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May. 19th, 2020 12:53 am
When the weariness leadens your stride
When the wind by your ear sings no more
When the path you walk tread narrow and steep
    Come find me

...At the hidden haven

repeat test

Sep. 9th, 2013 12:15 am
So after writing Rossaer's backstory for a few months, repeating the aptitude test yields some slightly different results. He's actually much more ambivalent from Vivant's perspective, but on his own he's level-headed and tries his best to be on the same side as the law and goodness.

True Neutral ---- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (17)
Chaotic Neutral - XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (17)
Lawful Evil ----- XXXXXXXXXXX (11)
Neutral Evil ---- XXXXXXX (7)
Chaotic Evil ---- XXXXXXX (7)

Law & Chaos:
Law ----- XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Neutral - XXXXXX (6)
Chaos --- XXXXXX (6)

Good & Evil:
Neutral - XXXXXXXXXXX (11)
Evil ---- X (1)

Myer Brigg's personality type:

Introvert(11%) Sensing(12%) Thinking(75%) Judging(67%)
You have slight preference of Introversion over Extraversion (11%)
You have slight preference of Sensing over Intuition (12%)
You have distinctive preference of Thinking over Feeling (75%)
You have distinctive preference of Judging over Perceiving (67%)

After a long thought, I've put Rossaer back under introvert. Probably if he hadn't been through all that abuse, he'd be an extrovert as he relates quite comfortably with people, but I think after everything, what makes him feel safest is probably quiet time...not necessarily alone, but with only a small handful of people he can trust.
Keeping this as record. Apparently INTP/ESFJ are about as unalike as you can get and not likely to get along. Ah weelz.

V+R )


Apr. 24th, 2011 11:31 pm
So occasionally I do litmus tests and such things on my characters, just for fun.

It's interesting to consider the alignments (D&D style) of Vivant and Rossaer, possibly two of my most ambivalent main/major characters (along with Lyriel...) The test is not entirely relevant but still interesting.

Rossaer first:
Lawful Neutral -- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (16)
True Neutral ---- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (19)
Chaotic Neutral - XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (18)
Lawful Evil ----- XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Neutral Evil ---- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (15)
Chaotic Evil ---- XXXXXXXXXXXXXX (14)

Law & Chaos:
Law ----- XXXXXXXX (8)
Neutral - XXXXXXXXXXX (11)
Chaos --- XXXXXXXXXX (10)

Good & Evil:
Neutral - XXXXXXXX (8)
Evil ---- XXXX (4)

The summary is...the results are ambivalent. Actually I think the targeted results fall closer to what I had predicted: he generally acts out of goodness, but (being authority) with a good dose of cynicism for the law and yet at the same time there is a self-destructive loyalty that directs him to follow orders from certain sources, hence the highly ambivalent results for Law/Chaos. I think, oddly, that family is a major weak point for Rossaer - oddly because he of all people have all the reasons to scorn the idea of a "family". And equally oddly, Vivant has no desire to connect himself with a family. He will treasure Hinkan (and probably Rossaer) but he will do so in a way he imagines a family to be, without actually trying enact or seek the family dynamic.

Vivant's results are unsurprisingly similar:
Lawful Good ----- XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Lawful Neutral -- XXXXXXXXX (9)
Lawful Evil ----- XXXXXX (6)
Chaotic Evil ---- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (17)

Law & Chaos:
Law ----- X (1)
Chaos --- XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)

Good & Evil:
Good ---- XXXXXXXXXXX (11)
Neutral - XXXXXXXX (8)
Evil ---- XXXXX (5)

But Vivant is a lot more apparently anti-authority than Rossaer. I think here a lot of the questions are really not applicable, because Vivant is probably one of those people who will always be penniless because he just doesn't give a damn. He also doesn't give a damn about a lot of things in general, including authority and trying to free the masses from the reins of authority. I would have put him as a true neutral or a chaotic neutral, someone who is habitually indifferent and has very little prejudiced morals defining his actions.
There are few characters who elevated so quickly in my opinions as this guy...apart from maybe Neillan.

The little prince of southwest Talgrith. It's funny to call him that, because he has a pretty big personality and even though I do imagine him as...well, not a large person, but I don't associate him with being the little pampered royalty, like Sigmund. LOL. Vivrael can get away with patronising Sigmund and calling him "princeling", but Rossaer doesn't have the protected greenhouse feel to him. And he'd probably hit Vivant if he tried LOL.

The Hanged Man is associated with sacrificing physical wealth for spiritual wealth. I think his choices later on fit the descriptions of the card more closely - the loss of his attachments to his current identity (okay...I have to say, it wasn't so much HIS choice as Vivant's fault), the change in perspective, the wisdom he gains from that.

I don't think he ever has an epiphany as the card suggests, not even quite as dramatic as Vivant's "reverse epiphany", if there is such a thing >_>;;; The changes come over him slowly, but I think he does change. Even though a lot of the chapters since his introduction are changing the readers' first impressions of him, I think he also changes during that time. But I don't think he tries to be the good guy or wants to pay the price, there is a strong element of selfishness in his decisions, which might sound bad, but I think he also tries to balance his own selfishness with the number of people he would hurt.

On that thread he's similar with Vivant (although I think there are many points in which the two of them are similar, and many others in which they are interesting dichotomies), who also makes a lot of choices out of selfishness, but I think they both understand that, and there's a little part of themselves who won't forgive their own actions.
I don't know what sort of ending to give Rossaer. I think whatever ending I give will be incredibly unfair to either Vivant or Rossaer or both.

I think after Vivant saves him, Rossaer is very clear about what he wants from life, and if he's not going to get it, he's not afraid to end it. He's not so much suicidal as...I think he just doesn't see that the life he leads after Vivant saves him as a continuation of who he was before. Maybe in some ways he sees it as borrowed time, with only one reason for its existence, and if that disappears then he doesn't want to hang around.

It's emerging that the two of them are precious to each other. Rossaer gives Vivant a place to be completely unfettered that even Hinkan can't give. The two of them sharpen their claws on each other but lean on each other's backs to fight the world. Rossaer's also very focused and very pragmatic. If he has a goal he will achieve it, regardless of moral ramifications, even if he has considered them. For someone disillusioned with the world, Rossaer turns out to be the very companion that Vivant needed.

But I think it would be incredibly unfair to leave Rossaer's story unfinished, and yet, I think if he dies it would be something Vivant would find it hard to get over, because he will always be searching for Rossaer, and I think whoever he finds - even if he finds Rossaer again - he'll be disappointed.

I can't seem to imagine it would work out in any way. I think Vivant would be really stricken by the vulnerability Rossaer reveals if Rossaer does drive himself to a death. Even now, Vivant is wary of people's infatuated gratitude, for kind acts he believes aren't worth all the emotional repayment. But I think the main thing Vivant will feel is guilt. In some ways Rossaer has probably convinced him that saving him was a selfish act on Vivant's part. However debatable that is, Vivant knows that out of everyone he has saved, Rossaer is the only one who has no other attachments to the world, whose only real bond was formed with Vivant.

If Rossaer dies on the battlefield I think it would be terrifying for a boy who's always been afraid of being alone, even if only Vivant has noticed it, and I think Vivant would wish that he hadn't sent Rossaer off to die by himself in a foreign land, giving his life and his happiness for people he didn't need to care about.

If Vivant finds Rossaer just before he dies on the battlefield I think Rossaer would wish that he could live the same way, even with all the horrors of the first fifteen years of his life, just to meet Vivant again. I think he would ask Vivant to look for him, because I think he is still afraid of going alone, and I think Vivant would not be able to rest until he finds Rossaer, but when he does, no matter what happens, Rossaer wouldn't be Rossaer any more.

If Rossaer survives the battle and finds Vivant after Vivant has died, I think he would do everything to latch on to Vivant, even if they both know that it's only going to hurt them both the longer they hold on. Vivant will tell him that he won't age and he doesn't want to watch his friends age and die, and Rossaer will ask that he spends just two more years with Vivant, and never again after that. I wonder if Vivant will agree to it, weakened by his own fears and loneliness and faced with a Rossaer who's laid bare his vulnerability. But if he agrees, he knows he will be too kind to Rossaer, and in the end, as the deadline nears, both of them will wish for it to go on a little longer...and perhaps a little longer more...and one day the bond will bear no more and will snap, cutting them both.

But I can't imagine Rossaer and Vivant being together for centuries, even if I can contrive something that lengthens Rossaer's life. I think they will get sick of each other very quickly, and I think Vivant will be fearful of what time will do to them both. Will they look back in a few decades and wish they hadn't continued like this, because the person they are now is not the person who was? Vivant would be afraid that time would sour even the sweetest things, and I wonder if he would think that one day he will wish Rossaer had died, because he would rather live with a bittersweet memory than a relationship that has soured beyond repair. I wonder if Rossaer will take the initiative and choose, and in that choice chain them both. I wonder if he will tie himself to Vivant, like he has done several times already, that his response to Vivant tying him down to life is to anchor himself to Vivant.

I think one half of Vivant would really want Rossaer to be there, for someone to be there. Yet on the other hand I think he wants Rossaer to be happy, because that's why he saved Rossaer in the first place, and he knows that immortality is not happiness, and that if Rossaer ties himself down by Vivant...Vivant wonders what will happen in a few century's time, when they eventually need to finish the quest. Ultimately they will need to part. Will the years give them solace in each other's company? Or will it merely deepen the apprehension of their end?

I don't know...I guess I just don't know what it feels like to live for that long. Maybe it will all turn out okay, because that much time in each other's company is enough, enough to be content and enough to overcome conflicts and enough to be unafraid, finally, to go on into peace.

(I have to say, thinking about Rossaer and Vivant has made me really sad ==; I want them both to have a happy ending, but I don't know how that's going to work.)


Nov. 10th, 2009 07:00 pm
I was reading someone's blog when I came upon a match rate for Pisces and Virgo...which happened to correspond to the Rowan and Sigmund pairing. It said this:


Virgo can quietly help comb out the Piscean's tangled thoughts, and can help Pisces walk out of their escapism, and has a directive effect on the dreamy Pisces. Similarly, Pisces can bring out the soft side of the Virgo, the romantic love between the two can satisfy what the Virgo has deep in the heart as their dream love, so this is a very well-complemented match! Both people have very complicated feelings, and have delicate understanding of each other, and can form an unexpected mutual understanding!

It matches =0=;;;;; It matches almost exactly (apart from the romantic love part XDD) Rowan and Sigmund are destined for each other...or maybe I'm just too good at matching them to their star signs XDDD

I realise I've never made an important character a Leo ==; I think I'm just really bad at exhibitionist personalities...(has just gone and offended every person born under Leo...)

One day I shall assign everyone in Vivant's story to a star sign XDD The only ones I know for sure at the moment are Vivant as a Scorpio and Kamaeh as Gemini.

I can't remember if I set Lyriel as Sagittarius or Capricorn ==; Her and Vivrael are one or the other. I think she's Capricorn because Vivrael seems more like a Sagittarius type? >_>;
I've finished writing the bit before Vivant gets to least the bits that involve Rossaer. There's actually two other important chunks I haven't written, one is with Fuukou and the other with Kordaan, and I won't get to that until, most likely, when I actually write up to that bit.

I must say...the Rossaer-centric bits were immensely satisfying =D I am so sick of writing submissive characters, wahahahaha! To have Vivant get his claws out and really tear into people immensely satisfying =D

Rossaer is actually becoming extremely like what Sigmund was to Rowan ==;;; He really needles Vivant to the edge and back. No one else drags Vivant out from behind his mask as Rossaer does, and I think he really brings out the nastiest side of Vivant...which is not to say that Sigmund brings out the nastiest side in Rowan, although he does push Rowan to the edge and he does make Rowan come out of his shell.

On the other hand, Sigmund was very different to Rowan, and very protective...or dutiful in protecting Rowan. I think...I think Rossaer and Vivant are very similar to each other ||||||Orz Oh, Rossaer's nowhere near as good-natured as Vivant, but I think the two of them are matched in intellect and cynicism. But this is coming on the heels of Vivant and Neillan being rather similar to each other and...oh well ==; I don't think Rossaer's anything like Neillan, so there must be some degree of separation somewhere.

I actually have no idea now how to finish off Rossaer's story. I would rather not kill him, but at the same time I can't imagine him living on to a ripe old age =0=;;;;;; For the record, I can imagine Kamaeh at a ripe old age, so hah! (I can also imagine Giras at a ripe old age, but let's not dwell on that...)

Rossaer was meant to go bravely to his death at some point, but now...his existence is like Sigmund ==; Vivant would be so much harder to develop without him. I think, also, that I'm feeling way too sorry for Vivant and so I'm adding all these characters who would make his life.......better. I wonder if I should stop ==;; But then all these characters who stay on are XDDDD

It's terrible when an author has favourites, because then one can't resist giving that character more time, and it shouldn't work that way ==;

But I kind of wish that Vivant and Rossaer could have had more time with each other. They're such a fun pair to write, in the "oh, there they go trying to kill each other again" way XDDDDDDD
Can I just say that....

Sometimes it's annoying writing a character who's clever? =______=;;;;;;

I know, I know, I stopped writing Rowan's story because I found him too dumb. Am I going to stop writing Vivant's story because I'm finding him too smart? Orz

I'm nearly done with the part just before they reach Averron. What was originally meant to be Terethise-centric turned so Rossaer-centric I had to rename the file ==;;;;

Thanks to Vivant's smartassness, there was at least one major change and many minor changes to what I originally envisioned.

I was originally going to have Vivant kill Rossaer's beast because he thought Rossaer went and blabbermouthed something to some people, but nooooooooo, he had to realise Rossaer didn't do it, and so I had to make up some other reason for him killing Rossaer's beast! ** (Hey, don't talk about it as though you didn't write him that way ==;) (**Actually, that reason always existed so it wasn't that I had to pull something out of my ass, so to speak ==;)

Arrrgh, now Vivant's and Rossaer's relationship has totally walked into the "It's Complicated" territory. I mean it's all very well with Rowan and Sigmund in their own complicated way, but at least that was in third person. I suspect Vivant doesn't even know how he feels about Rossaer half the time, although I could say the same for how Vivant feels about any other character at that particular point in the plot. It was a time of turmoil and change =v=

In fact, Rossaer is starting to remind me of Sigmund, which is...I don't know how that happened considering they started off so far apart (but now, come to think of it, they do have similarities in their upbringing --;;;; argh). Fortunately, Vivant is not reminding me of Rowan, but I haven't written the first bit of their time together and I suspect Vivant is much more Rowan-like-submissive in the beginning, out of requirement ==;

Rossaer's nowhere near as vulnerable as Sigmund, even though I think he's been through worse than what Sigmund has (yes...). I think the difference is he's partially at fault and he's invited much of what happened to him. Though he's in the perfect position to say "but I had no choice", he doesn't, because he knows he had made a choice to live, whatever the means. He's also not cold and tsundere like Sigmund...instead of keeping his emotions bottled up, he's more of the unsympathetic kind who cares very little for others, even at his best. I don't think he ever comes to see Vivant like Sigmund does Rowan, as an obligation or as someone he needs to protect.


Oct. 23rd, 2009 11:37 pm
I'm doing retrograde(?) Writing again. I've skipped forward to the bit just before Vivant goes to Averron (as opposed to last time, when I was writing Vivant in Averron). I'm afraid the Ponnlay arc is rather tedious, but it's important in setting up the characters and I don't want to shirk too much on that.

The problem with retrograde(?) writing is that things have danger of becoming inconsistent, but I want to write it before I forget the ideas, as I have regrettably done for other bits of the plot ~~;;; I'm hoping that going with the vibe will help this time...and besides, I really need Vivant to rip into people (this is getting to be a trend).

This post is really for me to bounce ideas and to comb things into some sort of sense, which means I'll probably disagree with what I say here in a few days XDDDDD

I think I wrote down a long time ago somewhere that Vivant is such a good actor that he doesn't even know who his real self is. He's not so much an actor as a becomer? He's not quite like, for example, Moist, who easily dons various masks...I think for a large part Vivant believes the role he assumes. At the moment he's acting the part of the carefree, well-meaning, morally righteous boy because it suits him. Because I think for a long time he believes that's what he needs to be and he becomes it. I guess most people have an ideal image of themselves and work towards it, but maybe the difference for Vivant is he assumes it so easily...and discards it just as easily. It's what I've been trying to get at in his exchange with Neillan...for a moment he really believed his own words, he meant very much every compliment he paid to Neillan, but at the same time he realised how easy it was for him to then step back and detach from it, to slip just as easily into another thinking mode.

I think after a while he loses himself. He doesn't know who he really is any more. He's uncertain what's important any more, because he could so easily slip from one perspective to another. He doesn't know if he truly cares for other people, because in one role it would be so easy for him to weep at how much love and trust people place in him, and in another role it would just as easy for him to trample over their good intentions and walk away with a shrug. He doesn't know if he's truly carrying out his duties as a Master Sorcerer, or if he's driven by an anger that he needs to quench.

Anyway, enough about Vivant.

Rossaer, the little prince I've been both dreading and looking forward to writing...sort of like Neillan at the time, actually. Happily, with what I've been writing recently, he's been sketched into shape, and I think the result is better than I originally envisioned. It's hard to actually describe his character at the moment because I haven't written enough, except to say that he's nothing like Neillan XDDDD At the moment the story is full of nice guys or morally righteous guys, and fortunately he isn't one =D Can you tell how frustrated I am at how nice everyone is at the moment? LOL.

He's slightly older than Vivant, always planned him to be, and I think both boys are far older than their years. Rossaer's environment made him a cynic and also an amoralist. A part of him knows the morals and wants to follow them, but the overruling pragmatic part knows it's fruitless. In that aspect, at their first meeting, he's the direct opposite of Vivant, who stuck bravely to the morals but was always harbouring a nasty streak that he had to keep sedated.

I don't think Vivant ever ends up liking him all that much, but I think in fact they do like each other a lot (yes weird). It's like they come to an understanding that they will like each other by not liking each other, and trust each other by not trusting each other. I think later on Rossaer becomes special in a way that Rossaer himself realises but Vivant doesn't, and Rossaer fosters that he becomes the only place in which Vivant can play out his nastiness without feeling guilty. I don't think it's self-sacrifice. At first I don't think Rossaer even means it to be, but I think Vivant makes it hard for Rossaer to hate him, and unable to help himself, Rossaer finds himself attached, to the one person who gives him a place and who's seen all his dirty laundry and still accepts him...even if it means being nasty to each other. Vivant is no follower, and neither is Rossaer, and I think these two kids fight with each other for dominance, not because they necessary want to lead the other, but because it's turned into a game that they need to play in order to feel they are still themselves.

Rossaer himself is also a good least, he's good at turning on the charm. He's the forbidden fruit with an alluring scent and a lethal taste...I know that sounds terrible in light of what he is, but I think he has that sort of effect on people. When he does turn the charm on, when he doesn't make the effort to be the villain, people fall for him, for his dangerous beauty and his dominating aura. They want to follow him because he doesn't need them to mandate his confidence...and I think in real life, crowds get smitten by people like that.
There are a lot of female entities in the tarot deck, and I have a dearth of important female characters that I like enough to use as tarot. Here is one I had always intended to use, somewhere:

I hadn't decided on what Hinkan would be until I read Aeclectic's interpretation.

On the bleak landscape where the Tower stood, the Fool sits, empty, despairing. He hoped to find himself on this spiritual journey, but now he feels he's lost everything, even himself. Sitting on the cold stones, he gazes up at the night sky wondering what's left. And that is when he notices, nearby, a beautiful girl with two water urns. As he watches, she kneels by a pool of water illuminated with reflected starlight. She empties the urns, one into the pool, one onto the thirsty ground.

"What are you doing," he asks her. She looks up at him, her eyes twinkling like stars. "I am refilling this pool, so that those who are thirsty may drink, and I am also watering the earth so that, come spring, the seeds will grow," she tells him. And then she adds, "Come. Drink." The Fool comes to kneel with her by the pool and drink. The water tastes wonderful, like liquid starlight. "I can see you are sad," the girl continues, "and I know why. But you must remember that you have not lost all. Knowledge, possibilities, and hope, you still have all of these. Like stars, they can lead you to a new future." Even as she says this, she began to fade away, like dew, vanishing. All that remains is a gleam that was at the center of her forehead. This rises up and up, until it settles in the night sky as a shining star. "Follow your star," the woman's voice seems to sing from that light, "and have hope." The Fool takes in a breath and rises. It is a dark night, a desolate land. But for the first time, he has a guiding light to show him the way. Distant as it is, it heals his heart, and restores his faith.

Hinkan is one of the few characters that loves Vivant unwaveringly, but I hesitate to put the word love anywhere near them because I don't want their relationship to be mistaken. Probably once or twice, Vivant might have mistaken his own feelings of gratitude and thought he loved her like a woman, but she herself always knows where she stands with him. She loves him, but there is a distance between them, just as there was a different distance between she and Mordan. She's not someone to fall blindly and irreversibly in love. She believes that all meetings come at the price of an eventual parting, and she's never tied down a man simply because she loved him.

Without spoiling what their relationship becomes... Vivant is an important existence in her life, bound by the love of friendship and the duty of oath and the burden of guilt. I think she is an amazing girl, who becomes what people need her to be - not what they want or what she wants.

The picture would have been set some years after she parted with Vivant. I mentioned her in the epilogue, the Prilloni boy who asked Vivant to visit her. I think she knows he'll never come, and she takes solace in knowing that they are watching the same night sky. Even if the constellations she sees won't be the same as what he sees, she knows he'll see the same constellations some day. Even if she searched the endless oceans for him she may never find him, but she takes solace in knowing that he's drinking from a river somewhere that will one day run to the sea and join her. Even if she dies without meeting him again, she takes heart in believing their bond, and that they'll meet again in some other life. I don't think she's absurdly optimistic, just possessed of an incredible tranquillity of the mind.

As for Vivant, Hinkan becomes the hope...the light at the end of the tunnel that he knows will always be there, and so he can find his way with its help, without having to go towards it. Because he knows that if he ever needs her, if he ever feels starved of hope, he could find her and she would accept him, and so...perhaps he could hold out just that little longer...perhaps he could bear just a little more. And I think she is incredibly foresighted to send him that Prilloni child, who will equally dote on Vivant, and who will be there even when she is gone, so that when his mind tires, his heart will always have someone to turn to.
Of course, after having done Vivant and Rowan, it's only fair to move onto my first ever main character:

It's gloomy isn't it? LOL.

It was a toss up between him and Ruelli. It's kind of strange...the more I get a feel for Ruelli, the less familiar Dariayle's character is becoming to me. I was also going to put him with Pendillius for "the Lovers" but I didn't want to be accused of twincest ==;

It's hard to say anything about him without spoiling what happens to Ruelli. He and Ruelli are not alike much right now, but then, maybe that's what Dariayle would have been if he had a normal life.

He's almost the blueprint for Sigmund, but Sigmund also took cues from Vivant ( you can see...I never thought I was going to write Vivant's story). He's never as cold or proud as Sigmund, and he's not a perfectionist, just a child who is really, really desperate to please. (You may have spotted that I'm suggesting Sigmund acquired the coldness and proudness from Vivant...and you would, in fact, be correct >_>;)

He was a character produced out of the teenage tendency for angst, and I think I spent three years of my teenage life pouring out all my angst on him, so afterwards all my favourite original characters are happy ones (except Sigmund). LOL.

Though it's embarrassing to read what I had once written, I guess I am rather sentimentally attached to his character (but moreso to him and his twin). It will be interesting to finally link up his story - and his meeting - with Vivant, some few hundred years from "now".
I have to apologise for the colour scheme, haven't had time to edit it properly yet.

I'm proud to announce that I've been writing! LOL.

I actually don't have much to say at this point, because there's been no new characters and no major character changes. Or maybe this has been brewing for so long I just don't notice it...

How do I put it...I just can't wait for Vivant to start banging heads together.

I know he's not technically a nice character even now, but he's so apathetic. Well...not so much apathetic as...just generally resigned to everything. Easy-going? Unfussed? Unfazable?

This was always the intention, actually, because the whole first half was meant to show how carefree Vivant can be. But still, it's not as fun when writing it.

Vivant's a smart character (yes...for once...), but he's easy-going when it comes to other people's stupidity (unlike myself...ahem), especially if the stupidity doesn't cause any direct injury to someone he cares about.

He doesn't seem to be so quick to pass judgements. I tend to think it's because he doesn't have the luxury of knowing what he really believes in. Religion, moral, culture...all that kind of stuff, he seems to bypass them and go instead for first principles.

...Hmmm...I really don't have much to say ==; Except I'd like to work Terethise into the story more. I am kind of regretting the personality I gave her =0=; Because it's making her very difficult to work with ==;;;;;

I have an anatomy exam tomorrow (not counted, fortunately) so predictably here I am, being my most productive writing =D

Or actually, I've just been reading what I've written before my life got taken over by work in April.

I wrote about 8 pages a month or so ago that took place in Averron. Since I don't think this really spoils it for anyone, it was when Mordan finally reveals who he is and the relationships between Anwu-ji/Mordan/Vivant gets settled. The Averron arc is meant to be short (as I said before), probably three or five chapters at maximum (hopefully). It really is a "clearing things up" + intermission. Apart from figuring things out with the Chuulinese, Vivant also clears up some matters with the Heshyani, although at the moment I don't think he does that in person. He also visits the legendary (LOL...) Great Library at Averron, where he learns a little about what he hoped to learn and a lot about what he hadn't hoped to learn (kinda like what happens when one bums on Wikipedia). There he will also meet a prophet, of a different kind to Nara, whose words will lead to Vivant deciding to say goodbye to someone. Which is a good thing, because otherwise that someone will probably be amongst the body count! ^_~

I only ended up writing the bit involving Mordan and Anwu-ji, and not even the whole of that. The rest is hard to set down in ink (or at least, bytes and pixels) until I've figured out what happens in-between. I do know what happens in-between, just not the fine details, which I shall need for maximum...impact =D

So anyway, I've gone back and read what I've written. It is depressing =D

Well, it's not depressing in the sense it makes you want to cry, but still. It's depressing.

I guess it is depressing because of the way Vivant acts. I mean, okay, he's not being an emotional wreck or an annoying jerk or anything.

But I actually like the Vivant he becomes...who is much closer to the original Vivant I remember. None of this pleasant, cheerful, imperturbable niceties~! Bring on the sarcasm, yeah~!!!! (You just miss writing vitriol, don't you...)

Well okay, he actually didn't get that sarcastic in those 8 pages. I really want him to verbally flail someone =w=

Oh well, plenty of chance for him to do that in Isshaten =D
After being the main character for a story I've tried to write over three years, you'd think I'd have more than two pictures of just this kid by himself....

Like Vivrael and Vivant, I decided pretty quickly on Rowan being "The Hermit". Unlike "The Fool" or "The Magician", the meaning of "The Hermit" card is fairly close to our impressions of hermitage. The lone person, who seeks solitude, who needs to retreat from human society, who may be knowledgeable but his wariness of human contact prevents him from sharing that knowledge.

The meaning of the card is "need for withdrawal or introspection" or "the need to step out of their retreat". Rowan is naturally in the first stage and through his growing relationships with other characters, learns to do the second.

Unlike Sigmund or Vivrael, Rowan isn't "good-looking", so I always try not to draw him as so. I guess his most noticeable characteristics are innocence and uncertainty.

I know I often say that I don't like him. I don't tend to like uncertain personalities, especially in fiction, but as far as being a "character" - a tool of the story - I do like Rowan. He grew from reading too much postmodernist theory in year 12.

Where Vivant is a very traditional main character - he learns fast, he's quick-thinking, he has limited tolerance for tyranny, he gets along with people (when he wants to) etc...Rowan was invented purposely to overturn much of that. He's hesitant, he's slow to be drawn out of his shell, he's naive and can be short-sighted, and it takes a long time for him to grow.

Vivant is neither a follower nor a leader, but Rowan is quite decidedly a follower. He needs to be told what to do for him to feel any sense of purpose. In the end he becomes a limited narrator, because although his existence instigated much of the events, his participation in them is limited.

But I do like Rowan as a "character", in that he develops and grows and becomes comparatively stronger and confident to the withdrawn boy at the beginning. Vivant grows too, but I think he more or less reaches in for the nastiness that he's always had in place, whereas Rowan really works at pushing himself towards the optimism he's never had.

Come to think of it, I think Rowan and Sigmund's relationship would work quite normally if Rowan was a girl. LOL.


Jan. 27th, 2009 12:07 am

I've drawn pictures of Pendillius on and off for a while, but I haven't written anything about him since year 10! Aww. He's probably the happiest character in any of my stories. He's just adorable ♥

Well, okay, I think it's harder to tell whether he's cuter or Kamaeh's cuter. He's "older" than what Kamaeh appears to be, although in technical age he's younger. He's not quite as effusively warm as Kamaeh is, and he isn't quite vulnerable enough to want to latch onto other humans the way Kamaeh does. He isn't as full of mistrust as Kamaeh can be, and he doesn't need to trust anyone, and so he's never been really hurt either. I think the difference is Pendillius is very much a people's person - probably more than any of my other characters, more than even Vivrael - because he's a good kid and he doesn't have Vivrael's aggressive streak.

I think when I first started out I tried to make Pendillius and Dariayle direct opposites...but they're not really. They turned out to be just two different people, bound by blood but separated by their experience. It's funny...I think Pendillius and Dariayle love each other out of duty, rather than any emotional attachment. This is quite different to how Kamaeh feels about Ruelli (their previous counterparts), and I wonder, if Kamaeh knew, which he would have preferred?

In the original story Pendillius was also (the only one who was) quite fond of Vivant. I'm guessing - because I haven't read what I wrote for...ever - it's because he admired Vivant's perceptiveness. The ability to read what Pendillius is hiding behind that untiring happiness and the ability to read, also, what his twin is thinking.

I don't think the water runs too deep. I don't think Pendillius has a dark and depressing interior...but I think that, just for the sake of his brother, he tries that little harder to smile, to laugh, to act the clown.

Because I think, each in their own way, the last thing Pendillius and Dariayle wanted to do was to make the other worry.
So in a new burst of energy, I have finally picked up the metaphorical pen and paper (in this case, sticking my USB back into my laptop) to write again. It's quite terrible how little I've written this holidays. My only consolation comes from the fact that I spent a lot of spare time throwing ideas about for the story, and as a result I have fleshed out more of the Isshaten arc.

The Talgrith arc had been planned out some time last year, so now I just need to set things up and write it. I had also pretty much planned out the Averron arc, which was always meant to be a fairly short reprieve arc, but has now gotten even shorter because I've decided to delegate certain events to a time skip. Also because they're not important, not relevant and I really can't be bothered planning it.

I think if I had my life to myself I'd probably just write the plot first and come back to revise it, but I'd rather not do that again as revising Next Assignment has caused me to do about three complete re-writes and it is not, in any way, fun. Nor does it do anything to put the characters in my good opinion - which is pretty bad if you have to stick with them for the story.

I'm still having trouble with Talgrith's geography. At the start I wanted its climate to be cool and temperate in the north, but tropical in the south, but then because of various latitudinal problems.... So either Isshaten is more south than I originally intended it to be (probably the case), or the countries are bigger than they're supposed to be, or Talgrith is farther away from Averron... anyway. It's not entirely important, but I'd like to know what Talgrith's weather is like =0=; Ah weather. It's surprising how vital it is to society.

So as a preview of things coming up (a looooong time which time I might change my mind, which is exactly why I'm putting it here):
Coming up soon (i.e. in Talgrith)...
- Vivant nearly gets killed
- Someone gets killed
- Someone gets killed
- Someone gets killed
- Vivant nearly kills someone
- Vivant kills someone
- Someone gets killed
- Vivant nearly kills someone
- Someone gets killed
- Giras makes the stupid mistake of taking pity on Vivant
...That's about the general order of things, although the "someone gets killed" might shuffle a bit XDDDD

Coming up later (in Averron)...
- Vivant nearly gets married?!?!
- Vivant meets the next king of Talgrith
- Vivant disappears for a while

Coming up eventually (in Isshaten)...
- Vivant breaks a promise
- Giras' younger brother
- Arianna's son (Xantes)
- Vivant is a genius at pissing people off...or so he says
- Various people die, often through their own de/vices
- Shuddup, there are still living beings by the end of the story, although it was tempting to end with a nuclear holocaust

At the moment (well it's been decided before the story began) it seems that instead of building to a big final roaring showdown, the story dwindles to a personal confrontation. I don't think Vivant ever goes into the battle expecting to "win" and overpower Arianna's army. It's fortunate for Vivant that this war could be solved by removing a few people, although the repercussions are probably worse than the war itself (not that...ahem...some people stay to witness it). It's not like the war was based on ideology, or race, or belief, or something that people feel compelled to hold on to.

And just in case anyone's worried (or more for my record), here's a list of people who will almost certainly make an appearance in Isshaten - omissions doesn't (necessarily) mean death!! It could mean I simply forgot their existence. LOL. On the other hand, don't ask me "what about [insert name]?" if you don't want to be spoiled.

Vivant, Arianna, Xantes, Giras, Ruelli, Cheltis, Kamaeh, Delshya, Shela, Giras' brother, Kasaris, Hinkan, Yunyi

...Come to think of it...that's not that many people O_o
I've changed the layout to one that has bigger font, and seems somehow more appealing to read O_o

The tree still stands
When its petals fall
The stars still shine
When morning falls
The Fool will dance
   Unfettered by time
   Until his last curtain fall

I think that about sums up Vivant's fate from here on. LOL. (Yes yes it's sad)

Occasionally I wonder if it's too early to say all these things about Vivant. For Next Assignment at least I'm more than halfway through the story and none of the characters - except Rowan - deviate much from then on. Okay okay, even Rowan keeps much of his personality, just something very important about his past is revealed. It doesn't change who he is, but I think it allows him to understand himself better.

But back to Vivant. True, he hasn't changed much since he wrote himself into stability about ten chapters ago, but nothing that was meant to change him has happened. He's learned things, about others and about himself, but he hasn't had the need to change yet. He might - or might not - change in the next ten chapters, but he will definitely change soon after that. Depending on how much I can fit in ten chapters LOL

At least I think we will see a very different Vivant when he returns to Isshaten, which will form the final arc (and a little less than half) of the story. Yes...Vivant spends a lot of time in Talgrith. I guess you could call his time in Talgrith his "formative" years. What happens there determines his mindset at least until the conclusion of his time in Issaten.

In some ways, Vivant becomes an adolescent earlier than most children. Maybe it's the lack of parents, the lack of secure familial love, the lack of stable adult examples. He seems to learn to question adults quite early in his life. That must be where he has acquired both his perpetual amusement and his perpetual distrust. Too perceptive for his own good, he sees through the actions of adults to the selfish desires behind them, and he finds their efforts at feigning otherwise amusing.

Thus, the Fool. Naive - but not quite so. Full of curiosity, like a sponge he could content himself with watching and absorbing the world. The Fool card in a Tarot spread means optimism, fresh starts and difficult challenges; as well as on the negative side recklessness, immaturity and inability to commit, all of which describe Vivant or his fate.

The negative aspects probably describe both Vivant and Vivrael, although Vivant only seems to exhibit these when badly provoked. If there's anything in which Vivant is worse than Vivrael, it must be his uncertainty - because he can never really decide what's most important to himself.

Perhaps the last thing in the world he learns to understand is himself.
LOL...I can't believe I did this on my own characters ~__~;;;; I was going to do it properly! And then I couldn't be bothered thinking up anime characters I liked, and randomly started typing names, and one thing led to another....

Oh well, it was kind of interesting XDDD

First, select your ten fictional characters (from any medium) by whichever method you like best. Then answer the questions below.

1. Vivant
2. Vivrael
3. Solen
4. Kamaeh
5. Sigmund
6. Hinkan
7. Rowan
8. Lyriel
9. Giras
10. Ruelli

1. Divide the list up by even and odd. Which group of five would make a better Five Man Band (like a Power Rangers team)? Who would you slot in each position: Leader, Lancer (second-in-command), Big Guy, Smart Guy, The Chick? If you think the team would be improved by swapping one character between the even and odd groups, which ones would you switch?

Group 1: Vivant, Solen, Sigmund, Rowan, Giras
Group 2: Vivrael, Kamaeh, Hinkan, Lyriel,, all the girls ended up on one team LOL

Group 1: I think Sigmund would become Leader by default, since Rowan and Giras are definite followers, and Vivant and Solen tend to stand back and watch. If Sigmund becomes Leader, Solen kind of becomes Lancer by default since...well, someone has to keep the guy in check. And besides, he's more mature and more ready to take control than Giras is. Er...the big guy is Giras? I guess you can count on him to take care of the rough work since the others are younger - or in Solen's case, blind. Vivant would be the Smart Guy, or at least a smart but keeps it to himself guy. Umm. Yes. Rowan, the Chick. Er ok. As long as it's not Sigmund, or he'll start killing someone.

Group 2: Oh dear, we have a number of clashing personalities here. Vivrael tends to be the one who likes to take control, but none of the girls like stupidity, which means they'll all abandon Vivrael in times of crisis XDDD I think Lancer...gah, maybe the others would let Ruelli be Lancer out of pity. Hinkan and Lyriel are both lone wolves in their own ways - they both like to go get things done on their own, so they won't care much for the group. The "Big Guy" is Lyriel. Even though Hinkan is useful and highly trained, I think Lyriel has the much-needed ruthlessness. This is a group that doesn't fit into stereotypes, gah! I don't even know what "the Chick" role is meant to do.

As for swapping, I think Vivrael really needs Solen by his side, aww. If we swap Ruelli for Solen, at least Rowan doesn't have to be "the Chick" any more =/ I think the first team is more coherent, but only slightly.

2. Gender-swap 2, 8 & 10. Which character would have the most change in their story arc? Which the least? Would any of these characters have to have a complete personality change to be believable as the opposite sex?

So...Vivrael, Lyriel and Ruelli. I think the least affected would be Ruelli. Besides...she'

Vivrael as a girl would at least mean Solen would stop refusing his proposal requests so abruptly XDDDD I think Lyriel as a guy would make her relationships with Rowan and Sigmund creepily homoerotic, and that's on top of Rowan and Sigmund's already rather creepily homoerotic relationship =/

But I think I can imagine all three as the opposite sex. Lyriel's relationships probably change the most though.

3. Compare the matchups of 1 & 8 and 5 & 9. (Ignore canon sexual preferences for the moment.) Which couple would be more compatible? Which couple would be more plausible to people from either principal's home culture?

Vivant and Lyriel or Sigmund and Giras? Sigmund's really hard to warm up to, and Giras doesn't quite have the patience or submissiveness to wait for it. He'll most likely read Sigmund at face value, and Sigmund would be content to let him do that and drive him away with his usual arrogance. Unless something happens, these two are unlikely to stay together.

As for Vivant and Lyriel...I think Vivant has more patience than her brother. At the moment they're also both around the same age. He'll humour her, and he's not afraid of being spurned if he finds her amusing - which he will. The two of them would work well together - since both have a fairly loose view on deceit, both are reasonably clever and efficient, and both have an eccentric streak. Actually I think the two of them would have a lot of fun together, but I still think, for some reason, that at the end Vivant will reveal much less about himself than he learns about Lyriel.

4. Your team is 3, 4 & 9. The mission consists of a social challenge, a mental challenge and a physical challenge. Which team member do you assign to each challenge?

Solen, Kamaeh and Giras...What exactly is a social challenge anyway? I think any of them would do as well as each other for social. They all have their different strengths and flaws. Giras is well-cultured, but too thin-skinned/honest to maneouvre out of sticky situations. Kamaeh has a naturally bubbly personality that makes him likeable but he's naive. Solen is mild-tempered and cautious with strangers, so maybe he's ideal here.

As for of these people are very smart =/ I'd go for Giras, since he seems to have gone through the highest level of schooling out of the three....LOL!!

Kamaeh for physical. He's nimble and fast at least.

5. 7 becomes 1's boss for a week in some plausible fashion. How's their working relationship?

Rowan becomes Vivant's boss??? HAHAHAHA. Umm. If it was anyone else I think the relationship would've overturned within about an hour, but Vivant will probably amuse himself by staying under Rowan's command and wheedling him. Oh, he'll do it gently of course, he's not one to antagonise people who haven't provoked him, but he'll probably end up giving his own orders THROUGH Rowan.

6. 2 finds him/her/itself inserted into 6's continuity. As far as anyone other than 2 or 6 is concerned, they've always been there. What role would 2 be presumed to have had in 6's story, and could they fit in without going wonky?

Vivrael in Hinkan's story? Hmmmmmmmm...........Cousin? Well, of course they can still have the same personalities, but one of their stories have to change, all things considered! I think Vivrael would be really fond of Hinkan as a younger sister-type role, and the two would probably be closer than he is with Lyriel - generally because Hinkan's less...spiky?

7. 3 and 5 get three wishes. The catch is that they have to agree on all three wishes before they get the benefits of any of them. What three wishes would they make?

Solen and Sigmund? Errrr....I don't know if either of them are the type to count on wishes. They probably want to achieve happiness by their own hands. Still, Sigmund would probably insist that Solen's illness be completely and irrevocably cured, which Solen will be talked into. Maybe they can wish the Spirited away and end the story prematurely =D

8. 1 and 2 are brainwashed by a one-time artifact that works even on people immune to mind control to attack and kill 4. They keep their normal personality, skills and competence level, except any Code vs. Killing has been turned off. Can 4 survive? How?

Vivant AND Vivrael against Kamaeh?!?!?!

I'm sorry Kamaeh, you...are...sooooo....DEAD. Vivant and Vivrael would make a lethal team, even if they're NOT directly working together - they can easily wear out their opponent just by alternating attacks. The only people (on list) who would stand any chance are Hinkan and Lyriel, and that's only if they're willing to kill these two first.

9. 6, 7, 9 & 10 must help an orphanage full of small and depressed children have a merry Christmas. Who does what, knowing that at the very least the kids will be expecting a visit from Santa?

Hinkan, Rowan, Giras and Ruelli...Hmm. None of them are natural with children. Rowan will probably be forced into a reindeer suit. Ruelli would make nice food. Giras would be the weary babysitter and make sure no one kills themselves. Hinkan might do a few magic tricks or play her music if she's in the mood. A very serene but boring party. Meh.

10. 3 and 8 are challenged to circumnavigate the Earth in eighty days or less, using only forms of transportation invented before 1900. Can they do it, or will they be fatally distracted by sidequests or their own personality conflicts?

Solen and Lyriel? Awww, they'll love it together. Lyriel is at her most tender around Solen, and he returns it with his own natural mildness. Since they're both no-nonsense people, I think they'll get things done......and besides, Lyriel has her useful telekinesis/teleportation if anything goes awry XD

I thought I'd post some of my pictures (especially those related to character design and writing) here so that this place has more life and variety.

So this picture goes with the common representation of The Magician: wearing a cloak and with the four "elements" before him (some of them only visible in the full picture) - a wand, a cup, coins (they're on the chain that fastens his cloak) and a sword - "signifying the control over elements". Not that Vivrael has any control over these elements apart from his "conjuration" skill.

The other stuff are just common magician props - bunny out of top hat (impossibility), and dice and cards (probability). I know this is a trivial detail, but the only card he's holding face-up is the Joker, which is a derivate of "The Fool". In one version of Tarot interpretation I've read, the Major Arcana is presented as a chronicle of the Fool's journey - and he meets the other cards, the Magician, the Emperor, the Hanged Man and so on, and learns lessons of life from them.

But that's not really related here. Vivant never meets Vivrael except possibly in one very bizarre trouser of time when Vivrael walks through the Bermuda Triangle and gets thrown into Vivant's world, where he becomes a professional swindler by lack of choice.

But why Vivrael as "The Magician" and not Vivant? - When Vivant is the one who has the broadest (and most powerful) range of magic, when he's just as much of a coy trickster, and he probably projects more illusions about himself than Vivrael does?

I guess it was because he suited "The Fool" much more aptly. A nameless man with no ties to home or family, with all his worldly possessions slung over his back in one small bag, and welcoming the world's challenges - always with that faint smile of both optimism and mistrust. Unlike Vivrael, the world's perceptions no longer matter to Vivant, and for many years he is allowed to simply be "no one".

I might talk about "The Fool" card more when/if I ever get to draw Vivant.

But for "The Magician", the card describes Vivrael well - intelligent and articulate, self-confident and possesses many practical skills. On the reverse, there is lack of confidence, indecision and hesitation, and strengths being used for dishonesty. I think the lack of confidence and hesitation is something he only allows Solen to see. I never managed to get up to writing about that part, but Vivrael falters when he knows Solen isn't behind his back.

I think...though these qualities apply to Vivant as well, he doesn't quite have the same aggressive self-belief, nor the same irresponsibility that leads to using his skills for petty wants.

Just about Vivrael in the picture: maybe his face really isn't as pretty as Sigmund's, but I think his charisma matches Sigmund's. Perhaps the archetypal "bad boy" appeal - the tousled hair, the unfastened shirt, the askew cloak - and an expression that is both smile and a smirk, saying "Throw at me whatever you have, I'm ready."

Maybe that's where their difference lies. Vivant's smile would also be unswayable in his confidence, but it was not one that invited fights.


Hidden Haven

September 2013

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