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 Post subject: Highlighted M:EMories
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 3:36 pm 
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Greetings to all!

The purpose of this thread is to highlight past works created for and by the Magic: Expanded Multiverse. As a community, we have been around for years now, and have created works of fiction that we are both proud of, and excited to share with the larger Magic: The Gathering community. Each week, we will highlight a different work from our ever-expanding Archive. We would like to invite everyone, both those from within the M:EM community and those from without, to join us in discussion of these works.

Everyone, please feel free, welcomed, and encouraged to voice your thoughts on the works we present here. These were written out of a shared appreciation for the flavor of Magic's Multiverse and the potential it holds as a setting, and they were very much written to be shared!

Welcome, and enjoy!

List of Highlighted Works


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 3:51 pm 
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The Highlighted M:EMory for our first week is: "West Wind", by Tevish Szat.

"West Wind" was first posted on December 16th, 2013. The story features Aluma Tarina Kestrel, a major figure in Altrium, the Aerial Kingdom, on the plane of Adrisar. Along with three other short stories, "Skin Deep", "The Crooked House", and "In the Palace of the Emperor", this story was part of Tevish Szat's "Big Adrisar Plot."

Please enjoy this tale of high adventure!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:36 pm 
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Did anything ever become of the "Big Adrisar Plot"? By the time I gave up on the Map of the Archives, there hadn't been any more stories from those four mentioned.

I'd probably place West Wind 2nd among the four of Adrisar, with The Crooked House being first. I'll admit that my memory of the piece may be a bit foggy, but I remember West Wind's ending being left up in the air (both literally and metaphorically). I personally find that portion of Adrisar (forgive me for not remembering the name of the place) to be the most interesting, really. At least, given whet we've been shown of them.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:57 pm 
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Did anything ever become of the "Big Adrisar Plot"? By the time I gave up on the Map of the Archives, there hadn't been any more stories from those four mentioned.

To the best of my knowledge, nothing further has yet come from Adrisar. But the pieces are in place. It will be interesting to see if Tevish has anything further in mind for that arc.

I'd probably place West Wind 2nd among the four of Adrisar, with The Crooked House being first. I'll admit that my memory of the piece may be a bit foggy, but I remember West Wind's ending being left up in the air (both literally and metaphorically). I personally find that portion of Adrisar (forgive me for not remembering the name of the place) to be the most interesting, really. At least, given whet we've been shown of them.

I find it a little funny that you liked "The Crooked House" the best, only because it strikes me as the most "Innistrad" of the Adrisar stories, and I know how you feel about Innistrad. Personally, I think this one was my favorite of the four, although I certainly see your point about the ending.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 5:43 pm 
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Fun Fact! I'm actually working towards progress on the Big Adrisar Plot right now. Initially, I had wanted to work it as a collaboration, but it turns out I'm not the best manager, and as bad as my own schedule slip is, it's better than the combined schedule slip of four of us. So I'm taking some of the brainstorming from the brainstorming thread and running with it. I've actually done an outline that predicts the Big Adrisar Plot (Tentativley to be titled Ashes of Adrisar) at 62 chapters. Of which a rewrite/expansion/reprint of West Wind is set to be Chapter 1, introducing one of our most central protagonists, Aluma Tarina Kestrel.

...

Okay, right now my stories are actively building towards a major Illarion/Aralheim story, but I have to tell those stories so I can tell Adrisar's story, to establish some of the planeswalking players. Yeah, I could probably jump right into Ashes without going through AWoH and the remaining eight shorts that lead up to that (or at least seven of them), but I think it'll be better this way.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 5:53 pm 
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I've actually done an outline that predicts the Big Adrisar Plot (Tentativley to be titled Ashes of Adrisar) at 62 chapters.

This is all to outdo me with War of the Wheel, isn't it.

I'm on to you...

:D


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:19 pm 
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Nah, if my calculations as to the definition of a "chapter" in my writing are accurate, War of the Wheel will still be the M:EM's longest work

Just for fun, my dependency outline!

Follow lines left to right no matter their vertical. Stories marked with a green dot have been written. The titles of two stories have been redacted.

Attachment:
Redacted Tevish Master Plan.jpg
Redacted Tevish Master Plan.jpg [ 65.37 KiB | Viewed 3672 times ]

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:27 pm 
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Tevish, seriously, your ability to put together these sorts of cross-connected stories absolutely astounds me. I still think your Innistrad anthology cross-continuity is a thing of beauty.

I also like that you seem to have an upcoming piece called "Big Magic." I wonder how it will interact with Orcish's "Small Magic." Maybe I'll need to collab with an artist and a game designer to make a poem/art/game called "Medium Magic."

Yeah, I admit I'm pretty proud of that one...


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 10:44 pm 
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is there any source for stories sorted by characters involved?

:duel:

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 10:57 pm 
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razorborne wrote:
is there any source for stories sorted by characters involved?

:duel:

Yes, but typically it's our "main" characters, often a planeswalker, although there is at least one notable exception. In any case, the Archive Index lists our works by Author, by Character, and by plane.

It can be found here.

And if there is anything specific you are looking for, please don't hesitate to ask. If it exists, odds are one of us knows about it (at least as far as the M:EM goes, of course!)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:30 am 
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As far as West Wind goes - you know, I thought I had read everything in the archives. I was pleased to find that either A) I had not read this, or B) I did, and forgot about it completely. This has less to do with the story being forgettable and more to do with the fact that my brain has began to leak memories like a rusty faucet. Either way, the story was fresh and interesting!

As a character piece, it's... hm. Well, we see a great deal of Aluma, honestly, but I'm not sure how much of a sense for her I got? I was expecting something similar to what occurred in the story (especially at the beginning, with all the talk of bloodlines.) but I'm not certain I got an excellent grasp on who Aluma is.

Further, I'm also not certain who Orin is - his introduction was abrupt, and then it was mentioned later that they were lovers. Could be sloppy reading on my part, however - I am very tired!

Anyway, I do not believe I was around to vote on this story when it entered the archives, and lest I make you believe I have nothing but criticism for it, I'd like to compliment it instead. West Wind does an excellent job of conveying social climate, expectations, and interactions. Were it longer, this could have turned into quite the political thriller - Actually, looking at Tevish's Master Plan, it seems as though expansion upon this is imminent*. I suppose it's my lucky day! :)

I will say that between Aloise, Lumina, and Aluma, we have quite the cast of scholarly young women with lyrical names.

I think West Wind would have been stronger if we spent more time in Aluma's head - I think it would have been stronger if we had spent more time in it at all! But, such is hindsight. As the story stands, it is an excellent introduction into a large work (The Plane of Adrisar) and it certainly whets my appetite for more. A good choice for this week's M:EMory, and a solid story overall.

Well done, Tevish. You've always been an asset to the project! :D

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:52 am 
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I started writing some stuff for Adrisar, and could never get anywhere with it. I'd still love to be involved if you need someone to bounce ideas with, Tevish!

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:18 pm 
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First of all, thank you so much for spearheading the work on this feature, Raven. I'm really looking forward to these invitations to revisit the M:EM Archive, and to take a second (or, as the case may be, a third, or a fourth, or a fifth...) look at the work which this group has collectively produced.

As for "West Wind," I remember liking this piece very much the first time I read it. Having had a chance to refresh my memory, the thing which jumps out at me just as strongly today as it did back then is how much I like the Altrium. Now, to be clear, I don't say this to take anything away from the specific characters or plot points in this story. But, for me, it's the setting that sings. I love the image of this world filled with gliders, and zeppelins, and floating cities. It just seems to me like the sort of place where adventure stories want to happen -- stories where ace pilots defy gravity, where savvy traders ply the skies, where people push the limits of what magic and physics will allow. It feels like a place where something exciting is always just beyond the next bank of clouds.

And I love adventure stories. So I love places that invite those sorts of stories to happen.

Confession time: I once had a notion to write an adventure serial, about a zeppelin crew in the Altrium. I even took a very crude stab at a first part of that story, in response to one of Raven's "Flavor of the Week" prompts. In the end, that particular idea didn't really gel for me -- partly because I wasn't able to people the zeppelin with a critical mass of crew members who seemed real to me, partly because I tried a first-person POV in the sample that I found that I didn't really have the wherewithal to maintain, and partly because a story about an airship crew comes with some pretty heavy pre-existing baggage in the Magic universe. But there was one character who was slated for a job on that zeppelin who sort of stuck in my head, even after the story she was going to be part of drifted away: the helmswoman, who could speak to the winds.

Like I said, that helmswoman sort of took up residence in my imagination. And, eventually, she found her way into a different story, and she became Gale.

So, I think it's fair to say that "West Wind" is responsible for inspiring one of my personal favorite characters. And, for that, Tevish has my deep and sincere gratitude.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:46 pm 
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I do wish the story was longer and had a more satisfying conclusion. As is, it's a beginning without an end.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:33 pm 
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First of all, thank you so much for spearheading the work on this feature, Raven. I'm really looking forward to these invitations to revisit the M:EM Archive, and to take a second (or, as the case may be, a third, or a fourth, or a fifth...) look at the work which this group has collectively produced.

You're welcome! I'm glad people like the concept.

As for "West Wind," I remember liking this piece very much the first time I read it. Having had a chance to refresh my memory, the thing which jumps out at me just as strongly today as it did back then is how much I like the Altrium. Now, to be clear, I don't say this to take anything away from the specific characters or plot points in this story. But, for me, it's the setting that sings. I love the image of this world filled with gliders, and zeppelins, and floating cities. It just seems to me like the sort of place where adventure stories want to happen -- stories where ace pilots defy gravity, where savvy traders ply the skies, where people push the limits of what magic and physics will allow. It feels like a place where something exciting is always just beyond the next bank of clouds.

And I love adventure stories. So I love places that invite those sorts of stories to happen.

Yeah, I agree that the setting was stellar here. Very fun stuff.

Confession time: I once had a notion to write an adventure serial, about a zeppelin crew in the Altrium. I even took a very crude stab at a first part of that story, in response to one of Raven's "Flavor of the Week" prompts. In the end, that particular idea didn't really gel for me -- partly because I wasn't able to people the zeppelin with a critical mass of crew members who seemed real to me, partly because I tried a first-person POV in the sample that I found that I didn't really have the wherewithal to maintain, and partly because a story about an airship crew comes with some pretty heavy pre-existing baggage in the Magic universe. But there was one character who was slated for a job on that zeppelin who sort of stuck in my head, even after the story she was going to be part of drifted away: the helmswoman, who could speak to the winds.

Like I said, that helmswoman sort of took up residence in my imagination. And, eventually, she found her way into a different story, and she became Gale.

So, I think it's fair to say that "West Wind" is responsible for inspiring one of my personal favorite characters. And, for that, Tevish has my deep and sincere gratitude.

Well, between this revelation and the tie-in to Tevish's current work, it is certainly serendipitous that "West Wind" was the first featured story of Highlighted M:EMories. What a fortunate bit of randomness. Almost as though I had planned it. Of course, to have done that, I would have needed to know what Tevish was working on and Gale's origin story, which neither Tevish nor Orcish had told me. So there's no way I could have. It just cane't be the case...

:paranoid:

:D


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:47 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:39 pm 
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Well, between this revelation and the tie-in to Tevish's current work, it is certainly serendipitous that "West Wind" was the first featured story of Highlighted M:EMories.

Serendipity is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 2:41 pm 
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Thanks to everyone for the good reaction to the first week of Highlighted M:EMories! Let's keep it rolling through the second, shall we?

This week, we will be highlighting: "Gifts", by Barinellos.

"Gifts" was first posted on March 24th, 2014. It was the second story to feature Alessa Rehn, following shortly after her introduction story "Live for the Moment." Alessa has gone on to be featured in several more stories, including a multi-story match-up with Beryl, the Heart-Scarred. "Gifts" takes place on the canon plane of Theros.

I hope you all enjoy this time-tested character piece!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:23 pm 
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I'm surprised that I haven't read this piece on Alessa, but it's a good one. The Alessa we see here is very different from the confident rogue we see in the Beryl stories. I also very much like the imagery of Theros's omens.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:01 pm 
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So, first of all, I had the very distinct pleasure of reading an early draft of this story, for which I want to very much thank the good Barin. I was a huge fan of this piece, then, and I only became moreso when he published this version.

I really love this story, because it's one of our few glances behind the mask that Alessa wears. When Alessa is presenting herself to the world, she's so cocksure, and so sharp-tongues, and even so cynical at times. And, to some extent, that face does reflect a part of who she is. But it doesn't reflect the entirety of who she is. There's another Alessa beneath the world-wise, telepathic thief. There's an Alessa who has known real pain, who has known what it feels like to be betrayed by the people who are supposed to protect you, who has known what it feels like to know that a terrible fate is coming, and that you are powerless to stop it.

And that's the Alessa that I feel such a sense of empathy towards. And I think that, in this story more than any other, we get a glimpse of that Alessa.

And that glimpse was super instrumental in helping to craft Alessa's interactions with Beryl. Because that's the Alessa who -- in spite of the fact that her instincts are screaming at her to leave, to get out, and to convince Beryl to leave, too -- can see, in Beryl, someone else who has been hurt, but who has not given up hope, who has not been crushed by the weight of her pain. And I think that's why Alessa agree to help Beryl. She looks at Beryl, and, in this one, fragile way, she sees something of herself.

Anyway, "Gifts" is, I think, the best Alessa story, because I think it's the most telling Alessa story. I think it offers the best insight into who she really is, and into who she might eventually become, if she learns to hope again, and to trust again, and to love again.

Thanks, Raven, for highlighting this piece! And thanks, Barin, for writing it!

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