a*

some days I just want to write a whole like, dissertation about critrole and VM

I want to write about Vax and his idealized heroism and how that bleeds into foolhardiness and how all that reflects his past as a thief and an unwanted son and the idea that he is bettering himself

I want to write about Keyleth and how shaping the earth takes the most time but is also the hardest to undo and how that plays into her anxieties about leadership and longevity and choosing between a rock and a hard place

I want to write about Vex and how she shares her brother’s pragmatism but in an entirely different way, and how they play off each other, and how they are so similar but also so ridiculously different

I want to talk about Pike and duty and loneliness and responsibility and fealty and faith and putting on masks

I want to write about Percy and taking off masks and the differences between arrogance and self-worth and leaving your mark on the world when you aren’t even going to be in it very long

I want to talk about Grog and family and responsibility and being smart in ways people don’t recognize but aren’t any less meaningful than knowing your numbers or your letters

I want to talk about Scanlan and having something to live for and an unknown past and being so much older than everyone and taking on unexpected responsibilities and how fatherhood isn’t all that new a thing for him when he really gets down to it

I want to talk about this band of people with their hang ups and their issues who are growing and changing and learning there’s just so much content these characters are so multifaceted and I don’t know where to begin

3

There’s a little girl waiting in a garden. She’s going to wait a long while, so she’s going to need a lot of hope. Go to her. Tell her a story. Tell her that if she’s patient, the days are coming that she’ll never forget. Tell her she’ll go to sea and fight pirates. She’ll fall in love with a man who’ll wait two-thousand years to keep her safe. Tell her she’ll give hope to the greatest painter who ever lived and save a whale in outer space. Tell her this is the story of Amelia Pond. And this is how it ends.

mmm yes I love how out of his depth Kerr is. I mean, he’s an adventurer, he knows how these things go, but this––life and death and gods and monsters––this is further than he ever got (he turned back, last time he entered a necromancer’s lair, turned tail and fled, left friends and companions behind to rot away, if they’re lucky)

he left, and he makes wagon couplings, and he does what he can (you do what you can, because that’s what you can control)

and then this ragged group of assholes and kids fell into his life and took a shine to him, and they don’t care about what you can and can’t do, they don’t care about the rules; they will fight tooth and nail, down to the last man, for what they believe in. they will save this world or die trying, gods damn anyone who gets in their way. how incredibly unbelievable that must be.

(how incredibly inspiring)

Okay but. Whitestone as this melange of Standard High Fantasy (so, like, late medieval England) and Eastern European tradition. A group of settles from the south winds their way through the mountains to this valley and builds a home within the vale, under the protection of their god but all alone. Because it’s hard, traveling south from this new town, trying to navigate the narrow mountain roads rife with danger and death, so they lose contact with a good deal of the rest of the continent.

But the sea is narrow between the Alabaster Sierras and the lands of Wildmount, far more easily traversed than the mountains, and the young city finds itself often in contact with its eastern neighbors. At first they share small things: trade grains for furs, wood for fine cloth dyed in the Wildmount styles, stone for luxury goods, etc. Wildmount cuisine slowly bleeds into Whitestone food. Wildmount fashion––thick furs, and caps to keep your ears warm during the long snowy winter, and heavy boots––become popular in Whitestone. Wildmount architects are consulted about the building of Whitestone castle, because they have experience building among the mountains (and because it’s the fashion, of course). Wildmount folklore and superstition gets mixed up with stories from the south and become new and unique as children raised on both go on to recount those same myths and legends to their own children.

And time passes, and technology improves, and by the time Whitestone returns to the rest of Tal’dorei, a city of trade and culture know for the pale stone with magical properties cut from its quarries, it is neither of Tal’dorei nor Wildmount, but something in between, entirely its own.

also: Russian-influenced Briarwoods