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Descent To Arkhona: Finalists

Discussion in 'Announcements & Contests' started by KatieFleming, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. Katie Fleming KatieFleming Community Manager

    Hey Crusaders!

    As you saw in the Descent to Arkhona Winners thread, we posted the 17 finalists. What we haven't shared yet are all of the comments Graham McNeill took the time to write for you. The order below is random, they're in no particular order. Enjoy :)

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    Acridian312 – A nice whodunnit in space. I liked the twist at the end and the notion of a code hidden in gene-seed is a lovely (and particularly Hydran) way of doing things.

    Andrew Hancock – A thumpingly good battle scene that showcased the Blood Angels at their best. Evocatively pulling the reader through, this did a nice job of showing just how dangerous a drop pod assault truly is.

    Adrian Southin – I liked the sense of speed this story conveyed, and the sense of ferocity I felt from the Wild Riders. Adrian nailed the alien nature of the eldar as well as the horror of the tyranids.

    Chowe – Like Irene's story that eventually won, I loved the anarchic sense of the orks in this story. Again, it captured the resilience and love of war rooted in the ork psyche and ended on just the right note.

    Chris J. Young – Space Wolves are often thought of as being easy to write. They're just space Vikings, right? Sort of, but there's much more to them than that. Chris gets that spot on in this tale, nicely capturing a sense of ferocity held in check by an equally ferocious intelligence. Keeping a note of ambiguity near the end is nice and establishing a credible backstory in so few words is a great achievement.

    Connormf121 – I liked that the structure of this story was told out of sync, that we got to the ending first and worked back to that (like Memento or Irreversible), getting to see what brought the characters to that bloody end. This story nicely captured the secretive nature of the Dark Angels and the lengths they'll go to in order to keep those secrets.

    Goat64804 – I liked that we had a dreadnought as a main character, which – together with his recall of the Heresy – made for a different kind of story, one told mostly in flashback. That gave the current war on Arkhona a nice resonance, a sense that it's war is eternal and that there's a real, living history to the world.

    Taylor Kaercher – I liked the viciousness of this story, the real sense that the traitors were incredibly dangerous and, at the end, incredibly callous. The battle scenes were evocative and the descriptions of the daemons, the fear of the Guardsmen and the battle lust of the traitors were all viscerally written.

    Kearneyer – I particularly liked the interplay of the armour serf and the main character. It nicely encapsulated the difference between mortals and post-humans. The two legionaries were well drawn and the bittersweet note of the ending was a nice touch.

    Keeblerhk – The eldar are always tricky to write (just ask Gav...) and this story nicely gets across the fact of their innate superiority and their urge to go further and exceed in all things. The sense of competition and rivalry between the two groups of eldar was well realised, as was the nature of how they knew, ultimately, that they needed to work together to achieve victory.

    Nicop – I really liked how this story did a lot in its limited runtime. The Space Wolf character was well-written, and the traitors were clever and menacing without being pantomime villains. The cunning and never-say-die fight of the Space Wolf gave me a fist-punch moment when he killed his tormentor, and the final reveal was a gut-wrenching moment of horror.

    Toby O'Hara – This was one of my favourites, and was a lovely story on how traitors become traitors. The gradual reveal was nicely handled, and the extent to which a warrior falls once he's irrevocably damned was extremely well written.

    John Dailey – I loved this story and how the Harlequins were written as these aloof, god-like beings, watching the pathetic dance of mortals almost beneath their notice. Thanks, in part, to their great, characterful dialogue, the eldar came across as monstrously alien, arrogant and unknowable, which is exactly right. The interplay of the characters was great, and the ending nicely paved the way for more from these characters.

    Axel Cushing – This story nicely captured the louche nature of the Outcast and the backstory of the characters was delivered with great economy, such that I felt I already knew it without needing to be troubled by a massive infodump. The establishment of a deeper secret and the ruthless extremes of the characters set up a nice way to follow this story up with another one...

    Daniel Freedman – This was a nice story with a great battle at the end. The skill of the characters was well developed, and the attack on the ork vehicles was described in just the right terms, as was the sudden reversal of fortune.

    Tim Pedersen – I thought this captured the descent of a warrior into the embrace of Khorne perfectly, and the backstory of the characters neatly established how it came to be. Well written, gory, visceral and with a neatly realised ending, this was a great story with characters I'd like to see more of.

    Victor Galis – This was a really well written story, and perfectly captured the skill and ruthlessness of the eldar in relation to other races. The characters were believable and the pacing was good, as was the battle itself. I loved how the eldar knew that rage and perfectly focussed aggression was part of their nature, but a part needing to be held in check by the Path. A great story and a worthy finalist.

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