Oræl Rides to War: My Phase Two Series

Right. So.

The Last Days of Earth is complete, which means with Bad Cow and Greyblade we have a complete trilogy! I haven’t got very good metrics on these books, certainly not compared to The Final Fall of Man which just had metrics up the wazoo, but I’d estimate that this three-parter is only a bit smaller than the eight-parter; each book was close to double the size, after all.

What that means is, these were big ol’ books and my appreciation and admiration to those who read them knows no bounds. And the folks who edited them? Heroes. Heroes, I tell you.

They were also a long time coming. And a long time in the workshopping, as at least a few Hatstanders – editors and others – will attest.

While Bad Cow started its existence as a strange serial story about a Vampire-slayin’ Angel named Barry (and sometimes Gary), back on one of the first websites I ever created (I’d like to thank FrontPage Express while I have this opportunity…), The Last Days of Earth was older still.

I was out of high school, but not by much. I had a substance-and-fever-fuelled dream about a strange group of friends, one of whom was an ape-man, another of whom was a crusty old prospector-type – Oræl and George were their names. They were searching for relics of some kind (that weren’t what they seemed), and were being hunted by the authorities. George found two of the relics in one place.

(P)ushy (P)ete, the little-bit-Rastafarian spare parts dealer, was there. It was a weird dream.

I wasn’t ready to write the story, and as I studied at university and got better at writing, I kept this dream in a spare folder (first literal, then electronic), waiting for it to fit somewhere. I knew it would eventually, so I put some hints in there.

We were a long way from handcrafted Noro Metak custom miniatures back then. I’m just including this picture because I love it.

In the meantime, of course, I wrote a bunch of other stuff, and most of it fitted into the urverse I’ve been building for a while. Phase One was a simple space opera introduction to the whole thing, opening out to offer a glimpse of the larger reality at the end. Phase Two built on that, providing some stories still mostly centred around Earth and Cursèd’s Playground, but in some cases extending … well, let’s just say a little further afield.

It doesn’t cost me any extra storage space to drop it here again so why not.

There are still a couple of stories (actually collections) to tell in Phase Two, and I’m working on them. I hope they’ll open up, if not another order of magnitude to the story’s scope, then at least drop a few hints about the shape of things to come.

To be honest I could talk about this stuff for days and it is currently extremely frustrating that I’m having to chip away these last pieces before I can show you what’s next – particularly because I am so thoroughly and perpetually distracted at home and at work. It’s not fun. But I’ll get there! Thanks for listening. And reading, as ever.

What is fun, though, is getting two of my oldest story ideas down on the page, in Bad Cow and The Last Days of Earth, and my first public-released full-on urverse tale in Greyblade. I had a lot of fun writing these stories and I can’t wait to get the next ones done!

Any comments or questions or theories or complaints are more than welcome. I, like America’s Ass, can do this all day.

Happy tears, this time.

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy. https://hatboy.blog/2013/12/17/metalude-who-are-creepy-and-hatboy/
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30 Responses to Oræl Rides to War: My Phase Two Series

  1. aaronthepatriot says:

    Finally a place to talk about this awesome trilogy!!!!!

    It was very good.

  2. aaronthepatriot says:

    I liked the wordy bits. Thoughts?

      • Definitely!

        No but seriously and as I hope you figured, I was trolling until I had time to write something lengthy. Hopefully today. Hopefully amusing, in the meantime.

      • Hatboy says:

        I was trying to find some oh-so-sassy and clever way of “tl;dr”ing your comments but now I feel humble and gladdened.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Aw man you didn’t think that was all I was gonna say did you? Now I sad.

      • Hatboy says:

        Hee, I guess the thousands and thousands of essay-length responses you’ve put on this blog and our e-mail correspondence just led me to expect two one-line messages from you and that’s it.

        What?

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Considering it was the evening and I’m really freaking busy I thought you’d easily detect the piss taking. Now things are crazy again so no promises.

  3. Damon says:

    Liked “Considering it was the evening and I’m really freaking busy I thought you’d easily detect the piss taking. Now things are crazy again so no promises.”

    same here.

  4. aaronthepatriot says:

    All right, so I’ll kick this off for real this time. I apologize, this will be disorganized and probably much of what I want to say will be drawn out from the (hopefully) dialogue that will ensue. I am really pressed for time but also feel immense pressure to talk about the book while it is fresh.

    OBVIOUSLY SPOILERS EVERYWHERE FROM HERE ON

    I loved this book, it’s definitely one of my favorites by Hatboy, perhaps beaten out solely by the Elan book and the final book of the Final Fall of Man series. Maybe. It’s REALLY hard.

    As always the characters were so well defined, so present, and so interesting and developed/developing that they all have left indelible marks in my mind.

    As far as characters what I remember most was my constant wondering of WTH was up with Louis, why was he part of this, what did he contribute, why was I getting his perspective all the time. To just be totally blown away by the end.

    Which I think was the intent. WELL DONE! I was SO SURE Mell was the Pinian in disguise…you totally tricked me. Maybe it’s partly because I’m getting confused with the previous inhabited characters from the other 2 books…I think I confused her with one of them.

    I was struggling to figure out how the party was succeeding so well each time, because sometimes the “seal” (or whatever, I forget what else they might have been called) didn’t want to die, although often they did. But when you went back over some of the encounters after the revelation of Louis, it all made sense. So, so cool.

    Uhm…so I’m sad that Nettle never got to fulfill her contract on Cratch, and also am really puzzled at what she could have whispered about killing him that would have been of any use…which of course it wasn’t. Also puzzled at that reader who said something about an “end” for him. LOL the Hapstan tower scene, which was SO AWESOME OMG I can’t even describe how cool that was, especially reading it after knowing Cratch so well, was just getting things warmed up for the Final Fall series! Nowhere NEAR the end.

    Anyway, sad that Nettle couldn’t solve it, as I said, and that she is no more. I really liked that relationship. Honestly I didn’t know she’d die, I thought she was still out there as his immortal companion, somehow. But I admit I don’t know how angels survive without Earth, so…yeah.

    Orael, not so much, that dude deserves an eternal rest goddamn. And you made us REALLY feel that by the end, so there really wasn’t any sadness for me at all. It was just beautiful.

    One last topic for now, I think a REALLY interesting one. Mell. Fellymae. Daughter of the Drake (right?). Wasn’t that what was going on with Cratch, too? I can’t remember now but that seems REALLY right when I think about it.

    So they’re all inhumanely strong, unpredictable, homicidal, arguably unstable? If I’m right about Cratch at least.

    So it fascinates me, because my sexism was fully revealed to me as I read. Because I didn’t judge Mell the way I do Cratch. Maybe that’s partly to do with how you represented her, and what needed to get done in this book, and the many, many betrayals of Cratch. But I really should be viewing them the same way, at least if I’m right about Cratch. Man I hope I got that right, otherwise….embarrassing.

    Well, that’s it for now, hit me back y’all!

    Oh also Lucifer/Linda was so much fun, really loved those bits. And great work on the Fergunak as usual, the menace, the deception, the power and danger all rolled together. Someone has shark issues!

    As we’ve already discussed, you’re Australian, so obviously! But, really cool how a lot of the main plot action was also to make sure the Fergies don’t get out into the greater urverse. Really cool.

    10/10 would recommend to anyone who knows how to read.

    • Hatboy says:

      All right, so I’ll kick this off for real this time. I apologize, this will be disorganized and probably much of what I want to say will be drawn out from the (hopefully) dialogue that will ensue. I am really pressed for time but also feel immense pressure to talk about the book while it is fresh.

      Squeee, thanks man! I had every faith in you and didn’t freewheel into a self-doubt impostor spiral at all last night, but if I had, this would have been all I needed to pull out of it.

      (we seem to be joking past each other a bit lately with our mutual distraction, so seriously, I appreciate this. Yesterday evening was just an unnecessarily loud one in the Hatboy household)

      OBVIOUSLY SPOILERS EVERYWHERE FROM HERE ON

      Spoiler dance!

      I loved this book, it’s definitely one of my favorites by Hatboy, perhaps beaten out solely by the Elan book and the final book of the Final Fall of Man series. Maybe. It’s REALLY hard.

      Thanks! It feels weird to say but I kind of feel the same way. I’m allowed to have books I feel better about and ones I feel meh-er about, right? Well for me, Damorak and Human (and yes, I did actually have to look up which book had Elan Ende in it; I thought it was earlier in the series!) are up there with The Last Days of Earth too. Maybe purely on the merits of the plot points they delivered, after an intentional build-up to them.

      As always the characters were so well defined, so present, and so interesting and developed/developing that they all have left indelible marks in my mind.

      As far as characters what I remember most was my constant wondering of WTH was up with Louis, why was he part of this, what did he contribute, why was I getting his perspective all the time. To just be totally blown away by the end.

      He was pretty sad. I was concerned at a couple of points because I gave him a bit more sass and smarts than I felt his natural born initiative would allow, but ultimately I guess everyone gets to shine occasionally.

      Which I think was the intent. WELL DONE! I was SO SURE Mell was the Pinian in disguise…you totally tricked me. Maybe it’s partly because I’m getting confused with the previous inhabited characters from the other 2 books…I think I confused her with one of them.

      Ooh, that would’ve been a dangerous puppet to walk around in. Are you thinking about the Vandemar sisters from Bad Cow? Fair enough, I hadn’t considered that so call it a lucky coincidence … in fact, fun behind-the-scenes: Mell’s name was actually Ash in the first drafts of this story, before Bad Cow was written. Then for whatever reason, Ash ended up being the Second Disciple in Bad Cow and I needed a non-confusing new name for the “new” character. Fellynmae / Fellymae actually came first, and “Fell” (while admittedly cool) didn’t quite work, so “Mell” it was.

      Yeah, Louis’s drifting attitude and general uselessness was supposed to make you wonder why anyone even bothered with him, and the “apparently turns into some sort of oracle while blacked out” wasn’t quite supposed to convince you. I was also hoping to keep it as an epilogue reveal, so if I managed that with you, I am well satisfied!

      I was struggling to figure out how the party was succeeding so well each time, because sometimes the “seal” (or whatever, I forget what else they might have been called) didn’t want to die, although often they did. But when you went back over some of the encounters after the revelation of Louis, it all made sense. So, so cool.

      Thanks! Yeah, I was pretty vague about what their targets were. They generally just used their codenames each time. Seals’ll do.

      Uhm…so I’m sad that Nettle never got to fulfill her contract on [Çrom], and also am really puzzled at what she could have whispered about killing him that would have been of any use…which of course it wasn’t. Also puzzled at that reader who said something about an “end” for him. LOL the Hapstan tower scene, which was SO AWESOME OMG I can’t even describe how cool that was, especially reading it after knowing [Çrom] so well, was just getting things warmed up for the Final Fall series! Nowhere NEAR the end.

      Let’s say full circle, at least in the sense that we know he’s still around at the end of Human and that’s as far as we’ve gone chronologically so far.

      Another fun behind-the-scenes (for anyone else who happens to be reading this): I workshopped the Coda with Aaron quite a bit ahead of time, knowing that I wanted to put it in the story but also knowing it contradicts at least a couple of Skell’s scenes in The Final Fall of Man. That was because I knew he had something to do with the veil and the Alone Net, and that it was more than him just “searching” for it, but I hadn’t really clarified what it was going to be. Why he didn’t want to go near the Alone Net, why he couldn’t go to Hapstan’s Tower, all of that. General Moral Decay (Alcohol) and others were definitely aware that he was lying, but the full story … well I guess it’s still not a full story.

      So I had to look at those scenes, and basically just make it clear that he wasn’t telling the Trampsters the whole truth, and a lot of it was even hidden from himself, because that’s how his brain works. So, again, my appreciation to Aaron for being an editor in disguise.

      Anyway, sad that Nettle couldn’t solve it, as I said, and that she is no more. I really liked that relationship. Honestly I didn’t know she’d die, I thought she was still out there as his immortal companion, somehow. But I admit I don’t know how angels survive without Earth, so…yeah.

      Indeed, I know (after Panda Egg and all the different suggestions he shot down) that the burning question of “what the Hell could she have figured out, and how is it punchy enough to whisper as a final statement?” is going to be front-and-centre in the Ballad of Sorry Çrom, but … well, I suppose Laetitia got off Earth, although her memory is also fallible (Imago aren’t great undead) after a long enough time. She was already basically drawing a blank on events in Bad Cow by the time she turned back up in The Last Days of Earth.

      Orael, not so much, that dude deserves an eternal rest goddamn. And you made us REALLY feel that by the end, so there really wasn’t any sadness for me at all. It was just beautiful.

      Thanks chief. I guess it’s fair to say I’ve been living with elderly relatives who are growing tired of life and tired of their burdens, and who talk about going out on their own terms, so this was an important one for me. And hopefully for others, so I’m glad (glad? Kind of) that it worked.

      One last topic for now, I think a REALLY interesting one. Mell. Fellymae. Daughter of the Drake (right?). Wasn’t that what was going on with Cratch, too? I can’t remember now but that seems REALLY right when I think about it.

      So they’re all inhumanely strong, unpredictable, homicidal, arguably unstable? If I’m right about Cratch at least.

      Nice! There was never really a direct link between Cratch and the Sons of the Drake, although of course they’re all (Drake, Mell, Cratch) thin and basically albino and creepy. Each in their different ways, but they had a physical and behavioral connection. And Cratch, with his collecting of Molran teeth, had an unexplored instinctive connection to the Destarion.

      So it fascinates me, because my sexism was fully revealed to me as I read. Because I didn’t judge Mell the way I do Cratch. Maybe that’s partly to do with how you represented her, and what needed to get done in this book, and the many, many betrayals of Cratch. But I really should be viewing them the same way, at least if I’m right about Cratch. Man I hope I got that right, otherwise….embarrassing.

      That’s interesting!

      Fair to say, Mell fitted far better in the setting of Earth in the Last Days than Cratch fitted in an AstroCorps starship in the 39th Century. So a lot of it is that contrast. She was a violent creature in a violent time. He is, arguably, in a more civilised and enlightened setting and so his brutality is more out there. He is one of the main and most graphic vectors of violence in the series, and while Mell is definitely that in The Last Days of Earth, there are also others. Plus, her whole setting is just plain grosser.

      I don’t know if Mell being female and Cratch being male makes a huge difference, especially considering (fun behind-the-scenes #3!) that at various points I’ve wished I’d written Cratch to have actually been a female character, and in at least one draft Ash / Mell was male. One of the big reasons, indeed, that Mell ended up female was that it was a chance for me to correct things and basically try out a female Cratch. And she was just as glorious as I’d hoped!

      But that is interesting that it has (duh, obviously) some impact on how the character is read.

      Well, that’s it for now, hit me back y’all!

      Oh also Lucifer/Linda was so much fun, really loved those bits. And great work on the Fergunak as usual, the menace, the deception, the power and danger all rolled together. Someone has shark issues!

      Well –

      As we’ve already discussed, you’re Australian, so obviously! But, really cool how a lot of the main plot action was also to make sure the Fergies don’t get out into the greater urverse. Really cool.

      I know I still have a way to go to convince readers that the Fergunak are a worthy Big Mortal Bad, but there’s still more to be told! And it’s more complicated than that.

      But seriously, sharks can go to Hell.

      10/10 would recommend to anyone who knows how to read.

      Thanks again, chief.

      • “Squeee, thanks man! I had every faith in you and didn’t freewheel into a self-doubt impostor spiral at all last night, but if I had, this would have been all I needed to pull out of it.

        (we seem to be joking past each other a bit lately with our mutual distraction, so seriously, I appreciate this. Yesterday evening was just an unnecessarily loud one in the Hatboy household)”

        In light of how, as you say, we keep joking past each other I will totally not go full Jafar from the original Disney Aladdin and THE POWER THE ABSOLUTE POWER!!!!! but let’s take it as read because it seems totally appropriate if I really can affect you that much just by not making a long post of praise for a day or two.

        LOL?

        “Thanks! It feels weird to say but I kind of feel the same way. I’m allowed to have books I feel better about and ones I feel meh-er about, right? Well for me, Damorak and Human (and yes, I did actually have to look up which book had Elan Ende in it; I thought it was earlier in the series!) are up there with The Last Days of Earth too. Maybe purely on the merits of the plot points they delivered, after an intentional build-up to them.”

        Just want to say, all of this makes me feel really good. Because I totally, probably obviously, couldn’t remember the book either.

        Damn-rax!

        “Ooh, that would’ve been a dangerous puppet to walk around in. Are you thinking about the Vandemar sisters from Bad Cow? Fair enough, I hadn’t considered that so call it a lucky coincidence … in fact, fun behind-the-scenes: Mell’s name was actually Ash in the first drafts of this story, before Bad Cow was written. Then for whatever reason, Ash ended up being the Second Disciple in Bad Cow and I needed a non-confusing new name for the “new” character. Fellynmae / Fellymae actually came first, and “Fell” (while admittedly cool) didn’t quite work, so “Mell” it was.

        Yeah, Louis’s drifting attitude and general uselessness was supposed to make you wonder why anyone even bothered with him, and the “apparently turns into some sort of oracle while blacked out” wasn’t quite supposed to convince you. I was also hoping to keep it as an epilogue reveal, so if I managed that with you, I am well satisfied!”

        Yup, again you nailed it and I think that’s exactly why I was guessing wrong, you nailed that as well.

        Maybe you should be Nailboy….

        “Let’s say full circle, at least in the sense that we know he’s still around at the end of Human and that’s as far as we’ve gone chronologically so far.”

        OK well the circle confuses me…that scene in Hapstan in this book was before the Final Fall of Man, right? The original activation of the Alone Net?

        Rather, THE activation of the Alone Net? Hope I didn’t get THAT wrong!

        “Another fun behind-the-scenes (for anyone else who happens to be reading this): I workshopped the Coda with Aaron quite a bit ahead of time, knowing that I wanted to put it in the story but also knowing it contradicts at least a couple of Skell’s scenes in The Final Fall of Man. That was because I knew he had something to do with the veil and the Alone Net, and that it was more than him just “searching” for it, but I hadn’t really clarified what it was going to be. Why he didn’t want to go near the Alone Net, why he couldn’t go to Hapstan’s Tower, all of that. General Moral Decay (Alcohol) and others were definitely aware that he was lying, but the full story … well I guess it’s still not a full story.

        So I had to look at those scenes, and basically just make it clear that he wasn’t telling the Trampsters the whole truth, and a lot of it was even hidden from himself, because that’s how his brain works. So, again, my appreciation to Aaron for being an editor in disguise.”

        Why yes, yes you did. I had forgotten until now. So y’all are all welcome!

        *looks around* where the fuck is everyone? Damon????

        Good points on all the rest, nothing really to add. Others need to add, actually. *glares at others*

      • Hatboy says:

        (we seem to be joking past each other a bit lately with our mutual distraction, so seriously, I appreciate this. Yesterday evening was just an unnecessarily loud one in the Hatboy household)”

        In light of how, as you say, we keep joking past each other I will totally not go full Jafar from the original Disney Aladdin and THE POWER THE ABSOLUTE POWER!!!!! but let’s take it as read because it seems totally appropriate if I really can affect you that much just by not making a long post of praise for a day or two.

        LOL?

        Surprise! Friends have power. My Little Pony taught me that.

        At risk of deleting myself by tangenting, we actually watched the old Aladdin movie on Disney+ the other night. It has a warning at the start now about how Middle Easterners were depicted in the movie. It was very interesting. Robin Williams and Gilbert Gottfried still stole the show.

        “Let’s say full circle, at least in the sense that we know he’s still around at the end of Human and that’s as far as we’ve gone chronologically so far.”

        OK well the circle confuses me…that scene in Hapstan in this book was before the Final Fall of Man, right? The original activation of the Alone Net?

        Right, so it brings us to a point just around the post-Earth part of the flashbacks in Human, so it’s more full figure-8 than full circle.

        Rather, THE activation of the Alone Net? Hope I didn’t get THAT wrong!

        No sir, exactly right.

        So I had to look at those scenes, and basically just make it clear that he wasn’t telling the Trampsters the whole truth, and a lot of it was even hidden from himself, because that’s how his brain works. So, again, my appreciation to Aaron for being an editor in disguise.”

        Why yes, yes you did. I had forgotten until now. So y’all are all welcome!

        Hah, yeah I wasn’t sure if you’d remembered or not, but I guess if the Coda passed muster then the workshopping was fruitful!

        *looks around* where the fuck is everyone? Damon????

        Good points on all the rest, nothing really to add. Others need to add, actually. *glares at others*

        Ahhh, this is a time-permitting sort of thing, I get it.

      • “At risk of deleting myself by tangenting, we actually watched the old Aladdin movie on Disney+ the other night. It has a warning at the start now about how Middle Easterners were depicted in the movie. It was very interesting. Robin Williams and Gilbert Gottfried still stole the show.”

        A warning??? Aladdin has now been cancelled. My tender psyche can’t handle warnings!

        “Right, so it brings us to a point just around the post-Earth part of the flashbacks in Human, so it’s more full figure-8 than full circle.”

        Ahh I see what you’re going for with the circle. But chronologically, that coda is before Eejit some ways…. Still right?

        “Hah, yeah I wasn’t sure if you’d remembered or not, but I guess if the Coda passed muster then the workshopping was fruitful!”

        Not only did it pass muster but I was delighted at your descriptions of Hapstan’s Tower! And Crom of course. Knowing he was lying throughout made it even more enjoyable. The more you know about that guy, the more you appreciate everything he’s doing.

        Like Elan, the more you know about him, the sadder Contro makes you. Except replace sadness with reading joy.

      • Hatboy says:

        “Right, so it brings us to a point just around the post-Earth part of the flashbacks in Human, so it’s more full figure-8 than full circle.”

        Ahh I see what you’re going for with the circle. But chronologically, that coda is before Eejit some ways…. Still right?

        Exactly right. Still pretty much Wild Empire era, thousands of years before Eejit.

        “Hah, yeah I wasn’t sure if you’d remembered or not, but I guess if the Coda passed muster then the workshopping was fruitful!”

        Not only did it pass muster but I was delighted at your descriptions of Hapstan’s Tower! And Crom of course. Knowing he was lying throughout made it even more enjoyable. The more you know about that guy, the more you appreciate everything he’s doing.

        *humble bow*

        Hopefully Phase Three will hold people’s interest and add enough to the picture to be satisfying, because sorry to say that (aside from, possibly, some appearances in Untitled Tales of the Final Fall of Man #5[1] in the middle there) Çrom is going to take a back seat through those stories. Then, we will get back to find out what everyone’s up to in Phase Four!

        [1] Oof, there’s a typo in my Phases Plan! I originally planned 4 Tales anthologies, then Panda Egg happened and I changed the Plan to include 5 anthologies. So now there are two #4s on the Plan.

        Like Elan, the more you know about him, the sadder Contro makes you. Except replace sadness with reading joy.

        He did his best.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Also both my girls asked, about that picture, why sweaty? Why???

      • Hatboy says:

        Sweaty is a baseline condition.

  5. aaronthepatriot says:

    ARGH at first I mean Crom, not Cratch, obviously. The stuff about Nettle and Hapstan. Sorry about that. Jeez.

  6. Damon says:

    Oh…
    Hey…
    Guess I should contribute something. For those who missed my previous comments here is a link to the post I originally had about the book THREE WEEKS AGO!
    https://hatboy.blog/2021/04/13/quick-catch-up-april-2021-edition/#comments
    The Louis epilogue was surprising and never did I suspect that he was a Pinian. Which of the sisters was Ildar? Roon right? Ariel (?) is/was Water, Ash (Dagab) is Fire and Ice, Roon (Ildar?) is Earth. I don’t see that in Louis. What am I missing?

    more to come. Tired, work has been pretty brutal (emotionally) recently and I have not had the will to do anything other than go home and turn off completely.

    • Hatboy says:

      Guess I should contribute something.

      Always appreciated! Especially in these fucky times when effort is required.

      For those who missed my previous comments here is a link to the post I originally had about the book THREE WEEKS AGO!
      https://hatboy.blog/2021/04/13/quick-catch-up-april-2021-edition/#comments

      Hee, nice. And excellent comments they were!

      The Louis epilogue was surprising and never did I suspect that he was a Pinian.

      Excellent!

      Which of the sisters was Ildar? Roon right? Ariel (?) is/was Water, Ash (Dagab) is Fire and Ice, Roon (Ildar?) is Earth. I don’t see that in Louis. What am I missing?

      It is confusing, because we have two Second Disciple incarnations at play here.

      Under the veil, Ariel was First Disciple, Ash Second, Roon Third. They didn’t really have their own names then, unless you want to count their names before the veil was put in place (but those aren’t really mentioned yet).

      After the veil, it was three new people (as-yet unintroduced): Alex (male), Alex (female) and Toby (female), who became Zylow, Dagab and [work in progress but eventually] Dōzh.

      Zylow then reincarnated as Mygon, and Dagab reincarnated as Ildar, which we sort of see in the epilogues of The Last Days of Earth.

      Ildar was, therefore, Ash back in the day. Here, just as a bonus, is a trimmed-down “Pinian family tree” diagram showing the end of the Flutter and the first round of new incarnations. This is still also a work in progress, it’s basically a piece of what I use as a timeline for my entire expanded story series, as it circles around the Pinians.

      more to come. Tired, work has been pretty brutal (emotionally) recently and I have not had the will to do anything other than go home and turn off completely.

      Entirely understandable, and appreciated. Naturally I can jabber happily about this all day long, but don’t let me crowd you.

    • aaronthepatriot says:

      “Oh…
      Hey…
      Guess I should contribute something. For those who missed my previous comments here is a link to the post I originally had about the book THREE WEEKS AGO!”

      ‘Yeah yeah, I know…..”

      All right mister, but I also see that you said you had “more questions” for when I was done, and while there are three questions in this post they’re really just one, so let’s just can the attitude!

      I’ve been extremely busy househunting in this insane market, wife’s got a new crazy job, 13 yo keeps getting more and more annoying, oh and I was in the middle of another book when I got this one. I did switch over eventually, but that also delayed me. Plus I take walks now, instead of baths, so my reading is much slower. Anyway.

      “Tired, work has been pretty brutal (emotionally) recently and I have not had the will to do anything other than go home and turn off completely.”

      Really sorry to hear that. I guess you would have done this if it would have helped, but you know you can always talk to us about it instead of just turning off. Here be a lot more empathy than just about anywhere.

      • Hatboy says:

        Plus I take walks now, instead of baths, so my reading is much slower.

        #OutOfContextHatstandComments

        For some reason this just made me laugh and laugh. Thank you.

      • Toon says:

        Seconded. The empathy thing. I’m empathetic on the Hatstand, in a half-arsed Aussie kind of fashion.
        What’s going on with your housing market Aaron? Just in your region or everywhere?

      • Quite a few things, actually, but I’ll boil it down. As far as I can tell, it’s not everywhere but it’s definitely not just my region. In areas near suburbs of major cities across the country, homes are being bought up like crazy. In particular, homes with a little room around them, a little land, peace and quiet, are being snatched up in a matter of hours or days, for about 15% over the listing price with many offers including full cash.

        What’s happening to cause that is two-fold: first, people are deciding they want that extra peace and quiet and less crowding as a result of COVID experience, and also because the pandemic has enhanced everyone’s faith in teleworking so you can live much farther from your job.

        And second, due to the poor economy for 90% of us, Wall Street investors and other rich people are deciding now’s the time to buy up all the homes and then rent them out, further denying Americans the dream of home ownership while making a pretty sound investment since they have the money and their interest rates are low. Ours are low, too, but not THAT low. Another unfair advantage.

        So people are trying to buy these homes but are being outbid by either more money, or the security of all-cash offers. And you have to move SO fast it’s crazy. We’re luckily finally under contract on a lovely home with an amazing yard and landscape around it, relative to the area. But that was after losing on several offers, and a lot of tense moments on this one. And every single house we looked at the weekend we looked at this one, no matter how overpriced or not ready for listing or flawed, was immediately under contract for higher than list price.

        That’s what’s going on.

        Once all this is 100% for sure, I’ll share pics probably through Hatboy like we did the Halloween stuff.

      • Toon says:

        Thanks. That was exactly what I wanted to know. I was wondering what the correlation was between the general picture of the US economy and house prices. Well done on the place, sounds great! Hope it all goes smoothly for you, how long until settlement?

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Two weeks! And yeah, it only makes sense to people who realize the stock market isn’t the real economy for 95% of us. Even those who are mildly invested, which is a fraction of the only about 25% of Americans total who are invested in any way, aren’t really seeing the benefits like the rich are.

        Surprise huh?

        So we feel very fortunate. Settlement is in 15 days but they are renting back for a few weeks.

        Our girls haven’t seen it in person yet, the sellers are nice enough to go out for dinner tonight and let us come by and see it again! We went just as a couple with the realtor before, due to COVID and the hectic nature of all the houses we were looking at.

        Although we were floored by this one. You’ll see soon!

      • Toon says:

        Fantastic! Very pleased for you. Enjoy a more relaxed look over it tonight as a family.

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