Sunday, March 31, 2013

Of Scourger Stats

The same way I did with gems, I think it’s important to create a little checkpoint of the story so far, so next time I need to collect their names or get other information, I don’t need to go all over the blog and my files to find them. Here they will be:

(April) (1)
Csillag - 1

(May) (2)
Wormtongue - 1

(June) (8)
Frosq, Iis, Hephaestosis, Ushag, Qareen, Lead Army (initially lead warrior) - 6

(August) (10)
Sfayi, Noekk - 2

(October) (19)
Nachzehrer, Verfal (initially Sackgasser), Fossegrim, Raseri, Hassen, Haesten, Älcke, Avsky, Iskald - 9

(November) (20)
Hakr; (defined Ilium, Ersatz, Zhàn and Lazuria.) - 1

(March) (46)
Draugr, Haugr, Garm, Zertör, Zerzet, Hiraeth; Ifrit, Iblis,  Emshi, Shaytan, Shadar, Hisaab, Venin soldiers; Khorkhoi, Yehren, Lenok, Aswang, Nguyen, Loquat; Hrímnir, Hrimthurs, Hymir, Hruga, Hrímgrimnir, Hrungnir and Helminth. (defined Utgard tribe, Zhàn Watchtower, Veszpremer community and Vermilium Army) - 26

And that’s about it, I’m finding nothing relevant to comment in here :)

Of external storywriting exercises

This story is tough. The problem with the current exercises is that strings are based on the notion of bringing a story from one side to the other. But I need to deal with the scroll regarding the appeal of a story by itself.

I think I’d better do some other exercises in order to practice and feel comfortable with doing these stringings. For instance, I should focus on solo allegorical transformations to see how one shape becomes another in another medium.

Or then, I should practice plots as to practice storytelling by itself. I should try writing other tales and short stories, so it would also be a nice way to refresh my mind as I wouldn’t feel unproductive when this major project isn’t showing progress.

I need to learn plot-building and dialogues. For that I think little tales will help me understand better stories by themselves and I’m sure that will even increase the effectiveness of stringing, as I’ll be more acquainted with the other side too, so I’ll know where to hook the ends of the strings.

Of string sketches

Following my own Vitruvian/Incendio demands, I need to rush in order to take time for some thoughts and research for the design of all things in this world. Fortunately I have the cultural themes already defined, so I am not without any starting place.

In addition to the cultural themes, there’s another layer to them. It’s another layer of definition which I hope will help me create the appropriate atmosphere that’s more intrinsic to the feeling they ought to represent.

For Ersatz scourgers, it’s the theme of abandon, of ill-planned and botched constructions. Quite medieval and rustic. This way Ersatz characters will also be more brute and dressed in rags, as it would pretty much represent how much we do not care about our appearance when we’re depressed. As it represents lack of life, black and grayish tones are very common. It just feels naturally to me that there are a lot of dim-lit ambients, and even outdoors it feels dark all the time with frequent storms in these grayish marshes and moors. An early flag would be a black field with a white or brown dragon as a badge.

Lazuria is about opulence and exaggeration and how excess of luxury feels to me. It shows an almost overwhelming concern with ornaments and details, and I really want to make this to contrast with the misery of Ersatz. It could have something of the heavy tone of baroque art, with dark values over primary colors to represent poignancy. Lazurian characters will show this feeling of egotistical preoccupation natural to the rich. It’s the revolting feeling when we see some taking everything to themselves, isnit. An early flag would have a dark orange field and a green or white flower as a badge.

Ilium city is simpler, and with a quite peaceful cleanliness. It’s about open spaces, light colors and green areas. It’s a world of balance and simplicity, with light value over all colors to indicate serenity. It’s got resources and they live in balance and with a sound economy, but without lavish characteristics, I don’t want that. Ilium characters, especially in this class where Vesta and Hephaestus belong to, they use some kind of uniform that reminds me of the traditional Jedi outfit (eh, it seems I’m quite inspired by the Jedi vs Sith quarrel). The early flag would be a red field with a gold or silver lion as a badge.

Zhàn’s theme is more difficult to string. How can it show time? My first guess is to show things with a blurry definition. Something abstract, but in the sense of ethereality and lack of solid presence; like a smokey thing. In fact, greyish themes seems nice for me. I can’t help but think of the Therns from Burroughs’ Princess of Mars trilogy. The Zhàn characters do look like some sort of immortal entities. In fact, time is about that. They will eventually invade this tiny land like a tidal wave and eliminate it forever. The flag would be a grey field and no badge, but maybe a white or blue circle or strip.

As for scourgers in general, they’re so far in a generic shape of monsters and evil looking characters. Are they going to be like roaming beasts around the world or experiments? Just chthonic scourgers feel appropriate to be like this. Thinking of them as game bosses don’t feel very satisfying. Other figures can be more like actual characters with speeches. Overall it’s a very deficient situation, but I’ve got tricks to try bringing some visual appeal to them. But I don’t want to worry about that for a while, as I rather prefer understand my own feelings and roles they play in my life.

Of flames through stages

One of the matters that still feel quite afloat to me is about how the fire ensemble would be assembled in believable manner. I’m really bothered by the notion of this story being basically a group of young heroes facing evil in a full-on tokusatsu style.

It isn’t much of a problem in the God or Hero stage, as for one they are the pantheon of gods against demons, so their characteristics are pretty straight forward like in greek mythology, with Hephaestus being the god of craft, Áine being the goddess of fertility (like Freyja), Vesta being the goddess of wisdom and order (pretty much Athena), Zhu Rong being the god of strength (like Thor), and Trygve being the god of protection (it could be like a god of war, but I don’t know any with an essence like his). The hero stage would basically be the typical RPG party (Zhu Rong would be the offensive tank, Trygve is the warrior defending the others, Hephaestus is the mage, Áine is the healer and Vesta is a summoner). It’s for the Human stage that it really gets complicated. Hell, everything is much trickier in the human stage.

Let me see, these would end up being like leaders. Vesta is pretty much a commandant and strategist. Hephaestus is the engineer and he commands projects. Trygve deals with some military roles while Zhu Rong would be the one responsible for resources like mining, construction and harvesting. Áine would be responsible for diplomatic and external relationships.

Or then, instead of then being actual people, these could be roles of power, like a moniker for the ministers of departments. Something like a tradition, like having all princess in the dynasty being called Zelda.

That is interesting for the bronze-layered aspect of the human stage, as it changes the notion of conflicts from the simple battles and fights and wars that happen in more, let me put it this way, primitive types of mythologies and narratives, towards more complex implications of politics and economy. This way, in human stage Ilium and Ersatz would pretty much be inspired by the conflicts of the Roman Empire and Germanic tribes, mainly by their late invasion of Rome and fall of the western empire.

Of Story Stages (God, Hero and Human)

I want to use this world as my playground for all ideas I have and all stories I would like to tell. Unfortunately it seems some stories don’t quite feel good in the same ambience so I’m separating this world in three stages. I’ll call them the God stage, the Hero stage and Human stage.

God stage is a more simple and mythological world, with simple movements and sides. Flames and scourgers are blurry characters, much closer to their original quintessence and here they clash head-on. Here they are magnificent deities and their epic battles rage the skies. This stage is remarkably easy to string my feelings into a story, because there’s such a low amount of vertices to worry about. There’s not much logic and coherence to worry about.

Hero stage is for a world yet easily divided by good and evil, but this time with a little more realism to it. It’s like this in fantasy novels, also like in Tolkien grounds. Bronze elements are slowly taking their place, but suspension of disbelief allows minor plot holes and inconsistent structure to go overlooked.

Human stage is finally a world more like our own. There’s no evident good and evil, and there’s a lot of bronze details like political and economic factors. Characters here have also a less evident personality than in god and hero stage. Also the number of population increases, and there are more and more characters and this is just as complex as it can get.

The current stage of my story is still between god and hero stage. And by laying out this definition it becomes easier to know my objective: I long to bring this world to human stage. Then maybe flames are just some old legends (or ancient gods as it usually happens with heroes for newer generations), or then statues in some central park of Ilium.