Aug 29 2016

WIP Update – 28 Aug 16

I managed to wrap up Chapter 5 of CeleKing1 and make some progress in Chapter 6 as well. I guess I need to move on to TCotSL and try to make some actual progress there. Stay tuned.

Aug 28 2016

WIP Update – 27 Aug 16

It’s funny. The bonus points you get for multi-battles in GBF are a small piece of the overall puzzle, but when I hit my weekly cap, it sucked out all my interest in the game for the time being. (The new event starting Monday and the Legend Fes will get me right back in the mix, of course.) Anyway, I bring this up because it provided the grand opportunity to make some rather brisk progress on Chapter 5 of CeleKing1. There’s a big fight scene I was looking forward to and I manage to push all the way through it. Good stuff. I should be able to finish Chapter 5 at least, but I’m going to try to wrap Chapter 6 as well. Stay tuned.

Aug 27 2016

WIP Update – 26 Aug 16

Made more progress on Chapter 5 of CeleKing1, meeting quota but not exceeding it like I need to so I can’t make up for the sluggish start of the week. Well, at least things are moving forward. Stay tuned.

Aug 26 2016

WIP Update – 25 Aug 16

Well, getting the update together took longer than anticipated, so I didn’t have as much time as I was hoping to get writing done. It didn’t help that a sizable portion of the previous day’s progress was lost when I accidentally shut down my computer instead of putting it to sleep. (I usually save reflexively, but not always.) Anyway, I ultimately succeeded in little more than making up for lost progress, but I did get further along in the plotline of the chapter. That’s Chapter 5 of CeleKing1, of course. (Have to mention it in the event one of these posts is viewed in isolation.) We’ll see if I can’t turn things around. Stay tuned.

Aug 25 2016

WIP Update – 24 Aug 16

Once again, I got a late start on my writing and nodded off before making that much progress, but it was at least half quota into Chapter 5 of CeleKing1. So if I can just double quota, I’ll be back on track. In my defense, I have had a lot going on. I’m about to relocate again, so there’s a lot of legwork that goes into that. Well, let’s see how far I can get in the next go-around. Stay tuned.

Aug 24 2016

WIP Update – 23 Aug 16

I made more progress on Chapter 5 of CeleKing1, under quota because it was so late when I started writing and I kept nodding off. I’ll try to get an earlier start this time around and make up for lost time. Stay tuned.

Aug 23 2016

WIP Update – 22 Aug 16

Hey, how ’bout that? I actually made quota for a change. Made some headway in Chapter 5 of CeleKing1. Another couple days and I should have it finished. I’d like to at least get it and Chapter 6 done this week. As I haven’t figured out what the plot of Chapter 7 is yet, I can’t very well put too much hope of getting it done as well, but figuring out what I’m going to do there might be a manageable goal. Stay tuned.

Aug 22 2016

WIP Update – 21 Aug 16

Yes, yes, I know. My efforts to refocus haven’t quite been successful. Although progress on the actual story was negligible, I’ve at least got more of it plotted out and have most of the locations set. I’m going to go ahead and devote another week to CeleKing1 before moving on.

As far as yesterday is concerned, I could’ve probably made up for lost time, but I’ve got a job offer in that’ll be taking me from my manga collection, which means I need to get as much of my manga review backlog written up as possible. It’s slow going, though. It took me six hours just to go through ten volumes.

I’m going to once again try to square myself away and meet quota this week. I know I’ve been falling short a good while now, but I think all these gaps in the blog are starting to get to me. Stay tuned.

Aug 17 2016

WIP Update – 16 Aug 16

I’ll admit to not getting more than a sentence or two written on Chapter 5 of CeleKing1, but I have been making headway on the story’s outline. Unfortunately, it’s the latter half that I have mostly plotted out, which doesn’t help me much in the short term. Still, it’s progress and worth reporting. I know it won’t really have much impact on the story itself, but I’ve been working on naming all the noble houses on Erdi. That’s 1152 families. I was using the Baixing as a starting point, but even if there were more than the hundred in its name, it’s still well short of my goal. About 30% of the lords are non-Chinese and I figure several of the more common surnames will have multiple branch houses that have informal qualifiers to distinguish them (the ducal “Great Li” vs. the comital “Southern Li”, etc.). Then there are the toponyms. I’d like to at least have the map filled out to the county level, and there are 223 of those. You may consider this all to be a distraction from the actual writing of the story, but these are the measures I take for worldbuilding. Hopefully I can make more progress and catch up on my quota shortfall. (It doesn’t hurt that I’m already bored with this week’s event of GBF and that my hands can’t hold up to too much Hyrule All-Stars. ) Stay tuned.

Aug 16 2016

Character Spotlight: Carpos

In his original conception, Carpos was named Clement, which was supposed to be a joke because his personality was the exact opposite of his name. However, as I started to develop the backstory further, I decided that Solon would name his firstborn after his late brother, the one who was supposed to inherit the throne in his place. He was actually a fairly flat character until more recent iterations. Assigning him a “pawn” (remember that the characters are loosely based on chess pieces) in the form of Patrocles helped a little. And, yes, I’m consciously invoking the the subtext between the literary Achilles and Patrocles when I chose the name. I’ll leave the extent of their relationship to your imagination.

It’s helpful to compare and contrast Carpos with his sister Daphne. Whereas Daphne tried to find balance and harmony with her human and Elven halves, Carpos always hated his Elven side for setting him apart. He knew he could never be truly accepted by either community and reconciling with the Church to improve his political standing was a non-starter, being an ungodly abomination and all. While his powers were weaker than Daphne’s, he never made an effort to cultivate them either. He could have become a decent magic user and a slightly below average psychic, but as you see in his epilogue, it’s only at the end of his life that he realizes what he’s been missing out on. I would wager if he was at his full potential, he’d be an inferior magic user to Simona but a more powerful psychic. It probably wouldn’t have saved him, but he would’ve been much more formidable.

Before I started serializing his section, I half-jokingly compared his to Viserys Targaryen. His character was pretty well set long before I first saw Game of Thrones or read the book, but the similarities are rather interesting. Two petulant pretenders to the throne who abuse their sisters as a matter of course. Related to the Targaryens is the whole incest angle. In Carpos’ case, it’s less a matter of any actual attraction to Daphne as it is a realization that his prospects for a mate are rather limited. He would much rather secure a political marriage to strengthen his standing, but pretty much no noble house would be willing to give one of their daughters over to him. Besides personal prejudice against him as a Half Elf, there’s also the matter of the Church’s disapproval. Squicky though it is, his decision to focus on Daphne makes some measure of sense. Also, until she started to assert herself as Princess Regent, Carpos was fairly confident in his ability to control her, which was another big plus in his book.

From a certain point of view, Carpos’ treason almost appears justified. If you discount the legitimate threat posed by the Darklands (which he and many others did), then Solon’s call to war was a ridiculous expenditure of blood and treasure. Even taking into account the validity of the Darklands campaign, it crippled the kingdom economically and militarily. If Daphne hadn’t raided the Dwarven cities in the mountains, Zephyr would never have been able to afford the grain it needed to feed the people in light of the famine that struck while the expeditionary forces were away. Even if the Monarch Lich launched his assault westward, it’s likely that his body would’ve failed him early in the campaign. (Trueborn Liches in my canon ultimately destroy their physical bodies with their ever-growing power, even after a considerable share of that power gets passed on to the new generation.) The Spider Lich (the Monarch Lich and Arachne’s offspring) had been transported halfway around the world for safekeeping and wouldn’t be mature enough to lead the Chaos Dominion for years. Ultimately, it would’ve amounted to little more than postponing the fight for a generation (and a human generation is a little thing for someone with even a half measure of Elven blood), but it would’ve made Carpos look good in the short term. However, more than likely, even without the Darklands campaign to raise its name and martial standing, the Church probably would’ve still tried to overthrow Carpos as it did with Daphne, so it all becomes a moot point.

The original plan was to give Carpos a suitably pathetic end for such a big scumbag, but as I was writing the epilogue, his little turnabout took shape. I already had him scheduled to die about a week after his capture, but I knew Simona wouldn’t want him to die so quickly. (Think along the lines of what the King of Midland had in mind for Griffith in Berserk, then stretch that over the centuries.) As I had him realizing just how long the torture could last, the only answer was to provoke Simona into killing him. It lets him go out on something of a victorious note, which he really doesn’t deserve, but one of the running themes of the series is that, good or bad, you don’t always get what you deserve.

And I think that’ll do it for know. We’ll be back in several weeks to cover the far less scummy Dwarven warlord Garm. Until then. Stay tuned.