Oct 30 2015

WIP Update – 28-29 Oct 15

After a day of just wandering through all my different Cross Arc manuscripts adding little bits and pieces here and there, I buckled down and managed to get both Chapters 6 and 9 of EM pretty well finished.  This puts me rather comfortably ahead of the game, but I’d like to at least finish Chapter 10 as well before the weekend is out. I don’t have a whole lot of homework this week, so it should be an entirely manageable goal. Stay tuned.

Oct 28 2015

WIP Update – 27 Oct 15

I managed to make some good progress on Chapter 6 of EM, getting most of the dialog written for the second half that had me stuck for so long. I just need to fill in the narrative and it’ll be done. I also penned a few lines of dialog for Chapter 15 as I was going through and preparing metatag summaries of each chapter. It’s nice to have a little bit written for each chapter so I don’t have to go back to my notes to remember what the chapter is supposed to be about. More to come. Stay tuned.

Oct 27 2015

WIP Update – 26 Oct 15

I managed to get far enough to make up for missing a day. I pretty well wrapped up Chapter 7 of JJ as intended and made some more headway on Chapter 8 as well. Tempting as it is to continue, I should switch over to EM. That second half of Chapter 6 really needs to be written. Stay tuned.

Oct 26 2015

Zombies in the Tellus Arc

Ahead of my zombie movie reviews, here’s a little spiel about how zombies work in my canon. I use “zombie” for the convenience of contemporary audiences. The word isn’t used in the Tellus Arc as it would’ve been wildly anachronistic. (Yes, there are plenty of anachronisms in my stories, but I try to cut back on some of the most egregious ones.) The word you’ll typically hear is “revenant”, “the dead that walk” or something similar. We’re going to restrict ourselves to a discussion of undead zombies, which are all raised by means of the magic arts.

Zombies can be divided into their physical type and intellectual type. You can mix and match these with varying degrees of success. First, the most basic physical type is an ordinary dead body. It is subject to regular decomposition and its physical limitation can be overcome relative to the power of the magic infusing it, but eventually its usefulness will be completely expended. A flesh-eating zombie can delay the rate of decomposition, not by the physical means of digesting the flesh it consumes but rather by absorbing the life-energy within the flesh. A preserved body, such as in the manner of Egyptian mummification, can function for longer, but this depends on the manner of preservation. For instance, physical preservation is subject to physical limitations. You wouldn’t be able to keep a traditional mummy from decaying for long if you took it to a tropical swampland. Magic-enhanced preservation could be virtually perpetual. A patchwork zombie is crafted from multiple bodies (not unlike Frankenstein’s monster), which can yield a stronger amalgamation, but these are difficult to do will and the different parts make it difficult to bind a spirit to the flesh. The final type is a Copy Golem, made from bones (or ashes) and grave soil (think Kikyou from Inuyasha). Though essentially a clay doll, by means of advanced necromantic arts, it takes the likeness of flesh. Caligo’s Companions were revived by the Monarch Lich in this manner. It is the most resilient type of zombie and the most ready vessel for holding a person’s soul.

As for the intellectual types, the most basic is a mindless drone, animated entirely by magic. Every action must be directed by the necromancer. This is sufficient if you’re just trying to send waves of the walking dead at an enemy. The slave type is more advanced, capable of following simple commands. They are made by binding a soul with the zombies body. An animal soul of sufficient intelligence will suffice. The most advanced intellectual type comes from binding a sapient soul to the body. If available, the original soul will be the best fit. A fully sapient zombie is the most difficult to control, which make them dangerous to necromancers punching above their weight.

When it comes to stopping zombies of any type, there’s no particular virtue to aiming for the head. Depending on the power of the magic animating the zombie in question, you may have to completely destroy the body before it stops, and that’s assuming the necromancer behind it hasn’t enchanted it to regenerate (which isn’t usually a risk but does happen). Merely being bitten by a zombie won’t turn you into one, though the bite is likely to fester fairly quickly and kill you (and that’s not even accounting for any particular dark energy or curse that may be transmitted via the bite). Being recently dead does make it easier for you to be raised as a zombie yourself and it’s possible that the curse can be transmitted via the bite to activate upon your death, but strictly speaking, it’s not the bite alone that makes more zombies. (For that matter, the curse could be transmitted by scratching or via other fluids.) The risk of the curse spreading is mostly restricted to high order necromancy, but naturally you’d want to keep your distance as a general rule.

Lastly, when it comes to shamblers vs. fast zombies, it again falls to the magic animating the body. As you might imagine, dead tissue isn’t apt to move too quickly. A relatively fresh body still in rigor mortis isn’t going to be moving very fast without damaging the tissues. However, once rigor wears off, the flexibility of the flaccid state makes it easier to move the body more quickly. Generally speaking, though, zombies aren’t likely to move all that quickly as it requires more magic to push the body that hard and mitigate the damage. This of course means a fast zombie is that much more an unpleasant surprise.

That should do it for our coverage of some of the creepier denizens of my stories. I may or may not do a follow-up post on vampires. Otherwise, we’ll move on to other topics. Stay tuned.

Oct 26 2015

WIP Update – 24 Oct 15

I made more progress on Chapter 7 of JJ. I’d like to finish the chapter before I switch over to EM, but I’ve got some other deadlines to meet, so we’ll see what I get accomplished. As a side note, it’s interesting the sort of research I wind up doing for my stories. Anyway, more to come. Stay tuned.

Oct 24 2015

WIP Update – 23 Oct 15

I made some more progress on Chapter 7 of JJ. One more solid push and I should be able to finish it. Stay tuned.

Oct 23 2015

WIP Update – 21-22 Oct 15

I’ve managed to make up a bit for some prior sluggishness with solid progress on Chapter 7 of JJ. That progress has been stymied a bit by a fight scene that’s proven a bit difficult to choreograph, but I believe I have a solution. I’ve also written an introduction that serves to clarify the length of the days and years on Miravel, the planet where the story is set. It makes a difference when you’ve got 28-hour days, for one thing. I’ll be adding it in with next week’s update. Stay tuned.

Oct 21 2015

WIP Update – 19-20 Oct 15

I haven’t made a lot of progress. I did write a bit on Chapters 7 and 10 of JJ and filled out the character glossaries of both JJ and EM up to the current point. Now that I’m caught up on homework, I can focus a little more on writing a bit, but I’ll be right back at it in a couple days. Hopefully I can make some decent headway before then. Stay tuned.

Oct 19 2015

Werewolves in the Tellus Arc

I said I might follow up on my post about vampires in my canon with similar coverage of werewolves and so here we are. My vampire lore is far more extensive, I’ll admit, to the point where I really need another post of two to cover further details. Werewolves, on the other hand, are much simpler.

Werewolves come in two types: natural and cursed. A natural Werewolf is simply a variety of Demihuman (or Beastman, if that’s the term you prefer). In other words, they’re just a more humanoid sort of wolf. They’re capable of walking on two hands and have a degree of manual dexterity roughly on par with a chimpanzee, but besides these particular physical qualities and the mental capacity to establish the rudiments of civilization, they’re not so different from their four-legged cousins.

The cursed Werewolf is no doubt what you’re most interested in. The curse of the Werewolf is tied to the phase of the moon. The fuller the moon, the more wolflike you become. By the full moon, a cursed Werewolf appears much like a direwolf. The curse can be transmitted via a Werewolf bite (but only when the curse is active, i.e. during the night while the moon is at least partially in phase), but because victims of a Werewolf attack rarely survive. A cursed Werewolf is mortal and can be killed by ordinary means, but the curse greatly boosts their physical abilities and so it’s much more difficult. Silver has the effect of weakening the dark magics behind the curse and therefore increase vulnerability, but it’s not a matter of silver being the only means of killing a Werewolf. It would, in theory, be possible for a high-level white mage to remove the curse, but only by possessing power greater than the curse (or by artificially boosting the mage’s power above the level of the curse).

That’s really all there is to it. I told you there wasn’t nearly as much to talk about on the subject. I plan on reviewing zombie movies in the last week of the month, but I may do a commentary post about how they work in my canon sooner than that. Stay tuned.

Oct 18 2015

WIP Update – 17 Oct 15

I haven’t posted any progress the last couple of days, but I was drawing up some of the chapter meta-tags and character glossary entries for JJ and EM, which sorta counts. I made a point to stay up a little longer to actually make some tangible progress on Carpos’ Chapter 2 of TTWC3. I’ll be switching over to JJ after another day’s work. Stay tuned.