auronlu: (Lady)

Maester Lucil and Commander Elma portraitTitle: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 7: "We Interrupt This Broadcast"
Final Fantasy X
Characters: Isaaru, Maroda, Auron, Pacce, Elma, Lucil
Rating: G
Word Count: 2300
Summary: Arrival in Luca with more fanfare than one could wish.
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters

The Story So Far: Thirteen years after Yuna falls defeating Sin, Grand Maester Isaaru resumes his pilgrimage with his brothers, investigating rumors of Sin's return and a heretical Cult of Sin. After dealing with Sin-attacks on Besaid and Kilika, they arrive in Luca.

Despite Isaaru's pleas, Kiyuri insisted on flying Bevelle's banners for arrival in Luca. The grand maester would have his due, even if it dashed his hopes of slipping through the city quickly and quietly. Judging by the din from the docks, he would do neither. Other towns welcomed maesters with hymns and ceremonial. Only Luca could sprout souvenir stands and hawkers in the time it took for the S.S. Konna to hoist sails and put into port. Cheering crowds waved prayer flags. Sphere cameras flashed up and down the waterfront like so many pyreflies. Children clutched collectible summoner statues and played dueling aeons while waiting for the ship to dock. Over the general hubbub, the public address system blared a breezy patter, the local equivalent of pious homage.

"Ladieeees and gentleman, we'll return to the pre-game show shortly. But first, here's an exclusive update on today's developing news story. The S.S. Konna has arrived at Dock Three. We can now confirm that Grand Maester Isaaru is aboard. We repeat, Grand Maester Isaaru has arrived! We missed him at the High Summoner's festival, but he's joined us for Luca's most famous tournament, the Eleventh Annual Sir Tidus and Sir Wakka Memorial Cup! And it looks like all Luca's turned out to welcome the ruler of Yevon and the undisputed leader of Spira!"

"While we wait for the maester's party to disembark, Jimma, this is a good time to remind folks of the new security measures in place at the stadium for our fans' safety. All bags will be searched, and machina not approved by Yevon will be confiscated. Sphere cameras with Yevon's seal are permitted. If you're wearing goggles, please remove them as you approach the turnstyles."

Isaaru waved to the crowd placidly while the crew secured the moorings and lowered the ship's gangway. Maroda shook his head at the broadcast. "It's only going to get worse, the longer Sin's out there."

Isaaru nodded. "One more reason to be on our way."

Read more... )

auronlu: (Lady)
Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 6: Half-Truths
Final Fantasy X
Characters: Maroda, Auron, Isaaru
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2600
Summary: Maroda calls Auron on his BS. Auron doesn't call out Isaaru on his.
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters

The Story So Far: Thirteen years after Yuna falls defeating Sin, Isaaru and his brothers return to pilgrimage, teaming up with Auron. Lulu-Sin has attacked Besaid and Kilika, destroying their temples and fayth.


illustration by [personal profile] mintywolf

A Kilikan sunset of amber and gold had painted a dramatic backdrop for Isaaru's departure, duly sphere-recorded by spectators. The whole village had turned out to see him off. He and his guardians had embarked with cheers, hymns, a refill of Auron's jug from Kulukan, and an unusually frank, "Good luck, Isaaru— sorry you're finally getting your chance," from Dona. Now they sailed north, muffled in a fog that seemed intent on blotting out the ship's lanterns, crew's voices, and any sign of a world beyond the ship's rails. The gates to the Farplane could hardly be more impenetrable.

Auron sat outside Isaaru's cabin, sharpening the Crusader's blade that Pacce and Barthello had found for him. It had barely sufficed to cut through an ochu's hide. While that had given them a chance to show off to their idol, it might cost someone dearly in his next battle. He wondered if his katana was still lodged in Sin's skull.

Maroda slouched against the wall on the other side of the door. The steady snick of the whetstone had been cutting the air between them for some time, keeping awkward questions at bay. A delaying action at best, but it had given Auron time to prepare.

At last Maroda broke the unspoken armistice. "So, who was the wreath for?" Auron had gone aft and cast the bedraggled garland overboard soon after departure.

Read more... ) hits counter  
auronlu: (Lady)

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 4: "For the Fallen"
Final Fantasy X
Characters: Isaaru, Maroda, Pacce, Auron, Lulu
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2600
Summary: Sin's going after Kilika. Again.
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters

The Story So Far: Thirteen years after Yuna fell defeating Sin, Maester Isaaru returns to the pilgrimage with his brothers. They find and team up with Sir Auron at Besaid in the wake of a devastating Sin attack.


"You have my thanks. And Lady Yuna's as well, you may be sure. May she guide our path and shield us from Sin's fury. For now we sail...to Kilika!" The maester raised his hands and drew them together in Yevon's sign.

A tepid cheer rose from the sailors and monks gathered at the waterline. They scattered at once to make ready the rowboats, even before the torches had reverted from blue to orange. It was disrespectful to the dead, but Isaaru did not begrudge their eagerness to quit this marred island paradise. 

They had worked hard. The beach was swept clean, and they had even washed down trunks and leaves to remove clinging ash. Prayer flags— many of them products of Besaid's weavers— fluttered on poles thrust into the sand. The ocean sparkled under a noonday sun, masking the pyreflies drifting up from submerged coffins jostling on beds of coral. Besaid's harbor had been too choked with flotsam to use for the sending, but they had ferried the dead around to a more sheltered cove.

"Will somebody rebuild here, do you think?" Pacce asked Maroda as they headed for the boats.

"In the next Calm, maybe," Maroda said. "Not before."

Both looked to their brother. Isaaru seemed oblivious to the exchange, although he walked between them. By silent accord they held a boat steady for him to board before dragging it down into the water where the stern floated free.

"Hey," Pacce said, tumbling into his seat, "Where's Sir Auron?"

"For a guardian, he sure doesn't seem to guard much," Maroda said.

Isaaru smiled. Auron was descending the short cliff at the back of the cove. He trudged out to them and stepped into the bow without breaking stride.

"No sign of Sin," he said. "We should have clear running tonight, although it may be another story in Kilika."

Read more... )

auronlu: (Default)
Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 3: "Broken Bones"
Final Fantasy X
Characters: Isaaru, Maroda, Pacce, Auron, Lulu
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2100
Summary: Besaid village: Guardians get a warm-up. Auron dwells on the past (even though he knows better).
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters

The Story So Far: Maester Isaaru and his brothers arrive at Besaid to investigate a Sin attack. There they find Auron and learn that the village, its temple and its fayth have been wiped out.
Chapter 3: Broken Bones )
auronlu: (Blah)
Okay, so. Rina has just finished Final Fantasy X-2 and posted thoughts about it.

And she quoth:

...Granted, this might be because the thing I want most out of this fandom right now is the Crimson Squad and YRP having fabulous adventures on an airship with side helpings of Rikku/Gippal, Paine/Nooj and Yuna/Baralai (also accepting Paine/Rikku), so if that exists in a way that is good, hook a girl up, mmk?

And I know that stuff is out there. I remember it. I've read it in dribs and drabs over the years. Yet when I review my Final Fantasy X/X-2 recs, I'm not seeing much of that.

Still, I have some pointers, and I hope people who know the fandom better will share more recs in comments.


Owlmoose is the Queen of Final Fantasy X-2 and Nooj/Paine in particular, with a little Baralai/Gippal and Yuna/Baralai on the side, and some Rikku/Gippal in there somewhere.  And since this is my own personal blog I don't feel bad about shilling friends. A lot.

The trouble is, I read most of her amazeballs stuff years ago. There's tons. But these stick in my fuzzy memory.
  • Darkness, Dawn, Gen, Paine POV, 1230 words. Paine's first night aboard the Celsius.
  • Where They Left Off, M, Paine/Nooj, 1500words. Much needed gap-filling convo in which Paine and Nooj have a brief confrontation/convo/angersmooch right before B/N/G deliver their speech at the end.
  • The Cat, M, Paine/Nooj. 4300words. I can't remember exactly why this stuck in my memory except that it was a vivid portrayal of their dynamic and...cat?
  • Separated, T, Baralai/Yuna one-sided. The final battle from Baralai's perspective.
  • Under the Moon, T, Paine/Rikku, 1400 words. Paine aboard the Celsius (not) dealing with past memories of Nooj. (Nooj/Paine is canon. NOOJ/PAINE IS CANON. Er. Well, it is for us.) 
  • Boundaries, E, Baralai/Yuna with Shuyin/Lenne coloring things, 1400 words.
And then she's done some recent 500-word prompt thingies with a few years' more experience in writing. 

SO. What else. WHERE IS IT. It's odd but I don't recall many well-written Celsius or Crimson Squad things.

So, for example, this isn't Gullwings, but it's good: 
  • Jebus Creiss' The Seeker Files, Barthello/Dona (estranged), T, 22K words, A surprisingly good story from Barthello's POV?! with a lot of the other X-2 cast, set 6 months after FFX-2. Extremely convincing and chewy worldbuilding. 
And in a similar worldbuilding vein, KJ created an excellent bridge story from X to X-2:
  • Aftermath, Beclem-POV, 42000 words, picking up the pieces at the end of X, explaining how Beclem met Nooj and the Youth League began, meta on spheres and sphere hunters.
Oh here's one I'd assume would be good because of the author, but I haven't read it, just spotted it while hunting?
  • The Lost Village, T, by astrangerenters. "When Gippal leads a Machine Faction team to excavate a previously hidden town near Lake Macalania, the Gullwings come along for a little fun and treasure hunting."

Hrm. I could go on but it's useless for me to rec stuff I haven't read; you can hunt, too. So I'm instead going to ask people to post recs in comments to this post. 

I will append some addendums. I haven't specifically covered the Gullwings, but I've written in the X-2 timeframe (or an AU version), pulling out things I like and ignoring the rest. 
  • Firstly a large pile of Lucil/Elma drabbles because prior to FFXIII they were the closest I could find to a canon lesbian couple. Headcanons occur. Also smut. Also crack.
  • An Auron/Lulu badfic, Til Death Do Us Part, T, 13K words, in which I indulged in all! the! clichés!  Swashbuckling and Twue Wuv occurs. It's not my best writing, but I bring it up because I started by trying to imagine what would follow the Gullwings once Paine went off with Nooj, and I wound up with Yuna in charge, Rikku and Tidus as her seconds, in a way that lets Yuna and Rikku be awesome and Tidus not be an ass. 
  • Love Her and Despair - among many other threads, there's Captain Gippal, smuggler distributor of merchandise, and a Paine/Nooj, Baralai/Paine sideplot. 
auronlu: (Lucretia)
This is a Final Fantasy blog. But it's also a fandom blog. So, here's something that's been distracting me, in a good way, for the past several months. The entire rough draft is finished (around 30K words), but later parts need more spit and polish before posting.

Doctor Who (Big Finish) Fanfiction, Team Five
—> Read it on AO3

Title: “Master’s Thesis” (Chapter 1 of Fiveish)
Characters: 
Fifth Doctor, older!Nyssa, Tegan, Turlough, Lasarti, and *cough* Matt Herse
Word Count: 2600
Summary: When Nyssa all but hijacks the TARDIS to return home, she discovers an old enemy taking a sinister interest in her family. Tiptoeing around temporal paradoxes means she can’t let the Doctor find out. It’s a good thing she has a friend like Tegan to rely on.
Continuity: Between Heroes of Sontar and Kiss of Death, but you don’t have to have listened to any Big Finish audio episodes to follow what’s going on here.


(photomanip mimicking the CD cover art used for Doctor Who audio episodes)

This was one of my favorite TARDIS teams back in 1980, except that the writers back then were clueless about how to write stubborn and/or smart women. Poor scriptwriting and sexism are usually NOT a problem in Big Finish studio's Doctor Who radio plays of the past several years, reuniting classic Who actors and giving their characters more development and respect than the TV series did. 
auronlu: (phear da crack)
Everybody get over to Sev's journal for a glorious Final Fantasy commentfic attack. She had stress today and called for minific prompts, and has been writing brief snippets of fic to everyone's insane prompts, and there's a full-on brainstorming session of Ashelia the Vampire Slayer happening over on one comment, and Auron is giving everyone (even Quistis!) detentions in another comment, and I don't quite know what's happening with that dolphin but I'm not going to ask... Er. Anyway. Go join in. Whatever fandom you love, it's there somewhere in small bite-sized bits. Or just add to the brainstorming and general crack.
auronlu: Rosa showing Rydia a mage's staff. (ffiv)
Ugh. My creative writing muse is in a deep, dark sleep, and it seems unwilling to give me much. But FFIV gave me this, so, for what it's worth:


Title: Skyclad
Rating: G
Wordcount: 488
Characters: Rosa, Rydia, Cecil
Spoilers: Final Fantasy IV, ascent of Mt. Hobs (road to Fabul)
Notes: I'm playing Final Fantasy IV for the first time, and I'm puzzling over Ms. Fanservice vs. Mr. Armor-Plated Batman. I like the characters, I like the ship, but their costuming is throwing me. Also, I like Rosa's interactions with Rydia.

Skyclad )
auronlu: (Bad Balthier)
How on earth had I missed [personal profile] twigcollins ' writing before now?

I've been reading a Fran & Balthier backstory fic and hooting. I don't normally laugh aloud while reading.

The fic is called "A Kind of Integrity".

“Nothing ever really goes right when I’m in lace stockings,” Balthier murmurs thoughtfully.

Except it totally does. Oh, Balthier.

ETA: "all the grandeur of some young, disheveled god of poorly thought out ideas." 

ETA the umpteenth: READ THIS STORY. It starts out as a slapstick comedy and turns into an edge-of-your-seat heartwrenching adventure with some real meat to it. One of those "more canon than canon" fics that fleshes out the world and gives the characters their due.
auronlu: (Faris)
[personal profile] mako_lies just drew my attention to this Yuffie (ff7) and Faris (ff5) ficbit:

A ninja and a pirate walk into a bar....

I love crossovers playing on different inflections of the same trope.

And Faris, of course.

ETA: YES I HAVE NO BRAIN and forgot that mako_lies is also the author because I can't remember pseuds sorry facepalm.
auronlu: (Default)

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 47: War in Abeyance
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters:Auron/Lulu, Wakka/Rikku
Rating:
PG.
Word Count: 4000
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters


Our Story So Far: Sin is defeated, Yu Yevon destroyed, and Yuna's old guardians assemble in the city of St. Bevelle for the Calm Festival.

Chapter 47: War in Abeyance )

auronlu: (Lady)

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 46: Points of Departure
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters:Auron/Lulu, Isaaru, Pacce, Zuke, Cid, and...about half of Spira, okay?
Rating:
PG.
Word Count: 3900
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters


Our Story So Far: Yu Yevon has been defeated, and Sin's fayth is free at last. Summoner Isaaru, Sir Auron, friends and allies return in battered triumph to Bevelle aboard an Al Bhed airship.

Chapter 46: Points of Departure )

auronlu: (Lady)

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 46: Departures
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters:Auron/Lulu, Isaaru, Pacce, Zuke, Cid, and...about half of Spira, okay?
Rating:
PG.
Word Count: 3900
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters


Our Story So Far: Yu Yevon has been defeated, and Sin's fayth is free at last. Summoner Isaaru, Sir Auron, friends and allies return in battered triumph to Bevelle aboard an Al Bhed airship.

Chapter 46: Departures )

auronlu: (Faris)


(Princess Lenna Tycoon, Concept Art, Yoshitaka Amano)

The Princess and the Pirate
Ch. 4: "Chosen"
Final Fantasy V
Characters: Faris, Hydra, Lenna, Bartz, Galuf.
Rating: PG
Summary:
 Our would-be heroes scale the Wind Shrine and pick up a pocket of trouble. The pirate discovers a madness to the princess' method. Also, snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?
Word Count: ~2700

Current Chapter: "Chosen" (AO3) (FF.Net)


Back Issues Archived on:

AO3: Ch1 | Ch 2 | Ch3
FF.net: Ch1 | Ch2 | Ch3



auronlu: (FF5)
Yo ho yo ho and a bottle of ship. I knew it was going to be hard to hang onto that Dorothy Sayers voice. (I had inhaled Peter Wimsey for several days before writing the first two chapters.) 

"The Princess and the Pirate" Ch. 3
Final Fantasy V
Characters: Faris, Hydra, Lenna, Bartz, Galuf.
Rating: PG
Summary:
 Petitioned by Princess Lenna for safe passage, Captain Faris agrees to deliver the headstrong princess to the Wind Shrine in one piece... the better to reap a reward.
Word Count: ~2600
Note: This story assumes you haven't ever played the game and probably aren't going to if you haven't already. However:
SPOILERS. ALSO, SPOILS. ARR.


Current Chapter
:  "Fair Sailing" (AO3) (FF.Net)


Back Issues

Ch1 / Prologue
 (AO3)  (FF.Net) | Ch 2 (AO3) (FF.Net)

 


Again, that reference pic from cumulus_castle: 


Faris and Hydra
 by ~cumuluscastle on deviantART

auronlu: (Faris)
I was going to try to save this for some future Megaflare, in the hopes that I'd actually have the story finished so I could finish it. (What?) I'm tempted to throw in all kinds of disclaimers, but this will suffice: I'm writing for the fun of it. (Note new Faris icon. Shiny.) 

"The Princess and the Pirate"
Final Fantasy V
Characters: Faris, Hydra, Lenna, Bartz, Galuf.
Rating: PG
Summary:
A gallant pirate, a headstrong princess... haven't we been down this archetypal garden path before? Er, wait... uh...erk? 
Word Count (So far): ~5900
Note: This story is Amano's fault. Well, no, this subtext was jiggling at me during the first hour or so of gameplay. But still, I blame Amano.
SPOILERS. ALSO, SPOILS. ARR.

Chapter 1 / Prologue (AO3)  (FF.Net)

Chapter 2 (AO3) (FF.Net)
 


P.S. I didn't draw this; cumulus_castle did. Recommend you take a gander at the original:



Faris and Hydra
by ~cumuluscastle on deviantART
auronlu: (Default)

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 45: Sunrise
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters:Auron/Lulu, OFC
Rating:
PG.
Word Count: 2600
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters


Our Story So Far: Against all odds, Auron, Isaaru and their allies have not only defeated Sin, but delivered its host from Yu Yevon's bonds. Now they return to Bevelle in triumph on Brother's airship.

A/N: The next chapter is at least half written, so I'll dare to post this one. This chapter is written with the assumption you've forgotten most of the story, by the way, since it's been a while!


Chapter 45: Sunrise )

auronlu: (plot device)
While afflicted with major sinus infections, I spend a lot of time communing with a neti pot in the shower and following it up with a cold pack sinus mask that covers my eyes, so I can't do anything for about 30 minutes.

So last fall I listened to my computer's text-to-speech bot read me chunks of Death Shall Have No Dominion (FFX/X2 epic AU) by [livejournal.com profile] owlmoose . 

Last winter it was Clarion (FFX, Braska's pilgrimage) by [livejournal.com profile] justira , whose writing style is apparently perfect for reading aloud. It's very rhythmic, with repetitions and dramatic pauses that help even a clueless computer figure out where to breathe and pause. This story grabbed me by the throat and still won't let go.

I have read before, but just had it read me again, These Unending Alchemies of Honor, another one by justira that somehow manages to pull off a believable Vaan/Gabranth (FFXII) story.

I feel entirely too much like Noah; I kept passing out after about a page and a half and having to get the computer to back up and find the paragraph before I keeled over. 

Nonetheless, Fanfiction Story Hour makes this much more enjoyable, as OMFG this is a BAD INFECTION. My entire head hurts as much as right after surgery, which is weird, as it's never done that before. I've turned the corner -- I have a whole KILL THE BUGS regimen to fight these suckers from Neti pots to grape seed extract to yes, antibiotics, but dannnnng, it was bad for a while there. I'm still pretty much going to be bedridden a day or two, so as not to push it. I've tried pushing it before, and it never works. (And yes, I am a wimp; it's not like this is oh, open heart surgery.  But my head is full of goo and I can't stop coughing, yet I'm having to use an inhaler and mucho menthol to keep breathing.) 

Any recommendations on another 25K-50K story for Heather the Robot Storyteller to read me in her soooooooothing and hypnotic voice?    
auronlu: (plot device)
Gack. The GA email came while I was buried in RL work, and I never saw it.

Announcement: Winners of the 2009/2010 Genesis Awards for Best FFX Fanfiction

Their shortlist is a fanfiction feast from the familiar ([livejournal.com profile] ellnyx and [livejournal.com profile] muggy_mountain; Luc Court) to authors I hadn't discovered before I started hunting for new writers to nominate.

So check out that thread for some excellent Final Fantasy fanfiction!

Thank you very much for nominating my baby way back when. I'm proud to have LHAD named among the works of several writers I look up to. It won best action/adventure. I had better make sure the ending lives up to that, eh?

Finally, [livejournal.com profile] justira's "Clarion" still wins the "story that ate my brain" award, even if it's not on their list.
auronlu: (Blah)
O.
M.
G.

[livejournal.com profile] owlmoose, have I got a present for you! Unless you've already found it, of course.

Final Fantasy X
Title: The Seeker Files
Author: Jebus Creiss @ Fanfiction.net
Link: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6514906/1/The_Seeker_Files_Book_1_Kilika
Rating: T
Characters: Dona/Barthello, Paine, Rikku, Beclem, Chiapa the Cactuar(!), Baralai, Nooj, Zuke, Tidus/Yuna
Word count: ~ 20,000

Summary: some time after the end of FFX-2, Barthello is once again in Dona's bad graces. As a Warrior Monk guarding Kilika Temple, he assists in a book burning at the direction of the New Yevon high priest. Except -- he saves a book, because he's trying to appease Dona. And she throws him out before he can tell her.
He doesn't know what to do. Then he realizes that Sir Auron is one of the book's co-authors [about the only weak plot point in all this...how?], sits down to read it, and... grows up.

Barthello is most definitely the hero of this story. It involves worldbuilding, messy Spiran politics, LOTS of minor NPCs being used well, main characters doing something meaningful after they "live happily ever after," and everyone sounding completely in character from Rikku to Tidus, Dona to Beclem to *stare* the Cactuar.

Happy Hogswach, KJ!

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