Eve DevBlog 25: Writing the Angles

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Kind of a weird week since I spent all of my Eve time on writing more level flow and story. I know it’s real work, but it don’t always feel like it…

Here’s where I’m at. There are four chapters in the game, chapter 2 is the longest and chapter 4 is the shortest: I know this much from my early stage planning of the basic content of each chapter. I’ve planned out the flow and the story content for the first two chapters, and as of yesterday I’ve gotten a good start on chapter 3. This would mean that I’m about 2/3rds done with the planning of the project. Which is good!

However, I’ve noticed something slightly distressing: As I’ve refocused on writing tasks, my overall productivity has gone down. I suspect that I may have a maximum writing capacity per day which I was already getting close to, and focusing exclusively on that has done nothing except for reduce my capability to output in other areas of the project. Good to know for future reference, though there isn’t a lot of writing left to be done on the project at this stage.

Anyway, I’m going to have to be spending a lot of the next few days traveling, which may make productivity both on Eve and on Problem Machine essays a bit problematic (so to speak). However, long trips like these often yield unexpected and highly useful brainstorming results, so this time may not be a loss.

That being said, once I get resettled in around the beginning of next week I’m going to be trying to get back to more concrete work on the project. This makes particular sense since, as I’ve mentioned, I’m getting closer to the end of the writing tasks that will need doing, and it will make for an easier transition.

So, that’s this week! Read the daily devblog at Titan Seed to get an idea of where I’m at day-to-day, and see bits of ideas in progress that may or may not make the final cut.

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I saw the stag by a river, and was preparing to strike when it spoke to me. He enchanted me with a strange story of star mothers giving birth to all the animals of the world– I fell asleep listening to his words, and when I awoke he was gone.

I was infuriated by his trickery, and I hunted him down and devoured him. Now I wonder if he just needed someone to hear his story before the death he perceived just past sight caught up to him.

Only later did I think it strange that a stag should speak, and that I should comprehend. Particularly happening, as this did, before the birth of language.

Over the years I grew in power and wisdom, and fell into a position of leadership. I was the most capable, and in those years that was all that mattered. I held many lives in my hands. Things went well for a time.

Those were good years.

One night, I dreamt of the stag. “Look,” he said, “I wear a crown, and so do you, for you are me and I am you. Ruling over a handful is not enough,” he said, “and if you do not widen the hole you have dug then the walls will soon collapse.”

I did not listen. It was one year later that the strangers came, over the hills, and killed many and enslaved the rest.

I tried to rescue those who had been taken, but for naught– just more death, and more pain. Eventually, those I knew were dead and, worse, their children grew complacent in their lot, became satisfied in chains.

I wandered, and wherever I went I would tell my story. Over and over– I became very good at telling it, until my audience came to shed a tear for each of mine. I told other stories, too– Strangers’ tales and dreams…

I do not know how long I wandered, but things began to change. I heard people in the streets repeat the things which I had said, word for word. I heard my words, my story, used to defend the weak, to free slaves, to stop wars. They had listened.

But– they had listened to me, to my voice, not to my words. I was their prophet, regardless of the prophecy I bore. Every city held their own image of me, a different image, for I had changed greatly in my travels, and– they fought.

The bloodshed was unimaginable. It never stopped. Never. Never. Soon, when I would try to tell my tales, I would be met with anger, hostility, violence. They who had been my flock hunted me, hounded me, hurt me, tried to burn me as a heretic against myself.

Perhaps I am.

I hid, for a long, long, long time.

I hoped that the years would erase these schisms, but instead I found the factions calcified, their hearts hardened against one another. They fought, each holding a different saying of mine as war banner– though often, too often, these were sayings I had never said.

I dreamed of the stag again. “Look,” he said, “can you not see the sun? We are born of the sun, and to the sun we return. Rule them, and guide them to light!”

I ignored him once more. I roamed, I told people that it was no matter which prophet they believed in, for they had all each ordained peace and brotherhood, in their own time and their own way. Some listened, but others… did not appreciate my message.

This is what broke my heart: People don’t want peace, they want something they can understand. People would rather be gluttons among the starving than well-fed companions. They do not want happiness, they want victory.

They locked me away somewhere, deep, deep, deep. Distant pilgrims cried my name in prayer, and those who had buried me did so as well, with false piety, with smirks in their rancid souls.

I clawed my way out, through the stone, up towards the light, up to the sun.

I emerged to a world full of wonders, miraculous devices I could have never imagined. All that, yes, in the hands of the same vicious and short-sighted simpletons, who still murdered in my name.

The stag spoke: “It is not enough to guide,” he said, “they spend their days dazing themselves with light, wrapping their hearts in gauze, muddling their heads with drugs. You can not bring them to the truth. You must bring the truth to them.”

I do not like power, as much as it likes me. But the stag’s words– my resolve wavered, then, and I found myself ruler of a great country.

I tried to negotiate a peace, and I suppose what was eventually wrought was a peace of sorts. Some would rather die than be left behind by the world they live in, some would rather there be no world than a world without them in it.

And now here we are. Is it so terrible that everything ended? Perhaps now there can be a new beginning.

At least I did it. I brought the light to them. I brought them to the light.

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