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And with the ending we can easily imagine a sequel ( or two)... so much questions unanswered :
- What will happen with those two lovers?
- Will Melissa learn magic?
- What is happenning outside of the house?
- Will they go out of the mansion?
- Will Jason and Melissa will fight the Emperor( or the King... or whatever he is name)?
Do you plan to make a sequel? And if yes, can we help on the developpement or something?
(Sorry for my English, I don't really speak English that much).
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I dunno, maybe one of these days... but not yet, and maybe never...
( A wonderfully non-committal answer, if I do say so myself )
The Compendium of Drake:
Starlit Sky ~ Songs of Araiah ~ Mirai Imouto ~ Temple Glen ~ Fuyu no Tabi
This was my first VN too, after I downloaded Ren'Py. I loved it so much I started aspiring to make my own, and that was a year ago, and I still love it.bd648 wrote:I have to say something. This is the first Visual/Kinetic novel i have EVER read. And it just gave me a warm fuzzy feeling that it started me on a search for more and more VN/KN to read. Which brought me here. On top of that this introduced me to the renpy engine which i have been practicing with in preparation to make my own KN/VN. So i thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Thanks from me, too.
A terrible shame especially given the background given about the world and magic and the entire political/religious landscape that's gone into it. Jason and Melissa have a Hanasian 'god' emperor and his legions to destroy and or liberate. Maybe set a few years in the future after the honeymoon and entire magical training thing. The pair could form their own faction rather easily by first conscripting a few members of Marshall into the new proletariat magical rebellion uprising thing. A bunch of front line infantry soldiers of the Reformist line could be swept aside with a few well placed fireballs and lightning strikes. Then there are the potential conflicts that could arise from heedlessly giving those not as well adjusted as Jason and Melissa access to said magic. Betrayals and intrigue are easy to imagine. The two could be forced apart. The 'god' emperor could decide to become that big of a hypocrite himself ("I use it as I would use a poison. I only seek to master it to learn how I might best find a way to kill it) decide on an ends justify the means approach to counter them.DrakeNavarone wrote:I'm not really big on the idea of sequels, but I do have to confess that very early on, I wanted to turn this into a series, or at least give it a second half. Maybe parts of that want are still sprinkled into the story, and that turns into rather nasty bait for readers who crave more and won't have their wishes granted... It's rather evil, but I didn't intend it to be so that deliberately...
I dunno, maybe one of these days... but not yet, and maybe never...
( A wonderfully non-committal answer, if I do say so myself )
The tale can be as complex as you want it to be. Consider the deconstruction of the brainwashing of the town of Marshall itself. We already know that Jason's and the hanged friend's surviving family aren't wild about the establishment. Others might feel the same in an isolated border village but be scared of a few loyalists running around town ready to inform on them to the real enemy perfectly justified in their betrayal of their neighbors by the dogma they were taught from birth. They need not be all so capable of looking in the mirror of their ideals or themselves as clearly just by the protagonist's presence and obvious power display. Instead it would reinforce the lies told in that religion as they would believe that following such 'false' prophets would mean the death of their souls in the cycle of reincarnation. How should they be dealt with? Simply killing them (outside of self-defense that may be necessary I mean these loyalists might be intractable in the face of this new opposing religion and too many to contain but a danger that the heroes have to deal with somehow - you could easily make them a threat they can't simply ignore) could turn the protagonist into the very creatures they despise but leaving them alone or jailing them aren't long-term solutions either especially if their numbers are greater or at least of parity to the Jason/Melissa's factional side. There are definite moral dilemmas abounding here that would make your story and all of its characters more dynamic and three dimensional beyond the two protagonists. Don't discount the Machiavellian sort that would see the pair as very good tools to create their own sort of power structure and tractable enough to manipulate for their own purposes. Some could simply be too fearful of the wrath the pair would bring down on them to listen and others would be desperate enough to risk going against everything they were taught to master this strange heretical power and bring the fight to the enemy too quickly and messily. The world and its people need not fall into a binary sort of good rebel evil establishment dynamic but represent a spread of opinions that leave multiple good people trapped somewhere in between. The heroes power need not be omnipotent or even rocks of virtue and stability themselves (not that they were to start with)
The entire religious aspect to the whole thing; even discounting the politics offers a massive spectrum of conflict that can range in intensity on an individual, regional, or even national basis. The outlying areas could be less indoctrinated and loyal than the central or larger cities. The brutal methods could become more subtle and insidious as a result. Maybe he or a select operative group knows the secret of magic and uses it to keep their iron grip on society. Perhaps they twist the magic into something else that serves their political and religious purposes of making themselves the reigning oligarchy with the 'god' emperor as more of a public face to an invisible cabal that rules from the shadows. Perhaps several magicians did flee across the sea to another land and choose not to intervene for the first reason Melissa gave about having no stake left in the world outside her own house. Yet the actions and counteractions of the Reformists and the Insurgents may reach even their ears bringing a third side unwillingly into the escalating war between the immortals and their mortal pawns.
What sort of society would Jason and Melissa by dent of their large but not omnipotent degree of magical power create? Would they share the secret of their gift of magic freely with all or restrict the secret to a select few who supported them and proved themselves trustworthy? The protagonists have been sheltered even if cautious of personal risk. What the form and substance of Melissa's religion besides the broad brush strokes given in the original story? She is zealous, yes; but how would that zealousness manifest itself in the outside world now that she can no longer hide in her house? How would she deal with people other than her presumptive husband Jason?
Also remember that although Melissa has no ties to the world outside Jason still has a family outside those walls; thoughts of their fate could force him to take a look outside. I ask you what happens to a family when the heretical member of it isn't found and hanged in some brutal public spectacle? Are they hurt? Are they ostracized from their village? Are they jailed? Are the bonds of their slavery tightened further like a vise? Do the 'sins' of one child fall on another child of the same family in the Reformist religion post Jason entering that house? Do they kill/maim/torture his younger sister for her brother's 'crimes'? Do they hurt/kill/torture the parents? Do they subject her to more through brainwashing than the others perhaps even turning her against her older brother who 'abandoned her' to suffer such torments in his place?
If you understood oppression or tyranny or true loss and torment as many others have the unfortunate experience to know in our real lives then you might understand that the violent loss of a sibling in a senseless death that carries a terrible dissonant echo in our souls; especially when we lose a constant companion very dear to us. Trust me when I say that the loss is far more severe and traumatic for any child old enough to understand and yet powerless to stop even in hindsight without foreknowledge old enough to understand death but remain utterly powerless to prevent or avenge or throw yourself in front of in sacrifice.
Such a tragedy death would create a terrible echo on Jason's character since he is obviously old enough to understand and fear death. He's obviously traumatized by his friend's death who is obviously more of an older brother. What about a living sister? The start of it could have him thinking more and more about his sister and other family as the date of her branding so he wants to leave the house and check in on her. Perhaps even offering her a chance to live as he and his wife Melissa does but he finds out that everything has changed for the worse thus motivating him to find/avenge his sister giving him a believable motivation to reclaim the town trying to find out what the reformists did to his sister. Everyone that hasn't walked my path has no idea how pronounced and traumatizing it is for the child that I was. So yes, the loss of his sister in some way for a 'crime' that she did not 'commit' in his not taking the brand coupled with his new found power could turn Jason into either an avenging angel or even a brutal Reformist slaying murderer/crusader overnight the moment he learned of it. There is dramatic potential for character conflict - both internal and external here. Even though he obviously wasn't as close to his sister as I was to my brother, this death might very well create the same sort of hollowness, frustration, and hatred in him that he didn't know existed but was foreshadowed in his dead hanged friend's words.
Why would he not already know this and not steal his sister away on his flight from home? All it would take for Jason not to know what was going to happen by his escaping the brand and seeking sanctuary in Melissa's house is for a rule change by those in charge of this brutal state-church hybrid. By that I mean the god emperor of this theocratic fascist state to make a rule change in the interim time after Jason went into that house that de-facto applies to the FAMILIES of escaped 'heretics' that aren't found so that they must suffer some horrific loss equivalent to execution by hanging with the survivors left as a stark living reminder of what others should avoid.
This type of society wouldn't have to have rules punishing in a de-facto fashion the 'crimes' of heretic's families to ensure that everyone in the family unit does the work of policing themselves from it. The making of a few more grisly examples seems in character for this mad religion especially when justified as applying only to the more unwilling members of their oppressed masses. They could consider a simple brutal way of ensuring that no-one is truly safe from state tyranny except for the emperor and his leading cabal of child murderers/rapists/thugs/thieves. Remember these statist theocratic oligarchs are thoroughly entrenched behind a murderous centuries old military dictatorship/oligarchy backed up by a silly made up religion that enshrines the head of the state as the voice of a mortal god. A mortal god that excuses murder by saying that you get reincarnated excepting those who stand against his rule.
Its sad that with so much going for a sequel you won't write one or turn the work over to someone who might do the world you've created the justice your world cries out for...
It will also allow your characters a chance to do something so rare in magical fantasy to do...grow and change through events that actively take place in the story...the losses and triumphs would be fresh and would challenge them both to transcend what they were in your original arc...
Yes, admittedly - its a complex and difficult story to write well but there are so many potential avenues for conflict just from the loose ends left in your story that you can take it any direction you want it to go so long as it deals with the god emperor, his cabal of fellow oligarch butchers, their black shirted military retainers, this religion and all those brainwashed to believe this lunacy with all their deluded and/or blackened little hearts. Simply killing anyone that disagrees with them doesn't strike me as Jason or Melissa's style even if you hurt Jason's family. Who can they trust? They may be powerful but they don't have to be omnipotent or else the original magicians would never have needed or fallen for the god emperor's tricks. Do they teach others their secret? Do they found a rebirth of their one true religion as a counterweight against centuries of indoctrination and oppression? Some of them might take that secret back to the god-emperor's ears and neutralize their one advantage over the god emperor's numbers. Dare they create a struggle that tears the continent apart - of magical forces in conflict without clear superiority? How do they decide who to trust with that power? Do they give it freely in hopes that most will follow them? How would the law of magical precedence work against the protagonists if the villains or some indifferent people outside/inside their mountain valley if the malicious autocrat keep a few around as personal assassins.
Maybe the god-emperor and whoever he retains with magical power could defeat a few magicians who set themselves apart from the general public because he had the technology of war or a means of making magic worthless in war. He might know the secret himself and be every bit the hypocrite Melissa feared. After all the road to power is paved with hypocrisy...could be that the road to absolute power for those willing to use a pragmatic approach to magic so long as it served their ends only.
He might even be dead or imprisoned at the bottom of a lake by someone he trusted without care with a shadowy cabal trotting out body doubles/parrots for the masses while they rule in the dark corridors of their own impenetrable fortresses. Maybe the few remaining magicians weren't as zealous as Melissa and found common cause with other members of the ascendent ruler-ship caste in restricting magic only to themselves or their chosen followers. Perhaps the others who fled across the sea or took refuge within their impenetrable fortress homes might come back if given a reason that makes sense with their motivations which can be every bit as complex and nuanced as the protagonists. You created the world and did the legwork to give it some life beyond the edges of your story. Why leave it to die alone with its promise unfulfilled?
A sequel seems so natural. This story doesn't feel ended in a meaningful way - aforementioned warm fuzzy feelings of their just beginning romantic relationship aside. I hope you will read and carefully consider these words one day even if that hope is as faded and forlorn as my black-grey world. So until that forever distant day comes, farewell...
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