Grave Choices; What and Why?

Wait what? Why bother going into a 'what lead to this point' when there's no audience? Mostly because I can, but also because a few people along the way might have some interest in the process that goes into a story.

Without getting too personal it started back when I had to move in with my granddad to act as live-in help. While living there I ended up with a bit of free time on my hands and a broadband connection. This is when I started looking into gaming and found out, surprise surprise, my then five year old machine which had only received a few minor upgrades to ram and an under-powered nvidia Vanta just wasn't going to cut it for much of anything popular. So I ended up doing what most resourceful nerds do. I consulted the web.

Here's a google doc link in case you want to start reading the whole thing.

The Web (ie Google) told me of a free Everquest server that didn't simply hand out loot and experience. Since it required Everquest's client you needed to buy that, but after that was done and you did a little jiggery pokery (made easy by their patcher) you could say bye to the whole monthly subscription fees thing. Well unless you wanted to actually make sure the server would stay up since server doing lots of bandwidth intensive thing serving hundreds of connections a day is going to mean you have lots of bills.
Shards of Dalaya. Give it a Spin.

I won't say Shards of Dalaya was my first with online gaming (that distinction goes to Tribes 2.) It was, however my first MMO and though the graphics were, even then, considered dated, it had lots to do, plenty of people, and I actually could get a few ideas from the place.

Also the place allowed for the whole roleplay thing to happen. It's super nerdy. I've been made fun of for doing it especially since Everquest, WoW, Guild Wars, and the like don't really lend themselves that well to character interactions beyond 'Kill Things'. Yet the attached forums, Guild Chatter, and the like made for good points to launch character-centric chatter. Yes there were terrible jokes, even worse attempts at making lore and gameplay fit with each other (like why you could kill somebody over and over and over and over again and yet they just keep coming back,) and it ultimately lead to me doing a character journal on their forums.

A Face only a Mother
could Love.
If anyone actually reads the thing don't worry I've already punched myself in the face for the worse than usual spelling mistakes and grammar that causes eye bleeding. I didn't even have the excuse of being in high-school at the time. This was me in my mid twenties writing all this. Sometimes being thoughtful about the whole thing.

Even so it gave me a starting point for a world concept and a character that had been fleshed out slowly over months of poking through both in-game options and character generated chatter on the different channels/forum/etc.

This meant when I first learned about NaNoWriMo back in '06 all the planning, characterization, and a general plot was already more or less lain out for me. Good thing too since i was starting late and had a lot of catch-up to do. It wasn't great, and I cheated by throwing quotes at the beginning of each segment, song lyrics that probably didn't make sense, me going off on a tear about the setting, and in general just a mess if you went and tried looking at it as a unified work. Since it's a derivative of a derivative of a copyrighted work I couldn't exactly do anything with it. However instead of tossing I'd stuffed it away as notes I'd maybe use later and then promptly forgot it existed.

Much Better.
Fast forward a few years The character concept got drug out as a bit of random roleplay to try getting mind off of things and it kinda ended up transitioning away from Jeric the Everquest-Copy Necromancer to Marrik, grandson of a would-be immortal that tried using a Unicorn and things just went horribly wrong..

Don't get me wrong I thought the whole thing was amusing, but again most 'normal' people will laugh, point, make fun, and in general find any excuse to make you feel bad about what is at it's heart grownups playing lets 'pertend. I know from first hand experience. It ain't fun but I do it anyway because it amuses me and how else do you explain half the ideas I come up with. Sure my mind is a strange place, but that can only explain so much.

More time passed and I finished (ha!) Blue Shadows and was sick of editing it. I'm not sure what prompted it but middle of the night looking through old unused material and Hey there's all this stuff about a fantasy setting. Why not take bits and bobs from that and try making something original? I'd originally started with the intint of introducing the Unicorn girl in but if that happens it'll be after I get done with this arc of Marrik's story. All that is in Grave Choices is building him as a character and showing a little of the world he lives in.

Next Installment: Magic!

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