Fehu: domestic cattle, wealth | possessions won
or earned, earned income, luck / abundance, financial strength in the
present or near future / sign of hope and plenty, success and
happiness / social success / energy, foresight, fertility,
creation/destruction | reversedor merkstave: loss of
personal property, esteem, or something that you put in effort to
keep / indicates some sort of failure / greed, burnout, atrophy,
discord / cowardice, stupidity, dullness, poverty, slavery,
Uruz: auroch, a wild ox | physical strength and
speed, untamed potential / time of great energy and health / freedom,
energy, action, courage, strength, tenacity, understanding, wisdom / sudden or unexpected changes (usually for the better) / sexual desire,
masculine potency / the shaping of power and pattern, formulation of
the self | reversed or merkstave: weakness, obsession,
misdirected force, domination by others / sickness, inconsistency,
ignorance / lust, brutality, rashness, callousness,
Thurisaz: thorn or a Giant | reactive force,
directed force of destruction and defense, conflict. Instinctual
will, vital eroticism, regenerative catalyst / tendency toward
change / catharsis, purging, cleansing fire / male sexuality,
fertilization | reversed or merkstave: danger, defenselessness, compulsion, betrayal,
dullness / evil, malice, hatred, torment, spite, lies / a bad man or
Ansuz: the As, ancestral god, i.e. Odin | a revealing message or insight, communication / signals, inspiration,
enthusiasm, speech, true vision, power of words and naming / blessings, the taking of advice / good health, harmony, truth, wisdom | reversed or merkstave: misunderstanding, delusion, manipulation
by others, boredom / vanity and grandiloquence
Raidho: wagon or chariot | travel, both in
physical terms and those of lifestyle direction | a journey, vacation,
relocation, evolution, change of place or setting / seeing a larger
perspective / seeing the right move for you to make and deciding upon
it / personal rhythm, world rhythm, dance of life | reversed or merkstave: crisis, rigidity, stasis, injustice, irrationality / disruption, dislocation, demotion, delusion, possibly a
Kenaz: beacon or torch | vision, revelation,
knowledge, creativity, inspiration, technical ability / vital fire of
life, harnessed power, fire of transformation and regeneration / power
to create your own reality, the power of light / open to new strength,
energy, and power now / passion, sexual love | reversed or merkstave: disease, breakup, instability, lack of creativity / nakedness, exposure, loss of illusion and false hope
Gebo: gift | gifts, both in the sense of
sacrifice and of generosity, indicating balance / all matters in
relation to exchanges, including contracts, personal relationships
and partnerships | merkstave: greed, loneliness, dependence, over-sacrifice / obligation, toll, privation, bribery
Wunjo: joy | joy,
comfort, pleasure / fellowship, harmony, prosperity / ecstasy, glory,
spiritual reward, but also the possibility of going “over the top” / if restrained, the meaning is general success and recognition of
worth |reversed or merkstave: stultification, sorrow, strife,
alienation / delirium, intoxication, possession by higher forces,
impractical enthusiasm / raging frenzy, berzerker
Hagalaz: hail | wrath of nature, destructive,
uncontrolled forces, especially the weather, or within the
unconscious / tempering, testing, trial / controlled crisis, leading to
completion, inner harmony | merkstave: natural disaster, catastrophe / stagnation, loss of power / pain, loss, suffering, hardship, sickness,
Nauthiz: need | delays, restriction / resistance
leading to strength, innovation, need-fire (self-reliance) / distress,
confusion, conflict, and the power of will to overcome them / endurance, survival, determination / time to exercise patience / recognition of one’s fate / major self-initiated change / face your
fears | reversed or merkstave: constraint of freedom,
distress, toil, drudgery, laxity / necessity, extremity, want,
deprivation, starvation, need, poverty, emotional hunger
Isa: ice | a challenge or frustration / psychological blocks to thought or activity, including grievances / standstill, or a time to turn inward and wait for what is to come, or
to seek clarity / reinforces runes around it | merkstave: ego-mania,
dullness, blindness, dissipation / treachery, illusion, deceit,
betrayal, guile, stealth, ambush, plots
a year, a good harvest / the results
of earlier efforts are realized / time of peace and happiness,
fruitful season / can break through stagnancy / hopes and
expectations of peace and prosperity / the promise of success earned / life cycle, cyclical pattern of the universe / everything changes, in
its own time | merkstave: sudden setback, reversals / a major change, repetition,
bad timing, poverty, conflict
Eihwaz: yew tree | strength, reliability,
dependability, trustworthiness / enlightenment, endurance / defense,
protection / the driving force to acquire, providing motivation and a
sense of purpose / indicates that you have set your sights on a
reasonable target and can achieve your goals / an honest man who can
be relied upon | reversed or merkstave: confusion, destruction,
Perthro: lot cup, vagina | uncertain meaning, a
secret matter, a mystery, hidden things and occult abilities.
Initiation, knowledge of one’s destiny, knowledge of future matters,
determining the future or your path / pertaining to things feminine,
feminine mysteries including female fertility etc. / good lot,
fellowship and joy / evolutionary change | reversed or merkstave: addiction, stagnation, loneliness, malaise
Algiz: elk, protection | protection, a
shield / the protective urge to shelter oneself or others / defense,
warding off of evil, shield, guardian / connection with the gods,
awakening, higher life. It can be used to channel energies
appropriately / follow your instincts / keep hold of success or
maintain a position won or earned | reversed: or merkstave: hidden danger, consumption by divine forces, loss of divine link / taboo, warning, turning away, that which repels
Sowilo: the sun | success, goals achieved, honor / the life-force, health / a time when power will be available to you
for positive changes in your life, victory, health, and success / contact between the higher self and the unconscious / holeness,
power, elemental force, sword of flame, cleansing fire | merkstave: false goals, bad counsel, false success, gullibility, loss of goals / destruction, retribution, justice, casting down of vanity / wrath of
Tyr, the sky god | honour, justice,
leadership and authority / analysis, rationality / knowing where one’s
true strengths lie / willingness to self-sacrifice / victory and
success in any competition or in legal matters | reversed or merkstave: one’s energy and creative flow are blocked/ mental
paralysis, over-analysis, over-sacrifice, injustice, imbalance / strife, war, conflict, failure in competition / dwindling passion,
difficulties in communication, and possibly separation
Berkano: Berchta, the birch-goddess | birth,
general fertility, both mental and physical and personal growth,
liberation / regenerative power and light of spring, renewal, promise
of new beginnings, new growth / arousal of desire / a love affair or
new birth / the prospering of an enterprise or venture | reversed or merkstave: family problems and or domestic troubles / anxiety about someone close to you / carelessness, abandon, loss of
control / blurring of consciousness, deceit, sterility,
Ehwaz: horse, two horses | transportation / may
represent a horse, car, plane, boat or other vehicle / movement and
change for the better / gradual development and steady progress are
indicated / harmony, teamwork, trust, loyalty / an ideal marriage or
partnership / confirmation beyond doubt the meanings of the runes
around it | reversed or merkstave: not really a negative
rune / a change is perhaps craved / feeling restless or confined in a
situation / reckless haste, disharmony, mistrust, betrayal
Mannaz: man, mankind | the Self; the individual
or the human race / your attitude toward others and their attitudes
towards you / friends and enemies, social order. Intelligence,
forethought, create, skill, ability / divine structure, intelligence,
awareness / expect to receive some sort of aid or cooperation now | reversed or merkstave: depression, mortality, blindness,
self-delusion / cunning, slyness, manipulation, craftiness,
calculation / expect no help now
Laguz: water, or a leek | flow, water, sea, a
fertility source, the healing power of renewal / life energy and
organic growth / imagination and psychic matters / dreams, fantasies,
mysteries, the unknown, the hidden, the deep, the underworld / success
in travel or acquisition, but with the possibility of loss | reversed or merkstave: an indication of a period of confusion in your
life / you may be making wrong decisions and poor judgements / lack of
creativity and feelings of being in a rut / fear, circular motion,
avoidance, withering / madness, obsession, despair, perversity,
Ingwaz: Ing, the earth god | male fertility,
gestation, internal growth / common virtues, common sense, simple
strengths, family love, caring, human warmth, the home / rest stage, a
time of relief, of no anxiety / a time when all loose strings are tied
and you are free to move in a new direction / listen to yourself | merkstave: impotence, movement without change / poduction, toil,
Dagaz: day or dawn. | breakthrough, awakening,
awareness / daylight clarity as opposed to nighttime uncertainty /
time to plan or embark upon an enterprise / the power of change
directed by your own will, transformation / hope and happiness, the ideal / security and certainty / growth and release / balance point, the place
where opposites meet | merkstave: a completion, ending, limit, coming full
circle / blindness, hopelessness
Othala: ancestral property | inherited property
or possessions, a house, a home / what is truly important to one / group order, group prosperity / lLand of birth, spiritual heritage,
experience and fundamental values / aid in spiritual and physical
journeys / source of safety, increase and abundance | reversed
or merkstave: lack of customary order, totalitarianism, slavery,
poverty, homelessness / bad karma, prejudice, clannishness,
provincialism / what a man is bound to
I’ve decided to go on a rant, so for everyone’s sake I’ll make it short and honest.
1.The Voting Gauntlet on Fire Emblem Heroes IS a popularity contest. That’s the whole point of it, I have no idea what else you expected it to be. If you don’t like it, then don’t participate I guess? Delete FEH? Live your life?
2.No one cares how many Fire Emblem games you’ve played, or how many of the older games you beat. To be honest all anyone cares about are their favorite characters from the games. Even then, fans enjoy things for different reasons and no one is above anyone else.
Now this last one I know is going to make people mad, but it’s the truth.
3.Fire Emblem Awakening saved Fire Emblem. I don’t care if you like it or hate it, the simple fact is that if it weren’t for Awakening then FE wouldn’t be here today. We wouldn’t have a growing fanbase or 3 new games coming out this year. You don’t have to love it, but it does deserve respect.
So all I’m trying to get across is that no one should be shamed for which FE game they like. Or for which character they choose in the Voting Gauntlet. Or because they know less about FE than you. If this post makes you upset, I’m sorry that I’m not sorry, you’re turning this fanbase toxic. /END RANT
Mage gauntlet is coming up! Whose team are you on?
I did these badges for the flying gauntlet and they were pretty well received and fun to make, so I thought I’d do it again.
I’m personally very split on this one. I really like pretty much all the characters that are in the running this time around. There’s no easy choice. Right now I’m leaning towards Merric, he’s one of my best units and I think he’s really underrated. I should have him and the rest of the boys done tomorrow or the day after. :)
Using prophecies in fantasy without making eyes roll
Good ol’ stand-bys, ubiquitous fantasy tropes, are difficult to avoid. And sometimes we don’t want to avoid them. Goddammit, sometimes you just need a good, solid prophecy to write the story your want to write.
“It’s not my fault all these other people before me have written prophecies, too!” you say.
And you’d be right. Unfortunately, they did. So us modern-day writers have to live with the it. So what do you do when you want or need to use a well-worn trope?
Know that, no matter what you do, some readers will still hate it.
But you can’t make everyone happy, right? So let’s get started.
How-to guidelines from our predecessors
Prophecies in fiction have been used countless times. But there are reasons why we continue to use them. And while you don’t want to completely copy how it has been done before, we can all learn something from the basic form of real and fictional prophecies.
1. Prophecies are often vague and general
The language and phrasing used in prophecies, because of its important and symbolic nature, tends to go for sounding mystic and grand over sensible and utilitarian. This language achieves its poetic goal, but as a price, the meaning can be allusive, vague, or even seem contradictory.
A man named Jerry will kill a man in a fight on the corner of 3rd and Main on the fifth of January, 3820.
On the dawn of winter in a forest of gray, when one life dims, another remains.
One of these actually gives you some useful information. The other could mean a vast array of different things at any point in time, but technically applies to the same situation. One of them (though poorly) reads more like something you’d find in a piece of fiction.
2. Prophecies are often misinterpreted
There’s likely to be disagreement on the meaning of any yet-to-be-fulfilled prophecy. If it’s well-known, then common folk might take it to mean one thing, while the wealthy another. The well-educated might take it to mean one or two (or three or a thousand) things, while the uneducated take it to mean another. If there are two prominent schools of thought, then people might passionately disagree about the meaning. It’s possible that none of these interpretations are true.
‘Tis the nature of vague and metaphorical language.
The culture of your world will influence how people treat the prophecy. Conversely, the prophecy and its interpretation might have a huge impact on the culture, government, or religion of your world.
3. Prophecies are given in context
In the example above about the murder in winter, with no context that “prophecy” means basically nothing. Part of what creates nuances in interpretation of prophecies is variations in the understanding of the prophecy’s context.
Upon the rebirth of the emperor, the dark messenger will be slain; the eagle will conquer the land.
In this sample, very little is made clear when there’s no context. We have no reason to care, let alone believe, what these words are trying to convey. But say that our myths tell the story of a vanished young emperor who would someday reappear to take his throne, that the messengers of evil are immortal, and that the eagle is symbolic of peace…
It all starts to make a bit of sense, doesn’t it? Any alteration in context, however, could vastly change the meaning.
Prophecies don’t stand alone. They only work within their context. They aren’t created in a vacuum and they are not understood in a vacuum. Creating the vibrant world that surrounds your prophecy will go a long way to making it interesting and important.
4. Prophecies require a prophet
Why do people believe the prophecy? Why don’t they? When implementing a prophecy into your world, you need to pay attention to how people receive its message and ensure that that belief has a sensible backing.
A prophecy came from the mouth (or pen) of a prophet. If the people of your world totally buy into the words of this prophecy, then there needs to be a reason. What made this prophet reliable?
What not to do: There was this old woman and everything she said was totally batty…all except this one thing. This one thing will definitely be absolutely true, so help me, God.
Like any aspect of culture, the “why” factor is important. Why do people believe the prophecy? Why has it survived so many years? Or perhaps people don’t believe the prophecy…so why is that?
Consider Nostradamus. He’s a pretty infamous prophet, even though only some of what he said every seemed true (and almost entirely in retrospect). For the most part, when you mention him, people will kind of laugh it off. It’s mostly a joke. However…his words might also be true! But it’s best not to put all your money on it.
How are the words of your prophet generally received? How will this affect how your Important Prophecy™ is viewed and understood by the people?
“This Important Prophecy™ is believed because my story needs it to be believed,” is not a good reason. So make sure it runs deeper than that.
Pitfalls to avoid
1. Using a prophecy as a matter of course
Your prophecy should have a very integral part in your story and world. Using a pointless prophecy or using one just because you think, since you’re writing fantasy, you probably should, are one-way tickets to eye-rolls.
Like any trope, if you’re sticking it artlessly into your story, then you doing the trope and yourself a disservice. Every element you choose to include in your story should drive it forward, should deepen your conflict or characters. No inclusion should be made flippantly. Be sure that if you’re including a prophecy, you use it to its full potential.
2. Making it too simple or mundane
If you’re doing it right, then your prophecy will be super important to your story. And if it’s super important, you’re going to want it to be super interesting. If a dull, run-of-the-mill Chosen One prophecy is, unironically, what your story hinges on, then you’re likely going to get some eye-rolls and, worse, readers who put down your book.
3. Going for too much
On the other end of the spectrum, prophecies that are convoluted or require the ten-page backstory to put into context are likely going to take too much attention away from your actual story. Prophecies tend to focus on one (general) event. It can cover a few facets of this one event, but if you try to outline too much you risk detracting from the here-and-now or getting too far in over your (or your character’s) head.
Things to consider
Is the fulfillment of the prophecy a mystery even to your reader? Or does the story give the answer, leaving the path to the fulfillment to be the mystery?
Is your prophecy immutable? Is it Destiny and it will come true no matter what anyone does?
Is the prophecy self-fulfilling? How do the characters’ knowledge of the prophecy affect events? How might their ignorance of it?
How does the fulfillment differ or align with the expectations held by the characters?
Did the prophet speak of their own freewill, with true foreknowledge, or were they a vessel for a deity, or some supernatural being?
How was the prophecy passed down to the present? Was it done so flawlessly, or might there have been translation, oral, or interpretation errors that happened along the way?
How widely accepted, or known, is the prophecy among the common people?
How common are prophecies in general? Does this one stand out in some way? If so, how and why?
Does the prophecy give away an outcome, or does it simply set up a situation?
How detailed is your prophecy and how have those seemingly specific details been misinterpreted?
How certain is anyone that they understand the prophecy?
If the prophecy proves to be false, how does that element find resolution within the structure of the narrative? (i.e. if you placed great importance on the prophecy with the intention of pulling the rug out from under your reader, how are you going to resolve the situation to keep them from feeling cheated?)
What do you think about the use of prophecies in fiction? What are some of your favorites or least favorites?
Aries: The primal lust for power that drives you fuels the spark in your eye and the deceiving lilt in your voice that rears just as you go in for the kill. You will eventually give up being the ever-brave knight and the same cold knife that pierces his heart in exchange for the purity you braved oceans of passion and battles of ferocious kisses in the thundering moonlight for. You will lay down your helmet not in defeat but to unleash a fierce tenderness that no other could ever match.
Taurus: You grant your body its right to speak for itself, you’re a lover of few words and infinite complexities. The burgundy wine that pumps through your heart and veins and out through your mouth intoxicates its ever-fortunate victim within minutes. The kisses you allow are accompanied by your luxurious velvet touch that, on its own, is a treasure worthy of an ancient and haunting sea borne melody of lust, deceit, and riches beyond measure.
Gemini: Yours is an epic poem of magic and thermals thrusting you beyond the clouds and the stars in one flap of your winged self. An intense emotional threshold is accompanied by lighthearted joviality that lets itself be heard through your tinkling laugh late into the night. You are the adventure in any fantasy and the spirit of any angelic presence we have all felt when our wheels of fortune are on their way to the top.
Cancer: Your gentle caress is the joy finally bubbling up from an exhausted heart. You’re the flower in the gun, the lover that hit the universe. The Valentine’s Day you imagined all those years that finally happened, the ribbon on an exquisite present you almost feel guilty untying. Your quiet devotion is emotional and romantic, crystalline perfection in a tarnished, stone world.
Leo: The mischievous grin you unveil to the masses is nothing to the intense and yet… Exciting gleam in your eye when you unmask your bad boy disguise and become the gold-hearted danger we all secretly desire. You are the protector of the queen of hearts, jealous though your undying love may be. Somehow with you, the world is perfectly in sync with every breath that is shared, each movement a rhythm of unyielding devotion.
Virgo: The crease in your brow changes ever so slightly for every different small emotion you allow to the surface. The perfection of each conscious movement and considerate placement of every inch of you is not unnoticed. The free spirit you unleash in your blessed vulnerable moments is the thunder of a rainstorm in a drought, a love with you is one of reincarnation of your lover’s prized memories and dreams plucked from careful observation and secretly tender moments of thought.
Libra: Your youthful exuberance is open minded with a bright and surprising wisdom. The element of surprise is always packed neatly up your sleeve for when inspiration strikes your wandering mind. Though with light footsteps your travel this road, each movement is meaningful and not as wasteful as it appears to the ignorant eye. Your sweet intentions never turn bitter even in adversity, as your every move matches the most romantic of ideals with ease.
Scorpio: Trust doesn’t fall into your rigid nature, as you decided it can’t. But how you long for it, to let go of a little control into trustworthy arms that feel of your pillow after a long, hard day. You have the loyalty of the best friend trope and the love of the heroine all contained in the body of what can only be a hero. You do not move quickly, but each stroke of the brush is one of intensity and saturation made with steady hands. The bouts of rash action do not last long, as you already know deep in your soul where you belong.
Sagittarius: Worldly, exciting, fast and learned are your ways of rash and heated passion. You are jagged bottles wielded by the wild, but each cut of the blade is done out of fun and poisoned only by the cowardly. The jolt of sunshine and fall weather, the fall that tastes golden and slightly crisp, is only the instantaneous reward given before the ride.
Capricorn: You are the everything you determined they deserve; the want and the need alike. Allowing yourself the pleasure of being the mouse in the game for once, with an ever protective grip on reality all the while. Your intensity is a quiet one, one that doesn’t speak but radiates. It is unyielding and wooden, but alive all the same. Your branches bear fruit that, for once, are willingly plucked with a silent thank you and perhaps a passing smile. Your roots will never cease to grow until the soil is gone and your stomach barren, but until then you are permanent and, most importantly, ever standing.
Aquarius: You take flight without warning, but how any would worship simply seeing you go. A disguised predator in a world of the unwise. But from you comes the pleasure of shrewd sport in the face of those simply surviving. To let your guard down sounds obscene until you allow yourself to understand the truth; the truth that allows you to shed your old and tired skin. Like the snake you are blind before your fresh skin, and you can roll with it or forge a fresh path.
Pisces: The mysteries of the universe lie within your magnetic eyes and wry smile. Your every move fascinates and alienates and is left for only the dedicated to make sense of. You create a new world for your person, with exquisite detail and an unparalleled sense of wonder. But danger looms in the back of your incredible mind and with the shift of your thoughts you can press the tempting button of self-destruction. Burning bridges is a staple of your watery magic, and you the lone arsonist. Perhaps you could put down the matches, but who’s to say you ever will decide it’s worth it?