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TBOS R3: The Silver Hart P2Growing up in suburbs and never far from a city of modern skyscrapers and towers, Jaya probably wasn't as awed by the castle-city of Luxeforth as Sir Leon and his son Vardan had hoped. They had hardly stopped exalting it throughout their three-day ride from Leon's (much smaller) castle to the city itself, after all, and Vardan hadn't seemed to take his eyes off of her as they drew nearer and nearer and the true height of the towers was revealed.
"Impressive," Jaya said, trying not to shrug and add, for medieval architecture.
That much was true enough. The walls were obviously sturdy, built of well-cut stone blocks and supported by archways, and the city sprawled about the castle in a wide circle, fit to house thousands.
Jaya's basis of comparison, however, was buildings hundreds of stories tall and cities which could hold millions. No matter how well-fortified or constructed, or how much she tried to appreciate it out of polite regard to her hosts (and, as it were, rescuers) a c
TBOS R3: The Silver Hart P1The first thing she knew was a high-pitched, intermittent sound. It invaded the darkness of her consciousness, drawing her out. She climbed with it, as though the short beeps formed the rungs of a ladder: even, steady, clear and solid. She felt like she should have known what the beeping meant, but couldn't quite recall, and she was oddly, abstractly curious.
She slowly slid into waking, and with it she began to feel, hear, and smell her surroundings properly, though the heavy darkness didn't lift. The air felt cool, but sheets drawn up to her shoulders kept most of her body pleasantly warm. There was an itchy stiffness about her stomach and ribs, heavy and firm. She couldn't move to scratch at it, though; her arms lay like nerveless lead weights at her sides. No sound reached her ears except for her own breathing and the constant beepbeepbeep of what she suddenly thought might have been a heart monitor. That thought was supported by the sterilized, antiseptic scent
Death of the StrawberryXcution and the End of All Bonds
A speculative essay on the stolen future of Kurosaki Ichigo
Generally speaking, the Fullbringer Arc (officially the Lost Shingami Agent Arc) seems to be getting a good deal of criticism lately. Ever since Ichigo's powers were returned by Urahara's reiatsu sword and the Shinigami vs. Fullbringer battles began, some people have wondered just what the point of including these people and this storyline was. The powers Ichigo developed under their tutelage were stolen, and his shinigami abilities were given to him by a third party, and now the Fullbringers are apparently being used to show just how awesome the shinigami are by comparison. So why bother writing this arc at all?
Aside from the concept of a fullbring (which includes very interesting implications about the question 'what is a soul') and the revelation of the first Substitute Shinigami (I'm expecting great things to come of this, by the way), I believe that this arc, and the
KnotsThe amber glow of a streetlight shone through the front window of Thorston Pottery, pushing away the dusk of evening and gleaming across the curved, boldly-glazed surfaces of the clay vases and decorative pots on display. A mobile of glass beads and wooden sparrows hanging in that same window scattered the light further inside, throwing spots of faded yellow against the walls and shelves of the little shop.
The inside was dim, but not yet dark; the streetlight in the window provided a vague general illumination, and a small lamp with a carved base sat on the countertop beside the till, the center of a brighter glow. Beside that light sat Brendan, a white-haired figure with a young face and hands. The right side of his face was in relative shadow, half-hiding the splotchy, faded maroon discoloration which covered that eye and spread down the side of his head and neck, disappearing under the collar of his white turtleneck. A long, loose green scarf was wound around his shoulders, the tas
Ethics and IchiRukiOnline arguments can be nasty, nasty things. By their very nature, they involve a clash between two (or more) groups of people who all hold very strong opinions concerning something which, oftentimes, cannot be concretely proven. This is intensified by the near-anonymous nature of the Internet itself; here, hidden behind pixels and text, a person can say, do, and be anything and anyone they want, with relatively little fear of repercussion; it's impossible to reach through a computer screen to sock someone in the face, for instance.
Sometimes, it seems that for every individual capable of outlining his thoughts on a touchy matter in a clear, polite manner, a hundred Neanderthals whose vocabulary is made up of badly-spelled swearwords and insults follow, all throwing digital rocks at each other and screeching abuse under the influence of Caps Lock. Each and every one of them will firmly believe in the right to speak freely and express one's opinion as long as that opi
The MaskThe mask was lightweight and easy to hold, carved from a smooth wood stained dark brown. It bore two wide, slanted eyeholes and the wooden frame of it was empty from the bridge of the nose to the chin this space was covered by thin cotton cloth stretched over the gap and tacked in at the corners to form a breathable barrier between the outside world and the face behind. Though it was overall a mask designed for and fit to a human face, there was something about the slant of the eyes and the curving shape of the cloth over the bridge of the nose, under an eye and attached at the far cheek, dropping to a sharp point at the chin and up the other side in the same manner which suggested not a human face but that of a harsh-beaked bird of prey: fierce, precise, warlike.
Jaya felt none of those things at the moment, even as she stared down at the mask which had been made with her in mind a mask she had worn often lately, always with the proper emotions set undernea
TBOS OCT R2 Development Notes
The Book of Stories OCT
Round 2, Theme: Western
For those who are wondering, this commentary is meant to outline some of my thoughts and planning process for my Round 2 entry, The Gate of the Winged Soul. I did a commentary like this for my R1 entry, and since someone at least read that, I thought I might as well.
As soon as the Western genre was announced, I knew immediately that if I made it through I wanted to base my story on a Samurai western rather than the American western. The details, however, were put on hold pending the end of the judging period and the matchups. Once those were out and I had finished squealing with joy, I really had to sit down and start working things out. In many ways, I found this a bit more complex and involved than my Myth/Fairytale genre there's a bit less symbolism, but a lot more intertwining story. I needed to hint at the larger plot I have in mind, while at the same time doing as much justice to the genre as I could and involv
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