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A Tale of Two Paths, Review Topic

expanded multiverse aethion izumal kiasu laro

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#1 Offline LewaLew

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Posted Sep 01 2012 - 08:16 PM

[color=#696969;][font="'Palatino Linotype';"]A Tale of Two Paths[/color][/font][color=#696969;][font="'Palatino Linotype';"]Review Topic[/color][/font]

[color=#696969;]Current Chapter:[/color] #14: "Statorak Furax"A Tale of Two Paths is the story of a Ga-Matoran from the Water Fragment of Shattered, who through the Olmak Effect anomaly is stranded far from Clysmax with almost no hope of ever returning. Along with her, as a Ga-Toa from Tribal, who forms a bond with the Ga-Matoran after the crash. Soon afterwards, they are separated.Constructive criticism and mountains of praise are welcome. (Preferably the latter) Also, if you have some suggestions to improve my writing style, tell me.This story was originally posted on the old boards, unfinished. Recently, I decided to pick it up again and (hopefully) finish it. I will gradually repost the chapters until I hit the new stuff, in order to avoid having the boards automerge the chapters.[font="'palatino linotype';"][color=#696969;]Mini-Guide:[/color][/font]To those unfamiliar with the Expanded Multiverse, much of this may be confusing. To remedy that predicament, I'll place information relevant to the story here, so you don't have to dig through the EM guides to find the information you seek.[color=#696969;]The Expanded Multiverse (or Aethion) [/color][color=#000000;]is a project created by bonesiii and Swert, for BZPower members to participate it. You might call it BZP and BS01's official fanon. In-story, Aethion was created when that Kanohi Olmak that Toa Empress Tuyet lost in Dark Mirror was shattered while in dimensional space. The result was the creation of a highly unstable alternate universe containing eight worlds seperated by a dangerous field of dimesional energy called "Bluespace". The universe is endangered by the growing instability of the[/color][color=#696969;] "Olmak Effect"[/color][color=#000000;] which is essentially the manifestation of dimensional warping. This causes unstable portals between worlds to be created, altered history, appearances, and other stuff that would make Dr. Emelius Brown throw a fit. Time-space continu-whatever and 88 mph. and all that. The governments of some of the worlds have started projects to try to combat this entropy, like Team Cipher, the subject of The Cipher Chronicles.[/color] But that doesn't matter all that much in A Tale of Two Paths.The only safe method of travel between the planets of Aethion are Olmak Totems: little wooden objects containing the fragments of the shattered Olmak. By touching one, a person is teleported from that totem to its corresponding totem on the destination world. Many beings are teleported unwillingly by Olmak anomalies: turbulent portals that are created when the Olmak Effect is particularly unstable. These anomalies are extremely dangerous, and can cause great potential physical and mental injuries. New beings are created by the olmak effect in Aethion, and like the rest of the expanded multiverse, they are usually combined from beings from the various other dimensions, and some characters, like Akla, in this story, bear an almost exact resemblance to other beings, although they always are differentiated from the source material in several ways.A few other miscellaneous facts about the Olmak Effect taken from the Official EM Reference Topic: When the Olmak Totems of a planet are brought closer together, the Olmak Effect on that planet gets worse and for this reason they are usually kept apart. Some believe that if the six totems of a planet were brought together, the resulting distorsions would teleport a person to Enigma. The Olmak Effect doesn't occur near the Izumal power source, though the reason, like the power source itself, is unknown. The only beings who don't know about, or don't accept, these findings are the Atohune natives, who believe the Olmak Effect is caused by the boredom of the spirits.[color=#696969;]Atohune[/color][color=#000000;] is the Tribal world. Heavily forested, it is populated by inumerable primitive tribes that worship 'spirits' living in gigantic towers that contain the Olmak totems of this world. These towers are carried by tribes from one location to the other for the purpose of entertaining the spirits. Since they believe that the spirits cause the Olmak effect when they are displeased, they give the towers priority over everything, and no tribe ever gets in the way if they can help it.[/color][color=#000000;]In this story, however, one of the tribes is in a bit of a tight spot. A tiny tribe of nomads is trapped between all of the tribes bearing totems, and one of the tribes want to move their tower to the location of the nomads, and unless they scram, the agressors will take them out of the picture. Their turaga will have to buy time in order to survive, but how long can they hold out?[/color][color=#696969;]Izumal[/color][color=#000000;] is the Enlightened world. [/color][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Izumal is entirely separate from the other planets, both for their extreme technological advancement and for its culture of enlightenment and purity. This planet is unique in that it is made primarily out of protodermic silver and gold. [/font][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Its main citizens live in a single city made mostly of powerful silver nanites with protodermic powers and a highly secret unlimited power source (or so they claim). Virtually anything you can imagine is made possible by the nanites there, and its citizens are totally at peace with each other; crime is almost unheard of, and few ever desire to leave. They do not allow travel to here from other worlds; visitors are told to immediately go home, or be imprisoned, lest the harmony of this world be unbalanced. [/font][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]They have become able to control the weather, so that clouds from the oceans move directly into receptables in the city that feed water to canals. They can also use controlled tornadoes for security purposes.[/font][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]There are outlying criminal camps in the wilderness, and criminals enter the city sometimes. There are thus police and investigators. Most crimes involve hacking, so the camps are also called hacker camps, though not every camp has hackers in it. [/font][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"]Agents wearing powerful nanite suits war against these camps, and from time to time, they show up on mysterious missions on the other planets, bullying their way to whatever it is they want. When they go on these offworld missions, they are unstoppable and spark terror in the hearts of all, but they do not kill, and their goals don't even seem to make tactical sense. They claim to be good, but most Aethion inhabitants see them as the real evil of this universe.[/font] (Taken from the Expanded Multiverse Reference Topic)[color=#696969;]The other worlds[/color][color=#000000;] are the Central planet, Alarist; the Shattered planet, Clysmax; the Industrial planet, Promathus; the Tyrant planet, Tanuuk; the Warzone planet, Barrawahi; and Enigma. Information on all these (except Enigma, obviously) can be found here[/color], but none of the story takes place on any of those planets, so it shouldn't be too important.[color=#696969;]Main Characters:[/color] Posted Image[color=#696969;]Laro[/color][color=#000000;] is a toa of water from Atohune, who was sent by the turaga of her nomad tribe to retreive help from Alarist for one of their villagers. She wears a Great Mask of Concealment, and looks basically like a Toa Mata. You'll learn more about her as you read.[/color] Posted Image[color=#696969;]Kiasu[/color][color=#000000;] is a Ga-Matoran from Clysmax, and serves in the air force of the Allied Fragments of Clysmax. In the midst of a firefight, she was brought to Atohune by an Olmak anomaly caused by the convergence of various Tribal Olmak Totem towers. She looks like a smaller version of the Av-Matoran/Shadow Matoran from '08, and wears a kanohi shaped like a Great Hau. [/color][color=#000000;]She has extra armor on her torso and shoulders issued by the Clysmax military, and bears the insignia of her unit and rank on her shoulders. Like Laro, you'll learn about her as you read.[/color] Here's a height comparison for your convenience:Posted ImageThe rest of the mini-guide information will be placed in spoiler tags corresponding with each chapter. Some of the work is still in progress, so you may not find what you're looking for yet.[font="'Palatino Linotype';"][color=#696969;]Credit to:[/color][/font]bonesiii and Swert for designing the Expanded Multiverse.The winners of EM Contest 2: Name the Expanded Multiverse, for the names of the planets/multiverse/etc. More specifically, Lloyd: The White Wolf, for the name "Aethion"; Advant, for the name "Alarist"; ~~Zarkan~~, for the name "Promathus"; Xander004, for the name "Atohune"; Uzumakikunai, for the name "Barrawahi"; makuta of xhini nui, for the name "Tanuuk"; TRINUMA NUVA: One Traveler, for the name "Izumal"; and finally, Good Omens for the name "Clysmax".Credit to Axinian for the character of Statorak Furax, featured in Chapter 3.Credit to BCii for the original idea of the Judgement Cannon.And all the other Expanded Multiverse contributors.[font="'palatino linotype';"][color=#696969;]Special Thanks to:[/color][/font]GaliGee, for if she hadn't written her stories, I might not have attempted to write mine.Exo-Fat for creating the Abyss and Abyssal Plain RPG's, in which I created the original character of Akla, and otherwise, Akla would not be in this story.Charles Dickens for writing A Tale of Two Cities, which gave me the idea for the title. [color=#696969;]If you enjoyed A Tale of Two Paths:[/color][color=#696969;]Please show off this banner. Thank you kindly.[/color][color=#696969;]Posted Image[/color]

[url=http://www.bzpower.com/board/index.php?showtopic=6665][img=http://www.majhost.com/gallery/LewaLew/NewBZP/akla_quote.jpg][/url]

Edited by LewaLew, Jul 10 2013 - 09:35 AM.

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#2 Online Toa Smoke Monster

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Posted Sep 01 2012 - 09:12 PM

While I know next to nothing about the Expanded Multiverse, I will say this is a good start for your epic. I really don't have any criticisms about it, story wise, except that it kind of feels a little rushed to me. Maybe an extra paragraph or two would help a couple more details to it. But that's just my opinion. Also, I noticed that you had lowercased a lot of words that should've been capitalized. These words are Toa, Agori, and Le-Matoran. All of them should be capitalized in the story, since they refer to what the beings are.And I did find one other grammar mistake:

What is there to think about? she asked herself. After all I don’t --

The bold part is Laro's thoughts (right?), so it should be in italics. Anyway, like I said, this is a good start for your epic. Keep up the good work!

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#3 Offline LewaLew

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Posted Sep 07 2012 - 05:57 PM

I've now reached the point where I can post a new chapter. Chapter 7: "The Commander-in-Chief"

While I know next to nothing about the Expanded Multiverse, I will say this is a good start for your epic. I really don't have any criticisms about it, story wise, except that it kind of feels a little rushed to me. Maybe an extra paragraph or two would help a couple more details to it. But that's just my opinion.Also, I noticed that you had lowercased a lot of words that should've been capitalized. These words are Toa, Agori, and Le-Matoran. All of them should be capitalized in the story, since they refer to what the beings are.And I did find one other grammar mistake:

What is there to think about? she asked herself. After all I don’t --

The bold part is Laro's thoughts (right?), so it should be in italics.Anyway, like I said, this is a good start for your epic. Keep up the good work!

I too felt it was somewhat rushed when I re-read it recently. But once you get to the expository chapters it slows down. I'm somewhat worried the pacing may be inconsistent later on.I purposefully lowercased those. Unless they are proper nouns or the first word of a sentence, I generally do not capitalize BIONICLE words.I'll have to find that last part and fix it later.EDIT: There's a new new chapter now, Chapter 8: "The Turaga's Treasure"EDIT 2: And now I'm up to Chapter 10: "Unlocked Doors"EDIT 3: And if anyone actually is reading this, Chapter 11: "Close Enemies" is now up.

Edited by LewaLew, Oct 20 2012 - 03:47 PM.

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#4 Offline The Dandy Automaton

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Posted Oct 22 2012 - 04:27 PM

Hey there, LewaLew! ECC intern Sechs here, dropping by with a complimentary review!Well, first of all I know I should be commenting on your spelling and punctuation, but I really feel like there isn’t anything in particular to say. Your prose is brilliant and mistakes are few and far between. I think I picked out about two to memory, both of which has been lost to the sands of time. Whilst obviously not desirable, they’re clearly forgiveable due to the sheer ratio of words to mistakes. But yeah, a very commendable job, so keep up the good work in that area.Okay, now I’ll carry on with my biggest gripe that I unfortunately have with your story, because that way we can get the worst part over with and leave the rest of the review to the good parts, of which there are plenty. Now, I’m saying this as somebody who is unfamiliar with the expanded multiverse and all that resides within it when I say that when reading your epic, there were terms and locations in there that I feel you needed to go into detail on because to me, that’s all they were. Just terms. At times I was left stumbling because I wasn’t sure if parts of your epic were deliberately vague to convey mystery or whether I just needed to do some research. It’s not like I was unable to follow it, not at all. Following your story alone, it was easy to take everything at face value, picking out who the protagonists, antagonists and everyone’s motives were, but I couldn’t help but feel that there were crucial details that I was missing out on. For example, hackers. Obviously, I can make context-based guesses as to what they are, going by the name alone, but for all I know my assumption could just be a shot in the dark. Everyone in your epic talks about hackers as though they’re either saviours or anarchists, but there’s little indication as to what they’re capable of and what they've done beforehand. The worlds themselves leave me unsure because each one appears to have been assigned a particular characteristic but though you make reference to them, for me the allusions are vague at best.I’m not saying that you should handhold the reader through the narrative because that would be absurd. I’m grateful for the short piece of exposition at the beginning with helped to set the scene. You weave essential details into the plot flawlessly so I’m never left miles behind, but I’ll return to my original point when I say a little more would be appreciated. Obviously I presume that you’re writing for the people already aware of the expanded multiverse, but I think that as a standalone epic you should also assume that there will be people, like myself, who can get lost easily when they’ve no clue where they are or what it all means.Now, this vagueness does also benefit it in a way. By showing such a detailed word, only brushing upon what matters at the time you give the impression of a pre-developed universe that the characters are already familiar with. It reminds me somewhat of the first novel in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, though whereas I abandoned that one about three quarters of the way in, I got through this with relative ease, by comparison. But anyway, I digress. That rather long complaint may have implied that I didn’t like your epic, but I did. I may have gotten lost whilst trying to comprehend the vast universe, but as far as the plot was concerned, I enjoyed it for what it was. Though perhaps I might not have understood everything, I understood more than enough to get what was going on.Your characters were interesting to follow and I felt there was enough of a distinction between your two protagonists so that it didn’t feel like I was just following the same character with a different name. Side characters are equally characterised well, and I’ll have to give particular mention to the Voice who I thought you brought across well with her anti-social behaviour. That said, again back to the nit picking, the change between Laro and 'enlightened' Laro was wholly sudden and I had to reread the first half of chapter five before I realised she’d already been enlightened. I'm left quite uncertain as to what the details of enlightening are, only that it's some form of brainwashing. Again, just a casual extra bit of context would clear that up straight away.Your writing style is generally fluid and descriptive and I have no trouble envisioning the locations you lead each character to, nor the occasional fight scene here and there. At times your pacing can be a bit skew-whiff with time jumps that can knock me off-guard, but never in a manner that leaves me reeling.But again, those are all just me nit-picking at small details and your epic is in no way bad. As I said, I enjoyed it and will happily continue doing so. The biggest complaint I have to point out is a desire to know more about this large universe you centre your epic in without having to do some compulsory background research, but besides from that you have a solid story in your hands. Nice job and I hope you keep up the great work. :)

Edited by Sechs - King of Facade, Oct 22 2012 - 04:27 PM.

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Chapter four - Desire

Coming soon!

Short Stories: The Commute ~ Rasinov ~ In Your Absence ~ Hunter's Game ~ Suchia (Coming soon)

Epics: The Best Kept Secrets (Chapter 27: The Shadow Walker coming soon) ~ The Shadow of this Red Rock


#5 Offline LewaLew

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Posted Oct 22 2012 - 08:53 PM

I appreciate the review, Sechs. Often, it seems that writing an epic here is hopeless, and, as you can see, the only other review I've gotten on the newer boards was made when I was reposting old chapters. The story has doubled the amount posted since then, so it's really good to get news. 

Hey there, LewaLew! ECC intern Sechs here, dropping by with a complimentary review!Well, first of all I know I should be commenting on your spelling and punctuation, but I really feel like there isn’t anything in particular to say. Your prose is brilliant and mistakes are few and far between. I think I picked out about two to memory, both of which has been lost to the sands of time. Whilst obviously not desirable, they’re clearly forgiveable due to the sheer ratio of words to mistakes. But yeah, a very commendable job, so keep up the good work in that area.Well, that's good. I do tend to comma splice, but most of the time I catch it. As for the spelling, I have advanced to the second round twice in local spelling bees (back when I qualified), but spell-check is to credit for most of that. :POkay, now I’ll carry on with my biggest gripe that I unfortunately have with your story, because that way we can get the worst part over with and leave the rest of the review to the good parts, of which there are plenty. Now, I’m saying this as somebody who is unfamiliar with the expanded multiverse and all that resides within it when I say that when reading your epic, there were terms and locations in there that I feel you needed to go into detail on because to me, that’s all they were. Just terms. At times I was left stumbling because I wasn’t sure if parts of your epic were deliberately vague to convey mystery or whether I just needed to do some research. It’s not like I was unable to follow it, not at all. Following your story alone, it was easy to take everything at face value, picking out who the protagonists, antagonists and everyone’s motives were, but I couldn’t help but feel that there were crucial details that I was missing out on. For example, hackers. Obviously, I can make context-based guesses as to what they are, going by the name alone, but for all I know my assumption could just be a shot in the dark. Everyone in your epic talks about hackers as though they’re either saviours or anarchists, but there’s little indication as to what they’re capable of and what they've done beforehand. The worlds themselves leave me unsure because each one appears to have been assigned a particular characteristic but though you make reference to them, for me the allusions are vague at best.That is a problem I overlooked. I don't want to describe in detail this entire world, because part of what's great about the Expanded Multiverse is that the author doesn't really need to do any worldbuilding. However, I do see the point. I think I might place a miniguide in this Review Topic, much like bonesiii, Swert, Takuta-Nui, and TakanuvaC01 did with their Cipher Chronicles epics. That way, I can explain things for those who haven't read the 100 p. guide. :PI’m not saying that you should handhold the reader through the narrative because that would be absurd. I’m grateful for the short piece of exposition at the beginning with helped to set the scene. You weave essential details into the plot flawlessly so I’m never left miles behind, but I’ll return to my original point when I say a little more would be appreciated. Obviously I presume that you’re writing for the people already aware of the expanded multiverse, but I think that as a standalone epic you should also assume that there will be people, like myself, who can get lost easily when they’ve no clue where they are or what it all means.I'd like to think I'm writing for everyone, but yes, I can see, that is clearly a problem.Now, this vagueness does also benefit it in a way. By showing such a detailed word, only brushing upon what matters at the time you give the impression of a pre-developed universe that the characters are already familiar with. It reminds me somewhat of the first novel in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, though whereas I abandoned that one about three quarters of the way in, I got through this with relative ease, by comparison.If I do the miniguide idea, than perhaps I can both keep the benefits mentioned in this paragraph, and eliminate the problem mentioned before.But anyway, I digress. That rather long complaint may have implied that I didn’t like your epic, but I did. I may have gotten lost whilst trying to comprehend the vast universe, but as far as the plot was concerned, I enjoyed it for what it was. Though perhaps I might not have understood everything, I understood more than enough to get what was going on.Your characters were interesting to follow and I felt there was enough of a distinction between your two protagonists so that it didn’t feel like I was just following the same character with a different name. Side characters are equally characterised well, and I’ll have to give particular mention to the Voice who I thought you brought across well with her anti-social behaviour. That said, again back to the nit picking, the change between Laro and 'enlightened' Laro was wholly sudden and I had to reread the first half of chapter five before I realised she’d already been enlightened. I'm left quite uncertain as to what the details of enlightening are, only that it's some form of brainwashing. Again, just a casual extra bit of context would clear that up straight away.Well, I'm afraid I don't know much about enlightenment either. It's sort of hazy, but you basically know what I know. I don't want to delve into it, because I imagine bones, Swert, and Takuta-Nui will expand on it in the Cipher Chronicles, but I think we know all we need to for this.Your writing style is generally fluid and descriptive and I have no trouble envisioning the locations you lead each character to, nor the occasional fight scene here and there. At times your pacing can be a bit skew-whiff with time jumps that can knock me off-guard, but never in a manner that leaves me reeling.My sister brought up the time jumps when she read it too. I suppose I see it somewhat cinematically, like when, shortly after escaping, Kiasu, Artesano, and the Voice are recaptured without explanation. I state that Romus captured them, and given that he's basically the strongest non-Agent in the story, I figured that would be enough.But again, those are all just me nit-picking at small details and your epic is in no way bad. As I said, I enjoyed it and will happily continue doing so. The biggest complaint I have to point out is a desire to know more about this large universe you centre your epic in without having to do some compulsory background research, but besides from that you have a solid story in your hands. Nice job and I hope you keep up the great work. :)

Once again, I appreciate the review, and thank you for your time.EDIT: Chapter 12: "Kalte's Project" is up. Relatively short exposition chapter time again! :P

 

EDIT: Chapter 13: "Schism" is up. I really should get back on the ball with this thing. I've actually had this chapter written for months, and I've got one more ready and waiting in the wings.

 

EDIT: Chapter 14: "Statorak Furax" is up. One of my favorite chapters yet, after "Unlocked Doors", at least when writing it. It's actually been ready since December.


Edited by LewaLew, Jul 10 2013 - 09:34 AM.

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