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7/27/2008 14:57:51   
mastin2
Member

Okay, sometimes, I can ramble on for ridiculously long periods of times on my stories. Under normal circumstances, those would be directly posted into the appropriate story thread, usually my Great Library. However, there is such a thing as overrambling. Going TOO far with my rambles. Such as, a solid four page rant. *coughsthehunters*

So, this is my ramble thread. Where all my story ramblings go. These were originally posted on another forum to be copied to other places. So, yea, now I'm copying the rambles to...right here! :)

Okay, this is my official ramble thread! Since nobody uses here anymore, it is perfect. From here, I copy my rambles to all other sources.
Post #: 1
7/27/2008 15:00:18   
mastin2
Member

Okay, let me explain something: Until just recently, I had just one of each of the main 'undead' (they are not always considered undead.) stories. One Zombie (Psst. I consider Zombies to be undead. Others do not, however. Even in AQ, they are not technically undead, but 'linger in a state between life and death'). One Werewolf; the Hunters. Speaking of the Hunters, I really need to upload it. 'Tis a great story. I started it just after Disease, actually, and it is great. The only disadvantage: The first chapter is 22 pages. For one chapter. It's my longest chapter ever. Wow.

Anyway, moving on, the third is Vampires. "But M, you have many stories with werewolves and vampires in them!" True, very true. But until recently, there was only one of each. Deaths Sentence--Zombies. Sure, they only make up half of the planned story. But they still are a primary focus of the story.

The Hunters--as mentioned, my werewolf story. None of my others have werewolf focus, even if they have plenty of werewolves. (Psst...I don't consider werewolves undead, but some people do) Brian (in Disease) even identifies Darmichrons as werewolves for one brief moment. But it isn't close to accurate. For one thing, they become less important later on. But more importantly, they aren't werewolves. It isn't an accurate term. A more accurate term would even be Vampires over werewolves! But they are beasts. Monsters. Not vampires. Not werewolves.

The Vampire one would be Hunters Slain. I was actually surprised when I thought about it and came to the conclusion that it was the first that is actually FOCUSED on vampires. They are in dozens of stories. MOBAD, Gem of Hope, etcetera, etcetera. But they are only second, if that. (Psst...my opinion is split down the middle. In some, they are undead. In an equal amount, they are not undead. In most cases, however, in my stories that have them, it depends on what type the vampire is, because it can be both.)

...Until now. I have just broken the flow. For the first time ever, I have started a second story of these--and it's......*drum roll*...a......*faked anticipation* VAMPIRE STORY! That's right. I have a second vampire story started! It is called Crimson Vengeance.

When I post it, you'll notice the 'alternate prologue' and 'alternate chapter one'. Let me explain:

When I originally came up with the story, there were two versions I was considering using (well, actually, three. The third would be like the second, except the clash would take place in 'The Y' instead of where it does). In fact, they were even going to be different stories for a while. But then, I realized something: they were too similar to each other. Meaning that they would practically be identical.

The first is more dark. It takes place when Chris's (the main protagonist) family is attacked at his home. His father and mother are killed. His brother manages to get a gun and he, his brother, and his older sister manage to kill the intruders. But Chris and his older sister were bitten. He willingly joins the organization to get revenge. I am thinking that it would be in present tense.

The second is more humorous. It is similar. But the clash takes place in a public place. It is more humor-based than the other one...at first. He joins the organization after he is offered a deal (which was humorous in nature, of course). But after, oh, about three or so chapters, Chris's family would be attacked anyway, producing similar results. (Though his brother may die in this version) This one I am writing in past tense.

Now, how am I doing both? It's simple, really. Ever heard of alternate endings? Plenty of things have it. Books, stories, movies, etc. Sure, most of them are just slight variations of a single scene. But some are radically different. Completely different (with only a few similarities) endings.

So, I figured 'If there are alternate ENDINGS, then how about an alternate BEGINNING?' So, yea, that's how it'll happen. Wait and see. 'Twill be interesting.
Post #: 2
7/27/2008 15:01:52   
mastin2
Member

Oka--on second thought, I'm not saying that word. Both of the previous posts started with 'Okay', so I'm not going to say it...again.

Alright, today I feel like rambling about The Hunters. You may remember it because of my above ramble--the one and only werewolf story.

Anyway, I am quite pleased by the story. For being so old, it has come a long way. It started just after I had started Disease. Likewise, it was of a similar quality to the original Disease. AKA, it was junk. I rewrote it. Twenty (no exaggeration) times. And after my last rewrite (a few days ago), it is now (though not at my best) one of my best works so far. (It still needs work. But I did the best I could.)

Anyway, I checked: The length is 22 pages. That's right. 22 pages. Did I mention that's only one chapter? Yea, well, it is. Oh, wait...to be quite technical, it's 'Episode'. Like I said, started just after Disease. And Disease used episodes. It carried on for a while, actually. I think I have about eight stories using Episodes. Hmm...I suppose I'll change it, though, before it's too late in the story. Episodes I generally reserve to only a few stories now and it is unnecessary there.

Anyway, only one chapter for twenty-two pages. That's quite some bit, no? Well, here's a comparison for you:

Disease is 245 KB in size. It has three complete episodes and half of the fourth. Per part, it is roughly six pages. Which means a whole episode is (give or take) twelve pages long.

Coat is the one story larger than Disease. It has been months since I worked on it. But even so, it is 267 KB in size. Though they are extremely old, it has Five Complete Episodes. In total, it has 64 pages. It, too, is divided into parts one and two. Each Part is roughly 5 pages long, making each Episode roughly ten pages long. However, I must tell you: I've edited only the first part of Episode One recently, making it ten pages. If That were done for the whole thing, then each episode would be twenty pages long. Still, though, as you're about to see, it's outclassed.

The Hunters is 109 KB right now. It is only the third story I have ever worked on to achieve the 100 KB mark (the other two being the above). Many are close, but none have reached that mark except these three. I have reworked it recently, as stated above. It is 23 pages long. 22 of those are for the first 'episode'. It has no division into parts, despite its length.

But even so, assuming I keep up the length and also assuming that it has an equal number of chapters to either Disease or Coat, it easily has the potential to be my longest story ever. Wow.


But, surprisingly, that is not the point of this ramble. The point of this ramble it to explain about the werewolves of the story, the very focus of the tale. So, let me tell you about my vision of the werewolf in this story:

There are two types of werewolves: Type One is Genetic. I'll explain more about them later. Type to is 'The Bitten', or 'First Gen'. Both names are used. Though both are generally considered an insult to the werewolves. The first is used by the Hunters (the werewolf slayers. Yes, this is where the title of the story came from.) the most often, and the latter is used by higher-ranking Genetic werewolves.

They, themselves, would prefer just to be called lycanthropes, if they need to be distinguished from Genetic werewolves. If no distinction is needed, then just 'werewolf' will do for them.

Anyway, they become werewolves from being badly bitten by a werewolf. As explained below (in Genetic werewolves), one doesn't need to be bitten to become a werewolf, but the result is unstable in any other form of injury.

There are two types of Type Two werewolves, though. These types are dependent on only one thing: the bitten person's alignment. Are they good, or evil? Yes, it's that simple. Now let me explain what that difference makes.

If the person is evil in nature, his/her default form is that of a werewolf. It's his/her preference. It shows his/her strength and superiority. During the time of when they were bitten and/or the full moon (it is often one and the same, because most bites occur right then. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes, they can be bitten at other times. In those cases, it can be one time, the other time, or both), their strength greatly increased and they become even more ferocious and ruthless.

If the person is good in nature, (s)he maintains his/her default form of a human. They were human, so they prefer to stay human. Most can transform whenever they choose, but remain human because they want to be. However, some of them can't control their transformation--they are humans with increased speed and strength, except for when the full moon and/or time of bite comes. When the time of the full moon and/or time of their bite comes (again, it is often one and the same, because most bites occur right then. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes, they can be bitten at other times. In those cases, it can be one time, the other time, or both), all of them transform into their werewolf forms. They become evil for just that period of time. Their monstrous ferocity is on par with the evil werewolves during this time.

After those two nights and one day, however, what happens? Some instantly transform into their human forms and regain control. However, most have a 'cool-down period'. This is a length of time when they become gradually more human. The average is five days. However, I will use a three-day case. On the first day, the werewolf is just a little less ferocious than before. One the second day, he is less evil, but still closer to his evil brethren. On the third, he is mostly human, but still has an occasional emotional outbreak. After that, he's back to normal.

During this time, there is a split: half of them can freely transform from werewolf to human. The other half is stuck in one form or the other. Of that half, 75% are in werewolf form.

However, a good 20% of these werewolves have more gradual transformations. Some are so unlucky that every waxing moon, they slowly become more brutal. Every waning moon, they slowly become themselves. About 60% of them have some type of regeneration ability. These statistics (ALL of them listed above) may change a little.


Now, we just completed type two. That's all there is to know about them. Now onto the more complex Genetic werewolves. I must warn you: this will make even less sense than the above.

Genetic werewolves are just that--werewolves who owe their beastly side to an ancestor. Their ancestor, X generations ago, was wounded by a werewolf and given werewolf blood. But they, themselves, were not werewolves. Why? Their wounds were not severe enough. Maybe just a scratch combined with the victim's young age. The results differ in any other form than a bite. If the victim is young, generally (90%), that person will pass the werewolf gene down to descendants. If the victim is older, generally (80% of the time), one of two things will happen:

a| The victim becomes a werewolf. Out of all cases that are not bites, the chances of this are only 10%.

b| The victim becomes superhuman. Descendants of the victim are superhuman. They have a sixth sense beyond that of any other when it comes to sensing werewolves. They have strength and speed beyond that of any other human. Many even have elemental powers. The more direct the descendant is of the ancestor, the greater the power. Julie and Katie are of this type, but most of their fellow Hunters are not. This is the other 90%.

Of course, there's the other 20% who can become genetic carriers. And for the younger ones, there's the other 10% who can be unaffected or become superhuman. Like I said, these things aren't set in stone. Sometimes they happen and sometimes they don't. The bite is the only way to make absolutely sure someone becomes a werewolf.


Now, back to genetic werewolves. In general, they are completely human by birth. They appear normal. But when they approach a certain age at the full moon (usually around 16 or 17), they experience their first transformation. This transformation usually will either be

a| on their birthday

b| on the day that their ancestor was bitten

c| during the full moon.

Each is equally likely. Sometimes it can be two, or even all three of them, at once.

Anyway, when they transform, they lose control. They become monsters. They transform into werewolves and gain great power. Their strength is double that of a normal werewolf. They almost always contain some elemental power within themselves. But most take dozens of years to use it.

Anyway, after their first transformation, they are given a choice: be good, or be evil. If they choose to be good, they only lose control on the period of their first transformation per month. (If they transformed on the 25th because it was their birthday, they'd transform every month on the 25th. If it was the 28th because that's the day their ancestor was bitten, then every month on the 28th, they'd transform. If they transformed on the day of the full moon, they transform every full moon. If they were unlucky enough to have transformed on all three types, they transform each time those happen.)

If they are good, then they can always access some of their powers. Unfortunately for them, these are lessened because their essentially fighting their true nature. It is not uncommon for genetic good werewolves to hear evil voices in their heads--the voice of their werewolf side. This voice has the potential to slowly corrupt the werewolf. So eventually, even good genetic werewolves can turn bad if they don't fight the voice hard enough. Except for periods during transformation, they are often almost completely immune to the weaknesses of werewolves. They have regeneration abilities as well and are hard to kill--unless they choose to die.

If the genetic werewolf is evil, however, it is a different story. They transform and maintain full control. Why? Because they're already evil. They control much greater power and learn to master their strength at a much more rapid rate. Unlike good genetic werewolves (who can only partially transform), they can transform at any time. They can access full power at any given time. They are cruel, evil beings. And worst of all: they have resistance to werewolves' weaknesses. Their regeneration is nearly unmatched. However, during the time of their first transformation, they become ten times stronger, though lose their regeneration abilities and become vulnerable to werewolf weaknesses.


Until Recently (give or take, a hundred years ago), there were thought to be no exceptions to these rules. Until recently being the key words.



*pants* okay, that's all I can handle for now. It took me over half an hour (closer to an hour, actually) to write this ramble. I hope you enjoyed it!
Post #: 3
10/6/2008 0:36:14   
mastin2
Member

Today, the topic of my ramble will be endings for stories. I will keep it (hopefully) spoiler-free. But do keep in mind, one person's spoiler-free is another person's spoiler-full. So, yea, I'll tone it down if you complain. (And, just in case, I will use spoiler tags for anything related to my stories.)

Endings. ALL stories have them (even if they are cliffhangers, it's an ending nonetheless. See next few sentences). They come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. Cliffhangers, wrapups, open endings, closed endings, romantic endings, tragic endings. The list goes on and on.

But there is one ending I am particularly interested in: the alternate ending. A good story-writer knows that, to end a book, there are infinite possibilities. For that matter, there are infinite possibilities throughout the whole book. But even so, only a few of them get considered. However, that number is at least doubled for the endings, ninety percent of the time. In the end, an author is forced to make a choice and, well, chooses.

...But not so fast. What happens to those others? Are they just forgotten? Only remembered by the author, if even that? Many times, yes. But in the rest of the cases, no. They want to remember them. How? They label those 'alternate endings' and put them in the book as a special bonus feature.

Those alternate endings can be drastically different. As in, completely opposite endings that the author was forced to choose between. I love those endings. They're awesome. Usually, the happier of the two (if one is gloomy and another is cheery) is the one that will be chosen, and I do respect that decision. What I like even more is the fact that they were not afraid to put in the other ending as well.

...But movies are a different matter. Sure, it can be exactly the same. But not necessarily. What really makes me angry are the 'alternate endings' found in most movies' bonus section. What's so bad about them? They're different from what was shown in the movie, yes. But, really, the title 'alternate scene' would be MUCH more suiting.

A character chooses to stay in the movie. In the 'alternate ending' (s)he chooses to leave. Big difference! Unless there was a point near the very ending where (s)he made that decision, I'd hardly call it an 'alternate ending'.

A character, in the middle of the movie, decides to have fun with a character. In the 'alternate ending', it's with a different character. What's with that? That's not an ENDING! That's a different version of the same scene in the middle of the movie! Really, I get angry when something like THAT is labeled an 'alternate ending'.

So, really, why do people label such things as 'alternate endings', when they are far from the end, and may not even be alternate? Another phrase for it would be 'slightly different endings'. That's more accurate to me.

To me, alternate means drastically different, when paired with ending. To me, ending means near, or at, the END of the movie. There's a slight modification to one scene in the middle of the movie. Is that near the end? No! It's in the middle. Is it my definition of 'alternate'? No. It is 'slightly different than before'.

Anyway, a good movie, book, whatever, will never use 'alternate ending' unless it is drastically different. I'm thinking sequels here. If the ending of the book creates a sequel, then the alternate ending of that same book would have an entirely DIFFERENT book because that is a drastically different/opposite ending.

In my books, (off the top of my head) there are two examples.
spoiler:

Maze of Survival is one. I've announced my plans for a sequel. But did I mention that I have two different endings? Opposite people making the decision? Probably not, because some people view even that tad pit of information as a spoiler. I admit, if I were to write a sequel to the alternate ending, it would only take about, oh, five to ten chapters for it to become the same. But even so, that's five to ten chapters difference, making it practically a different book.

The other would be Adventure. "What's that?" Do you want me to make another story ramble? *points to The Hunters Ramble* Sure, it's lesser-known, so probably would be far less than four pages of me ranting. But in addition to what I've written so far, that's...something longer than anything I've rambled on before. So, please, just don't ask.

Anyway, at the end, there were actually FIVE endings. Basically, they involved three characters making a decision to either stay in the land, or return to their homes. Endings three and four were them all leaving and them all staying, respectively. Ending two was two of them staying and one leaving. Ending one, the one I have chosen, is one of them staying and the other two going. The fifth is similar, but made less sense, involving a different one of the three staying and the other two going.

Now, for the sequel, that's FIVE different possibilities. Each one of them would end up being an identical story after, oh, three to ten chapters. But, again, that's still a major difference. They'd be nearly completely different stories depending on which ending I chose. (Borrowing from Crimson Vengeance) They could be labeled 'alternate beginnings' to the sequels as well, technically, but I still would call them separate books.


Now, THAT is a true alternate ending to me. Something which produces a completely different scenario than the used ending. One that could write a sequel that is totally different. If someone can do an ending that different, then they have a truly alternate ending.
Post #: 4
10/6/2008 0:37:33   
mastin2
Member

Okay, this is the official ramble for United Hope. Yes, an entire ramble devoted to a story...again.

Why? Well, this story took me HOURS to edit. Seriously, per day, I've been working on it 3-7 hours with little interruption for nearly a week. Put that together: 21-49 hours spent editing this story.

Why? To make it much better. There's so much I could do better. There's so much that I left out. Do you know how many scenes were edited out of the original? Thousands. No, I am not exaggerating. Even this revised version has several scenes not in there. I wanted to make the 'seal' scenes longer. I wanted to make the 'mental imprint' scene MUCH longer. There is a scene I edited out about a mosquito biting Brian. There are many Eros-Brian moments left out. Jack got a fraction of his original planned screen-time. As did Dallas, for that matter.

...But it was MUCH worse before. So much left out. Now, it is better, though. How so? Let me put it this way: If you were crazy enough to read the original, this will seem like a completely different story. It has very few similarities to the original. Sure, the same thing happens...but Dialog has become much more dominant. Let's just say no scene was left untouched.

...And I redid everything. Sentences that were worded badly were removed and rewritten as two or three different, much better sentences. More description was added. Events are relayed through Dialogs as much as possible instead of the narrator telling you them. Oh, and paragraphs have more...appropriate lengths. The old version had paragraphs that took half a PAGE! Yes, that bad.

...Oh, and did I mention that it is MUCH longer than before? When I started, I think there might have been twenty or so pages, including the beginning of the next chapter which you have never seen. There were only two chapters divided into two parts. It was exactly 81 KB when I started.

Now, each part is about five pages long. There are now fifty-seven pages. Now, there are FIVE chapters! (More on the extra length below.) Oh, and did I mention that it is now my second-longest story ever?

You: Umm...wasn't that Disease?

Me: Good memory.

You are correct if you remembered that. Disease is 246 KB for three and a half chapters. United Hope's chapters are shorter, yes, but the size speaks for itself: United Hope now has a size of 253 KB, for five chapters and a messy part of a sixth.

...Ouch. I never thought that would happen. Apparently, Disease needs some work. The earlier chapters are *MIC*, and even the later ones do not show my true skill. And I need to work on it some more here and there, fix some things that gwoonjustin and Firefly have kindly pointed out, etc.

...But, back on topic, the length differences.

I said that United Hope would be double its original chapter length a while ago. Somewhere in Legends and Lore, I believe. Too lazy to find it. Turns out that I lied. It ended up being 2.5 times longer! Chapter-wise, anyway. Length-wise...I have no clue, but it probably is at least three to four times longer.

...Where'd the extra chapter come from in a week?

Well, that extra chapter is ALL of Chapter Three: War. Well, to be honest, all but the last few paragraphs, which were meant to be the end of Chapter Two. Originally, that line was the last line of Chapter One. With the new length, that was made to be Chapter Two.

...But I decided that it didn't exactly make sense as it was. Dropping the line randomly just wouldn't cut it. After all, the ending of chapter two is just fine as it is! Epic, really. If you're reading this first, I won't spoil anything. But, personally, I loved that ending. The last line would just ruin it.

So I had a dilemma: "How do I put in that very important line?"

Start a new chapter, of course. But where to fit it in? I'd need padding. I decided it was the perfect chance to add something. Originally, I had planned for there to be a scene where Brian was being chased by Kadrane's goons underwater. He would ask Natur if any assistance was provided. It was supposed to take place shortly before the final chapter of the beginning, but I knew I wouldn't be able to fit it in and that is why it was cut.

...But if I were to move it back in time, it would be perfect. The idea was formed. Of course, things changed and the scene was completely revamped. There is no chase scene anymore. There isn't as much action as I had planned. The power jump consumed most of the scene's time. The thoughts with Natur changed. Brian originally had been planning to use his nature powers underwater as well, but then I made the decision that they wouldn't work.

...But it was a wise move. That ONE scene I had intended to be half a chapter. The rest would be their journey home and a few minor missions afterwards. In reality, I barely fit it all into one chapter! The scene on the fortress was going to be much longer. But, hey, I was--to that point--sticking fairly strictly to my 'five pages per part' rule.

...Then came chapter four. And five. The finale that used to be the original chapter two. I incorporated the time skip as best I could. That's one of the largest differences from the original and this version:

In the original, Brian was only sixteen. He felt a year older because of what he had been through, but was still only sixteen. Similarly, events were squished. Jack's condition was poorly portrayed originally. He had ONE sentence telling us what happened to him. Dallas's status was supposed to take place a few months later. MONTHS. Heh, it's much longer now.

...Two years has been packed up to five. Funny. Brian's age increase is the same as the number of chapter's increase. Wow. I just now realized how ironic that is. But it is just really coincidence. That is, if coincidences exist. But THAT topic is a ramble for another day...(And has been done to death. :P)

...Oh, right...back to Chapters Four and Five. They are the guilty parties for the extra seven pages. Why? Chapter Two was ridiculously long before. Breaking it up into two chapters as it was would probably have made it about twenty pages, hence two chapters. But I wasn't satisfied with that and just HAD to add to the original. More dialog, description, death, horror...stuff like that.

...Chapter four part one I had intended to be five pages. It became eight. To compensate for that, I had planned for part two to be only two, restoring balance. It ended up being four. >_>

Two pages extra right there. It should have been shorter, but I had to break the chapters up well. It turns out the best place for a break, with a minor sentence modification, was four pages later.

...Bringing us to chapter five. Ironic, really, is the fact that Chapter five is almost exactly where chapter two's part two was originally. Ha, ha...

...I had no choice but to make it the length it was. It DESPERATELY needed the impact. So much happens in that chapter; it needed to leave a mark. I had trouble finding a place to break the chapter up; I honestly thought I might not get five pages for the first part.

...Turns out that I got (I think) six. Made the break at a place I had planned to, but that place originally was only two paragraphs after the beginning of the chapter. Keep in mind, each of those paragraphs nearly made up a page. :P

...But still...it was close. I made the break at Brian arriving at his house. It seemed like the best place. And once again, I was worried for, just a second, that I would not get enough in the part.

...Then I wrote about two paragraphs. And looked at the length. A revelation hit me. Too short would not be a problem. After adding all that I planned to add, I would have no trouble with that length...but not no trouble with length. It ended up being too long. Oh, well...I tried.

...So, yea, blame the last two chapters for the extra seven pages that you have to read if I've suckered you into it.



Now, for the place where Brian makes his scream/shout that does not translate to any word: Would you be surprised to learn that that was originally not part of the story? It wasn't. In fact, half of that scene wasn't part of the story (the scene being BEFORE the rewrite, of course). It was intended for a completely DIFFERENT story! That's right: it almost made its way into another story. Then I realized that I had absolutely nothing else on that story, wanted to implicate it, and found United Hope the best match.



...Well, that's all there is to say for now. I can't say anything else because I haven't written the REAL story. The first five chapters are basically just setting the reader up for the world that this takes place in. There is MUCH more planned. Do you know how I said that The Hunters could end up being my longest story? Well, I can say honestly that United Hope can brag the same thing.

...And definitely WILL be the longest, actually, considering that I have a sequel planned for it. Yes, a sequel. When you see the ending I've got planned, you'd understand. Let's just say that it is an open ending, purposely leaving room for a sequel.





...Heh, heh...I think that I am holding back. In truth, this is not the full United Hope ramble. I'm not rambling about the characters. I'm not rambling about the powers. I'm not rambling about that. Because I haven't written much about the story.


...So in truth, I can't call this the United Hope ramble. I can only call this the United Hope ramble, Part One.

...There will definitely be another part later. Possibly a third as well. If not a third, then it will unofficially be a third part, since I will definitely have a third ramble for the sequel planned!

*Pants* Well, that's all I've got to say. Another ramble to add to my long list! And this one is actually FOCUSED on my stories, instead of being a side-note on that ramble! :P

(9/30/08 Edit|Note: O_O Only a few weeks/months later, and I'm approaching the half-way mark. Soon, I might have no choice but to write a ramble part two. For example, United Hope is now DEFINITELY my largest story so far, being over 500 KB! More when I make an official ramble. I've got at least three Rambles which I said I'd edit. Two of them have received absolutely nothing. >_>)
Post #: 5
10/6/2008 0:38:34   
mastin2
Member

"DRAGONS IS TEH UBERZ!!!"
-Alixander Fey. He spammed with that line a LOT back in the old L&L.

...So I think you can take a hint about what this ramble is about. A story about...DRAGONS! And I do agree; they are uber.


The story is Dragon Mark. I must say that it will be heavily inspired (and, hence, influenced) by Alixander Fey: Heritage. Names, for example. I asked and received permission for one dragon to be named Venat, for example.

But what am I going to talk about?

Well, two things:

1: Characters of the story. *Is triple dead*...no...wait...that's *Is Four Times Dead*. What? Oh, right. Sorry. Shoutbox Joke. You may understand later.

2: Magic. That's right, the way magic works in my world. This, to my knowledge, will be so crazy, it HAS to be unique!


Well, the characters are...

Ryan D. Siwel. The D stands for Dragon. A lame middle name, but suiting for the primary protagonist. Age of nineteen. His Dragon Mark is on his right arm. Similarly, his natural magical force to call upon is magical force #1. He is bonded to Vocor. Has no initial memory of Venat, since he was only fifteen at the time.

Venat. Leader of the good dragons. Was killed in the prologue, which takes place four years before the main story. Exists only as a spirit. (See Magic)

King Leonidus Arshan. Initially appears to be an antagonist, since Marthulus is under his control. Former leader of the Dragonslayers (Now called the Dragoslan Warriors). Because 'dragons threaten the existence of mankind', he lead survivors to 'peace' as their king.
I can't say any more without it being highly spoilerish.
(I used this as an alias while on a trip. It fooled Hinzel and Upyers. Double dead!)

General Marthulus Premius. A primary antagonist. Early on, he has a brief role as a hero, which is removed later on with a line that I cannot say without it being a spoiler. Former leader of the 'strike team' (See below), promoted to general. Is a good leader with high charisma; can use propaganda well.

Daniel The Slayer. Age twenty-one. Slayer is his middle name. His last name is revealed later on, and, hence, is a spoiler. He leads the Dragon Extermination Squad, often called DES, or 'strike team'. He kills dragons under the misconception that they are all evil. Initially opposes Ryan in nearly every way possible, doubting his story, and, later, calling him a traitor. Once went by 'Danny' years ago. Has a Dragon Mark on his forehead. This means he accesses Magical Force #12, the most used one. Has no memory of Venat.

(I used this as an Alias. I was going to use Daniel The Slayer, but since I've read Heart of the Dark, I thought it might be interpreted as Daniel Lewlen, Death's Challenger, the Vampire Slayer. I changed it to Danny. And...wow. Firefly, Shade, and Upyers all thought I was a random Alix fan. Triple Dead! In addition to the above, that makes Four Times Dead! If you count Upyers double-killing me, that's Five Times Dead!
Hinzel--Knocking my brains out, then stabbing me in the back with a sword.
Shade--I die from darkness, I guess.
Upyers--super ultimate ninja powers kill me. [Twice]
And worst of all...Firefly--burned to death.)

Lisa Siwel. Ryan's older sister. Age twenty-three. Only child of Siwel family to remember Venat, since she was nineteen at the time. Is believed to be dead by her siblings. Dragon Mark is on her lower right leg, making her access Magical Force #5.

Vocor: Dragon Bonded to Ryan. (See Magic for bonding rules) Son of Venat.

Nogard: 1: A common swear word. People don't know where it originates from, though.
2: Leader of the evil dragons. Primary antagonist. Master (via an evil dragon bond) of *SPOILERS!!!*

Tanev: Younger sister of Vocor.

Rocov: Twin brother of Tanev.

Limaf: Only surviving good dragon. Teaches the Dragon Marks what they do not already know about Dragons.

...There are more, but those are all I have named.

You: Umm...what about Ryan's sister?

Me: I thought I'd get away with that...
Well, when I need to, I'll give her a name.




...Anyway, now for the MAGIC of the world. Oh, this is what makes this a true ramble.

Magic, in this world, is VERY complicated. Kinda. Sorta. If you're almost as crazy/insane as I am, it'll make perfect sense. Otherwise, your feeble 'sane' mind will asplode upon reading this. :P


Okay, not even I know how to start explaining it. Magic originally was just another, much smaller, universe. That untapped energy became tapped by...magic users.

Magic naturally can be found in dragons. A dragon is naturally born with a set limit of magical energy that (s)he can contain. That magical energy can be called upon at any time with no energy whatsoever. But Dragons can call magic from the magical force (universe). They have a limit of how much magical energy they can draw from that force. If they exceed this limit, bad things happen. Their body shuts down, they could explode, they could turn to dust...stuff like that. If you've read that far in Heritage, think Zerek. That's pretty much how drawing too much magic into a body happens.

...But there's more to it than that. If there is an extremely powerful magic user, upon that magi user's death, where does his/her magical energy go? The answer: If that user is strong enough, it collapses into another dimension and begins forming another mini-universe. After a few years of settling down, that universe can be used. When that happens, potentially, every magic user's supply of magic is theoretically doubled (if there was only one to begin with).

...But the thing is, you can't instantly access a new magical energy source. It takes training. So some people never access these other sources.

...As of the modern era, there are thirteen of these. More on that later.

...Now, what happens to a mini-universe if energy is not tapped in it for too long? Well, if no magic user draws energy from there in three-thousand years, the universe has a rapid growth. It suddenly supports life. The life can NOT be the same type of life that originally created the universe. If a human created it, there would be no mammals, for example. If it was a dragon, then there would be no lizards.

The beings from that realm are naturally gifted in magic. The thing is, they are also naturally 'gifted' in the fact that they will fight each other. Magical energy is used...but unlike life from our universe, they don't draw magical energy from another realm, but rather, their own.

After about two-thousand years of fighting, their universe shrinks to the point where it can no longer support life. At that point, the life is transported to our dimension and the universe can again be used by magic users. Specifically, those originating from that realm are instinctively tuned into it.

...Now, what happens when those lifeforms come to our planet? Can anyone say apocalypse? Sound familiar? It should. Yes. The older dragons in the story originate from another universe. This particular universe is the thirteenth one.

Let's go back to magical energies. When a dragon kills another dragon, the dead dragon's magic has to go somewhere. About half of it returns to the universe it originates from. Which means a universe stays roughly the same size. As long as a single magical user taps into its power, it remains the same size. A magical source cannot be exhausted, because to draw all the energy from that universe would require millions of uber-strong people.

...But what about that other half? Half of the dragon's magical energy, AND half of the dragon's magic capacity is transferred to the dragon which killed that dragon. Meaning the more dragons a dragon has killed, the more powerful it is.

Where do humans fit in this equation? Naturally, they have no magical energy within them. Nor can they tap into any of the universes for magical energy. With training, they can do the former and use basic magic. But their capacities are always lower than a dragon's.

...But here's the thing: A human can be gifted with magical talent with a Dragon Mark. Here's where things get interesting. A Dragon Marked Human has access to only one universe at first. Which that one is is represented by where the mark is. (I'll tell you in just a bit.)

...But that's not all. They have magical energy within them, via the mark, as well. Even so, their capacities and their magical energy are lower than a dragon's. But they are, ironically, much stronger than dragons.

How? When a dragon kills another dragon, the dead dragon loses half of its magic back to its original universe. It also loses half of its magical capacity. The other half goes into the dragon, essentially making that dragon have its natural strength plus the 50% of the dragon it killed.

...But humans are different. A Dragon Mark absorbs ALL of the dragon's energy. This means that a human can become equally as strong as the dragon (s)he killed. Not only do they gain ALL of the magical energy within, but they also gain the magical capacity. Meaning after killing just one dragon (assuming they have an activated Dragon Mark), a human has the same magical capacity as that dragon.

...Not only that, but if the Dragon's natural universe is different than the Human's, then the human instantly gains access to the magical source. So humans can become REALLY powerful by killing just a few dragons.

Guess what? Humans can create universes as well. Those universes will naturally be occupied by dragons. Humans become powerful through dragons. So humans create most dimensions. Dragons from those dimensions eventually come to earth. Said dragons bless humans with Dragon Mark. Dragon Marked Human becomes powerful. Dragon Marked human dies. Another universe is created. So magical energy is basically in a never-ending cycle. It reproduces over time. Over thousands of years, one sources has become two...which became three...which became four...and so on.

One last thing, though. An entity with access to all thirteen magical sources might potentially have thirteen times the energy as another entity with access to only one. But that doesn't make entity A more powerful than Entity B.

Their capacities make the difference. If entity A can only keep half as much energy within him/herself as Entity B, Entity B has double the battle strength. Entity B will probably win.

So, essentially, there are three key components to magic:
-Magical Energy within the entity. As explained, dragons are naturally gifted with this energy. Over time, it can increase slightly, but overall, remains at a set amount. It returns to the original dimension, assuming the entity is neither uber-strong or was killed.

-Energy capacity. How much magic that entity can draw from the different sources. A body can only hold so much in it. This is the most vital thing in a battle. Whoever can use the most magical energy in a battle will nearly always win. Since this is nothing but capacity, it goes to waste upon the user's death. Unless, of course, they user was killed by a single dragon/human, in which case, half/all of it is drained into the killer.

-Number of Magic Sources available. Assume the above two variables are the same. Assume the two combatants are equal in skill. Assume they are identical in every way possible, except for number of magical sources. If one of them can access three, yet the other five, the one with five will win.


The Magical Sources/Universes/Whatever you call them are below:

Source one: a human's right arm.
Source two: human's left arm.
Source three: a human's upper right arm/shoulder.
Source four: upper left arm/shoulder.
Source five: lower right leg.
Source six: lower left leg.
Source seven: right thigh to waist.
Source eight: left thigh to waist.
Source nine: back.
Source ten: stomach.
Source eleven: chest.
Source twelve: forehead.

Source thirteen has no Dragon Mark. It is where most dragons are from. The only way a human can have access to the thirteenth source is to be bonded to a dragon with access to that source.




Okay, I lied...there are three parts to this. I feel elaboration is needed on the Dragon Marks/bonding/spirits. Just for clarification.

*BLAST!!!*

Computer restarted; lost work...*grumbles*


Well, anyway, Dragon Marks come in three colors.

Black.
White.
Gray.

Black for good, White for evil, and gray for indirect. Ironic, isn't it? But that's the way things work.

How does gray work? It's for any direct relative of the Dragon Mark.

Let's say there are a few people.

A
B
C
D
E
F
and G.

Person A, B, C, D, and E are all siblings. Person F is their mother. Person G is their uncle, and the brother of F.

Persons A and B get a good dragon mark, and at the same time, Person E gets an Evil dragon mark.

Persons C, D, and F all get a gray dragon mark. G gets nothing because he isn't a direct relative. Let's say person C gets a good dragon mark, though. C's gray gets upgraded to black.

Or let's say person F gets a dragon mark. Her gray gets upgraded to black/white. Because person G is her sibling, G gets a gray dragon mark at that time. Make sense?


Well, anyway, that's how Dragon Mark alignments work.

...But what exactly does a Dragon Mark DO?

When invisible, when dormant, when inactive, it does next to nothing. Those with an inactive mark can be naturally gifted, but not much else. Unusually high strength, speed, reflexes, 'sixth sense', and endurance are common...but nothing special. Another thing that is common is that they have a sense of magic. They can sense magical presences.

...But this is nothing special. Any human can do this, if exposed to magical sources often enough. (Such as slaying a few dragons.)

When activated, though, things are different. Their 'sixth sense' is literal. With magical energy, they can feel others. They gain HUGE increases in strength, speed, reflexes, pain resistance, and endurance. Quicker thinking is also fairly common.

And, of course, activated marks have the bonuses mentioned earlier. They can drain magic from dragons the human slays. They grant the human the ability to use natural magic, via the mark. They grant the human access to a magical source. Which source this is is determined by location. See above for what source corresponds to what part.

In about 30% of individuals, every source they access gives them another mark. So 30% of people with access to twelve sources have twelve different marks. The original mark will always be brighter, though. If the human is bonded with a dragon, then their original mark is the only one to glow.

...Oh! I forgot! Since I lost what I had, you don't know about the bonding process yet, do you? Silly Mastin! :P


Well, it works like this: Dragons under a hundred years old can enter hibernation if their life is in danger. In hibernation, they are enveloped in a shell (egg) that is invincible to all harm. They are conscious and aware of magical presences, but that is about all.

To wake a dragon in hibernation, someone with magical power needs to be of the same alignment as that dragon. An evil dragon cannot wake a good dragon, for obvious reasons.

If that someone is a dragon, then nothing special happens.

If that someone is a human, however, things are different. Their Dragon Mark glows gold (for good), silver (for evil), or bronze (for gray) upon touching the dragon. The dragon is awoken upon that point. That's how bonds work.

But what does a bond do?


Dragony things, of course!
-The Bond allows both to use ALL of each other's power. Meaning both have access to the other's magical powers, magical capacity, and magical sources. Theoretically, this means one could kill the other by drawing too much energy. But since the two are of the same alignment, this would never happen intentionally.

-The dragon grows at least double its normal speed. Most dragons in hibernation are already about 10-20 years old. They stay small naturally until they reach a hundred years old, at which point, they have a large growth spurt and grow to full size within twenty years.

...But dragons bonded can instantly change sizes from small to fairly large, assuming they are over forty years old. If they are bonded, of course. But a bonded dragon can grow to full size using magic (GROWTH PILLS! :P) for as long as needed as long as the dragon is at least the age of the one it is bonded to.

-The ability to go without food/drink for weeks. A Dragon Mark that is bonded does not need them for quite some time. A dragon also does not require them. Unfortunately, this is only a last resort--under normal circumstances, a human eats ten times as much and a dragon two to five times that of a normal dragon the same age when bonded.

-Interest in magical growth rate. Bonded humans and dragons have each others' power. The greater an individual's power, the quicker they grow. So double the power, theoretically, is double the growth rate.

-Telepathy. Bonded dragons and humans can use telepathy between each other with no effort. Dragons can read their human's mind as well, if they wish. Both dragons and humans, with a boost of magic, can use telepathy with others as well.

-Endurance. A human bonded to a dragon gains a HUGE increase in endurance. If bonded long enough, a human can gain scales temporarily over his/her body for even more protection. For a dragon, their underbelly is double as hard to pierce.

-Instinct. Humans gain even better reaction times with a bond.

-Intelligence. Two young minds learn double as fast as one. An older mind will help a younger mind grow faster. They partner up to become smarter.

-Strength. As with magic, both can borrow each other's physical strength as well. In most cases, it is the human borrowing from the dragon.

-Eye color. The two often will share an eye color. This is something that starts even before the bond. When a Dragon Mark begins pulsing, fate has pretty much determined the bond will happen. As soon as this starts, the eye color of the human will usually change.

-Family bonds. A human bonded to a dragon shares the dragon's heritage. Similarly, a human can see the spirit of his/her dragon's dead relatives. See spirits.

-Various other things which I am forgetting. =P


Now, onto spirits.

Spirits are dead dragons. No, duh...they can't exactly be alive, now, can they? Only relatives of that dragon can see the spirit. For example, Vocor can see Venat's spirit (and, by extension, Ryan), but...say...Limaf cannot. Spirits can communicate some information about their lives, reinforce facts stated, and give moral support. For the most part, though, they are just guardians for their remaining relatives.


Well, that's about it!
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