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 Post subject: [story] Ordeals
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:33 am 
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At twilight's end, the shadow's crossed / a new world birthed, the elder lost.
Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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 Post subject: Re: [story] Ordeals
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:14 am 
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Maral's back! :excite:

(I don't know much about Theros and the Godsend, so I probably missed about 90% of the nods to the original material)

The flashbacks are good, and the ambiguity about their contents make them feel somehow more real. Maral just strolling down the Eternities by forging a freaking bridge out of sheer willpower is a great image, like the more classic one of the smithy lighted only by the flames of the craft. The image of the moving friezes is so good, with their subtle details speaking to Maral's heart. As usual, the atmosphere of your pieces is excellent.

It's also good to get a glimpse of Maral's backstory (though I remember having a bit of an early access :D) and, more importantly, information about an endgame, a confrontation that definitely has potential.

spoiler-y stuff


nitpicks and typos


Thank you for sharing!

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 Post subject: Re: [story] Ordeals
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:56 am 
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As always, thanks for reading!
Maral's back! :excite:

(I don't know much about Theros and the Godsend, so I probably missed about 90% of the nods to the original material)

Actually, most of what was missable wasn't even based in the lore, but in the marketing. I built the story around the prerelease events/prizes from Theros!

Quote:
The flashbacks are good, and the ambiguity about their contents make them feel somehow more real. Maral just strolling down the Eternities by forging a freaking bridge out of sheer willpower is a great image, like the more classic one of the smithy lighted only by the flames of the craft. The image of the moving friezes is so good, with their subtle details speaking to Maral's heart. As usual, the atmosphere of your pieces is excellent.

I've had that image of her planeswalking in my head for like 4 freaking years.

And thank you muchly. I do try to put a lot of work into atmosphere. My other specialty (action) hasn't had a lot of time to shine lately.

Quote:
It's also good to get a glimpse of Maral's backstory (though I remember having a bit of an early access :D) and, more importantly, information about an endgame, a confrontation that definitely has potential.

So, remember how I said I accidentally ran a thematic throughline in the narrative?
Yeah, the reflective parallels were totally accidental in those part.

Quote:
spoiler-y stuff

Spoiler



Quote:
(I didn't know "hove" was the past of "heave". This is not a typo, merely an observation)

I like that word. :D

Quote:
Quote:
“Yes.” Maral replied monotonously. That just deepened the scowl before her features softened and she knelt down with an exasperated sigh.

I think you meant for the aunt to change her expression and do the rest of the stuff, but it's not obvious.

Yeah, I was kind of relying on the feature to inform the subject. Since there was only one scowl, the rest would follow.

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At twilight's end, the shadow's crossed / a new world birthed, the elder lost.
Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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 Post subject: Re: [story] Ordeals
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:45 pm 
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This is beautiful. I love the altered flashbacks, particularly as a tool to find out more about a person. It works so very well as an ordeal, too, particularly for Kruphix: challenging, but not impossible, and not entirely in the way you might expect at first.

And of course, it's great to see more of Maral; I hadn't realized just how :r: she is, because she controls it so well.

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Thank you for sharing!


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 Post subject: Re: [story] Ordeals
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:41 am 
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Brentain wrote:
This is beautiful. I love the altered flashbacks, particularly as a tool to find out more about a person. It works so very well as an ordeal, too, particularly for Kruphix: challenging, but not impossible, and not entirely in the way you might expect at first.

And of course, it's great to see more of Maral; I hadn't realized just how :r: she is, because she controls it so well.

Thanks!
Maral is someone I'd really like to bring out more to let folks see her, but she has certain thematic and physical limitations that make it REAL hard to let her out with. Plus, she's a bit of a hermit.

Still, she's a character that very much operates in a :r: spectrum. Everything about her has always been framed in feelings and emotions, never in any sort of cold logical examination. Her works are all informed intuition more than deduction. I've just not had many outlets to show all of that.

I'm hoping that a lot of her backstory kind of informs her current self in an organic way.

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At twilight's end, the shadow's crossed / a new world birthed, the elder lost.
Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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 Post subject: Re: [story] Ordeals
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:46 pm 
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Good story, and I know how long this one has been in the works. As I've stated on several occasions, I am not a fan of using canon nearly as much as it is used in this piece, but that's me. The ordeals are neatly done, and as Brentain points out, I love that the flashbacks to not accurately measure up to what truly happened. I am glad that you decided to have Maral create a replica rather than get the real thing (as I believe your original intention was, if memory serves). I just don't particularly care for Kruphix being here. I completely get it, but it's just a personal thing.

I will echo Huey's sentiment about the description of Maral's planeswalking. It feels very real to me that of all of our 'walkers and their various perceptions of the Blind Eternities, Maral's feels the most solid. Her bridge reminds me of the first X-Men movie when Magneto constructs that metal bridge as he walks, and I really like the image. In fact, all of your descriptions are really great here. Really good stuff.

All said, though, I think my favorite thing here is the name-drop at the end. The potential implication of what Maral might want to do with Godsend is an exciting prospect, though knowing what we know of her adversary, and her own self-induced tendency to want to go it alone, I fear for the potential outcome...

Thanks for posting, Barinellos!


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 Post subject: Re: [story] Ordeals
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:24 am 
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Good story, and I know how long this one has been in the works. As I've stated on several occasions, I am not a fan of using canon nearly as much as it is used in this piece, but that's me. The ordeals are neatly done, and as Brentain points out, I love that the flashbacks to not accurately measure up to what truly happened. I am glad that you decided to have Maral create a replica rather than get the real thing (as I believe your original intention was, if memory serves). I just don't particularly care for Kruphix being here. I completely get it, but it's just a personal thing.

Trust me, I get it too.
I would have likely tried to find SOME way around it if not for the fact the horse has already gotten out, as it were thanks to Jinsen.
Out of all the potential gods, Kruphix also seems like the least intrusive choice on my part.

And she was always going to make a replica. The original contention was the idea she'd already replicated Purphoros's hammer, but it was dropped in favor of Godsend taking center stage.

Quote:
I will echo Huey's sentiment about the description of Maral's planeswalking. It feels very real to me that of all of our 'walkers and their various perceptions of the Blind Eternities, Maral's feels the most solid. Her bridge reminds me of the first X-Men movie when Magneto constructs that metal bridge as he walks, and I really like the image. In fact, all of your descriptions are really great here. Really good stuff.

I just get an amusing kick out of the Eternities doing their thing and then she comes strolling through and they just stop and watch like 'what the...?'

Quote:
All said, though, I think my favorite thing here is the name-drop at the end. The potential implication of what Maral might want to do with Godsend is an exciting prospect, though knowing what we know of her adversary, and her own self-induced tendency to want to go it alone, I fear for the potential outcome...

Thanks for posting, Barinellos!

Maral is a name to run from very quickly given the kind of arsenal she can bring to the table, but I think we've demonstrated, she might not be the best person to actually USE a lot of the horrors she's got in her pocket.

_________________
At twilight's end, the shadow's crossed / a new world birthed, the elder lost.
Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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 Post subject: Re: [story] Ordeals
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:57 pm 
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Well, I am significantly later in enjoying this story than I meant to be, but late is better than never, and enjoy it I did! It is -- unsurprisingly -- just wonderfully done. Thank you so much for sharing, Barin!

It's funny, because, to sort of echo one of Raven's comments, this is the sort of canon-heavy story which I myself wouldn't dream of touching with a ten-foot pole, (A) because it's just not my jam and (B) because I'm absolute crap at this sort of thing. Conversely, though, I know that, if there's anyone around here whose sort of jam this is, it's you, and, demonstrably, you are not crap at it. :D On the contrary, I'm always blown away by your ability to really get right to the heart of some of these canon planes, and the depiction of Theros in this piece is just beautiful. (Similarly, to echo a comment which has been made several times before, I'm a big fan of the description of Maral's planeswalking.)

The ordeals themselves are moving in all the right ways, and it's certainly nice to get yet more of a glimpse into Maral's backstory. And, while I don't know if the parallel here is intentional or nor, I'm struck by the sort of shared sense of might-have-been between Maral's experience of the ordeals, and Alessa's experience of her foresight. (Maybe it's just because Alessa has been to Theros as well, and because we had one of the clearest examples of her ability to sort of project and then rewrite her own future-history there, which made me call the comparison to mind.) The one, of course, is envisioning alternate versions of her own past, whereas the other is witnessing the many possible outcomes of her future. But, in both cases, I think there's that sort of immeasurable pull of the might-have-been which comes through so strongly in these stories, and which I think you write extremely well.

(In particular, in reference to Maral's memories of her conversation with her father, I find myself thinking about Ebeneezer, and the Ghost of Christmas Past. In particular, the moment when the ghost asks Ebeneezer why he didn't go after the woman he loved, when she broke off their engagement for good. "I almost did," Ebeneezer tells the ghost, to which the ghost replies: "'Almost' carries no weight -- especially in affairs of the heart." Maral's memory of her father puts me very much in mind of that.)

There are, of course, much larger machinations at play here, as the end makes clear, but the things which stick with me most are the travelogue aspects of the story, and Maral's personal, emotional journey. Anyway, I really enjoyed reading this piece, and I want to thank you again for sharing it!

And, hey, I learned a new word in the process, too! :D

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