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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
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
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.