Scarlet Sea [campaign storyline]

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Boldek
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by Boldek »

battlestar wrote:
Reply to Tr0ll
Actually, cannibalism has happened a lot in cultures that normally doesn’t condone such behavior. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannibalis ... starvation only lists some of the more recent cases.

Although cannibalism doesn’t happen frequently, but in times of wide-spread famine that’s caused by war, natural disasters or other reasons, examples of cannibalism were numerous. In another page, Wiki records around 12 pages of cannibalism in Chinese history alone. One case of cannibalism took only 4 months of city siege to trigger. There were stories of people selling human meat, at a price far cheaper than meat from domesticated animals.

In the story here, the main casts surfaced into a world already in a state of famine, and worse yet, everyone crowded to a single place (the city) that doesn’t seem to provide much relief to them. I think the main problem in the story (both writing and drawing) was that I didn’t clearly describe the scale of the famine and that there’s a hoard of refugees outside the city walls.

Since the refugees come from far and wide, the number of refugees would be too great to be saved by a few scraps. The city had to conserve food, especially that the farmers have turned into refugees so very little food was being produced to replenish their storage. Hence, I imagined that no food was being provided to the refugees at all. I had actually thought about having rusty old weapons tossed over the walls, so the refugees could form a first line of defense when the demons attack.

Although it would be logical to form protection groups during cannibalism times, historical examples of wives eating husbands, husbands eating wives, and young children being eaten made me think otherwise.

Thanks for bringing up a part of the story that doesn't make a lot of sense so that it could be improved. Currently, my idea for improvement would be adding more camps to the picture, while having the main cast learn more about the severity of the famine from the refugees that they traveled with.

P.S. Here's another shocking behavior during famine: mud eating. This special type of mud (largely aluminum oxide) is a white substance that bears strong resemblance to flour, but it has no nutritional value at all. All it does is that it temporarily relieves the feeling of hunger. Also, if eaten in large quantities followed by drinking water, it would expand in the stomach to the point that it would result in lethal outcomes.

Famines are hell on earth.
At the siege of Antioch, it was recorded that the crusaders would eat the dung of the donkeys, with the officers getting dibs on the undigested seeds. Bear in mind the majority of cannibalism took place in side of the city, where there was nothing to do but stare at the guy sitting next to you for several months until one died of hunger and contributed to the soup pot. I would say that the refugee camps may have better chances than a city, and plenty of foraging was still available. Of course I'm pretty sure that there would still be a dab of cannibalism here and there, but people chowing down on each other first chance may not happen that soon.
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battlestar
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by battlestar »

Older post to Boldek
:hmm: Although I was thinking that they would eat only ppl who was going to die soon anyways (plus well done by the lightning spell), I'll scratch the cannibalism here after thinking along the line of what you said. By lessening the famine to the point of your description it opens up a few side quest possibilities:
--protecting food wagons - if the famine was as bad as I intended, there'd be no food production and the city itself would be in much deeper trouble than the refugees, and the refugees won't be drawn to the city either.
--scavenge food mission
--stop refugees from digging into the city
--etc.
It also makes the next step of the story more logical because the next event happens within only a week or two of travel distance where famine doesn't play much a role.

Now the event logic is as follows: famine plus demons ravage the land --> localized famine with people driven towards the city for protection --> too many people gather around the city --> little food but at the moment fear greater than hunger --> they keep staying near the city walls.

Couple of things:
1. Title:
It bothered me a little since someone told me Crimson Sea was also the title of a fighting game or something. I looked into alternative names that contain the word Crimson, but a lot of good ones are already taken. Here are some of my choices and thoughts on them:
-Keep Crimson Sea: I came up with it myself so it's probably a fitting title. I thought of a sea of blood, and a "sea" of red demons in a "sea" of lava and dancing flame.
-Crimson Clover: Clover as in the little girl protagonist.
-Crimson Cloud: Sounds silly.
-Crimson Storm: Storm as in a torrent of events, ones that the protagonists are powerlessly dragged along.
-Crimson Cyclone: Same as above, sounds better though.
-Crimson Cycle: One of my favored ones, gives a feeling that the story, despite being long, is but one link in a cycle in history. As it is often remarked that "History repeats itself." Furthermore, this title can also drive the story and its description of the past and future.
-Crimson Chronicle: One of my better liked ones, since the story spans over a long period of time and involves a large number of events, many of which are linked to distant past.
-Crimson Darkness: The entire story theme is pretty dark. Perhaps better fitting as the prologue's title, though.
-Three word titles?
-Other name ideas?
2. Fix out cannibalism:
To write out cannibalism, "Wounded and writhing on the ground, they found themselves in clutches of fellow refugees, mad with hunger, drooling. Unable to defend themselves, they resigned to a fate grimmer than death." was the sentence that should be changed. If other sentences are found to suggest it, please let me know.

I've thought a lot of about what to change it to, but nothing good came to mind. Today I realized that hitting by intensive electricity on that kind of scale initially would cause the victim fly away from the impact, and perhaps even explode. Followed by temporary paralysis, cataract formation, heart arrhythmia, and respiratory arrest. The last two are main causes of death.

So how's this (both pictures and writing have been changed):


Image

Code: Select all

The city of wizards stood in the distance, its pale walls shone in the sunlight. Against its outer walls lay a vast stretch of decaying tents, a stark contrast to the vibrant stone buildings inside the city. The city gates are swarmed by massive amounts of refugees, seeking entrance. 

A mob of refugees near the city walls noticed the new arrivals, and swooped down on them. The two groups of refugees intertwined and struggled. Any meager amount of food would mean survival, even if only for a brief moment longer. 

Valia and Skarbod confronted the assailants and defended themselves. As the two arrived at the city gate, a small side door opened to allow them passage inside. Nearby refugees dashed towards the entrance, but soon fell to a flurry of lightning bolts. Wounded and writhing on the ground, the fallen gasped for air. But no breath came. Grasping at the violent agony over their chest, they gazed into Death as it gently enveloped their bodies with its invisible cloak.
3. New story parts:
Part 2:
It was magnificent inside the city. Magic danced in the air while armed soldiers hurried about. A group of city guards introduced themselves to Valia and Skarbod, explaining that only children and capable fighters were let into the city, where they are expected to be of service to the city’s defense.

One of the guards led the two to their captain. The captain introduces Valia and Skarbod to a task board, filled with low priority tasks. By the captain's orders they were to undertake the tasks of their choosing.

Part 3:
Days had gone by, and there was no sign of Valia’s grandfather in the city. Having just returned from an exhausting errand, Valia strolled slowly in the night breeze to relax her mind. She thought about her grandfather, her old friends, and the tower city where she lived in. Valia closed her eyes, and immersed herself in the warmth of her memories.

A gigantic explosion shook Valia awake. She looked up, and saw fire and smoke dancing triumphantly over the main tower of the city. While distracted by the sudden event, a cloaked man rammed into her. Shaking off bewilderment, Valia found herself being carried off by the man. She struggled, yet no movement came to her muscles. Shear terror overcame her. Behind the cloaked man, ground shook and split open. Tongues of flame peeked out from the cracked earth and licked the air. The world was falling apart all around them.
4. Further story modifications:
Valia doubled back, finding Skarbod waiting for her return at the river where they separated. Valia greeted Skarbod with a burst of magic, imbued with anger and confusion, and threw him into a nearby mud puddle. Wiping away the mud from his face, Skarbod saw a glare through Valia’s amber irises that would give him nightmares. He admitted that he has already expected the result of her journey, and he explains that the sky that they have been living under was nothing but walls of an underground cavern enchanted with the color of the sky. Valia had suspected that Skarbod knew, but she was still shocked that her long-time friend had kept such a secret from her. She turned away and intended to leave. However, there was no where to go. It would be meaningless no matter where she traveled, in this fake world.
Link for where they go in the story: http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php ... 9&start=17
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taptap
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by taptap »

Right now it's divided into
Demo: 1 spell system introduction map
Prologue: Fall of towers city, ascend to surface. (5 maps plus 1 random encounter map)
Part 1: finding wizard city, arrival of demons, escape (4 maps)
Part 2: human and orkish conflict (~30 maps to make), and the long journey (10 maps)
Part 3: distant elven kingdom, destruction of human empires.
Part 4: Track the dwarves, discover troglodytes
Part 5: Descend to hell
Part 6: rebellion against heaven
Part 7: demonic civil war
I would advice to shorten the parts considerably. Even after 10 maps human orcish conflict you will have an endless recall list, most 20 map campaigns need to introduce some effects (walking scenarios with limited recruits, recall list resets, quasi resets due to totally different terrain) to keep it manageable, with all the special abilities of L3+ available it is terribly hard to balance towards the end of what usually is considered a long campaign (15+ scenarios), your campaign likely goes up to 100.
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battlestar
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by battlestar »

to Taptap
Like you said, I've considered these issues and have planned for the solution:

- There's going to be a main retinue.
- Sometimes this retinue would be split then reunited.
- For some maps that describe a side story, a different retinue is used.
- Some other maps doesn't keep a retinue.
- In many maps, there will be no recruiting.
- Each part or group of parts have some kind of way to limit the retinue size.
- A lot of maps are going to be alternative paths, taking one means not taking the other way.

Prologue: you don't keep any in retinue at the end.
Part 1: you end up with no army either.
Part 2: retinue builds up but only allows you bring a certain number of units. The journey doesn't allow you to recruit unless special event of running into hirable people. Then at the very end, you need to dismiss people.
Part 3: retinue is limit in size due to food issues. Retinue is expanded by gaining land as rewards for missions and building farms with them.
Part 4-7: I'll come up with something as I plan the story for these parts. I'll cross that bridge when it comes to them, but with what you've said in mind.
Alternatively I could cut it off completely at 3 and restart at 4, but my original motivation was that 20-scn campaigns felt so short :lol2:

As far as difficulty in balancing, there will be other factors (spells for sure, maybe items?, side quest maps, random encounters) that would make it even worse to balance than L3, but it'll have to wait till the needed special codes and scenarios are done. Although balancing is going to be a nightmare, but the special mechanisms and map events themselves should be interesting to play with regardless.


Reading what you've said provided me with an outside perspective, and I wasn't sure I was going to incorporate some of the above mentioned things until now. Thanks for bringing it up.
A piece of insertion at the beginning of Prologue 2. To describe the pre-battle scene before undead besieged the tower city.
Despite their efforts, undead gathered around the city, and soon the surrounding lands were crawling with death.

The sea of forest before the city rippled, concealing the movements of the undead horde within. A thin veil of dust rose among the trees and swirled atop the trees. The city defenders stood fast, gripping their weaponry tighter and tighter, eyes unblinking. The air was without a single breeze. With every breath, the soldiers tasted decay and rot. With every movement, they swam in an ocean of muck.

From the center of the city, a blue light flickered and ignited. The blue light burned in the air, cleansing the defenders from their suffocating terror.

The rippling forest shivered in response, and the gentle waves became raging tides beating against the tree lines.
Please tell me what you guys think.

P.S. I'm stopping here for a while in terms of new parts, going to do overhaul of older parts. Much appreciated for anyone who lend a helping hand.
- Grammars: Known problems are presence of present tenses in a past tense story; unclarity in who some pronouns are referring to. Etc.
- Content: Inappropriate metaphors, and incomplete descriptions. Repetitive phrases. Etc.
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Boldek
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by Boldek »

Is this the city in fear of the demons?

I like your reference as the undead like an ocean. It's pretty poetic. 8)

p.s: This won't help with the plot, but I thought of a combat mechanism. Maybe you could have mages stand at certain tower spots to sort of man magical artilery spots?
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battlestar
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by battlestar »

last post
Yeah, it's fearing the demons as much as the refugees do.

I was actually describing the trees like an ocean. I was trying to get at describing a large army of undead that's concealed by the trees. Someone pointed out to me that the trees shouldn't be described like an ocean though the undead could... besides it seems like I might not be clear what I was describing lol.

I like the idea. There are plans for using something like that couple of different ways in many scenarios.
-My thought is for this scenario, there would be a unit that would damage enemy in a certain radius every turn.
-For an future scenario that involves only the protagonist heroes, one of their objective would be to find, control then hold a tower to fend off enemy hoards.
-A unit in the plague faction would be able to turn into a similar tower by going into siege mode.
-And other scenarios with towers that shoot only air or ground for their appropriate purposes.
Your thoughts?
1. Looking for ideas with a Alice in wonderland feel, the crazier the better, like McGee's. But nothing straight off of the sources, while spin-offs would be great.

2. Stuck on this one (in all seriousness): What argument can a bunch of underground ogres have with a gigantic piece of rock, which they have worshipped as a god for as long as they remember?
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The_Other
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by The_Other »

Maybe they've finally realized that it isn't answering their prayers, and now they're angry that their ungrateful god doesn't seem to care about them or appreciate their devotion? Or maybe they converted to a new faith - every rising religion always demonizes whatever was practised before, why would ogres be any different?
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battlestar
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by battlestar »

Looking for something more towards silly, mad, unexpected... something completely comical, something that could happen in the Wonderland.

Your idea is good but for this setting, it's making too much sense...

Here's an example of the type of thing I'm looking for:
A regiment of solders from the city-state of Modena invaded Bologna to steal a brown, oak bucket. During the raid, several hundred Bolognese citizens were killed by the Modenese troops. The ensuing war lasted 12 years. Modena won, and still has the bucket. It's still on display in Modena's cathedral tower, the "Ghirlandina".
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by The_Other »

Ogres recently got a new chief or high priest/shaman. When he was formally crowned/ordained/whatever, he gave a speech in which he offered a traditional formal greeting to the rock. The rock, obviously, did not give the traditional reply, which the ogre took as a grave insult. Over the next few days, he repeatedly demanded an apology from the rock (ogres aren't very clever, and maybe he's also worried about losing face by allowing the insult to go unanswered). Predictably, the rock ignores all his demands. Finally, the ogre loses his temper, forgets that the rock is supposed to be a god, and headbutts it. The rock doesn't care at all, but the ogre suffers massive brain damage and later dies. His son, seeing a chance to seize power, attempt to unite the other ogres under his leadership. To do this, he declares that the rock has murdered his father and must be punished. He holds the ogre version of a murder trial, at which the rock obviously refuses to comment. He finds the rock guilty of contempt of court and murder, and sentences it to death.
Executing a rock is a tricky business, and every time he tries to damage it he just ends up hurting himself and looking stupid. Gradually he becomes paranoid that the rock is out to sabotage his 'political career', and he becomes increasingly unstable and deranged. The other ogres are now confused enough, and sufficiently scared of their leader's violent temper, that they don't question his judgement when he declares war on the rock.

Silly enough?
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battlestar
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by battlestar »

Brilliant.

Got another one for a talking snake that was almost eaten by the same ogres, then later escaped after losing its fangs somehow?
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by The_Other »

The snake was caught by the ogres, who had planned to eat it. But it was smarter than them, and put off being cooked for many days by distracting them with stories, confusing them with riddles and paradoxes, and presenting logical arguments which the ogres weren't clever enough to fid fault with. Eventually, the snake talked them into taking it off the menu and giving it a position of power, which led to it being chosen for the first attempt at executing the rock. The snake, obviously, knew this wasn't going to work, but he went along with it because he didn't want to upset his new friends.
When the day of execution came, the snake was made to bite the rock, which obviously didn't go well. Its fangs broke and fell out, but the clever snake took advantage of the ogres' stupidity to trick them. It persuaded them that poisonous fangs lying around on the floor were a public health risk, and convinced them that every single one of them must drop whatever they were doing to find the dangerous teeth and make sure they were safely disposed of. While they were thus occupied, the snake slithered away right under their noses, laughing so hard that its sides literally split and it shed its skin on the way out.
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battlestar
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Re: Crimson Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by battlestar »

I especially like the ending there. I'll make some minor adjustments and Scenario 4'll have a very interesting story line thanks to you. Originally it might've been a go from point A to B and kill some stuff, but now I can't wait to see how every thing will play out (I'll have a pretty good idea fairly soon).
Spoiler:

3/12:
Story revision, Prologue 1:
Valia was a human girl, fair skinned and spirited. The tallest spire in a city of towers was her home, where she lived with with her grandfather Nizbaf. Valia and Nizbaf made a loving family, though only grandfather and grand daughter. Nizbaf taught Valia magic, who was an apt learner. Valia was happy and surrounded by friends, though much of her younger years had been lost to her since a traumatic accident.

The sun set, but the tower city was still buzzing with life. Valia's close friends came to her dwelling, and dragged her off to plan pranks on their neighbors. Among Valia's friends, there was a young orc, Skarbod, who’s almost too handsome to be an orc. Though a charming face, the orc had kept it under a mask of constant gloom. Another of Valia's friend was a young dwarf girl, Lila, whose smile was always brighter than the sun. And last but not least, there was Glani, a rowdy human boy who had Valia's heart racing, though the boy was too busy wrecking things to be aware of her thoughts.

Such a peaceful morning... simply divine... no explosions... No explosions? Valia opened her eyes, the shroud of drowsiness ripped away. Grandpa’s experiments had always woken her up in the morning, Valia thought. She wondered if her grandfather had finally given up his impossible inventions. Lazily dressed, Valia entered the dining room to seek breakfast, where some warm waffles had been waiting for her presence. Mmm. Waffles, her favorite... A letter tucked under the plate caught Valia's attention.

It was a letter from Valia's grandfather. He had once again left for a long journey, and this time, it sounded like a very important task. Shrugging, Valia thought that there would be enough things to do to keep her distracted.

One year passed, grandfather had not returned. Valia was lonely, even with all her friends by her side.
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battlestar
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Re: Scarlet Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by battlestar »

Veil of vast blue stripped away,
Leaving a shroud, color of clay.
A false life will, someday betray,
Hollowing a void where heart beamed ray.

My first poem ever and as the ending words to prologue section. Suggestions welcome. There are seven beats to each verse.
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Re: Scarlet Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by The_Other »

battlestar wrote:Veil of vast blue stripped away,
Leaving a shroud, color of clay.
A false life will, someday betray,
Hollowing a void where heart beamed ray.
In the real world I'm a writer, so I tend to instinctively proofread and reword everything I read. Reading your poem, I came up with this:

Ocean-blue veil, torn away -
What remains, as dull as clay.
Soulless heart itself betrays,
Far from Life's all-healing rays.

No disrespect meant to you, as I realize that English may not be your first language. I found your choice of words very poetic and powerful, but the grammar is at first a little hard to understand.
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battlestar
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Re: Scarlet Sea [campaign storyline]

Post by battlestar »

Nice poem! However, my poem was misleading. Would you mind making a new version that focuses on the theme: discovery of living a false life, and things are not as they seem? I was trying to describe how valia saw the illusion of sky recede from the cave wall and realized that she had been living inside a huge lie. She was especially mad at her friend skarbod for knowing the truth but keeping it from her. From that point on, valia left behind the joyful days with her "friends and family".

Thanks!
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