Design Notes, Brangliss Characters

Brangliss, the large company that runs a bunch of smaller businesses. They control most of the medical related stuff within Sorcnon from research to development. Their subsidiaries handle the production. Another company handles medical equipment and technology, though.

I also decided to make TabeX, a company under Brangliss, to show just how large their corporation was. TabeX handles more of the medicine sale side of things.

In the first book, I mentioned that the main competitor for Railpane in getting the end of year event was a pharmacy company. Back then, I hadn’t yet decided on the overall plot for the second book. So it was more of a happy accident that being a pharmacy company worked out really well.

The company is named Brangliss, after the original founder. He was either bought out or retired, so the current president is Gilmott Korgan. With Gilmott Korgan, I wanted to constrast him to the owner of Railpane and compare him to Miletta Tarea. Both Miletta and him are schemers that look for every opportunity to gain more power.

I even gave Gilmott two servants to match up with Miletta’s two servants. He represents what the most power-hungry people in Sorcnon are like.

Lokas is the loyal servant. He is a brash young man that only cares about what Gilmott wants. I put in his rant at the end mostly as a way to give him some more backstory. It’s sort of tough for me to try and give exposition on minor side characters while still making it flow in the book.

In general, he’s loyal to Gilmott because Gilmott saved his family from starvation. He has dizak blood flowing within him but is not a feastend. He just couldn’t find a way to care about the monsters and failed to obtain their power.

The other servant is a mercenary named Aristide. Aristide is a lumian. Hopefully you could tell by his blue hair color. He also has the same lumian magic as Hallas that allows them to create a super sharp edge of energy around their weapon.

Aristide is nicer than the others and doesn’t like most of whats going on. But as long as he’s being paid, he really won’t complain. In the original writing, I didn’t have him interacting with Sophy at all, which would have made the end part a bit weird. I went back and added in them talking. It was just a small scene, but I hope it was enough to build a connection between the two of them.

Raed. Oh he was fun and challenging to write. I wanted to make him appear normal but be devious underneath. It was tough writing out how other characters would react to him, whether they could feel something is wrong or not. He can be considered the hyper-competent sidekick to Gilmott. He’s certainly much more of the planner type compared to Lokas and Aristide.

That’s about all the major characters at Brangliss. See you next time.

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Design Notes, More Dizaks

Welcome to the notes on new dizak designs! There’s really only two major dizaks introduced. The others were more part of the world. Expect some spoilers in here.

I will give some general notes on dizaks, though. The primarily gather around the Sorcnon area and the oceans around Sorcnon. The aquatic dizaks are considered much more dangerous than the ones on land, mainly due to how much harder they are to deal with. No one sails the waters around Sorcnon due to that reason. The walls around Sorta are all to prevent and aquatic dizaks from coming onto the land.

There are flying dizaks, but those are among the rarity. The flying dizaks reproduce slowly, so their population is kept stable if nothing is killing them. But other dizaks or people are killing the flyers, so they are slowly becoming extinct.

So, how about some of the new dizaks? The main one is the coeryp, of course. I think I posted about them before. But my idea for them was some kind of fungus, polyp thing. I wanted to do something far different from any dizak introduced before. They are still considered animals, though.

I got the idea from reading about the largest lifeform in the world. It was a mushroom or some kind of plant that covered an entire rainforest floor. So I thought what if something like that was actively living and attacking things? Sounds like the start of some zombie film? Yeah, probably. The coeryps will never progress enough to cause a zombie apocalypse. Hopefully.

I did enjoy doing all the zombie bodies and dizaks, though. They were fun to do.

There were some other dizaks I mentioned but didn’t talk about much. These are mainly the ones that Selaf guessed as Ooria’s feastend powers.

Gollon: a round blob-like thing. It is pretty much insentient and runs on instinct. It is also nearly impossible to kill. They will chase prey until the prey is too tired and then envelop the prey whole.

Shallusk: Hmm, I picture a mollusk like thing for this one. It’s not too large, probably about the size of a cat or so.

Ravaguar: They are hunters of forests. A lithe and agile predator. Their regenerative powers allows them to win most one on one encounters.

Gerustar: This was possibly a starfish-like creature? I kind of forget, heh.

Mirgol: This one, I am completely blanking on what I originally intended for the design. Oh well.

Bonethile: This is the dizak that Ooria has. They look like crocodiles but with an exoskeleton armor in addition to an internal skeleton. They are about as large as a crocodile, too, so quite vicious.

Their regenerative abilities are actually a secondary power to their primary means of attack. Through special muscles, they break and then jut out their own internal bones as spikes. A magical poison runs through the bones, making them dangerous even it the target is just scratched. The regenerative powers allow them to do so repeatedly without worry about their own health.

And that’s it for the dizaks for now. Expect the rest at a later post!

I do plan on introducing at least one named dizak per book. The first one of Bloodnose, the ampwolf. Then there was Death Admiral, the coeryp fleet. What could come for the third book? Oh ho. You’ll just have to wait.

New Season of Shows

For those reading in the future, this was posted near the end of September, where American Television starts showing new seasons of old favorite shows and premiering what they hope to be the next hit. I’m excited to start catching up with all of the old characters again. There are a bunch of new shows, which I might checkout, though my DVR recording’s are getting pretty tight already.

I think perhaps I’m most excited for Sleepy Hollow. New supernatural action mixed with inaccurate American History, along with some fun characters. And as a fan of NCIS, I now have 3 different locations of NCIS per week now. And Castle, too. That was a ridiculous wreck last season, quite in the literal sense. It came out of nowhere, and I hope it doesn’t have a quick resolution. And a whole bunch of other shows, too.

Hmm, is there some research that says shows don’t do well during the summer or something? I think spreading them out would allow more shows a chance to thrive instead of throwing every channel’s programming directly against each other. I don’t know about other people, but I certainly would like to watch new shows during the summer.

Since I’m here, I guess I will talk about things I don’t like happening in shows. First is random cliffhanger season finales. I think the Season 5 finale of NCIS: LA was pretty bad in that. Spoilers if you haven’t seen it, yet. Anyway, Sam and G get trapped in a suicide submarine by random antagonists we’ve never seen before. The episode plays out mostly like normal, so there was no build up to it.

The Season 4 finale also put everyone in peril, but that was at the culmination of a season-long story. And they faced the same antagonist multiple times before. It was much more gripping because the stakes felt higher because the conflict was more set up.

In general, though, I don’t like those cliffhanger style endings, which I’ve stated before. If the show happens to get canceled, welp, all the characters just died. It also means people have way too much time to examine the situation, coming up with a lot of theories, so the writers of the show will have to pull out something great to make an unexpected outcome. Or, the viewers forget most of what happened, which isn’t also that great.

Another thing I don’t like is the sort of will-they-won’t-they plot. Romance seems to be shoved in everywhere, even in shows that don’t particularly benefit from it. And then, to keep tension in that plotline, the writers won’t just have the two characters get together.

Outside forces keeping the characters apart, I don’t mind so much. The character’s themselves keeping each other apart, a little annoying but alright. If they get together and self-destruct, then I get annoyed. The more time the show spends on two people’s self-destructing relationship, the less interested I am in it.

Of course, this is all for shows in which the relationship is not the primary purpose of you watching. If the point of the show is character relationships, then anyway the writer wants to play it is fine.

I prefer happy people in shows or a mixture of happy and unhappy. Having everyone angst and unhappy makes for depressing viewing. It might make for a good experience and story, but, to me, it’ll also feel like a slog and something I don’t want to experience more than once, if I want to experience it once at all.

Whew, this complaints rant has gotten a little long. Sorry about that. Enjoy the new season of shows!

Design Notes – Ooria and Shalti

These are the design notes for the characters of Ooria Floralnede and Shalti Rainsky. There will be spoilers, so please read the book first.

They are technically not new characters, having a small appearance in Feast of the End, Lightning Heart. I always wanted Ooria to be a character, and I already had her role planned from the first book. It was really hard just having her there and not being able to do anything during the first book at all.

Ooria sort of filled the character to hang out with Selaf during the second book, when Sophy was unavailable. I tried to give them a different sort of relationship, more friendly and joking. And yes, Ooria is a masochist.

Her feastend ability decreases the amount of pain her body feels, which is why she resorted to the macabre shows. Her ability allows her to regenerate muscle, skin and bone injuries. More complicated internal organs still regenerate but not fast enough to avoid death without medical attention.

Of course, no normal person would want to go through all that, so Ooria isn’t exactly all right with the head. It’s why she can pretty easily be convinced to kill someone, though she’s no sociopath. It would be more of a product of growing up in Sorcnon, where lives don’t have as much meaning.

Originally, Ooria was going to be the same age as Selaf. I changed it later when I decided on a relationship change between Ooria and Shalti. Since she was already described as looking young, I kept it as her thing, looking younger than she actually was.

That also mean originally, the relationship between Ooria and Shalti was going to be much more what you expected, just a slave and master relationship. When I made her a masochist, it became more of a dominant and submissive relationship.

Shalti is half Misker and has the more usual Misker last name of Rainsky. The Misker last names tend to be environmental or natural, though it has nothing to do with the weather going on at the moment of birth.

I sort of did need a reason for him to die, so Ooria would be more willing to join with Selaf. I went with the ol’ deadly disease. He wasn’t meant to be too important to the overall plot, only to Ooria’s personal reasons.

He’s actually a nice and reasonable fellow, which I hope came through during his interactions. In fact, it could be argued that Ooria was more in control of the relationship. The two of them do really love each other, so I’m hoping to mention Shalti a bit more just to show that it did affect Ooria even well after the event. I did sort of gloss over his actual dying part, though. And by sort of, I mean completely.

Well, that is about all I can think of for the moment. Ooria’s going to remain a character in the third book as well, so yay.

Feast of the End, Betaia

Last time I talked a bit about my design of Sorta, this time I’ll talk about Betaia. In the current course of the story, I’m not planning on visiting Betaia, though, so this will actually be mostly made up off the top of my head and be based on rought thoughts. If we ever do visit Betaia in the future, it will hopefully remain consistent with what’s here.

Out of the three powerful nations, Betaia is the most technologically advanced. There is a reason for this. Originally, I wanted to put the history of Betaia into the second book but couldn’t find a good place to put it in. Their history is in the third book, but I’ll put a short version here, too.

Betaia used to be run by mages, but they abused their power. The people rebelled and eventually drove off the mages. The wizards and witches fled to either Thalliance or Sorcnon. The people of Betaia then decided to focus more on technology because it wasn’t as esoteric as magic.

For the story, the main thing I changed about Betaia was that they originally brought over steampunk-like or clockwork golems to Sorta. I took that part out partially due to me straddling the fence between wanting real physics or not in the book.

What I mean is that the humanoid robot design wouldn’t work that well since the legs would have a tough time holding up the rest of the body. Then I went with a tread design for the lower half. It just didn’t feel right, though. I want something with clocks whirring away inside or maybe pipes running through the body. After that, I think I went with just the normal artillery before taking it out entirely since that was too ‘normal’. So the end result was just a line of normal defense by the Betaians.

I always wanted some steampunk elements to the world, though I don’t describe them as much. So canonically, Betaia does have golems, they just weren’t brought to Sorta.

Now, for the part I just thought about briefly. Culture-wise, I want them to be something like turn of the 20th century America or London. The design of their buildings are more straightforward and functional compared to the striking look of Sorcnon, though. Betaia accepts all races but the women there aren’t allowed into certain higher level positions or the military. They are already starting to phase out carriages for automobiles.

Betaia has a Prime Minister and a cabinet of other ministers that run the nation. The lower-level officials are appointed while all of the ministers are elected. Regional governors are elected as well.

Just as a side note, Thalliance still uses a monarchy system. Sorcnon’s council members are selected from among the elite and powerful. The Anthelia Maiden is chosen by the council.