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 Post subject: [Antony] The Inferno
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:58 am 
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Salutations and good evening my adoring audience! I am very pleased to present to you the newest work by revolutionary playwright Antony LaMount! After a prolonged absence from our dear Mr. LaMount following his appearances in All the Worlds a Stage and Favor for a Favor, we are exorbitantly pleased to offer you a seat to this, his most anticipated performance to date!

Now if you'll kindly silence yourselves and allow me, I shall pull the curtain on a work simply entitled... The Inferno.

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At twilight's end, the shadow's crossed / a new world birthed, the elder lost.
Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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 Post subject: Re: [Antony] The Inferno
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:04 am 
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Nice introduction! :D

This piece is thick with characterization and food for thought. Antony is a very interesting character, and he gives an unique PoV into the Duchess' game as well as more clarity about what exactly happened within Aliavelli. This story sets an intriguing parallel between Antony and Beryl - I wonder how she'd react to his play too, btw - and the approaches the 'walker masterminds chose to employ them. The Inferno also shows an apparently ooc moment for the Duchess, the half-pun, that makes me wonder about how her mind works. Is this a result of internal strain, almost an attempt to connect to the person within herself, as per Reflection? Is it a genuine, if detached, attempt at joking, to see if that's something she's able to do? Has she used it as a test to dissect Antony's character and mental state? Maybe all of the above?

This is an excellent return, both for the Duchess and Antony. Thank you for sharing!

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To anybody reading this, including my future selves: have a good life!

I apologize in advance for any misuse of English grammar and idiomatic expressions.

“You're going to have to fight, and... you're gonna win!”


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 Post subject: Re: [Antony] The Inferno
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:24 am 
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Very interesting piece! One of my favorite things about it, which is does very subtly, is establishes the personality priorities of The Duchess and of Antony. The Duchess sent Antony to Aliavelli to learn the truth, but the Duchess plays a loooooooong game, and doesn't bother summoning Antony to report on it, likely for months after he's returned (he needed time to write the play, cast it, rehearse it, and so forth.) Antony, meanwhile, doesn't bother trying to report to the Duchess (she'll call on him, after all) and instead throws himself into his next production.

I wonder if the critics of Gintrue will draw a connection between this work and Antony's previous masterpiece, The Brothers' War, in that both feature a conflict of siblings leading to destruction.

Speaking of which, sort of, I really appreciated the Morgana reveal near the end, as I was wondering throughout much of this story just how Antony had gotten the details from "The Fire," and that reveal explained that nicely.

I wondered if Giselle would make an appearance, and I'm glad Hepthia got a nod. It makes me wonder just what Hepthia told Antony. Obviously, she wouldn't have mentioned the Bridge, so I'm guessing it was something along the lines of "I spoke with Beryl about her mother." Still, an interesting thing...

I will be curious as to whether, now that both The Duchess and The Shifter are aware of Antony and apparently interested in utilizing him, he will be thrust into a more active role in their game, or whether both will back off from using him "until the time is right." I'm still hoping that somewhere down the line, somebody comes looking for Jonus...

And yes, hopefully Beryl and Aloise don't choose this season to take in a night at the theatre on Gintrue...


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 Post subject: Re: [Antony] The Inferno
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:51 am 
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And yes, hopefully Beryl and Aloise don't choose this season to take in a night at the theatre on Gintrue...


Or any season where The Inferno is enjoying a revival.


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 Post subject: Re: [Antony] The Inferno
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:28 pm 
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A nice reminder that history records not the truth, but the words of the survivors. It's kind of surreal reading this after "The Fire" simply for the incongruity, but nice in a way to see that Alliavelli is picking up the pieces.

Meanwhile, I love the callbacks to Antony's previous stories, and that he's finally getting just how off his patron truly is.


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 Post subject: Re: [Antony] The Inferno
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:20 pm 
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This is an excellent return, both for the Duchess and Antony. Thank you for sharing!

And thanks for reading! To all of you.

Huey


Raven


Brentain

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At twilight's end, the shadow's crossed / a new world birthed, the elder lost.
Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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 Post subject: Re: [Antony] The Inferno
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:57 pm 
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Barinellos wrote:
Quote:
Speaking of which, sort of, I really appreciated the Morgana reveal near the end, as I was wondering throughout much of this story just how Antony had gotten the details from "The Fire," and that reveal explained that nicely.

Funfact: I chose that name after Morganite, a type of Beryl. It seemed appropriately twisted given the situation.
And what a cruel irony it makes, amiright?

It's probably unintentional, but if we want to dug deep into that name the phenomenon of a peculiar mirage can seem quite fitting to a manipulating shapeshifter...

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To anybody reading this, including my future selves: have a good life!

I apologize in advance for any misuse of English grammar and idiomatic expressions.

“You're going to have to fight, and... you're gonna win!”


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 Post subject: Re: [Antony] The Inferno
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:17 pm 
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As will probably come as a surprise to no one, I'm a big fan of this piece, and I'm going to elaborate on that way, way more one of these nights when I'm a little less tired. :)

In the meantime, though, just wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. Thanks so much for sharing, Barin!

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 Post subject: Re: [Antony] The Inferno
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:32 pm 
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As will probably come as a surprise to no one, I'm a big fan of this piece, and I'm going to elaborate on that way, way more one of these nights when I'm a little less tired. :)

In the meantime, though, just wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. Thanks so much for sharing, Barin!

I'll hold you to that! :shake:
In the meantime, get some rest buddy.

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At twilight's end, the shadow's crossed / a new world birthed, the elder lost.
Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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 Post subject: Re: [Antony] The Inferno
PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:01 pm 
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Barinellos wrote:
As will probably come as a surprise to no one, I'm a big fan of this piece, and I'm going to elaborate on that way, way more one of these nights when I'm a little less tired. :)

In the meantime, though, just wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. Thanks so much for sharing, Barin!

I'll hold you to that! :shake:
In the meantime, get some rest buddy.

Oh, God, I just looked at the time stamp on that one -- how was I so gassed at 11 PM? :takei:

Aaaaaaanyway, I really, really enjoyed this story -- which, again, I suspect will come as no surprise to anyone. :) And there are a lot of things I love!

For starters, I love the sort of Highlights-magazine-esque game of "can you find all 12 hidden objects?" of trying to spot the differences between events as they played out in Antony's production, versus the events which we saw depicted in "The Fire." Even I was having a hard time telling which lines were lifted verbatim, versus which lines were subtly altered, versus which parts were completely added or subtracted, so that, after I finished reading this story for the first time, I went back and re-read the relevant parts of "The Fire," and then sort of did a side-by-side comparison. I love how you can sort of intuit The Shifter's machinations based on what has been added to or excluded from the version of history which has been related to Antony. For example, Alessa's absence from the scene seems particularly significant. I suppose that could just be a bit of artistic license on Antony's part, but, somehow, I suspect not. Her erasure seems both purposeful and ominous.

And, on that related note, I love those additional glimpses into the great Game, as it is currently being played out on Aliavelli, much to the sorrow of the residents of that particular plane. Like I mentioned, we can intuit a bit of The Shifter's strategy based on hearsay evidence, whereas The Duchess's side is a bit more directly represented. And the lady Herself is as chilling here as ever. In particular -- as others have mentioned -- her attempt at humor feels like a particularly telling moment. Almost like she's playing at human interaction, based off of some half-remembered or second-hand information about the way in which "normal" people behave towards each other, only it doesn't work, and she can't "pass," if you will. It'd be like me getting down on hands and knees in a cat shelter, and meowing. I understand the noises which are supposed to come out of my mouth, but the act is not going to fool anyone. That's one of my favorite little notes in the whole piece. And it's not that far removed from the way Antony conducts himself, really -- the way he's always playing a part, in his dealings with others, based on what he wants from them, or what he thinks they expect from him.

I wonder if Antony will look in the mirror, at some point, and have the sense to wonder, "there, but for the grace of God, go I?" Somehow, though, I doubt it. Antony has not shown much aptitude to this point for facing up to hard truths. But maybe he'll surprise us.

And Antony, meanwhile, seems to be maybe just about treading water, in an ocean which is far, far deeper than maybe he realizes, even now.

My favorite thing, though, is Vena. :) Which fits a pattern for me. The characters who pull me the strongest are often the ones in the background, the people who are just trying to go about their business and do their jobs as the chaos of the Eternities ricochets around them. Like the goblin elevator operator in "Legacies," or the bartender at Shadow's, or old "all work done on premises" Josiah T. -- SOMEBODY has to keep the multiverse running while all our planeswalkers are galavanting around and shooting magic at each other, and, just as often, it's those somebodies who make the story for me. Vena slots firmly into that category. :D

Anyway, like I said, I love it. Thanks again for sharing, Barin!


Barinellos wrote:
And I won't lie, there's a sadistic part of me that would love to see Beryl have to watch the play.

Ah, well. We'll probably never know...

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 Post subject: Re: [Antony] The Inferno
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:02 am 
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Cripes, i just realized I never responded

Aaaaaaanyway, I really, really enjoyed this story -- which, again, I suspect will come as no surprise to anyone. :) And there are a lot of things I love!

For starters, I love the sort of Highlights-magazine-esque game of "can you find all 12 hidden objects?" of trying to spot the differences between events as they played out in Antony's production, versus the events which we saw depicted in "The Fire." Even I was having a hard time telling which lines were lifted verbatim, versus which lines were subtly altered, versus which parts were completely added or subtracted, so that, after I finished reading this story for the first time, I went back and re-read the relevant parts of "The Fire," and then sort of did a side-by-side comparison.

Yeah, that part went through the heaviest multiple rounds of revision. It's roughly twice as long as the initial draft, but I wanted to get it right in getting it wrong.
There are other, subtler cues taken from that piece appearing elsewhere, making this a distict mirror piece in interactions beyond just subject.
The fact that it got you to go back to the original is all I need to mark it a triumph.

Quote:
I love how you can sort of intuit The Shifter's machinations based on what has been added to or excluded from the version of history which has been related to Antony. For example, Alessa's absence from the scene seems particularly significant. I suppose that could just be a bit of artistic license on Antony's part, but, somehow, I suspect not. Her erasure seems both purposeful and ominous.

I can confirm, Alessa's involvement was essentially erased from the accounts.
It has a sort of tiered effect to it, beyond her being an extraneous character in the Revolutionary narrative, there's a sense of unquestionably stung pride and the sort of impression of a grudge in omission.

Quote:
And, on that related note, I love those additional glimpses into the great Game, as it is currently being played out on Aliavelli, much to the sorrow of the residents of that particular plane. Like I mentioned, we can intuit a bit of The Shifter's strategy based on hearsay evidence, whereas The Duchess's side is a bit more directly represented.

Oh, the best laid plans of mice and men...

Quote:
And the lady Herself is as chilling here as ever. In particular -- as others have mentioned -- her attempt at humor feels like a particularly telling moment. Almost like she's playing at human interaction, based off of some half-remembered or second-hand information about the way in which "normal" people behave towards each other, only it doesn't work, and she can't "pass," if you will. It'd be like me getting down on hands and knees in a cat shelter, and meowing. I understand the noises which are supposed to come out of my mouth, but the act is not going to fool anyone. That's one of my favorite little notes in the whole piece. And it's not that far removed from the way Antony conducts himself, really -- the way he's always playing a part, in his dealings with others, based on what he wants from them, or what he thinks they expect from him.

Truth to tell, that bit was pure inspiration in the moment, though born of wanting to stretch the piece, but once the idea was there, it was too ideal an opportunity to pass.

Quote:
I wonder if Antony will look in the mirror, at some point, and have the sense to wonder, "there, but for the grace of God, go I?" Somehow, though, I doubt it. Antony has not shown much aptitude to this point for facing up to hard truths. But maybe he'll surprise us.

The only way that particular cat will meow is if it's a funhouse mirror.
But despite the ego and quite frankly abominable things Antony has done, I still strive for him to be a hopefully sympathetic character. Among all our myriad villainous gallery, Antony is one thing many of them aren't.
He's very human. He's petty, sure, but that's actually telling about him as well, and honestly, it's one of his positive traits when put up next to something like the Chessmasters, Vasilias, or the Dual Walkers.

Antony dreams big, but on a really human scale, not as some conqueror, but as just someone that wants fame.

Quote:
And Antony, meanwhile, seems to be maybe just about treading water, in an ocean which is far, far deeper than maybe he realizes, even now.
Well, I do think that's part of his charm.

Quote:
My favorite thing, though, is Vena. :) Which fits a pattern for me. The characters who pull me the strongest are often the ones in the background, the people who are just trying to go about their business and do their jobs as the chaos of the Eternities ricochets around them. Like the goblin elevator operator in "Legacies," or the bartender at Shadow's, or old "all work done on premises" Josiah T. -- SOMEBODY has to keep the multiverse running while all our planeswalkers are galavanting around and shooting magic at each other, and, just as often, it's those somebodies who make the story for me. Vena slots firmly into that category. :D

I mean, I put her in for precisely that reason.
Though I expected her to be a bigger deal (pun intended)
I honestly thought everyone would take to her a bit more. If for nothing else, the kidney punch.

Beyond that, her purpose in the story was two fold. Namely, she's worldbuilding. In her interaction, two more things are established about Gintrue, between Kithkins and Giants being around. Raven and I planned some interesting things about the world, though it'd be tough to address much of it organically, I think.

Nevertheless, I want to thank everyone for reading once again.

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At twilight's end, the shadow's crossed / a new world birthed, the elder lost.
Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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 Post subject: Re: [Antony] The Inferno
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:29 am 
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Barinellos wrote:
I honestly thought everyone would take to her a bit more. If for nothing else, the kidney punch.

I found the kidney punch more distracting than effective. Mostly because (in my experience) it implies punching someone in the back, but he seems to have been facing her at that point. And, of course, punching one's employer makes little business sense, though that too says something about Gintrue society.


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 Post subject: Re: [Antony] The Inferno
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:25 pm 
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Barinellos wrote:
Beyond that, her purpose in the story was two fold. Namely, she's worldbuilding. In her interaction, two more things are established about Gintrue, between Kithkins and Giants being around. Raven and I planned some interesting things about the world, though it'd be tough to address much of it organically, I think.

Yeah, honestly, because I was privy to the worldbuilding stuff beforehand, I sort of immediately realized what you were doing and why, which is one of the main reasons that I didn't mention Vena.


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 Post subject: Re: [Antony] The Inferno
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:53 am 
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Barinellos wrote:
Beyond that, her purpose in the story was two fold. Namely, she's worldbuilding. In her interaction, two more things are established about Gintrue, between Kithkins and Giants being around. Raven and I planned some interesting things about the world, though it'd be tough to address much of it organically, I think.

Yeah, honestly, because I was privy to the worldbuilding stuff beforehand, I sort of immediately realized what you were doing and why, which is one of the main reasons that I didn't mention Vena.

Yeah, one of these days we'll have to do something more with all that various info.

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At twilight's end, the shadow's crossed / a new world birthed, the elder lost.
Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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