mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 Expect regular updates from me re: FE12 and the state of fandom chatter until the damned game actually comes out in the States. 

First, a 'fic update: I think I will, to save myself the hassle of rewriting, put a couple of 'fics on hiatus until FE12 is in my grasp.  Specifically, Chapters 5-Infinity of "No Saint to Follow" and Chapters 4-5 of "Trinity," because the mental gymnastics required to unite FE11 (as I will henceforth term Shadow Dragon) with FE3 are taxing, tiresome, and possibly OOC.  Now, I have enough written of both that if FE12 does things that are not to my liking, I'll say "screw it" and go with my original plans and a pile of disclaimers.  But for the time being, I'll sit back and see what canon hands me in terms of the War of Heroes.

Also, IF the Hero of Shadow is a Tactician, and the Tactician does to Archanea's fiction pool what he did to Elibe's, I will have no qualms whatso-bloody-ever about writing some of the things I was planning to write in "No Saint to Follow."  

"Dark Sun of Desire," on the other hand, can go along unchanged since it's postwar, mostly set in Valencia, and doesn't depend much on interactions that take place during the actual game events of FE3 Book Two.  Ditto for Chapters 2 and 3 of "Trinity."  Same goes for all the Unified Kingdom stuff, as I already made up my mind as to what happened in that fic-universe and it's not changing now.

[I admit to being amused that Marth gets the epithet of "Hero King" right off the bat in the FE12 teaser.  I thought that was used in one of the FE3-era timelines rather than any of the game scripts, but as a functional epithet it's less embarrassing than some of his other titles, so I've used it often in the Unified Kingdom 'fics.  And it looks as though I will keep doing so.]

Next I will likely rant about the fanboy obsession with Lord promotions and why it's nonsensical.
mark_asphodel: (Manga Marth)
It's been two long, rough days at the negotiating table, and this one is going to drag out a while.  The company is saying "no" across the board (okay, they agreed to a couple of tiny symbolic proposals) on every major issue, monetary and non-monetary alike.  We're not asking for a whole hell of a lot-- is it THAT crazy to think that one week of paid vacation, ever, is on the low side?  Or that maybe the health care plan ought to be funded against anticipated annual rate hikes in the 12-14% range (this year's was 19%-- ouch) just to maintain our current level of benefits? Hell, I can't even get them to back a standardized process for when employees leave the company so that the people who do leave don't walk off with any more company property.  You'd think they'd be behind that one! (I was serious, too.  It ticks me off when people walk out the door with company stuff, especially the test equipment that is often worth more than a new midsize sedan).

They're playing games, apparently.  I guess it's fun.  Oh well... I don't plan to give in anytime soon.
 
As I am in a political mood, here is the fourth installment of "Another Piece of Blue."

Enter the Catria.... )
mark_asphodel: (FE3 OTP)
 Well, I learned of this first thing this morning from [livejournal.com profile] myaru , and the thought of it sustained me through a grueling twelve-hour day.

First thoughts:

All right, adult Marth!  But why is he apparently hanging out with his compadres from Book One and carrying the full Shield of Seals? The hell?

I've already seen fanboys on various fora saying how much they like the new art style compared with the FEDS style.  Uh, we already got a taste of eyeless comic-booky Marth in FEDS.  It's not THAT much of a departure from the FEDS CGs, though I do find it viscerally pleasing while the FEDS CGs were merely pleasant.

Now, as to the mysterious shadowy figure behind Marth, the titular "Hero of Shadow" and Marth's new "friend and confidant"!  Fanboys have presented the following theories:

It's a self-insert Tactician in the manner of Blazing Sword.  Dude, I hope not.  I want Jagen to be the tactician, because Tactician!Jagen is badass.  I do not want to put myself into the game so that Marth can ask me stupid questions.

It's Roy!  Wishful thinking, peeps.  Messy hair and a sword are not sufficient evidence for an Elibe crossover.

It's Cain!  Damned if I don't like that idea, but I seriously doubt it.

It's Alm!  Because Gaiden got skipped for a remake, so Alm has to come into it somewhere.  No, I think Alm has more to do on his own continent like Cellica in the year 607 and does not have time to be helping Marth out.

It's Hardin, helping to defeat himself.  That's kind of cool, but I doubt it.

No, the most likely candidate for this nameless, faceless hero would be... Sirius.  Who also fits the "messy hair and sword" profile.  Now, this poses a HUGE continuity gap, because Sirius is never once presented as Marth's "friend"-- they don't have a single scene or conversation together!  But if it's not Sirius, I don't know what other existing canon character the Hero of Shadow would be, and then we're left with this Tactician bullcrap again.  

Also, I admit that I find it disheartening that, after being refashioned from a dipstick kid into a competent and pragmatic hero that I absolutely love, Marth is being knocked down to a mere co-star in his own legend, sharing equal billing with Mysterious Shadow Person.  I really wanted a remake of FE3 to give us a version of Marth that made a convincing Leader of the Free(ish) World-- and, preferably, an edgy evolution of the somewhat screwed-up teenager seen in FEDS.  He now looks the part, but the presence of his shadowy buddy makes me fear that Marth's own characterization is taking a hit.  Sigh.

So, I guess I'd better finish my various WIPs before they're all jossed to hell.  Or maybe I should hold off on "Trinity" until I get a load of the new, improved Sirius in action?  The "Sirius" chapters of that story have been a pain to write, anyway....
mark_asphodel: (Manga Marth)
 As I've decided to start uploading the chapters of "Dark Sun of Desire" on ffnet once they've passed muster here among my f-list, I figured I might as well start uploading the chapters of its companion piece, "Trinity."  The latter is the Camus/Zeke/Sirius story, and if you think that means a threesome of dudes you're probably not its target audience.  I wanted it to be a one-shot, but apparently people get scared off by 10,000 word one-shots, so now it's chaptered.  ;P


Massive spoilers herein. Massive spoilers inherent in subject matter. )
mark_asphodel: (Adult Fin)
 So I spent a couple of hours ripping through script translations of FE4 and FE5 to try to figure out how this whole world comes together.  I don't think there's any way to "get" Jugdral in its various permutations except to play the games repeatedly, and I don't have time for that right now.  But I did come away amused by the ways in which game content was already being recycled in the SNES era.  The FE4 "take my granddaughter, please" village-visit, for example, was a pretty clear rework of Mallesia's recruitment scene in FE3, only this time played for strictly for laughs, without the intimations of rape.

But I've already come away from the Judgral scripts with an overwhelming impression of love, marriage, and family life that carries across the early games.

First Girl Wins and More.... )
mark_asphodel: (Adult Fin)
 The Jugdral/Archanea/Valencia connection has done the impossible: it's made me care about Navarre's backstory.  [livejournal.com profile] shimizu_hitomi  raised the issue of Navarre's "Isaacian" vibe quite a while ago, but without having played FE4 myself I couldn't really make use of the context.  But now that we know that FE4 & 5 take place on the same planet as Archanea...

Cut for FE1/2/3/4/5/11 spoilers, hah. ) 
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Back when [livejournal.com profile] fe_contest  first started, I had a challenge prompt all picked out in the bizarro event that I won anything.  Well, I decided not to use it and submitted something else to the mods instead-- something for which I have no preconceptions and no plotbunnies kicking around.  I'll probably sit this round out, anyway, unless participation is really sparse.

My weekend abroad was pretty restorative in a general sense, but it also gave me some ideas to retool and "unstick" my original novel-in-progress that has been stuck in park for a year now.  That novel is very tied to a sense of place, and returning to California helped me get back into the atmosphere of it.  Even the sunlight looks a little different at that latitude than it does from where I now live. 

I got no actual writing done on the plane, but I did have large chunks for a new 'fic materialize in my brain and I have been feverishly jotting them down since my return home.  It stars... Nyna.  Yes, Nyna, my perennial punching bag.  Specifically, Nyna after FE3, when she goes off to Valencia chasing "Sirius" and presumably finds Zeke instead.  Now, this is dangerous territory, given that [livejournal.com profile] shimizu_hitomi  will finish "Through a Glass Darkly" one of these years (please?).  While the second installment of her story will undoubtedly be better than my attempt, mine at least will be different.   For one, I can pretty much guarantee that Hitomi won't feature Marth to the extent that mine does-- I find the whole dynamic between Nyna and Marth fascinating in terms of text, subtext, and context... far more than I ought to, I suppose.

Why the sudden interest in a character I have such issues with?  Well, just because Nyna makes mistake upon mistake doesn't mean I don't feel a certain amount of sympathy for her.  She's conflicted and flawed and very human, and her mistakes aren't inexplicable "idiot plot" mistakes.  FE11 presents her as a woman who could have been a good queen (x-ref Horace) but who has some critical blind spots when it comes to what her duty is.  Her position in society makes a fatal flaw out of her kindness.

[The FE11 ending is one of those "comedy turned tragic by context" dealies-- from the way FE3 presents it, peace begins to unravel from the moment Nyna takes it upon herself to hook up a pair of tongue-tied teenagers.  And the fact that the script is sending up red flags through that scene doesn't help Nyna any.] 

Nyna is, in a sense, fortunate.  Governed by desire (or lack thereof), she is set free of her obligations to society to pursue that desire-- pursue it clear across the ocean.  The question then becomes whether having is any better than wanting.
mark_asphodel: (FE3 OTP)
 I think I need a certain amount of external pressure to be productive.  The pressure is on now, and my brain is flowing over.

Here is an exploration of Caeda I wrote 80% of last year and have polished up for publication.  It's my attempt at depicting her between the wars, based on a curious glitch in the Archanean timeline.  It would appear that, in Year 607 when the War of Heroes is about to erupt, that Caeda has arrived in Altea fairly recently-- she and Marth are just on the verge of getting married when the whole Grust diversion unfolds.  Yet the War of Darkness wrapped up approximately two years prior, back in 605!  That's a rather lengthy engagement-- wouldn't there be a certain amount of hurry-up involved, what with Marth being the last of his bloodline and all?

I present the following excuses: 

1) One or both of them are deemed underage.  This is pretty feasible, given Marth isn't crowned king immediately.  Archanea, unlike primogeniture-happy European kingdoms, doesn't like child kings, and doesn't seem to go for child marriage, either.  We know he can't be any older than seventeen in 605, and I suspect Caeda to be a year or two younger than that, and perhaps that's just too young. ("Old enough for war, but not for voting," I guess.)

2) Altea is a mess and needs to be stabilized first.  OK-- but FE11 kind of indicates Caeda zips out there immediately, regardless.  And she kicks her heels for two long years doing what-- playing dolls with Elice?  Learning how to be a lady?  Your guess is as good as mine.

3) Talys is a piece of unfinished business.  Specifically, it's a recently unified "modern" kingdom, whose first king appears to have one (1) young daughter as his heir.  Seriously, if Caeda had a brother or three, wouldn't they have popped up somewhere in the plot?  Sending Caeda off to Altea to marry means that, in essence, Talys goes bye-bye in one generation.  Married heiresses in Archanea hand over all their authority to their husbands.  Witness Nyna.  Witness Artemis.  In the time it takes to say "I do," independent Talys becomes, in effect, an eastern province of Altea.  A neglected province of Altea, given they're at opposite ends of the archipelago.   

If I'd dedicated my life to making Talys one solid nation, I'd have second thoughts about that scenario.  Wouldn't you?
mark_asphodel: (Ephraim!)
 Still haven't finished anything for [livejournal.com profile] fe_contest  this round.  I've started two "high concept" pieces for the challenge and stalled out on them both, while other ideas have taken over my brain (and work takes up most of my week).  Part of the problem is that the earlier challenges spurred me to tackle 'fic subjects I'd already wanted to write, whereas with this one I'm starting cold, forcing it, and it shows.  So, barring some last-second burst of creative energy, I'll be on the sidelines for this one.  

Stuff that has thus far resulted from fruitless attempts at Challenge 004:

1) Untitled 'Fic featuring the King of Talys and his balancing act from 602 through 604-- harboring fugitives is a dangerous business, especially when your closest friend still living is on the wrong side of the war.   Developed as a sidebar from an untitled 437-word challenge attempt.  (1494 words)

2) "Hearts of Glass," an exploration of the Linde/Merric/Elice triangle featuring Prince Rupert's Drops as a motif.  The actual challenge attempt.  (1020 words)  ETA: Bashed out another 1900 words to finish it, and posted it here.

3) "No Direction Home" (Complete!)

4) Untitled thing featuring Hardin before he went loco (266 words plus unwritten ruminations)

5) "Speak No Treason," starring Astram during the battle for Altea during the War of Heroes.  Features a cameo by a very unhappy Abel. (618 words plus various outlines)

6) "Things Left Unsaid," in which Est gets married and her sisters get themselves into various scrapes.  100% guaranteed to upset some portion of the fanbase if it ever gets finished.  (Three handwritten pages + 166 typed words thus far)

7) "The Difference Between Strategy and Tactics," in with Marth attempts to rationalize why they're waging war in Pyrathi when Pyrathi would rather be left alone, thank you. (268 words plus two handwritten pages)

And, finally...

8) "Mortal Corruption," a L'Arachel/Ephraim vignette featuring blood, tears, and disillusionment. (99 words as I  only finished one paragraph)
ETA: finished this one, too.  Rewrote it to remove the tears, though, as L'Arachel does not cry.

You can't say I'm not trying.  You can say I'm highly distracted and distractable at present.
mark_asphodel: (Manga Marth)
 Chapter Two of "Another Piece of Blue" is posted here.

Highlights include:

Marth finds out Macedon will be even more trouble than he expected.  No surprise there.

Cain gets another slap in the face courtesy of Realpolitik.

Empress Nyna has an unpleasant surprise for everyone.  Or maybe that's not such a surprise, either....

I don't have a lot to say right now, but I'll mention here that my "template" for Macedon tends to be ancient Sparta rather than any medieval or Renaissance state.  There's some other stuff that may strike readers as dodgy, but one detail about Macedon is particularly bad.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 So I'm browsing through the Spanish-language FE site, Fire Emblem Wars of Dragons, in part because their character-recommendation guides are amusing.  Del trio de Jinetes Inutiles is even catchier than "faildins" when it comes to describing Matthis, Vyland, and Roshea, you know?  Then I get to Catria's page and find the Spanish translation of her character ending:

"Su corazon quedo destrozado tras sufrir un amor no correspondido."

In other words, "Her heart was shattered after suffering an unrequited love."  Shattered?  Catria?  Man, I think I prefer the NoA translation on this one.  I don't care which unrequited pairing you support for her, that's just too cruel.  Doesn't really seem to fit her characterization, either.

PS: Spanish translation also claims that Palla's "pure heart" was broken but blames the war specifically.

PPS: I try to review every FE1/2/3/DS 'fic I see on ffnet except the prOn, but I think I have to draw the line at an undead St. Anri perving on Marth.  Just... no.  I'd take something featuring an undead Artemis as a succubus with a side order of Vampire Hunter!Caeda over the 'fic I saw tonight.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
And here we go with Chapter Three, the final prologue-type chapter.  This sets things up for the main storyline to kick in at Chapter Four.

Welcome to the Occupation )
I clearly am on a Grustian-sympathizer kick.  Hopefully this chapter does express that Melissa's grandmother, though odd, does love the girl (presumably her only remaining relative) dearly and wants what's best for her.  You get three guesses to figure out what happens in the next chapter, and the second two don't count.

I will probably post the first three chapters on ffnet once the mods fulfill my requests to have certain characters added to the drop-down menu.  Title comes from R.E.M.'s "Welcome to the Occupation."
mark_asphodel: (Ephraim!)
I think I said a while back that Cain was supposed to be the main figure in the "Unified Kingdom" project, but I finished and published the Abel stories and some sidebar miscellany first, so my assertion probably didn't make much sense.

Here.  Proof I'm not making things up like a bad hand-waving author.

"Another Piece of Blue" (title inspired by the Boomtown Rats) was intended as a one-shot, but it got pretty lengthy so I'm breaking it into more manageable chunks.  Apparently people don't like reading 12K words in one go.  Anyway, it shows Cain immediately after the War of Heroes-- shaken up, disillusioned, and doing his best to live up to his own expectations of knighthood as life (and his lord) continually jerks the rug out from under him.  

Word about characterization.  Cain has a misogynistic slant in this-- not in an evil or vicious way, but more in a Sir-Bors-the-Younger philosophical way.  Archanea is not the land of women's lib, and anyone living in that world would pick up on that mentality.  Cain's own particular mental quirks should be apparent as the story progresses.  You may be bothered by it if you expect all your favorite characters to live up to twenty-first century Western ideals, so consider this fair warning.
mark_asphodel: (Ephraim!)
Fire Emblem fans have this impulse to cross over the game continents.  I've seen Elibe/Magvel, Elibe/Tellius, Archanea/Tellius, and so forth.  Now, there really are two game continents that exist on the same planet, in the same timeline, with canonical ties, but one of them is not terribly popular and the other is downright obscure.  While Archanea and Valencia appear to share the same language, they offer completely different mythologies, magic systems, and an entirely different "feel" all around.  It's a situation ripe for exploitation if you're so inclined.

FFnet is being a pain tonight, so I'll upload it here.  Spoilers for FE2, plus all kinds of cross-references between the games.  I don't think a reader needs to know either world intimately to get the story, but understanding the references adds a layer of meaning.

I do not own Fire Emblem or any of its characters. )

Yes, I did just spent three thousand words on an imaginary intercontinental trade dispute.  Some context: this is part of my series of interconnected FE2/3/DS stories, “Tales of the Unified Kingdom,” and ties in pretty closely to both “By Any Other Name” and “Homecomings,” both of which show post-war Archanea and its neato innovations like the siege engines, windmills, and so on.  The parallel between Rigel/Sofia and Archanea/Valencia was something I couldn’t keep away from... though you can read this as a metaphor for the popularity of the relevant games.  The whole Old World/New World dichotomy is my own spin on the continents. 
  
PS: For those of you who’ve read “Homecomings,” I’ll just say this-- Valencia also exports malaria to Archanea.  So there.

ETA: "Cellica" is not an available choice in the ffnet drop-down character list.  This must be corrected, post-haste.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 Here we go with Part Two.  This and Part One were originally conceived as a one-shot, separate from the main body of "No Saint to Follow."  Some of the stylistic differences will probably show once Part Four comes up.

This one is a little darker, more violent, with some occurrences of "language."  Oh well.  Also, it's a rougher draft than usual... I think once I'm happy with it, I'll put three or four segments on ffnet.

Steel and Thunder )
No complaints regarding King Jiol, please.  The man had it coming.

And yes, Melissa is a bit of a head case.  Note the lapse into third-person speech.  I'll try to keep that to a minimum, but it's right there in canon.

ETA: Title comes from a lyric in "Bold Marauder" by Richard and Mimi Farina.  I like the John Kaye cover version, personally.
mark_asphodel: (Ephraim!)
Here is the the result of many months of scribbling, reworking, and redacting.  "No Saint to Follow" is a fairly open-ended series of sequential one-shots about the "bad girl" of FE3, Lena's apprentice Malliesia, aka Melissa.  This is the first installment.

Some Mother's Son )
Anyway, though my original conception of Grust was as a "Prussian" militaristic state, there is a real-life Grust in southern France, so there is a bit of Gascon flavor added to my depiction of the place here.  Gavarnie is what I call the village where Lena's grandfather gives Marth the Hammerne staff in Chapter 20 of FEDS.  Arnaldus is, of course, Lena's grandfather.

My conception of Melissa in this is of a girl with something of a runaway imagination, which she has inherited from her grandmother.  She's pretty cunning and manipulative, but not really cynical, which makes her a departure from my usual FE3/11 stable of minor characters.

I render her name as "Melissa" because it means "balm," which I find amusing-- it's appropriate to a healer, and inappropriate to her persona.

Cute young dead guy inspired by Franz of FE8.  Title comes from the song "Some Mother's Son" by the Kinks.
mark_asphodel: (Manga Marth)
 Over on my DA journal I keep an archive of TL;DR "Author's Notes," but I literally do not have time for this at present so I'll just natter a bit instead.  "Homecomings" is probably my favorite story to date, and if it had come out in 2009 I might have earmarked it as "most satisfying thing to have bashed out" for the year.  Having it complete also IMO justifies the whole "Unified Kingdom" project, since it is the genesis of the whole project as well as one of the cornerstone episodes.

Anyway, "Homecomings" is set in 647-648, or exactly forty years after the "War of Heroes" in FE3.  An entire postwar generation has come of age and started their own families, and the events of the Great Wars have already taken on a mythical quality for the citizens of Archanea.  The surviving war heroes (and there don't seem to be many) are all around the age of retirement-- the young blood of FE3 has reached the Jagen-Lorenz-Wendell tier of decrepitude (except for Tiki, duh).  Some are still active in public life, but their age is nearly over.  

[I use the "novelization" ages posted on Serenes Forest as my guidebook when it comes to character ages, so year 647 would place Abel as 64, and Catria at 58.  That is essentially the upper limit for playable characters in the Archanea-verse.  Sixty is not the "new forty" in Archanea (unless you're a Light Mage).  These people are old.]    

The 'fic itself relays plenty of details about everyday life and the economy of Altea, which is the primary setting for "Homecomings," but I'd like to mention a few points wrt the "big picture" backdrop of the Unified Kingdom.  
1) The place of women.  Sorry, it's still not a gender-neutral society.  If anything, the disastrous reigns of Nyna and Minerva likely convinced a good chunk of the populace that there are some things women can't do.  This ties into the public opinion of Catria, one of the most visible women in the government.  That said, the role of Elice and Linde in higher education has created an "upper middle class" of educated and cultured ladies, and some other signposts say that gender perceptions are changing for the better.
2) Culture-mixing.  War and upheaval has led to some areas becoming a real "melting pot," and contact with the neighboring continent of Valencia has mixed it up further.
3) Technology.  With the Orbs restored, and Gotoh granting humans access to the fabulous "dragon technology" described in the FE3 designers' notes, life in Archanea is easier than ever.  "Homecomings" shows the beginnings of a system of mass-transit via warp magic, and other 'fics will show more innovations.  Life in 647 is perhaps as far removed from life in 607 as our 1947 was from 1907.  OK, they don't have nuclear weapons yet, but still.... 

Also, one last thing about Abel.  I realize that in our world, knights did not come from the bourgeoisie unless a wealthy merchant was knighted for his services to the economy (or bought himself a knighthood).  I can't see Abel as anything but bourgeois, frankly.  In between his stint as a shop proprietor and his apparent loyalty to Altea as a nation rather than to the royal dynasty (x-ref FEDS script), he seems to be coming from a different place entirely than Cain and the rest of the Temple Knights.  That's how I see him, and that's how I write him.   

That's it for now.  More later.

ETA: Oh, yeah.  I started writing this back in my original Altea-as-England phase and switched to the current Altea-as-Spain phase partway through writing it.  I think there's some traces of the Netherlands in there as well.
mark_asphodel: (Dead Heero)
Dear lord, I'm at it again.

WTF, Mark of the Asphodel?  You haven't even reviewed all your friends' new stuff yet!  Yeah, but I'm going on vacation in a week and expect to be busy thereafter, and I've been working on this since June.  Of 2009, mind you.

It's the story that ballooned into the whole "Tales of the Unified Kingdom" project.  It's also intended as the last in the narrative series-- though still meant as a stand-alone story.  Initially, I figured I'd quickly tire of writing for Fire Emblem, and that this would be my final contribution before signing off.  Well, that didn't happen.

Basically, after writing the dystopic one-shot "The Golden Age," I decided to write a positive projection of life on Archanea after FE3.  A story in which Marth and friends actually succeed in rebuilding their little continent instead of unintentionally causing further suffering to the people.  But this little utopia was merely the backdrop for the final reckoning of one of my very favorite, very screwed-up characters-- Abel, the traitorous Altean paladin.  I got so sucked into the world-building for this one that once I'd more or less finished with "Homecomings," I wanted to use that world-template again, and so the "Tales of the Unified Kingdom" was born.  Then I had to retcon "Homecomings" to accommodate its prequel ("Forsaken"), its side-stories (like "By Any Other Name") and everything else in the queue.

I filed this one under "Spiritual" for a reason, and have more emotional investment in it than possibly anything else I've written-- as much or more than the in would-be epics "To Freely Serve" and when "Mila Walked the Land."  So if people find it incomprehensible, or just plain "not FE anymore," it's entirely my own fault.

Anyway, this is Part One: Guilt.  And this is Part Two: Angel.  It's done!  It's done!

ETA to add that it's DONE!
 

mark_asphodel: (Manga Marth)
It was one of those days in which I looked at my WIP-pile and said, "Dammit, finish something."

So, here 'tis: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5572950/1/

Well, then, what is it?

It's the love story of George and Minerva, of course. But, ah, I'm supposed to be a canon purist, so where the heck did this come from? Hey, it's post-game 'fic. I have leeway. See, a while back, [livejournal.com profile] shimizu_hitomi noted that the dynamic between George and Minerva was one of the better things about the FE1 manga adaptation. I hadn't given much thought to George as a character before; he's not much use in FEDS, and he just struck me as another one of these Archanean ego-trippers (see: Astram). Then I went back and read his scenes in FE3. Nuh-uh-- George is awesome. He's smart. He does things. Useful things. And hey, he has a backstory in the designers' notes (he's kind of a "Levin" figure, as in he's the prototype for an FE character who comes from a noble/royal background and doesn't want to deal with it). And he's allowed to be all these things without ever really signing up for Marth's fanclub, which otherwise tends to be the dividing line between the sheep and the goats. George totally merited some exploration and exposure.

[No, I don't spell it "Jeorge." I'd also use "Niena" for Nyna if I could get away with it.]

And Minerva needed to get out of that convent. Her official character ending is one of the most craptacular in FE, up there with "Canas died in a snowstorm." Anyway, this is another post-war snippet of my "Tales of the Unified Kingdom" series; it actually originated as a spit-take scene in "Wandering Planets," this M-rated thing I wrote to see if I could actually depict Cain/Catria in a positive sense (jury's currently out on that one). As with too many ideas, it ultimately took off on its own.

Also, I have strong (negative) opinions about romance stories elsewhere in FE fandom, and I thought it worthwhile to demonstrate the kind of relationship I find interesting. I don't know how well this succeeds as romance, but it does star actual adults, which IMO is a nice starting point.

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