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[Vote] Just a Statistic
https://forum.nogoblinsallowed.com/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=22697
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Author:  Huey Nomure [ Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:24 pm ]
Post subject:  [Vote] Just a Statistic

Characters: Elphimas, Kalit Mudroha
Locations: Fisecaric
Required readings: A Mouthful of Venom
Recommended readings: Awake in the Dark
Warnings: graphic violence, implied mass murder, mental breakdown POV.

(the parts when Elphimas describes the ritual circle and figures out Risara's part have been edited)

word count: 6.6k


extras

Author:  RavenoftheBlack [ Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Vote] Just a Statistic

I'm going to vote Yea on this. I have noted my various small issues with this story, but as I said in the other thread, they are in fact fairly minor, or simply a matter of opinion. There are a lot of really nice moments with Elphimas here, particularly just before they pick the lock, and Kalit's reaction to being called a monster is a good moment for him.

So Yea from me.

Author:  Lord LunaEquie is me [ Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Vote] Just a Statistic

typos, &c


I'm... kind of torn overall on this. I don't think it's bad by any stretch, but I think I have the same problems with Kalit as Raven does, but less patience for him. I find I really don't care for his sections and especially his unnecessarily choppy dialogue, and instead am more intrigued by Elphimas as well as the world they find themselves in.

Speaking of Elphimas, this story made me feel kind of two ways about them. Because of one or two confusing sentences, I took notice of the they/them pronouns, and wondered where you were going with that by keeping their gender ambiguous, and really the payoff to that here was really interesting, but I find Elphimas's powerset to be... offputting?

Firstly, I mentioned in the typos that, by my understanding of how the Spark behaves after the Mending, you cannot use planeswalking for teleportation anymore. I don't think I'd have an issue with the teleportation if you hadn't explicitly flavored it in terms of Elphimas "phasing" out of a plane to do so. Just make it something like the rules from Jumper or Harry Potter (teleporting requires visualization of your destination, and as a logical endpoint being familiar with the physical location you want to teleport to, to teleport safely and not end up halfway inside a wall or else spread across your two locations). The line about not knowing the inside of the tower is a start, but because you already established that they used planeswalking to do so, it doesn't help enough, in my opinion.

Secondly, the metatextual power of "rewriting events" so to speak, wanders a little too close to time travel to my liking. Like Raven, I really liked the section of unlocking the door and showing the toll it took on Elphimas, but then when the Storyteller just took the Philosopher's Stone powerstone and deus-ex-machina'd the ending, I wasn't as impressed. I was actually a little put out that it happened that way, because I've read/watched too many stories where the status quo is king and significant events like that, that would change the world or story irrevocably, are reversed or revealed never to have happened, leaving no real payoff and no real growth.

Lastly, I'm of two minds about the whole Elphimas/Storyteller dichotomy at the end. On the one hand, I love where you're going with it and I loved the split, especially because it was confusing and changed up the pronouns. On the other hand, I'm kind of a traditionalist (or at least am growing more conservative as I age), and think that it could have been done just as well without the drop shadows on the text, in part because I found those words were physically more difficult to read.

There's a lot of good here, but it's nestled among a lot of what I have issues with. I don't want to count that wholly against you, but I also don't think I can just vote Yea without seeing the end goal here -- I could forgive my nitpicks for an ending that gives me a good payoff. I'm just going to abstain from this one.

Author:  Huey Nomure [ Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: [Vote] Just a Statistic

typos, &c


Quote:
I find I really don't care for his sections and especially his unnecessarily choppy dialogue

Is Kalit's speech that annoying? I thought it sold their gruffiness, in addition to portraying the effects of having a permanently damaged throat.

Quote:
Because of one or two confusing sentences, I took notice of the they/them pronouns, and wondered where you were going with that by keeping their gender ambiguous, and really the payoff to that here was really interesting

Elphimas' gender is not ambiguous, they're non-binary; to be specific, they don't recognize themselves in neither gender. I'm a little uncomfortable considering the mind-screw Elphimas suffers as "payoff", like their gender is a setup for it, but I think I get what you're saying; alternating between he and she would have looked right half the time for any other character, while with Elphimas it's obvious both pronouns are a distortion of their perception.

Quote:
I find Elphimas's powerset to be... offputting?

Firstly, I mentioned in the typos that, by my understanding of how the Spark behaves after the Mending, you cannot use planeswalking for teleportation anymore. I don't think I'd have an issue with the teleportation if you hadn't explicitly flavored it in terms of Elphimas "phasing" out of a plane to do so. Just make it something like the rules from Jumper or Harry Potter (teleporting requires visualization of your destination, and as a logical endpoint being familiar with the physical location you want to teleport to, to teleport safely and not end up halfway inside a wall or else spread across your two locations). The line about not knowing the inside of the tower is a start, but because you already established that they used planeswalking to do so, it doesn't help enough, in my opinion.

According to his archived dossier, Illarion had both this ability (albeit significantly less accurate) and was able to bring another with him as he 'walked. Both things that are believed to be impossible for newwalkers, so there's precedent. Elphimas was highly specialized in planar and spatial magic before their amnesia, and had spent significant time studying the Spark both before and after the Mending; with this grounds, and their current status as a quasi-meta character, I don't feel like it's a stretch they retained that specific ability.

That said, I wouldn't mind tweaking the description of that power's use.

Quote:
Secondly, the metatextual power of "rewriting events" so to speak, wanders a little too close to time travel to my liking. Like Raven, I really liked the section of unlocking the door and showing the toll it took on Elphimas, but then when the Storyteller just took the Philosopher's Stone powerstone and deus-ex-machina'd the ending, I wasn't as impressed. I was actually a little put out that it happened that way, because I've read/watched too many stories where the status quo is king and significant events like that, that would change the world or story irrevocably, are reversed or revealed never to have happened, leaving no real payoff and no real growth.

Considering the backlash of just unlocking a door, Elphimas has probably lost several personal memories in rewinding the ritual. In addition to that, since the powerstone was fueled by the souls of the plane's natives, it's likely that the rewriting spell probably consumed either several singular souls (who would be forever lost) or a portion of all the stored souls, with effects to be determined. Unfortunately, I didn't found the space to address that, as Elphimas is in no condition to explain anything and Kalit wouldn't notice.

Also, "no real growth"? Elphimas here loses all the "progress" they had made with Kalit, and with it a bond they desperately craved for, but at the same time realize they maybe should stop consider non-walkers "side characters" and casually trading info with villains (as they were about to do in A Mouthful of Venom with the vampire lord). I feel like this story adds depth to Elphimas' role in Healing Path, and overall sets the path for Elphimas to become a positive character. Also, linking rewriting magic (which their illusions are also a minor expression of) as very destructive will be useful later, if I ever get to it.

Quote:
On the one hand, I love where you're going with it and I loved the split, especially because it was confusing and changed up the pronouns. On the other hand, I'm kind of a traditionalist (or at least am growing more conservative as I age), and think that it could have been done just as well without the drop shadows on the text, in part because I found those words were physically more difficult to read.

I get what you're saying; the shadows are a bit harder on the eyes (especially when coupled with bolding), but portray the distortion caused by multiple mashed personalities in a very immediate way. (the original had italics for the hive mind and bold for the Unmaker) I'm open to suggestions, especially for Elphimas' Unmaker persona: but there could be a case made for caps lock to drop one of the codes? (It'd be also an oblique reference to the Discworld's Death)

Quote:
There's a lot of good here, but it's nestled among a lot of what I have issues with. I don't want to count that wholly against you, but I also don't think I can just vote Yea without seeing the end goal here -- I could forgive my nitpicks for an ending that gives me a good payoff. I'm just going to abstain from this one.

Hm... as I said, I'd be willing to portray the cost of saving the whole plane on the population, if I found a good way to do it, but having a whole plane die for good just because the POVs arrived too late to stop the nefarious plan would not be ok for me, so I'd have to basically replot the whole thing which I'd rather not do.

Author:  Lord LunaEquie is me [ Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Vote] Just a Statistic

typos, &c


Quote:
I find I really don't care for his sections and especially his unnecessarily choppy dialogue

Is Kalit's speech that annoying? I thought it sold their gruffiness, in addition to portraying the effects of having a permanently damaged throat.

Okay, firstly, I did not get the "permanently damaged throat" angle at all. It's possible I missed something somewhere, but I also have only read this and A Mouthful of Venom (because you listed it as required, which... I don't think it necessarily is? But that's another matter), so I also haven't had much contact with Kalit to get that familiarity with him. As far as gruffness goes, sure, it does convey that, but then we get to lines like these:

“So he told everything you need.” Kalit waited for Elphimas to nod, then casually beheaded Maarak with his sword; Kalit’s mana flared slightly.

“Danger for me?” Kalit sounded extremely tense.

“Death makes me stronger. Would be annoying, though.” Kalit shrugged. “How much before the ritual, and where?”

Where the omitted words make him sound less like he's trying to be gruff and more like he's a badly-roleplayed barbarian without the intelligence to know how to speak properly. It's less that the lines are choppy and more that they're improper English as if he's not a native speaker, which (and correct me if I'm wrong) has been something every human culture has used to make outsiders seem slow-witted.

Simple word changes could fix a lot of that. "Am I in danger?" is 5 syllables vs. 4 for "Danger for me" and sounds much more natural. "How long before the ritual" actually makes sense vs. "How much" and doesn't change syllable count. "So he spilled everything." is shorter than "So he told everything you need.", sounds more natural, and uses a turn of phrase more associated with the lower classes and the underground (by which I mean mafia, etc.) to further tie in to the roguish character you've got going for him. Short, snippy dialogue is fine on it's own, but as it is, a lot of Kalit's dialogue is less snippy and more witless, bordering on the unintelligible. I think I mentioned before how Kalit kind of comes across as a young writer's attempt to be cool, and the dialogue is a part of it because to me it feels like what a 15-year-old thinks a tough guy sounds like.

Quote:
Because of one or two confusing sentences, I took notice of the they/them pronouns, and wondered where you were going with that by keeping their gender ambiguous, and really the payoff to that here was really interesting

Elphimas' gender is not ambiguous, they're non-binary; to be specific, they don't recognize themselves in neither gender. I'm a little uncomfortable considering the mind-screw Elphimas suffers as "payoff", like their gender is a setup for it, but I think I get what you're saying; alternating between he and she would have looked right half the time for any other character, while with Elphimas it's obvious both pronouns are a distortion of their perception.

This is again a problem on my end for being unused to reading nonbinary pronouns in general, as well as my tendency in my own writings to use they/them probably in excess, both to avoid repetition as well as outright obfuscating a character's gender (often because I haven't decided what gender they are yet). I came away from the mind-screw moment thinking the Storyteller was a male personality, with Elphimas being a female personality, but reading back over the section I think I was putting a little too much weight on the uses of his and her during that section.

And I do apologize for my phrasing, it wasn't my intent to belittle you or your ideas like that -- and if the mind-screw moment hadn't happened, I don't think I would have questioned it -- but again I think it's just me and needing to get used to it, so sorry about that.

Quote:
I find Elphimas's powerset to be... offputting?

Firstly, I mentioned in the typos that, by my understanding of how the Spark behaves after the Mending, you cannot use planeswalking for teleportation anymore. I don't think I'd have an issue with the teleportation if you hadn't explicitly flavored it in terms of Elphimas "phasing" out of a plane to do so. Just make it something like the rules from Jumper or Harry Potter (teleporting requires visualization of your destination, and as a logical endpoint being familiar with the physical location you want to teleport to, to teleport safely and not end up halfway inside a wall or else spread across your two locations). The line about not knowing the inside of the tower is a start, but because you already established that they used planeswalking to do so, it doesn't help enough, in my opinion.

According to his archived dossier, Illarion had both this ability (albeit significantly less accurate) and was able to bring another with him as he 'walked. Both things that are believed to be impossible for newwalkers, so there's precedent. Elphimas was highly specialized in planar and spatial magic before their amnesia, and had spent significant time studying the Spark both before and after the Mending; with this grounds, and their current status as a quasi-meta character, I don't feel like it's a stretch they retained that specific ability.

That said, I wouldn't mind tweaking the description of that power's use.

Huh, well, I hadn't known Elphimas was an oldwalker. Don't take this the wrong way, but he doesn't act like one the way I would expect. Even with the little hints at what the Storyteller is capable of, I wouldn't have been surprised to learn that that's just a split personality (or, given this is Magic, another soul [or a surviving personality without a soul] that's taken up residence inside Elphimas's head) and that they were a neowalker. Again, my only contact with Elphimas has been this story and A Mouthful of Venom, so very little of Elphimas's identity has been revealed to me. This might be another case of "I'll need to see more of where this goes".

Quote:
Secondly, the metatextual power of "rewriting events" so to speak, wanders a little too close to time travel to my liking. Like Raven, I really liked the section of unlocking the door and showing the toll it took on Elphimas, but then when the Storyteller just took the Philosopher's Stone powerstone and deus-ex-machina'd the ending, I wasn't as impressed. I was actually a little put out that it happened that way, because I've read/watched too many stories where the status quo is king and significant events like that, that would change the world or story irrevocably, are reversed or revealed never to have happened, leaving no real payoff and no real growth.

Considering the backlash of just unlocking a door, Elphimas has probably lost several personal memories in rewinding the ritual. In addition to that, since the powerstone was fueled by the souls of the plane's natives, it's likely that the rewriting spell probably consumed either several singular souls (who would be forever lost) or a portion of all the stored souls, with effects to be determined. Unfortunately, I didn't found the space to address that, as Elphimas is in no condition to explain anything and Kalit wouldn't notice.

I mean, those are all implied, but not spelled out, and the aftermath is definitely spent focusing on Elphimas's feelings over their role in the ritual that killed everyone, rather than what was actually lost.

Also, "no real growth"? Elphimas here loses all the "progress" they had made with Kalit, and with it a bond they desperately craved for, but at the same time realize they maybe should stop consider non-walkers "side characters" and casually trading info with villains (as they were about to do in A Mouthful of Venom with the vampire lord). I feel like this story adds depth to Elphimas' role in Healing Path, and overall sets the path for Elphimas to become a positive character. Also, linking rewriting magic (which their illusions are also a minor expression of) as very destructive will be useful later, if I ever get to it.

Sorry, I feel I phrased my words poorly. I didn't mean that your story ended without real growth, I meant that I have read/watched stories that had no real growth. The biggest one that comes to mind is Naruto, where if memory serves entire villages were wiped out on multiple occasions only to be brought back by applied phlebotinum. Since I watch a fair amount of anime, I've come across stupid plots like that a lot, where characters seem to die and then are either brought back to life or shown in a stupid "reveal" to never have died at all, and the actual loss that would have justified the changes is then taken away, leaving the growth that could have happened unjustified at best, or, with more episodic series, sometimes negated so that they can go back to the regularly-scheduled-progam nonsense.

That said, if I can play devil's advocate here, I (keeping in mind again I've only read this and A Mouthful of Venom) don't think "well, they're not friends with Kalit anymore" has any real weight. I certainly haven't been given the time to think the two being together was a good thing, and there really hasn't been anything hinted at that Elphimas is so desperate for companionship. Part of that, I know, is because of the very "detached :u: vedalken" personality you've got going for them, but from my memory, there hasn't been any thought or indication that Elphimas really wants or needs anyone else in their life. While it's slightly more obvious with Kalit, I really didn't get the impression that Kalit saw Elphimas as anything more than a useful tool up until the end where he expressed bitterness over post-breakdown Elphimas's reaction to him. I can see where being a "monster" takes a toll on him, but his presentation so far has focused more on his psychopathic streak than his bitterness. It's possible I'd change my mind on this if I read Healing Paths which you mention here, but that wasn't even listed as recommended reading for this story.

Hm... as I said, I'd be willing to portray the cost of saving the whole plane on the population, if I found a good way to do it, but having a whole plane die for good just because the POVs arrived too late to stop the nefarious plan would not be ok for me, so I'd have to basically replot the whole thing which I'd rather not do.

Well, that's why I say I can't really count it against you. I don't really think you should do major rewrites on this -- certainly not just for my own singular issues with it -- but as a singular piece, without seeing the larger narrative, I'm not yet convinced by it. Kalit still gets on my nerves, Elphimas still concerns me, it reminds me of lesser-written stories, and I don't know the characters well enough to judge the growth and whether its been earned yet. I can't just say if you'd change these things, I'd vote Yea, because as you said it would involve an entire rewrite and it would change the whole story. I just felt that it was somewhere south of acceptance and somewhere north of rejection, so I'd rather not pass judgement for now.

P.S. I noticed you changed some quotation marks to apostrophes, but that the style of said marks don't match up because they were edited in here; I'm sure that's something that can be fixed in post, though.

Author:  Huey Nomure [ Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: [Vote] Just a Statistic

typos, &c


Quote:
Okay, firstly, I did not get the "permanently damaged throat" angle at all.

That's fair, because I never mention it (it's part of his backstory, which is a long way from its completion), though I guess it would be simple enough to do so. Like this?
Elphimas noticed Kalit's vocal chords carried the same damage of the time they had first met. Strange, for someone with regenerative powers; Elphimas took a mental note to look for a therapy later. “That would be my guess too; anyway[...]
Since aMoV is all in Kalit's POV, the assumption Elphimas has noticed before is acceptable, I think.

Quote:
Where the omitted words make him sound less like he's trying to be gruff and more like he's a badly-roleplayed barbarian without the intelligence to know how to speak properly. It's less that the lines are choppy and more that they're improper English as if he's not a native speaker [...] Short, snippy dialogue is fine on it's own, but as it is, a lot of Kalit's dialogue is less snippy and more witless, bordering on the unintelligible. I think I mentioned before how Kalit kind of comes across as a young writer's attempt to be cool, and the dialogue is a part of it because to me it feels like what a 15-year-old thinks a tough guy sounds like.

...well, that's because I'm not a native speaker :sweat: Since my natural speech is rather verbose and pedantic, it's easier for me to write dialogue for characters that reflect that trait (like, say, Elphimas) and Kalit is, in that regard, a challenge. So... yeah, any help is greatly appreciated; are there solid rules on what words can be omitted in an English sentence? I probably used the Italian standard for some of Kalit's lines, and the results are clearly subpar.

Quote:
I also have only read this and A Mouthful of Venom (because you listed it as required, which... I don't think it necessarily is? But that's another matter)

It would be enough to leave it at "recommended"? I dunno, it explains a bunch of things, like what the deal is with Elphimas' rings.

Quote:
Huh, well, I hadn't known Elphimas was an oldwalker. Don't take this the wrong way, but he doesn't act like one the way I would expect.

That's because Elphimas doesn't remember to have been one :V (I should maybe add their introduction, "Awake in the Dark", to the recommended readings too?) They retain most data their pre-amnesia counterpart, the Storyteller, had acquired, but lost most of their personal memories, and Elphimas doesn't realize many of their remaining memories belong to a long time ago. I try to work some hints to the fact in their stories, but they're rather obscure.
"[...] the Sacred Spear has renamed the old Prismatic Academia as the Cathedral of the Burning Spear."
+
[...] the old cobblestone square once called Alchemist’s Plaza. It still teemed with small stands, but now they mostly sold holy symbols and other items of faith instead of alchemical materials and delightful trinkets.
The quotes hint at the fact Elphimas is more used to the Cathedral's old name and the square's old appearance (I feel like "delightful" is a rather personal judgement, implying Elphimas has personally visited the old plaza), and since the Sacred Spear fondly regards "old values", it's safe to assume it has been a solid part of the establishment, so to speak, for quite some time. It would be clearer if I added a time stamp to the change, like "170 years ago", in the first quote.

Quote:
That said, if I can play devil's advocate here, I (keeping in mind again I've only read this and A Mouthful of Venom) don't think "well, they're not friends with Kalit anymore" has any real weight. I certainly haven't been given the time to think the two being together was a good thing, and there really hasn't been anything hinted at that Elphimas is so desperate for companionship.

Elphimas felt so stupid. Disgustingly stupid. Throwing away the acquaintance of another planeswalker like that, the first after all this time…
Also, from aMoV:
Quote:

"[...] I just wanted to watch you squirm,” admitted Kalit.


“I hope you are satisfied with what you saw,” Elphimas replied. And finally Kalit saw a genuinely fake smile, a mask to hide the pain inside. Now he was satisfied. “Is there anything else I can do for you?”


While I completely agree that Elphimas is better off without Kalit, I thought I had portrayed the unbalanced part of their (brief) relationship. Elphimas offers Kalit a precious item without a second thought, smiles when he deliberately hurts them for the fun of it, tries to justify Kalit's killing spree at the plaza, witnesses Kalit's bloodbath on the plane and after all this the vedalken still suffers when they lose that contact. Maybe those moments don't hit hard enough, but I think there is enough to portray a tentative acquaintance where Elphimas keep making the first step and Kalit regularly stomps on their toes for fun and profit.

(Healing Paths takes place after this, and doesn't involve Kalit)

Author:  Lord LunaEquie is me [ Wed May 01, 2019 9:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: [Vote] Just a Statistic

Quote:
Okay, firstly, I did not get the "permanently damaged throat" angle at all.

That's fair, because I never mention it (it's part of his backstory, which is a long way from its completion), though I guess it would be simple enough to do so. Like this?
Elphimas noticed Kalit's vocal chords carried the same damage of the time they had first met. Strange, for someone with regenerative powers; Elphimas took a mental note to look for a therapy later. “That would be my guess too; anyway[...]
Since aMoV is all in Kalit's POV, the assumption Elphimas has noticed before is acceptable, I think.

While that line wouldn't be bad to include, I also don't think it's particularly necessary to know here and now, and I think just cleaning up Kalit's dialogue would go a long a way toward not making this a big revelation.

Quote:
Where the omitted words make him sound less like he's trying to be gruff and more like he's a badly-roleplayed barbarian without the intelligence to know how to speak properly. It's less that the lines are choppy and more that they're improper English as if he's not a native speaker [...] Short, snippy dialogue is fine on it's own, but as it is, a lot of Kalit's dialogue is less snippy and more witless, bordering on the unintelligible. I think I mentioned before how Kalit kind of comes across as a young writer's attempt to be cool, and the dialogue is a part of it because to me it feels like what a 15-year-old thinks a tough guy sounds like.

...well, that's because I'm not a native speaker :sweat: Since my natural speech is rather verbose and pedantic, it's easier for me to write dialogue for characters that reflect that trait (like, say, Elphimas) and Kalit is, in that regard, a challenge. So... yeah, any help is greatly appreciated; are there solid rules on what words can be omitted in an English sentence? I probably used the Italian standard for some of Kalit's lines, and the results are clearly subpar.


To be honest, I often forget that you're not a native English speaker. It might help if you have someone who is just to look over Kalit's dialogue and clean it up, if you're having issues with it. As for guidelines... there probably is some rules somewhere, but I certainly don't know them well enough to convey them. Like most of English grammar and spelling rules, it's mostly gotten absorbed via repitition than learning the actual rules behind it. MAYBE Raven would know (or point you to references where you could find out), but if not then I don't know where, if anywhere, you'd find rules like that. I could go back over all his dialogue here to give some revision notes if you want, though you'll have to wait a bit.

Quote:
I also have only read this and A Mouthful of Venom (because you listed it as required, which... I don't think it necessarily is? But that's another matter)

It would be enough to leave it at "recommended"? I dunno, it explains a bunch of things, like what the deal is with Elphimas' rings.


I personally don't think that's a major enough event to say it's "necessary" to know before going in to this. If, hypothetically, Elphimas and Kalit had formed some sort of contract/agreement where Elphimas was providing the "therapy" (which you just hinted at) to Kalit, then I'd say that it was necessary. Or, further hypothetically, if this world and how both Kalit and Elphimas knew about it and the ritual had been established in A Mouthful of Venom, then I could say that it would be pretty necessary. I'd argue that just getting the two's original meeting and by extention the ring (which is very clearly an allegory for summoning a planeswalker in the card game), isn't really enough to say it's completey necessary to inform what's happening in this story.

Quote:
Huh, well, I hadn't known Elphimas was an oldwalker. Don't take this the wrong way, but he doesn't act like one the way I would expect.

That's because Elphimas doesn't remember to have been one :V (I should maybe add their introduction, "Awake in the Dark", to the recommended readings too?) They retain most data their pre-amnesia counterpart, the Storyteller, had acquired, but lost most of their personal memories, and Elphimas doesn't realize many of their remaining memories belong to a long time ago. I try to work some hints to the fact in their stories, but they're rather obscure.
"[...] the Sacred Spear has renamed the old Prismatic Academia as the Cathedral of the Burning Spear."
+
[...] the old cobblestone square once called Alchemist’s Plaza. It still teemed with small stands, but now they mostly sold holy symbols and other items of faith instead of alchemical materials and delightful trinkets.
The quotes hint at the fact Elphimas is more used to the Cathedral's old name and the square's old appearance (I feel like "delightful" is a rather personal judgement, implying Elphimas has personally visited the old plaza), and since the Sacred Spear fondly regards "old values", it's safe to assume it has been a solid part of the establishment, so to speak, for quite some time. It would be clearer if I added a time stamp to the change, like "170 years ago", in the first quote.


You know, honestly? While I didn't catch on to those when I was first reading, knowing now a bit of Elphimas's backstory with the Storyteller, I think those are some perfectly subtle easter eggs for readers who have, or for re-reading later once the reader has gotten further insight into Elphimas's past. I think adding a timestamp would kind of ruin that experience, and possibly even add some confusion since there's little here in this story to hint that Elphimas is an oldwalker.

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