Discussion in 'Original Fiction' started by Betosa, Apr 3, 2013.
I'd more more inclined to brush it off without caring if I wasn't paying for it via Patreon.
New chapter is out and its actually really, really good.
Yes, that was an amazing combination of diplomacy, action, and plot. I was skimming a lot of the latest chapters but now I'm actively looking forward to the next ones.
This would have made a great act ender. It changes up the premise as much as finding Zach, Red Robe vanishing, or learning the loops were limited.
I fully expect bringing everyone into the loops, if temporarily, will have some fun interactions.
Finally a really good chapter like we haven't had it in a long time. I expect a rush towards the end of this arc. After five years seems like we're entering the final arc. Nice!
Really good chapter in general.
Quatach-Ichl is probably my favorite character. He's just cool.
The ending of this chapter totally caught me by surprise. Very exciting. It jives with the overall thematic arc of the story: Zorian realizing it's worth getting to know the people around him. But, thinking about it, I feel as though the stakes have drastically been lowered. There will be so much less to do in future loops. Getting all the imperial artifacts now will be trivial-ish. They know how to manipulate the Quatach-Ichl situation in order to use him to get both the dagger and crown. If Nobody103 plays it straight, and the next chapter doesn't end with a catastrophic twist, I wonder what he has planned to offset this. Zach and Zorian have effectively removed their one massive advantage over Silverlake, who is now free to play her own time-loop games. Can the crown erase temp soul markers too or are they apparently irreversible like soulkills?
Silverlake created a lot of unpleasant butterflies simply by asking a few questions, and with the new inclusion of so many competent unknowns (Alanic's friends, Orissa's relatives [that small girl who tried mind magic on Zorian?], various professionals), some of whom are likely to believe they know better than two teenagers, that effect would be exponential. And we know cranium rats are watching some of the teachers. Could QI/Cult of the Dragon Below be alerted that way? What if QI's phylactery is the crown and he's somehow marked as well?
Yet. The thing I'm still most curious about is who the fuck is Red Robe.
... you know, wasn't Red Robe also consorting with the invaders side? Wiki says RR knows the gate spell, simulacrum, and was the one to give Zach amnesia. Also that he knows unstructured mind magic. Zorian describes the telepathic crash he had with Quatach-Ichl as "unimpressive". Could Red Robe be Quatach-Ichl? Using the time loop to practice various invasion scenarios? And, now, he's sitting back and watching Zach and Zorian as they hammer out a counterattack. Which is why he never seems more than amused at their attempts at manipulation and he agrees to go along with whatever plan they throw at him. Why does QI help break into the royal vault? After he destroys Cyoria he can waltz right in and take the imperial dagger for himself. During the break-in Zorian notices how exceptionally well Quatach-Ichl deals with the defenses and passes it off as the lich being super old and experienced. But maybe its because QI's dealt with this before. This theory has holes like baseball-sized hail through a windshield but it's fun to consider.
I am hype.
I liked the chapter, I'm unsure about the ending.
It's my personal dislike when the time-loop stories bring another people into it for no other reason that it makes the initial loopers less special.
That said, the people's reaction should be quite telling. In my opinion not everyone should be as accepting of it as Zorian and Zach.
Definitely not when unlike them they have no chance of surviving.
I agree that bringing other people into the time loop is normally a sign that a time loop story is about to head down hill fast. But I think the author knows this and him doing so is a sign that we're going into the end game very soon. While I won't speculate on the number of chapters left, I think we have very few of this story being a time loop story and much of the remainder is going to be a giant escape the loop set piece.
Bringing someone else to a time loop? Not a good idea. Ever. I don't think I've liked that in a single fic I've read. It could even be called a pet peeve of mine. It just tend to devolve into shit from that point. But this case might be a little different. The story is getting ever closer to the end, and it's not just one friend they're bringing along, but a whole support group who can significantly assist Zorian and Zack, help that they need. Though I don't know if they're supposed to also come out of the loop with these memories... I hope not.
I'm optimistic that it won't devolve like that - considering Zorian's been storing people's notes in his head this entire time and Kurmaic hasn't already fallen into that trap. I was always leery of the notes-transfer thing for the same reasons and it's turned out okay, so I feel like we can trust the author. Plus, the pace of the story, in general, rather swiftly soldiers on without ever getting too bogged down in minor characters, even without the time-loop's end imminently approaching.
I really hope @BieberGrl96's theory is right about the lich accidentally being part of the time loop. That would be amazing! Quatach-Ichl has consistently been the only character to offer any threat throughout the story. It'd feel anti-climatic if they just managed to learn how to defeat him through their usual methods and left it at that. I'm still disappointed that last chapter didn't have more of a lasting effect on Zach and Zorian.
Hot take, Zorian will lose the use of his arm for the rest of the loops because of the spell. Chances that it happens are low but if it does that's a massive fake internet point payoff for me.
Frankly, I assume that they will try to get all mystical goodies in the next loop. They have few loops left, and it wouldn't be Zorian if he left for the big try for the almost literally last possible minute. So I think this Zorian's final card. Gotta say, I wonder if people willt try to get out of the loop with him?
Wasn't there even a specific number of loops that temp maker works? Five or something like that?
There are speculations that the Red Robe managed to extend it, but in this case, he's someone who was already good enough with magic to only need no more than five time loops to figure out how to change the marker. That's probably a very small group of wizards and my bet would be the headmaster because he would be someone that Zach would interact with and he has yet to appear.
Two more things about the last chapter.
There is no way Zorian and Zach won't have to deal with young Silverlake now.
I was expecting a little more from Zorian meeting dragons, but maybe the final key will be guarded by more remarkable one.
maximum of 6 restarts.
Why do you say that Young Silverlake is a given now? In that you mean she'll complete her Potion of Youth?
That's a good guess re the headmaster - and that one girl that Zach was with that no one remembers! Who was that girl?
Personally, I don't think that the last key will be that hard to get. The hard part will be just getting to Blantyrre, which they've done. Thematically, the hardest to get was the orb (the most time spent on it on-screen), then the dagger, then the ring, and so I'm guessing the staff will have the least time. With the action ramping up, I'm guessing that the drama will come from elsewhere. There's plenty of that coming (added temp people, fooling the guardian, red robe in the real world, then the final month - the actual real live month)
Yes. She's definitely going to try it now.
Given that they already can get four of keys with only some problems, I agree that the final probably will not be that hard after they have few loops to figure out the best approach. Getting Zorian out is their final challenge and the biggest considering that it's the first time in a very long time when they will be doing something without a chance of trying it again.
They have 18 loops left. What NEEDS to happen before they leave?
1. Get the staff
1a. Get all the key pieces in one restart.
2. Get a strategy how to smuggle Zorian (and maybe even Zach!) out of the simulation-primordial-whatever.
They need to do the following but they aren't pre-conditions to their departure..
3. Find out where QI's phylactery is
4. Optimise the loop a few times
5. Figure out a strategy for the non-loop elements (angels, demons, spirits)
Can they fit that in the 18 loops left? Of course the optimisation of having those temp markers mean that things can improve suddenly, but thematically speaking we need one thing to go wrong in the middle. I have a sinking feeling that Zach may not make the cut, somehow!
For the thing that could go wrong, Zach not making the cut would certainly work; it would throw a big wrench in all of their plans to counter the invasion after getting out. However, I would prefer it if the author didn't do that, since it would be a d*ck move, and a great big waste of all of that characterization. Instead, what I was thinking was that something similar to what happened to them after their defeat at the hands of QI could happen to Zorian after getting out of the time loop. One of the ways I always envisioned Zorian getting out the time loop was by having the guardian soul merge his self from the time loop with his original self in the real world. It would be one of the best compromises the guardian could make while still upholding his duties as much as possible (especially when the whole problem occurred due to faulty planning on the maker of the marker, and not as a consequence of something the marked one did). By doing this, the time loop system would not be committing murder and would also avoid harming the original version of Zorian as much as possible. Zorian might even benefit from this by doubling his innate mana pool with little influence on his shaping skills, with the cost of probably not being to use magic due to soul damage for a while (like for the first month or so). That could certainly serve as monkey wrench too.
Also, in the case that only one looper can leave in each restart, how would the other person get the crown again? They need Zach to dispel the mind blank and Zorian to invade QI's mind. Neither can take care of QI by themselves at this point.
Optimizing the loops thing doesn't make sense. Without Red Robe around everything will be dramatically different. The first thing that is going to happen when the time loop ends is Red Robe showing up to kill Zach.
You're right, it would definitely be a dick move. I'm not sure if putting the soul in doubles mana necessarily. I thought the soul could handle a certain amount of mana, but I'm not sure if double the soul double the mana. Otherwise other soul entities would be trying to absorb souls all the time (via soul bonds and dominating the weaker one, as Zorian initially (back in Arc 1) thought might happen to him).
Hmm, but they need Zorian more than Zach at that stage - we've seen that Alanic and Xvim can certainly keep QI busy. Not to the same level ofc, but still. Your argument has merit. I guess they'll be leaving together then!
That's true, things will be different. However, there are a few things they haven't fully fleshed out yet. it would be good to know how to approach the royals quickly (to organize a better counter to the invasion), for example.
New chapter up, more getting everyone up to speed. Also, is it just me or does Fortov get more throwaway scenes as time goes on? Fortov Red Robe possibility?
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