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Story: The Quest for the Legends (ILCOE)
Chapter: Chapter 39: The Workings of the War

May and Mark's reactions bring understanding and sympathy, creating a tense and intriguing situation. The feeling of being in touch with the deep emotions and thoughts of the characters makes the story lively and engaging.

[03/05/2024 02:14:50]

Story: The Quest for the Legends (ILCOEp)
Chapter: Chapter 30: The Dragons of Ouen

bruh scythur is my spirit animal

[12/27/2022 15:21:32]

Story: The Fall of a Leader
Chapter: Part VII: Downfall

Revisiting this fic after a long time; it's just as good as I remember it. Looking back, I think this fic's had an outsized influence on the way I write all my stories, and the way I think about the world in general.

A couple random thoughts…

I think a better version of Shadowdart might have been able to turn things around in chapter 6, after Stalker's discussion of why fairness is necessary. He could have said, either,

* "You're not arguing in good faith, you're doing this to get a rise out of me, and I'm not going to fall for that", or

* "Fairness is important because without any set of rules that we agree on for safety, there's no swarm at all, just individual Scythers trying to manipulate and murder each other all the time; and if you think that's a better way to run things then you're welcome to leave this swarm and try it for yourself"

… of course, that level of discussion would require Shadowdart to be more capable of thinking on his feet, which is fundamentally not who he is. I agree that, in the end, it could not have gone any other way for him.

(And if he did say these things and fend off Stalker, I think the story would be a lot worse off for it – I love tragedy born of inevitable character flaws.)

I also think, if I were Nightmare or someone else and I wanted to rebuild the Swarm, I might say something like this:

1) Death is not to be feared – as predators we inflict it freely, as prey we shall one day fall – death is merely a fact of life, as inevitable as sunrise, and we must accept this, else we torment ourselves by rejecting our nature

1a) Because death is inevitable, loss is too. One day you will lose a person you care about. This is, merely, another fact of life; nothing we can do will change this. Understand that death and loss are what we inflict, and what shall happen to us.

2) Sharpen your scythes: while death is inevitable, pain is unnecessary. (I agree, it *should* be bumped up)

3) We live as a swarm to protect each other, both from external threats and from ourselves. If a Scyther is in danger, it is your duty to assist. Do not manipulate or control another Scyther – if we turn against ourselves, we will all fall alone. Be strong, to protect yourselves and others.

4) The Code is not a set of instructions to be rigorously followed; it is a set of ideas we think are important. The circumstances of life may conflict with these ideas. Should you find yourself breaking the Code, ask yourself why, and be prepared to answer.

Non-numbered rules: it occurs to me that the Leader has a lot of work to do, being both a physical leader and a philosophical one; Shadowdart and the Leader before him became Leader because of their physical capabilities, but lacked the philosophical ones to guide the clan. I'm not sure what the answer to this is – if you separate this into two leaders, one for teaching and one for physical defense, you may end up with infighting/coup attempts between them.

In general I can't say that this Code is really any better than the previous one tbh – I'm sure there's flaws I haven't considered, and that one day would surprise me. (And the old Code, with all its flaws, made for a better story because it was flawed.)

Anyways thanks for reading my rambly thoughts. Hope you have a great day!

[12/13/2022 11:53:20]

Story: The Quest for the Legends (IALCOTN)
Chapter: Prologue

Is it Mew?

Reply: It is!

[08/23/2022 19:28:17]

Story: The Quest for the Legends (ILCOEp)
Chapter: Chapter 77: Home

When I started rereading this, I only remembered reading up to the Color Dragon Brothers, and even that was really, really hazy. The last thing I remembered clearly was Letaligon reuniting with her mother.

I think there’s something really special about reading long fanfic or webnovels, the kind that take years to complete, that you don’t get with published novels. When I was young, authors were like gods. These amazing people creating stories that seemed to reach millions. Then I discovered fanfic and realized ‘oh. Anyone can do this. I can do it too.’

So reading a long fanfic like this, where the first chapters are stumbling and childish, but it steadily improved and becomes something beautiful? It’s really really good. It fills me with more confidence to write my own fanfics and original novels than anything else, even if they might take years.

I’m glad we got closure for Mark’s whole party and what they’d be doing. I appreciated the scene with Mrs Grodski, even if she was a very minor character, acknowledging they were both kinda jerkish snd rude to each other. It felt a bit like a thesis to themes explored in the story, simplified. The Legends were all flawed, it may not have been anyone’s fault, the War. But at the end of it all… Mark and Mrs Grodski acknowledged their flaws, and that they had grown. And apologized. It was nice.

I’m also happy Mewtwo^2 didn’t really fie, and got to figure out a life of his own.

In conclusion, this fic may be flawed too, but I’m of the opinion that if you work on a story for long enough, a piece of your soul becomes stuck in it, and it becomes something really touching and beautiful. And I think a piece of your soul is in this story. Thank you for sharing it, and continuing it even to this day, and congrats on completing it, even if I’m a bit late.

I think I’ll probably go back to read the commentary, ‘cause I’m a nerd for analysis, worldbuilding, and behind the scenes stuff. Have a lovely day!

Reply: These comments are fantastic and have made my evening, love that you're picking up on various themes and ideas. There's definitely a large piece of my soul in this story; so happy to hear you enjoyed seeing it grow from its clumsy, flawed roots. <3

[06/23/2022 12:07:27]

Story: The Quest for the Legends (ILCOEp)
Chapter: The Final Stretch – Chapter 75: Mewtwo²

Damn, just… damn…

There’s been the theme of Legendaries being flawed, and not how Mark expected, for a very long time. And it’s true. They’re flawed, paranoid, aggressive, arrogant. But Arceus doesn’t seem all that better. With each new generation of Legends destined to be killed off, how are they ever meant to learn? How can they ever be motivated to learn, if the war is inevitable anyways? It’s pointless, there’s no reason to grow if they’re punished for it all the same.

And in the end, the four Legendaries who were really, really trying to do good, to save people, to break the cycle, are the ones who have to die. Chalenor, the unwilling Destroyer. Mew, who wanted Chalenor to be more than just a Destroyer but also couldn’t let go. Chaletwo, who feared death and just wanted to survive, but unwittingly caused this tragedy and needed to die to break the cycle. And Mewtwo^2… Never even got to have a life of its own…

They saved the world. Saved most of the Legendaries. Prevented millions of lives from being lost. But just… none of them wanted this to happen… Maybe blame can be assigned to all four in some capacity, but three tried their best, and one was just broken by grief…

[06/23/2022 11:14:28]

Story: The Quest for the Legends (ILCOE)
Chapter: The Final Stretch – Chapter 74: Unraveling

Damn, damn, I was so convinced that Rob was going to be killed. Deliberately this time. He said he’d sooner die or release Mew, and everyone was so desperate, and it was all falling apart and I thought someone might actually order a Pokemon to attack and kill Rob. And then they’d need to deal with that too. I had such a feeling of dread.

On a related note tho. I think my favorite part of TQFTL is the incredibly messy fallout of Tyler Lancaster’s death. Neither Tyler nor Rick are really good people, they do a lot of really, really dubious things, like hypnotizing law enforcement and treating Pokemon as tools more than partners.

And like. May is a much better and more fair battler, everyone agrees. But if this were the Pokemon anime, there’d probably be an extended arc around how treating your Pokemon as friends is a far superior strategy towards pushing them to win. But also everyone still viewed her are objectively the better trainer, and they’re not wrong but she’s still a kid. She’s twelve. She’s twelve and the police never listen to her and everyone is calling her a murderer, judging her, saying ‘you should have known better! You should never have let this happen! This is all your fault!’

And they’re not wrong, she did play a major part in it happening but. She’s 12 and the world is ending and everyone is calling her a murderer, and she’d never been the most friendly or likable kid before but no one wants to be a murderer. And at 12, that’s gotta mess you up.

I really love the conflicting morality in TQFTL. Robin and Alan want to do the morally correct thing, but in doing so come off as not seeing the big picture, or unempathetic towards how this whole ordeal affected May. Chaletwo wants to save the world, but he’s also so terrified of dying. Mark got caught up in something so much bigger than himself.

I think Alan and May’s character development is amazing, too. It’s sad they haven’t entirely made up, but I’m delighted Alan apologized for how he acted towards May.

Also did not realize you releases a slightly edited version. Hopping over there now— so excited to at last read the ending!

Reply: <3 Thank youuu, I really appreciate comments like these!

[06/23/2022 10:38:10]

Story: The Quest for the Legends (ILCOE)
Chapter: Prologue

So here I am. I legitimately don’t recall the last year I read a chapter of this story— probably 2014 or 2015 at the very latest. But recently I was hit with the urge to reread a couple old Pokemon fanfics I loved, and I heard this one had been completed. So I wanted to read it from start to finish.
Before I get started, tho, I wanted to say congratulations. It’s difficult to finish a story, requiring a lot more than just motivation. You did something amazing, and deserve to feel proud for it. I can’t wait to re-experience the whole tale, complete.

Reply: Aw, thank you! <3 Only saw this now, but if you're still making your way through it, I just put up a slightly edited version that fixes various minor things and also has an improved version of chapter 76 - probably you'll want to swap over to that one.

[06/09/2022 12:23:21]

Story: The Quest for the Legends (ILCOE)
Chapter: Chapter 29: Stormblade and Shadowdart

Late, but just a thought - couldn't "slaves" serve as a replacement for the use of the term "robots"? Perhaps it would be redundant with the use of "slave" later in the chapter, but then again, they're far enough apart it sounds okay when I think about it.

Reply: Yeah, definitely! That was one of the changes I made in the ILCOE patch version I just put up, which makes many such line edits I talk about wanting to change in the commentary.

[06/08/2022 01:24:50]

Story: The Quest for the Legends (ILCOE)
Chapter: Chapter 57: Three Conversations

Fun Fact, this was the very first chapter of this fic I ever read. Yes, I know that's terrible, but I don't give a damn about spoilers and I was hooked from the first paragraph. Original fake Pokemon? Pokemon death? Named character death that everyone apparently has PTSD about? Oh Boy! I needed to read this from the beginning right away. Nine years later, I still get a warm nostalgic feeling whenever I get to this chapter. What a snapshot of these characters!

Reply: Aw, thank you for sharing that! Brightened my evening to (finally) see these comments - thrilled you're coming back to the fic.

[11/28/2020 15:13:22]

Story: The Quest for the Legends (ILCOE)
Chapter: The Ouen League – Chapter 49: The Rage of a Scyther

I fully admit that the League arc chapters are the ones I come back to the most, and for a silly reason. I love the strategizing that goes on in them. Mark mulling over weakness-countering moves for his team in this chapter is so relatable, I absolutely have a notebook somewhere with a team weakness list just like that written down for all my teams. Love this arc, love this chapter, love that little stream of conscious strategizing section.

[11/28/2020 07:30:38]

Story: The Quest for the Legends (ILCOE)
Chapter: Chapter 53 Extra: April Fools

Not sure what I like more, both versions having Taylor falling on his back or the fact you snuck a "questioned" in there like from the earlier chapters.

[05/19/2020 14:54:09]

Story: The Quest for the Legends (ILCOE)
Chapter: The Final Stretch – Chapter 74: Unraveling

Well, I was definitely fooled, because I assumed Rick's Mewtwo² was just a clone of a clone and never seriously considered it an actual legendary that might be affected by the War. I'd also thought that if that WERE the case, then not only would they have to catch all the legendaries, but then they'd have to make sure Rick didn't have a single one of his clones out at the exact right moment also, and there was just no way they'd know when that was going to be. (I was also swept up by thinking of Rick and the War as two separate threats, though, too, so consider that a success.)

Honestly this is probably my favorite chapter after confronting Rick. It really does build this looming feeling of tension and dread, the Mew Hunter twist was actually pretty clever, and that feeling of "wait, was that the pulse?!?!" and the immediately following "oh no something is very wrong" was a fantastic climax.

[09/16/2019 04:05:12]

Story: The Quest for the Legends (ILCOE)
Chapter: The Final Stretch – Chapter 72: Rick

I'd just like to say, this is my favorite chapter in the fic. I distinctly remember reading this the night it came out (very early morning?) and then being absolutely mortified at Floatzel being murdered, and then Spirit too (despite the fact that they were quickly revealed to still be alive in the narrative, because I couldn't shake the feeling that, no, this particular author would totally leave that as a morbid twist for the next chapter). I'm really glad they survive, and I really like the but where Weavile only attacks after seeing Floatzel injured, but very few fic moments had left me in that sort of horrified shock.

[09/01/2019 22:58:59]

Story: The Quest for the Legends (ILCOE)
Chapter: Chapter 65: Three Dragons

Funny, having Mew tell the legendaries that the previous war was just a one-time thing seems like it would require her to come up with a pretty elaborate story about how that could be. Like, what exactly would cause all the legendaries to suddenly slaughter each other, every single one of them, and how could Mew really assure everyone that it would never happen again? Whatever the case, it seems like the legendaries would at least *try* to do something to to prevent the situation from happening again if they actually knew about it. Like, if Mew spun it as Arceus having come down and cast judgment on the legendaries for their sins (reasonably close to the truth), then I would expect to see at least some of the legendaries adhering to their own kind of religion where they try to be good so Arceus doesn't show up and slaughter them all in the future. Or if Mew said that one legendary became super powerful and basically started all the murdering, etc., I would expect some kind of agreement or something between the legends to try and prevent anyone from getting so powerful again. Like I'm trying to think up a scenario where Mew would have fabricated something and Chaletwo's capture plan (or the beasts' soul gems) were the only measures anyone was taking to prevent a future war and having trouble coming up with one.

I agree that the current set-up, where the legendaries in general don't seem to realize that there ever was a war or question why Mew made them a thousand or so years ago, doesn't make a lot of sense. And probably the humans would have noticed all this nonsense going down unless someone mass-memory-modded them every time or something (and even then there would be physical evidence…). idk. It's a tough problem.

Just curious as we get into the NaNo chapters, do you think that NaNo was good for this fic overall? Like here, you basically rewrote the entire chapter, so you weren't able to use the draft for all that much. Do you think you might have finished faster if you hadn't done that NaNo sprint and then had to do so much editing afterwards, or do you think figuring out some of this stuff that didn't work on the first go-round ended up helping?

Reply: Like I said in there, the current canon is that Mew just made it sound like it happened out of nowhere, had never happened before, and nobody knew why - no elaborate story, no Arceus coming down, just one big question mark. It's pretty hard to take measures against a complete unknown. It does leave some earlier dialogue in the fic sounding a a bit odd, like Entei and Chaletwo both indicating they'd fully believed they'd never die for a thousand years (surely at least for a while at first they'd have worried about whether something like that could reoccur), and that's the sort of thing I mean by writing it more like that was the case from the start.

It might actually be more robust for Mew to just go with it not involving them going mad at all, and just saying it was a regular old war where they'd split into factions over some disagreement and then killed each other. Obviously then it's pretty reasonable for the legendaries not to spend their time worrying about that just happening when they're all broadly getting along fine barring individual rivalries. Mew would need to fudge something about the whole Chalenor dying issue, though - if he was supposedly the Preserver, he should be a true immortal, so a mundane war shouldn't be able to kill him. Maybe Chaletwo thinks only Mew is a true immortal. Hmmm.

I think the fic did benefit a lot from me writing out this bad rough draft of the entire rest first and then being able to have a full overview while I thought about how I wanted to change it. Writing and publishing a chapter at a time, I would almost certainly have done a much worse job building things up, especially when it comes to May's arc.

[07/15/2019 18:34:19]

Person using an e-reader to browse the Internet
Story: The Quest for the Legends (ILCOE)
Chapter: Chapter 65: Three Dragons

I've found a sentence in this chapter with a confusing pronoun, which I assume is a typo.
This one is at the beginning of the 16th paragraph from the bottom. May's Mutark uses the pronoun "their", which is not used for it anywhere else that I have read so far.

Reply: That's referring to Racko and Pamela, not to Mutark; they were on Dracobalt's back earlier, and after Preciure tore them off, Mutark took their place there.

[07/10/2019 11:35:46]

Person using an e-reader to browse the Internet
Story: The Quest for the Legends (ILCOE)
Chapter: Chapter 35: Suicune

I have found a missing punctuation mark. It is at the end of the 16th (I think) paragraph. After the word 'electricity' the paragraph ends without any sentence-ending punctuation. Sorry I can't be more detailed about the location; the e-reader can't show me that section of the chapter and the comment field at the same time.

[07/07/2019 01:38:40]

Story: The Quest for the Legends (ILCOE)
Chapter: Chapter 52: The League Finals

A total unrelated ramble, but the league strategising + scythers continuing stagnation on the code + the entei then chaletwo convos - makes me think a lot about like, theorising the distribution of human versus pokemon intelligence!! Like I can believe despite the full apparent ability of pokemon for complex reasoning, maybe what places human adults on top is like… emotional intelligence. Or like I know youve said before, the abstract intelligence of perceiving patterns & broader-picture thinking. Its super interesting to think that in a world with other sapient beings, the disparities are in much more subtle ways, & then carrying on to consider how itd affect these scenarios. (Quite frankly I too easily forget the disparities amongst people. /cough) And I enjoy deeming its why legendaries are socially exactly on par with eleven year olds. :L
Im pretty sure stantler knocks a leg off my ideas here (not like its important to 100% adhere to BUTTERFREES CANON, KING WORK OF FICTION hahaha - just idly throwing things round), but im ready to justify outliers at the speed of light, or maybe her capability for strategic abstract thought is far outclassed by humans as a counterbalance. Something like that. (Also you can draw a line between this & letals own strategic intelligence vs… her emotional lol)

Also fury stands out so far in this regard I do declare he voluntarily took on human education haha. Everyone has the ability to grow beyond themselves!!

[05/11/2019 19:06:24]

Story: The Quest for the Legends (IALCOTN)
Chapter: Chapter 4 Extra: The Ten Agreements of Pokémon Training

*reads #5*
What!? We can't egg spam to get that perfect IV and nature Pokemon anymore? What has the competitive battling become in this world?

[05/10/2019 18:13:27]

Story: The Quest for the Legends (ILCOE)
Chapter: Chapter 39: The Workings of the War

So here we're onto the chapters that were posted the second time I fell out of reading the fic. Yes, somehow, I fell out of reading it right before the Volcaryu battle, which is absurd. I think it's because I was in college or something? I dunno. But either way, I didn't read these chapters until at least during the league arc.

It's kind of amazing looking back at this being literally the only speculation fuel we had all the way until chapter 61! I'm pretty sure I remember never buying the Articuno-as-Destroyer theory lol. But the greatest red herring the fic ever threw us was time-traveling Chalenor. It's amazing that even when multiple people began to suspect that he was not the Preserver, not one of us managed to extrapolate that he could not time travel. In future revisions, I'd definitely recommend capitalizing on that.

I definitely feel you with the struggle for how on earth to preserve mysteries in serially published fiction. I'm pretty happy with the solution I came up with, but it was definitely difficult.

[02/17/2019 23:18:41]

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