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Praedor 31-Dec-2016: Verivartio Script Reel 

It took its time. It also took the two chapters I wrote in Mexico. They were originally meant as chapters 1 & 2 but will probably become chapters 3 and 4, heavily edited. But it came to me, rising from swirling patterns that fill my vision whenever I close my eyes. Yes, I see things whenever I close my eyes. Like waking dreams of both representative and abstract shapes. I have sometimes tried describing them to my friends but my descriptions soon start shaping the patterns as I go, so clearly my mind has some control over them. Perhaps this has something to do with how easy it is for me to mentally visualize verbal or written scenes. When I read, the input of data creates a movie that is running inside my head. And when I gamemaster, or describe scenes in my novels, I close my eyes and go there, trying to describe what I see in the order of relevance.

My publisher, Arktinen Banaani, asked me for a sequel to Käärmetanssija before I was really ready for it. But I always knew I would like to present the scenario for my most recent RPG mega-campaign Verivartio in a written form. Also, the name is cool as hell, so I am going to use it. However, a scenario and a story are two very different things, just like pen-and-paper-RPGs and written prose are two different mediums. There are considerable synergies between them but there are also enough differences that whatever works in a game doesn't usually work in straight text and vice versa. Happily, I am old and cynical enough to know that and spotted that trap from miles away.

That doesn't mean I really had a plan on how to avoid it, so once I got back from Mexico (and boy do I want to go back there!), I switched my attention onto Kirottu Kirja and let the novel stew for a while. This turned out to be a win-win strategy. Text-wise, Kirottu Kirja is almost done now! It is lacking one page of adventure hooks, the treasure tables and some overall polishing but the bulk of it; the locations, Cursed Lands travel rules and the monsters, they are all there. If all the illustrations were in place, this baby could be ready by Tracon Hitpoint. As it stands, my goal is still a launch at Ropecon.

And while I was at it, I received the Author's Catalyst.

AC played a vital role in creating Käärmetanssija. I read Finnish fantasy novel that turned out to be so horrible that my first and foremost thought was: "I can write better than this guy. Yet he is the one who had the balls to go public with it!". It made me angry, Käärmetanssija was forged in the fires of this anger. So whoever you are (I don't remember your name and would not say it even if I did), thank you, Mister Bad Author. You've probably received a fair bit of criticism about your novel but I could have never done mine without you. You are my idol and if I had a crusifix with the likeness of you hanging from it, I'd put it up next to my home workstation.

Since I was already planning on writing Verivartio, the required Author's Catalyst was much smaller this time. One of the Praedor Insiders suggested, in perfect sincerity, that in Verivartio Nejah should go look for Arush, her old mentor and unacknowledged Platonic crush in Käärmetanssija. Let's just say I didn't like the idea but that was the very moment when the reforged concept of Verivartio The Novel arose from the flames of my irritation. I'll show you, Mister Praedor Insider! I'll show you that both Nejah and myself have better and bigger things to do! And I sincerely thank you for that suggestion, Mister Praedor Insider. You delivered the kick that unclogged my creative pumps!

If it works, why fix it? Welcome to the dark side of writing.

With the complete script reel for Verivartio now running full tilt in my head, I can see that the setup will be the same as before, with the events taking place roughly one year after the events of Taivaan Suuri Susi, or "The Summer of the Wolf" as Jaconians call it. Damn, that reminds me how even some of the Praedor fans I know to be smarter than this claimed that TSS ties up all the loose threads and nothing really changes. They couldn't be more wrong. Just reading the early script gave me a four-year RPG campaign with 80+ sessions about its aftermath. Out of all that content I have retained two elements and an entirely new Verivartio storyline will be built around them, even if old hands might recognize some places and people.

Here is one spoiler for you: In Verivartio, Nejah is approaching sixteen. And she is not going to run after a mild platonic crush she might have had at thirteen.      

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