Midday: The Firewall

Northwards the Firewall burns, its dead flames rising far beyond the clouds. It has been burning for ten years, cutting off all contact between North Haven and the world. Northerner settlements, the Shadowless King’s grand and violent attempt at expanding his rule, lie abandoned and dismantled throughout the Midlands, most of their inhabitants dead from aborigines, dragons, or the midday sun.

Zhado and his people are lucky, surviving this long. But the drought has been long, taking a severe toll on their numbers. They have lost the last of their old Scribes, and now their Papers are running out.

Midday: The Village

Returning from their trip to the neighboring village, Zhado and his men release their saddled cats to rest by the water. Soon the cats overrun the water hole, chasing away the swimming mice and the basking lizards, disturbing the small serpents sleeping under the mud. A feral approaches them slowly, but they see it and swarm around it, tearing it to pieces before fighting over the meat.

Zhado enters the village and immediately sees the carcass of the cave dragon on the village square. Its hide has been removed, and most of its meat and gut carved away, leaving only its gleaming bones and still beating heart. The bones will make good tools and construction material, if ever they’ll need them. The dragonheart will be burnt tomorrow, and its ashes spread over the land. It is a long-awaited gift from the Grand Writer; rain has been scarce, and the waterscripts can only do so much.


Due to technical problems, I will be uploading Aji’s drawing today. She hasn’t named it yet, but in the spirit of her titles, I have decided to call it “Anina and Escoda sparring and touching inappropriate things while Henrik tries to study and Vil keeps copying him while wearing a fez

Anina: Strong fingers! Been training in somewhere?

Escoda: Ugh, you can still talk? If I bring your tongue down, can you still?

Henrik: Keep the flirting down, guys. I’m trying to study.

Yes, you see the canon pairings are Anina/Escoda and a one-sided Vil/Henrik.

Aji and I spent an entire hour arguing over dragon anatomy

It eventually devolved into an “Engineer vs. Architect” debate, which is kind of unfair because I have no artistic skill whatsoever.

The whole thing started in one of my eee classes, when I had a huge urge to draw a dragon. This was my first drawing:

A better (but still crappy) drawing addie took for scanning.

After class I showed it to aji and ordered asked her to draw a dragon for me. I wanted something that was like a mix of a komodo dragon and a pterosaur.

(I especially like this gif)

Aji, on the other hand, wanted it to be “slender” and “elegant”, which was definitely not possible in a komodo dactyl. Her design slowly morphed into a strange amalgamation of a hippogriff, a unicorn, and a dragon. A hippocorn dragon?

This is Vil, an upbeat sixteen-year-old homeless boy in the city of Singayn who named himself. All of his clothes are inexplicably too big for him, and he somehow has a different hat every day.

He first met Anina and Henrik when they were running away from some Lawscribes. The next time they see him, he’s cooking dinner in Anina’s hideout and offering them some bread.

Vil can’t remember anything about his past, and much about him remains a mystery. But one thing’s for certain: he has a big crush on Henrik.

This is Aji’s concept art of Escoda, the current leader of Singayn’s underground rebellion against the shadowless king. The character was based on Josefa Llanes Escoda and Gregoria de Jesus, a fact slightly obvious from her name.

She is in her mid-twenties, incredibly proficient with the use of fans (for combat Aji, and yes, I know why you’re laughing), and is of mixed race.

The last one is a secret she’s kept since she joined the rebel ranks, because even though the people of Singayn have no qualms with having a female leader, they are still wary of (and sometimes outright racist against) people of Firstborn blood. If her heritage is discovered, who knows what might happen.

Escoda was created as a love interest for Anina. Aji denies it but we all know this to be true.

Case in point:

this is Anina. Look to her right.

This one’s Anina, the daughter of an exiled Firstborn. You may remember her from a previous post. In this one I’ll talk more about her history and stuff. 

The Firstborn are the native people of Haven, having lived here for thousands of years before the “Outworlder” Haveners came and took over. They now live in the Midlands, a region of the continent specially “fenced off” and “protected” for them.

Anina’s father was exiled from the Firstborn cities forty years ago  and nearly twenty years before her birth. Despite this Anina is proud of her heritage and is eager to learn more and practice her culture, even though her inherited status as an “exiled” means she can never enter a Firstborn city.

Five years ago the settlement her family lived in was ransacked by the Shadowless King. Since then she’s been living on her own, dealing in the black markets of Singayn with her knowledge of potions and poison.

She owns two things she got from her father: a dagger and an amulet.

Midday: The Dragon

Up above, a dragon flies east, toward the ocean. Her immense shadow sweeps across the savannah, momentarily eclipsing the water hole. She must find food for her mate and their hatchlings, waiting back in their cave. She is hurrying; her Papered wings will last only a few hours before they become vulnerable to human weapons, and if she is caught, her family will starve.

The humans from the nearby settlement look up and realize nothing of this. They see instead the brilliant purple sheen of her hide, the sharpness of her talons, the plumpness of her body, and they ready their Papered arrows.

Midday: The Savannah

A lizard waits by the water hole. It is midday, and in the distance it spies the crowd of mice leaving their burrows, carefully scanning the surroundings for predators before spreading out. They do not see it as it lies low, its brown stripes blending in with the tall grass around it.

 In the still air of the savannah, the swaying grass betrays the mice’s movements as they scamper towards the water. A party of five comes too close, and the lizard pounces, catching one before it can run away. The mouse will be enough to satisfy it for a few hours. It will have to hunt again before the sun sets. 

It hasn't really been obvious here in tumblr, but I decided to join NaNoWriMo this year as well.

I’m barely scraping by the daily quota, but I am having fun!

My story is The Road to Singsingan, basically an update and slight makeover of the Singayn set of story elements. I’m writing about it now, because my account in the pinowrimo’s pimp my plot blog has just been validated and I was able to write a synopsis of the story.

I kinda liked it, so I’mma post it here.

Henrik is a scribe’s apprentice whose town burned down because of the whims of a mad king. He has vowed to go to Singsingan, the city of the king, to seek revenge, until a group of Firstborn (natives of the land) intercepted him and told him to go to another city instead, where he is meant to meet his destiny. While there he has to learn to master the magic of Scriptwork in order to achieve his goal.

Anina is the daughter of an Exiled Firstborn who had to run from Singsingan when someone tried to kidnap her and steal her father’s amulet, which he gave to her before he disappeared a few years ago. She doesn’t have a home, as she cannot return to the place she grew up in, nor will any Firstborn help an Exiled. She has to fend for herself while simultaneously trying to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance and the importance of his amulet.

Vil is a boy of Silangdako. He doesn’t have a family and he cannot remember why. One day he meets Anina and Henrik, and decides to help them on their quests.

Together they embark on the road to Singsingan to unravel the mysteries thrown before them, but little by little they discover that their separate quests are all just threads of a single, looming conspiracy that could unravel the very fabric of magic and devastate the world.

hahaha oh my god do I love run-on sentences at five in the morning.

Creation’s Twilight.

In the end times, Kadiliman reigned the universe, and under him the light of stars began to fade and die. Inang Tala, the last star, fled and created a home of light and heat. In this home, safe from Kadiliman’s destroying hands, Inang Tala gave birth to five children: Bituing Balani, Mundong Pugad, Mundong Bulan, Bituing Bahaghari, and Bituing Bughaw.

Of the five, her eldest daughter Mundong Pugad was the most gifted, and to her Inang Tala gave the Gift of Life, the last of its kind in the universe.

So… instead of studying for the EEE33 long test tomorrow, I made up a cosmology and creation story for the Singayn universe.

My friends and I were thinking of probably recreating Singayn into a fantasy setting influenced by more Pinoy stuff. Well, this cosmology isn’t, but the names sure are.

The literal english translations would be: Inang Tala (Mother Star), Kadiliman (Darkness), Bituing Balani (Magnetic Star), Mundong Pugad (Nest World), Mundong Bulan (Moon World), Bituing Bahaghari (Rainbow Star), and Bituing Bughaw (Blue Star). As you can see, they sound better in Filipino.

Shortened versions of these names are on the crappy picture I did in Powerpoint, written in Baybayin (using the Tagalog Doctrina font, if you’re curious).

"Anina and Herik and Vil and Dragon Adventures With Social Commentaries On Race, Culture, Ethnicity, And Class With Bigots Being Set On Fire Also Vengeance Also There is No God"

ok, so aji and I have been brainstorming on a singayn story all night. Before she went to bed, I asked her what a good title for the story would be, and that’s what she suggested.


The Legend of the Dog's Lantern

I actually have a few loose ideas hanging around in my notebooks and other stuff with which I could wrangle out a story. One of the story snippets is this one after the jump, “The Legend of the Dog’s Lantern” which was written like a fairy tale set in the Singayn series.

I may be able to write something that parallels this, and fit everything into a four-page, double-spaced format. If I’m lucky.

Keep reading

The Dog's Lantern

Xiaolin Showdown has me interested in adding magical artifacts to my fictional world. I only have one fleshed out artifact for my Singayn universe so far: The Dog’s Lantern, and I haven’t even used it. 

Okay then… since I have nothing better to do tonight, let’s write something.

"What’s that?" the traveler asked the antique merchant, pointing at an old lantern gathering dust in one corner.

"That? I don’t think you would want that. It has been broken ever since a swindler tricked me into buying it. If you are interested in lanterns, however, I do have a fine collection straight from the Verasj lantern-scribes, complete with…"

"Let me see it," he interrupted, still pointing.

The merchant shrugged and retrieved the lantern, wiping away most of the dust with his right sleeve rag before handing the thing to the young man.

He examined the lantern. Lines were engraved unto the glass, too small to figure out what they formed, but as he passed his fingers across them, he felt… strange. [“His fingers would be fine for a scribe,” his teacher always said, “as sharp and calculating as his wit.”]

He coughed. “It seems to be in pristine condition.”

"It’s useless. No match or Paper can force it to light itself. Trust me, I have tried." When the traveler did not let go of the lantern, however, the merchant continued talking. "But, it does have a design unlike any other, doesn’t it? Look at how all these lines just seem to fade softly into…”

This lantern is writ powerfully. "How much for it?"

The merchants eyes widened. “Five hundred of your coins. No less.” 

"Five hundred for a broken lantern?"

"Five hundred. Or if you think it too much, I can still show you the Verasj collection. They burn beautifully and will cost you much lower…”

"I’ll give you two hundred."

"Five hundred or nothing. The craftsmanship is just too exquisite."

"Fine," the traveler said, handing over a five-hundred token. The lantern held extremely powerful magic, and he would not let someone’s greed ruin his chance to study it.

He left the shop, calling his shadow back from the streets. 

I have a self-consistent system of rules concerning this object, and I think it would be fun fleshing it out, no?

One: Legend has it that the Dog’s Lantern will help you find truth.

Two: It was created by the Firstmen, the near-mythical people who first colonized the land of Haven.

Three: It can only be used by day.

Four: One of these four points is wrong.

It was one boring afternoon, a physics class not yet done. I was sitting in Corge’s seat for I didn’t like mine. What was there to do? I did not want to listen to the lecture - ‘twas boring - and so I drew this.

It’s a map of the borders of North Haven, The Middle Lands, and Anarchant (then Ysthul) where the stories of the Singayn Universe takes place (It’s there o, north of the Nightcalm). Hha. West of this is the Dune Coast (formerly Oeshiv) and south is South Haven. I am really random.