Hiraeth (Mod!Challenge - 24 hr)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by TheRynJedi, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 20, 2018
    Mod!Challenge inspirations:
    1. Your TV trope is: Dance Party Ending
    2. Your random word is: Hiraeth - def: homesickness for a home you can never return to, or never was.
    3. Your picture prompt is:

    Candles lined the edge of the stage, their flickering luminescence giving the ampitheater an ancient, esoteric feeling. Some of the beings in the crowd weren't even sure what those bits of material with flames on the end were called. Candles are not typically part of spacefaring peoples' everyday experience. But then that's why most beings came to Khorissan's Festival of Love and Light, to experience an ancient celebration that purportedly stretched back to the early days of civilization in the Galaxy. The musical troupe known as Alloy was happy to contribute to the festival's unique ambiance. Its members had travelled the Galaxy for decades, gathering wisdom and music from countless cultures. They had participated in the festival many times over the years, each time bringing a new twist on traditional sounds.

    A being in the audience checking tonight's program notes would see that this performance was titled "Hiraeth", with a note explaining the word was from an ancient tongue, and had no direct translation in Galatic Basic, but meant roughly "a longing for a place you cannot return to, or has never exsisted".

    Quiet strains of a viol floated into the night air, the crowd hushed as they strained to hear the notes. A second viol soon joined the first, their harmonies intertwining.
    As the music swelled, a third viol joined, a adding a low drone to the chords as the first viol flew high, reaching toward the heavens with a keening sound of loss and yearning.

    The song faded to stillness, and a light slowly focused on one of the viol players. She was Mirialan, her green skin adorned with black chevron-shaped tattoos. She wore a long dress that floated in the slight breeze. Her black hair hung loose down her back.

    "Home." She spoke softly, her words amplified so all the crowd could hear. "It is a word that all languages have, but contains within it endless connotations and variations of meaning." The Mirialan continued.
    "Home to me used to be my parents, my Community, that raised me and taught me right from wrong. Then they betrayed those teachings for radical idealism. I wandered, lost and confused, longing for a place to belong."

    The light faded, and another song began, this one with a quetarra, and a voice, singing with a longing, searching tone. The program notes gave a translation of the lyrics, they spoke of love lost, of tears shed
    As the song faded, the light came up on the quetarra player. He was Ryn, his dark brown fur and tan hair beginning to speckle with grey.

    "Home was my mother and father, my sister, my cousins and uncles and aunts. Traveling the Galaxy together." He recounted slowly. "Until the clan was torn apart by slavery. Our families were scattered, my father killed, my mother and sister later lost to the cruelty of our masters. Even after I was rescued from that life, I was still lost and hurting."

    The light faded, and a third song began. It was played on the quetarra like the previous song, but the style was different. The song was slow and sad, it had a feeling of a journey, of seeking something.
    As the music faded, the spotlight came up on another Ryn, he was smokey-grey colored, but younger than the first Ryn, by perhaps a decade and a half. He finished the final note on his quetarra and looked up at the audience. When he spoke, his accent was slightly different from the other Ryn.

    "I had a home, and people that raised me. But I never really felt I was home. I longed for a place to belong, with people who understood me. I ran away, and searched among the stars for my Home."

    The light faded, and from the shadows another voice spoke, gruff, but feminine.

    "The Empire destroyed my home. Scattered my family to the stars."

    And another voice, masculine, clipped and precise.

    "I thought I had found a home among the regimented ranks of military might, until I saw the atrocities that my brothers-in-arms were committing."

    And yet another, and another, their voices overlapping into a chorus of pain, loss, and longing.

    Suddenly a wind blew from the stage, snuffing out the candles. From the darkness a voice spoke; the cultured tones of upper-class Coruscanti Basic, but softened by the influence of speaking many languages over her years.

    "We were all wanderers, searching for a place to belong. Longing for a home we had left behind, or had been taken from us, or had never truly exsisted in the first place. And together, we created a new Home for ourselves."

    Soft music began, a viol and keyboard, a voice singing of Hope.

    Then the chorus began with a flood of brilliant lights, illuminating the stage, where a full band played instruments of many cultures and places. Across the stage, a Ryn girl danced and played the viol, her happiness and exuberance palpable to anyone who watched.

    As the next song began, one even more upbeat and exciting than the first, the audience couldn't help it, one or two at a time, then entire sections, stood up and joined in the dance. Because everyone can find a home in music, even if "hiraeth" visits your heart sometimes.

    (A few notes)
    Readers of my other Itanno Clan/Alloy stories will probably recognize Danyal, Jess, and Sennah’s voices, and the Ryn dancer (Sennah & Danyal’s daughter Wenna) appeared briefly in a @Findswoman story. The others are some characters I haven’t really introduced yet, but hope to be able to get to where they enter the saga soon.
    One of them was a character whose voice I created just today.
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
    Kahara, divapilot, GregMcP and 3 others like this.
  2. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Wow. This was such a vivid story, both in terms of the scene and the music (which I loved the additions of the songs! It really plunged my senses into the story), and the emotions. You really took the prompts and made them the main focus of a beautiful story that had a very relatable theme - you blended loss and longing with hope and joy which worked just so well. And in such a short amount of time! It's amazing!

    I love how this is a testament to the power of music! =D=@};-
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Clash of Titans Winner star 8 VIP - Game Winner

    Aug 31, 2004
    Beautiful and moving juxtaposition of the mood being set by the lighting and the music and also the words shared after each song. The tone at first is one of loss and great calamity.
    Then there is a jubilant shift in the light, music, and mood!

    Lovely, as we move towards hope and belonging from devastation and loss!!

    TheRynJedi and Findswoman like this.
  4. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 20, 2018
    This challenge played to how my brain works when writing, bursts of inspiration where I write for multiple hours straight, then I’m kind of braindead as I try to do figure out the next bit. The hard part is figuring out when those bursts are going to happen. Luckily it happened today
  5. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh, this was just fantastic! I love how the entire vignette felt more like a sketch - but with music, incredibly so - done with flashes of feeling and inspiration. It was poignant to supplement the prose with actual songs to highlight the different stories coming together to express hiraeth for so many. Wow! =D=

    This summed it up perfectly! And, most of all, I appreciate how found family was expressed and the anecdote to their sorrows. Found family and -

    - music. Music really does unite people across so many divides, and it certainly does so here - just the same as is true throughout so many of your stories. We can all find a home in music. Perfectly said! [face_love]

    This was an incredibly unique story, all around, and a fantastic answer to the challenge and your prompts. Thank you so much for sharing your work with us. =D=
  6. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 7, 2015
    Home. Memories, sad and sweet.
    A lovely theme. I can feel the music floating around them as they reminisce.
    TheRynJedi and Findswoman like this.
  7. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost star 4

    Jun 3, 2002
    You blended so well the longing for a place long gone with such hope and joy in the creation of a new home. Beautifully done!
    Findswoman and TheRynJedi like this.
  8. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Admin of Comms star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    Beautiful job with this story. I loved the way you used the imagery of the candles, and the way you described the music was so real that I could almost hear it myself as a reader. This definitely was a story that felt like a multi-sensory experience. Great job engaging all the reader's senses in this story. You should be proud of this piece:)
  9. Findswoman

    Findswoman Ammonia-Breathing Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Love this—wonderful job with the prompts, atmosphere, and choices of music, which you crafted into such a perfect fit for your equally wonderful OCs! Such a treat to see them all here; I did indeed recognize Sennah, Jess, Danyal (those two Gipsy Kings songs really are his theme songs, aren't they!), and Wenna, and I think I could pick out some others, too:

    Smoky-gray younger Ryn male: Candun?
    Gruff female voice: Oali?
    Clipped, precise masculine voice: Not sure about this one, but I notice we haven't accounted for Tomás yet... was he the new voice?

    You couldn't have ended up with a better word prompt—"hiraeth" is such a perfect match for Alloy, with all their various backgrounds and stories and trials and tribulations that have brought them together. And of course I squeed an extra little squee for the fact that this is set at the Days of Love and Light on Khorassan! :D

    Great work all around, and thanks so much, as always, for sharing! =D=
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  10. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 20, 2018

    Not quite, his name is Chavo, I haven't written him yet, but he will be in a future chapter of Jess' story, and the Rebels "crossover".
    Oali doesn't perform, she's strictly tech crew. This is Alloy's drummer, who I haven't named yet, who is an Ardenian.
    This is the brand new character, all I know about him right now is he's an Imperial defector.

    I went into this challenge bound and determined to not do another Alloy story, to do something different, and then I got "hiraeth" and went "dangit".
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
    Findswoman likes this.
  11. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Force Ghost star 4

    Dec 9, 2001
    This was a fascinating story! I really liked how many variations there were on how someone can define "home" for themselves. I also liked seeing different species play a prominent role.

    I'm impressed with how you integrated the prompts-- looking at them before I started the story, I wasn't sure how anyone could make them work together when they seemed so thematically different, but you did it wonderfully. It's a story with a powerful message. Great job!
  12. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Force Ghost star 3

    Mar 18, 2002
    This might be the most unique fanfic I've ever read. The idea of embedding music videos in the text really added to this story and enhanced it beautifully. You've packed a lot of story into a short space. I'm not familiar with the Ryn -- time to do some research. :)

    Thank you for introducing me to a concept that I've never heard before, but instinctively understand -- Hiraeth. I think most of us experience this at some point in our lives.

    Love the fact that the musical troupe's name also defines their collective experiences, as well as the audience's.
    Kahara, TheRynJedi and Findswoman like this.
  13. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 20, 2018
    Thank you. Music often inspires my stories, if a particular song is part of a story, I try to include it so people can get the feel for what I was listening to and using for inspiration.

    (Bwahahaha, my crusade is working! J/K) Feel free to check out their Wookiepedia article, they came from Legends novels originally (specifically from James Luceno, for the New Jedi Order series) so the Legends entry is more detailed than the Canon one (though it makes me so happy they have a Canon entry now, because that's where I try to make my stories fit now). I've been traveling in my head with the Ryn for almost 20 years, all the known Canon is firmly in my brain, and what hasn't been detailed in official sources I've pulled from their real-world inspiration: the Romani people.

    You can find my other stories HERE. Almost all of them are about members of Alloy. Starting with the leader (the one speaking with the Coruscanti accent here), named Sennah. The first story on the list, "Destiny" is her backstory. Sennah is my personal Star Wars alter-ego, the comments after Destiny give some history on my search for a SW "me" and coming up with her and her Ryn clan. The Itanno clan Ryn are specifically based on Romani who settled in Spain, aka Gitanos.

    The thanks goes to the Mods for coming up with the story prompts. It wasn't a term I had heard of before getting the prompt, either, but fell in love with immediately.

    The music group idea came about while brainstorming an overarching plotline for the future of Sennah and her Clan. I wanted them to be part of the Rebel Alliance, being a Galaxy-travelling musical troupe would be a perfect cover for Rebel Cell operations.
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
    Kahara and Findswoman like this.