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Daedalus
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« on: July 16, 2006, 18:49:17 EDT »

My first post in this section ^^' let's hope I don't make anyone hurl.
Here's a(rather peculiar) conversation I just wrote between the two original main characters of something that I am hoping will eventually turn into a fantasy comic. It's just dialogue, though, and no context. Shouldn't be necessary, I don't think.

The scene: late one night in a tavern, after an exhausting day.
Brenton: “Tell me a story, Magnault. Tell me something about yourself.”
Magnault looks thoughtful. “Have I told you about why I joined the army?”
B: “No.”
M: “I thought I would travel through the empire, and see many places to buy books.”
B: “Books?”
M: “When I was a child, when I first managed to lift the smallest leaf off a table, my parents marvelled at me. My friends held me in awe. No-one in my hometown had ever met a wizard. I was their wonderchild, they way they went on you would have thought I was Cerakis Fenstrom himself. So I, I worked hard. I practised hours every day, and I managed to lift bigger things, heavier things, more things. My brothers took over my chores, just to give me more time to practice. I have three of them. And two sisters. Not just them, but the whole village supported me, they sold my parents food at half price, for all of us. During the war, you understand, all the strongest men were off to fight the Dunar, and everyone suffered, but they cared for me. Nothing was asked in return. No-one even asked that I study, they just took that for granted, that I would be the greatest wizard in the land, just a matter of time, and Hyborn Hill would be famous for being my home. They loved me, they were wonderful people. I didn’t deserve them.”
B: “Sounds wonderful. But what about the books?”
M: “That’s the thing. I’ve never met a wizard. I’ve never been trained. You’ve heard the stories about The Tempest, you know what he can do. But I’m not his equal, there’s a limit to what I can learn on my own. Hyborn Hill was just a small village of farmers, but the headman had a collection of books, maybe twenty of them, and he taught me to read and write. And he taught me that a lot of things you can’t learn by yourself, you can learn from books. I was ten or twelve years old then.”
B: “So you decided to learn magic from books?”
M: “It’s foolishness, I know that now. But yes. There are more books than there are wizards. When I was older, and I had read all his books many times over, I hadn’t learned any new magic. And the war was long over, and the men had returned. My uncle died in the fighting, but my father survived. So I decided to travel, I walked to the nearest city with a bag on my back, and looked for books. I never found many. And in Seaspring I saw an army-recruitment poster. I remembered that when my father came home he was a broken man, not half the man he was when he left. But much as he missed us, he never regretted for a second that he had left to fight the Dunar, and in between the stories of horror that he had witnessed he told us of all the places in the Empire he had visited. But the war was over, and I was travelling anyway, and I needed to be able to eat on the way. So I went in and I asked about signing up. And here I am.”
B: “That’s a very strange reason, I think.”
Magnault shrugs. “There are worse reasons. I saw younger boys than me signing up. I was nineteen, and I at least knew what I was signing up for. We did, you know how it is. Those boys though, I don’t know how they’re doing today. But we had some perspective.”
B stares into space.
M: “But that’s it. That’s why I signed up. Six years, twice. Three years left. If I had spent them in Camp Halberd, I promise you I wouldn’t sign up again. But I’ve visited a lot of places, and I’ve read a lot of books. But I still haven’t ever met another wizard, and I still can’t do anything much except lift things.”
B: “Nothing at all?”
M: “Here, watch this.”
M blows out the candle. A handful of seconds pass in darkness. Then, some sparks, and the candle flickers back to life.
Magnault wipes a drop of sweat from his brow.
B: “Not bad.”
M: “But difficult. More exhausting than lifting the leaf when I was four.”
B: “How did you know to try that? What gave you the idea in the first place?”
M: “I don’t know. Nothing did. I just knew, I could feel it. I could feel the shape and heft of things, ever so gently, just in my mind, by closing my eyes and focusing. It took me a long time before I actually could do it, but I just knew, and I kept trying.”
B: “You’ve worked hard.”
Magnault nods.
M: “There. I’ve told you a story. Your turn, I guess.”
B: “Very well. What would you like to hear?”
M: “Tell me something I don’t know. Tell me what started you.”
B: “What started me?”
M: “What made you. Why you are what you are. Where are you from? Why are you in the army?”
B: “You ask a large question.”
M: “I suppose so.”
Brenton leans back, staring into space. “Well... we can start with Vannevar.”
M: “I’ve noticed there’s something about him that strikes a chord with you. I can’t say what it is, though.”
B: “I met him once.”
Magnault raises an eyebrow. “You met him? Lord Vannevar en Duriel, the savior of the Empire? You met him?”
B: “I met him. I met him. I owe him my life.”
M: “We all owe him our lives.”
B: “No, you don’t, not like me. My home was not as lucky as yours, we didn’t escape the Dunar. My village was destroyed. My mother, my father, both of them were cut down where they stood, right in front of me. I was just a boy, I was seven years old. I ran into the night, and they followed on my heels. I ran until I couldn’t run any more, and stumbled to the ground. And I looked up, and there he was. And he looked into my eyes, then looked up at the Dunar, running up behind me, and he drew his sword and stepped forward. He saved my life. And when he saw that the village was already destroyed, he got his horse and he took me to the next village. He told me that I was brave, and he promised me, he looked into my eyes and he promised me that some day it would be over. Him!”
“I owe him everything.”
M: “You actually met him. That’s incredible.”
B: “I was twelve when the war ended. I was a stableboy in Torshof then, and the rider came through the town, crying out, “News! News! Lord Vannevar has fallen! The Dunar capital is razed! The war is over! Vannevar is slain, the Dunar are broken...”, and he was gone. I’ll never forget it.”
B: “They carried him through Conting, and I was there. I stood at the side of the road, with a thousand others, as the procession went past. I bowed down with my hands clasped together, and I thanked him for saving my life.”
M: “I missed the procession. I was still at home then.”
B: “I signed up on my fifteenth birthday. That was the year Jared Fairheart betrayed the Empire and took The Lawbringer. Vannevar’s armor. Lord Tyrone take him. I only heard of him months later, on my way to serve in Daingarde.”
B: “That’s it then. I joined the Border Guard instead of Storm Legion because I wanted to protect people, like him, not attack people. I want to stand for what he stood for, and fight what he fought. I’m on my third tour of duty, with three years left to go. And I’m going to continue as long as I can follow his example.”
B: “There, that’s what made me who I am today. Now let’s go get something to eat. It’s been a long day.”
Logged

Reviled did I live, said I, as evil I did deliver.

So basically Hillary Clinton's point is, "Yes, I take money from lobbyists, because they're real people with real needs. But don't worry, I don't listen to them."
--Jon Stewart
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2006, 05:19:07 EDT »

Interesting.  And very fleshed out.

But this would be the chunkiest comic I'd ever seen if it we're illustrated.  You'd lose the illustration in all the world balloons.  Why not just go full on narative?
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2006, 05:45:34 EDT »

Thank you.

Why indeed... I just want to, really. And this scene is a rather extreme example, nothing else is anywhere near as dialogue-heavy as this. This particular scene could be made with just one illustration per page, in a sepia woodcut-style, and a big chunk of text around it. For instance.
And yes, I'm glad it seems very fleshed out, that's what I'm going for. Ideally I'm hoping to have equally detailed artwork, but I'm just starting and I don't have an artist, or even know how to go about getting one. For now, as long as I keep writing, I'm happy Smiley
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Reviled did I live, said I, as evil I did deliver.

So basically Hillary Clinton's point is, "Yes, I take money from lobbyists, because they're real people with real needs. But don't worry, I don't listen to them."
--Jon Stewart
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2006, 19:01:53 EDT »

Might as well just keep the same thread.

An hour and a half ago I was suddenly overcome with an urge to translate a Norwegian poem from 1935, a passionate warning against the rise of Nazism. It's not the whole poem, and it's not perfect(the line which really should end with a rhyme for 'blood', but doesn't, is what stands out the most for me), but I rather like it.

You Must Not Sleep, by Arnulf Øverland, translation by yours truly.

I woke one night from a shuddering dream,
It was like a voice called out to me,
As faint and weak as an underground stream,
And I rose, saying, what do you want of me?
You must not sleep! You must not sleep!
You must not think it was only a dream!

Last night I was judged,
The gallow waits for my head on the dawning.
They will take me away at five in the morning!

We know nothing of what is waiting so near us
Or who they will take when the guards come anew.
We cry and we scream, but does anyone hear us?
Is it true there is nothing that you can do?

They let no-one meet us.
They let no-one know what is waiting to greet us.
And yet more is true:
You cannot imagine the things that they do!

You say to yourself that it cannot be true,
You think that humanity can’t be so cruel,
Surely the decent people will rise?
Brother, accept the proof of your eyes!

You must not remain so safe and secure
And say "How horrible, what they endure"!
You must not stand for that terrible crime
That does not touch what is yours or is mine!
I tell you while I have strength in me yet:
You are not allowed to simply forget!

Do not forgive them; they know what they have wrought!
The fires of hatred and death they have sought!
They love the killing, they laugh at your pain,
They want to see our world in flame!
They want to drown us all in blood!
Don’t you believe it? You surely should!

I did not see it. Too late have I learned.
My verdict is fair. My sentence is earned.
I trusted to progress, I trusted to peace,
To work and to friendship and suffering’s cease!
But now I see we will die together,
Or else one by one, at the hangman’s tether!

I cry in the darkness – if you could but hear!
There is only one thing you can do there:
Flee to safety, heed my call!
Save your children! Europe will fall!

The frost shook me awake, and I dressed for the cold.
Outside was the night, starlit and old.
To the east was a faint line like red-hot gold
That warned of the same as my dream had foretold.

The day that approached from beyond the earth’s frame
Rose with a light red from blood and from flame
Rose with a terror so vast and so near
It seemed like the stars themselves froze in a fear!

I thought to myself: Things won’t stay the same.
Our time is past – Europe is aflame!


Personally I think that 71 years after it was written it retains its relevance.
Logged

Reviled did I live, said I, as evil I did deliver.

So basically Hillary Clinton's point is, "Yes, I take money from lobbyists, because they're real people with real needs. But don't worry, I don't listen to them."
--Jon Stewart
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2006, 22:25:41 EDT »

I didn't read the poem, but the narrative is very good. My two suggestions, you should illustrate this as a flashback (but you may have already decided that), and drawing people nodding is damn near impossible.
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2006, 11:45:21 EDT »

Thank you, and duly noted. I hadn't actually thought any more about that particular piece, writing other things instead(in the same story).

Edit^2. Here's the completed translation:

You Must Not Sleep, by Arnulf Øverland, translation by me.

I woke one night from a shuddering dream,
It was like a voice called out to me,
As faint and weak as an underground stream,
And I rose, saying, what do you want of me?

You must not sleep! You must not sleep!
You must not think it was only a dream!
Last night I was judged,
The gallows wait for my neck on the dawning.
They will take me away at five in the morning!

The dungeon is filled.
And the ground is filled with dungeons, as well.
Imprisoned here, each in a stone-cold cell,
We lie here rotting until we are killed!

We know nothing of what is waiting so near us
Or who they will take when the guards come anew.
We cry and we scream, but does anyone hear us?
Is it true there is nothing at all you can do?

They let no-one meet us.
They let no-one know what is waiting to greet us.
And yet more is true:
You cannot imagine the things that they do!

You say to yourself that it cannot be true,
You think that humanity can’t be so cruel,
Surely the decent people will rise?
Brother, accept the proof of your eyes!

They said: You will give up your life, if it’s needed.
And now it is given – in vain was it ceded!
The world has left us, abandoned, betrayed!
You must not sleep this night away!

You must not retreat to your ledgers and books
Thinking only of coins and of profits, like crooks!
Do not point to your assets, your houses, and roar
“Too much - I can afford to think of no more!”

You must not remain so safe and secure
And say “How horrible, what they endure!”
You must not stand for that terrible crime
That does not touch what is yours or is mine!
I tell you while I have strength in me yet:
You are not allowed to simply forget!

Do not forgive them; they know what they do!
The fires of hatred and death they pursue!
They love the killing, they laugh at your pain,
They want to see our world in flame!
They want to drown us all in blood!
Don’t you believe it? You surely should!

Every schoolchild on dreams of warfare thrives,
And marches, in song, in the markets and streets,
And stirred by their mothers’ silent deceit,
Will serve their countries with their own lives!

You know of that sickening, savage refrain
Of glory and honor and virtue and gain –
You know every child longs a hero to be made,
And rushes to brandish his banner and blade.

And then to march out to a torrent of steel
And be left to rot in a barbed-wired field
For the future of Hitler’s Aryan race!
For such is life’s meaning, humanity’s face!

I did not see it. Too late have I learned.
The verdict is fair. My sentence is earned.
I trusted to progress, I trusted to peace,
To work and to friendship and suffering’s cease!
But now I see we will die together,
Or else one by one, at the hangman’s tether!

I cry in the darkness – if you could but hear!
There is only one thing you can do there:
Flee to safety, heed my call!
Save your children! Europe will fall!

The frost shook me awake, and I dressed for the cold.
Outside was the night, star-filled and old.
To the east was a faint line of red-hot gold
That warned of the same as my dream had foretold.

The day that approached from beyond the earth’s frame
Rose with a light red from blood and from flame
Rose with a terror so vast and so near
It seemed like the stars themselves froze in a fear.

I thought to myself: Things won’t stay the same.
Our era is past – Europe is aflame!
« Last Edit: August 23, 2006, 18:22:52 EDT by Prodigal Gamer » Logged

Reviled did I live, said I, as evil I did deliver.

So basically Hillary Clinton's point is, "Yes, I take money from lobbyists, because they're real people with real needs. But don't worry, I don't listen to them."
--Jon Stewart
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2006, 18:34:22 EDT »

That's a very good work! I like the poem itself, but you did what good translators do: you dissapeared. By which I mean that if you had not told me, I would have never guessed that it was a translation, and that the poem wasn't originally written in English.
I know how songs and poems can be difficult to translate if you want them to rhyme, so I'm really impressed.
You also make me realise that... Well, when I translate things from French here, I usually don't translate them and disapear. I try to keep the French way of saying things, because I consider that people might want to be able to understand the original text. Well, I should do that. I guess the only person interested in French here is really me. Well, except for Miriam, but I can talk to her on Messenger.
So, I shall follow your example and disappear, too, as good translators should ^^
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2006, 18:55:49 EDT »

Thank you, thank you very much Smiley Positive feedback is so very enjoyable.
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Reviled did I live, said I, as evil I did deliver.

So basically Hillary Clinton's point is, "Yes, I take money from lobbyists, because they're real people with real needs. But don't worry, I don't listen to them."
--Jon Stewart
Daedalus
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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2007, 17:41:17 EDT »

For no particular reason, chunk of background from the history-document. Behold you my villain!

***

The Twilight of the Idols.
The end of the war marked the end of the age of heroes. Of the Five, only two remain active. After Vannevar’s death, the brotherhood fractured, and broke up. Lady Verde returned to the forests, forsaking civilization, and has not been heard of since. Torgar returned to the steppes, and rumor has it that he has since died, although precisely how is a matter of much speculation. The Tempest rose through the hierarchy of the Tower, eventually taking the seat of the Arch-Mage for his own. And Prince Argos ended his service in the army, returning to his studies, and when Roland the Second died he succeeded him as Roland the Third.

The Succession of the Lawbringer.
The Lawbringer, Vannevar’s armor, was given to the custody of the Order of the Shield. Here it was held in high honour, as one of the Order’s greatest relics. In the highest chambers of the Helios Cathedral, it rested.
Following Vannevar’s death, it became clear that The Lawbringer was no mere suit of armor; it was a holy item of great power. It is said that even in the blackest night, it shone with a golden light, and none could approach it lightly, for its glory drove them to their knees. The gods of the Knights of Cyrus lived on, in Vannevar, and in The Lawbringer. In accordance with the Last Oracle, The Lawbringer was kept inside the Cathedral, and once every year, on the eve of the battle of Farth’s Peak, a series of contests were held, open to all, and the winner was allowed to approach the armor, submitting himself to its judgement. The first two years, no-one was found worthy.

Jared Fairheart.
In the fall of year 69 Lord Fairheart was slain by the Dunar at Wayfare. Five months later Lady Fairheart died in childbirth.
So it was that Jared Fairheart came to the world.
The infant Jared was entrusted to be raised by the Order of the Shield in Arethea’s Hope. He was a brilliant student, ambitious and energetic. But haunted by dark dreams.
The Fairheart family was a noble line of substantial power and holdings, but in slow decline, and Jared was its sole heir. The family’s ancestral holdings in Flameridge were his to command, under the Order’s care until he came of age. But he was never to return.
When he was twelve years old, the war ended, and Vannevar en Duriel was carried to the Helios Cathedral, and The Lawbringer was made the greatest of the Order’s treasures. Jared was there to see it.
It is difficult to try to get a picture of Jared the Fallen as a young boy. His maid spoke of him with fondness, and there are few records to go by. But it seems that in his youth there was nothing to warn of what was to come. On the contrary, great things were expected of him. He excelled in his studies, was the pride of his tutors and an icon to his fellows. His swordplay was the finest in the Order’s school, and his sagacity astounded his elders. And he was only a child.
In the year 85 Jared turned 15. That year he participated in the Order’s Rite of Virtue. As every year, the finest and most pious men of the land travelled to the Cathedral on pilgrimage, to pay tribute to the memory of Vannevar, and to compete. The contests were held for the third time, contests of strength, and skill, and honor. And the winner was given the chance to approach The Lawbringer. Every year until then, the winner had fallen to his knees, tears streaming down his face, unable to stand before it, much less lay hand upon it. Each had turned away, sorrowful, in the knowledge of their own unworthiness.
Jared participated in those contests. Jared won them all. And Jared stepped forth to claim The Lawbringer.

It is said that as he approached it the summer sky grew dark, and a great gust of cold wind blew through the Capital. And as he laid his hands upon it, the first roll of thunder was heard. As he held it, The Lawbringer, the armor of Lord Vannevar en Duriel, the savior of humanity, which had shone with golden light and warmth, turned black and cold in an instant.
Jared the Betrayer had come.
When the guards came to the high hall Jared was already gone, and all those who had witnessed the event lay dead, all but one, who lived long enough to tell the tale of what he had seen. He said that after the armor turned cold, whispers had filled the air, in an unknown tongue, and that Jared had looked out over the hall, and had drawn his sword, the sword of his father, and had unleashed chaos upon the watchers... then simply left, vanishing, as if into thin air.

Jared Fairheart was declared anathema. He was tried in absentia for betraying the teachings of the Order. His name was written in the Book of Shame, and he was formally cast out of the Order, forever. The Fairheart holdings were immediately confiscated. But he was already gone, and he has not since shown any regret, or desire to reclaim his family’s holdings.
The Order immediately ordered the Inquisition’s Scarlet Guard, their finest warriors, who enforce the Order’s laws, to hunt Jared down and destroy him, but he has never been caught. For fifteen years he has walked the lands of the Empire, spreading horror and death in his wake. His name has become a curse, used to frighten children, comparable to Lord Tyrone, but all the more potent in that Jared Fairheart truly exists, and truly walks the land.
What he wishes no-one knows. His actions are those of a madman, but those few who have lived to tell of meeting him say that there is no madness in his eyes, only cold calculation, a ruthless dedication to his goal, whatever it may be.

Addendum to the tale of Jared Fairheart: The Burning of Bethla.
A mere two years ago, in midsummer of the year 98, the city of Bethla was burned to the ground. Located on the border of the easternmost provinces, Bethla was one of the first cities founded in what is now the Empire, one of the first great homes of mankind after the plague. Surrounded by strong walls built by proud people, it was one of the last cities to give up its independence during the Unification, and was the bulwark that held the League of Berthold at bay during the Heretic War. But those strong walls proved a detriment, when one warm night the gates were sealed shut, and fires sprang up throughout the city. The night filled with screams, as the people sought madly to flee from the inferno, but there was no escape.
Thousands died. A mighty city was wiped off the map in a single night. But amidst the cries and pleas for mercy from a suddenly-distant Goddess, laughing could be heard from a lone figure standing upon the impassable wall.
Jared Fairheart watched over the death of the city. That was the last that anyone has seen of him. It is told that as the sun began to rise over the horizon, he left the city he had destroyed, and walked towards the sunrise, to the east, beyond the borders of the Empire.
Logged

Reviled did I live, said I, as evil I did deliver.

So basically Hillary Clinton's point is, "Yes, I take money from lobbyists, because they're real people with real needs. But don't worry, I don't listen to them."
--Jon Stewart
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« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2007, 18:24:04 EDT »

It seems I am writing a book.

It's called Cecily. It is an epic fantasy tale which is hopefully quite unlike "regular" epic fantasy. For one thing the fantastical elements are few and far between, which hopefully has the effect of keeping them, you know, fantastical.
It deals with the Cecilyan Empire, the greatest of the human nations; its history, its society, and the challenges it faces, as seen from the perspective of the main characters, citizens and soldiers of no great status or rank.

I've been working on it more or less steadily for a year and a half now, but have only written a few chapters. It started life as a roleplaying-campaign, but for lack of willing players I decided to write it as a comic instead. For lack of an artist, I have now begun writing in prose instead of manuscript-format. If possible, I would still like it to be (heavily) illustrated.
For reference, the one piece of artwork I was able to find that most matched the style of the pictures in my head is this, which I think is fabulous:
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/34371083/

This summer I had set myself the goal of finishing chapter 5 (I don't write terribly quickly, it must be admitted), and I did so just a couple of days ago. It is the first chapter written in EXTRA-READABLE Prose-format, and is probably the best one so far. It is the dramatic conclusion to the thing that can loosely be called the first storyline.
I've put not everything but much of what I've written online at http://roland-cecily.livejournal.com/ ... because I'm too lazy to make a real website.

Yeah. I guess that's it.
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Reviled did I live, said I, as evil I did deliver.

So basically Hillary Clinton's point is, "Yes, I take money from lobbyists, because they're real people with real needs. But don't worry, I don't listen to them."
--Jon Stewart
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