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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:05 am 
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Thank you, OL, for writing that story. As a person of faith myself, there are few things that irk me more than religious tradition without love or compassion. I know something of what Hara was going through, and you captured it very well.

I was also very touched by how you handled the grieving father. It is hard to capture such intense emotion, but I think you really pulled it off.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 7:35 pm 
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I couldn’t find her.

This sent a shiver down my spine. It reminded me of "I don’t want to be a ghost story." from a piece everyone here should know well. (as in: never read Rest for the Wicked? Do it NOW for Small Gods' sake I don't even)

Thanks so much for reading, Huey, and for the very kind words. Anytime you find yourself mentioned in the same context as "Rest for the Wicked," that is a high compliment indeed!


That's not to say I dislike the piece, on the contrary; it makes Hara's compassion more cathartic, and always warms up my heart to read about someone breaking away from the existing paradigm to make something good.

One of the things that I hope comes across is that Hara's compassion comes from her own personal kindness, but it also comes from her faith, too. The Goddess she worships is a Goddess who she believes would care more about peace and comfort than the specifics of one particular ritual or rite.

Hara's choice is basically between doctrine and belief. And I think that the people in this world are fortunate that she makes the choice she does.

(maybe CKY's confusion was caused by Sri Hara being the name of an existing character)

Barinellos wrote:
Amusingly, the two could potentially be connected simply because Sri has had a LOT of religions founded in his wake over the millennia.

Ack! I forgot Sri Hara! :(

For the record, the similarity in naming here was not intentional. It's either a complete brain failure on my part (always possible...), or just a subconscious thing, probably along the rationale that Barinellos describes.


Aaarrrgh wrote:
Thank you, OL, for writing that story. As a person of faith myself, there are few things that irk me more than religious tradition without love or compassion. I know something of what Hara was going through, and you captured it very well.

I was also very touched by how you handled the grieving father. It is hard to capture such intense emotion, but I think you really pulled it off.

Well, thank you so much for reading, Aaarrrgh, and for the very kind words! I'm really glad that you felt like this piece felt like it had some depth of meaning in it. I mean, it's a short little story, so, if it spoke to some of those things you mentioned, then I'm pretty humbled by that.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:33 pm 
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Here's a fun little one that came breezing through today:

Caveat Emptor

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:00 pm 
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The Deep End

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:19 am 
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Caveat Emptor was a fantastic story. Just the right buildup, and a satisfying conclusion. There's an idea to mess with D&D players who buy magic trinkets in seedy parts of the city...

I didn't understand anything in The Deep End, I'm afraid. I think you laid on the worldbuilding too thick.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:05 pm 
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Caveat Emptor was a fantastic story. Just the right buildup, and a satisfying conclusion. There's an idea to mess with D&D players who buy magic trinkets in seedy parts of the city...

Thanks so much for reading, CKY -- and for the kind words! I'm really glad that you enjoyed this little piece!

Yeah, this is kind of my apology letter to every poor shopkeeper in one of my RPGs, who had to cringe as a band of dust-coated, blood-soaked, and armed-to-the-teeth adventurers came barging into their store, only to try to unload bag of holding after bag of holding filled with questionable loot of dubious provenance on them.

I'm sure that some of them got me back, and good. And I sort of don't begrudge them that. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:16 pm 
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Caveat Emptor was a fantastic story. Just the right buildup, and a satisfying conclusion. There's an idea to mess with D&D players who buy magic trinkets in seedy parts of the city...

Thanks so much for reading, CKY -- and for the kind words! I'm really glad that you enjoyed this little piece!

Yeah, this is kind of my apology letter to every poor shopkeeper in one of my RPGs, who had to cringe as a band of dust-coated, blood-soaked, and armed-to-the-teeth adventurers came barging into their store, only to try to unload bag of holding after bag of holding filled with questionable loot of dubious provenance on them.

I'm sure that some of them got me back, and good. And I sort of don't begrudge them that. :)

The ones I feel badly for are the ones in the games where I cheat. Kind of unfair of me to spawn high-quality weapons over and over, and then flood the market by selling them all for the money. And they're compelled to buy each and every one of them...

:laugh:

I like the story! I was inclined to read the shopkeep as male until I remembered it was an OrcishLibrarian main character, and corrected the voice to female. ;)

Some of the language felt a bit modern for my tastes (like "play it cool") but overall, very enjoyable. Thanks for posting!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:31 pm 
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Thanks so much for reading, Raven -- I'm glad you liked it!


I was inclined to read the shopkeep as male until I remembered it was an OrcishLibrarian main character, and corrected the voice to female. ;)

Sigh. I fear that my transformation into self-parody is complete. :)

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Some of the language felt a bit modern for my tastes (like "play it cool") but overall, very enjoyable. Thanks for posting!

Yeah, Ish had a very sort of modern voice. I decided to just go with it, since this one was just for fun. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 10:21 am 
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Caveat Emptor is very good as pretty much everything by OL, stories and inspired posts alike. My gratitude for this piece is twofold: being a D&D master myself from time to time, now I have a new trick for checking the savvyness of my players :D

The Deep End, on the other hand, is pretty incomprehensible without having read the related dossier; while I apologize to anyone who posted something recently for not being around for enough time to read and comment your work, being at least loosely understandable without extern knowledge (except for the common MtG terms) is always a plus for a story.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:07 pm 
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Thanks for reading, Huey -- and for the very kind words! I'm really glad that you enjoyed the story! :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:46 pm 
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Thanks, all for looking in on The Deep End.

The main thing that I hope you were able to take away from this short piece is that Verak is a veteran that wants to enjoy the freedoms he fought for in the war. And, that while the war gave Verak a violent edge, it did not turn him into a monster.

Re the war and worldbuilding: I figured that since Verak's past is tied to the war on Eberrai, best try to present it in the text as if we were sitting at the other end of the blackjack table. An audience to the scene with the worldbuilding details peppered into the dialogue for us to tease out. I liked the way Glen Cook used this in the first novel of his Black Company saga.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:51 pm 
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The main thing that I hope you were able to take away from this short piece is that Verak is a veteran that wants to enjoy the freedoms he fought for in the war. And, that while the war gave Verak a violent edge, it did not turn him into a monster.
I think the main issue is one it shares with Wager, from the first post in this thread: It's telling the wrong part of the story. There's a hint about something more interesting that we're just not getting. Worse, it feels like that other part of the story is essential to understanding this part.

Both pieces would work well as part of a larger work, but not on their own.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:49 pm 
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Thank you, Bretain. That's what I'm looking for in critiques of my piece(s). While working on a longer piece featuring Verak, "Rite to Ruin", I started writing a story that takes place during the war in Eberrai. While doing "Rite to Ruin," I realized it worked well as a sequel story for a character introduced in Eberrai war story. None other than the Jade Warlord...

The Jaded Serpent:
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=12940

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:40 pm 
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I don't know if anyone will remember the character from this little piece that I wrote a while back, but she came forcefully back into my mind this week, and I have another little story about her to share here:

Seasons



Now, the rub to all this is that, sooner rather than later, I'm going to have to come up with a new name for this character, because, as was poined out in response to the original piece, I appear to have suffered from a recent attack of corkscrews in the brain, and the name that I originally gave to her suffers from a high degree of being taken already. :blush:

I've asked the good Barin to take pity on me and help me settle on something new, since his toes were the ones I stepped on in the first place, and since he tends to be way, way better at coming up with names than I am, so there's probably a name swap coming in the not-so-distant future, here.

But, in the meantime, I hope that people can enjoy the story, problematic nomenclature aside.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:16 am 
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@Seasons: I like it. It has a sort of slow, contemplative tone to it, and I could definitely tell you were getting into the setting descriptions with this one. Hara reminds me of Sister Temperance somewhat. I like the old man a lot, too, though he reminds me of the differences between other writers around her and myself, because my version of the old man probably would have looked more like this guy. I'm not a well man...

Now, the rub to all this is that, sooner rather than later, I'm going to have to come up with a new name for this character, because, as was poined out in response to the original piece, I appear to have suffered from a recent attack of corkscrews in the brain, and the name that I originally gave to her suffers from a high degree of being taken already. :blush:

I say just change the first letter. We'll call her Cara. Oh, wait...

Okay, we'll add a few letters. How about Harran? Oops.

Okay, we'll just put letters together randomly. How about Orida? Oh, ****!

Well, we'll think of something.

:D

Anyway, thanks for posting!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:57 am 
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Well, we established that her name could have been chosen because of the other Hara, as we could name children after saints, so that was no big issue imo. On the other hand, she may want to pick another name for herself after the recent events.

(Of course, the story is sweet and good and erbxfbgnI love it)

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:25 pm 
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Sweet, and sad. The farmer would have welcomed her as long as she desired to stay, but her inner conflict carries her on. His conflict over the dress makes it seem like he understands her feelings in a minor way, though, so he's not entirely surprised that she can't start over just yet. Speaking of which:
“It’s the wrong season for that, I think. Spring is the season for beginning fresh, for planting anew. But now it is autumn, and autumn is the time for reaping what we have sown.”
This is powerful. It's a perspective I'm not sure I share, but she's very much in tune with the land and seasons. It's very sad, because it indicates a willingness on her part to spend the next months in remorse and lonely contemplation for doing what had to be done, for the sake of her people.

But at the same time, it's hopeful. Assuming she finds a way to survive the winter, she will find a way to begin a new life come spring. That, of course, would be a perfect time to take on a new name, and to sow something that makes the next autumn happier.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 4:01 pm 
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Brentain wrote:
“It’s the wrong season for that, I think. Spring is the season for beginning fresh, for planting anew. But now it is autumn, and autumn is the time for reaping what we have sown.”
This is powerful. It's a perspective I'm not sure I share, but she's very much in tune with the land and seasons. It's very sad, because it indicates a willingness on her part to spend the next months in remorse and lonely contemplation for doing what had to be done, for the sake of her people.

I'm not sure there is remorse in her; she seems to have a tranquil certainty about her choice. In D&D terms, she's so Lawful that she feels the need to atone for breaking a rule she doesn't believe in. On the other hand, the signs at the end of the tale hint that somehow Autumn is already at an end.

...now I'm not sure I got the message right. Shucks.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:47 pm 
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@ Raven -- Thanks so much for reading, Raven, and for the thoughtful comments!

(Total non-sequitur -- Doesn't Reading Raven sound like it should be a kids TV show? Move over, LeVar...)

I like it. It has a sort of slow, contemplative tone to it, and I could definitely tell you were getting into the setting descriptions with this one.

Well, I'm very glad that you liked it! And, yeah, I think that slow is a pretty good descriptor, here. I mean, what passes for the action in this story is a bean-picking scene. :blush:

Contemplative is a good description, too, I think. That's sort of the feeling that I get from this story, anyway -- quiet, and contemplative. And I just kind of like these little pieces, from time-to-time, where they just sort of go wherever they're going, and they take as long to get there as they take, and that's really just sort of it, you know?

And, yeah, I had fun with the setting in this story. It's a place that's simple, and quiet, and green, and I can see why Hara is drawn to it, because I feel the same way.


Hara reminds me of Sister Temperance somewhat.

That thought occurred to me, too -- but only after I was finished writing the story -- and I almost had a sort of mini panic attack about it, because, once I started to see those similarities, I had this frantic sort of fear that Hara and Sister Temperance might almost be the same character, just going by different names, and that my feeble brain had somehow split into two people someone who was really just supposed to be one person. And that was scary.

But, after a little more time to reflect, I'm feeling a little less worried, and a little more convinced that they are different people. They do definitely come from the same sort of place, philosophically speaking, and they both find themselves facing similar sorts of trials. But I think that, at a couple of important levels, they do have different minds, different hearts, different stories.

Because I think that Hara's story is really about her relationship with the natural world. Her loyalties are to the Goddess of the Fields, and to good earth, and to the people who venerate both through their connection to the land, and the labors of their hands. For Hara, it all comes back to nature, and it all comes back to the cycles that define natural life, from planting season to the harvest, from birth to death. We are born from the fields, and, when we die, our bodies return to the fields, as Hara would say. Her beliefs, her magic, and her story all draw their power from that cycle, from the rhythms of nature, and of the people who live on the land, and with the land.

Sister Temperance, by contrast, her story is about the moral world, about the human world. (And I use that phrase broadly, here, to encompass the fox world, and the rattler world, and the noggle world, and so on, and so on.) Sister Temperance isn't so much interested in how people live with the natural world, but in how they live with each other, and with themselves. And Sister Temperance is much more of a crusader, too. She's an evangelist. Hara tends to accept the world as she sees it on its own terms, and wants to find a balance with it. That doesn't mean that she turns a blind eye to ignorance or cruelty, as we have seen, but she sort of doesn't see the need to improve upon the world, as it were, because the world is good, to her mind -- it's natural, and it's good. Sister Temperance, by contrast, is all about trying to reshape the world around her to better resember a higher ideal, and all about challenging herself and others to live up to that ideal. And, to the extent that she's concerned about nature, it's human nature, and the faliability thereof.

So, in a lot of ways, they're very, very similar, Hara and Sister Temperance. But I do hope that they're different, too.


I like the old man a lot, too, though he reminds me of the differences between other writers around her and myself, because my version of the old man probably would have looked more like this guy. I'm not a well man...

I don't know about that. I mean, I think that we always did feel the same, but we just saw things from a different point of view. :D


Okay, we'll just put letters together randomly. How about Orida? Oh, ****!

Okay, that made me laugh. :D


Anyway, thanks for posting!

Well, thank you for reading!


* * *


@ Huey -- Thanks so much for reading, Huey, and for the thoughtful comments!

(Of course, the story is sweet and good and erbxfbgnI love it)

Well, thank you very much for the kind words! I'm really glad that you enjoyed!





I'm not sure there is remorse in her; she seems to have a tranquil certainty about her choice. In D&D terms, she's so Lawful that she feels the need to atone for breaking a rule she doesn't believe in. On the other hand, the signs at the end of the tale hint that somehow Autumn is already at an end.

...now I'm not sure I got the message right. Shucks.

No, I think that you got it pretty much on the nose. I think that the thing about Hara is that she knows that spring is coming, both literally and figuratively. Spring will come, because spring always comes, and, while it might not be there just yet, it will, given time. That's the way of the world.

And I don't think that Hara knows what her spring will mean. Not exactly, anyway. Not yet. But she knows that it will come. I think that's the thing she makes her peace with. Life will come, and life will go -- that's the way of the world -- but there will always be a spring.

There is an end, but the end will be a beginning.


* * *


@ Brentain -- Thanks so much for reading, Brentain, and for the thoughtful comments!

Brentain wrote:
Sweet, and sad. The farmer would have welcomed her as long as she desired to stay, but her inner conflict carries her on. His conflict over the dress makes it seem like he understands her feelings in a minor way, though, so he's not entirely surprised that she can't start over just yet.

Yeah. I think that the lesson that they're both sort of learning from each other, in different ways, is that the past isn't ever really gone. But, just like last year's harvest becomes next year's seeds, the past -- good and ill -- is the soil that we grow from, as we renew ourselves, in whatever form that takes.

So both Hara and the farmer are sort of reminded that you can move on without moving on, if that makes any sense?


Brentain wrote:
This is powerful. It's a perspective I'm not sure I share, but she's very much in tune with the land and seasons. It's very sad, because it indicates a willingness on her part to spend the next months in remorse and lonely contemplation for doing what had to be done, for the sake of her people.But at the same time, it's hopeful.

Assuming she finds a way to survive the winter, she will find a way to begin a new life come spring. That, of course, would be a perfect time to take on a new name, and to sow something that makes the next autumn happier.

Well, thank you for the kind words -- I'm glad you liked that part.

And, yeah, I think that, for Hara, her autumn, as it were, is less about atonement, and more about acceptance, almost. It's about understanding that there will be no going back, and that, when the time for fresh beginnings comes -- and it will come -- that she herself will be part of that renewal. And, for now, I think her wandering is about her trying to come to know and understand what form that renewal might take.

Anyway, much like the old farmer, I wish her safe travels, and I take comfort from knowing that, even if I don't know where she is going, I know that she is not lost. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:32 am 
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As I said after the first Hara story, I really like what you are doing with her. I'm almost a bit sad right now that Tey'von has just entered into the realm of Big Plans, because I think both he and Hara would enjoy to sit and have a good long conversation about what she believes and used to believe.

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