July 28, 2015

My Dark Haired Fereldan Beauty: The Circle Tower

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Warning: this chapter contains some NSFW-type touching. Clothes remain on but there is still touching.

It seems I’m sort of out of the rut I got into with the last chapter, which is great, because you’re still going to have to wait for the next chapter for Our Romantic Hero. Except that the first half of this chapter went really fast, and then the second half was a slog and seriously I don’t know how it ended up being so long, it was just supposed to be a “and this happened next” chapter. Ugh. Also no Cullen (I haven’t played the mage origin yet) because he doesn’t register on my consciousness as significant. I know he’s a party member in DAI. That doesn’t make an appearance here terribly significant, especially since I’m not planning to do a DAI fic. I’m not even going to do a DA2 fic. If it has a dialogue wheel? Forget it. Characters who use a dialogue wheel aren’t *my* characters. That doesn’t mean they’re not great fun to play (Roy Hawke! Roy Hawke! Roy Hawke!) but it’s less interesting to write about them.

I’ve received a couple comments how how much Liz looks like me. I have to say, it’s kind of true, now that I think about it.. She is a much more attractive version of me with blue-grey eyes, shaped eyebrows, a smaller nose, and a face more heart-shaped than round. Also, because I draw on personal experiences to give her more realistic mannerisms in some ways, she acts a lot like an idealized version of me as well. : P I guess it’s true what they say, artists can only recreate themselves…

I’d like to finish this story before September. Probably won’t happen but I’ll at least get a good chunk of it done. When I am done, I’ll be able to cross a big project off my list! …And then I can write the Noir version. : P Which will hopefully be shorter, but knowing me, it won’t be… This one’s already over 58,000 words and I’m only a quarter of the way through.

Some music I found through a Youtube video that was of assistance in writing (the music, not the video… the video was of assistance in procrastinating : P ). And some other music. And some other other music. Any music to do with dead people was used with the desire demon/Templar fight. Also damn the Uldred fight took me an hour to write.

Previous chapter: Redcliffe; next chapter: Ostagar


The Circle Tower

It took them two days travel to make it to the Circle Tower from Redcliffe. They were slowed by Alistair’s leg; less so by Sten’s arm, but still Leliana fussed over it – it was a deep wound, and while Bann Teagan gave them good poultices, there was no healing magic to be found and so the giant had to bear with it. He did so in silence.

Elizabeth led them on as fast as she dared, however. She was afraid of what might happen at Redcliffe in their absence and her stomach was constantly nervous about it. It seemed forever before the impossibly tall spire of Kinloch Hold – also known as the Circle Tower – rose over the hills before them, on the morning of the second day. (more…)

July 22, 2015

My Dark Haired Fereldan Beauty: Redcliffe

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I’ve had this ridiculously long chapter 95% complete for months… and then today I was like “it’s 3am, I can’t sleep, I haven’t done hardly anything useful today… FINISH IT”. So I did. Now I can do the Circle Tower chapter, which has some interesting bits that I’m looking forward to! In fact, despite the length of this chapter, it’s mostly exposition and other stuff that I can’t skip but am not quite as interested in. But next chapter… I know everyone hates the Fade portion of the game, but I think it’s gonna be pretty great this time.

Stuff has happened, including the end of the school year (and finally some time to relax, in fact so much time that I get afflicted with ennui and then days like today end up happening : P ), the national organist convention (still need to do a write-up over on my professional(…ish) blog), and a visit to BC (didn’t want to leave, it’s so much more humid over here : P ). I’ve been playing SWTOR steadily, and finished watching Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: 2nd Gig, and I’m hoping to get back into the art/writing side of things over the next month or so. Hopefully I can finish this particular story by the end of the summer perhaps? *fingers crossed*

I promised to tell you how Zevran did some impossible things, so let’s see if I can get those thoughts back in order after 4 months and at 4am. Hmmm… How did Zevran 1) learn about Howe’s Grey Warden assassination job in time to 2) volunteer for it back in Antiva, and then 3) sail over to Ferelden, where he 4) met with Howe and Loghain before 5) figuring out exactly where the Warden was to set an ambush?? Now, in some tellings of the tale, this could work – for instance, if you go to visit the dwarves first. But in this telling, which is the most logical telling (imo), that just plain requires game-breaking logic. So when we meet Zevran in this story, his recounting of what events brought him to Liz’s side will be slightly different.

Another thing that is a little bit odd is the secret passage into Redcliffe Castle… The windmill is on a cliff, overlooking the village, so the passage goes… down the cliff, under the village, under the lake, and then up into the castle… That’s REALLY impressive medieval engineering. : D

Previous chapter: Lothering, next chapter: The Circle Tower



Leliana saw them first. “Two dwarves against… I count ten darkspawn!”

“Let’s even those odds,” Alistair growled.

Elizabeth was out in front, charging to the rescue as fast as she could. Huan was already there, getting between one dwarf and his darkspawn attackers, barking furiously. The dwarves were backed against their cart, and their ox was lowing unhappily. She knocked a darkspawn to the ground with her shield and blocked the attack of another with her sword.

Sten had charged into battle as well, despite only having his armour, but he had seen there were weapons on the cart, and, seizing a two-handed maul, swung a powerful blow towards their enemies.

Elizabeth felt anger fill her again. It was easy to hate the darkspawn, easy to strike more strongly against them. She did not forget her training, which stood her in good stead against their brutal assailants, but as she killed one she felt a sense of satisfaction that she had never felt fighting against anything else. (more…)

April 7, 2015


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Filed under: Random blog posts — Illinia @ 11:30 am

Just a quick note that I am creating a WIKI. So anything in the character pages about Adhemlenei folks (and geography and culture and anything else) is pretty quickly going to be out of date and if you want anything UP to date you should probably visit the WIKI although I just started it two days ago so there’s not much there and filling it in is quite time-consuming and brain-draining. However, I shall prevail, because it’s super-easy to use and it makes me happy. : ) I am hoping it will enable me to write a coherent plot and possibly construct a series of novels that I’m happy with. I’m already elbow deep in story guts : P the Lost Boys are no longer lost, they were just apprenticed off to different countries because they were being such a pain at home or something. I feel it makes more sense than overly-coincidental pixies.


EDIT: I also have a wiki for my group project, over at http://riftedriders.wikidot.com/

April 1, 2015

Fanservice Day 2015

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Filed under: Photoshop,The Rifted Riders — Tags: , , , — Illinia @ 12:00 am


Sooooo it is the custom on April 1st among certain parts of the internet to post fanart rather than playing amusing (or otherwise) pranks on each other. I fully support the creation of fanservice.

Thus, here are my two oversexualized hoors posturing for your attention. : P Feyless was originally going to wear pants, but then his legs looked so good I decided to show them off too. Tirezi is very pleased with herself being portrayed in art for the first time, and I actually had fun designing a super-complex sexy outfit. She’s Lord Feyless’s first lieutenant, and she’s a firemage whose specialty is bird-shaped fire spells. They casually sleep together when Feyless isn’t chasing anyone else. (She’s confused by Hitomi’s persistent resistance to Feyless.)

(it’s 1600×900 for wallpapers of that resolution >.> )

March 14, 2015

Elizabeth Cousland

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Filed under: Random blog posts — Tags: , , , — Illinia @ 12:27 am


Thought we needed a photo of Liz around here so you guys can see what’s up. She’s wearing the stuff you get from the Of Noble Cast[e] mod, which is a spiffy set of plate armour, plus a nice Highever shield and the Family Sword. I’m still not sure yet how to explain the tattoo in the story. Maybe she was drawing on herself as a little girl and accidentally used permanent ink. : P But given how little Alistair knows about tattoos in his (deleted) banter with Zevran… it’s probably not a common thing in Ferelden. …I’ll think about it.

(anyone else have a problem with Dragon Age’s boob plates? Yay for full armour, boo for ridiculous boob shapes. : P )

March 13, 2015

My Dark Haired Fereldan Beauty: Lothering

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Filed under: Dragon Age,Writing — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Illinia @ 11:47 pm

For some reason I kept listening to Gaur Plains while writing this one… not because it fits, but because I felt like it : P

We have two new party members, and no one’s really happy about it, but hey, when is this group happy about anything, am I right?

I adjusted a bunch of scenes to suit my own purposes. I’ve been going over logistics pretty carefully, and there’s a bunch of things that don’t make sense. But the most egregious of these is in the next two chapters, in which someone says that Redcliffe is only a day’s journey away from the Circle Tower. *coughs* Elsewhere, they say that Orzammar is a two-week journey from the Circle Tower, even though Orzammar doesn’t look THAT far away from the Circle Tower. In fact, if you compare the map from the novel The Stolen Throne, Orzammar is CLOSER than Redcliffe! I am so confused. (also on the official game map, Redcliffe is in a completely different spot, but there’s no ‘location’ dot there… however, there is one in the location that Redcliffe is marked at in the novel map. : P )

Next chapter, I will rant about how it is impossible for Zevran to have done what he said he did prior to meeting the Grey Warden(s). But I won’t tell you what I did to fix it. Zevran will tell you that himself. Eventually.

Previous chapter: Ostagar, next chapter: Redcliffe




Elizabeth sniffed and frowned before she had even opened her eyes. There was the scent of woodsmoke in her nostrils, and food, and wood, and greenery.

“M-mother…” she began. “Nan…?”

Her eyes popped open. She had the distinct memory of seeing arrows in her arm and her gut, but neither of those places hurt. Had it all been a dream?

Weakly, she stirred, dragging her left arm from under the covers to inspect it. There was a bandage, but it was a remarkably small one, and there was nothing bleeding through. She felt her stomach, where she encountered the same – and then she gave a little stifled shriek of outrage as she realized that she was in her underthings. (more…)

March 9, 2015

My Dark Haired Fereldan Beauty: Ostagar

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Hmm… chapter 2. Liz is not happy about any of the things, and there’s nothing she can do about it. Oh well, it looks like everyone’s going to die. That was a short story, wasn’t it? Thanks for reading!

…Just kidding, we got lots more to go. : P

I’ll probably be tweaking this several times over the next week. Little thing, just details to make things better, more immersive maybe. Not totally happy with the boss fight, either.

This was an incredibly long chapter, maybe the longest single chapter I’ve ever written, because of my gimmick to have each location be a different chapter, so… hope you’re comfortable before you start reading. : P MAJOR spoilers, obviously. (the location/chapter thing is maybe not such a good idea for pacing, but whatever, it’s a thing I’m trying : P It’ll just mean some days you get multiple supershort chapters! Maybe.)

Previous chapter: Highever, next chapter: Lothering




It had been a week since Elizabeth and Duncan had left Highever, and great stone towers were rising into her view over vast hilly expanses of tall black pines. She could see the smoke of controlled fires, and distantly could hear the voices of men and even dogs. (more…)

March 2, 2015

My Dark Haired Fereldan Beauty: Highever

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So Liz won’t leave me alone until I write her LizZev story. Even though Zev won’t show up for ages. Dramallamas ahoy! :D

Spoilers for the Human Noble origin, obviously, and for Origins in general. Cousland/Zevran, obviously, with hints of Morristair.

Next chapter: Ostagar


Highever, Autumn


“Father?” Elizabeth Cousland walked briskly into the great hall of Castle Highever. “Oh! I did not know you had company already…”

“I’ll send my eldest off with my men at once,” Bryce Cousland was saying to his friend, Rendon Howe. “No need to keep the king waiting. But tomorrow, you and I will ride out just like the old days!”

Rendon Howe chuckled. “Though we both had less grey in our hair, and we fought Orlesians, not… monsters.”

“But they’ll still smell the same,” Bryce said, laughing in turn. “Ah, pup, I didn’t see you there. Come greet Rendon! Rendon, I don’t think you’ve seen my daughter Elizabeth in some time.”

“You have grown lovelier than ever, Lady Elizabeth,” Rendon said, bowing to her.

“Thank you, Arl Howe,” Elizabeth said, curtseying in her dress of blue Antivan silk. “I hear your men have been delayed on the roads?”

“Indeed,” Howe said, sniffing with distaste. “The rains have done terrible things to the highway. I am glad that I came on ahead.”

“Fergus will lead the Highever soldiers to Ostagar today, and tomorrow Rendon and I will ride with the Amaranthine men.” (more…)

February 23, 2015

A Shakarian Moment

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Filed under: Writing — Tags: , , , — Illinia @ 12:35 am

Was going through some old stories on my computer (in preparation to writing new stories, yayyyy : P ) and found this. May as well post it…

For the record, my favourite Mass Effect pairing is Shoker, but I also wanted to fix the Shakarian romance starter, because it always bugged me. (Here’s another person’s interpretationwhich is also great. (Danger Shepard is awesome, lol)) And Garrus is soooooooooo dreamy……… lol. (Also I had a terrible time naming my femShep.)


Garrus was unusually quiet and fidgety when she came down to the main battery to visit, after they returned from Miranda’s “little” excursion to run interference for her sister’s escape.

After a few minutes of failed mission talk, failed small talk, she fixed the gunnery officer with a curious but quelling look. “What’s the matter, Garrus?”


Stars, she loved those subharmonics. Not that she was going to tell him, that, though. Making a move on a subordinate, even – especially – one she trusted as much as Garrus, could be fatal. To the success of the mission, no less. (more…)

January 18, 2015

Technology Actually Hates Me

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Filed under: Random blog posts — Illinia @ 8:29 am

I’ve had several adventures in computering this week… First was when I attempted to play Trine with Thari and discovered that Hamachi was… broken? Which led to an hour and a half of trying to figure out how to redownload it, including making an account on the LogMeIn website, which was a useless idea, and at the end of it all Trine still didn’t work multiplayer. Supposedly the Enchanted Edition adds proper online multiplayer functionality like Trine 2 has? Sort of? But it’s not showing. But at least now we can see each other on Hamachi properly. (If anyone knows how to get multiplayer in Trine working properly, please comment below. Actually, if you know how to get multiplayer working in Neverwinter Nights, also please comment below, because that one’s not working for us either.)

Second was when I wanted to stream To the Moon to another friend. The Steam Stream didn’t work… Livestream Procaster didn’t work… I had to download OBS, and then I had to find out how to connect that to my Livestream channel, and then I could play after a couple hours fighting with it. Apparently it only runs in windowed mode. This one was actually the easiest to solve, as different people had asked questions about every part that I had problems with, so there’s documentation on the internet in various places if you too wish to stream To the Moon using OBS connected to a Livestream channel. (more…)

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