Jun 29 2015

WIP Update – 28 Jun 15

I made a little progress on Xorgoth’s Chapter 4 of TTWC2 but fell short of my goal of finishing it (in no small part due to the mascot’s urging me to go to bed). I may continue working on it another day before moving on. Stay tuned.

Jun 28 2015

WIP Update – 27 Jun 15

I pretty well finished Xorgoth’s Chapter 3 and did a little work on his Chapter 4 as well. I should be able to finish the section as planned. I’ll then switch over to either JJ or EM. Stay tuned.

Jun 27 2015

WIP Update – 26 Jun 15

I made some more progress on Xorgoth’s Chapter 3 of TTWC2. I may not meet my goal of finishing his section before the weekend’s out, but I’ll try. Stay tuned.

Jun 26 2015

WIP Update – 25 Jun 15

I managed to mostly finish Ophis Python’s Chapter 4 and Xorgoth’s Chapter 2 while making a little headway on Xorgoth’s Chapter 3 as well. At this rate, I should also have Xorgoth’s section finished before the week’s out. That’ll just leave a few chapters of Medusa’s and TTWC2 will be done. It looks like the final wordcount won’t even break 50K, but I’m not going to let that bother me. I’m ready to pick up TTWC3. I plan on switching over to JJ or EM next week, so the week after may see me wrap TTWC2 and start in on TTWC3. Stay tuned.

Jun 25 2015

WIP Update – 24 Jun 15

I made a little progress on Ophis Python’s Chapter 4 and also worked a little more on the logistics of the string of conflicts in this stage of the war. Still have a little more to do on both fronts. Maybe I can make the push to get through Chapter 4 in short order. Stay tuned.

Jun 24 2015

WIP Update – 23 Jun 15

I managed to mostly finish Ophis Python’s Chapter 5 and rewrite parts of Chapter 2 to resolve the plot hole I had. All I have left to do is finish Chapter 4 and his section will be done. Maybe a little dedicated push and the job’ll be done. That’d certainly be nice. Stay tuned.

Jun 23 2015

WIP Update – 22 Jun 15

While I haven’t posted any progress in a while, I have of course still been working on reviews and I was also developing a new story. No actual story content until yesterday, when I made more progress on Ophis Python’s Chapter 5 of TTWC2. I’m going to have to do some rewriting to resolve a plot hole, but I guess that’s part of the joy of catching it before it goes up. If I didn’t mention it, no one would have to know. I could potentially finish Chapter 5 with another day or two, so I’d like to get that done. We’ll see if it actually happens, though. Stay tuned.

Jun 22 2015

On Admiral Xenopoulos’ History with Admiral Mfume

Before I shipped out, the recruiters hosted an event where DEPers were taken to Fort Hood to get a bit of a glimpse of Army life. (Some of the soldiers on post urged us to reconsider our decision, but we’d already signed on the dotted line.) At the end of the day, we were taken to a sports bar on post where my recruiter happened to see an old battle buddy of his. After catching up a bit, he commented on how small a world the military is. That idea stuck in my head and I’ve applied it to the Tico series. I’ve got a rather long list different points of convergence with various characters (even if they never realized it). I allude to the long history between Admiral Mfume and Admiral Xenopoulos and thought I’d give you the details here as a commentary post.

It all began in 098 when a Lieutenant Xenopoulos was assigned to the cruiser Galahad as Assistant Operations Officer. Commander Mfume was XO and later captain. The met again when Xenopoulos was assigned to the Leonidas as First Lieutenant where Captain Mfume, fresh out of the College of Naval Staff and Command, was assigned as XO and later captain. Commander Xenopoulos moved on to the Memnon as Assistant Operations Officer and Mfume followed in 107 to take the billet of captain. After War College, Mfume became the Assistant Staff Operations Officer and later the full-fledged Staff Operations Officer of CVBG43 while Xenopoulos served as Operations Officer, XO and ultimately captain of the Lysander (the battle group’s flagship). (Mfume was with the battle group from 111 to 117 and Xenopoulos was with the Lysander from 113 to 118.) Captain Xenopoulos narrowly avoided the Lysander‘s destruction when he was transferred to CVBG28 to serve as Staff Operations Officer while Admiral Mfume was the battle group commander. In 120, Xenopoulos served as Chief of Staff for CVBG27 while Mfume was deputy commander of 6th Fleet and then you already know about Admiral Xenopoulos as commander of CVBG28 joining the Ticonderoga in Operation Orpheus and the Battle of Mars in 122. As you can see, that’s a good chunk of their respective careers that have overlapped. That’s a lot of history to have tied up when Marshal Van Daan gave Xenopoulos the order to hunt down the Tico.

These two are a rather extreme case of the small world effect, but it’s precisely why there’s a lot of emotion simmering beneath the surface. Hopefully you found this interesting. We’ll see what sort of commentary post I come up with next. Stay tuned.

Jun 17 2015

WIP Update – 16 Jun 15

I actually did some work on TTWC2 for a change, making some progress on Ophis Python’s Chapters 4 and 5. I’m trying to push myself to get the daggone book done. I don’t have that far to go. Two weeks or so of consistently meeting quota and I’ll be through. Sometimes in the writing process it’s good to let inspiration come as it will, and other times you just have to drive yourself onward. Let’s see if I can finally stick to it. Stay tuned.

Jun 15 2015

Character Spotlight: Arachne

We continue our look at the leads of TTWC2 with the Spider Queen Arachne. I know there are some people out there who don’t like raiders of the public domain, but that’s precisely what it exists for. Besides, I’ve had a passion for Greek mythology ever since I was 8, so it’s little wonder that I’d want to integrate a lot of Greek mythology into my own mythos, with a bit of my own spin, of course.

When I first added Arachne to the cast, she was little more than the giant spider boss with shades of Shelob, but with a little more working on her character, her personality started to come out. Her grudge against the Olympians, particularly Athena, was a given, but that didn’t have much play after the prologue, except as common ground for establishing her friendship with Medusa. I’ll talk about those two more in a moment, but first I want to cover her relationship with the Monarch Lich.

Although I set her up as the Monarch Lich’s consort from her first entry in the story, there really wasn’t much going on there until I added Basilissa into the story. The Monarch Lich and Arachne paired off in a simple bid for power. Arachne wanted a share of the Monarch Lich’s power for her own increase and however grudging the Monarch Lich was to sacrifice his power to perpetuate his line, she was the most powerful female in the Darklands and the most likely candidate to produce a stronger offspring. You may not think jealousy is a particularly interesting motivator, but the introduction of a rival helped rekindle Arachne’s more human emotions and gave something to drive her. Her rivalry with Basilissa and the detriment it caused to the overall war effort ties into one of the key themes of Volume II, that being the chaotic nature of the Dominion. (The name was no accident, after all.) For all the faults and failings you can find on the Zephyrian side, they’re much better at being united in a common purpose. Yes, the many allied factions in the Dominion fight against Zephyr, but there is no real bond connecting them and their competing individual interests largely serve to negate the great power they represent.

One of the more redeeming aspects of Arachne is her friendship with Medusa. Yes, they’re both monsters, but theirs is the truest bond you’ll find in all the Darklands. Almost every other relationship you’ll find in Volume II is tainted in one way or another, but Arachne and Medusa’s friendship is the closest thing you’ll find to anything pure. Orguz is perhaps the most upright morally, but we’ll get into the failings of his relationships when the time comes. Back to Arachne and Medusa, it started as little more than kinship based on their shared hatred of the ones responsible for their cursed fate, but over the years, they developed an almost sororal bond. It really is quite sweet.

Giving Arachne a more humanoid form was a relatively new development. Besides serving as a way to gain an advantage over Basilissa for the Monarch Lich’s affections (or whatever passes for such with him), it also gave her a way try tempting Ionathas during their encounter (somewhat in parallel to Simona the Dark Elf’s attempt during the Battle of Kalonis). Unfortunately for her, Ionathas likes his girls scaly. ^o^

I think that’ll do it for now. I’m looking forward to the next entry, though it’ll be a few weeks yet. I’ve got quite a bit to say on the subject of Sir Caligo, so look forward to that. Stay tuned.