Writer's Checkup   21 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of the characters is your "favorite" so far?

    • Corrin
    • Aurora
    • Dain
    • Lacy
    • Garnell
    • Geniora
      0
    • Iolar & Quarden
      0
    • Charles
      0
    • Mareth
      0
    • Teren
      0
    • Minshyl
    • My favorite isn't on here (tag me an I'll add it)

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237 posts in this topic

3 hours ago, DramaQueen said:

I didn't assume you were, I was just letting you know that I think English teachers are the best, and you, by sounding like an English teacher, are also the best!

Ack, I’m terrible at reading tone. But thank you, that brought a smile to my face ^_^ You made my bad day a little bit better. That makes you the best too!

Sorry Fadran I’ll leave now

Edited by The Awakened Salad
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10 hours ago, The Awakened Salad said:

*poofs into existence*

Is Corrin named after the Fire Emblem character by any chance? I think I’ve seen you mention the series before... is definitely not trying to figure out if you’ve played Three Houses.

I want to give you feedback but I don’t have the time to write up something decent, sorry. From what little I read I think you have the basis of something really exciting. 

I’m not sure if this will work for you two, and I am definitely not qualified to be giving out writing advice, but the best piece of advice I’ve ever received is “Write the book you want to read.” Easier said than done, I know, but if I found that if I stopped focusing on originality and my ideas, and just more on what I thought was cool, what tropes I liked, then everything began to flow a lot more smoothly. There’s a quote from Mistborn that sums it up nicely. I think it’s something like “nothing is original except for style”, and I think that applies to writing, too. Everything we create is a synthesis of our thoughts, feelings, worldview, the stories we’ve consumed, loved, cried over, the world around us, and a whole bunch of other things. If you’re writing it, chances are it’s been written before. But it’s the way in which we explore these ideas (storms, I sound like an English teacher) that makes our stories unique and vibrant. So even if you feel like your ideas are cliche, if you like them, if you feel excited by them, then write anyway! Cliche elements can be changed in a later draft.

As for not knowing where to go with ideas, this is something I still struggle with, but I read somewhere that breaking those ideas can really help create a story. Ideas are like eggs (I seemingly can’t help coming up with weird similes). They’re the start of something, but you have to break them if you want to get to the good bits inside. Create problems. Grab your idea(s) (you could combine some if you want) and figure out how things would go wrong. Then make them go wrong. I’m making this sound a lot easier than it is, but it really helps escalate tension and puts characters in tricky situations. 

Sorry to hijack your thread with my crazy rambles, Fadran. Good luck with your writing!

:ph34r:Since I’m supposed to be inactive, I was never here:ph34r: 

*sneaky Salad exit*

Corrin is not named after Corrin from Birthrite/Conquest. Fire Emblem Three Houses is my absolute favorite game of all freaking time.

Also, nice advice! I try to avoid cliches unless I need them (and desperately at that).

10 hours ago, DramaQueen said:

My English teacher last year was my favorite teacher of all time. And before then, I never had an English teacher I disliked.

The only teacher I've ever liked more than my english teacher was... another english teacher.

6 hours ago, The Awakened Salad said:

Ack, I’m terrible at reading tone. But thank you, that brought a smile to my face ^_^ You made my bad day a little bit better. That makes you the best too!

Sorry Fadran I’ll leave now

I don't mind you chatting up my thread. It makes me feel good about myself, actually.

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6 hours ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

Fire Emblem Three Houses is my absolute favorite game of all freaking time.

Wooo another fan! It’s my favourite game right now, too.

Who’s your favourite character? What route is your favourite? Which route did you play first? Favourite supports? Least favourite character? Am I asking too many questions? 

Also, we do have a Three Houses thread buried somewhere in the Entertainment section, if you haven’t seen it.

Edited by The Awakened Salad
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1 minute ago, The Awakened Salad said:

Wooo another fan! It’s my favourite game right now, too.

Who’s your favourite character? What route is your favourite? Which route did you play first? Favourite supports? Least favourite character? Am I asking too many questions? 

Also, we do have a Three Houses thread buried somewhere in the Entertainment section, if you haven’t seen it.

My favorite character is probably Bernadetta. She makes me smile.

I haven't played through all the routes yet (doing Black Eagles right now). First route I played was Blue Lions, and my favorite support was Sylvain's and Dimitri's. "You didn't use one of my pickup lines, did you? In the wrong hands those are incredibly dangerous!" Least favorite used to be Felix until I realized he was awesome. Now it's Rhea because (spoilered below):

Spoiler

Because she killed Byleth's mom to perform an illegal heart transplant just so she could talk to her own mother again, tried to make me kill Edelgard, and then hid behind Flayn before she had the decency to come face me herself.

Are you asking too many questions? Maybe. Do I mind? No.

Ooh, I'll have to search for that...

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On 7/19/2020 at 3:28 PM, Channelknight Fadran said:

Here's a map of Ivinan by the way. Hope it helps clear some stuff up:

Ivinan.jpeg

Did you draw that?!? That's amazing!

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11 hours ago, Enter a username said:

Did you draw that?!? That's amazing!

There is only one thing I can draw well in the entirety of the universe, and that is fantasy maps. Glad you like it!

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So I won’t be adding much here for a little bit because I recently came up with some new ideas that fix a few plot holes but need some implication. When I’m done that, I should have a few good chapters done to toss at you.

There have also been some suggestions from a few of you *cough*Danex*cough* that I’ll be going through and fixing as soon as I get the chance. I’ll also fix the formatting for Chapter I.

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I’m now officially going through and editing the chapters.

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I have now gone through and edited all the chapters! I made minor changes to all of them, with only two major changes in Chapters IV and V.

Also, here’s Chapter VI:

Spoiler

Chapter VI - Lacy

First Earthlight | Ivinan Midway

    Lacy yawned loudly as they ascended the tower. As she stretched, her fist hit something squishy; what was that?

    “Ow.” Aurora said. “Watch your stretching, Lace.”

    “Sorry.” Lacy stretched downwards to prevent herself from hitting anyone else. “Been a long night, y’know? Getting a free shower, courtesy of Waterlight; hiking through Midway, courtesy of Ivinan; and now climbing up this massive tower, courtesy of—”

    “—Your own free will.” Aurora interrupted. “You wanted to come up here, remember?”

    “It sounded a lot better before my legs started protesting.”

    Geniora, who was walking just behind them, laughed. “Believe me, all this will be worth it.”

    “It had better,” Lacy replied, wincing as her legs burned against the strain. Her eyes grew steadily heavier by the minute, and she found herself dozing off; while walking. Every inch of her body protested against the strain of either climbing the stairs or staying awake all night.

“Are we close to the top yet?” Aurora asked. “My legs are tired.”

Your legs are tired? Lacy complained to herself. She didn’t say it out loud, though.

Ahead of her, the other people climbing the tower had stopped. Lacy released a sigh, leaning against the wall and closing her eyes.

“What’s the matter, Lacy?” Geniora asked. “A few minutes ago you were desperate to see more of Midway, and now you’re trying to sleep on a stone wall?”

“She gets like this whenever she’s tired.” Aurora replied. “She uses every last bit of her energy until she suddenly collapses without warning.”

“My body just doesn’t tell me when I’m tired until it basically wants to die from the strain,” Lacy added, yawning and shifting her weight against the wall to find a comfortable position, “it’s really annoying sometimes.”

“Well, don’t fall asleep quite yet; it’s almost our turn up the ladder.”

Ladder?” That was enough to get Lacy to open her eyes. “Of course there’s a ladder.”

“Calm down, it’s only a few steps to the top.” Aurora replied. “What’s the view like? Is it like the view over the eighth Verar from the seventh?”

Geniora blinked in confusion, then chuckled. “I’ve only been to Feylore twice, and never to the main city.”

“Really?”

“Yep. First time to get some supplies, second time… also to get some supplies. Those elven merchants sell an awful lot of Arcane equipment, considering the scope of our magic.”

“Can’t trust… domestic product.” Lacy added drowsily. She didn’t know what it meant; she’d only heard some adult higher-ups talking about it.

Geniora did not respond to Lacy’s comment except for an amused snort, before announcing to her that the guard was beckoning them up the tower. At this, Lacy pushed herself off the wall with her shoulders, arms wrapped around her chest. She pushed open her eyelids, but they still hung dangerously low. Aurora grabbed Lacy’s arm, pulling her to the ladder leading up into the main tower.

And she calls me impatient, Lacy thought.

Aurora’s eagerness, however, was not unfounded.

As Lacy pulled herself up the last rung of the ladder—with no shortage of protests from her limbs, of course—she almost found the strength to gape.

The view was stunning, she had to admit; not that she ever doubted it would be. There was no roof or curve to the top of the tower—it was almost a square, to say the least. Below her, the city streets of Ivinan Midway sprawled about in a mesmerizing pattern, twisting left and right sporadically. To the sides of these streets, buildings fought for every inch of empty alleyway space, often leaving barely enough room for a rat to hide from the Airlight dust storms—if there had been any Airlight dust storms to be heard of in Midway.

High above the surface of the realm, the orange-brown glimmer of the Earthlight moon shone off the thousands of buildings, gleaming across windows to leave red splotches in Lacy’s vision. Outside the all-encompassing walls surrounding the city, Lacy could barely spot the distant tower that the demons from Sunken Deep hailed from. According to the stories, no one had ever successfully penetrated and climbed the tower to the Parallarity Gate since the war began.

Speaking of the war, Lacy could very clearly make out burning fires, and the smoke marking them. While the Earthmoon may have flashed in her eyes across the windows, it certainly couldn’t provide enough light to give her a good view of the clashing armies.

She tore her eyes away from the fires, glancing again at the city streets. Brightstones were few, and the only light other than the glow of hearthfires through windows was the occasional mounted lantern and doorside torches. By this light, she could make out the tiny forms of humans scurrying about like mice under an owl’s gaze. Even at this hour, merchants and peddlers pawned off their wares to anyone unfortunate enough to come within view. Beggars held out hats and cups, while vagrants stood together in groups, warily eyeing anyone who drew near—the living giving life to the city, and—

And…

Zzzzzz

“Lacy!”

She jolted awake as Aurora shook her arm. How long had she been asleep on the turret? She didn’t even remember falling asleep… or being asleep. To make matters worse, she didn’t feel rested in the slightest.

“Wha… what?” Lacy rubbed her eyes. “Demons? Where?”

“We need to catch the Parallarity Gate before Second Earthlight. That means leaving now.”

Lacy nodded groggily. “Alright. Where’s… the portal?”

“That way,” came the detached voice of Geniora. Lacy only now realized that she was yet to open her eyes… could that be why she couldn’t see anything?

She did crack an eyelid when Aurora began tugging her—gently—away from the turret. As she was led towards the ladder, the only thing she registered was the concerned look shot in her direction by a guard. Before she could respond, she found herself unconsciously climbing down the ladder—her body even forgot to protest this time. How nice of it.

There was a calming rhythm to climbing down the stairs; step, weightless, bounce. Step, weightless, bounce. She barely caught herself as she leaned over and threatened to fall.

“Lacy, are you okay?” Aurora asked.

Lacy replied with a groggy nod. “Yeah… if I could just… sleep a moment.”

“No time for that, I’m afraid,” Geniora said, “we have a little more than half an hour to catch the Parallarity Gate and our ride to the Academy.”

“Well… lead on, then.” Lacy felt her eyelids drooping again, and she held them open with all of what little strength remained. She must have failed to open them at some point, because she hit her foot hard on the floor where she thought the next stair would’ve been, the step, weightless, and bounce rhythm rudely broken.

Geniora pushed open the door to the streets of Ivinin Midway, and gestured the two girls out of the tower. Aurora tried to brace up Lacy with her arms, but she stubbornly remained on her own two feet. She did rest her head on Aurora’s shoulder, though.

As they walked through the streets, Lacy took up a new rhythm—Step, step. Step, step. Step, step. Her shoes made a satisfying click and clack against the cobbled pavement. Even with the occasional uneven stone, the pattern of step and click combined with her head sitting comfortably against Aurora’s shoulder nearly put her to sleep again—it actually might have, because they had arrived at the Parallarity Gate far sooner than she had anticipated.

“Here we are,” Geniora said at last, breaking the peaceful night’s silence as well as Lacy’s walking rhythm, “Parallarity Gate to Ivinan. Not long until we can catch our ride back to the Academy and get some sleep.”

Lacy only caught the words she wanted to hear: ‘not long,’ ‘ride,’and ‘sleep.’ She grunted weakly in acknowledgment.

Aurora led Lacy to a row of benches while Geniora started showing passes and whatnot to a guard. There was no beat; no rhythm, but there was a comfortable shoulder for her head to rest on. She blinked out, unknowing, at the castle-like building that enshrined the Parallarity. Some—rather, many—soldiers stood guard here, all under the three-sword banner of the Silverclad Enclave. They looked almost as tired as she was. Her eyes fell closed, and her mind drifted off…

“Lacy!”

She closed her eyes tighter.

Lacy!” Aurora repeated. “We’re going through the Parallarity now.”

She pushed her eyes open just enough to see, then accepted a hand from Geniora to pull herself to her feet. Aurora led her without a word through the Parallarity, and Lacy barely noticed the split second of nothing before she found herself in a large chamber, open to the sky. While she didn’t take the time to count them, there were at least a hundred soldiers standing to the sides wielding a variety of spears, swords, axes, and the like, with equally many archers on a number of upper floors leaning on the banisters or oiling bowstrings.

“How… close are… we?” Lacy asked.

“Just a little under a mile to the stablemaster’s hut.” Geniora replied.

She didn’t have the strength to cry out ‘a mile!’ in protest, but she was under the impression that the others had heard it anyways.

The mile passed faster than she expected, but it still took its time. Her feet were hurting now, and every step plagued her sore appendages until she was loath to take another. There were no shortage of settlements along the long-trodden road, most of them tents but with a few wooden or Arcane-earth buildings in between. These and the occasional campfire were the only sources of light on the road; not that she was complaining, though.

The encampments continued until Geniora selected one tent that seemed no different than the others. To the side of this, several horses rested peacefully alongside one another. They looked so peaceful, asleep without a care in the world. She felt her eyes falling closed again as she imagined herself sleeping on the ground…

“Lacy…”

She had managed to fall asleep standing up? How was that her first thought after waking up?

And why was it that she had fallen asleep so many times but didn’t even remember sleeping? This was a cruel world she lived in.

Geniora was gesturing her to a carriage just a few feet away; Aurora had already climbed in and was making herself comfortable on the cushioned seats. The driver looked annoyed but well-rested, not unlike the two horses hitched to the front. With all the energy she had left—not much—she pulled herself into the carriage and took the seat opposite of Aurora. When Geniora entered, she left Lacy to keep her side to herself.

“Everyone ready to go?” The driver asked.

Aurora and Geniora replied in confirmation, but not Lacy. She had immediately collapsed onto her cushioned bench, and her hands had barely enough time to brace up her head before she passed into a well-earned deep sleep.

 


 

The state of dreams wasn’t kind to Lacy tonight, however.

Who are you, child? A voice asked her. Are you the one I seek? Are you the one who, for so long, has avoided my gaze?

“Uh… what?”

Do not listen to that one! Another voice said. He will corrupt your soul and claim your mind. You are not safe when he is near.

“This is a weird dream.”

It needn’t be. The first voice replied. If you join me, I can grant you all the power in the world.

“But that other guy said that you would… like, eat me, or something.”

He has marked you, child, as I have. Lacy couldn’t tell which one said that, though; it might’ve been both of them combined.

Suddenly, both voices were silenced, and she found herself in a field. It was dark, with only the Waterlight moon tracing overhead. It couldn’t be much later than First Waterlight, which meant it should have been raining. The fact that it wasn’t could only mean she was in Midway; or that whatever part of her brain was in charge of dreaming had forgotten to rain.

Being in the fields of Midway, though, she was suddenly aware that this was where the bulk of the war was supposed to be taking place. Sure enough, as soon as she thought of that, she could hear cries and metal on metal. She turned around, and watched as massive armies clashed against each other. She expected to see the banners of the Silverclad Enclave versus those of Sunken Deep, as she had been taught in the orphanage by both her teachers and the older children, but rather saw the flag of Ivinan raised in line with all the others: Feylore, Vitera, Drakefell, Sunken Deep, even Carnon. They fought against foes she could not see, and didn’t want to see.

Her attention and gaze were drawn elsewhere, however. Two figures fought alongside each other on a hilltop, defending one another from an onslaught of monsters. She felt… drawn to them. Compelled. She found herself running up the hill towards the two, unable to make out their features. With a gasping breath she crested a hill, and as she looked up to see their faces—

“Lacy!”

She snapped awake. “Ah! Evil!”

Aurora blinked. “That was an unexpected way for you to wake up… but we’re here now.”

“Here, where?”

“The Academy of Arcana, of course.” Geniora replied. “Welcome to magic school.”

 

Edited by Channelknight Fadran
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Pentaposting! Whoohoo!

Here’s chapter VII:

Spoiler

Chapter VII - Betting on Swordplay

Third Earthlight | The plains, Ivinan

    “Breakfast!” Dain called.

    Corrin poked open an eye, then sat up, finding that he was the only one still in his bedroll. In fact, his bedroll was the only one still on the floor. The occasional backpack lay strewn about here and there, but all of them were packed up and ready to go.

    With an annoyed grunt, Corrin pulled himself out of his bedroll, then rolled it up and roped it in place. He slung it onto his backpack, missing the knot the first time and having to go back and redo it. With that, he stood up and stretched, then left the tent, heading outside.

    Sitting about on logs, stumps, or even just the grass, the dozen-strong squadron of Dain’s ate their breakfast. Dain himself had prepared it, and was serving it to the last few soldiers who were unlucky enough to be backed up in the apparent meal line.

    Corrin fell in behind the last of these, and sooner rather than later, he was being handed a plate with eggs and sausage; not something he expected from army rations.

    “Someone looks like he had his beauty sleep.” Dain noted.

    “Sorry, sir.”

    “Nothing to be sorry for. A soldier’s sleep schedule is an acquired trait. However, once we reach Camp Thunder and get training, you will be expected to get up early.”

    “Understood.”

    “Now go eat some breakfast.” He nodded towards Garnell, Mareth, Iolar, and Quarden. “The strikers have taken a liking to you… that’s a good thing. Means you’ve got more cred than the other soldiers.”

    “Sir?”

    Dain leaned in, lowering his voice. “There’s a lot more to status in the army than rank, Corrin.”

    Corrin nodded, a gesture that was returned by Dain, who dished himself a plate of food and left to sit next to Teren and Uia. Corrin took his own plate to a spot between Iolar and Garnell.

    “There you are.” Mareth said. “I was wondering if a fox had gotten you.”

    “It’d take more than a fox to kill Corrin,” Garnell replied, chuckling, “a wolf, maybe.”

    “I lost to a mouse, once,” Corrin added, trying to deal himself in on their conversation.

    Iolar frowned. “You… fought a mouse?”

    “It got the jump on me. Got a big, nasty bite on my ankle.”

    “And you were, what, five?”

    Corrin laughed. “I was twelve.”

    Mareth raised an eyebrow. “And Dain expects you to be some great swordsman or something? If you can’t kill a mouse, then how about a demon?”

    “Well, you guys will have my back, right?”

    Quarden nodded. “That’s right, we will. No guarantees, though. Sometimes we let the new guy get stabbed so he can get a taste of what it feels like.”

    “We do?” Garnell asked. “I mean, uh, yeah, we do.”

    Iolar sighed, picking at his sausage. “Welp, there goes the scare tactic. Yeah, we’ll have your back, no worries. Do be careful, though. It’s Garnell and Mareth’s jobs to be idiots and get themselves hacked to pieces.”

    “Hang on, you knew Garnell, right?” Mareth asked. “Like, as kids?”

    “That I did.” Corrin answered. “We grew up together.”

    “Like brothers!” Garnell added. “Brothers with a foot difference in height, different hair color, eye color, skin tone, personality, parents, and hobbies.”

    “And rank,” Quarden said, “which reminds me… we can order you around, Corrin.”

    “Only in a battlefield situation, though.” Corrin corrected. “When the captain deems fit to split the squadron, the strikers lead their respective soldiers to follow the captain’s orders but in their own fashion.”

    Quadren blinked in confusion, and Garnell chuckled, “I told you, he knows just about everythin’ about this here Enclave.”

    “I’m still on his knowing you as a kid,” Mareth said, “like the time with the mud and the neighbor’s wall?”

    “Did Garnell tell you about that?” Corrin asked, then frowned as Garnell made a cutting motion across his throat, silently asking him to be quiet. “The time where… we basically covered the neighbor’s walls with mud and had to scrub them off for two hours when they found out?”

    Garnell sighed, while Mareth and Iolar laughed and put their fists together. Garnell grabbed a small bag from his pocket, then dealt both of them two silver Crescents.

    “Did you guys… make a bet on me?” Corrin asked.

    “That we did,” Iolar replied, fingering his new crescents, “and glad we did.”

    I’m not glad we did,” Garnell replied, “because now I’m forty crests poorer. Speaking of which… Quarden, you were on my side, so you owe me two silver.”

    “Fresh out of cash, man.” Quarden replied, then pulled a slip of paper from his pocket and scraped something onto it with a pen. “I’ll take your next stable duty?”

    “Acceptable.” Garnell took the paper, then cut one of his sausages in half, then shoveled one end into his mouth. After swallowing, he said, “In any case, Corrin, we make bets on just about anything. For example, I won a gold from both twins last night when I predicted you’d break the record.”

    “It was so ludicrous.” Iolar said wistfully.

    “And also, we had our reputation to uphold as the biggest troublemakers in the squadron.” Quarden added.

    “I had the offer to join in, but I figured if Garnell was betting so much on you, he knew what he was doing.” Mareth said. “Which reminds me… we’re fresh out of bets, now. How abouts we make another one on the new guy? I’m betting thirty seconds.”

    “One minute,” Iolar said.

    “Fifty-five seconds,” Quarden decided.

    “What?” Corrin asked. “What are you guys doing?”

    “Sooner or later, Dain’s going to test your skill. He’ll pull you out into the fields and take you on, one-on-one.” Mareth replied. “You’re not expected to win; he just wants to see how long you last, so we’re betting on that.”

    “A minute thirty.” Garnell said. “How much in the pot?”

    “I want my gold crescent back,” Iolar said wistfully. He dropped a gold crescent onto a stump.

    “I’ll throw in my next week’s desserts.” Quarden said, writing another note and adding that to the stump. It read 3 Desserts. -Quarden.

    “Latrine duty,” Mareth decided, writing a note of his own. Latrine Duty. -Mareth.

    Garnell reached into his pocket, then pulled out his remaining Acquisition Chip. He dropped that into the pot, getting a series of appreciative nods from the others.

    “Five minutes.” Corrin said, dropping a gold crescent onto the stump.

    The others fell silent, each giving him a look in turn.

    “What?” He asked.

    “Uh, this is… us, betting on… you.” Mareth replied.

    “Yeah, and this is me betting on me. I bet I can last five minutes.”

    Garnell chuckled. “You think you can last five minutes against Dain?

    “I’ll make it five minutes, no less.” Corrin added. “I don’t win if my bet’s closest; I only win if I last five minutes or over. But—” He said, interrupting Iolar before he said anything. “But, if I win, I want first pick over an extra Emblem in the case that there are ever extras from a mission. I’m assuming those would be abdicated to you, so the next you get goes to me.”

    There was a short silence, until Mareth spoke, “I haven’t got a problem with that.” He signed another note, reading To Corrin: One extra Emblem. -Mareth.

    The others agreed with varying degrees of eagerness—the twins happily signing a note, and Garnell warily writing his own. Soon, there were four more notes sitting on the stump.

    “Now all we have to do is… wait until Dain duels me?” Corrin asked.

    “I don’t think that’ll take too long.” Quarden replied, gesturing over his shoulder.

    Corrin looked behind him to see Dain approaching them, sword in plain view. The captain cleared his throat. “Based on the pile of mismatched oddities on this stump, I’m assuming that the others told you what—“ He cut himself off, then frowned and bent over, picking up one of the slips of paper that abdicated an extra emblem to him. “Did you deal yourself in?

    “That I did.” Corrin replied.

    “For how long?” Dain asked.

    “Five minutes.” Mareth replied. “He expects to survive for five mintues.”

    Dain blinked, looking at Corrin. “A little overconfident, are we? I bet these kind strikers wouldn’t mind if you lowered it by a minute or two.”

    “As a matter of fact, we would,” Quarden replied, “and I doubt he’d want to, anyways.”

    Corrin nodded. “Yeah, I don’t want to. Should we get started?”

    The corner of Dain’s mouth twitched. “I don’t see any reason to wait. Should we move out to the field?”

    “How many battles are actually fought in the field?” Corrin asked. “Better we do it here, where there’s actual obstacles to look out for… like stumps, tents, and people.”

    Dain nodded. “Fair enough.” He unsheathed his sword. “Teren, you timing us?”

    The archer held up a small pocketclock. “That I am.”

    Corrin unsheathed his own sword, feeling at the hilt. There was good traction on the leather, and the pommel counterweighted the blade perfectly. “What’re the rules for winning?”

    Dain grasped his sword in front of him with both hands. “One hit.”

    “Anywhere?”

    “Anywhere. That’s all it takes to bleed out and die on the battlefield, right?”

    “Right.” Corrin unslung his shield, sliding it up his left arm. “Shields are allowed, right?”

    “Anything’s allowed. There aren’t any rules about what you can or cannot use to kill a demon—or what you can or cannot use to keep a demon from killing you. Count us down, Teren!”

    Teren held up three fingers, then lowered the first. “Three…”

    “Good luck!” Mareth called. “You’ll need it.”

    “Two…”

    “But not too much luck.” Iolar added. “I do still want those crescents.”

    “One… Go!”

    Dain lunged, and Corrin barely avoided the blade by stepping to the side. Dain immediately cut towards him, though, a strike that he hit aside with his shield. He took a step backwards, putting some distance between himself and Dain. The captain took a moment to fix his stance, then took another swing at Corrin, who avoided it with relative ease; that had been a testing blow, not one actually intended to hit.

    So he can attack, Corrin thought to himself, but he doesn’t have a shield… Can he defend?

    After Dain struck again at him, Corrin hit the sword aside with his own. He twisted it in a wide arc, hoping to disarm his foe. He pulled Dain’s blade far from his body, then prepared to stab at his now-exposed chest. Dain, however, twisted to the side, and suddenly it wasn’t Dain who was exposed, but rather Corrin. Dain pushed Corrin’s sword towards the ground, then slashed at Corrin’s chest; a strike he barely deflected with his shield.

    Okay, yes, yes he can defend. Corrin mentally noted. And his reflexes are fast.

    “Not bad,” Dain said, holding his sword before his chest, “you almost had me there, but you left yourself wide open.”

    “Shield.” Corrin said simply, then stabbed at Dain. His sword was knocked aside, and when a similar strike came at him, he had to take a step back to avoid the blow. Dain continued slashing at him, though, forcing him backwards to remain out of reach. Soon, he found himself backed up to the tents, still stepping back. “Do we want to… you know, leave the tents alone?”

    “If we say they were damaged during a training exercise, they’ll be okay with it.” Dain attacked from above, and Corrin mentally chastised himself as he instinctively defended himself rather than attacked Dain’s exposed body.

    “And yet…” Corrin grunted as Dain knocked his sword aside and he barely dodged a strike. “You were complaining about a tear in the tent last night?”

    “I wasn’t complaining about the person who put it there, but rather the person who neglected to fix it.” Dain stabbed at Corrin again, then ducked to the side as Corrin counterattacked. “Not bad… in fact, I might even say good.”

    Dain continued pushing at him, and Corrin was forced to spin off to the side to keep himself from being pushed into the tent. He nearly tripped over a stump, but caught himself and struck wildly to prevent Dain from taking advantage over his stumble. With a grunt, he attacked with a powerful blow, getting a first step backwards from Dain. He continued pushing Dain backwards, until he heard a groan from Quarden—evidently, he had survived for at least a minute.

    Attacks were traded back and forth for a while without comment, except for the occasional ‘impressive’ from Dain. The soldiers unassociated with the bet had taken notice by now, and were watching intently. Mareth was looking more and more nervous by the second, eyeing the pile of notes, crescents, and pride until he finally released an exasperated sigh; a minute forty-five had been passed, and Garnell was the last striker with a chance at the pot.

    “It seems they underestimated you,” Dain noted, “and I as well.” He blocked a strike at his right, which he returned with a similar attack. With a quick jab to keep Corrin at bay as he took a step back, he said, “I underestimated you quite a bit, it seems—though I wonder if you can possibly win that pot of yours.”

    By the time the three minute mark was called by Teren, Corrin was covered in sweat. Dain had broken a few beads, though not nearly as many as Corrin. By four minutes, Corrin was dodging more often than defending, trying to spare his sword arm the strain of deflecting blow after blow. He held his sword in a vertical defensive position across his chest, and used his shield more often than the blade.

    “It seems as though I’ve got you,” Dain said, breath hardly rough or panting, “your strength is dwindling.”

    “I only… have… a minute.” Corrin replied. He was forced to deflect a strike with his sword arm; Dain had found his weakness, and was now exploiting it. He took a step backwards, then another, and another. Dain was pushing him, and he didn’t have the strength to push back.

    I need to buy myself time, Corrin thought to himself, I need a distraction.

    With a deep breath—he wasn’t taking any other kind at this point—he began to feel at the energy coming from the Earthmoon. He remembered his days at the academy; Fire Arcana required strong will and energy. It became more powerful during Firelight—but Earthlight wouldn’t weaken it like Waterlight tended to.

    He felt the warmth from the Airsun reflecting off the Earthmoon, then Forged a Spirit Bond to it. Heat could become fire—but to use fire, he needed to provide a path of energy that led to his target. He let his energy flow through him, then out towards Dain, who was preparing to strike. With a path of energy created, he pulled on the heat he had Bonded to, and with a punch of his fist summoned a massive burst of fire—

    A weak spout of embers emitted from his hand, burning out long before they ever reached Dain’s face. The captain did refrain from attacking for just a moment, though, blinking in confusion at the tiny plumes of smoke that marked where the fire had once been. Then, with an annoyed growl, he stabbed at Corrin’s exposed self. Corrin stepped backwards, but tripped over a log and fell hard onto his back. 

Dain began to strike downwards, but just before his sword connected—

“Five minutes!” Teren called, a proclamation that was beautifully punctuated by Corrin’s grunt of pain as Dain’s sword clanged hard off his chain mail and the good-sported cheers from the strikers who lost the bet.

Dain held out a hand, which Corrin gratefully took. After Corrin had gotten to his feet, Dain chuckled. “Well, consider me impressed. I haven’t met a swordsman of your skill since… well, since a very long time.” He seemed thougthful, concerned, and maybe just a little bit… angry? Not angry at Corrin, but rather someone else; someone who had bested him in a duel, perhaps?

“I picked up a few things from my uncle,” Corrin said, hoping to break Dain out of a possibly painful memory.

Dain shook himself out of thought. “Evidently you have. Anyway, don’t you have a bounty to collect?”

“That I do.” Corrin sheathed his sword, and removed his shield from his sweaty offhand. With that, he took a few steps towards the pot on the stump, and began grabbing the various notes and coins, as well as Garnell’s acquisition chip. The other strikers chuckled lightly to themselves as he did so, shaking their heads in disbelief.

“Man, Corrin, I knew you were good, but I didn’t know you were that good.” Garnell said. “What were you doing when I was gone? Practicing fourseason-six, every day of the year?”

“I did spend a healthy portion of my time training,” Corrin admitted, stacking the notes.

“You’re going to have to teach me a couple things,” Mareth said, “you did some stuff I’ve never seen before. What was that twisty thing you did with Dain’s sword? The one where you poked out your elbow?”

“Callier Deflect,” Corrin recalled, “you use the natural stability of your elbow joints to keep an opponent’s sword from moving. I modified it a little, and used the shoulder to put in some movement.” He pocketed the crescents.

Mareth nodded. “Nice. Very nice.” He turned to the twins. “You guys have been uncharacteristically quiet. Is your pride too ruined to talk?”

“Yeah.” Iolar replied.

“A little.” Quarden added.

Mareth shot Corrin an apologetic shrug. “They’ll be better before you know it. They just don’t lose bets that often.”

“Quarden lost three today.” Corrin pointed out.

“Well that’s not very nice,” Quarden said, feigning offense, then patted him on the back and chuckled, “I like you… and I think you’re going to fit in here just fine.”

“I second that.” Iolar said.

Mareth nodded and gave him a thumbs-up, to which Garnell laughed, “Well, Corrin… if these folks think you’re in, then you’re in. Welcome to Squadron Seven.”

 

Edited by Channelknight Fadran
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Very interesting stuff so far. The prose is pretty solid, the map is delightful, and I'm intrigued by the elemental heavenly bodies. Normally I'm skeptical of any magic system based on the four classical elements, but you seem to be approaching it in an interesting new way. 

Right now I think your biggest problem is a serious lack of conflict. These scenes have either no conflict at all, or conflicts that are resolved very easily. The result is a general feeling of mawkishness. Like what the fanfic community refers to as "fluff."

You might be thinking that you don't need conflict yet because it's still early in the book, or because this is targeted at younger readers. I assure you, both of those assumptions would be wrong. Even if the main conflict of the book hasn't started yet, a scene still needs its own conflict. That's what gives it drama, emotion, and structure. It's what makes it a scene, not just a series of things that happen.

Consider the fact that none of the POV characters have been seriously challenged yet. Nothing has been immediately at stake. This is just a first draft, so everything is forgivable. But think about this as you go forward. Conflict in every scene. Problems that put the POV character to the test. It'll seriously level up your writing.

Regardless, you certainly have my attention. I look forward to seeing where the story goes!

 

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3 minutes ago, Belzedar said:

Very interesting stuff so far. The prose is pretty solid, the map is delightful, and I'm intrigued by the elemental heavenly bodies. Normally I'm skeptical of any magic system based on the four classical elements, but you seem to be approaching it in an interesting new way. 

Right now I think your biggest problem is a serious lack of conflict. These scenes have either no conflict at all, or conflicts that are resolved very easily. The result is a general feeling of mawkishness. Like what the fanfic community refers to as "fluff."

You might be thinking that you don't need conflict yet because it's still early in the book, or because this is targeted at younger readers. I assure you, both of those assumptions would be wrong. Even if the main conflict of the book hasn't started yet, a scene still needs its own conflict. That's what gives it drama, emotion, and structure. It's what makes it a scene, not just a series of things that happen.

Consider the fact that none of the POV characters have been seriously challenged yet. Nothing has been immediately at stake. This is just a first draft, so everything is forgivable. But think about this as you go forward. Conflict in every scene. Problems that put the POV character to the test. It'll seriously level up your writing.

Regardless, you certainly have my attention. I look forward to seeing where the story goes!

Top-notch peer-editing! I like this one.

You're probably right about my lack of conflict. However, in a fantasy story, the conflict is almost always some invading monster army or a big bad wizard--it's a cliche, and it's a good cliche. Because of this, its expected of a fantasy author to write in a bunch of action scenes with good versus evil in them, but I find it more important to develop characters first and move to conflict second. Not saying that you're wrong, of course; I haven't had any suggestions like that for awhile.

I also look forward to seeing where my story goes. I have a basic plot outline--even a chapter-by-chapter map--but writing is as much an adventure for the writer as it is for the readers.

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Just now, Channelknight Fadran said:

Top-notch peer-editing! I like this one.

Thank you! I do my best. We're all in the same boat, after all, us aspiring authors. The least I can do is pass on the best advice that I've been given.

Just now, Channelknight Fadran said:

You're probably right about my lack of conflict. However, in a fantasy story, the conflict is almost always some invading monster army or a big bad wizard--it's a cliche, and it's a good cliche. Because of this, its expected of a fantasy author to write in a bunch of action scenes with good versus evil in them, but I find it more important to develop characters first and move to conflict second.

I think you're assuming that "conflict" means "action," but these are not the same thing. Conflict is any obstacle that stands between a character and their goal. It is anything that threatens you, or threatens something you value. For example, when Aurora and Lacy realize they've left their ticket in the carriage, and the guard won't let them into the parallarity gate without it, that's conflict. Their whole journey is suddenly at stake. The problem is that the conflict is resolved too easily: they basically get the guy to bend the rules and let them in by saying "please." If the guard was a little more stern, then Aurora and Lacy would have to get creative. They'd have to talk their way through with some clever bargaining, or an elaborate lie. Or maybe sneak past the guards and slip through the gate illegally. In other words, they'd be forced to do something interesting that reveals a lot about what they're capable of, and what they're willing to do to get what they want. 

In other words, conflict is character development. The friendly banter is nice and fun, but we reveal our true selves when there's trouble.

18 minutes ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

I also look forward to seeing where my story goes. I have a basic plot outline--even a chapter-by-chapter map--but writing is as much an adventure for the writer as it is for the readers.

So true. I can't even commit to writing a first draft until I have that chapter-by-chapter (or scene-by-scene) breakdown, but you still never really know how it's going to go until you get into the actual writing.

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1 minute ago, Belzedar said:

I think you're assuming that "conflict" means "action," but these are not the same thing. 

What I was saying in my last post was that action is conflict is a common misconception. I guess I worded it wrong...?

2 minutes ago, Belzedar said:

For example, when Aurora and Lacy realize they've left their ticket in the carriage, and the guard won't let them into the parallarity gate without it, that's conflict. Their whole journey is suddenly at stake. The problem is that the conflict is resolved too easily: they basically get the guy to bend the rules and let them in by saying "please." If the guard was a little more stern, then Aurora and Lacy would have to get creative.

This is actually a little piece of plot convenience I threw in for one reason: To have them sitting outside, cold in the Waterlight rains. I wanted to develop the fact that they only really had each other to rely on. I also want to build up a "life is easy" thing for the two of them by having a bunch of helpful people so I can BRUTALLY SHATTER THAT later on with a massive plot twist that I dare not mention here.

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Fair enough. Just keep in mind that "life is easy" usually means "story is boring." So it might be best to do the shattering sooner rather than later. 

But I do look forward to seeing that twist.

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Chapter VIII:

Spoiler

Chapter VIII - The Arcane Academy

First Airlight | The Arcane Academy

    “This is your room.” Geniora said, nodding to a door. “Feel free to make it your home during your stay here. Your classes begin in two days, but there are some optional study sessions before then. I’ll have somebody bring you a schedule and the weekly event flyer in a little while. ‘Til then…” She turned and smiled at the girls. “Make yourselves at home.”
    Aurora smiled back. “Thanks for everything, Geniora.”
    “Don’t thank me yet,” she replied, “you’ll still be taking my classes, and I’m less agreeable when I’m teaching.”
    “We can manage a grumpy teacher.” Lacy said. “Compared to the Head of Orphanage back in Feylore, you’ll be a breeze.”
    “I sure hope so.” Geniora opened the door for them, then turned to leave. “See you later, girls. It’s been a pleasure meeting you.”
    “You too.” Aurora replied, then took a step towards the room and barely dodged Lacy as the younger girl darted in first.
    “Whoa!” Lacy said, an exclamation roughly echoed by Aurora. “This is a better room than our last one, ain’t it, Amy?”
    Aurora had to agree. Looking around, her mind began unconsciously comparing this room with the one at the orphanage. This one was smaller, yes, but the last one had held a good ten people, while this only had four beds. Speaking of the beds, these were curtained and well-kept, as opposed to the creaky straw mattresses that they had to sleep on back in Feylore. Lacy had taken immediate notice to these, and collapsed on one, which bounced slightly under her weight.
    “This is comfy!” Lacy decided. “I could fall asleep right now.”
    “You know, for once… I might agree with you.” Aurora sat down on her own; it crushed beneath her weight, cushioning her in a way she did not expect. “Whoa. You weren’t kidding.” She looked down at their luggage, which Geniora had set in their room for them. “We’re supposed to unpack, but… maybe a short nap would be fine.”
    Lacy was already breathing steadily, and unconscious. Aurora shrugged, then lay down on her bed. She didn’t expect her fatigue from the night’s travels to crash over her so fast, and the sweet succor of sleep washed over her without mercy.
    She had a dreamless sleep, and woke up to voices. Her fatigue was gone, replaced with the slow mind of the still half-sleeping. She sat up, rubbing her eyes, to the reaction of a voice she couldn’t pin a person to.
    “Oh hey, you’re awake!”
    Aurora blinked a couple times to see a very freckled face in her own. The person this face was attached to backed up, revealing the entirety of the smiling girl. She had curly red hair, deep blue eyes, and a bubbly personality about her. “What’s your name? I’m Tara.”
    “Oh, uh… Aurora.” She held out a hand, which was shaken very ferociously by the redhead. “You can call me Amy, if you want.”
    “Oh, are we doing nicknames? In that case, you can call me…” She hesitated, frowning, “Hmm, I guess I don’t have a nickname. Not enough room in my real name for one, huh?” She smiled again. “Well, if you can’t call me by my nickname, then I won’t call you by yours. I’ll just stick with Aurora, mmkay? It’s settled, and definitely not because I think your actual name is way cooler than your nickname.”
    “Uh… sure.”
    “Great!” She clapped her hands once. “We’re gonna be best friends now. Is that okay with you?”
    “I have… no problem with that.” Aurora replied, a little reserved.
    “Sorry if I’m a little overbearing. I talk really fast when I get nervous, which is always.” She giggled. “Well, most always. Ooh! You’re an elf! You’re from Feylore!”
    “Well, half-elven.” Aurora tapped the side of her head. “Was it the ears that gave it away?”
    “No, it was the clothes you’re wearing. They’re Feylore-made by working-class hands, sixth Verar, made for the citizens unable to provide clothing for themselves. I could tell you weren’t gnomish based on your face shape, and no high elf would be wearing that.” She gestured to Aurora’s getup, which consisted of basic trousers and a brown shirt. “And yes, the ears were a dead giveaway.”
    Aurora blinked. “Well… that was impressive.”
    “I failed my Foreign Realms test the first time, so I had to retake the entire class. After I passed the second time with a perfect score, I remember everything!”
    “Everything?”
    “Well… everything they taught me, anyways.” She stopped for a second, then glanced over Aurora’s shoulder. “Oh hey, your friend’s awake!”
    Lacy was, indeed, stretching and yawning as she sat up on her bed. He hair was a mangled mess, but she looked well-rested; not an inch of red under her eyes.
    “Who’s…” Lacy gestured to Tara. “This?”
    “I’m Tara.” Tara replied, smiling. “What’s your name?”
    “Um… Lacy. Aurora calls me Lace, but I don’t like that name.”
    “You don’t?” Aurora asked.
    “I’ve told you this many times. I just assumed you called me that to spite me.”
    Aurora shook her head. “No…”
    “Well, anyways.” Lacy held out a hand to Tara, which was shaken vigorously. “Pleasure to meet you. I assume we should probably get along because… I’m assuming we’re roommates?”
    “That we are.” Tara replied. “The two of you, me, and Veronica.”
    “Who’s Veronica?” Aurora asked.
    To answer her question, the door to their room swung open, revealing a very tired-looking young woman with a short-cropped head of dark hair, and pitch-black eyes.
    “Oh, hi guys.” She said, waving weakly. “I’m Veronica. I’ll get to know you later, because right now, I’m…” She collapsed onto her bed and fell asleep.
    Lacy blinked. “Well… okay, then.”
    “She’s really nice,” Tara assured them, “she just… works all the time. Do you guys know how classes work here?”
    “Absolutely… not.” Lacy replied.
    “Great! That means I get to tell you. So you got your four Arcana classes—fire, water, earth, and air—and then a few other required courses for graduation, like Foreign Realms, History of the Iconar Collective, Religious Study, and Foreign Language, which can be any language you want.” She frowned. “I wonder if you guys have to take that, if… do you guys speak fey?”
    “Badly.” Aurora replied. “Archen… Ioa far.” She frowned. “I’m pretty sure I just said… something. We grew up with common, and we speak common.”
    “Then you’ll probably have to take that. In any case, those aren’t the only classes. There are plenty of electives, seminars, and other stuff that I don’t really bother with. Veronica on the other hand…” She gestured to the sleeping girl. “Is basically taking all of them, and spends three seasons a day studying or in class, one sleeping.”
    “Aha.” Lacy said. “What kinds of electives?”
    “Faiden Cluster Theory, uh… Arcana in Military… I think there’s Music, though I can’t be sure. Like I said, I don’t really bother with any of them.”
    “How do the Arcana classes work?” Aurora asked. “I mean, that’s why we’re here.”
    “Well, first you learn the bare basics in all the elements. What each of them does, how they work; that kind of thing. After that, you choose one of them to study in as an Apprentice Mage; this is the first one you’ll actually get to do magic with. If you pass that, you can go back and retake another element, or you can continue and learn some cooler magic in an element you’ve already passed as a Proficient Mage. After that, you’d need a master to learn anything new, and hopefully you’ll be done with your other core courses, so you can go out and find one. You don’t need to get a master—you could get a pretty good job as a Proficient Mage, but if you Master all four elements, you could become a Highmaster, and that’s something just about anybody would love to throw on their resume.” She smiled. “I’m an Apprentice Air Mage. You guys have to pass the basics test, but that won’t take too long; I expect you’ll catch up to me soon, considering the fact that I fail half the tests I take.”
    “Uh… thank you?” Aurora asked. “I’m sure you’re not that bad at academics—”
    “Oh, I am.” Tara assured her. “But that’s okay! I work hard… sometimes. Besides, the fact that I’m the worst means that no one can be worse than me! It means everyone’s better and that makes me feel good about myself.”
    “That’s the spirit!” Lacy said. “See, because I’m the worst person in the Collective, which means no one can be worse than me!”
    Lacy and Tara shared a laugh, while Aurora sighed; she did wear an amused smile on her face, though. To break a short, awkward silence that followed, a knock came at the door. Lacy looked as though to answer it, but Tara was already pulling the door open. “Oh hey, Minshyl. What’s up?”
    Aurora looked up at the person standing at the door. Minshyl was probably a year younger than Aurora—thirteen, perhaps; around Lacy’s age—with a dramatically combed-back hairdo that left a large forehead above his bushy eyebrows; a look she wasn’t sure would fit with anybody else but him. He looked slightly nervous, but that might’ve just been surprise.
    “Hey, Tara.” Minshyl replied. “Geniora sent me. I brought these for your new roommates…” He glanced into the room, and upon seeing Aurora and Lacy, smiled slightly. “Ah. Hi guys! I’m Minshyl. Geniora sent me with these for you…” 
He awkwardly tried to push them a couple pamphlets through Tara, before pulling them back and handing them to her. “I got a few more deliveries to run, so… seeya later.” He was out of the doorway before Aurora could reply.
    Tara handed each of them one of the pamphlets. On the front of these, the six-arrowed symbol of the Iconar Collective sat right beneath the words Weekly Events. “Minshyl’s basically our delivery boy. He is a student—water Arcana, I believe—but he likes helping Geniora, who I guess you’ve already met. She takes care of everything around here.”
    “Really?” Aurora asked. “And she had the time to head out to Midway and find us?”
    “Well,” Tara shrugged, “her and her secretary do. She does important things, like pay off bills and other business-y stuff, while he does all the paperwork. Honestly, they just need to hire some scribes to loosen their workload. I can’t imagine what it’d be like to have so much responsibility!” She glanced at the sleeping form of Veronica. “Hm, I wonder if she knows… oh, look at the time! I have to be somewhere.” She grabbed a bag off the floor, slinging it over her shoulder. Based on the large, squarish bulges in the sides, it was full of books. “See you two later! Nice meeting ya!” She waved and left the room.
    “Bye.” Aurora said, then turned to the pamphlet delivered by Minshyl. Lacy had already cracked open hers, and was reading it intently.
    “Hey!” Lacy exclaimed. “We’re in here! On the first page.”
    Aurora followed along as Lacy read it aloud. “‘Introducing our new students—’hmm, I can’t pronounce that name—‘Drak… Ferek…’—a lot of dwarvish folk—‘Aurora and Lacy.’ See! We’re in here.”
    “Yes, it’s… quite clear.” Aurora kept reading through the pamphlet. “Hmm… a week-long seminar on textiles? What does that even mean?”
    Lacy was flipping through her pamphlet so fast that Aurora wasn’t sure if she was even reading anything. “Nothing… nothing… garbage duty? Nothing… aha! Schedules. Page eight.”
    Aurora opened to page eight, then started reading through the schedules. “First class in two days… looks like we just have Arcane Basics—whatever that means.”
    “Probably—and I might be wrong, so take this with a grain of salt—the basics of Arcana.”
    Aurora snorted. “Really? Never would’ve guessed.”
    “Anyway…” Lacy looked to their case of belongings. “I suppose we should unpack? I mean, Geniora did tell us to make this place our home.”
    “That she did.” Aurora dropped her pamphlet on her bed, then opened the case. 
There was more in it than one might expect; hence the case’s weight. A good portion of it was neatly folded trousers and shirts, but there were a few mismatched oddities as well: two journals, one for each girl, a few stringed-together pens, two acceptance letters from the Arcane Academy, the waterproof blanket, their emergency money (a small bag that contained roughly two full crescents in coppers and silvers), an old storybook, and a silver ring. There was also a full waterskin that neither of them had touched, in case of emergency, which accounted for a good portion of the weight.
Lacy took the storybook, placing it carefully on the floor beside her, then removed her journal and clothing, placing both her her bed. As Lacy began placing her clothing in a nightstand drawer, Aurora removed her own personal belongings: her journal, her clothing, and the ring. She slid the last one onto her finger, the comfortable and familiar weight filling a space in her heart. She hadn’t worn it during their trip; too risky, with so many panhandlers and pickpockets in the streets.
“So,” Lacy said at last, “classes in two days, huh? Which element do you think you’re doing?”
“Dunno.” Aurora shrugged. “They all sound pretty cool. Maybe earth?”
“Do you like Geniora that much?” Lacy asked.
“I dunno. Earth sounds fun.”
“I’m personally looking at fire.” Lacy replied.
“You would.”
“How cool would it be to shoot fireballs at people?” She hesitated, then added. “Demon people, of course.”
Aurora didn’t respond, then after a few moments, smiled.
“What?” Lacy asked.
Aurora shrugged. “We’re here, Lace. Things are starting to look up.”
Lacy nodded. “I guess we are. Now help me unpack this case; they serve free lunches and I’m hungry.”

 

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I also created a doc where I'll be throwing down basic stuff about the Iconar Collective that I'd likely have in a glossary or something.

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On 7/19/2020 at 6:25 PM, Danex said:

Hears a god in his head? Demon cults? I like where this is going.....

Ruin no!

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On 7/10/2020 at 5:51 PM, Channelknight Fadran said:

I've decided to finally post some of my writing for my long-fought book series "The Iconar Collective." All feedback is appreciated!

  Hide contents

“How long was the blade?”

    “Probably… I dunno. A little over a meter, maybe?”

    “Then you’re looking,” Dain picked one of the smaller blades off the wall, handing it to Corrin, “for a longsword.”

    Corrin took the blade, the weight dipping his arms a little. It wasn’t too heavy, though. “Really? I thought longswords were, well… longer.”

    “They can be.” Dain sheathed his own sword, which was shorter than Corrin’s, and could only fit one hand on the hilt. “Though eventually you come into the realm of bastard swords, and those are a whole ‘nother story.”

 

A little terminology correction I believe you are referring to an 'arming sword' here not a longsword. a bastard sword is also what we call a hand and a half sword, a long sword is strictly two handed while an arming sword is your typical one handed sword.

Here is a link to a video on it, I'll put a better one later when I can do that. And for a fun piece of trivia  he is also Brandon Sanderson's advisor on historical weapons

Here is the better one

I am liking where this is headed though.

Edited by Frustration
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6 minutes ago, Frustration said:

A little terminology correction I believe you are referring to an 'arming sword' here not a longsword. a bastard sword is also what we call a hand and a half sword, a long sword is strictly two handed while an arming sword is your typical one handed sword.

Here is a link to a video on it, I'll put a better one later when I can do that. And for a fun piece of trivia  he is also Brandon Sanderson's advisor on historical weapons

 

I am liking where this is headed though.

Gesp. Shadiversity! Whoohoo! Though I wouldn't use too much of Shad's historical correctness when reading my book, because I have a five-minute long sword fight.

Also I knew it was an arming sword. I always second-guess myself on these things and I need to STOP because I'm ALWAYS RIGHT the FIRST TIME.

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Just now, Channelknight Fadran said:

Gesp. Shadiversity! Whoohoo! Though I wouldn't use too much of Shad's historical correctness when reading my book, because I have a five-minute long sword fight.

With or without Shad? because that man can make five minuets of sword fighting become 58.

1 minute ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

Also I knew it was an arming sword. I always second-guess myself on these things and I need to STOP because I'm ALWAYS RIGHT the FIRST TIME.

happens to all of us.

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I can't vvait for Chapter IX to come out! :D

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10 hours ago, Enter a username said:

I can't vvait for Chapter IX to come out! :D

I've been working on it. Hit a writer's block but I should finish the chapter today, if not tomorrow.

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2 hours ago, Channelknight Fadran said:

I've been working on it. Hit a writer's block but I should finish the chapter today, if not tomorrow.

Sounds good!

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On 7/30/2020 at 11:17 AM, Enter a username said:

Sounds good!

It's here! Finally! After days of writers blocks, Chapter IX is finally here! The formatting wasn't working, though, so... bold <_<

Spoiler

Chapter IX - Origin Story

Second Firelight | The plains, Ivinan

Two days on the road was nothing to scoff at, in Corrin’s opinion. His feet were worn near off his ankles by now, and he was wondering if his pack full of supplies was going to cut his arms off at the shoulders. The others were displaying signs of weariness as well; even Dain looked like he was just about ready to collapse.

That wasn’t to say that none of them were in high spirits, however. Iolar and Quarden were having another argument—this one about who’s spear was better—while Garnell and Corrin told Mareth stories about home. Uia had fallen back to listen to these stories, and apart from the occasional tinkle of laughter, didn’t comment on any of them. And Corrin couldn’t tell, but he was pretty sure that Dain and Teren were listening as well.

“Once… I’ve told you about Corrin’s uncle Lars, right? I have,” Garnell answered himself, interrupting Mareth, “Y’know, there was this one time that he took us to a traveling fair; you know, tents, merchants, that kind of thing?”

“Yeah, I… know what a traveling fair is.” Mareth replied. “Where are you going with this?”

“Well, see, he gave us ten crescents to spend on anything we wanted.” Garnell began. “And Corrin—”

“Spent mine on normal stuff.” Corrin replied. “Like candy.”

“Yep.” Garnell replied.

“What did you do?” Mareth asked.

Garnell chuckled. “I saw this guy who told me he could double my money… and, being an idiot twelve-year-old kid, I agreed.”

“You’re still an idiot.” Iolar called. Evidently, he and Quarden had decided who’s spear was better. “Just not twelve.”

“Shut up, Iolar.” Garnell replied, smiling. “I spent my entire allowance on the guy, and I only won once, so I walked in with ten crescents—walked out with one.”

Mareth blinked. “It sounds like you’re missing a gag line there.”

Garnell shrugged. “It was funnier back when it first happened. Corrin! Why don’t you tell Mareth something funny.”

“Me? Funny?” Corrin shook his head. “Those two words don’t belong together.”

“What you just said right there was funny.” Quarden countered. He sounded a little half-hearted; had the verdict been in favor of Iolar’s spear, perhaps?

“Nah, I don’t have any stories.” Corrin said. “At least, none that would be entertaining.” He glanced ahead at Dain and Teren. “What about you two? Do you guys have anything?”

Dain looked over his shoulder at Corrin. “Nothing you would want to hear. Would you like me to drone on and on about tactical positioning, unIdeal squadron organization, and ranking issues?”

Corrin shook his head. “Yeah, no. What about you, Teren?”

“Me?” He asked, sounded genuinely surprised. “I don’t have many. I grew up, worked, played, and trained in the Enclave. It may sound interesting to you, but after a point, the army becomes incredibly boring.” He glanced back at Corrin. “But I don’t think you are devoid of stories, Corrin. That was fire Arcana you used on Dain a couple days ago; you went to the Academy?”

“Well… yes.” Corrin sighed.

“You don’t sound particularly… fond of those memories.” Teren noted.

“That would be because I’m not.”

“Well, then, go on, Corrin.” Mareth said.

“We’ll tell your ours if you tell us yours!” Quarden added.

“Tell me what?”

Iolar shrugged. “What do you call them… origin stories? We’ll tell you our origin stories if you tell us yours.”

“Yeah.” Mareth agreed. “Though mine isn’t very entertaining.”

“Well… alright, then.” Corrin thought back to his past. “I was born in Draycott, and my parents died when I was about two or so. I don’t remember them, so… I’ve moved past that. I was raised by my uncle Lars, an ex-soldier in the Enclave.

“I met Garnell when I was five or six.” Corrin continued, gesturing to Garnell. “We grew up together.”

“Like brothers!” Garnell added. “Brothers with differen—”

“Yes.” Iolar inturrupted. “We heard. Corrin?”

“I went to the Arcane Academy when I was fourteen.” Corrin said. “I had never tried magic before, but I have a magilex.” He tapped the shoulder of his right arm. “Long story short, I failed. Badly.”

“Not that badly.” Mareth protested. “That was real fire Arcana we saw you doing against Dain.”

“That was a weak sputter of flame that was more smoke than fire—and it was actually better than most I did at the Academy.”

“Okay. Maybe it was pretty bad.”

“And then three years later, I joined the Enclave.” Corrin concluded.

“Wait.” Quarden interrupted. “Three years after that? So you’re—”

“Seventeen.” Corrin replied. “I’m seventeen.”

“Really?” Uia asked, surprising just about everyone. “You’re… quite mature for your age.” Realizing he had drawn a few stares, he blushed a little and looked down to his feet.

“What about you, Uia?” Corrin asked. “Where do you come from?”

“Um… me?” Uia asked, voice tightening. “I went to the Arcane Academy; like you. That… that’s all.”

Corrin didn’t press him. “What about you, Kent?”

The horseless cavalier spun about on his heel, surprised. “What? Me? What about me?”

“Where do you come from?” Corrin asked. “What did you do before you came to the Enclave?”

“I was a farmer.” Kent replied, a little rushed. “I joined the Enclave so I wouldn’t have to be drafted into the royal army. I brought my horse with me—biggest gamble I’ve ever done—and became a cavalier.”

“I was traveling circus man.” John said in a thick accent before Corrin could ask or reply to Kent. “Strong man.” He flexed his muscles. “Very strong man.”

Corrin blinked. “Okay.”

Garnell chuckled behind him. “John likes his muscles.”

Very strong man.” John repeated.

Corrin turned to the twins. “What about you guys?”

“Well,” Iolar began, “our parents were middle-class artisans. Bookbinders. Because of that, they avoided getting drafted into the Royal Army. We were born and raised in Ivinan City, plenty of money to go around, full stomachs every night.”

“When we got old enough, though, we wanted to start a business of our own.” Quarden continued. “So we started a bookstore. Our parents’ bookbinding business became a kind of a sister company; we sold whatever they gave us, and whatever we gave them, they fixed.”

“So then what happened?” Corrin asked.

“Then we got bored.” Iolar replied. “Started looking for something more interesting to do with our lives. We turned to the Silverclad Enclave, hoping to make a difference in the world.”

“We gave our bookstore to our parents and a few family friends to take care of. It’s in good hands until we come back.”

“And when do you plan to come back?” Corrin asked them.

Quarden shrugged. “When we get homesick enough? Not sure. We don’t plan that far ahead.”

“Or if we get bored of killing demons.” Iolar pointed out. “And want to go back to the excitement of a mercantile livelihood.”

“Huh.” Corrin said, then turned to Mareth. “What about you, Mare?”

“Did you seriously just call me Mare?” Mareth asked. “You do realize that that’s a girl name.”

“Yes, I know.” Corrin replied. “Don’t you have a nickname?”

“I did, once.” Mareth admitted. “When I was a kid. Our parents caught us saying it, though, and shot it down it immediately. I only now know what it was and what it meant.”

“Eth?” Corrin asked.

“Close.”

Oh.”

“Yeah.”

“Oh, that’s… that’s great, Mareth.”

“Yup. Is that all you want to hear, or are you going to ask me to share my life as well?”

“Your life as well, if you don’t mind.”

“I do, but whatever.” He cleared his throat. “I was actually born and raised under a noble house, but don’t tell anybody. It wasn’t a particularly wealthy or influential house, but a noble house regardless.”

“Why can’t I tell anyone?” Corrin asked.

“Because nobles who join the Enclave get an automatic promotion. I would’ve become a striker by default.”

“So you were being noble?” Corrin said, then winced and chuckled.

“I hate you. Also, no, I wasn’t doing it because I thought it was unfair or anything. I joined secretly because strikers have positions of responsibility within a squadron, and I didn’t know anything about tactics or strategy.”

“Dain’s the one who does the strategizing, though.” Corrin replied. “Or the Regent Knight, if it’s a larger assault.”

“Yeah, but us strikers have to be the ones who carry those orders out.” Mareth countered. “The best way to learn how to lead is to fight; experience, not rank, builds a leader.”

Ahead of them, Dain nodded in agreement. It was an unconscious nod, though, and it looked as though he was lost in thought; a memory, perhaps?

Carefully, Corrin began to prod him. “Dain? What’s your story?”

Everyone, soldiers and strikers alike, looked up at Dain. Their eyes showed anticipation and hope, but behind those looks their eyes knew what was to become of Corrin’s question. Teren turned to Dain, his own look questioning; whatever it was that was in Dain’s past, Teren knew about it when no one else did.

Dain turned his head to the right, eyes closed. The hope in the the soldiers’ and strikers’ eyes brightened, silently begging him to go on.

Then, Dain turned forward again, not so much as a sound leaving his mouth. Some of the strikers sighed, and the soldiers returned to their hushed conversations. 

Garnell shrugged. “Aye, Rin. Dain hasn’t told anybody who he is or where he comes from. Best not to dwell on it.”

The rest of the journey was scarcely quiet, but not a word came from Dain.

 

 


 

Their journey was finished by Waterlight.

The rains poured down on Dain’s squadron, but when the first of them had seen lights in the distance, nothing could deter them. The soldiers on guard at Camp Thunder stood at attention as they marched triumphantly through the gate, and the camp’s Knight stood prim and proper, hands clasped in a businesslike fashion over his waist. He seemed completely unaware of the rain, with his deep brown hair plastered to his face and a stream of water dripping off his chin.

Despite the fact that the squadron was supposed to be walking quietly and properly in ranks, Corrin couldn’t help but gape at the sheer size of Camp Thunder. Buildings of Arcane earth, rather than tents, stood in rows beside each other, each complementing the last with what it had to offer. Supply buildings were placed between smithies and dining halls, while the armories were flanked by the barracks. Here and there, artillery towers dwarfed the smaller buildings, where bored-looking archers stared out into the nothingness of the night.

Within the barracks, the flickering light of fire and the laughs of soldiers who hadn’t the good sense to be asleep right now traveled through partly ajar doors and uncovered windows. Ahead of them, a large plume of smoke trailed up into the air, marking the place of a massive bonfire too large to be diffused by the rain. Oil lanterns, torches, and fires from the barracks lit the stone-and-dirt pathways along which the squadron marched.

“Greetings, Dain.” The Knight said, stirring Corrin from his thoughts. “I take it your recruitment run was successful?”

“That it was.” Dain replied, gesturing to Corrin.

The Knight frowned, then walked to Corrin and began to examine him. “Are you sure he was worth the trouble?”

“Well worth it.” Dain assured him. “Already, I imagine he could best half the soldiers here in a duel.”

The Knight looked back at Corrin. “Well, then. Hopefully in time, he’ll be able to best all the soldiers here in a duel.” He cleared his throat, facing the entire squadron. “I suspect that you men are tired from your travels. You can take Barrack Nine for tonight. Tomorrow…” He looked back at Corrin. “I have a special training exercise for all of you.”

Edited by Channelknight Fadran
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