Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Bit Of Writing

I have been inwardly debating whether to post some of my own writing or not. The major issue is that I hardly have enough suitable material to show y'all. I should be doing writing right now, for instance, to see if I can't change that.
Oh, hey, by the way, se trata de Hannah. It's me again. Been busy, busy, busy during the holidays, but we're back. So there oughta be more posts in the next few... whiles... 'cause we're planning on starting to schedule posts to, well, post themselves on a normal basis. Semi-normal. Maybe.
But for the meantime, I'm looking through my files for suitable, at-least-slightly-interesting text that I might be able to put on here.

Also, there's a tiny itty-bitty problem. The story I'm writing actually has my real-life friend as the star, and I don't think it would a wonderfully brilliant idea to go writing about her life, real or fantasy, on the Internet, so if I put anything on here, it will probably have to be edited quite a bit.

But.............. for the mean-time, again, because I realize I've already said that, I'll put this tiny thing on here, and you can tell me what you think if you like (you too, Trinity, since you don't usually get to read this stuff, though you've frequently attacked my files with intent to devour).

Now, for explanity-stuff (explanatory whatevers - I am currently having grammar problems), this thing here is a dream the main character is having. It might be a bit dramatic, but seriously, I'd like some honest constructive criticism.

*WARNING* The following text has not been thoroughly edited. Spelling, grammar, and storyline mistakes may occur. You may alert the writer to the last two of these if you wish (she can handle her own spelling mistakes, though apparently she has some trouble spelling 'own'). For the moment, please excuse her clumsy retardedness.

The sound of metal crashing was deafening. It echoed across the valley, and for those who knew what it meant, their breathing was stilled. Thousands of armored boots were treading across a field, on the path to obliteration.
Half a mile away, on a cliff side, a woman in chain mail tied back her hair to ensure that it wouldn‘t hinder her in the ensuing battle.
“They’re on the move,” she whispered to her companion. Her silver winged helmet reflected the moonlight.
Her companion nodded and removed his cloak. His double knives slipped from their sheathes without a sound.
The pinpricks of flame that were the army’s torches bobbed in the distance, indicating the enemy’s position. The warriors on the cliff side watched in dreadful anticipation.
The woman laid a hand on the arm of the man beside her, getting his attention again. He flinched at her touch.
“High-strung?” she guessed, withdrawing her hand.
He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. “Aren’t we all?” he said in a low voice.
She gave him a worried look. “Do you think we’ll be able to win this?”
The man tossed one of his knives into the air and let if flip end over end several times before catching it. “I certainly hope so.”
They stood there without talking for several minutes. The woman ran her hand across the hilt of her sword nervously.
“No,” a voice echoed up the side of the cliff. “No! No!!!”
The man and woman exchanged glances in alarm before the voice shrieked, “It’s a trick! They’re here! They’re ” and then the voice was cut off suddenly. Sounds of battle reverberated from the ground below.
Simultaneously, the two warriors sprinted to the edge of the cliff. “They’re still a long way off!” the woman shouted over the noise. “How can this ?”
An enormous fireball exploded from below the cliff. The flames stretched up to the sky, bleaching the plains orange with it’s light.
In the precious seconds of illumination, the defenders on the cliff saw hundreds of warriors just beneath the rock edge. Their swords and armor were painted black, as to reflect as little light as possible, but blood dripped from their blades.
“No,” the woman whispered in horror. “A trap.”
The scene was obliterated, blinding white light eclipsing it. A deep, ringing voice proclaimed:
“The white one shall be beyond your reach. The angel shall be lost.”
(Sorry, I couldn't resist)

Remember, this is a dream. It will be a bit important later in the story.  I'll see if I can put some more on later, if you like. But for now, I'm wrapping this up. I have decided... drastically......
NOT to schedule this post! HA HA HA HA!

Yes, I take pleasure in little nutty decisions like that.

By the way, if you haven't noticed, we like comments. A lot. It seems we all love comments here in Writey Happy Land. So if you have something you'd like to say...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

iPod Test

Hello, everyone! Trinity here!
I'm experimenting with posting things through email. If I can get it
to work you may be hearing from me more frequently since I'll be able
to post from my new iPod!

Sé onr sverdar sitja hvass!
-Trinity

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Character Group Rules - Elves

It's me, again, Hannah.
Trinity has been writing things about how her story works. I thought I'd take a page out of her book and write a bit on the rules concerning Elves, Dragons, and other creatures in my world.

Okay, first of all, to fully understand what I'm going to be writing, you have to have read this post here: http://quillinherquiver.blogspot.com/2012/12/location-post-seventh-dimension-aka.html

Just a little run-through before we start: the elves live in a different dimension than we do. This is a bit hard to explain. It's hard to work out in my own mind, but they don't live in this universe. They don't have the same planets, sun or moon... I haven't quite worked out what the sun and moon are like. I've given their dimension about the same properties as ours, as it's easier without having to worry about the amount of gravity and oxygen and so on.

Now, about the elves, elaborating on the dimension-thing.

One remarkable thing that I've "noticed" is that eye problems are practically non-existent in that dimension, such as near-sightedness, far-sightedness, etc. So if you wear glasses in this dimension, you won't need them in the Seventh Dimension. There are instances, of course, in which someone loses their eye from a stab wound or something. In that case, they can't see on that side. And there is a single example of an elf who was born blind. In fact, she's pretty famous, being the Princess Sundeep. The elves don't really understand what caused her blindness, and she seems to be the only one naturally afflicted by it.

Okay. I'm going to try to make a list of how elves are different from humans.

The most obvious point is that elves have pointed ears. And, as in common legend, they age more slowly, time-wise and appearance-wise.
In my... what do I call it? In my elves' world, they normally live up to 100, maybe 120 years.
Also, their physical appearance bears mentioning. Six feet tall is an average height for elves. Elves are also naturally slender and have, shall we say, pleasing facial features. They can have all type of skin and hair color, and their appearances do differ, but for the most part, they are rather attractive.
Elves are quite agile. Some of them (especially main characters) have seriously Olympic-level skills. It's pretty hard to tell you using words, so let me give you an example:



 Trinity came across this movie today, and we were both very impressed. I kept telling my younger sister, "This is how elves are!"
Then, we went on to imagine, what would happen if there were a giant battle with hundreds of elves? And what if the elves could all do this type of thing? We could imagine them bouncing off each other, knives or swords in hand... they would be incredibly destructive. My sister, Sarah, recalled one of the antagonist groups in my series, a giant breed of snake. She told me that the snakes would definitely be dead within the first few minutes of the battle, and went on to describe the flipping and bouncing and stabbing that the elves would be doing on the snakes from head to tail.
Also, for those of you who have seen Princess Bride, imagine the Man in Black vs. Inigo Montoya dueling scene, but fast-forwarded, and if possible, even more awesome.

Now, do the elves have any special powers?

Besides the extreme agility, elves naturally have super-strength. An average elf can probably lift or move up to three times the weight a human can. They can also move a bit faster, see a bit farther, and their endurance is remarkable.

As for their language, elves' communication primarily uses the languages Elvish and Engling. Engling is the trading language - literally, as eng means 'trade' and ling means 'language'. Engling is basically English, but with a slight Elvish twist. Elvish, in the current time, is almost a lost language. Engling has mostly taken over, though some people still choose to speak the old tongue, and scholars are trying to revive it in Elvish schools.

What else can I say? My elves have a lot of human characteristics. They aren't quite as aloof as other versions, and they're all a bit different. Actually, few have remarkable accents in Eyra. They sound a bit like Americans, for the most part, though they don't use quite as much slang, and some colloquialisms are foreign to them.
There are also big differences between the typical elvish community and the typical human community, not only because of the time difference. The elves live in medieval times, which means no computers, phones, ipods, CDs, movies, guns, etc. No texting teenagers. No movie quotes. No Sherlock or Doctor Who either. Sorry, guys. But have you noticed what a difference modern books and movies have on our society? Elves don't sarcastically call others 'Sherlock' or 'Einstein'. There are no Lord of the Rings quotes, and they have no idea who Harry Potter is.
I have to be conscious of these things while I'm writing. Sometimes it gets kind of difficult, and I find myself referencing when words were invented to make sure that I'm in approximately the right time period.
Also, I think I'm going to have to make my elves invent clocks.

There is probably a lot of other things I could say, but nothing comes to mind at the moment.

It has recently occurred to me that it might be better to post actual pieces of my story instead of talking about it. Or maybe just write. Yes or no? (Not about whether I should write or not. I know the answer to that. Sigh....)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Location Post - The Seventh Dimension (AKA, Dimensions In General)

Hannah.
That's me. I've been trying to think of a more interesting way for us to show who's speaking right off the bat without saying "It's us!" I mean, you can't get very creative with "It's Hannah!" I've tried. Did you know that Hannah is spelled Hannah in almost every language in the world? No, neither did I, until I tried to look up another translation. I could sign my name in Arabic, but that would take too long. I could do Spanish, I guess. "Hola, se trata de hannah, ¿cómo estás, mis amigos?" (Translation: Hello, this is Hannah, how are you, my friends?)

Or maybe we could each pick a signature cat picture.













Naw, that's not me. I'd be more like:




















Anyways, that's what the Internet's about, isn't it? Cat pictures?

So, now that I've sufficiently distracted you, today's post will be a Location Post. It was going to be something different, but I couldn't explain that thing without explaining this thing... so I'm going to say a little bit about dimensions.

I'm not going to explain wormholes, or talk about the dimensions of an object. That would be boring to me, and probably to you. I'm going to attempt to explain how Eyra and it's surrounding countries work, and where they fit into all of this.




The Seventh Dimension
or in specific, an unnamed planet in the Seventh Dimension, on which the majority of the story takes place

I have not had time to go to Ohana Lost-tide for a map of this planet. I'll get one up when possible, but until then you will have to depend on your imaginations.
To begin with, the dimensions (according to me) are linked together. There are several hundred, but only a few important ones. If we say that Earth is dimension #1, then Eyra's dimension is the Seventh, Mor, the prison dimension, is the Sixth, and Bryd, the home of the bird-people, is the Third. Dragon Haven is the Eighth. There are others, naturally (don't think I just forgot about numbers 2, 4, 5, and all the others after 8), but these are the important ones. Currently we are focusing on Eyra's dimension, the Seventh, and Eyra's planet in particular.
But as I was saying, the dimensions are linked together. I'm going to begin a weird analogy, so stick with me.
Imagine our dimension as an island. It's in the middle of the ocean (naturally), and you can't see anything but water beyond the edges of the land. Out in the distance, however, there are other islands with other people that you've never met. Now say that one person on a distant island had a boat. They sail over, carrying the end of a rope. When they get to your island, they set up a zip-line. Then they leave.
Now, you are still on your home island, and you still can't see across the ocean, but if you use the zip-line, you can get across to the other island.
Now let's say that the same person with a boat went around to all the nearby oceans and set up zip-lines, one between your island and their's, another between their island and a second one, and yet another between your island and the said second island. There would be a veritable web of intersecting zip-lines.
Now let's imagine that you couldn't connect directly to one place you wanted to get to. But if you went halfway across one of the zip-lines on your island, you'd intersect with another line. Then, if you could transfer yourself to that line, you could get to the place you wanted to get to. Without a boat, anyone could travel to wherever they wanted to, but without walking or swimming.

Yes, I warned you that it would be a weird analogy. This here was a tiny peek into the way my brain works.



So that's about how the dimensions work. Sometimes there are direct pathways between one dimension and another, like in the case of our dimension and Eyra's. I call these 'color tubes'. Creative, right? But they literally are tubes of swirly color tunnel things. Like this:


And you can walk through these nifty little things to get to another dimension.
Drat, I said I wouldn't talk about wormholes. Okay, it would be more apt to say that a color tube is a pretty-looking wormhole. More on that later.

Now, if you are unable to get into a direct-to-dimension color tube, there are ways to get yourself into a little place I like to call the Void.
It looks like this:
















It's big, and white everywhere. Being in the Void is like being underwater, except you can breathe. It's got the other side effects, though, like sluggish movements, floating hair, and general weightlessness. I'm not sure if you have to blink or not (because, you see, we have discovered that blinking underwater is not necessary, and presumably because the water keeps your eyeballs nice and moist).
There are also holes all over the place. In the Void, not in your eyeballs. These holes are tunnels that lead to hundreds of different dimensions. The Void is practically a dimension central, like the bus station of teleportation. You have to be careful, though, because, once you come close to a portal, it will slowly begin pulling you in, so you must be sure that it's the portal you want.   

But now, going back to the zip-line analogy, imagine that only one person knew where the zip-line was on your island. Or imagine that someone could take your end of the zipline and just move it around.
To get into a color tube, or into the Void, you need a sort of a trigger. Something has to trigger the movement. You can be in the right place, but unless you trigger something, you stay firmly planted on your 'island'.
There are at least three currently known ways of teleporting between dimensions: a 'smoking rock'; a physical portal, like a doorway; or a dragon.
Dragons are the most handy, in my opinion. They can go anywhere. A dragon is practically a dimensional multi-pass. A dragon can enter a color tube, or teleport directly to the Void, or, if they want to get there right now, they can skip the portals and blink directly to the place they want. One of their favorite ways of triggering portals that I've found, is making a fire ring and passing through it. Nifty dragons...
Now, if you happen to not have a dragon, you have a few other options. Find a stable dimension doorway, or find a smoking rock. Neither of them are guaranteed to get you exactly where you want, because they have a default drop-off spot called an 'anchor'. It's like a pre-programmed teleporter. If you touch a smoking rock or go through a portal doorway, you go to a pre-selected location. With smoking rocks, some are programmed to send you into the Void. From there, you can try to find your desired dimension.
Smoking rocks and stable portals are also dangerous. You don't know quite where you'll end up, and there's many a person who accidentally walked into another dimension when they thought they were just walking through a ruined stone doorway.

Okay, I've been going on and on (I've probably been writing for around two hours), and I've hardly breached the subject of Eyra's planet.  


As far as I know, there are three countries on Eyra's planet, as I've said before, in this post: http://quillinherquiver.blogspot.com/2012/12/location-post-eyra.html . The countries are named Eyra (home of the Elves), Ente (home of the Dwarves), and Orphna (home of the medieval Humans). There are other countries, too, I'd wager, but these are the only discovered ones to date.

And, by Jove, I've completely forgotten what else I was going to say. Go figure.

If you have any questions, or you want me to re-explain the concept, or you want to say something about my odd analogies or funny little brain, go ahead and say something, because I'm going to wind down now. There's already another post in the making, talking about the properties of the creatures of my little world.
For now though, dinner is imminent. Stir fry awaits, so I'll "see" you later.

P.S. In the Eyra Location Post, I said that Eyra resided in the Sixth dimension. That will have been changed by now, because as the saying goes, "If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried."

Monday, December 17, 2012

Changelings - The Rules and Guidelines

Trinity here, finally! I've been sick, and that is my excuse for not posting, but I'm getting better, so hopefully more posts are on the way. (Hannah's been doing a marvelous job keeping the blog up-to-date and fabulous in my absence, by the way.)
Recently I've been pondering and reasoning about my changeling characters. I decided to be ambiguous on where exactly they got their powers, at least for now, and just focus on how they work.
So, Rules and Guidelines For Changelings in Trinity's Yet-To-Be-Named World.




1. Changing takes energy and concentration. 
It is very difficult for a changeling to complete a change when tired, running, frightened, distracted, or basically under any sort of duress.

2. Emotions affect the speed of a change.
Depending on the changeling, being happy could speed up the changing process, while being sad could make it take longer.

3. While in changed form the instincts of the true form will be present and must be suppressed in order to perform actions inconsistent to the form's nature.
For example, if a changeling became a cat and had to cross a river, they would have to suppress the cat's distaste for swimming and water in general. A changeling is able to fully distinguish between their own thoughts and the urges of the animal when in a changed form.

4. Every changeling has a Familiar.
A familiar is the animal form they find easiest to change to, easiest to control, and usually matches their personality the closest. Every changeling has a familiar, though sometimes it can take years to discover what creature it is. Each changeling must find their familiar for themselves, as no one else can tell what your familiar is.

5. A changeling's familiar can change over the course of their lifespan.
If you've read or watched Harry Potter, you will be familiar with a "patronus". (That is, a positive energy force that is fully-formed, taking the shape of bright-white, translucent animal. The specific animal forms that corporeal Patronuses take vary from person to person and reflect each individual's personality). Now, you have to have read the books to know that a person's patronus can change based on events that have changed their life. Similarly, a changelings familiar can change, though it's very rare.

6. When a changeling is exhausted, or greatly distracted, they may not be able to complete a change, leaving them stuck in what's called a half-change.
Half-changes are unnatural and unsafe. During this time, a changeling is unable to clearly distinguish between their human thoughts and the animal's urges and instincts. It effectively scrambles the human and animal "brains". It will also affect mobility as neither "brain" is used to the blended proportions, though theoretically this could be overcome with practice, it's highly discouraged and deeply frowned upon.
There are several ways to recover from a half-change. If distracted, resume your concentration and complete the change. If exhausted, rest and/or eat and then complete the change as soon as you possibly can. There are herbs that can help complete a change, but they're difficult to find.
In general, accidental half-changes are harmless, but there is at least one recorded incident when a woman who remained in a half-change for over a month eventually went insane.

7. A half-change from one animal to another is the most dangerous of all.
This is because you now have three different "brains" vying for control, thought still only two sets of proportions. If a changeling has any doubt at all that they will not be able to complete the change from one form to another, they should not attempt it.

8. Any injuries a changeling sustains will translate over to another form as anatomically closely as possible.
For example, if a changeling was in cat form and lost their tail, say, because it got shut in a door, when they changed back, their human form would likely have a gaping wound on their lower back.

9. Each changeling has their own size limit concerning changes.
This limit can be stretched/pushed with practice. For instance, when a changeling first begins to change, they may only be able to change into an animal the size of a mouse, but can work up to chicken, then a cat, then a dog, then a goat, and so on and so forth.
Some changelings who have larger familiars may have more trouble discovering them, as they first have to reach the size group of their familiar. For this reason also, some changelings never find their familiar.

10. Every change a changeling makes leaves it's mark on the changeling.
An example would be, that if a changelings last change was a snake, their movements may tend to zig-zag a little, they may be a little more slender, their hair color may change depending on the species of snake, and they may tend toward using words with more hissing noises.
Usually the effects fade the longer a changeling is in their human (natural) form. However, the longer a changeling spends in a specific form, the more permanent the effects from that form become.

And that's all I have for now in the way of my changeling rules and whatnot. If I think of anything else, I may do another post on it, but then again, I may not. We'll see.
Also, I do plan to put more Tribes of the Earth up, but it might be a little while since I need to edit it, and Christmas is coming up, and all that good stuff. So, yeah. I'm procrastinating. I also have a character post in the works, and that'll probably be my next post.
Anyhow, it's getting late and I must be off!

Sé onr sverdar sitja hvass! 
~ Trinity 



Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bingo the Blog Post

It's Hannah. This is post #5 in a row. I shall dominate this blog, just you wait and see!

Well, maybe not. See, I'm back to not knowing what to write. I have had a few ideas, but I've already done two Character posts and a Location post, so I was thinking that I should do something else.

Recently I've been working on my main story, Darby's Quest. And I've been thinking about villains. Now, I know that villains are a large point of controversy. Some people hate them (though I don't think I've met someone who does yet). Most people I've met love one form of villain or another.

To me, there are several types of characters, at least in fantasy or adventure novels. There's the hero type, the relatable hero, the anti-hero, the secondary villain, and the villain. There's some more in there too, like the relatable hero's friends, the creepy good guy, the grumpy or stern mentor, and the slightly insane person.

The hero is the one's who's always noble, like Superman and Captain America, Jason from Heroes of Olympus, and Horace from Ranger's Apprentice, for those of you that have read those last two series. They're the one's who always do the right thing, they're the knights in shining armor. Some of these are a bit overdone. They're perfect and invincible. I find these characters a little boring, mostly the Superman type. Superman is boring to me because he's so perfect. You can't kill him unless you get a really rare extraterrestrial rock and shine it at him. He's got swirly perfect hair, and he can do anything from saving a plane and breaking through walls to save the orphans, to welding the moon together with his heat vision (seriously). Not a very complicated character.
Though you can still do the hero thing without making them perfect.  Such as in the cases of Captain America and Horace. They're moral and heroic, but they still have problems and insecurity.

The relatable hero is one of my favorites. Spider-Man, Percy Jackson, Will (Ranger's Apprentice), Po (Kung Fu Panda), and Harry Potter. These are guys who were normal, or thought they were normal, when suddenly something bizarre happened to them. For example, a radioactive spider bit him, a giant chased his adoptive family down and told him he was a wizard, etc.

Then there's my other favorite: the anti-hero. I love these guys to death. Han Solo, Flynn Rider, Artemis Fowl,  Severus Snape, and, it could be argued, Batman. I think that Iron Man belongs in here too. These are the guys who either were bad, and turned good, or are good with bad qualities. They are often snarky and sarcastic, the dashing hero/villain. I don't know anyone who doesn't like them.

Secondary villain: you know them. Draco Malfoy,  Clarisse La Rue (Percy Jackson), Wormtongue, Denethor... basically the bully, the mean one, the one that the hero just doesn't like. Not the major bad guy, but one of the ones you aren't supposed to like. Sometimes you end up feeling sorry for them, or even liking them, but they aren't the same as the anti-hero. Sometimes you really hate them. Like Denethor.

Then there's the villain. They're the ones I wanted to talk about. There are, you know, many many many different kinds. Some people love the villain, some people hate their guts.                                                  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Which type of villain do you like the best?

The big, bad power-hungry dictator (Hitler type: Sauron, the White Witch, Voldemort and Darkseid)
The unexpected bad guy (like most Harry Potter bad guys)
The fun-loving insane guy (Moriarty, the Joker...)
The one who thinks they serve a good cause (no example on hand...)
The convincing, greater good guy (Galbatorix, Chancellor Palpatine)
The deceived one (Darth Vader?)
The angry/upset revenge/jealousy one (Loki, Tai Lung)
The one who's trying to get back to power (Gaia, Shen, Voldemort)
Other?

I'm not sure I've sorted these in the most convenient manner. Many villains could fit into different categories. And it could be that this whole time, I've just babbled on and on about ridiculous boring things and going 'round in circles conversationally. And I hope I didn't give you any spoilers, or insult your favorite superhero/character. Unless you like Denethor, cause that's just wrong. But I am looking for opinions.

Per-son-ally, my favorite villain is the unexpected one. They're so much fun. It could be like a fantasy/adventure thing, but it also has a mystery! I love being surprised.

So anyway, we've been sick around our house, so we haven't been able to get much up on here. I just thought something needed to be written, so there you have it: Bingo the Blog Post.
I can never think of a good name for these things...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Location Post - Eyra

A Location Post, the first of it's kind.
Sorry, it's Hannah. Hi. It's also my second post today, but the other one was short, so, oh well.
So, anyway, a Location Post. It's like a Character Post, but describing a fictional Location in any of our books, such as a country in general, or maybe something more specific, like a camp, a town, or a village.

Eyra
(Ai-rah)
Known as the home of the elves
Resides in the Seventh dimension

Now, Eyra is basically a medieval country, so as you can imagine, helicopters aren't very common. So I haven't been able to get a good picture of the entire landscape, though I'm working on it.  For now, you'll have to settle for a map that some kind elf sketched out for me. She told me to please realize that not everything is to scale, and this is only a section of the northwest coast. However, that is the part we'll be using most is the northwest coast, so it ought to work.
I've made it large scale so that you can see it better:


This map has a lot of history.
 
Silennoe Palace
The Silennoe [SYE-len-nomountain range, for instance, has been the long-time home of royalty. The castle (wittily named Silennoe Palace) is in the foothills, on the actual Mt. Silennoe. This mountain is not the tallest of the mountain range, since life on an elvish Mt. Kilimanjaro would be pretty difficult, even if you're an elf. If not for the altitude, the cold, and the thin oxygen, there would be the journey up and down the steep slope, made worse by the fact that there is snow everywhere.
Silennoe Palace is rather like a community. Although the currently-reigning monarchs do reside there, there is also several hundred servants and soldiers. Soldiers' families are also welcome to stay, which adds to the head count by a large quantity.


Darkvale - your typical enter-at-your-own-peril forest. Every good fantasy story needs one. Though a path has been cleared through the woods to the peninsula on the other side, it is still not advised for travellers to take a shortcut through the, excuse the overused dramatic description, treacherous woods. You see, there's a terrible infestation of snakes in the forest. Not like a big pit of snakes, or knots of vipers scattered all along the path. And no, the ground is not just one heaving mass of serpents. Actually, the snakes average ten to fifteen feet tall, and are around seven feet in circumference. They are big (understatement) and lethal, and Darkvale is their favorite breeding ground. 
It is highly recommended for any visitors to instead go around Darkvale, following a path along the ocean, in order to get to the peninsula, if they really want to get there that badly. Really, the peninsula is just a small, inhospitable, rocky, deserted chunk of land that's about forty feet long or so.
In the experience of those of us who have ignored the warning, the journey through Darkvale on horseback will take two to three days, allowing for night stops, and assuming you don't have to backtrack or escape very large serpents.


A lot more cheerful in comparison to Darkvale.

Merewoods: this area is unlabeled, but if you look at the area around Darkvale, you'll see a bunch little things that look like tents. I'll get to those in a minute. Around the tents, in a cresent shape, is a bunch of woods, thinner than the rest of Darkvale. This is the Merewoods. 
It's a lot more cheerful in comparison to Darkvale.
Also, the wide clearing between Merewoods and Darkvale is a common campground for Aiken's Gang (which explains the tents).

Aesselve and Faeles: The sea to the left and the ocean to the right, respectively (provided I haven't mixed up my lefts and rights again). I have no picture of these, besides the map.
Across the Aesselve sea, you may find a country called Ente, the land of the dwarves. But that's another long, long story, another book actually, so wait on that one. There have been no new countries or major continents discovered in the Faeles Ocean to date. If there are, I'll let you know. 

Now onto the two major cities in the northwest coast, apart from Silennoe...

Undunah: a well-off city, in which resides several lords, ladies, and other well-known elvish "celebrities". It was one of the first cities settled in upper Eyra. It has a fortress that has been built in case of an attack against Undunah, in the event of which the citizens of the city will have a place in which to barricade themselves.

Timarae: this city is not as posh as Undunah. It's a bit more rural, and there are fewer famous or important elves that reside there. Timarae is a bit like Bree from Lord of the Rings. The building are small, slap-together shacks, and the fortress and outer wall are less durable than Undunah's. However, that doesn't make it any worse of a city. Several good elves have come out of Timarae. It was Aiken's hometown, for example, and Lina was raised there for a time.


Silola River. It's a river. There isn't much of a history on Silola, though I'll see what I can find.

The Armoury: an armory is a building specially used to house weapons and armor of different kinds. This armory is a favorite place of Lina's, for sentimental reasons, among others. This was the place she got her first real sword. I'm getting a bit tired of saying it, but that's a long story too. Suffice it to say that The Armoury is an iconic place for my characters.

I may have to make another post later concerning all of these things, making information updates, and adding anything I may have missed. Please remember that I know next to nothing about geography, and for all I know the map could be incorrect and it's actually impossible for a mountian range to be next to a beach. I suppose for now I'll just trust the artist and say that this is how things look in upper Eyra. All this information has been collected from various sources around Eyra, and I assume that the information is reliable.



Left-over little tidbits of minor interest:
*The current rulers of Eyra are King Aleron and Queen Cyra. Their children are Prince Laserian, Princess Adhara, Princess Sundeep, Princess Nyree, and Princess Fern. 
*Above Ente, to the left of Eyra, is a country called Orphna, in which live humans in medieval times. Some of these humans are unaware of the existence of an elvish country.
*Aesselve and Faeles can be unscrambled to read elves sea and elf sea respectively.
*The name of the elf artist who drew this map can be translated as Ohana Lost-tide.


Feedback is welcome. If you would like to know more about Eyra, or an elvish city in particular, just leave a comment. If you would like to tell me that this was just way too long and boring... well, I guess I can take it, so, again, go ahead and say something.

And to Trinity: Four posts in a row! Booyah!

12/12/12

I have programmed this to be posted right on 12/12/12 at 12:12 PM.
It's just something that I thought was special because of this:

So it's kind of special.
That's all. Hannah signing off!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Character Post - Aiken Timhamér

Hannah!
Character Posts are fun! So I'm doing another one. I was going to do one on Armen (my favorite bloke in the whole series). But I'm not, yet, saving the best for... later. For now I'm going to do... Aiken!



Aiken Timhamér
I don't know how his name is actually pronounced, so I just call him
(Ay-kin Tim-ham-mur)
Elf, Leader of 'Aiken's Gang'



At a desk in the center of the large tent, sat a dark-skinned, dark-haired elf intently studying a map.
Standing, Aiken was taller than Lina and even taller than Falk, who was over six feet tall.

That was my original description of Aiken, though my idea of him has changed over time. I can't find a perfect picture of him, one of those where I can look at it and go, "Hey, that's Aiken!" If I find one, I'll let you know. But for now, of all the pictures I can find that remind me of his character, this is his basic description.

Aiken was tall and fit, with tanned skin and a half-amused expression on his face at all times. His hair was a dark brown, cut short at the sides and longer on top, giving him a careless rugged look.




Kind of like this. In appearance, and maybe in personality.
Aiken was a strange character to write. He started out as a serious, abrupt elf. He wasn't a very nice man. But as time went on (outside of the story timeline) he slowly became a stern but cheerful, likeable guy, a big brother-type that everyone wants to be around.

Inversely, there was another amiable, friendly minor character who gradually became the living rock, flinty and grumpy all the time, but he's another story.

Aiken is the leader of a travelling group, informally called "Aiken's Gang".
Aiken's Gang is hard to explain. Basically, they're... a volunteer medieval-time police vigilante Robin Hood's Merry Men group who travel around Eyra (the land of the elves) to protect the innocent and bring justice to evil-doers. A little different, though.
I know, it sounds like your run-of-the-mill vigilante group. I'm trying to give it a distinction from the other bands.
Okay, here's the deal. Aiken has no real family. When he was a teenager, he came home to see the bodies of his brutally murdered parents, along with blood trails leading out of the house. His older brother and twin sister were completely gone. The authorities of the city at the time ordered searches for Aiken's siblings and for the murders, but nothing turned up.
Over the years, he met several others who had been through similar tragedies. They were all of the same mind - they all wanted to prevent others from going through that sort of misfortune. Currently there are twelve "members" in the Gang, including Blessing Laliso, Ciaran Kagan, and Eitan Haroun. Lina and the aforementioned Armen have been friends of Aiken, since before the murders of his family, and are informal members of the gang.

Concerning Aiken's personality.
Aiken is a leader at heart. He is serious, but not bad-tempered. He feels an urge to be responsible for and protective of those in his close circle. On occasion he can also be a bit silly and juvenile, showing a sense of humor that is lacking in some of the others. Sarcasm is not unheard of around him, and he may find the need to laugh at very inopportune times, but when his surrogate family is threatened, he will drop all frivolities to defend them.

Aiken's weapon of choice is a broadsword. He has not been as well-trained as Lina, but he can be very destructive and dangerous if he chooses.

Time to stop so I can get ready for bed. Hope you enjoyed it! Please realize that I am still learning about these characters, they aren't crystal clear to me yet. These character posts are really helping.



Monday, December 10, 2012

Character Post - Lina Aylward

It's Hannah.
In looking over the blog, I have discovered that I blog very infrequently compared to my sister. She has, oh, 12 posts, while I have a third of that.
(Which is 4, in case you didn't care to do that math).
Anyway, I am in the obvious minority, so I'm going to try to do more over the next couple... weeks? And hope that I don't just seem like a creep... like the creep I am, I guess.

This one is done under the impression that I'm allowed to do a character post, which kind of seems like Trinity's thing. Since I'm copying her, I can put a proper name on this post. I had been wrestling between the names "Jill" and "Bocephus" (maybe that's supposed to be Bucephalus?).

Lina Aylward
(Lee-nah Ayul-wurd)
Swordswoman, Elf, Warrior



I don't like the description I gave her in my first book, so here's "off the cuff".

No, just kidding, I just found out that I can't do proper "off the cuff", so I'm going to find a description somewhere in my files.

Ooohhh-kay, I have no good descriptions in my files, so back to off the cuff. I don't even know if I'm using that term correctly, but I hope you know what I mean, so here we go.


Lina has long, curly, red hair, which is her most remarkable trait. Her eyes are a vivid forest green, and her skin is light and clear. She's taller than most elves, and she stands with a straight and ready stance. She's hot-tempered, but usually cheerful.
Lina is also an accomplished swordsmaster and is often seen with a longsword in hand.


Lina... was kind of an accident. In my first book, there was this part in which I thought, oh, I need a character here.
Plop, there's Lina. No background, no last name. She was kinda disturbing and strange because you knew absolutely nothing about her and at the end of the book (a few pages after) you still knew next to nothing. She just showed up, did some strange things, then wasn't heard from again.

This is the first description that I wasn't going to put on here.
(Lina's) head was covered in long, bright red hair, she had pointed ears that stuck out slightly, and a skeptical expression on her face.

You see, she appeared first as a random swordswoman that my friend (the main character) was introduced to. She seemed serious, practical, and pretty perceptive, but she didn't really have a personality apart from that. She was only my second made-up character in the whole book.
After that book, I decided to write a sequel. I didn't want to trash the old characters and start over with new ones, but I did know that they definitely need something else. Like last names, personalities, backgrounds, and actual lives.

Lina is a athletic swordswoman, which means she has spent a lot of time training. More than a decade, in fact. Currently she's 38 years old (pretty young) and she's been training since around age nine with her soldier father, and with legend Ptera Aretino, the elf who practically created the 'modern' elvish self-defense.
Now, elves are much stronger and faster than humans, so their form of fighting is different. Much more elegant and graceful, but also much more violent. Lina, for instance, in good form, could easily leap over an enemy's head, twist over in mid-air, and take off their head before landing, provided the enemy was not another well-trained elf. In that case, it could get very dangerous and bloody.

Lina is also a teacher. She enjoys instructing others, primarily the main character, in the skill she loves so much, though her personality can cause her to get frustrated or carried away when the student does not learn in the way Lina wants them to. It would probably be accurate to say that Lina desires control. She wants things to be correct, and to be going her way, and can get angry or upset when something unexpected or beyond her control occurs. 
She's a little like my sister (sorry, Trinity), in that she can be easily annoyed. There's something about her that lets her friends easily push her buttons. Lina's also a hot-head, quick to snap at someone or lash out when they make her mad. Patience is a necessary trait in her friends.

Anatomy of a longsword (Lina's weapon of choice)
 Then there are Lina's weaknesses. One of them is her tendency towards emotion, unfortunately coupled with her wish to not show weakness. She can be easily angered or hurt, but she'll just brush people off when they try to talk to her.
Another weakness is her archery. No matter how good she is with a blade, she can't shoot a bow to save her life. Also, her cooking is notoriously bad. Her friends are encouraging, but politely tell her that she either needs lessons, or that eventually she must marry someone who cooks for themself.

It's time for me to wind this up, but I enjoyed writing this, and it has helped me to know a little about Lina that I didn't know before. For instance, I think I may have subconciously based her off of Trinity... I'll be generous and say that Trinity inspired just the good parts. Her archery is actually pretty good.




Tribes Of The Earth - Part Two

It's taken me a little while to get this one up since I'm still figuring out my editing workflow without Scrivener. I didn't realize I'd miss it so much. I need to consider buying it. 
Also there was a short section that just needed rewriting, and I procrastinated on that. But I think I've got it fixed so it flows better and shows more of that character's nature.
Anyway, here it is, Part Two: 

http://visualnotebook.tumblr.com/post/790845657

Kazimir Camp


      Deidre ran for an hour and a half before she stopped for a rest. She had just crested a hill overlooking an empty valley.
      Not quite empty. She corrected herself. A small cabin sat at the base of the hill, a touch of faint smoke rising from the chimney, evidence of a dying fire.
      No one would settle here unless they had a water source. Stretching her arms over her head, she breathed deeply. Favor is gained with a gift. All I’ve got is this scraggly squirrel.
      With a heavy sigh, she sat down and began to think. She was in no condition to hunt a wolf right this moment, and setting a snare for a deer would take too long, and had no certain outcome.          Unstoppering the waterskin, she took a healthy swig, then swished it around, listening carefully to judge the amount left. She heard water. Not just the water in the skin, but actual running water.
Her hopes soared, but she quickly pushed them down. Just because there was water didn’t mean it was safe to drink. Putting the skin back over her head, she stood and listened, turning slowly to divine the direction of the sound.
      As she started forward, something checked her. If this turns out to be a false lead, I lose valuable time and energy. The safest bet is to keep going.
      Well, then! Are you coming down or aren’t you?” A voice called out, startling her.
      Deidre whirled around, staff ready. A wave of annoyance passed through her. This was the second time today someone had been within earshot and seen her first. She had to pay closer attention.
      At the door of the cabin stood a man holding a lantern up in one hand and clutching a sword in the other.
      Come down here, mister, or I’m coming up after you!” He added sternly.
      Deidre realized that the moon was at her back, rendering her a silhouette to the man. Using her staff to steady herself on the steep slope, she made her way down.
      Once she had come within the circle of light, he hastily corrected himself. “Oh, ‘scuse me, ma’am. Just tryin’ to be careful.”
      Very wise of you.” Deidre said, gracing him with a smile. “I was just passing through.”
      As she spoke, he studied her carefully. She had dark hair that was lightly streaked with gray, which seemed out of place around her youthful face. Her clothing was rough and sturdy, but skillfully cut, and she handled her heavy staff with practiced ease.
      Most night travelers I get are more trouble than they’re worth.” He adjusted his grip on the sword as he spoke.
      I was left no choice.” She explained. “Earlier I was delayed by an attack. My water supplies are running low and I was heading for the next source I knew of when I happened upon your valley.”
      You’re wanting water, then?”
      Yes, sir.” Deidre retrieved the squirrel from her belt. “I have this to exchange.”
      The man eyed it. “Kinda scrawny.”
      She sighed. “I know. But if you’ll let me sleep here for a few hours, I’ll hunt for you at first light.”
      Now he eyed her. “Oh, will you? And what will you bring back?”
      A wolf.” She promised. “A wolf with a healthy pelt.”
      The man laughed, sheathed his sword and offered his hand. “Rath, son of John.”
      She took it, but did not give her own name.
      Well, come in,” He stepped aside to let her enter. “We’ll cook that squirrel of yours for a snack, and tomorrow, after you’ve gotten me a wolf, I’ll fill your waterskin and give you another besides!”
      She stiffened at his familiar and commanding tone, and didn’t move towards the doorway. “I’ll sleep out here, and make a fire with your permission.”
      He frowned, then finally shrugged. “Eh, suit yourself. Just keep it under control.”
      I will. You have my gratitude.” Deidre turned and walked away.
      Kneeling at the far end of the valley, she unstrapped everything from her back and rolled her shoulders in relief. As she organized her sleeping bag and her pack, she noticed that Rath was still watching her. It made her uneasy.
      She decided against building a fire and set the squirrel to the side, a plan for it slowly forming in her mind.
      After unhooking the cape and cowl wrapped around her shoulders, she began to untie the bandages wrapped around her arm. She grit her teeth as the dried blood tore away from the tender skin. Even in the faint lantern and moonlight, she could see that it wasn’t faring well. Opening the waterskin she used half of the remaining contents to flush the wound clean and rinse out the cloths. Then she retied them, glancing at the cabin as she did so. Rath was still watching her from the window.
      Sitting down cross-legged, back straight, she faced the cabin, staring back at him. After only a few moments, he left the window and then lantern went out. With a smile, she laid down, still facing the cabin, and soon fell asleep.
      The sun’s rays were just beginning to think about reaching up to touch the horizon when Deidre opened her eyes. It took her a moment to get her bearings, but once she realized where she was, she got up quickly. She had a wolf to hunt.


      Several miles away, a large camp was woken by a large brass gong. Two long lines of tents were filled with the moaning and groaning of men as they rolled off their cots and dressed quickly. They lined up quickly, glancing down to the end of the row. There sat a tent so large, it was really more of a draped pavilion. A man stepped out of it just as the last stragglers jumped into line. He was tall, and heavily muscled. His face was rough and weathered, but surprisingly pale. However, it was his attire that attracted your attention first. His jerkin, leggings and boots were darkest black, but his belt and scabbard, which was not empty, were purest white. Over all these he wore a long, finely tailored coat, red as blood on the outside and as white as his belt on the inside. Finally, those who dared, or were allowed to approach him were drawn to the fact that his hair was an unnatural white and his stunningly green eyes were always completely bloodshot. All in all, he cut a commanding, if not terrifying figure.
      He let his gaze rove over the lines of men, appraising them as harshly as he had the first day they had joined his tribe. One man in particular caught his eye. He walked down the line of men slowly, gaze fixed on the recruit that seemed to offend him. When he stood in front of the recruit, he said nothing, but looked down at him with a mix of disgust and challenge in his eyes. The recruit was trembling slightly, but continued to stare straight ahead as if his commander were not there.
      The commanding man drew back and punched the recruit across the jaw. Or he would have, if the recruit hadn't brought up his forearms to block and absorb the impact. He had to dig his feet in to remain standing, and even then he was driven back nearly a foot by the power in his commanders fist. Then he straightened and stepped back into his place in the line.
      The man nodded, satisfied, then signaled to one of his attendants to begin calling the roll and returned to his oversized tent.
      His name was Haemon, Son of Carl, and he was the Chief of Kazimir Tribe. He walked over the many skins that covered the dirt floor and crouched at a low table. It was covered with more gadgets than you could imagine. Cell phones, mp3 players, headphones, calculators, and car keys. But the prize of Haemon’s collection was a handgun, loaded and fully ready to fire. He had found a box of ammunition near the gun and had carefully figured out how to reload and operate it-mostly by letting some of his men play with it privately. Two of them shot themselves before he finally got any useful information. Already he had used it to rid himself of three would-be chiefs. Picking up a cloth, he polished it lovingly.
      My Lord Haemon!” His attendant burst into the tent.
      Haemon moved fast as a snake, pulling his knife and darting forward to grab the man’s throat and press the knife against it.
      You were not given permission to enter.” He hissed.
      But, my lord,” The attendant gasped, “There’s a man missing.”
      Did you search the tents?”
      Aye, my lord.” Choking, the attendant added, “He’s one of the loners. A tracker, my lord.”
      Haemon released him. “What is his name?”
      The attendant did his best to answer through his coughing fit. “G-gavin, my… my lord.”
      Gavin.” Haemon repeated the name thoughtfully, “Wasn’t he the one I punished for insubordination last week?”
      Aye, my lord, and laziness the week before.”
      He was the scarred one.” Haemon said softly. “I remember him. He was an idiot. Where did he come from?”
      He was one of the Farze, my lord.”
      Was that the last tribe we helped, or the one before that?”
      The attendant cleared his throat surreptitiously, “Farze Tribe was the first tribe we… er, helped.”
      Ah.” Haemon turned, his green and red eyes boring into the attendant, and growled, “I want him found and brought to me.”
      Aye, my lord. How would you like him found?” The attendant had learned long ago not to guess at Haemon’s methods.
      Send a tracker and two fighters after him. I don’t care if he can still see, if he’s in three pieces or they have to break every bone in his body to get him here. All I want is for him to still be alive when they get back!” His voice rose with each sentence. “And tell them that if they aren’t back within a week, we’ll send more men after them.”
      Aye, my lord.” The attendant turned to leave when Haemon added,
      And tell them we won’t be here for longer than two days. Ilismach Tribe and Averill Tribe lie ahead and beyond them is another of the Old Cities.”
      Aye, my lord.”
      Haemon turned back to polishing his gun and grinned savagely. No one left Kazimir Tribe without his permission. Soon the Kazimir would be larger and wealthier than ever. 

And now you've met my villain. Haemon, Son of Carl. He's going to be starring in my next character post. I find him quite interesting as well. I think I'll probably say that for every character, though. Each one is unique and distinct, at least in my own mind. The test of my writing skills will be whether or not I can translate that into the story. I hope I have, but I'd like your opinion. 
As per usual, comments can be left below, and are not only appreciated but anticipated. Seriously, you have no idea how happy I get when someone leaves a comment. It's like a mini-Christmas morning. 

Sé onr sverdar sitja hvass! 
~ Trinity

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Changelings - A forgotten story!

Trinity here!
Yesterday I was on Facebook, and I happened to mouse over my cousin's profile picture and saw that her cover photo was this picture:


Which made me do a little inward happy dance, because I actually started writing a story about that particular picture for my creative writing assignment and I had totally forgotten about it! 
Okay, a bit of an explanation: When I say Creative Writing, I mean the homeschool exercise my mother has us do (though not recently). She collects interesting or odd pictures as she surfs the internet and then emails them to us. Our assignment is to look at it, then spend fifteen minutes writing a story about it, without worrying about spelling or grammar, just write. Kind of like a mini NaNoWriMo. 
Anyway, this is one of the pictures that she sent. So I spent 15 (or thirty) minutes writing about it. I liked it so much I decided to continue it with the next picture she sent, which got pretty hard as the story went on. It lasted for eight CW assignments, then my mom said she was getting tired of it every time and she wanted me to write about something else for the assignments, though I was free and encouraged to keep writing about the other story. 
Naturally, without a deadline or continued inspiration, I dropped it and forgot about it. 
Until now. I collected all eight parts from the depths of my email archives and pieced it together, printed it out, and read it again. 
And hey, what do you know? It's not half bad! It's not even a third bad! It could use a little editing here and there, but it's pretty good. So, I'm being drawn into my old story, trying desperately to remember how I meant things to turn out. 
Anyway, you may be hearing a little more about it soon! I'm going to try to put up a section where we can sum up our different stories so that anyone starting to read them will have a bit of an idea of what's going on, so that's coming as well.
And while we're on the subject, what do y'all think of the redesign? A little more warm, a little more friendly, I think, but what's your opinion? Let me know in the comments!

Sé onr sverdar sitja hvass!
~ Trinity