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Old Nov 1 2013, 10:12 AM   #1
Kath
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Default The Regicide

Threadfall is dangerous enough...but it isn't a dragonrider's only enemy.

In a world ravaged by Thread, the lives and fortunes of all depend upon the actions of a select few. Supported by Hold and Craft, the Dragonriders of Pern take the fight against their mindless enemy to the skies...and all too often pay the highest price of all. The bravest of the brave, a breed apart...or so the Harpers would have us believe.

But, Weyrbred or Searched, a dragonman is still only a man. Better, perhaps, in all the ways that dragons judge us...but no less flawed because of it.

When disaster strikes High Reaches Weyr, bronzerider F'ren is determined to rise to the challenge. Unranked, unloved, and thoroughly despised by his Weyrleader, opportunities to change the world for the better don't come along very often. How far will one man go in the cause of duty, or to save the lives of those he holds dear?



The Regicide is a 300k novel set during a six month period of the 5th Pass, following the fate of High Reaches Weyr in the aftermath of misfortune. It took far too long to write, but now that it's finished I'm inflicting it on all of you.

Please click on the link to read it at AO3. New chapters will be posted once or twice a week throughout the winter.

Chapter 1: Thread is about to fall, and F'ren's intuition is giving him a very bad feeling about it
Chapter 2: Weyrleader Sh'vek lives through one of his worst nightmares
Chapter 3: Vallenka of Ista decides it's time to dispose of some of her unwanted assets
Chapter 4: Rahnis isn't convinced that transferring north is in her best interests

To be uploaded tomorrow:
Chapter 5: F'ren receives a colourful reminder of how awful some weyrling chores can be.
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Old Nov 15 2013, 12:22 PM   #2
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Chapter 6: Rahnis isn't sure what she should make of High Reaches Weyr.
Chapter 7: Sh'vek attends the hatching at Ista.

Coming tonight or tomorrow morning: Chapter 8: F'ren faces another nasty Threadfall...but this time he has more than his own hide to worry about.
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Old Dec 6 2013, 11:28 AM   #3
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When Weyrwoman Maenida of the High Reaches comes to grief during Threadfall, the repercussions are disastrous for her entire Weyr. The Fighting Wings suffer crippling losses, and even the Lower Caverns are left in turmoil. With the Weyrwoman facing a long and slow recovery -- at best -- Weyrleader Sh'vek's options are limited. When Rahnis of Ista is brought in to assist junior weyrwoman Delene in the running of the Weyr, she and her weyrmate M'ton soon discover that their new responsibilities are even harder than they imagined. But for some people, it's not all bad news: bronzerider F'ren finds himself in a position to make a real difference for the better, for the first time in turns...and he has no intention of resting on his laurels, no matter how hard his Weyrleader tries to stymie him.

Thread, however, cares little for human politics.

All Thread does is kill.


Thread! Dragons! Sex! Politics! Death! How else can I sell this fic to you? Consistent, gritty worldbuilding, in a Pern where Thread is an ever-present threat to life and limb. Characters who are variously flawed, intelligent, stupid, brave, callous, strong and weak, characters who are forced to make choices, who sometimes make the wrong choices. Characters who grow. World-changing events, and events that touch only the hearts of those involved. And a promise in the very title: the worst possible crime the Pernese can imagine.

Read it here.

Chapter 9: M'ton is finding his feet with his new responsibilities
Chapter 10: The Lower Caverns of High Reaches Weyr are definitely not running smoothly
Chapter 11: While his Weyr readies itself to fight Thread, M'ton has other things on his mind
Chapter 12: Vallenka has a mess on her hands
--end of part 1--

Chapter 13: F'ren isn't being paranoid. His Wing really IS out to get him.
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Old Jan 28 2014, 04:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Regicide

The consequences of one disastrous fall continue to haunt High Reaches Weyr. Weyrwoman Maenida remains in a precarious state of health, and Delene is taking her job as Acting Weyrwoman very seriously...if only to stop anyone else from stepping up and filling Maenida's shoes. Rahnis has her hands full stopping the Lower Caverns from sliding into outright chaos, but Delene isn't content to leave her meddling there... Up in the skies of Pern, several close calls have forced F'ren to confront the fact that neither his Weyrleader nor his Wing's collective incompetence is his biggest problem right now. And for Weyrleader Sh'vek himself, the time to make some lasting decisions is drawing ever nearer...

Part 2 of this story (chapters 13-20 out of a total of 47) is now posted in full at both AO3 and FF.net. Part 3 is currently being updated twice-weekly.

Link to story on AO3

Chapter 13: F'ren isn't being paranoid. His Wing really IS out to get him.
Chapter 14: Delene is trying. Very trying.
Chapter 15: There's a death in the night
Chapter 16: Turnover celebrations at High Reaches Weyr
Chapter 17: Maenida takes an untimely turn for the worse.
Chapter 18: F'ren's grand scheme has just fallen apart
Chapter 19: Rahnis acquires some supplies at from Ista Hold
Chapter 20: Two lives in the balance. One chance to save them

-end of part 2-

Part 3:
Chapter 21: Just as Sh'vek expected, Delene enjoys being the centre of attention. G'dil, on the other hand, is much less happy.
Chapter 22: The senior weyrlings are ready to flame their first threads...allegedly.
Chapter 23: Dying is easy. It's living that's hard.
Chapter 24: F'ren needs to figure out who he can trust...and how far.
Chapter 25: Delene is feeling underappreciated.
Chapter 26: Carth lays a landmark clutch...but not everything goes the way it should

If you've not been reading this, WHY NOT?

Why wait for Gigi to write 7th Pass Pern when you can read the mother of all 5th Pass Pern epics RIGHT NOW?

Go on... read it!
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Old Jan 29 2014, 02:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Regicide

Kath,

I assure you I AM reading it With much enjoyment too I still haven't got all the backstory straight in my mind, but that doesn't detract one iota from my enjoyment
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Old Jan 29 2014, 10:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Regicide

You asked about a fanfic in chapter twenty-six. Does this one seem familiar? It has to do with a mislaid egg and what might have been an impression in the last chapter. It was published in 2007. https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3336198...ith-Goldflight
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Old Jan 30 2014, 04:52 AM   #7
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THAT'S THE ONE!

*mwah*

I reckon I was conflating the earlier date of the first with the plot of the second.

THANK YOU!
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Old Jan 30 2014, 05:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anneli View Post
Kath,

I assure you I AM reading it With much enjoyment too
Thanks! It's good to know that people are reading (and better to know that they're enjoying it). The fandom is so much quieter than it used to be that it feels a bit discouraging at times.

Quote:
I still haven't got all the backstory straight in my mind, but that doesn't detract one iota from my enjoyment
The backstory in a nutshell, as included in the three related standalone stories:

F'ren and A'minek, Weyrleader Sh'vek's son, were weyrlings together. They were good friends, up to the point when F'ren slept with the wrong girl - Audrealle, the gold weyrling from the same clutch. Hot tempers, stress and exhaustion were compounded by a flawed visual, and A'minek and Audrealle and their dragons were lost /between/ [3]. Sh'vek never forgave F'ren for his involvement in their deaths...nor himself for not training them well enough to avoid it. It's pretty fair to say that their mutual antagonism has only worsened over the turns[1], and Sh'vek has had to resort to extreme measures to stay in command of the Weyr. The most plot-relevant example of that is the time he sent F'ren and Trath to Ista shortly before the High Reaches' Senior Queen rose to mate...which wouldn't have got in the way, if not for the fact that one of the Istan queens rose first....[2]

[1] - In the dark watches of the night
[2] - Paying the Price
[3] - The Long Winter

(These are best read in the listed order - [3] is framed by the final scenes of [2].)

The rest of the backstory per se is more background rather than backstory, but I'll happily elaborate if anyone has specific questions.
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Old Feb 1 2014, 12:47 AM   #9
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Default Re: The Regicide

(glows) You're very welcome. ^n_n^

Anyway, this is a complex ficworld you've woven for us. It's a little hard to keep up with it all, but that could be my general inability to comprehend complex things. But I'm definitely sympathetic to F'ren and Rahnis. "Between a rock and a hard place" doesn't even begin to describe their situations, and it wouldn't be so bad if the people in charge would just pull their heads from their keisters.

The sad thing is, the people in charge are generally smart people, yet they're not taking the time to use their brains and make things better for themselves and others. I'm surprised High Reaches still has dragonriders, what with all Sh'vek is throwing at F'ren.

Everyone's so very human, and I like that. They have their dreams and wishes and hangups, and even the not-so-nice folks can get sympathy from readers, especially when Vallenka was so worried for Carth.

I look forward to seeing where this is going. ^n_n^
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Old Feb 1 2014, 01:12 AM   #10
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Three hundred thousand word stories end up with a lot of incidental details...and I made a conscious choice not to simplify things in certain areas. I've tried to repeat the most crucial things (or at least hide them in plain sight), but just let me know if anything is particularly weird or unclear. I can easily refer you back to specific paragraphs, but hopefully you haven't missed anything I wanted you to pay attention to at the time. (There are things I don't want you to notice until you re-read, when you know how things will work out - lots of 'oh my god THAT was when that thing started/THAT was there all along?' moments...)

As for where it's going...heh. The exciting thing for me is how invested my readers seem to be. It's a real thrill to share this story with you all.
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Old Feb 1 2014, 04:40 PM   #11
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A bonus deleted scene from chapter 24 can be found here

There's also another bonus scene from chapter 6 immediately following it.
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Old Feb 2 2014, 05:05 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Regicide

thanks, Kath, that gives me a lot of catch up reading to enjoy In the meantime, though, it's helpful to at least know why Sh'vek is such a bastard to F'ren


[QUOTE=Kath;]

The backstory in a nutshell, as included in the three related standalone stories:

F'ren and A'minek, Weyrleader Sh'vek's son, were weyrlings together. They were good friends, up to the point when F'ren slept with the wrong girl - Audrealle, the gold weyrling from the same clutch. Hot tempers, stress and exhaustion were compounded by a flawed visual, and A'minek and Audrealle and their dragons were lost /between/ [3]. Sh'vek never forgave F'ren for his involvement in their deaths...nor himself for not training them well enough to avoid it.
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Old Feb 3 2014, 04:32 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Regicide

Kath:

Whereabouts in chapter 6 does the missing scene slot in?
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Old Feb 3 2014, 06:13 PM   #14
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Kath:

Whereabouts in chapter 6 does the missing scene slot in?
'Suicide Wing' takes place before/during the time that Rahnis is getting pissed off with the headwoman, so right before the final scene of that chapter. Basically, Ginny wanted some more details/a who's who for the wing, and I thought that sharing it that way would be a bit more entertaining than just posting my file of names/colours/major flaws.
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Old Feb 4 2014, 11:20 AM   #15
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Ta!
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Old Feb 8 2014, 02:57 PM   #16
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Default Re: The Regicide

I'm reading the chapters as they come up, but it will be interesting to reread it all in one go and spot more of those hints.
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Old Feb 8 2014, 04:15 PM   #17
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Oh, there's a LOT to reward the reader on a re-read. When you get through tomorrow's chapter... Well, we can talk about it then!
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Old Feb 9 2014, 05:32 PM   #18
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Caught up now, thanks enjoyment increased exponentially

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
The backstory in a nutshell, as included in the three related standalone stories:

[1] - In the dark watches of the night
[2] - Paying the Price
[3] - The Long Winter
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Old Feb 9 2014, 11:54 PM   #19
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Ohhh boy.
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Old Feb 10 2014, 12:27 AM   #20
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The best (worst?) is yet to come...

Glad you're enjoying it, all of you.
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Old Feb 14 2014, 11:31 AM   #21
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Okay, I've just posted the last chapter of Part 3


Link to story on AO3


Part 3 continued:

Chapter 27: Rahnis considers her queen's options while away from the Weyr

Chapter 28: Having thoroughly put his foot in it, F'ren gets to endure all the wrong company
Chapter 29: Rahnis gets a nasty surprise
Chapter 30: Snowfall Wing makes it through Threadfall completely unscathed. Uh-oh...
Chapter 31: the bronzes are blooding...but which queen is going to be the one to rise?
Chapter 32: H'koll finds himself in need of some new straps...but his problems don't start and finish there.
Chapter 33: Maenida is dead. Kiath is dead. F'ren...is no longer entirely sane. And Trath is nowhere at all.
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Old Feb 15 2014, 10:59 PM   #22
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It was said on one of the back covers of my favorite manga that "It isn't a real apocalypse if it can't get even worse."

Congratulations, Kath: It got even worse. You created an apocalypse in High Reaches. Holy s---.
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Old Feb 16 2014, 12:34 AM   #23
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*grin*

Now you see why I've been calling it the 'mega fic of doom'....

There're a couple of readers that seem to have been expecting a simple solution and a fluffy happy ending, without much in the way of character growth or struggles or setbacks at all. But why should life be easy? If I have written a happy ending for this thing, it won't come without a cost, and it'll bloody well be *earned*.

Sucks to be a character in one of my stories, right?


(Also, I want to print off that comment and stick it in a scrapbook. Thanks!)
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Old Feb 16 2014, 02:39 PM   #24
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I don't think there's any way there's going to be a happy ending. But you're welcome.
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Old Feb 16 2014, 05:15 PM   #25
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I've stopped reading now too far beyond Anne's parameters IMHO and I don't care to see the key point about the general integrity of dragons and their riders so stretched in order to create I'm not sure what to call it ...

PS: I'm not concerned about a "happy ending" as such, just the lack of coherence with Anne's world as I see it...
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Old Feb 16 2014, 06:00 PM   #26
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I've stopped reading now too far beyond Anne's parameters IMHO and I don't care to see the key point about the general integrity of dragons and their riders so stretched in order to create I'm not sure what to call it ...

PS: I'm not concerned about a "happy ending" as such, just the lack of coherence with Anne's world as I see it...
Would you mind telling me what point broke it for you?

I've always worked with the assumption that dragons aren't valdemar companions, and that they neither choose perfect people nor make them better or worse. In terms of the characters, I don't see that the less likeable of my rider-characters are really all that different to Kylara, Mardra, T'ron, T'kul, T'reb, G'lanar...all of whom are Anne's own creations.

And then there's the protagonists. Jaxom, F'nor and M'hall, masters of dubious consent... And Lessa, queen of them all, who flat out got one warder killed, disposed of two others only slightly less bloodily, was well on the way to ridding herself of the fourth, and pushed an entire Hold into hardship and privation for the sake of her own revenge. She may not have understood the potential cost to dragonkind of getting F'lar to duel Fax, but she certainly had no qualms in risking the lives of others.

Obviously you're free to interpret canon differently to me, but I personally can't reconcile so many of her primary antagonists as being compatible with the idea that dragons choose riders on the basis of integrity. That said...yes, my antagonist's actions definitely veer into the pathological, but there is something yet to be revealed that accounts for it in a way that makes it more canon-plausible than it would be in isolation. (Though 'more plausible' definitely doesn't mean plausible.)

Or is it the world building that you find at fault? The thread fighting? The higher casualties? That was a conscious decision to make the numbers make sense. Big clutches require high casualties in order to balance them out. The politicking and human nature stripped of pink glasses? (Such as we see from one of the other Weyrs in Moreta.)

Or is it the tone? Dragondays was pretty lightweight stuff. Regicide is anything but.

I'm not trying to change your mind here, by the way, I'm just genuinely curious as to what you consider Anne's parameters to be.

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Old Feb 17 2014, 03:50 AM   #27
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For anyone else dubious about continuing, I'm just going to quote some rather pertinent lines from The Two Towers at you:

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRR Tolkien
'The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that's not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually — their paths were laid that way, as you put it.'

...

'I wonder if we shall ever be put into songs or tales. We're in one, or course; but I mean: put into words, you know, told by the fireside, or read out of a great big book with red and black letters, years and years afterwards. And people will say: "Let's hear about Frodo and the Ring!" And they'll say: "Yes, that's one of my favourite stories. Frodo was very brave. wasn't he, dad?" "Yes, my boy, the famousest of the hobbits, and that's saying a lot."'

...

'We're going on a bit too fast. You and I, Sam, are still stuck in the worst places of the story, and it is all too likely that some will say at this point: "Shut the book now, dad; we don't want to read any more."'
Yes, the story's reached that 'shut the book' moment. But it's not over yet...
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Old Mar 5 2014, 11:03 AM   #28
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Part 4 is now posted in full:

Chapter 34 - F'ren wakes to the knowledge that his dragon is lost.
Chapter 35 - Alaireth has returned to the Weyr, but not alone! Sh'vek is Not Amused.
Chapter 36 - F'ren needs to make some hard choices
Chapter 37 - A proddy queen is the least of the things trying Rahnis' patience today.
Chapter 38 - Threadfall over Tillek is as deadly as ever.
Chapter 39 - The dragon decides...
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Old Mar 6 2014, 06:45 PM   #29
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This part made me late to work because I couldn't stop reading, and then I finished it at work on my phone while I was sorting stock. I was right: There's no way there's gonna be a happy ending.

If I could make a deal with a devil to possess even 1/1,000,000th of your talent, Kath, I would.
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Old Mar 7 2014, 12:24 AM   #30
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*grin*

Keep reading... there's plenty more excitement to come.
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Old Mar 7 2014, 02:20 AM   #31
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I will. Despite everything, I'm hooked, so I'll be dangling on your lure a while longer. ^n_n^
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Old Mar 15 2014, 01:35 PM   #32
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As heartbreaking as the story's been, I'll be sorry when it's done. Only two chapters left now, right?
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Old Mar 15 2014, 04:11 PM   #33
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Yup. I was hoping to get the last proper chapter up tonight, but I need to add a few lines to fix the pacing issues in the final paragraph, so that'll probably have to wait until tomorrow now. The epilogue will follow within a day, whenever chapter 46 goes up.

It also has a TVTropes page now!
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Old Mar 15 2014, 04:47 PM   #34
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(runs to TV Tropes!)
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Old Mar 15 2014, 05:53 PM   #35
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Default Re: The Regicide

I lied! I DID get the tweaks to chapter 46 done tonight! The epilogue will go up tomorrow evening.
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Old Mar 17 2014, 03:19 PM   #36
Kath
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Default Re: The Regicide

The final part is now fully posted!

Chapter 40 - Rahnis and her Weyrleader talk things through

Chapter 41 - F'ren really doesn't want an audience with the Weyrleaders
Chapter 42 - The Weyrwomen of Pern meet in conclave.
Chapter 43 - Rahnis has a proposal
Chapter 44 - A warm winter day, a long time ago
Chapter 45 - Four dragons enter between...and the only certainty is that not all of them will survive...
Chapter 46 - The survivors know they're lucky to be alive
Chapter 47 - Epilogue


And I apologise for getting so defensive up-thread - blame my thin skin.

If you have read any or all of it, thanks for doing so, and I really appreciate all of the comments, both good and bad.

If you haven't... why not give it a try?
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Old Mar 27 2014, 11:27 PM   #37
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Default Re: The Regicide

I think I can finally say something with some coherency, other than just "Daaaamn." Though I did say that a lot while reading.

Okay. Wow. Um. Right. Maybe coherency isn't possible after all. Gimme a minute.

(random stream of thought for several minutes)

So. God, of all the people to feel pity for, I didn't think it would be that guy. Not after all the horrible actions he couldn't make up for. And he couldn't even man up and live with it, though I can't say I blame him.

The ending isn't perfect. Everything isn't sunshine and happiness and daisies; it's hard work and hard weather, and having to make do with what they get, and people are still carrying the weight of the past. But even then, there is hope and the chance to dream. I think I like that better. It sticks closer to the tone of the overall story.

Overall, I can only say thank you for this magnificent piece of work, Kath. It's deep, it's emotional, it's powerful. You pulled no punches, and I'm glad for that. I've always liked your high-quality stuff, but you've pretty much made an Aeslin mouse out of me now. (Basically a tiny, worshipful cheerleader/fan.)

So thanks again for one hell of a rollercoaster ride. I look forward to what else you might have planned.
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Old Mar 28 2014, 04:46 AM   #38
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Default Re: The Regicide

Quote:
Originally Posted by Multi-Facets View Post
I think I can finally say something with some coherency, other than just "Daaaamn." Though I did say that a lot while reading.

Okay. Wow. Um. Right. Maybe coherency isn't possible after all. Gimme a minute.

(random stream of thought for several minutes)

So. God, of all the people to feel pity for, I didn't think it would be that guy. Not after all the horrible actions he couldn't make up for. And he couldn't even man up and live with it, though I can't say I blame him.

The ending isn't perfect. Everything isn't sunshine and happiness and daisies; it's hard work and hard weather, and having to make do with what they get, and people are still carrying the weight of the past. But even then, there is hope and the chance to dream. I think I like that better. It sticks closer to the tone of the overall story.

Overall, I can only say thank you for this magnificent piece of work, Kath. It's deep, it's emotional, it's powerful. You pulled no punches, and I'm glad for that. I've always liked your high-quality stuff, but you've pretty much made an Aeslin mouse out of me now. (Basically a tiny, worshipful cheerleader/fan.)

So thanks again for one hell of a rollercoaster ride. I look forward to what else you might have planned.

Wow. Seriously. Thank you! You've just lifted my mood for the rest of the day.


Now that it's all up, I think it'll make sense when I say that first and foremost the story's a tragedy. Yes, it's also packed with plot and heroics and romance and worldbuilding, but there's no escaping the character motivations at the core of it that drove the whole story. (Which is somewhat illusory, really, because I got a long, long way into the writing before I saw what had to happen after Alaireth rose, or maybe it's just a sign that my subconscious is far smarter than I am.)

I'm absolutely thrilled to bits that the story has got the emotional reactions that it has, particularly the one you just mentioned. The responses of readers to all of the characters was so much more than I ever dreamed of. As for that one example, humanising a character like that is very rewarding (because it's HARD!), though it can make things more painful for the reader, because you get to that point in the story WANTING them to suffer... and then you have to re-evaluate what you know and feel for the second time in the story. [WARNING: TVTROPES LINK!] And yeah, I guess my own mile-wide manipulative streak is showing... ...because I do love to toy with the readers and put them through the wringer.

The ending - no, not a perfect future, but a good one, and a worthwhile life ahead for the characters who are left.

Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts.
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Old Mar 28 2014, 02:47 PM   #39
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Default Re: The Regicide

You're welcome. ^n_n^
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