• Member Since 18th Jun, 2012
  • offline last seen May 15th

RemnantoftheWatcher


The Watcher Watches. He has seen much in the execution of his duty. And sometimes... sometimes... he'll share what he's seen with you.

T

A fic placed within the universe of "The Chess Game of the Gods"


I was a video game programmer.

My career revolved around taking an idea for entertainment, programming it into existence, and making sure it ran smoothly.
You see, a game is only entertaining when it has rules. Rules that define risk and reward. Rules that set boundaries. Rules that, under no circumstances, should be broken.

Even the most open of sandbox games still have limits and I suppose one might even consider 'life' the biggest, most rewarding game of all.

So imagine my surprise when my skill set rewards me with an extra-dimensional house guest appearing in my closet who wishes to take my troubleshooting ability to the most extreme definition.

You see, Discord has started a Game. A Game that involves hundreds if not thousands of humans (or other critters) being drawn into a world I had previously only believed to be fantasy. Each of these Pawns in turn have (more often than not) a patron deity, their Game Master if you would. The Pawns cause mischief or engage in heroism, the Patrons gain influence and power, there may be a wish involved, and Discord gets entertained. None of this directly affects me however.

What does affect me is The Watcher (my visitor) needing me to keep an eye on this world for him, for reasons I can't completely comprehend yet. For Discord to agree to my involvement, I must also deal with Rogue Pawns and their Uninvited Patrons who would disrupt and destroy his Game in ways even he dislikes, since he and the other Game Masters can't become implicitly involved. Apparently it gets messy when they do that.

My reward for complying with both of them; a new body gifted with fantastic abilities, and the chance to explore a world I had only dreamed of and watched from afar.

The price of my failure; the potential end of everything, including the Gods themselves.

I am Alif.

I am the Arbiter.

I can't afford to lose.

Chapters (2)
Comments ( 37 )

891091 It is indeed. I find it funny that out of the five fics I'm working on, this one grabbed and demanded my attention the most to be submitted first.

Ah well, questions, comments, and critiques? Lemme have 'em, full blast people.

Edit: Oh, before I forget, I made a rather overt reference to another of my favorite fics. Kudos if you can guess which one it is.

Ah another one joins the game,


Jon: Welcome new target- I mean friend!

Gentlemen, let the games begin.

Wait, what kind of games? Chess, checkers, poker, what? I'm confuzzles.

This Isn't My House!

But okay, in all seriousness, I severely dislike most of the side-stories set to this particular multiverse, but that's because most of them are utter and complete crap. And when I said crap, I meant huge grammatical errors, plotholes, extremely predictable storylines, and in general just badly written, third-rate self-inserts. And while this story is another self-insert, it is thus far lacking all the other afore mentioned aspects of crappy fanfics, and it is enjoyable to read. Thus I have decided that this fanfic is indeed worthy not only of my thumbs, but also a Favorite, and my time. You may now proceed to kiss the soles of my hand made italian leather shoes to show your adoration and respect towards my great and powerful person.

Damn, I wish I had internet so I could put mine up... I guess I will continue read from my phone.:fluttershbad:

interesting, you have my attention, :rainbowhuh:

During the First Encounter, I couldn't help but think at the Watcher, "...I think you broke his brain."

I find the idea of anyone having the audacity to even suggest trying to "levy legal action against" someone/something that has the power to convert a room with finite space into an area of infinite, inter-dimensional void/open up a portal to said infinite, inter-dimensional void in a doorway to be quite hilarious.

The Watcher's last words remind me of a certain saying involving a spider and a fly. I think that you can determine who is who.

I like this story so far, I think that it's really funny.

898773 You are correct good sir.
898470 As are you. Also, I wish it was a self-insert, because then I would be working at Bethesda Softworks XD. However, given your prior experiences with the AU at large, I am humbled you gave me a chance, and that you find it worth your time. I will indeed kiss the soles of your shoes, not only out of gratitude, but because Italian leather is delicious.

As for everyone else, thank you very much, I'm glad to have joined the game.


Um, ahem, hello. I'm Rets. If you're paying any attention, there should be a hilariously long post under what I'm writing right this very moment. If there isn't, either something has gone terribly wrong with fimfic or myself, or you're blind. If it's the latter, you have my sincere condolences.

So we go.

To introduce the concept of critique, I'm going to start with a nice little compliment before I start bludgeoning your story with my baseball bat. I could go on and on about how I really dislike the "Chess Game of the Gods" universe - because the concept is only okay and 90% of the stories related to it are garbage, but I'm not, so I'm just going to go out and say it. Your story is interesting, and it's okay. Now, it definitely has its problems, the same ones that a lot of the other stories seem to have ( beyond them not being very interesting and all ) and at times I wanted to quit reading, but overall, it's actually interesting. Instead of the usual "Some moron gets bippity boppity booped into Equestria to faff about and pretend they're important so the author can feel like his life is worth something..." ahem, erm, I digress. Instead of that, it feels a lot more like "Some moderately intelligent person gets bippity boppity booped into Equestria in order to control all of the faffing about that's been going on."

That's good. A change from the norm is always good. Now enough with the compliments, I need to save a few to build up your confidence before I tear it back down again. Mu ha ha!

The first problems are within the first few inches of my screen as soon as I load the story.

"KNOCK"

no pls.

Ahem. Well, "bolded sounds" interrupting stuff like that are okay... sometimes, I guess. I use them, but only sparingly. Also I would recommend putting periods at the end of lone ones like this. Otherwise it makes me want to stab my eyes out. People are used to seeing periods, so use them.

"I blinked, removing my headphones as I glanced at the clock in the corner of my screen."

This isn't necessarily bad.... Yeah, it is, actually. Something a lot of authors don't know when they're wondering why their style never improves is because they get in the habit of using "as" a lot. "As" is a bad word, and you shouldn't use it. Like, just don't. It's okay for some circumstances but constantly using it only ruins something good. Try rewording your sentence every time you use "as". It's a bad habit to keep.

"It's was 1:30... A.M."

Ellipses shouldn't be in narrative unless it's vital to the emotion of the story. Yes, this counts for 1st person views where the Point of View character is the "verbal" narrator - which, in this case, he isn't, but I'll get back to that later. In short, REALLY try to limit your ellipses to dialogue, and even then only use it if the character has a verbal habit of trailing off or pausing a lot - and even THEN, try to limit it. Ellipses are sort of a taboo in writing. Use them too much, and you're picked on by all the big kids. It's like picking your nose in public, when you use it in narrative.

"'Who would be knocking at this hour?' I sighed to myself, as I hung my cans on my computer screen."

Okay, there are two problems with this! Yup! And now that I look at it, three! The most minor one is just a spacing issue between the apostrophe and the "I" but otherwise there aren'- Oh, wait, no. There it is. Another "as", and you even used it incorrectly. 3: Poor you. Typically, you shouldn't use "as" anyways, but you definitely shouldn't be using them after commas. It's just poor writing right there. The second is the use of italicized and then half-quoted "thoughts".

Here's another quote from the "thoughts":

"I ruminated about how this isn't the first time I've brought my work home with me, and it certainly wouldn't be the last.

Considering all the things that have happened since, the dramatic irony of that last thought are NOT lost upon me."

Right then. When it comes to thoughts and thinking, you have to be careful. Since this is a first person fic, I recommend you have him thinking through the NARRATIVE, since this is supposedly a RETELLING of things already passed. No silly quotes, no "was thinking about how tasty the carpet looked", and please oh please don't use italicized monologues. Ever.

They are bad.

Also, unless something reality-breaking, and I do mean reality-breaking, you shouldn't allcaps+bold anything in the narrative. Your narrative is where the logic goes, so keep it that way.

"You, certainly, are now wondering why the fuck I brought any of that up."

It's sort of a personal preference of mine when it comes to the rather... hilariously stupid world of fanfiction writers, but having your main character, who is supposed to be a rational and completely legitimate human behind, constantly swearing through the narrative is really, really, REALLY bloody annoying. Seriously. Stop it. That goes to all your other stupid authors that think you're being creative by having a character curse through the narrative. Keep it for the dialogue or for actually really important scenes. As a reader who actually likes to enjoy stories, if you're going to have cursing, don't pepper the dialogue with it, have your characters actually say it. You want to know why, beyond the apparent "moralfag" reason that gets tossed around? It's degrading on the mind, that's why. If a reader gets used to you cursing through the narrative, what's the point? I believe to have someone curse it to make a powerful statement, and it means nothing if they're constantly cursing. So keep your curses as a tool and don't abuse them. Especially words like "fuck" and "shitbitchcuntcock" - use them for actually important scenes. They're only useless if you use them in a manner that makes them useless.

*Deep breath.

With that over with.

"The reason would be to impress upon you the rational as to why it is so abnormal for somebody to be knocking upon; rather than my front door, like any sensible person...

KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!

… my closet door."

This is the proper way to use ellipses in a 1st person narrative format. Good job.

"..Hooooookay then. Closet door it is."

1. Your ellipses was incorrect. Bad doggie.
2. You stretched out a word in the narrative. BAD doggie.
3. What tense is this in again? BAD. DOG.

... sorry for calling you a dog, but the point needed to be made. You have a problem with ellipses and, as I'm about to address, a problem with tense shifts.

I'm not even going to bother with an example of the tense shift, but I-

"Perhaps I should eventually get on doing that. Regardless, knowing that the sloped wall is the roof on the reverse side, I briefly entertained the idea that perhaps some squirrels or even a raccoon had managed to find a way inside through some sort of structural damage."

Theeeeeeeere it is. Yes, I am breaking my own rules in the grammar and construction of this critique, but this is a comment, not a fic... even if that's debatable. I've written reviews longer than the stories, before, but all is fair in love and ponies.

Anyways. Tense shifts seem to be a major problem in this particular story for the moment, and I say "for the moment" because I have no idea what you're doing. It sort of feels like the narrator is building up to the ending of the story, switching to present tense as soon as it began, but it constantly shifts in the story and it keeps distracting me. Choose a sodding tense already. Is your narrator from the end of the story, or is he narrating it as it happens? WHO BLOODY KNOWS AT THIS POINT?

Personally, since it's supposed to be an oral telling of his experience, I would just stick with past tense and do your best to stick with it. Unless you're doing a Pratchett or Douglas style narrative, and you're not in this story, you don't get random tense shifts, okay?

"Opening a door.

...

I take a steadying"

NO ELLIPSES IN THE NARRATIVE PLEASE.

"This was not my closet...



… I slowly lowered my weapon as I blinked stupidly, my brain trying to process the non-interior interior of my closet."

STOP IT.

"'Yes, that's logical enough,' I thought to myself as I pressed my ear to the door.


….
…..

Nothing.

No random scrabbling of a feral animal."

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

*Ahem

Right then. You have a serious addiction to ellipses and you need to stop. You're not just picking your nose in public anymore, you're reaching into the noses of random passer-by.

With your tongue.

" -Compiling Code-

...Compiling


…Compiling


...Compiling


...Compiling
*BZZZT*

-The Compiler has encountered a serious error in the runtime code-

(A)bort? (R)etry? (F)ail?"

I'm not sure if this was clever or outright stupid, but I'm inclined to vote the latter because I reread it several times in order to make sure I wasn't missing anything.

*Sigh.

Actually, when I look at all that I've written I'm wondering why I'm still here, actually bothering to critique your story instead of downvoting it and going on my merry way. Oh. Right. It's because it has an interesting idea behind it, despite the winged cat picture that makes me very very very very very wary about where you're taking this. It also has some very colorful and well-written descriptions like this:

" I suppose it isn't that bad, I contemplated to myself, considering the wall of code hanging brazenly on my screen like the insurmountable walls of Troy."

(This is also another example of your odd thought-process habits. Pick one, already!)

and

" Dark as in an abyssal void, where even the photons (oh those crazy particle/wave packets of energy) that comprised the light from my bedroom lamp would travel on their merry way until they got to the doorjamb, promptly stop, say 'Fuck THIS', and go on a sabbatical to... wherever it is elemental particles go when they encounter a breakdown in spacial fucking physics. Dark, as one would say, with a capital D."

(This is also an example of needless, ineffective cursing in the narrative.)

Those two are prime examples of the beginning of a natural ability to emulate Pratchett and Douglas, two of the greatest Fantasy and Science Fiction authors in history, respectively. I highly recommend you read the Discworld series and work to wind your narrative surrounding that, and I say Discworld because Discworld is fantasy and so is Equestria - and Equestria is pretty much like the Discworld, except with ponies. Other than that, your writing has a lot of promise and just needs a few stylistic nudges in the right direction. Pratchett has a really refreshing style and with the right tools, you can have your own following simply by people wanting something new and good. As a late note (me, currently being done with the review and looking over it for glaring errors) I also realized that the conversation with the Watcher was incredibly like Pratchett. Especially the lawyer part. That was hilarious.

Another thing is your characterization. First off, I'd like to say congratulations.

You have written the first Sane HiE. Ever. Well at least that I've seen.

He doesn't automatically go "weeee random adventure" - no, he logically slams the door of adventure, sits in his chair of a month, and when adventure keeps knocking he actually gets so annoyed at it that he goes and answered. Maybe it's just me comparing you to Pratchett and your character to Rincewind (a similar character from the Discworld series.) but I've always believed that the most entertaining characters are the protagonists that actually don't like being the protagonist. So getting an intelligent character who didn't rush into things instantly was pretty nice. Good job on that.
Also his freak out, screaming random references at the "first contact" moment was really well done, and I liked it. Bravo, I thought as I read it, I now officially like your character.

Let's hope that continues to be a thing.

And so we go back on the road of non-fic related things, where I'm going to skip the eloquent speech and get right to the dirty stuff.

Do you have an editor? Because this reeks of "I do not have an editor and am a new writer yaaay" and that isn't something you want to have. I highly recommend you find some sort of editor or even one or two prereaders. There are plenty of them floating around fimfic - even I'm one, and if you're that desperate I'll gladly offer my services simply because I want to see every stupid little author in the world blossom. I'm like Cheerilee. Except my cutie mark is smiling flowers that've been beaten with a baseball bat for two hours. But enough about me and my secret desire to edit for this story, there are plenty of better editors out there.

Also, on critique. Since you seem to be a new writer, you're going to need to be educated on this, because fimfic is a dangerous place for a new author. You want to know why? About 3% of the users actually give legitimate critique or even proper reviews. Maybe it's 5%, but it's definitely not above 10%, that's for sure. Overall, you are going to get a lot of "yay update" and "yay good chapter" stories, because fimfic's general populace is filled with shitheads. I'm a shithead, you're a shithead, and anyone sitting behind their computer screen chuckling to themselves and thinking "This is funny because everyone is a shithead but me" is doubly a shithead. With that out of the way, there is very few real opinions behind "goooood" and "baaaaaad" from the sheep on fimfic, and you need to prepare for that. By that, I mean don't let your ego inflate. Having a big ego spells your death on the internet, and that's the same for real life as well. Take it with a grain of salt when I say if you pay attention to the "yay" commenter, you have already lost. You can reply to them, sure, and you can laugh along with them, but don't take it to heart. Some comments might look like they're legitimate, but if they don't support factual evidence from the story, or if they outright ignore the flaws (and every story has flaws) then they're wrong.

Pay attention to them, but not too much attention. Otherwise you will feel really bad about yourself when some guy like me comes along and knocks you upside the head with a baseball bat.

I think there was something else I was planning to say, but it's 1:31AM and I've probably lost it in the hurricane that is my thoughts.

W/e.

In short, you've got a lot of flaws in this story, but the original idea and good characters are currently keeping me in, and you're showing the signs of a brilliant early writer. You just need a few nudges in the right direction, which can be commonly found with a good editor. So, capping it off at: 2,586 words,

the end





and in the spirit of fimfic, have a Twist. :twistnerd:

I am obligated to track this now.

899149 I was wondering when I would see an actually effective critic on fimfic... and being the brony equivalent of Yahtzee is icing on the...cake. :pinkiecrazy:

899149 First off, Rets, let me say thank you. This critique is exactly the sort of response I was waiting for, and I'm honored you took the time to compose it. I also must disappoint you, because I'm not a new writer, I'm just a poor writer. The practical upshot however is that I'm already well aware of the over-inflated ego faux pas. I'm flattered with the Pratchett comparison (I have read several Discworld novels) though I must admit my inspiration was more along the lines of Piers Anthony. Though, considering how strange I found his later 'Incarnations of Immortality' and 'Xanth' novels, I'm not certain if that's a good thing.

Glad you enjoyed the main character's reaction, it had always bothered me that human characters would seem to universally 'go with the flow', rather than like any logical human being, question and act paranoid of anything and everything.

Also, I must apologize for the abuse of ellipses. They and I have long had an abusive sordid love affair, something I got into the bad habit of early on and never broke myself of. The 'as' part however, I hadn't even noticed until you pointed it out, and now I feel rather foolish after going through and almost expunging every example in its entirety. Honestly, thank you.

Tense shifts. Ah, my old nemesis. I know I'm especially weak on them, to the point that Cardslafter has abused me over the phone about them. Mostly about how it's completely unintentional. I can never really seem to get the hang of staying in one tense, but I will try to do better in the future. Thanks for calling attention to it, I had glossed right over it.

The ineffectual cursing was actually supposed to be intentional, on the assumption that within the current generations expletives have basically become adjectives in nature. People still emphasize them as if they are important, but in reality they have as much verbal impact as a ball of tissue paper. However, considering you referred to others cursing in the narrative like it was commonplace, it seems I have missed the point and blindly followed a trend. For the moment I'll let it stand as is though.

Edit: Nix that, I'm getting rid of it. You did make a very compelling argument.

That being said, I would like you to take what I write next very seriously.

You should stop reading this fic.

As you had already noted, this is a 'chess-verse' fic. It is therefore going to contain a majority of chess-verse tropes. The 'compiler' example is a running gag from the continuity. It will contain crossovers with characters from the other fics that you probably hate. It will follow the 'Human goes to equestria ---> Human gets new body ---> Human becomes plaything of the powers that be ---> Human experiences loss and angst ---> Human rises above his role in deific struggle' rail. It will fit so solidly into the median of Sturgeon's Law that pry-bars will be unable to extract it. Even with decent characterization, and an editor to straighten up the writing, I believe this will become something you will absolutely despise.

Of course, I could be absolutely wrong, and am being overly critical, but I would much prefer losing you now with a good, if flawed, impression and later have something with a more original premise worthy of your time, then to have you continue and become disenchanted. Anything less would be an insult of your intelligence.

In conclusion, I cannot put into writing eloquently enough how appreciative I am of the time and effort you took to critique my writing. Furthermore, I would like to thank you for the effort you put in as a critic for all of us writers. I feel good critics do not get the gratitude they richly deserve. I will take your recommendations to heart, and find myself an editor and some pre-readers immediately.

Also, thanks for the Twist. :yay:

Welcome aboard the Game, my friend, where lots of wacky adventures and bad shit go down. May this story reach the sky from how successful it is right now. To show my form of congratulations, I give you a fave, a like, and a FlutterYay.:yay:

This is great, I hope you continue this story. :twilightsmile:

Hundreds? Oh joyous. The Endgame is going to be insane.

899814 Why are people constantly comparing me to Yahtzee? I mean, just last week someone said I sort of almost felt like Yahtzee but fell short, and the week before that someone confused me with him. I didn't even know who he was until I started doing these. Oh well, from all of those videos he seems to be a pretty decent guy. We'd get along well, I think. ... Or terribly, now that I think harder. Oh well, thanks for "enjoying" the critique. Maybe I'll buy a mic and make youtube critiques in his style, instead of yammering on with walls of text. Actually, that's a good idea. I'll put that on my to-do list.

900029 A few things in response to your response to my comment:
A quick tip on ellipses, specifically the number of dots in them. When it comes down to it, the number of dots in an ellipses depends on if the thought is complete or not. Four dots for the "end" of a sentence, with the speaker trailing off, and three dots if it's an interrupt. Here's two examples.
"I like taters.... The weather sure is nice."
"I like... taters."
The four-dot rule is one that a lot of writers don't know, but it's an actual thing and needs to be spread about more.

Tense shifts can be really hard to work around when you're already in the habit of messing them up, but with enough effort and special attention to keeping it in one tense, it becomes like breathing.

Stopping the over-usage of "as" is also one of the hardest undertakings any "poor" writer can go through, and it DOES require a lot of attention and redoing, but in the end, same with the tense shifts, after enough work on it I'm sure it'll become second nature, and it'll improve your style on a whole.

As for the cursing, thanks for hearing me out on that. You are right when you say that modern society tends to use curse-words as regular adjectives, but the problem is actually making it seem like your character is doing that. Saying "fuck" and "assbitchcuntcock" only a few times, like in this story, just makes it regular ineffectual cursing that kind of makes me scratch my head. Having him say "fuck" every other paragraph might have the effect you want, but it'll also drive away readers who don't want that kind of thing. In the end, it's up to you - I just happened to be raised in an old-timey household where you got in trouble for saying "shut up".

And for the record, I am kind of in the in-between of "should I continue reading this or not?" because of those very reasons, but I don't normally stop reading stories once I've added them to my favorite list. There are a few, sure, and they were all HiE stories... and all Chess Game of the Gods stories... and all... uh. Hm. Right then, I'll just stop reading this, but I'm definitely going to zip back every once in a while to check up on you.

You'll never be safe.

And, lastly, good luck with finding an editor. I recommend getting as many as you can, because I can confirm that most likely one or two will end up dropping, be absolute crap, or be completely disagreeable people and eventually stack you in the back and steal your money. Beyond that, it's a good idea to have as many fresh eyes as possible to get as many varied opinions as possible. One person might like the wording of something like another won't, and such.

And I was mostly kidding about the backstabbing. Mostly.

- the end, pt 2

Holy Jesus this sounds amazing:pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy:

So Narnia does exist!!!!!:pinkiegasp:

That is all...

-Jorofrarie

Oh Shit this one is well written.

Remy, you beautiful bastard, this is brilliant.
BTW, its DK
Were the hell is the next chapter
dl.dropbox.com/u/31471793/FiMFiction/emoticons/sillyfilly_Fluttershy.png

921236

Funny you would mention Narnia...
------

Also, important note in the Author's notes.

I'm loving this story so far, hopefully your next chapter doesn't take as long to come out.

Always five downvotes. Wonder who they are?

If you're still working on this, I'd be glad to proofread for any grammatical or spelling errors. Not going to consider myself up to par for proofreading yet though.

Welcome to my favorites section. What can I get for you?
Snacks? Drinks? Smokes? A like?

3769068 I am indeed still working on it. The next chapter should be finished either this week, or the following week, so I'll be glad to fling it your way Jane.


3823908 I never turn down a good smoke. :D

3825082

Just PM me, it looks like there should be time for me to work on it this half of the semester.

This is an interesting story, let me know when you get back to it.

Would you look at that! A patron thats nice! thats rare
Pawn: WHY THE **** AM I A TROLL?

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