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A Good Ruler

one month ago
The title is subject to change, but I've been talking about my WIP for a while now in the Discord.

Expected publishing date: August 18th at the earliest.

Genre: Fantasy

Setting: The world is in a state of transition. Once a land of gods and spirit magic, the old ways are being replaced by man's influence. The spirits have mostly gone to the mountains as the MC's home country (Yoshise) has invented black powder and quickly created guns (out of fear of their eastern neighbor). Meanwhile the Lunumia Empire has expanded its borders massively over the past few generations using its monopoly of Chaos Magic. They destroyed the long dominant Eo Kingdom (aka the Roman Empire) and have been taking lands from Yoshise.

The Protagonist: Princess Adele, 82nd in line for the Yoshise throne. As part of a peace agreement between the two cultures of Yoshise, she was sent to the far north into the non-dominant culture (in Gakko) for learning (since it required a noble and she's "technically" a noble). Now, it's time for her to return home to the capital with her retainers. She's typically quiet and reserved.

General plot: After being ambushed by bandits, Adele is saved by a Spirit Wolf. He then forces her to help him with his sworn mission, saving the Heart of the mountain. Her own people (and culture) sent an expedition to take it even though it would kill the mountain's spirit (and thus kill the mountain). Why? Lumunia's master (the undying God of Chaos) is on his way with a massive force in response to a certain Yoshise noble's sudden use of Chaos magic. (He used it to kill all the other nobles, including her family). Since the Heart of the mountain is the magical equivalent of a nuke, they want to get that to protect their country. The Spirit Wolf, however, promised to teach Adele how to become a good ruler.

Maps: I made maps because I like maps.

This's where most of the story takes place:


This's a farther away look:


The full map:


And the culture map because it's fun:

A Good Ruler

one month ago

Where do you make maps like that?

A Good Ruler

one month ago
I hand drew them... Just kidding. https://azgaar.github.io/Fantasy-Map-Generator/

It generates stuff for you, but I pretty much built this world from the ground up. It even calculates numbers like population. For example, the Lunumia Empire has half the world's population, and most people are in the south to central part of that main continent.

A Good Ruler

one month ago
Wow that's cool. I've been looking for a good map generator for a long time due to general laziness. Your created map is very nice though. The default one on the site needs work.

A Good Ruler

one month ago

Well, I'm wondering how it would be possible to build such humongous empires. Size has been one of the biggest threat to the roman empire, which used too much of its force to keep itself coherent and made conquest more difficult, ultimately leading to the split and destruction of the empire.
I think that what allows us now to have such national unity, especially in the biggest countries, is the simplicity of communication and transportation, helping the nation to share its culture and way of life. I might be wrong though. Also, magic could solve one or two of these issues. Depends of the worldbuilding, tho

 

A Good Ruler

one month ago
Good points. Overall, some of the communication is done through rivers and lakes. More specifically, Yoshise is pretty simple. It's people are pretty much in two smaller areas (one for each of the two cultures). Most of that empire is sorta sparse, lots of unpopulated moors and mountains. The "faltering" empires, being Eo, Sangon and Rylia, are collapsing inwardly (the former two because they were so big at one point) and Lunumia is taking the spoils. One of the island grouping is just a bunch of pirates. The other (Yeondgo) is doing well just because of their navel powers (sorta like England).

This leaves the biggest country, Lunumia. I ran the numbers and it's a little bigger than Australia. I used Justinian's conquest and the Mongol's rampage as inspiration. As part of the backstory, they were pretty small until a few generations ago. While they're great at assimilation, they're growing too fast for their own good. If it wasn't for their undying Master, they'd already be dead. They're essentially the only country with a superweapon, so far undefeatable. The empire is pretty unstable though. The Master and the vast lake/river system is pretty much the only thing keeping them together.

I hope that helps.

A Good Ruler (excerpt #1)

one month ago
Excerpt #1. This might be the start of the story Maybe not. Important nonetheless.

Adele clutches at her chest as blood flows between her fingers. She tastes salt and iron in her mouth. Every breathe she takes feels like a dagger scraping its way through her lungs. She slumps down against a tree and stares blankly into the distance. Her hearing rings from the sound of gunfire, but the sounds of men dying still echo throughout the woods. Slowly, each one is silenced forever.

One guard cries for his mother as he’s beheaded. Blood splatters onto the ground. Another man refuses to say a word as an assailant laughs, sinking a dagger into the victim’s chest. A young maid, defiled, whimpers as a man takes the mercy to end her suffering.

She never bothered learning their names, but that doesn’t matter now anyway. Her vision clouds. The final suffering soul ceases to exist with the piercing sound of a gunshot.

“The hell’s the royal?” At least the clutches of death will embrace her. She shakes from the pain, waiting for them to find her. Her fingernails dig into the palms of her hands, drawing blood.

“O’er here. Shot the bitch in the chest.” She spits out blood. It rolls down her lips. So much blood. Her dress has turned from grey to red.

She sees three blurry figures step towards her. The glint of metal shines in one of their hands. Perhaps they’ll take mercy and slit her throat. So cold. So tired.

She feels the knife press against her throat. The man chuckles. “Your cousin Kiel says hello, cutie.” That damn bastard.

One of the men scream. Her vision blackens, but the knife drops away from her throat. She presses her hand against the wound, desperate to keep her blood. She hears a booming, feral growl.

Gunshots deafen her. Blood splashes across her face, someone else’s blood. A body slumps against her. Her head spins. She feels death’s embrace, and she welcomes its touch. It’s all over. Soon, she’ll be in the halls of her ancestors.

Something presses against her forehead. Cold, wet. Like a dog’s nose. She feels moist, warm breath against her face. Each bears the power of the creature’s lungs. Pain leaves her. She opens her eyes and sees two glowing orbs staring back at her. A massive white wolf stands overhead, covered in the blood of her assailants. Their bodies are torn into pieces and strewn about the battlefield. She feels for the cut on her throat and the hole in her chest. She can’t find either.

“You’re a spirit,” Adele says. She spits out the remaining blood in her mouth.

The wolf doesn’t move its mouth. It only takes its deep huff. Still, she hears the words, “Yes, I am. I want you for a task.”

A Good Ruler (excerpt #1)

one month ago

Tell Russell Crowe I am entertained. I like your writing style. The short, quick sentences reminds me of Geralt of Rivia’s voice from The Witcher. The last two paragraphs in particular are deeply engaging. The sentence structure fits the chaos and disorientation that is occurring in the story. Couple things:

- I think you meant ‘breath’ in the first paragraph. In the same place, I’m not sure if it should be “Each breath” or “Every breath”. I’m blanking on which is correct. Maybe either works?

- The man gives mercy to the young maid. He doesn’t take it.

A Good Ruler (excerpt #1)

one month ago
Thanks for noticing that "breathe" error. I have a predisposition of getting those two confused for some reason. For the mercy bit, I was going for the vibes of the "take mercy on" idiom, but... it does seem weird now that you pointed that out. I'll fix that too.

Also, thanks for liking my writing style for this. I tend to struggle with any kind of "battle scenes" and have been trying to improve that for almost a year. I’m happy to see you liked it!

A Good Ruler

one month ago
title sucks

But hell I guess maps are trendy now, I'd better figure out how to make one for my story.

A Good Ruler

one month ago
I slap on a placeholder title until I'm ready to publish. For examaple, "Azula and Zuko" was "Burnout" until the day I published. I'm open to suggestions though. I sorta suck at titles.

A Good Ruler

one month ago
Burnout is technically a much better title but since we're talking fanfic it's just as well to make it clear what it's a fanfic of.

A Good Ruler

one month ago
Yeah, it is, and I almost kept it. However, I figured people would read "Avatar fanfiction" over "some fanfic with a cool title". Plus, "Azula and Zuko" does sorta show what the fanfic is about... Azula and Zuko.

A Good Ruler

one month ago

I'm rooting for Lumina.  

Don't let us down, now.  I'm expecting a lot of good work coming from you guys this year.  

A Good Ruler

one month ago
Lol, why am I not surprised?

A Good Ruler

one month ago

Because you know I am a somewhat intelligent being.  

Don't forget to post more updates as you progress.

A Good Ruler

one month ago

Looking forward to it.

A Good Ruler

one month ago
I know I said this in the discord already, but i'm loving these maps. To me they are valuable when writing any story that involves multiple places or any form of travel, it just helps prevent mistakes like "we traveled east from country Y to X country" then saying a few pages later that country X is located to the West of country Y. Plus its pretty to look at and gives readers a visual of the world you've built.

I'm fixing to read your snippet, but one thing that jumped out to me is that Adele has the title of Princess but she is 82nd in line for the throne. This may end up being explained as a cultural thing later on, but how many siblings does she have to be a princess but so far down the line of succession? I would have expected her to be closer to 5th in line perhaps or 15th maybe if there is some cultural rule about female succession that pushes her back in line behind male cousins and uncles, but ahead of more distant male relations.

Besides that I like the sound of the plot and I'm looking forward to reading it.

A Good Ruler

one month ago
I suppose she could have 81 siblings if a whole hell of a lot of concubines are involved.

A Good Ruler

one month ago
It's pretty simple. The current king Aleksandar (no relation to AlexP... none at all) was the sole surviving royal member of the recent(ish) war between Yoshise and the Lunumia emprie. He had ten kids to ensure his line would continue. Of those ten kids, they had a bunch of kids (a lot hitting 6 to 7). For example, Kiel is the 4th son of the 2nd son to the king. Adele is the 7th born to the youngest child of the king. Since male trumps female in the line of succession and Adele has two younger brothers (the youngest son had a lot of kids to make him more "worthwhile" to be named Crown Prince instead of the oldest son to the king), she's 82nd in line to the throne of 82 candidates.

A Good Ruler

one month ago
Plus, Yoshise is entering the beginnings of the industrial age (the only country who is at the moment), so there's a high birth rate compared to the death rate at the moment.

A Good Ruler

one month ago
It was just the Princess title itself that was confusing since you'd said earlier she was only 'technically' minor mobility which to me didn't imply being a direct descendant of the king. So I wasn't sure if you were calling a second cousin's niece a princess or what.

Not sure how I feel about making 'Kiel' a major antagonist, that's a little too fourth wall breaking for a serious story and I don't think he deserves the attention anyhow.

I see you did however remove the 'the dead and dying seemed like nice people' from the version you posted in the Discord which is good because that line really stood out as trite and bad. Although still not sure about 'Never bothered to learn their names'. It seems weird to not speak to a single person you're traveling with and will be relying on even once, and surely she had a couple servants in the mix of boring else.

A quick couple of lines detailing some actual interaction with even one of the 'dead and dying' from before this would do more than anything you included to make them seem like more than just generic props. That'd also be a good place to include some clue of where or why they'd been traveling in the first place.

A Good Ruler

one month ago
Sorry, I've been writing with narration that's sympathetic to the POV character a lot recently. In other words, Adele doesn't see herself as a princess or as a noble in all but a technically instead of being reality. Thus, I described her that way as well. She's a princess. She's a noble. She just has a deflated self-image as well. It's common in her age range anyway.

The story will have time jumps (not time travel, just moving around in scenes with different parts of her life). There'll be some characterization for all the dead and dying then; however, the one bodyguard she did talk to wasn't there at the time. (He'll be one of three companions she'll have during the journey.) Part of her character is also introversion. Adele isn't a talker. I'm trying to get myself to advance plot and scenes without relying too much on dialogue which's something I think I normally do too much.

I'm going back and forth on how much I should incorporate site references in the story. Kiel is a German-based name, so it'd fit into the German-based culture of the royal family (and most of the kingdom). Part of the reason I incorporated it into the section I posted was to gauge reactions. In case it doesn't pan out, I have another name planned, Weyker.

Thanks for your feedback, Mizal!

A Good Ruler

one month ago
Leik dom Odep

A Good Ruler

one month ago
lol

A Good Ruler

one month ago
Anyway I'm realizing now I only nitpicked at the example but the writing itself is fine, it's just that I'm not sure how effective it is to kill people and put the protag's life in peril right at the intro when we don't know enough about anything that's going on to care. If this is the story's opening (although I see you're not quite decided on that yet) I probably would have rolled it back a bit to cover a little of the lead up to all this and established a few things before the attack.

A Good Ruler

one month ago
I never tried something in medias res before, and I was also wondering if this was too abrupt and jarring of a begging. There's another point where I could start the story which'd probably make more sense now that I think of it. Thanks for the feedback, M.

A Good Ruler

one month ago

This looks really cool, I love the maps! It is obvious a lot of thought and effort has gone into this already and the plot looks interesting and unique. Good luck with it

A Good Ruler

one month ago
Oh, time for an update on the Spirit World too, so I can have all my maps on here (besides my history maps... I made a lot of maps, okay?)

What is the Spirit World? It's one of those worlds intertwined with the "natural" world. While many spirits and gods used to live mostly in the natural world, most made their way to the Spirit World for multiple reasons, most stemming from humans. Its overabundance in magical energy makes the world inheritantly unstable and unihabitable for humans. It's also the source of the two magical energies, Spirit magic and Chaos magic. Why am I talking about this? The mechanics of the world will factor into the story regardless of your path.

Here's what it looks like.


In case the imagry flew over your head, here's a map of where the Chaos magic and the Spirit magic are most powerful.

A Good Ruler

one month ago
So... its a yinyang symbol?

Other than that, I definitely like this concept.

A Good Ruler

one month ago
Yeah, it's the taijitu. It ties into how I work the magical system of the world along with a few themes I'll have in the story.

A Good Ruler

one month ago
Oh ok, I gotcha. That sounds interesting, I'm looking forward to reading more on it now. :D

WIBN's Update #2

one month ago
As I've been building this world and its various cultures, I've also been fleshing out my characters. This'll be a letter sent to Adele. Due to my new starting point, this'll also be read among the first pages of the story. It gives a fair amount of details about the situation with royalty, Adele, and the writer of the letter. While he won't be in the "present" story much, he will be paramount to Adele's character and be in a ton of the "flashback" scenes. (The ones where Adele makes a present decision based on a past decision. I mentioned that earlier too.)

So, here it is. I hope the formality isn't too stifling, but it's technically one royal writing to another.
xxxxxxxxxxxx


My dear sister,

Each day that passes is another day closer to our reunion. No matter the mill town or village we guard, I cannot help but think of you. Every brother and sister. Every shy face. Every young girl, though I know you are no longer a mere girl. You have grown into a fine young woman, that I am sure of. I dearly wish I could have been there with you, to be there for you. Alas, fate hasn’t permitted such a luxury.

We finished our patrol of the Dorn rivers. I know we are popular, and if it wasn’t for the fear of the Lunumian Empire, we’d surely secure the area. Perhaps that would secure Father’s favor. It has been ten years since my adoption, but I have yet to impress him. I am the young war hero from the Battle of the Eastern Divide. Alas, I should do better, for he doesn’t care if there were only skirmishes with roaming bandits since then.

I apologize. I am talking and complaining about myself again. How silly of me. I shouldn’t burden you with my problems, since you have enough of your own.

Have you received any word of a marriage contract yet? I heard of nothing. I believe your, you devious fiend. Father plans to offer you as bride to whichever cousin to be named Crown Prince. May Aleksandar II rest in peace. No father should outlive his son. I cannot fathom Grandfather’s grief.

Still, your theory makes sense. You are the only female with both Deutsch and Kita blood in your veins, and you’ve been schooled in Gakko for five years. If the Crown Prince wanted to strengthen the ties between our nation’s two cultures and keep the line purely royal, he’d chose you. Of course, if you did not like the man, I would ensure you’ll secure your wishes. I promise.

To answer your previous question, no. There has yet to be a maiden who caught my eye. I pray that I won’t become like old Richart. Tell him hello for me. I heard he’s part of the party to take you home.

Home. What a foreign word for both of us. You’ve been away for half a decade while I’ve been patrolling for the same amount of time. Even when I do visit home, it isn’t truly home. I find it to be a house, mere walls with people inside. Home hasn’t been home since you left. I miss you. With all my heart and soul, I miss you.

I count the days until you arrive. I’ll be waiting for you, Adele. There we can speak beyond the printed word. I can see you laugh, and you can see me smile. Hell, I’ll get to talk with you without all this stuffy formality. Ha ha!

With undying love,
Engel, Captain of the Yoshise Calvary

Character Update

one month ago
Now, it’s time for my main characters, at least most of them. Engel isn’t on the list, but he’s a special case. Also, pictures! But, since most web artist seem to draw mostly white people only, these are all going to be white people. The Kita culture is more Asian than white though. Adele. We already have a bit of stuff on her from my earlier stuff. I’ve finished ironing out her character though. She’s quiet and doesn’t express her emotions around others much. On the other hand, she’s a daydreamer with an active imagination, though it also means she disassociates herself from people and relationships. She’s a direct contrast with the plucky, spunky princesses we also see. To speak in psychology terms, she hasn’t developed her sense of identity yet while having high development in relative and abstract thinking. Here she is! Richart. He’s the head bodyguard of Adele and wasn’t present during the initial slaughter of her royal procession. He also uses an axe since he’s old and doesn’t trust the newfangled guns. He’s a firm believer in Contractarianism and pious. No nonsense and a survivor of many battles, he provides the “traditional” and “warrior” viewpoint to Adele. Here he is! Kira. She’s the spunky, plucky one. She’s also the maid to Adele and the unintentional reason why she and Richart didn’t die. She’s a young lady who’s a member of the Kita culture (the northern one that Adele spent the past few years learning at). Due to her unfortunate childhood, she’s highly self-reliant and distrustful of men. She’s a realist, Hedonist, and quite adept at knives (and throwing them). She provides a viewpoint of the common folk, Kita people, and the non-spiritual people. Here she is! Okami. He’s the last of the Spirit wolves that hasn’t departed for the Spirit World. His unaging nature causes him to be aloof from people. The Spirit wolfs’ traditional duty was to protect the mountains and to guard people on their journeys through the wilderness (in both the people’s lives and deaths). Now, as the last of his kind, he can’t uphold all his duties and a single entity. He has a servant’s heart and is believer in Kant Morality. No picture for him. He’s a white wolf the size of a horse.

Character Update

one month ago

Adele × Okami-kun is the OTP.

Character Update

one month ago
Oh dear, no. The story's "heart/emotional centerpiece" is between her and her brother Engel anyway.

Character Update

one month ago

A little wincest never hurt, I suppose.  

Character Update

one month ago

Why are you such a weeb?

Character Update

one month ago
Because those were the pics that had reasonable clothes. Plus, I like Fire Emblem and 2/3s of those pics were from those games.

Character Update

one month ago
But you named the white spirit wolf Okami....

Character Update

one month ago




WIBN: not a weeb

Character Update

one month ago
That's friggen ugly.

Character Update

one month ago

Wibbons, more like WEEBINS am I right?

Character Update

one month ago
A good nick that he's going to be forced to keep for awhile.

Character Update

one month ago
It's a reference to the Canis lupus hodophilax, known as the Nihon okami in Japan. They were a species of wolves that used to inhabit the islands until the early 20th century. In their folklore, the wolves would guard travelers as they make their journeys (which's what my wolf does). I had no idea about that video game. That sucks. I might have to change the name now.

Character Update

one month ago

It literally means wolf