My apologies to any blog readers still out here. This post has been in the works for a couple of weeks, and the release I’m announcing today has been out for at least that long. I’m much better at remembering to post to Twitter and Tumblr than my own blog these days since I know for a fact that I have an audience there. Better late than never, though!
For what it’s worth, it seems to be doing pretty well for itself so far, despite a record word count and “only” some implied, off-screen spice this time, so I’m thrilled! That’s not to say I’m avoiding spice again. It just wasn’t needed for this particular story.
I made it!!!
Something I Can’t Bear to Lose is now available for your reading pleasure. This is officially the last story that I wanted to write before Patch 5.3 arrives tomorrow. There’s still plenty more that I’d love to write about and for these two, and plenty of Raph’s personal story yet to go — but even if I never write another word regarding the Crystal Exarch, I’ll be happy with what I’ve contributed to the world. Perhaps there’s merit in continuing for the sake of those that have yet to meet him.
This is, as promised, the big proposal scene I was hoping for. Since there are story reasons why Raph’s wedding to G’raha as portrayed in my screenshots would not be logistically possible, this is the version that I wrote for the two of them that adheres to the actual events of the game. I ended up pulling all of the other Scions (and a special Norvrandt guest star!) in this time as well, so you’ll get to see my first attempts at writing them as characters. I hope they come through well.
And now, with the servers down for the final maintenance period before The End, all there is to do is… wait. And pray. I’m not fool enough to hope for such things as happy endings — not with this writer, and not with this story. This game has always been about its silver linings (for those that know both Raph and G’raha, this is an inside reference as well as an idiom) and I must in good conscience expect the same to continue. None of us are coming out of this unscathed. It’s going to be brutal.
But on the other side, there will be hope. It’s what Warriors of Light are meant to ensure.
I’ll do everything I can to make sure that both Raph and I handle this with all possible grace, even when the unthinkable inevitably takes place. For now, I am still functioning between unpredictable moments of the kind of grief I would expect from someone twice my age who has lost a spouse. I hesitate to say that I am OK, but I have a real husband that I’m holding a little closer right now, both because of the kindness and love he has shown me over the course of this last year, and because of the insane circumstances of our own romance. This is far from the first time the words spoken by Persephone of The Matrix fame have had cause to cross my mind, though it’s been at least a decade for us.
My knowing it’s coming doesn’t inform Raph, who is still committed to spending what time he has left with his beloved — not realizing how little he probably has remaining. He’s been married for over a month now, which is long enough to start getting comfortable, and yet not long enough for everything that could and should have taken place over a lifetime. I’m glad I got to see him this happy, if only for a brief time. Neither of us thought such a thing was possible.
Unless the specifics of how this plays out serve to cut what little faith he yet has in himself to the quick, I think that he will survive, if only to carry on G’raha’s wish to see the fruits of his labor bring hope to the world. It will not be pretty, nor will it be kind. It’ll take him a long time to return to the person he used to be, if in fact he ever does. To emerge unchanged would be to reject the impact that G’raha had on his life, and he has no intention of ever doing that for a second time.
How he makes it between one day and the next remains to be seen. I hope you’ll all be with me while he figures it out, and while I continue to write both the best of it and the worst of it by turns.
And outside, in the real world, life continues in its own strange dance as summer transitions to fall.