The Summoner | Updated January 6th, 2024 (148k words)

Just finished the demo and I absolutely love it so far! Will come back to answer your more specific questions when I’m not at work but wanted to drop in and say this is fantastic~ I’ve always loved summoner type stories so this is exactly up my alley and I adore Caine and Rei. I just wanna give Caine a hug omg, poor touch starved bby. Very much looking forward to the next update and to seeing what content you’ve got over on your Kofi. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us and keep up the great work!

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Progress update: I’m at 168k words, chugging along but have been busy w/ life.

In other news, I’ve realized just how much of a QOL implicit_flow_control is (newbie coders, learn it! you prob won’t regret it, it’s actually easier to work w/ than the default)—but hopefully I didn’t mess up any code when I was going back and editing things. We’ll see when I update lol


Thank you so much! You’re so sweet, I’ve been stressed lately, I really needed this :face_holding_back_tears:

Idk if you’ve seen, but you can hug them in the fes w/ calla route :smiley: You can also receive a hug from them if you directly kill the bandits and you’re shaking in the route w/o calla. I’m slightly unhappy w how I wrote some things since they were rushed so I’m planning on editing later on, but yup. I’m sure I’ll have more hugs in all routes in the future.

Several people have said they like summoner type stories which makes me really curious what they’re reading to even realize they like that scenario—since I’ve never really come across stories with a summoner mc haha

Or did I never realize that characters w/ fantastical familiars are pretty much summoners :0

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What’s the calla route?

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When you accept the soldier of that names help when going to get your level 3 spirit

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Sudden inspiration struck and I drew Caine!

I can never settle on an art style and I’m a little rusty, but it was a refreshing process. And like a typical artist, I’m noticing some things I regret after I finished :pensive:

Don’t take this as canon, even I don’t picture Caine quite like this lol. The outfit is something I just threw together for the general vibes, not actually what they’re wearing in story. Imagine them however you prefer, different hair length/color, height, whatever. Imagination is better than something concrete!

If you want to see Caine animated and smiling, check my kofi! And if you want to commission me for something similar, animated or not, my dms are open…


In other news, I’ve gotten to ~177k in word count! Happy I managed that, but unhappy because I don’t think I’m halfway through lol… I’m at a section where I flip-flop between enjoying what I’m writing and wishing I started with a small scope :sweat_smile:

If you haven’t noticed, I’m doing 3 arcs of getting to know the ROs, and I’m on Rei’s part. Rest assured, no one’s story presence is stuck solely to their section—in fact, there’s a choice where you can dilute Rei’s story with Caine if you prefer. I wouldn’t say that branch would go into “the director’s cut”, but I like what’s there.

…But yeaahh, it’s a lot of writing for something most readers will only see a little of.

First time writers,

keep your branching and rejoins reserved. Think about your setting carefully and if you’ll like writing the scenes your story necessitates. Keep your MC’s journey doable (in a set period of time, not your writing skills lol); just have them working at a coffee shop or something and the craziest thing that happens is them glitching into The Backrooms for a day. Or join me where your story’ll take months, maybe years to finish :sob:

To sum it all up: I cleaned up a lot of code! Yay, but now my word count isn’t as artificially bloated rip. ~27k is the next part of ch3. While I’d like to release a more full update, I’m thinking I’ll split ch3 into 2 more updates, 3 in total (1st part already in the demo). Shame cause I’d like the impact to be less staggered, but that would mean I wouldn’t update for far longer than it’s already taking. Or maybe I’ll have part of ch3 as ch4, idk.

I can’t believe IF writing takes so long and uses so much brain cells (I have to look under couches to scrounge them up). The Summoner just might end up 300k words in total someone send help.

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I was raised by cats. Anything I send would be the very opposite of help.

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Uh…just started checking this WIP, but if I may…just saw something that made me cringe.

This here: .Viol. (In french that word mean rape).

But it is also an instrument…so up to you.

found: cap_stats line 26: invalid return; we’ve already returned from the last gosub

Wow, I gotta say this was a pretty good ride! Love the way you write. And the Spirits are so fascinating!

When the 2nd Spirit showed up, I though she will be a Vixen, then she started talking more…and now I’m in Trouble! Lol

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@AnneWest I was raised by dog(singular). We can cover each other’s blind spots lmao

@E_RedMark Oh, yikes–I didn’t know that, thanks for telling me. I actually had violets in mind, silly me and my flower symbolism. But if this disturbs anyone, please tell me and I’ll change the name suggestion post-haste;;
Also thanks for telling me about the bug, I’ll go looking for it and hopefully fix it haha. And I’m super glad you liked it, hopefully the next update is just as interesting!

EDIT: I forgot my version of the demo’s wayy different from the public one now, so I have no idea if the same bug remains lol (although I couldn’t find where it might be looking in the scenelist for the dashingdon demo, so if you remember what scene you got the bug, please lemme know–gosub bugs mess me up fr)

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Honestly, Violet would be better lol

The bug happen right at the part where you say ‘Here what I have next, if you could help me…’ and when you click next…that’s when the error show up.

So, I don’t know what’s next.

Oh wait…lol I though there was more :woman_facepalming:

But regardless, its at the end. Here is a screenie.

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Hmm maybe I’ll change it to Sororia (because violet sounds too straightforward haha)

Oh that explains everything! That’s the end of the demo so technically it isn’t a bug? Though not entirely sure why it prompts that message, I’ll check my side of the demo jic, but things should be fine ^^ (and I’ll be sure to make it more clear it’s the end on the next demo lol) ty for the pic!

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Aw so that was the end? Then what did you mean ‘By help me with the next part’?

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So if I was in control of super powered magic weapons I wouldn’t be no slave soldier that’s for damn sure

And if my family is so important and powerful why the hell aren’t we running things

Yes the story needs to happen but it’s so contrived. I have power but I’m somehow meekly accepting of being forced into war? If your only options are death or death why wouldn’t you at least die trying to live free. I sure as hell would.

“Hey let’s send the guy who expressed his total disagreement with his situation within the first sentence he said to his commanding officer out into a foreign nation completely alone. There’s no way he’d simply run away.”

And the fuckers are right for some dumbass reason smdh

What would they even do? Imprison me? Oh no I can’t believe I’m not able to be thrown onto a battlefield to die pfffft

Take my spirits? Have em bitch, I don’t even care.

Sentence me to do what I was already doing as a conscript?

There’s literally nothing they could do to me that’s worse than having your soul consumed by spirits until you die a painful death

Also my guy was in no way the kind of person to care about a festival, and yet God decrees I’m now a festy boy so I gotta click through all this festival fluff I really don’t care about and has no bearing in anything except trying to force me to romance my LITERAL MAGIC SLAVE seriously, what the fuck? That’s quite the power imbalance trying to force my affections onto a woman that literally cannot resist me if I simply ordered her to hop into bed, yuck.

Anyway good use of fancy vocabulary words.

Also one of the characters was named the same as me, which was kinda funny.

Oh yeah? The fuck you gonna do? No spirit having ass. Why am I subject to this idiot’s authority when I’m apparently packing enough power to rip a nation apart?

Rei, kill this fool and anyone else that attempts to stymie my egress from this laughable situation.

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@E_RedMark At the time, I was losing my mind deciding how to write the next part of the demo ahaha (I still am, but yolo or smthn)

I was having writers block(?)—here’s the post I made when I updated the demo that has context.

And as for helping, I welcome any speculation of how the story might unfold/end because idk if my plans are good or not. I might take serious inspiration from what someone has to say or if I think they’ve got a better idea than me, I might just make that one of the endings or a plot point :L

Like pls just write the story for me guys—I’d much rather be a reader than a writer!


No yeah, if you were the MC, you probably wouldn’t be a slave soldier—but if I were, I probably would be lmao. Pretty uncool, ngl!

blablabla

Wouldn’t like it, but if I grew up in this world, idk if I’d see a way out of it besides hoping for a serendipitous chance or for the war to end. And that’s if you get the chance to even have the capability for that desire. Spoiler territory, that’s all I can say for now (im still not set on the specifics, wip)

I’ve got some reasoning that I hope I’ll get across in the story, some of which is present in this thread and the demo, but we’ll see (Prob needs editing which I want to do later down the line). Typical dystopia :+1:

The Houses in Faolkr are important—or they appear to be. It’s purely in repute, Therra’s society isn’t built on capitalism as much as Earth’s is. It’s all about appearances and not shaming your nation—a little Asian culture influence yippee

Spirit usage is damaging, but so is working yourself to death. And man if people on Earth don’t see that as a problem, I am very much worried about my parents and my own future lol

Yup. And it’s never worked, so why even waste time & effort trying <MC


MC will eventually get their chance at freedom, they just need to break free from their cult-like upbringing and realize that things can change.

Overall theme is something like: You can’t be complacent if you don’t like things. Your company (on Earth) will fire you without a second thought and replace you! They don’t care about you as a human no matter how long you’ve been working there!

Also MC is not mentally well, even if they appear to be normal :smiley:

Their perspective is somewhat unreliable, which is intentional but also difficult to get across bc of how story structures work and my skills/motivations (or lack thereof) as a writer. They’re privileged and have an unhealthy view on the world, but also have legit reasons to be disgruntled lol

Psychology aside, I read & write IFs for the character interactions so You Will Frolick in The Festival. (silly and unserious? Yep. First minuscule step of rebellion for MC? Sorta. And a few other writing reasons) But it’s not like I don’t want a go home/kill everyone Right Now/run away immediately option, that’s just a loooot of work I can’t justify. If someone pays me 1k for each path, DEAL.

I do agree there’s a messed up power imbalance, but spirits aren’t mind controlled. They’re deffo heavily pressured to obey, but MC can’t force their affections on them—I mean if you see choices where you can harbour a crush/be nice to them as that, idrk where you’re coming from. Feel free to be icked out though, I think that’s more than reasonable since MC’s in a position of power, even if I don’t intend to write much beyond choices where you’re a prick who disregards someone’s voiced desires.

If you randomly ask Caine to kill the Commander or any of your allies, they will refuse! Same goes for if you ask them to hop into bed lmao. Unless they really like you.

Who had the same name as you, do tell :0 (unless you like anonymity lol) is it zack, one of the few normal names

MC’s not the only one with a L3 spirit, there’re other fish in the ocean. But it’s a good thing having allies, if your goals align c:

Rei: Glad we’re on a similar page. You’re more callous than I expected.
MC can’t be chill w/ killing their allies sadly (idk, wip), but I think even the most merciful can make an exception for the Creators. Is doing that wise or gratifying? Dunno, yours and the characters’ opinions.

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No way! You are doing great! Also, that’s cheating! :sweat_smile:

You gotta suffer like the rest of us lol no skipping and hiding in someone else brain! lol

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One of the big things we’d probably need to work on as MC (willing, or not) is the eventual strategy for the upcoming battle. The MC currently has no sense of teamwork with any of the other soldiers, or summoners. They also have only experienced solo training, rather than anything related to battle formations, or at least fighting alongside one or more people. They may be advised to “stay back” and let the summons handle it, but that’s not always how things play out, so some measure of training to prevent defense gaps is ideal for the summoners in the long run.

As of now, there’s no time for that in the current timeline of events that boil down to: arrive at camp > immediately get sent on secret mission to ste-I mean gain more firepower > return to camp, and proceed to experience a slight coma > depart immediately for front lines > end of WIP.

That’s majorly trimming down on more than a couple hour’s worth of reading content, but it does aid my point in that other than the festival, MC hasn’t really had a moment to integrate with their unit’s posting beyond either cooperating, or refusing to socialize with the named characters of the military camp.

Refusing also cuts down on a lot of would-be interaction, and is a part of the story my own MC will have to wait to see be expanded on, given he’s avoided every conversation with his “peers” at every chance to duck and dash. (Odds are good he’s not met everyone it is possible to yet because of this.) :melting_face:

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@E_RedMark Aw, being told I’m doing great felt really nice–thank you :face_holding_back_tears:
But NOOO, I love cheating! I’m not above unscrupulous things!! to a degree

@LadyUmbreon89 I have it in my notes that the current demo’s been a span of ~130 days, if that gives a time line for how long horse travel is and such lol (and how much isn’t covered in story). Trying not to think too hard about durations of things though, bc it gets complicated and time consuming fast.

MC initially had ~2 wks worth of off-screen army training, which includes formation & mock battles (slightly mentioned in rei hangout, totally not seen if you avoided that ahaha) When they got back from Celen, while it wasn’t a full-blown coma, all they really did was eat & sleep for 2 days. And before they set off on the march, they got < a month’s worth more. And even still, a summoner’s training is a lot of conforming to a structure.

So they’re about to get a crash course in reality :upside_down_face:

I don’t really like writing fighting so I’ve not actively touched on it as much as I could’ve–but hopefully what I’ve been writing for the update will give the impression they’ve worked w/ their company a bit. (A lot of it’s still solo work though)

Accounting for player aspirations is hard lol, is one self-preserving & realistic or would they rather act even if it’s semi-illogical & dangerous? One’s more interesting than the other in terms of story content. You guys can lemme know, although I’ve been and will be trying to integrate both already!

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You definitely don’t have to focus on the fighting/battles if that’s outside the scope of your vision, but the training being entirely offscreen outside of specific interaction with Caine, and Rei is contributing to the crunched feeling of being “unprepared.” I’m pretty sure a large portion of that is intentional, but not having any interactive training scenes, or mentions of training that don’t depend on other characters to be seen can be a bit limiting on the reader’s immersion. Even taking every possible interaction as they arise, does it go any deeper than a “this happened” type conversation? I don’t know because I haven’t code dived, or made choices that would get those scenes. Will probably try soon, but I like to save some content for replay value I’ve actually paid for, which is why I haven’t, yet. :sweat_smile:

My picking that as a suggestion was in response to your question of where to go next, but not so much intended to be a direction as a way to further write about character interaction within the bounds of the setting. You’ll be the only one deciding anything, but in a story where the playable main character is stuck in an army as a conscripted summoner soldier, the environment is important enough that it shouldn’t be glossed over. By this, I do still mean the training MC faces, or interactions with other superior officers that may be displeased with a defiant MC’s attitude. Heck, there’s probably been a few non-summoner soldiers that were unimpressed, and wanted to offer their own two cents about MC having ‘a good life’ or something beforehand because of their privileges as someone born to a reasonably high ranking summoner bloodline. A training scene isn’t about the training–it’s about the character interaction within it.


Noting here that I’m not particularly worried about timelines in a WIP that could change things around based on the way you want to go about telling your story. People who read WIPs need to be more flexible than that since anything we read anywhere that hosts incomplete WIPs could be shelved. :sweat_smile:

The journey to the city where Rei was obtained could feasibly have had more fluff content if you wanted because of the elapsing time, and distance, but the choice to forward things there was a good one since too much focus on the travel scenes would feel like it was stretching that spans’ value. If the letter made during that time has had a chance to be responded to, a care package from MC’s aunt arriving by the time the position of the front lines is reached could be a neat little thing (provided the letter was sent, but who wouldn’t?)

Not wanting to give unwanted advice in this (hopefully peaceful?) back and forth, but it is still important to remember this:

There’s no rush to force out another chapter, or scene, if they just aren’t coming to you. A work in progress is not an obligation to be completed because you’ve shared it, and have gotten responses that show people have read what you put out. Your WIP, your way. No one here, least of all me, will change that.

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@Kezthier to tack onto what @LadyUmbreon89 has said which by the way i agree with most if not all of it. :smiley: in regards to the fighting part you say its not your strong suit but havent seen anything myself on that so i cant comment lol. As for my advice to it you can allways practice away from things to get the feel if your of a mind to tackle such. Into the context of the story instead of being highly detailed i would sugest perhaps using broad strokes and giving the player a controled and limited but meaningful choices in thebover all fighting… perhaps there more nuance but without seeing harder for me to help since im at work lol

But have no fear we love the story and its the interactions of the people we meet in the story at least for me that i love.

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Sorry it took so long to come back to this…I have honestly been keeping an eye on things but life and a severe lack of being able to relax has taken a toll on my mental state and I wished to give you a full reply than a rushed one.

Either way I must say I am somewhat surprised that I inspired you a bit or at least gave you some ideas on an ending. It is an honor gives a slight bow I look forward to what you write on the next chapter. I usually like being quiet and let the author morph their world so in the end I am happy to give you sprinkles of inspiration even if its not usually my thing.

As for some thoughts after reading through this a few more times I will admit that the MC is simple hears a gasp. No I don’t mean that as insult but rather as a good thing, it blend well in their want to not be a soldier or summoner for their country. It means they are free to hate or agree with many things allowing to form their own third person opinion on the world they live and the people they share it with. They are neither a warrior, soldier, or a summoner beyond a title forced thus allowing them to possibly change or bend those called titles perhaps in a way not foreseen yet. But like a dog tasting blood they have the ability of becoming something worse if allowed. Long story short I find the core of them, being fearful of being a summoner and their internal struggles with being a tool refreshing compared to other stories. It’s not overly dark or something like that, it’s a constant struggle they have and will always have till something or someone changes that. It’s a good whydunit so speak

Cain or the family summon , is a bit more of mystery but after some time you find them straight forward just like the lance they use. But…they still have some mystery to them like the why they serve the family for the big one.

As for our most recent summon they feel like Frankenstein to me… a mad scientist really. They question things want to change things but the theme is should they be allowed to? I’m not talking beyond their power but more their motivation and drives as a character here. They are a bigger whydunit then the MC summoner currently until we learn more.

I look forward to seeing how these characters evolved devolve, morph, change and break based on our choices…chuckles darkly

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Simplicity makes sense in this context. There’s no indication that MC was ever really socialised properly. It sounds like they had thier aunt, and occasionally thier parents, and very little to no social contact outside of those three and a few tutors. Expecting them to have any sort of grasp of social complexities (or even niceties) may be a bit too much.

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