- The opening scene isn't eventful, but it's enjoyable. I love that comment about recent converts being the most reactionary!
Nitpick radar: "she'd never met a summoner in whom she could place such trust" (nevermind that my own use of which/that tends to be rather muddled)
Awwwww, Erna. As soon as one starts liking this girl one knows bad things are on the way...
The next scene is delightful and I don't feel like dissecting it, but I love the dynamic between Ginnem and her "girls", displaying some of the same big sister/maternal feelings for her Guardians as Lulu would later have for Yuna, except expressed in a much more bubbly and earthy way. And Lulu's nose always in a book. Mneme_forgets did that with "Good News" too. it's so logical-- Lulu couldn't have gained all that knowledge simply from two past pilgrimages; she probably studied her buns off to overcome her backwater roots.
Oh, I love the wild rumors about Auron. Almost right, too. :)
(DIES at the aside about Chappu's morning breath..) And ouch, maybe I don't like Erna quite so much. Lulu might have been able to fight, maybe not, but what very realistic bit of sulking that is. It makes Erna's words fall on deaf ears at the end. "I don't deal in stolen goods." She's wise, and yet annoying, and yet it's like Paine and Lulu -- who says characters always have to be nice and agreeable? Blunt can be fine. So in one simple chapter you've filled out an OFC who's quite interesting in spite of being not-all-nice.
This sounds about like the Lulu I'd imagined from two pilgrimages back: a lot more naive and inexperienced, idolizing her Summoner. (Which makes me speculate that she would have overcompensated for past mistakes in some quite annoying ways with Zuke.)
It's true that not much happens in this chapter (I thought I had the market cornered on that!) but it seems like a lot of good character sketching to me, and I enjoyed it. Character interactions, especially those tinged with sad nostalgia and a sense of "hoo boy, this won't last" really are my favorite, which is why FFX was so poignant. (Of course, a teensy hint of yuri/yaoi/whatever makes me fuzzy, also... not the sex, so much, but the affection. I see some parallels with Auron's intense and probably unexamined emotion towards Braska.)
- I find it instertesting the way you write about the prejudices and squabbles that exist between the Ronso and the Guado.
I especially like the way that you point out the reason for the Guado's greater prejudice is that they are recent converts to the faith of Yevon.
I am amused by the way that Lulu second guesses herself so often around Ginnem. But I think too that Ginnem seems a little bit too smug about the fact that worldliness is the best way of learning, as if she is so certain that she knows more than Lulu.
I also find it very interesting and quite plausible the way that Lulu feels jealous about the way the older women only consult each other about their battle plans and routes of travel.
I also enjoy the sppeculations about Auron. I trhink he would be a little annoyed and a little amused to hear that rumour was painting him as a crazy recluse in a Gagazet cave. And people will gossip about their legends, so I like this touch a lot. It is also amusing the way that Lulu half believes the rumours to be true.
Erna and Ginnem's fight is rather interesting, over how aeons should be used.
I really like the way that Erna seems sensitive to the smell of the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth and I never actually thought of the cavern itself as the trial, but I am sure it is. I like the way that Lulu mimics Ginnem and the way that Ginnem is so forceful in her decisions. This has been another interesting chapter. Even though I know what is coming next, I am interested to see how you write it.
"Beyond the Calm Lands lies the frigid Mt. Gagazet, and beyond that the holy ruins of Zanarkand, over which the sun never rose." "Lies" should be "lay."
""I'd like to work in Bevelle. In the clergy. As a mentor in elemental magics." These are sentence fragments and can be joined by commas rather than periods.
"Lulu reeled an oppressive stench hit her, undeniable as a brick." Add "as" after "reeled."
"At Ginnem's command, the aeon made an impressive display of very effeciently finishing the fiend with a single overdrive that called forth the sulphurous center of Spira and catapulted the even the largest beats over the tallest tree-tops. Hellfire." A typo: "beats" should be "beasts." Also, I think it would be just as effective to connent Hellfire to the previous sentence with a comma, rather than separating it off as a sentence fragment.
(#) ourdailymask 2006-06-17Guado guardians! This makes me happy. It's nice to see them in another role, as allies of Yevon and Spira. The game pretty much uses them as generic baddies, and if I remember correctly they don't fare too well in X-2, so it's much appreciated. Erna may be the strongest character in this piece, and the best developed. The observation that the newly-converted Guado would be the most fanatical is very apt. I like the way she fights with the Ronso, too.
Ginnem is a bit harder grasp, as a character, although I can't quite put my finger on why. She feels generic, almost, relaxed yet serious, maternal but not old. I think she's just a little too perfect. It doesn't hurt the story--she dies, after all--but I can't help but think that it would be richer if she had a little bit of an edge on her.
I wouldn't complain about the lack of Lulu in this story. Even where she isn't physically present, this is about her. Knowing what happens, it was helpful to see Ginnem and her other guardians. I do like her bookishness and uncertainty. That earnestness translates well into the seriousness of an older, more self-assured woman. In a couple years, will she still want to teach magic in Bevelle?
Lots of nice language here. Lulu's comparing the Malboro against Chappu's breath is funny, and metaphor involving Yuna and the moth is simply lovely. I was a bit surprised by the ending, because I'd expected the continue through to Ginnem's death, but it was very powerful. We already know what happens. I didn't need to see her die to feel it.
I guess that not a lot happens to this chapter, in terms of plot, but it had a lot of weight. I enjoyed reading this. It's a moment in time, and in fic like this, that's very valuable.
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