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Saga - Legends The Family Holos | Ἀνάγκη prequel, OC backstory, Imperial era | One-shot & short story collection

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Chyntuck , Apr 17, 2015.

  1. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    Indeed I am even more shocked now that Ewok Poet also experienced rough treatment like this as a child. Thanks that you both turned into "rich and vibrant artists and caring persons", my dear Chyntuck. [:D]
  2. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Mods' Dare 2nd Place & Mods' Choice Dare Winner star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Jul 11, 2014
    I'm posting this from mobile so I can't check the exact dates, but I'm pretty sure the vast majority of those countries that banned corporal punishment in schools (by outlawing it in all schools, whether public or private and regardless of local government subdivisions where applicable) did so in the very recent past. To give a few examples, IIRC in (then West) Germany it was 1983 or 1985 at the federal level and in Canada it was as late as 2004 (and by "corporal punishment" I mean things like caning, not just being made to stand in a corner). Also, in the US, there are still approx 20 states that have not outlawed it and where the accepted (and regulated) practice is spanking with a wooden paddle until today. So either you gals just admitted that you are much younger than me, or you were lucky to be in schools where the teachers didn't do it.

    EDIT: This discussion has been moved to the social thread.
    AzureAngel2 and Kahara like this.
  3. Kahara

    Kahara Chosen One star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    Lovely! It's really sweet how gentle Messiri and Yakooboo are with Ayesha, always looking to understand why she acts the way she does. And it's nice to see her beginning to make that connection that she is really wanted in their household -- which becomes clearer with her adorable reaction to the impending sibling.

    [face_love] You just keep coming up with these scenes (in Ananke too, a lot of the time) that make my heart explode. Well, not literally. That would be messy. But you know what I mean. They are such a cute mother-daughter pair here. :D

    Oh, this is wonderful! I love how Ayesha discovers her art -- and the lifesaver that that will be throughout her existence -- through her new family, and how it's intertwined with her making for herself a way of accepting this new little sibling (well, he won't be little for long, I suppose. :p) And, as other commenters said, that it makes her connection to wood and natural materials even deeper. [face_dancing] On a tangent, but I really admire how you've developed Ayesha's artistic life into a very believable and moving thing -- the depth and beauty of her expression just seems to leap off the page and I feel as though I'd know her work in a heartbeat if it were real, just from descriptions.

    Also really liked the tidbit of her talking to the pup in her secret language. :)

    And her determination to be there at the birthing, in spite of all the mixup and stress of the day. (Poor kid! It would be very scary to be left alone at that point.)

    Just so sweet in all of the symbolism (already!) :D

    The holo of them all together being taken is a great moment -- all the awkwardness of figuring out where to put everyone when Ayesha is so much shorter. [face_laugh]

    Aww! [face_love]
  4. Gemma

    Gemma Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 25, 2013
    Thank you for sharing that beautiful Awwwww pic for the inspiration -- it made me smile and touched my heart.
    Nyota's Heart and Chyntuck like this.
  5. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Mods' Dare 2nd Place & Mods' Choice Dare Winner star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Jul 11, 2014
    I'm exactly one month late in replying to these last comments, so I'll take advantage of having a bit of time this morning and answer now before I come across as even more rude than what I already am [face_blush] I wish I could say that this also means that the next post is coming soon, but that would be overoptimistic -- I have an idea on how I'm going to write it, but I doubt I can manage the time :(

    Gemma I'm happy you liked the picture, I loved it too. It's just adorable [face_love]

    Kahara Thanks for taking the time to review in such detail, and for all your kind words [:D] Your comments are, as usual, either spot-on or far too flattering for me to be able to think of an appropriate reply, so I'll limit my answers to two particular points.
    The magic of these boards, with all the interaction and the challenge system, is that it forces me to build in more detail my characters' backgrounds. When I started writing Ἀνάγκη I had already decided that the process through which Ayesha became an artist was intensely personal and related to her adoptive family as well as her birth family, but I hadn't really worked out the details of what made her who she is. I really have to thank the OC Revolution thread for motivating me to look into her childhood, because that made me not only write these short stories but also rewrite bits and pieces of Ἀνάγκη (especially upcoming chapters when Ayesha begins to rediscover her art). The problem of course is that now I feel that I need to have worked out every detail of my characters' past before I can write them, and it's going to make my life as a writer a lot more difficult :p

    That was another aspect of Ayesha's past that I needed to explore a bit more, because I realised that when I write Ayesha as being at peace with herself, it's always in moments when she doesn't feel like she's the odd one out. This came a little as an afterthought, because it isn't really an issue in the very first chapters of Ἀνάγκη but it soon becomes a recurring motif (e.g. with the dance recital in the Emperor's auditorium) even if I was doing it unconsciously. I started working explicitly on this theme with Tree Dweller and then I understood that I needed to dig into the details, because the real issue isn't how others perceive Ayesha (like in this case, the village holographer who isn't used to dealing with Human children) but how she thinks of herself. So once again, thank you OC Revolution, you were really helpful about this :)

    And thanks again to everyone who dropped by to read and/or comment on these stories [:D]
  6. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Mods' Dare 2nd Place & Mods' Choice Dare Winner star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Jul 11, 2014
    Title: Life Day
    Timeframe: 15 BBY, six months or so after the end of The Crib up-thread
    Continuity: Legends
    Length: One-shot
    Genre: Family fluff
    Characters: Ayesha Eskari, Messiri & assorted Wookiee OCs
    Challenge response: This story began as a response to the Fall 2015 OC Challenge: Write a story in which your character's feelings, choices, and/or actions are influenced by the experience of either hearing or making music. I started it and deleted it and started over a bajillion times, until the 2023 Autumn Bingo came along to restructure it. I’m using the entire Bingo board (for a change); the prompt words are bolded in the text.
    Notes: The holo referred to in this story is described as follows in chapter 4 of Ἀνάγκη – Necessity beyond Sway:

    Life Day

    Kashyyyk, 15 BBY

    This would be a very special Life Day and Messiri was up at the crack of dawn. It was the first time that both little Rumpacharet and Ayesha would attend the feast, and, while Rumpy was only months old and would have many more opportunities to participate in the triennial celebration, Ayesha had just turned thirteen. This was her last chance to enjoy the festival as a child and the Wookiee mother was determined that her adopted daughter’s day be perfect. She padded out of her bedroom and made her way to the kitchen.

    She opened the shutters to allow the brisk morning air into the house. The last of the night’s fog was dissipating and dappled rays of sunshine were already filtering through the thick foliage of the tree that held their family home. Somewhere in the distance, an owl let out a drowsy hoot as it prepared to sleep, while the enthusiastic gobbles of Melagri chicks up in the branches indicated that their mother had returned from her morning hunt. The sweet scent of wroshyr sap syrup wafting through the air mingled with the aromas of the forest; Rwookrrorro and its surrounding villages were awakening and many parents were already at work to prepare the sweet treats that younglings would enjoy throughout the day.

    Messiri turned to the vat of sap that she had left to stew overnight. The transparent liquid had already reduced by three-quarters and was just beginning to take on a golden tinge. She raised the heat to bring it to a boil and extracted a basin of fresh wasaka berries from the cooling unit. The combination of the berries’ bright, tart flavour with the lusciousness of caramel was one that she found irresistible, and the whole town knew to look out for the basket of homemade candy that she brought to the celebration. She had just finished coating the berries in the syrupy reduction and was setting them aside for their amber shells to harden when her daughter walked in, no doubt awoken by the sound of heavy drums coming from the centre of town that called Wookiees to gather for the festivities.

    As was her custom, Ayesha had wrapped a flannel blanket around her shoulders to protect herself from the morning chill, but Messiri didn’t fail to notice that she was wearing her pretty dress with the knitted leather-thread fringes. Because she had been so deprived in her younger years, the girl was still small-bodied and immature, but the adolescent in her was beginning to show not only in her growing curves but also in her choice of clothing. However, the Wookiee mother knew better than to voice her thoughts on the matter, and she gestured instead for Ayesha to sit at the kitchen table while she busied herself making breakfast.

    [Is Rumpy still sleeping?] she asked.

    Ayesha grinned. “Like a rock. I tried to pull him out of bed, but he wouldn’t have it. I think he’s hibernating.”

    At this Messiri let out an amused growl. [Just like his brother. Keep an eye on the grain mash while I try to wake him up.]

    “And Ada’ Yakooboo and Rabarruk too,” Ayesha called after her. “They were both snoring like there’s no tomorrow while I was getting dressed.”

    Messiri huffed and began towards the bedrooms before remembering to peek back into the kitchen. As she had expected, Ayesha was examining the caramel-coated berries rather than the stove. [The mash, child,] she rumbled mock-sternly. [You will eat more sugar today than in all your years so far. Believe me, you don’t need a head-start.]

    Half an hour later, a bleary-eyed Rumpy sat on his father’s shoulders while Ayesha grabbed her older brother’s paw to exit the treehouse, and Messiri followed with the basket of candy. Thousands of Wookiees were walking towards the central square of Rwookrrorro, a wide platform that had been established on a gigantic section of a wroshyr tree limb. The footbridges were so jammed that many chose to climb along the branches to make way for families with younglings. Horns, flutes and tambourines had now joined the drums, striking a festive tune, and every now and then one of the adult males marching to town would bring his clarion to his lips and let out a deafening blow, adding to the excitement of the throng. It struck Messiri how far her daughter had come since the day she had been brought to them, a traumatised, malnourished child who feared her own shadow. For the first two years after her adoption in the Wookiee family, Ayesha had refused to leave the house altogether – but now, she was perfectly at ease amidst the dense crowd, skipping happily along the alleys to the sound of the music that echoed across the forest. Over the past several weeks Messiri had even noticed that she’d gone out on her own, probably to spy on the preparations for this day of celebration.

    Once they reached the esplanade adjacent to the central square, Rabarruk left to oversee the organisation of the wrestling tournament while Yakooboo joined the other elders in preparation for the ceremony that would close the day’s festivities. Messiri remained with Ayesha and Rumpy, whose eyes were sparkling with glee at the sight of all the activities in the younglings’ corner. The little cub was at a loss where to start, and his attention kept shifting from one possibility to the next, but Ayesha was visibly determined to try everything, and she guided him around the stands, ploughing her way systematically through the various games that were on offer. The Wookiee mother couldn’t suppress her smile. There were days where she felt that her daughter was confining herself to a state of permanent childhood, and she wished dearly that she would choose companions of her age instead of constantly hanging out with the pups; but she could see that Ayesha had today everything she had been denied on Zygerria, and she stood aside, rumbling quietly with other Wookiee parents while Ayesha and Rumpy had the time of their lives.

    They went hiking across the rope bridges that connected the treetops, then joined a treasure hunt that led them to an orchard where the prizes had been buried under bushels of fruit. The parents were left raking the area while their young took a hayride to an orga maze. Messiri waited for them at the exit, where her cousin ran a small stand that offered chyntuck pies. The music swelled in the distance to announce that it was midday, and they returned to the central square, where they found Rabarruk and Yakooboo near the stage that had been set for the various contests that would be held that afternoon. Messiri stood aside again while Ayesha and Rumpy took seats on the ground in the front row and passed around the basket that held the last of the candied berries. They admired the wrestlers’ powerful moves, they cheered the teams that competed in a game of tug-of-war, they applauded the actors of the playlets narrating the events of Life Day and they ooh-ed and aah-ed at the conjuring tricks that sent flocks of twittering avians into the sky. The roar of the assembly was such that the musicians had to lay down their instruments, but they picked them up again whenever there was a break between two performances, and the audience sang at the top of its collective voice every time they did, the guttural rumbles causing the platform underfoot to vibrate as if the ground were shaking.

    Despite the festive atmosphere, Messiri could see that Ayesha was increasingly tense. The little girl’s face was drawn, she was chewing her nails nervously and she kept casting worried glances at the crowd behind her. The Wookiee mother hesitated for a moment before waving at her daughter to join her, but Ayesha shook her head stubbornly and focused her gaze again on the master of ceremonies, who was now announcing the beginning of the dance competition.

    Silence took hold of the assembly as the first troupe climbed on the stage, a group of male cubs from the tribe of the High Clouds of Palsaang. The band struck up a martial tune to which they performed a traditional war dance, the stomp of their paws on the wooden floor resonating with the deep echo of the drums. They were followed by a trio of little females who mimed the Blossom of the Syren, then by an adolescent couple who waltzed through the Hunt of the Asyyyriak. The last number was an acrobatic performance by a single young Wookiee commemorating the Battle of Kachirho. He flew around the stage with his ryyk blade, combining the combat moves with the steps of the dance, and Ayesha forgot her anxiety to nod approvingly. The congregation broke into admiring cheers when he finally fell to the ground with his sword held up high, and for a moment it seemed that the celebration was taking a different direction as a few Wookiees let out angry cries against the Empire, but the master of ceremonies stepped forward again to call everyone back to attention. His smile as he let his gaze wander over the rambunctious crowd was taken as a sign that something special was coming, and everyone quieted down as he gestured for Ayesha to come forth.

    Deafening shouts of approval erupted from the audience when she stood up and glanced at her mother, whose beady eyes gleamed with surprise. The master of ceremonies was explaining that this would be the first time in living memory that a youngling of another species would participate in a Life Day contest, but Messiri wouldn’t have been able to put in words how special this occasion was for their family. That Ayesha had volunteered to perform in a public event, that she had been sneaking out of the house presumably to practise her moves, that she had made friends with other Wookiees on her own terms was proof, if any were still needed, that she had found her place in their community, and Messiri exchanged with Yakooboo a proud look before they returned their attention to the stage, where their daughter was whispering last-minute instructions to the musicians. The flautist mussed her hair and pushed her forward, and she stood in the middle of the platform and closed her eyes, waiting for the music to sweep her away.

    More roars of delight came when the band played the first notes of the piece she had chosen. It was the Dance of the Hunter and the Moon Spirit, a cautionary fable for Wookiees who were about to take their Trials of Adulthood. It told the story of Wayimi, a chieftain’s daughter who went through disappointment after disappointment as she tried to court Phashaag, a young, somewhat conceited male so obsessed with becoming the greatest hunter of his generation that he failed to take note of those around him. Wayimi was so skilled at hiding among the trees that Phashaag didn’t notice her when she dropped a wroshyr louse on him, believing instead that it had come from the moon itself. He fell madly in love with the Moon Spirit and spent his nights on a treetop, singing his praise for her beauty, until the spirit possessed him and turned him into a werewolf every time he stood under her glow. He haunted his village and terrified its inhabitants so much that they had to flee to the Underlevels, but Wayimi was determined to redeem him; and she climbed up and sneaked behind him to save him with the kiss of true love.

    When Ayesha bowed to the audience’s thunderous applause some ten minutes later, Messiri could have burst with pride. Her daughter’s performance had been nothing short of remarkable: she had marched to the sound of the heavy drum to mimic Phashaang’s self-confident strut; she had flown from one end of the stage to the other as the tambourine rang in the background to portray the young cub’s possession by the evil spirit and his prowling across the hamlet at night; she had twirled and pirouetted as eerie flutes conveyed the villagers’ fear and their retreat to the levels below; she had soared from the ground as the music swelled to show Wayimi’s courage in confronting her beloved and bringing him back to reason – and even as Ayesha focused on enacting her story with all seriousness, Messiri could see the sparkle of her eyes that betrayed how much she was enjoying herself. Most importantly, however, Messiri could see that Ayesha had combined elements of Wookiee dances with steps that she had learned as a slave of Zygerria, but, rather than jarring, this unexpected blend of cultures and techniques was seamless, a display of self-assertion and maturity very much unlike her childlike behaviour earlier through the day. For a moment the Wookiee mother saw before her a midager who embraced her transition to adulthood rather than a youngling who clung to the company of little pups – but then the applause ended, and Ayesha grinned and hopped off the stage, and she was a little girl again.

    The sun was low on the horizon by now, and Messiri could see that the festivities’ organisers were lighting campfires and luminaries on the esplanade where the younglings would sit during the formal Life Day ceremony, but before they left the main square, the prizes for the competitions had to be awarded. Once more, the assembled Wookiees clapped and cheered for the best wrestlers, for the strongest teams, for the most skilled illusionists, for the most talented storytellers; but when the master of ceremonies announced that the main prize for dancing went to Ayesha, the crowd roared so loudly that entire flocks of avians fled towards the skies from the treetops above. All Messiri could do was grab Yakooboo’s paw and squeeze it while little Rumpy launched himself at his sister to hug her; Rabarruk was already striding towards them, stepping over the audience at the risk of trampling family and friends – and soon he had lifted Ayesha to sit on his shoulders, and the master of ceremonies had lifted Rumpy onto hers, and he was carrying his siblings triumphantly towards their parents amidst the jubilation of the throng.

    Messiri watched the joyful totem pole that was her three children come to her, her heart overflowing with elation. This was a perfect end to a perfect day. She noticed that one of Yakooboo’s relatives was standing a little ahead of her and grabbing holos of the scene as the crowd of younglings made its way out of the square, and she took a step forward to glance at the camera’s little screen. There they were: Rabarruk, and atop him Ayesha, and atop her Rumpy, and all three were roaring with laughter. She made a mental note to ask for the snapshot later, but now was not the time. Her daughter was climbing down from her brother’s shoulders, and she wanted a hug.
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    SQUEE! I love Messiri's POV. I love Ayesha being so imersed in the culture and her family. She soaks up everything and participates so magnificently in the celebration. She is recovering all the childhood she lost before while at the same time moving closer to maturing into teen pursuits. @};- What a delightful wonderful bit of fun and family time! =D=
  8. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    A lovely entry and look into the family life of Ayesha
  9. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Loved this! It’s so great to see Ayesha’s Wookiee family again, and even better to just see them all having such a fun time together on a special day—Ayesha more than needs that after what she’s been through. As a 13-year-old, she’s at an important in-between stage between taking part as a child and as an adult, and one can definitely see her feeling her way with that—she still wants to hang mostly with the littles, but she still puts on the special dress and then goes on to win the dance competition! Yay! (Of course, I know even that ability has roots in her time as a slave—but she can put it to positive use now.)

    LOVE the details of all the music, dances, performances, decorations, the story of Phashaag and Wayimi, and all the scrumptious food! (If you ever post a chyntuck pie recipe sometime, you better believe I’m going to try it!) And Messiri and Yakooboo are the constant through it all—with their three children all at such different ages and stages, I bet they are pondering a lot in their hearts this Life Day. In the best way, of course! Great job, as always, and very impressive work transforming all those many and varied Autumn Bingo prompts! =D=
  10. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Mods' Dare 2nd Place & Mods' Choice Dare Winner star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Jul 11, 2014
    Thank you all for reading and reviewing, and apologies for the time it took me to come and reply to your very kind comments. DRL has been very darthy lately, but hopefully I can manage my WIP month replies before the end of the year.

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed this story, it was quite challenging for me to write because of Ayesha's transitional age between childhood and adolescence, and it didn't come together until I settled on Messiri's POV, which I have to say is a delight to write. I'm glad it worked for you in the end!

    @earlybird-obi-wan Thank you! I have to admit that, Ayesha being a character I put through so many trials and tribulations, I'm not finding it easy to write about this period of her life. I'm happy you liked it!

    @Findswoman Thank you for your review, but also for the original OC Challenge prompt that gave me the idea for this story all these years ago and for hosting WIP month that gave me the push I needed to finally write it – though without @devilinthedetails and her amazing combo of prompts for the Autumn Bingo I'd probably still be scratching my head! As I said above, writing Ayesha at this particular time of her life was quite challenging, but I'm glad that you enjoyed the result. And of course:
    I did my best to do your music prompt justice, and if I weren't so desperate to Finally. Write. The. Bloody. Story. I could probably have done better, but that particular aspect is one that I was "locked" since the very beginning of that far-ago OC challenge. As for the chyntuck pie recipe, believe it or not, I've been working on one, and I'm planning to do one last experiment this weekend before I post it!

    Thank you again to readers, reviewers and lurkers! Here's hoping it won't take me 8 years until the next story in this thread.
  11. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Interim Tech Admin star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    @Chyntuck I really love the festive atmosphere that pervades the "Life Day" fic and how you were able to capture so much of that cozy autumn imagery[face_love]

    A very sweet and understandable sentiment for a mother to have!

    This paints such a wonderful sense of place, and I do indeed feel as if all my senses have been engaged. In particular, in terms of the vibrant smells and sounds of the forest. It really shines through here how much the Wookies are connected to their forest environment. There is a very vivid presence of nature here that I really appreciate.

    This has such a fall feeling to me. Reminding me in some ways of how maple syrup is made.

    Ooh, all of this sounds positively delicious and is making me very hungry indeed!

    How like a (teenage) child to do[face_laugh]

    I can really hear this music in my ears as I read.

    This backstory warmed my heart to read.

    Thank you for sharing this cozy and festive story that warmed my heart on a winter morning[:D]
  12. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Mods' Dare 2nd Place & Mods' Choice Dare Winner star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Jul 11, 2014
    Catching up over here with a reply for @devilinthedetails. Thank you so much for the review! I really enjoyed writing for the Autumn Bingo. It was a different experience for me, because in my part of the world we don't think of autumn as a festive season with cozy imagery (our reaction is along the lines of "bleh, it's raining now and we're going into the miserable Mediterranean winter" :p ). So it was interesting to convert these prompts into something happy and festive, and I have to say that I very much appreciated the diversity of the prompts and how they lent themselves to all sorts of story details.

    I didn't get to develop the relationship between Ayesha and Messiri in the long!fic from which this series derives, so these vignettes are an opportunity to show how important it was for both of them. Also, as you probably know by now, Wookiees are my favourite species, and I cannot resist the opportunity to do a bit of world-building around them whenever I have the chance.
    Maple syrup was definitely my inspiration here! One of my fanon elements about Wookiees is (unsurprisingly) how they exploit the the resource that is the wroshyr trees without damaging them, and one of my first ideas waaaaaay back when was how they use the sap. I've actually come up with various stages, one being wroshyr sap syrup that you dissolve in water to drink (like orgeat in the real world), then a thicker syrup that you would use as maple syrup, and finally the hard caramel stage that we see here. (I also have plans for wroshyr sugar, but I didn't figure out a way to insert it in a story yet.)
    This, on the other hand, was thoroughly Greek in its inspiration (in my head at least). I was thinking of the village feasts that we get here mostly in the summer, where you see people streaming in from every street and alley of the village when the music begins. When you visit Greece, I'll figure out one to take you :)

    Thanks again for the review, and thanks to everyone who stopped by to read!