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Deresi: The Perfect Girlfriend

Deresi: The Perfect Girlfriend

Deresi: The Perfect Girlfriend

I often ask myself why the romance between Shadyia and Deresi works so well when they are so different. Shadyia takes everything seriously. Her perception of the world is very black-or-white; no grey. That’s my friend; that’s my enemy. I kill my enemy and protect my friend. She is quick to anger, slow to change, and is terrible at telling a lie. Deresi glides through life like a penguin sliding on ice. She is playful and mischievous, lies as easy as she breathes, and would rather avoid an enemy than confront them.

Opposites DON’T attract.

‘Opposites attract’ makes a great song with a cartoon cat, but doesn’t stand up to reality. Would the activist rebel really fall in love with the die-hard conservative? Would the adventurous athlete really want to spend all her time with the computer nerd? No. Yes many writers and—especially—Hollywood films insist on perpetuating this myth. Why? Because it demonstrates the awesome power of love, which is something we all want to believe in. Love knows no age or gender or personality or political/social alignment. Don’t we all adore the story of the prince who marries the common village girl and lifts her up to be the future queen? You want to make George RR Martin laugh out loud, ask him to put that “and they lived happily ever after” myth in his books between a member of nobility and a commoner. Medieval monarchs held onto their power by convincing the Great Unwashed that they had a divine right to rule, and that mixing royal blood with common blood would not only be poisonous to both, but against the will of God and would bring doom to the entire world.

Shadyia and Deresi aren’t opposites.

I prefer to think of them as Yin and Yang; they complete one another. Each has something the other not only lacks, but desperately needs in her life. Shadyia needs to learn to let it go. Deresi needs to learn that the world cannot be avoided. In Beneath the Silver Rose, Deresi had a moment of jealousy that was so foreign to her, it nearly shattered her love for Shadyia in those fragile beginning moments:

She slipped her arms around Deresi’s hips and drew her closer. “You asked me a question, and here is my answer. You’ve stayed by my side. When everyone else fled, you were there.”

Deresi tilted her head to the side as if to dismiss Shadyia’s words. “Anyone could do that.”

“Anyone could, but no one did.” She parted her lips and leaned for a kiss, but Deresi avoided her.

“It’s not enough,” Deresi said.

Her words gripped Shadyia’s heart in a blacksmith’s glove. If I don’t say it right, I may drive her away. She had to stay calm. Deresi just craved further assurance. Was she herself any different?

“There’s more,” Shadyia said. “I need you now more than ever. I need one thing in my life that will stay the same. I need someone I go to and feel safe, and I chose you.”

“You chose me? But why?”

Flowery quotes from books stuffed with poetry flooded her thoughts. Love is a single rose growing at the summit of a—Luun’s tits, just kill me now. She briefly closed her eyes. How could she make Deresi understand?

Just tell her the truth.

“Because you’re everything I wish I could be.”

There it is. Shadyia is like a camel carrying too much weight, as she knows it. She adores how Deresi can just unload and walk away from the terrible problems of this life. But that river does not flow just one direction. Deresi needs to learn how to stand her ground when the need arises. Running is not an always an option. We especially see this in Book #3 when she finally confronts Mareli. Would she have ever done that without knowing Shadyia in her life? Probably not.

Great Sex

No examination into the romance between Shadyia and Deresi is complete without talking about their love-making. The sex between them is fantastic! It’s not just volcanic orgasms (although there are plenty if those) it the way their deepest fears and passions are exposed. All the walls are lowered and all cards are on the table. There is no dominate and submissive in their love-making, but there is no absolute equality as well—which would be rather dull. They trade control; in one moment, Deresi takes the reins of their passion and Shadyia must yield to her games and devious nature. In the next moment, Shadyia is calling the shots and Deresi is along for the ride. There’s trust; absolute trust not to use the weaknesses they bare as a weapon to humiliate or manipulate. That trust is the core of their passion.

The Perfect Girlfriend

Deresi is the perfect girlfriend. She is playful, creative and joyful. She is a refinery for Shadyia’s raw passion and the best friend Shadyia could ever hope to have. But more than that, she keeps Shadyia from submitting to darkness and despair. As Friedrich Nietzsche famously said, Whoever fights monsters should [be careful] not become a monster. [If you] gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you. Shadyia has stared hard into the abyss, and it’s only Deresi’s love that keeps her from falling.

Imagine how tragic it would be, if that ever changed…

Read on!

Sorrow and Rage United

 

 

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Heroic Fantasy? What is so damn appealing about it anyway?

Heroic Fantasy? What is so damn appealing about it anyway?

What is so damn appealing about heroic fantasy, anyway?

Allow me to explain

Once upon a time, in the early days of computer gaming, I bought a game which came with a map. Totally unrealistic; towns with no purpose, castles and crypts put in mountains and swamps (who would build a !@&%#! castle in a swamp?), and groups of monsters that would just sit there and wait for the player to bring his adventurers along, slap the tar out of them, and take their stuff.

The Isle of Fire - Heroic Fantasy Game

Here’s the thing. The map, for all its gamey silliness, was utterly fascinating. An Island of Fire in the middle. Castle Dragontooth. Forsaken Sands. I was looking over this map (it was for Might and Magic 3, Isles of Terra, if you must know) in my university library when a beautiful young woman walked by, saw it, and asked what that was all about. Abashed at my nerdiness, I awkwardly told her it was a map for a computer game. I held my breath as she took a good long look at the map (I expected some ‘means girls’ comment like “Yeah, whatever, looser”) but she said, “Oh, I love things like that” and walked on.

I think she meant it, and I was surprised. Not because I didn’t get a ‘mean girls’ comment, but because this map was so dumb! Even back then I knew it. I looked at the map again—and I began to realize why heroic fiction (swords and sorcery) held such appeal.

The chance to command your own destiny through adventure

In no other genre can a reader expect to find this unique opportunity. Sci-fi is about how technology changes our lives. Westerns, Military, Historical and such allow us to experience people living in different times and places. Horror is to scare the shit out of us. Crime is to match wits with a killer. Only in heroic fantasy is your destiny in your hands. The Tomb of Horrors is out there, lost somewhere, full of treasure. Use your last few silvers to buy a sword and some leather armor. Roll up that map your deceased uncle left you. You’ll have to sneak across the troll badlands, but if you travel at night, they’ll all be asleep in their caves. At least, you hope so.

What’s that you say? What about the Star Wars galaxy? That’s science fiction and it’s full of adventure, right? Well, yes, but keep in mind, dear reader, that Star Wars is Science Fantasy. Does anyone ask how the engines on the Millennium Falcon work? (Only a Sheldon Cooper-like nerd would dismiss The Empire Strikes Back because there was no way Han got to Bespin without lightspeed. The rest of us don’t ask and don’t care.)

Adventure

Forget elves and dwarves and dragons and goblins. These things are fun, when done right, but you can take all that out of heroic fantasy and still have something a reader would cherish, as long as you keep alive the desire to control your destiny through adventure. Sometimes, you can do it with just a few words. In Chapter 22 of Beneath the Silver Rose, I have a scene when Deresi asks Aaron how he knows the ruby he seeks is in the labyrinth:

Deresi slumped her shoulders. “Are you sure this ruby is even down here? No offense, but how do you know?”

Shadyia glanced at him. A good question. Aaron had mentioned he had a journal of some kind, but where had he found it? And who had written it?

“Do you know of Mordechai’s tavern?”

Deresi nodded. “Sure, it’s famous.”

Shadyia had heard of it as well. Mordechai’s tavern was a last haven at the eastern edge of the empire, a place where explorers sat around a blazing hearth and swapped stories of dragon lairs and abandoned castles. From Mordechai’s tavern, adventurers set off into the wild forests and mountains beyond the frontier to search ruins for ancient treasures and enchanted relics.

“You’ve been to Mordechai’s?” Shadyia asked. She had often fantasized of going there.

“Yes, I journeyed to the frontier a few years ago.” Aaron replied. “I met a traveler in Costa Sans who sold me a map that he swore marked the location the ruins of Delbia, a Zapraskian city.”

 

Do you start to see now?

I never take you to that tavern (at least not yet *grin*), but wouldn’t you like to go? To sit around a blazing hearth, eat roast pork off the bone and drink mead. A place where bold men and women, who openly wear their steel, boast of their adventurers! At dawn, you wake in the room you rented for the night, oil your sword, strap on your armor, and ride your horse into the forests and mountains beyond the frontier. You may return with a sack of gold and a magic ring that allows you to take the form of anyone you desire. Or some other passing adventurer may find your head impaled on a spike. It’s up to you—and Fate. Heroic fantasy will give you that chance, when no one else will.

Read on!


How Shadyia found her Story Teller – T.S. Adrian

How Shadyia found her Story Teller – T.S. Adrian

How Shadyia found her Story Teller – Interview with T.S. Adrian

T.S. Adrian talks to Shadyia

And so it came to be that Shadyia, a traveler, sought someone to tell her story. One night, she was drawn to the ruins of castle Krzyżtopór in Poland. There she did find a person reading a book aloud to the spirits of that tragic place. That person’s name was T.S. Adrian

Could this be the one she sought?

Shadyia: You there, why do you read to these ghosts of this palace?

T.S. Adrian: Someone must tell them the crimes done here were not forgotten.

Shadyia: What do you read them?

T.S. Adrian: This is Poland by James Michener. He dedicated an entire chapter about this castle.

Shadyia: Interesting. You read; do you also write?

T.S: I do. Stories.

Shadyia: What type of stories?

T.S: Heroic fantasy, mostly.

Shadyia: Ah, elves and dwarves and dragons and wizards?

T.S.: Those things can be nice, but are not needed. True heroic fantasy is about taking control of your life through adventure. Of picking up a sword and going where angels fear to tread.

Shadyia: Angels? What are angels?

T.S.: Powerful creatures that men worship as gods.

Shadyia: Ah, now this I understand. But you speak as if picking up a sword and finding adventure were a rare thing. Can you not do this on this world?

T.S.: Not anymore. That’s why people enjoy reading about it.

Shadyia: I see. Well, I come from a world where what you describe is still possible. I have a story to tell, and I am looking for one to write it. Will you be that person?

T.S.: I would be honored, my lady.

Shadyia: Then, let’s begin. It started on a clear night, when the bells of the Silver Rose rang without warning…

Read on!


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