Sunday, May 5, 2019

Of Lore Traps and Stewed Nugs (May Update on Posts & Lore in Progress...)

COLE: We share the ancient mysteries, the feelings lost, forgotten dreams, unseen for ages, now beheld in wonder.

Hello, all you beautiful readers!

Thank you so much for your patience, those of you who follow and read my blog and social media posts. I'm so grateful, and first off, I want to send a thank-you to those of you who read my stuff, as well as those who may still be new to following me or my blog—thank you for reading!

However, as it's obvious that I've been a little slower than usual this past month or two, I wanted to share my situation... 

In a nutshell? The lore keeps tripping me up. In the best way. 

I fall into it, basically.

For instance, I have some exciting lore explorations in progress that I truly think are going to be really fun and worth the research, but the problem is... I've kept falling into those freaking lore traps. Each new fun question or exploration recently has led to a new issue for me to explore first, and each one of those turned out to be a doozy. 

And that's a good thing, not a bad thing, but it is frustrating and inconvenient. I'm used to spending a few weeks per post, but the latest have involved weeks of careful diagrams, notes, playthrough footage review, and more.

It slows me down. After all, I can't explore the tip of the pyramid if I don't explore the foundation, right?

So here we are.

The Innocent Hell of Wondering Where People Sleep

Here's a great example...

I had this fun idea to explore, see, based on some discussions I saw a long time ago, on "Where They Sleep," both at Haven and Skyhold, in Inquisition. This was such a fun, charming idea! What could be wrong with me exploring where all our favorite companions and advisors lay their heads, right? So I started research. 

And please note, this was NOT an original idea, and I will be crediting the original posters on the inspiration (and linking to them) as best I can, as always.

But, see, then I realized that nothing I posted would make sense without context. I could post where Cullen sleeps at Haven, or Skyhold, but then I might as well really do it right, also hypothesizing where Bull slept, or Cass. And what about Dorian? Does he actually sleep in the library at Skyhold? Come on! Of course he doesn't. Dorian would demand only the best. 

Diving into the Lore

And so, I began to ask questions. I was intrigued and frustrated. As my research progressed, I soon realized that it would not be a simple "fun" post after all (none of them). Because, with Dragon Age, lore rules over all. 

And so I became aware of a mountain of work ahead of me if I wanted to complete that exploration.

In other words... 
  • I needed to completely map Skyhold
  • I needed to do so from dungeon/basement to floors 1, 2, and 3 (and walk all battlements, noting all tent areas, towers, abandoned spaces, etc.)
  • I needed to note all sleeping areas and workrooms
  • I needed to, well, note everything

And then I did this, as best I could, and I was really happy with it, even if I kept moving Cole and Sera in a completely paranoid fashion, first by floors then by which side of the Herald's Rest they were on (sorry!). I mean, it was bad. I think I moved them six times. Sorry. I just kept second-guessing myself!

Also, I have no sense of direction. Which means that the idea of ME making a map of any kind is HILARIOUS. I mean, seriously. If someone had given me a spool of thread (like Varric did Merrill) I'd still be using it to get around this world. I sometimes get lost on my own block and have to look downhill to make sure I'm heading back home.

Yes, it's embarrassing. But it was a fun challenge, and the best part was... I would finally know my way around Skyhold instead of my usual approach of opening doors and feeling pleased when the rooms beyond were the ones I'd wanted to get to.

Mapping Skyhold

So it actually happened—I mapped Skyhold (wine cellar and all) and it felt terrific, like something tangible. (Of course, in updating the map for the sixth time while writing this, the entire post became corrupted, disappeared, and I had to rebuild it from scratch. It's been that kind of week.)

Regardless, then I (FINALLY!) moved forward with "Where They Sleep." 

Only to realize, yet again, for context, that I really might as well go ahead and completely map Haven. 

Again, as with Skyhold, emphasis on "Completely." Sigh.

But come on. If I'm gonna do this, why not do it right? If I'm gonna tell you where Cullen's tent is, why don't I tell you where EVERYTHING is?

I am a Terrible Blogger

So that's the scoop.

And... yeah. So now I've been working on completely mapping Haven, and where to find everyone, and where they sleep, and just... well, everything. And here we are. I'm finishing my Haven map, and I think it will be a real resource (as I hope will the Skyhold one) in perpetuity, for fans who may need the extra help.

Like all lore stuff, though, it's just proven to be more work than expected.

And I appreciate your patience. See, here's the thing: I love talking about what Solas wants or what Cole dreams or what Bull hides or what Anders survives, but I also want to make sure I'm offering more than just frilly word-cakes here. 

I want to provide insights you guys can actually use to play and enhance your gameplay and enjoyment of Dragon Age across the trilogy. I really want to balance that stuff with the lore, so that, yes, you can learn about Solas or Cole or Varric or Anders here, but I also want you to be able to reference questions you might have, about where people sleep or about where everything is at Skyhold, or what Solas's frescoes mean, or what was happening in that chess match, or whether Sera hides secrets of her own, and more.

And don't even get me started on the months of research and analysis I've spent on all the character Tarot card symbolism character by character, or on dissecting the Chant of Light. Or on the Evanuris, the Fade, the nature of the Titans, etc. I've attempted some rudimentary examinations, but there is always so much more to learn! So those are posts in progress right now, as well as character analyses of Varric, Dorian, Scout Harding, and of Solas and Bull's loyalty quests.

I also have some fun, short silly exercises I'll be sharing shortly as well, to break up all the heavier lore stuff. (So be afraid, be very afraid...)

Coming Soon...

So apologies, and thanks for bearing with me! I hate being silent, and appreciate your patience more than I can say.

If it helps, I also have some big book-length Dumped, Drunk & Dalish projects in the works for publication, and am going to be insanely excited to be able to share those next steps with you in the weeks to come. There have just been some legalities for me to solidify first, so that I've made sure that whatever I create (nonfiction analyses and critiques like those you see here, no fiction elements) is okay with BioWare and legal to publish.

Meanwhile, thank you for reading, and thank you for bearing with me. And a special thank-you to those who support me on Patreon and Ko-Fi! I so appreciate you, and I hope you'll find the additional upcoming content worth the wait.

Ma serannas, lethallen

1 comment:

  1. This was fun to read- your passion is contagious. I'm excited to see what's to come :)


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