Choose Your Adventure! Part 1 …

Raythe says …

As Members know, we’ve had an open slot in the schedule for a while.  So far, it has been filled with extras chapters of the existing works.  I’ve been promising Sanctuary 2 for some time, but we’re still going to hold off, because the back story is still being worked out in WHCC.

That means we here at Raythe Reign have to determine what comes next!  I’m going to finish up The Fall short story (which hopefully I can get out for Halloween as its scary, but we’ll see) and then… the new story will start!

But what is the new story?  That’s where you come in.

We had the poll where we asked you what things you would like to see here.  There was a TON of great stuff there, I started to sketch out two stories.  I’m going to do them both, but which comes first?  We’re going to have a poll!

In today’s post, I’m going to describe the first story idea.  Next week, I’ll post the second idea, and then we’ll have a vote on which story goes up first.

Story Idea #1: The Elven King’s Blade

TITLE: The Elven King’s Blade

GENRE: High Fantasy

STUFF YOU WANTED THAT’S IN THIS: Elves, magical beings (and other high fantasy stuff); strong unique characters; magic; fated mates; when the romance leads are equal; immortal love interest and chance for main character to become immortal; action and adventure; partners who complements each other (like brains and brawn); resourceful, brave main character; hidden worlds; humor; good versus evil; clash or gentler exploration of foreign cultures to main character; and soulmate and soul marks.

CHARACTERS:

images

So pretty …

King Mael Ienith has ruled the High Elves for a Golden Age, but his time on the throne – and his immortal life itself – will come to an end unless he finds his Blade.  For the Elves of the line of Ienith, while the most powerful and fair, have the greatest of weaknesses: they must be joined to a member of an incredibly powerful line of Elven warriors, Blades, or face madness and death.

The problem is that the Blades were all supposedly killed before Mael was born.

images-1

That crown alone just makes it cool!

But Mael will not go easily into that good night.  He believes that there is a Blade out there that is made for him and starts on a quest to find his fated love.  But before he has barely left the capital city, he is beset by dark creatures that seek to end his quest and his life.

He does the only thing he can: he summons a magical portal to escape them. Only the portal does not take him back to the security of his palace.

It takes him instead to the human realm and traps him there; a place where, he believes, he will never find his Blade and will, therefore, die.

imgres-2

Wounded

Ciaran Dhibir believes the meaning of his last name fits his life: banished.  He is banished from living a “normal” life because of the extraordinary one he used to imagine as a child, where he was an Elven warrior that fought dread monsters and kept an Elven king safe.

Now, at twenty-five, his existence is an endless gray bolt of cloth due to the drugs he is forced to take and the psychiatrists he must speak to, because one time in the mystical woods around his grandparents’ home, instead of battling pretend monsters, he encountered a real one …

Only no one believed him and he was sent away, because he was “unwell”.  Now, the drugs make him so ill he cannot work or go to school.  The psychiatrists comb through out his every word looking for signs of hidden madness.  Ciaran doesn’t see the point of going on.

images-2

Not meant for this world?

But, at that blackest moment, Ciaran learns that his parents are going to sell his grandparents’ home in the woods.  Forbidden from going there since “the incident,” he determines to see the place one last time.

Perhaps there, he will find a way to end his life … or find a new one.

I hope that sounds exciting. Things are sure to change as I work on the ideas more, but it’s the basic premise!

Now what do I want from you?

(1) Tell me what you think they should look like!  And link to pictures!

One of the things I do when I put a story together is I look for images of models/actors/etc. for what I THINK the character should basically look like. I give these ideas to the artist, and Mathia will take that plus my description of the characters and craft a totally unique character design.

Now, you get the chance to tell us your “dream cast” based on these descriptions!  Go look for images that you think are like the characters I’ve described or give ideas for hair and eye color, build, etc.  Any special markings like tattoos, etc.

(2) Tell me anything special you think should be in the Elven culture like … soul mate marks, etc.!  Or maybe they have familiars like dragons, or maybe they have special clothing or jewelry etc.

(3) Anything else that strikes your fancy.

While I might not be able to use all of your suggestions, everything you say is really important. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

 

 

 

76 Responses to Choose Your Adventure! Part 1 …

  1. Sabrena August 23, 2016 at 3:34 pm #

    One thing I see in fanfics based around soulmates is the first sentence spoken to their mate on each other’s arm, which would be an interesting idea for an original work.

    • Toribell August 23, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

      I’ve seen that too and they can have some pretty funny first sentences. I really like the idea of soulmate marks, it’s always been really interesting.

    • admin August 24, 2016 at 12:37 am #

      This is cool, but they don’t know the other is their soulmate. I’m thinking of the story beginning quite combatively between them. Basically, they will “earn” their true love.

      • Sabrena August 24, 2016 at 11:50 pm #

        In those fics I’m thinking of, the soulmates don’t either until they meet and speak to one another.

    • Topaz111111 August 24, 2016 at 12:47 am #

      OMG, when I read this, I thought instantly that they would bump into each other all angry about their own circumstances that they cuss the other one out and then the story moves along. That would be funny as hell if their first sentences were marked into their skin and it was nothing but them cussing each other. LOL!

      • admin August 26, 2016 at 8:15 pm #

        Or: “Who the Hell are you?” and “Are you cosplaying?” and “Gay elves with swords!”

  2. macaroon August 23, 2016 at 3:45 pm #

    I’m feeling Mael with a frosty Mathias Lauridsen vibe : https://fashfever.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/mathias-lauridsen-hero-editorial-001.jpg

    As for Ciaran, someone who could pull off the gaunt, tortured look, like Cliff Watts’ Sean C’Pry ( https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/5c/d6/b8/5cd6b8bd8095a3adb474813a7201358e.jpg ) yet boyish/no fuss haircut from Hedi Slimane’s photoshoot ( http://www.graziadaily.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Sean-OPry-by-Hedi-Slimane-2007.jpg ). I could see him being looking older than he rightly is; worn-down by the accusations and treatments.

    Everything sounds fantastic! 🙂

    • admin August 24, 2016 at 12:38 am #

      Really interesting choices!

  3. BuddhaAli August 23, 2016 at 4:01 pm #

    oh goodness. Well, while I love the images you’ve chosen and the concept of a “king running out of time” there’s a part of me that doesn’t like our other lead. He seems to be falling into a similar tried-and-true formula that you’ve used in the past. Wounded, lost his place / fish out of water and possibly mad. Nate Whitney and many of your other characters are “drifting” in a similar way.

    There’s a part of me that would LOVE for your warrior human to be quite determined to live his life. In a way, that would make the sacrifice and power of his childhood visions all the more powerful if he’s had to set them aside. I’m not saying give up on the idea of the medication “keeping his real nature at bay” but perhaps keep it to a more manageable level so we can see him in his real life? One of the things that Raythe has struggled with in the past is the idea that the characters existed outside of their love. Take the Yakusa or even Abaddon or Aemrys. They have jobs, lives and relationships, but in few instances do we see them actually doing these lives. Abaddon is an exception in a few instances, but generally he is not allowed in the framework of the serial love story to “Lead” or “be a monster” all that often.

    Make this Ciaran be a cop. Or a soldier, and give him a chance to show off his chops as a cop or a soldier, and work that element into how he thinks for the entire rest of the story, responds to his elven mate, reacts to the situation with strength and resourcefulness. If our Ciaran is too lost in the woods – too drugged, weak, and disconnected for too long – how is he to show his equality and deal with being a warrior? You might find yourself falling into a similar problem as the Darkening suffered: people acting in ways that made little sense in the larger framework of their backstory. This is generalizing and obviously keeping in mind, Raythe, that Darkening actually IS one of my favorite stories on this site, that resonated deeply with me, and is one that I come back to time and again.

    Instead let him come from a position of some power and responsibility and knowledge of violence in this world. Either a reenactor who has worked with blades for years even tho his senses are dulled and nerves ache due to his meds, or a martial arts enthusiast that almost went to the Olympics but had a powerful vision of his mate-to-be Mael that caused him to loose focus at a critical moment and become badly injured. Just because he’s drugged doesn’t mean he can’t do a job or live a life. An empty, frustrating life, but one that may ground him and give him power in a way uniquely his? This root structure doesn’t need to be filled with likeable side characters that we’ll lose when we get the love interest. In fact, gyms and jobs are often filled with people we DON’T love, and that can actually help show how he can be strong even when faced with indifference. It doesn’t need to be open animosity, but instead just the standard rivalry and stupidity that the human world is plague to give us all.

    Plus there’s a deep part of me that likes the idea of Mael meeting his “warrior” in the armor of this world – a police uniform or a fire-fighter full gear, or a member of the national guard that is called to deal with the crazy person shooting lightening bolts from his fingers, or obviously wearing the wrong clothes in the wrong place and time. Depending on how alien you make your fairy people, he could be called because the crazy person is glowing. Who knows?

    While I love the fact you’ve used such stunning images above, I’d love to see a non-golden-haired king. I’m the oddball out there rooting for purple or blue hair, cats eyes and obviously inhuman looks. Something that would get the cops called in the wrong neighborhood. Heck, I’m even hoping for a language barrier made up of musical noise, pantomime, exaggerated expressions, graceful hand gestures and humor paving the way to a closer friendship between these different people. Particularly if telepathy or a form of empathy brought on by the bond helped them bridge that gap.

    http://i1.wp.com/bestmartialartsmovies.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/marko-zaror.jpg?resize=367%2C575
    I’m a sucker for a lovely pair of pecs and a certain amount of badassery.

    and this:
    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/6d/ed/e7/6dede751941ff6eaa29c684241e1db50.jpg
    only make it green and have gold eyes that see the soul.

    • ImmortalK August 23, 2016 at 5:56 pm #

      Love all of this. I was thinking the same thing about the looks for the elven character being more dark. Not that I don’t appreciate a beautiful golden Lord of the Rings elf haha. When I read your comment about giving the other character a job as a cop the first image that came into my mind was Brian Smith from Sense8 with his uniform. His character goes through a lot of what you describe in your comment in terms of dealing with new and unknown things that makes him question everything. Along with making friends and falling in love in an all consuming way but still having to deal with life and his job.

      • BuddhaAli August 23, 2016 at 6:11 pm #

        oooh! yay Sense8 reference! yeah, I agree that that’s what I was going for a bit. It can be done~

        • admin August 23, 2016 at 6:34 pm #

          Actually looked at doing this but decided with the type of drugs he is on he wouldn’t be allowed to be a cop or anything like that. What you’re suggesting would be a totally different character. Which is fine to suggest but not what I’m interested in here.

          Also, as you may have noticed Sean had a background like you suggest but this person has to be older to have the type of position and that’s just not people’s favorites overall.

          • BuddhaAli August 23, 2016 at 6:45 pm #

            I understand and can accept that the overall preference was for “young” but we did do “heavy drugging” once already in the Erl King stories with the powder, and it just left a huge power-disparity between the two leads. I’m just hoping for a more balanced relationship, and the relationship between the two characters in the Bodyguard was – to my eye – very imbalanced, too, with one character very firmly an “uke” and one a pretty firm “seme” if you can use those terms.

            So I was hoping for some similarity in size and physique so that the two could switch, take turns making decisions when the other is unsure how to proceed, protect each other with their differing strengths. there are 20-something cops and firefighters out there, too, but I respect that this is the decision you’re going with.

            You said “chose your own adventure” and so I put it out there. Thank you for responding.

          • admin August 23, 2016 at 7:31 pm #

            I think you will actually be very happy with the leads in terms of power and equality. As a Blade, Ciaran will be quite strong willed and strong overall after the drugs have been cleared from his system.

            I think that you are assuming a few things that aren’t going to be in there which I can understand because you don’t know the whole story yet (nor do I).

            Personally, I’m not interested in writing people’s everyday struggles with jobs and such because that’s just not my bag.And I really do not like Sensat8 ironically. But I promise that Ciaran will have a compelling backstory which is part of what I think you’re asking for. I’m actually going to add the bit about martial arts as something he uses to help the pain he feels for warriors are generally physical people.

            Comments are hard to get across all I’m thinking. But I appreciate your thoughts. I just didn’t want you to think: doesn’t she get it that characters can have lives and such? I do. There’s a method to my madness. And the novels you’ve mentioned like Darkening, Abyss etc were my first works. It comments such as your and writing 4 million words that have helped things!

            Anyways thanks for your thoughts.

          • BuddhaAli August 23, 2016 at 8:08 pm #

            Truth to be told, while I really like the sci-fi concept of Sense8 and some of the societal/cultural issues raised, I never watched it regularly. I’m much more of a reader than a watcher of TV. So many series seem like I’d totally love them, but for whatever reason I just can’t get past the first two episodes. Like Game of Thrones…

            All I care about really is that we truly get a pair that are both strong (neither devolves into a happy puppy in need of petting and protecting) and that their personalities remain fundamentally unchanged throughout the story – which is not to say someone can’t suffer a horrible scare and be shaken, or lose someone and feel grief, acting withdrawn for a time. But if its established that they know how to fight or aren’t afraid of bullies (one of my favorite traits for Alric’s young son in the remake “The Fell” is that he’s bloodthirsty and willing to use violence and intimidation against those who are truly out to hurt others – I think psychologically that’s amazing and awesome) the character must continue to be brave, willing to learn easily new fighting techniques and unwilling to put up with bullies. Or if they are of a scheming personality, they should just go right on scheming. 🙂

            this consistency actually causes me to either religiously follow an author, or give up on them completely. I had such hope for an intriguing series of short gay gargoyle stories, and while book one was awesome, book two was horrible, had inconsistencies in character, pacing and plotting, and I’ll never read anything by that author on faith again. Such a pity as the original concept was so cool!

    • Jordan.RiRi August 23, 2016 at 11:50 pm #

      Yes!! This sounds amazing, I’d love to see a more inhuman Elf Prince and an empty/frustrated but determined Blade. Also yes to the lack of a shared language, I think it always makes the story more interesting. (I’m still patiently hoping and waiting for Twisted Hilarity to come back to The Last Pure Huamn)

      • admin August 24, 2016 at 12:39 am #

        I have been torn b/t the language issue and not. Truthfully, it can be very limiting. I’ll think of something though.

        Is Twisted Hilarity still writing?

        • Jordan.RiRi August 26, 2016 at 2:14 am #

          She’s not currently writing (on hiatus) except apparently she does a story for a paid website on the agenda but she did a life update her LiveJournal a week or so ago – so fingers crossed 🙂

    • Topaz111111 August 24, 2016 at 12:54 am #

      Holy Cow, If I could thumbs up this, I would. I prefer a strong couple rather than one who makes the other strong. I like the idea of him being a cop or soldier- like, if one went “mad” and so ran away to the only place that would accept him for his physical abilities, it would be that. Then to return and encounter his soul mate… Awesome. And sure, doing drugs to get through the “madness” but maybe this guy Ciaran had a friend who gave him one of those clean pees in a bag or something in order to fake the drug test- lots of people have done that and gotten away with that- it’s why loads of people are crazy and the military seemingly “never knew just how crazy they were”.

      • Raythe August 25, 2016 at 12:34 am #

        They meet rather differently, but with plenty of action. Ciaran might be sick/wounded, but he’s still strong.

  4. Lucinda August 23, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

    I love this story already and it isn’t even started!!! Can’t wait for this to begin!!!

    • admin August 24, 2016 at 12:39 am #

      I’m excited, too, but I’m going to outline the other option and then we might be all excited about that.

  5. Jimeney August 23, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

    I love the ‘eyes are connect to your soulmate’ meanings like both soul mates have Heterochromia iridium, one original eye of the soul mate and the color of the other soul mate on the other eye. For example., let’s say Mael’s left eye is amber, his original High Elven eye color and the right eye is Ciaran’s original color, the eye color of a Blade like a very unique color (ex. A small ring of brown around the pupil followed by a thicker ,but still a bit thin ring of gold around the brown with a sea greenish bluish color covering the rest of the iris). For Ciaran it would be the other way around with his left eye is color and the right eye Mael’s color. However, as a blessing to see the eye color of your soul mate, it’s also a bit of a curse. The characters could be colorblind until they find their soulmate.

    • BuddhaAli August 23, 2016 at 4:36 pm #

      I actually really like the idea of the eyes looking different because they have a mate out there somewhere, and the act of mating either changing them both in an obvious way or making them more similar (more so than obviously causing Ciaran’s true nature to be visible). I’d love to see someone run with the eye-circles concept. I’ve seen it done well in the past with that being a mark of a faerie. 🙂

    • admin August 24, 2016 at 12:40 am #

      I think this is a really cool idea! But they aren’t going to know they are soulmates and such a distinctive physical trait would be obvious and I want it to only be obvious to us!

  6. Alondrapop August 23, 2016 at 4:13 pm #

    I would like King Mael Ienith to be white, while Ciaran Dhibir is black. I think souls mates since Mael needs to find his blade to live; which would be Ciaran. Would really like this to be the first interracial couple! Not too many stories where a elven is black. Familiars would be a cool idea! Maybe something that compliments each other.

    • admin August 24, 2016 at 12:41 am #

      I know that you are way into this pairing. I don’t think its for this story though. Familiars are making a comeback in this story.

  7. Natasha August 23, 2016 at 4:22 pm #

    Sounds awesome and its already starting a path of love and discovery with a twist of action that I’m itching to go along. 😁

    • admin August 24, 2016 at 12:42 am #

      We still have the other to talk about too!

  8. Doragonkage August 23, 2016 at 4:45 pm #

    Hello.

    1st I would like to say that a matingmark would be a great thing to see, not many authors use those. It would be a fantastic change of somehow one, or the lot of them involved, to know by that single thing just from that thing that the person is the one for them.

    Aldo I was wondering what sort of antagonist there would be?? What brings about the adventure for the characters to embark upon?? i have some ideas and await eagerly.

    • admin August 24, 2016 at 12:43 am #

      I have this idea of a mixed tattoo and collar for the Elven King. Once the collar releases he’s bonded with his soulmate and a tattoo replaces it.

      The adversary is actually other Elves who believe the Ienith line has ruled them for too long.

      • J. Widhalm August 25, 2016 at 7:02 pm #

        The tattoo could be matching wrist or neck art, appearing only once you touch your soul mate maybe. I see an image of green thorny vines and leaves with daggers and flowers.

  9. Shay August 23, 2016 at 5:00 pm #

    This sounds AMAZING. I can’t wait!

    One thing I’d really like to see is real physical or mental healing for both of them when they are together. Maybe Ciaran hasn’t been able to sleep without nightmares for years, and his face shows it with dark shadows under his eyes and hollowed out cheeks. He’d be thin, not the sort that is trim and lightly muscular, just outright skinny. I’m thinking intense, dusty blue eyes, closely cropped hair after he shaved his longer hair and scruffy beard off when he left for his grandparents’ home. Freckled nose and shoulders. Surplus army boots and old, well cared for jeans.

    Mael… I’m not an authority on elves or their customs. A bond that doesn’t just spark to life, but practically blows them apart when they first make physical contact could be fun.

    • admin August 24, 2016 at 12:45 am #

      Your idea about Ciaran being ill is perfect. I’m melding this idea together where Ciaran is crippled not only by the medication he’s taking but being away from Mael. He studies karate and swordplay but he is slowly failing. When he and Mael meet both will start to get better as they connect.

  10. AshestheFae August 23, 2016 at 5:23 pm #

    I absolutely love elven and faerie culture incorporated in stories and the interpretations thereof. If you have a classification of ‘High Elf,’ perhaps there could be other classes or ‘races’ within the same ‘species’ of elves? Just food for thought.

    As for the soulmate aspect, what if their connection runs so deep that their thoughts occasionally cross each other’s mind without even realizing it. That would certainly be an interesting surprise for sure. Or, perhaps as they grow closer, proximity-wise, they start entering each other’s dreams? That’s something I haven’t really seen done before, but could certainly see working in the right hands.

    • admin August 24, 2016 at 12:47 am #

      The idea of other types of Elves is a great one and something I’m considering.

      I’m definitely going to have dream-crossings for them!

  11. Bianccaw August 23, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

    I would enjoy if Cirian, had some traits of native american men. Like bone/jaw structure, it would make him way more interesting and diverse than usual elves. And maybe have him tatted up and look roguish, like weary or worn down as well. It would be pretty awesome if we could kinda have a contrast on how beautiful the king is from how rough and tan or etc how cirian is.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=elven+king+art&newwindow=1&client=ms-android-att-us&prmd=ismvn&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiegamshdjOAhUUTmMKHfTAAUYQ_AUIBygB&biw=360&bih=559#newwindow=1&tbm=isch&q=native+american+male+models&imgrc=S7g-3D9HrMfn5M%3A

    • admin August 24, 2016 at 12:50 am #

      I’m tossing around this idea as Ciaran’s elven blood comes from him being banished to the human world. The Scots-Irish and Native Americans were both there in this area. I would have to do massive research for this and I’m not sure I’d do it justice in the end.

  12. BuddhaAli August 23, 2016 at 7:40 pm #

    Golden age can be interpreted in many different ways. Elf society could be “golden artists and peaceful pacifists” OR they could be a warrior society of nomads living in giant forests across many worlds, policing other magical beings, or conquering worlds from a position of cultural or magical superiority, subjugating other races into a slave class system to do their work for them.

    “Golden age” is a matter of who writes the history books (or sings the ballads of kings before and worthy hero’s deeds). These could be far more deathly dark elves for all we know. We had an ancient culture that apparently conquered, sacrificed and reigned in terror in the Dark Earth, and a culture of art lovers in seclusion in the Sky Kingdom, so I dunno what to suggest you do next. Maybe healers and herders of trees living in harmony with a planet forest? One thing that has always been going on in these ancient cultures is that the old rule has completely failed. Maybe seeing the culture in a pretty healthy light would be nice.

    The dark earth had the elf mages have a very Harry Potter flare for spell crafting, with the exception of the Magus and the warrior’s light magic which seemed to break the rules. As you used two very different magical styles in one story (lots of learning and spell books that suddenly prove useless because all it takes is “will” to get what you want) I guess I’d like to see a society that actually had only one fundamental magic system, and everything worked in that system or didn’t work at all. No shortcuts.

    By preference, we could go with something we haven’t done and have them summon spirits of some kind in order to borrow the spirit’s power to open gates, transform, cause healing, etc. And that the only way that magic worked was through that connection to the spirit. It could then be cool to have the spirit Mael summons also be damaged by a lack of a mated Blade. Like the spirit is half of a pair and the way to identify the Blade mate would be to see his spirit in action and recognize that they look the same.

    However if Mael is through a gate in a world without connections to the spirit world, he won’t be able to create a gate from this side. It would require someone from the other side accessing their spirit and requesting a gate be formed in order to bring them back. Complicated, but in all honesty I don’t like the crutch of getting around lessons and training mistakes by “using blunt power” or relying on “will” when a more sophisticated approach would make more sense and actually grant you more power and control.

    I feel like it would also make sense that Mael has trusted advisors and possibly family that can step in when Mael’s health starts to fade because of his Blade mating bond. There has to be some system in place to ensure that the kingdom stands while he is away, if he’s honestly going to abandon everything for a quest. Perhaps he rules with the aid of a series of wise magic spirits that can forsee the future or tap into the spirit realm directly and speak for him in his absence? I don’t want a council of lesser fae, as we killed off a similar counseling bunch in the Dark Earth, and saw how ineffective the ‘wise old witch families’ could be in the Pact.

    We’ve done very smooth silken clothes for elves before. Maybe we could take it in the more literal faerie sense and use more natural materials like flowers or moss? I don’t know how hard that would be to incorporate into the story tho. I’d love to do more complex costumes, but I don’t think the amazing Mathia needs any help coming up with pretty things for people to wear! 🙂

    • admin August 24, 2016 at 12:54 am #

      Magic systems I’ve tossed out again and again and rejected, because in the end … its not really interesting at least to me. The interaction of characters matters to me the rest is sort of hand-wavy. I get that you like this stuff, but I’ve found that the most popular stories are highly character based and less world based. But the idea of a spirit is an interesting one. Maybe I’ll arrange a simple magic system.

      As to Elven clothes, though we’ve “done it” before, truthfully, the movies about Elves have really always inspired me and Mathia. Flowers? Moss? No. What’s fun is to take what we know and make it m/m, make it ours.

      • BuddhaAli August 24, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

        I agree that the “flower/moss” concept leads much more to childlike and less towards hunky adult men with problems, hahaha, and I’m fine with that. One of the things that makes your stories snap to life have been the meticulous descriptions of places and enemies – like the towers that Ruin Jumpers had to find, and the complex tools and armor systems that went with jumping on alien worlds. Having that framework of awesome science fiction really made that story so much more powerful to me.

        I think you’re selling yourself short! You certainly can do extremely amazing world building, and I really believe that it adds a ton to your stories. Just picture replacing the ubiquitous cell phone with a blank small leather bound book. and in it is the framework to turn any thought into a communication with the spirit that serves a magical elf. In that easy framework, you might be able to cast any spell imaginable – no glyphs or magic circles requiring terrible ingredients and sacrifice. No chalk or candles, just your tome (or flat surface of water, glass or crystal might do) to communicate when you’re on the elf home world, and you’ve got access to massive magical power.

        My favorite stories have actually all had great characters, great world building and complex systems/politics going on. 🙂 I’m odd, and just having the characters isn’t enough. Sorry Raythe!

  13. Liz August 23, 2016 at 7:46 pm #

    I would envision Mael to look something like this

    http://iv1.lisimg.com/image/1140511/338full-paul-boche.jpg

    And Ciaran like this:

    http://ilarge.lisimg.com/image/2124873/1000full-russell-giardina.jpg

    • admin August 24, 2016 at 12:56 am #

      Cool! You like the leaner look.

  14. Nicole August 23, 2016 at 9:00 pm #

    I was so disappointed when I finished reading the plot, because I want it to a published story already! The plot is sooo good! The model you chose for Ciaran Dhibir is so handsome. Plus, the first picture gives me an idea of his tortured look. I could see the hurt as well as his strength. That model just nailed it! That second picture is how I picture him after he’s met King Mael Ienith and is slowly cleasing himself of the drugs. He looks mischievous, which I like! I, also, love long-haired, blond elves! I seem to run across a lot of long-haired elves without bangs, so my suggestion for Mael is bangs. Here’s a picture of what I’m thinking in my head:
    http://phoenixlu.deviantart.com/art/Shahryar-174217450
    Sorry that the model is not an actual person. It was hard to find an Elven look with the bangs I had in mind.

    • admin August 24, 2016 at 1:02 am #

      Elves with bangs! It’s like a revolution, isn’t it? Very nice painting! Sometimes its impossible to find what you’re looking for.

  15. Kiristala August 23, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

    I love the idea so far, and well I have to eat that the elf king looking like Thranduil will always be the best Elf look next to the Erl King. Not many do dark hair on elves, but most see elves as golden of hair, fair of face, and grace incarnate. Love it but done a lot. Our soon to be young hero as at least half Native American would be fantastic, as a link to his Great Grandmother’s land, the link to a mystical forest would likely ring deeper and stronger. The link to the Blades from his father’s heritage calling him to the King as he enters our human realm. Soul mate marks can be many things, perhaps a combination of the eyes as well as a tattoo for our heros, as I have always loved a soulmates name in the native language, so on our human hero, the King’s name in High Elven, and on the King, Ciaran’s name in his tribal language, as it’s likely the Elven king wouldn’t have run across the language.

    • admin August 24, 2016 at 1:06 am #

      I think that black hair will always bring about Alric in my mind. Red reminds me of Abaddon. Brown seems uninspired. So I wanted to do someone pale this time.

  16. Methusleah1 August 23, 2016 at 11:18 pm #

    (1) We rarely see elves as being anything other than white and blonde with delicate yet sharp features, but in D&D and in non-white cultures with elf-like features, there is a lot of variety in skin tone and hair color. For example, forest elves have tan skin and hair like leaves. Drow have midnight black skin and starlight silver hair with red or white irises. Also your elves seem to fall into melee fighter/archer or mage/bard classes. It would be cool to see a cleric, paladin, rogue, or gunslinger elf as a character. As for your regular human character, if it’s set in the US, it would be cool to see a Native American boy who is totally just a regular millennial college student, who doesn’t believe in magic. Or perhaps a Latino or African American or Indian, or Polynesian or Asian person because all the uke/main characters so far have been white boys. It would be cool to see someone who doesn’t identify as a cis male as the hero. (That’s a complaint I have about fiction in general, especially LGBT fiction. I’m not saying that your work is somehow lacking if you have white cis main characters, I know it will still be a good story, I just want some more diversity in fiction as a whole, especially stuff that has LGB characters, but not the rest of the acronym.)

    • admin August 24, 2016 at 1:15 am #

      I know the old D&D classes. I should definitely consider others.

      I think its great to have other cultures, races, non-cis, but I’m always leery of doing so. Because no matter how much research you do you risk making it stereotypical. I’m going to try to add more diversity though. I’ll do my best not to disappoint.

  17. Methusleah1 August 23, 2016 at 11:20 pm #

    Sorry, forgot to separate my points, whoops.

  18. Kittypride August 23, 2016 at 11:47 pm #

    That’s a tall order. Your story idea is pretty rad as it is. A mark (tattoo) that the main characters are born with that reacts to their proximity to their ‘true’ mate would be interesting. I know someone that would make a beautiful elf – @taylorashmore7 I’m sure he can inspire you. Can’t wait to see what you gals come up with.

  19. admin August 24, 2016 at 1:16 am #

    Wow, he’s spectacular!

  20. little one August 24, 2016 at 7:22 am #

    Bloody Hell this sound good.

  21. keith August 24, 2016 at 8:17 am #

    The story looks great!!!! Can’t wait to discover it <3
    For the looks of the characters — I don't really have ideas, so I'll just wait to be amazed by Mathia's art 🙂

  22. BuddhaAli August 24, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

    I’d love to see other people’s ideas for elven wear, particularly aristocratic elves! We’ve seen some cool cast ideas, but why not go in another direction for clothing inspiration:
    http://cs311116.vk.me/v311116994/3348/V4Qe9ybgaBo.jpg
    http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/66/c3/1f/66c31fe981b34dd5d8d42ca7f0426b57.jpg

    This is clearly not the best makeup job but the armor shape would be awesome on an elf paladin or champion of the realm.
    http://kultofathena.com/images/LPIF800721_l.jpg
    http://41.media.tumblr.com/be321c7cc09356868bc46b3628167345/tumblr_mwo94mXjxC1rhlcb9o1_1280.jpg

    men can look stupendously handsome in long dress-like outer robes.
    https://armstreetfrance.com/catalogue/full/costume-medieval-de-tunique-et-surcot-deurope-orientale-5.jpg
    fun – more form fitting armor that you can see in motion on the seller’s website (if you scroll down a bit.)

    http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=LAD516&name=Scoundrel+Leather+Armor+Top+%2D+Black++
    has very nice shoulder attachments for dual wielding swords. Which just makes it all that much more sexy…

    And because I love variety and green have these pictures too! A sexy man in green armor looking violent!
    http://images6.fanpop.com/image/polls/1268000/1268732_1377216147493_full.png
    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/08/83/46/088346bf4710dbe1ba95e3839df40293.jpg

    closup of similar leaf/armor
    http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/c9/66/67/c96667f2a875420e779443d7154cefa7.jpg
    Yes, its CG from a movie, but we can dream, and the range of motion and way its constructed makes me very happy.

    The end. 🙂

    • Raythe August 25, 2016 at 1:47 am #

      Cool ideas!

  23. River Iris August 24, 2016 at 5:23 pm #

    I don’t have any images I can link, which is a shame because my PC is full of images mostly for story inspiration. I’d love for one or both to have piercing(s)– eyelid and/or around their ear specifically. Preferably this would have significance to the person involved. Rings for Mael.

    Spirit animals could be integral for both cultures, but because Cirian wasn’t raised among his people he can’t see/doesn’t have his. I’d enjoy something not domesticated or otherwise mystical. Dragons, monkies, exotic birds, bears, foxes, shapeshifters, etc. I love wolfs and big cats, but they’re overused. And give the animal(s) power as well, if possible, as they’re connected to powerful beings.

    As for culture, if one could be High Fantasy and the other Dark Fantasy in the same way ‘The Fell’ vs. ‘The Erl-King’. Not good or evil mind, just entirely opposite. Someone mentioned Drow from D&D. I don’t know much about that area of fantasy (I’m mostly a Tolkien fan myself), but what I do know, being outcast creepy cold misunderstood etc., is a good area for Dark Fantasy. Make the High Fantasy as posh and non-human as possible. LotR and High Elves from ‘Elder Scrolls’ level of uppity nonsense (at least until Mael learns some humility). I could mention more, but this is the important bits. =}♥

    • Raythe August 25, 2016 at 12:42 am #

      I definitely want to give Ciaran a familiar and I admit I was going with dog … maybe a fox! I think of those domesticated red foxes and how smart and adorable they are!

      Oh, Mael has a lot in common with Arcturus …

  24. Ilona F August 25, 2016 at 5:36 pm #

    I see Ciaran as a warrior and despite the medication he can’t help but be one in the human world too. Maybe he could have a hybrid wolf as a companion/familiar?
    I see the Elf King Mael being extremely arrogant at their first meeting (after all he is royalty) and that puts Ciaran’s back up so they spend a long time getting over that first impression.
    This is how I see Mael but with the knowledge of centuries haunting his eyes. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/80/27/80/802780e09a9202366bea379ea727e6a2.jpg
    I see Ciaran like this in his dreams of defending a king http://www.justpushstart.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/popww5.jpg and looking a little younger but more haunted in his human life (probably as a fireman or other job that defends people from harm).

    • admin August 29, 2016 at 2:22 am #

      That’s definitely how I’m seein Ciarans character as a warrior.

  25. Alexey Shiro August 25, 2016 at 6:12 pm #

    // (2) Tell me anything special you think should be in the Elven culture like … soul mate marks, etc.! Or maybe they have familiars like dragons, or maybe they have special clothing or jewelry etc.//

    Well, the most important thing, IMHO, that the elves aren’t “just a humans with pointy ears”. They are completely different specie – immortal specie – and their psychology and ways of thinking should be quite different from humans. They knew, that they have time/ They have time for everything in their lives (well, unless they are killed, of course, but for elves it’s clearly Force majeure, not the natural way of things)

    So… they probably would have a lot of problems with “we must do this quickly”. Unless it’s a life/death scenarion, the elf would probably be willing to wait, calculate and basically NOT do this quickly at all.

    It may be quite a problem in romantic relationships: for the elf, the idea “well, he is angry at me… well, I should just wait a few months… or years…” would be perfectly natural.

    • admin August 29, 2016 at 2:32 am #

      This is an excellent poin and it just gave me a great idea for a scene between them.

  26. DarkNari August 25, 2016 at 6:20 pm #

    Idea for elven costume:
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/419186677792780406/

    • admin August 29, 2016 at 2:33 am #

      Cool!

  27. Fiona Hayes August 25, 2016 at 10:12 pm #

    Well if you are going to soul mates marks you need for them to be matching and they would have fine one another.maybe one being half elf and human and the other ful elf or something like that also love the Dragon for pets great Idea.can’t wait for this to come out.

    • admin August 29, 2016 at 2:33 am #

      I thought of dragons and I think that it will be a great idea.

  28. Seph August 26, 2016 at 2:09 pm #

    What if blades were elfs living in the magical realm and then when they moved to new realms like on explorations or something like that they found the human world stayed there to explore but as immortal beings some centuries are like just years so they finally lost connection with their original realm and thats why they became involved with humans but in the very beggining they were the source of fantasy in the human realm until they were dying slowly because of the lack of connection, now in the magic realm everybody thinks of them as extinct but when Mael ends in the human realm his soulmark appears brightly giving him hope to go and find his fated one, but his strange looks and language barrier don’t help him and his magic sometimes work and sometimes no because of the exertion it causes him to use his magic as his main power source is through his familiar left in the magic realm who talks to him and gives him “advice” based on fantasy stories about a world where there is no magic which seem to match to the world he went to, so poor familiar has to do a lot of reseaech and guess to keep him alive and well and that can give us a lot of fun.
    The native american for Ciaran with a touch of irish mix sound spectacular because both cultures have very strong folklore in magical beings and his familiar could be more oriented to the animal totem of the native american which he has to look for or it appears when its time.

    • BuddhaAli August 26, 2016 at 5:50 pm #

      that… is an awesome concept, Seph!! Either having Ciaran be a second generation half-elf, abandoned by his immortal elf blade parent, or having him be a full elf who lost his memories, both would be cool. I like the concept of the soulmate mark burning brightly (and possibly hurting-burning, too) when King Mael ends up on Earth. that’s awesome.

  29. Kyle Miller August 27, 2016 at 5:12 am #

    1) I too believe that the Elves in the story need a new look. If you have EVER seen the softcover of the book “Magic and the Pagan” (by Mychael Black & Shayne Carmichal). He has pointed ears, beautifully impossible red hair, whith a red bloodstone around his neck. You could do something similar. I like the look of a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine “Bajoran Earpiece”. It shows that he is about to take the throne as high king. He’s pushed through a magical portal that closes after him. He has no idea where he is, as the amulet can help because it lights up when someone you are destend to love for eternity falls in love with him and vice versa. The couple meet at first. The burgundy coloured hair on the elvin prince match his clothing to a tee. Today’s Earth looks completely different than 14000 years ago when the Tuatha Da Dannon went into hiding, letting their evil, mischievous elven brothren that broke apart under the rule of the Fomorri(Same family line, only 14000 years ago the world dwelling Fomorri were part of the Da Dannon and the now king has a twin who wants his Magically separated kingdom of Avalon(A.K.A.-Annwnn/Septentrion, etc…), to rejoin Earth so he can take it over using the life blood of Avalon to do so. But what the prince doesn’t know is that his soulmate, looks like a runnaway, with unremarkable brown hair, and half human to boot. I could go on forever with ideas, but i think that Kevin Zegers would be a beautiful half human, not knowing of his magical bloodline. He is a Fomorri king to be, only he’ll be too tied up with the da dannon prince that he runs away from home before his fomorri mother can tell him of his magical birth, and an equal right to the elven thrown. The two princes fall in love before they find out that they are first cousins. That, and no one knows which king was actually born seventh in line, and the other is either a sixth son, but they are identical twins. They have to find an old artifact that was supposedly destroyed along with Atlantis(The fallen city from the last war between the Fomorri and the Tuatha Da Dannon) , but it lays on the bottom of the ocean near where Atlantis was, and in tact. It is a portal named after the first Elven/Fae/Fay/LeFay/, etc… Queen named Danna, also known as Titania, wife of the first Fae King(Oberon/Auburon/etc…). Shall the two beautiful men fall in love in order for the elven prince to marry someone of his own choosing, or will he be forced to marry a Fomorri princess in order to seal a new aliance between the Da Dannon and the Fomorri, and bring magic back to Earth???

  30. Mangaworm August 27, 2016 at 6:12 pm #

    I think Ciaran has a good bases, but maybe he should have a part time or volunteer job that caters to his protective side and makes him feel a bit useful. Like working with war veterans or helping out in a martial arts hall. Just something to keep him out of the house but not enough to keep him attached to the real world. And something that he can let go easily with little regret.

    Maybe the elf king should have at least one relative, one who annoys him but he likes anyway, someone he can confin to when he is feeling at his lowest. Kinda like a Tara or Daniel, a real sociable ladies man as oppose to a honor bound morose king. One who urges the elf king to find someone.

    Also, will this story be in the same universe as Winter Haven? It would be kinda cool to have Marel and Alex meet.

  31. Ventyriz August 30, 2016 at 9:58 pm #

    Will this be set inside the Fell universe? Also concerning Ciaran Dhibir, your brief description of him seems to state that he had one encounter with this monster and his parents deemed him crazy or were there multiple times of this happening and the last was just so bad that he needed to be put away.

    This question also gave me a suggestion that maybe Ciaran can sometimes have glimpses of Mael’s world not like dreams but sort of like him sort of loosing touch with this world for short stretches of time and finding himself in Maels world, not like teleporting just sort of uncontrollable vivid life-like hallucinations, but the people, places and things that he sees are really he just cannot interact with them. I hope this is clear and not confusing. I know anything you come up with will be great, and will love reading it, I love elves, though, Vampires are #1 for me, so I am looking forward to both of these stories.

    Thank you,

    Ventyriz

    • admin August 30, 2016 at 10:24 pm #

      This won’t be in the Fell universe. I want a clean slate so that we can add all the cool things we want.

      I think you are right about Ciaran and he should have had a history of daydreaming that led to issues.

      I think the daydreaming is really getting those glimpses into Mael’s world. I’ll try to add times where they both dreams of one another maybe.

  32. Vic August 30, 2016 at 10:12 pm #

    I love basically what everyone is talking about here so much!! This story sounds fantastic and I can’t wait to read it, I’m way more into high fantasy than paranormal but I love both so I hope this one wins in the poll! Also I’m falling stronger on the sides of the other fans who would love to see some colour added into Elves as a race, I think within them being from a different realm you get to avoid some of the negative traps and stereotypes plus it can create a different dynamic between Mael and the other people he encounters in the human realm. Personally I like having the Elvish King Mael be modeled (heh) on someone like model Vine Allan (http://site.brandtalent.net/images/models/2403/portfolio/Vince-Allen-20.jpg) with Ciaran kinda like Karl Urban (http://www.onnetflix.ca/media/actors/karl-urban.jpg) where their strength is a bit quieter but behind it is total BAMF you know? Also someone mentioned Dragons as pets?!?! I’m 10000% behind that idea either with larger dragons that you can ride or smaller ones the size of dogs/great cats that wind around you, I love dragons. Though Ciaran having a fox as a familiar is really cool, I love the smaller wild cats like the Marbled Cat (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3f/Marbled_cat_borneo.jpg), the Serval (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c9/Serval_at_Auckland_Zoo_-_Flickr_-_111_Emergency.jpg), and the Scottish Wildcat (http://bigcatswildcats.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/scottish-wildcat-image.jpg) the last one looks like a house cat but is like twice the size of a house cat and is only found in Scotland. I think it’d be hilarious for someone to see a cat like that a freak out cause why is it so BIG?!?!

    • admin August 30, 2016 at 10:26 pm #

      Those cats were making me go: CUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTEEEEEEEEE! Then I had to pet my cat.

  33. Leigh September 1, 2016 at 10:47 pm #

    I like the first photo you have for Ciaran. Exotically, elegantly, almost delicately beautiful. Fits his elf heritage, and is a nice contrast to his warrior identify.

    I like the idea of him having unusual eyes. Bright purple or green, even glasz. A shade or two too bright for natural humans, and tend to swirl like liquid when he gets emotional or magical. They unnerve people, but it isn’t overt. So folk over compensate by trying to stick him in an easily labeled box.

    Lucid dreaming, maybe? Remembering his ancestors fights with monsters? Flashes of elven culture or lore?

    I like the familiar idea. Pure spirit creature that only shows up when Ciarans in danger, or shape shifter that sticks around as a dog or cat to give him some emotional comfort afterwards? I’m thinking option b. Ciaran needs some emotional support that isn’t Mael. Sentient or animal?

    Disease, old age, dementia, and drugs are probably alien concepts to elves, who only know of death in battle.

    Are we going to run into other races, like dwarves or merfolk?

    Rune tattoos, like in Shadowhunters!

  34. Jennifer February 2, 2017 at 9:58 pm #

    I like the idea of soul mate marks….what about a mark that will change or complete itself by either bringing the marks together or consummating the relationship? E.g……perhaps a sword on the blade and crown on the king then they both end up with a sword surrounded by the crown?

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