silverr: abstract art of pink and purple swirls on a black background (Default)
2017-10-03 11:26 am

The Cat... is not the one that needs saving

So, fool that I am, I decided to try a new approach to plotting for an exchange treat I'm attempting to write.

Save the Cat! (STC) is the collective name for Blake Snyder's series of books on screenwriting. Since I often think about, describe, and experience my writing process in film terms (storyboard, cutting room floor, dailies, shoot out of sequence) using this approach seemed potentially useful. I already had my general plot in mind due to the recipient's great prompts, so STC seemed a good way to quickly fill out the rest and make sure I had solid character and plot arcs.

Yeah… I mentioned the fool part, right?

Read more... )

P.S I do actually like a number of points. Tim Bolton described the midpoint as  

Dependent upon the story, this moment is when everything is “great” or everything is “awful”. The main character either gets everything they think they want (“great” [false victory]) or doesn’t get what they think they want at all (“awful” [false defeat]). But not everything we think we want is what we actually need in the end.

 I like that. (To me Bolton explains false defeat better than Snyder did.)

ETA: Because reading articles about writing is often easier then actually, yanno, writing, I am reading and came across this:
Outlining will not “destroy the magic” or any of that wifty supernatural pegasus shit. I believe very much that writing and storytelling feels like magic while at the same time being a wholly and gloriously mundane activity. Further, if something like outlining is capable of stealing the lightning from your story, then what you had wasn’t so much “lightning” but a “static electric spark” like when you rub your footy pajamas on the carpet. Call me back when you have contained actual lightning — at which point you will learn that no amount of outlining is capable of diminishing its ELECTRIC FURY.

silverr: abstract art of pink and purple swirls on a black background (Default)
2017-07-14 09:40 pm
Entry tags:

Catch of the Evening

Microsoft OneNote.

Between speech recognition and the cloud, I can mumble all the thoughts that swirl up as I'm falling asleep into my phone, and in the morning I can go to my computer and they are THERE. I don't have to transcribe them from incoherent texts to myself, or by listening to my crony voice.

(Proper names are generally not done properly, but that's no big. Current mumbles involve Blue and Red.)
silverr: (WoW_kaelchibi)
2017-06-30 04:01 pm
Entry tags:

Nitty Scritti

Back in the pre-tumblr days, I ran an online writing group called Nitty Scritti.  For nearly a year, 6-10 writers met online every 2 weeks for a group chat in AIM (!!). Sometimes we critiqued a work submitted by a group member; other times we brainstormed and idea-bounced. It was messy and frustrating, but also a blast.

Now, more than 15 years later, I'm hoping to resurrect Nitty Scritti on Discord. The first meeting will be Friday, August 4 (time to be determined based on time zones.)  Join, submit work for group beta, share the link (below) with anyone you think might be interested, and we'll see where things go.

ETA: At the moment people are mostly hanging out and discussing patch 7.3.

PM me for an invite code.

The standard rules of Civil Behavior will apply. I’m not going to lay them out—my default is to assume that people are reasonable adults—but I will permaban trolls and drama persons.
silverr: abstract art of pink and purple swirls on a black background (Default)
2016-12-31 01:29 pm

2016 Fanfiction Summary

Not the greatest year, in any sense of the word. So many losses, large and small; so much hatred and miscommunication and pettiness and sorrow in the world.

Even before November 8, creating fanworks had come to feel like swimming upstream in a hailstorm: but I kept at it. Had a few things to say and a gift or two to deliver, and wasn't going to quit before everything was done.

Each Day is a Blessing
World of Warcraft,
Fel Rangari Anaara

After fleeing with her people from Argus to Draenor, Anaara becomes the only Rangari to join the enemy.

A stray musing on a wowhead entry sparked this one.

4100+ words

World of Warcraft,

Near the end of his life, a widowed former king in declining health reunites with an old friend.

Gift for [ profile] alternatedoom 

Though it is a pairing that generally melts my heart and makes me grin, I didn't think i'd ever write any Wranduin… and then this prompt came along, and boom.

17,000+ words
Light's Heart
World of Warcraft,
They are so afraid, so desperate for a savior..

A drabble sparked by a conversation with Mipeltaja.

100 words

World of Warcraft,

After his death in Tempest Keep, Kael'thas dreams of Rommath, and Quel'Thalas.

Gift for [personal profile] alternatedoom [ profile] cynisca 

A sidestory of sorts to Deceiver, with angst and body horror.

1600 words
Warcraft III, World of Warcraft,
Kael'thas Sunstrider

Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider serves the demon lord known as Kil'jaeden the Deceiver. But Kil'jaeden is not the only one skilled at deception.

The completion of a story idea from 2007. Six years of thought and planning, four years of writing, this novel-length "lore slalom" was both exhausting and exhilarating to write. (Chapter 20 technically wasn't posted by the end of the year—which was my goal—but it did go off to beta around then.)

@160,000 words



silverr: abstract art of pink and purple swirls on a black background (Default)
2016-12-18 03:44 pm

[FIC] Deceiver (World of Warcraft, Kael'thas and various)

Chapter 20 of 20, and an Appendix, now posted.

Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider serves the archdemon Kil'jaeden the Deceiver. But Kil'jaeden is not not the only one skilled at deception..

Deceiver on FFnet :||: Deceiver on Ao3

Almost 10 years after the story idea first sparked, 5 years after I posted the Prologue, 160,000 words and 650 screen shots later, it's finally complete.

Author's notes for earlier chapters are here (it has become a very long post).
silverr: Summer 2012 Olympic flame (_2012_cauldron)
2016-02-29 04:17 pm

[FIC] Each Day is A Blessing (World of Warcraft, Fel Rangari Anaara)

Summary: After fleeing with her people from Argus to Draenor, a draenei hunter becomes the only Rangari to join the enemy..

Each Day is A Blessing
on Ao3 :||:  on

Fel Rangari Anaara is a fel-corrupted eredar — the skin of her face is red, and her arms and legs are charred and cracked and ooze green fel corruption—sitting on a mushroom on the southern shore of Tanaan, looking across Tanaan Channel in the direction of Elodor and the Altar of Sha'tar in Shadowmoon Valley. Although hostile, hunters can approach quite close without aggroing her (non-hunters will be one or two shotted). When defeated, she drops an item, the Vial of Fel Cleansing, which allows hunters to turn the felbound wolf aberrations of Tanaan Jungle into tameable beasts.

Note: This story also includes beautiful fanart of Anaara by Mipeltaja

Written for the [community profile] halfamoon challenge.
.Author's Notes )

silverr: abstract art of pink and purple swirls on a black background (Default)
2016-01-01 05:51 am

2015 Fanfiction Summary

Not a big year in terms of quantity, but I am happy with the three pinch hits and the one promptficI did write—and happily, I also made progress on Deceiver.

By Sea and Sun Espouse'd
Hellenic Myth & Lore,

Enroute to their wedding in Troy, Andromache and her future husband begin to get to know each other.

Pinch hit for [community profile] rarelywritten 


Before I Was Gay
If I Were Gay (song),

Sooner or later, most songs get stale. When that happens, you probably need to switch to a different song—or, at the very least, add new verses to the old one. ** Over a bottle of whiskey and a bag of Hallowe'en candy, the relationship between two old friends begins to shift.

Pinch hit written for [community profile] jukebox .

It took me a day to get in the right headspace to write a story with all-original characters again — it's like writing blank verse compared to fandom canon's sonnets — but it was fun.

Original Work
Sun Priestess/Moon Priestess
The eternal story: dark, light, structure, chaos, order, abandon, passion, lies, truth, love, sorrow, descent, ascension.

Pinch hit for [community profile] tagyourit

An all-female society of sun-worshipping vampires and the moon priestesses who willingly feed them, wrapped up in angsty soulbonding and tied with a body horror-bow.


World of Warcraft,

As Grand Magister Rommath will tell you, being a member of the Six is an overrated privilege.

A promptfic of sorts. Written after reading speculation about a small potential spoiler from Legion, it's  dedicated to the people whose discussion of Rommath broke my heart.

Warcraft III, World of Warcraft,
Kael'thas Sunstrider
Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider serves the demon lord known as Kil'jaeden the Deceiver. But Kil'jaeden is not the only one skilled at deception.

I made progress after breaking the '2 months per chapter' barrier. Hoping to have the remainder of the novel drafted by the end of the year, I tried to use NaNo to finish (which did not succeed); I then tried to use December to achieve completion, and while that also failed, I did make progress on drafting the last 5 chapters + a sidestory.

@110,000+ posted,  (ongoing)



silverr: abstract art of pink and purple swirls on a black background (Default)
2015-11-26 07:37 pm

[FIC] Marginalia (World of Warcraft, Rommath)

As Grand Magister Rommath will tell you, being a member of the Six is  woul be a vastly-overrated privilege.

on Ao3 :: | :: on FFnet

Written as result of this post. Because sometimes the ideas that people toss out as they speed past hit me in the face.

(Note: mild spoilers for the Legion expansion.)
  Heh, well, so it seems as though that 'detail' was simply in the Legion alpha to troll dataminers. Still, I do think that if Rommath ever had to go through the archives and found those papers, he'd have the same rection.

silverr: abstract art of pink and purple swirls on a black background (Default)
2015-10-13 05:39 am

[FIC] Eclipse (Original Work)

An eleventh-hour pinch hit written for [community profile] tagyourit , this merges the request for sun priestess/moon priestess with requests for worldbuilding, vampires, soulbonding and body horror.  By far the strangest thing I've ever written (and my first attempt at body horror), to my joy the recipient was pleased with it. 

The eternal story: dark, light, structure, chaos, order, abandon, passion, lies, truth, love, sorrow, descent, ascension.

Very very loosely based on the fairy tale "East of the Sun, West of the Moon."

:||: Eclipse on Ao3

silverr: abstract art of pink and purple swirls on a black background (Default)
2015-06-17 02:06 pm

[FIC] Before I Was Gay

Steven Lynch's "If I Were Gay" is a funny song. When I saw a pinch hit for it fly by on the [community profile] jukebox_fest  comm, I decided to tackle it. The result was my first entirely original fanfic in 11 years, and the realization that quite a bit of double entendre can be mined from candy names.

Sooner or later, most songs get stale. When that happens, you probably need to switch to a different song—or, at the very least, add new verses to the old one. ** Over a bottle of whiskey and a bag of Hallowe'en candy, the relationship between two old friends begins to change.

Before I Was Gay on Fictionpress :||: Before I Was Gay on Ao3

silverr: abstract art of pink and purple swirls on a black background (Default)
2015-05-07 12:09 pm

Playlist for Deceiver

(I'm sorry I can't recall who asked me to post this!)

Alongside my default playlist of 8+ hours of rain and surf sounds, I've accumulated an instrumental playlist for my World of Warcraft novel Deceiver that might serve others needing to write about despair, unrequited love, existential angst, and similarly-cheerful themes.

I haven't listed conductors/performers if other than the composer. Anything marked with an asterisk is on the playlist twice.


Airbase, Cherubini, et al.
"Ocean Realm (Kil'jaeden Remix)"
SK Gaming World Firsts (DJ Bluerose)

The only non-official .mp3 here, the only one specifically connected to the Warcraft universe, and the only one with words. Years ago my friend jacqland extracted the audio from the HD video of the SK Gaming World First Kil'jaeden defeat, and other than my standard surf-and-rain playlist (which also burbles while I sleep), this is by far my most-played track. (If anyone's curious, I did purchase all three songs used in the mix, though none of them have ever sounded quite right without Kil'jaeden rumbling "Oblivion!" and "Destruction!" *g*)

Barber, Samuel
"Adagio For Strings, (Op 11)"     

For years, this song has seemed to me to be the absolute distillation—into heartachingly musical form—of yearning and regret. (Barber apparently grew to resent the work, as it overshadowed all of what he thought were his better works.)

Budd, Harold
"Dark Star" and "Abandoned Cities"  from Abandoned Cities

Long, low volume, ominously droning ambient pieces.

Eno, Brian
"LUX 3" and LUX 4" from LUX
"Theme from 'Creation' "  from Music for Films 3   
"The Lost Day"  from On Land   

Eno has been one of my favorite musicians for (*gulp*)  35+ years now.  Most of his electronica is too light-infused to work for this playlist, but the first three listed do a good job of leavening the playlist with a thoughfulness that invokes Netherstorm, and "The Lost Day" is as unsettling as the Harold Budd pieces.

Liszt, Franz   
"Nuages gris, S. 199"  from The 50 Darkest Pieces of Classical Music   

For a long time this was the "Scourge invasion" piece; it's now shifted to being the "assault Arthas in Icecrown" piece.

Pärt, Arvo   
"Pari intervallo"  from Light   
"Für Alina: 1"  and "Für Alina: 2" from Alina - Spiegel im Spiegel    
"Cantus In Memory Of Benjamin Britten For Strings & One Bell"  from Fratres        
"Trisagion"  from Litany       
"Festina Lente"*  from Miserere           
"Tabula Rasa - Silentium"  from Sanctuary
"Tabula Rasa"  from Tabula Rasa
"Spiegel im Spiegel, For Violin and Piano"  from The Very Best of Arvo Pärt

Pärt ties with Prokofiev as my favorite classical composer. For me the appeal of most of his music is that it often manages to be simultaneously full of both sorrow and hope. (The Cantus is the piece I'd want played at my own funeral.)

For me "Trisagion" is Kael's theme music as a character; though I don't necessarily like assigning adjectives because they can be limiting, for me the piece has an overall feel of "heroic melancholy" interspersed with sections that remind me of the panicked, futile struggle of an animal in a trap.

"Spiegel im Spiegel 2" is a perfect Kael > Jaina theme.  Listening to it as I write this, I can imagine the piano part as Jaina and the violin part as Kael: the mostly cheerful and diligent piano melody seems almost unrelated to the mournful strings that accompany and quietly echo it. I didn't necessarily have this music in mind when I was writing their scenes (and at any rate the playlist is on shuffle & repeat) but what I hear in the music is completely how I see that unrequited relationship.

Satie, Erik   
"3 Gnossiennes"   from Satie: Piano Music [Disc 2]   
"Six gnossiennes: Gnossienne No. 1"*
"Six gnossiennes: Gnossienne No. 3"
"Six gnossiennes: Gnossienne No. 4"

These aren't necessarily sad pieces, but for me they have a certain je ne sais quoi that suits Silvermoon and the quel'dorei / sin'dorei in general.

Stars of the Lid   
"Even If You're Never Awake"*  and "Tippy's Demise"*  from  … And Their Refinement of the Decline   

A recent discovery, this ambient drone music perfectly captures the mood I want to be in while writing Deceiver.

One piece that was on the playlist for a while was Mozart's "Masonic Funeral Music in C Minor, K. 477 (Maurerische Trauermusic)."  There are parts of it that are perfect for Dalaran and Northrend, but ultimately it felt too bouncy compared with the other pieces. I also had "Murder" from the 1997 Berserk anime OST in the playlist for a while as well.


silverr: abstract art of pink and purple swirls on a black background (Default)
2015-05-03 02:10 pm

[FIC] By Sea and Sun Espous'd (The Iliad, Andromache/Hektor)

Enroute to their wedding in Troy, Andromache and her future husband begin to get to know each other.

Pinch hit written for the [community profile] rarelywritten  exchange.

- § - on  - § - on Ao3 - § -

Story Ramblings )
silverr: abstract art of pink and purple swirls on a black background (Default)
2012-05-07 07:02 pm

[FIC] No Thought of Love Nor God (Sherlock, "Anthea")

 For the [ profile] rarewomen fic exchange: Fabricated backstory for "Anthea" and how she came to work for Mycroft.

 ::|:: on Ao3 ::|::


Author's Notes )


silverr: abstract art of pink and purple swirls on a black background (Default)
2012-04-02 07:59 pm

[AUTHOR'S NOTES] Deceiver (World of Warcraft, Kael'thas)

Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider serves the demon lord known as Kil'jaeden the Deceiver. But Kil'jaeden is not the only one skilled at deception.

Deceiver on FFnet :||: Deceiver on Ao3

The prologue was posted in March 2012: the remaining chapters began to appear in 2014.

Note that the Author's Notes contain chapter spoilers!

Apologies for all the placeholder text: this post is a work in-progress as my notes are currently a scattered mess.

I welcome questions and love discussion, but due to its length, comments on this post are disabled so that inboxes don't get clogged. Please comment here.


Overall notes and origin )


Prologue and Chapter 1 )


Chapter 2 )


Chapter 3 )


Chapter 4 )


Chapter 5 )


Chapter 6 )


Chapter 7 )


Chapter 8 )


Chapter 9 )


Chapter 10 notes )


Chapter 11 notes )


Chapter 12 )


Chapter 13 ) Chapter 14 )


Chapter 15 ).....................Chapter 16 ) Chapter 17 ) Chapter 18 )


Chapter 19 )


Chapter 20 )


Chapter 21 (Epilogue) )

last edited 4 July 2016

silverr: abstract art of pink and purple swirls on a black background (Default)
2012-02-14 02:47 pm

[FIC] Distress (World of Warcraft, Thassarian)

As per the label, the story is meant as the counterpart to the bleak, depressing, Koltira-crushing Comfort, and is intended to be that story's inverse in as many ways as possible.

::|:: on FFnet    ::|::    On Ao3::|::


Author's Notes (contains animated GIF) )


silverr: vintange art of penguins, with the word "yuletide" (yuletide)
2012-01-01 11:17 am

[FIC] The Woosteriad (Jeeves and Wooster, others)

Written for [ profile] alien_alice  for Yuletide 2011.

Sing, Muse, of the valiant Bertram and his trusted companions, who ventured forth amongst the stars, pursued and pursuing of the Cyprian … oh, let's dispense with the foofy fandangles! When Bertie and his android Jeeves flee the claws of dowager wrath by booking an intergalactic cruise with a dejected friend, they are inadvertently swept into the midst of an epic tale of love, hubris. and sacrifice.

::|:: The Woosteriad on Ao3 ::|::

I generally don't tackle crossovers or AUs, but two years ago for Yuletide I merged two prompts and it was so much fun that I've wanted  a chance to tackle the challenge again. Having been matched on Greek Mythology to a recipient who also asked for Jeeves and Wooster and Hark! a Vagrant!, I decided to see what could be done.

My most awesome betas for this folly were [ profile] franniemanders  and [personal profile] samsarapine , who not only polished the story to a satiny glow, but more importantly gave me much-needed confidence that the mashed-up contraption was holding together.


Author's Notes )


silverr: abstract art of pink and purple swirls on a black background (Default)
2000-09-06 08:00 am

[FANDOM] World of Warcraft

Disclaimer: Warcraft and World of Warcraft are the intellectual property of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. No infringement or disrespect of the intellectual property rights held by the owners of existing copyrights in Warcraft, World of Warcraft or their derivative works is intended by this non-profit, non-commercial web page.

Parodied on South Park, mentioned by name on How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang Theory, thinly disguised on The Guild, played by over twelve million subscribers, the franchise started in 1994 as a single player strategy game about a war between orcs and humans leveraged a combination of a well-developed fantasy world, a design approach of taking good ideas and tweaking them, and fortuitous timing into the most successful on-line game ever made. It wasn't the first game of its kind (it's not even considered the best), but it appeals to a wide audience.


(I have to interject here that's been much more difficult to write this page: not only does WoW have a truckload of lore – not easy to boil down to the bare essentials – but online roleplaying games have layers of sociological and meta aspects that other media just don't have. ~ Also note that in order to generalize and summarize so that the character and story sections are comprehensible to anyone reading this page who isn't familiar with WoW, I'll probably introduce some of my own subjective shading and glossing over no matter how hard I try not to.)

The world is Azeroth, created millennia ago by the Titans, who also set up five Dragonflights to act as protectors/patron saints of various aspects of the world. In the "current" world two long-warring factions – the Horde and the Alliance – also fight two invading evils: the demons of the Burning Legion, and the undead of the Scourge (mindless zombies as well as not-so mindless.). As if this isn't sufficiently complex, a number of Lovecraftian Old Gods subtly seed chaos and madness here and there.

The Alliance is informally "led" by the King of Stormwind, who represents the humans. Other alliance races are the dwarves, the gnomes, the "night elves," the draenei (essentially an alien race: see Jadaar below), and the worgen (lycanthropes).

The Horde is a looser confederation of races – nominally led by the orc Warchief – which includes the Darkspear trolls, the bovinoid Tauren, "blood" elves (former high elves of the Alliance who suffered a racial addiction/withdrawal when the source of their magic was polluted), goblins, and the Forsaken, a faction of independent undead who broke free of the Scourge.

The Burning Legion, in simplest terms, is primarily a vast army of demons (currently led by the demon lord Kil'jaeden at the behest of a corrupted Titan) who swarm between dimensions looking for worlds to overrun and destroy. The Legion has had a number of complex interactions with Draenor, the orc homeworld, as well as with Azeroth.

The Scourge was initially created by the Legion during their invasion of Azeroth; this "disposable" self-replenishing undead army – led by the incorporeal Lich King Ner'zhul, who from the Frozen Throne (a magical prison in the far north continent of Northrend) commanded elite "death knights" and zombie-like rank and file minions – was meant to take out the majority of the forces resisting the Legion invasion. As it turned out, while the Legion was distracted by fighting Alliance and Horde forces on multiple fronts Ner'zhul began to subtly slip the Legion's leash, mostly by manipulating Arthas Menethil, the Prince of Lordaeron – who had an obsession with defeating the Scourge – into taking up a cursed runesword. After a long series of events Arthas lost his soul and became one of Ner'zhul's death knights. He led Scourge forces in the destruction of Silvermoon City, the high elf capital – and even worse, corrupted the Sunwell, the holy source of the high elves' magical energy. Most of the survivors became "blood elves" because of this, and either suffered horribly from magical withdrawal or were driven to "corrupt" forms of magical energy.

Why WoW is fun to play—and difficult to write for

World of Warcraft is the first MMORPG I ever played, and I have to admit that the game play – making a character that interacts with others and learns about "the world" primarily through interaction with that world, its static characters (usually referred to as NPCs, non-player characters), and other people's avatars – is satisfying on several levels. Not the least of which, for me, is the ability to actually fight evil and see tangible progress – neither of which one gets to do very much in the real world … but that's a meta-discussion again. (See, I told you I'd veer!)

Writing for a game can be an interesting challenge. First there's the task of tackling the content – a massive amount of sometimes contradictory or retconned lore contained not only in the games but also in novels and manga – and sifting out what bits to use. Then there's the decision on whether or not to reference "game mechanics" – the actual spells and attacks of the various classes. On one hand, both of these rest on the assumption that floats much of fanfiction, that you can save yourself big chunks of exposition if you know your readers are familiar with the world you're woven your story in, with how canon characters look or how major canon events went down ... but the disadvantage of using these shorthand / shortcuts is that not all readers (not even all of those who play WoW) might understand offhand references.

So, the challenge is to see if you can craft an entertaining story in between the extremes. Too little explanation and you'll lose some readers to confusion; too much and you'll lose others to impatience and boredom.

Characters I write for

Although I've written a bit of femslash and het based on prompts, most of my works are about non-canon male couples – character pairs whose relationship is open to interpretation. I find them intriguing, but none are really what I'd call an OTP.

A bit of extra backstory (continued from above): The Lich King Ner'zhul and Death Knight Arthas – still nominally serving the Legion by commanding the Scourge - had problems. The Legion, who no longer trusted Ner'zhul, sent forces to Northrend to dispose of him, while Arthas came under attack by Sylvanas Windrunner (an elf who Arthas had tortured, killed, and then raised into undeath). Arthas rushed to Northrend to protect Ner'zhul, but during the battle Sylvanas and many undead in Lordaeron broke free of the Lich King's control and became the Forsaken.

Arthas ultimately defeated the forces in Northrend, destroyed the Frozen Throne, and fused with Ner'zhul to become the new Lich King. As leader of a Scourge that now considered the Legion his enemy, Arthas was immensely powerful, but he lost control over all most of the death knights he had created when he sent them to Light's Hope Chapel as bait for Tirion Foldring, a supreme champion of the Light. Tirion and other holy paladins drove Arthas back, in the process freeing most of Arthas' death knights from his control.

These freed death knights formed a new order – the Knights of the Ebon Blade – dedicated to Lich King Arthas' downfall. They also pledged themselves to whatever faction (Horde or Alliance) they had been in life, and this is where one WoW's most tragic and subtexty bromances comes in.

The story of Koltira Deathweaver and Thassarian is a bleak one. Thassarian (on the left in the picture above) is a human death knight who, while still under Arthas' control, had killed and raised into undeath a high elf named Koltira. ~ Thassarian was the first Death Knight to pledge allegiance to the Alliance, while Koltira drifted to the Horde. (Go read the Death Knight graphic novel! Lots of backstory :p). In short: they were enemies in life who became brothers in death and forged a strong friendship, despite how events keep conspiring to break their bond and force them to opposite sides.


I can put the blame for my interest in these two firmly at the feet of fandom. I'd noticed them as I was questing with my various characters, but hadn't seen all of their interactions (or seen the death knight graphic novel, which imo is the best of the written canon) … and then somehow as I edged into the fandom I was caught up in their story – especially when Jack of None quoted a Blizzard Q&A mentioning that death knights might be "addicted" to causing pain in the same way that blood elves were to magic, suffering escalating pangs in its absence.

I see Thassarian as a decent guy who somehow struggled to remain a decent person even while under the Lich King's control. Although forced by Arthas to kill his own mother, Thassarian is later reminded of the event, so much so that his guilt prevents him from killing Koltira's brother Faltora. ~ It is this perception of Thassarian's hesitation that causes Koltira to believe that there is more to Thassarian than just an evil, mindless undead, and which seems to be the source of the bond from Koltira's side. ~ Although Thassarian ultimately does kill Koltira, raise him into undeath, and train him as a death knight, I see continuing guilt over this as part of what drives Thassarian. ~ In key quests given to Alliance players, Thassarian either sends you to rescue Koltira, or asks you to keep secret that he and Koltira have decided to call a truce after working together to fight a common enemy.

Koltira Deathweaver's personality is quite distinct from Thassarian's. He's sardonic, almost dour, and tells you that Thassarian is an idiot for having him rescued. He's also apparently haunted relentlessly by shadows (although it doesn't seem he's the only one so affected.) ~ He wields a huge, "vampiric" runeblade called Byfrost. After the "truce" that I referred to above he's dragged off by Sylvanas, who vows that she'll break him of his compassion for Thassarian.

Thassarian and Koltira appear in A Cascade of Garnet, Comfort, Distress, Talent Mastery, and the first tale of YMMV and Other Tales. Koltira also appears in Bond, which is set before his death.



Compared to the drama and angst of Koltira and Thassarian, Asric and Jadaar are light situation comedy. Although they're Thassarian and Koltira's opposites in many ways, they do have one thing in common with the star-crossed death knights: Asric and Jadaar are also on opposite sides of the faction divide.

Asric and Jadaar were first introduced in 2007 when they were competing to get the goods on Griftah, a shady huckster selling everything but snake oil. When the investigation fell apart, they were both fired, and have spent their time since hanging out together, at first tossing blame and insults but slowly becoming less vituperative. Asric, a blood elf who seems not to mind bending the rules in service of flexible morality, calls Jadaar a pompous windbag. Jadaar, a one-eyed draenei whose people have been fleeing Kil'jaeden and the Legion for millennia, is an ex-Peacekeeper who calls Asric a brat and a dandy. (This is one of those places where I'm tempted to do a huge lore dump, but honestly, to enjoy these two knowing mostly that they bicker like an an old married "odd couple" is sufficient.)

Asric and Jadaar appear in four stories: Not Half Bad,, the followup tale The Other Half's Not Half Bad Either, One Week a Month, or Asric and Jadaar Go to the Darkmoon Faire, and Purge.


The NPCs Sky Commander Adaris and Medic Severin


Even many long-time WoW players may go "Who?" if you mention Severin or Sky Commander Adaris. ~ In an out-of-the way corner of Outland, the members of the Shattari Skyguard – a cross faction group based in a small outpost high in the mountains above a forest – keeps watch on the nearby city of Skettis, where the arakkoa (a race of sentient avians) appear to be working to summon a dark bird-god.

Severin is the Skyguard medic. His primary actions in the game relate to be watching over/humoring the Skyguard's leader, Sky Commander Adaris, who was wounded in a clash with the arakkoa. Severin thinks that Adaris' comments about a shadow world of arakkoa are fevered delusions, but near the end of the questline Adaris is vindicated.

Severin and Adaris appear in Above the Clouds.


Kael'thas Sunstrider was the first WoW lore character I became interested in, but also the reason I put off writing WoW fanfiction for so long. A major figure in the game (and as of Cataclysm the only one you kill twice) he's an entire freight train's-worth of lore just on his own. First introduced in the RTS pre-WoW Warcraft games, he's one of the game's most maddening examples of Face Heel Turn (and therefore has many interpretations, all passionately defended.…

[The son of the high elf  king Anasterian, Kael'thas (Kael for short) did not share his father's isolationism. At an early age he went to the human city of Dalaran and joined the Kirin Tor, the association of Alliance mages that had been trained by high elves hundreds of years before. While in Dalaran, Kael fell in love with Jaina Proudmoore, a human sorceress of great power, but his feelings were not reciprocated. Kael participated actively in the defense of Dalaran when it came under attack by the orcs during the Second War, and became a member of the Six, the ruling council of Dalaran. During the Third War, Kael's homeland was destroyed and his people nearly wiped out by the death knight Arthas Menethil, who also defiled the Sunwell, The source of the high elves' magic. Kael struggled to hold his people together in the aftermath of this disaster, taking more and more drastic steps to find them a new source of magical power after the Sunwell's destruction, and ultimately to a secret alliance with the Legion itself.

Kael'thas is the main character and narrator of Deceiver, and also appeared more comically in Edification, the second of the YMMV tales.

Kil'jaeden … well, where do I start? Possibly my favorite WoW character, this BAMF was the mover and shaker behind a good chunk of lore. ~ 25,000 years ago, Kil'jaeden, Archimonde, and Velen were best friends and leaders of the planet Argus, a civilization of magic users. They were approached by the Titan Sargeras, who offered them the power to unite the cosmos and spread the power of the Light. Kil'jaeden and Archimonde agreed, but Velen – who was given a vision by the naaru (beings of pure Light) of Sargeras' true aim – to corrupt the eredar and use them as his legions to destroy life everywhere. Velen made clandestine arrangements to flee Argus with those eredar; an enraged Kil'jaeden (who commands the Burning Legion at Sargeras's behest) has pursued Velen and the uncorrupted eredar – who renamed themselves draenei, meaning exiled ones – ever since.

Kil'jaeden followed Velen to the planet of Draenor. Kil'jaeden slowly corrupted the planet's native orc inhabitants into a warlike, bloodthirsty warrior race, initially by deceiving and manipulating the orc shaman Ner'zhul into inciting the orcs to attack the draenei and then – after Ner'zhul had a spasm of conscience and was sent to a torture dimension – brought to completion by Ner'zhul's amoral and ambitious apprentice Gul'dan. ~

Kil'jaeden released what was left of Ner'zhul, transformed him into the Lich King, imprisoned him in the Frozen throne in Northrend, and thus created the Scourge as the advance troops for the invasion of Azeroth by the Legion, but when Ner'zhul slipped the leash Kil'jaeden tasked Illidan Stormrage as his lieutenant to destroy Lich King Ner'zhul. When Illidan fails at this task twice, Kil'jaeden acquires the loyalty of Kael'thas, both to keep an eye on Illidan as well as to make the magical preparation necessary for using the corrupted Sunwell as a portal for bringing Kil'jaeden into Azeroth.

As you might have guess, Kil'jaeden is a key player in Deceiver.



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Written September 2010; edited 13 October 2017

silverr: abstract art of pink and purple swirls on a black background (Default)
2000-09-06 07:58 am

[FANDOM] Saint Seiya

Saint Seiyais copyright Kurumada Masami and Toei.. No infringement or disrespect of the intellectual property rights held by the owners of existing copyrights in Saint Seiya or its derivative works is intended by this non-profit, non-commercial web page.


First of all: I'm acknowledging up front that I won't be able to do this justice.

Second: If you happened to have watched any of a series shown in the US as Knights of the Zodiac – well, just forget what you saw. In so many ways, in all the ways that count, that wasn't Saint Seiya.

The premise, in a very tiny over-generalized nutshell: Every 250 years or so, the god Hades (yes that Hades, from Greek mythology) and the goddess Athena are reincarnated as humans. Once they reach maturity they raise up their respective armies (bad guys called Spectres, good guys called Saints) and wage a Holy War for the fate of the earth and all the human beings upon it.

Like angels, Athena's Saints are ranked at several levels of power – at the bottom are the 72 Bronze Saints (the "Seiya" of the title is a Bronze), then 24 Silver Saints, and twelve Gold Saints. Each Saint is associated with a constellation; for example, Seiya with Pegasus, and other comrades for Draco and Cygus. The Gold Saints are associated with the twelve Hellenistic zodiac sun signs (Aries, Taurus, Cancer, Libra, etc.) .

The Gold Saints and Athena live in temples in a hidden area (called "Sanctuary") near the Acropolis. For day-to-day organization Saints are organized under the "Kyoko" (usually translated as Pope; I personally use the term Pontifex or Holy Father).

The particular armor that each Saint (and the gods and goddesses as well) wear is called a "Cloth". The Saints use the power of the universe ("cosmo") and their own spiritual focus to transcend the weakness of their human bodies and do truly superhuman things.

And if I don't stop there, you've going to get entirely buried in minutiae: this is a very well thought out universe. So let's go to ...

Why I love it

I'll say it up front: Saint Seiya is cheesy, melodramatic, at times badly drawn – and yet for 25 years has managed to remain one of the most popular anime ever made. (I've been told that it has been shown in syndication in parts of Latin and South America continuously since it was dubbed.) It's a wonderful example of the shonen genre, where the scrappy underdogs have so much spirit and heart and determination that not even 100 broken bones, losing 2/3 of the blood in their body, or being punched at the speed of light can stop them. It was the direct inspiration for Sailor Moon, and was one of the series that provided raw material for the earliest waves of doujinshika. If you love BL and shonen ai, Saint Seiya is one of the series you can thank for it.

Because what else are you going to get from a series where the female characters are so overwhelmingly outnumbered? Saint Seiya was unabashedly "bromantic" decades before that term was heard, chock-full of beautiful bishonen and biseinen wearing colorful latex, tossing waist-length hair of every color imaginable, and shedding manly man-tears over the heroic sacrifices of their fallen comrades.

The first few episodes are not that great; one might even say they're bad. But once you get to the fight between Seiya and Shiryu… well, you might find yourself falling under the spell, like I did back in 2003. (By episode 10, I was so hooked that I marathoned the remaining 104 episodes plus the newly-released first third of the Hades arc. All that solidified my love for the characters, and inspired what I still think are two of my best fanfictions, Intermezzo and Legacy.)

I'd like to note that the Saint Seiya material I used as canon back then was primarily the original manga, the fansubs of the first 73 episodes (Sanctuary arc) of the original series, plus the first 13 episodes of the Hades arc of 2002-2003. The universe has continued to expand since then: Lost Canvas manga and anime, the Soul of Gold OVA, the Legend of Sanctaury live action film, and yet more manga -- Episode G, Next Dimension. (Lost Canvas especially threw canon wenches into my previously canon-faithful fics, but I haven't gone back and tidied yet. :p)

What some people don't like about it (and my response)

"The original series looks dated."

Well, yes. it's old enough to be oldschool.

"The storylines are just .. ridiculous. and no one could survive the kinds of injuries they incur. And ..."

Pffffbt. If you can't get in the spirit of the series, watch something else.

Characters I write

Though there are literally dozens to choose from, there are 4 characters that have received most of my fanfic love.


Dragon Shiryu, one of the Bronze Saints that, along with Seiya, are considered the "main characters" of the original anime series. Shiryu is calm, respectful, physically powerful, and like all Athena's Saints entirely dedicated to his mission (almost to the point of masochism.) He has a dragon tattoo on his back that fades when his life force is low. He is the only Bronze Saint I write extensively, mostly because, in my universe, he is the recipient of an unrequited and mostly Platonic love from ...


…  Gold Saint Aries Mu. I admit that I was predisposed to like Mu, as his seiyuu in the original series was Kaneto Shiozawa. I adore Shiozawa's voice so much that watching whatever I could find that he had voiced guided most of my anime viewing for the first few years. (Iason Mink in Ai no Kusabi, Narsus in Arislan, Ageha in Basara, Shin Kazuma in Area 88, Shadi in series 1 YGO, D in the original Vampire Hunter D … I still continue to track down his more obscure performances.)

But even without that, Mu would have become a favorite. He gets one of the more interesting introductions and backstory – we find out that he had fled Sanctuary at the age of 7 when his Master, Aries Shion, was killed. (Shion had also been the Pontifex of Sanctuary; his killer impersonated him for many years until he was finally defeated by .. oops, shouldn't tell ya :p) Mu seems to have lived on his own in Tibet, perfecting the "Cloth Repair" skills that Shion had taught him, fending off assassins from the "false pope", and training his own apprentice, the rascally Kiki.

My only quibble (if you can call it that) with Mu is that he doesn't seem like a "traditional" fiery Aries.


We don't learn much about Gold Saint Aries Shion until the beginning of the Hades arc – and even then, for a long time the only things known about him were: a) he's like Kiki and Mu in appearance (a "dothead" – I'm not sure if it's fanon or canon that they're from Atlantis or Lemuria); b) he was one of the only two Saints to survive the Holy War of 1743 (the other was Libra Dohko); c) he was Mu's master, and d) the Kyoko of Sanctuary until he was killed.

Shion seems a bit more like a typical Aries in the Hades arc – his temper and emotions are more on display (although it's difficult to know how much of what he does in the Hades arc is an act.) He seems to have a dry, wry, almost sardonic wit (though this may be colored by his seiyuu, who is the same actor who voiced Akabane "Dr Jackal" Kurodo in GetBackers.)

Shion's goodbye scene with Dohko in the Hades arc – brief as it is – sealed Shion/Dohko as my Saint Seiya OTP. (Well, that and some gorgeous doujinshi :p)

As I have decided that the dotheads are a different race than humans, I've given them a physiology that essentially replaces pubic hair with a tough membrane covering the genitals (this membrane, the tegimen, thins sufficiently in the presence of the appropriate pheromone that the cuspis breaks through it) and an external nerve cluster meant for pleasurable sensations (the occasus).


Gold Saint Libra Dohko is known for most of the Saint Seiya series as a Roshi, a purple Yoda who trained Shiryu and who spends most of this time watching a waterfall in Rozan, China. ~ We find out a number of things about Dohko in the Hades arc: a) he's spent the time since the last Holy War guarding the prison of the 108 Specters of Hades army b) he's got a tiger tattoo on his back and c) he's not nearly as old as he looks.


Go ahead, fire that canon at me:

So … back in 2004 when I was inspired to write Shion and Dohko and Mu develop a backstory for them, I teased out the few details in canon and studied their few appearances, and based on their voices and what I saw (Shion and Dohko were essentially personality opposites) I made Shion the fiery, impatient one and Dohko the calm, steady one. With the help of friends (and inspired by a fabulous French fanart) I invented names and nationalities for the rest of the gold Saints from 1743. ~ I took a lovely color panel of the two limping off after the end of the war and used that as the opening for both Intermezzo and Legacy.

And then, as I mentioned above, new works came out that shot that all to hell. Turns out that Kurumada meant Shion to be the quiet steady one, and Dohko to be the firebrand. (Well, that explains all the girly Shion uke fanart I've seen for so long :p) ~ I do still think my characterizations & stories stand on their own for the most part, as the stories are about the relationship more than big plotty tie-ins to canon.

Reading Seed

If you want to tackle Seed, my strange "erotic gothic yaoi drama with demons, Spectres, Silvers, Bronzes, love, angst, twincest, kink, violence, yuri, and WAFF" or one of the other Saint Seiya fics I haven't mentioned yet, then here are quick summaries of my takes on the other Gold Saints.


Taurus Aldebaran, Mu's genial Brazilian neighbor. In my fics he's had a low-key crush on his best friend Mu since they were kids. Physically, he's a gentle giant – 6' 9".


Gemini Saga – one of the bad boys. He was a candidate to succeed Shion until he lost patience and killed him instead: canon was sort of undecided whether it was his "evil side" or a possession by the god Ares (and to top that off, he later was revealed to have a "black sheep" evil twin named Kanon. I sort of rolled all that together in Chiaroscuro.) ~ Anime gave him cobalt blue long hair.


Cancer Deathmask – in the original anime he comes across like a complete sadist – he throws women and old men down cliffs and has no problem attacking a blinded, cloth-less Shiryu until Mu intervenes. He decorates his temple with death masks of those he's killed (hence the name). I enjoy making him a swaggering, foul-mouthed prick.

Leo Aiolia – younger brother of the defamed Sagittarius Saint, Aiolia seems to be one of the noblest and purest Saints – to me he has a definite Galahad vibe. Short brown hair.

Virgo Shakais said to be the reincarnation of the Buddha. Often referred to as "The Man Closest to God," to me he's very difficult to write IC in a serious piece (his chapter in Seedtook me four months of revision.) He generally keeps his eyes closed unless he's getting ready to blast someone. In a comic piece, however, he's "golden," because he can be whatever you want. I like him prissy and sort of repressed (The Gold Hussy). Long long blond hair.

Scorpio Milo… ah, Milo. Fanon wise, he's the resident priapic sex god. Canon, he's a merciless, vindictive assassin if he feels he has right on his side. Pairing him with Camus has been done so often, for so long, that most people are sick of it, but it still works. (This is one of those cases where a small detail in the anime became the foundation for acres of slash.) Longish blue-violet hair, the index finger of his right hand acquires a long red fingernail/stinger when he's getting ready to use his "Scarlet Needle" attack.


Sagittarius Aiolos – deceased. He was the older brother of Aiolia, the Leo saint. When Aiolos caught Saga trying to kill baby Athena, he saved the baby but was framed by Saga instead. He died getting the baby (who was raised as Saori Kiddo) to safety.


Capricorn Shura gets kinda short shrift in my fics. I'm sorry, but there are just too many pretty boys, and too little time!

Aquarius Camus, my personal favorite for the sexiest Gold Saint, is a French Saint who trained in Siberia (and was the Master of Bronze Saint Cygnus Hyouga) has all ice-based attacks and a very cool, aloof manner. (His seiyuuis also in the goo-inducing range for me, so …) Plus, woo, Long Blue Hair!!


Pisces Aphrodite – one of the Saints who is often mistaken as a woman. Fights with roses, beauty marks, and aqua hair. As in many doujinshi, I make him buddies with Deathmask just because … it's kinda cracky.


Ophiuchus Shaina – a powerful Silver Saint, she (like all female Saints) wears a mask. To conceal her gender. (Because that's the only thing that would give it away, right? :p)


Aquila Marin – another Silver Saint, she trained Seiya.


Where to get it: anime

(Apologies for covering just Region 1 here) There were two previous Region 1 releases. DiC (now Cookie Jar) released the 32 heavily edited episodes that had been shown on Cartoon network as Knights of the Zodiac. ADV released the first 2 seasons ( 60 episodes) uncut/unedited with dual audio.

According to wikipedia, "A DVD set entitled "Saint Seiya: Sanctuary Classic Complete Collection" will be released to DVD in the US on November 5, 2013 from New Video, containing 12 discs, and the English dub of the first 73 episodes (marking episodes 61-73's debut in English). However, it contains no Japanese audio."

Saint Seiya: Lost Canvas has been available to stream on Crunchyroll.  It covers the eighteenth-century war, and includes Shion and Dohko as major characters.

Additional links


Wikipedia entry


One of the Saint Seiya wiki:

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Written May 2009; edited 24 Dec 2015

silverr: abstract art of pink and purple swirls on a black background (Default)
2000-09-06 07:56 am

[FANDOM] Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo is copyright Mahiro Maeda, GONZO / Media Factory, GDH, Geneon, and Funimation. No infringement or disrespect of owners of existing copyrights in Gankutsuou or its derivative works is intended by this non-profit, non-commercial web page.


In a 26 episode anime produced in 2004 (and 3 supplemental volumes of manga) Gankutsuou offers a visually stunning retelling of Dumas' classic novel of a man framed  for a crime by three of his friends, only to return 25 years later to take revenge.

Set in the year 5053, it shifts the focus of the novel to Albert de Morcerf, a naive young man who gets caught up in the Count's terrible plots of revenge.

Why it's good

It retains the "spirit" of the book and most of its cast, while folding in science fiction elements (there's a traditional duel – fought in mecha suits! there are carriages – drawn by robot horses!) and a number of unique twists to the characters and plot (such as Albert's fascination with (i.e., crush on) the Count) so seamlessly that it never felt tacked on. I hadn't read the novel, so I was amazed to talk to Dumas fans (most of which seem to love it) after I saw the series and hear just how many things had been changed while still staying true to so many of the original's themes.

But that's not all! Not only does it have a crackling good plot - it's gorgeous. I admit that many of my fandoms I love for their brains or heart more than their looks, but to me Gankutsuou has it all. Below are four of the caps I made while rewatching it for my fics. (The small, still pictures really don't do it justice – that dress Haydee is wearing in the upper left literally scintillates; in the other scenes colors pulse, candles flicker, and that freaky thing in the background of the upper right picture is an orrey that's in constant motion.)

Four screen captures from the anime series Gankutsuou

Toss in an often stunning soundtrack – the work of two different composers (one French, one Japanese), which complement both the sumptuous style and the futuristic setting, add intense emotion conveyed by wonderful seiyuu, and you have a true feast for the senses.

What people don't like (and why to stick with it)

The visuals – or more precisely, the way clothing (and less noticeably hair) is handled on the main characters drives some people nuts enough in the early episodes that they stop watching. It doesn't show as much in the still shots (and it's a bit hard to describe) but … see that jacket pattern in the lower right picture? Imagine that the fabric's pattern is a "background layer" which does not move when the character moves.

(I agree that it can be distracting, but honestly, you get used to it. Or learn to ignore it. Or accept it as a small flaw in an otherwise amazing work.)

The first few episodes can seem to be a little slow moving – I know my spouse found them so – but if you stick with it (and can get used to the visual style, which some people don't like) you'll find that it's all there for a purpose.


a series of screen captures of the character of the Count from the anime Gankutsuou

The Count, of course, is the center of the story. Mysterious, wealthy, worldly, he captivates Albert and Parisian society – all the while setting in motion the intricate traps that will disgrace and then destroy the three former friends who have since gone on to become prominent in politics, finance, and the law.

(I'm holding off on certain spoilers here, too.)

Appears in Etheloisa, Kyrie, Mainspring, Nurture, Poisons II, and Possibilities.


Albert de Morcerf is the main character. Telling the story from his POV allows the Count's machinations to remain hidden for a longer time. Albert's innocent trust encourages empathy, because for a while we are just as enthralled with the Count as he is. At the beginning of the story Albert is engaged to his childhood friend Eugénie de Danglars.

The dub tones down the exact nature of Albert's feelings for the Count, as the original anime pulls out all the crush tropes. Maeda, the anime's creator, does say in one of the commentaries that he considers Gankutsuou to include "a homosexual love story," though whether that's Count/Albert or Franz/Albert he didn't say. (Considering the promo art,I'd say it was the former.)

Appears in Choices, Etheloisa, Mainspring, and the two Hookah Monologues pieces, Possibilities and Nurture.


Le Baron Franz d'Epinay, Albert's best friend since childhood, is a little more of a cynic than Albert, and suspicious of the Count from the first. It's not clear how much he's motivated by jealousy, but whether it's friendship or unrequited love, he certainly wants to pry Albert away from the Count. He's engaged to Valentine de Villefort, but it was an arranged marriage and he doesn't have romantic feelings for her.

Appears in Choices, Etheloisa, and Hookah Monologues I: Possibilities.


Héloïse de Villefort, the second wife of Gérard de Villefort, Procureur-général, is a woman with no great love for her husband or stepdaugher Valentine. She's bitter because her own son, Edouard, won't inherit much from the Villefort estate. Her hobby is gardening.

Appears in Poisons, I and Poisons, II.

Bertuccio, the Count's major domo and right-hand man. He's in my fics mostly because his seiyuu(Kōji Ishii) has a great voice, and because I'm generally a sucker for sexy bald men. (Also I saw really, really amazing Bertuccio fanart years ago on a Japanese fansite, and it branded my brainmeats.)

Appears in Kyrie.


Marquis Andrea Cavalcanti, an "aristocrat" groomed by the Count as part of the destruction of the Danglars family. He replaces Albert as Eugénie's fiance, but being that he's a complete sociopath, he assaults her the night before their wedding when he catches her trying to run away.

Appears in Inheritance and Honor.



Eugénie de Danglars, Albert's fiancee. Best friends with Albert and Franz since childhood, she's also a gifted pianist and composer. She agrees to marry Andrea in obedience to her father.

Appears in Honor.

Other Characters


Where to get it

The anime, originally released by Funimation in a gorgeous boxset, was out of print for a while, but has been picked up and reissued as a thinpak). Crunchyroll has subs (it's a pretty good dub, too as dubs go, but personally I prefer the the original.)

Additional links

Gankutsuou Wikipedia entry

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written [] edited 6 September 2014