Not Really Lore, But...

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aspidites
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Not Really Lore, But...

Post by aspidites » Sat Aug 11, 2012 14:38

Sent to snowdrop, got no reply. Here for public for consumption, public ridicule, and to preserve the record:
I wrote this a second ago for kicks, with two goals:

Try to see what it might feel like to be inside the head of a member of the Shadow Guild
Gain an appreciation for why its so difficult to write lore for them

Caveats:

First draft, and I'm not confident that it's good enough to warrant a revision
As such, there are plenty of thematic issues present, and I didn't even bother fleshing out the content
The title is a spoof, not meant as a serious replacement for Shadow Guild

So yeah, not remotely my best work (and fiction definitely isn't my forte, but I had fun none-the-less).
Fabled Misunderstood Lords
Shadow Guild. Absurd, isn't it? They call us that, as though what we are can be defined; as though we are a collective of shapeless figures united in some nefarious plot to conquer the these forsaken kingdoms. In the first place, it is not what we are but what we have become; what we were made to become. Though we exist in their world, we are not a part of it. Hear me, idle Watcher: we are neither evil, nor cursed, nor weak. We are simply the forgotten fabled, misunderstood masters of our crafts; and underestimated lords of our legion.

They forget that we were once their brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers. They conjure fables of us being corrupted because they do not understand. How quickly they forget that our "witchcraft", "heresy" and "curses" were once their sciences, doctrines, and gifts.

We are lords, for not one of us commands the other, yet all are in power. Just as dominantly as you might command an army of the undead, a treturous soul could claim your life force and command you in his army of the undead just as dominantly!
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Mudskipper
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Re: Not Really Lore, But...

Post by Mudskipper » Sat Aug 11, 2012 22:32

The "Misunderstood Lords" tile is LOL, but the lore is interesting...

The only problem I really have with this is that it doesn't seem to allow for the potential of "bad guys" in their ranks. My personal philosophy in terms of writing stuff for this project is that all the factions have good and bad within them. Nobody's really a "poor misunderstood hero" throughout, and even the best factions might have darker elements.

I did originally consider the whole "They call us Shadow Guild" thing, almost like a modern-day explanation of the Captain America suit in the Marvel movies. Taking a cliched-sounding theme or idea and giving a clever reason for including it in the story. The big difference here though, is that while Captain America is a well-known character that would warrant such an explanation, the SG are new even to Wesnoth games.

That being said, I think you did a great job working on this bit of POV fiction, and I totally agree, these guys are HARD to write about.
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snowdrop
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Re: Not Really Lore, But...

Post by snowdrop » Sun Aug 12, 2012 14:24

Sent to snowdrop, got no reply. Here for public for consumption, public ridicule, and to preserve the record:
snowdrop helped santa at work, so this little elf didn't have time nor the eyes to see that you actually sent an attachment with your mail :oops: I blame Thunderbird for it's last (in more than one sense) update that probably wasn't even related ;)
The only problem I really have with this is that it doesn't seem to allow for the potential of "bad guys" in their ranks. My personal philosophy in terms of writing stuff for this project is that all the factions have good and bad within them. Nobody's really a "poor misunderstood hero" throughout, and even the best factions might have darker elements.
I think that topic - "bad vs good guys" - is interesting and brings forth a problem most stories have: They are usually biased, and they are also told from somebody's perspective, and in casual fantasy it is usually a very black or white world: Either you're good, or evil The nuances are seldom there to be captured, and to do so requires much more lore, story, reading, playing etc. It is always easier to just show every struggle as good vs bad, underdog vs system, or whatever, than to start painting a picture of anti-heroes and reality that's more complex.

Given it was written in POV-form I think it makes sense it doesn't give much room for "we're bad". I mean, who on earth would ever think that about him/herself? Most wouldn't, and those that would are probably "good" ;) Heck, even Hitler assumed that what he did was good for humanity and the world at large - he wouldn't ever have called himself a "bad guy". The bad guys were "just" the rest of the world :roll:

about the story
None of the others are in POV, so I'm not sure Shadowguilds should be either. Furthermore shadowguild should change name to something less misleading if we're to run with the fantasy-jews/witches/immigrants-theme, so we'll do that.

I really did like the POV though and think half of it was really nice. I imagine we could have some shorter story of a couple of pages written like that where we maybe get to follow a common girl, her semi-poor family, her relationship with some lover and how they somehow fall victims of something, all ending very badly and just hinting that a great migration is coming... Would be cool to follow it from a normal, totally unimportant persons, pov, and to introduce the hardships they will have to deal with as a summed up representation for what the "SG" will endure soon enough...
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Q_x
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Re: Not Really Lore, But...

Post by Q_x » Sun Aug 12, 2012 16:29

I'm just wondering :lol: , but how about making SG a real guild, actually? Not a thieves guild, in mafia-like sense, but more like poisoners and alchemists, necromants and various other scholars (together with people they hire to do dirty jobs or as bodyguards). Legal, or half-legal lobby, party that tries to push the boundaries of knowledge, tries to lower the risk of being prosecuted, using influence and politics to slowly uncover the truth, changeing forbidden realm into powerful science.

Of course things might lose some stability, guild may be hired to remove mentally ill king, and with a help of black magick they can give themselves and rule a small kingdom. But that's just an idea.
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aspidites
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Re: Not Really Lore, But...

Post by aspidites » Sun Aug 12, 2012 16:43

I had a really long post and lost it some how. I'm too lazy to recall what was written, so I'll just leave it to this:

@Mudskipper: Thanks. I agree with snowdrop about not perceiving one's self as evil. Also remember that this is unfinished work (and highly unpolished, inconsistent, and displays flow issues). If we ever decide to do some POV work and I'm conned into becoming a writer, I'll take that into consideration, though.

@snowdrop: Fuck you. I was waiting for an opinionated lashing and you took the diplomatic, optimistic approach instead. Kidding. Seriously though, I know you too well to know that your reply didn't capture all of your thoughts. I suppose I should better rely on Mattaiyah to be so candid?

@Q_x: I think snowdrop mentioned elsewhere that he was trying to avoid such a theme. I do like the idea for their motivations, though: Pursuit of greater knowledge, as opposed to simple conquest or retribution.
Mattaiyah
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Re: Not Really Lore, But...

Post by Mattaiyah » Sun Aug 12, 2012 18:16

aspidites wrote:@snowdrop: Fuck you. I was waiting for an opinionated lashing and you took the diplomatic, optimistic approach instead. Kidding. Seriously though, I know you too well to know that your reply didn't capture all of your thoughts. I suppose I should better rely on Mattaiyah to be so candid?
Muhuhahaha, MUHUHAHAHA!

The speach in general sounds like someone is standing on a soapbox in the middle of a crowd. That's not a bad thing, but it's not the POV this is supposed to be.
aspidites wrote:We are simply the forgotten fabled, misunderstood masters of our crafts; and underestimated lords of our legion.
Isn't their power mindtransfer? I actually looked at Mudskipper's lore and the wiki for this and just ended up more confused than anything. "It's mind transfering!" "No, it's necromancy!" Before we even start talking about the characters opinions on the powers, can we decide what those powers are?
aspidites wrote:Though we exist in their world, we are not a part of it.
I get what you're trying to say, but the statement is contradictory. A sort of Schrodigner's cat thing. Mabye "we are not wanted/wished here" would be more appropriate.
aspidites wrote:How quickly they forget that our "witchcraft", "heresy" and "curses" were once their sciences, doctrines, and gifts.
Are you trying to make the Empire sound hypocritical here? Because it's not working. I'm rather certain that mindtransfer/necromancy didn't exist/was taboo. Do they make some really good beer and the Empire's jealous or something?
aspidites wrote:We are lords, for not one of us commands the other, yet all are in power.
Again, an issue with the meaning being understood, but it's technically incorrect. Lord isn't a rank, it's a title. For example, barons, viscounts and earls are all called "Lord X", but each is a diffrent rank.

The rest is appropriate and I dont have much to say about it. I agree with snowdrop, this is just one side of the coin. What does the Empire think? Actually, what does the SG think? We've established that there's multiple factions in it, so they must have multiple opinions on the matter.
aspidites wrote:Hear me, idle Watcher
Who watches the watchmen? I'm sorry.
aspidites
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Re: Not Really Lore, But...

Post by aspidites » Sun Aug 12, 2012 18:42

I hate nested quotes so forgive me if this is too ambiguous, Mattaiyah.

@POV: Given a lack of precedence for POV's in WTactics, how can you really say with this is supposed to be? Funny you mention the soapbox, I imagined a guy giving his last words before execution, or rambling at a bar table with a tourist (Watcher)

@powers; I think mind transfer was mentioned at places. Probably counter-productive, but I blatantly ignored established characteristics. Partly because I didn't expect this to be taken seriously for inclusion, and partly because well, if Christopher Noland and whoever directed the new spiderman movie can, why can't I? (rhetorical)

@'part of this world': Reading it again, I see what you mean. Perhaps something like "belong here" -> They say we don't belong here, but we exist all the same". Dunno. Valid point, though.

@lords: I was thinking lord as in God. Given the setting, I suppose this was definitely poor wording, though.

@witchcraft: I think what lacks is examples. I was thinking salem witch trials and sherlock holmes (the first movie, not the novels) when I wrote this. I didn't try too hard to be convincing, but maybe that's the point?

@watchmen: The Watchmen Watchers, of course :P

Argumentative tone aside, I'm not really disagreeing with your criticisms or defending my work (which is mostly garbage, btw), just responding in kind. The feedback is actually rather useful, even if I don't decide to polish this thing up.
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snowdrop
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Re: Not Really Lore, But...

Post by snowdrop » Mon Aug 13, 2012 17:00

aspidites wrote:@powers; I think mind transfer was mentioned at places. Probably counter-productive, but I blatantly ignored established characteristics.
I think "imprint" or "wave" or maybe even "sould breeze/touch" would be better way to describe what they can achieve: The transfer is more like one of the faint waves on the water after you throw in a random object into the sea. Most of the time the ring is huge, but force that far out barely touches whatever it passes, yet it does ripple and in clear patterns. I'm sure you guys that are native eng-speakers will find or devise better wording now that it's maybe clearer...

The original wording is mine(?) and it is misleading since it gives the impression that they have huge control over the process and that most of their old self is intact after the transfer, kind of like taking the subway and just getting of at the next station, which shouldn't be the case. I rather see it less controlled, maybe most of them don't even know when it will happen or why, or who the target will be? That way many of them also live in some kind of semi-constant fear, at least if you like your life, have a good relationshiop etc, a fear which has maybe taken it's expression in whatever religion and carpe-diem attitude as you may wake up tomorrow existing as a very different persona.

@witchcraft: I think what lacks is examples. I was thinking salem witch trials and sherlock holmes (the first movie, not the novels) when I wrote this. I didn't try too hard to be convincing, but maybe that's the poin
+1
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