Just copied and pasted Razah’s story 😀 Unfortunately, I had a writer’s block and was holding off finishing writing the story until I finished my Danika cosplay… then I got distracted with title hunting and ToT bag farming in Guild Wars! Yesterday, I realized that the deadline was today, so I rushed to finish the story. Hopefully it doesn’t seem to rushed and is still enjoyable 😀 Apologies in advance for any typos or weird grammar mistakes. I only had time to proof-read once since I’ll be out for the rest of today 🙂
One of the things I LOVE about writing Razah’s backstory is trying to figure out how he would see the world given that he literally has all the knowledge in the universe basically downloaded into him thanks to Abaddon. The Wiki likens him to Data from Star Trek. I like to think of Razah as having the strengths of both humanity and the demons spawned from The Mysts (plus some other bonuses). He’s sentient, of course, and has the abilities of humans (senses and emotion) in addition to pseudo-immortality (kind of like LotR elves, they can live practically forever in a happy and safe environment, but they can die when seriously wounded) and the ability to access mystical abilities from the universe.
So, with this in mind: who is Razah when he first ‘wakes up’ and given all the knowledge of the world? I imagine it as a sensory overload, which is why he spends to first part of his life in essentially a coma. When he wakes up, he’s much like an amnesiac. He can communicate, but he can’t access the knowledge that was implanted within his mind. When he finds triggers, it’s like an avalanche of information, because there’s just too much information that he doesn’t have context to. It would be like sitting in a class of astro-physics armed with ten-thousand reference books behind you. You look in one reference book for the answer, but then have to go to another and another… In the end, you’ve read about it and have the information, but you don’t really understand. Another example is memorizing a German passage, when you don’t know German. Sure, you can recite it perfectly, but you don’t know what it means. You need a dictionary to parse it bit by bit, but because of idioms, your self-translation probably makes even less sense!
Given Razah’s background, how will he develop and gain awareness of the world? In my version of his backstory, I like to think that he couldn’t do it by himself, all alone in the Heart of Abaddon area. He would need external help and exposure to outside stimuli to give him that push to grow. Specifically, he wanders Elona and meets Zinka, a 6-year old orphan girl. From here, the plan is to follow Piaget’s Theory of Intelligence and Intellectual Growth along with some of Erikson theories. According to Piaget, during the Preoperational stage, children use symbolism to understand the environment around them. In other words, the sun moves, so therefore it is alive. For Razah, seeing through the eyes of Zinka gives him the basic building blocks to understand the world around him in very simple cognitive schemes. Through assimilation, new experiences are put into pre-existing simple schemes and whenever there is conflict, or disequilibrium, the schemes are altered in order to accept the new schema.
After the preoperational stage comes the concrete operations stage where children can start inferring things by seeing other’s behaviors. Finally, the last stage for Razah, which will be the very last part of my story, is the Formal Operations stage. He doesn’t need purely logical thinking to understand the world around him. He can now ponder hypothetical situations and form – what I believe is the most important part of what makes him human – an imagination.
Anyway, this is probably going to be the only non-story update I write, so I hope this update wasn’t too boring and you’re all looking forward to reading about Razah’s Tale and his personal journey.
I wrote the intro and ending to Razah’s story (now to fill in the middle!) 😀 I definitely feel like the way I’m writing it is super challenging, because I’m writing in first person from the view of someone who doesn’t know the human world. It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be, yet it’s a lot more fun than I thought it would be 😀
Now that I have the ending all written, I also decided to change the title from Razah: Finding a Purpose to Razah: A Halloween Wish
Here’s my first rough draft of the start to the story (Note, ignore weird indents, I don’t know why those are there since they’re not there in my Word copy and since this is just a draft, I’m not going to fix it right now since I may end up completely rewriting it based on feedback 😛 ) :
Razah: A Halloween Wish
I was not born.
Even now, I have no words to describe the creation of my existence, except it was a mistake, a rare error regretted by The Mists.
I should have been a demon as my brethren.
Instead, the protomatter of the The Mists touched upon a human template and created a wretched forgery with an unthinkable curse…
The closest word I can think of to describe my existence prior to that fated moment is ‘dream-like.’ I was part of The Mists, whole yet not whole, everywhere and nowhere, a tiny piece yet infinite at the same time.
The closest word to describe my existence at that fated moment is ‘torture.’ I was whole, the weight of the universe crushing me and then threatening to tear me apart. My senses were raw; the overwhelming stimuli caused me to go mad as I howled into emptiness as The Mists held me with noncorporeal arms.
I had no knowledge of time then, and even now, I do not know how long I stayed there howling, trapped in darkness, cursed with my sentience.
I do not know how or when the dark God Abaddon found out about my existence. I only know that his Margonites found and took me with them.
Then, the true torture began…
* * *
The accidental curse from The Mists had ravaged my senses had driven me mad as my body suffered under the strain of countless new stimuli.
The purposeful curse from Abaddon was far more sinister and left me silent and motionless as my mind struggled against an onslaught of knowledge. The Dark God wished to imbue my mind with all the knowledge in the universe, and he was succeeding. Information from the start of time and across time was injected into my mind as my body laid still and motionless.
As I absorbed the information, the Margonites fought around me, occasionally trying to damage my motionless body in jest. They joked about the new vessel and how it was in a weak human form. Despite the wealth of knowledge building in my mind, I did not understand it nor what the Margonites spoke of.
As in my first prison, I did not know how much time had passed as I stayed motionless while my mind absorbed the secrets of the universe.
However, I did know the transfer had stopped, and I could move once again. More importantly, I realized my Margonite jailors had left me unguarded.
It was time to escape my second prison.
* * *
Yet, my escape meant I had traded one prison for another. Once I had left Abaddon’s domain, I found myself in yet another terrifying and confusing land. My jumbled mind strained to make sense out of what I was seeing and experiencing; yet I could not understand any of the wealth of knowledge I had been damned with.
Creatures I had never seen before and couldn’t identify attempted to kill me.
Others ran from me, despite my questions.
Still, others attacked viciously before fleeing from my confused presence.
I did not understand any of the world I now found myself, despite that I had all the answers somewhere locked in my mind. Fire from above brought pain to my eyes, and only when the darkness descended did my skin stop burning. As I walked aimlessly, avoiding other living creatures, I stopped before a new type of ground that stretched before me. As I tried to walk on the new ground, my foot passed through it. I stood there, one leg on loose ground while my other leg and the rags covering it was swallowed by the new ground. I pulled my leg back and sat back, confused at the ground.
Was I to be forever trapped in a prison I could not understand?
I looked around at the source of the sound and saw a small creature. I waited, wondering if it would attack or run away. Instead the creature tilted its head and sat next to me.
“Why do you want your leg wet? Is it dirty?” The small creature asked.
I looked at my leg. “Why is my leg wet?” I asked the creature instead.
The creature looked at me and tilted its head. “You don’t know why your leg is wet? Did you fall asleep and your leg fall in the water?”
A slow understanding came over me. Water. I was sitting in front of water. When I pushed into my knowledge base, I tapped into what the word water should mean. Still, I did not understand the deluge of information coming from me and instead turned back to the creature.
“What are you?” I asked, wondering if this being could help me understand my new prison.
“I’m Zinka!” it said as its mouth made a strange motion as odd sounds came from it.
The word did not make sense to me. “What is a Zinka?”
“I’m Zinka!” the creature said, as if its circular logic explained everything. It held its arms around its stomach and made the odd sound again.
“Why do you make that sound?” I asked.
“Because you’re funny!” the Zinka said although my mind could not decipher the humor in the situation. “What’s your name?”
A name? When I realized what the creature was asking for, I thought back to all the words I had been called: Error, Vessel, Abomination, Monster… Although I had been called many things, I had no name. “I don’t have a name.”
The Zinka made another strange sound, different from the first one. “Everyone needs a name.”
“How would people get each other’s attention?” the Zinka pointed out. I blinked at the explanation. It was simple and made sense. “Do you want a name?”
Having a name was one of the first things that made sense to me, and I wanted one. “Yes. Give me a name.”
The Zinka sat and looked to the sky, a closed fist to its cheek. Moments later, the Zinka looked back down and said, “I know! I once had a pet frog named Razah, and he was my best friend! You can be Razah, too!” It grabbed one of my hands with its small ones and made that small odd sound again. “You can be my new best friend.”
“Razah. Best friend,” I repeated. I did not know what a best friend was. “I accept your offer. Will you teach me about this world?”
The Zinka tapped its chin for a moment. “How come you don’t know anything? Did you forget?”
“I’m not from here.”
“Oh, you must be from across the sea. We’re in Elona, did you know that?”
“Elona…” The name triggered a cascade of indecipherable knowledge that I had to brace myself against.
Above us, the sky roared. “Uh oh. Looks like it will rain.” The Zinka stood and grabbed my hand again. It pulled, as if its tiny body could actually move my much bigger one. “Come on. We need to go hide.”
“So we don’t get wet,” it said, hands now balled at its sides.
“Water can fall from the sky?” I asked. “Why?”
“When the sky gets sad, it cries,” it informed me. I looked up at the sky and nodded. The logic was sturdy and also made sense. With the wise Zinka’s help, I could finally understand this world.
The Zinka put its hand out again as I stood. I looked down. The little creature was small, smaller than half my height. I mimicked it and put my hand out, unsure of what to do. Making the odd sound again, the Zinka reached out and put its hand in mine – tiny fingers closing around my own. It looked at me and made that strange mouth motion again. The Zinka pulled again as if it could move me with its little strength.
I do not know why; despite the Zinka holding my hand, this moment was the first time I felt like I was not in a prison.
* * *
to be continued…
It’s that time again for the Guild Wars Halloween Contest and the guildwarsguru.com Halloween Workshop! The official contest doesn’t accept literature (as I painfully learned last year), but happily, GWG does 😀 I’ve made my spaceholder page and will probably start updating at the start of October. Unlike in the past, I want to get the story finished early and then released over time in sections 🙂
The story is going to focus on the background of the entity Razah and how he struggles to find meaning and a purpose to his existence. I had originally planned on writing this a while back but never did, so I’m changing it slightly so that there’s a Halloween component to it. It’s going to be fairly short compared to my other GWG submissions and focus more on a complex characterization rather than a multiple-character and action-packed storyline.
I *finally* posted the complete Wintersday story 🙂 At 29k words, it’s much, much longer than the Halloween one, yet still as much fun to write! I didn’t proof it as heavily as I did for the Halloween story (sorry about that) since at this point, I just wanted to get the story written and done! Hopefully, you’ll all enjoy the story anyway 🙂 This is the end of the series.
Wow, it’s been so long since I’ve posted here! Well, alas, I wasn’t able to complete my entire Wintersday story, but I was able to finish half of it and submit it as a ‘To Be Continued.’ I hope to complete the entire story in Jan or Feb and get some sketches in there as originally planned. Since I didn’t have as much time to write this as I did with the Halloween story, it’s definitely not as good and polished as the Halloween one, but hopefully readers will enjoy the story anyway 🙂
Just wrote this on the bus today 😀 This will most likely be the prologue with some minor changes.
<sketch of hand, palm up>
She was in so much pain. It felt like she was dying, and she wished that she was dead, just to escape the agony. She felt nauseous, which was a mystery since it felt that her insides had been ripped out from her.
She drifted in and out of consciousness, unable to move or see.
But, she could hear. The sharp crack of slap brought her back out from the darkness. “You almost killed her! You worthless creature!”
The words were muffled, as if coming behind some closed door. “No!” she tried to call out, but the words came out in a bloody gurgle that made her lose consciousness again.
She heard the door open, and heard a familiar voice, “It’s OK, baby, you’re alright now. I’ll make you all better.”
* * *
Bix shot up, heart racing, struggling to breath and fight the pain. She slowly calmed when she realized where she was. She was sitting upright in her bed in Shing Jea Monastery, her hands clenched tightly, damp hair plastered down her back and sides of her face.
“Are you OK?” asked a sleepy voice from her right. The room they shared was dark, so her roommate couldn’t see the condition Bix was in.
She forced her voice to be steady, “Yeah, just a nightmare, Anza.” She silently held her breath, waiting for the soft snore from her roommate.
She brought her knees up to her chest, and rested a cheek on a knee. It was more than a nightmare. It felt like a memory – a horrible memory that she desperately wanted to forget.
Her right hand was still clenched. She leaned back a little and opened her hand. She ran the fingertips of her left along the damp palm. Something should have been there. It was something important that she had been holding onto in her nightmare.
She let out a soft sigh and rested her cheek on her knee again, wrapping her arms around her legs. The nightmare got worse with every year, and she desperately wished it would stop. She could perfectly recall the last time she had a stretch of nightmares just as she could perfectly recall each time before that.
Wintersday. It always started right before Wintersday and ended right after.
To every one else, Wintersday was a time of celebration and cheer, but for her, it only fueled her nightmares, and she feared this time of the year.
She brushed her palm lightly again before wiping away the tears on her cheeks. No, Mother, I’m not better. I lost something very precious that day.
But, she didn’t know what it was.
Haven’t written anything yet although I have some ideas running in my mind. I’ve got a starter sketch up of one of my new characters though. Meet Bix’s sister. I haven’t officially decided on a name for her, but I’ve been leaning towards ‘Nix’.
I’m not sure how I’ll weave the pictures in with the story, so I may just leave the pics out and just post them in a separate ‘Meet the characters’ post or put them in at the very end of the story. I’ll probably draw Bix next, and I’m thinking of re-drawing Rika and Akan. I never drew Ki, so guess that’s another one I need to sketch out (he was the most vague description-wise in the Halloween story since I never did draw a pic of him).
So basically, the way stream of consciousness works for me is that a story scene starts, and I just kinda let my muse take it where she wants to take it while I sit back and watch like a movie. Most times, I have no clue where my subconscious picks this stuff up. Yesterday, I was thinking of my story while playing GW and was just kind of thinking of an ending, and then I start hysterically crying because of where the scene took me. I literally had to get up, because tears were streaming down my face, and I had to get a tissue (I’ll admit that (a) I get too involved with my characters, (b) part of the crying was probably because I’ve been at high stress and at the edge of breaking down this quarter, and (c) I’m just a crybaby… I still tear up at my Halloween story even though I’ve read it a hundred times and I wrote the thing). Anyway, since I’ve decided to put the ending in there, I started randomly thinking of a start and a backstory to match it.
The good news? I think I’ve got the main parts of my story set-up.
The bad news? Umm… it’s probably going to be as long as the Halloween story instead of the short story I had originally planned…
The other good news? Since I have a tablet, I’m going to try to make some sketches to go along with the story.
The other bad news? Well, the sketches probably won’t be that good since it’ll be low priority…
I just created my Wintersday page holder for the GW Guru contest 🙂 I’m still continuing with the plan I listed in my previous post talking about the characters in my Halloween story. I think I’ll add pictures though made from my tablet, and then submit one of those pictures to the official GW contest since I just don’t think my stories can compete with the amazing artwork out there 😀