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Lord Of Dorkness


Deep into that dorkness peering...

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  • Friday
    33 today.

    Dang~, time sure is fun while you're having flies, I suppose. Huh, how about that?

    We're still working on those immortality pills, right? Right~?

    Anyway, jokes aside: Had a pretty good day. Hope the rest of you had too. :twilightsmile:

    3 comments · 37 views
  • 2 weeks
    Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition, free on multipe platforms until the 25th

    Link to article about it.

    Steam (PC), PS4, and XBONE, I believe is the platforms offered.

    Read More

    1 comments · 33 views
  • 3 weeks
    Eye of the Beholder Trilogy, free on GoG right now.

    Never beat this one, but I did find an old copy of the first game as a tyke, and tried getting into it a few times.

    Says something how new to both D&D and English I was, that I think I made... four Thieves, or something like that. Since I'd just played Thief 2 for the first time, and having four Gerath's in my party sounded super crazy awesome.

    Read More

    2 comments · 48 views
  • 3 weeks
    Snake Pass, free on Humble Bundle over the weekend.

    Link.

    Pretty charming little game, if a bit frustrating at times. I'd highly recommend it at the price of zero, though!

    2 comments · 33 views
  • 4 weeks
    Total Annihilation, free on GOG.

    On mobile, will be brief.

    Cult classic that inspired the now equally sadly kaput Supreme Commander series. If you like your tactics games big scale, then this one is for you.

    On GOG. Offer valid weekend out.

    0 comments · 44 views
Jul
9th
2015

Through the Well of Pirene — My thoughts · 1:09am Jul 9th, 2015

Daphne has tried to live her life as any normal teenage girl would, focusing on school and the intricacies of adolescent life in an effort to forget her more imaginative childhood. Now, however, her kid sister has been kidnapped by forces she cannot understand, and she is forced to give chase into a land she had once thought only make-believe. Cast adrift in a strange and magical world, Daphne must reunite with her long-lost friend and embark on a journey of discovery that will take her to worlds she could only dream of.


The short version?

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... :ajsleepy:

Yeah, that bad. More below the cut.


I'm sorry for those of you that like this story, but I couldn't stand it. I made it about half-through on cheer stobborness, but I haven't seen a sleeping-pill with this type of pedigree since the aptly titled Junk.

(You ever want to know what's it like being psychic? Read that piece of junk. It's such a cliche' drug PSA that the plot just unfurls before you inside your minds eye like some type of flower forged from pure boredom.)

There isn't a single likable original character in this story. Daphne herself especially is just such an insufferable 'wha, wha, me, me' teenage brat you just want to reach into the page and scream into her ear to shut up. She seemingly has no hobbies, nothing she outright likes, just a giant chip on her shoulder and tons of snappy angst.

For fuck's sake, her sister goes missing due to being kidnapped by fucking fairies, and it's clearly far more of an obligation for her than love that makes her set out to save her.

Sure, she's a bit messed up due to back-story reasons, but she never actually gets better. Even meeting her not-quite imaginary childhood friend seems to actually make her happy in any way, it's just another obligation she needs to deal with down the line.

Oh, and the story keeps using tons upon tons of fairy tropes and symbolism, but the 'goblins' never feel as more than slightly magical mooks. At least at the half-way mark they haven't done anything actually more than morally questionable.

If you actually know the old tales it's like seeing Cthulhu in all His unholy glory quietly sipping tea. It walks like elder evils. It talks like elder evils. It looks like a horrifying, sanity sapping visage of elder evil...

But it actually acts like any other disposable minion #1231452342. :facehoof:

So yeah, I can't recommend this story at all. It's just suck an waste of potential it's outright sad.

I will however grant it that the story is very well done on a technical level. Descriptions are often quite vivid, and the wordings are interesting with every character having a unique voice.

It's just that those voices all go: 'Pity me, my past is dark and tragic! Wha~a!' :facehoof:

So yeah, if Mr/s. Ether Echoes ever figure out how to actually give his/her character's some positive traits I believe s/he might be a force of writing to be reckoned with but this particular story fell rather short in my opinion.

Link if you wish to see for yourself.

To be fair though, I do believe those fairy tropes is what caused this story to bore me so much. If you are unfamiliar with those myths I'm sure the story would feel far more fresh and interesting then it did for me.

But I just can't put a mental wall in my mind like that. Not when I'm constantly seeing hints that never actually manifest of such horrible darkness the story keeps teasing about but never seems to dare explore. Again, it's like seeing that picture of the dude that played the alien on-set in full costume, but just sitting and taking a break on a crate.

Admit it, you laughed or at least chuckled

For fuck's sake, Labyrinth got the horror of goblins and their stealing of babies better than this story does. There's just no bite whatsoever to them in WoP.

Sure, great song, but the goblins are also quite clearly terrified of their King, who is as fickle and frighteningly forcible as he is fabulous.

No such moments in the half of WoP I read. just some rather dull hints about a 'master.'

Again, link if you want to see it yourself, but I can't recommend this one.

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Comments ( 16 )

Its an interesting viewpoint on the whole thing. Though i will agree with bowie being a fearsome goblin king.

I agree snooze fest:rainbowwild:

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I'll freely admit the story has some interesting world-building ideas, but for me at least the actual execution is just too close to the original mythologies but sans all the darkness and blood.

And that just feels so bland when you've read the actual myths. No bite to it. :ajsleepy:

wlam #4 · Jul 9th, 2015 · · 1 ·

I don't even blame you in the slightest. I just read the description of it, a few months ago, and just went "no, fuck this shit" right then and there and never touched it again. I am not even in the least surprised that I didn't miss out on anything.

3222791 That's apt, when you compare something that creates a sandbox. I look to of all things, FoE, its close in where it goes to things, but gives everything a new look, a new idea, and fleshes out things so darn well. There are stories in there I love for being original, and those I don't for s******* on the canon because its fun to.

Kkat did really get right what this story didnt, however, on its own, its not bad, just not in the same purview as others are.

Sure, she's a bit messed up due to back-story reasons, but she never actually gets better.

How far did you get into the story before stopping? Because there is some significant change for pretty much every single character with a name towards the end (most significantly after the golden bridle is obtained).

For fuck's sake, her sister goes missing due to being kidnapped by fucking fairies, and it's clearly far more of an obligation for her than love that makes her set out to save her.
...
For fuck's sake, Labyrinth got the horror of goblins and their stealing of babies better than this story does.

It's interesting that you bring up Labyrinth. When you first mentioned Daphne rescuing her sister considering it an obligation, my first thought was "Yeah, and Sarah was the same way in Labyrinth!"

Okay, maybe Sarah cares about Toby a bit more than Daphne cares about Amelia at the start of their respective stories, but it always felt to me that Sarah was rescuing Toby more so that she wouldn't get in trouble when her parents got home than because she actually wanted to save her baby brother.

(And, for what it's worth, Daphne and Amelia do come to reconciliation by the end of Pirene although neither can really return to the life they had, with Daphne being Aquarius and Amelia becoming a goblin king with memories stolen from Celestia. In that sense, I guess, Daphne's attempt to rescue her sister failed.)

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How far did you get into the story before stopping? Because there is some significant change for pretty much every single character with a name towards the end (most significantly after the golden bridle is obtained).

Up to and including chapter 10, so a bit less then half-way through now that I've double checked. Didn't even got to that girdle thing.

Still, I don't think anybody can call reading 135703 words before giving up a story that simply refused to click for me anything but a fair shake.

It's interesting that you bring up Labyrinth. When you first mentioned Daphne rescuing her sister considering it an obligation, my first thought was "Yeah, and Sarah was the same way in Labyrinth!"
Okay, maybe Sarah cares about Toby a bit more than Daphne cares about Amelia at the start of their respective stories, but it always felt to me that Sarah was rescuing Toby more so that she wouldn't get in trouble when her parents got home than because she actually wanted to save her baby brother.

Fair enough point, I'll elaborate.

Sarah didn't actually click for me either from the start, but Jarrett and the world did. I hated those first few scenes with Sarah being a whiny, solo-larping brat, but the moment I saw Bowie in that cloak with those crystal balls I knew I'd love the movie as a whole.

But it made a lot of difference for me, that it was outright Sarah's fault that Toby got taken by goblins. Quite a difference between speaking a incantation you didn't think would actually work and just loosing sight of your sibling for a few moments.

That, and Sarah grows a metaphorical pair far faster than it felt like Daphne ever did. To me, at least. Daphne just kept on being a moody twat, while Sarah actually connected with the world and its strange inhabitants.

That and Sarah screws up big time quite a couple of times in the movie, while Daphne lucked out again and again. A friend that just happens to be co-co enough to accept her story. An ex that just happens to have guns and a horse. A childhood friend that just happens to still live nearby on the other end of the forest...

If she'd actually been likable I could have swallowed that, but Daphne just keeps nagging, and nagging, and nagging. Even her 'Hoggie' and 'Ludo' she keeps insulting and snapping at again and again, to the point it went beyond stressful situation into being a rude bastard territory

(And, for what it's worth, Daphne and Amelia do come to reconciliation by the end of Pirene although neither can really return to the life they had, with Daphne being Aquarius and Amelia becoming a goblin king with memories stolen from Celestia. In that sense, I guess, Daphne's attempt to rescue her sister failed.)

Right~. and nobody in the history of ever has dodged or given up duties for the sake of their family and home. Hell, it cost her, sure, but Luna did it because she wasn't given enough respect.

Have to say this isn't the first time I've heard about the ending, and it really doesn't give me any more inklings to read the rest. 'Because Destiny Says So' is one of my most hated tropes in all of fantasy, and the above sounds like a really bad example of it being used to turn the characters' own minds and hearts off because the plot says so.

So, yeah, sorry, glad you like it, but WoP just stroked me the wrong way from the start and I really don't see any reason to force myself to read that other half. :fluttershysad:

Still, I don't think anybody can call reading 135703 words before giving up a story that simply refused to click for me anything but a fair shake.

Oh no argument there. I just wanted to know how far you'd gone when you were talking about the story missing elements that did show up towards the end.

'Because Destiny Says So' is one of my most hated tropes in all of fantasy, and the above sounds like a really bad example of it being used to turn the characters' own minds and hearts off because the plot says so.

Actually, at the coarsest level, Pirene is about giving a giant middle finger to Destiny. Granted, not in the fashion of the protagonists taking destiny into their own hands (the good guys spend much of the story trying to fix what's gone wrong with Destiny, whether they know that's what they're doing or not), but Destiny definitely gets slapped around. Most of the screwups surrounding the characters' destinies is the direct or indirect result of Daphne's parents sending her to a shrink one day when she was supposed to meet Leit Motif (a change to Daphne's destiny which the Morgwyn orchestrated), followed by the Morgwyn absconding with Amelia to the alternate world(s).

Not gonna lie, though, I think my favorite part of Pirene is the fanart of Sweetie and Applebloom as goblins:
https://www.fimfiction.net/blog/432251/new-pirene-fanart
https://www.fimfiction.net/blog/434745/pirene-fanart-sweetie-belle
(artist)
Too bad he didn't do a Scootaloo goblin. :scootangel:

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Oh no argument there. I just wanted to know how far you'd gone when you were talking about the story missing elements that did show up towards the end.

Hmm, better late then never I guess, but that does sound a bit too little too late as well.

Again, I get that she's a rather broken young woman, but 'vanilla' Daphne just aggravets me to no end. She's just no fun what-so-ever to read about by herself.

Not gonna lie, though, I think my favorite part of Pirene is the fanart of Sweetie and Applebloom as goblins:

...That's where those pictures came from? Damn.

Does that actually happen in-story, though? Because that actually sounds neat enough a consequence for me to give WoP a second try.

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Does that actually happen in-story, though? Because that actually sounds neat enough a consequence for me to give WoP a second try.

Yes, to all three of the Crusaders. They fall afoul of the "don't eat fairy food" trope.

During the epilogue:
There's a scene with Rarity fussing over Sweetie, insisting that if Sweetie is going to have scales, then Rarity will make sure they're fabulous and shiny. One of the goblin characters explains that since Sweetie hasn't been a goblin for very long and most importantly doesn't want to be a goblin, she'll eventually, gradually, turn back into a pony (so long as she doesn't eat any more goblin food). Applebloom has already almost fully reverted to pony form. Then Scootaloo buzzes by with her second pair of (goblin) wings, whooping and having fun, making it obvious Scoots has no intention of re-ponifying.

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...Dammit all, but I'm a sucker for transformation stuff.

usatthebiglead.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/undertaker-sitting-up1.gif?w=1000

One more shot then, Thanks for pointing that out.

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So one more shot, huh? I forget, did you ever get around to trying that?

I'm not disappointed at your criticism, really. It's totally fair that you'd have very different tastes from myself and my fans. If it's all right, I'd like to address a few points with my own thoughts.

There isn't a single likable original character in this story. Daphne herself especially is just such an insufferable 'wha, wha, me, me' teenage brat you just want to reach into the page and scream into her ear to shut up. She seemingly has no hobbies, nothing she outright likes, just a giant chip on her shoulder and tons of snappy angst.

Daphne totally has hobbies - they don't really have time to come up here, but she does.

As for 'not a single likeable' character - again, taste, everyone is different. I don't agree, but I don't begrudge you.

I do understand your frustration with the distressed hero. I've always been a bit of a sucker for a hero who has a major disappointment in his or her life that they can never really get over, something that colors their perceptions from then on. Her methods of coping with it weren't terribly healthy, certainly. I can see that you might dislike that, though, but I certainly agree with Lithl that her growth as a character is a big deal and addresses that dramatically.

For fuck's sake, her sister goes missing due to being kidnapped by fucking fairies, and it's clearly far more of an obligation for her than love that makes her set out to save her.

This, though, I have to strongly disagree with, and I'm pretty sure I didn't convey that in my story. For her, Amelia getting kidnapped was a massive wake-up call, in many respects. She went after her sister, worried sick for her, and blamed herself deeply for it. It's possible I didn't put a fine enough point on it, I suppose, but it's really hard for me to see how anyone could think it's obligation and not love that drives her. Stars, I was practically in tears myself when I wrote about her finding Amy's plush snake in her room.

Oh, and the story keeps using tons upon tons of fairy tropes and symbolism, but the 'goblins' never feel as more than slightly magical mooks. At least at the half-way mark they haven't done anything actually more than morally questionable.

Probably because they are. Goblins are people.
Did you get to Mag Mell, I'm curious?

If you actually know the old tales it's like seeing Cthulhu in all His unholy glory quietly sipping tea. It walks like elder evils. It talks like elder evils. It looks like a horrifying, sanity sapping visage of elder evil...
But it actually acts like any other disposable minion #1231452342. :facehoof:

I'm going to chalk this down to not getting to the end yet. The Morgwyn's presence starts off fairly slow, but it builds. It plays the role more of devil than of world-eater.

To be fair though, I do believe those fairy tropes is what caused this story to bore me so much. If you are unfamiliar with those myths I'm sure the story would feel far more fresh and interesting then it did for me.
But I just can't put a mental wall in my mind like that. Not when I'm constantly seeing hints that never actually manifest of such horrible darkness the story keeps teasing about but never seems to dare explore.

For the same reason that no one utters any serious swears. Really, did you not notice the content rating? It is a low teen, because I wrote this in the context of the fantasy stories that I enjoyed as a youth, which had a certain level of maximum violent content.

Even then, later on I do have violent acts that push at the boundaries of that rating, including a somewhat bloody fight, Sweetie's leg shattering, and other things.

Complaining that I kept to a content standard seems a bit of a low blow.

As for the "master", bit of a red herring. He thinks he's a bigger deal than he is. The real villain is someone you've already met. You can take or leave that - matter of taste again.

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An ex that just happens to have guns and a horse. A childhood friend that just happens to still live nearby on the other end of the forest...

The horse is the childhood friend's.
Also, it's a small rural town - there's a hundred places like that in walking distance if one cared to. Also, is it really that odd that she believes in it? Sure, that she does to a hysterical degree is rare, but a unicorn that walks into your life is pretty darned convincing no matter who you are.
The only coincidental thing about Marcus is that he's Daphne's ex, a contrivance solely to let me have them needle each other - Naomi could have gone for someone else or no one at all (not like that rifle came in all that handy except now and then). A bit stretched, perhaps? To me, it's fairly minor. I could go "blah blah not everything is as it seems" but really, excuses aside, it is contrived, and that it bothers you is totally fair.

Right~. and nobody in the history of ever has dodged or given up duties for the sake of their family and home.

Not sure what you're implying here, really. Since you've already seen fit to spoil on the ending - they go home, tell their parents what happened, and then they leave. They've grown up, and their lives are beyond the little enclosure of their parents' home.
It's one of the most important themes of the story - that sometimes the things that change you are so severe that you can never go home again. That just because the story ends happily, doesn't mean everything is a perfect little painting. They're hurt, they're wounded, and their parents no longer have any power to make it all better. They have to make their own lives. That's a far cry from "because the plot says so", and I'll ignore that since you hadn't actually read the last half of the book. If you do read it and indeed insist on that characterization, well, I'll probably disagree with you then, too, because to me it's as natural as breathing.


And yes, those consequences do occur to Apple Bloom, Sweetie Bell, and Scootaloo, and it is shattering for Amelia, because she's the one who got them into that mess.
~~

I'm glad to see Lithl talked you into giving it another chance. I'd like to see your thoughts after the end.
Honestly, because you don't like any of the characters, I don't see it as being all that different, but I'll at least be pleased that you gave it a shot.

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Glad you liked the story~ :pinkiehappy:

3341709
And I was super excited to see you throw up a sequel, although I haven't started reading it yet. (I'm a little behind on updates to stories I'm following... :twilightsheepish:)

3342932
I was checking some of my chapters and ran across this author's note, which I think helps encapsulate some of the issues here:

This, readers, is why I've spent so much ink on Leit Motif. She isn't just an observer. This entire story has been building up to the point where she can step up and do her best to save the day, for her to grow from nothing into something.
Agency and identity are probably the most important concepts in Pirene, more than anything else. Daphne, Leit Motif, and Amelia were all denied agency at the beginning of the story for various reasons. Amelia because of force, Leit Motif through fear of the unknown, and Daphne through self-doubt.
Daphne has conquered her self-doubt, and it's allowed her to access her own transcendent nature to influence the world. She's managed to secure a portion of her destiny. The Morgwyn, though, knows that she is its greatest threat and so concentrates on her personally, keeping her from directly influencing events and spoiling its plans. Through her reawakening, she's restored the identity that was thrown into chaos by years of self-doubt and the wand's transformation - she knows that she's neither human nor unicorn, but someone meant to straddle both worlds.
Amelia responded to the lack of agency by striking out. She freed herself from a prison (with the watchful aid of a monster) and then learned how to survive. Sadly, her trauma has damaged her, and her rationalizations for her increasingly destructive and selfish actions have turned her growing agency into a force for destruction. Her chance to shape her identity, who she is as a person, was cruelly interrupted.
Leit Motif's agency was taken from her by overbearing parents who did what they thought was best for her. She turned inward to escape them and rejected everything about the world except that which gave her comfort and took her away from the painful nettling of the opinion of others. Over the course of helping her long lost friend, though, she's rediscovered not only who she is as a person, but also that she as a person wants and desires more in life than what she had. She's allowing herself to feel again, and now she's taken the ultimate leap and gathered the hopes and promises of others to journey into the heart of darkness.

3341709

I just want to say that it's awfully big of you to respond to such scathing critique in a calm manner. Big props for that.

That being said, I'm not really comfortable continuing this discussion right now.

I'll stand by that I felt bored out of my mind by the point I stopped (Seeing Yggdrasil for the first time/Chapter Ten), but if the story actually starts moving and the characters' growing right after that...

Well, then that's a fair enough counter to most of my critique above, and I'd rather continue this from a position of more info than what I've gleamed from reading the spoilers over at TVTropes.

I can't say when I'll be done, but how about I shoot you a PM once I actually get around to that follow-up blog/review, and we can continue this then. Sound good to you?

That being said, I do have one thing I feel I can comment on right now:

The horse is the childhood friend's.
Also, it's a small rural town - there's a hundred places like that in walking distance if one cared to. Also, is it really that odd that she believes in it? Sure, that she does to a hysterical degree is rare, but a unicorn that walks into your life is pretty darned convincing no matter who you are.
The only coincidental thing about Marcus is that he's Daphne's ex, a contrivance solely to let me have them needle each other - Naomi could have gone for someone else or no one at all (not like that rifle came in all that handy except now and then). A bit stretched, perhaps? To me, it's fairly minor. I could go "blah blah not everything is as it seems" but really, excuses aside, it is contrived, and that it bothers you is totally fair.

Fair enough.

I'm not certain why you felt the need to have somebody Naomi could 'needle' when she was already so tense and snappy, but fair enough.

Still, I'll just chalk that bit about taking a couple of guns, a horse and it being no big thing up as a cultural difference. We've never had horses, but my dad's a hunter and if I'd as much poked his guns with a bit too much interest I would have needed an ass transplant afterwards.

If I'd outright gotten them out of their stand and somehow gotten a hold of the ammo as well, and just disappeared somewhere? I doubt I'd been welcome at home for a long, long time, and that's without actually firing a shot.

Than again, I'm from Sweden and we've got both laws and culture surrounding guns that would make a NRA member froth at the mouth. You aren't even allowed to carry knives in public unless they're clearly shown and to be used in a official capacity.

And frankly, I and most other Swedes are A-OK with that. It keeps the streets far safer.

But yeah, a normal, non-gang teen just showing up with loaded weapons as if it was no big deal made my eyes near bug out. Hope that lengthy aside at least explained 'why' to you.

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I actually strongly approve of Sweden's gun control situation. To give you some perspective, this is the rural United States, and, while it is a big deal to go around openly armed like that in some places, Naomi told Marcus that this was a matter of life and death. Marcus loves both Naomi and Amelia, so he was willing to risk his family's displeasure for their sakes, if indeed they could count on no one else.

As for the PM, sure. Can roll with that.

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