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The Chronicles of Quelouva
Posted By: Forrest of B.orgDate: 8/24/17 10:00 p.m.

Apologies in advance as this post is long and going to end up wildly off-topic by the end.

A long time ago, in a Bungie fan community far, far away -- specifically AOL Keyword: BUNGIE circa 1997 -- a young fan named Ben Wigler (whom most of you probably know best by his "Odes to Bob" I've lovingly preserved all these years) set out to start a new video game company called Obsidian, and gathered together a number of other members of that community to join him on that endeavor, among them yours truly. He had one game already in mind that we were going to start developing, but we all foolishly got ahead of our teenaged selves thinking about all the other games that we would make next. To that effect, I started writing a story for one of my game proposals... and then other stories for other, then-unrelated game proposals... and so on before we even had the first game barely begun.

That group of teenage wannabes quickly fell apart, of course, but different members of it kept reforming it with slightly different membership over the years that would follow, one attempt after another under different names, such as Static Dreams, Black Dot, and eventually the group that I cofounded, after MS bought Bungie in 2000, that ended up named Sphidia. You might actually have heard of that one from an interview we did with Inside Mac Games in 2001 about what was going to be our first title, called Dynasty. Of course within a few years Sphidia fell apart as well and at that point I basically gave up on all dreams of ever doing any video game development beyond Eternal. (Which I had also, at least temporarily, given up on around the same time, not long after it got that name and stopped being "Forever More").

But between the inception of Obsidian and the founding of Sphidia, I had continued developing all of those stories from what had once been unrelated Obsidian game proposals, mutating them drastically over the years, tying them together with each other and with basically every other non-Eternal story idea that occurred to me (including an extensive backstory I wrote for someone else's Myth total conversion that never got off the ground) into an extensive fictional universe that I originally called "the Obsidiverse", but by the time of Sphidia, I was calling "the Sphidiverse". Dynasty was going to be set in what was then one of the smallest and most uneventful corners of the Sphidiverse.

After Sphidia died around 2003 I didn't know what I was ever going to do with all of those ideas, and they mostly languished for about half a decade while I focused on other things (like Eternal, which was reborn the next year thanks to encouragement from this community), occasionally writing myself notes about further ideas for them. Eventually I started telling myself that some day, when life was all sorted out, I would spend my free time writing a series of books based on the stories, slowly over the course of my entire life. As soon as all of my real problems got fixed, I'd get right on that. It would be my life's work. Something small that I had done besides just struggling to barely survive.

Around 2008, after finally graduating university and subsequently having my entire life fall apart in every facet, I decided that I was going to start writing the basic story ideas down in a readable format because that mythic time of getting life sorted out was never going to come. I came up with a tentative name, "The Chronicles" of... something, eventually settling on "The Chronicles of Quelouva". I put up the bare-bones structure of an outline on my personal website, filled it out with tiny little unreadable scraps of story serving basically just as notes to myself to write more there later, and then started with the first story chronologically and tried to actually write something worth reading about it.

I barely got through one rough draft of that first story. Life kept getting harder and I just couldn't think clearly enough to write anything that sounded good. It was too much, I was too exhausted, I couldn't force myself to be creative enough after every long day of shit. At least that's what I told myself. Whenever I actually feel good for long enough, I told myself, I'll get back to it. Just start writing the next story. And keep going and eventually it will all be done. But of course I never felt good enough, and that never happened, and almost another decade went by with no progress besides the occasional further notes to myself to write something more later about an idea I'd just had whenever I could get around to it.

Around the end of 2016 and the start of this year, I ended up writing myself surprisingly many neat ideas to write more about later, and I was subsequently reflecting on how what I had online was such an unreadable mess that nobody could even just take in the big picture of what it was I was aiming to create without wading through the crap excuse for an outline I had managed to create so far. If I were to just die right then, nobody would even have the vaguest idea what it was in my head that I had once dreamt of "spending my life creating". So despite being busier and more beat down by life than ever, I forced myself to find some time to write at least a highest-level summary of the big picture, all on one (albeit long) page.

And then I thought, you know what, I'll write some little three-paragraph summaries of each of the three sagas that the whole project is divided into, just writing like a paragraph a night every other night (ish), over the course of less than a month. Something slow, and manageable, just so that people can see on a high level what it was that I once dreamt of making -- so that like, maybe, if I died and people found all of my notes to myself, someone might find it worth sorting through them and assembling it all into what the summary painted a rough picture of.

But then after that month of fairly easy slow high-level summarizing was past, I thought to myself, this is easy enough, maybe I can expand each of those three paragraphs per saga into three paragraphs of its own, so that each of the 27 core stories (nine trilogies across the three sagas) has its own one-paragraph summary. I can keep up this pace for a few more months and do that, and that would be a better summary than what I have so far. So I did that.

And then, after that wasn't too hard either, I did the math and realized that if I split each of those paragraphs into three again, working at the same slow pace, I could flesh out each story into its own full page, three-paragraph summary by the end of the year. As kind of a challenge to myself, I decided to try that. And so far, I've been keeping it up. I'm about two thirds of the way done (almost 40,000 words in), right about to begin the climactic final stretch of it, and on schedule to have these summaries finished by the end of the year.

Not only that, but I realized I was having difficulty keeping most "paragraphs" down under a full screen of text, so I started automatically splitting them into threes again (and went back and split up the ones I'd already done), giving each part of each tripartite story its own page with its own three-paragraph summary. And then my English-major girlfriend pointed out to me that the figure I had looked up for an average paragraph was actually about a full page of double spaced text, and I could do well to split each of them in turn into three smaller, more readable paragraphs.

So now the whole thing is structured into "Episodes" (summed up in this phase into three short paragraphs each), three of them per "Part" of each tripartite "Story" of each trilogy "Series", of which there are three per each of the three "Sagas" of the overall Chronicles. That adds up to about the equivalent of nine full-length (27-episode) television seasons' worth of story, with a word count for just these summaries approximating what Google tells me is about that of a small novel (almost 60,000 words), once it's done by the end of the year.

Of course these are only summaries, not full scripts, and I've basically put no effort at all into making them look or sound pretty, just putting the ideas down in a minimally coherent form. But I've already done more to bring this thing that was once going to be my "life's work" into some kind of readable form this year than in all the twenty years that I was "working" on it before.

And that's why I'm telling you about it now. A month or two ago I realized, thinking that maybe I would remember this as the year I finally did something about the Chronicles, that I've been sitting on all of this for about twenty years now. And because I'm a digital pack rat, I still have the original text document in which I wrote the first draft of the very first game proposal that eventually grew into this project, with a creation date of August 25th, 1997 -- exactly a month after my fifteenth birthday, and twenty years ago today.

I just wanted to commemorate that anniversary somewhere. And the reason I'm telling you guys specifically, besides that the project ultimately has its roots in the Bungie fan community, is because you all are pretty much the only people who have ever cared about anything I've ever attempted to create (Eternal, specifically), so I don't know who, if not perhaps some of you, might even care enough to be worth mentioning all of this to.

If you want to see the very rough work still in progress, I'm posting it to my personal website as I go. If anyone wants to ask questions or point out typos or anything like that, I'd love just to know that anyone at all even looked at it:

The Chronicles of Quelouva.

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Replies:

The Chronicles of QuelouvaForrest of B.org 8/24/17 10:00 p.m.
     Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaGeneral-RADIX 8/25/17 4:53 a.m.
     Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaGeneral-RADIX 8/25/17 10:26 a.m.
           Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaForrest of B.org 8/25/17 11:06 a.m.
                 Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaGeneral-RADIX 8/25/17 11:31 a.m.
                       Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaForrest of B.org 8/25/17 11:37 a.m.
     Re: The Chronicles of Quelouvascratskinner 8/25/17 8:45 p.m.
           Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaForrest of B.org 8/25/17 9:47 p.m.
                 Re: The Chronicles of Quelouvascratskinner 8/25/17 10:53 p.m.
                       Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaForrest of B.org 8/25/17 11:36 p.m.
                             Re: The Chronicles of Quelouva MMOSsCan-ned Food 8/26/17 7:40 p.m.
     Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaGeneral-RADIX 8/26/17 5:10 p.m.
           Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaForrest of B.org 8/27/17 8:01 a.m.
                 Re: The Chronicles of Quelouvascratskinner 8/27/17 1:13 p.m.
                       Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaForrest of B.org 8/27/17 6:22 p.m.
     Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaCan-ned Food 8/26/17 6:36 p.m.
     Nurbal Colony: Part 1Forrest of B.org 9/6/17 9:45 p.m.
           Re: Nurbal Colony: Part 1Forrest of B.org 9/7/17 8:28 p.m.
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Re: Eternal stuffVikingBoyBilly 11/20/17 2:27 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Re: Eternal stuffGeneral-RADIX 11/20/17 6:32 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Re: Eternal stuffForrest of B.org 11/20/17 8:21 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Re: Eternal stuffGeneral-RADIX 11/20/17 9:19 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Re: Eternal stuffVikingBoyBilly 11/22/17 1:46 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Re: Eternal stuffGeneral-RADIX 11/22/17 3:30 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Re: Eternal stuffnevets01 11/25/17 4:37 a.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Re: Eternal stuffPerseusSpartacus 11/25/17 10:14 a.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Re: Eternal stuffForrest of B.org 11/26/17 9:25 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Re: Eternal stuffGeneral-RADIX 11/26/17 10:21 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                         Re: Virtuality Immanent: Part 2scratskinner 11/18/17 3:39 a.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                               Re: Virtuality Immanent: Part 2Forrest of B.org 11/20/17 10:33 a.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Re: Virtuality Immanent: Part 2 3cscratskinner 11/22/17 7:20 a.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Re: Virtuality Immanent: Part 2 3cForrest of B.org 11/22/17 9:54 a.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                   Re: Virtuality Immanent: Part 2General-RADIX 11/18/17 6:37 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                         Re: Virtuality Immanent: Part 2Forrest of B.org 11/20/17 10:40 a.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                               Re: Virtuality Immanent: Part 2General-RADIX 11/20/17 1:51 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                 Virtuality Immanent: Part 3Forrest of B.org 11/16/17 9:57 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                       Re: Virtuality Immanent: Part 3scratskinner 11/17/17 12:38 a.m.
                                                                                                                                                                       Re: Virtuality Immanent: Part 3General-RADIX 11/17/17 7:15 a.m.
                                                                                                                                                                       Re: Virtuality Immanent: Part 3VikingBoyBilly 11/17/17 12:35 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                             Re: Virtuality Immanent: Part 3Forrest of B.org 11/17/17 3:23 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                   Re: Virtuality Immanent: Part 3VikingBoyBilly 11/17/17 6:06 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                         Re: Virtuality Immanent: Part 3Forrest of B.org 11/17/17 10:05 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                       Re: Virtuality Immanent: Part 3nevets01 11/17/17 12:46 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                       The Chronicles of Quelouva are DONE! (ish)Forrest of B.org 12/29/17 8:31 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                             Re: The Chronicles of Quelouva are DONE! (ish)General-RADIX 12/30/17 1:47 a.m.
     some random thoughtsscratskinner 9/9/17 12:29 a.m.
           Re: some random thoughtsForrest of B.org 9/9/17 8:40 a.m.
                 Re: some random thoughtsscratskinner 9/10/17 2:19 a.m.
                       Re: some random thoughtsForrest of B.org 9/11/17 9:35 a.m.
                             Re: some random thoughtsscratskinner 9/12/17 5:14 p.m.
                                   Re: some random thoughtsForrest of B.org 9/12/17 6:24 p.m.
                                         Re: some random thoughtsscratskinner 9/14/17 7:53 p.m.
                                               Re: some random thoughtsForrest of B.org 9/14/17 10:13 p.m.
                                                     Re: some random thoughtsscratskinner 9/16/17 11:01 a.m.
                                                           Re: some random thoughtsForrest of B.org 9/16/17 2:56 p.m.
                                                                 Re: some random thoughtsscratskinner 9/17/17 12:13 p.m.
                                                                       Re: some random thoughtsForrest of B.org 9/18/17 8:10 a.m.
                             Re: some random thoughts 2bscratskinner 9/16/17 9:12 a.m.
                                   Re: some random thoughts 2bForrest of B.org 9/16/17 2:58 p.m.
                                         Re: some random thoughts 2bscratskinner 9/17/17 12:31 p.m.
                                               Re: some random thoughts 2bForrest of B.org 9/18/17 7:41 a.m.
           Re: some random thoughtsForrest of B.org 9/11/17 3:37 p.m.
           Re: some random thoughtsForrest of B.org 9/14/17 1:55 p.m.
     Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaGeneral-RADIX 9/11/17 8:02 p.m.
     Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaForrest of B.org 9/28/17 9:43 p.m.
           Re: The Chronicles of Quelouvascratskinner 9/30/17 1:11 a.m.
                 Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaForrest of B.org 10/2/17 9:56 a.m.
                       Re: The Chronicles of Quelouvascratskinner 10/7/17 12:53 p.m.
                             Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaForrest of B.org 10/9/17 3:14 p.m.
                                   Re: The Chronicles of Quelouvascratskinner 10/17/17 6:38 p.m.
                                         Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaForrest of B.org 10/17/17 8:23 p.m.
     Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaTycho 10/22/17 4:14 p.m.
           Re: The Chronicles of Quelouvanevets01 10/23/17 7:42 a.m.
           Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaForrest of B.org 10/23/17 10:41 a.m.
     Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaForrest of B.org 10/26/17 10:49 p.m.
           Re: The Chronicles of Quelouvascratskinner 10/27/17 1:34 a.m.
                 Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaForrest of B.org 10/27/17 8:32 a.m.
     Re: Virtuality Transcendent: Part 3 *MOVED*scratskinner 11/9/17 10:50 p.m.
           Re: Virtuality Transcendent: Part 3 *MOVED*Forrest of B.org 11/10/17 8:39 a.m.
                 Re: Virtuality Transcendent: Part 3 *MOVED*scratskinner 12/21/17 12:48 p.m.
                       noticed you've updated while doing some factchecksscratskinner 12/21/17 2:26 p.m.
                       Re: Virtuality Transcendent: Part 3 *MOVED*Forrest of B.org 12/21/17 3:48 p.m.
     Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaForrest of B.org 11/22/17 12:18 p.m.
           Future Perfect expandedForrest of B.org 11/29/17 10:00 p.m.
     Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaForrest of B.org 12/7/17 9:30 a.m.
           Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaGeneral-RADIX 12/7/17 9:43 a.m.
                 Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaForrest of B.org 12/7/17 10:24 a.m.
                       Re: The Chronicles of Quelouvascratskinner 12/8/17 7:22 p.m.
                             Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaForrest of B.org 12/9/17 8:19 a.m.
                                   Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaForrest of B.org 12/13/17 9:10 a.m.
                                         Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaGeneral-RADIX 12/13/17 3:18 p.m.
                                         Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaYossarian 12/15/17 9:58 p.m.
                                         Re: The Chronicles of Quelouvascratskinner 12/16/17 1:22 p.m.
                                               Re: The Chronicles of QuelouvaForrest of B.org 12/18/17 12:56 p.m.

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