auronlu: (Lady)
Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 10: "Breach of Fayth"
Final Fantasy X
Characters: Auron, Isaaru, cast
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1870
Summary: Operation Stolen Fayth, Phase I
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Our Story Thus Far: Trying to thwart a new Sin bent on destroying temples, Summoner Isaaru and Auron hatch a plan to rescue Djose's fayth. Most of the Crusaders in the operation are kept in the dark, especially Captain Luzzu, who is suspected of having some way of communicating with Sin.

"Sir Auron, I must protest! You mean to tell me they're not even guardians? They should never have been permitted—"

"Neither are you, Father," Elma said.

The priest stood spreadeagled in the doorway of the Chamber of the Fayth, blocking the workers who had been dismantling its frame. "Your presence here is sheer outrage! Your men have defiled the Cloister of Trials, desecrated the fayth's sanctuary! Why, it will take us years to repair the damage!"

"If there's anything left to repair," Pacce said.

"Hey," Maroda said. "Isaaru's communing with the fayth, remember? If you want your aeon in one piece, I respectfully suggest you shut up."

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auronlu: (Lady)
Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 9: "Memorial Gardens"
Final Fantasy X
Characters: Isaaru, Maroda, Auron, Pacce, Elma, Luzzu
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2850
Summary: Journey to Djose. At the Mushroom Rock Crusader Lodge, Luzzu and Auron discuss an old friend.
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters

Our Story So Far: Thirteen years after Yuna falls in the Final Summoning, Auron has joined Isaaru on a new pilgrimage. A Cult of Sin has arisen, and some now call Sin the Lady, both destroyer and benefactor. Whatever Sin's nature, she seems to be attacking the temples, and Djose may be the next target.

Three days out from Luca, they were approaching the turnoff to Mushroom Ridge. The Highroad had once been a beaten shelf of dirt exposed to the elements and scoured by the wind, but now berms or seawalls shielded it on the seaward side. Out of sight, leaden waves sighed against the rocks. Ahead, a finger from the cliffs arced down over the road to form a flying buttress. Beyond it, the land was transformed.

It was difficult to make out individual shapes in the growing dusk, but swaying dark fronds draped over the arch in a lush curtain. Nodding white flowers as wide as a woman's hand winked between broad leaves. A profusion of plants carpeted the path below, crushed or snapped by the passing prints of travellers, despite which they seemed to thrive: blue blossoms from Besaid and the coral-pink orchids of Kilika, ivy and hibiscus, lilies and irises, even the glassy trunk of a Macalania sapling with glowing seed-pods in the forks of slender stems.

"Yevon," Isaaru breathed, reining in his chocobo and gazing up at the floral tapestry in wonder. "What enchantment is this?"

"Nobody knows," Elma said. "Good thing it's so remote. Even so, we rescue a few tourists from fiends every month. They forget the danger. Speaking of which, be on your guard. Those vines can hide a full-sized iguion. Nasty buggers— their bite can paralyze. We try to keep the path clear up to the lodge, but the plants grow back fast."

She turned into a narrow cleft in the cliff-face which widened into a ravine. Sentries drew back spears and saluted as they passed.

The path was mostly cleared, but creeping vegetation spilled over the lumps and crags of the cliffs on either side. Sea-fog had collected on rocky shelves and dimples along the edges of the winding track. The larger basins held mats of dark-green pads with pale flowers illuminating the shadowy ravine. Glowing wisps of pyreflies spiraled up from their fragrant blossoms.

"I don't believe it," Isaaru said. "Moon-lilies. I thought they were unique to the Moonflow."

"Well, it rains here fairly often now." Elma spoke in a hushed voice. "Folks say it's Sin's doing. Who knows?"

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auronlu: (Lady)

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 8: "Best-Laid Plans"
Final Fantasy X
Characters: Isaaru, Maroda, Auron, Pacce, Lucil/Elma
Rating: G
Word Count: 2500
Summary: Planning the next Operation Mi'ihen. Is this a good idea?
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Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters

The Story So Far: Thirteen years after Yuna falls defeating Sin, Isaaru sets the mantle of maester aside to resume his pilgrimage with his brothers. Teaming up with Auron in Besaid, they discover a pattern to Sin's attacks: it seems to be targeting temples. They meet Maester Lucil at Luca Stadium to report their findings.

Sin and an old friend...

The carnival ambiance of the blitzball tournament ebbed and flowed around Isaaru and his companions like another world pinned by pyreflies to a gigantic sphere. Fans cheered for their favorite players, bickered over team loyalties, lived and died with every goal. In the maesters' box, all was still.

Isaaru had been uncharacteristically stark, blunt, and brief as he narrated the bare bones of their journey. Now he and Lucil sat between two worlds, surrounded by a sea of noise. Clapping when the crowd roared, feigning interest in a match that no one but Pacce actually watched, they waited for the final moments of a Bevelle upset ("That's one for the history books, folks!") to play out so they could slip away to ponder the fate of the world.

As soon as the buzzer sounded, Isaaru and Lucil retired to a VIP suite below the maester's dais. The chamber was as dark as a Cloister of Trials, despite a few skylights. Luxurious furniture and refreshments could not disguise the fact that it had been built into the stadium's walls as a fortified retreat against attack— from Sin, or from an angry mob, to judge by its defenses. Years ago, Lucil had commanded the removal of the machina weapons embedded in the heavy doors leading out to the stadium, but the peepholes of gunsights and the stripped mountings on the doors' inner faces were a sober reminder of what Yevon could be.

Isaaru settled into a high-backed chair, his guardians forming a triangle around him. Elma helped Lucil into the seat across from him. The maester in charge of Yevon's military concealed her infirmity in public, but a chocobo accident had left her partially paralyzed. Her aide was no longer a starry-eyed cadet, but a seasoned officer with a scar half-hidden under short dark hair and a complexion weathered by years of riding.

Elma gave orders to the sentries outside and shut the doors. "There. No one's going to disturb us for anything short of a Sin sighting. The next match is in forty-five minutes, if you mean to keep up appearances."

"Thank you, Commander," Isaaru said, forgetting that he was no longer the senior official in the room.

"Djose, then." Lucil steepled her hands in her lap, expression grave. "Elma. Provide Summoner Isaaru and his party with mounts and escort them to Djose. Send couriers ahead to Mushroom Rock Lodge, advising the captain to begin battle preparations and await your arrival. We will need his ground forces as well for this operation."

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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.

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auronlu: (Lady)
Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 5: "Pearl"
Final Fantasy X
Characters: Isaaru, Maroda, Pacce, Auron, Lulu
Rating: T
Word Count: 2800
Summary: "Well, I am a goddess, you know."
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters)

The Story So Far: Sir Auron, Maester Isaaru and his brothers take up the pilgrimage 13 years after Yuna dies defeating Sin. Attacking the new Sin at Kilika, Auron is lost when it disappears beneath the waves.

Auron slogged through darkness. He felt the lash of rain against his skin like tiny sullen barbs, warning him to keep his distance. Now and again lightning flickered, but never long enough to show him what kind of landscape this dream-world might be. He felt parched despite the rain, and his feet were numb with cold. At last, after he had forgotten what time and distance meant, he found a wall of leaping flame barring his path. He braced himself for searing heat and pushed through.

On the far side, darkness took on clarity and shape. It was the black and silver of moonlight, wisps of cloud and patches of night sky overhead where stars glittered. At his back was a whispering jungle, shimmering with crickets and the distant cries of fiends. Its lush, fiercely alive scents nearly smothered him. Before him lay a placid harbor, gentle flecks of crested waves rising and falling like a woman's breast in sleep.

He trudged through sand towards the breakers where kelp flexed over hidden shoals just offshore. When the sand gave out, he clambered over submerged rocks encrusted with shells. Mussels crackled underfoot. Water had never been his element, but it was Sin's, and it suited her now as much as fire's wrath, lightning's flash and icy disdain had suited her before.

There. A glimmer of white. He pulled up short, arrested by the same vision that had spawned a cult. Familiarity was no defense.

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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 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."

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auronlu: (Auron2)

Click for full-size:by SchmutzigeBanane

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 2: "Memorial"
Final Fantasy X
Characters: Isaaru, Maroda, Pacce, Auron
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1700
Summary: Isaaru and his guardians make an unsettling discovery on Besaid, and seek the aid of a legend.
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters

The Story So Far: Thirteen years into High Summoner's Calm, Maester Isaaru and his brothers take a ship to Besaid to investigate rumors of a Sin attack. Auron is waiting for them.

"So have you been on Besaid all this time? Or did you just come here to fight Sin?" Pacce seemed bent on extracting every scrap of information from his idol as soon as Sir Auron stepped aboard.

Not that the legendary guardian was doling out many scraps. He stood in his customary slouch with an arm tucked in his coat, a dour expression, and a crop of more white hair than Isaaru recalled from their last unhappy encounter. Warrior monks shoved forward to form an impromptu honor guard. Maroda and Pacce, as usual, stood to Isaaru's right and left.

Auron shrugged. "I followed a hunch."

"A hunch?" Maroda said, incredulous. "You can predict where Sin will strike?"

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auronlu: (Lady)
Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 1: "Schism"
Final Fantasy X / X-2
Characters: Isaaru, Maroda, Pacce (this chapter), Auron. Later chapters: Elma, Lucil, the Crimson Squad, Cid, Yuna's surviving guardians.
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2200
Summary: [AU] 13 years after Yuna falls in the Final Summoning, a Cult of Sin has arisen, Isaaru must resume his pilgrimage, and Auron must try once again to kill a friend before his time runs out. They'll need all the help they can get from the Crusaders, the Al Bhed, Yuna's surviving guardians and the Crimson Squad to combat a Sin like none before.
Navigation: Next Chapter | Map & Table of Contents

digital painting of Lulu's face carved out of a shark's tooth Illustration by [personal profile] mintywolf

"In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!" (J.R.R. Tolkien, Fellowship of the Ring)

Burgundy sails snapped in a fitful wind that set the sailors muttering. The sea-witch had her ways, they said, and owned both sea and sky. Ships plied the waves by her permission, or not at all. There had been frost at sunrise, great spears of rime coating the rigging. The tropical sun had banished it quickly, but it was one more sign of Sin's proximity. That, and the lightning's balefire dancing on the mast at midnight.

"Land ho!"

The call was hardly needed. All eyes not bent to shipboard tasks were fixed on the wisps of smoke billowing on the horizon, fading now like the last breath of a dying fire. The rising column veiled half the sky in a grayish-pink fume that stretched clear back to Djose. For six disquieting days, the SS Konna had sailed under that gray pall, seeing only an orange smudge where the sun should be. Flecks of ash came fluttering down, dissolving to powder wherever they touched. A stark whiff of burning hung in the air.

One of the harpooners began to sing the Hymn of the Fayth. The subdued refrain spread out in ripples from the ship's bow as roughened sailors' voices took up the chorus. A squad of warrior monks, cleaning their weapons on deck, looked up and added their voices in prayer. On the railing above, a red-haired man in priestly robes smiled and cupped his hands in Yevon's sign. Neither he nor the pair of guards flanking him joined in the singing, however.

Clattering up the ladder to the observation deck, the captain raised her arm in salute. "Your Grace. We'll make Besaid by sunset."

"Very good, Kiyuri. Tell your crew the danger is past. Sin is at least a day from here by now."

"With all due respect, milord—” she began. Suddenly, she pivoted towards the woman keeping watch. "Naya, what's that thing you're wearing around your neck?"

The sailor's hands flew to the bone pendant that had slipped out from the bib of her overalls. "It's, ah, it's nothing, Cap'n. Just a carving of a pretty lady, y'know, that caught me fancy." Her cheeks reddened.

"Sin!" Kiyuri spat, stalking towards her. "The Grand Maester of Yevon sails with us, and I have an idol-worshipper who wears Sin over her heart! Hand it over, or I'll throw you overboard with it."

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auronlu: (Lady)
Having edited it, revised it, and hacked out about 15,000 words, I'm planning to start reposting Love Her and Despair, my FFX AU sequel ("What if Yuna had chosen the Final Summoning?"), one chapter a week starting on Friday December 14, 11 years after I started posting it on LJ.

No, the final few chapters are NOT quite finished, so you will have to have faith (as I do) that they will BE finished by the time I get there. But I certainly have plenty of time.

I'm going to post new entries for the revised chapters, with links to the old posted chapters with reader comments that in some cases influenced my thinking and/or revisions.

I hope to add a few illustrations, but we'll see. A few talented readers have submitted fanart in the past which I will most certainly shill.

NOTE: this means the sticky post at the top of my blog is out of date. I'll have that sorted soon, but for now, those links point to the pre-revision 2007-2012 version of the fic.
auronlu: Icon says, "Does it COUNT as a WRITING SESSION if I only touched the delete key?" (deletekey)
The great pruning continues!

I've deleted 8500 words, and I expect to push that to at least 10K. All the chapters I've pruned are now below 3000 words, and more than half are below 2000, although the 2K list will grow once I've merged the shortest chapters (which I'd split at the behest of readers, but that wasn't how they were written).

The biggest victory so far is a rewrite of one of the last two boggy chapters, which is when the wheels started falling off. I've cut bog #1 from 4238 words down to 2796.The final posted chapter I need to rewrite is 4700 words. Between now and the end of the month, I need to bring that wordcount below 3000 by hook or by crook.

Then I can use NaNo to write what I hope will be the last 5 chapters.

The most important change to my writing in the last ten years is that I've learned to treat story elements as functional, rather than experiential. Before, I tried to bring the story to life so that readers could experience the adventures, struggles and triumphs the characters were going through.

Now I ask myself, "What does this contribute to the plot? What does it set up later in the story? Is this something the audience needs to know about the character?"

I'm still fighting my inner Tolkien. But I'm getting there.
auronlu: (Default)
 Editing is up through Ch 44, and at least some will be happy to know I've trimmed about 2K words. (And a reminder that the early chapters were mostly around 1200-1500 words, which are damn short chapters.) 

I've gotten up through the end of the epic battle with Sin/Yu Yevon, and the aftermath chapter immediately after it.

The final few posted chapters I need to see if I can consolidate/revamp, making it 1-2 chapters shorter. I was trying to resolve a lot of plot threads, let all the characters respond to what's happened, and give Lulu a chance to be front and center after she's spent the whole story behind the scenes and mostly offstage. I needed to show her recovery. But it dragged a bit. I'm sure there's ways to cut down to the essentials of those chapters and get on with the final showdown faster. 

But I know at least one of my readers really really loves the "Sunrise" chapter with Lulu meeting Rikku's daughter, so I wanna see if I can get that settled before I go. :) 

EDIT: I just finished transferring all my old working documents scattered across Pages and TextEdit into Scrivener. There's about 15 different versions of chapter 50, so no wonder it was getting away from me. IN SCRIVENER I TRUST that I'll be untangle this. (also, I have more skills and better discipline about "this is good character study/atmospheric stuff, but it doesn't move the plot forward or serve the story in some vital way, so DROP IT.)
auronlu: (Haz A Sword)

As you may have noticed, I accidentally hit "Update date" on one of LHAD's chapters while editing that post, and DW won't let me change it back. So chapter 3 is now flopping around in the current month's posts, even though it should be dated waaay back in 2008.

At any rate, the important thing is that I've now edited LHAD up through Chapter 17, the "Homecoming" chapter where Auron encounters Rikku and her family.

So yeah. I'm planning to start posting these chapters once a week on Tumblr starting mid-December, but for those who expressed an interest in rereading: 

Love Her and Despair Ch. 1 on AO3 | on Dreamwidth (missing a few author's notes from the AO3 version) [EDIT: I've added the author's notes to the Dreamwidth version and added some new ones to both versions.]

It feels really good to be working on this again. To be ABLE to work on this again.
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: (Swordsman-Sorceress)
Guardian and Love Her and Despair always had some sort of non-relationship with each other, since [personal profile] mintywolf and I were both fascinated by Lulu offering to become the fayth of the Final Summoning in FFX, but tackled the concept from opposite directions: she was primarily focused on what lay behind that offer, whereas I was focused on what might follow.

(I had forgotten that I told [personal profile] trekqueen my initial brainstorm for LHAD way back in 2007, posting the first chapter in December, and it might've been co-authored if I were better at sharing my toys).

So Guardian and LHAD went in different directions, since we had different interests and interpretations of certain characters— although over the years some of my views have been influenced by Guardian. Crucially, Mintywolf had a plan all along, whereas all I had were key concepts, a premise and an ending scene I was writing towards. I was terrible at plot back then. All I could handle was character, combat, dialogue, and poetic description. 

Hence my shamelessly borrowing elements of plot structure from FFX and LOTR. 

Anyway. You know LHAD has been stuck all these years. In the meantime I've written a fair amount in classic Who fandom. I've learned to structure plot. I'm tempted to apply what I now know to rewrite LHAD with better structure and pacing. But that's crazy-talk. People enjoyed it even as it was, and I'm terrible at finishing things, so I just need to FINISH THE THING, even if most of my readers moved on long ago. 

Thanks to Guardian, I've recently shifted my headspace back in FFX-land, enough that I've been listening to Siri read LHAD aloud to me over the past few months, mulling over the ending (the next chapter was largely written when I got stuck), and making editorial notes on existing chapters. 

But first I should say— as I've been saying on Tumblr— Guardian is an AMAZING and possibly unique fanwork, a fully-illustrated novella-length graphic novel, FFX reimagined with the female characters as primary, and the primary relationship is a bond of love between two women that grows and evolves over the years. I'm still in awe that the artist stuck to a schedule and posted a page a week for six years, apart from a few vacations, which is why Guardian is FINISHED despite being launched nearly five years after LHAD.

So go look at Guardian (but keep in mind Minty's going to be posting the reraw of 2 and 3 soonish). I've been enjoying rereading it all now that it's over, and I've been taking notes for a not-actually-liveblog of the "remaster."

And get ready to reread LHAD in a couple months! I'm going to start posting my own remaster on Tumblr December 14, eleven years after the original chapter 1 was posted. I'm editing it now, revamping the Dreamwidth and AO3 editions as I go, but those edits are only up through chapter 4. :) 

auronlu: (Yuna's Final Aeon)
[ profile] mintywolf, artist of that Lulu graphic novel I've been reccing, just left me an unexpected and wonderful fanart.

It illustrates a scene in the "Eight of Swords" chapter of Love Her and Despair, when Yu Yevon clamped down hard on Lulu for defying its will and taking too many liberties with Sin to aid her friends. As usual, the dream-interior of Sin is fashioned from its prisoner's hopes, loves, and fears. 

Full-sized version is probably NSFW:

Eight of Swords
by ~DippyWerewolf on deviantART

I love all of it, but especially the Yu Yevon glyph in blood. When I tried and failed to illustrate this scene, I sketched the shadow of the rune printed on the snow, but this is more dramatic.

Also, every one of Auron's swords is perfectly reproduced. Beautiful work. 

And Lulu's expression and posture say, "Bite me." Which is exactly right. She couldn't do much at this point in the story, but she could at least be cussedly stubborn. 

(Thanks again!)
auronlu: (Blitzball)
So I was just pecking at a heated argument for my next chapter, and was once again reminded about one of the perpetual tropes in Final Fantasy X:

In the time I spent on Babylon 5, I learned about choices and consequences and responsibility. I learned that we all have choices, even when we don’t recognize them, and that those choices have consequences, not just for ourselves, but for others. We must assume responsibility for those consequences. I and my fellow officers had to choose between what we were told was right and what we believed was right.

Er, yeah. John Sheridan is Tidus (a.k.a. "Hey You" or "You-Know-Who" in game dialogue, which means he's actually Voldemort. Nevermind.)

Anyway, my point: the "choices" trope.

How the Choices Trope plays out in FFX )
auronlu: (Lady)
Ooops. Let’s try that again. Apologies to anyone who saw my premature post yesterday. Long as it is, this chapter really needs to be one piece to GET US THE HECK OUT OF BEVELLE.

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 49: Thorns
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters:Auron/Lulu, Wakka/Rikku, Zuke
Word Count: 4900
Navigation: Previous Chapter |
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters

Our Story So Far: In this dark alternate future to FFX, Yuna chose the Final Summoning and accepted a guardian's offer to become the Final Aeon. Thirteen years later, the cycle is finally broken. Now Lulu, Auron, and Wakka and Rikku's family enjoy a much-needed respite in the strained hospitality of Yevon's capitol.

first half of chapter - repost, minor tweaks )
second half of chapter )
auronlu: (Default)
Okay, I was trying to hold off, but I'm tired of waiting to post until the whole story is finished. Enjoy!

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 48: The Houses of Healing
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters:Auron/Lulu, Wakka/Rikku, Zuke
Word Count: 4300
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters

Our Story So Far: Sin is defeated, its occupant freed... but being Sin for thirteen years is not something one can throw off in a day.

Chapter 48: The Houses of Healing )

auronlu: (Lucil)
Two of the remaining 10(ish) LHAD chapters finished, the third proceding along nicely thanks to the fact that I've given in and started letting the cat wake me up at 6:30 AM when my muse is still in dream-mode. The iPad helps tremendously; the creative writing side of my brain prefers a small portable medium that reminds me of a blank book or journal.

I'm so tempted to put up the next chapter, but I'm trying to hold off until everything's finished, then do a once-every-two-weeks serial posting so people can follow along. (The first chapter in the batch reestablishes the Story So Far since I know readers will have forgotten most of it by now.)

Anyway, I was just listening to a rough draft while doing housecleaning -- It's one of my favorite ways of proofreading and getting back into the zone to write the next chunk -- and my iPad did one of those silly computer things which are probably only amusing to me. Imagine the Victoria computer voice declaiming under a full head of steam:

"Isaaru was there, of course, but Auron had declined the graciously-worded invitation to join Bevelle's new icon in the maesters' box. He could just discern three wavering forms on the far side of the sphere pool: the high summoner arrayed in Yevon's vestments with no concern for hypocrisy, a stumpy warrior monk in splendid dress armor, and the new Grand Maester wearing an Alert Battery Low, Power at 10%."

(Er, Lucil? The little voice says you're wearing a machina. Might wanna get that checked out.)

If you've got an iPad, Text-to-Speech is hidden away under the Accessibility section of iPad Settings. The very last setting lets you turn a triple-click on the Home button (the iPad's belly button) into an on/off switch for Text-to-Speech, called Voiceover. It's a bit clunky, but these two Voiceover-only gestures are fairly easy to master: two finger swipe down means "start reading here and keep going," and three finger swipe scrolls up or down a page.

February 2019

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