Yes, my consistency on blog posts hasn’t been stellar lately…but! Can you think of a better way to ring in the new year than with a little fanfiction?
(Don’t answer that.)
In keeping with the theme earlier this month, I decided to share a Shovel Knight snippet. Let’s see how I do expressing mannerisms and movement!
Plague Knight edged onto the docks and peered cautiously into the water. A perfect reflection of his mask rippled back. Troupple Pond lie still and quiet but for a scattered few cicadas trilling in the bushes. Plague Knight looked up and around, into the trees, but saw nothing. No living creatures – fish, fruit, or otherwise.
So he took the chalice out and held it aloft.
There was a rumble; the pond began to churn. Plague Knight took two steps back as troupple fish sprang from the water. Just small ones with bare stems and a greenish hue to their bellies. They leapt higher, gaining altitude, until they hooked by their stems in the overhanging tree branches.
The water continued to swirl, a huge eddy right in its center. The Troupple King breached in regal form, with his eyes closed and whale-ish mouth pulled taut. His breast slammed into the pond and sprayed water for yards.
Plague Knight stood, chalice still held high, drenched through.
“Who has awakened me?” the Troupple King boomed. “Mortal! Hast thou come seeking – Wait a tic! …Alchemist!”
Plague Knight lowered the chalice and made a halting bow. “Uh, heh, my liege.”
“News of your wicked deeds has reached our ears,” the Troupple King said. “How dare you tarnish us with your presence? Begone from this sacred grotto.”
“Uh…but, Your Grace, you see, I actually came to learn how to…d-dance.” Plague Knight cleared his throat. “Right now, I can only sort of…twitch.”
“Is this so?” the Troupple King inquired. His hostility had vanished nearly instantly, and he’d begun to preen. “ ‘Tis true we possess keen rhythmic insight. But first, Alchemist, let us see what we have to work with. Demonstrate your ability to us now.”
Plague Knight fiddled. He stuck an arm out, then a foot, and jerked through what he hoped were the first few steps to a waltz. Or a tango. Or something.
“CEASE!” the Troupple King cried, and Plague Knight nearly toppled into the water. “What is this monstrosity? Where is the rhythm? Where is the passion? Alchemist, thou art in need of a miracle.”
“It…it really can’t be that, uh, bad,” said Plague Knight. “…Can it?”
He was met with the silent stares of every troupple fish present.
“It is fortunate for you,” the Troupple King continued, “that we are miracle workers. Behold, and take this lesson to heart, for there is only so much I can teach you. Let us begin!”
From up in the trees, the hanging troupples began to sing. The Troupple King closed his magnificent bulbous eyes and bobbed gracefully through the water. He went in perfect sync with the music, even as the smaller troupples dodged about him in a dance of their own.
Plague Knight tried to study, but the dance of a fish wasn’t quite similar to the dance of a person. Fins lifted, dorsals shimmied, and the Troupple King threw his great big mass all over the pond until everything was properly soaked. Perhaps, Plague Knight thought, it was time to go.
A small troupple fish bounded from the pond and nudged Plague Knight in the knee. Before he could regain balance, another fish leapt from the other side and bopped him in the shoulder. Plague Knight swayed and flailed.
“H-hey! What are you – Stop that!” As another caught him on his backside.
The assault continued until Plague Knight began to get the feel for dodging. He lifted his arms, spun, side-stepped, back-stepped, and dipped past each attack. After a while he noticed they came in an expected pattern, and – what with the musical accompaniment – he evaded with more flair. A troupple fish dove at him from behind, but he’d predicted the move and swept to the right just as the fish flew through.
“Ha HA!” Plague Knight exclaimed in triumph.
The troupple assault had finished. And so had the music. Plague Knight looked about him; the troupple fish had all gone back to their places in the pond and trees. The Troupple King himself rested magnificently in the middle of the water. He regarded Plague Knight with a knowing smirk.
“And that, Alchemist, is how it’s done.”
Plague Knight’s arms were still outstretched; his feet stood at angles in a sort of bow. You could have said the pose was almost…graceful.
“I…uh…hee hee…I danced?” he said.
“Well, more or less,” the Troupple King grimaced. “But do not become cocksure in your talents, oh wicked one. A true dancer must practice his art if he hopes to become a master. Remember what you have learned here.”