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[personal profile] alicornucopia posting in [community profile] belltower
Effulgence is an RP (role play) hosted on Dreamwidth between Alicorn (me) and Pyth (a.k.a. "kappa"). We each play many characters; all of my RP accounts belong to this community, the Belltower, and kappa's can all be found at [community profile] binary_heat. The short version of what Effulgence is about is that we put alternate universe versions of Bella from my fanfiction Luminosity in a wide variety of settings, mostly fanfictional in nature, and see what happens, then cross everything over with everything else. (Luminosity is canon for Effulgence, but the reverse is optional.) Kappa also has several recurring character templates, most commonly AU versions of her oddball interpretation of the Nolanverse Joker. The start is slow - it's earthfic right up until it's not, but then it's really not. Here appears a list of the canon(s) for each world.

You may track new/resumed-after-dormancy Effulgence threads via the forum updates thread. Effulgence is similar to Incandescence, by me and a different coauthor Aestrix, and to other "glowfic", by a variety of authors. If you like any one of those things, you should probably try the others. Effulgence is by far the longest.

Content warnings: Effulgence contains rape, torture, and parental abuse; these are generally not described in gory or graphic detail (people have proven able to blink and miss two of the instances of rape; we're apparently too good at euphemisms) but definitely present. It's a pretty long work and was, at first, written without thought of public consumption, so chances are it contains some other things we're failing to think of. Proceed with caution. Basically, if you can think of a way to be mean to characters, we've done it or gleefully intend to.

The index that kappa maintains at this post will show what posts to read in what order if you intend to read the whole thing. (The early stuff is not the best part, but it is unskippably prerequisite if you plan to read it all.) Most posts have comment threads under them; kappa prefers to read them in threaded mode, where they keep drifting off to the right, and this is the only way to correctly read threads that are indexed with bullet points (read each bullet, in order, in thread mode) but many people otherwise prefer to read in "flat" (just click "flat", and the comments' left margins will all line up and they will be arranged in pages).

Most posts are marked with one or more "symbellas" - symbols that indicate which Bells appear in which threads. These are in many cases exotic characters that might not render correctly on your computer, but they shouldn't be strictly necessary to enjoy the story. A Roll Call chart of each Bell, symbella, nickname, and world is available.

Threads with a plus sign next to them are in progress, as are sections with plus signs in their subchapter listings. The "chronological order" of the last several sections relative to each other is up in the air until they interact with the core plot, and may rearrange when that occurs. Additionally, there are a few spots where reading the threads in order will involve temporal confusion because they were written concurrently without anticipating third-party readers (for instance, 14.2 and 18.1 happen together); just keep reading through these and you should be fine.

If you do not want to read all of Effulgence, or want to read it out of order, you can do this. The settings don't cross over immediately in most cases, and you can read up to the crossover point with no prerequisites (although having read the rest of Effulgence would provide enriching context, it is not plot-necessary). You are welcome to ask us how to find what sections to read, but as a general rule of thumb: if a section is the first instance of a symbella anywhere in the index, and there is only one symbella in the first of those threads, it is probably standalone. (This is not foolproof: 38.5 is the first appearance of Tab's symbella, but her introduction does rely on a crossover. A more central example would be something like section 22, which contains four threads, each of which has the same single symbella; or 28, which may be read without prerequisite until the last thread where another symbella appears.)

Due to limitations of Dreamwidth, we cannot edit any comment that has replies under it. Please don't submit notifications of typos in Effulgence unless they're on the top-level posts or the last comments in a thread. Or if you can't understand what was meant and you need clarification.

Both I and kappa are eager to hear comments on the RP. You may comment here, and ask characters questions here and receive answers in-character, and I have a forum for discussion of this work (among my others), but please don't make comments on the story threads.

A note on "canon-puncturing". Characters, as people, sometimes consume and refer to fiction. The problem is we keep adding AUs of the fiction in question, and so sometimes these are universes that characters from other universe have mentioned in the past. In the overwhelming majority of cases, this is just a lack of foresight and it is retconned insofar as it can be when we can't edit things. Please assume, for example, that when you reach the Harry Potter AU, that all previous references to Harry Potter were instead describing some equivalent but not particularly reminiscent story. The exceptions are as follows (may contain spoilers, depending on how finicky you are about spoilers):


  • The Sherlock Holmes stories (and miscellaneous adaptations thereof) exist most Earth-typical places, except for Strat's universe of origin (and at least one forthcoming world).
  • In most Earth-typical universes that do not contain actual live Matildas, the Roald Dahl book "Matilda" (but not its movie adaptation) exists. This book never coexists with a Matilda, however. (The fact that it has taken some characters such a long time to notice this is mostly poor communication on our part, although there is an adequate thread of causality covering it.)
  • We are treating Pokémon about like we treat vampires: some universes have fiction of them. Other universes have real ones (too). The details like region names, organized crime team names, and city names that we use for the Pokémon AU and are taken from the games or anime may be assumed to be replaced with comparable but not particularly reminiscent versions in the fiction about Pokémon from other worlds.
  • In some worlds ("Sunshine family" worlds) various Marvel Cinematic Universe events began to unfold, but did not complete the process. In at least one, they were cut short very early (specifically, Captain America existed but the project did not work very well and there is fictionalized media about what might have been). There are some worlds where the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe is approximately taken as canon, except our obvious changes as described.


INDEX POST: Click here to start reading.

A somewhat buggy HTML mirror of Effulgence is available. You can download an EPUB or a MOBI, more recent and suspected more complete.
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Date: 2014-01-12 06:47 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jalapeno_dude
Okay, I have now re-read the first three unpealed threads (Arceus, Fantasia, Spirit). Of those Spirit is the one that I would most like to see continued, in spite (or because?) of the fact that it is the one whose source material I am least familiar with. I mean, Bella vs. legendary Pokemon does sound cool, but I really enjoy the Spirit character dynamics.

Speaking of character dynamics, are some of Beila's supporting cast templates? This suggests Jun = a Joker, plus other Jokers have the fire thing to various degrees, but maybe that's not enough evidence. I have the vague notion that Dao is a Sandy, though that could just be because he's the intersection of "male Pyth character" and "kinky" and "not a Joker." There are also some similarities to Lazarus and Lycaelon too, I suppose.

Date: 2014-01-12 07:14 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jalapeno_dude
So I guessed right. Cool. As for Riko, I got nothing. Well, she reminds me of a character in Heliothaumic, but I assume 1) you're not familiar with that and 2) it's something much less obscure.

Date: 2014-01-12 07:50 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jalapeno_dude
...is it somebody in Luminosity/Radiance/etc. or Elcenia?
Edited Date: 2014-01-12 07:50 am (UTC)

WMG

Date: 2014-02-07 10:20 am (UTC)
marrinikari: (Default)
From: [personal profile] marrinikari
Is Lee's alt a fortune telling banker, by any chance? That's the only other character I remember having a 'face casting as only a random mention once'.

Edit: Never mind. Got to the 'never in Efflugence' part :D
Edited Date: 2014-02-07 10:21 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-01-12 11:24 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jalapeno_dude
Okay, I really enjoy the Warp threads, but I have to ask: have they forgotten about the concept of significant figures in the future? :)
Edited Date: 2014-01-12 11:27 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-02-01 06:40 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] modrony
Are you going to continue writing this?
Please?

Thanks for the story

Date: 2014-02-16 05:28 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ancientcampus
Im liking it! When Shell Bell gave sherlock her recorder, that was a touching moment. (Thats where i am atm)

I have a lot to say about the story but a complete list would take way long. Ill summarize my favorite bits:
- setting up an empire on mars. I would have enjoyed reading more about that.
- I liked the first conversation with the joker, he was well written, though the novelty wore off.
- favorite part is probably milliways
- second favorite part is shell bell, low-powered, trying to get by, and selling advice in milliways to feed herself. And how she develops an obsession with magic.
- bell tower

Re: Thanks for the story

Date: 2014-02-18 04:28 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ancientcampus
[current progress: Ender's Game, "I'm On Fire"]
More thoughts:
So, I liked the hunger games part. I'm kinda sad that Shell Bell came so close to winning mostly on her own power, but shortly before the end, got Minty Fresh cheat codes and made most of her work pointless.

That said, I know this RP is intended to amuse the two authors rather than any other audience, and "story pacing" for you two writing it is entirely different than the "pacing" for me reading it. I'm just glad you share it; I'm reading the parts I like, and skimming the parts that I find less interesting, which is great.

I'm really liking the ender's game bit. I like that Sue's ability is disturbingly similar to the buggers, and that Aegis' fantasy game turned into a "civilizing" sim. I'm predicting her next creature species is the buggers. I'm hoping they face a big challenge, fighting another army, working together.

I've noticed that, however powerful the two are, Bella/alts always wins vs Alice/alts, whether it's high stakes or low. It'd be cool to see it not always play out that way.

I know this is on hiatus. I want to say that's perfectly fine by me. It's quite long as it is, so if one or both aren't feeling inspired, I think there's no need to continue. I'd love to read other original stuff by either of you. (I read luminosity)

Cheers!

Re: Thanks for the story

Date: 2014-02-18 04:34 pm (UTC)
pythbox: A book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] pythbox
What do you mean by 'always wins'? I'm intrigued by your perspective.

Re: Thanks for the story

Date: 2014-02-18 04:56 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ancientcampus
Well, they rarely go head to head, so I guess I'm thinking more generally in that Whistle is usually content to play second fiddle to Bella.

Alice is perfectly happy to give Stella all his stars and be her "pet masochist," and Stella makes plans to beat him if he goes rogue, and seems fairly confident that she'd have better odds (if only by being more ruthless)

Stella vs Joker was scary for a bit, but it was total victory for Stella in the end. Later when Alice visits, the Joker doesn't even try to mess with Stella

Golden Compass was pretty neutral I guess, but it ended up being Bella running the show with an Aeliolithometer and Kas being her interpreter

I mostly skimmed the Buffy and the Jovah's Angels stories

Ender's game: Sue makes commander before Aegis (so that's a win for him) but when their armies fight, she wins.

It's not a problem and it doesn't bother me much, but it very much feels like "Bella is the protagonist, Whistle is the secondary character" in every universe, which is fine (I honestly like Bella more than Whistle usually), but my personal preference (which you don't need to care about of course) would be to see Whistle "winning" in confrontations between the two more, even if Bella ends up empress in the end.


Other side note:
One of my favorite parts of Bella is her journaling. I enjoy seeing her journal, and I especially like seeing parts that can show me how to do the same tricks. Consequentially, I'm sad that she usually gets perfect memory, and subsequently stops journaling. (I know you already have the luminous short stories, which I have not read yet, so maybe I should look there.)

Other great parts:
"It's a baby whistle oh my word"
I also think Bella's mental opacity and self awareness is a great fit for the Ender's Game universe, making interesting interactions with the Battle School people

Re: Thanks for the story

Date: 2014-02-18 05:09 pm (UTC)
pythbox: A book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] pythbox
Heh, interesting.

I think part of the reason for the pattern is that Jokers don't frequently care about winning in any traditional sense. Whereas many of the things that one might consider 'winning' are things that Bells care about strongly and would be upset if they didn't get.

Date: 2014-02-28 04:28 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jalapeno_dude
So I read threads on flat view, and this comment ended up being the last one on the page. I automatically assumed that the next comment would involve Milliways, to the extent that I got really confused after going to the next page... :p
gymnosperm: pinecone (Default)
From: [personal profile] gymnosperm
Do you have cool plans for the Lone Power, and the MU gods, etc.? Are they sufficiently non-spoilery to describe vaguely?

Date: 2014-04-09 08:29 pm (UTC)
plaindealingvillain: (Default)
From: [personal profile] plaindealingvillain
I really like this whole thing, and made an account here just so I could keep track of it better. Yay, you!

While I'm commenting: Is Dice from Downside templatey?

Date: 2014-04-09 08:44 pm (UTC)
pythbox: A book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] pythbox
Nope.

Question for Bella's in general

Date: 2014-10-29 11:23 pm (UTC)
erinflight: (Default)
From: [personal profile] erinflight
How important are other people to you? You seem to be altruistic on a large scale, but not with necessarily with specific individuals? If you are selfish why do you care so much about making a better world? How far does you altruism extend?
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