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    Guile Serdio
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  1. Hello and good day, Thank you to anyone who replied to the poll on a Q/A session. I have went ahead and posted the main questions I received via numerous people and hopefully you enjoy and respect my answers lol. Below is a link to the blog where I submitted all of my answers to. Thank you again. For anyone wondering, I am going to be off and on for a while as I work on the second book. If you have any immediate questions, please contact me via the website tragedyofthought.com That contact form goes straight to me and your identity is kept confidential. I will be posting updates every so often on there and will post on LoTC once the rough draft is completed and give an update on when to expect the second book. https://tragedyofthought.com/updates/f/among-the-spires-of-east-fleet-qa
  2. Hello all, I hope this finds you well. I know I have been posting quite a bit recently and I am sorry if I have been a bit 'much' for some. Just trying to get real time feedback and answer any questions as they arise. That said, it has been suggested and I have given some thought into doing a live Question and Answer session regarding the first book in the Almaris Chronicles series; in which I will answer questions ranging from why my writing style is as bleak as it is all the way too what to expect from the series as a whole. As I have made clear to many people (including the admin staff) I want to make sure that if I am pointing potential outside audiences to this server in an attempt to make sure it receives the recognition you all deserve, I also want to ensure that my literary style is still 'my own' while also properly representing the community at large. Please feel free to let me know your thoughts in the Poll attached to this message. I will close it next Monday at 1630 CST. After that, we will go from their. Again, thank each and every one of you for your support. Jenkins
  3. So, I have actually been debating about doing a live Q/A session with anyone in the community who might be interested. There are a wide range of things I would be willing to talk about in that; why my writing is so dark compared to most, my thoughts on character development, my thoughts on theological narratives disguised as plots for story telling, etc. I would have no problem explaining the processes I took to publish the book in that, if it ever happened. Not sure how to go about a Q/A session to be honest. Any help would be amazing, that is of course if the community would want it that is.
  4. In response to Nectorist, I have revised this post. I would like to be the first to publicly state that I apologize for taking that opening scene a bit to far narratively. I am not above being told when I need to tone things down, and I am thankful for individuals such as this who are willing to actually speak up and give me honest community feedback, regardless if it is good or bad. The chapter has been revised and is now ready for viewing for anyone wishing to message me and request the link. I still seek to write a piece of work that is uniquely my own in the sense that it is willing to dive deeper than many would feel comfortable venturing, but some things just don't need to be touched. Thank you and have a good evening.
  5. In response to Necrotist: First off, thank you for your words of support. Whether critical or encouraging, I welcome them with open arms. In regards to your post regarding Rape/Sexual Assault. I can completely agree with your stance and I earnestly understand where you are coming from. For someone unfamiliar with the LoTC mythos and ethos, it would come across as if we were a vial and detest-full bunch of individuals, even though a large majority of players are more concerned about RP'ing what color flowers they are wanting to plant in their garden. So, that said, I can understand and appreciate the fact that you would not want to community portrayed in a way that undermines the core following of the community and what they have built over a number of years. With that said, I suppose it should be considered that a revision of this scene be made in order to still convey the sense of unnerving reality of evil that lies within the character of Guile at this moment in his life, but also to maintain a level of respect for the community moving forward. I will revise this and re-submit once I have something written down. Lastly, would you mind to reach out to me personally via discord? I would love to bounce ideas off of you if at all possible. Although some timelines and story archs of the LoTC lore must be adapted for a narrative work, I want to ensure COMPLETELY that the users and the community are properly represented. Thank you and have a great day.
  6. The cover art for Book 2.... For some reason it wouldn't load in the forum post.
  7. Hello friends, I hope this finds you well. I have no words... the amount of support I have received from the community in the last 12 hours... I simply just have no words. Alamo told me that the post hit in the top 3 of user engagement within an hour or so. I won't lie, I didn't believe him at first until I saw it with my own eyes. My wife and I talked last night, and we both would like to again extend a debt of gratitude for the LoTC community. The fact that my wife was overjoyed.... you all have no idea how much joy that brings to me as a husband.... Thank you. As promised, I said that if the community seemed interested in the first book, I would drop some hints on the second book.... And man... I never expected anything like this! So, being a man of my word, here you all go! Please enjoy the back print and the entire First Chapter of the second installment of the Almaris Chronicles: Foxes in the Forest! Back Print “Jingle, jangle, in the tangles Foxes roam the night Running, cunning, always hunting Bite… Bite… BITE!” The sequel that pays honor to one of the greatest community of online role players, Foxes in the Forest is the second installment in the Almaris Chronicles. Taking place the spring following the end of Among the Spires of East Fleet, we again follow our cast of characters in their various searches to find peace within themselves and the world around them while also being forced to contend with the unimaginable consequences of their prior actions. Come along, of course leaving your fears behind lest you lose whatever semblance of humanity you might still hold, and venture into the underbelly of the scourge of civilization, as something rustles the brush in the wake of the fallen Empire of Oren. Hold your breath as we discover that while not all men are animals, some however, have no problem becoming monsters. Link To Chapter One PLEASE NOTE: The contents of this chapter depict some scenes of graphic violence that may not be suitable for readers under the age of 18. Discretion is advised. [Contact Jenkins0311 via discord or Messenger to receive link to Doc's link.] NOTE: It was brought to my attention in the comments below by the user Nectorist, that the scene described in Chapter 1 of Book 2 was in fact to violent for me to feel comfortable with while maintaining a reasonable sense of honoring the community as a whole. After discussing some options with him and a few trusted friends, I must admit that perhaps after some of the events that transpired in the first book, that I went to far in writing this chapter and that is on me as a writer; for that I am sorry. I have revised the chapter to tone down the scene while still offering the tragic truth that is the sins of the character involved. However, I feel like as a member of this community and as a writer, I am not above being told something is just "to much". My goal is to honor the mythos of this platform and it's members and I will do everything in my power to do that, while also writing a narrative that is uniquely my own in both scope and presentation. With all of that said, I will send the revised link tot he Google Doc file for Chapter 1 of the second book as I am asked to do so. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
  8. LMAO! Had to have some form of conflict to help drive the narrative.
  9. I have already been in touch with Admin team on this.
  10. Hello and good day to all, I hope this message finds you all well. With a great deal of nervousness and equal part excitement, I am publicly announcing to the LoTC community that the first book of The Almaris Chronicles series (Among the Spires of East Fleet) has officially been published and available for purchase via amazon in both E-Book and paperback formats! I would like to say a huge 'thank you' to those who helped with beta-reading and revisions; your input was extremely helpful. Likewise, I would like to personally thank Alamo (tcs_tonsils_) and Tada (tadabug2000) both of whom were crucial to the development of this entire story. I would also would like to note, that many of those who helped during the process of writing this book have been mentioned in the preface and I wish you the very best in all your life's adventures. Lastly, I would like to stress again, the book is rated for 18+ due to some scenes of graphic violence. I understand this might be a turn-off for some, but the story needed to portray certain aspects of characters in a way that was both unnerving and impartial. So, please be aware that this book (and the entire series for that matter) may not be suitable for younger readers. With that all said, I truly do hope you enjoy this first installment to the series and hopefully you will forgive any mistakes I might have made as a novice author. Thank you all again and have a wonderful evening. ps - For anyone wondering, I have already started on the second book! If enough people seem interested in this first book, I will consider dropping hints and pieces that can be expected in book 2 (Foxes in the Forest). Thanks again. AMAZON LINK THE ALMARIS CHRONICLES AMONG THE SPIRES OF EAST FLEET https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BTRQSS81
  11. Perhaps I'm looking a bit to deeply into this piece, and if so, then by all means correct me, but this almost seems like a perfect metaphorical synopsis of all the past projects that someone might start and let fall by the wayside. The machines that began construction with the best of intentions but were never finished, or if they were, they were manufactured using the left over of other long forgotten and rotting machines. It's almost like this world is a manifestation of a creators thoughts, being broken and battered no matter if your a veteran or an amateur to your craft; the "robbers" coming in and stealing the characters thing between 9-3 (during the time your working but wish you were creating). Again, perhaps I'm looking to deeply into the underling context, but regardless of whether I'm right or wrong, I feel like you might have stumbled upon a world that many in the LoTC community can relate to. Good work.
  12. Good morning everyone, I hope this finds you all well. I wanted to give an update on a few things before I move much further along with the book. As of right now, the initial edit is completed, and it is moving into initial revision. Since this is more of a pet project than anything else, and because I do not plan on becoming the next Tolkien, I am doing all the editing and revision in house to save some money. Everything from book cover to line adjustments, it has been a learning curve. With all that said however, I hope you all don't mind if I ask for your help once more. I am looking for a group of test readers; not to read the entire novel, but for a few chapters that I feel are the focal points of the narrative engine. I will send these chapters out for review and all I need is earnest feedback on how how well they convey themes focal to the overall story. If you are interested in helping with this, please DM me directly. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Likewise, I will make sure to mention your online persona directly in the acknowledgements sections of the book. Lastly, and most importantly, I now have a round about time frame for when this book is expected to be published. As of right now, I am shooting to self-publish around the end of March 2023. Of course, when I have an exact date nailed down, I will let you all know. My goal is to begin working on the sequel around May of 2023 and have it out for publishing near the end of this year, with the final book of the series to follow afterwards. With all that said, thank you all again for your support. I wish you all the very best in your endeavors. -Jenkins
  13. Speechless man... I mean, holy smokes! All the times you said I was a decent writer; I have nothing on something like this! This is amazing brother! Proud to have worked with you in the past!
  14. Hello all, I know that perhaps some are tired of me posting about this, and I'm sorry if it is annoying. But, I just finished editing this chapter of the book and man it hits deep. This man who until now has been largely repulsive and hardened to the point that he is unapproachable by anyone who might be considered decent nature, now comes face to face with his own fragility and the countless reflections of his soul that he has literally crossed an ocean to escape. Just going to leave this chapter here for any to read if they wish. Also, yes, this situation did occur in game when Guile came face to face with the Crying Obsidian north of Hanseti-Ruska. Please enjoy and thanks for the support. Chapter 8: Low Before the Fall For those unfamiliar with the area, the nation of Hanseti-Ruska lies south of the Almaris Mountain range. Both beautiful and unforgiving, this chain of mountains stretched from the southwest of Almaris near where the War Nation of Thoggra was settled all the way to the northeastern city of Ruska, formerly a nation in its own right. Along the most northwestern edge of the mountains under the shadow of Mount Urr, tucked away in a small valley pass, the abandoned former capital of Norland lay in ruin. Myths claim that it was once a powerful empire said to have controlled all of Almaris at one point, but seemingly destroyed overnight for reasons that many still speculate to this day. Just west of their former capital, the Norlanders re-established themselves, raising a new city and kingdom though it was a far shadow of their former glory. East of the Norland borders lie the settlement of Melvonna, the furthermost westward occupied area in the Hanseti-Ruska Kingdom before one would travel west still, past Hanseti and through the Ice Spire Pass until they reached the city of Ruska which is flanked by the ice fields to its west and the seemingly endless spruce forests to its north and east. Subdued by the Almaris Mountains to its north, the Kingdom of Norland to its west and the Longolian Valley and Orenian Empire to its south, Hanseti-Ruska sat in a cool foothills of Almaris with both fertile soil and bountiful resources hidden just under their feet. However, despite its beauty that many of its inhabitants often took for granted, its weather is what made the kingdom most notable among other nations. With frigid winters that caused the Ice Spire Fields to contort as if they were a growing body of snow and freezing knives, and dry summers that melted large amounts of snow from the mountains which would give birth to seasonal rivers in a matter of weeks. For those having lived their lives in the area, the seasons would come as no surprise. But for a foreigner, they posed an opportunity of untold majesty and danger as they would be forced to adapt to these natural wonders for the first time. It was making his way through the forests heading toward Melvonna that Guile discovered this firsthand. Though he was not battling the constant and ever-changing rain patterns as he had months before when passing through the Longolian Valley, he was now being challenged with the ever expanding and rising channels of water that were flushing off of the south face of the mountains directly to his north. Following the road as best he could, he slowly weaved his way eastward following the instructions he had found in the book among his personal library shelf in Hanseti. What he thought would have been a four-day journey had now been a full week’s trek through the melting snow and faded dirt paths. Yet, though the road was rougher than he had anticipated, he did manage to find a sense of belonging among the rolling bases of the mountains; managing to snare a few rabbits for some quick meals while picking wild raspberries that grew in the fertile soil. If it were not for the colder weather and abundance of freshwater springs, he would have been forgiven for feeling as though he were again carving a path through the Valludian Mountains of his home country, a memory that he himself got lost in many times along his way. His notion of this idea was finally halted when after nearly eight days of travel he arrived abruptly at the gates of Melvonna. The township, if you could call it that, was more a glorified village than anything else. Guile had gauged after just a few moments of arriving that one could probably walk the outskirts of the settlement in less than a morning’s time. Its gates were attached to large pillars on either side of the path, though they were not connected to any outer walls and seemed to serve as a mere decorative piece rather than anything considered warding or imposing. The site itself was actually fairly pleasant, with many of the buildings being painted in various shades of blue and white bricks with steep green and black roofs, no doubt to keep the snow from building during colder weather. The streets were well cared for and the people seemed a breed truly of their own with the women being noticeably taller and thicker in build than anywhere else Guile had visited in Almaris, while the men were all of good posture and well built. Becoming accustomed now to turning heads as a clear outsider everywhere he had traveled recently, Guile made quick work of calmly working his way through the area asking for directions to the cave itself. Aside from a young man asking if he was from Oren and a few older women clearly gossiping about him as he passed by, Guile was soon given directions to the mouth of the cave by a young blacksmith who was currently honing his skills by working on axe heads to be sent south toward Hanseti for the wood cutters. Likewise, Guile was warned that it would be dangerous to explore the caves this time of year due to the water run offs. Guile acknowledged the young man and paid him a quarter coin for his troubles before trekking onward west of the town. Following the directions he was given, about three miles outside of Melvonna, Guile began to slow his pace examining the ledges in the mountain side as he looked for the opening. After about an hour of slowly searching, he had found it just as the man said; upon a ledge with a large bundle of raspberry bushes near its east side. Rummaging through his pocket and taking a chew of tobacco, Guile smiled as he realized that he now had most of the day to explore before the sun would set, and after a short climb up to the ledge barely twenty feet off the ground, Guile near peered inside the darkened interior of the cave for the first time. The smell hit him first. It was a mix of fresh water and sediment that few would understand the context of if not having experienced it themselves, along with a faint smell of algae and lime. Simply taking a whiff of the air made Guile’s mind race to more pressing time of his youth, though he soon shrugged the feeling aside. Stepping inside the cave was like stepping off the boat in East Fleet a few short months ago. Dunking his head a bit as he entered, he emerged into a vastly different world that seemed to live in solitude outside of anyone’s notions of reality while also seemingly unphased by Guile’s sudden intrusion. A steady flow of air escaped from the cave’s depths, like a constant and gust of wind in a low valley. Carried with it were the echoes of water in the distance, some trickling and other bodies flowing in a clear unison toward a final destination that none shall ever fully explore. And in this moment, a sense of peace fell over Guile’s soul as he lit a small lantern with a flint before slowly and methodically entering further into the bellies of the earth. The entrance to the area itself was quite astounding. Immediately upon crossing the threshold into a larger chamber, a wide pathway curved in both directions following the walls with a low sunken pool of still water about ten feet below the worn walkway surrounded by various types of underground fauna and quartz. It was apparent that some sort of people once lived here, seeing that they took the time to place torch racks along the walls about every fifty feet or so, though no torches sat in them now. Guile guessed that the main chamber of this area was nearly one-hundred feet in diameter, with the walkway being about twenty feet wide circling around either side. Along the walls of the chamber he noticed carvings and ruins, some of animals and figures that seemed remotely human and others in what he assumed to be of an ancient language. Running his hand across the carvings, his hand shivered a bit as the cool condensation along the walls rolled along his fingertips. Making his way around the path, Guile then noticed more traditional markings, some in the common language and some not, but most appeared as though they were simple markings of young lovers or those wishing to prove a point of simply existing; both of which brought a slight smile to Guile’s face. Coming around the chamber flanking the entrance, he then noticed another narrow pathway leading deeper into the structure and after examining it closely, he noticed another chamber just a ways further down where a majority of the rolling sound of water were emanating from. Slowly Guile made through the corridor, making sure his footing was stable among the slick rocks. Upon entering, he determined that the room was nearly half the size as the one just above him, with a small cluster of rocks in its very center. Upon closer inspection, Guile realized it was not a cluster of rocks but instead an enormous cluster of crystal, clear calcite, nearly two feet in diameter and coming up to his thigh in height. He placed the lamp on the ground before searching through his belongings and pulling out a small chisel and hammer. Very gracefully, Guile tapped the crystal while listening for any imperfection in its nature until finally he narrowed in on a spot that sounded just noticeably softer than the rest. Placing his chisel along it as he felt for a divot, and with a quick strike of the hammer it broke off cleanly. “There you are,” he spoke proudly to himself. “Let’s get a look at you.” He held the lantern up to the mineral in his hand and noticed that someone had taken the time to polish the exterior of this large deposit in the floor of the cave. The light from the lantern reflected through it fairly well casting a few rainbows across the cave’s walls in the chamber. Placing the lantern back on the ground Guile stowed the fragment in his satchel, but when he went to pick up the lantern, something caught his eyes; a small dull spot inside of the larger calcite structure itself nearly as big as a hen. Guile walked around the structure until he noticed that on the opposite side, a hole had been chiseled out and polished from the inside as well. Curiously, Guile inspected it for a moment before his eyes widened with excitement to the point he nearly tipped over the lantern while eagerly grabbing for its door. Carefully, Guile pulled out the small candle nested inside of the lantern and then placed it inside of the hole in the crystal structure. Moving it to the right a bit and then to the left, he finally froze when the entire room was eclipsed in a dull white light as rainbows began their illuminating refraction along the chamber walls. Standing up carefully, he let out a loud laugh as he found himself grinning ear to ear at the sheer majesty of the chamber's content. Its walls were polished smooth exposing bits and pieces of random minerals that helped to refract the light in ways that artists would have had trouble depicting. He then noticed that small grooves were cut into the walls themselves allowing water to have a path downward which also served as a reflection point that emitted a continual downward spectacle of light, as if the chamber were being propelled through space. He was beside himself in both the beauty and majesty of it all. And then, he saw it. Across the chamber there was another, more narrow path that hugged the opposite wall leading to a small outcropping in the far corner of the room that dropped off into a chasm below. Approaching it, Guile noticed that below the narrow pass was a flowing stream nearly fifteen feet below him with shards of still frozen ice surrounding its waterway. Carefully he made his way across the narrow walkway, hugging the wall as best he could until he reached the far side at which point he collapsed to his knees at the site before him. Ahead of Guile, filling the entire wall of this small sub chamber, was a massive piece of semi-polished, raw-cut obsidian quartz. It stood nearly twelve feet tall and roughly ten feet wide, the small section of chamber obviously being carved around it. Guile could see his own reflection faintly in the small divots as the natural lantern behind him cast a mesmerizing reflection of the larger chamber behind him. As the refraction of lights silhouetted around him, it gave the impression that the stone was moving and flowing, as if millions of small tears were streaming down its surface. He reached out his hand to touch the black abyss of fine mineral. Its smooth surface felt cold to the touch. Staring at its beauty, Guile could not help but feel a sense of powerlessness as he gauged his own frame against that of this natural work of wonder. The jagged, broken edges all seemed to reflect various forms of his hulking frame and mesmerized face, each reflection showing a various imperfection in his true disposition. Some of them made him look slightly younger with a wrinkle-less face, while others seemed to make him look older, fattened with age. However, all of the various reflections, regardless of disproportionate shape or stature, clearly reflected one key aspect, that being Guile’s anguish filled face. Both beautiful and frightening, marvelous and grotesque, the giant crystal seemed to cry over Guile’s presence. And at that moment, he thought of Merideth. “You would have loved this,” he said to himself as tears began to take form in his eyes. All the years spent hiding in caves, all the men lost, all the widows made; all these thoughts and many more came crashing down upon his soul. As if the very stone itself were crying in the light’s reflections, enduring the misery of the man that knelt before its presence, Guile for the first time in a long time allowed himself to wonder how many orphans he helped make and how many rivers of tears he helped cause. “I’m sorry Merideth,” he whimpered as the few tears turned to numerous all now rolling down his face as his eyes glinted over the various reflections of himself. “I’m so sorry dear,” his faint wails echoed softly through the small sets of chambers. “Please forgive me. I tried so hard Merideth; I swear I did.” He placed his hand against the stone again as he continued sobbing. “I have tried everything to move on Merideth, but I don’t know what to do without you!” For a moment that felt as though an eternity in an infinite amount of short time, Guile confessed his sins and troubles to his late wife, sometimes cursing and sometimes pleading; but in all the time he spent there in the shadow of this otherworldly majesty, he wept. As the light began to fade from the candle behind him, Guile took a few haggard breaths before rising to his feet. Staring for a few moments into the obsidian, he mumbled a few last words before forcing a smile upon his face as he turned to go gather his things and leave the cave. Making his way back toward the pass, he thought to himself about how he might actually look forward to the new life he had come into and how he would take some time upon arriving home to clean the house that he had left mostly untouched. He thought about would like to pay a visit to both Alamo and Vance and perhaps find pleasant company outside of his own thoughts. And as he thought of all these things, he forgot to watch his footing while crossing the pass hugging the wall over the ice-covered stream below. In one fluid motion, Guile’s foot slipped and with his body following suit, cracking his head against the wall and then again against the ledge before disappearing into the dark depths below with a crash of ice and water. As quick as the sound was heard, it fell silent in the chamber as the candle slowly died and darkness filled every corner of the once beautiful cave.
  15. Hello all, First, I would like to thank you all for your support in helping me nail down ideas for this book. Especially, I would like to thank Alamo (tcs_tonsils_) and BeautifulWatty (tadabug2000). Without the two of you to let me draw from character inspiration from, this story just simply would not have existed. Also, a big thanks to the Admin team for letting me take some creative liberties for narrative reasons and tell a story that is unique but also relative to the lore and mythos of the LOTC community at large. Finally, though she is not a part of this community, I have to thank my wife for supporting me during this process and has encouraged me to start the next book sooner rather than later. God I love that woman. With that said, it is official; the first draft of The Almaris Chronicles - Among the Spires of East Fleet - is completed. I will begin working with a few members of this community to help me proof read and edit before we submit it for final editing. Hopefully within the next month, I will have a finished product for you all to enjoy. I can't lie when I say this is a bitter sweet moment for me personally. For those who might know, I have devoted my life to the military since I was a young man, and though I have written in various capacities in the past, this is the first book I will have published and the thought of being something other than a "war fighter" often scares me since it is really the only life I have ever known. Likewise, to have created this cast of characters based on inspirations from other people and the freedom they have allotted me to use them to tell a story that is one of a kind, and knowing the struggles I have put these characters through and the struggles they are going to face in the future; it just gives me pause for a moment. But, I will not bore anyone with those matters. Instead, I am pleased to say that for anyone interested, the first book is done and will be ready for order just as soon as we can get it edited. Thank you all again for your continued support and inspiration. For those who are interested, I am still responding to requests for the link to preview the first 15 rough chapters of the book. Feel free to message me via discord of LOTC and I will make sure you have the link to preview those chapters. I will let you all know once we move into the final edit. Thank you again and have a wonderful day. Respectfully, Jenkins
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