Archive for the 'Stories' Category

Hawkquisition: Dragon Age fanfiction series

So Dragon Age recently drew me back into writing fanfiction (or writing at all, apart from Latin stories for curriculum, which is sort of like fanfiction for the textbook and totally awesome!), once my headcanon about my latest Hawke had reached the critical point where I just wanted to get it all written down.

I thought I’d just write down the four or five scenes that I had in mind. However it appears I am not much for one-shots like that, and it turned into a story which turned into a series. Because, um, I like characters. And Dragon Age has SO MANY CHARACTERS. And I keep wanting to bring yet another one into the story. So it gets long. Generally, a good thing!

Here is the overview of the series (I’m writing part 3 now, but have two more stories in the series planned out…well, they have a little abstract paragraph, at least, and a few plot notes scribbled in my notebook and maybe one or two dialogues in there too). I’d love feedback if you read any of this! Tell me what you’re thinking! I love when a story prompts a bit of a dialogue between author and reader, really.

Master list of the Hawkquisition series, to be updated when new stories are added:

Part I: To Remain at Your Side

Hawke arrives at Skyhold without her Fenris? Surely he didn’t willingly let her go off alone. So she must have left without telling him. He’s not going to be pleased when he finds out! This is what happens next, as Hawke travels to Weisshaupt, reuniting along the way with her lover, family, friends, and the Inquisition itself…

Read it at: DeviantArt  |  FF.net  |  AO3

To Remain at Your Side: Part I of Hawkquisition Series

To Remain at Your Side: Part I of Hawkquisition Series

Continue reading ‘Hawkquisition: Dragon Age fanfiction series’

Now I’m writing! And knitting!

Some things have been happening. Only I have posted them at Deviantart, not here. Time to rectify that!

It is mostly all about the Dragon Age, for I have played through DA: Inquisition three times now (plus cycling back through the first two games to bring my total count up to 4 times for DA: Origins, 3 times plus one current playthrough in progress for DA2, and 3 times for Inquisition) and am clearly obsessed enough that fanfiction had to happen. So it did.

Knitting also happened and was very cool.

I will direct you to the Deviantart posts in lieu of a longer post for now, but I might write up more here later.

The knitting:

I wanted to knit something inspired by DA, and the various heraldry symbols for all the factions and characters turned out to be suitable to convert to a color-knitting chart. So I made some bookmarks as swatches to try out my charts, and to try out some different knitting techniques! I usually knit fair isle for colorwork, so I did that first (the purple/yellow Templar bookmark). Then I tried intarsia – first time I’ve used that technique! It was…a crazy lot of ends. (the blue/white Templar bookmark) Finally I made the green Tevinter bookmark in double knitting and that is my new knitting obsession. I want to knit everything in Alaisdair Post-Quinn’s Double Knitting class on Craftsy, which was what I watched to figure out how to make the bookmark! But now I want to drop the DA knitting (no…actually, I really don’t) and knit all the samples in that class! aaaagh!


Three Dragon Age Bookmarks by durandir on DeviantArt

The stories: (Spoilers for DA:I and DA2 below the cut)

Continue reading ‘Now I’m writing! And knitting!’

Traces

Unfortunately, I have no Ales and Tales writeup for you this week, as this Monday I was with family for Christmas and couldn’t handle the A&T lag on my netbook. Someone who was there, post some pictures pretty please? 🙂

Instead, I offer the first chapter in a collaborative story project that was born from the Winter Blogmoot at the home of poor absent Telwen. Though we’ve since heard from Battlemaiden, we’re going ahead with the fictional search. I open with this chapter, and will be creating a Table of Contents page here to keep track of the chapters each writer adds. (There are eight so far, and if you want to join us in writing, feel free to do so at the google group!)

Traces

By Ranna Dylin

A flash of coppery hair. A girl’s laughing voice, singing along to the strumming of a lute. She turns, and her grey-blue eyes meet mine, for just a second, before—

Linett woke up, suddenly, with the image burned in her memory but without any idea what the dream had been about. There was something familiar about the singer, though. Was it someone Linett had met, or just caught a glimpse of, a glimpse now risen to the surface as she slept? She could not shake the feeling that she should recognize the girl with her lute and her copper hair.

It was a bit early yet, but she rose anyway, unable to sleep again with this mystery prying at her. It occupied her thoughts as she stopped by the kitchens of Duillond for a breakfast muffin; it distracted her all morning as she tried to carry on with her research tasks in the Scholars’ Enclave. It troubled her so that she barely noticed when the elf Lennidhren, senior researcher, drew near.

“A message has come for you,” Lennidhren said, jolting Linett from her reverie. The elf handed her an envelope, smiling, and drew up a chair nearby. “Good news, I hope.”

“You know,” said Linett, breaking the seal and trying to look stern, “in Bree we have a saying: Curiosity killed the cat.”

“Ah, but I am no cat,” Lennidhren pointed out, “so I think there is no danger. And after all, we would not be researchers were it not for our excessive curiosity, would we, my dear?”

Linett conceded the point with a grin and a nod as she unfolded the letter and quickly read through it. Then the grin vanished and she sat up straighter and read through it again, more slowly. Lennidhren tilted her head and frowned in concern but sat silent until Linett finally found her voice.

“From my cousin Linnore,” she said. “And now…now I remember. That face. Lennidhren, I dreamed of a woman last night, a minstrel who seemed so familiar, I’ve been trying to remember her name all day. It seemed so important somehow, yet it wasn’t much of a dream, just a glimpse of her really. But I remember her now. Linnore knows her better than I. And it seems…she’s gone.”

“Gone?” the elf prompted.

“Linnore writes that Telwen, that’s the minstrel’s name, I remember now, had invited a few friends to her house but they arrived to find it boarded up. And it seemed to have been unoccupied for some time, too. She travels a lot, Telwen – a family of traveling bards, performing in town after town. That’s how I remember her, I think, for we met when their show came to Bree some years back. Ah, but she was still just a girl then; she must be a grown woman by now. She might be on the bards’ circuit again, but for her house to be abandoned even as she invites friends there…”

Lennidhren nodded. “Something isn’t right.”

Linett rose suddenly from her desk and gathered her cloak from its hook, her staff from where it leaned against the wall. “I must see this house.”


It wasn’t far to Telwen’s home, a stately abode in a Falathlorn neighborhood near the refuge of Duillond. Linnore met her there, summoned by a message Linett sent ahead with her raven-friend, though the bird seemed to pout at being used as a carrier pigeon, and would not quite look at Linett when it arrived with her cousin at Telwen’s house.

Boarded up the house was indeed, and a note on the door indicated that it was to be reclaimed by the Housing Commission for delinquency of payments.

“Can Telwen have fallen on hard times, and been unable to afford the payments?” Linett asked.

Her cousin shook her head. “As far as I know, she owned her home outright. Shouldn’t have been any payments left to make. This notice – I think it’s to cover something. I don’t know if there even is a Housing Commission in her neighborhood.”

Linett tried to force the door but found it too firmly boarded for that. So the two of them started searching the grounds for any clue. But it was Frigga the raven-friend who found what they sought. Its loud caw drew Linett’s attention, and she looked up to see the raven flying down from a hole in a hollow tree, with a bit of paper tucked in its beak.

Linett took the crumpled paper from Frigga and unfolded it carefully. It seemed to be a page torn from a book, with words carefully handwritten. Names. She showed the list to Linnore.

“I recognize some of these,” her cousin said. “Hey! Even my own name! And these – they were here for the party too. Maybe it’s some sort of guest list?”

“But is it Telwen’s writing?”

Linnore shrugged. “I couldn’t say for sure. But here’s one that wasn’t at the party. And another. I’ll warrant they’re friends of Telly’s, though. Don’t you think?”

It seemed as good a theory as any other they could come up with then. “The first thing to do,” Linett decided, “is to find these friends. You write to the ones who were at the party. I’ll take the list back to Duillond and see if we can track down the rest. Between us all, maybe we can find out just what’s become of this bard.”

Ales and Tales at Bag End – and Horazio’s tale of the Mice of Evendim!

What I learned at Ales and Tales this week:

There is nothing cuter than a Hobbit sitting in a chair.


Continue reading ‘Ales and Tales at Bag End – and Horazio’s tale of the Mice of Evendim!’

Round 2 of the Story Prompt Game

It was such fun the first time, let’s do this again!

First, congrats to Gaiagil, Harperella, and Luxbra, whose comments were selected by the magic generator of random numbers to provide the framework for a story including Barliman Butterbur, a Haunted Mirror, and Dragons. Which made for a great combination, and a tale with which I am very well pleased, posted earlier as In the Mirror.

Everyone’s welcome to play again in this round. If you didn’t win last time, you may either submit your previous suggestion again or go for something different – if you won, then you have to come up with something new. 🙂 A repeat of the rules:

  • * ** Comment on this post with ONE thing you want me to include in the story.
  • * ** It could be an object…a person (perhaps a game NPC?)…a place…just about anything.
  • * ** Maybe you want to suggest something that you would just love to see a story about – or maybe your suggestion is as silly as “A mean-spirited slug” with the goal of making the story more interesting as I have to work to fit it in. 🙂
  • * ** IT MUST BE LORE APPROPRIATE. I have to be able to use it in a story that sounds right for telling in Middle-earth. It doesn’t have to be all Hobbits and Elves – it could be ants, slugs, and spiders, after all, for Middle-earth lacks none of those! But I shall have to disregard any suggestions such as elevators, or Death Stars, or hippogriffs – anything that could not reasonably be found in Middle-earth.
  • * ** I’ll give it a week or so for comments to be made, then pick three at random and use those three in a story.
  • * ** If I use your comment in the story, I’ll have a prize for you in-game! (Though I’m still working on sending out prizes from last round…but it’s coming!) This’ll work best if you have a Landroval or Nimrodel character, as my alts there are more established and better able to come up with a nice prize, but if you’re on another (North American) server, chances are VERY good that I already have an alt there (because Blogmoots can happen on any server and I have to be ready!) and can do something for you too. But it probably won’t be quite as nice as you’d get on Landy or Nim.

Okay, there you go…let’s hear those suggestions!

In the Mirror

Tomorrow I shall post my usual Ales and Tales writeup of last night’s special edition, the Minstrel Mash. But I wanted to go ahead and post the tale that Lennidhren told in honor of the event. This tale accomplishes three purposes:

  1. It is the product of my “Make me tell you a story” game from a few posts ago.
  2. It is a spooky story suitable for the Minstrel Mash – Hallowe’en edition of Ales and Tales.
  3. And even better, it is another tale of the Fall of Gondolin to join my Hammer of Wrath story!

All of which is to say, I am inordinately pleased with and proud of this one, so it gets its own separate post. 🙂 I am also working on pictures to go with it. But screenshots are complicated because the Prancing Pony always has people in it – NPCs even if you could find a time when it was free of other players, so I can’t really reenact the key scenes. So I’m going to attempt to tackle it with pencil and paper. This may or may not end up added to the post if I am ever satisfied with it. I’ll let you know. 🙂

And now – Lennidhren’s tale of the Mirror!
Continue reading ‘In the Mirror’

Fall of the Hammer

Just in time for the deadline of Travisimo’s “Fall of Gondolin” Writing challenge, I have completed my entry! I was drawn to the character of Rog mainly by the editorial comment that “The name Rog, in earlier writings Rôg, seems curious as a name for an elf-lord of Gondolin: it means “demon”, and no other one-syllable names appear in other writings. As this was early in the evolution of Middle-earth, if another writing had been created later in Tolkien’s life this name would probably have been changed.” Changed? I decided that, no, there must be a perfectly good reason for a Lord of Gondolin to be named “Demon.” And the fact that it was his house that slew many of the Balrogs in the battle made an interesting connection with his name to explore. (Furthermore, his being considered the strongest of the Noldor, yet only the third greatest in valor, put me in mind of the lesson I did with Latin 2 last week on Achilles and Ajax – the latter, biggest and strongest of the Greeks, yet forever second best to Achilles. Ajax can’t help it if Achilles had a goddess for a mother and all the advantages of birth that come with that…So I kind of had Ajax Telamon in mind as I wrote about Rog, but I’m not sure how much that came through.)  So, anyway, here you have my interpretation of Rog and the House of the Hammer of Wrath!

Fall of the Hammer:
Rog and the Balrogs

One, two. One, two. Swing, and fall. Swing, and fall, the song of the hammer on the anvil had rung out. Just yesterday Rog’s forges had been filled with the sound, the steady rhythm of the hammer’s blows as armor was mended, reshaped, polished to shining newness in preparation for the festival today.

For the festival: For elves in full panoply, armor and swords gleaming in the moonlight upon the walls of Gondolin, to greet the dawn of summer. Yet no golden dawn had met them this day, but the red glow of fire in the North. Rog stood grim and solid upon the wall and met the sight without fear. There would be no songs of summer this day, only the cries of war and the ring of sword upon sword. Swing, and fall.

The Lords of the Twelve Houses of the Gondolindrim gathered in council of war, but no opinion was asked of Rog. Nor was there need. Master of the blacksmiths, his vote had been cast over the years with every weapon forged upon his anvil. Glamdring, upon which the High King now rested his hand, frowning as he heard out Tuor’s plan for a sally upon the plain of Tumladen; Orcrist, swinging at Penlod’s side as the lord of the Houses of the Pillar and the Tower paced the council chamber; the curved sword of Egalmoth, and Dramborleg the axe of Tuor; none knew better than Rog the strength of the Gondolindrim. Strong and secure were the walls and towers of the hidden city, and the Elves of Gondolin would not falter behind the sturdy shields that Rog’s house had made. He nodded to himself when the King determined to remain in the city and defend it.

At the Main Gate, Rog chafed silently behind his heavy iron shield as the archers opened fire upon the hosts of Morgoth beneath the walls. Vast in number were the hordes swarming at the feet of Amon Gwareth, and the green plain of Tumladen was dark with Orcs. Yet the city’s walls were high and strong, and too steep the hill proved for the beasts of Morgoth to climb. The archers could long keep them back from the western gate, and in the meantime Rog hefted his great mace, waiting at the gate, impatient to see combat. One, two, the mace swung and fell again at his side.

Then from the north a messenger came running. “Balrogs!” he cried. “The North Gate is assailed. The Balrogs have come!”

At the word a fire kindled in Rog’s breast to match the fire with which those demons of Morgoth, the Balrogs, ever burned amidst their shadow. He glanced across the King’s Way to where Galdor stood with his people, the House of the Tree. Galdor raised his club in salute. “What, is the Main Gate too splendid for the wretches to bear the sight of it? Come then, let us take the battle to them! The North Gate shall not fall!” With a smile and a nod, Rog signaled to his own people, the House of the Hammer of Wrath, and led the way through the silent city to the northern gate.

A mighty noise rang out from the gate as the two houses approached it, a massive resounding booming as if Aulë himself were laboring at his forge right outside the city. Rog set his elves in position behind the gate and then climbed up to the top of the wall where the archers were loosing volley after volley. The sight that met him there struck his heart as the hammer upon the anvil. The Balrogs had come, and at their head marched Gothmog, High-captain of Angband. With them came legions of Orcs, and still more of the foul creatures poured forth from bizarre contraptions of iron, made as it were in the semblance of great drakes or some such beast. In vain had these beasts of iron sought to scale the steep slopes of Gondolin’s hill, but now Gothmog sent them flying up the road to the North Gate. Under the unhalting rain of arrows from the walls, the iron monsters slammed one after another into the great gates. Orcs leapt out of the beasts then, right up under the shelter of the walls where few arrows reached them, and began piling the twisted iron monsters up against the gates. And those gates, those mighty gates, shuddered and bent under the pressure, the sheer weight of the metal driven against them. Rog saw that they would not hold much longer, and descended from the wall to stand with his house.

With a groan of stone upon stone, like the bellow of a wounded dragon, the North Gate gave way at last. Orcs poured into the city, but they met a wall more unyielding than the gates, as the houses of Rog and of Galdor fell upon them. One, two. Swing, and fall. Mace and club swung side by side as the lords of the Tree and the Hammer of Wrath led their people against the foe. With every swing of Rog’s mace, another Orc fell; yet ever there were more Orcs to leap up in turn, and it was all the Elves could do to hold the enemy there at the gate. And then the Balrogs came.

Dread seemed to precede them like the shadow of which they were made. In the darkness of their approach the rising Sun seemed to be veiled, and the red light of fire gleamed upon Elven shields. Many an Elf fell then, stricken by the demons’ fiery whips. Ever so it had been, in all the wars of the Noldor against Morgoth; against those whips and that shadow, who could stand? Anger welled up in Rog’s heart as he remembered the last battle in which the Gondolindrim had fought. It was in the year of Tuor’s birth, that Man who now lived among the folk of Gondolin as if he were himself an Elf, that Turgon had finally led out his armies, ten thousand strong, from their hidden city to the aid of their brethren. It was in that battle – Nírnaeth Arnœdiad, Tears Unnumbered – that Rog had earned his name, more than a nickname, for even the long memory of the Elves had neglected to keep in memory what he was called before they named him Rog, Demon, for the fury with which he had fought in that battle. He had borne that name ever since, and borne with it a hatred of the demons of Morgoth. Ever it was the same: No Elf nor Man could withstand their shadow and their flaming whips, not even High King Fingon, slain in the Nírnaeth Arnœdiad by Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs; not even High King Fëanor himself, mortally wounded by that same Gothmog when first he came with the Noldor exiles to Beleriand. Now Rog burned within at the memory of those deaths.

Then a cry arose upon the wall beside the broken gate: Duilin, swift archer, Lord of the House of the Swallow, had fallen, struck by a Balrog’s fiery bolt even as his own arrow flew from his bow. At this the Elves began to falter. Who could withstand the demons of fire?

But Rog stood his ground and raised his mace high. Though he was ever an Elf of few words, yet in that moment words came unbidden and he cried out to the warriors of his house: “Shall fire and shadow fall upon our city? You are Elves of valour, with strong steel in your hands! Did not even the Balrogs retreat from the Sons of Fëanor when they came to their father’s aid? To me, Gondolindrim! Let the Hammer of Wrath fall upon these vile creatures! Drive them forth from the gate and we shall smite them as hammer on anvil!”

His house, heartened by the words of their leader, rallied about him and began to advance, pressing forward over the fallen bodies of Orcs that lined the street, leaving still more of the fallen in their wake. Rog led the charge to where the nearest Balrog was cutting a path with its fiery whip through the green tabards of the House of the Tree. As the demon turned toward the newcomers and drew back the whip to strike again, Rog rushed in with his shield raised. The whip snapped towards him; he did not duck or fall back, but took the lash upon his shield, then leapt towards the Balrog, swinging his mace. “Let the Hammer fall!” he cried again, and from every side the Elves of his house ran in with maces swinging.  The Balrog roared and swung its whip again and again. Rog’s people were scarred with burns as it fell upon them, knocked aside as it snapped out at them, but still they swarmed upon the Balrog like sparks flying from the anvil. Again and again their maces struck. Swing, and fall. The fiery whip slowed and finally fell still, and at the Elves’ feet, the mighty demon’s fire slowly dwindled to embers.

A hush fell over friend and foe alike then, as both the Gondolindrim and the hosts of Morgoth realized what had happened. Never before in any battle had a Balrog been slain by the hand of Elves or Men. Yet they were, after all, not indestructible, when met with the wrath of the hammer that Rog wielded.

“Let the Hammer fall!” Rog roared again, and his house took up the battle-cry as they charged forth once more. Orcs fled from their advance now. The Balrogs stood their ground and strove to band together even as the Elves had done, but the folk of the Hammer of Wrath divided themselves to fall upon the demons in groups and thus keep each one apart from its fellows. Hammers fell, sparks flew, and one by one the demons faltered. The armies of Morgoth were driven back through the gate, out onto the plain of Tumladen once more.

There mighty deeds the Elves wrought. Dread came upon the hosts of Morgoth as his Balrogs fell to the Hammer of Wrath as they had never before fallen to Elf or Man. But their captain Gothmog, not dismayed, called forth his forces yet held in reserve. Orcs swarmed around the Elves of the Hammer, and Rog looked around to find that their charge had carried them too far out from the city, and the horde had slipped in between the Elves and the gate. With the Orcs came Fire-drakes, and striding through his armies came the mighty shadow of Gothmog himself. All around Rog stood the Elves of his house, faithful and valiant to the end, but few remained of those who had followed him out of the gate, fewer still of those who had donned their armor new-polished in the night to greet the Sun upon the walls this morning. Mighty they were – but now too few.

Gothmog drew near, face to face with Rog. With a bellow, the mightiest of Balrogs rushed upon the lord of smiths, strongest of the Noldor. Rog stood tall and firm and met the attack with shield and mace. Around him his warriors met the renewed attack of the Orcs, and though they strove mightily, before such numbers, cut off from hope of rescue, they were hard pressed.

“Enough of your Hammer,” the Balrog snarled, a sound like the crackling of fire in the night. He came at Rog with his whip and his sword both lit with the same grim fire that lurked within his shadows. Rog took a blow of that great sword upon his shield, but the whip caught him about the ankle and he was swept from his feet. Quickly he leapt up again and dove towards the Balrog, his mace battering against the creature’s sword arm so that it dropped the weapon with a cry of rage. Rog pressed the attack, but with his leg still smarting from the whip’s first blow he stumbled and only swift shield-work protected him as the whip lashed out again. He stood his ground, but he stood it alone now as the Orcs drew away the rest of his house to their separate defeats. Gothmog’s whip struck again and again, and ever Rog found it harder to dart within its reach to land a blow of his mace upon his foe. Then at last came a lash he could not avoid, and he fell before the Balrog and did not rise again.

“So falls the Hammer of Wrath,” Gothmog sneered, retrieving his sword. “So falls Gondolin.”

But even as the fiery sword came down to send his spirit to the halls of Mandos, as Rog breathed his last, he uttered these words: “Yet Balrogs too may fall, and so shall you, Lord of Balrogs, when you enter my city again.” And with that he perished, and all his house with him; yet their deeds that day were a marvel ever after to the hosts of Morgoth and to the free peoples, for the Hammer of Wrath gave hope that even the greatest evil may fall.


Blogger Gatherings!



Click the button for reports from the 2010 Spring Blogger Gathering, hosted by Linett of Nimrodel!

Berethron of Brandywine hosted the 2010 Summer Blogmoot.

The Winter Blogmoot was held on December 4, 9 p.m. EST at the home of Telwen of Silverlode.

Next up: The Spring Blogmoot of 2011 shall return to Nimrodel with Tuiliel (Whart, aka user-1027520) hosting! Linett is looking forward to another local moot!

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