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Everything posted by Blurble

  1. it's not... "macho", though. I don't really mind women not being macho. (I also don't mind men not being macho -blink-) It's just taking initiative in a relationship.
  2. @valkyriet: 1.actually, The Proposal is one of my casebook classis talk-to-me-and-I-will-launch-into-a-forty-minute-rant examples of how pervasive this stereotype is. which is to say that the previews/reviews/the fact that it starred Sandra Bullock got me really excited for a romcom which would have a totally different relationship dynamic. And it did. For the first ten minutes of the movie. At which point Sandra Bullock's character started being revealed as "vulnerable" underneath her dom-iness and whatsisface's character was actually a bastard-dom character all along, and their entire characterization prior to that point was thrown out the window as the Hollywood romcom machine decided to, yet again, play everything accordng to formula. ...Sandra Bullock does star in Two Weeks Notice, however, where she most definitely is not typically submissive (and that's despite being in a secretary role to a powerful rich man, which would normally always have this problem). 2. In regards to it being considered more romantic... okay, maybe. The only reason I have difficulty accepting that... is because I have difficulty accepting that-- i.e, that this is more romantic. Really? In real life their are so many other relationship dynamics. why does this one (which, also, is frequently exaggerated to the point of being abusive) considered the most romantic? 3. Do you mean rival roles to the main heroine? Because I think I might know what you're talking about, although I'm not sure. And anyway casting the "dominant female" as "evil" just makes the stereotype worse, doesn't it? ----- @iPink: if that's the case, then why is this most common in shoujo mangas written by females? (Also, I am not sure if this is true because I've never read this genre, but I have the vague impression that in shounen harem mangas it is usually the male who is passive and the females who are active? ...I could be totally off, and just thinking this because harem mangas usually have "loser" protagonists.) --- @d_a: alright, several points 1. I considered the factor of it being an "inbuilt preset". But the fact that women are usually physically weaker than men-- or heck, more emotionally expressive or whatever than men, which could maybe be argued both ways and I'm just basing on the amount of hugging I see amongst girls vs amongst boys-- doesn't really explain consistently portrayed weakness in other areas. I may be more open and willing to discuss my feelings than a guy might (and this has heavily to do with my being surrounded by girls amonsgt whom this is the norm, since by nature I am not), but I'm rather unclear on what relevance this has to my ability to think up a logical way of, say, even just helping my boyfriend defeat the dark lord, instead of whimpering in a useless heap on the ground while he goes and saves me*. (biggest manga tick-off example of this? One in which the girl is supposed to be a master at judo, and when her boyfriend comes to save her from a gang of rapists and is badly outnumbered and losing, she just lies there doing nothing instead of, you know, TRYING to help. because it's "romantic" oh puhleaze.) *(I'm even willing to allow this happening once or twice. In One Piece both female characters are somewhat helpless during their big character arcs in which they need to be saved. But-- 1. even in those arcs, helpless does not translate to "doing absolutely nothing constructive"-- Nami rouses the villagers, Robin, in handcuffs that sap her strength, still manages to try to buy some time by grabbing onto walls with her teeth 2. that's not how they relate to the world ALL THE FRIGGIN TIME. of course one piece isn't a romance at all. nonetheless, it demonstrates that just being the damsel in distress doesn't make you submissive, necessarily) I also considered the biological preset of men being the so-called "initiators" during sex, i.e. if they're not interested nothing happens-- but that still doesn't explain why they would be the initiators in the courting ritual, so yeah. 2. as for the cultural factors... but see, society might force dominant girls to act more submissive and submissive boys to act more dominant-- but fundamentally the inherent alignment remains, the same way an introvert who is forced to act extroverted will still be introverted, deep down. you can dress the girl in pink and have her play with dolls, but her relationship with the world will still fundamentally be "make things happen". ...So I understand that a female dominant character won't necessarily get away with the crap male dominant character do. They might have to be more push-pull instead of all push. Esxcept the characters i'm seeing are not tamped-down dominants. They're doormats*! ...and in case this isn't obvious, dominant characters basically never, ever acquiesce to being doormats. if they're forced into the role they will be fighting it allll the way**. *i.e., passive participants in their situation, expecting others to take (and of course accepting wholeheartedly when others take) the active role **thus, not actually being doormats since they are actively trying to take the active role/resenting that this is being denied them. they just might look like doormats from a situational standpoint, but the internal condition is different --- oh also. it's not necessarily like being submissive is a bad thing in a character. It's just that I happen to have gotten sick of it after seeing it so often. But it is a realistic portrayal of a large swathe of the population and it can be done well. Plus I feel as if I'm making submissiveness sound annoying. Especially with my use of the word "doormat"-- submissive characters can actually do things other than stand around whinging. (it's just that the most extreme examples-- the ones where it is literally impossible for this character to be a dominant in disguise-- are the characters who literally will not raise a finger to do anything to control their situation***. but that's just as extreme as the dominant character who is a super control-freak, rides over the relationship roughshod, and has no consideration for others, at all...) ***(while this is semi-irrelevant, it would actually be interesting to see a dominant character employing this tactic. but the difference is, they'd be "being helpless" in a strategic, manipulative way... They wouldn't actually be helpless, they'd still be in control. they'd be "literally not raising a finger, in order to control the relationship" (ooh, commas))
  3. I had an epiphany. The epiphany was brought about through multiple incidents. In not much of a particular order: 1. some time ago I was watching a Korean drama which involved the male and female leads switching bodies. I realized that my favorite character in the show, by far, was the male when he was inside the female's body-- there was somethign ridiculously refreshing about seing the "Girl" in the relationship take charge, be ridiculously audacious, etc. I came to the conclusion that I would be ecstatic to watch a show in which there was such a character (instead of it just being temporarily the guy in the girl's body). A female character who wouldn't back down from a fight... 2. except here's the thing. manga/books/movies etc claiming to have "strong" female characters, most frequently do not have characters I consider strong. Their strength, instead, is physical strength. But once you look past that, they are still the passive, reactive, (frequently illogical) characters that I am so sick of... 3. In the meantime I was considering the eithera/saurva and Te'ijal/galahad pairings, and what appeals to me about them (T/G in av1, av2, and the earlier av3 games... i choose to pretend that the later av3 games do not exist) 4. and then I was reading a guide to character archetypes.... ---- now, some psychology There is a dichotomy* in how different personality types relate to the world-- a dichotomy that has several names. Dominant/submissive Active/passive etc. *(quick clarification of my use of the word "dichotomy": I use it in a slightly different sense than it generally is used... usually, a black/white dichotomy means something is either black, or white. However, when I am using, it means something is black, or white, or any shade of grey in between-- HOWEVER, the more black it is the less white it must be, and vice versa. a false dichotomy would be "are you creative or shy?" because being more creative does not, by necessity, mean being less shy... however, "are you introverted or extroverted?" would be a dichotomy, even though people come in varying shades, and some people may even be perfectly balanced between the two and thus not specifically one or the other.) psychologically, they represents two fundamentally different ways of viewing the world (or relationship) It is important for understanding what comes next that I am not using these words in some of their other connotations. I am using them only as how I am about to define them: Dominant/active personalities view situations as fundamentally static. Thus, they feel that they need to take charge in order to make change happen. Submissive/passive personalities, on the other hand, view situations as fundamentally dynamic. They react to them rather than taking control. In romance, this essentially translates to The dominant/active half of the relationship sees attraction to another person as a static state, which (s)he feels it is up to him/her to change in the direction more in agreement to his/her preference. This accounts for the dominant/active half's inclination to take the initiative in approaching the object of his/her interest and being "relentless" in his pursuit, as well as, even during an established relationship, continuing to try to "shake things up" or "get things moving". whereas the submissive/passive half sees attraction between two individuals as a dynamic state, which (s)he feels is completely natural. This accounts for a submissive/passive individual's inclination to focus on the mutual attraction, or particularly the attraction felt by the other person, as to its longer-term perspectives and implications, as well as a certain expectation that the partner will continuously take action to confirm the attraction. Failure on the partner to do so results on the individual assuming that it's already changing. (slightly modified from wikisocion.org-- taken from there because it's the quickest clearest explanation I can find, but other theories accept this premise as well) --- and then suddenly it all clicked into place. Someone explain to me why in 99.99% of any relationships I have read/watched about, the female is always the passive half of the relationship? Even if you're going to argue that there is a slight gender preference to one side (there might be) there certainly isn't one that is that ridiculously overwhelming. Now see, I can understand why sociocultural norms might make a female dominant/active be less overtly dominant/active than a male. But. That is not what I am watching/reading. What I am watching/reading is countless extremely, extremely passive/submissive female characters. i.e. there is no way a dominant personality would be putting up with that s---. even when toning their dominance down. ...no wonder I'm so fed up. --- oh, and by the way. does anyone have counterexamples of series/pairings etc where this is not the case? (not necessarily just examples where the female is dominant, but even example where she falls on a less submissive side of the spectrum?) (Te'ijal/Galahad prior to Av3-4 being an obvious one, but add in Elini/PJ and Aveyond already has an unsual amount of these pairings. 2! So many!)
  4. ...okay, that is kinda awesome. and makes me not wanna ditch the demon realm (specifically, what bothered me was that it said humans couldn;t survive it, and then Mel did... and it's you know, the DEMON realm. not human-gallivanty place. like, my image of realms with demons in them involves them not having the convention physicality/3 dimensions etc. but... we'll see.)
  5. Quick review of what I'm doing with this story: I'm writing the plot of TDP. but as if it were consistent with what I was led to expect in the previous games. ...so yes, the lurking in Harakauna thing is thrown out the window. Because the last conversation in TLO consist of Mel agreeing to go with Ed to the Arishta isles, complaining that he keeps saying she has magic, and then asking him to wait up. (note: I did include all the text from the game in my prologue for a reason) As far as I was concerned, consistence-wise there was absolutely no reason to predict that she would, for no reason at all, suddenly ditch him. If in the game they'd had something like--- I was following Ed to the dock, when suddenly I panicked and ran off!-- that already would have made more sense than having her just start in the Harakauna village, taking it for granted that it makes perfect sense for her to be there (Please note also my deleted scenes fic, where Gyendal comments on how UNSPEAKABLY STUPID this is, considering how, now that she has mage powers, the darkthrop prophecy is still very most definitely devastatingly in effect. So her brilliant plan to deal with this is to hide in harakuna. wow, mel.) --- changes made based on consistency with past games: 1. nox and uma are still creepy. in fact, dialed up in creepiness (because at the end of TLO I thought we were being set up to have Nox replace Gyendal as Big Bad) 2. Gyendal is lame, thanks to TLO, but he still has some GoN awesomeness left in him, unlike in the real TDP, where he just... did nothing. 3. I was considering matching the Arishta isles geography more closely to what I remembered from Aveyond 1, but the truth is, it's been 300 years, things change. However, a lot of the politics etc in Veldarah has roots back 300 years ago. 4. The character growth that I thought had happened in the previous three games is not thrown out the window. So Ed is not a totally blind fool who doesn't believe Mel when there's absolutely no reason not to believe her, and Galahad is actually NICE to Te'ijal (see: her letters in TLO) and Te'ijal is... Te'ijal. 5. ORBS! THIS IS THE ORBS OF MAGIC SERIES, FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE! WHAT WAS THE POINT OF RUNNING AROUND THE PAST THREE GAMES IF ALL THAT REALLY MATTERED WAS SOME DUMB STAFF!? 6. On that note, other plot issues that needed resolution, i.e. Edward's kingship etc, are not just lamely dealt with in the last five minutes of the game. Edward was planning on recruiting his family's supporters in Veldarah! I was nearly dying of excitement for POLITICICAL MANEUVERS AND AWESOME DIPLOMACY! but nooooo. So yeah. expect that. (if i ever have time to write this monstrosity, anyway) Those are the main consistency changes. They sound minor, but they add up to a hugely different story. Another category of changes is thematic changes. i.en changes born not out of my expectations from previous games but out of... me... I found some of the underlying themes in TDP disturbing. Specifically, the Katie/Petir subplot is being completely rewritten, and some other things will change too. This ties in also with some character development stuff.. I mean, alright, we knew I was an Ed/Mel shipper so obviously this version of the story will trend that way more. Plus I have my whole retarded angsty Mel backstory (Kill me now. I hate writing angst) which plays a large-ish role in the plot. Finally, elements from the original story that I'm keeping (well, most of them I'm then fleshing out much more than they were in the game, but...): 1. Shadow Aveyond. OMG I LOVED THAT IDEA. And it was sooo creeepy. (The demon realms might have to go, though. I'm undecided on that one.) 2. The basic backbone of the plot from the game... (er... well... to a limited extent... there's a LOT more before Mel gets kidnapped, and... okay... lots of stuff changes afterwards, too... the Big Bad is totally different... yeah...) ...it serves as a reference, anyway. 3. Lar VIII. Only he's a main character, not an epilogue. And he's not really at all like Lars from Aveyond 1. Because sharing the same name does not make you the same person. 4. Some of the more special crack from the end got integrated into my very different interpretation of the plot. Just sayin
  6. 3 or 4 times within the space of a minute when it's the orbs, plus several other times interspersed throughout the game that you seem to have missed. i don;t remember each time, i only remember that at some point I was like ENOUGH ALREADY.
  7. erm. this is totally not a chapter. I guess it's 1.5 (it was initially longer, and refusing to be written, and i was just like SCREW IT THEY NEED TO GET TO VELDARAH ALREADY) also, i apologize for the totally sappy ending. I assure you, neither I nor Mel had any idea that was comign IT WAS ALL ED'S FAULT THAT EVIL NEFARIOUS BOY *cough* ...I'm totally nuts aren't i? *cough* ---- They managed to find time to say goodbye to Yvette and June and Ulf. Then, re-stocked with supplies, they prepared to head out. The problem, Edward explained to her, was that the Arishta isles were actually surrounded by an impassable range of sea-mountains. They'd have to go by dragonback, which meant they'd have to find a dragonrider willing to take them. She was not excited by the prospect. She was, however, even less excited at the thought of having to explain to Edward that giant freaky flying lizards scared the living daylights out of her. She solved this problem by not thinking about it, at all, the entire three-day sea-trip to the dragonrider's island. This was not nearly as hard as it could have been, because Edward spent the entire time harassing her. “Mel! Look! Dolphins!” he'd call. Or: “Mel! Look! You think that's a volcano exploding there on the horizon?” How should she know whether that tiny red dot was a volcano exploding? And why would she care to see those stupid dolphins? “But everyone likes dolphins!” Edward protested, when she asked him this. “How would you know? Have you asked everyone?” “It's common sense,” he said, “they're these awesome jumping mammals, not to mention they're super intelligent and have helped save people's lives.” “That's ridiculous,” she said, and then paused. “Wait, what? Mammals? Now I know you're lying.” “What, you didn't know that dolphins were mammals? C'mon, everyone knows that.” “That's impossible!” Lacking in a basic education she might be, but even she knew that mammals had fur or hair. Plus, dolphins were pretty obviously fish. “But it's true-- and whales are mammals, too.” “That's the most idiotic thing I've ever heard!” “You can ask anybody!” “...You're just trying to make me look gullible,” she said, eyes narrowed. “I am not!” “Like that time you told me that gullible was written on the ceiling.” “It was!” “You wrote it there!” “But I was still telling the truth!” he protested. “That's not the point!” “I'm telling you, I'm not making this up. Look, go ask that sailor over there. He'd know.” She crossed her arms. “No thanks. I already know you're wrong.” Nonetheless somehow later that day she found herself asking, casually-- and well out of Edward's earshot-- about the classification of mammals and whales. The answer was not the one she would have preferred hearing. ---- She spent the entire dragonride to the Arisha Isles clinging to Edward's back for dear life. “Mel,” he shouted, over the whipping winds, “you're making it difficult to breathe.” “Don't care!” she shouted back. Edward spent most of the ride talking delightedly to their rider, a bronze-tanned dragonboy who was more than happy to explain the various training procedures and customs of dragonriders. Mel paid no attention to the conversation, more focused on keeping her eyes shut and not thinking about how absurdly high up they were. When at last the ride was over, they disembarked in a clearing of sandy ground next to a huge forest full of unfamiliar trees. Mel fell to the ground and would have kissed it, it was that ridiculously beautiful to her. As it was, she found it difficult to regain her feet, what with the wobbly feeling of the ground heaving underneath her, not to mention the absolute ache in every single muscle of her body. Edward had neglected to mention that dragonrides were not only terrifying, they were unspeakably painful. “How can you even walk?” she hissed at him, as she hobbled along behind him. “What?” He said. “Oh, you're probably saddle-sore. I'm used to it-- used to ride horses all the time.” Stupid spoiled rotten noble prince, she thought bitterly in his direction. And then shrieked as he swung her up onto his back and proceeded to carry her into the forest.
  8. except that my whole dropped hint was that Mel was lying to herself about the extet to which she went along with Mel. i.e. she gets upset at what Gyendal says and /forces/ herself to remember "oh wait i was trying to make him jealous" i.e. it's not entirely true but it's what she needs to tell herself. whereas in straight canon (if you're playing with her rejecting all his gifts and thus saying the line about psychotic ex-vampires) she's saying that without any underlying denial...
  9. "Yay me =_____= *sarcasm* Yeah, even way before I'm a shipper I already thought certain parts of their dialogue sounds just so wrong. I'm glad you gave this warning beforehand. I need to construct a proper mind barrier. Otherwise this story may very well have unwanted effects on my minds. Just saying." Give warning beforehand? I only included the note after. Unless you mean for the rest of the story--- in which case, I don;t think it's going to get much more disturbing than it is now. i.e. essentially tame. With underlying currents of disturbing never explicitly brought up. I only mentioned it because it was one of the three major changes i made to the literal script of what happened in the game-- in the game, Gyendal's pretty creepy as is, but I yoinked it up a bit in your honor. (Truth of the matter I was planning on being much more overt and chickened out...) "Ohey, I braved through the prologue and made it out fine I guess I was just being overly paranoid about the whole thing" ...if you survived this you should probably be fine wit the rest, too.
  10. I'm so glad i'm not alone in needing postTDP help! /glee
  11. (oh, my uma is not so nice. I mean, she's fun-- but not nice. At all. Sorry, but since i was keeping nox creepy instead of... what she was... uma had to be matched to fit.)
  12. Aw... thanks. (Wow, i thought this story was already inching its way towards the graveyard O_O)
  13. Prologue The orb flew out of Mel's hands and into Spook's. "What the-" Mel began, lunging forward to grab it back. Spook laughed and was suddenly transformed into a face Mel knew far, far too well. "Gyendal!" Edward exclaimed, shocked. Gyendal flicked a glance at him and made a small gesture with his hand. There was a sharp acrid bzzzzzzt and Edward collapsed, groaning, to the floor. "Edward!" Mel said, and found that she couldn't run towards him. There was something in her way, something she couldn't see, like a thick, slimy wall between her and the prince. "Edward!" she cried, again, pounding at the wall. He was lying there, crumpled up. There wasn't any blood but then there usually wasn't, when it came to magic. She couldn't tell, if he was... if he was... He crawled, weakly, to his feet, and somewhere inside Mel her heart which had stopped started working again. "Mel..." he said, and reached out his hand to meet the same barrier Mel herself was encountering. "Mel, Mel, Mel," Gyendal said, mockingly. "I could almost forgive you for all you have done to me. I would never have found the orb of death without your... help." He trailed off, smirking, and at the look of shock on Mel's face he doubled over, laughing. "Did you really think I liked you? How funny!" Mel fought the urge to rip his face off with her bare hands. And to think she had... to think she had... She swallowed, hard. No. She was missing the point. She'd only ever gone along with him because she'd wanted to make Edward jealous, that was all. It had worked, too, so the joke was on Gyendal all the way. She forced herself to laugh. "I'm not interested in psychotic ex-vampires," she said, and was glad to see the smug look on his face waver for just a fraction of a second. "Time to die, Gyendal!" She threw herself at him, knife in hand. Did she realize it was hopeless? On some level she did. He was at full power, now, and she was all alone. But what was she supposed to do? This was how she'd always fought, anyway, entirely on her own, entirely by herself. She couldn't let anyone-- She couldn't let Edward-- Still, it was hopeless. It took maybe a minute, for him to vector-lightning her to the edge of unconsciousness. She crumpled, seeing bright red flares go off behind her eyes. The floor of the cavern was so cool, to the touch. So strangely comfortable. She heard Gyendal approach and thought, resignedly, that this was probably it. Oh well. She'd known she'd never amount to anything much. But she wasn't going to beg for her life. That much she'd promised herself. "Go ahead, kill me!" She said, looking him straight in the eye. The dramatic effect was ruined, slightly, when she coughed up blood, dark red droplets on the cave floor, so this was what it felt... Gyendal chuckled, low and dark. "Kill you? I think not, clever girl. We both know the orb would be useless without you." He lifted her chin, looking down at her with a look that made Mel's blood run cold. She'd felt helpless, when he'd kidnapped her, but this was worse. This was... a look so cold, so vicious, so hungry... Her eyes stung. No, she wouldn't give him the pleasure of seeing her cry, she couldn't-! He grabbed her by the back of her neck and hauled her to her feet. "You will be my slave," he whispered into her ear, and she couldn't help the shudder that ran through her, the way he said that word. "And through you, I shall use the orb to destroy all who oppose me." He paused, considering. "shall we start with your friends?" He steered her, so she could see them more clearly, standing there, helplessly-- "N-" she half-whispered, choked back. He grinned. "I think yes," he said, delightedly. He repositioned his hands on her shoulders and she-- and she-- pain. cold, dark, lonely, hungry, hungry, hungry... Mothe-- damp brick walls shivering and always, always the sound of crying, except for when the Mother came in, and then there was silence and she was "You useless little brat" and a stinging pain across her cheek, a throbbing pain in her arm, a... Edward, standing there with his arms wrapped around the girl who was not her useless worthless filthy Seri the gang leader, laughing, "kick him, kick him" and there's only her and that little pile of rags, whimpering on the ground-- always, always the sound of crying pain. The magic coursed through her, the magic invaded every part of her, every part she kept locked away. She opened her mouth but she did not scream, she could not scream, there were tears flowing down her face and she couldn't feel anything but this white hot agony of awareness, of grief, of shame-- Edward, beating at the bubble, screaming to her-- The orb began to glow, dark magic swirling around, whipping her hair around her face, pain grief death-- "Noooooo!" She shouted, hoarse. There was a flash and a feeling like a string stretched taut snapping with all its might. Gyendal fell back and stumbled to regain his balance. He glared at Yvette and June. "Which one of you did it? Who broke my shield?" "It was not us, you fool, it was her!" Yvette said, and pointed at Mel. "M-me?" Mel said, and couldn't help but flick a glance behind her, as if there was someone else Yvette could have been pointing to. "I can't use magic! I'm a thief!" Even as she said it she felt herself sway-- "Don't just stand there, everyone! Get him!" Edward shouted, and Mel was vaguely aware of what happened after that, the flashes of magic-- she was fighting, hard, not to vomit. She staggered towards the wall and leaned against it, trying to keep standing, trying to follow what was going on-- Edward weaving in to swing at Gyendal leaving a trail of fire in his wake-- She breathed in, slowly, closed her eyes. She was not-- thinking of anything-- there, that was good. Her head felt numb, cold, calm. Exactly how she liked it. Gyendal collapsed. They stood there, panting, unsure of what came next. But Mel had recovered, needed to show that she had recovered. She staggered to join the rest of them. "It is finished, Gyendal. We have beaten you," she said. Mostly to hear herself say it. Ulf pulled an anti-magic bracelet out of his pocket. "where did you get that?" she asked, taken aback. "My time training under the alchemist was not completely innocent," he said, with a shy smile. "I knew Gyendal would be back so I prepared this for his return." He shuffled awkwardly, clearly proud of himself. "You'd better use it on him before he regains his strength," Edward pointed out. Ulf reached towards Gyendal with the bracelet. Gyendal leapt up, an empty elixir clattering to the floor behind him. "Get that thing away from me!" he shouted, swerving away. He made a complex gesture with his hands and a huge black portal opened behind him. "It is never finished between us, Darkthrop!" he shouted, and vanished. There was a pause. "Strange friends, you humans keep," Yvette said. "He's no friend of mine," Edward said, huffily. Mel raised her eyebrows. Then she winced, as a fresh wave of pain-- the purely physical kind, thankfully-- overtook her. "Ugh, my head," she said, kneeling. "Do not worry, it will not last long. It happens to most who first find their magic," Yvette said. Mel groaned, cradling her head between her knees. "I don't do magic! I am not one of you!" "Geez, it's not that bad," June said. Mel snuck her a glance from between her knees. June, young, fresh-faced, well-dressed, oblivious. She was suited to magic. But Mel-- Mel never wanted this, Mel never wanted... "My life is ruined!" She said, and meant it. "Look everyone, why don't we go outside and give Mel some space," Edward said, meaningfully. Yvette didn't seem to catch the hint until Edward steered her towards the door, and June lingered, clearly curious to see what would happen, but Ulf brought her along with him. Finally, everyone was gone but her and Edward. He came up to her, quickly taking in her current state-- she was shaking, uncontrollably, and he felt the urge to hug her but he knew what she was like when she was like this. She'd just shake him off. So instead he rested his hand lightly on her shoulder, tryign to express support, confidence... "Mel," he said, as gently as he could. "I don't know what happened here today, but it's going to be okay." He tilted her chin upwards, so she could look him in the eye, so she could see that he meant it. She nodded, imperceptibly. Goddess, her lips were trembling. He couldn't think when he'd last seen her this bad. He hesitated. "The others and I will meet you back in the Peliad library, okay?" She bit her lip, looking at him with the most pained expression. "Go," she whispered. He glanced back at her, still relucant, as he left. When she heard his last footsteps fade away she pulled herself back up on her feet. She paced, back and forth, her mind racing. Thoughts she did not want to think kept bubbling back up to the surface. Seri... the orphanage... Oh goddess. The prophecy. She was a mage. The prophecy. She wheeled on the orb, all her anger concentrating on that one awful, evil crystal. "You've ruined my life, orb," she hissed. "You shall never ruin another." She picked it up and shivered. For the first time ever, she could feel the magic within it. The lure of it. She was a Darkthrop, huh? So maybe Mother had been right, when she's said she'd have been better off never being born. If she had magic, didn't that mean she was doomed to fulfill this-- this stupid prophecy? Make a new world... she thought, her hands stroking the orb absentmindedly. She felt the familiar prickling in the back of her neck that meant Nox had appeared. Of course. It figured Nox would appear now, she had such a knack for timing. "You must feel strong with your new magic. All powerful." Nox said. "Go away, Nox!" Mel hissed. She hated having her own thoughts echoed back at her. "With the orb of death in your hand, kings and queens must bow to you... Lydia must bow to you or fear your wrath," Nox said, smirking. "Lydia..." Mel said, and for the millionth time it flashed through her head, the image of Edward up on that podium in front of that crowd of guests and Lydia's smug, victorious smile-- She felt the orb begin to warm, glowing-- She growled and smashed it to the ground. She was not the Darkthrop heir. She was not... "It's over, Nox," she said. Nox laughed. "It has only just begun..." she said, fading away. "DARKTHROP!" The echoes of her voice gave Mel chills. She shuddered and tried to dismiss the feeling. "Ugh, this place is creeping me out. I'd better get back to the others in Peliad." ----- Later, in Peliad... Edward heard Mel's footsteps approaching him and put down the book he was skimming. “Edward,” she said, striding quickly over to him. “I've destroyed the orb. It's over.” She paused. 'Hey, where is everyone?” “They've all gone off,” he said. “After we left the cave, Ulf and Yvette went back to Harakauna. June and I came alone to Peliad. She left as soon as we entered the city. She said that after our bout with Gyendal, she'd earned her certificate.” “June finally became a ceritified magician?” Mel grinned. “That's great!” Her smile seemed so genuine, he thought. And here he'd never have guessed she'd be proud for the girl-- Well, Mel always acted pricklier than she actually was, he thought, fondly. “Well, I suppose we should go back to Thais now that all of this craziness is over with,” Mel continued thoughtfully, after a moment Huh? “Er.... Mel?” Edward said, staring at her. “Aren't you forgetting the obvious? I've been banished from Thais, remember?” He paused, wondering if she really had managed to completely forget-- “And you've got you've got your... uh... magic issue,” he said, as delicately as he could. “Yvette lied,” she said quickly. “It wasn't me who used magic, it was June.” Edward gave her a look. “Mel, denial isn't going to make what happened go away.” She met his gaze defiantly, and he sighed. “I have an idea. We can't go back to Thais for obvious reasons, and Gyendal is still out there and must hate you more than ever.” “Don't remind me,” she said. Shuddered. It made him wish, for a moment, that he had lopped Gyendal's head off then and there. Instead he continued. “Have you ever heard of the Arishta Isles?” She considered, for a moment. “It sounds familiar.” “It should,” he said. “Sedona, the city where Te'ijal and Galahad are living, is in the Arishta Isles.” She nodded. He continued, seriously. “My family has friends in that part of the world. To remove Lydia from my throne, I must gather as many allies as I can.” She blinked, and then grinned. “Your throne? Edward, this is the first time I've heard you speak like a king!” He blushed. And here he'd been expecting some sort of snarky comment. Gosh, she looked criminally pretty smiling like that, and at him, too. It was making his toes curl up. “I didn't know how much I cared for my kingdom until Lydia stole it from me. Under her rule, I fear many will suffer.” “You can say that again,” Mel muttered, under her breath. “Starting with the seamstresses, ooh boy.” Edward ignored that, although his mouth did quirk upwards. He pressed on. “Lydia is not the only reason why we must go to the Arishta isles. You need training. There is a good magic school in Veldarah.” Mel narrowed her eyes. “For the last time Edward, I can't use magic!” He rolled his eyes at her. Yeah right. Still in denial, sheesh. “Whatever you say. Are you ready to go?” he asked. She hesitated.”I'll go.” She paused, watching the smile quirk at the corner of his lips. “Only because anywhere far from Lydia is a good place to be.” He grinned. That reminded him. He began walking away (to be out of kicking range). “I can't wait to see the look on Lydia's face when she learns that you can use magic!” He really couldn't. He wondered if she'd turn green. Like a frog. Heh. "Ugh! For the last time Edward, I can't use magic!" Mel said. He ignored her, picking up his pace. "Hey!" She yelped. "Wait for me!" That made him grin. Well, he already knew she was coming. --- A/n: Wow, that took much longer to write that I thought it would, considering I had all the dialogue and actions already written for me. Sheesh. Other than adding some details/thought processes to the character's behavior, the main things I added in here was some heavy backstory flashing on Mel's part and a little bit of creepy Gyendal interactions, I think. I'm emphasizing this only because if I handed you the script I was copying from the game of this final scene in TLO, you'd see it's mostly the same-- and then maybe you'd understand why I found the beginning of TDP so incredibly jarring... I think for this story, since I am doing such a huge rewrite, I'm going to include at the end of each chapter an explanation of my thought process. Here, I think the three main explanations needed are thus: 1. Way back when I was trying to resolve in my head why Mel was so adamantly against nobles (the huge class warfare cliche just doesn't work for me, sorry) I invented a hugely angsty backstory of her time in Harburg based on very slim canon hints. Since that backstory is kinda hugely important to this fic it's pretty important that everyone understand that it's there 2. Talking to D_a makes me include disturbing Gy/M hints. ...once you're viewing things that way, some of their dialogue becomes incredibly disturbing... -blink- 3. A lot of other changes were just me adding Mel/Ed overtones to everything. Sorry, but I have something akin to the Midas touch-- everything I write manages to be M/E on some level. Stella fans, I'm still going to try to make Stella awesome (I did like her for the first three games, after all) Anyway. Yeah. Plotty goodness coming up next, whee!
  14. So. *cough* I was a little bit disappointed in the story in TDP (to put it lightly). I definitely had overly high expectations for it, but oh well. As catharsis/therapy, I am presenting TDP- Blurble style. It draws inspiration from the canon of what happened in TDP, but it mostly draws on what I thought was going to happen post TLO (i.e, plot hints that I felt were given during the first three games and then ignored in the fourth will be given a lot more weight). It also draws on messages/themes I wish the story had had, instead of the more disturbing ones I thought it did have (i.e, some character interactions will be different for that reason). What that means is that while certain TDP trappings will be preserved (Shadow Aveyond, Uma, Nox, Lars VIII, Katie/Petir, etc...) their presentation and the story will be very different. (Other elements, like the ghost town story etc, will probably be preserved without changes-- basically, I changed things I felt needed changing). And there will be huge masses of plot that have nothing to do with what canonically happened in TDP. and certain plot twists will probably just not happen. and certain characterizations just won't exist. etc. The story is based heavily on my own fanon, as well. I discussed this somewhat in the planning thread, which got moved to SH. I was explaining it because I thought it would be jarring to start the story without understanding how much I'd changed-- I've since decided that I can remedy that problem by including a prologue. That said, onwards to the story! ---- Table of Contents: Prologue|.5|
  15. D'awwwwwwwwwwwww this totally helps me with all my hurt postTDP t/g feelings.
  16. Well, Thais was supposedly a much more complicated venture, involving those annoying cliffs. xD thanks. (I am actually considering writing an Ed/Stella to alleviate my discomfort over the way the game handled it... ergk. I do still vastly prefer Stella---> Ed, though. So it probably won;t happen)
  17. ...where did you get that they took a year? The entire jewel thief arc, starting from when mel gets kidnapped all the way until Galahad/te'ijal join the party, is said to have taken "a morning". The entire demon plains arc takes place at the same time, plus a little bit at the end where galahad join. ...for the rest of the game to have then taken a /year/ seems insane. ---- eh. whatever. truth of the matter is, i'm not hugely interested in a shipping war. There's no way either side is going to convince the other, seeing as we pretty clearly see things very differently (i.e. we disagree on which female lead is the bigger mary sue). Also, I kind of want to live in a blissful bubble in which the events of TDP never happened. So.
  18. ...See, as far as I'm concerned Edward may well have been looking for someone "to love". But once you actually find that someone, and you stick with her for three games, and you form a really deep bond... Then you're no longer in the same stage of life that you were beforehand, where you're just looking for someone to love. You've actually changed and grown as a person (I KNOW IT HAPPENS SOMETIMES THAT THING WHERE PEOPLE MATURE). Now. It happens to be that the wedding breakup in TLO could have been a breaking point for them. I would have been willing to buy that (see: my anxious despair throughout the game that they be okay as a couple). However, what I got from the ending of TLO was that that clearly was not the case. Edward takes it very much for granted that Mel is coming with him, and Mel does not challenge that assumption. That's why I assumed that some point off-screen during the game they at least semi-resolved the "You married another woman" problem. Even if they didn't, though, they clearly are still together. Note also that Edward does not have Stella also come along-- Stella is happily recovering from her various traumas, finding peace in tending animals. But fine. I would have even accepted it, if a breaking point had been properly introduced and developed in this game. If some actual emotional dealing with this had happened. But no such thing occurred... instead, out of the blue, Edward gets stuck with Stella? wait, whaaaat? And I agree that they had absolutely not a single spark between them the entire game. No chemistry. Heck, at the end, when giving presents? Mel/Ed still had significantly cuter chemistry. They were all like "cutesy jokesy flirting I'm so happy we're back together". Stella/Edward was all "oh look I'm so pretty why yes indeed you are very pretty" ...seriously? They're relationship is based on just that? Oh, unless you want to say that it's also Stella'a [d]pure heart[/d] mary-sueishness, and therefore OF COURSE edward falls in love with her sweet wonderful insightful flawless personality... to which i respond that there's some canon evidence that Edward doesn't have so much patience with cotton-candy-sweet personalities. aka the eyeroll. My love meter for Edward (which had dropped a bit) was restored by that eyeroll. ESPECIALLY BECAUSE I WAS ROLLING MY EYES AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. So me and eddykins are still thinking alike, which is nice. and back to stella's mary sue thing. see, stella is a gal whose had a lot of bad things happen to her. she's had her wings ripped off she's failed her job as a guardian miserably she's been killed and her crush is in love with her best friend. now. what i appreciated about stella was that she managed to cope with these things. my appreciation for her strength went kinda sour when: 1. she got her wings back 2. no one seems to care in the slightest that she screwed up 3. she gets magically revived 4. she steals her best friend's boyfriend AND NO ONE SEEMS TO THINK THIS IS A PROBLEM see, I can deal with 3 (grudgingly, since having someone die was so darn different). and I was fully willing and happy to accept 2 as a consolation prize for her missing out on 4. But for her to get absolutely everything ever end up perfectly for her with no consequences whatsoever? lfkjgljgdjlgdljkdjklgdgljk. DGGDHFGHFdfh. (Honestly, I think OoM had a much better ending by GoN. the next two games felt like they were stretching the story without actually having what to stretch it with. I put up with TLO on the assumption it was leading up to something in TDP-- but TDP never delivered on that promise, instead throwing, among other things, the entire "orbs of magic" premise itself out the window (so mel's prophecy was fulfilled through a magic staff, huh? THEN WHY THE HECK WERE THE ORBS IMPORTANT IN THE FIRST PLACE?!?), as well as characterization, character development, relationship development... (any growth edward experienced during the first three games was undercut by his behavior this game. as for T/G-- I was extremely upset by some of their dialogue. I agree, Te'ijal had some comeuppance coming to her, but in TLO it seemed to be established that Galahad was being his usual noble self and actually forgiving her sufficiently to be quite kind and considerate. And then we have him spouting really disturbing lines about how she has to obey him no matter what, and Te'ijal just goes along with this... Fun, playful, quirky Te'ijal is basically nonexistent... kfjdfjgdjldgk) agh i could go on and on. basically, the gameplay in TDP was quite fun. The story-- I am striking from my memory. I am removing it from canon. I am pretending it never happened.)
  19. get the truth mirror, bring it to the priestess. the truth mirrors, i believe, are southwestish of where you entered dreamland.
  20. towards a southwestern part of dreamland... (if someone could tell e what happens if you try choosing a lie mirror, i'd really love to know, actually)
  21. ...oh, so since I hated the Katie/Petir storyline, the part where Stella liked it just ticked me off.
  22. ah... so i'll disagree. They had chemistry in 3-1 and 3-2... (I was willing to ship them, even though my OTP was and is Ed/Mel) and Edward was kind of a brat in certain parts of 3-4 (hey ho, beginning-- then again, a lot of characters were ooc this game. galahad?!)... (3-3 you'd have to specify what incidents you're referring to. i don;t remember him being specifically bratty, unless you count his and mel's whole "let's not discuss the part where the wedding never happened" thing, which could also apply if you had the stella beginning although... slightly less so... since he wasn't travelign with her the entire time) But Stella was not awesome, at all, in 3-4. She had awesome bits in the other games. In this one? Mary sue allllll the way D= (Whereas I actually thought Edward having magic in his sword was kinda awesome. Among the things that should've happened in this game? He and Mel bantering about that. I seem to recall her making fun of him (not) being a swordsinger at the very beginning, no?)
  23. Sometimes things are predictable for a reason i.e. because THEY MAKE SENSE. it's nice to be unpredictable if unpredictable = not cliched... not so much if unpredictable = completely out of left field and makes no sense whatsoever. aka: predictability is not evil! cliche is, but only because cliche = "badly executed predictability". which is to say, if you execute it properly (and ed/mel were doing a perfectly fine job of it and heck, even in their two minute interactions in 3-4 had more chemistry than ed/stella all game long... well, if you ignore that awful beginning part which made absolutely no sense for either of them and therefore yes I am ignoring it...)
  24. I [i[know[/i], right? I should've kept count of how many times she said that. Especially with the "putting the orbs in the hollows" thing, where she said the exact same phrase three times in a row within the space of a minute! (and why is it always Stella having these insights? urg. Couldn't any of the other characters come up with a solution? I think I got really fed up with Stella this game. I liked her okayish in the previous ones, but... Stella who gets magical help from mysterious total deus-ex-machina old ladies, who is so "pure" that she's the only one who can pass the purity test, who gets FRIGGIN REVIVED FROM THE DEAD lkfdjgfgjkljklfjkldfjklgjdfjklgjskfg and then she gets her wings back. and then supposedly canonically she MARRIES EDWARD. I mean are you effkin kidding me. *Vomits in the mary-sue wasetbasket* ....cough. sorry. no really, i did like her up until this game. So no offense meant to Stella fans. gfjgjldgjlkg. sorry that my feelings got so vehement but now that I've vented I should be fine.)
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