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The 'Winter Assault' isn't really much of an introduction to Metamor Keep so much as grabbing the reader by the scruff and heaving them into the blizzard with little warning.

But when it comes to beefy stories it's got nothing on Last Tale or Divine Travails…

Just reading the stories submitted in the first 24 months of MK, all around, should be sufficient. Most were short and got the point across, and were written by a good cross section of MK writers… before Charles and Myself went on absolute writing benders for the subsequent 24 months prior to the first draft of Winter Assault.

Re: Beginners story list! by RyxRyx, 27 Nov 2023 01:54

I'm going to resurrect this dead thread a 3rd time in order to propose my own version of the beginner's story list, as well as my reasoning for each item:

1. Metamor Keep, by Copernicus

  • Obviously.

16. The Fight That Never Happened, by Charles Matthias

  • Skipping most of the one-off character intros to focus on the one of the few introductions in Michael's life that actually pays off.

20. Playing with Fire, by Phil Geusz

  • Not only does it tie in with the above story, but it pays more attention to the "healing" aspect of the curse that becomes an essential motivator later on.

24. Hoof and Claw, by Jon Sleeper

  • Several reasons. It shows the history of the Valley, and the magical artifacts just waiting to be unearthed; it demonstrates that transformations are still possible even after being cursed; it shows off the grappling with new instincts and new physicality that often pops up in MK; and it's an early example of a Keep patrol.

26. Support Group, by Charles Matthias

  • Builds up Charles's story, Kimberly's, Michael's, and Phil's.

27. Facing Knight, by Charles Matthias

  • Demonstrates Charles's ability, and sets up "Fetish" below.

39. Winds of Destiny, by Phil Geusz

  • Brings up Phil's true nature, and the prophecy to set up "Keeping the Lamp Lit".

46. Fetish, by Christopher Hughes

  • THE LINCHPIN. This is the birth of MK as we know it. It introduces Raven's modern role as a go-between to the Aedra, raises the Lutins into a legitimate fighting force, and kicks off both Christopher's and Charles's stories.

49. Admissions and Applications, by Charles Matthias

  • Provides one half of the resolution to Michael's story…

51. Colors, by Pascal Q. Porcupine

  • … and this provides the other.

55. Attacking Cossack, by Charles Matthias

  • Big impact on Charles's arc.

63. A Long Patrol, by Chris O'Kane

  • Introduces Misha Brightleaf and the Long Scouts, doing what he does best.

64. Keeping the Lamp Lit, by Phil Geusz and Charles Matthias

  • A big story that continually gets referenced. Everything you need to know is in the stories above.

66. Ward, by Christopher Hughes

  • Payoff for Christopher's story, and showcases Metamor's uneasy relationship with its neighbors, but is also setup for Wanderer's story.

71. Busy Schedule, by Charles Matthias

  • Something of a breather, recaps the above stories and gives Charles some character space.

74. Annual Checkup, by Dan D'Alimonte

  • A proper introduction to Laracin, as well as another breather.

83. A Place Where There Is No Darkness, by Chris Hoekstra

  • Introduces Rickkter, and acts as its own introductory piece to Metamor. I once imagined suggesting new readers start here. Probably not a bad idea, still.

84. A Shoving Match, by Chris O'Kane

  • Introduces the taur form.

90. Declarations of Allegiance, by Charles Matthias

  • Introduces Glen Avery, and extends Calephas's story.

92. Snips and Snails, by Chris O'Kane

  • Introduces Madog.

109. Diplomacy, by Charles Matthias

  • Introduces Yonson and Marzac, and Charles decides to become a Long Scout.

122. Fingers in the Weave, by Charles Matthias

  • More for establishing Wessex's frame of mind for later stories.

143. Leavetaking, by Ryx

  • I know the list has to include Murikeer at some point, so to simplify his dense introduction, this story kicks off his mission up north and his relationship with Llyn.

150. Hard Lessons, by Christopher Hughes

  • The story to explain how Christopher, Lurene, and Wanderer all got their bodies mixed up.

159. Heavy Traffic, by Ryx

  • Shows what Murikeer's mission north is for (and shows Nasoj is not some idle threat)…

165. Stacking the Odds and Unstacking the Stones, by Ryx

  • … and shows the payoff, and also shows off some glyphic magic. (Obviously not a substitute for reading Ryx's sequence in order, but close enough.)

171. The Glen, by Ryx

  • Introduces Malger "Dream Serpent", reintroduces Glen Avery, and slowly acclimates Murikeer to MK.

174. Casualties of War, by Chris Hoekstra

  • A very memorable event, it shows a wholly different side to Misha and Rickkter than we've ever seen.

178. Killing Time, by Charles Matthias

  • Continues from above, and shows another side to Rickkter's and Charles's relationship.

179. Arrival at Metamor Keep, by Ryx

  • Also continues from above, acts as a third introduction to Metamor.

180. Clearing the Courtyard, by Ryx

  • Continues from above, establishes Murikeer's and Kayla's friendship.

192. Liturgy of Blood, by Charles Matthias

  • Another big important story.

272. Winter's First Chill, by Charles Matthias
274. The Winter Assault, by the Winter Assault Writers

  • Thanks to all of the previous stories, someone who has been reading them all should have enough information to follow along this and the above story.

Admittedly there's a few more stories that could be added in places, like "Four-by-Four" to establish that any animal morph can potentially become a taur, or "Hunt" to establish that the Long House has a Sondeckis shrine (or where the Long House came from). I'm hoping to leave that to other people to discuss whether adding those extra details are necessary or would just be overwhelming.

I don't know the argument that existed on IRC 15 years ago, but I would counter Virmir's and MatthiasRat's argument that Winter Assault is too long for a beginner's story list, by asking what a beginner's story list is actually for? If one wants bite-sized atmosphere and worldbuilding nuggets, well, there's plenty of short stories for those (and some longer ones too). But the alternative is to force the new reader to go through all 273 previous stories to get there, including some that have no bearing whatsoever on the Assault. As someone who did just that, I wish to avoid subjecting anyone to that same fate. ;)

The idea for this list is to build up a reader's knowledge of Metamor Keep so that each additional story feels like progress, that it actually leads up to something, and to showcase what has always made MK special to me: its collaborative storytelling and worldbuilding.

Re: Beginners story list! by RimmeRimme, 08 Oct 2023 18:35

I Got Ewe Babe
I've Got Ewe Under My Skin
Ewe Are My Sunshine
We Will Rock Ewe

Re: Title ideas by AmigaDragonAmigaDragon, 24 Jan 2023 20:26

To update the wiki, does anyone know where Carreas is located?

Carreas location by AmigaDragonAmigaDragon, 22 Jan 2023 05:43

A comment by Hallan
Vincent — Today at 6:58 PM
Drift's great-uncle, Weldon Trendahl, invented it, but burned his prototype during the Scourging of Galador and hid the plans (written in invisible ink) in a note in the family Canticles. Unfortunately, the person who would have known to look for it, Drift's grandfather, was killed during the escape to Metamor. This was hinted at in "Dreams" and referenced again at the end of "Snow Fall" when Madog detected it.
(The hidden message on a blank paper in the family Bible is a reference to "The Count of Monte Cristo".)

I haven't yet figured out what Drift/Carcarak would be doing at that point, though I have a hunch. It hasn't gelled yet because for the life of me I can't figure out how to get him/them started on his/their recovery after returning to the mortal planes.

Re: 25th Anniversary Story by MishaFoxMishaFox, 11 Jan 2023 04:32

~cross posting this from the mailing list~

Interesting. With a future at peace I imagine MK will have an era of properity. The writer's guild is experimenting with a
movable type machine they've "imported" from the China analog in the MK universe. Though adapted to work with the local alphabet.
The Duke, I imagine, is likely still alive though some discussion on the succession will be in the air. And some monument to the victory will have been built. Not sure what form it should take, perhaps a solemn column like WA memorial, or a victory arch embossed with mythril reliefs. Or maybe some eternal flame (magic).
Something impressive enough to wow foreign dignitaries at least.

Heard from Ryx:

As far as my characters, Murikeer/Kozaithy, Malger/Misanthe -

In the current timeline Malger, Misanthe, and the Matthias family are traveling to Sondesharra, a trip that lasts a year to 18 months. After that Malger and Misanthe marry & have a child. They also adopt Charlie Matthias somewhere around 708 or 709. After that Malger will become a diplomat for Metamor, traveling and working on relations with the Midlands, of which the Keep is ostensibly affiliated, and surrounding duchies.
Murikeer and Kozaithy will marry at some point and retire to the villa deeded to them by Brian Avery, just north of Glen Avery if I remember my geography correctly. There they will establish their family and a school for magecraft. I do not forsee any grand adventures for them subsequently.

Re: 25th Anniversary Story by MishaFoxMishaFox, 10 Jan 2023 04:09

Has it really been 25 years? Wow - its been a wild ride but a fun one. I want to commemerate this all with a story.

Ideas? This is a shared universe so please feel free to join in.

25th Anniversary Story by MishaFoxMishaFox, 08 Jan 2023 02:14

A Peril of Apparel

Re: Title ideas by AmigaDragonAmigaDragon, 13 Feb 2022 01:59

The Dark side are called Moranasi, and they should probably be moved to their own page. Same with the Imps, Gremlins, Hounds, Wraiths, and the Fallen.

Frankly, there should be more information here on how the Lightbringer Order, as a human institution, functions in society, and what sort of duties and responsibilities they have to the gods and to their believers. How do lay people participate in their faith? What sort of stories are told about the gods, and how much creativity is allowed in them (given that most Lothanasi never see the gods)? What sort of rituals do they have for birth, adulthood, marriage, or death? Why are they so tolerant of magic? Is it an ancient occurrence, or a modern "PR move" against the Ecclesia?

by RimmeRimme, 01 Mar 2021 08:14

The page starts out talking about the pantheon as "Lightbringers" yet how do the evil/dark side Daedra qualify as light bringers? Shouldn't there be an equivalent opposing term separating them by name from the good side Aedra?

by AmigaDragonAmigaDragon, 24 Feb 2021 08:43

*pokes head in, curious at having missed this thread*

I'm only halfway through reading Winter Assault (and likely will be for quite a few months), but I can say how I feel so far:

  • Llyn. Someone who goes from being a ugly peasant girl to an elite scout proud of her body, devout in her faith yet falls in love with a young mage. And she's one of the few people who can match Rickkter in battle. I loved her sequence in "Llyn's Tribulations" where, after falling victim to the sword's manipulation, her willpower finally kicks in when facing Malger or Murikeer. Her death was sad and shocking, and I guess that's the point.
  • Raven, I guess, is second. I'm not thrilled with the story decisions Lester makes for her, but I like how she becomes a character both decisive, passionate, intelligent, yet guarded and vulnerable from the world. Her role in Metamor really grows over the years, and it's fun to be part of that journey.
  • Murikeer. I may as well throw his name in here as well. He has his moments of arrogance like so many other main characters, but he also has a streak of innocence and dorkiness that I just can't help admire. He's young, so he can get away with it.
  • Christopher. He seems to be the most "everyman" main character of the Keep. He's not exceptional in what he does, but he is clever enough to get some respect, and he still perseveres through whatever the world puts on him. I'd love to see more of him and his friends from Ellcaran.
  • Malger's okay, interesting backstory and abilities. It's hard to tell sometimes when he's arrogant or just self-assured (you notice a pattern here? Arrogance and entitlement are major turn-offs for me), but I enjoy the way he plays off other characters.

There's other characters (in no particular order) who aren't quite favorites, but definitely deserve more scenes:

  • Malisa. She's hard to figure out… is she close to her father like in "Reflections", or is she absent from his life? What does she do as Prime Minister? She has a unique personality and role for the Keep, but she's not as prominent as she could be.
  • Topo. He's a very unique creature, and he doesn't care. His is just a unique perspective that is always fun to read. Plus, his saving of Malion was an unforgettable act of forgiveness (but was it mercy? Malion also deserves a reappearance).
  • Sean and Electra. One big disappointment is that she and Wessex, and he and Jessica, never share a moment together.
  • Kwanzaa. Skilled swordmaster, yet she just disappears during the Assault?
  • Jione. She also disappears during the Assault.
  • Perry. A 19-year-old father of a 4-year-old who can kick ass in battle? Where did he come from?
  • Brian Brightleaf. What little I've seen and heard of him interests me; the most powerful mage in the Midlands, and he just stands around in court?
  • Smithson. He's just a likeable scholar, no great power or arrogance to him.
  • Varnal (and more of Nasoj's human mages in general).
Re: Favorite Characters by RimmeRimme, 01 Nov 2020 23:56

How about this?

I'll split up "non-canon" into two parts. One for those stories that are explicitly non-canon (think Fox Dragonrite), and one for stories that are of uncertain status (like Stealthcat's 4 stories). And I'll add another color for earlier drafts of stories, I know there was some additional confusion regarding that.

by RimmeRimme, 16 Aug 2020 01:51

Some stories are just never going to be canon. But unless we can get an authors permission we cannot make the others canon.

by MishaFoxMishaFox, 13 Aug 2020 03:44

The distinction I used was "is it a story on the archive?" :P

As someone who's read the update notes on the mailing lists… it is complicated. "Background" is non-canon because it made Thomas a gendermorph. "Long Live the King" was an attempted correction to make THAT Thomas be the father of the current Thomas… but after "Malvoisin", it was easier to just make them non-canon.

When the archive was first created by Lovebear, she asked everyone for permission to include their stories. Some authors, from what I can tell, forgot to give permission (i.e. Eric Rossing and Cerulean; Jon Sleeper at first) Some authors did, but later retracted their stories, because they wanted to rewrite them and never did ("Geneses" and "Leonidus"). And some weren't added because, although other people were referring to them in-canon, they weren't technically finished ("Distant Voices", "From the Shadows").

As of now, stories are only canon if the author sends the story to the MK webmaster. I don't know if it's a hard rule to submit it to a mailing list first so that the community can beta-read it, but most people do anyway. I would guess that most authors from 2002 onward forgot to send it in.

I know what you're thinking, Misha. Could we add some of these "noncanon" stories into canon? There's no reason why not, just look at "Reflections" and "Coming Home". There are two hurdles, though:

1) Can the author be contacted to give permission? And will they give permission?
2) Do the stories fit with canon nowadays? I'm… still kinda embarrassed about preemptively adding the second half of "Penance and Retribution" into canon, when it involved a darkling invasion of Metamor that killed many, followed two weeks later by a surge of Hipoccian refugees settling in the valley, both of which went unmentioned for the rest of MK (at least Oren's follow-up stories mentioned the Hipoccians).

I actually was going to write a post to the mailing list, regarding a few noncanon stories I'd read that I feel have merit: the MK Histories by Oren the Otter; Misanthrope" and "Father Figure" by Firemane; "Sunday" by Bill Kieffer; and the 2012 revision of "A Taur's Tail" by Stephen Tigner.

And while we were at it, if someone could reassess the impressively longer stories to see how they fit in canon: "Dead of Winter", "Fire and Ice", "Meeting at Caralore", and "Menace of the Malachites" by Volk-Oboroten; "William and Emily" by ShazerFox; "Two for the Price of One", "The Spotting of a Knight", and "New Lessons to Learn and Old Ones to Teach" by Kamau.

(I did take a cursory glance at "Menace of the Malachites", and it seems it might conflict with "Llyn's Tribulations" regarding Lik. Just throwing that out there.)

by RimmeRimme, 02 Aug 2020 00:24
RyxRyx 29 Jul 2020 05:24
in discussion MK Discussion / Per page discussions » Publication History

It all depends on the story. Generally the proofers/beta readers determine if it is accepted as canonical or not.
Issues such as:
Is that how [this or that] works in the setting? Such as the Church, for instance.
Are certain 'well known' characters used directly or in passing there to have been a part of the story.
Does the story have drastic impacts on the setting.

It's complicated, and usually writers will adjust their stories to fit within what has already been accepted as canonical.

by RyxRyx, 29 Jul 2020 05:24

i have a question. How the was the Canon/Noncanon decision made?

by MishaFoxMishaFox, 25 Jul 2020 06:59

*blowing dust off of the forums* KOFF KOFF!

Anyway, I just thought to ask, as I re-read so many old, old stories and groaning at some of my own. And sometimes struck dumb at how pleasant some were.

What are your favorite characters, and why?

Mine would be Malger, that rascal. Because he is simply flamboyantly open, self-effacing of his status but aware of the power it provides him to do good things, and the mysteries of his Dreaming, and Healing.

Favorite Characters by RyxRyx, 22 Jul 2020 22:17

High Trees On
Mute Tinny
Rebel Lion

Re: Title ideas by AmigaDragonAmigaDragon, 05 Mar 2020 02:19
Re: Fun with Hexadecimal by MishaFoxMishaFox, 20 Feb 2020 03:48
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