First, I noticed that I left PriscillaxHeath out in the Epilogue I posted. Therefore, I will put it here:
Priscilla and Heath: Despite his status as a deserter from the Bernese Army, Heath was still a Knight of Pherae, and that gave Priscilla's adopted parents a chance to give Priscilla what she truly wanted, and allow her marriage to Heath. They now live in Etruia, and have two children.
Well, hello everyone. I know I said that this would take some time in coming, but I've got writers block with the novel I'm writing, and I really wanted to write this (Plus I missed getting review alerts in my e-mail inbox.)
So therefore, I have decided to type up my design notes and include a teaser for the sequel, which has no definite release date other than sometime in the next year or so.
Disclaimer: I decided to write these Design notes after reading the 'Linear Notes' of Gunlord500 in his fic 'Wayward Son' (which everyone should read), which he did at the end of every chapter. Now, granted, its been two years since I started this fic, so some of the things I might have been thinking at the beginning might be no longer remembered, but I have an amazing capacity for remembering things I thought a long time ago about things that have no relevance on my life today. Fortunately for you, my readers, this will be helpful for once.
Well,I, and by extension, all you readers, owe a thanks to Neil Gaiman and his book 'Stardust', which was then made into a most excellent movie. After seeing the movie the first time, I got the urge to write my first LynxTactician Fic, which the laughably inadequate 'Two Tacticians' was the result. I stopped writing that after someone on another site I had posted it on laid into me for writing a tactician fic at all, let alone a LynxTactician fic, and was quite a prick about it. I got pretty depressed about it. He didn't really attack the writing, but the writing sucked REALLY bad (and you can go look at it and join be in laughing at its horridness. Its still accessible from my profile.) and so it was good thing I stopped writing it.
Then, probably a year or so after I stopped writing, I saw Stardust again, and was overtake by the urge to try again. So, I sat down and thought of my character. I used the name Alkeni Synair as a testament to the first romance-based roleplay I'd ever done, which was why I was even comfortable writing a romance fic. Alkeni Synair had been the name of my character in that. Also, its just a cool sounding name.
I'd also always planned on Alkeni being a Bernese Noble's son, and needed a reason he was estranged from his father. Thus, the village massacre, which originally, was going to be the full extend of Kalaius's evils (i.e. I never planned on him being such a sadistic monster). Alkeni's sisters (originally there were supposed to be two) were also supposed to be airheads and more like Mystia than Kaila. (Hence the part in Chapter 10: A Day of Hope where both Alkeni and his alter-ego say he has 'sisters'). One of my biggest problems (I would almost call it a strength sometimes, but its really not) is that I do not plan out specifics in my writing, beyond a broad outline and specific individual scenes. (although the initial confession of love scene I had written for Lyn and Alkeni was supposed to take place later, and was quite different, but I decided to cut that and move the confession up because I wanted to get it finally up, AND because you, the readers, wanted to see it.)
Another thing is that I have a tendency, on FFN, to fluff my chapters with extra dialogue or side-scenes (the initial side-scenes with Kalaius were for that purpose). It was in the fluff I added more to the world than the game said, so I'm more than glad I had them. Several good plot ideas were found in either published fluff, or the fluff that got cut. (His mother showing up at the end, for example).
Kalaius was originally supposed to be a shadowy guy with no real relevance until AFTER Nergal, but I decided I liked writing him too much. In my mind, after I created the torturing stuff, he became, in some ways, like my view of Lucius Malfoy, and from there, it was only a brief stretch of the imagination to make Alstaria somewhat like my view of Narcissa, and Mystia like my view of Pansy. (I freely admit that I am addicted to reading Draco/Hermione Fanfiction.) The true extent of his evil came about all of a sudden when I was writing Chapter 11: Contact/Chapter 12: Reunion & Unburdening, and was not in the least bit planned. It worked well, however. That said, Kalaius was not supposed to be one-dimensional sadistic evil. In Dungeons and Dragons alignment terms (look it up on Wikipedia if you aren't familiar with the D&D alignments) he was supposed to be Lawful Evil. The One-dimensional insane nut niche was already filled by...
...you guessed it, Kaila. Who, in D&D terms, was always supposed to be a very insane Chaotic Evil. She came about as a natural growth from Kalaius the torturer. She joined the army in order for me to have a way for Alkeni to be abducted.
Now, as for the sequel. Originally, there was supposed to be a sequel were the group goes to the other side of the Dragons Gate and helps defend the Dragons from weird Cthulu-esque creatures. (Hence the crazy, trippy dream in Chapter 4: The Fortress, Dreams, and a Sinister Force, which was supposed to be foreshadowing). Eventually, I dropped the idea in favor of what was supposed to be the 'third book' (about the next generation) and combining one element from the dropped 'second book' with this new second 'book'.
While there is more to say, the key things have been said. My fic was written haphazardly, lurching drunkenly from unnecessary but interesting fluff to essential scene to combat to scenes ripped mostly from the game to unnecessary but interesting fluff and repeating the cycle all over again (although not always in that order). I didn't plan much, and so there are discrepancies and unresolved loose threads near the beginning of the fic, but overall, I quite like the result of my haphazard writing.
And finally, here is the teaser.
The Council of Thirteen was assembled. Zephiel was dead, and he had left no direct heir in the Royal Family. Zephiel's death had been more than inconvenient in its timing. The people were showing signs of discontent, a long drought resulting in massive food shortages, and their discontent was made worse by demagogues and lesser nobles taking advantage of the rising chaos by fighting their rivals. Riots and banditry were on the rise, and the land stood poised on the brink of civil war, while Etruia looked on eagerly. Even the Lycian Canton of Araphen was looking to grab a slice of Bern in the coming conflict.
And to top it all off, Zephiel and the entire Royal Family had died two weeks ago in a massive fire that had consumed the Royal Palace. The nation had been completely leaderless for those two weeks while the Council could convene in the Capital city. The situation had to be resolved. And Quickly.
All thirteen Great Houses were represented:House Tuleris (The replacement for House Synair after its mysterious and inexplicable destruction 19 years ago), House Veriol, House Turinos, House Drukil, House Quilaron, House Brushan, House Masniar, House Ruges, House Lirravorn, House Synallias, House Destiarac, House Khaniol, House Lukliav.
"I have my doubts that any of us are going to be able to agree on the selection of a new king any time soon." Seranov Lukliav said, rising from his chair. "For that matter, I think its time that we move past the monarchy entirely. I think we thirteen families should rule this nation in place of the King. We can sell it as a 'temporary regency' while we choose the next king, but we can simply never actually choose one."
"What you are proposing goes against all traditions of our nation." Kixrell Synallias replied. "We must always have a King. And I propose myself. House Synair was the closest in blood to Desmond and Zephiel. After their unfortunate destruction, my House is the closest in blood to House Synair. Therefore, I have the strongest blood ties."
"If we are going to discuss blood ties, Baron Synallias, which I would think hardly relevant, I am the second cousin of Alkeni Synair, who was the legal heir of House Synair. I think that makes me closest. But I find myself agreeing with Baron Lukliav." Mystia Tuleris said from her chair.
"I, like Duchess Tuleris agree with the House of Lukliav. I move that we put it too a vote. Shall we govern by Council or shall we continue to try and elect a king, but consistently fail, since, let us all face it, each and every one of us would like to have the Throne as our own, and we are therefore only going to vote for ourselves."
It was then that the door to the Council Chambers exploded inward in a pyrotechnic display, shards of the wood flying everywhere. As the smoke began to clear, two people came into the Thirteen's view. One was tall and wore a hooded cloak, his face shrouded by the hood, but a golden eye could be made out. In front of him was another, a woman who appeared to be in her mid-thirtees. Her black hair was wild and unkempt, her long fingernails painted blood red, her face pale, her eyes bloodshot and filled with pure insanity.
"I am sorry for the interruption, but I have come to enlighten you, and inform you some incorrect assumptions you have."
Mystia recognized the cruel, mad voice immediately. "No...it can't be..." She whispered. But the woman heard her anyway.
"Yes, dear Mystia. I am Kaila Synair. And I am here to claim the throne that is rightfully mine."
CUT! End Teaser.
(What, you didn't think I'd resolve it, did you?)