Reactions to Shadows of the Evergreen

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Reactions to Shadows of the Evergreen

Postby BakaGrappler » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:57 am

I hope people enjoy the story. And I really hope people will let me know what they think about it, whether or not they enjoyed it. So let me know here. Oh, and I guess a link to the story could go-

Here:http://www.erfworld.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=6780

And a little resource for the end of the first installment. 100% relevant.
Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mznsEcZlM2I
Hey, have you read Shadows of the Evergreen? It's my ErfFic. People say it's pretty good over here, and who am I to argue? Check it out, and then tell me what you think of my hack writing.
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Re: Reactions to Shadows of the Evergreen

Postby GWvsJohn » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:41 pm

Excellent work. Enjoyable read. Fits totally into the feel of Erfworld. I look forward to future installments.
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Re: Reactions to Shadows of the Evergreen

Postby GWvsJohn » Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:37 pm

Liked the 2nd episode as well. Architecture is less interesting to me than units, so I preferred the first, but I like the ambiance you are building. That city seems hard as nails. I look forward to those defenses being tested :)
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Re: Reactions to Shadows of the Evergreen

Postby BakaGrappler » Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:53 am

I've had very little time for writing the last week, and little time for fun either. My job takes a lot of physical strength and has very odd hours. But I just wanna say a few quick things, here.

First, I've made several small modification to entry 1 in the series. A name change to be more accurate of the "culture" and less generic, and I briefly made Everglade produce Gumps as heavy units to make a Bubba Gump joke for later. I decided to 86 that notion and leave the Hickson units a little less known for the time being.

The second update was a personal pleasure for me, an exercise in blending opulence and rock hard defenses against any kind of threat one could think of. It was a mental exercise of, "If I were to make an Erf Gondor, except more defensible and more beautiful, what would it look like?" The Adam and West bridge came kinda out of nowhere for me as well, as the names popped into my head as soon as I realized I'd probably have to give some structures names. I'm very happy with the result since I also have an Alfred and a cave with bats on the premises.

The third update... believe it or not that one was the hardest one for me. Probably for a reason you wouldn't believe. I knew I wanted to establish the Natural Allies right now, before getting to the Tower and the Garrison. And I toyed with Eager Elf names for about ten minutes before coming up with Brink, the Home Security Chief. But the Shady Elf Chief was soooooooo hard to name. I know very little about Goth culture, and nothing at all about wicken culture (which would be closer to Sandwitch territory). So coming up with a name to match with the "emotional baggage" character to flesh out the Side's history and the main character's personality and past was REAL hard. I even briefly entertained naming her Zone, as I'd heard that name around the internet recently. One google search later and I realized that even a watered down version would be NSFE (Not Safe For Erf). And after that, I spent a sleepless night as my brain searched for an answer to a Shady Elf name instead of trying to dream. And then I pulled Lydia Deets from my filing system, after not seeing Beetlejuice for LORD knows how many years. And she was perfect. A Goth that is both cute and dark at the same time, family friendly and capable of being sultry at the same time, a person who would more likely grow up to be the type to toy with a guy she likes as much as show affection. And then there's the fact that Wynona Ryder herself is easy on the eyes.

And GW... I look forward to showing you how Everclear fights. But not before a little more Unit exploration. (And your saying you prefer learning about units more than buildings had no impact on my 3rd entry. It was just a happy little coincidence.)

I hope everyone reading is enjoying themselves. And I just want to say, feedback, good or bad, is something that feeds my desire to write. "Hey, it's nice" makes me want to shovel more on your plate and "Hey, this part is bugging me" makes me want to get better at writing and eventually make your eyes pop at the quality my means of revenge. So anything, good or bad, is good for me. Apathy makes me drop into a mini-depression only cured by video games, which takes valuable writing time.

But you know... I wonder if anyone has guess why Warlord Grey Shades dislikes being around the nobility, yet?
Hey, have you read Shadows of the Evergreen? It's my ErfFic. People say it's pretty good over here, and who am I to argue? Check it out, and then tell me what you think of my hack writing.
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Re: Reactions to Shadows of the Evergreen

Postby Sir Shadow » Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:21 pm

I've enjoyed it so far. I'll admit, I had a little chuckle when Brinks was introduced due to the name.
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Re: Reactions to Shadows of the Evergreen

Postby Lor » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:34 pm

I'm also enjoying the story

In the interest of constructive criticism, I've noticed a few places where you switch back and forth between past and present tenses, and I'm responsibly sure you mean "past" (if I'm mistaken, kindly correct me).

2nd post: 9th "paragraph" starting: "With his mind returned to his approach, Grey gives himself the luxury" -- almost the entire paragraph.

The description of Lydia Doe-Ryder : "But her bodily mannerisms show her to"

----

Thanks, and please keep writing more!

Edit: Removed some rambling. And I really do hope this is taken positively, as (again) I am enjoying the story.
Sir Cedric: Delayed? How so?
Wamba: Well, when I heard Normans were approaching I ran to lock up my wife. But, she'd also heard they were approaching, and locked me up instead.
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Re: Reactions to Shadows of the Evergreen

Postby BakaGrappler » Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:55 pm

That is actually the sort of thing I need help with Lor, so thank you.

You see, I have never, ever, taken a writing class. Everything I know about writing has come from reading other people's writing, including what not to do. I also have some experiments on Fanfiction dot net. My major problem has been that I can come up with fantasy worlds, but then can't come up with a proper story to tell in them, and vice versa. So I've spent the longest time working with other people's frameworks to work on improving my characterization.

I'm very close to starting work on my first actual novel. But that project won't be a fanfiction, and I shouldn't talk about in places where the idea can be stolen.

But yeah, since I was never trained in writing, I had always used present tense when writing. It just felt right, you know? You are reading things as they happen, so it should be present tense. But after someone pointed that out to me, I realized that every other piece of writing I have ever read was told in past tense. And so I'm tryign to change that habit starting with this piece here.

It's hard catching all occurrences myself, and I have no editor or proofreader. So pointing out those mistakes is really helpful. Thanks!

And the next release has been delayed due to nightmarish workloads at my job. I'mma working on it.

EDIT:
Make the updates, and added a little bit about Lydia's belt that I had forgot to put in during the original update. Gotta try and hit all the references, ya know.
Hey, have you read Shadows of the Evergreen? It's my ErfFic. People say it's pretty good over here, and who am I to argue? Check it out, and then tell me what you think of my hack writing.
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Re: Reactions to Shadows of the Evergreen

Postby Lor » Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:03 pm

BakaGrappler wrote:That is actually the sort of thing I need help with Lor, so thank you.


Thanks for the confirmation. Recently got accused of being too negative, so I'm treading carefully until I find the right 'note' again.

BakaGrappler wrote:But yeah, since I was never trained in writing, I had always used present tense when writing. It just felt right, you know? You are reading things as they happen, so it should be present tense. But after someone pointed that out to me, I realized that every other piece of writing I have ever read was told in past tense. And so I'm tryign to change that habit starting with this piece here.


Yeah. To muddy the waters even more, screenplays (for TV shows or plays) are in the present tense ("Juliet walks off-stage to the right"). Most writing is in the past tense, but if you are WRITING about a work, it is in a weird present tense.

Henry sat down at his computer to speak his book report. "In the first book of the 'Harry Potter' series, Harry discovers that he is a wizard and travels to Hogwarts," he dictated and then confirmed that the software got it right.


I can see the confusion :)

And of course, check this with someone else (probably a professional editor), as I'm just going from memory.

And if THAT was a spoiler to anyone, they were never interested in the series anyway!
Sir Cedric: Delayed? How so?
Wamba: Well, when I heard Normans were approaching I ran to lock up my wife. But, she'd also heard they were approaching, and locked me up instead.
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Re: Reactions to Shadows of the Evergreen

Postby BakaGrappler » Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:14 am

So, I'm not dead, and neither is the story. It's just been an exhausting month at work, and I got addicted to Payday 2. Writing is ongoing, but I got a good ways into the next update before realizing it was crap and deleting half the content. I had completely ruined the pacing by trying to put in too much exposition and introducing characters who are offscreen, and likely to remain there for a good while. So while I finish macheteing my writing, how about a little exercise / challenge to the reraders.

I dare you to find all the references I have put into the story so far, and then keep finding all of them as I continue writing. Bet'cha can't find 'em all. :mrgreen:
Hey, have you read Shadows of the Evergreen? It's my ErfFic. People say it's pretty good over here, and who am I to argue? Check it out, and then tell me what you think of my hack writing.
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Re: Reactions to Shadows of the Evergreen

Postby BakaGrappler » Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:55 am

So I posted the update over Easter Weekend. And I think 12 people have read the update since. Anyway, I thought I would talk real quick about it. I've introduced a lot of characters in the past few updates, and that will be it for a while. I just wanna say something here...

Yes, most of them are connected to members of the band Everclear, many of them by providence.

I needed a Princess if I was going to give the main character a proper arc, and to really drive home his inferiority complex. He's a Scout (not even a stabber!) that was promoted to the highest rank beneath that of Overlord, and then removed from the position. I wanted a character that actually reinforced the role that Nobility took in Erf, instead of another role that undermined the Titanic Mandate. What was I saying? oh, yeah, I needed a princess, and low and behold there is a former keyboardist for Everclear named Sasha Smith. Sasha. It was too good to be true. And you know who turned up as the number one hit when I did a google search on Sasha Smith? A Silver Olympic Medalist in figure skating, and one of the first pictures was of her back rippling with muscles as she was doing a high speed leg lift. I immediately thought to myself, "Give that girl a sword and she could decapitate a warlord, easy." And there I had my Princess.

Alfred is a bit of a mixed bag. He has influences from three sources, one of them being even more famous then Batman's butler... I wonder who can find it first... but anyway, Everclear had a Drummer with the last name of Winchester, a weapon, and it just had to be the Shockamancer I had already come up with.

Maple is filling the role of Montoya, a long time past member, and so that Montoya is held in remembrance to hold true to the list of band members. But that could be anyone. The reason why Maple exists is because she is a pun, mixed in a reference, with a shout out, and later, going to be callback to a retro age. She's so many things, that I hope people take me up on my challenge and start picking through all the references I'm making in the story.

And Shindig is named after the founding of Everclear's creator's short lived first indie record label, it survived for one month before collapsing. So, Shindig was perfect for a semi-hermit, semi-paranoid, twice-bitten thrice-shy ruler who spreads power to make sure he doesn't fuck up THIS kingdom in the same way the last one was. So the reference is mostly his attitude and that ended up shaping the rest of the character.

And as for the grandiose settings... if you had a Dirtamancer working with a Signamancer, you could literally revamp your entire kingdom to be fancy as all hell. Why not take advantage of that when I don't have an artist that would be tormented endlessly trying to keep up with my ridiculous descriptions...?

So I hope people are still looking forward to more writing from me, and let me know what they think, or just make wild speculations about what's happening. I love reading people's posts.

And don't worry, there will be action. It's not just the buildings that will be grandiose.
Hey, have you read Shadows of the Evergreen? It's my ErfFic. People say it's pretty good over here, and who am I to argue? Check it out, and then tell me what you think of my hack writing.
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Re: Reactions to Shadows of the Evergreen

Postby GWvsJohn » Thu May 15, 2014 7:43 am

The story continues to delight.

It seems that Farstrider cloak is a Signamancy item that grants some stealth. Most would assume that's Foolamancy but I like the idea of Signamancy affecting whether you can be seen.
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Re: Reactions to Shadows of the Evergreen

Postby BakaGrappler » Thu May 22, 2014 8:43 pm

You caught onto that already, did ya GW?

Yeah, I read the comment a while ago. I've just been busy with other RL things to really think about my reply... a reply that doesn't give too much away.

The origin of this story really revolved around my thinking, "How would Signamancy work for combat purposes? Combat Signamancy? Hmmmm...." and the Shadows of Evergreen story was the final result. Just FYI, I'm not placing myself into the story at all as a character in here, all the characters arose organically from the plot I was writing in my head while chasing Signamancy down the rabbit hole. But yeah, the Farstrider cloaks are Magic Items that are Signamancy based to change their Signamancy to be more subdued in their environment. The idea came to me when I remembered that scene in the Lord of the Rings trilogy when Sam and Frodo fell down the slope and hid under Sam's brown dirt covered cloak. They were all but invisible to the naked eye, just because their colors blended into the background.

And then I thought about how to weaponize that concept.

It's a practical exercise with me. "Oh, this is some mundane thought or item or event in every day life for the characters in this fictitious universe. How can I weaponize it, hmmmm?"

But from what I understand about the magic system of Erf, is that there are results, and depending on the Caster's type, they can take different paths to reach the same results. A Foolamancer would change the visual shape of something or make it invisible, for scouting purposes. A Signamancer would just mute one's Signamancy so that even if you saw that person, your eyes would just pass on without really noticing them.

And I've got a few more goodies for the readers to really twist their minds around concepts that Erfworld readers are familiar and comfortable with, but without breaking the rules of Erf (except when Carnymancy is involved). I do hope people will read and enjoy the story, and yes, if you ask me questions or make conversational posts here, I will respond to them.

:D
Hey, have you read Shadows of the Evergreen? It's my ErfFic. People say it's pretty good over here, and who am I to argue? Check it out, and then tell me what you think of my hack writing.
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Re: Reactions to Shadows of the Evergreen

Postby BakaGrappler » Mon May 26, 2014 8:49 pm

This deserves it's own post.

Sorry 'bout that.

This is my public apology for using the term "FanTasyFiction" in my previous post, that I have since removed. It was not meant as a condemnation of anyone, ANYONE, on this site. But for wish fullfillment people who are so well known in other places of the internet where they hang out and save the lives of characters like Goku, while being Sephiroth's pure hearted brother or some boop. Worst of all, is, well...

I recently just finished reading a chapter by chapter review a guy did of the Twilight book, his sanity slipping slowly with each passing chapter in his bile fueled outrage that garbage like that which was just Stephanie Meyers' wet-dream put to paper, and eventual condemnation of the work as being dangerous to the people who read it for how the author excuses dangerously violent, possessive, stalking boyfriends, and promotes acceptance of manipulative, intentionally hurtful, and self-destructive tendencies her main character as though it was normal and acceptable in women. That was what I was really talking about with FanTasyFiction. Twilight, basically. Not Erf fans who are some of the greatest people on the internet.

So, I hope I did not hurt anyone with what I said.




That said, I've just begun the writing of the next update. It's a bit of experimental writing for me, so I hope it turns out as well as I hope it will. It will be a little while though. Work is going to be murder this week. I can't wait to be promoted out of Freight and into Sales. It suits my nature far more.

But basically, for what I'm writing... the most boring thing to read and write is "This person goes from location A to location B. Nothing really happens in between." So you have to short cut that in literature somehow. Except there is something I really need to set up in that transit, so I need to find a way to make the travel itself enjoyable. Meaning, the next update will be slightly abstract.

Please look forward to it.
Hey, have you read Shadows of the Evergreen? It's my ErfFic. People say it's pretty good over here, and who am I to argue? Check it out, and then tell me what you think of my hack writing.
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Re: Reactions to Shadows of the Evergreen

Postby Free Radical » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:42 am

I wonder if a Findamancer could have overcome the ability of the Farstriders to keep hidden, found the trap hexes to plot a course around them, and found the weakest point in the walls to bring them down quickly.

Guilder and Florin/Guilter and Floorin' suggest a Signamancy of Guilder being framed, and I'm not quite sure if the king's "we don't know" was actually answering the question of "who attacked us?" or not. The king should at least know the name of the side who razed the city though, so I'm not sure how that would work - "Haffaton would know that a side called Faq had taken one of its cities".

BakaGrappler wrote:Alfred is a bit of a mixed bag. He has influences from three sources, one of them being even more famous then Batman's butler... I wonder who can find it first...

Alfred the Noble Shockamancer -> Alfred Nobel.
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Re: Reactions to Shadows of the Evergreen

Postby BakaGrappler » Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:26 am

Free Radical wrote:I wonder if a Findamancer could have overcome the ability of the Farstriders to keep hidden, found the trap hexes to plot a course around them, and found the weakest point in the walls to bring them down quickly.


A very interesting thought on Combat Findamancy. Very plausible. Now, what kind of Side would have a Leadership that would be willing to risk a skilled Findamancer in the field?

Free Radical wrote:Guilder and Florin/Guilter and Floorin' suggest a Signamancy of Guilder being framed, and I'm not quite sure if the king's "we don't know" was actually answering the question of "who attacked us?" or not.The king should at least know the name of the side who razed the city though, so I'm not sure how that would work - "Haffaton would know that a side called Faq had taken one of its cities".


Kinda makes you wonder, what the king said. Almost like he knows something he's not sharing with the others. But then again, they're Guilter! That's, like, Guilty, but even more so!

Free Radical wrote:
BakaGrappler wrote:Alfred is a bit of a mixed bag. He has influences from three sources, one of them being even more famous then Batman's butler... I wonder who can find it first...

Alfred the Noble Shockamancer -> Alfred Nobel.


And yes, that is Alfred Nobel. The tragedy of his brother's death from his experiments was a good way to have him traded. But the real cool stuff with Alfred is yet to come. Cookie for you, FR!
Hey, have you read Shadows of the Evergreen? It's my ErfFic. People say it's pretty good over here, and who am I to argue? Check it out, and then tell me what you think of my hack writing.
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Re: Reactions to Shadows of the Evergreen

Postby LordAcme » Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:21 pm

NOOOO I read a fanfic. NOOOOOOOOOOO.....

O wait, it's not the first. Just the first in awhile :D

My unprofessional .02:

I like the story so far. Nice mystery, the characters are well defined and interesting, the conversations well written. Some of the "flow" isn't as flowy as I like, but I am sensitive to the way a story is written - I will pick up a book and read a couple of chapters, and if it doesn't flow well, I won't read it. I did read the entire set of posts so far, so there's that.

The depth and detail of the setting is very notable, good job there. Although the volume makes it close to an exposition dump, it really adds to the impact of the mystery, and the way it's conveyed includes a very natural lead-in, so it works out ok imho.

I look forward to the rest of the story!
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Re: Reactions to Shadows of the Evergreen

Postby LordAcme » Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:23 pm

Free Radical wrote:I wonder if a Findamancer could have overcome the ability of the Farstriders to keep hidden, found the trap hexes to plot a course around them, and found the weakest point in the walls to bring them down quickly.

Guilder and Florin/Guilter and Floorin' suggest a Signamancy of Guilder being framed, and I'm not quite sure if the king's "we don't know" was actually answering the question of "who attacked us?" or not. The king should at least know the name of the side who razed the city though, so I'm not sure how that would work - "Haffaton would know that a side called Faq had taken one of its cities".

BakaGrappler wrote:Alfred is a bit of a mixed bag. He has influences from three sources, one of them being even more famous then Batman's butler... I wonder who can find it first...

Alfred the Noble Shockamancer -> Alfred Nobel.


My thoughts
Spoiler: show
Predictamancer, Findamancer, Lookamancer all could likely negate the camouflage effects in play.
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Re: Reactions to Shadows of the Evergreen

Postby BakaGrappler » Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:58 am

LordAcme wrote:My thoughts
Spoiler: show
Predictamancer, Findamancer, Lookamancer all could likely negate the camouflage effects in play.


A Predictamancer would say, "Hey, you're gonna fall into a pit trap and die today," and no matter what, that will happen, even if they change course.

A Findamancer and a Lookamancer could do it, but the variety of traps one can make in a forest with a Dirtamancer is quite staggering... as I hope to show you. A Findamancer seems to need to have specifications on what he is looking for, so any findamancer who can do that would have to be... a very interesting character. Lookamancers would be able to see a trap hex before going into it, but I think they would still have to roll against the trap's stealth rating.

As for locating Farstriders, a Lookamancer would have to focus on particular hexes to look into from afar, and if anyone has looked at a Hex Map they'll know just how many spaces there are to look through, and one's juice would probably not hold out. But a Findamancer, who knows the gear and style of a Farstrider well enough to "Find" them with their magic would do surprisingly well in actually locating them, I believe.

So, I suppose with these theories, a master class in both Lookamancer and Findamancy would be able to pull off this sort of wholesale dismantling of an armed force based solely on stealth. But the organizational abilities to pull it off would also have to be exceptional. Perhaps a Thinkamancer as well? That would be quite the ferocious side, don't you think? :D

And as for the story, yeah, there is a bit of exposition dump. But as the Director of Stir of Echoes said in his director's commentary "I have to get people to like and feel connected to my main character quickly, because he'll be misbehaving very shortly." And there is nothing more boring in literature than "I went from point A to point B." And I had a few things I needed to share in this last post, though you probably won't believe me, this being a Fan Fic and being made one post at a time.

Trust me, a payoff will come.

...
......
.........

Any time now...

...

LOOK! A DISTRACTING THING!

*Runs off
Hey, have you read Shadows of the Evergreen? It's my ErfFic. People say it's pretty good over here, and who am I to argue? Check it out, and then tell me what you think of my hack writing.
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Re: Reactions to Shadows of the Evergreen

Postby kravechocolate » Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:03 pm

BakaGrappler, I really enjoyed reading your stories so far. Please continue with them! I've taken a liking to your main character, as I have a soft spot for self-made people. Let's see him kick ass in his natural element!
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