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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:39 pm 
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Plane: Thamirelk
Location: Aquilea, a major city in the Augustor Empire (Kwassati)

Part One: The Jewels

word count: 1.2k


vedalken names

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Last edited by Huey Nomure on Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:03 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:41 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:04 am 
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[spoiler]I like the basic concept here, although I have to admit that I'm really not sure I get what's going on plotwise. The names being thrown around at the beginning were highly confusing to me; everybody had two different names and all of them except Yuka were also common nouns: Face, Chatter, Eye, Sunshine, and Staff, and then Yuka takes a third name. Add to that the confusion in the goldsmith's stall with all the "he" pronouns, and I was never sure who was saying or doing what.

Fair enough, Yuka is the kind of person who comes up with nicknames for everyone, but since he hasn't known the rest of the team for long I can take my time for that. Now Yuka uses Eye's real name - Aguta - and the crafter's name is Staff from the get-go. I'll get a close look to the piece to streamline pronouns and names; maybe Yuka names his second target Mark in his mind for the pun's sake so that the sequence is clearer. I'll put edit a PS in this post when I'm finished.

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I was very confused why Glakius, who seemed to be posing as a customer, suddenly seemed to be trying to sell the goldsmith's wares for him. That struck me as something that would seem highly suspicious, but I'm not really up on Aurelian culture.

It's all hinged on his opening with the (main) target:
Quote:
“Good morning, my good sir!” He began, with a perfectly polished tone that could be read both as a playfully formal greeting of a close friend or an enthusiastic approach to a client. “I’ve just laid my eyes on the perfect complement for your lovely complexion.”

Glakius plays the part of the flamboyant friend chaperoning a less knowledgeable man for the goldsmith and the part of the very enthusiastic and up-close-and-personal salesman for his target. Coupled with the fact that Yuka is certainly a better salesman than the goldsmith himself, this prevents the shop's owner from interrupting this young man who seems so adorably set on making a sale for him. Also, the bit about the complexion hints at the fact (read: lie) that Glakius was already looking for something that suited his mark.
Basically, Yuka is relying on everyone's tendency to fill the blanks to play two roles as he steals from both men. I'll make this clearer in my next edit.

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I'm not entirely sure if he was just flirting with the customer or if he has some physical contact-related magic that he was weaving, but I like the effect either way.

Yuka's my first main character who has absolutely no idea about how to magic :D More accurately, he has some working knowledge about the magic that's likely to ruin his endeavors, but is completely unable to cast a spell: all his tricks and cons are mundane, some of them inspired by the amazing Apollo Robbins (his Ted Talks is pure awesome).

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I have to say, that thug's pretty dumb to wear his gold pouch to work. Your job is to deal with pickpockets, man! Well, it's probably a mistake he'll only make three or four times in his career...

He'll definitely shut up about it, when Yuka says someone has a murderer's eyes he's not speaking metaphorically: in my mind the woman is the equivalent of a mob boss.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:09 pm 
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Part Two: The Tales

word count: 1.8k

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Last edited by Huey Nomure on Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:10 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:06 am 
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Thanks for sharing!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:52 am 
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Thanks for reading and commenting!

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Johann the Bard (The Adventure Zone) wrote:

To anybody reading this, including my future selves: have a good life!

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:54 pm 
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Not bad at all. I still don't like the name thing (all these characters I don't know and don't have a reason to care about yet with two or three different names), but overall the tone here was great. Even though I have no particular reason to care about Victoria either, you definitely elicited a response from me (this kind of threat pisses me off greatly) so that's a major success here. I'm not quite sure that the Glakius from part 2 feels like the Glakius from part one, but when you have a character defined by subterfuge and disguise, it's hard to say what's what and who's who.

I look forward to seeing how much Glakius's deviation from the plan, whatever that plan originally was, will cost him later on.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:29 am 
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Not bad at all. I still don't like the name thing (all these characters I don't know and don't have a reason to care about yet with two or three different names) [...] I'm not quite sure that the Glakius from part 2 feels like the Glakius from part one

I'm somewhat sorry but I made an edit to stress the name thing even more:
Quote:
She was trying to use her father’s memory as a crutch, but it couldn’t work, Glakius - Yuka - knew that. He recalled Eye’s long and detailed plan to turn Victoria into a puppet; he imagined all the masterworks Staff would have tailored for him. He calculated how many times he would have to meet Victoria’s eyes as she slowly realized she was losing control over her life. Yuka dropped the mask called Glakius Aquila with disgust.

And I switched every mention of Glakius in the rest of the inner monologues with Yuka, to underline the fact he dropped every pretense about not being a Frostheart agent. While this adds a bit to the multiple names issue, I think it clarifies what happens in his mind. Glakius wouldn't care about Victoria's grief and potential exploitation, Yuka does. As to why, the third and last part should make it clear.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:37 pm 
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I am woefully late in my commenting, here, for which I hope you will forgive me, Huey, but I still wanted to mention how much I enjoyed this story so far, and how much I'm looking forward to seeing where it's going -- thank you so much for sharing!

So, it's becoming painfully clear to me that I'm becoming senile in my advancing age, because for whatever reason my memory just wasn't making the connection between Sharaka and this setting until the mention of the arena blowing up, at which point it finally dawned on me that there's a larger context here which, when I do my due diligence and go back and reread some of those pieces, will probably unlock additional clues for me, here. But the upside of my shoddy memory is that it allows me to say with full conviction that, even without the benefit of context or foreknowledge, the story works just fine anyway. So that's nice, too! :D

(I actually kind of like how you're just dropped into the middle of it, if you don't recognize the people and place. And the story does give you enough to go on that you can follow along with it, and piece it together as you go. Which is something I almost never mind doing -- I sort of like being taken along for the ride.)

Anyway, as is usual with your stories, there are lots of really nice bits of writing here -- lots of well-turned phrases, and telling little details. I particularly like the image of Yuka smoothing the non-existent wrinkles from his suit as he slips into character, and inventing for himself what seems to me to be an unnecessarily detailed and elaborate backstory, only to chuck it all out the window in a second when he catches a few visual cues which suggest an entirely different approach. I like his interactions with Claw a lot, too -- the discussion of hair and wigs, and the somewhat sarcastic observation that of course Claw would like wrestling. (Actually, the recurring references to wrestling are one of the world details I really like here, too -- they immediately give me some sense of place for this culture.) Similarly the little details about Victoria, about how even her curiosity seems bored, and how she's trying to occupy more physical space as a show of bravado. Again, those are the sorts of small but impactful observations which just pepper your work, and which I really, really enjoy.

I'll confess to being of a mind with Raven that Yuka's behavior in the goldsmith's shop didn't quite strike me as believable the first time through. At an academic level, I get the double-act that Yuka's playing in that scene, but I can't help but feel like it's odd that the goldsmith and his daughter just go along with it. If Yuka had made some ambigious comment beforehand, about how he was expecting to be joined by a friend-of-a-friend who was seeking advice, or something else in that similar vein, I feel like I'd be less thrown by the scene.

Anyway, my interpretation of the title is that we have at least one more chapter in this saga yet to come, and I'm very interested to see how it plays out! Thanks again, Huey, for sharing!

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:03 pm 
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So, it's becoming painfully clear to me that I'm becoming senile in my advancing age, because for whatever reason my memory just wasn't making the connection between Sharaka and this setting until the mention of the arena blowing up, at which point it finally dawned on me that there's a larger context here which, when I do my due diligence and go back and reread some of those pieces, will probably unlock additional clues for me, here.

A little tl;dr if you want a quick memory refresher.
Spoiler

Also, writing this made me realize I botched my own continuity, gogdammit. The Dragon was Aurelia's fighter, not Sophron's. I'll amend that.

Quote:
But the upside of my shoddy memory is that it allows me to say with full conviction that, even without the benefit of context or foreknowledge, the story works just fine anyway. So that's nice, too! :D

I'm glad! Yuka doesn't exactly tell Sharaka's story, since from his POV she was just the catalyst of an accident; I'm happy I could give ADAF more context while exploring the vedalkens' storyline at the same time.

Quote:
(Actually, the recurring references to wrestling are one of the world details I really like here, too -- they immediately give me some sense of place for this culture.)

Happy it works! The Augustor Empire has a culture that revolves around strength both of spirit and body, and wrestling is a popular pastime ever for the upper classes; shaving one's head is traditional for wrestlers (the origin of wrestling weren't very dignified, so not having hair for an opponent to grab was not a thing to scoff at), and such a passion would make more believable for Glakius to be interested almost exclusively in the arena fights. I'm mostly make this crap up as I write up stories (aside from the general build of the imperial culture, which I have delved into in the Thamirelk dossier).

Quote:
I'll confess to being of a mind with Raven that Yuka's behavior in the goldsmith's shop didn't quite strike me as believable the first time through. At an academic level, I get the double-act that Yuka's playing in that scene, but I can't help but feel like it's odd that the goldsmith and his daughter just go along with it. If Yuka had made some ambigious comment beforehand, about how he was expecting to be joined by a friend-of-a-friend who was seeking advice, or something else in that similar vein, I feel like I'd be less thrown by the scene.

I'll work on it, I'd want to come up with a turn of phrase that doesn't involve the future mark's pronouns at all, which may not be that easy...
Edit: here's what I came up with.
Quote:
Glakius stepped in and looked around appreciatively. “Very nice craftsmanship, I must say,” he said with the appropriate quiet wonder that every craftsman wanted directed at their creations and a brand new accent, “I’m a bit of a connoisseur. I'm visiting a friend of mine here at Aquilea, you know,” he followed, speaking as if he was divulging a scandalous secret, "and I want to repay the peerless hospitality I received with some fashion advice straight from Augusta, though I'll have to speak of some of your best designs back at the capital, it seems, the goldsmiths there could learn a thing or three from you." Mollified the goldsmith, he started taking a closer look at the jewels as waited for a target.


Quote:
Anyway, my interpretation of the title is that we have at least one more chapter in this saga yet to come, and I'm very interested to see how it plays out!

Yes, the "newcomer" part still has to be under the spotlight, so to speak, but it won't be that glamorous...

Thanks for reading and commenting!

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Johann the Bard (The Adventure Zone) wrote:

To anybody reading this, including my future selves: have a good life!

My creative archive


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:26 pm 
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Part Three: The Newcomer

word count: 2.4k

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To anybody reading this, including my future selves: have a good life!

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