The Conclave

The Ordos Majoris - Roleplay => Out Of Character => Topic started by: MarcoSkoll on August 23, 2010, 12:23:09 AM

Title: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: MarcoSkoll on August 23, 2010, 12:23:09 AM
Well, there's apparently some nutters on this forum who think I'm a reasonable writer, so here's some nonsense I've been working on recently.

Set in the 44th millennium, this looks at the (possible) future of Jax Lynn, the regenerating mutant in Marco's warband.
2364 years on, it turns out that Jax really is pretty much immortal, her mutation making her as able to survive the years as she is bullets and blades.

Obviously, I run the risk of going against other people's interpretations of the future of the 40k universe, but as you can tell, I'm running with the theory that, much like the last however many thousand years, the Imperium really hasn't gone very far at all. There are going to be differences from the universe of the late 41st/early 42nd millennium, but I'll be handling those as I go on.

Equally obviously, time has made Jax a pretty different person to her tabletop self, so don't take this as conforming to the character sheet in the rules section. Some things are the same. But many aren't.

So, what you see here is pretty speculative, reasonably self-indulgent and probably non-canon as far as the actual time-line of my characters. I'm not planning on it being a particularly long running piece, but we'll see what happens.
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: Kallidor on August 23, 2010, 01:02:52 AM
I don't recall reading about the exploits of this character before but she seems very interesting, a mature character which befits someone of her age and certainly provides a lot more meat than mutant characters usually seem to get. It was good to see you discuss how mutants are normally perceived and yet Lynn doesn't hold a grudge which is a much more preferable character trait I find, it can get a bit tiresome to see down-trodden characters with big chips on their shoulders. I found the robustness of her character echoed her physical abilities quite nicely especially when she felt a bit sorry for Rae; she's tolerant of Lynn but far from being a good thing may be a disadvantage.

I think the use of the offspring of Skoll was quite effective, with the undying servant of sorts now holding the position of authority; they may well be the descendants but Lynn actually knew the Inquisitor.

I found the first-person narration to be well handled too, not too laboured and Lynn wasn't prattling on in her own head. I'll be interested to see how this develops.
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: MarcoSkoll on August 23, 2010, 04:49:59 AM
I don't recall reading about the exploits of this character before but she seems very interesting
Well, this is the first experiment of writing her at an age other than up to her current age of 45 (current as far as the present "Conclave date" of M42.010).  Even without that restriction, there's not much to read of the exploits of this particular version of the character yet, as I only recently rewrote her (her character sheet, and a summary of some of the larger differences from the previous version, can be seen here (http://www.the-conclave.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=896.0)).

And as far as the "meat" of the character... obviously, a first person character is going to need depth, mutant or not. But I do think the mutant perspective is a pretty rare one - psykers, yes. "Regular" mutants, less so - so there's some potential for exploration.

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It was good to see you discuss how mutants are normally perceived and yet Lynn doesn't hold a grudge
I think after twenty-four hundred years, she's probably realised that such grudges are pointless, and actually more of a problem. Still, I bring it up because I do intend to cover in more depth why exactly this mutant is helping a society which so ostracises her in a later instalment.

I'll admit that Jax isn't quite the typical 40k mutant, as she doesn't look like a waxwork which has been put in the microwave - here's the concept art for her (http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb122/RagnarokEOTW/JaxUCv2-600.jpg) (this version of the picture fixes some of the flaws in the version I linked from her character thread).
Like I say, not typical, but there are some precedents for "mutants who would be pretty but for X" in the canon, so not exactly unreasonable.

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I think the use of the offspring of Skoll was quite effective, with the undying servant of sorts now holding the position of authority; they may well be the descendants but Lynn actually knew the Inquisitor.
I had originally conceived other possibilities for the other characters in this, but the idea of a family which Jax had watched go by for many generations appealed. It seemed like a coping strategy - the thought that she hasn't really lost the people she once knew, because they live on in their descendents.

It also seemed like the kind of thing I could imagine Marco and Silva doing. Their relationship is certainly strong enough that they'd want children, although they'd both recognise the fact it really wasn't possible to mix children and the work of the Inquisition. So, that's the solution they came up with - and it's actually very interesting from a roleplay perspective, thinking about how characters have planned for their death and legacy.

It also has to be assumed that Jax will gain a lot more of Marco's trust in coming years - not that they're suspicious of one another currently, but you do have to be very sure about someone to let them bring up pretty much every descendent you're ever going to have.

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I found the first-person narration to be well handled too, not too laboured and Lynn wasn't prattling on in her own head.
I don't actually write in first person very often - mainly because I'm often swapping between the actions of several characters, and first person isn't practical in such a case.

However, this time, it seemed appropriate. Jax is very definitely the lead character here, and being able to present her particular take and explanations on things is going to be pretty important as I go along.
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: Jarrik32 on August 26, 2010, 02:30:13 PM
Well, there's apparently some nutters on this forum who think I'm a reasonable writer, so here's some nonsense I've been working on recently.

I just want to add that I'm not one of the aforementioned nutters :)

On a serious note this seems pretty good, keep up the work.
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: Inquisitor Sargoth on August 26, 2010, 03:24:23 PM
This is a good piece of work, though it's hard for me to say too much with regards to characterisation and plot after one post. Incidentally, kudos for approaching the much-maligned first person.

So I'll mostly limit my thoughts a stylic point - my issue is that there's a lot of word redundancy. For example...

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...for what use is being told only way to purify the sin of mutation is to die in the Emperor's name when you're a mutant who can't die?

This is a nice conceit, but it's not snappy enough. You also go into a little bit too much detail when you're setting the scene, which can drift into 'Telling not showing' (a sin we all commit regularly, myself included, but a sin nonetheless). Knowing the precise number of crew is unimportant to the narrative, for exampleand it's hard to open with exposition like that. A trick I employ in... well, just about everything I've ever written is to throw people in at the deep end with a scene/dialogue/monologue that's as interesting as I can make it and then set the scene.

Character-wise, Rae comes across as very detached, which makes sense if she's been around two thousand years. Though, mutant or not, I imagine the only way to avoid going insane in that period of time would be to forget vast, vast, vast swathes of your life. Indeed, if I was writing about such a character they'd be temporally confused as to what century it was and who they were speaking to most of the time. But thankfully I'm not.
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: MarcoSkoll on August 26, 2010, 09:04:09 PM
So I'll mostly limit my thoughts a stylic point - my issue is that there's a lot of word redundancy.
I'm reasonably bad on that one. That particular example you brought up... it was ugly when I was writing it, but a better word order escaped me. I'll see if I can cut down on it.

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Character-wise, Rae comes across as very detached, which makes sense if she's been around two thousand years.
Some name confusion here. Rae is the seventeen year old void born. It's Jacqueline (although more commonly known as "Jax") who's the 2,400 year old mutant.

I'd actually say that Jax isn't really meant to be detached so much as "seasoned" (no, not in the cooking sense!) - there is of course a degree of separation in that she has no real peers*, but detached has a bit too much of "lack of concern/interest" in it.

But I haven't got to any parts where the "seasoned" part will really stand out yet, so... ;)

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Though, mutant or not, I imagine the only way to avoid going insane in that period of time would be to forget vast, vast, vast swathes of your life.
Such characters go a LONG way out of any human experience, so it's hard to know how a human mind would react to that kind of lifetime. (Particularly as she hasn't biologically aged since before she was twenty, which is another thing that just doesn't happen.)

I really don't think my skills are up to writing an incoherent or insane first person character well enough for it to work (and anyway, it's not really what I want to write), so I've assumed she's remained sane.
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: phil-o-mat on September 05, 2010, 07:53:04 AM
that`s good stuff!
i like your style very much, especially that you wrote in first person.
and i really like the idea that nearly nothing has changed in those 2000 years.

can`t wait to read more!

phil
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: MarcoSkoll on October 20, 2010, 04:17:38 AM
To anybody who is interested: I have not forgotten Ad Vitam Aeternam.

I am working on it, but as previous writing efforts have sometimes been written into corners with poor planning, I decided to take the time to make sure I had a rock solid backbone to the plot before I went too far.
I've been pretty busy, so it's taken a while, but it's finally nearing completion.

The various comments you guys have left were taken on board, and hopefully the remainder of the story will be rather slicker in presentation than the "pilot".

This will be back soon.
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: MarcoSkoll on January 21, 2011, 10:28:01 PM
Emperor's teeth! An update type thing!

I just needed to mash a keyboard tonight, so I finally managed to polish up the next section of this. Hopefully, the third section will take a lot less time than this one did.
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: Stormgrad on March 02, 2011, 01:22:32 PM
Marco hurry up my wants more entertainments
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: MarcoSkoll on July 07, 2011, 12:20:27 AM
Sorry, that section didn't take less time than the last one did, so you've probably all forgotten everything that's come before by now.

I kept trying to write something else for it and it took a stupidly long time for me to swap it out with something else.

Hopefully though, as I spent a lot of the time I was suffering writer's block writing bits and pieces for the later story, it should mean I have more idea about where this is going in future.
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: Inquisitor Goldeneye on July 07, 2011, 04:35:05 PM
Very nice, I particularly liked the evocative way you described the mad dash through the ship.

I look forward to the next instalment (however long it takes!)
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: MarcoSkoll on October 13, 2013, 02:37:49 AM
If anyone actually remembers this plot after what is more than two years, I will be very surprised.

However, having written something has helped me feel considerably less depressed than I did two hours ago.
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: MarcoSkoll on November 02, 2013, 12:48:04 AM
A short update, but an update that tells us a few things nonetheless. Namely:
- She cannot (as opposed to merely "will not") describe being dead. However, it's apparently dangerous knowledge.
- Her regeneration extends to her mental state.
- She doesn't sleep much.*

*This is actually a natural extension of the fact her metabolism seems to have a "turbo" mode. Part of the purpose to sleep is flushing toxins from the brain... and her body is very good at dealing with toxins.
She's also resistant to the chemical changes that occur from limited (or a complete lack of) sleep, but it's still one of her limits; While she can stay awake for multiple days on end (and has been forced to on many occasions), it's not easy, pleasant or efficient. Space Marines and their Catalepsean node have a much easier time with sleep deprivation than she does.

And for those that can't remember a character that got an aside mention in a post two and a half years ago, Erena is Tyrell's mother (and hence Rae's grandmother).
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: renegade thor on November 04, 2013, 03:32:57 PM
a great read , look forward to the next instalment
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: MarcoSkoll on February 14, 2015, 02:14:41 AM
Well, that took more than a year. And anyone who had read this previously has probably now forgotten all of it.

This instalment constitutes a certain amount of info-dump as part of the scene-setting. I'm already questioning the way I've written it, and I may soon decide to re-structure it into a conversation with Rae, but this will do for the moment.

(There has also been a slight retcon in the first post, as for some reason when I started this story, I had the millennia of the Age of Apostasy wrong).
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: Kallidor on February 21, 2015, 01:23:12 AM
I very much like the idea of the current timeline being ancient history, it makes everything taking place seem that much more interesting to me, gives it more of a Horus Heresy feel. Also reminded me of my favourite Bismarck quote: "What we learn from history is that no-one learns from history."

I didn't think the information detracted from the overall narrative, and whilst I enjoy reading about these ideas of how things can work in the Imperium, I always find my own attempts can be pretty laboured, but you've managed to get it all in with just a few sentences.

Good stuff and here's hoping the next instalment doesn't take another year!!  ;D ;)
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: MarcoSkoll on February 22, 2015, 03:11:48 AM
I very much like the idea of the current timeline being ancient history, it makes everything taking place seem that much more interesting to me, gives it more of a Horus Heresy feel.
Yeah, it's actually strangely compelling to write in a time other than the "present day".

I haven't done it too much before though. Going backward makes it pretty easy to be anachronistic - for the example I normally use, the first Eisenhorn book starts in 240.M41, but mentions Tyranids (Tyran isn't destroyed until 745.M41) and Amalathians (there's no exact date for the conclave on Galthamor, but it spurred Lord Macharius' crusade, so is almost certainly between his 386.M41 inauguration and the crusade's start in 392.M41) - and going forwards doesn't really mean a lot unless you can fill the gaps in.

Jax's unique perspective is a very useful tool for that. It's already been touched on but, as will become more apparent later, her mind just doesn't work like a normal human. Her mutation's approach to not ageing is often rather literal - her memories don't (and can't) fade with time. She can recall conversations with Inquisitor Skoll as well as she can recall the ones she had with Rae yesterday.

This leads to a very unusual perception of the passage of time. Her memories don't ever feel "old" to her, but she can also remember every single day in-between.
So sometimes the way she thinks about time is like a twenty-four year old (for example, a year still feels like a long time to her*) and sometimes a twenty-four hundred year old (because she really can refer to things that happened that happened in the millennia before last).

* Which is possibly why she hasn't become completely detached from mortal humans. While she far outstrips a normal human lifespan, even with rejuvenat, it's still a long time to her. (Fairly unusually for an immortal character, who tend to start using comparisons with mayflies). However, more on that later in the story.

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Good stuff and here's hoping the next instalment doesn't take another year!!
Hopefully not. A lot of the later story is actually rather well drafted out, and I'm starting to get more assertive about filling in the gaps.
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: Kallidor on February 24, 2015, 11:30:15 PM
Logically it makes the most sense that, even though she ages differently, a year is still a year so it isn't exactly like those years zip past; plus she does thing at human normal speed, so sitting around doing nothing for a few hours should still be boring!

Also, the concept of memory not aging, and thus making her still think a young person way is very interesting, not something I recall much from any other literature that deals with immortal/long lived characters. They all come across as you have pointed out, so to have someone in a sort of perpetual tweens is pleasantly different.
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: MarcoSkoll on March 01, 2015, 03:29:29 AM
Logically it makes the most sense that, even though she ages differently, a year is still a year so it isn't exactly like those years zip past
Psychologically, humans tend to assess the passage of time in relation to how long they've been alive. Something happening ten years ago is measured by a very different yardstick depending on whether you're twenty-six or eighty-six.

In any case, I'm hoping to have a new post up fairly soon, although I'm not sure how big it'll be - it depends how many of the drafted passages I can stitch together.
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: MarcoSkoll on July 29, 2015, 02:38:25 AM
Bleurg. I completely forgot that I had this passage in a reasonable state of affairs, so I've been sitting on it for ages.

However, it's at least less than a year this time... hopefully I can improve again for the next installment.
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: MarcoSkoll on March 01, 2020, 01:36:30 AM
And posting an update to a story that no-one remembers, and even fewer care about.

However, I have actually had huge chunks of Ad Vitam Aeternam written for years, so I'm at least trying to patch a few bits together in the spirit of trying to get The Conclave up to some kind of speed again.

(The question of how canon friendly the story is, given I started writing it nine and a half years ago... we'll have to see).
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: Dosdamt on March 02, 2020, 09:44:18 AM
And posting an update to a story that no-one remembers, and even fewer care about.

However, I have actually had huge chunks of Ad Vitam Aeternam written for years, so I'm at least trying to patch a few bits together in the spirit of trying to get The Conclave up to some kind of speed again.

(The question of how canon friendly the story is, given I started writing it nine and a half years ago... we'll have to see).

You've jumped years forward. It's your speculative fiction based on 40k. Go nuts. Have fun. Run with it. It's an interesting premise and I'm interested to see more!

-Ben
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: MarcoSkoll on April 28, 2020, 11:09:58 PM
And, somehow, two instalments in consecutive months (by my clock, anyway)...
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: Mentirius on April 29, 2020, 04:34:32 PM
Hey, just to say you posting this reminded me to finally get around to reading the full IC thread.   I'm sorry it took me so long!  It is great, I love how rich the character development is and I will keep up with it in future.  The central premise is a really interesting, the narrator is relatable and these are all people I'm happy to spend time with as a reader.  I don't see myself forgetting the story so far any time soon.

Also - not that it matters, as Ben rightly pointed out before - I couldn't see any canon conflicts with new GW material, or none I'm aware of.  Given how far into the future you are, I think you'd have to include something pretty extreme from between M41.999 and M42.111 to run any risk of that being a problem.  I didn't find anything from GW dated later than M42.111, hence setting our story in M42.120 to place ourselves slightly in the future.  The Great Rift opened at the turn of the millennium, Guilliman came back to rule as Regent in early M42, then spent the next century leading the Indomitus Crusade to retake parts of the Imperium - those seem to be the fundamentals of the new stuff, if you leave aside the Eldar death cult, but anything could have happened since then and you're deep in M44.  Given how much the 40K universe seemed to change between, say, M41.990 and M42.090, piling two thousand years onto the timeline pretty much allows you to do away with anything you like in the course of history.  E.G. Plenty of people were trying to close the Rift, maybe someone succeeded.  If that happened within even a couple of hundred years, maybe the whole thing isn't thought of as a big deal from the perspective of people in M44.  The way I see it, there are infinite possible futures until you get there, so from a present-day 40K perspective you aren't necessarily creating destiny, merely exploring possibilities.  We're actually in more danger with M42.120, in case GW subsequently decides Belisarius Cawl closed the Rift in 115 or something and it turns out we wrote the bugger in for nothing...

(I know the Imperium technically writes dates with the millenniun at the other end but I've hard to start doing it this way round for the sake of my sanity!)

Keep up the good work, anyway.  Just wanted to reassure you your work isn't going unread!

Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: MarcoSkoll on April 30, 2020, 12:27:04 AM
Also - not that it matters, as Ben rightly pointed out before - I couldn't see any canon conflicts with new GW material, or none I'm aware of.
Well, my notes go well beyond what's actually been polished and posted up.

As it is, my WIP document runs to 53 pages, of which we're only currently on page 19 - and some of those first 18 pages include sections about the intervening history that I chose to edit out for being more "tell" than "show"; I had originally intended to work them back in in a more fluid way, but at this stage I may well end up writing them out entirely.

For the most part, the significant details about the last two thousand years can probably be summed up as: The Imperium hasn't ended. And perhaps some of what Jax herself has been doing in that time.

After all, you don't need a history lesson in order to watch a Bond film.

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Just wanted to reassure you your work isn't going unread!
Much appreciated.
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: MarcoSkoll on May 02, 2020, 03:19:49 PM
Alas, although I've got a lot of writing done, there may be a delay going forwards, as I'm starting to show signs of carpal tunnel syndrome from all the time working at a computer over the last few weeks.

I'll try to get things out at some point, but obviously I'm not planning to injure myself to do so.
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: Mentirius on May 02, 2020, 04:51:27 PM

That is entirely fair - eager as I am to find out what happens, I don't think anyone has a problem with posting delays resulting from health concerns.  I imagine the number of people suffering carpal tunnel or similar must surely be on the rise right now.

On the upside, it is good to hear you have so much story already drafted.  Ben and I have been trying to keep well ahead of the posting schedule ourselves, to mitigate any writing dry spells along the way.
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: MarcoSkoll on May 14, 2020, 11:30:20 PM
And as my wrists have somewhat recovered, another section.

I promise we'll get to something resembling an actual plot eventually.
Title: Re: Ad Vitam Aeternam OOC
Post by: Mentirius on May 16, 2020, 03:01:54 PM

Foreshadowing is plot, as far as I'm concerned. :P

I must admit, all this character development has me rather worried about this mission!  In my experience of 40K fiction, the more time I spend getting to know a group of decent people, the worse the situation is ultimately going to get...I hope Rae will be okay down there. 

I do love the idea of an obvious mutant doing Inquisitorial work and all the difficulties that must entail. 

Good to hear the wrists have improved, anyway.  I've been rather nervous about the odd achy twinge myself with how much time I've been spending at a mouse/keyboard recently.