This exactly the kind of feed back you hope to get, when you post something on the Citadel you hope to get 5 readers in five years, maybe….so I am really honored and excited to have three people read this, and thanks for taking the time to suggest improvements.
The main focus of this story was to be an information dump about dwarves society without just listing facts, but by placing those facts in the context of personal interactions. It is esoteric piece of work, but I enjoyed writing. I also found that writing a story like this went much faster than writing "fact" posts.
The precocious Kiijanavyre character may have been out of my depth as a writer. I needed and wanted a character that was both a child and an adult, that possessed great talents and an intuitive intelligence, but at the same time lacked a great deal of self knowledge and certainty. The type of character/person that can be playful one minute and sophisticated the next because they lack a pretense or sense of self-awareness that would require them to maintain a persona. This is meant to be indirect contrast with the dwarves who very much keep a persona, and are very much worried about presentation. As she interacts with Gorn at the beach she becomes a little self-conscious, starts to pick her words, and eventually in a larger sense no longer pursues her sincere wants but takes a path of duty. I thought it would be banal to make these contrasts any more stark than I did, but I can certainly go in say these things. Yet I would love to know if you saw those things in the story, because what I wanted to put in the story is irrelevant until I put it in the story. I will try to go through say these things more explicitly.
I could make her older if that makes more palatable, I pretty much pulled 15 out of a hat, cause that is likely an adult in a stone age society. If make her 19, will she still seem as vulnerable, will her uncertainty regarding a course of action be understandable? The language thing is cultural, and I only meant her to speak two language fluently, clearly defining the events as they happen in different languages has always been a problem with this setting.
I will add a few lines to the first section to really emphasize her wunderkin status. That also might make the goddess's preoccupation with her specifically more understandable. But I do feel that wunderkin characters are basically annoying and I was trying to strike a balance. The characterization of Kiijanavyre may also be stunted by the lack other interactions with other characters. We can't know if she is a typical 15 year old girls if she never talks to any other humans, we also don't get much a sense for her in her element. Tell me what you think about the addition of scene, in the forest in which
1) she either talks with the druid some about what is coming and what she can expect
2) In beginning when she show the dwarves around, her lecturing Gorn might make a nice arc.
3) Her talking with the Mitirangu priest who gave her bread.
Okay the chronology, I like starting and ending with Kiijanavyre getting in the boat. But you nailed the other jumps directly, I wanted to keep the beach from being an information dump. But I also want to distinguish Gorn on the road from Gorn at the beach, the contrast in behaviors was deliberate, but maybe I am trying to do too much. I wrote this in a linear fashion and then cut it up when posting. So there are not even designed transitions between the scenes. Go to Comment
Update: reworked the chronology some, the beach events are now in order. I also added more details regarding Kiijanavyre's inner dialog and another Kiijanavyre conversation in order to try address some of Dossta's comments. Go to Comment
First I glad you got and liked the thing about owning her soul as being a positive. I ran this whole Parna campaign for years and the whole world was based on two phrases from one my friends, "What if were like outlaws, and the campaign was more Robinhood than Conan." Anyway, as the campaign went on the PCs became more and more pro-establishment. They always seemed really comfortable with the God's owning their souls and using them as betting tokens. I glad somebody finally got what I was trying to say and thought it was interesting.
As for the human truisms, this one was meant to be an information dump, it was attempt to experiment with different ways of presenting information about RPG worlds aside from listing facts in the GM voice.
But I feel you about tone pulling out of the story, as re-read this so many things seem misplaced, I never liked the rythem of the dialog between the two, and the tone seems uneven (was shooting for the bitter sweetness of leaving home and growing up).
Dossta was right the Kii character needs more a stream to her.
But when you talk about the difference between the spoken and written word, are you talking about the Goddess's pontification about Holy Books or are you taking about the characters' dialog? Go to Comment
It is a little confusing, so I get under the covers and I transported back to known place, while a stone avatar in my shape stays under the cover. During this time, I can get up walk around and everything else as long as I am back in the stone bed after eight hours. If I don't get back into the bed before 8 hours I am turned into a small figurine?
What if somebody pulls off the covers?
The idea of stone avatars being place holder for "real" dwarves is an interesting one, and I think more interesting than the concept of the bed.
1) A cluster of statues is delivered to the urban estate of the lord, all the carved dwarves are armored and armed but appear a sleep. The lord is please for believes the statues represent his success in subjugating the dwarven lands, but then 4 hours, the statues pop up and the estate is occupied by dwarven separatists.
2) Perhaps a disturbed dwarven task master wanted to figure out a way for his men to work while they slept and thus he invented dwarven beds. Dwarves thought they were going to sleep only to walk up outside a mine shaft. "Alrighty lads, your protections are doing the resting, and you can do the digging" Go to Comment
Another interesting approach to this may have been to frame it around the day to life of dwavers, because much it already appears that way. If you want to tackle dwarven culture and values in list this is nice effort, I hope to use some them in future posts-give us a shared dwarven thread. Go to Comment
This strikes me as fairly complete post (not much wanting for content here), written with a consistent tone and flippant style that is fun to read. We don't learn much about Tornfurry's other side, or if he has one, but I am thinking this is more about the rage than the man. Go to Comment
I think this is great, we get a story and a location, well done. Thank you for writing this. I wish more subs took this tact towards locations or character, rather than just listing "facts". I feel inspired to do more in this tone, I hope you just raised the bar. I feel bad that I don't have a lot to say about it, but I really wouldn't change much, the story sticks to a tone, we learn a lot about the main character (mostly by what he choses to say and not say), and we get a whole encounter. These are the details you want in a setting. Plus you could take this whole piece and use it as a hand out. Go to Comment
Ceasar I agree with your sentiment regarding this place completely, most writing for role-playing games doesn't have a narrative, but is piece of a narrative and the story of a character could certainly use a peaceful island. You we only have some many temples of doom. But you could add a few things that might focus on character interaction with setting a bit, for example what is the weather like. are their latent conflicts between the natives and the conquerors, who is the King and from who is he descended. If I visit the island what should I use for money, where should I stay, will I be able to stable a horse and then there are visuals. We don't have many. I am not saying you need all of this but I suggest you a pick a direct goal for what this piece is trying to communicate. Here some options to consider
Is this piece for strangers who have never visited the island, perhaps you could do it as a travel log entry, (steal the format from one the lonely planet books and go with that).
If this is a meta-piece for GMs then give the GMs a few sample scenes or something least they pull this location out their binder and watch the players eyes glaze over when you list off continuing fractions and imports. Obviously a GM will have to make up somethings, but you can fill a lot of gaps with suggestions of depth.
Is this piece designed to give you world some cultural vocabulary as you suggested, could this be where a character is from or place the characters have heard off. If that is the goal, what is the cultural baggage that they carry by being raised here. Obviously the will instinctively view water as more valuable then other players and they might in their heart the beach is always just right over that next rise, but that could be any island nation. What are Sanguisinites like how does their independant, stubborn, and resilient nature manifest in day to day life on the islands?
Culturally it is dwarven, it speaks to dwarven values and behavior no? But the action is necromantic. Such is the divide between the two topics that we discussed earlier. LIke if we had a French guild and Architectural Guild, the french guild would be more culture, history and events and the Architectural Guild would be stories and items associated with the task associated with designing buildings.
Necromancy really isn't an idiom as dwarfishness will be when we are through with it. I would love to read counter arguments. Go to Comment
A massive trebuchet constructed by the reigning tyrant, it can hurl the heaviest loads of any trebuchet to date and is the most destructive, non-magical weapon currently in existance. The Thought of Warwolf setting up on their lawn has quelled many a rebellion.