Posts by: Stephen Lea Sheppard

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[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/7/2017
Also as a general thing I'm skeptical of setting timeline elements that confirm the setting's "now" as intrinsically significant rather than coincidentally significant. If you look at the timeline, pretty much everything that makes RY 768 meaningfully distinct from the past five centuries can be traced to one event. When the Empress disappeared, the Realm's politics became insular and they started withdrawing armies from the Threshold, which lead to Threshold political instability and vulnerability that drives both an economic boom and increased vulnerability to things like Fair Folk and Silver Pact raids; this vulnerability was what lead the Deathlords to breach the Jade Prison right now, which lead to the release of the Solars. It's all because the Empress disappeared. That feels verisimilar to me -- "now" is circumstantially significant, but not metaphysically or intrinsically significant except in ways that spring from circumstance.

Adding "And there's a bunch of new and extra DB Exaltations because, uh, reasons" violates that.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/7/2017
The Dragon-Blooded certainly tell themselves and each other that Exaltaion of the Dragons (or from the Dragons, if you prefer) is a sign of worthiness, usually in a context that links strength and moral worth i.e. "If you didn't Exalt, it's either because of a moral failing on your part or because you're weak, which is itself a moral failing." And they use this as justification for mistreating Dynasts who don't Exalt.

I think confirming this as a metaphysical truth removes value from the setting, however.

Although I don't have a problem with e.g. that Sidereal Astrology power that flags a soul for reincarnation as a Dragon-Blooded, because Sidereal judgement (and indeed divine judgement, because the existence of a mechanism by which Sidereals flag souls for Dragon-Blooded incarnations suggests a mechanism by which Heaven does the same on a larger scale) is not something the setting presents as morally sound.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/7/2017
No, it does not.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/7/2017
Oh, man, I should have made Crow the sample Eclipse and put a bit in her bio about how she's out adventuring instead of leading her Nexus gangs 'cause she skipped town after faking her death to escape a Wyld Hunt.

(No. This would not have been a good idea. Also, Holden would have vetoed it as too cute and too much of an obscure reference, and he would have been right to.)

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/7/2017
Oh, man, I'd forgotten that was Mel.

Yeah. Mel has no problem with Crow; she just liked the way she looked. But this has resulted in Crow being sort-of semicanonically dead, which is obviously Not Optimal, and was certainly not the intent.

(I'd "fix" this by putting a statted Crow in a future book with a custom fake-my-own-death Charm, but down that road lies Jean Grey, so.)

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/7/2017
Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
Reminds me of DC's Parallax mess.
That sort of thing is fairly endemic to long-running serial media. Hence "Comics, everybody!"

(But see also: The Two Kuklas.)

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/7/2017
It's probably not so much that the artist disliked the character as the artist thought "Oh, hey, this would be cooler if I drew a specific Solar instead of a generic Solar."

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/7/2017
Originally posted by Mockery View Post

Come again? I know that the artist taking liberties with the writer's intent is how Hank Pym ended up The Wife Beater, but I wasn't aware of this one.
Chris Clairemont wrote Jean Grey going Dark Phoenix and eating a star, but hadn't intended it to be one with an inhabited world. When drawing the issue, John Byrne inserted a frame of a doomed alien race looking up at their star as it died.

(There's narration acknowledging this, but that's because Marvel books at the time followed a process where the writer would write an outline, and the artist would draw the issue, and then the writer would go back and write the specific dialogue and narration around what the artist drew.)

Later on, at the conclusion of the Dark Phoenix Saga, Clairmont originally intended for Jean to survive, but editorial went "Uh, no, she killed an inhabited world and genocided a whole civilization. She's gotta die; we're not having Hitler on our X-Men."

Much later, they came up with the retcon: The Phoenix who we saw during the Phoenix and Dark Phoenix arcs wasn't actually Jean Grey; it was a cosmic entity that took her form and memories and sent her body into suspended animation. That's what died at the end of the Dark Phoenix saga. The actual Jean Grey isn't culpable for the death of a whole civilization, and we can bring her back by having the Avengers and Fantastic Four find the cosmic cocoon where the real Jean is still in stasis.

And then even later the Phoenix Force comes back and Jean temporarily merges with it and gets its memories of its time pretending to be her, so stuff it did as her can remain part of her biography and be referenced as stuff she remembers doing, all without her ever being culpable for its deeds.

Comics, everybody!

(I highly recommend the podcast Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men, by the way.)

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/7/2017
Right. I wasn't sure whether she was Night or Eclipse.

(This pretty much confirms that Crow the Boy isn't the sample Eclipse I used in Tomb of Dreams.)

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/6/2017
Crow the Boy is a sample Night Caste (I think?) from the castebooks. She's called Crow the Boy because she posed as a boy when she was running with youth gangs in Nexus before she Exalted; she Exalted, she's still in youth gangs, but now she leads one, and she's no longer pretending to be a boy but Crow the Boy as her name has stuck. She may or may not be some sort of LGBT or genderfluid representation depending on how you read her.

She wasn't one of the characters who got a full writeup; she just got a summary at the end of the book under "Other Night Castes." She did get a portrait.

In Aspect Book: Wood, Tepet Ejava tells the story of hunting down and killing a child Solar in some city somewhere as part of a Wyld Hunt, but the illustration very clearly uses Crow the Boy's character design for the child Solar she's killing. We have word from the writer of that section that it wasn't intended to be any Solar in particular the Roseblack killed (and, indeed, writers do not write art notes, so they couldn't have known that scenario would get an illo), so the likeliest explanation is that the artist was trying to be clever. (Specifically the sort of cleverness that would leave me absolutely livid if it happened under my nose during the process of developing a book, but maybe that's just me.)

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/6/2017
Hey, "An artist got cheeky and drew something they weren't asked to draw" is how we got Jean Grey dead for a decade. Never let it be said that artists doodling random bullshit doesn't affect canon.

(I prefer Crow not being dead, but, look, regardless of what the writer intended, that's a picture of Tepet Ejava killing Crow. There's no way the artist accidentally drew her killing a random Solar urchin who just happens to look like Crow.)

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/4/2017
Someone tell Andrew Hussie.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/4/2017
Y'all may be overestimating the degree to which the scenario takes into account the pregens' backgrounds.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/3/2017
Those could certainly be a reasonable set of choices.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/3/2017
I was going to be coy and neither confirm nor deny guesses, but, yeah, that Karal Fire Orchid picture does sort of give the game away. So.

Iay Selak-Amu is clearly the pregen Twilight, and Karal Fire Orchid is the pregen Zenith. People want to try guessing the remaining pregens based on that pattern and what they know of me as a creative type?