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Friv
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Age of Blood and Bone, Final Epilogue: Contentment

10 Sep 2009, 02:22

“Tenrek!” Tepet Fokuf, resplendant in his house colors, a golden circlet glittering on his brow, embraced his friend before he could react, grinning with amusement at the uncertain way that his friend returned his embrace. Stepping back, he gave Tenrek a look over. “How have you been doing? Job agreeing with you.”

“Absolutely.” Tenrek smiled broadly, his skin a richer green in the lamplight than usual. The beastman was wearing a formal Autochthonian jumpsuit, over which he had laid his hearthstone bracers and orichalcum armor. “We're easing the Autochthonians into a life in contact with Creation – never mind one where they don't have to worry about running out of materials for their cities.”

“Indeed.” With a faint smile, Watchful Cerulean Aegis stepped forwards, bowing to Fokuf. “I believe that even Tenrek will admit that life in the Eight Nations surpasses that of much of Creation in quality now that the Maker has awoken again. We are having some... troubles... with immigration requests.”

“Really.” Fokuf laughed. “I'm still amazed that it worked, after all the hassle Tenrek gave you.”

“The Maker feels that he is well-suited to understanding how to help us integrate our way of life to yours.” Aegis said smoothly. “And you? How goes a life of politics?”

“Tiring.” Fokuf sighed, his humour fading. “We've got another civil war brewing, of course. Not everyone likes how V'Neef has made peace with the Celestials, and there aren't any elder Sidereals left around to force them to behave.” Shrugging, he turned to wave at an elder Cathak delegate, who was watching Aegis with frank curiousity. “But we'll sort through it.”

Tenrek nodded. “Do you know if Amaya is coming tonight?” He asked. “I was hoping to see her for a while.”

Fokuf shook his head. “I'm afraid not. She's been busy fixing things out East, and she's in a delicate place in Thorns right now.” He patted Tenrek on the shoulder. “You'll have to get out there. We can sneak you through Yu-Shan – it'll only take a few hours.”

“Done.” Tenrek nodded, then looked over and smiled. “I see some more people I need to talk to. Excuse me.” He moved off through the crowd.

“Aegis, glad to see you!” The cheerful voice came from the right, as Tandavi Kieran strolled over. His hat was tilted back, revealing the magitech implant still in his forehead, and he bowed in the Autochthonian style to the Alchemical. “How is the Maker recovering?”

“Quite well, now that we have driven out the Sage. The Gremlin-cities are pacified, and we've nearly completed purging the incurable Alchemicals.” Aegis replied politely. “And how are your tasks?”

Kieran shrugged. “Advancing slowly, but advancing. Giving the Elemental Courts a single vote on the new god-Primordial council was a brilliant idea – it's forcing them to work politics with each other, instead of starting wars, if they want to have the consensus for their vote to count.” He nodded to Fokuf. “How's Damian been doing?”

“Working too hard, of course.” Fokuf smiled again, gesturing over to the corner where Damian stood, talking to Cathak Lodaris. “Serafin dragged him in here about five minutes ago, and he's been catching up with his extended family.” His smile faded. “He hasn't got long, of course. A week or two more, he thinks. He's already outlived the rest of the elders. But we got him to agree to stop working as of today, and take his last weeks off.”

“Glad to hear it.” Kieran nodded, looking around. “Okay, Lodaris is with Damian, and Citrios is over there at the punchbowl with three Fair Folk, but I don't see Alina anywhere.”

“You aren't looking.” There was a light tap on Kieran's shoulder, and he spun around in confusion. When he looked back, Alina was standing in front of him, smiling impishly. “How have you been, Kieran?”

“Show-off.” Kieran grumbled. Then he smiled. “Very well. And you? How's life with Citrios?”

“Calm seas.” Alina looked over to her lover, then back to the two. “We're getting married next season. You're both invited, of course.” She mock-glared at them. “And don't you dare miss it.”

“Wouldn't for the world.” Kieran said. The pang of pain was easily banished. It was a relic of someone else, he reminded himself momentarily. Alina was a good friend, but anything more was a lifetime ago. Putting the thought out of his mind, he glanced over again. “Um... you'd better go save him, though.”

Looking over, Alina's eyes narrowed as she saw Citrios hastily backpedalling away from one of the Fair Folk, who was pursuing with a flirtatious look in her eyes. The other two were watching with wry amusement. Raising her voice, Alina started over there. “Fiona, you leave him alone!”

Fokuf covered his mouth to keep from laughing, and caught Kieran's eye in time to see the younger Solar doing the same thing. Much of the party followed Alina's progress, before turning back to their own affairs as Fiona quickly backed off. “Some party.” Fokuf said blandly.

“That it is. Almost everyone is here.” Kieran looked around again. “Other than Empress V'Neef, I don't see anyone missing. Where is she?”

“Fashionably late, I imagine.” Fokuf replied. “She always is.”

“She wasn't when she and Mn... when she used the Realm Defense Grid against the Fair Folk last season.” Kieran pointed out.

“Well, that's different. That was business.” Fokuf couldn't help but grin at the memory. Sometimes it was possible to really feel sorry for the Fair Folk, just for their poor grasp of time. Having finally massed the force that would wipe out a defenseless Creation, they had invaded en mass... twelve months too late. The Realm Defense Grid had wiped out 9,999 of every ten thousand invaders, and the survivors had charged into Creation to find thirteen Primordials, their Third Circle souls, and the Celestial Incarnae waiting for them. Only one in ten thousand of those had survived the ensuing battle, staggering further into Creation... to find the lesser gods and young Exalts stationed throughout the Threshold for exactly that purpose. The gods estimated that about one in a thousand of the Fair Folk who bypassed the Primordials and Incarnae survived to slip into Wyld zones – hundreds of nobles had survived in this way, but they were a drop in the bucket compared to Creation's defenses.

“Let's not worry about the Empress. She'll be here when she's here.” Fokuf draped an arm around Kieran's shoulder. “You know, I was talking with Twice-Forged Steel the other day.”

“Oh? How is he doing?” Kieran asked cautiously.

“Well enough. Still guarding the Dual Monarchs from the Deathlords – even without the powers of the Conduits of the Neverborn, they're pretty dangerous, and they still have Abyssal servants. But that's not actually the point.” Fokuf began to steer Kieran through the crowd. “He mentioned an idea, and I agree with him. Let me introduce you to one of our more intriguing guests. Have you met the Harvester of Severed Shades? Lovely girl. You two will get along wonderfully.”

Kieran frowned. “Are you trying to set me up on a date, Fokuf?”

Fokuf shrugged, not letting go. “It's a party, Kieran. Enjoy yourself!”




“Ram to Fourth Tier red.”

Empress V'Neef moved the piece in question, looking over the Gateway board. “A very interesting move. I wonder what it means.”

“It means that it is time for you to go, and that move gives nothing away of my strategy.” Mnemon's voice was softly amused. “You are already ten minutes late, you know.”

“That much? Heavens.” Standing slowly, V'Neef looked around the central control room of the Imperial Manse. Her robes flowed like blood around her, and the Hearthstone of the Imperial Manse glittered on her brow, catching the light from the softly glowing walls. “The time does fly, doesn't it?”

“It does.” Mnemon chuckled softly, her voice filling the chamber. “Tell me how it goes. The anniversary of the Rebirth doesn't come more than once.”

“I won't have to. You can listen to the whole affair, can't you?” V'Neef half-smiled as she stepped towards the stairs.

“Dear sister, are you accusing me of spying?” Mnemon chuckled. “You know me too well.”

“Well enough.” V'Neef stopped at the stairway. “I do wish that I could tell them you were here, and not dead.”

“I was contentious enough alive. If the Senators learned that I had control over the Realm Defense Grid...” Mnemon trailed off ominously, then added, “Besides, I find myself imagining the face of your successor, centuries down the road, when she finds out she doesn't actually get to control the Grid.”

V'Neef chuckled. “There is that. Very well, then, sister, your secret is safe with me.”

“You always say that.” Mnemon admonished her.

“Now, that's hardly fair. It's been at least a month since we last discussed this.” Bowing to the Manse's control board, V'Neef turned to go. “Be well, my sister.”

“Dragons guide you, my Empress.” Mnemon said, letting her mind settle back into the functions and sensors that made up the Imperial Manse. She had power, but no one to command and no way to use it. She had knowledge, but few people to share it with. She had immortality, but without any of the pleasures of the flesh she had once enjoyed. By any standard, her life was so much less than it had ever been.

She couldn't remember ever having been so content.
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

Patchwork Champions - You say "to-ma-toe", I say "world-ravaging-laser-beam".
 
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Friv
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It's Over!

10 Sep 2009, 02:27

Yes, that's right. The Age of Blood and Bone is finally over!

With it ends a truly frightening amount of my life. The first story in this epic was written in April of 2006, three and a half years ago. There were times when I thought I would never actually get around to finishing the tale, but I somehow managed it.

Wow.


So, a quick Q&A with an imaginary asker:

Q: So, will there be more in this setting?
A: Probably not. Certainly, the Age that follows this one is a busy one, and I may someday write it as a potential roleplaying setting, just for fun's sake. But for all intents and purposes, I am done with Blood and Bone, and writing more in the setting would require people to read an awful lot of setup. So probably no go there.

Q: Is this the end of your Exalted writing, then?
A: In a large, organized sense: Yes. Well... yes, for now. I will still put up things when they come up, but I don't have any plans for another Exalted epic any time soon.

Q: Wow. What will you be doing with all that free time?
A: Hahahah. Actually, I'm still going to be writing. Mosey on down to the Whirlwind Novel Writing Method, and you can help comment on my revising my ongoing attempt to actually write a novel, Oraculum Ex Machina.
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

Patchwork Champions - You say "to-ma-toe", I say "world-ravaging-laser-beam".
 
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Dinosaur
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Re: Age of Blood and Bone, Final Epilogue: Contentment

10 Sep 2009, 08:12

Congratulations! (Blows on noisemaker)

So... best of luck on the next three and a half years? ^VVVVV^
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BrilliantRain
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Re: Age of Blood and Bone, Final Epilogue: Contentment

10 Sep 2009, 12:36

This was a nice ending.

I should also note that I've always enjoyed your writing and I think you are quite skilled at it. I continue to enjoy Patchwork Champions and look forward to reading your book.
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Re: Age of Blood and Bone, Final Epilogue: Contentment

11 Sep 2009, 04:32

That was a great ending Friv, I loved it. Two things:

First, I just wanted to let you know that for the last year, this story was the only thing bringing me back to this site. I would log in about twice a week, check for a new post from you, and then leave or read it. Your writing in this story basically kept a forum poster all by its self.

Second, any plans to compile all the bits and pieces into a single document?
"But, oh! Those days! How I would love to have lived them, even if it were only to be slain on the first!"
 
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Friv
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Re: Age of Blood and Bone, Final Epilogue: Contentment

15 Sep 2009, 16:23

Dinosaur: Many thanks! I expect to be here pretty much forever (or at least until the world ends, whichever comes first), so that should be easy enough. ;)

BrilliantRain: Double thanks. That reminds me, my aunt's birthday totally pre-empted Patchwork Champions this weekend. I really need to apologize to people over there (although I have this suspicion that they're used to my crappy update schedule.)

Icarus: Thank you! That is extremely heartwarming.

And, ask and ye shall receive:
http://rapidshare.com/files/280596062/SecondAgeComplete.doc.html
http://rapidshare.com/files/280596064/BloodAndBoneComplete.doc.html

Be warned - between them, these two files are close to 3 megabytes. I realize that's not a ton in our modern fileswapping age, but it might take a few minutes if your connection isn't great. A quarter of a million words take up a lot of space, I suppose.
(Also, they can only be downloaded ten times total. Anyone know a free file hosting site without that restriction?)
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

Patchwork Champions - You say "to-ma-toe", I say "world-ravaging-laser-beam".
 
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Kailan
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Re: Age of Blood and Bone, Final Epilogue: Contentment

15 Sep 2009, 18:40

Sendspace lets you load up to 300 megabytes in one file, I think, and as far as I know there's no download limit. I think the link to the download expires in 7 days though.
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Friv
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Re: Age of Blood and Bone, Final Epilogue: Contentment

18 Sep 2009, 00:50

Heavens Gardener: Thank you, both for the compliment and the site. The files are now located at:
http://www.mediafire.com/?3wiozumjrf4 - Chronicles of the Second Age
http://www.mediafire.com/?u2awqnwyhnt - The Age of Blood And Bone

And... this is a bit embarassing / sad for me to say, but when I wrote my fake Q&A, I was suffering from apparent amnesia. I had completely forgotten that the Whirlwind Novel Method forum had been unprivated.

Unfortunately, I do actually want to get Oraculum Ex Machina published at some point. That means I don't want to put it on anything that's not locked from general Internet viewing, which in turn means that I won't actually be posting it here. :(
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

Patchwork Champions - You say "to-ma-toe", I say "world-ravaging-laser-beam".
 
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Kailan
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Re: Age of Blood and Bone, Final Epilogue: Contentment

18 Sep 2009, 09:14

Understandable, dude. I don't post my original stuff really at all, for reasons similar, though I'll occasionally post snippets like "here's what I'm working on" and so forth.

I do hope you'll continue to grace us with your awesome fanfiction, though. :D
Text in red is modvoice.

(11:18:32 PM) Xanti: The Bronze Faction does not care about your stupid anathema feefees.

This signature was foretold... BY GYROMANCY.

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