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I'm 17
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Maybe a fool

and classical guitarist

Let us barter

Mountain girl
I like burl

River otter
Viking daughter

Wolfdog owner
Forest roamer

I'm no fighter
But I am a writer

Message to Readers

I'm sorry ... I'm asking for help when I haven't even been all that active. I'll owe you one if you help me with this, though, and don't be afraid to remind me of that.

Please help me in the comments!

Help me, please? This is a backstory to ...

December 28, 2018


[Everybody else: please, read, and give me your opinion, I desperately need it. I have some specific questions I'd like to ask you at the bottom. If you do read this, I'll do the same to a piece of your choosing as a thank you.][And don't worry if you don't understand all my made-up words and names, and apparently dramatic moments; unless you're hacking into my computer you shouldn't know all of them, or maybe any of them.]
[Oh, yes, just a forewarning, this basically the entirety of the novel I'm writing, so almost every spoiler I can think of is in this. BUT, you're not going to read it for a while.]

Prologue. One death slid by, then another. As a tick and a tock, without so much as a slice of a knife, lives disappeared.
When the deaths turned into slavery, people finally took note. But did nothing. They continued on with their lives, as people do. They ignored the specters in the sky, creatures that appeared so benign in the human memory, but were anything but benign. They were dangerous, sometimes violent creatures. What was worse, was that they were cunning. They lived far longer than the mere mortals below them and held a power unlike any other, a power that seemed worthless until the day one realized that even to themselves, they were far different than anything anyone had ever assumed.
1. I was born thousands of years ago. My many names are nearly forgotten, both to myself and the mortal realm. This story from so long ago is what defines me today.
2. I grew up in the northern villages of Kreel. I roamed the forests and used my powers freely, unaware that people like me were being hunted and enslaved in order to do the bidding of a powerful queen named Gretta. I was found just after my twelfth birthday. It was a peaceful day, until the soldiers came marching in. Chaos erupted in the village. In the end, the soldiers had their way and my meager powers did nothing to stop them.
3. The only thing I remember of my journey from the country of Kreel to the kingdom of Aradon was the beginning of my meager meals, fed to me in small amounts in order to keep me weak, and that it was the cold time of year; at times my fingertips were blue. I remember listening to the Aradonian language and hearing only gibberish and weird shapes that twisted my tongue when I tried to imitate them. What I best remember is my first impression of the sprawling city and the palace that proudly sat above it. The people stank and the city stank. The people were quick to spit at me and to turn back to their work. They were never, and will never, be a kind people.
4. I was brought to the palace. It, like the rest of the city, was in the process of being built. The queen, Gretta, was of Kreelish roots and spoke my language with a fluency that grated my sense of national pride. When I joined the ranks of the other slaves, she came forward with a hard stare and a gleeful expression. I still remember how carelessly her eyes roamed us until she picked out a big fellow, a man built like a bull. She lifted her hands, and with a snap of her fingers, the man fell to the ground, dead from his insides burning with an inner flame. It was a warning. It was the lesson that if we wished to live, we would not cross her.
5. We set to work. Work, in this case, was shaping stone and weaving wood to create the palace. We made towers with seamless walls. We put in windows of stained glass, colored to create pictures that made me laugh with the lies it showed. We made a throne that looked like an oak tree; we made halls that sparkled with light and floors that shined. It turned out to be a beautiful place. At the end of the day we were so exhausted someone could have murdered us and we would not wake.
6. It wasn't until I met Orx Jehon did I feel a real chance at escape. He was my age and just as powerful. He also was cunning, something he hid beneath a mindless habit to talk and an unshakable, care-free smile. He came off as a naive fool, but that was as much a lie as it is to say that fire is only beauty. He was anything but a fool.
7. I became friends with Orx Jehon. He and I plotted and created escape routes in the thick walls and hollow floors. We hid our power, since the more powerful you were, the more work you were given so that you'd end the day empty of any ability to do so much as chew food. The more powerful you were, the more guards were sent to keep watch.
8. Building that palace was hard work. What would normally take seven to even ten years took us only five. And when that was finished, we were sent to the south to build an underground cavern for the wildren, and there we spent another grueling ten years. We made the cavern of obsidian, made tunnels and rooms so long and vast that one has to be careful when they're there; only those with no time or those born there remember every possible route. You see, it still exists. It is a glittering, colorful place of blues and blacks, greens and purples, oranges and reds. If it wasn't for the blood I spilled in that place, I might have been proud of it. But no. I hate it. I hate it with every fiber and spark of my being. I'd destroy it without hesitation, if I could.
9. I spent every waking moment whispering in the ears of my fellow slaves. It was slow, painfully slow. Some were scared and skittish like a wolf. Others hungered for blood. Eventually, I was able to start the planning stage, with Orx Jehon at my side.
10. The first of a long, long war began in the early morning hours. We attacked the guards and their superior officers. We took over their bases and armed ourselves. We lost many lives in that morning, but from then on, we were united as outlaws and outcasts. We strategized and set forth a plan to set us free.
11. We fought and we killed. We planned and we destroyed. We snuck into the cities and gathered allies, softening others to our cause. We destroyed the castle we had spent so long to create. In the process, Queen Gretta of Kreel, who betrayed her own citizens to conquer another kingdom, died, killed by the very stones she had tasked me with crafting in tribute to her existence.
12. The day we killed the queen was a glorious one. But the next came more war. People fought to be the next ruler, gathered allies and shed the blood of anyone who so much as glanced the wrong way. We defended the rubble of a castle and fought them back.
13. We are such stupid creatures. We fight for what is tempory, we fight to be on top, when in the end, it'll come toppling down around us. This, I know now but didn't know then. So I fought. I killed former allies and defended former enemies. Only Orx Jehon remained a constant presence, never turning the knife on me.
14. Those years after Gretta's fall was a massacre, but everyone was doing the killing. It took eight years for people to realize that they didn't want to die, that they just wanted to grow their crops and eat their food and have petty arguments about who had the best dress. And, always, Orx and I remained at the center of it.
15. By that time, the mini territorial fights had thickened into just a few figurheads. Orx and myself led one where the city had fallen: our prison. A former ally had their power in the seaside towns, and a farmer and an ex-guard controlled the fields and countryside. Though, because of the steadier hierarchy, it was safer, no less blood was spilt for when we clashed the sparks would light the nights in a constant fire of war.
16. Eventually, truce agreements were made. From what I know, they dissolved in less than a century later, but it lasted long enough for Orx and I to name our prison and our home Lorgia.
17. We both married and had children. Where our descendants are now, I don't know. They may have died out. They may have gone on to explore the world. I will never find them. But, if they have my curse, trouble will never stop following them.
18. I died with a knife in my back. I thought that I would find peace in death, at least.
No. No, and that's why I'm telling you this.
Life is hopeless, because life is only the beginning.

 19. When I woke, I couldn't remember anything. I eventually did remember, as is clear now, but when I first woke without a body and only a mind, I was as lost and confused as newborn baby, but with even less purpose. The energy fed my body and kept me alive.
20. I had woken in a place unlike any other. It was like the night sky, with stars and planets and clouds. But those stars were creatures, creatures like me. They, too, didn't know how they got here. They only knew that they weren't the only creatures there. At the edges live the waters and inks, a place that snatches up anything that approaches. Then, if you go far enough down, you meet the dusts and the mists, and they, too, change a creature. But, for the most part, it was a safe place. It was a horrible place to be in.
21. I'm not sure how long I spent in that place before the cracks appeared. Great big fisures that tore the air with lightning edges. It was like a vortex, and all at once, I was sucked through to a strange place of light and physical shape. Waiting to greet me was a familiar, but forgotten creature. It was a hikani.
20. That day marked the beginning of a war, a war unlike any other. The first death in the war was my first kill as an immortal creature. The first death was also the loss of the hikani. We both tried to avoid it, but it was impossible. If I were to live, the hikani had to die. In the end, I cared more to live than to avoid the immoral practicality of killing.
21. We immortal creatures were given the name 'spirit', from the world 'Quere'. Undoubtedly, a play on the word 'queer'. It took everyone--spirits included--a long time to understand the mechanics of what was going on, for our every interaction with the mortal world was strange and horrible.
22. After many years, a wildren by the name of Kahasai figured out that spirits, despite our incorporeal form, do have bodies, or rather a body. Our energies weave through our minds and into the world of Quere; from the world of Quere and into our minds. Our energy is like a chain that attaches us to our world. Our world is our anchor; our body. It is what keeps us alive. But when the seam between our two worlds was torn, we were sucked through and broke away from our world. Needing energy to survive, we who have been torn away must feed off the energies of another. That is why I had to kill the hikani. Not out of any sort of animosity, but out of necessity.
23. It was a brutal war. Spirits, forced by their own starving thoughts, mercilessly killed the mortals by taking their energy. We had no way of returning to Quere; we were cut like a baby detached from the womb. But we wanted back. Even those who might enjoy killing others wanted back.
24. You see, Ashganal energies are like poison for a spirit. It is like eating only sweets. It will keep you alive for only so long. You will feel sick from having too much of it, and eventually, it would kill you. It was a torturous state, needing to live as a half-starved, half-poisoned being. Few lived long after that.
25. Ashgan and Quere were in chaos. In Quere, spirits fled and danced and couldn't stop moving, for fear that the great hole that kept growing would swallow them. In Ashgan, thousands, if not millions of people died. For them, it was like a virus, except the virus had a conscious and hated every moment of it just as they did. It was a terrible time.
26. Nowhere was there not a person trying to figure out a way to end the torture. Wildren joined with nethalvians, spirits teamed with hikanis and wildren. It was both a time of terror and, for the only time in history, a time of absolute agreement.
27. It was, at last, the hikanis who figured out a way. It took them nearly a year to refine the idea, shape it, and bring together the people willing to make the sacrifice. It was an enormous sacrifice that affects both worlds to this day. If they had not done it, well ... Ashgan would no longer be populated with people. Which, in the end, would've been a mercy.
28. I didn't believe it at the time. I didn't believe that people deserved to die. In those excruciating years, I experienced the best and the worst of people. But I didn't know then that mortals are creatures of ... repetitious idiocy and forgetfulness. And the biggest demonstration of that is the very event that saved your kind ... and yet you believe it was a sickness. The even that saved your life, and you don't even know what happened.
29. Everyone who was not a part of the sacrifice, the 'spell', if you wish, stayed well away from where it occured. The events were chronicled by Kahasai and stowed away in the underground caverns of obsidian, caverns I had yet to remember. I waited, far above the proceedings. It is something I shall never forget, even if you do.
31. The hikanis were gathered. As were a few humans, a few nethalvians, a few wildren, and a few spirits. Each of them, in turn, sacrificed their souls into an egg-shaped stone, already hardened with their blood and energy. One hikani was left in his body to guard the stone.
32. It wasn't an event that left images seared into the memory. It wasn't dramatic. Not at first. One by one, the gathered people dropped to the ground, their bodies dead except for Jilsk, the hikani chosen to watch over them. Their energies and souls bound to the stone-egg, bound as one creature. Now as one, they used their energy to close the rift, to temper the magnetic pull.
31. I was able to go home. Everything was at peace, or so it seemed. The creatures of the stone-egg were bound into the energies of Ashgan and Quere, unable free themselves. They used so much energy to close the gap it nearly killed them. It didn't kill them. It just destroyed their minds. It created a new creature in the face of the old. What they had done wasn't obvious, but in retrospect, it was so much more than anyone knows. In retrospect, it is surprising less happened in the wake of their act. But what they did effects us to this day.
32. Their minds were destroyed. Their minds, and the minds of anyone in their near vicinity. They became obsessed with protecting the only gate between the two worlds: themselves. They came to hate everyone. They came to distrust everyone. Their energy, now a part of both worlds, wove into the ground around them, into the plants and the animals. They became clever, convincing the less susceptible creatures of their cause through whispers and the right words said just the right way. And in Quere, too, they made their mark. Their minds blocked any spirit from coming close to the gate. And, if any were stubborn, they coerced the spirit into becoming one of them, and their hold would spread. They became what you now call the Curse.
33. The second thing that happened was much less noticeable. It was the Silent Hour. While mortals saw it as a time when the world went quiet, but in fact it is a time when the two worlds move together and the boundaries grow thin. For you, it is a time of silence and stillness; for us, it is a time of noise. It is a dangerous time.
34. For all that, despite the Curse and the Silent Hour, despite the many spirits still dying of mortal poison, peace had returned. The peace was shattered when a nethalvian called Felix Hondman opened the Gateway again. But this time was different. He bound me by a name and commanded me to come through. For all my warnings, for all my pleads, he wouldn't listen, wouldn't believe me. No one remembered what had happened. The mortals had forgotten. And, thus, my third war began.
35. Using our new names, the nethalvians commanded us like slaves. They bound our energy with theirs, dooming themselves to be killed by their own slaves. It didn't take me long to kill Felix Hondman, but the damage had been done. Left and right, we were being summoned from our worlds and tied to new bodies. The only good thing was that we could return to our worlds, this time. This time, we could rejoin our worlds. But then we'd be torn away and be slaves again, treated like garbage. 
36. The Curse raged. Their energy shot out and they spread their reach far beyond the measly few miles they'd been commanding. Within weeks, they controlled hundreds of miles in each direction. They were like wildfire, destroying everything in their path. It was a beautiful sight to see. But the mortals didn't know what the Curse was doing, didn't understand the cause. So, they kept summoning spirits, their useful slaves. And I kept killing them.
37. It was during those years I met Criangence. We quickly became allies. We worked to convince the nethalvians to stop summoning us. It worked, eventually. By that time we had killed many, many people. We had convinced only a few with reason; most we had to threaten.
38. And I hate them for it. Stupid mortals and their beliefs, their assumptions. They never learn. Never. They forget and never change. I know this. I know this from thousands of years of witnessing it. No one now remembers that massacre nine hundred years ago, when I killed Felix Hondman, a well-respected nethalvian in your history books. Bullshit. No one remembers why the Cursed Forest was created and the millions of people who were killed before that. No one remembers when I led slaves to freedom and fought to keep it until death.
And what is worse? You know what has made me remember? Of course not.
39. It was on a exploration into Lorgia. Using the Silent Hour, I slipped into the mortal realm. It's easy to do if you have the mortal poison already inside you. If you're a new and untainted soul, you're unable to enter Ashgan. Sometimes I think I'm one of the few spirits left with the taint. Most have died.
I found the ruins of a massive palace. There were passages and tunnels. Vague memories brought me back to the wildren's underground cavern, and instinct brought me to the modern castle of Lorgia. I explored, and it is there that I found my names, all of them.
I am Luzarai Mutatak.
I am the king of Lorgia.
I am Fire Eyes.
I am Koton.
I am a mortal soul.
I am a creature of the dead.
40. Mortals never change. They make the same mistakes again, and again, and again. And when they're dead? They drift in a world until they're forced into slavery. Because that's what's waiting for you when you die: enslavement at the hands of a fellow mortal.
The mortal poisons are taking their toll. I will die soon, but I'm not going to just forgive the mortal world for what they've done. No. They need to understand. They need to know.
They're going to forget. If I live long enough to see that, I will beat the meaning into their bones.
I will kill them. All of them.
41. Have you ever met--of course you have. If you haven't yet, you will. One day you will meet someone--or many someones--who is so stupid and dense they refuse, are perhaps unable to even grasp the point you're trying to communicate. One of those days, you won't want to give up, you'll want to hit them with a brick in order to get their attention. It most likely won't work, but you still want to. Then you'll explain again.
Then, if they still don't get it, you do one of two things: accept it and move on, or let that atrocity rot in your thoughts, let it permeate your existence and you feel the need to hit that brick a bit harder over their head, just hard enough so that you won't have to deal with their existence.
That is how I feel dealing with you humans. I don't want to deal with your stupidity any longer.
You aren't going to learn your lessons. Ever. You forget. And you die. I can't deal with it any longer.
And that is why I'm going to kill you. Tomorrow, at midday.
Goodbye, mortals. Enjoy your last few hours. I'm done with you. I'm ready to die and ready to destroy.
Farewell, Nalst. Now you know why you exist.
And farewell, Ashgan. For both our sake, may we never cross paths again.
Thank you so much for reading this! So, to whom does this backstory belong? Well, if you read it all, then you may have realized this belongs to the Big Bad Guy of my story. Here's a bit of an explanation of what this actually is and why I need your opinion on it (and sorry about the rough patches!).

Those numbers are the chapter numbers. At the end of each chapter, I'll insert one of those paragraphs (or more--hence the predetermined numbers) into the chapter (which means, when you read this in the novel, you'll know what all those strange names mean). Because I have no way to actually get the protagonist(s) close and personal enough to the bad guy to understand why he's a crazy maniac, I decided to try this: an explanation from the Big Bad himself to his pupil/science experiment/tool/second-in-command. It would slowly be told throughout the chapters, and by the time you reach the dramatic naming at chpt. 39, you'll understand the meaning behind those names. You're supposed to have this slow realization/suspicion as you approach the big reveal BUT ... I'm concerned about a few things with this approach, which is why I'm asking you for your reading and writing expertise. Here are my problems.

First, these are short and forgettable. No remembrance of what happened, no meaning behind big reveal. I could turn each segment into an actual scene instead, which would lengthen it and be more memorable, but that brings me to my second problem, which is ...
Second, why should the reader care? I need to make the reader care about these short segments, otherwise they're just going to skim or skip these parts. As far as the reader can tell, until you reach chpt.18 (when the narrator dies), there is no connection between this narrative and the main one, which means the reader has no reason to actually read it. One thing I have thought about is making the theme of the segment similar or relevant to the chapter to which it's connected. But I doubt that'll be enough. I've made sure some names pop up in the main narrative that also pop up in this one ( Queen Gretta, the old castle, the underground cavern for the wildren), but I don't think that will be enough, either.
My point is: I can't have the reader stop reading this! How do I make it relevant, at least for chapters 1-17?
Third, I could just cut this and try ... I dunno, a stupid villain speech? The point of this to make the reader truly understand why the bad guy is so bad. That's really hard to do, since there's exactly one other character who knows why the bad guy is how he is, and that character is stuck in a gray area of being a good guy trying to save the world, stop the protagonists from killing themselves, and trying to save the bad guy from his badness (because they were once best buds). So, basically, that character is really busy and is already giving my main character too many hints and stories to be relied upon. That, and I don't think the understanding should be dumped onto the reader/MC all at once.
Fourth, on another note, while we're here, what do you think of his reasoning? The friend who understands is Orx Jehon/Criangence (one and the same), so he's gone through just about everything the Big Bad did. They turned out as two different people (which I make sure to press upon), and I think losing hope in humanity by experiencing it and being tortured by it for two lifetimes is a pretty good background story for a villain.

Please, tell me your thoughts! I'm only 2/7 way through this iteration of the novel--it'll be easy going back and inserting whatever is needed to make this work.

Thanks a thousand! If you give me a thorough comment and/or an honest thought (unless it's "I don't know" and no suggestions--sorry, I have to draw the line there) I will do the same to a piece of your choosing.


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  • December 28, 2018 - 12:32pm (Now Viewing)

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  • Kahasai

    You're welcome!

    over 2 years ago
  • loveletterstosappho

    ooh, I'll definitely check out those links. thank you for your comments on my pieces as well!

    over 2 years ago
  • Kahasai

    I just read your other comment and directed you here. XD Okay, I'm glad you read this. You're adding a lot of feedback to my problem. Thank you. (Btw, you're dead-on about the sort of feel I want/need for this mystery.)

    Hmm ... Everyone else, besides the BFF, are mortals ... Dropping hints ... (just mumbling to myself over here)(this is basically how I think) ... characters who'd know ... *in robotic voice* Running Calculations: You Have 4-6 Possibilities, Depending On How Much Thinking You Want To Do.

    Holy sh!t!


    Okay, I gotta go: I have a few characters to level up.

    If you want to read what the story's about, you can use this link:
    (That'll give you an idea about what sort of world it's in)

    And here's a link to the first chapter, if you're at all curious:

    I owe you for this.

    Hehehe >)

    character leveling up is the best thing ever.

    over 2 years ago
  • loveletterstosappho

    okay! I just came from reading your piece asking for help, and knowing that this person is, in fact, the villain makes giving advice a lot different (lmao at first I assumed he was a moody, super useful ally for the protagonists who is an asshole and irritating af but is still on their side and one of their greatest allies). personally, I don't like the idea of flashbacks, like I said on the other one, and to me, these are too straightforward. they definitely pack a punch but don't have the gradual, mysterious, alluding-to-the-truth sort of feeling that I think they need. they're written well, don't get me wrong, but I don't think they meet your goal or suit your purpose. what would be better, I think, is for other characters (I don't know much about your setting, but gossipy locals around town, maybe, or others working with the person who knows why the bad guy is how he is). I would also suggest not having only one person know why he is the way he is. if your world is magic (which it sounds like it is), you could have some sort of connection between the villain and protagonist(s)? what I'm envisioning for your story is to have bits of his backstory dropped around to the protagonists, then maybe a super high-stakes dramatic moment of a one-on-one battle between the villain and the protagonist where the villain somehow emotion projects? b/c he's so angry???? and b/c magic?????? I don't really know, or maybe the protagonist somehow looks into the villain's mind and sees very short, brief scenes from his life (I'm talking like one sentence key moments here to not clog your dramatic action scene) and feels all that rage and his lost hope in humanity and finally understands. that being said, I don't know much about your WIP and please take anything I've said with a grain of salt (or a few) since I know so little about the specifics (or even the general storyline).

    over 2 years ago
  • Kahasai

    For number 2, I know it most likely won't be an issue of, "Oh, I hate this, she should not have included it!" But rather, more of an issue of, "Umm, okay ... So why did she include this in the story? I feel like this could be in a separate short story." By itself, it's fine. But it's not by itself; not until the halfway point. It is reassuring that you were glued from the first minute (although, I think that first minute was composed of me yelling at my sister ...) It also makes me feel better that the reasoning is good.

    I'm not sure the villain can do anything bad and make it clear why he did it. Maybe ... I could write a scene where he loses his temper and explains at least a little bit ... Ooh, the more I think about that, the more it might work. Thanks, I'll keep thinking about that one. :)

    "The Monster #Fire" was an enjoyable story! The beginning reminds a bit of The Book Thief. I'm glad you wrote it.

    over 2 years ago
  • Puppet_Master

    Damn! I was glued from minute one! It was interesting I liked the names and the word choices thery were intriguing. For your first promblem/concern I would say link the stoies thoughout which will help people remeber those important bits. 2nd I'm a bit unsure of how to make the readers care about the smal important bits,only because I didn't find an issue with that. 3rd maybe you could add in a scene/chapter or whatever, that the villian does something very bad that can make it obvious maybe? 4th I would say the reasoning is good. He had a understandable reason.

    Sorry if this doesnt help you at all. And BTW your comment on my story made my day. Thank you!

    over 2 years ago
  • Kahasai

    Well, at least it's amazing. :) I'm glad the names are cool and not cheesy. I can tell you when I add to this, though it may be a while. Thank you for the interest and the feedback.

    over 2 years ago
  • Ryder

    Wow, this is absolutely amazing! I will admit that at first I had no idea of what was happening, but I kind of got the hang of it around chapters 17-23 or something like that.
    Don't worry, I didn't skip a single word ;}
    This was just fantastic, I really would love to know the rest of it.
    Sorry if I am not being very helpful :)
    I like your names, they are super cool sounding.
    If you put more of this up could you let me know? like in the comments on one of my pieces?

    over 2 years ago