, I think, the case here.

As regards posting schedule, a good rule of thumb I think is 2-3 updates a week if you can keep that pace. Daily updates are sometimes too frequent to be easily followed.

I will refrain from commentating on your writing for the time being until I see a little more of where this is going, if that is ok.

And welcome to the wonderful world of AAR-writing. I hope you have fun! :)
 

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Thanks for the kind words. I'm still having a lot of fun in the writing and editing process.

I think I can safely commit to a schedule of one post a week. I can probably write about a post-length section in an evening if I don't stumble on a writer's block as long as Real Life doesn't interfere. If my "ready-to-be-published" stock keeps growing, that is, if I can maintain my current writing speed, I will increase the schedule to twice a week.

The current bit I'm working on (about 3 updates from current post) will need to condense the time a bit. I'm not quite sure yet how the resulting bit will feel, perhaps the very much scene-oriented style will be dropped in favour of some heavy Exposition(tm) though I'm trying to avoid this. Hardest bit to date to write. Update will follow soon.

PS: I'm using this colour to signify non-story posts from now on.
 
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Chapter one, continued

The moon stared accusingly at Pavel. The blood was no longer visible on his hands, but he was sure it had marked him. Though the sky was clear, he could find no comfort in the beauty of the night's skies, nor did he find comfort in the loneliness on the roof of the tannery.

“Pavel.”

Startled, Pavel turned his head. Tomas' head was sticking from the edge of the roof. With a grunt, he hoisted himself up and sat down next to Pavel.

“What happened today Tomas?”

“We stood up for our rights my friend. No more German oppression. No longer!”

Tomas' eyes shone with an intensity Pavel hadn't seen before in his friend.

“A German oppressor, a Magyar oppressor, a Polish oppressor, what difference? For us baseborn, it will always be the same.

“Why Magyar? Why Polish? What stops us Czechs to determine our own fate?”

Pavel was confused. Tomas was always rash and full of dreams, but this didn't sound like him at all.

“Today Pavel, we witnessed ourselves determining our own fate. Jan Zizka said this and he is right.”

“Today? Today... I think I killed a man today, Tomas. I'm scared.”

Tomas put a hand on Pavel's shoulder.

“No need Pavel. We will help ourselves. Trust Zizka.”

Only then did it click in Pavel's mind.

“That was Jan Zizka?”

“Yes! He is a courageous and righteous man. Father Zelivsky told us to trust his judgement. Zizka will protect us and he will protect us well!”

“Zizka...” Pavel muttered to himself. Today, he, Pavel, had been part of events involving a famous, important man. And he had killed a man. He sighed again.

“I killed today. Who is going to protect me from that? From myself?”

“Pavel, listen. What happened today, it was a righteous thing. After... after..., well, afterwards, I stayed and listened to Zizka. He spoke of freedom Pavel! Freedom from our German overlords!”

“Why should I care who rules over me?”

“Don't you see? After Vaclav, there is only his brother Sigismund! Sigismund, who had promised the safety of Father Hus and betrayed him!”

Tomas turned to the skies that Pavel had watched before he arrived. The glow in Tomas betrayed to Pavel that he saw different things in the night than he himself was seeing.

“Freedom... Freedom that can only be won through force of arms. His words, Pavel.”

Pavel didn't say anything, knowing his friend was truly enraptured.

“I... I think I will join him. Our faith must be defended. And I shall be part of this! Perhaps, one day, there will be songs about me, Tomas the Brave!”

Now, Pavel laughed. “I shall sing along merrily then! Lord knows I'll need a merry making song after another day in the tannery.”

Tomas shook his head.

“I do not jest Pavel. I shall join him. Will you join me?”

Pavel saw his friend was serious. Truly serious, not just having one of his many fanciful dreams.

“What about your apprenticeship? What of the money your Father paid Master Vincenc?”

“What use is an apprenticeship if Father Zelivsky gets burnt? If our parents get burnt?”

“I... I can't, Tomas. Father would never show, but I know all his savings went to Master Frantisek. I cannot fail Father. I cannot. I will not.”

Tomas sighed, resigned. He started to climb down the roof. He looked up at Pavel one last time.

“Very well. We're gathering outside the city next week. I'll wait for you as long as I can, but when Zizka marches, I will follow.”

Pavel stared after him. Alone again, he couldn't find any place to hide from his conscience.
 
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stnylan

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Now that is a potentially nasty split. The one infused with a vision - the other conerned with the world he sees. A wedge that could drive them apart. Alternatively, a lot can happen in a week. Perhaps something will occur that will result in them both marching.
 

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stnylan said:
Now that is a potentially nasty split. The one infused with a vision - the other conerned with the world he sees. A wedge that could drive them apart. Alternatively, a lot can happen in a week. Perhaps something will occur that will result in them both marching.
Indeed a nasty split. Fortunately, I know what' going to happen next :)

Anyway, the next update should be up soon, probably Thursday. I need to finish my current update-in-progress first.

On a somewhat related not: does any AAR-writer get the "flying start but difficult to shift gears" kinda troubles while writing? :wacko:
 
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unmerged(59077)

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Wow, interesting. I'm definitely following this.
 

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Chapter one, continued
Pavel entered the workshop and quietly locked the door behind him. He took a deep breath and headed to his bed.

“So. You were there.”

Pavel suppressed a yelp. Master Frantisek was sitting in a corner, lighting a small lantern.

“Master, why are you here?”

“I've heard, lad. Word travels fast. Councilmen! Do you know what you have done?”

The blood drained from Pavel's face. How did he know?

“So it is true. You were there. I hoped it wasn't so.”

Master Frantisek sighed. He got up from his seat, grabbing a bag. He walked over to Pavel and dumped it at his feet. Pavel looked at him questioningly.

“I'm sorry. I cannot... I dare not risk having you here. The King will surely send guardsmen. Who will protect you? Who will protect me?”

Tears filled Pavel's eyes as comprehension dawned.

“Master! Why would the guardsmen waste time on someone like me? Jan Zizka was there, he is much more important!”

Master Frantisek shook his head, a sad look in his face.

“You don't understand. He is indeed more important. Important enough to have friends who are important. You are not important enough. I cannot risk it lad. I'm sorry.”

“No! You cannot mean this,” Pavel said. The tears were now streaming openly down his cheeks.

Master Frantisek's voice almost broke. “You've been a good apprentice. But I cannot protect you. No, I will not lie to you. I cannot protect myself. I will not risk my life, my family. I'm truly sorry. You would have been a good tanner.”

Pavel stared in silence for a moment. Then, he picked up the bag. He started towards the door and stopped again.

“What about my father? He... He must have spent our family's savings on my apprenticeship. Is there a way for him...” Pavel's voice trailed, knowing that he was asking the impossible.

Master Frantisek looked Pavel in the eye.

“You do realize the first years of an apprenticeship are the most expensive...”

Pavel nodded. He knew this of course. It was exactly to protect a Master from apprentices who quit their training that the complete fee was paid up front.

“I'd hoped Father would... But no.”

“Wait.”

Master Frantisek handed a small pouch to Pavel.

“There is not much left. The first years really are costly.”

Pavel took the pouch carefully, felt the coins inside it.

“Take it. Try to... Your father may need what little is left. Farewell, Pavel. I'm sorry. Truly.”

Master Frantisek turned around and went through the door to the adjoining house. Pavel had a last look at the workshop he had spent the past years in. He took a deep breath and went out.

A week later, he found Tomas in the middle of a knot of men just beyond the edge of Prague.
 
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Here's the next update. The next two sections are what I'm working on right now, but progress is slow. There's something not quite right with them, but I think I've cracked the nut now and I think my angle will work. The rest will "simply" be putting it into words. Update in about a week's time I guess.

Specialist290, RGB: welcome to my humble story. I hope you will enjoy the story.
 
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unmerged(59077)

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Well, now he's really thrown in his lot with the hussites. Here's hoping they do well.
 

stnylan

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TeeWee said:
Here's the next update. The next two sections are what I'm working on right now, but progress is slow. There's something not quite right with them, but I think I've cracked the nut now and I think my angle will work. The rest will "simply" be putting it into words. Update in about a week's time I guess.
Oh how I know that problem! Take all the time you need to feel comfortable with it.

And so he finds himself in the group after all. So obvious a way of getting him there I had not thought of it. Nicely done too, nothing overly dramatic or over the top. Good work.
 

TeeWee

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RGB: Yes, he's thrown himself to the Hussite cause now. We'll soon see just how much his life will be turned upside down by this.

Stnylan: Glad you liked this. I'm always worried about the believability of my characters' actions and I'm happy you're "buying" it. Chuffed, even :)
 
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Chapter one, continued
Tabor, Spring 1420

The snow still hadn't melted, but Pavel wasn't wearing a coat. The sweat was gushing from him as the digging was hard in the frozen earth. He didn't mind, it was merely his fair share of the work that needed to be done. The village of Tabor had only been erected in the autumn, with many buildings still unfinished. Truthfully, Tabor was still more a large camp than a village. He continued digging holes in preparation of the palisade that would protect the village.

“Rider approaching!”

Pavel looked up excitedly. Riders meant news, and precious little of that had arrived in Tabor over the winter. He shook the dirt from his shovel and carried it over to the shed. Others were also stopping whatever it was they were doing and storing their equipment away.

“Pavel! Over here!”

Pavel swung his head around and his eyes found a tall man waving at him. Stepan was one of the first to arrive at Tabor after Jan Zizka had set up the camp. A cheerful young man, Pavel and Tomas had quickly befriended him.

“Stepan! What news?”

“Nothing yet. Even Tomas hasn't heard anything yet.”

A hush came over the gathered crowd as Jan Zizka emerged from the newly built town hall.

“Friends, brothers! There's news from Prague. Our German overlords have never been kind on the Czech people and their beliefs. Ever since our Lord has announced His displeasure of siding with the corruption of Rome by striking down King Vaclas, the noblemen of Prague have been negotiating terms with the Queen Regent Sophia to allow for a crowning of her late husband's brother, Sigismund. I have long hoped that both sides would find enough common ground to allow for a peaceful resolution. At the same time, I have also long feared these talks, for I put no stock in those who betray faith. For was it not Sigismund, as Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, a man of utmost power, who broke his pledge of safe passage to Father Hus and sent him to burn? What good will Sigismund be to us, Father Hus' fellow Czechs? He will merely add the Crown of St. Vaclav to his many titles and squander its wealth to the Romanist followers. Long have I feared this.

What I have feared has now come to pass. Queen Sophia, unable to agree to allow us to practice our own beliefs, left Prague in the winter and fled to Breslau, a stronghold for Romanist followers. Yes, the rumours were true, Queen Sophia has been unable to convince Prague to accept Sigismund as King of Bohemia!

But no, cheer not, for there is more, even graver news. Sigismund has petitioned the pope to intervene. And thus, the corruption of the core of the Romanist followers is made apparent to all to see. For the pope himself has declared a crusade against us! A crusade! A crusade as once was called against the infidel in the Holy Land! Do we not believe in the same Lord, the same Saviour? This, my brethren, is the true colour of corruption. I shall not be disheartened by this. For I know a crusade will help only the just, the righteous. And we are just, and righteous! So Sigismund will have his crusade, but the crusade will be against him!

I know I have asked much of you. Many of you have left family and friends to let your voice be heard, your need for your beliefs be known. So, if after today, you wish to return to your lives and family, I will understand. If you think that these are matters of men greater than you, matters of Kings, Emperors and Princes, I will understand. But remember what great things we have already wrought. A great man, Sigismund himself, has been forced to react to the actions of you as so called lesser men! Remember these days in pride and know that your people will be in eternal gratitude for your support and sacrifices. Return to your families if you feel it is the right thing to do.

I do not have the right to ask, so I will beg. I would take this crusade to Sigismund. I cannot see how I can succeed alone, but if I must walk this path alone, so be it. But I beg of you, honour me with your company and walk this path with me.”

Murmurs rose from the crowd, but Zizka had no more to say. He returned to the town hall to let each man decide for himself. The men seemed split, feeling both excitement and dread.

Tomas felt no such divisions of course. “Finally, the time has come for action,”

A young man with dark hair and a thick moustache had joined them and he shook his head. Miroslav answered, “Yes I see action. The Emperor will arrive in force and crush us all. What chance do we have?”

“If the people of Bohemia rise up together, there is nothing Sigismund can do, Emperor or no,” Tomas said.

“The people of Bohemia,” Stepan said, “Tomas, be serious. The people of Bohemia will not rise as one. Forget not that a great many men still follow the teachings of Rome.”

“But Stepan, look at what happened in Prague, what set us on our paths. Do you not agree that the people have more might than any individual can wield?”

Pavel joined the discussion, “Tomas, Stepan speaks truer words than you know. Not everyone follows the teachings of Father Hus. And not everybody who follows Father Hus will take up arms for those beliefs.”

“Pavel! What are you saying, that we should just give up and go on with our lives, accepting the tyranny of Rome?”

Pavel stared at his own hands. They burned. In his mind, he saw the blood of a councilman on them. “No Tomas. I will not return to Prague. I no longer have a life in Prague.”

Pavel raised his head, looking into Tomas' eyes. “Alas, the life I had is no longer. Tomas, I shall join you.”

“Good! See, Pavel is a true brother. Follow that example!”

Miroslav spat. “I have no patience for foolish fanatics. They bring only trouble and forget about the needs of us real people.” He stormed away.

Tomas shouted after him. “You traitor, unbeliever! We don't want your kind anyway!”

Pavel put his hand on the arm of his friend. “Tomas! Do not judge so easily. Did you not listen to Zizka's words? It will come to a war. He has much to lose and and a family to feed. No, do not judge harshly on him.”

“Listen to Pavel, Tomas. A man can have many good reasons not to join us now.” Stepan smiled. “Yes, us. I will march along you as well. A man should not desert good friends such as you.”

Tomas looked at his companions and took their hands. “For faith and freedom.”

“For faith and freedom!” they cried as one.
 

unmerged(59077)

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Alright. Looks like it's time to hope faith, Zizka and the tabor don't let them down :D
 

TeeWee

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RGB: As a certain famous Roman general would say: Alea iacta est! I have the fullest confidence that at least someone is going to put up a fight :p

To all:In general, my updates seem to be getting longer. It doesn't help of course that I'm writing in a word processor, a medium quite different from web posting. Is it too long or is it still manageable?
 

stnylan

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Well now, things are starting to move along. Methinks the Emperor is in for quite the surprise.

As regards to length - it is a $64,000 question. Myself I usually find an update between 800 and 1200 words usually works. Sometimes, though, I will produce a longer update if I want to tie several things together, or a shorter update. It is not something to be forced. An occasional lengthy update is fine - lots of them probably is not.

I would suggest that your updates could do with a little tightening yet, and a little more editing. Take the first paragraph of the current update:

The snow still hadn't melted, but Pavel wasn't wearing a coat. The sweat was gushing from him as the digging was hard in the frozen earth. He didn't mind, it was merely his fair share of the work that needed to be done. The village of Tabor had only been erected in the autumn, with many buildings still unfinished. Truthfully, Tabor was still more a large camp than a village. He continued digging holes in preparation of the palisade that would protect the village.

Firstly, notice how in the last few sentences you repeat the word 'village' three times. It is generally a good idea to avoid this word repitition if possible in such close proximity.

Secondly, the second bit is fairly long-winded - you can merge some of the thoughts there to make them run in a smoother fashion. Also, the last sentence is oddly situated. It really belongs near the beginnig, when talking about Pavel's work.

Here is my admitted editing of the paragraph, to try and demonstrate what I am saying:

The snow hadn't melted, but Pavel wasn't wearing a coat. Sweat gushed from him as he dug holes for the palisade in the hard, frozen earth. He didn't mind. Tabor, only founded in the autumn was still really a large camp, in desperate need of the added protection.

Now, I think there are still weaknesses with the paragraph above, but I have managed to cut down the number of words from 84 to 48. In some respects I have over-pruned here, but I do not think I have left anything essential out from the original paragraph.

I hope this is a useful example.