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C13P65 Promises

C13P65 Promises published on 12 Comments on C13P65 Promises

Zhiro’s laying down some ground rules.

Apologies for this being a little late compared to when I usually post updates (typically I post the night before so that no matter the time zone, the page is up when Monday or Wednesday starts).  I’ve been sick the past few days and didn’t feel up to updating last night at the normal time.  Still not at 100%.  Going to try and take it easy, or as easy as I am capable of taking things.  I will endeavor not to feel too guilty about resting.  Logic knows that the squishy human body requires rest and recovery time.  It’s the rest of me that views it as laziness.

12 Comments

Children visit this site. Moderate your language accordingly.

Random question. How tall is Zhiro?

Oh gosh, I’m gonna have to go look it up.
*turns over house to find notes*
Okay, according to my notes of ye Olde year of 2010, Zhiro is 5’5.”

BUT that number is a little fungible, since I typically draw them relative to each other and I know that the heights have changed a bit. Pakku at first design, for example, was a lot taller. He’s shrunk over the years. Basically, Zhiro is one head shorter than Tama.

If he was only a foot or so taller, I could totally <3 him :p

His development of a backbone is coming at a very fast clip now. Bet it hurts.

I’ve never found Zhiro’s backbone to be particularly weak, but his expectations of others have always been criminally low.

Okay, I’m often almost criminally out of step with other people, so maybe this will help me get a hint. In wars, in battles, sometimes hundreds of people will die, not to win the war or even an entire battle, but merely to take a single hill on a single battlefield.
What makes Zhiro think he is so special? His God needed him, used him, and in the end, ruined his life. But who else should DE have used and betrayed, some random passerby?
Zhiro may have spent his whole life being told that he is merely a man walking among gods, and that seems wrong. He’s obviously close enough to Tama and Koruval to know that they are merely men, and to resent their all too human weakness.
However, the opposite seems wrong too. By demanding to be treated as an equal by DE, Zhiro plays the same game the va Nazas do, using his privileged position to secure blessings for himself without really asking the cost.
I can’t blame Zhiro, for this, or even Robin. No-one wants to read the story of the soldier who was satisfied to be mediocre. No-one wants to hear about the ones who died in an inconsequential battle on a forgotten hill. Yet, the longer I live, the more it seems to me that these many are the ones who truly decide history. Why are their stories so lousy? Why is it so hard to feel passion for them?

It sounds like there’s a lot of thoughts that you feel very strongly about here! I’m not sure I’m understanding what you want to discuss? I’m up for it, I just want to make sure I understand.

In reference to the specific comment I made above, for the entirety of Zhiro’s character and whether or not he has “backbone” — he’s be raised in a culture where he has minimal rights and any sign of defiance could result in his death. I’ve never written him to have a lack of backbone, but rather a highly trained sense of survival combined with an exceptionally warped sense of what love (familial and otherwise) look like. Zhiro’s starting to set some standards and boundaries for himself, which is brand new for him. So it’s not that he’s lacked in courage, but that he’s never known that it was okay to have boundaries or enforce them. Hence his expectations for what love looks like from a sibling, a friend, a father, a god, have all been pretty self-destructive. Now he’s learning to draw some lines for himself. What he expected was somebody to care about him enough not to hurt him because he cared about them. And again and again he has found that has not been the case.

On matters of battle and stories, it sounds like an interesting writing challenge. The narrative at that point becomes one of a collective rather than an individual. In order to achieve closure for a conflict that claims many individuals to achieve a collective goal, a writer would have to approach that in a non-traditional way. Would the narrative jump from one person to the next as each dies, passing on the focus as they work and fall for the collective purpose? Would the group be characterized as a single entity? The biggest challenge is that readers often connect to narratives via characters and they have a limited capacity to remember and care about a large cast. So telling the stories of a collective would have the struggle of making the reader care about not one, but many, and to give every disparate individual a larger collective connecting arch. It would definitely be a challenge, but it could make for a very interestingly constructed story!

I can’t express how grateful I am that you took the time to respond thoughtfully to my post. Sometimes, I become too emotional and unfocused. Sometimes I worry that something inside me is breaking loose, something terrible. It helps to know that people can consider my words and thoughts and not be immediately repulsed. That said, I’d like to share a metaphor I learned about that feeling, one that possibly unites myself and Zhiro.
“And each word that Flagg spoke sank into Thomas’ heart, like a sealed cask of poison dropped into a well.” (Stephen King The Eyes of the Dragon) That’s how Zhiro feels right now, isn’t it? Terrified to move, terrified to breathe, lest one of those casks break open and poison his entire heart. Too many people, for too long, have placed their poison in him, and it’s not a collection he can curate indefinitely.

That metaphor is really apt redscarf! Zhiro has been a vessel for too much poison for far too long, and he’s realizing that it is a situation that cannot stand. That boundaries must be set, and that there has to be more to a relationship, whether that be friend or god or family, than consuming their poison.

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