The Solune Prince: [Workshop I]

A couple things before the piece starts. You can skip ahead if you just want to get to the narrative.

First: This is a lightly edited sort of experiment. This piece projects itself into a much later chapter of The Solune Prince. Short background, the general concept is sort of a “coming of age” story for Chloe Rhye, and right now, in Novella 1, Chloe is in her own kingdom, but here she’s already at her destination: The Lussa City.

So, this should be interesting in general, but also interesting to readers of my serial novel. (Which you can check out here.)

It’s from my Creative Writing workshop, so it’s part of an exercise, which was: write the same piece using two different styles. This is marked with the (1) and (2).

Second: The next chapter of The Solune Prince will be up later today. This is not a “replacement” for it like the IOU from last week. Due to a somewhat stressful existence last week (both mentally and physically), as well as the late-term deadlock of university assignments, I’ll be writing the chapter on the day of its release. So, basically as you’re reading this.

Now, we shouldn’t have to worry about quality control for the following reasons: a) I’ve handwritten this chapter already. The major problem is really that I decided I had to change a few things, and so about 75% of that chapter had to be moved ahead in the story to some completely different parallel-universe chapter. Then b) I do have a decent idea of how I want this chapter to go, and what sort of changes I need to make to continue the story as intended, but also modify the sort-of mess it became. Essentially, I need to rewrite.

I’ll have to elaborate on all that in a full post later but for now I’ll put it like this: There are a few key points I want to re-arrange, some stuff I need to rework, and some stuff that will likely have to go altogether. Thus, chapters 17-19, which have all been handwritten, will need to be redone. (Re-handwritten, and then typed.)

Not a big problem, in fact it’s sort of a relief, as I’m extracting myself out of a sort of narrative hole, and then taking a better grasp of the story. For now, enjoy this projection into the future, and we’ll see whether this, too, get’s changed when the time comes.

(1)        It was yesterday. We were spraying, as usual. I admit we were spray painting. Look, I know the law and we had the permits. Show them the permits. We had the right to be there.

If I were less ethical, I could have blamed the other guys. In fact, I could have abandoned them and ran. But I am a man of Noah, and I know the law; at least I know that part. This happens a lot. Police usually don’t know anything, they just don’t. Luckily for us, I do.

‘Hey! You can’t be markin’ up that wall like that! Is that another one of them canted x-shapes? It’s you lot then, markin’ up the town! You best give all that up and come in with us.’

I heard them shouting, so I came, I ran. But, man, my peers are so…so good at fumbling up tense situations. Good thing I know the urban sprint. Hop, skip, run up the walls, onto the trash, swing off the window bars, slide down the side, skid ‘round the corner, man. Nice.

“You best leave my team alone. We’re here on business.” That’s what I said. Business. Usually stops them. But they didn’t even hear! Looks like the ‘prince’ over there already had it down, but damn! She was talking the wrong law! Where is she from?

She said, ‘No, this isn’t public property, it’s without your jurisdiction, unless you get a formal complaint. Look, he  has our papers, this is a job. What about you? Do you have your papers? Was there a complaint? Any warrant for you being here?”

Oh man, that’s not how things work here missy! After that, well, whew, violence man. We didn’t even move, but missy dismantled everyone for us. No sweat.

(2)        The litigator moved on to a different witness. “And you, you were there, my lord?”

‘As a bystander. I only saw the second part.’

“Please describe what you saw.”

‘Haha. Missy, that’s miss Chloe Rhye, fifth Prince of the Solune. They don’t have the honorific “princess” where she comes from. What a people, the Solune. She dismantled your three officers in seconds. Truly admirable—from a tactical perspective.

‘The draw of her weapon became the first attack, a cut across the chestplate of your first man. She flicked back the instant she’d made her hit; truly, a trained movement. Her weapon was back out before it could be seized—she slid into tierce with little effort.’

“Could you please limit the technical—”

‘That’s a point-up guard. She followed tierce up with a four, and then another four—’

“Please, the—”

‘—That’s an underhand thrust that ends in an upward sweep. Your men are so slow that she could hit with four twice before having to go back into a carte. And Chloe didn’t even bother moving onto the later cycles, although maybe she doesn’t know them. Regardless, she held carte and just kicked the poor man to the ground.

‘The rest fell likewise; engage stance on the secondary officer, (she has a terrific engage), into a one, into prime parry stance, smack the tertiary officer with a two, up to…I really wish she would protect her sword arm, but no, she slides back into engage carte, beats the secondary officer’s pikesword out of his hand, a smack to the face with the off hand, and then, no guard whatsoever, she grips her sabre two-hand (a very bad idea), and hits an oncoming attack from the tertiary. And then, lo! Kicks officer three to the ground as well! To my great pleasure, she cycled back to a carte, and then a prime hanging guard before sheathing. You may now understand why it is she prefers the military sabre to the officer’s one.’

“…You seem almost pleased about what occurred here.”

‘Truly; I trained her in the sabre.’ At this, the first witness laughed. ‘Further, as royal emissary, Prince Rhye, I believe, is subject to diplomatic immunity. Why she was with these vagrants is beyond my knowledge, however, she should answer to the Lussa royalty, not the law. I assume that you have contacted Prince Ryann?’

There was a short discussion among the court, and then recess was called.

You can see it was a bit of fun, an exercise in style.

Here’s a link to The Solune Prince (again), just in case you have an interest in the story, or Chloe as a character. She’s also a side character in the current draft of Alice and Finch, which you can find here.

See you later today, hopefully, or later than that. You can subscribe if you want, or follow my facebook, which is mostly auto-updates from this page anyway. I mostly chat and stuff on twitter, and my instagram has some cool visual arts and other ramblings.

Anyway, thanks for reading, I’ll be here every week lol. (And also later on today.)
Daniel Triumph.

A Mess of Words on Chloe Rhye

I’ve created a mass of characters, in a similar world building vein to Pratchett’s Discworld. But out of all of them, I think my current “favourites” are Alexandre Jutt (shadow), Yaska May Däwngale (who may be my anima) and Chloe Rhye. Chloe is essentially a genius, but also a complete ditz who stumbles over her own sentences. She’s well read, but introverted and lacks formal education. I guess those are standard for her “type” though. Sort of.

I’m deeply interested in seeing how she reacts to the real world, as is her father, who sends her on a quest of sorts in her adolescence. Her young adulthood is where it really gets interesting for me though, and that’s the story I’ve been trying to write for over two years.

The coolest thing, I think, regarding Chloe is her potential as an individual, and her lazor eyes. I came up with lazor eyes being a sort of racial trait for the Solune when I was much younger (four or more years ago!), but now that I’ve begun to explore archetypes and symbolism as a young adult, I’m seeing a sort of meaning behind it. Chloe is possibly the most powerful user of lazor eyes/lazor plasma, and I think it has something to do with vision. Chloe, being a genius, is a visionary. In her youth, she doesn’t have a lot of control over it, and it emits passively out of her wounds. She avoids using her power because she doesn’t know what will happen. Later, she focuses it, and takes control. That is the character arc in The Solune Prince.

There’s a lot of symbolic importance to eyes, if you look back to the ancient gods Horus and Marduk. I don’t know where my subconscious finds it (although Jung would call it “The Collective Unconscious”), but I’m deeply interested in seeing what Chloe is capable of. Are you?

The Solune Prince is in progress…

Daniel Triumph.

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Alice and Finch – Update 2

Happy too am I!
Where are you, my love?

Hello. I am Alexandre Dirge.

And I dub Alice and Finch’s life to be an Archetypal Comedy, and therefore eternal.

Now I digress from my memories of their love story to bring you evidence with the help of Northrop Frye.

Elements of Archetypal Comedy

These are the elements that occur in nearly all love stories (and realities) across nearly all cultures. (Sorry barbarians, you are hardly romantic.)

1

Two lovers. Two lovers who are destined for each other, often both secretly of noble blood; prince and princess. No explanation needed here.

(I will add, however, that the connection to royalty is a very Jewish tradition. For more, read,Song of Songs, which may or may not have been written by King Solomon, or contact your local Rabbi.)

2

Flawed Society. The society is flawed; even if the only flaw is that it does not approve of, or actively denies the love of the heroes.

  • Angry Father. The father represents society itself. Thus, often the father directly manifests the society’s disaproval of the heroes love. The father, usually the maiden’s father, but it could be as distant as a grandfather or even another member of the society, becomes a blocking character.

You can see conflict and excitement, and even longing on the horizon by now, surely.

3

Instant Love. There is nothing in between the lovers. It is as if they have known each other forever. They slip into each others’ lives as easily as they slip into each others’ arms. Love at first sight may be something only found in the realm of fantasy, but surely love at his words must be real.

This is, of course, how I fell in love.

I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
(Authorized King James Version, Job. 23.12 2, emphasis mine, italics in original)

4

Separation. How tragic! The lovers mus separate. It is either caused by a chaos or double chaos (brigands are a chaos. Water is a chaos as well, so pirates, thieves of the sea, are a double chaos.) Usually, however, it is the society’s failure in tandem with a chaos that sets it off.

  • Society. The society did not approve of Alice, the little monster, except for the other outcasts such as Finch the bookworm, the Metch priest, Prince Chloe Rhye, and myself. The guard were the final straw, urged by Ilias, and caused by…
  • Chaos. Alice is a chaos, because we don’t know (at least we didn’t know) what she was, what a Plainkind was. Plus, she was coming into puberty at the time, another chaos from within.

(The chaos being internal instead of external is, of course, very intriguing to me.)

5

Struggle to find oneness. Often this process brings out the woman’s beauty and desirably, as she longs for her husband-to-be. In the man, it brings out the same longing, and in some cases, even suicidal thoughts; “If I cannot be with her, I do not want to live!” (Infamously, Chaereas from one of the most ancient novels, Chaereas and Callirhoe, tried to die at least three times.)

  • Longing. Most of the wishes for death and disparity comes from longing. The pair are soul mates, and without each other, the world is but nothing, they are broken.

Fuck it all and fuckin’ no regrets
I hit the lights on these dark steps
Medallion noose, I hang myself
Saint Anger ’round my neck

And I choke… on the cross
As I hang… as I’m hanging
I just wanna die today
I just wanna die
Will tell you why

I’m madly in anger with you
I feel my world shake
Like an earth quake
Hard to see clear
Is it me? Is it fear?

Searching my head
For the words that you said

The light at the end of the tunnel
Was turned off
And something I noticed
Beating you is thrilling me
I’ve got a secret for you

Tears filled my eyes
As we said our last goodbyes
This sad scene replays
Of you walking away

The tides of change pulled us apart
I feel a familiar pain
In my hour of need,
No, you are not there
And though I reached out for you,
Wouldn’t lend a hand
My darkest hour is every hour
You’re not there
When no words are spoken and please are ignored
Your tears go unnoticed, will you say enough?

Did you ever think I get lonely?
Did you ever think that I needed love?
Did you ever think, stop thinking;
You’re the only one that I’m thinking of.
Goodbye 1000 times goodbye
The thought never crossed my mind
That this would be my last goodbye.

My heart, it hurts
‘Cause it never catches its breath
I’m still staying when I should have left
Come to where the waters meet the shore
I’ll be there
And I will stay, leaving you

I am really afraid
But I am her protector
You know?
You’ll be never alone again,
Cause I am your protector.

Waves—close your eyes and count slow
In this moment things are getting dangerous.
Oh no.
I can’t find my way.
All these things that left me in their waiting.
—I keep shaking.

But the things that she said sounded peculiar and strange
Like she couldn’t believe the words that were shaping
Her future life

(Plagiarized by Alexandre Jutt, and Daniel T.
Credits in order: Metallica, Two, Logic, Metallica, Megadeth, Falling Up, Daniel Triumph.)

The struggle to return as one pits the protagonists against many trials, mostly internal for the woman, and external for the man.

6

Reunion. Of course, there is a happy ending! The man finds his woman, or in the case of stories like An Ephesian Tale or An Ethiopian Story, the lovers find each other.

Sigh.

7

Wedding! Of course, the lovers need to lock in their commitment and become slaves to each other. How romantic, a choking band around the neck—I mean the finger. You will never be forgotten, Alice, Finch!

The old and corrupt society is inspired and renewed by the lovers’ actions and their fated reunion despite it all. The wedding festival brings happiness not only to the lovers, but to the whole city that celibates with them. Even the villains find their good spirit and join the celebration (if only to be arrested or likewise midway through. However, all are happy for the lovers, even they that opposed them see how wrong it was to do so.)

The marriage is very important, it is the symbol; a promise of a new and bright future. (Ah, love is in the air. Are you as excited for Alice and Finch’s wedding as I? Truly, I must finish these writings soon, for they are calling that I help with the preparations.)

35963625_1778460728867077_5277050098382012416_o

Bye bye, love,
Alexandre Dirge!

…and Daniel Triumph.

Read an essay on the first draft of Alice and Finch Here: Alice and Finch: The Archetypal Recapitulation

You can also check out Alice and Finch – Update 1 here, as it is far short, and less dense.

Finally, the first draft is available on this blog, for free in its entirety. Check it out if you are feeling impatient!

P.S.

Burying all of the evidence
My glamorous words will CATCH HER
Burying all of the evidence,
Some thousands of eyes will HAPPEN

P.P.S.:

STRUCTURALISM IN ART AHHGGGGG NORTHROP FRYE IT IS THE NEW FRONTIER OF SOCIAL SCIENCE AND I LOVE SOMEONE AS WELL WHICH IS VERY IMPORTANT BLEGHH >:3

An Argument for Symphonia and its theme.

This was a reply to a reddit post that essentially stated that Symphonia was a bad game. The poster argued his point by comparing it to other tales games, instead of judging it on its own terms. I enjoyed the critique, but found it deeply flawed.

This argument contains some spoilers for the first third or so of the story, but nothing game-ruining—I could explain to you the entire plot, and the game still wouldn’t be ruined.

Half-elves, duality, racism, sacrifice, friendship (really?), resources, relationships, right to live? Symphonia, at its core, isn’t about any of these, although it addresses each with reasonable depth and competence. All of those are subthemes that either contribute to the main plot, or flesh out the world. Tales of Symphonia is about systems, and subversion;

Symphonia is about overcoming corruption.

Related image
The tower that reaches up unto the Heavens, The Tower of Salvation.

The crux of the game is introduced at the Tower of Salvation, about one quarter of the way into the game. They find out that the religion of Martel that underlies their journey to regenerate the world is a sham, and that it’s just a tool for a failed system. It’s a corrupted system with a convoluted goal, run by the selfish, in-fighting Cruxis. Most of the latter half of the game is Lloyd (the “gentle idealist”) and company rejecting the dichotomy of, either two worlds vying or one of them dead. Lloyd rejects both and tries to find a way where everything can be decent.

Image result for lloyd gentle idealist
Lloyd’s philosophy is laid out in the open in front of Vice-Chief Tiga. (Of course, there is more than what is quoted here. Lloyd wishes to find a way to end the struggle between the two worlds. He seeks a solution in which both worlds don’t have to live at the expense of one another.)

There’s a harmony between the form and the content too, which (academically anyway) is a meaningful strength in a narrative. If the game is about subverting corrupted systems, then with each of its characters, it presents an RPG archetype (or system), and then subverts it. Lloyd, the “shounen-hero” standard, becomes a thoughtful idealist, and then acts on those ideas throughout the plot. Collette, the sacrificial Mary Sue, struggles with physical and spiritual illnesses throughout, and is constantly taking on loads of responsibility… and doing it well. Genis, the genius child caster, is (unusually, if you know the type) still childish, despite his ability. He’s a bit racist, arrogant, and he whines and cries about things. I could go on, but feel free to try it yourself. You can look at anyone from Sylvarant and see a video game trope, but if you reflect further (especially on their actions after the Tower even) you’ll see that they unravel their own tropes to reveal depth and individuality.

This marriage of content and form isn’t only found the characters; even the game itself starts off as a cliched system. Four seals? An adventure to save the word? Magitechnology that has gone extinct? an “empire” of bad guys? Sounds like every JRPG from the Super Nintendo to PlayStation era. But, after the Tower of Salvation, this is again shed to reveal something further down in the core of the game. Notice that the Tethe’alla party members don’t seem to fall into tropes like the Symphonia crew do (and if they do, it’s often far less overt). Zelos and Sheena are very strong examples of this.

In Tethe’alla, the Desians are no longer the main threat; there’s an underlying layer beneath it. Seals also now have a doubled reason for existing—the releasing summon spirits. And, of course, the entire system of the two worlds that need to be saved, instead of just one, becomes the active problem in the game.

You don’t have to like Symphonia. You don’t even have to like video games. Plus, the idea of dismantling flawed structures and tyrannical systems doesn’t resonate with everyone. (If you think about it, the theme might be the reason why it’s more popular in the United States than it is in the more conservative Japan.) I advise that you judge Tales of Symphonia for what it’s actively attempting to do with its narrative. Everything else, in the grand scheme of things, is secondary.

Daniel Triumph.

 

P.S. Here’s the original argument to which this post was a reply to, followed by my original rebuttal.


My original reply, from which this post came:

https://www.reddit.com/r/tales/comments/7xwapl/i_finished_symphonia_spoilers/dud8hio/