The Horde: Trigger Warnings, Recaps, and Other News

Episode 4 of the Horde is free. But first, let’s talk trigger warnings. At the end of the post, I’ll have the links to the feed as well as the new episode.

I start every episode of the Horde with a warning about the violence and sexual content that can be in each episode. It was pointed out to me yesterday that the way I deliver it, some people think I might be joking. So let’s be clear: that warning was originally written with this episode in mind. If you don’t worry about such things or don’t worry about them, skip down to the part where I say RECAP!!! since it’s been so long since the last episode for a rough recap of the first three episodes.

I haven’t seen consensus on the best way to handle trigger warnings so I’m just going to put it out there. This episode contains violence against female characters. Icky, vividly described violence with sexual undertones. I don’t approve of the behavior of the characters. It was important to the story. I don’t want to alienate readers based on the content and I invite all to listen, but I also understand that there are people who are not in a place where they can well cope with these sorts of events in stories.

So here’s a brief outline of the stuff that is in this episode:

– A girl gets her hand chopped off

– A girl gets her shirt ripped off

– A girl gets the barrel of  a gun shoved in her mouth

– Everyone is very shocked and disturbed by these events

-The narrator makes really creepy comments upon finding out a girl is 19 instead of 16 as he previously thought.

-This is also a very bloody episode.

I feel the episode is important, I feel what I’m writing about when writing about the potential triggers is a discussion that needs to start about what paranoia and violence can do to us and about the experience of the victim and the judgement of the observer. I want to start dialogue about what could be done instead, about what needs to change in society for these sorts of things to not happen. Yes, in the story it happens on another planet, but sexual violence happens way too often in my country, my state, and my plane of existence.

There’s a lot of other important story stuff about power dynamics and group mentality going on in this episode. I invite dialogue about this because that’s part of the whole point of the story. I can’t read this chapter without getting emotional but that’s because it’s a topic very important to me. I don’t really have much else to say right now but please drop me a line about triggers or the content or how I handle the scene or whatever. If the stuff disturbs you, it should. Sometimes humanity is pretty ugly. Just know that the point of The Horde ultimately is how can we be improved, as a species, beyond the horrible things we do to each other. Ok. Trigger warning and angst provided. It’s time for the recap.

RECAP!!!

Terry Chamden dreams of the doomed world Farrakan every night, where he follows the adventures of Bridan and Oren as they race to escape the Horde, an evil power that can bring nightmares to life. In this world, Terry wears the invisible, intangible body of a crystal dragon, unable to do anything but watch.

In the waking world, Terry has lost his job after having a mental breakdown. His girlfriend Tanya was murdered, seemingly at the hands of a skeletal monster that called itself Oblivion. Terry’s mom has taken him to a mental hospital for treatment though he spends most of his time dreaming.

Cyrack, the master of the Horde, has an obsession with Bridan on Farrakan. He has reanimated Myra, Bridan’s ex-lover, as a Darkling Hunter, a deformed creature enslaved to his will.

Terry hears the voice of the Watcher, a disembodied voice claiming to be God, telling him that Bridan has knowledge that will let them unlock an ancient power that will let Terry bring Tanya back to life. All he has to do is protect Bridan and Oren on their quest.

On Farrakan, Terry has found a girl with strange mental powers who has the ability to sense him, somewhat. Her father locked her in her bedroom out of fear for her power, where she watches the townsfolk and reads their minds, her only joy the visits to the town by a strange outsider called the Beastman by the locals. Terry thinks she may be his best chance for helping Bridan.

Returning to Bridan and Oren, Terry finds them overwhelmed with the onslaught of the Horde. With the Darkling Hunter’s blade descending on Oren, can Terry do anything to intervene in time?

So it’s not at all complicated (understatement).

Here’s the direct link to episode 4.

The RSS feed to add to your podcatcher is http://headcast.libsyn.com/rss

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