Jan. 4th, 2017 02:40 pm
fereldanwench: (Default)
Does anyone in these parts use Wattpad?

It's been around since '06, but I only recently heard about it through my ACOTAR Facebook group and a subsequent Wikipedia article.

It looks like you have to sign in before you can use it, which kind of annoys me because I don't know if I want to commit to an account, but it piqued some curiosity.
fereldanwench: (Mood - Daydreaming Ariel)
I've been trying to put together a tentative list of books to read next year. I used to be such a voracious reader when I was younger, but it's really slowed down in recent years; I want to make a concentrated effort to rekindle that love. I've tried half-heartedly since 2014, but it was more like "I wish I read more" rather than... yanno. Fucking reading more.

I've been bouncing back and forth between some chatter on A Court of Thorns and Roses/Mist and Fury Facebook group and Goodreads to get a few ideas for said list, and I've had a few disjointed thoughts about ACOTAR/MAF in general:

  • ACOMAF ended up surprising me in a good way--I was super underwhelmed with the first book, but I love where Maas took the series. It was reassuring that some of the things I didn't like about the first book were things that I don't think the reader was supposed to like. Red flags in a relationship weren't intended to be glossed over and romanticized; they were intended to be red flags. ACOMAF actually made me appreciated ACOTAR so much more.
  • I'm stoked for Wings and Ruin next year. I can't remember the last time I was counting down for a book release.
  • I tried reading Maas' other series, starting with Throne of Glass--Eh. I got through the first two books, but I am struggling something fierce with the third one. Everyone keeps saying this series radically improves with each book, and I can see why, but ultimately I'm suffering from too many POVs. I don't like having to reset my internal voice and setting with every chapter. I had the same problem with A Game of Thrones and that one Sanderson book I tried to read (The Way of Kings, I think). 2 POVs is fine, I can work with 3 if I'm really engaged, and Heir of Fire has 4. Too much to keep up with. Plus the two guys are boring me at this point. (And one is a super straight playboy named Dorian which keeps throwing me off because of DA Dorian.)
  • I feel really at odds with what I've experienced with the ACOTAR/MAF fandom... Looking through the majority of the book recs I've seen from them, I think we have a very small overlap of reading interests. I see recommendations for a lot of book I wanted throw across the room and never finished (Outlander, Halfway to the Grave) and books that after I look them up sound ridiculous to me.

  • And good god, is it super mayo. The ToG series is getting turned into a TV show and supposedly ACOTAR a movie, and you can just watch the white tears pour in anytime a main character is fancast with an actor who isn't white. "But he has red hair! He can't be black! I'm not racist--I just want book accuracy! I just don't think it would fit the character!" and so on.
  • I mean, one of the lines from a recommended series is "His spear pierced into her sanctuary." AND YES THAT WAS ABOUT SEX. Hahahahaha. No, I'm not doing that. I already had to read about a dude sucking on his female partner's tongue in Halfway to the Grave. I demand better.

I think with the small sampling of books I've read over the past couple of years, I've come to a few conclusions:

  • I really, really want to love fantasy stories with a female protag and a solid love interest, but it is really, really hard for me to find stories with that criteria that still work for me. The Kushiel's Dart trilogy and now the ACO series are the only two in the past 10 years that I have thoroughly enjoyed. There have been a couple of other ones along the way that were fun, but not nearly as memorable. There have been many, many more that I just completely gave up on. Just bad writing, protags I cannot relate to at all, forced world-building, shitty heternormative tropes--It just seems like there's a lot of junk to weed through.
  • I generally don't like sci-fi nearly as much as fantasy. Or maybe it's just the sci-fi that I've read in recent years. I don't want to get bogged down with technology and ships and all that.
  • I've read way better porn via fanfic than through published stories.
  • I want to read less het and more f/f stories.
  • After reading Gillian Flynn's Dark Places and Sharp Objects, I want more female protags who are currently dealing with some shit and maybe not that well and probably aren't super likable because of it. I want more female anti-heroes. Especially in fantasy.
  • I love a funny memoir. Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea and Tough Shit were very enjoyable.
  • I also like some good nonfiction. My brother lent me Happy City, which has been really interesting (and helping me articulate certain things I hate about suburban life). I loved The Tipping Point and Blink. I'd like to read some more things to get me thinking.
  • I don't like reading on a tablet or phone. It's convenient and doable for shorter, less involved reads, but if I want to really get into something, I need a physical book.
  • I also need to find a good place to read. My office is strictly computer time--Art, Netflix, and video games. The living room is BF's computer domain--TV and games. The bedroom works until bedtime--We usually watch something before going to bed, and I find the ambient light and sound from the TV comforting as I doze off. Google Music has some good ambient reading music; I could use earbuds to block out the noise, but I still get distracted by moving things on a screen.

Anyhow, I think I'll keep scouring Goodreads in search of 20 or so books to read next year. If anyone has any recommendations, particularly for something not so mainstream, I'm definitely open to them.
fereldanwench: (Hawke - Rhiannon - Unamused)
This was prompted by [personal profile] sarasa_cat's question on Tumblr, but I figured it'd be easier to talk about here without character limits and losing conversation amidst reblogging.

I really don't know a whole lot about the overall world-building in the franchise, and how I've come to enjoy the game has minimized my exposure to a lot of it (which I'll elaborate on in a minute). [personal profile] theharlotofferelden brought up how a lot of the races are presented, and through my limited exposure in game and a little curious Googling, I picked up that for the available human races, it breaks down approximately like so:

  • The Imperials are sort of a nebulous Roman counterpart.
  • The Nords are like a (surprise, surprise) Nordic or Scandinavian people.
  • The Bretons are supposed to correspond with people in Celtic regions
  • The Redguards would be akin to a North African or Middle Eastern people.

    The CC will tell you a little about the defining physical characteristics of each race, like the Nords being fair-haired and the Redguards having dark complexions, but I don't think you're limited by any those, so you could feasibly make a black Nord or a pale Redguard. (I think--I have a mega CC overhaul installed, and I don't know if that changes anything.) I don't think the Breton or Imperial description mentions anything one way or another.

    The non-human races have some really overt coding, like the Khajiit (cat people) with the Romani. There are a few different variety of elves, and I read some speculation that they were supposed to be generically coded as east Asian, but I haven't encountered them enough to say for sure.

    I've only played as a Nord and an Imperial, so I don't know how much the player gets hit over the head with racism if they choose another race, but I would imagine it's pretty rough for any of the non-human races. I know dark elves in particular are treated like shit in Windhelm--They're basically sectioned off like in an alienage. But within the greater scope of Tamriel on the whole, I don't think they're subjugated all over in a similar way that elves are in DA? One of the most notable Imperial leaders is a dark elf, and when you get to Solitude, they're just as rich (and classist) as the human nobility. It seems like where ever there's a stronger Imperial influence over a Nord one, they aren't treated any differently.

    The Dragonborn storyline is intertwined with the Nords versus the Empire storyline, which essentially makes you pick a side (unless you get some mods to separate them or get rid of them entirely). It's a fucked decision either way. The Empire is basically coming in here with their soldiers and banning the Nords' religions and way of life, and I mean... It's an Empire. No good comes from that. But the leader of the Nords' rebellion, Ulfric, promotes that whole "keep Skyrim for the Nords thing" that is really blatantly racist but not really challenged. Did Bethesda even consider the implications of an Anglo group of people trying to "purify" their lands of outsider influences??? It doesn't seem like it.

    So... Yes. There is probably a lot about these dynamics that would make someone rage quit, especially if they go into it wanting to play the main storyline or if they want to play a PC who isn't an Imperial or Nord. The first Dragonborn I made did end up siding with the Stormcloaks, but I became very uncomfortable with that decision and ended up dropping her entirely after that point.

    But there are so many mods available that can drastically change the gameplay and the PC's storyline that I think it could still be very enjoyable depending on what you're looking for. There are mods that do away with the Dragonborn plot entirely and let you choose your own path completely--One of the PCs I have right now came from a group of bandits and is now weaseling her way into the Thieves Guild. The other one is desperately trying to get into the Mages College but doesn't have the skills yet. The thief might become an actual Dragonborn at some point, but right now I'm just having fun traveling the world. Neither will get involved in the war decision.

    With both I've gotten way more into the exploration of the world and the small, fetchy quests than the big, overarching plot. Mods like Campfire, iNeed, and Frostfall turn wandering Skyrim into something with purpose and consequence. Ingrid got hypothermia trying to camp in the middle of a blizzard, and her companion had to bring her to a nearby inn to recuperate--That was awesome. Having to make sure there's enough inventory space for food and drink, and making sure they get sleep once a day turns it more into a survival simulation in a fantasy setting than an open world RPG with a mediocre premise.

    And I think that approach has made it a lot more fun for me. There's definitely no way to avoid the off-handed comments from NPCs or separate the world entirely from the war that's embedded in it, but I think there are so many mods available that most people could probably find a way to tweak the game to make it more palatable to their entertainment desires.
  • fereldanwench: (Default)
    I'm not sure if DW bumps up old posts with edited time stamps, but if not, I just did a pretty substantial update to my inspo blog masterlist. Enjoy!

    I've also started using my Pinterest for inspo organizing. I wish there was a way I could better differentiate my RL shit with my fandom shit (like having different profiles without having to create a new account), but Pinterest boards might be even more relaxing to create. It's been an awesome decompressor after a pretty hectic work week. It was also very helpful in me fleshing out Ansley.

    So far for Dragon Age, I have:

    OC - Lorelei Cousland
    OC - Ansley Hawke
    OC - Daphne Caron
    OC - Melisande Trevelyan
    OC - Leda Boulet

    I also started a private, general DA board a few months ago; I'm deciding how I want to handle that. It's mostly just landscapes that inspire me.

    Also, because I've also fallen into the ACOTAR/ACOMAF dumpster hard, I have a board for that, too.

    I've been working on putting together a master page for my bbs. I still need to write Ansley's blurb on the page, and there's an Avvar OC I've been slowly conceptualizing that I'll be adding to the second tier.

    I'm thinking I might try my hand at NaNoWriMo to push out Mel's story right before she gets to the Conclave. I have all these ideas swimming in my head and I've finally solidified the major events and motivations that get her there and I want to get these words out. I've really just had a super, super hard time expressing myself the past few weeks. I think a Starbucks and laptop day are in my future, especially now that the weather is cooling off.
    fereldanwench: (Mood - Daydreaming Ariel)
    Most of them have the potential to be NSFW; it's usually due to artistic nudity, but some content might be a little more explicit. Browse with care.

    Some of the blogs have also been inactive for a while. I decided to leave them on the list as long as they still had relevant content available.

    My inspo blog for Dragon Age is afireonthehorizon and my inspo blog for all other fandoms is spaceknuckles. I've also started using my Pinterest for OC inspo.

    01.01.16 - Added a few new blogs; removed a few blogs that I no longer follow or have been deleted by their owners; added a subcategory for Fallout blogs; added category for Dark/Gothic blogs
    10.21.16 - Added † next to any inactive blogs; removed blogs that have been deleted; added a fashion and generic "photography" category

    Fantasy/Medieval/Fairy Tale





    Fandom Specific
    Dragon Age



    http://sulahnnehn.tumblr.com/ [Skyrim; DA]
    http://telvani.tumblr.com/ [Fallout; Skyrim]
    http://thedrivecore.tumblr.com/ [Unfamiliar with most of the tags]
    http://watanagashi.tumblr.com/ [Dragon Age; Vampire: The Masquerade]
    http://mysticknightt.tumblr.com/ [Dragon Age; Fallout; TES]

    http://cashmeremammoth.tumblr.com/ [Inspo boards for a lot of themes]†
    http://fuckyeahcostumedramas.tumblr.com/ [Historical/fantasy costumes from movies & TV]
    http://queen-of-de-nile.tumblr.com/ [Jewelry, clothes, architecture, etc with a focus on Middle East and North African influences]
    http://bibliotheca-sanctus.tumblr.com/ [Libraries!]
    http://okayodysseus.tumblr.com/ [Greek mythology, pastels]
    http://mythaes.co.vu/tagged/x [Pastels, European, fashion, sapphic]
    http://star-eaters.tumblr.com/ [Pastels, pretty people, poetry]
    http://scrptrxinspo.tumblr.com/ [Variety of cool, pretty, sexy, and artistic things]
    fereldanwench: (Default)
    I am so goddamn tired of seeing ads for Livia pop up on my Facebook feed.


    And they're so fucking shady and deceptive about it, probably because they wouldn't turn a buck if more people knew about alternatives. "We're similar to a TENS unit, but with optimized frequency." So you're a TENS unit that can't have the pulse waves adjusted, got it.

    Also, from a doctor on their website:

    "The method Livia uses has been proven effective in several clinical studies and I strongly recommend the use of the device to relieve PMS at any time."

    Um, relieve PMS? PMS ain't just cramps. I think for most people with periods, cramps are usually at their worst DURING the menstruation, not BEFORE IT.


    And I see comments on their page with people like dying to have it because they're in so much pain because they're acting like they're some kind of one-of-a-kind solution when there are readily available, cheaper products already out there.

    Fuck this Pink Tax, deceptively marketed bullshit, man.
    fereldanwench: (Trevelyan - Melisande - Gorgeous)
    Thinking about how positively Keagan responds to attention from Blackwall made me think about how unimpressed Melisande was.

    His whole "What? I thought we were building a rapport. *smirk*" thing had Keagan like "heck yeah build a rapport IN MY PANTS" and Melisande like [insert epic dana scully eyeroll gif]. He might have been something new and different and maybe a little intriguingly dangerous to Keagan, but Melisande was pretty sure she knew his type. She was extra unimpressed when he'd try to bait Vivienne into arguments using her hard-earned status as an insult. When he started bringing Josie flowers, Mel was torn between letting her very capable friend handle her own affairs and wanting to be like "STAY.THE.FUCK.AWAY."

    Melisande suspected pretty early on, too, that he was hiding something, but she couldn't really pinpoint what exactly. She chalked some of it up to Grey Warden shadiness, since she hadn't dealt with them a lot prior to him but knew they had a reputation for being really secretive. When he was acting like a shady weirdo around Stroud and Hawke, she thought maybe he had done something within the Wardens that he was trying to hide from, but definitely didn't see his secret being that he straight up murdered a family.

    One of my favorite snarky Mel moments is when he's telling her about the "You are who you choose to follow/I didn't understand that until know" and she's like "It's pretty obvious, but enjoy your revelation. I guess."

    I think he stayed around the slightly higher than neutral approval for her. I remember getting a lot of "slightly disapproves" out of him, but picked up the Warden artifacts while he was around, which probably countered that. I kind of headcanon Blackwall being at least physically attracted to the Inquisitor regardless, and I think that'd be the case with Mel, too. But he'd probably see her overall as condescending and a little too power hungry. Similarly to Vivienne, although not quite as severe.
    fereldanwench: (Hawke - Rhiannon - Pretty ♥)
    Title: Untitled
    Characters: Rhiannon Hawke, Cullen
    Type: Gen
    Words: 631
    Notes: Some unfinished exploratory/speculative writing from Rhi's POV immediately following the Chantry boom and her Viscount coronation. I can't remember if this led into me thinking about that time with Sebastian, too, or vice versa, but I was kind of enthralled with that particular scene for a week or so last year.
    Summary: Rhiannon tries to cope with the aftermath of the Chantry explosion.

    Read more... )
    fereldanwench: (Mood - Daydreaming Ariel)
    I considered Keagan more or less "retired" at the beginning of this year, so I don't see myself writing her anymore in the future. But I did have a lot of one shot drafts and drabbles for her in my Evernote, and I figured I'd just house them here.

    There's a mixture of Cullen and Blackwall flirting--I almost considered having her go with a Blackwall romance, but I had made her with the intention of seeing how a mage romance was handled with Cullen. She was generally a flirt, though. I thought I had some stuff with Josie, too, but I must have lost it in my Tumblr drafts. I ended up OT3ing her, Josie, and Cullen.

    They're not in any particular order, and they are very rough. Most just abruptly end because I don't remember what the hell I was doing with them.

    Read more... )
    fereldanwench: (Tomb Raider - Rise)
    Sort of... I forgot I started writing something more in-depth than my rambling after shortly getting into Rise. It only touches on some of the elements of the game, but dropping it here in case it's of any use/interest. Mostly spoiler-free.

    Read more... )
    fereldanwench: (Trevelyan - Melisande - Dashing Hat)
    I ended up coming across some of those "give me a star and I'll give you OC facts" memes that I had saved from Tumblr. Found some from my Templar Hawke that I never really developed as much as I would have liked; she was the Hawke I ended up using in Keagan's universe. I don't know that I'll revisit her specifically, but I'm hanging on to these in case I can work them in with someone else (like Daphne):

    ★ Although Malcolm tried to make Rosalyn Hawke comfortable with magic, witnessing a boy not much older than she was turn into an abomination and slaughter his family stayed with her more than Malcolm’s words. Rosalyn never wanted her sister to go to the Circle as it was, but she understood the need for the institution and templars.

    ★ Rosalyn Hawke never learned how to swim. Malcolm tried teaching her when she was young, but after a traumatic near-drowning experience, she was terrified to get into water that rose past her knees. The journey across the Waking Sea to Kirkwall was extremely nerve-wracking for Rosalyn, as was just walking along the high cliffs of the Wounded Coast.

    Also, I saved my original reaction to the concept art that spurred Mel's development:

    also, I’ve yet to find the appropriate words to describe my love for that lady inquisitor concept art with the gorgeous flowing hair and amazing hat and swishy coat

    I am so seduced by her

    I want her

    I want to be her

    I want her riding a horse and shooting arrows at dragons like the boss she clearly is

    I want her to be super serious about that hat. I want Vivienne to try to make fashion suggestions involving decorating the hat but lady inquisitor is having none of it

    I want her to wink at her companions when she adjusts her hat

    I want her leaning back in a chair and putting her boots up on a table covered in maps and drinking a stein of beer with ser bara warden

    I want her to eye-fuck the hell out of Cullen under the brim of her hat

    I want her to trade stories with varric and out bullshit his bullshit and eventually they’re just both telling the most outrageous stories and everyone else is just sighing and rolling their eyes






    right now

    Pretty much all of that is still true or applicable in some way.
    fereldanwench: (Trevelyan - Melisande - Dashing Hat)
    █ = Canon █ = My Ideas

    Ostwick Geography

    • Markham is almost directly to the north, sharing a border with the Vimmark Mountains.
    • Hercinia and Wycome line the coast as well. They are northeast of Ostwick.
    • Kirkwall is west/slightly southwest of Ostwick.
    • Across a small channel of the Waking Sea is an island, Brandel's Reach, a part of Ferelden.
    • Ostwick lacks an easy route to the Minanter River, which is one of the most fertile regions in Thedas.

    Ostwick History

    • 7:56 Storm: Qunari landed outside of Ostwick to launch an attack on Kirkwall and Starkhaven.

        General Free Marches Culture & History

        • The three cities with the most power are Kirkwall, Starkhaven, and Tantervale.
        • The Marchers are independent-minded descendants of tough barbarians.
        • They have a loose confederation with each other, and can form a massive army under the right circumstances, but are otherwise not united.
        • Marchers were once known for raiding the northern coast of Ferelden.
          Being so close to Brandel's Reach, raiders often used Ostwick as a base for runs to Ferelden.
        • Marchers were once a part of the Tevinter Imperium; the lasting influence is reflected in most of the architecture (tall buildings of white marble).
          The geography of Ostwick (closed off from the north by the Vimmarks and south by the Waking Sea) makes them a little more insular. Tevinter influence is evident in the white marble of major buildings (the Circle, Chantry, and Keep), but it's not as overwhelming as in Kirkwall. Smaller buildings, like homes and shops, are crafted from local materials. Ostwick also has a penchant for bright colors and intricate mosaics.
        • The Free Marches are known as the breadbasket of Thedas, largely due to the fertile region located around the Minanter River. Hasmal, Tantervale, and Starkhaven are all situated around the river.
        • The Grand Tourney is one of the few times the Free Marches unite.
        • The central location makes it a very diverse region; it's not uncommon for natural-born Free Marchers to have parents who lived elsewhere.
        • Many natural born Marchers still maintain a certain degree of nativism, especially during the Fifth Blight when Fereldans and Qunari crossed borders.
          Ostwick sent a ship to Kirkwall and took in a few refugees when their borders got tight, largely as a means of trying to win the Templar Order's/Meredith's good graces.
        • The lack of central government makes the region difficult to protect and the economy disparate.
          Potential trade ideas for Ostwick:
          ◦ Artisan crafts: glassmaking, tapestries, textiles
          ◦ Book-making, especially religious texts
          ◦ Mining from the Vimmarks
          ◦ Fishing and boating, minor trade point for Ferelden/Starkhaven, Ferelden/Markham, and Ferelden/Ansburg?

        • Free Marchers tend to be quietly wary of intrusions from their neighbors.
        • During times of crisis, the leaders of the Marches will occasionally convene under a Landsmeet.

            Titles of the Rulers

            Wycome: Duke
            Tantervale: Lord Chancellor
            Ansburg: Margrave
            Starkhaven: Prince (formerly King, but recanted after political strife)
            Ostwick: Teryn
            Kirkwall: Viscount
            Kaiten: Viscount

            Forms of Address in Free Marches

            Messere: Used towards someone of higher status
            Serah: Used towards someone of equal or lesser status

            Codex Entries )
    fereldanwench: (Default)
    So as a treat to myself for finishing some art, I did some DAO modding and made Lorelei Cousland 3.0 yesterday. I realized she looks a little bit like Rhiannon Hawke 1.0, but whatever. I like how she looks. I got some awesome screenies of her, too.

    Playing as her again has got me thinking about what decisions and outcomes I want for her worldstate. The last time I played as her, her game was as "perfect" as much as a PT in a DA game can be. By that I mean she had all her companions with high levels of approval, generally took the least destructive options in major quests (like the Circle helped Connor so no one died), etc. But I kinda want to fuck shit up now.

    The one thing I always have a hard time doing is not recruiting all my companions, no matter how many times I've played these games. I feel like I'll miss out on content if they're not there, which isn't even true. I'm actually missing out on content sometimes because I'm not telling them to fuck off.

    Like, I love Sera, but I have a hard time justifying Mel's justifications for keeping her around. She'd probably have to go. (I don't even have a tactical reason for keeping her around since Mel is also an archer.)

    Anyway, I want to see if I can break that trend with this run. Leave Sten in the cage. Kill Zevran. Do whatever I need to do to not recruit Oghren. Or maybe bring one of them on and then push them away with ideological differences.

    I actually did end up killing Wynne my very first PT with Lorelei 1.0 'cause I wanted to see how much waffling I could do between her and Cullen in the pink bubble. There was a limit, apparently, and a limit that meant I was going to lose out on my healer. So reloading happened.

    I also want to pay more attention to Leliana this time around. I'm digging the idea of Lorelei being inspired by Leliana's devotion to her faith rather than ridiculing her.

    Still not sure about Morrigan. Lorelei 2.0 and Morrigan were besties, but I could see that changing.
    fereldanwench: (Trevelyan - Melisande - Dashing Hat)
    Okay, so first of all, thank you to maramcreates and vieralynn for your replies to my other post. I don't want to subject you to my drunk rambling so I'm not doing that there, but you guys got me thinking about things more and reaffirmed some thinky thoughts I had been having.

    So anyway, drunk OC rambling below:

    Read more... )
    fereldanwench: (Dragon Age - Cullen - Neck rub)
    ahhhhhh i really need to finish this painting today but I AM SO DEEP IN DRAGON AGE OC FEELS RIGHT NOW AHHHHHHHH


    ok also im suddenly craving da4 info because i want to make a bad ass tevinter lady and oh my god i hope we can
    fereldanwench: (Mood - Daydreaming Ariel)
    I've been working on moving some of my DA stuff from Evernote to here, focusing on mostly sorting out all the deets to my main canon universe. Working on the timeline is especially fun for me, and I've enjoyed playing around with character profile sheets. (One of my all-time favorite things from my forum RPG days was making character profiles. It's so zen.)

    I have a good feel for Melisande as a character, and Ansley Hawke and Daphne Caron are starting to fall into place; my inspo blog has been especially helpful for me working out who they are. I keep hitting a roadblock with my Warden, though.

    The biggest problem is that the original Lorelei Cousland ended up being more of a rough draft for Melisande. I didn't realize it at the time, since I hadn't even conceptualized an Inquisitor, but some of the more defining characteristics for her ended up maturing in Melisande instead. Most of my OCs share some similarities since there are just certain things that I like in female characters and want to see more of, no matter how cliché or repetitive or whatever they might be in a greater scheme of things. But I also like variety, and having Lorelei being Melisande Lite does not appeal.

    The other main problem is that I get hung up on the nobility thing--I ended up putting a lot of effort into making Mel's nobility work for me because I desperately wanted a "commoner" human--but that I also think there's a lot of untapped potential for a Queen Cousland that I don't want to drop. Not just her existing as Alistair's Queen, which is what I predominantly see in fic, but her being a strong political figure in her own right.

    I did temporarily consider moving my Amell into this universe instead, but I also like that a Queen Cousland makes for an easy opening for an Orlesian Warden-Commander in Awakening's timeline. The Wardens had to bring her in because the Queen was too busy doing queen stuff. That's nice and neat.

    I'm just kind of stuck trying to figure out who she is now. Did she want to be a Warden? What were her plans before Howe's betrayal? What are her thoughts on the Chantry? Orlais? Mages and magic? What pushes her to move forward after her parents die? What draws her to Alistair? What were her political ambitions to begin with? What gives her the conviction and audacity to name herself as Queen? She's only 22 when the Blight happens--Does she still feel like a kid in over her head?
    fereldanwench: (Hawke - Ansley - Neutral)
    I had been meaning to post about this a while ago (I think while I was on my road trip), and discussions about fandom and Imzy reminded me: BioWare has decided to close all their forums with the exception of the SWTOR ones.

    They'll go into a read-only state after August 26, and then they'll be removed entirely on October 25. I know after they revamped the forums a while back that a lot of links ended up broken anyway, but if there's content that you might want to save from there, now's the time to do it.

    Relevant links (to be updated as needed):
    Discussion of moving projects to Nexus mods (@ Nexus forums)

    The Veil

    Jul. 22nd, 2016 07:44 am
    fereldanwench: (Trevelyan - Melisande - Gorgeous)
    I hit a mental barrier whenever it comes to anything about the Fade or the Veil or ancient elves. My eyes gloss over whenever I try to read the speculative stuff. I've tended to zone out during the parts with Abelas in Inquisition.

    I've just never really cared much about the "big questions." I care less about what the Veil is or where it came from and more about how it influences everyone living during the Dragon Age. I'm not terribly interested in whether the Chantry is right or wrong--Of course they got stuff wrong. That's kind of the point of a lot of related conflict--But I'm less interested in knowing The Truth than seeing how the Chantry's truth influences lives. The origin of darkspawn interests me a little bit, and that does touch on some of the Fadey Veily stuff, but even that isn't a question I would actively pursue in my games or fic. I like not having all the answers. I like considering how the lack of certain knowledge impacts my OCs and the world they're in.

    I'm bringing this up because I did read a summary of what we know about the Veil, and it actually stirred my slumbering Dragon Age muse. The bits about how the Veil feels in certain areas? How sleeping and dreaming weaken it? How it sounds when it rips? How elves and humans respond to a weakened Veil differently? This isn't new info by any means, but seeing it all laid out, nice and neat, was just working for me.

    It got me thinking about how the Inquisitor would sense the Veil as a result of the anchor. I had always headcanoned that it made sleeping difficult, but I never really specified nighttime=dreaming=weakened Veil as the particular cause. I love the idea of humans feeling heavy and sluggish in weakened areas. How exactly does the anchor make the Inquisitor feel in those places (pre-Trespasser)? More susceptible? Less? Does ingesting lyrium help Templars combat that weariness? How do people respond if they start noticing felandaris pop up in places that it wasn't before? If they start feeling headaches in certain areas?

    This kind of stuff is my jam. Just the little details, the way these features of Thedas influence "normal" lives.


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