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Mandamon

20150202 - Fruits of the Gods Ch6 pt2 (2424) - Mandamon

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Hi all,
    Part 2 of chapter 6, in which we find out what happens to Kisare and Belili's peaceful life of farming.
Let me know what you think.

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At the very beginning you start with "Three days later, Aricaba-Ata found them.", which feels like a good hook for a beginning of a chapter. However, it feels kind of odd being present in what would normally be the middle of one though, particularly since you then proceed to summarize the next three days. Quick disclaimer though, it might feel less odd if it was one continuous chapter without a week break in the middle creating that sensation of a pause where there typically wouldn't be one.

All in all, it didn't really feel like like 2400 words because it read really quickly (which is good) probably due to the good tension. The stand-off prior to the action read well for me, and I liked the discussion/argument between the two, even if Aricaba-Ata came off a bit as a bit villain. It felt appropriate, because I could see him being that frustrated and quick to get angry considering he was attacked by spirits, his slaves broke one of the bigger taboos (stealing Fruit), and he lost three slaves. I don't know how intelligent he was intended to be, but when Hbelu made the comment that he doesn't track the use of his fruit well, I was thinking 'He doesn't track a lot of things well". I don't know the full length of the story, but I haven't gotten the feeling he's the main antagonist, so much as an initial one until something else replaces him.

I feel like there was some repetition that a pass over might resolve, like, we're informed Ilzi is good with magic at least once in the narrative and once by Aricaba, if my memory serves, and it did feel a little out of place coming from Aricaba's mouth (stilted or stock dialogue). The magic usage was a little hard to picture well for me. Even as I'm kind of skimming back over it, part of me wonders entirely what's going on. It seems like there's a mass of water effectively creating an icy wall(?) that keeps back most of the Asha-Urmana, but everyone's placement leaves a really loose image of how things are happening for me. Aricaba seems to create a flamethrower or fireball or something, but then we have a lot of paragraph before a wall of plants arises and blocks the attack? Or was he standing there holding it? Going back over, it sounds like he was holding flames, but the initial introduction to the line kind of sounds like he's attacking with it immediately. And last point of confusion I had here was that, I thought the Asha-Urmana were separated from Hbelu, Kisare, and Belili (at least the water/ice magic sounded large and as though it blocked their vision of the rest of them), so I don't entirely follow how the wall of plants is working to block both attacks. And if the water/ice wasn't a wall of some sort, then it feels odd that Belili thought they just all ran away immediately, rather than backing off a bit.

On the other side of that though, this marks the first magical fight we've seen (as in two opposing sides using magic), and I realized that nobody seems like they really have a weapon beyond the Fruits. It sounds like magic outclasses typical weaponry in terms of power, but it also sounds like there's a delay between biting into a Fruit and accessing the magic, where a simple bow or sword to the gut (if distance permitted) would actually be a better tactic just due to the quickness. It's not a knock to the scene, just a neutral observation. I'm definitely curious to see how larger battles will be handled, if the story continues to grow in scope as it seems like it might and how Belili and Kisare's seeds will end up affect the other Fruits, though that feels like a sort of 'key item' for the climax at this point. The more I'm thinking about it, as well, the more I'm wondering what percentage of magic-users to 100% blondes exist. It kind of feels like they're a pretty vast minority, considering not all the blonde slaves are necessarily fully blonde.

I was just about to wrap up this post, but I remembered there was one sentence that felt like two sentences unintentionally merged, or like something was missing. "The Asha-Urmana quickly found Belili's skill in pruning, as it was time to clear the final deadwood before spring fully took hold." The first time I read it first half sounds like it would've ended with "skill in pruning useful", and I'm guessing the deadwood isn't just wood laying around so much as the branches, twigs, and such that are cut off to promote growth. Another sort of divergence was also introduced in the sisters, with Belili being good with nature, and Kisare being good with mechanics, it introduces another duality between them of nature versus science. It feels like it's being subtly hinted at that they're going to have a falling out somewhere further down the road, but that could just be because I'm thinking of Mishra and Urza from the Magic:The Gathering story continuum (They were both artificers, but one viewed their inventions as replicas of life where the other viewed them as fully lifeless so they ended up going different paths in life).

That's about it for now. I'm kind of surprised I'm the first response. I guess everyone's had a busy week.

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Juugatsu--thanks for the response.  I was wondering where everyone got to.

 

You hit on the exact same points as the other critiques I've gotten, re. the use of magic as weapons vs. hitting something with a sword.  I've got some other people confused on the layout of the fight as well, so I think this section is in for a big revision.  I still like the outcome, but I need to describe it a lot better.

 

You also hinted at something Robinski brought up, in that Aricaba-Ata (and Ilzi) feels like a bit-villain.  I think I need to go back and add some more motive behind their actions to flesh them out as characters.

 

Nice comparison with Belili and Kisare.  I remember the Urza and Mishra story well!  It wasn't intentional, but now you point it out, there are some similarities.  I'm not sure I've followed up on this later in the story, so I need to check that.

 

Thanks again--great comments as usual!

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