Guenevere (WIP)


#9019

@ElvenQueen (I’m putting this in spoiler text but it’s not like a big plot spoiler or anything.)

It depends on what she does from there. The Michaelsmount branch works on a countdown clock that determines whether or not Guen will still be able to achieve her goal (help Arthur. get sword, kill Meligaunt, whatever) by the time she gets to the top of the fortress. Rescuing the knights adds to the timer, but they might be able to help Guen move through the various obstacles faster, depending on how things go. Rescuing them is probably a good idea if Guen arrives with no allies at all, though I think a Guen who has a good balance of stats might be okay without them. Honestly I haven’t been able to playtest the Michaelsmount branch very much, so I’m still not sure what will and won’t be an advantage, but I’ll get everything balanced out eventually. :slight_smile:

Oh, and I should mention that the “countdown clock” is not a realtime timer; I don’t think such a thing could even be implemented in ChoiceScript. It’s just a counter that adds time whenever Guen chooses an action, so you (the reader) can sit there for as long as you like as you decide whether it’s worth your while to give up the 20 minutes it might take to search Meligaunt’s bedroom, or just move on because you want to get to the top asap.


#9020

Excellent. Now I have just a few more questions.

What factors most effect Guen’s influence on the negotiations with the Franks following the conclusion of the battles?
Do I have the option of making any significant pre-battle preparations?
Can I stop somewhere along the way and gain reinforcements to bring to Camelot?
Can Guen use herself as a distraction to divide the enemy army or lure it to a more advantageous battle ground?


#9021

FUUUUU even just reading that gets me excited. Michaelsmount I’m heading for first and I cannot wait.


#9022

I wonder what will happen/how the game will progress if we fail to defeat the army though? My guen is a stereotypical dark, angsty, kinda depressed sorta person with a super dark and negative outlook on life. Also she is mostly logical but can easily be controlled by her emotions. Saving the faye cat is her top priority, then saving Morgana, especially as my guen wants her to realise she wants to be more than friends but is shy :stuck_out_tongue: . So yeah I don’t think my guen is suited to defending Britain, she certainly doesn’t think so so has maybe set herself up to fail already with her mindset.


#9023

I’m super curious to know more about Guen’s childhood. What was her mother like? What are her parents’ names? She doesn’t have sisters, but does she have any brothers? You have the option to have Guen not be a virgin on her wedding night, and we can fill in the gaps ourselves, but I’d love to know more. Did she have to sneak out. Was she ever caught? Did she have to orchestrate a cover-up?


#9024

At that point, it’s mostly too late to change the direction of the negotiations (such as they may be). Frankmarch can end up in several different states, depending on Guen’s previous choices, and that’s the main thing that determines the ongoing relationship between Frankmarch and Britain.

Yes, quite a few.

Sort of?

Not really. Originally I was going to have an option to march out to a field battle instead of just defending the castle, but as the branch approached 100k words (longer than all of Guen book I), I decided to keep the main battle at the castle. Guen does have an option to ride out ahead of time and try to do some preliminary damage before the Franks arrive. (Alternatively, she can choose other preparation options and send someone else, or no one.)

My hope is always to make the story interesting no matter what happens, so in a sense there’s (sort of) no such thing as failure, just different story directions. The people of Britain won’t blame Guen personally if the battle goes badly, though they might lose some faith in Arthur, especially if Guen pushes them in that direction (or she can probably try restore their faith).

I’ve left it vague on purpose, because a lot of readers have already come up with elaborate backstories for their Guens, and I don’t want to negate those. If I ever write the big backstory novel that I keep making notes for, you’ll at least have some cameos from Guen’s parents, but I’ll still keep a fairly light touch, and I certainly wouldn’t show her as a child or anything like that. I want to give as much latitude as possible! :slight_smile:


#9025

@jeantown

Well, THAT’S a relief. :smile: Because I happened to have spent the past few days, as stress relief from working on final projects, writing a Guen backstory fanfic. A certain red haired sorceress in it just demanded to be written and wouldn’t take no for an answer.

Scarlet (because I found the perfect image for her):

Magical Guen’s POV-Age 13:

Day 1: I was thirteen when I first met Scarlet.

I had sneaked down to my father’s dungeon alone, and had just finished bribing the guards to let me with a necklace that had been choking me anyway. I barely opened the door when I saw her cell, apart from the others, with no other prisoners in the entire wing. A girl only 5 years older than me, with long bright red hair. And she looked…delicate. Innocent. Younger than her years, and she was definitely not old.

Her eyes suddenly snapped up to meet mine. “Well, you’re not Old Sir Pudgy Butt.” she said. Then suddenly her expression changed to one of desperate hope, and she opened her mouth to say in a rush “You’re not him. So you’ll listen. Please listen? Please help me. I don’t belong here! I don’t belong in this dark horrid place. I only took a piece of bread to feed my starving sister, I swear. She was so hungry. I fell asleep listening to her stomach growl every night because there was nothing to feed her. I told the duke that, but he didn’t care. He threw me down here, and he’s going to have me burnt alive. I know stealing’s wrong, but-what would you have done? I’m not a bad person. I don’t deserve this. Please, please just let me out before someone comes.”

“You’re lying. The duke’s my father. He wouldn’t do that.” I respond flatly. “I’m not lying! If you’re his daughter…look, I know you don’t want to think of your father as a bad person. And maybe he’s not, to you. But…please. Do I look like an evil criminal? Do I look dangerous?” She points to her tiny, 17 year old, pretty, delicate body. I admit that she doesn’t.

“The keys are in that drawer. Just please, please let me go. My little sister will starve, it’ll kill my mom…” Tears are running down her cheeks. Slowly I walk over to the drawer and pull out the key ring. I stop an inch away from where she could grab them out of my hands.

“Just how stupid do you think I am?” I ask sarcastically. “I read the report from the constable. You’re here because you used a fire spell to burn down your hut with your family inside. You were found at the scene, and I quote, ‘laughing maniacally’ as they screamed. You killed that ‘starving sister’ of yours along with your parents. And I READ the book where you got the stealing bread for your starving family story from-Les Miserables, right?” I continue.

Her whole face changes-all the desperation going out of it like it was never there, and suddenly a sarcastic smile appears on her lips and she actually starts to clap. “I guess the answer to your first question is ‘More stupid than you are.’ As for Le Mis…maybe. And since it seems you’re not QUITE dumb enough to die within the next 5 minutes, and you’ll need to call me SOMETHING…you can call me Scarlet. It’s not my real name, but nobody knows that anymore, and I like this one loads better.”

Scarlet cuts me off before I open my mouth. “I know who you are Guen. Don’t bother saying. What I don’t know is what you want. Why is a sweet little lady like you coming down to the big bad scary dungeons? Are you here to express your moral outrage? Here to try to torment me? Because I don’t care and it won’t work.”

Scarlet was the first person to ever call me “Guen.”

I had rehearsed this part for weeks.

“Neither. You’re the only other dark magic user I’ve ever been within speaking distance of. And while your actions sadden me greatly, I’m not here about them. I’m here…because I want you to teach me how to do a proper fire spell. I want you to teach me how to shoot fire out of my fingertips and make fireballs, without hitting anything I don’t want to.” I say, probably a little too fast.

“And why in hell would I help you?” Scarlet replied, having dropped all pretense of being a nice girl. And yet her voice had some curiosity mixed in with the dismissive sarcasm.

“I’m the duke’s daughter. If you do, and do it right, I’ll make sure you’re not executed.” I say simply.

Her eyes widened, then narrowed. She was clearly suspicious.

But in the end, what did she have to lose? “Fine. Get me some components, and I’ll see you tomorrow for your first lesson.”

If I did THAT, Scarlet wouldn’t be here to teach me, because she would have burned the place, and ME, to smithereens before the lesson started. I told her that, and she laughed. “Clever girl. You at least follow Rule #1 of Sorcery-‘Don’t be an idiot.’ Fine, bring the components for yourself. I’ll tell you what to do.” she said.

Day 5:

Well, I was throwing sparks. That was a start. When I made the first one, I jumped back, freaked out, and Scarlet laughed so hard she literally couldn’t breathe. I waited for over 30 seconds while she caught her breath.

“You’re a very cautious girl, aren’t you Guen?” she asked rhetorically. “You don’t take many risks in life, don’t have much fun with it.”

“That’s not true. I have fun. I’m having fun right now.” I replied.

Scarlet raised her eyebrows. “You’re having fun now…almost killing yourself with your own incompetent fire spell, which you’re learning in a musty dungeon from a murderer who you despise?”

“I don’t despise you.” I replied, meaning it.

Scarlet looked at me a bit strangely. “You’re a very strange girl, Guen.”

I didn’t know what was so strange about it. But it did strike me as rather funny that SHE, the girl who lit her own family aflame, thought I was strange. So then I started laughing.

Day 13:

“Are you a pyro? Is that why you did it? Because you couldn’t resist the urge?” I blurted out while I’m trying to light up a leaf.

Scarlet looked caught off guard for about half a second…then that above it all smile once again graced her face. “What in the Goddess’ name is a pyro, kid?” Scarlet asked. “I read about it in a book. It means you feel an uncontrollable urge to start fires.” I explained. Scarlet took a minute to think about it before replying “I do love fire. People are so afraid of it-and they should be. Something with the power to give life and the power to end it is certainly something to fear. Seeing it is like… seeing the Goddess. But no, that’s not why I did it. I have an urge, but if I couldn’t resist it, I’d have thrown a fireball at Cornwall Castle a long time ago. And you, little girl, would be a pile of ash.”

That was…quite the answer. I was silent for a while. I lit up the leaf. Scarlet gave me a thumbs up and a grin.

Day 14:
“If you believe in the Goddess…did you forget about the part about love and forgiveness and compassion for others?” I asked, completely tactlessly, but dying of morbid curiosity ever since Scarlet mentioned the Goddess last time.

Scarlet gave me a mocking chuckle. “I don’t believe in THAT Goddess. I don’t believe in any spirit in the sky that comes down to solve your problems. The Goddess was a metaphor. I meant pure power. The power to give life and deal death. Your own power is the only god, the only goddess, in this world. The others are illusions followed by fools who are too afraid o follow their own path…to be their own goddess. I am my own goddess. Are you yours…or are you enslaved? Do you believe in ‘The Goddess’?”

I was silent for a long time. Scarlet never seemed to mind-she always let me think as she brushed her hair with the brush I smuggled in for her and used the wash basin as a looking glass. Scarlet was definitely beautiful…and definitely knew it. (She wanted a mirror too-but my thoughts were filled with visions of her breaking it and and of death by broken glass. I told her there was no way. Scarlet laughed and said she “had to try.”)

But this time I was silent long enough that Scarlet asked another question. “If you believe in the Goddess, did you forget the part about not aiding and abetting known murderers? And not being friends with them?”

Friends? Was that what we were? I had never had one of those before. Nearly no-one I had ever met was worth my extended company or even my undivided attention. (And they disliked me anyway. Even if I tried to be normal and not talk about dark magic or books they were too dumb and shallow to read or my latest “weird” idea about humanity or the world. It’s as if they could sense my disdain.) Well, no-one but my father…and Scarlet.

The Goddess most certainly would not approve.

“Ah…I don’t…really take everything totally literally, you know.” I kind of stuttered out.

Scarlet’s smirk was as obnoxious as it was condescending.

Day 17:

“You could have gotten away with it, you know.” I mused.

“You’re doing it again. Acting like I’m supposed to know what ‘it’ is. This is the beginning of our little talk, not the middle.” Scarlet said, irritated.

I had actually forgotten that. In my head, we had this conversation at least a dozen times. I imagined a hundred different variations. Sometimes I forgot they only existed in my imagination. They felt more real than the real world.

“You could have gotten away with killing them. If you didn’t stay to laugh and gloat for so long. If you kept the evil gloating to a semi-reasonable length, or better yet did it after you got away, you’d be a free woman.” I reasoned.

I was on the receiving end of a angry glare for a minute before she smirked and said “No more evil gloating? But that would take half the fun out of the job. Why would I ever give it up?”

“Because it’s the one thing holding you back.” I retorted.

“Ha-ha. You should be my evil advisor, helping me out like this.” Scarlet said, confidence entirely un-flustered.

I sighed. “Does that mean you’re going to take my advice and dial that down a notch? And you should tone down the impulsive streak too, just saying.”

A long time passed. Then I heard a snappy, as if she resented the advice and me for giving it, “I’ll consider it.”

Sweet, hard-won success.

Day 20:

I was getting better-I was creating a little fireball. Not a perfect one, or even a very good one-but the ingredients had been collected, and a fireball was being created.

“Why are you HERE every day? You’re a classic beauty-you could have the knights following you around like puppies.” Scarlet asked.

“I’m…not really interested. If they did that, I’d make them stop. I’d threaten to use a fireball if I had to.” I replied, displeased even by imagining that.

Scarlet laughed. “I guess that answers that.” she said. “But sex is fun, girl. You’re so frigid Guen. God, you tensed up by my even mentioning it. I can see it from here.”

“I’m only thirteen! And I don’t want that kind of fun. It isn’t fun for me.” I said firmly. “Thirteen? And you STILL haven’t-? Well, I guess they keep you noble girls pretty sheltered. Gotta protect their investment.” Scarlet asked, sounding actually surprised. That reminder, that Scarlet was a commoner, made me wonder…how exactly, without any tutors, did Scarlet learn how to read and write and get her hands on the kind of books it takes to learn dark magic, (since it’s nearly IMPOSSIBLE to find someone who can actually teach you)?

I apparently wondered out loud again, because Scarlet answered. “I went to Avalon to become a priestess. I got an education, then I made out like a bandit in the night. Though really, all that stuff I ‘stole’ is really more of a fair payment for all the time I wasted listening to their endless prattle on the Goddess.”

This was Scarlet, but I was still a little shocked. Stealing from temples? What was next?

“Um, Scarlet…you haven’t…burned down any orphanages, right? You don’t fuel your powers with murdered fae animals?”

And for some reason that cracked Scarlet up. “No Guen. The orphanages I’ve passed still stand, and the fae animals are unharmed by me.” she managed to say through her laughter.

Well, that was some relief. She had only crossed the irredeemably evil line…4 times…probably while laughing like it was all some great joke.

Day 21:

“Don’t you have any friends? I mean, ones you don’t need to visit in dungeons and bribe the guards with a bauble you stole from your own house every time you visit them.” Scarlet asked, very rudely I thought.

“Do you?” I responded.

“Touche.” Scarlet said with a smile.

Day 22:

“Why did you kill your family?” I blurt out after a particularly terrible fire spell attempt.

“Oh, that’s a fascinating subject. Almost as fascinating as you trying to distract me from your defective spellcasting. Did you forget an ingredient or something?” Scarlet said, trying to distract me.

“You said you’re a pyro and that you hate them, so was that all there is to it? Or was there more? Why do you hate them? Or do you just hate everybody and only got the chance with them? It made you feel alive, didn’t it? Like you said before.” I persisted.

The look Scarlet was giving me could freeze lava. “I never said that. YOU said that. And I never said I would answer your 20 questions. I said I would teach you fire spells if you made sure my head stays on my shoulders. THAT was the deal, Lady Guenevere of Cornwall. I never said I would be your human study. And I certainly never said I would bare my non-existent soul to you for your viewing pleasure. So let’s just cut the crap and get back to what we promised.” Scarlet snapped.

The rest of the day’s lesson passed in tense silence.

Day 28:

I avoided her for days, and then I felt too awkward to say anything. When I came back, I brought apples. Scarlet wanted chicken. I told her to give me credit for not being a complete buffoon. Instead of her usual smile, she just glared at me coldly.

It was Scarlet who broke the silence with “Why does Little Miss Sunshine want to shoot fire out of her fingertips anyway?”

Before I could answer, Scarlet snapped her fingers and continued with “I can think of a few reasons. Ostracized from everyone, mother dead, father is Duke Leodegrance of Cornwall…yes, I could imagine why you could want to burn some things…or people, to ashes. And you’re obviously not as nice as you look in your little frilly dresses. You don’t care at all that you spend at least an hour a day talking to a completely unrepentant murderer. You steal valuables from your own father to bribe the guards to let you do that. In fact, you actually seem to like doing both. Yes…I think you could be Scarlet 2.”

I wasn’t sure if this is was her legitimate opinion, or if she was just getting her revenge for my prying before.

“So why, little girl? Why do you want to learn fire spells oh so badly? Just what are you planning with what I’m teaching you?” Scarlet asked, in a tone that implied she already knew the answer.

“Fireworks. I want to make multicolored fireworks.” I said guilelessly.

Scarlet, for the first time ever, looked genuinely shocked. Her jaw dropped open she just stared at me for a moment.

Then her famous Scarlet smile returned. “You are one of a kind, kid.” she said.

Day 30:

That day, I saw that Scarlet’s arm was injured-it looked broken, actually. “Oh Goddess, what happened Scarlet?” I asked.

“Your father’s guards happened. Jerks. Though I was trying to strangle the skinny one. He tried to touch me.” Scarlet replied while cleaning the dirt out from under her fingernails.

I gaped. Was that true? You could never tell with Scarlet. “Why didn’t you just tell someone?” I asked.

“Tell someone.” Scarlet said flatly. “Who would believe? Besides, that’s for those too weak and too helpless to defend themselves. That’s for girls like you, Guen. If anybody tried to hurt you, I bet you’d tell until you gave everyone a headache from listening.”

How did Scarlet managed to turn everything I said into a way to insult me? It truly was magic.

But her arm was very definitely broken. So I tried to heal it. It wasn’t perfect, but it would definitely at least cut her recovery time in half.

“Woah. What was THAT?! You can do light magic too?!” Scarlet exclaimed. She forgot, as she always did, to be even the slightest bit grateful.

“Of course. Why would I only want to learn half of magic? That’s stupid and limiting. It’s like only reading half of a book.” I replied like it was obvious.

Scarlet, for once, looked like she was considering what I had to say. And not just because she was trying to come up with a witty put down. “…you may actually be right about that, Guen. In fact, you definitely are. But most people don’t see it that way.”

“I am NOT not most people.” I replied, a little insulted. Most people are shallow and narrow-minded idiots. That’s why I have no use for them…except to observe their behavior and analyze it. But actually conversing with them is pure torture.

“No. No you’re not, Guen.” Scarlet replied seriously, giving me a sideways look.

Scarlet mumbles something so quickly and so quietly I almost don’t hear it. It almost sounded like “thankyou.” But maybe it was just my imagination.

Day 31:

I was preparing my spell ingredients when Scarlet asked “Do you know why nobody else sees it that way? About studying light and dark magic both?” She didn’t wait for me to answer. “It’s because people think light magic users are lovely and loving and kind, while dark magic users are something to fear. Someone who does both is, to them, like…one of the cart directors in the cities flashing a red and green sign at the same time. You don’t fit their formula about how the world works. And so their brains go into as much chaos as that street corner.”

I stared. Scarlet was talking like…she actually knew. I had only ever heard or seen her using dark magic, but…could she do both?

Scarlet seemed to divine what I was going to say.

“Yep. I’m just as good in light magic. Probably better. How do you think my parents and sister didn’t wake up until the fire was as good as surrounding them? Painkiller spell that did NOTHING to stop the actual injuries. Then, when they were good and trapped, I just-” Scarlet snapped her fingers. “turned it off.”

I stared, mouth open. That was-the most sick, depraved, evil usage of magic, light OR dark, I had ever heard of in all of my days.

“Oh, and my father was in for a special treat. I healed him up, then let him burn almost to death, then healed him again-ad infinitum. I perfected the trick on him. I did it 7 times. I almost did it 8 before I got so rudely interrupted.”

Correction: THAT was.

“W-why?”

“Storytime’s over, little girl. Your ingredients are ready now. Let’s go.” Scarlet said flatly, revealing nothing.

Day 33:
“I did it! I did it!” I said happily. Scarlet’s clapping was only half sarcastic, and even though accompanied by an eyeroll, she did give me two thumbs up.

“Alright alright, that was pretty good Guen. I actually have a gift to celebrate you being not totally incompetent. Come here and close your eyes. It’s a surprise.” Scarlet said, relaxed and grinning.

Smiling too, I went over to her cell and did just that. Then I suddenly felt something sharp on my throat. I looked down and realized it was the wire bristles on the brush I gave her, sharpened and fastened together. “Surprise. As for the gift for not being totally incompetent, I can’t give it to you. Because you are.” Scarlet deadpanned.

Day 33-Escape:

“Guards! Idiot guards who left a 13 year old alone with me! GET IN HERE!!” Scarlet yelled at the top of her lungs.

Two guards rushed in-the ones I bribed to let me talk to Scarlet alone. When they saw, they started subtly panicking. They should have been-I could just imagine how my father would take the fact that they accepted a bribe from a 13 year old to let her talk to a dangerous criminal alone. Especially if I died because of this.

Then it hit me. I might actually, really die. Scarlet might kill me if these idiot guards did anything more stupid than they already had. She might kill me anyway, no matter what. Her word wasn’t exactly inviolable.

“Get the keys from that drawer and let me out, or I cut her throat.” Scarlet said flatly. Idiot #1 did just that, while Idiot #2 was too frozen with fear to do anything but stare.

She was out. Now don’t kill me, Scarlet. Please. Let me go. Let me go. I wasn’t ready to die yet. I didn’t even know if I believed in the Goddess and something after. If I did, maybe I could face this with dignity instead of with tears. Because right now, imagining it…all I could picture was blackness coming to swallow me. Well, that and utter agony beforehand.

“Now normally, I’d use a spell to kill you right about now. But without components…she’s coming with me. I need insurance. I’ll send her back when I’m far enough out.” Scarlet said lazily.

Idiot #2 pulled the whole “you can’t do that,” and Scarlet reminded him that she did have a pointy object to my neck and could kill me in half a second if he tried to pull out his sword.

Day 33-Into The Woods:

“Your guards suck Guen. Seriously.” Scarlet remarked casually, still with the sharp bristles still to my neck. We were at the edge of the woods now.

“Well, if I survive, they’re all fired. Seriously. Am…am I going to survive?” I asked, starting out snarkily but ending a little shakily.

“Maybe. Maybe not. No giveaways, Guen. You just have to enjoy the ride.” Scarlet replied, actually sounding amused.

“Were you just using me to get out?” I ask.

“Nah. I loved that rat-infested dungeon and wanted to stay there forever.” Scarlet responded, sarcasm set to the max. She makes a little arm gesture that, accidentally or on purpose, leads to her making a hot red line on my neck.

“Was everything you said a lie?”

“You’re a smart girl…usually. Figure it out.”

“Did you actually hate me?” I ask, a little upset now. Or maybe it was just the pain from the cut on my neck.

“I don’t hate you. Actually, you’re rather amusing. Smart and stupid all at once. It’s hilarious. If I ever did ‘feel bad’ about killing someone, like other people say they do, it would probably be about you. So stop the melodrama. It wasn’t personal.” Scarlet replies, with no mean edge for once.

“Why did you burn your family?” I ask. Sure, I might die any second now, but I have to know.

Scarlet looks at me then. She’s not just looking, but staring. The look is intense, and cold, and dead serious. Then she breaks out into her usual mocking grin.

"Guess. Guess right, and I let you live.
A) All that stuff I told you about the evil magic torture was fake. It sounds over the top because it is. It was an accident. It was a spell gone wrong. I was just learning how to do fire spells, and it got out of control. I was laughing because I was in shock. Laughing mad. I told them that, but nobody believed the dark magic witch girl who was seen laughing at the scene of the crime. Your father decided to lock me up like that crazy bastard Gorlois. So I decided if everybody thought I was Gorlois reborn already, I might as well roll with my reputation. Rule #2 of Sorcery-If you’re not what they expect, you’re a monster.

B) There was no reason. No reason except for I was bored and I enjoyed it. Rule #2-Save the evil gloating for after your getaway is complete."

Woah. And not just because my life was in the balance here (or was it?). I had to decide, right here, right now-was Scarlet completely, for laughs, irredeemably evil like she presented herself as? Or was it all an act to cover up what, if it was real, must have been unimaginable pain?

I considered everything I had learned about Scarlet since the moment I met her, tried to read between the lines, and said…“C) Neither of the above. It’s a false dilemma that you’re presenting because no matter what I pick, you’re going to kill me.”

“Well, you’re half right. And half wrong. The correct answer was D) You will never know the answer. Deal with it. Rule #3-Accept that you will never know everything. Though I think you’ll break this one every day.” Scarlet said, actually shaking her head at the end.

She was talking like I’d actually have more days available to me to break it. Could it be that…I was going to live?!

Sure enough, Scarlet took flipped her hair, and, tilting her head towards the sun and making a sigh of pleasure, said “Now go. Go because Rule #4 is…anyone will stab you in the back if given the chance. Go before I decide to give you a personal lesson in that literally as well as figuratively.”

“You’re actually going to let me go? Seriously? After burning your own family to death, and stealing from the temple, and the magic torture, you’re just letting me go? Why?” I asked, shocked.

“Are you seriously complaining about it?” Scarlet asked in a bored and irritated tone. “What’s it to you? My motivation is irrelevant as far as you’re concerned. That’s what is, and you benefit. Anyone else in Britain, ANYONE, would have took off running. You-you act like you either don’t give a damn about your own life, or you don’t believe you can die.”

“You’re crazy, you know that Guen? I would have offered to let you come with me and free you from that gilded cage you call a home, but I can see now I would never be safe as long as you were around. You have no survival instincts. None at all. I don’t know what it is that motivates you, Guen-what drives you to spend your days in dungeons and shun healthy relationships. But I do know that if you don’t learn to resist THAT, whatever it is-it. will. kill. you. So just get away from me before you kill us both.” Scarlet tore into me. It felt so wrong-like, wasn’t I supposed to be condemning HER? It felt like a slap in the face.

“But…where? We’re in the middle of the woods. And there’s…dangerous animals in the woods. Dangerous fae a-” I asked, panicking a little.

“And that sounds like a you problem. So YOU solve it.” Scarlet cut me off.

“But what if they come to eat me?” I ask fearfully.

“Run fast…and scream loud so I can hear” I was about to feel relieved, when she finished with “-and come watch.”

Goddess. I had saved her life, been (albeit accidentally) responsible for setting her free…and all she wanted me to do was to die horribly, eaten by a fae wolf while she watched?!

I guess there was nothing to say to that. I wouldn’t dignify it with a response it didn’t deserve. Nothing to do but start walking.

“Ohfortheloveof-THE OTHER WAY, YOU IDIOT!” Scarlet screamed.

Many Days Later:

Yep, those were the last words I ever heard out of Scarlet. We never had a long sappy goodbye, or any goodbye at all really. That’s not either of our styles. And it suited us just fine.

Was she my friend? Was she my enemy? I guess that all depends on your perspective.

And on Scarlet’s. Which I will never know. I will never know if she was just pure evil, or if she was some sort of evil but had her reasons, or if it was all an act to survive and hide her pain. I will never know how much she meant of what she said. I will never know where she went or what she did after that.

I do know she never returned to my father’s dungeons. I don’t think peace and Scarlet exactly mesh, but I hope she found enough of it not to need to do the horrible stuff she did. (The other possibility is of course that she took my advice, and now does it well enough not to get caught.)

She rather liked me…I’m at least mostly sure of that.

I kind of liked her too. I liked her more than I’ve ever liked anyone. She was definitely really mean, and might have been seriously evil, but I liked her. After all, isn’t there just a little bit of Scarlet that we’d all like to have?

-End-

@jeantown Obviously you’d never include something like that in the story, but theoretically, would Scarlet’s magic torture be possible? Just curious. :slightly_smiling_face:


#9026

Why Scarlet Burned Her Family: I’m still not totally sure if I should post this or leave it a mystery. But…ah, this is how it happened in my imagination. And oh… warning-this is a dark and tragic story, though nothing is graphically described. That’s why it’s in the spoiler tags.

I’m not sure if anybody already put the pieces together or not…had sex before 13, shocked that Magical Guen DIDN’T, her extremely cynical attitude about telling about sexual assault, her particularly sadistic glee in torturing her father…Scarlet was molested by her father every night since she was 6 years old. She went to Avalon to become a priestess, even though she’s basically an Atheist before the word existed, not just to get an education, but to get away from HIM.

When she was forced to go home at 16, it started all over again. Scarlet DID tell then-she went right down to the constable and told him everything. But with what happened at the temple, Scarlet was kind of a known liar whose word was not enough to arrest someone. So the constable asked her mother and 8 year old sister Crystal to confirm what Scarlet was saying was true…and both, despite knowing the truth, said Scarlet was a liar. Her mother because she blamed Scarlet for “seducing” her grown husband, and loved him and hated her. Little Crystal because…she was in a raging state of denial and was a victim herself. Scarlet didn’t know that about Crystal, and Scarlet is…probably entirely incapable of compassion or forgiveness, an has a BIIIT of an impulsive streak. (Scarlet was the victim of a genuinely horrible childhood, but…have I ever said Scarlet is NOT a sociopath? Yeah, there’s a good reason I didn’t.) So she burned all three alive. It wasn’t boredom though. It was fueled by sheer rage.

That rage (and a bit of her pyromaniac tendencies fueling her on) was what made it impossible for Scarlet to stop torturing her father and just leave. As it was, Scarlet was GOING to get caught. She wasn’t going to stop. In her mind, he didn’t deserve it to EVER stop. She would have stood there and tortured him literally forever.

And no, she never felt the slightest hint of guilt or remorse. Guilt/remorse and Scarlet are kind of incompatible things.


#9027

So, odds are if you’re involved in any fandom or into artists like Halsey, Sia, Lana Del Rey, you know about Ruelle and you know the song War of Hearts by her. If not, I really suggest you give it a listen. It’s a gorgeous song on its own but it also screams Guenevere/Lancelot, especially as it pertains to Guenevere/Arthur/Lancelot. And not even just the versions of them in this game but as far as the legend itself. Combined with the drums and the overall melody of the song it’s got this sort of mystical vibe to it that seems so in place with the legend.

Okay, I’m done with this out of the blue gushing but it’s honestly so perfect imo, I just wanted to share it with those of you who might like getting far too excited and feels-y over it with me.


#9028

@jeantown

Hi Jean, im really looking forward to 2027. :slight_smile:

Anyway Regarding Meligaunt ? Wont other characters be problem ? I mean who will figure out Guinevere has Meligaunt under some kind of spell, and how Would Gwen even deal with Arthur regarding controling Meligaunt ?


#9029

Just discovered this WIP. I approve of it. Good luck writing.

Suggestions-

  1. Work in the following characters over time if you haven’t planned it already (I haven’t read this entire thread)- Gawain, Merlin, Kay, Nimue, Galahad, Percival and Mordred. Their Relations with Guinevere are up to the player and you as well.

  2. Allow us to work in possible what-if scenarios with these characters to some degree if you want. What if Guinevere got the Holy Grail from Galahad or Percival and drank from it? What if she helped Mordred get the support he needed to overthrow Arthur? What if she tried to stop him? What if as a young girl Guinevere was able to pull the Sword from the Stone but she put it back thinking no one would believe she had actually done it? This loosening was what allowed the next puller- Arthur- to draw it himself. Maybe there were no witnesses to Guinevere’s success in pulling out the sword. Maybe there was one- Kay? Lancelot? Morgana? The last scenario is just me having fun. :smiley:

Story’s ultimately up to you of course, these are just ideas. Best of luck.


#9030

Hi all, I’ve dealing with more crunch time and holiday prep but I do still exist!

@buggygirl11 Thank you for sharing that fantastic prequel! :grin: You put so much thought into it, and your love of psychology makes for great character studies as always!

Hurting someone and then healing them so you can hurt them again? Sort of – not sure if it would work with burning to death, because healing that amount of burn damage would take a very long time, even for someone like Vivien, and would require some amount of natural healing along with the magical healing. Like if a person appeared at Avalon covered in third-degree burns, Vivien could 1. stabilize them / stop them from dying ; 2. put them in a healing coma ; 3. watch over them and cast periodic, in-depth healing spells for several days. It might take 3-5 days before she’d take them out of the coma, and 5-7 before they’d be pretty much back to normal. But could an evil LM-user inflict more minor pain and heal it again and again over a long period? Sure.

@Dizzie Wow, thank you! I was not familiar with Ruelle and now I’m going to try listening to her while I write!

@CaesarCzech I’m looking forward to 2027… or idk 2037, whenever we get there. :slight_smile: Yes, Guen controlling Meligaunt could be a cause for concern to others if they notice, and I’m honestly not sure how I’m going to handle that yet. It depends on whether or not Meligaunt really turns out to be useful. He won’t have a major role in the narrative itself; he’ll just be sort of a tool that Guen can deploy on spy / assassination missions or the like. So she may be able to keep him mostly a secret.

@achtungnight Thank you for your approval and input. All of the characters you mention will appear, most of them in substantial roles which I’ve already planned out. Both the Grail and Excalibur operate by special rules in the Guenverse. Only someone with royal Pellinore blood can move the Grail, and only someone with royal Pendragon blood can pull Excalibur from a stone (or put it back in again).


#9031

Ok that works. Thx. Don’t forget about the Lady of the Lake regarding Excalibur. Unless you’re ahead of me again.


#9032

@jeantown

Aww, thank you! :blush: Magical Guen and Scarlet actually didn’t require all THAT much thought. Magical Guen’s my self-insert…so now you all know what interacting with me in real life would be like (well, if you’re interesting enough for me to bother). :smile: Did you recognize my voice Jean, after listening to it probably way more than you want to via PM? Just curious. :slight_smile:

Scarlet’s personality is strongly based on a frenemy I had in high school. (Though in RL “Scarlet” was a guy, there were sadly no magical studies, and it was me who constantly refused to talk about my home life to him no matter how many times he tried to squeeze it out of me. And oh, the magic torture murder was made up, if anyone for some reason had any doubts.)

I actually did my first character studies with him while avoiding everyone by spending lunch in the library (he was there for different reasons). And of course we were both trying to figure out exactly what was psychologically wrong with the other. He did try to kill me once, but I’m still smiling at the fond memories while writing about him. :smile:

I’m really glad you enjoyed it, because I think I’ll do one for every Guen, then a summary of how their pre-Arthur life went in general. :slight_smile: (Relationships with their parents, how they learned their primary skills, any friends and ROs, etc.)

So depending on what I feel like, we’re either moving on to Jerk Guen’s prequel first or I’ll do a summary of the rest of Magical Guen’s childhood and what made her the way she is in her prequel first. (It depends on whether writing about a few things in MG’s/partially my childhood turn out to be cathartic or “Aah! It burns! It STILL burns!” and I have to stop.)


#9033

Well, it did burn a little. But it also came out rather quickly. :slight_smile: So…ta dah. :upside_down_face: And I hereby promise that everything is as true as I could make it within the bounds of the Guenverse. Events that had to be made up because the real ones wouldn’t fit in the Guenverse world and to protect the not-innocent have a real-life counterpart with similar “feels.”

Magical Guen (Main-Calculating, Secondary-Nervous/Skills-Dark Magic, Light Magic): Magical Guen began studying magic before she was 5 years old. She wasn’t interested in playing with dolls or playing outside or “being social”, but magic…yeah, that interested her. She learned how to read early as well, so her studies began by accidentally finding the “forbidden” section of the castle library. Every free minute Magical Guen could be found there, reading.

When she was about seven or eight, her mother began to instruct her in light magic. Magical Guen loved light magic too. Unlike most girls her age with a speck of ability in light magic, she didn’t harass every kitten, puppy, and duckling on the manor until they hurt themselves and she could “save” them…Magical Guen saved the animals REALLY in need of saving; the centipedes, the rats, the ants, the cockroaches…and any other animal that nobody liked and therefore thought deserved to die for not being “cute.” Her mother, of course, HATED that; she thought it was “bizarre” and made even more girls her age dislike her. (Quite frankly, Magical Guen liked her animal friends more than them anyway.) Between that and their daily battles over her refusing to allow the attendants to do her hair in ways that left even a single strand in her face, refusing to wear dozens of dresses because they irritated her in ways apparently only she could see, and being known to just leave parties (not only were they dull and all the same, but…if she stayed too long, the voices would all meld together into a single, painful noise…and then she HAD to leave before the noise became a voice…telling her horrible things), being a notoriously picky eater and refusing to eat nearly anything without cheese, trying to continue conversations other people said never happened, refusing to put her head underwater or watch the ends of plays, making decisions based on dreams she believed were signs from the Goddess, constantly rewriting her past in her own mind and then getting upset if her mother contradicted the new version, talking to her mirror image like it was a person that she called Mirror Guenevere…well, you get the picture…her and her mother had a problematic relationship to say the least.

Her mother was ALWAYS disappointed in her over something…something stupid. Magical Guen did wonderfully in every course her tutor taught, she was a prodigy in light magic, she didn’t disobey any IMPORTANT rules…and yet, because she wasn’t like EVERYBODY ELSE…because she wasn’t the normal little girl her mother wanted, who she was just wasn’t good enough for her mother. And Goddess, did her mother let her know it. Besides expressing her constant disappointment, her mother would call her “retarded” over things like not wearing her hair the way her mother wanted or sticking herself with the embroidery needle again. Oh, and for just giving her a blank emotionless look and stony silence when she was yelling again…that just made her angrier. (Once her mother screamed “Are you even listening to me, Guenevere?!” Magical Guen couldn’t resist giving a flat reply of “Not really.” She’d listen when her mother had something worthwhile to say…and she never actually did.)

Her mother said it was an act of love that she spent years trying to “cure” her personality and make her “like other girls her age.” She acted like it was a loving thing to say you thought your child’s personality was a disease.

When her mother caught her trying to combine light and dark magic…and thereby found out she KNEW dark magic, she called her a “little creature”…probably because even SHE realized it was a bit mean to call her own daughter a monster like she wanted to.

No, she never called her that until she found out what Magical Guen had been doing with dark magic to make her miscarry every time. Her mother called her a jealous, spiteful little monster…but it wasn’t jealousy. It wasn’t spite. It was that Magical Guen didn’t think it would be a good thing to give that woman another child, just in case that child was in any way abnormal and in her eyes flawed and diseased. If any of them were, Magical Guen was sure they’d thank her. If they were normal…okay, they probably wouldn’t. But in that case, Magical Guen was doing it for herself…because if they were normal like her mother, like the other girls whose favorite hobby was making fun of her, the baby would be the same kind of person they were. And the world didn’t need any more of THOSE “creatures.”

And aside from Scarlet for a month when she was 13, Magical Guen didn’t have any friends. She didn’t really mind. If it was a choice between her own company and that of the people surrounding Cornwall Castle, she’d choose herself every time. If anyone proved interesting enough, MG would try to befriend them. But if they weren’t, she didn’t mind being alone.

So reading and fantasy was her only refuge…until her father caught her reading a dark magic book. This time, Magical Guen actually cringed before he said anything…only Leodegrance wasn’t angry at all. He commented at how intelligent she must be to be able to read THAT book at the age of 7…though he made her promise not to tell anyone about it, because it wouldn’t be something the masses could understand. Then her father showed her the best way to get in some actual practice…by putting little curses on the “blockheads” of the palace. They watched their reactions together and laughed until they couldn’t breathe. When she was older, Leodegrance said she was ready to test her curses on visiting political rivals. Every time one came, he told Magical Guen who to curse. She had creative freedom in deciding how.

And Magical Guen was happy to do it. Her father was the first person who ever understood her…who ever took the time to try. And she would bet anything that those ambassadors were like most people…the types who deserved a little shakeup curse. It’s not like she was killing them…just making giving a compelling argument quite impossible in lots of creative ways.

And as for what her mother said about Leodegrance being a heartless man and cruel to her, Magical Guen didn’t believe a word of it. He was the best person she knew. Her mother could beg her to let her leave him with her all she liked (because it’s rather difficult to run into the night with an uncooperative kid who’s screaming and waking everyone up). Magical Guen would say no every time. After one time right after she refused again, her mother said Leodegrance would have to BUY her a husband because no one would want to marry her willingly, refusing almost felt…right. (Her mother died when Magical Guen was fourteen. No-one quite figured how. It wasn’t Magical Guen’s doing.)

Leodegrance tried to teach her about politics and battle strategy too…but Magical Guen kind of tuned it out. She was daydreaming about magic, or about how she thought a certain person would react to something. He didn’t realize that until she was about 17 and he tried to test her on it. The look on his face…was…hard, and cold, and nothing short of chilling. Then he said if her magic books were such a distraction for her, he’d remove the distraction…and chucked them all into the fireplace one by one to burn in front of her. She cried and begged him to stop, and he flatly said that it was time to face the consequences of her actions.

They were just books. Just books. She could get others. It didn’t matter. Maybe she imagined it all. Maybe they were just lost. Those darn chambermaids were probably responsible. She’d have to remember to complain to her father and ask for replacements…replacement chambermaids, of course. Books would be a waste to replace when she was leaving for King Arthur’s so soon.

Oh, that’s right. Magical Guen would be marrying King Arthur-that’s why she needed to know all that political stuff. Because she would be the most powerful political figure next to the king himself…if Arthur allowed her to be, as her father explained. How much influence she wielded depended on how much Arthur gave her. If she wanted to matter…really matter, he told Magical Guen that she would have to make the king fall in love with her.

Which would be a problem. Magical Guen didn’t know the first thing about seduction…she wasn’t even interested in that stuff…sex and kissing and sweaty bodies all over her, at all. She didn’t like people touching her at all, ever. When she told her father this, he chuckled and said he figured THAT out before she said anything, but she didn’t need to MEAN it. (Actually, Leodegrance said it was probably better if she didn’t.) She just had to pretend…and not to worry, because he would show her how.

And…look, a little playful cursing to help secure a deal for her father was one thing, but pretending to love someone for power, that sounded a tad…sleazy. That sounded…like something Scarlet would do. When she hesitantly voiced her thoughts, Leodegrance reminded her of all she could do with that power if she just had it, and how she would be a powerless baby maker if she didn’t do this.

That did it. All the good she could do, all the changes she could make to the world, would help thousands more people than snowing one boy king would hurt. And Magical Guen was not about to be some babymaking placeholder, just like hundreds of other queens in history. No. Just no. No way. Her life WOULD NOT be meaningless.

Magical Guen told her father she was on board with the plan, and that she could learn if he could teach. She never saw her father grin like that before then. In a strange way…that grin almost reminded him of one of Scarlet’s. Predatory.

-End-

Now that I’ve got that out, and gotten my therapy under the guise of online anonymity…next stop I think is Canon Guen’s prequel and early life. :slight_smile: And considering who a lot of Canon Guen’s personality is inspired by, we’ll get to see the beginning of how MG’s/my mother became the way she is…the sanitized kid-friendly version, at least.

There are no excuses, but there are reasons.


#9034

@jeantown I was surprised last night to read the word „egotism“ in Wuthering Heights, as I recalled you had said,

The number of times I have typed the word “ego” or “egotistical” (mainly in ref to Lancelot) and then backtracked, reminding myself that the Guenverse is pre-Freud and doesn’t have a concept of ego/superego/id…

and was fairly certain that Emily Brontë lived before Sigmund Freud. Now, upon a visit to Dictionary.com, I learned that the word „egotism“ was originated already in 1705-1715. The more you know… :+1:t2:


#9035

Poor Lance. FWIW, I don’t think he’s an egotist, just young and cocky.


#9036

Two questions, you said that Michaelsmount can’t include Morgana because she would be OP, does this mean an upper 40s low 50s Dark Magic Guen will have an easier time than say a Guen specced more for leadership or light magic?

And also is there a golden ending for Michaelsmount, Arthur and co get out alive, Meligaunt dead, Lance brings through the peace and stops the potential war, and Guen gets that shiny new wall decoration to help with her dark magic spells (everyone needs a hobby, some people knit, some do magic rituals to summon arcane horrors to do the knitting for them)? And of course the necessary sexy reunions between Guen and Arthur and Guen and Morgana (seperate of course, no incest in this castle until fate demands it, at which point Guen will not be involved).

Third question that I just thought of, do we ever get to wield Excalibur? This might’ve been covered before, but I need reassurance that Arthur won’t be the only one who gets to play with Excalibur?


#9037

Histrionic Personality Disorder:

Lancelot, Lancelot, Lancelot…because someone brought him up, I was reminded of THIS, and how disturbingly well the symptoms fit.

  • Emotionally dramatic and prone to express emotion in exaggerated and theatrical ways.

-his dramatic vow to dedicate his life to Guen (after knowing her for 1 week)

-abandoning his best friend for 3 years to go a-questing, refusing to ever say why

-the victory trophies

-overcome with emotion, impulsively kissing Guen

-his dramatic declaration of his undying love of Guen (after having actually interacted with her for exactly 1 week…3 YEARS AGO)

  • Sexually seductive or provocative.They may be flirtatious, preoccupied with sexual conquest, prone to lead people on, or promiscuous.

-reputation for seducing every girl in court

-constantly flirting with nearly everyone he speaks to

-the only one of the Arthur/Lancelot/Morgana trio who would LOVE to have a poly relationship, anytime, if the others consented. No convincing necessary.

-bursts into wedding pavilion without permission from anyone, where Guen is likely not fully dressed.

  • Uncomfortable in situations in which they are not the center of attention.

It’s hard to say for 100% certain, since I’m not his writer, whether Lancelot experiences discomfort when he’s not the center of attention. But he does certainly ENJOY attention. And he can’t seem to totally accept the fact that Guen isn’t interested in or paying attention to him.

-publicly makes unique and especially dramatic vow to protect and defend Guen at wedding ceremony

-interrupts Arthur and Guen’s wedding night for an impromptu fireworks display with him

-despite being supposedly trying to leave Guen alone for 3 years, he constantly sends her victory trophies and makes sure she’s still paying attention and NOT forgetting about him

-will kiss an explicitly uninterested Guen

  • crave novelty, stimulation, and excitement and have a tendency to become bored
    -wanted his life to be a giant adventure
    -his life at court became too much for him to handle (thanks to his attraction to Guen)…time to go off questing!

  • Become attached quickly and intensely; however, beneath the surface, they often fear being alone, rejected, or abandoned.

Attached quickly and intensely…

-his dramatic vow to dedicate his life to Guen (after knowing her for 1 week)
-dramatic declaration of his undying love of Guen (after having actually interacted with her for exactly 1 week…3 YEARS AGO)

Fear of rejection/abandonment/being alone…

-what happened with Galehaut causing him to go on a casual sex spree

  • Suggestible or easily influenced.

-if he likes Guen enough, willing to ignore his best friend/king’s wishes and make an alliance with Grimald or start a civil war in Frankmarch. Anything for his (likely darkside if she’s asking for this stuff) lady love of 5 minutes!

-easily falls for manipulative and/or only sexually interested Guens.

  • Idealize admired others.

I’ve never seen a more clear-cut case of idealizing someone as what Lancelot does with Guen.

-speechless by the mere sight of Guen

-his declaration of love despite not even really knowing Guen (talked to her for a week 3 years ago)

-his vow to dedicate his life and career to Guen

-all those victory trophies

-totally convinced that even if Guen asks him to do something he finds morally questionable (ally with Grimald/start civil war/get evil sword) that she’s pure good and has the best interests of the kingdom at heart

  • Beliefs and expectations seem cliche or stereotypical, as if taken from storybooks or movies.

Lancelot’s whole approach to love and romance is based on the Courtly Love trope.

-As mentioned above, Lancelot basically worships Guen.

-Dedicating his life to his lady.

-Sending the victory trophies to his lady.

-His genuine belief that he’s in true love despite barely knowing Guen at all.

  • Reactions tend to be based on emotion rather than reflection, and their cognitive style tends to be glib, global, and impressionistic (e.g., missing details, glossing over inconsistencies, mispronouncing names).

  • Considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually are.

-kissing a Guen who literally hates him, told him she was only interested in women/not interested in romance or sex, told him she’s devoted to Arthur, AND/OR said she only wants to be friends.

-thinking he’s in love with a woman he barely knows

  • Fantasize about ideal, perfect love, yet tend to choose sexual or romantic partners who are emotionally unavailable, or who seem inappropriate (e.g., in terms of age or social or economic status).

Does this even require any explanation? Arthur. Guen. Probably Galehaut too.

  • Become involved in romantic or sexual “triangles” and may be drawn to people who are already attached or sought by someone else.

Guen. Guen, Guen, Guen. And Arthur too because he’s completely heterosexual and the king.

Total: 11/12=More Than Enough for Diagnosis! :smile:

People with HPD are stereotypically women, so good for Lancelot-breaking those gender stereotypes!

@jeantown So…when I was doing this it seemed like I nailed him. But you’re his writer, so did I misinterpret anything?

Edit: Assuming I didn’t seriously misinterpret something, it seems like a rather accurate portrayal of someone with the condition. And like in Mordred’s case, you probably had no idea your character was neuroatypical! :smile:

Note: As far as I can tell, Arthur is neurotypical. (There’s no disorder just for excessive naivety…I checked. :grin:). Morgana has some workaholic/perfectionist tendencies, but I don’t think she crosses ze border to meet the criteria for Anankastic Personality Disorder…so she seems to be neurotypical also. (Wait, come to think of it, Morgana might have one of the types of Depression. So I might be back with her diagnosis after all! :grin:)

And just because I’ve read about Mara’s character for years…if not an outright high-functioning sociopath, the Poison Queen is one of the darkest examples of Paranoid Personality Disorder (with strong sociopathic tendencies to boot) that probably exists in the world.


#9038

While the term “ego” as a psychological term is fairly recent, its root is the Latin word for “I”. Considering the fetish for Latin the Western world maintained well into the 19th century, it makes sense.