The Gods Can Bite Me (jesse's stalemate writing thread)

Discussion in 'Make It So' started by jacktrash, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    so i got a positive response to this

    but i probably would've done this sooner or later even if i hadn't. this will probably be mostly ideas for smartass banter for casimir, but eventually i want to grab all the reference photos and whatnot from my tumblr, since i don't use it anymore.

    for those who have no idea what i'm talking about: 'stalemate' is the novel (and probably series) i'm writing in collaboration with seebs. i'm doing all the actual writing, so far, and i come up with most of the characters, but seebs is responsible for a whole lot of the plot and most of the cosmology. it's a big project and won't be done anytime soon. i'm writing it out of order, too, so i've got a lot of ideas that aren't sequential or connected. even if you've been following me since forever, some of this might not make a whole lotta sense.

    it's absolutely ok to interact! i love talking about my writeys. that's why i'm not just stowing all these ideas in the scrivener file. i share because sharing inspires me.
     
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  2. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    idea of the night: dark elves are colorblind.

    casimir: "i mean, it's pretty badass that they can see heat, don't get me wrong. but they are an unrelenting fashion disaster."
     
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  3. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    ... please tell me this leads to a scene of a couple of dark elves muttering about how fashion is dumb and humans are blind of *course* these are warm colors, they warm up more!
     
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  4. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    it does now :D
     
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  5. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    before they knew each other as anything but opposing heads of state...

    casimir: "your father was a decent king and a real great guy. i liked him."
    gareth: "... you killed him."
    casimir: "yeah, war sucks. he was pretty cool."
     
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  6. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    there's an idea i don't have words to articulate yet, having to do with the concept that the king and the land are one. very ancient idea. in stalemate verse, is actually a functional magical state. nobody's really done it for a long time, though. kings of brighthaven generally do some ceremonial thing to link their wellbeing to that of the country, but it's more like collateral than a union. kings of czinsistan are all over the map, some ignored it, some lied about it, some drew energy from the land like big smelly vampires, and a lot did shit they didn't understand and went totally bonkers.

    casimir just kind of... melded. long before he was king. back when he was putting together the coup, traveling around sounding out key officers, he started leaving little fragments of consciousness in locations he wanted to keep tabs on. not like surveillance, more like linking a nerve to the place. he'd get a general impression of the state of things. of course, he was also probably bugging the hell out of a bunch of people and places, but those spy spells are well known, and in fact he was taught them in the army, BY the army, the same army he's spying on. the psychic nerve thing, though, nobody looks for that, because nobody DOES that. he doesn't even have a name for it. it's just a thing.

    over time, as he pulled the coup together, and then pulled the country together, he grew his dreamspace nervous system right out to the borders, and by his second year on the throne, around when gareth arrives, he can just FEEL when something's out of place somewhere.

    that's why he knew about the bluebeard and went after him personally. he could feel that predatory story latching onto a provincial barony like a hookworm and he had to go dig it out.

    he hasn't told anyone this, though galley kinda has an idea something of the sort is going on, being casimir's best friend and having trained alongside him for something like 15 years. galley knows how casimir operates. to everyone else, though, it's a mystery how he seems so lackadasical about reports of troubles and traitors and whatnot, but then he'll just go away for a few days, and when he comes back he doesn't really explain, and then a few days later you start to hear stories about how he killed this monster or broke that spell or did the other heroey thing. but he doesn't act like a hero. he doesn't want to talk about it, but he's not modest about it either, he's just like, yeah, that shit happens, a king's gotta deal with it. yes, i'm more powerful than all y'all put together, that's why it's my job, but i don't see why we have to like... conversate about it. did it, done with it, moving on.

    naturally, all the malfoy types are seething 24/7 that they're being not only ruled but outshone by someone who says "y'all".

    aaaaaanyway.

    the point is, this mystical state of unity between land and ruler, casimir just kind of tumbled ass-backwards into it, and it feels really normal to him. but it's going to have consequences, particularly when an alliance marriage means the lands are married, and the gods try to break it up. that's gonna be a glorious mess.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
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  7. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    I would say go find aphrodite but while she is the ultimate shipper she also tends to let consequences happen to other people and would therefore be no help at all.
     
  8. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    she would be a huge improvement over their gods. the local pantheon has an Agenda.
     
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  9. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    i don't intend to manufacture impediments rom-com style, but it occurs to me that a big part of why casimir is going to balk at marriage at first is because things like that just... don't happen to him. just when he's hitting a wall wrt selling this whole 'peace' idea to his country, a handsome prince hands him the solution, and it's smooches? and instead of threatening worse trouble, his problematic advisors are looking thoughtful and grudgingly approving? there has to be a catch.

    i mean, there is, it's just not what either of them thought it would be. they get along pretty good. they have no idea how any kind of marriage works, let alone a state marriage between two men. but they're attracted to each other, they respect each other, and they're getting to be friends.

    they would've gotten away with it if it wasn't for those meddling gods!

    anyhow. i think casimir is self-aware enough to find the whole mess amusing as well as baffling and terrifying. and he's never been the type to hide his feelings or hedge his bets. his philosophy is, you're gonna get hurt anyway, because life hurts. might as well get what happiness you can. no point overcomplicating things.
     
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  10. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    but like. gareth is THE handsome prince. the princiest! why would he be into a common born soldier who does gross and freaky magic?

    to which gareth has no coherent reply, because whenever he tries to explain he can only produce verbal keysmashes and 'not now boner' gestures.
     
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  11. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    note to self: the mystic guardian hasn't been fed in centuries. gareth thinks that's outrageous.
     
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  12. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    I guess the question is, what does it eat?
     
    • Agree x 3
  13. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    casimir to tomb lord revenant: i'm not here to punish you or anything like that. it's just that you fucked up the country real bad, and to fix it i have to rule it, so you gotta go. you can go alive if you want. well, not alive, obviously, but ambulatory, you know.
    revenant, from behind his death knights etc: ah, so you mean to claim the ancient right of combat? but you have no royal blood, so you cannot challenge me!
    casimir: guy. i just did.
    revenant: well, perhaps it may amuse me to strike you down before the eyes of the world. very well, the arena --
    casimir: now is fine. or basically whenever i catch you. wherever you happen to be at that moment.
    revenant, voice going up a key as casimir begins to demonstrate why his army nickname is 'daisy cutter': if you don't fight the challenge properly you're nothing but a common thug!
    casimir: that's fine.
    revenant: *flees, pursued by a bear an elder god, three corporealized nightmares, and a sky-blackening horde of ravens*
    casimir: *spits on ground* great, now i gotta do overtime.
     
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  14. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    the above, btw, was me figuring out why casimir didn't take revenant out on the battlefield. it's not like he wouldn't challenge openly. he's confident of his strength, and knows all revenant's weaknesses. but he's not about to mess around with any schmancy formalities, not when the lives of the citizens are on the line. so if revenant refuses to meet him soldier to soldier, casimir will deal with him in whatever way is fastest.

    from revenant's pov, of course, he can't afford to let casimir use those famous anti-undead powers on him. in an arena, there would be too much collateral damage if casimir unleashed the elk god -- same reason he can't do it there on the field, it would harm his own men as well, though of course not as much as revenant's, because casimir's army employs no undead. unlike the battlefield, though, the arena is small enough and full of civilians enough that casimir couldn't use most of his summons. it'd even the playing field. revenant would still have lost, but he doesn't think he would. and he thinks casimir is a big cheaterpants who will only face him with an advantage. revenant can't comprehend the motive of 'save citizens from bad rule' being strong enough to trump personal power -- which is, of course, the root of why casimir has to get rid of him in the first place.

    so revenant refuses to take the field after that, and casimir responds by personally popping into the palace to get at him. i won't be showing this bit, because i think it's more dramatic if nobody who witnessed it will speak of it. the guards who should've stopped him from walking into the throne room were paralyzed with dread in a way they thought they were immune to. they report that general kivi was surrounded by sort of smoke or black flames kinda? and had antlery shadows on his head, and his eyes were glowing, and they felt like if they moved they would be unmade down to the atoms. he walked in, slammed the giant bronze doors shut like they were nothing, and they heard him say, I SEE YOU. then they ran.

    every single undead in the room vanished somehow. and there were a lot of them, since revenant surrounded himself with other liches, a lot of vampires, and a few spectres. when the doors opened again, there were just a lot of empty clothes. and the few living people who'd been in there were totally unharmed, but scared shitless and won't talk about it. later on, when entitled nobles start making trouble for casimir, these witnesses are the ones who try to caution them not to mess with him.

    my intent is to have casimir be very personable and friendly, and frankly pretty nice, if ruthless, on camera -- but give heavy hints that he can be a lovecraftian horrorshow when the occasion warrants it.
     
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  15. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    unworthy princes.

    and also a sandwich. it was all gareth had on him. he refused to challenge for the kingship maguffin until the guardian accepted his lunch.
     
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  16. Lizardlicks

    Lizardlicks Friendly Neighborhood Lizard

    *Fresh Start Club grumbling in the distance.*
     
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  17. Wingyl

    Wingyl Allegedly Magic

    well it's not like he can employ undead realistically right
     
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  18. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    exactly. there are some undead courtiers he has no beef with, he only deleted revenant's inner circle. but when he's throwing around those psychopomp powers in battle, he'd be a menace to his own side if he had undead with him.

    not that this would stop the discworld undead from grumbling, if i'm correctly recalling the vampire working for the pencil factory bit.
     
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  19. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    undead are very common and pervasive in czinsistan, so you'd think that'd put him at a disadvantage numerically, but he got all the orcs on his side by means of not treating them like trained animals. revenant's lot is very racist against orcs. and of course casimir pays soldiers' wages on time, which revenant kept not doing, which was the spark for the coup in the first place.

    note for aspiring overlords: PAY YOUR SOLDIERS.
     
    • Agree x 4
  20. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    oh shit.

    casimir is grownup monkey d luffy, with shinigami powers instead of rubber powers.
     
    • Winner x 6
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