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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:38 am 
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I like Gale. :D

And I like Vasco, too. This was a good introduction to Vasco, to the Blazing Star, and to the plane that would become known as Vegante. At the time that Orcish wrote this piece, the wheels were already spinning between he and I for what would become "Beneath the Waves," which sadly sees Gale receive something of a reversal of fortune (again), but it's really good to see her so happy here.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:01 am 
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It's another week, and so, as usual, we have another Highlighted M:EMory!

This week, we will be reM:EMbering: "Seven Spineless Angels," by RavenoftheBlack.

"Seven Spineless Angels" was originally posted on January 9th, 2015, and it was voted into the Archive on June 4th, 2015. Set in a remote location on Jakkard known as Rifle Valley, it tells the story of two young lovers, Kyla and Trevo, as their run from the law comes to a tragic end. Cornered in a run-down chapel, the lovers are hiding from the Ridders, the lawmen/bounty hunters of the Waste that made their debut in this story. This story also introduces Sage, a centaur Ridder and master rifleman who has only ever missed a single shot. Sage would return in "Mistakes of the Past" by OrcishLibrarian and RavenoftheBlack.

Enjoy!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:52 am 
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"Seven Spineless Angels" is an interesting story for me. Some writers describe their stories almost like children, and most parents claim that they don't have "favorites" amongst their children, but I find those two statements do not work together. I absolutely have stories of mine that I like better than others, and some that I like less.

The weird thing is that when I think - just think - about this story, I would say it's one that I like less than many of my others. But, when I actually reread this story? I love it. I'm not sure why that disparity is there. It might be the title. I don't hate it, but it's not one of my best titles, between being a pretty heavy-handed reference to the song that inspired it (Seven Spanish Angels, for anyone who doesn't know) and because "Spineless" is such a colloquial word that I don't think it works all that well in a title.

But there's a lot that I love about this story. I love how "Pulp" it turned out, which is fitting for the material, I think. I love the desperation in Kyla, the bitterness in Trevo, and the resignation and sense of hopelessness from Father Drent. I love the other-worldly creepiness of the angels, and the effect of the Ridders (and their creation as a result of this story). And, of course, I love Sage, and the fact that I was able to both give him character and establish him for his run-in with Jackie down the line without actually giving away the McGuffin here.

So yeah, when I read this story, I really like it, and am really pleased with the way it turned out. Hopefully, others are, as well!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:57 am 
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Hello, again! The new week has come, and has brought with it another Highlighted M:EMory!

This week's story is "Louder Than Words," by Tevish Szat.

"Louder Than Words" was originally posted on May 21st, 2014, and voted into the Archive on June 1st, 2014. It is the story of Lia Xin as she attempts to make her way through the dangerous and treacherous Jakkard Waste. Lia Xin, who first appeared in Tevish's "Morgan's Notes: 'Quiet Lia'," is a mute planeswalker who can only communicate through signs, drawings, and pantomimes in a world unfamiliar with her ways. This is, thus far, the only story to feature Lia Xin directly.

Enjoy!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:54 pm 
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I hope we hear more from Lia Xin. Or, well, that is, um, you know what I mean...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:22 pm 
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I hope we hear more from Lia Xin. Or, well, that is, um, you know what I mean...

ZING!


But there's a lot that I love about this story. I love how "Pulp" it turned out, which is fitting for the material, I think. I love the desperation in Kyla, the bitterness in Trevo, and the resignation and sense of hopelessness from Father Drent. I love the other-worldly creepiness of the angels, and the effect of the Ridders (and their creation as a result of this story). And, of course, I love Sage, and the fact that I was able to both give him character and establish him for his run-in with Jackie down the line without actually giving away the McGuffin here.

So yeah, when I read this story, I really like it, and am really pleased with the way it turned out. Hopefully, others are, as well!

Definitely. It will likely come as a surprise to nobody, but I really, really like this one, too. It has that sort of super-staged, slightly-overdone, spaghetti-Western-quality to it which actually makes me like it all the more. It's very nostalgic, in a loving sort of way. And, obviously, I never have an issue with transliterating a song. :D

I can't quite remember how much of the Jackie connection you already had sketched-out when you first wrote this one. I feel like it was a lot? You're usually about 10 moves ahead, so I almost take it for granted, these days.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:37 pm 
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I can't quite remember how much of the Jackie connection you already had sketched-out when you first wrote this one. I feel like it was a lot? You're usually about 10 moves ahead, so I almost take it for granted, these days.

A fair amount, probably, although you and I did a ton of development for "Mistakes of the Past" (all in a PM thread appropriately titled "Some Sage Advice," as I recall).

I can briefly tell that story. Basically, if memory serves, I had Sage's past relationship with Jackie and the significance of his rifle notch worked out, as well as a simple skeleton of the saloon scene between Sage and Jackie. But, because I wrote "Seven Spineless Angels" completely unsolicited and without any knowledge from Orcish, I wanted to leave the door open for other ways to go if there was no interest in the Jackie story. Jackie had, most recently, retired, after all, and there was no guarantee Orcish would go for a story that put her right back into harms way.

Therefore, when I approached Orcish about the collab, I had the basic outline figured out (which we added to a LOT, by the way) so as to hopefully make it as appealing as possible. It was my idea, even at this story, that Jackie and Sage had been in the same gang in the past, but it was Orcish, I think, who thought to make that Jane's troop, and once he did, the entire backstory really sort of fell into place.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:29 am 
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Another Sunday, another Highlighted M:EMory!

This week, we will reM:EMber "Just a Suggestion," by gamma-mage.

"Just a Suggestion" was originally posted on the old boards and was voted into the Archive on January 24th, 2011, as one of the earliest pushes to populate the then-fledgling Archive. Set on the mysterious and little-known plane of Stella, it tells the story of a meeting of kings, one a subjugated High King, Cetasho, and the other a powerful Witch-King, Nduma. This is, currently, the only story in the Achive to feature the plane of Stella.

Enjoy!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:20 am 
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Sunday is here again, and it is time to collect our thoughts with our thoughts on a collection!

Why? Because today's entry is "From the Vault," by Barinellos.

"From the Vault" was originally posted on July 12th, 2014, and was voted into the Archive on August 24th, 2014. This piece serves as an in-universe dossier on eleven powerful artifacts that are kept, as the name suggests, within Maral, Celestial Wright's Vault. The artifacts are described chiefly from the research notes of Raleris, the Lorekeeper, with notes, addendums, and asides sprinkled in from Maral herself. While the primary purpose of this piece is to give information on the artifacts, the interplay between Raleris's notes and Maral's additions to them reveal something about the relationship between the two planeswalkers, something we would see more directly later in Barinellos's "Lady beneath the Mountain."

Enjoy!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:38 am 
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Ah yes, this is one of those sorts of projects that was born out of a glib need to translate something that makes little sense flavorfully into a dedicated project. As the name suggests, it was a work (or series) that capitalized on the concept of the 15 card collector's series.

The idea of the vault alone was probably what drove the selection of artifacts as a type, and once that was decided, the idea of the caretaker followed, though the nature of the collection guided the idea to a pretty central concept quickly. I'm not one to resist resonance either, so I doubled down on the fantasy smith tropes, but it was Maral's other nature that guided the process.

The pathos that eventually settled into her from my own frustrations was the last bit, and I think, while still catering to the tropes, she's a unique person, and no question she has a unique voice. With an irish brogue.

The artifacts themselves came from a dozen different threads I chased down. While some I'm quite pleased with, there are others that I genuinely feel a bit wanting about. As to the number, I always lump in The Sword That Cuts Eternity as one of these, while the plot point of a variation on Godsend (which I had in mind since... a very depressing amount of time before the other story) would make 13.

I know it's supposed to be 15, but it's bloody HARD to do all this in one go!

I'll admit, I've always been somewhat bummed nobody took any of the hooks I tossed out, but I do happen to potentially have something in mind, so... serendipity it should come up now.

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To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:51 am 
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Barinellos wrote:
I'll admit, I've always been somewhat bummed nobody took any of the hooks I tossed out

I have occasionally thought about using one or two of them, but the biggest problem to me is that they are, by the nature of this piece, locked away in a vault. The only one of my characters who could legitimately get to any of them is Antine, who could just accidently 'walk in, but he's already got a powerful artifact, and does not strike me as a collector.

There is, of course, always the possibility of writing a story set in the past that features one of the artifacts, but the options to use pre-existing characters for that are somewhat limited, and I've never gotten enough of a flash of a story I wanted to tell to just do a background piece on one of artifacts.

I do think it would be interesting to see a master thief break into Maral's place, but considering the security of that place, it seems unlikely, and anyway, the Black Vault seems a stronger story hook for the poor unfortunate home invader.

Barinellos wrote:
As to the number, I always lump in The Sword That Cuts Eternity as one of these,

Interesting. Is that just in the sense of "powerful artifacts" you've created, or does Maral actually currently have the Sword?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:32 pm 
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There is, of course, always the possibility of writing a story set in the past that features one of the artifacts, but the options to use pre-existing characters for that are somewhat limited, and I've never gotten enough of a flash of a story I wanted to tell to just do a background piece on one of artifacts.

True and True.

I have occasionally thought about using one or two of them, but the biggest problem to me is that they are, by the nature of this piece, locked away in a vault. The only one of my characters who could legitimately get to any of them is Antine, who could just accidently 'walk in, but he's already got a powerful artifact, and does not strike me as a collector.
Now that isn't true. Or at least not entirely.
Given the way things have been set up here, it's possible some of these artifacts could escape. Mind you, I meant escape. Since these are... semi-living beings, I've always intended for the possibility that they have more going on than what they appear to be.

I do think it would be interesting to see a master thief break into Maral's place, but considering the security of that place, it seems unlikely, and anyway, the Black Vault seems a stronger story hook for the poor unfortunate home invader.
can I get a hijinx ensue?

Interesting. Is that just in the sense of "powerful artifacts" you've created, or does Maral actually currently have the Sword?
At the moment, no, she does not.
But I do think it's on her radar.

It's a shame the author of that piece featuring it kinda drifted back into the aether.

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At twilight's end, the shadow's crossed / a new world birthed, the elder lost.
Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:34 pm 
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I really, really like "From The Vault." I'm always a sucker for the sort of "found documents" style of storytelling, and these are a wonderful example of the form!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:05 am 
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Time again, I think, to reM:EMber something from the past.

This week, we will be highlighting the original Jakkard folksong "Down to the Valley," by RavenoftheBlack.

"Down to the Valley" was originally posted to the old boards on July 6th, 2013, and was voted into the Archives on January 20th, 2014. The first of the Jakkard folksongs, it appropriately enough tells the story of one lone intrepid pioneer who leaves the relative safety of Verkell to attempt to make a life out in the Waste. These lyrics highlight some of the potential troubles that those who first ventured out of the city may have faced in the early days of Wasteward expansion.

Enjoy!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:42 am 
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I'll just leave this here, to thoroughly embarrass myself:

Down to the Valley


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:42 pm 
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I'll just leave this here so Raven doesn't feel so embarrassed:



:duel:

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:27 pm 
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razorborne wrote:
I'll just leave this here so Raven doesn't feel so embarrassed:

Yeah, but yours is good and mine, well, is mine...

:)

Anyway, the story behind this song is a pretty simple one. Back on the old boards, I had a thread called "The Poetry Plane," which was merely a place where I would write poetry about various Magic cards. Most often I would pick a card a random from Gatherer until I found one that sparked my imagination, but sometimes I would ask for requests.

It was Keeper who asked for a Jakkard folksong. I really hadn't written anything for Jakkard at that point, and knew it mostly from the guide and from Ruwin's "Two Bullets and a Pocketful of Hate," but I liked the setting and decided to give it a try. So, I just started thinking about what types of things Jakkard folk might want to make a song about, and I thought that leaving Verkell for the first time, especially in the very early days of Wasteward expansion, would make a lot of sense for a folksong. As I was thinking about the kind of life a person like that may have had, I hit on the idea of sort of telling their story in three parts, leaving the city, arriving at the valley, and then near death, after living there for a long time.

My favorite part of this song is the way the repetitive chorus changes slightly each time. The first time, it's "where I'll make my home" and "where I'll lay may head," as if looking forward in time. The second chorus switches to "where I make my home," indicating the present, but maintains the "where I'll lay my head," signaling the narrator's eventual death. The third time, it becomes "where I made my home," making it past tense, and "where I lay my head," meaning he's on the verge of death. Personally, I always liked the effect.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:06 pm 
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I don't know much about music (and, please, dear God, no one comment on the professional irony of that...), so I can't speak much to the Jakkard songs, other than to say that I love them. The thing which I can say with certainty, however, is that, when Jakkard sort of first appeared as a blip on my radar, one of the things which immediately pulled me into this world, and made me want to write for it, was that it had this tangible feel to it, which existed in the dossier, and in the FAQ, and in the wonderful songs like this, and which was symbiotic with but also independent of the stories which already existed. (Like "Two Bullets," which, to be clear, is magisterial, and deserves a hefty share of the blame for getting me started on Jakkard as well.) The songs gave Jakkard so much texture, and sense of place, and they helped me to feel like I knew this world, and had a window into it, even at the same time that I had this exciting sense that there was unexplored territory in the Waste.

Raven's songs were sort of like postcards from the frontier, and they certainly helped give me the gumption to get out onto the trail, for which I am eternally grateful. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:48 am 
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Another Sunday has arrived, carrying with it another Highlighted M:EMory!

This week, we'll be reM:EMbering: "Yissva's First Walk," by RuwinReborn.

"Yissva's First Walk" was originally posted on the old boards, and was voted into the Archive on May 19th, 2013. It is a microfic that, as the title suggests, explores the first planeswalk of a very young planeswalker, the Viashino Yissva. Still a child, Yissva understands the world around him only in fits and spurts, and the things happening around and to the young lizard are baffling and frightening. Terrified and alone, Yissva must find his way into the greater Multiverse, with only the light of the moon to guide him.

Enjoy!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:06 am 
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Poor Yissva... believe it or not, he is part of the reason why Sharaka is a viashino, of all things. Love that piece to bits.

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