Maybe I can stick to something like this. We’ll see.
The last couple weeks were pretty good. I was productive, I made progress on the things I’ve been working on, it was fine. Life was good.
Then, Distance Learning arrived.
My son started his online lessons for school. The instructors themselves had individually organized their plans, but for us, it was a bit chaotic to start. In true 12 year old fashion, I got a lot of pushback and arguing. Though, by the end, I set it up for him to work with limited distractions and get used to the lay out. Maybe it’ll be ok. Holding his hand through his school work killed my time to work, so I really got nothing done Aserra-wise this week. Add in the tragedy of saying goodbye to a beloved pet and it was just a wash. But here’s the current projects:
So, I have updated with a scattering of chapters over the years, but I’m doing a final refinement of the story organization now. To clarify, this is the current progress…
- Prologue: Voris claims his first victim, Avaline, along with her friend Chera.
- Chapter 1: Naclia and Terin emerge from the Ardir and enter the village of Worrell at the border of Kosony.
- Chapter 2: Naclia and Terin have found themselves in a bar fight, but the merchant Laban steps in and takes them under his care.
- Chapter 3: The story switches to Naclia’s perspective as she reflects on a previous visit to the village and overhears some rumors before departing with Laban.
- Chapter 4: Currently in progress. We switch to Talen’s perspective at his family estate where he is preparing to meet his bride and dealing with old scars–physical and emotional.
- Chapter 5: Talen meets his bride for the first time, the day before the wedding. Forthcoming.
- Chapter 6: The day of the wedding begins. Pharen is introduced in the village and meets Thalia, who is to officiate the Drecloud-Kyrden wedding. Meanwhile, Talen is preparing for the ceremony. Forthcoming.
I am currently working on revising my original draft of Talen’s introduction, which may have been another number, but is now chapter four. I rewrote the role-plays for this segment entirely, but it’s also a bit to heavy on exposition and inner dialogue that I’m trying to whittle down to something easier to digest. The original draft also covered the entire day and a lot of information, so breaking it down into more manageable pieces is important too. Chapter 4 will introduce us to Talen in the present, his home and family, and end with his elder sister’s arrival and her giving him a stern lecture that snaps things into perspective for him.
The next chapter will cover Adra’s arrival and introduce her worries over Voris. After that, I hopefully won’t have to edit Pharen and Thalia’s introductory chapter because I did a big revision of that in a class. Some of my original chapters need to be split in half because they ended up way too long.
My second project is what I may spend the rest of the month primarily focused on after losing a week of working time. I started the month with about a page and decided to use it for Camp NaNiWriMo. “Vagabonds” is the beta working title for what began as the Voyage to Ertia RP. What I’ve decided to do is work on an episodic sort of series for Wattpad using this RPG’s first plot as a starting point for “Season 1.”
Wattpad is a good jumping off place to get my name out there and build a network, hopefully a fan base, in a writing community. As I want to publish The Dollmaster traditionally, I didn’t want to put that out there. My attention to detail on the Dollmaster manuscript is extremely precise, but this story will be less editing, more just getting the story out there.
The first installment of Vagabonds will jump off from our RP with Zharis, Rissya, Zaole, Gurt, Lianora, and Breagan helping a girl escape an arranged marriage in Samonight to be with an Ertian merchant’s daughter. Their ferry to Ertia will be attacked by a privateer hired by the girl’s father and betrothed, whom they must escape and fight off. It will probably also include a lot of character building to establish our main party.
The second arc will merge with the “Scourge of Thervordel” RP, where they solve that mystery, pick up one or two characters from there, then continue onto Ertia for the third arc. After that, I would like to explore Ertia with them and pursue personal plots–Zharis’ reunion with his sister, Rissya finding other Asath and uncovering her birthright, Lianora’s “quest,” etc. I don’t have an end point, but I want to explore the world, give these characters their resolutions, and just get ideas out. I may give the school RP the same treatment in the future too.
I was trying to keep this part to the weekends while I did more work during the weekday, but nothing got done last weekend. Anyway, I’ve been working on the wiki in the last couple months, putting up worldbuilding stuff I have, revising, updating, adding some more here and there. I was a little scattered, but I wanted to focus on updating the races next. The weekend before last I completed the Mariel revision. Before that, I did some work on the Nafod, and the Zaedyn article was revised a couple years ago, so I just copy and pasted and did a little editing on what I had there.
I’m making a few tweaks to certain aspects of the races from the original drafts we used during the RP–things to make the world a little more interesting and dynamic. Here’s some of the changes to races I’ve made in the last couple years while I was revising off and on.
The giant race has been altered from being just big and dumb. They were an early front-runner for the dominant human race on Thiskel. They established societies and had a rich culture, but the War of the Gods devastated them. Their lifespan is an increase by a factor of three, but this doesn’t just affect how long they live, it also affects their maturation rate. Unlike the elemental races that mature at the same rate as humans and then their aging process freezes, Iengi take three times as long as humans to reach maturity. They have been gradually dying out for thousands of years and live in scattered small populations that have failed to recover what they lost.
The Kiar were originally short lived, but I’ve made them the opposite of Iengi. They age faster than humans by a factor of three, meaning they live shorter lives and mature much faster. Their origin has also been moved to Ageond (the original continent) and I’ve made them the progenitors of the Kuzo. The ancestral Kiar were corrupted during the war of the gods to make the kuzo a fast-breeding, fast-maturing, and easily replenished army of footsoldiers for the followers of the dark gods. Kiar who survived the pogrom in Ageond escaped to Kalesten where they established new isolated colonies.
As mentioned above, the kuzo originated from Kiar corrupted by the dark gods and their followers. Their intelligence was decreased, but there may be occasional throwbacks, like Gurt. As they were essentially canon fodder, their handlers did not often care about them, so when survivors of the war retreated, kuzo were abandoned throughout the world and quickly went feral.
Increased the amount of time spent on land to five years, as one year is not enough time to significantly travel in a pre-industrial world.
I will be adding another (I know) Idayn off-shoot. I’m not entirely sure what I will call them, but they will be East Asian in appearance, as they are descended of Idayn and western Thiskel humans. The Idayn, being as uptight as they are, were unwilling to accept mix-blood children after the war, and with their long lifespans, these children would never fully integrate into human society. Instead, they took up residence in forests to the west of the Chasm where they have intermingled with Nafod and humans, eventually homogenizing into an Idaynian race with the phenotypical features of the humans of the region. I’m not certain if they will have any inherent magic, but I think they may have a magic system of their own devising.
The progenitor race of the Ochae’nafod, Dra’nafod, and Marfod did not have a fixed form of shape-shifting, but within a few generations after their creation, the Nafod split into the three current races, then further into distinct tribes bound to a single species in the case of Ochae’ and Dra’nafod. Crossing the different Nafod races will lead to a throw-back with more shape-shifting freedom, though descendants of this individual will be likely to return to a fix form of shape-shifting.
I haven’t done this entry yet, but I want to mark this idea out. Marfod will be predominantly an all-female race, but each individual is capable of transforming into a male for reproductive purposes (like some fish). I’m not sure how it will work (one time period of their lives? Triggered by some dynamic?).
So there’s the summary. I may end up doing some catch-up work on Vagabonds this weekend for NaNo. Fingers crossed!