2021 Resolution

Discussion about The Never Ending Quest.

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Anableps
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Re: 2021 Resolution

Post by Anableps » Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:05 am

Number 6: I added an episode to the djinn thread (117920, extension 117926). Velus was part of the earlier episodes, appearing last as a dog cowering in the market at 6669.

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Re: 2021 Resolution

Post by JH » Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:08 am

Nice twist. :)
JH

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Re: 2021 Resolution

Post by Anableps » Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:03 am

Accounting on the 2021 resolution: 6 episodes - 5 episodes in the "Fred and Maggie" story and one in the "Two Djinns" story as of February 19.

Likely episode 7: I have been thinking about a follow-on to 117927 for a couple of days. I do not think that there will be a lot of action. It will be heavy on character development, as Velus tries to come to grips with his new responsibilities as master. The trick will be to get it in a good collaborative story form - where the next author will be able to ask "what if ...." at the end and be inspired to write a good continuation.

Some of the ideas that I am thinking about:

1) The djinn are going to be able to take human form and enjoy the dinner. After a year of pandemic isolation, I want to write an upbeat episode where the characters can enjoy themselves in a social setting and heal a little, at least for one evening. :)

2) In 117920, Maria has an especially good rapport with Velus. I think that would be natural, given their backgrounds and what has happened to them. Both have been yanked from the pasture or farm into scary circumstances. It would be natural for them to turn to each other. I would like to develop that further.

3) I am also thinking about establishing a rule where Velus limits his ability to ask for wishes. Something like, "I wish to get the best advice that my two djinns can offer before my future wishes are granted." This would create some problems if he needed something quickly, but would prevent a poorly thought out wish from being granted.

4) I can think of a few conflicts that could occur, and one big mystery. If Fred had two djinns that could grant (apparently) any wish, why did he not summon them to defeat the dragon? And what prevented him from summoning the djinns to save him from the "accident"? I don't think that Velus would have intentionally killed Fred to gain control over the lamps, but he could be suffering from survivor's guilt for not "doing enough." Or maybe Fred's personality changed and he started to behave badly and had to be killed. I will need to think about that one.

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Re: 2021 Resolution

Post by JH » Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:33 am

Fred deciding to get himself a second djinn arguably could be evidence that he was becoming corrupted by his power. It might also explain why he did not use the djinns to kill the dragon. (Though in at least one other branch, he asks Astra to do so and she says it is beyond her power. Of course we needn't be bound by that, as it's not in this branch's back-story.) As to why he did not call on the djinns to save himself from the accident or "accident", I imagine it must have taken him by surprise and have been too immediately incapacitating for him to have had the chance.

As it now doesn't look now as if Ib will be adding to our other story any time soon, I'll see if I can write something for it.
JH

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Re: 2021 Resolution

Post by Anableps » Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:12 pm

And with 117969 I have written 8 of 12 that were in the resolution.

A reader might fairly ask, what is the difference between the three options? All three are similar.

I wondered what the nature of the dragon's skin was, and how Fred intended to use his sword to attack it. And whether Fred had enough information to plan an attack that would work. My sword and fencing knowledge is not extensive, but here were my thoughts.

The first attack that I thought about was for Fred to swing the sword around like an ax and lop the dragon's head off. But my understanding is that this would the way that a child would attack. Swords in the middle ages were designed to cut or thrust, and knights were trained accordingly. But this might be the best approach if the best attack strategy was to maximize trauma over a wide area and if the dragon's skin were highly resistant to cutting or piercing attacks. Fred's sword might be an unusual design with more weight at the tip and perhaps harder than usual.

If Fred were to go with the more conventional attack, he might try cutting or slashing. That would work if the dragon's skin were soft, or hard but with vulnerable seams, such as the gills of a fish. A cut in the right place might shed a lot of blood or immobilize the dragon.

And if the dragon's scales didn't have a weak point that allowed cutting, and were too thick for a chopping attack to impart enough damage, then concentrating the force of a chopping attack over a narrow area, or at a narrow vulnerable point, might provide enough force to make a piercing attack the best option. Once pierced, Fred could follow up with another type of attack to kill the dragon.

I also left another option in the likely case that there is a better approach that I have missed.

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Re: 2021 Resolution

Post by JH » Wed Mar 03, 2021 10:32 am

I'm inclined to go for a stabbing attack, as Fred can probably get his weight behind it that way and have a better chance of penetrating the dragon's thick scaly skin, as well as the full force of his attack being concentrated on a single point at the tip of the blade rather than being spread along its length. It also means he can make full use of his reach and start his attack from further away.
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Re: 2021 Resolution

Post by Anableps » Wed Mar 10, 2021 6:53 am

Number 9 of 12 completed. 118026 is an episode for which the "add other option" button is really useful. There are more possibilities than the two options that I added.

The title makes explicit what happened, although Fred does not know within the story. Fred has hit part of the dragon's fire-making organs, and although the dragon is not bleeding, a gas that is part of the flame-making process has been released. I would posit that two less volatile chemicals are mixed for when the dragon needs the flame and their combination produces the flame. I modeled some of the properties of the gas on those of ammonia, but the exact identity of the gas is not needed for the plot. It could be a "magic gas" that has other different properties than those of ammonia - whatever makes a good story.

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Re: 2021 Resolution

Post by Anableps » Mon May 10, 2021 8:01 pm

11 of 12 done. I have not forgotten about this.

I have two ideas for the Maggie/Belboz-Exotica story, and I may use both open choices. One choice leads to Maggie leaving the massage room, and searching the caves for the jar. The other choice is that Maggie stays behind and places herself into service of one of the factions amongst the dragon's remaining servants in hope of manipulating them into finding the jar and giving her an opportunity to take it.

I still plan on extending the Two Djinns story. I need a Saturday afternoon for that one.

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Re: 2021 Resolution

Post by JH » Tue May 11, 2021 9:26 am

Looking forward to whatever you write.
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Re: 2021 Resolution

Post by Anableps » Sun May 23, 2021 8:23 am

118065 and 118063 are episodes 12 and 13 for 2021. Resolution complete.

In 118065, Maggie is more likely to try to exploit the chaos after the dragon's death to gain the trust of one of the factions in the cave, and then later gain the jar with that faction's help. The jar is difficult to find, and this indirect course of action might be the superior approach to going after the jar without knowing exactly where it is. Let others look for it under another pretext, and do not let them know that the jar is especially valuable.

In 118063, one option leaves Maggie free for a short time to take the direct approach and investigate the dragon's treasure rooms, if she can figure a way past the guards and magic that had been previously set up. She will also need to deal with the chaos that will happen once it is discovered that the dragon is dead.

I have not had strong ideas about what why the pink jar is so valuable to Maggie. I have left this question open in case another author wanted to explain it. However, I have recently had thoughts about one possible idea.

In many NEQ episodes Aqualaria is similar to ancient Greece or Rome, with the additional element of a matriarchal Amazonian culture. So let's assume that the religion is similar to that of ancient Greece, although the names of the gods and goddesses may be different, and the myths would fit Aqualarian mores.

Now assume that there was a revolutionary event in Aqualaria sometime in the past. The leaders of primeval Aqualaria were men, just like the Havnheim societies north of the Shreken are at the time of this story. The dominant Aqualarian gods had the same faults as the Greek gods, such as Zeus's habit of seducing mortals and then leaving them to face the wrath of his wife. These stories were not female-friendly. At some point in time, the men in charge of Aqualaria ran things so badly that a group of strong women took over. The myths were recast, and a new generation of goddesses and gods overthrew the old generation. There was something like that in real-life Greek mythology in the myth of how the Olympians overthrew the Titans.

Back to the present time in Aqualaria. At the time of the story few Aqualarians actually believe that the higher powers assume corporeal form and directly interfere with daily life. Things like that were either something that happened in the distant past, or were allegorical. Influence of the higher powers might be real but it is indirect: lightning strikes, droughts, disease, and so forth. Except - that the Aqualarian mythical figures can assume corporeal form in the world - if one has the correct tools and knows what one is doing. The pink jar or what is inside the jar is such a tool.

A few high-ranking people in Aqualaria know about the power of the pink jar. The reason that they want control of the jar is not to disturb the higher powers - it is to prevent others from doing so. Maggie is given the assignment of retrieving the jar - but she is not told exactly what it can do. She is left uninformed to prevent her from both the temptation of trying to innocently use the jar and also from accidentally revealing the powers of the jar to those that do not know.

Belboz, on the other hand, knows that there is an artifact with this power, although he does not yet know the exact form that it takes. He may have several possible goals. One would be to restore the old gods and the old order in Aqualaria. "Men and women would assume their natural places in the order of things, and Aqualaria would not be a bad example to the Havnheim," might be Belboz's way of putting it. And Belboz could well imagine that he might achieve immortality, and maybe even leadership of the gods themselves. Getting the power of the jar would be an exciting prospect for Princess Exotica as well. Her goals will depend on what Belboz tells her about the unknown artifact. One possible goal might be the throne of Aqualaria.

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Re: 2021 Resolution

Post by JH » Sun May 23, 2021 6:24 pm

Lots of interesting ideas there!

I was struggling to come up with an idea for how to progress from 118065, so I was glad to be offered 118063 as an alternative episode to carry on from.

Congratulations on completing your New Year's resolution, but I hope that doesn't mean that you won't write any more episodes till next year!
JH

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Re: 2021 Resolution

Post by Anableps » Tue May 25, 2021 10:25 pm

I hope to be able to continue writing episodes. I do have an idea for continuing this one. I think that I will choose the option where she cannot get past the guards. This will not be as bad for Maggie as it might first appear. I have some dialog to work out, so I don't know exactly how it will turn out, but I think that the jar will be within reach by the end of the episode.

There is one loose end that I am still working with. Appearing before the guard room in her underclothes would require an explanation. The dragon likes young, pretty women. Maggie really isn't that type, though - it has been established that she is middle-aged and plain. There might be an extra robe or large towels that could be fashioned into a somewhat less conspicuous outfit.

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Re: 2021 Resolution

Post by JH » Wed May 26, 2021 9:11 am

That's a good point, but perhaps the dragon liked to keep even his plain female servants semi-clothed as a reminder to them of their lowly status.
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Re: 2021 Resolution

Post by Anableps » Tue Jul 13, 2021 2:03 am

I haven't run out of ideas or interest. Just haven't had sit down time. Maggie will get her hands on the alabaster jar, but getting out of the caves will be the challenge.

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Re: 2021 Resolution

Post by JH » Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:04 am

I look forward to whatever you write.
JH

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