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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:15 am 
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Yeah, that's good stuff. Thanks for sharing, OL!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:27 pm 
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So, my PM box is full to bursting, which keeps blocking me from receiving incoming messages, and, as such, I have been slowly going back and archiving my old message chains as best as I can, because I don't want to just delete them. And, as I do so, I'll occasionally come across some little scene that I wrote just for the purposes of conversation, and then completely forgot about -- which is a real problem, because some of them it turns out I really like!

Anyway, I found this little micro-scene in a PM I wrote to Ruwin ages back, and, when I rediscovered it, it made me smile, so here it is.

Nothing too serious, here. Just the project of a lifetime. :D

The Project of a Lifetime

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:37 pm 
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I do like when these two get playful with each other. And the underlying theme of their enchantment expertise is nicely done. As someone who actually has more closet space than I need, I have to say that Aloise seems to have solved a problem I cannot identify with, but I'm happy for her that she's so proud of it!

:D

Thanks for posting!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:44 pm 
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The Things a Father Knows


Last edited by RavenoftheBlack on Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:54 pm 
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I needed this sorry right now. It is nearly six in the morning, and I have been awake since four because my daughters woke up and have refused to settle back in. I needed Robert's example to remind me of how much I love these girls even though I don't much feel like it right this moment. Thank you.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:04 am 
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Aaarrrgh wrote:
I needed this sorry right now. It is nearly six in the morning, and I have been awake since four because my daughters woke up and have refused to settle back in. I needed Robert's example to remind me of how much I love these girls even though I don't much feel like it right this moment. Thank you.

I'm glad it was what you needed! Obviously, these characters occupy that phantasmagorical, serendipitous world of the ideal. I am sure that Robert LaRoux had his trials, those moments where it was hard to remember that which is dearest to him through the obscuring haze of sleep-deprived reality. But in these stories, we get to see the Comte as we would like him to be, as perhaps we would like to be ourselves.

Anyway, I'm always glad if people like my stuff, and better yet when they feel they've gotten something out of it.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you get some sleep soon!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:37 pm 
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I do like when these two get playful with each other. And the underlying theme of their enchantment expertise is nicely done. As someone who actually has more closet space than I need, I have to say that Aloise seems to have solved a problem I cannot identify with, but I'm happy for her that she's so proud of it!

:D

Thanks for posting!

Thanks for reading, Raven -- and for the very kind words! I'm glad that you enjoyed this little story snip!

As for me, I'm more on Aloise's end of the closet space spectrum, and, so while I don't exactly have an overabundance of boots which make me look cute (no mere earthly footwear has such power), I can definitely commiserate with her need to device an ingenious storage solution. And, anyway, I just kind of love Beryl in this scene, from the sort of awed, quasi-religious reverence with which she beholds Aloise's treasure trove of cute boots, to her playfulness at the end. I just love the mental image of Beryl solemnly telling Aloise, "I'm doing this for science," before she runs screaming out of the closet, holding a pair of mismatched shoes aloft like trophies. :D

Anyway, this piece makes me smile, and I'm glad you liked it, too!


* * *


The Things a Father Knows


<Flight of the Conchords> I'm not crying... it's just raining on my face... </Flight of the Conchords>

OK. So. Wow. So many questions! So many thoughts!

Alright, so, first of all, as always, I feel this singular happiness whenever we revisit the good Comte and the Sisters LaRoux in their happier times, tinged as it always is by the sad awareness of the tragedies yet to come. Once again, we get this sort of brief glimpse into the Comte's singular goodness, and his innate ability to sense and care for the needs of others even as he is oblivious to the condition of his own self, and it's simultaneously life-affirming and heartbreaking, because -- again -- we all know the ending. His repeated wish for Elise to not be afraid of herself is so perfect, and tender, and is a message which at least another dozen M:EM characters I can think of offhand would have been so much more fortunate in their own lives if only they'd been able to hear it. I have a particularly wonderful mental image of Brigitte "playing along" with the Comte at the beginning of the second scene -- moving her hands to match his, as though playing her own, imaginary violin -- and, again, it just rips at my heartstrings. And I'm fascinated by the implied connection between Elise's magic and the Comte's music -- I feel like that could have led to another very interesting scene between Gale and Elise, if only Gale were still on Thorneau. And then the third scene manages to be both charming and slightly ominous at once. The Comte's vague sense of unwellness -- combined with the vague premonitions of his own death, and the cascade of disasters that will follow -- would seem to place this event just shortly before his death and Elise's exile, which only makes me even more suspicious (perhaps unjustifiably) of the shopkeeper, and of who she might be, and of any ulterior motive she might have. And, even though the wordplay at the end about "spellcraft"/"spelling" leaves me with a smile, it's a nervous smile, I must confess, because I can't help but shake the notion that something deeper is going on here, and that there are forces at play which we had not previously been given cause to suspect.

Anyway, some of all of that may just be me getting ahead of myself. What's for certain, though, is that this is another wonderful story about characters who are near and dear to me, and I'm extremely grateful that you shared it!


* * *


I managed to bend myself to the keyboard a little bit this New Year's Eve, and what came out was -- rather unexpectedly -- a little Chandra fanfic. Now, none of this is offered as canon -- it never is, whenever I find myself brushing against official characters, no matter how plausibly or at what level of remove -- but, just as a story, I like it, and so I figured I'd share:

"Stillness"

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:59 pm 
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<Flight of the Conchords> I'm not crying... it's just raining on my face... </Flight of the Conchords>

:cry: or :rain:, which to choose?

:D

OK. So. Wow. So many questions! So many thoughts!

I always consider this a great reaction to my stories!

Alright, so, first of all, as always, I feel this singular happiness whenever we revisit the good Comte and the Sisters LaRoux in their happier times, tinged as it always is by the sad awareness of the tragedies yet to come. Once again, we get this sort of brief glimpse into the Comte's singular goodness, and his innate ability to sense and care for the needs of others even as he is oblivious to the condition of his own self, and it's simultaneously life-affirming and heartbreaking, because -- again -- we all know the ending.

It occurred to me not long ago that, from the way we've characterized the Comte, with his compassion and his deep understanding for his daughters, that he must have known Elise was a mage, probably long before she herself knew. It further occurred to me that despite the prevailing opinion of the aristocrats regarding mages, Robert LaRoux would want Elise to be the best damn mage she can be. I don't remember where the conversation took place, but I remember somebody mentioning that, at some point, Elise likely got her hands on a book of magic, and, realizing that, it seemed obvious to me that it was her father who had given it to her. His intention, no doubt, was to give her a level of control over her abilities, so that what happened in those first two scenes never happened in front of people who would not understand.

Sadly, as live sometimes does, things turned out the precise opposite, and it was Elise practicing her skill, and wanting to share it with Brigitte, that directly leads to her exile.

The road to hell, they say, is paved with good intentions.


His repeated wish for Elise to not be afraid of herself is so perfect, and tender, and is a message which at least another dozen M:EM characters I can think of offhand would have been so much more fortunate in their own lives if only they'd been able to hear it.

~nods solemnly~

I have a particularly wonderful mental image of Brigitte "playing along" with the Comte at the beginning of the second scene -- moving her hands to match his, as though playing her own, imaginary violin -- and, again, it just rips at my heartstrings.

This does very much strike me as a thing that happened. Probably a lot. And I bet Robert LaRoux thought it was the cutest thing in the world.

And I'm fascinated by the implied connection between Elise's magic and the Comte's music -- I feel like that could have led to another very interesting scene between Gale and Elise, if only Gale were still on Thorneau.

The way I look at this is that in these moments, before Elise had any conscious control over her magic, her father's music allowed her to access some of the deepest, most contented parts of herself, and in those moments, although she didn't know it at the time, she was able to fully be herself, mage and all, even as an infant.

Another aspect to this is Elise's later, adult connection with Henri, whom we may remember wants to be a famous singer, and about whom Elise once reflects that his "voice had something in it that she liked." I suspect that there is some connection between these two things on a deeply psychological level.

And then the third scene manages to be both charming and slightly ominous at once. The Comte's vague sense of unwellness -- combined with the vague premonitions of his own death, and the cascade of disasters that will follow -- would seem to place this event just shortly before his death and Elise's exile, which only makes me even more suspicious (perhaps unjustifiably) of the shopkeeper, and of who she might be, and of any ulterior motive she might have. And, even though the wordplay at the end about "spellcraft"/"spelling" leaves me with a smile, it's a nervous smile, I must confess, because I can't help but shake the notion that something deeper is going on here, and that there are forces at play which we had not previously been given cause to suspect.

I very nearly put a line in at the very end where, instead of saying he was giving his daughters a gift he knew they would love, that he was giving them the last gift he ever would. It didn't feel quite right for the story and so I didn't include it, but it does illustrate that yes, in my mind, this is very shortly before the Comte's untimely death. There is just something so bittersweet and appealing to me that, even as the Comte is on the brink of his own fate, his mind immediately goes to "what can I give to my daughters?"

As for the shopkeeper, I admit that I waffled a bit on whether or not she should be benevolent or sinister, and so, to use a phrase you've used before, Orcish, I basically just punted the ball, and left it open for interpretation. I think that her story could be taken at face value, and that one good turn does, in fact, deserve another. It is very possible that the rumors about Elise are out there, and this woman knows that control will be the only way to save her from the wrath of the rest of the aristocracy. She, as she says, risks herself by admitting to the Comte that she has anything like magical paraphernalia, and so she might just believe in his goodness and want to help.

Of course, knowing how everything turns out, we do have to wonder. It is also worth noting that we know of a certain personage of great influence who has taken more than a passing interest in the events of Thorneau, and based on a certain poem, written years after the events of this story, has perhaps taken a more than passing interest in the life of Elise LaRoux. But that, as you say, is speculation. Ultimately, what we have here is a loving father wanting to give something useful to his daughter.

And perhaps, that's all we need.

Anyway, some of all of that may just be me getting ahead of myself. What's for certain, though, is that this is another wonderful story about characters who are near and dear to me, and I'm extremely grateful that you shared it!

Thanks for reading, Orcish! I still want that LaRoux family mini-anthology one of these days!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:18 pm 
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I don't remember where the conversation took place, but I remember somebody mentioning that, at some point, Elise likely got her hands on a book of magic, and, realizing that, it seemed obvious to me that it was her father who had given it to her. His intention, no doubt, was to give her a level of control over her abilities, so that what happened in those first two scenes never happened in front of people who would not understand.

If memory serves, I think that you and I were just batting around the question of "how did Elise learn her spells?" (I can't remember if it was in a PM, or in reaction to "Enough Rope.") And I think we sort of floated two distinct ideas -- (1) she found a book in the library, or (2) maybe the Comte helped her, somehow? So I really like that your explanation sort of combines both threads together.


The road to hell, they say, is paved with good intentions.

And the good sisters LaRoux, in particular, have suffered disproportionately at the hands of fate. :(


This does very much strike me as a thing that happened. Probably a lot. And I bet Robert LaRoux thought it was the cutest thing in the world.

Me, too.

This part of the story hits me right in the gut, too, because my mind immediately flashes forward to Brigitte's moment of self-sacrifice, when Dearest Perrine is laughing at her for not knowing how to fence, and she mockingly asks, well, what did you learn instead. And Brigitte says, "I learned to play violin." In my mind's eye, I picture the Comte and Brigitte on the one hand, playing music together for Elise, and then I picture the young Perrine on the other hand, running-through the stable boys with a big, sadistic grin, and I'm left with the stark reminder that the worthy don't always survive.


The way I look at this is that in these moments, before Elise had any conscious control over her magic, her father's music allowed her to access some of the deepest, most contented parts of herself, and in those moments, although she didn't know it at the time, she was able to fully be herself, mage and all, even as an infant.

I like this rationale.


Another aspect to this is Elise's later, adult connection with Henri, whom we may remember wants to be a famous singer, and about whom Elise once reflects that his "voice had something in it that she liked." I suspect that there is some connection between these two things on a deeply psychological level.

This would raise an interesting question about how much of Elise's initial affection for Henri is a consequence of the Faustian bargain he made with Raiker Venn. Hrm...


Thanks for reading, Orcish! I still want that LaRoux family mini-anthology one of these days!

I mean, we're, like, super close at this point, right? We must be close to double-digits by now.

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