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Author Topic: 2017/2018 Superlative Love Letters  (Read 876 times)

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Offline phinneas

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2017/2018 Superlative Love Letters
« on: Jan 09, 18, 09:12:24 AM »
Superlative Love Letters
a word dump of all the nominations.



Best Writer
phinneasPhinn has mastered the art of both clearly expressing her character, and also uplifting the plot points and character hooks of those she writes with. Sensitive to nuance, with beautiful prose, every thing she writes is a thrill to read.

phinneas writes some of the most interesting characters and is able to take even the most simple of ones and make them into something more.
***
Phinn is the easiest person to write to on BR. She can write an action scene as easily as she writes a dialogue-heavy plot movement or steamy mansmut. She understands the value of the varying shades of gray morality and can make great heroes and vile villains and everything imbetween. Nobody can drive a scene to interesting places better and take you on a ride you didn't expect in an organic and compelling manner.
***
Phinn's writing is, in a word, wonderful. She knows how to hit the right emotions in just a few words or a particular turn of phrase. Every post is great to read.
GavinGavin writes very well, his posts are engaging and easy to digest. He doesn't seem to play favorites, doesn't cause drama (except in character), and overall is just a low-maintenance, proof-is-in-the-pudding writer and fun person to plot with. As strongly as I feel about this nomination, I feel like I should have written more, but there's not much else to say. Stepping back to consider everything that goes into someone I'd like to write with, Gavin has it all, and a lot of it.

I just enjoy reading all of Gavin's characters, and each one of the posts he creates is just so beautifully written. Even in Territories or plots that I don't have much interest in, it's easy for me to read and get caught up in his writing.

Gavin's characters are deep and introspective, but capable of action or strong feeling when necessary. He doesn't seem to have a particular type or Caste that he's comfortable with and he gives his fellow writes a lot to work with in his posts. Waiting to see what he does next!
***
Gavin writes thoughtful, wonderful characters wherever he writes. What's more is all of those characters have an amazingly tangible quality to them. They're magic but very human. Furthermore, all those characters bring thick new plots into their Territory. He writes strong stories to go with all of his characters in such a way that they bring with them a ton of intrigue and activity that often introduce interesting new and exciting elements to the story layers of the areas in which they're written. I think it's very impressive that not only is he able to write strikingly real feeling people but they come with stories that forward their character development and that he involves so many other people when he does it.
PhedrePhedre's writing always aims for the feelings and doesn't let up. She really takes you through her characters thoughts and emotions with her words, making it easy to understand why they think and behave as they do.

Phedre writes complicated characters and beautiful imagery. Her words embed themselves in your brain like tangible objects.

Phe has a cast of characters that range so widely in personality. From the mentally twisted Myos Sway, to the rough and tumble Riley, to the classy Lady Kaos, to the buttoned-up and repressed Syeira. Every time I see a thread that has Phe in it, I'm interested in figuring out what that cast is up to. Better yet, she often surprises me.
VivianThere is no other writer on the board who's words so completely astound and intimidate. It is intensely difficult to even compete here, and it is as much a gift to receive her prose as it is daunting to try to earn them.

Vivian's writing is poetry and art. She describes with great beauty every action, thought, and emotion.

Vivian has some of the most beautiful writing I've ever read, both in fandoms and books. Her descriptions are spot on and incredible.
IdarielIdariel's prose is beautiful. I always enjoy reading her threads and characters because she communicates a great deal in her words. She's also a source of inspiration, making her words fun to read at all times.

Ida writes some of the most beautiful posts I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Her work in Nharkava and Little Terreille really brings the world to life, and really makes you *feel* exactly what her characters are going through.
***
The amount of depth that Ida puts into her posts is out of this world. She takes so much into consideration when she writes a post, not just what fits, but what works for the other writer and so much more. Considering she does all of her writing and research from a tablet, I'm just blown away and forced to realize how spoiled I am. She maintains a muse through some of the craziest scenarios and the quality of her posts just never goes down no matter what. She's always ready to help with blocks, answer questions, and the word "No" is not in her vocabulary. Let's reflect some of that devotion back at her!
BowieBowie returning to the site has been a wonderful boon. His writing is powerful and moving and each of his characters have a distinct voice that comes through in their word and actions. Reading his writing always makes me excited for what the next post will say.
LeneShe regularly gives us vast amounts of beautifully written words with a ton of heart and emotion behind them. All her characters, good and bad, are interesting and engaging, and if I see her name in a thread I know that it will be a fun one to read!

Lene has some of the most in-depth character development posts I've ever read. She really thinks her characters through.
***
My first character on the board was Ennead al-Bali, an adopted person with a lot of ties in Pruul. Specifically to Khadijah, written by Idariel. I was a stranger then and could not know what to expect. What I got was an amazing partner in a joint story involved a deep and complicated tie between a rescuer and the rescued. These were the first posts I checked up on regularly, and this was, without a doubt, because of Idariel's writing. I still look forward to her posts.
StarlingStar writes amazing characters. Devesh, Gnaeus, Michaela, Sixten, Silje - these are the characters that get my heart pumping whenever I see them post. Her backstories make them come out of the gate well developed, and their emotional depth puts a whole new spin on some of the stories that come out of their respective territories.
***
Starling consistently impresses me with her turns of phrase, her character construction, and her world building. She's one of those people I don't get tired of reading, because there's always something fresh in what she's doing. Her characters come alive, and I've really enjoyed her additions to BR.
LeezLeez’s writing carries such great emotionality and realism. Her characters pop out and come alive right before your eyes. Her dialogue is witty and sharp and great to read every time.
EricaErica has so many wonderful characters throughout almost every territory, spreading the love whenever anyone requires anything. Being the best writer isn't just about having beautiful words, which she does, but about moving plots along and making sure that others characters shine as well.

PetrichorPetri's writing is descriptive, emotional, and flows like classic literature. She is an incredibly talented writer who can instigate great and deep moments with not only her character but her dancing partner.
***
Petri is really one of the board's master wordsmiths. She consistently creates characters that are nuanced and interesting, and excels at bringing them to life in passages that are a joy to read.
halyonixA true chameleon in her characters, unlike many, it is almost impossible to see similarities between the characters she plays. An artist and an actor, her words carry well the character without the apparent whisper of the player seeping through. It is marvelous to behold.
DashDash's characters are well-written and complex. They're always a fun read and have an impact on whatever scene they are in.
SolSol writes characters that are amazingly shrek-like. Not that they're hideous but that they have numerous layers that you can unpeel and find yourself surprised with every new revelation.
ReidNever do I have a moment where I do not enjoy what Reid has written. Be it Saiph, Artur, Sebastian or anyone else, each of his characters are great to read. Each character comes with their own style of writing, it seems, from Aleksy's twisted kingdom touched thoughts to Sebastian's often humorous inner thoughts. Everything that Reid writes is wonderful and I look forward to each post that he writes.



Most Creative Writer
GavinGavin plays everywhere; he is always up for figuring out how to deal with a plot hole, stir up trouble and generally find fun tings for characters to do. He's always a treat to write with, capable of balancing the plot with the specifics of character into a fun rolller coaster ride anytime you get a thread with him.

Gavin is constantly generating ideas and trying to pull other people into plots in multiple Territories.His characters are interesting and usually tie directly into the Territory plot with connections established characters in a Territory.

Gavin has come up with some REALLY interesting stuff for Askavi this year, even though it hasn't all been played out yet. The hints of the Jhinka uprising, sending Kaderian to fetch Tavar out of Pruul, etc... These were things that made me go "Whaaa? That's awesome!" His concept for where to take Askavi, at least in so far as I've seen it, has been freakin spectacular.

Gavin always tries to think of new and interesting plots and character hooks. He'll throw out curveballs and monkey wrenches and they're highly entertaining every time. His plot leading in Askavi and Dharo has been excellent this year and he's made those Territories exciting to play in.
***
Gavin's plots are intricate and take into account other happenings on the board. He's able to plot short-term arcs and longer, in-depth stories while making others a part of his plots as well!
WrenLysander Kane. Enough said. Holy crap this character makes me die laughing. I've been in tears from reading Lysander.
Idariel I don't think Ida ever gets stuck wondering what to do next. If she does, it doesn't show. No matter how awkwardly I think I've painted our characters into a corner, she manages to write something that comes across perfectly appropriate to the scene and characters. I don't feel like anything she writes is predictable, cliche, or run of the mill. All of her characters feel like individuals which is very refreshing. She doesn't seem to stick to a "type". You never really know what you're going to get. Her plots and characters are just exciting and fresh and engaging.
ReidThere is hardly a single player who I know who actively hunts down others to try to breed new life into old concepts, and new concepts into old places. Endlessly dragging me, and others, into chats to plot new madness, he is the muse of all those lucky enough to plot with him.
***
From the characters he creates, the plots he runs, and even his graphics, you can tell that Reid is practically overflowing with creative energy. There's always something going on, some new thing to explore, and with Reid around I never worry that things will get boring or slow.
HalorielHaloriel's characters are always rich and developed, with backstory that promises to push the plot forward in some way. None of her characters ever feel similar, even when they come from the same family. I always look forward to seeing what she comes up with next.
***
Haloriel... is like a box of chocolates. Not only do you never know what you're going to get with one of her characters, but the odds are there's going to be something delectable once you get inside.
***
Haloriel's mind floors me. She brings a layered creativity and depth not only to the board with her characters but with her keen insight. She weaves those strengths together in such a way that she writes some incredibly striking stories and characters. She is also creative because of how she uses her understanding of personality and her insight to understand the world around her. Her thoughtfulness comes from, at least in part, the fact that she really understands people and cares. It takes a big imagination to wrap one's head around the human condition and her writing, and the way she interacts with the world around her shows that Haloriel has that in spades. A gift like creativity is wonderful in a hobby like ours but she also touches the lives around her with amazingly thoughtful problem solving. She's also got a song for almost any situation and I think that speaks to the way she's able to take understanding - interpretation of music,
StarlingStarling makes things come to life with her writing. Her vision is so clear and she shares it beautifully with those she writes with. She has created entire worlds within worlds with complex social structure, etiquette, and stunning visuals. Writing with her is a joy and it is impossible to not get swept up with her in her passion.
LochlanHe regularly makes characters that are unique and great fun to write with, exploring pieces of the world and plot that have been left empty or that could be expanded upon. Every time a new one of his characters ends up at the Keep, I know more fun is about to show up!
DashDash has some of the best good guys and bad guys and the guys in the grey between.

Dash's graphical prowess has grown an incredible amount this last year. When he first joined the site his stuff looked like a novice's attempts, but these days they are incredibly crisp. His gifs look sharp and he's in high demand for some image love!
***
Dash always has the most out-of-the-box ideas for stories, and his graphic work is fantastic. He's not afraid to take risks, see what works, and throw the rest out. It's netted him some surprising but memorable victories, both with pics and stories.
***
Dash is great with plotting, story ideas, and his graphics are top-notch. He doesn't do the same thing twice and he's always got a great idea in mind for where to take a story.
PhedrePhedre has some of the most beautiful and creative characters I've ever seen. I love everything she writes.
***
I recently had an experience where I had an idea, maybe two-thirds formed. I had the high points; Male, Caste, Young, and surprise, surprise, dealing with issues and the Territory I wanted to put him in. Somehow, with five minutes of discussion, I suddenly had a concept I was excited to see in play. Together we hammered out a three dimensional person, and with perhaps another fifteen minutes of discussion this idea was fully realized--and it had been fun to do so.
DragonGirlDragonGirl wins newbie of the year in my opinion, with the way she's taken the Sabbah plot forward. She's great at coming up with concepts and storyline arcs and I look forward to what she has in store for next year.
RatedEmEm's characters are ASTOUNDING. And their ability to just tie each one into other characters and plots is just beyond brilliant to me. I love reading when they come up with, plotting with them, and any chance I get to be a part of one of their plots - I'll take it. ^__^ What they've done with Jeremiah in DN in particular is just... wow. I was convinced that they must have somehow adopted him because of how crazy well he was integrated - but NOPE, totally spawned that from their amazing brain. And the little twists and tweaks to all their characters. Wonderful. Just... wonderful.

Em has come onto the board in a storm and with such great ideas and fantastic character arcs. She has proposed interesting lore and setting information for Rihland. She has brought different ways of playing certain archetypes and some of her scariest characters are her Light Jewels. She’s a great addition to Blood Rites!
***
There always seems to be some little quirk with RatedEm's characters that take them from mundane to extraordinary. The little creative details Em adds in really make those Cs delightful to read.
***
If you go to Em with a plot idea, they're going to pick it up and run with it. Even if they don't think it works, they're amazing at coming up with reasons for people to meet, places for them to go, and stuff for them to do. I love plotting with Em because they are awesome at coming up with stuff to do and keeping things moving. Especially when you hit that boring meet-and-greet stage--just let them know and they'll make SOMETHING happen. It's great, really.
BowieConstantly coming up with interesting storylines meant to help push whatever territory he enters, Bowie is unabashed in making all kinds of characters come to life and risk every consequence possible for them along the way.
phinneasHalf of the graphics on the site are done by phinn. Everything from her trackers, the Jewel and Caste pips, the banners for the Territories are her handiwork. She can make amazing character concepts and twisting plots. She's a creative genius and it's astounding how all of it comes from one person.



Best Plot Mover
GavinGavin is a super powered engineer of plot moving. He can single handedly keep a Territory afloat, writing with all people involved and getting the story going toward its intended destination.

Gavin is always putting something together and trying to draw other players and characters into plots. Old or new, Gavin is always trying to give other characters something to do and create new stories to tell.

With his hands in so many pies, it sometimes feels like Gavin is moving the whole site along! He is always fun and consistent to write with and very good at working with others to keep things moving.
***
Not only are Gavin's plots complex and intriguing, they're damn fun. He can organize a group of people and get them all moving the same direction, which, let's be honest, is like herding cats when it comes to BR writers. He is EVERYWHERE. His plot arcs cover basically the entire board and he is always looking for way to include more people, heighten the intensity of the story, and create incredible intensity. And in case anyone hasn't noticed, Gavin's characters were involved in 10 of the 12 Thread of the Months for 2017.
***
I don't think there is a single major Territory plot that Gavin isn't involved with. Not only that, he participates in all of them with startling consistency and speed. This dude is a master of productivity, efficiency, and solid writing that I find genuinely inspiring. His influence can be seen and felt across the board and his characters not only integrate into existing plot well, they bring with them stories of their own that always add wonderful new elements to the areas they join and the characters they interact with.
IdarielI really think that hands down, Ida is the best plot mover. At first I didn't consider her because she's not putting a ton of plots into play, but the nom is for plot -mover- not creator. It's not her own plots that she's moving. I mean, sure, she works on those too, but the reason I'm giving this one to her is because this girl accepts roles in everyone else's stories and the proceeds to write the hell out of those roles. She's always talking about the characters that she's putting together to help flesh out someone else's idea. With her own big ideas on the back burner for awhile now, it just seems pretty selfless to me that she throws so much creativity and willingness at stories that she wasn't initially invested in. Has she ever told anyone no when approached with a character idea? She -is- that writer that everyone else asks to bring their plot to life. She's content to write whoever is needed, does it damn well, and manages to make it look effortless.
Reid Reid is organized and constantly looking for ways to maximize the value of a given plot and the interactions between characters.

The amount of plot that Reid has created and developed on the board is nothing short of amazing. Every Territory he writes in is enhanced by his ability to both draw in characters to amazing plots and then push them forward through challenging issues, heart ache, and revelations. Before one plot is resolved, he has already outlined three more that are ready to go.
***
Reid is a plot MACHINE. He will single-handedly bring a plot of characters and story arcs into your Territory and give you drama to play off of for months.
***
Reid has IDEAS. For days. Not only is he great at putting them into play in ways that feel original, but his penchant for world-building and setting feed strongly into the characters he makes. When reading his work, you get the feeling that every choice he makes is a conscious one, because somewhere that you can't quite see yet, a plot angle is riding on it.
***
When one plot ends - and even before that - Reid always has another plot ready to go. I've never met someone who always has a plot up their sleeve, just waiting to be implemented, and thoroughly plotted out like him. That I have been able to plot with and work through plots with him has been amazing and I look forward to seeing the plots that he comes up with in the future for the territories that he plays in!
DragonGirlNot only do I think she deserves newbie of the year, she has taken the Sabbah storyline of Pruul and launched it into the atmosphere.

Dragongirl came in, made this awesome Queen, and basically has shaken up multiple Clans with her actions and behaviors. Watching the Sabbah deal with this *outsider* has made me grin a lot.

KennaKenna, of course, is really driving the Mineborn story and watching the various reactions, difficulties, and alliances as the Mineborn become a Clan has been fascinating.
***
Kenna has been one of the most welcoming players. I met her early, because of Ennead, and that grew into three characters in Pruul, one of them a Black Widow Warlord Prince. Without the multi-caste idea, I do not think I would have interacted with so many people, including HBC, and honestly, it was one of the most pleasant RP review experienced I've had---and adding people to Pruul always feels like it comes with momentum. Things are absolutely happening there.
PhedrePhe is always on top of knowing what has to be done and where it should be done. She makes sure all the steps leading up to a thread are complete, so that we can get all that sweet sweet buildup. She links everything together into this terrifying plot chain so we're all pushing forward at all times and it's nuts.
***
Dena Nehele's vibrant success is largely attributed to Phedre's tireless pushing of the plot there. Between Riley and Sway, Phe has kicked the Territory into high gear. Dozens of storylines run through her characters and she is an inspirational plot leader.
phinneasWith a hand in shaping the entire board both in character and out, Phinn endlessly pushes for new ideas and boldly approaches her own doom without concern for her characters. She clearly strives to just tell a great story, and help others tell the best story they can.
Nicole I feel like Nicole always has a great idea up her sleeve and knows just how to take a plot -- any plot -- and make it more interesting.
DashDash is Mr. Plotty Plots and I love it. I haven't gotten the chance to plot or play all that much with what he creates but I thoroughly enjoy watching and reading it all play out - and I certainly notice the clear thought and effort (or effortlessness?) that he puts into getting the gears moving wherever he puts his characters.
***
If a character of Dash's only ever has one arc going, it's a slow day for them. He's relentless about pushing forward both large Territory-wide plots and smaller, interpersonal plots. It's part of the reason you never know what to expect when writing with him, because his characters have a wealth of their own motivations and instincts. He's just a great storyteller, and writing with him is a blast.
EricaErica could run a plot nearly by herself. She is incredibly responsive and her posting speed is dizzying!
BowieAlways trying to find a new angle to push and develop story, Bowie has helped revitalize Dena Nehele, helped propel two different stories in Little Terreille, has really brought life back to Askavi through the hubbub around the Black, has sown discontent and excitement inside Raej, and added a layer to the resistance in Nharkava. Wherever he goes, he tries to affect far more than just himself.
StarlingDespite not having a leadership role, post requirement, or any vested interest in Nharkava, Star had a large part in revitalizing play there and shows no signs of slowing down. She discusses potential plots with others because she cares about making sure everyone involved is on board.

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Offline phinneas

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Re: 2018 Superlative Love Letters
« Reply #1 on: Jan 12, 18, 09:43:56 AM »
Character of the Year
Maarika Sydan-HarmaaMaarika is a fascinatingly complex Queen with a vivid effect upon everyone's who meets her. She has plot lines that both draw in established writers and invite new ones into her story. She has affected plot in three territories, delighted readers across the board, and is always a delight to read.
***
Maarika’s had an incredibly difficult and rewarding year in equal turns. She had her home burned down and been exiled to Nharkava while her sister has been held hostage in Glacia’s capital. She’s bonded new males, planned a silent rebellion against Glacia, and had emotional run-ins with her psychopath bonded, Jon. She persevered and continues to fight to be a good Queen.
Omid al BaliOmid is part of the Mineborn, who finally ascended to their destiny this year, but he's also taken dramatic steps to claim his own independence and place as a person. He started the years as a privately troubled and confused young man, but has grown more self-assured and confident of the power that he wields. He joined the Bali Clan and firmly took a step away from the Mineborn and the suffering they endured to forge his own destiny.
***
Omid had an incredible arc this year. He chose his own path despite knowing what that could mean for his chosen family and his Territory. The emotional complexity that he showed and the subtlety throughout all of his threads is beautiful to read. He truly stands out as a unique and fantastic character.
***
Omid has had quite a year! He has dealt with the events following the Rain, found his Queen, joined the Bali, left the Izar, found his heritage and just generally went through a ton of personal growth. Can't wait to see where he goes next!
Juliette D'OmeilJuliette is a Red Jewelled Queen only recently discovered washed up on Chaillot's shores. It took a lot of brainstorming to figure out how that was going to go, and I'm really enjoying how my 'odd' concept has become a bit of a plot hook for the Territory. Everyone either wants to use her, or to keep her locked away so that she can't be used. Meanwhile, Juliette has been on this arc of self-discovery in that her Queenly instincts have started rising to protect HER people, the Dark Jewelled, from everyone else's insanity. The character has even managed to get the Landen involved by reaching out to a Landen lawyer to represent her in the suit to remove her collar, and it could have devastating long-reaching effects for how Dark Haven in general functions if it goes poorly for Lenore Noir.
Rilandra VlasRiley has been through the whole gamut. Not only has she been reliably active throughout the entire year, she's touched so many different characters and so many different plotlines; without Riley, so many excellent plots and characters wouldn't have come into being. Riley also has gone through a lot of character growth this year. We've gotten to see her with the wards, Sorinna and Radu, and we've gotten to see her betrayed by close friends (Claudia and Striker) while dealing with the trauma of one of her first bonded males. She's dealt with a new Triangle and the hostile takeover of her home Province by Milo and none of this is looking to let up. Riley's story is one of those intensely involved things that we all sort of look for in our games, because you know a single thread with Riley is going to hook you into like fifty threads with other characters. If that's not character of the year material, I don't know what is.
***
No character has so singlehandedly breathed life back into the board, let alone a territory. Before Riley roared back into play, Dena Nehele was a ghost town, and now, it is undoubtedly the busiest and most exciting place on the board.
***
Riley has been a force in Dena Nehele, impacting and influences characters and scenes in the Territory that she's not involved in. She's also the center of her Court with a powerful Triangle that makes even her enemies think twice about going against her. Most of all, Riley's able to move between her roles and commanding Queen, mother figure, lover, and best friend with ease, often in the same thread.
***
Riley was the epicenter of the second half of the year's largest plot moving and shaking. She is the lifeblood of Dena Nehele's insanity and is the centerpiece to all of its drama.
***
Okay, so I've only been on the board for about six months, but I've been keeping Riley in my periphery since the beginning. She is brilliantly crafted and has gone through so much evolution. She grows, and she regresses, and she grows again. She fluctuates. She's REAL. Her character has so many different facets from the Queen to the Scoundrel to the Mamabird to the Woman and I just want to create 90000 characters to be able to interact with them all.
***
... it's Riley, need I say more? Seriously, she has done magnificently as Queen of Dena Nehele despite the pull of the Guilds and the Aristo Council. She is one of those characters that pulls you in and brings you along for the ride. What she feels, you feel, and you always know that when you click on a thread with her it will be something AMAZING to read. With everything that has gone on in Dena Nehele this past year it is amazing that she has not just crumbled under it all but instead she continues on, strengthened and her resolve stronger for it.
***
The way Phedre has handled writing since Riley's return to Dena Nehele has brought Dena Nehele to life in a way that it's pulse can be felt in multiple Territories in both realms.
Gnaeus Sannus Gnaeus is a tragic, heart breaking character that makes me want to protect him and throw him far far away at the same time. His past has colored him, twisted him, and yet he still has this protective streak for Maerina that makes you hope he won't die. I LOVE reading Gnaeus threads, and I am excited every time I see him post.
Amerys TiernanAmerys is the ultimate hero story; the good Queen protaganist you read about. She is dwarfed in power and influence but that doesn't diminish her powerful personality and how she connects to everyone around her. She is so purely idealistic and focused on being the best Queen she can be, faults and all.
Endevar RanosiReturning from his long absence, back to his long abandoned home of Askavi, the return of the Black to Askavi has left a ripple that's been felt far outside his moon. Having propelled a great deal of excitement back to the territory itself, as well as brought in story through Hayll and promised ramifications elsewhere, there's hardly anyone around him who is not affected by his prominent return.
***
The Black of Askavi is back in a big way. Bowie's done a great job of bringing Endevar's past to bear on the current situation in both Askavi and Hayll, and it's exciting to see what the fallout from his return ultimately will be.
Saladin al TaburSaladin is 'new', but he's also got an amazing personality that is already clearly showing in his threads. He's made me laugh, and need a fan. He's got the 'bite' you'd expect of a Sandrider, and the charm of a scoundrel. He is the Han Solo of Pruul.
Hayden SheaneHayden has grown dramatically this year and it's been a treat to see. She has become more of a rock for Little Terreille and all its members. Every single person Hayden interacts with is changed by her presence. Her power is not in her Jewel but in her personality. She is incredibly compelling to read and her character depth is fascinating to follow.
***
Hayden has been a force to be reckoned with in not one, not two, but three territories. She has steadily grown from the uncertain girl in Glacia to her own manipulative presence in Little Terrille. I love reading her threads and wish I had more interaction with her.
Devesh AcharysStarling did amazing things for Nharkava in 2017, and most of it was centered around this one character. She took a generic and open-ended wanted ad for a Queen's male and turned him into the heart of a thriving sub-setting that breathed new life into the Territory. He's unique and always interesting to read, whether he's tending to the many varied personalities under Padmalaya's roofs, or finding new ways to inspire those outside.
***
Striving to renew life in Nharkava, Devesh has been busy assembling his team and shoring up defenses, keeping a careful eye on the invading force. He has brought his rag tag group of friends into the realm of politics and espionage. They're an unlikely sort, but not at all incapable of the task. The only question is whether or not they can drum up enough support and give Glacia a reason to relent, or to drive the Dark Religion back by force.
Kalvar ElbremovHello, new Territory. No one has influenced the landscape of all of Kaeleer in this past year like Kalvar. Dash has created a character that is complex, nuanced, and both sympathetic and reprehensible. He does an amazing job at portraying the isolated Prince as a ruler who's not quite reluctant, but aware that he's not quite meant for that role, either.
Kesare FuentesIdariel worked with me for my own multi-caste. We played out scenarios, and talked a lot about how Kesare did and handled things. I do not think I have a real board thread with the character, I have others sort of in her periphery, but I do not think there's any character that has more impact by her absence than Kesare. She's important to so many people, including my Abaddon. It's kind of remarkable that she has such a force of presence.
Roland CadeRoland kicked off the year attempting to face down Laurel Gold, followed by defining his relationships with every member of the Territory Court. He's interact with people at both the highest and lowest levels of Little Terreille. He's pushed himself hard to get what he wants and shows no signs of slowing down.
Torben FalkFebruary Character of the Month.
Lydia KalasMarch Character of the Month.
Ennead al BaliApril Character of the Month.
Valeriu DumitrescuMay Character of the Month.
Lysander KaneJune Character of the Month.
Aleksy GreyJuly Character of the Month.
Sorinna RomanAugust Character of the Month.
Jeremiah MercerSeptember Character of the Month.
Elenor al SabbahNovember Character of the Month.
Ji Yoon MoonDecember Character of the Month.



Thread of the Year
filled with my old woundsBecause it’s terrible and emotional and amazing all at the same time.
Until the Hasting Day has RunThisThread shows so much of Dea al Mon's culture, plot and grief in one place. It is incredibly well written, emotionally deep, and presents each character present struggling with the imperatives of their Caste and station. It's a beautiful character study concealed as an adventure, and I adore it beyond measure.
***
There is something truly heart-pumping about the meeting between Wraith and Charisma, all while other DaM characters are racing to try to SAVE her. Getting a look at Bad Wildungen and how the Brood and DaM CAN live in peace with a bit of effort while also proving so capably how they might tear each other apart is just amazingly well done.
Moesian White, Tulzbruja RedThis thread showed a lot of the interplay and factions of Dena Nehele all in one place, along with the power struggles that make up the Territory. Riley doesn't even want to be there, but she has to and it allows her to enjoy moments like being with Dragos, Celina, Garen, while also showing her at odds with Lucien. Everyone that contributed to this thread made it great!
A dinner here is never second bestThis thread gives a real deep dive into Dhemlan's Sitges District and its ruling family, the Calderons. Lorenzo is the black sheep striving to rejoin, while Mari is the Queen and bitter mother. Clarissa and Xiomara may be caught between the two but are not helpless victims; they don't mind telling Lorenzo and Mari when they are being unfair to each other and the people around them. Corazon also shines as a prime example of a warm, caring, Queen balanced against Mari's harder nature.
Money Between FriendsThis thread was a stellar representation of the deadly dance that is Protocol as illustrated by the dance between Laurel and Roland. Both characters had legitimate issues with the other person's actions in the wake of the old Territory Court's destruction and the rise of the new Court under Lord Black. Rather than fight, as the Blood are prone to do, they discussed their issues and moved forward with renewed respect for each other. Amazing read!
***
This thread is a great illustration of the dance of Protocol between two people, reflected in a dance between two Dark Jeweled people of respectable strength. Laurel and Roland really redefine their relationship to each other in this thread, showing that both are to be respected and coming to a place where they could be allies, if not friends someday.
***
Roland and Laurel could easily be a power couple in Little Terreille, if he wasn't bound to another Queen. This thread was both a figurative and literal dance of Protocol between two powerful Dark Jeweled characters. In the end, they gained a new respect for each other, while Little Terreille gained another dangerous alliance. Awesome read!
Make Our Nature Rise Above ItselfThis started out as a small thread between 2-4 people, and it has blossomed into what feels like half the board. Erica, Idariel, Haloriel, Halyonix, Phinn, Gavin, Myst, Lene, AND Dash! I find myself fascinated watching how each of them is reacting to this meeting, and the fact that the Queens are having a meeting in an apple orchard, during harvest season, just cracks me up. I was really glad to see Gavin's Roland make note of this in his first post. The potential for Territory Stability, or big drama, is fantastic. Everytime I see someone respond to this thread, I feel like a giddy child come Christmas morning.
would you ratherA very simple, very short thread, with minimal interaction, this tells a very striking and very gripping story of spite, pain, betrayal and loss. It is not a complex tale, but it is lovely, and redefines a character in the doing.
What you kept from me made our world go roundThis thread offers an intimate view into both Riley and Dragos/Striker. After the most exhausting 24 hours of nonstop need and chaos, Riley asks Drake to be her First Escort only to have him reveal that he is not what he seems. Not only is he a Myos assassin, he is the assassin who killed her ward's father, the young Queen who Riley has raised like a daughter. The cost of having him for her First Escort is to keep this secret, and she leverages her own cost as well. It is an emotional and private thread that shows us the realities of living in the blood torn Territory of Dena Nehele.
Thrice Lost, Thrice FoundThis thread brought a whole lot of characters together and brought the Sabbah back into play in Pruul, launching them in an unexpected direction and setting up the internal conflict that will define them going forward. It introduced or established a lot of new and returning character and players in Pruul, and I'm excited to see what comes next for all of them!
because you make me hate you todayThis thread is the culmination of a four year poinonous relationship. Bouncing off the 'breakup' scene at the start of the year, Maarika comes to Little Terreille to try and mend what's broken between her and Jon. You see the huge change in both characters from where they had started. You want to root for both of them and cheer against them at the same time. It's a beautiful and moving moment.
***
Jon and Maarika reconcile.
...finally.
...for the moment.
Ghosts That We Knew And Must KnowThis thread has everything: happy homemaking, redemption, betrayal, naivete smashed, harrowing backstories, an attempt to take one's life under their own pain, heel face turn, face heel turn, it's got tragedy, comedy, drama, it's everything. Easily the best thread of Little Terreille for the year, in my opinion, the best tearjerker for sure, and a real contender for the best flat out.
Life of the PartyThis thread is massive, and encompasses a LOT of diverse characters. Everything from Jeweless to Landen to Glacian to Rebels.. the potential for this to turn into an explosive fight or to stay a simmering pot of emotion keeps me on the edge of my seat, and the writing is FANTASTIC from so many actors!
Your World Is An AshtrayHayden tells Jon that Maarika's been killed and her Court destroyed. The emotional intensity of this scene is unreal and grasps at your throat and doesn't let go. It's heartbreaking for the pain you read, and it's deeply moving to see the bonds of love being tested and strengthened by grief.
Are you sure what side you're onThis thread came out of nowhere and turned an ordinary conversation between allies into an action-packed street brawl between Gray Jewels. I love that it played out organically as a consequence of previous in-character events, and I love that so many writers were able to get involved in a fun and natural way. Everyone had something cool to add to this scene, and it wound up being incredibly fun because of it.
***
This thread was bad-assed! It started from just a talk about LT politics and Silver digging dirt and exploded into a huge brawl between two Gray Jewels and the Unchained showing up and keeping it all contained. When Silver and the crew were facing Draven down together I got chills. Every time it came up I read it as soon as someone posted!
Bleed Drops Of Prophecy, Bleed Drops of ChangeThis thread brought together seven amazing writers to change Pruul forever. Every word is beautifully done and I could not have imagined a better demise to Adramelech and I am so excited to see what happens next.
***
Perhaps a biased choice, but it was one of the first major plot moving threads I took part in, and it spun up part of my own Abaddon's history. It was also something I was thrown into in my first two months with the site. Some great writing, and a great end result.
Curious FindsThis thread was such a fun read. It starts as an innocuous trip by Lysander to the Port Authority to turn in a package that was delivered to him by mistake, but soon grows in complexity and hilarity when the corrupt Port Authority makes a few bad calls. Before long, Hayden, the Court Seer and the Master of the Guard for the Territory are involved, and the thread wraps with a feeling that we haven't seen the last of that curious box.
The Court With Two Broken HeartsThis thread was the kickoff to the change of leadership in Askavi, wasting no time in reintroducing the characters. Drakkar Estaroth has just killed the Queen's Consort, which he doesn't repent...only to find out that he's bound to a Queen the Territory Queen that he hates. Illyrian's grief, however, reaches even Drakkar's heart, leading to the conflict that endures even now.
With Those Who FavorThis has stood out as one of my most favorite threads that I have read. The moment of Aleksy and Lionel meeting, two broken people finding one another, is as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking.
So Damn BeautifulYoung, immature Queen vs. older, hardened Prince. Ida and Star write beautifully together and create some really intriguing problems between the two characters, problems that will inevitably come to a head again and again. Fear, anger, hope, despair, desire... It's so damn beautiful.
You Will Not WinMarch Thread of the Month.
An ill-timed visitApril Thread of the Month. (tie)
The Second ClimbMay Thread of the Month.
With Those Who FavorSeptember Thread of the Month.
Not Enough Room For You And MeOctober Thread of the Month.
Heart, Heart, HeadNovember Thread of the Month.
In My Darkest NightmareDecember Thread of the Month.




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Re: 2018 Superlative Love Letters
« Reply #2 on: Jan 12, 18, 10:21:07 AM »


Best Queen
Laurel GoldLaurel is just a BAMF. She is a force of will and ruthlessness wrapped up in a pretty and perfect package. Doubtless she is one of the most formidable Queens on BR and one you never, ever want to cross.
***
Laurel is the consummate Queen, firmly in control of her Province and her organizations while constantly watching the people she trained grow in excellence. Her former charges include a Territory Queen and her First Escort, as well as another Province Queen. Lord Black may be the darkest Jewel in Little Terreille, but Laurel Gold has reach that most people can only dream of.
Miina KalasIn The Wrath of a Righteous Queen, Miina shows us that Queens aren't just about feeding the land and overseeing the people in it - they are also about obtaining the Price from those that wrong them. Her vengeance upon Inga was brutal. Breaking the Green Queen so that she'd be a light jewel who must wear the very collar she'd put upon a Warlord Prince from Nharkava was... breathtakingly amazing. Her emotional mess afterwards was even better. She is a Queen who does what she feels is right, even if the action makes her nauseous. And she keeps her nausea for in private. She put a strong face forward, and she's willing to stand by it no matter the consequence.
***
Cares strongly about her males and ruling right, shows the hard decisions that a Queen must make while ruling
***
Miina is the Glacian Queen trying to ride that difficult line of loyal to the ideals of the Territory but also be a “good” Queen. She fights violently for what is HERS and is ferocious when one of her people are threatened. At the same time she struggles with the sins she is commiting by putting her people in chains. Lene’s done a fantastic job with her and she’s one of the best parts of Glacia’s scene.
Mari Calderon Mari's constant manipulation of her family and Court makes for electric scenes. You can't be sure what she's going to do or say next, but you know it's always going to benefit her, especially if it messes with one of her children.
Charimsa LarenthisCharisma goes against type, not even desiring a Court, or power out side of the considerable influence and wealth her family wields. Yet she is neither lost in hedonism nor refusing to serve; she merely served in her own way, finding those lost in the grief and tragedy of Dea al mon, serving those with no Queen or Court to tend to them. She's unspeakably lovely, beautifully fierce, and completely perfect.
Rilandra VlasThe Queen of Dena Nehele is multi-faceted and always fun to read. She doesn't mind fighting for herself and those she loves. She doesn't back down from anyone and she's the toughest Queen on the board.
***
Her character overall deserves the Character of the Year award - but as a Queen I believe she also deserves this title. Her Court has done some serious moving and shaking and restructuring this year and she had DEALT with it. Not... always in the most healthy of ways (*coughGARENcough*) but she's still somehow managed to keep her head above waters and when she notes her mistakes, and the things she's missed, she moves forward to keep growing as a Queen, as a person. DAMN i love her.
***
Dinners with the family of her bonded, nearly losing one of her bonded, several attacks upon her bonded ... Riley has been through the wringer this year and yet - through it all - has been the epitome of a Queen. She serves and is served and brings everyone and everything together.
***
Riley is very much an example of a Queen. I could see her stepping out of the pages of a (better written) Black Jewels novel; the give-and-take of her Court is largely predicated on her own strength of personality. I also think her situation emphasizes her Queenliness, in that she's actually restricted from ruling as she might, so we get to see how she acts *in extremis* as it were.
Mari CalderonThe subtle manipulations of the Queen were incredibly enjoyable to read and play off of.
***
I love every thread Riley is in. She has such a dynamic personality that I cannot get enough of. From fierce, sexual, loving, to heartbreaking, I never know what side of her I am going to get and, in turn, I never know what emotion I will feel reading her thread.
Odelle AckleyI wouldn't say she's the most memorable Queen on the board - but as far as *representing* the Caste I'd say she's been on top of it this year. Odelle has been working at improving Rockland's crop output, Gifting the Land, managing politics with Amerys and Laurel Gold, AND attempting to throw tradition out the window by creating a school that will educate Landen AND Blood together... at the same time. She has a clear goal of not only bettering Rockland, but hopefully all of Little Terreille by ensuring that the Blood and the Landen are not so easily divided, that the economy is strengthened, and that each individual will have the necessary mental tools to make something better for themselves. Despite the stress of her goals often giving her mind-splitting headaches, she pushes until her males and Healer force her to stop - because she knows there are threats on the borders and the only real way to stand a chance against them is to unify their people, one way or the other.
Itzelian MaboyaThis fresh-faced young thing in a land of ancients, in her quiet and stumbling ways, personifies the Queen through her care - excessive and unasked for - of the emotions and wellbeing of all those around her, even when they'd much prefer her to remain well distant of them. One of the most vulnerably real characters on the board, she has so much growing to do and yearns to do right by all those around her in a manner that is nearly tragic to watch.
Epiphany EstinariaEpiphany came away from her Offering the darkest Queen in Dea al Mon. She was set to rule a small village, Glory Glade, and is slowly coming into her own as ruling under her own name and not her mother's. As the people of Glory Glade and her Court start to gather around her, she is coming out from the deep grief of losing both parents and the only home she has ever known, becoming a Queen that can sign to the trees and listen to what is offered back.
Elenor al SabbahShe hit the ground running and has been making huge waves of change in Pruul. If she doesn't end up dead, she might even be able to redeem the Sabbah, but her gambits are often high stakes, and the push back against her fierce. It will be interesting to see where she goes from here.
***
Elenor has come into her own with Clan Sabbah around her. She's protective of her males, even when they don't like her. She's also trying to rehab the Clan's image in light of the wrongs that were done on their watch. She doesn't let the poor attitudes of others get her down, making her an interesting read anytime she's on-screen.
Amerys TiernanAmerys really is the Queen with a heart of gold. She tries her best, fights to make a better Territory, and has a heart and mind full of positivity and idealism. She has a tough job, dealing as kind of a puppet Territory Ruler making her own way, and managing a number of difficult bonds. She always pulls through and even with her mistakes remains a primary example of what a good Queen is.
Michaela Augustus-TibaultMichaela best represents all the bad Queens in the Blood Rites verse that the good Queens try to act in contrast of. But she’s not some vaudeville villain; she’s compelling, sexy, and instigates visceral reactions.
***
Starling has made the perfect Hayllian Queen.
***
Michaela is an awesome villain, predictable in some turns and not in the next. Self-serving, hedonistic, spoiled to the core, I'm excited to see what happens when the Hayllian rebellion threatens to turn her world upside down. She's still very young by long-lived standards, but the venom of a young snake is more potent than that of an adult and she is absolutely a snake.
Adamara PavelVivian writes such a beautiful Queen. The self-sacrifice, grace, poise, and purpose that she instills in this character is such a treat to read.
Corazon ChavezCorazon represents the Queen's desire to serve and be served, as well as her love of tending the land. She's actually researched (and shown others) her ideas for caring for the seas around Dhemlan just as they would care for the land. She's endlessly patient with Lorenzo, despite his flaws, adding a depth to their relationship that makes each interaction between them feel more natural and stronger each time.
Saiph al KaidShe is exiled, and blind, and despite these two facts she still has the interests of Pruul at heart. Watching Saiph in Raej has been a treat, especially because she isn't afraid to reach out to Syeira to talk to her about her own Bonded, and Syeira's husband. Even in Raej, she is able and willing to start trying to help Heal emotional hurts and do her damned job.
Sheyla GreyIf sass increased exponentially with Jewel strength the way that Craft power did, everyone in the world would understand why Mother Night stopped Sheyla Grey at the Tiger Eye. She is a powerhouse of wit, charm, and attitude, a troubled Queen who's doing everything she can in the world to not show it. Her care for her people and her responsibilities comes across in every thread. Dash has done a phenomenal job of making her both the unyielding ruler a Queen must sometimes be, and the young woman trying to find her place in an unsteady world.
Zaehrah al BaliThere's a lot of Pruul on my list, for a lot of reason, one of the being I branched out late. I had an important scene with Zaehrah, and for my Ennead, bound up in his Protocol, she seems to be everything that a Queen should be. She managed to turn one of his Fears, into a scene that ended with empathy, understanding, and pampering. No one was more surprised than I was.
Emma MorganNominated without description.
Maarika Sydan-HarmaaAs Glacia's sacrificial lamb sent to Nharkava, Maarika has nothing but hard decisions to make. With good cause to worry about Glacia's ruling court, Maarika also has to consider the threat from the territory she occupies as well. Balancing the need for her own survival as well as the survival of the people she loves and the people of the territory that Glacia hopes to subjugate can't be easy.
Silje FriskYoung and misguided, Silje is a product of Glacian propaganda. Her chance at the court life she was promised and she wanted so badly has been taken away from her. Too stubborn to accept that things were all that wrong in Glacia, Silje's journey toward enlightenment has been painfully slow. Unlike other Queens, Silje does not have it all figured out. She expects that she will be given the authority that she desires, instead of earning it, but underneath her frigid exterior she hides a caring heart. She just needs the right incentives to set it free.



Best Black Widow
Saskia RoweSaskia represents the terrifying parts of a Black Widow. The manipulative nature, the aggressiveness and sensuality, the axe to grind that is gonna sharpen itself on every poor motherfucker who gets in her way. Saskia is the boogeyman of Scelt and Jamie’s done a great job writing her!
Thorn ZalishevinThorn is a sexy and powerful member of her Caste. Ambitious and regal, she has the drive that best represents her people and the confidence that is so intergal to the Caste.
***
Thorn is a passionate character torn by those passions; she is both deeply committed to the welfare of her people and willing to take incredible risks going against the predjudice of her Terrirotry. She is risking everything, in the end, not for power, or money, or lust. But for compassion. And to see so much compassion in so fierce a warrior is a beautiful thing. And she is, most assuredly, a warrior. A Seargant in the Red Cloaks, comfortable with physical battle as well as the intricacies of her caste, she is very much the classical dea al mon while yet being entirely unique.
Morgan CleryMorgan is a terrifying little monster man, and a stunted, tormented thing twisted up by Scelt's preference to hide and bury the knowledge and schooling of proper Widows. He is written rife with conflict between his Princely nature and the overwhelming darkness and madness that flirts with him from the Widow's welcome to the Twisted Kingdom.
Shyloh KnightShyloh is this captivating combination of Batman and the Punisher. She is a creature of passions and a frightful need for revenge over the death of her adopted sister, Hush. The way she dismantled the Hell Lords was intimidating and showed just how forward-thinking Shyloh is; the spider with her carefully laid webs.
Lilith CinerusLilith is a great spin on a Dark Jeweled Black Widow. Her passion runs cold, where most Widows run hot, but it makes her all the scarier for it. She's a great window into what kind of damage the Great War and the Purge created in some Blood, something I don't think is explored often enough.
Kelda VollKelda is one of the scariest Black Widows on the board without even factoring in her jewels. She's smart, crafty, and deadly. She knows just how far she can push someone before hitting the point of no return, yet she's a good friend and a caring mentor to others. Her threads are great reads!
***
Almost undoubtedly the most board-defining Black Widow, Kelda Voll is treacherous, manipulative, brutally efficient, cold and calculating, seductive, and merciless. She is every part a Black Widow, and relentless in pursuit of her goals. Balancing the line between good and evil, she is unconcerned with popularity and she sings as a result.
***
Kelda is everything your momma warned you about Black Widows: She's prickly, she's sexy, she's dangerous to cross. Kelda kills people with ingenuity and long term planning rather than brute force. She's made herself the new kingpin of Little Terreille and did so by metaphorically smoking the competition.
***
Kelda's never stationary. She's teaching or wheeling-and-dealing, or plying her trade as a Black Widow. She's also a scary fighter when she needs to be. I love reading her!
Indaara ErickssonAlways playing with webs and whatnot
Claudia GenadieClaudia is the penultimate BW for me. She found a way to work *around* the blindness of her eyes. She has managed to not only be effective, but necessary. In turn, when she messes up, she does so because something caught her attention and she is intent on 'catching' it. Without really thinking about WHAT she is doing until after it is over. Despite her being willing to pillage Jeremiah's mind to find the 'threat' she sensed, she was also willing to go to Riley rather than attempt to hide what she had done. She owned up to it, and has since been trying to find a way to make it right.
***
There is no other Black Widow for me that embodies their caste more than Claudia. Prickly, not willing to put up with your bullshit, she is everything I want to read when it comes to a Black Widow.
Molly O'KerryBeing the Head of the Coven in a Territory with a history of burning Black Widows is no small feat. But Molly doesn't only shine as courageous, she is also forward thinking, creating a school for Black Widows to learn in and not have to hide in the shadows anymore.
***
While not one of the most active Black Widows on the board, Molly is still one of the more interesting people. She uses her Widow caste powers but combines it with her dream of building a safe place for her sisters to create a uniquely driven Black Widow. I think the disconnect between Molly's caste and her dream of a Widow school makes her a compelling and interesting character.
Kesare FuentesIda does a great job writing Kesare as a dominant character without falling into the trap of making her weak because she has a set of jewels that a lot of people would pay to discard. It's awesome reading how she makes it work and it comes across as natural and effortless.
Raluca VaduvaI do not think I have had too many interactions with a single caste Black Widow, save for Raluca. It is a new thread, but very enjoyable, and Raluca was the key to part of my Jacks Thief's background. She's everything I sort of think of Black Widows, lovely and welcoming, even sweet, but in a 'step into my parlor said the spider to the fly' sort of way.
***
She's just sassy. Clever, powerful, and resourceful, she's one fierce mama and I love how she takes care of those important to her.
Maarika Sydan-HarmaaKeeping her Black Widow Caste hidden allows Marrika to be one of the most unexpected BW's around. The inclination and ingenuity required to do so fits in perfectly with the mystery that BW's exude. Except Maarika doesn't exude it at all and uses it to her advantage. She's one smart cookie.
Malakay HildedottirMalakay is fairly new, but she's already made a mark in Rihland. She's fearless and fun. She's willing to stand up for herself even across from the likes of Kalvar. She's a great ready and I'm looking forward to seeing more of her!



Best Priest or Priestess
Marisol CalderonWhat a scheming, manipulative, evil version of a Roman Bishop. Marisol shows what the corruption of the church can look like and why Priestesses are bad-asses.
Caelissine Agrippina-AugustinusI love her. I just love her. So unusual, so sensual, so brilliantly kind and sweetly blinding. She's bound to her family's will not from violence or oath, but love. Rare anywhere amongst the Blood, it is positively incandescent within Hayll. And once more she breaks her heart for her mother, sister, brother, family.
***
Caelissine is a beautiful representation of what a Priestess of the Darkness is and should be. She's been through her own personal trauma and issues, but that hasn't stopped her from offering herself completely to the aid of others. In every scene, she brings people close to the Darkness and Haloriel's description of her use of Craft is a joy to read!
***
Cael is so beautifully written! Haloriel's infused her with such a powerful and sensual spirituality. She's compelling in every thread she's in and is such a treat to follow!
Adalwolfa Sauer Adawolfa is an excellent example of what a Priestess should be. She is devout without being a zealot. She is brave without being foolish. She makes an excellent balance to Kalvar, despite his standing in the Abyss.
***
Adawolfa illustrates the power of the Darkness infused with the tradition and strength of a people long-oppressed but not defeated. She stands up to Kalvar despite the difference in their power, earning the respect of the Black Prince even when he decides to follow his own path.
***
Have really enjoyed her spinning out the Rihland faith
***
There are Priestesses, and then there is Ada. Phinn really stresses how Ada manages Communion, Ritual, and the balance of her emotions to the path that the Darkness seems to call her to walk. I am always nibbling on my fingers when I see a thread where Ada has to talk to Kalvar alone, because watching her try to find a way to advise him against his imperial impulses is heart-poundingly intense. Watching Adawolfa have to deal with a traumatized Hearth Witch's stubborn nature is also hilarious.
***
Adalwolfa is a beautiful Rihlander Priestess who has to struggle to find balance between serving her people and the Black Prince. She is strengthened by her faith, her belief, and I have yet to find another Priestess who resonates her Caste so well.
Devesh AcharyaOne of the best examples of the mystical personifications of a Priest, he is religious and devout and not only is he faithful but he himself begets a powerful cult of personality. As much religious leader as religious zealot, he is a fascinating study of devotion and worship in a troubled land with competing and conflicting ideologies.
***
Devesh is not only a deeply spiritual being in all of his acts and beliefs, he is navigated the potential loss of his religion and culture as Glacia's influence spreads through Nharkava. He brings his beliefs to everything he does, including the work he does at his temple and the way he has structured his home and estate. His faith is unerring and he draws others into his way of thinking.
***
The more I see of Devesh and his interactions with the people of Nharkava, the more I see him as a Priest and not a Prince. He's a truly stunning male with depths that can't be understood in less than five threads, and each time Star posts him you learn yet something else about him you didn't see coming.
***
Devesh is one of the most spiritual characters on Blood Rites. He’s a mystical character with a deep soul and with an almost metaphysical style. Star has done an incredible job writing him!
***
Starling's vision for what a Nharkavan Priest might be has been nothing short of enthralling. She's really hit it out of the park with Devesh, who has comes across very strongly and very clearly as an intensely spiritual scion of the Darkness.
***
Devesh's devotion to the Darkness is beautiful and unmatchable. His faith comes first for him to the point of self sacrifice. Though he tries to bring everyone closer to Mother Night, he leads by example and lets people choose their own path in the end. Though he could be written in a pretty crass way with his taboo take on things, he's written tastefully without compromising who and what he is.
Hadjara al IzarHadj has been struggling to find her place like all the Mineborn have, but her journey has been particularly bumpy as her family suffered the split between Lucky and Omid. She has continued to evade Azar, and it's been fun to watch the mounting storm on the horizon, knowing it will break one day.
***
I have had the most interactions with this Priestess, my Ennead has been her escort from time to time. He helped guard her through various trials, and sometimes simply acted as protector while she was out in the world. She is gentle, eager to learn, and somehow despite all the bad stuff in Pruul, full of what I think would be a Priestess' wonder for her Territory.
Reija HarmaaReija is the archetypal Glacian Priestess. She is powerful, sexy, and fully in control of any situation she moves in. She controls her Warlord Prince husband like he were enslaved to her and she moves about the field of politics and intrigue with utter confidence.
Lydia KalasPower hungry, ambitious, cruel, and sexy, Lydia is Glacia's best and worst rolled into one. When people whisper bad things about the Dark Religion, Lydia's the paragon to the why. She is a scary and bad-ass character and is by far the best Priestess on the board.
***
Lydia has never had a boring scene. Period. She's always fun to read. Halyonix has done so well with her that I can't decide if I want to hate Lydia or BE her.
***
Lydia is a viper in human flesh. It's always fun to watch her size up a situation and see just what she can get out of it. She's catty, she's graceful, she's passionate and she's going to climb Glacia's ladder sooner than later.
Hjordis NurmiHaloriel does a wonderful job sketching out the nuanced depth of a real Priestess. Especially in Glacia, and especially as a Dark Jeweled character with sympathy for the Light Jeweled, this is a hard character type to get right. Haloriel makes it look easy, and has created an endearing character who is a joy to read.
Azar al LatifhI could not imagine a better Water Priestess. Haughty, entitled, and powerful all at once, Azar commands attention. I think her personality is so unique among Priestesses, because I typically think of them as reserved and sickly sweet. Azar adds a new dynamic to the caste that I love.
***
Azar is commanding, bitchy, and a fun character to read. It's easy to see that she's worried about losing her place, but she also can't show weakness to anyone around her.
Syeira NeferetSyeira is a Priestess Queen... technically. Her own devotion to her Priestess caste is overwhelming and obvious, and I really enjoy reading her spiritual bonding with Nailah and Iskander. The way she struggles to understand why she was given the Queen caste in addition to the Priestess caste she prefers speaks strongly to me as well. I believe there's not really faith without doubt, and Syeira embodies this for me.



Best Healer
Innocent Galasrinion I love Innocent. She is the classical healer, without being either weak or easily frightened; if anything, she faces the world with a touch too much of confidence and fearlessness. Principled, compassionate, strong willed - as the males in her life know, she is -impossible- to derail from her duty, and difficult to protect at the best of times. But in the worst of times, there is no one better to have at your side.
***
Innocent is the quintessential Healer. She has all the hallmark traits of the Caste and is a compelling good guy to boot. She is the person you root for even though you know the odds are against her.
***
Such a beautiful, strong, graceful, tender woman. Innocent exemplifies what it means to be both Dea al Mon, and a Healer.
Cadence FellowsRepresents the caring heart of a Healer well
Kaderian YrisiaKaderian to me is that tough-as-nails, no-nonsense healer who doesn't have the resources for 'fancy'. She uses what she has, and she puts up with no bullshit. I love that she dances on the very edge of Protocol with even the most surly of Warlord Princes and is usually respected for it. I especially love that despite her outward bloodthirsty appearance, she really is trying to prevent a potential war with Pruul's Clan Sabbah. She really IS trying to find the most peaceful solution, despite her abrasive in-your-face ways. Kaderian is the Healer who doesn't speak softly, but gets shit done. For that, she has a special place in my heart.
Minerva TailorA healer with a motive, she is an important caste in a place that is so absent of them. She is strong willed, constant, and wants desperately to see the world and its people better... but she, unlike most healers, pictures herself as the best path for all of this. Driven and ambitious in a way that most healers are not, while still riding the line of their every nature, is wonderful. She is a fantastic and bold take on the classic healer, and it makes her the undeniable standout for this category.
Ji Yoon MoonJi Yoon Moon has shown not just the dedication of a Healer to care for her people, but the fierceness of protecting what it is that she has created and cares for. Leez's writing of her has been fantastic and she is a wonderful example of the multifaceted sides of a Healer's personality.
***
Ji Yoon represents the best of the Healer Caste. She is passionate, full of energy and vitality, her focus is altruistic at all times. She pops out at you as if she were a real person, and though she doesn't always make the right decisions you know her heart is in the right place.
***
Her family drama with the Kagen aside, Ji Yoon seems to epitomize what a Healer SHOULD be. She's got this drive to 'fix' things, and to do what she can to make lives easier for those around her even if they are different. She isn't driven by profit, and she isn't driven by political aspirations - she just wants to Heal and to not see people dying of disease and starvation in the streets.
***
Ji Yoon made a splash when she came onto the scene. Leez captures her so well that you feel as if she is a living, breathing person that you could interact with. A Healer in a territory where they are rare and never usually so dark jeweled, it’s great to watch as she comes into her own power and carves out a space for herself in Dena Nehele.
Clarissa CalderonIs there a more gentle soul on the board? Clarissa is a shining light in a Territory full of darkness. She means to do well by her family and her mother, especially, and even with all the trials and tribulations always shines through with optimism and determination.
***
Poor Clarissa is maybe the last innocent Calderon alive. Tenkou does a fantastic job of portraying a woman who is biologically programmed to want to help and fix people, who is thrust into the middle of a politically and socially cutthroat scene and expected to keep up appearances. I love how Tenkou shows Clarissa's uncertainty and certainties, depending on the issue at hand.
Magdalena SydanMagda is a gentle soul in a harsh land, but she isn't pitiful. She's suffering for the sins of her sister and brother-in-law, but she doesn't appear to blame either of them for her lot in life. She's still kind and still cares about both of them, which is not a route most people would take. Looking forward to the day when she can see Maarika again and care for her sister.
Silver ThraxSilver is an amazing character. She's a healer with an attitude; a woman who loves a brawl as much as she does helping others. She's not your typical Healer in that she's a bit more rowdy and violent, but there's no missing the Caste in her drive to protect others and see to their safety.
Astrid VolknyrIdariel writes such a great character in Astrid. She's the perfect Glacian archetype, so cool and distant even when dealing with utterly gruesome affairs. She's the hardy, take-no-prisoners sort of Glacian who just happens to be (luckily) aimed towards helping her fellow man.
Maerina AugustinusShe's prim and proper but with a backbone as well. Ida doesn't write her as a wilting flower, but a force to be reckoned with when push comes to shove. She balances the needs of Hayll and her family and has managed to make it work so far. Bravo.
Leila al SabbahEvery scene I've been in with Leila turns my Males into her voluntary bodyguards. She represents a healer's gentility, with the firmness of a doctor that is disappointed by your antics. She is one of the few Healers I've written with, and it has always felt natural and right, if that makes any sense.
Lenore NoirLenore cares for her patients even when they do grievous harm. She;'s the real power in Dark Haven and one is smart to ally with her or get out of the way.
Kiara MakurKiara is everything a Healer should be and more. She's infinitely kind and giving with the work ethic of a Prince and the heart of a Queen. Unapologetic about who she is, she's stoic yet without the severity. Hardly a wilting flower either, Kiara is a force to be reckoned with but still warm and caring and a friend to all.
Victoria AdamLene's writing of this Healer is so much fun. Victoria probably knew what she was getting into when she joined Riley's Court, but didn't really know what she was getting into until she started. She's handled everything thrown at her without being thrown off. Can't wait to see more!
Davinia AdrestusMmmm... I love a good plot twist. Davinia ain't your average Healer. She's downright evil. She can fix you, but she's not inclined to make it fun while she does. On the contrary, she excels at undoing previous repairs made to a person and in a long-lived Territory, folks inevitably walk around with many more healed wounds than those who don't live as many years. She's a refreshing take on the Caste as a whole.
Kesare FuentesThough she is a triple caste, I think Kesare's Healer caste is her most prominent of the three. She's a kind person before she's anything else, volunteering to work and work *hard* for people she doesn't even really know. That's a very Healer trait. Her work with the landen emphasizes this, especially since the Blood of the world are incredibly, uh, cliquey--she's reached out beyond her usual group to heal a greater wound in a way that we don't see in many characters.



Best Witch or Hearth Witch
Hayden SheaneThe Black Jewel with a heart of gold; the troubled teenager trying to become a woman weighed by her actions and the blood on her hands but trying to become better despite it all. Hayden's story is just really getting going, and whatever she grows into will become a powerful force in all the Realms.
***
Hayden has really impressed me in the last few months. But I think what really throws me into putting her in here is the development in the thread http://www.bloodrites.net/little-terreille-48/the-me-that-you-know/ . Hayden in her other threads has always seemed like more of a background character, and in this latest treat she really starts to shine. Her emotions have finally started to get the best of her, and she finally reaches out to someone other than her family and Jon. It's just been this really eye opening thing, and I love reading her!
Evony BosEvony is a pushy little hearth witch, and her OCD'ness makes me laugh. Actually, she makes me feel the extremes of emotions. Her behaviors in the present range from bringing laughter to bringing tears. Despite the horror of her life for 'the last two years', she's found a way to still smile and carry on. Her ability to argue with Kalvar so as to feel fulfilled in her 'job' lets you know that she's somewhat fearless (Odinar thinks she's stupid, I'm sure). I just love her.
***
good show of the strong heart of a witch and cute little bossy housekeeper
***
I mean... who doesn't love a bossy little Hearth Witch who tells a Black Prince that he needs a better house keeper? Evony Bos makes me laugh, cry, and laugh some more. From her furious "Moe" moment (Wall-E) following Adawolfa's dirt trails to her latest argument with Adawolfa, Evony is all fire and passion for whatever goal she has in that moment. She is the *best* Hearth Witch, the *best* Aunt... and in her own mind, the *best* friend that Kalvar refuses to acknowledge he has. meanwhile, she also knows that she has a few Cracks in her Chalice, and she has done her best to hide them for as long as she can.
***
Have you ever seen the most good-meaning person? You haven't until you've read Evony. She is so earnest and SUCH a Hearth Witch who fusses over everyone and anyone in her castle. She is the quintessential Hearth Witch that all Hearth Witches practice to be.
***
Erica has done a great job of portraying that hearth witch aspect that makes Evony such a memorable character.
Naraii ElizondoI love Naraii. She's wild, yet controlled. She's unendingly fun, willing to laugh in the face of an angry Warlord Prince - albeit, only to crawl into his lap later, to soothe him.
Kiersten DanielsenKiersten is talented and resourceful for a girl with little memory of her life in Glacia. She's a drug-runner but she hasn't fully let Little Terreille harden her into a criminal. She watches out for her friends and makes the people who cross her pay for it.
Tarabai RajavadeAs a witch, by her nature one ho strives to serve others of the Blood, she has reached higher than most any might expect. A perennial second, first to a Queen, and then to that Queen's husband as the new Ruler, she is constantly tasked to step above her own station and serve and does so without complaint and with great capacity. I enjoy how hard she works to be whatever she is asked to be, and think she will be a potent force for the territory.
Regarte BarraultReggie is trapped both in Dark Haven and in the Twisted Kingdom. This makes for a very unique view of the world, one she is constantly offering to those around her. While she would wear the Sapphire if she was permitted her Jewels, she is at the mercy of those around her, and has a strange way of endearing the other residents of Dark Haven to want to care and protect her, even bringing those who dislike each other immeasurably together when it is for her sake.
Adavera al JinanVera is just a force to be reckoned with. She is feisty, doesn't let her Light Jewel or bad leg stop her, and has navigated the changing landscape of Pruul with wisdom and a hard cane to the head when necessary.
***
Vera is one of my favorite characters on the board. She has developed so much since she first started, shaping the Jinan Clan and their culture, as well as shaping herself. She is truly a powerful presence, standing up to a mad Black Widow Prince with a crippled leg and a Tiger Eye.
Vengeance ElessarBerserker bad-ass Elf who will take the fight to the Brood no matter the cost. Vengeance is FEARLESS and such a fun read every single time Haly posts on her!
Jolie DionJolie is willing to do anything and everything to get out from under Garen. She's well aware of her flaws and the stains on her soul, but she'd rather sacrifice her soul than her freedom or the freedom of her mother. There's a love that's so indebted into her guilt that influences every other decision she makes.
Melany KreimhildMelany is, in a word, wonderful. She's passionate about her ideals and the need to displace Kalvar Elbremov. She hates the Eyriens for what they've done to her people, but she's not above extending friendship to others who wish to live peacefully in Rihiland. She's a fun
***
A skald and a witch, most would not have thought Melany capable of what she is doing, but they would be wrong. She does so with ease and tenacity and there may be nothing that she's not capable of.
Asala MeskhenetScrambling to find her purpose and her way in the world, straining under the dangers of freedom still, Asala is a fascinating character who is trying her best to reach beyond the limits of who she is.
***
Asala is mysteriously unpredictable. She's not guided by good intentions but she's not evil either, (is she?). A somewhat recently freed slave, she's done really well for herself, gaining a voice on the Merchant Council and a respectable dominion. Moral issues don't seem to bother her. Even having been a slave, she keeps slaves of her own. Her take on right and wrong and how that impacts the climate in Raej is bound to be fascinating.
Xiomara CalderonXiomara is vibrant, passionate, sexy (af), and the anchor to all the insanity that goes on in the Calderon family. Her disability never seems to get her down, nor does she seem to let the violence of a rut get in the way of her love for Lorenzo. She's so beautifully written, Haloriel!
Khadijah al IzarIs there any heart that Khadi hasn't stolen? The relentlessly intense young Mineborn is a pack of dynamite wrapped in cuddles. She's such an interesting mix of that feral Blood nature and the sweetness of a little sister. Idariel really has done a stellar job of bringing her to life.
***
Ennead's Khadijah means a great deal to him. If she were a Queen, he would be entirely devoted to her. She's feral and written beautifully, and once again, when she travels, even her absence will have deep impact on the world of my characters.
Narcisa Ciora (Sway)Everybody loves Sway. She's the original Myos badass, even when she's having secretly soft feeeeels for a certain someone.
Violet KaosI love Violet. I love how she keeps going when she gets knocked down. I love her empathy for Aleksy and Dana and I love how she loves her girls and I love how her relationship with Travis happened and I love how she interacts with Kelda. I think she really does represent the limitless potential of a witch. And I love reading about how Violet is dealing with the trauma of her entire family dying. Violet is so good. Thanks
Jaya LaghariI just love it when someone writes a character with a strong talent that doesn't hinge on Caste or Jewels. Jaya has a very impressive ability to alter emotions. This and other aspects of the character make her a powerful woman with a compelling story to tell.
Ripley MartinShe's got connections in various places in Little Terreille and she's not afraid to leverage them. She's feisty and fiery, more than a match for anyone she meets.



Best Warlord Prince
Blade AmdirNominated without description.
Radu OrfanShameless self-nom, but the reason I think that Radu makes the best warlord prince is because he rides that edge of control all the time. He's aware of it, he fights to make sure that his 'falls' on it are on people who deserve it... but he's young, and he messes up. Consistently. On top of which, he is ruled by his instincts and has a history of not really being educated on how to live in society. He is a Warlord Prince without the benefit of Protocol having been drilled into him. Radu is a warning of what the WP could be... or a goalpost.
***
Radu was nearly feral when he first came to Riley's Court, a young Warlord Prince with no training and care for nothing but getting through to see the next day. Since then, we have seen him grow, fall in love, learn etiquette, and even learn restraint. That feral Warlord Prince still exists beneath the surface, but he is learning he can be more than just his caste, and it has been so cool to watch.
Lorenzo CalderonIt's always a challenge, to write a warlord Prince with the proper degree of threat and violenc, and still have a playable story. With a magic all his own, Lorenzo balances the exteme volatility and danger of the Caste with a hard won, painful control that breaks hearts each time he exerts. His family is lucky to still be alive, and yet they trespass against him over and over, blindly confident that the love and guilt which has hobbled him so far will continue to bind him. I love that risk, and Wonder each time he has a Thread with a famly member if this will be the last time.
Valor TanithilValor's restraint hides the beast within. He wears his suits and serves his Queen with pride, but he'll kill anyone who goes against her, anyone who harms his family, and nearly anyone he believes is worthy of death. Yet Valor strives to be different from his bond brothers, to be his own man despite the examples he's been shown his whole life. Very well written.
***
Valor is rides the line between restraint and destruction of everything around him. He holds on to his control because he believes it makes him better than others, but also because he wants to satisfy his Queen and his family. But he's ready to kill at a moment's notice, so don't take your eyes off of him.
Matias SaariDespite his Healer Caste, Matias still represents the fury of the Warlord Prince, chained behind a mask of Protocol and self-control. He is possessive, filled with rage, and intent on getting his way in every interaction, but he's not ruled by his anger.
Kain Eskolascary dude doing scary things -- blends the violence and passion of the caste well
Jeremiah MercerMercer is written extremely well. He is the controlled, Frigid Prince most of the time - able to push a younger Warlord Prince nearly to the Edge in order to make the male listen and learn while also knowing just how to bring him back from an uncontrollable rage. He is the male that dotes on his Queen, and is willing to follow familial duty to marry someone he does not know. He tries to keep himself together when his world comes crashing down, and as a result - develops what we affectionately call "alter-miah" -- someone more violent and moody than Jeremiah has ever seemed to be. I love Mercer, and I can't think of a single Warlord Prince that deserves the nom more than him!
***
My silver haired snugglebud. What Em has done with the fuckery that has created "Altermiah" in the past couple months and how that contrasts with his usual personality has been done FLAWLESSLY. He's brilliant, and amazing. He is a Warlord Prince without being a cocky snarly ragemonster (not that those aren't darlings too) and I luff him.
***
Jeremiah's intensity is off the charts. Every scene he's in shows off his political acumen and understanding of people (with Drake and Val), but he's also very fatherly to Sora, a girl he helped to raise. Even when his mind is under attack, he tries to do the right thing by his Queen by ensuring that someone will take him down if he ever loses control. His love for Riley is deep, but not romantic, which is another great show of how the bond can go.
***
Jeremiah is a tortured soul who tries very hard to be better than he is. Be it from mental manipulation or taking on a marriage for political reasons, his devotion to Riley is never tarnished. His life isn't an easy one, but he is nonetheless one of the most compelling characters to read in Dena Nehele.
***
Despite that Jeremiah might consider himself not a good example of his Caste, that he might be broken in some fashion or otherwise not right, he very much shows what it means to be a Warlord Prince. Bonded to his Queen since he was young, he has grown up and instinctively seems to capture that perfect balance of controlled tenacity. It's all there, under the surface, just waiting to be released.
Renvar YatskayaOne of the most stubborn, powerful males on the board, despite his Jewels. He has earned the admiration during his play of many rulers and influential people, has survived the war and come out wiser and sharper for it, and has suffered under the pain of loss in a way that brings him close to madness. Intense in a way other characters could only dream, he is an absolute iconoclast for Warlord Princes.
Lucky al IzarHe is just such a Warlord Prince. No other words quite describe him. He is volatile, violent, sexual, territorial and yet...he is growing. It's been interesting see him step out of his comfort zone trying to form a Clan for himself and his family, and to carve out a place for the heroes of Pruul where they can find themselves.
***
Most see him as a reckless Warlord Prince, which he is, but he has grown SO MUCH this year. He broke down, crying, to Kesare, sharing his darkest secrets, learned to trust and love, and has hopes and dreams for the future. For a person that was so dark, thinking as the world in only shades of black, it is so mesmerizing to watch him grasp onto the things that make life worth living for.
Draven RookDraven exemplifies the terrifying knife’s edge that can be a Warlord Prince’s temper. This is, in part, because of the damage to his Chalice. Nonetheless it shows why the Caste is so dangerous, as one moment he could be in calm conversation; laughing, joking, smiling, and the next be ready to burn someone’s face off.
***
He's cocky, feisty, flirty, and well on his way to total insanity. Draven's threads are never dull, whether he's doting on his "sister", macking on the local hot thang, or beating the ass of the nearest loud-mouth.
Endevar RanosiEndevar represents the quintessential Dark Jeweled Warlord Prince. He is incredibly charming and compelling; charismatic and flawed but with a deep reservoir of personality atop his reservoir of power.
Drakkar EstarothThe archetype of bad-ass Eyrien aggression, Drakkar is the Prince of Warlord Princes. He is commanding, focused, intense, and he is the clearest indicator of what an Eyrien Warlord Prince should be.
***
Drakkar is Abaddon's father, for that connection I did some reading to tie him in to Abaddon. I look forward to the day these two meet, and have enjoyed engaging Drakkar's tragic story to fuel Abaddon's messed up mind.
Marcos TorreroThe finest dandy of the board, Marcos is the product of the political and social fineries of the grandest of Dhemlanese excess and the murderous heat of the darkest soldiers of the Great War. A fine mix of socialite and sociopath, he is a terrifying and charming, barely-hinged warrior noble.
***
Marcos is a great example of how a character can be true to his caste and still original and unique. There is no doubt that he has that super-passionate propensity for violence that all Warlord Princes do, but the fact that it's wrapped up in a package that enjoys writing plays is just cool. I love how he is 100% the bloodthirsty LL warrior from the time of the Great War, but also... just the guy at the bar. Bowie does a great job selling that mix.
Jupiter CinerusNominated without description.
Storm FenharelStorm is not just dedicated to his Queen, which he is without question, he is also dedicated to his bond-brothers in a way that is both admirable and surprising. Instead of being jealous or manipulative, he denies himself his own desires to allow for Baelfire's happiness with their Queen. He is quiet, stoic, and always an incredibly compelling read.
Sixten FriskSixten could be the poster child for Warlord Prince's, but even when his behavior could be considered cliche for the caste, it's fitting and compelling. He's a mix of deep seated anger and longing for things to be set right. Neglected by his bonded Queen, he strikes out more often than not, but who can blame him? The man just wants a chance to be who he was born to be, respected as a hero and protector. When given that opportunity, it will likely be a fierce and beautiful thing to behold.
Jean-Baptiste PrejeanHe is very, very WP. Just. A lot of WP. So much.



Best Prince
Kalvar ElbremovKalvar is a terrifying Prince. His R-B is a heavy weight on him, and he takes his responsibilities with it seriously. From the moment that Dash started his plays on the board, I've read Kalvar's interactions with the BR world with wide eyes. Seeing the normally reserved Prince level the Eyrien occupation for the wrong they did to his wife was amazing. Seeing how he controls himself afterwards - being able to compare his Rage to his reserved self... it's a great contrast. All of his interactions in character have been fantastic. The scene where he meets Hayden, or when he gets his puppy, or when has to try to deal with Reo - these show a depth that I haven't really noticed in most Princes this year.
***
Kalvar is the Prince who's bad at his job. He is not good at negotiations or at managing diplomacy or emotions. He is blunt and often times rude. But even despite that he has a strong personality that shines through his lack of charisma.
***
Kalvar exemplifies what it means to be a Prince, and it's all the more significant because he's in a Territory full of warriors. The classic influences of his caste are visible in the way he has taken an almost too-cerebral approach to reforming the Territory he rules. Dash has made a great use of this caste to influence a great deal of play.
Gustav FyersGustav plays the role of grumpy old man well, but underneath is the mind of Prince who is always calculating the angles and trying to turn everything to his advantage.
Algernon Breckenridge That name is synomoous with class, style and danger in Little Terrielle. The Master of the Guard is a deadly warrior, a true killer, and yet capable of a control on the field of battle that few men of his Jewel Strength and Caste could match. He's passionate, without being stupid; controlled, without being safe. He's diplomatic, without sacrificing his own principles. I adore him, and consider him the epitome of his Caste.
***
BRECKY BRECK. Haloriel does an absolutely brilliant job with him. He's both an upstanding Master of the Guard, dedicated to doing his job --- annnnnd a complete badass with an adorable crush who can still make the badboys (and attempted ex-badboys) swoon. I always want more Brecky Breck.
***
Breck is the smoothest, most calculating, realest Prince you will ever read on Blood Rites. He is the sharp dressed man ZZ Top sing about and the guy who is three steps ahead in his brain. Truly a wonderful character.
***
Prince is one of those castes that's difficult to do well, sometimes. Haloriel has managed to take the classic Princely attitude and inject some extra meat and sass to make a character that is endlessly entertaining. Breck is both a serious badass AND a comical delight. It's so hard to write those two things together well, but Haloriel makes it look easy.
Roland CadeRoland is all over Little Terreille, with ties to a lot of the major characters on canvas. Despite his personal issues (or maybe in spite of them), Roland is calm and collected, and he's always putting his best foot forward for the Territory. He is devoted to his Queen and keeping her at the top, which may push him down a darker path before all is said and done.
***
Roland is the consummate Prince, always dressed to impress and smooth as silk. He can lose his temper, but he's very cerebral and always looking for the next angle to play with those around him.
***
In a land of sharp-dressed men, Roland stands out for his skill at turning enemies into friends despite his personal feelings or issues.
***
A thanklessly efficient and sharp advisor, the First Escort of Little Terreille is the very picture of Princely excellence, calm and precision. Beyond his efficacy, he is a good person with a troubled past and is played expertly in his balancing of motivations and affections.
Eirnan ConnolyEirnan, to me, is the picture of Classy Prince. He manages to maintain a cool head when others would give in to impulse (much to Odelle's chagrin). He also manages to keep from lashing out even when provoked, and in that I think he has a point up even against Roland Cade - because he has NOT actually got into a heated argument with his Queen even when they both passionately disagree about something. He really does have the best interests of his Queen at heart, and he will remain a stubborn rock in her path to ensure she makes the right choices. That comes across in his scenes so well that it makes me absolutely adore him. Better yet - Wren has managed to write the 'chink' in his cool armor, Eirnan's adoration of Mara Durov defies Eirnan's own standards for himself, and shows that even the controlled Prince can't control everything.
Sebastian BaneThe Head of the Jacks Guild and Master of the Guard for the Territory Court of DN, Sebastian is beleaguered by a life he never wanted. He would love a quiet life with his beloved wife and is instead forced to deal with utter insanity. He is a Prince to his core in everything from being highly frustrated when Riley sits on his papers to insisting on proper drills every morning and redoing the entire guard schedule to because it is such a mess. He is one of the funniest characters I have ever read and he gets in his own way as much as out of it.
***
This poor fucker. Sebastian would have been happy just to stay home and be with his wife. Instead he's dragged out of bed (literally) and made to not only lead the Jacks, who are a rowdy bunch of assholes, and protect Riley's Court which is a cancer-inducing headache in and of itself. Yet Sebastian handles it all with grace, patience, and professionalism -- most of the time.
***
Seb is one of my favorite Princes on the board. He's overworked, underappreciated and totally necessary to Riley's Court. Plus, he's deeply in love with his wife and that's really cute.
izil JofariHe is exactly what no one expected. He is the slave-owning, money-grabbing operator of the Sabbah Mines in Pruul, or at least that's the surface level. In truth, he is trying to collapse the Raej slave market by attrition as he buys and frees thousands of slaves, is trying to improve life in Pruul by developing agricultural techniques and is on a voyage of self discovery. Yet he is entirely content to play the villain and doesn't care one bit what people think of him. This makes him very dynamic and fun to read and write with.
Omid al BaliOmid is a studious and method Prince striving to deal with the awesome power and destiny granted to him. He's introspective and methodical, but also extremely caring about the people around him. He's also devoted to his new Queen, newfound sister, and newfound cousin as well. Omid's got a lot of powerful allies and it'll be interesting to watch him grow further into his power.
***
First, Omid is amazing. Seriously. He is balanced, loving, brave, and courageous. He is one of my favorite Mineborn and I am so glad he has set out to forge his own path. It had created the most delightful drama in Pruul and shown true character growth.
***
I think you mean Omid Izar al-Bali. Omid is the quiet friend that Ennead has never written with. Gavin and i chat a bit about them, but as Prince's go, he is certainly Ennead's measurement of one. I have read his thread, and of the Mineborn, his is the clearest head, I think, which seems right as the Prince of the group.
Artur WodenArtur (or Aleister, or Emil, or any of his other names) is the scariest mofucker in Dena Nehele. He can show up anywhere and everywhere and always acts with the professional dangerousness that is expected from the right hand of the Guild.
Dragos CutrovDragos is a remorseless killer thrust who has to bind up those instincts to serve a Queen he isn't bound to. He's conflicted about Riley, about the Triangle, and about everyone who serves her yet he's determined to do the job to the best of his ability. Yet the only true comfort he seems to find is with his fellow Myos, making his story even more tragic.
Valeriu DumitrescuPerhaps one of the most defining Princes on the board, he is the picture of protocol and efficiency, while also being the paragon of condescendingly aristocratic superiority in the same breath. Endlessly aggrieved by the emotional and un-protocol-driven motives of those around him, he flails to do his best, as the board's beefcakey C3PO stand-in.
***
Having to navigate bringing your daughter to meet your newly bonded Queen is something else entirely. Actually being able to do so? That's something only a truly remarkable Prince can do.
Haakon GunvaldssonHaakon is like the hyper-Prince. He's so Prince that it's *painful*. Watching this intensely controlled and detail-oriented man try to cope with the huge amounts of chaos the world has thrown at him in the past year has been heartbreaking, funny, and beautiful. Idariel's sculpted a very clear voice for him, and he's great to read.
***
I'm sticking to my guns on this. Handsome, dignified, honor-bound, tormented... combustible. Haakon rolls with the force of 1000 suns which makes his restraint even more awe-inspiring. He's the human equivalent of blue balls, moving through life frustrated, repressed and desperate for some relief. I don't know what he's looking for, but I'm sort of afraid of the potential supernova explosion when he finds it.
Markus NiskalaI think Markus is a really unique example of a prince. He uses his knowledge of systems and his particular orderly mind to torture the shit out of people, and it's such a turn to see someone in the more cerebral male caste going out there and getting his hands dirty. Literally dirty. So while he maybe isn't the dictionary definition, I think his particular complicated mind really does exemplify the caste.
Ciprian VodaHe is very twisty and good. Thanks



Best Warlord
Jonothan HarmaaWe all know it.
***
The Ruler of Little Terreille is unpredictable and always looking for an advantage. He embodies the Warlord's drive and zest for life, even when he's killing people.
***
Nobody works as hard as this kid. And while it used to be a safe bet that what he was "working" at was fairly nefarious, the last year has seen some substantial changes in Lord Harmaa. Dash has masterfully depicted the evolution of a man who is SLOWLY learning to care about others outside of himself, and how that change affects the world around him when he's at the head of a Territory. Fantastic job.
***
It's Jon. Need I say more?
Lysander KaneThis former pirate turned shop keeper makes me smile. He's so dramatic, so... FREE. He took the idea of 'casteless' and ran with it in a direction so completely unexpected. Bonus - when he tried to pull something from his cabinet and got a frying pan, I was died laughing.
***
Lysander is amusing, adorable, and charming all in one slightly scruffed up package. He is an incredibly compelling character to read and interact with and Wren has made him truly come alive in his threads.
***
Lysander absolutely steals any scene he's in. WrenStar has succeeded in making him funny and charming and yet with a depth that peeks out in particular moments. I love reading him any time he shows up.
Desmond Clery Desmond is caring man and does his best to look out for his family. But he's also manipulative and plotting to advance himself and his family at the same time.
***
The pinnacle of hardworking and earnest, the Laird of House Clery has defined himself as the modest and sensible powerhouse of his clan through little but determination and grit. Level-headed and kind amongst a clan full of chaos, he is an amazing Warlord and a gift for the board.
***
I can never get enough of this character. Desmond is excellently written. He is solid, a Warlord through and through, subtle in the way he expresses himself and goes about his life and relationships. He is a fantastic representation of the real salt of the earth males that Warlords are.
Baelfire ElendhenBaelfire carries the deep fires and deadly control of a bitter childhood, a shaded adulthood and a tragic present. A hero, and yet a villain; a lover, and yet bitterly alone, I love the contradictions and shear depth of emotion Baelfire represents. He can say more with a nearly-invisible smile than most could with a kiss.
Maseo no ShingetsuMaseo is shady, crafty, and bound to a Queen who hates him but he's determined to make his life count for something other than being exiled. His emotions are strong but they don't rule him as they would rule a Warlord Prince. He has a mind for details but isn't obsessed with them as a Prince would be.
***
Maseo is what happens when a Warlord goes wrong. Bound to a Queen that hates him, he's chosen power over service. Every interaction with other people is another chance to increase his stature and grow his influence. Maseo doesn't pass up a chance to improve his lot in life, even at the cost of others. Looking forward to watching what he does next!
***
Maseo is a plotting and conniving monster in a beautiful face. But he's a monster that has very human characteristics, and so despite being a criminal and murderer he's also someone that draws on sympathies and makes you root for him a bit. He's also got terrible luck, and I think that having THREE Red Queens in your life should get honorable mentions.
Klaus Saveladiplomatic and calm, serves his Queen well
Rais ThubanStar writes Rais as a mostly-serious male who knows what he wants in the moment. Reading Rais' irritation with his sister over their argument and his sister's inability to decide her own worth has been heart wrenching. Watching Rais dance attendance on Nailah, and claim what he desires through simply being a sympathetic ear and peaceful presence has been sweet. Rais just IS the penultimate Warlord. Just enough aggression to titillate, with a dash of sex and a good dose off common sense.
Finn HallmanAn adopted character, Wren has really made this character their own. A devout worker who refuses to see his Caste as a limitation, he strives to prove his worth and valor in the role granted him in overseeing security in one of the most dangerous places one could be asked to do so. I enjoy the depth he wades in, and the awareness he has of his own limitations.
***
WrenStar has done such an amazing job breathing new life into an old character. Her version of Finn Hallman is complex and interesting, and I can't imagine anyone having done it better.
Lionel KellyLionel offers us a view into a Warlord who has been hurt terribly and yet still wants and needs to have something to offer. His relationship with Aleksy is deeply moving, giving us the insight into the parts of him that are still driven to be a Warlord in truth and the parts that want to curl up and hide from the world.
Bashir al SabbahHe is young, he is brash, he is reckless, and he is just such a Warlord. There is nothing boring or mundane about this spitfire of a young man, and watching him and his twin deal with finding their Queens and settling into Courts has been so much fun!
Tavar al SabbahFinn is a BAD. ASS. He is an Eyrien warrior with few peers and fewer challengers. He stands up for what’s right, even at great personal risk, and does everything in his power to protect his clanmates and those he believes are worth saving.
***
Tavar has been a big part of Pruul's story since his creation. Gavin's gone to some great lengths to outline and define his relationships. His bond with his newfound Queen presents new challenges that he's struggling to deal with. Not to mention that his past is catching up to him as Drakkar wants him to return to Askavi. Watching him become torn between the people he was born to and the people he's chosen has been great.
***
Fin is, in short, the Father Abaddon never had. He has proven impactful to write and plot with, and Gavin plays the Eyrien aggression and Warlord steadiness very well. Tavar plays a key role in Abaddon's background, and is currently one of his only friends. As a result, I have been drawn into the center of Sabbah plots, and it has been a great experience being Fin's ally and friend.
Quinten HeartlyOhhhh Q. He's so darling and so wounded and so struggling and it's a trainwreck that I never wanna look away from. He's only just started his growth and I can't wait to see where he's going and how he really starts to step into the man, into the Warlord, that he's meant to be. Kenna really has done an exemplary job of playing him as the emotionally immature young man scrambling to catch up to where he thinks he needs to be as his world is so very suddenly inverted and reversed and turned upside down.
***
He is adorable and I love him.
Tyr MadsenThis weasley old man is someone you feel a great amount of empathy and admiration for. A survivor and manipulator, Tyr recognizes that his life is at its zenith and that he won't make everyone happy. Reid has written a beautiful character; someone that you root for and look forward to seeing what he pulls out next.
Rodrigo Barbero This sneaky fuck! Halyonix has written such a hilarious and cunning manipulator. The way he dances around his sister to get stuff done is great and I love how real Halyonix makes his thoughts to be. You get to see how really conniving he is and he's always entertaining to read.
Vihaan DaraHis tragic tale is heartbreaking enough, but seeing him buck up and fight back against the terrible things that have happened in his homeland has been enthralling. Driven by pain and a need to right the wrongs in the world, Vihaan is a powerful read. He's a poetic balance of pain, desire, spirit and initiative. Thoughtful, beautifully mysterious, self-sacrificing, and one handsome devil, I always come away wanting more of him.
Wraith EstalonThis Warlord is creepy and deeply convinced of the Brood's actions and rightness in the war against Dea al Mon. Gavin's infused him with just the right amount of self-righteousness and viciousness to make him one to watch.
Kontar AbassiPoor Kontar is a man pulled between loyalties to too many women. It's not been a problem yet and maybe that's because he grew up alongside his strong and vocal sisters. He's at ease in situations that would maybe cause a lot of other men to cringe. Cool and laid back, he makes it seem easy. He's handsome and well spoken to boot, a great addition to whichever team he chooses to play for.
Gnaeus SannusWith the kind of goals that much more powerful Blood might shy away from, Gnaeus is shaping up to be a rather fearsome individual. He wants Hayll to pay for its many sins against him. He's been waylaid by his loyalty to Maerina, the gentle Healer who restored him after he was crippled and disfigured, but it's only given him time to plot out his revenge. If he gets his way, the Hayll we know will burn and if it does, it'll be an amazing thing to see.



Best Multi-Caste
Blade AmdirBlends the two sexy castes very well, showing passion and the violence great -- don't mess with Blade!
Gideon CinerusGideon, Gideon, Gideon. I have seen pure Priestesses and Warlord Princes who struggle to represent their caste, and yet when Gideon writes you [i]know[/i] he is both; it is in this thoughts, actions, words. And it makes him more than part of each, but entirely his own creature, a deadly paladin with a mission from on high. I adore him, even when he terrifies me; I fall under the spell of his magnetism and drive even when he is starting a bitter war! Powerful, deep, moving - he fundamentally affects every character privileged to have a scene with him.
Matias SaariMatias grabs my attention. Watching him balance his need to FIX things with his need to BREAK them is nerve wracking. I love his emotional depth, and how it usually shows itself publicly as a dangerous Warlord Prince on the verge of killing something being so at odds with what he's ACTUALLY feeling is just heart-breaking. It makes me want to go kick Elisif off a cliff so that the males 'cursed' with feminine castes don't have to worry about her.
***
Matias has the deep rage of a Warlord Prince that is constantly pricked by his inability to practice the healing that he loves. He hates seeing or feeling someone in pain and the source of that pain is usually not long for this world once he finds them. But even his more gentle nature as a Healer doesn't temper the hunger that a Warlord Prince feels for his Queen and Mat's interactions with Kenna are also sad because she's the one person that he can't fix.
Darcia GlassadeThe People's Queen, she on her return has taken much of Dena Nehele's story by storm, choosing to formally not challenge the ruling Queen for her seat and instead focus on helping those who need it most. Personifying the greatest aspects of both a Queen and a Healer, she is self-sacrificing, caring, and beyond that, intensely genuine. Not wishing to draw attention, merely to heal and give comfort, she has amassed a Court around her with no intention of it whatsoever. While she has always been great, her new turn as the Queen of Flowers is the ultimate expression of her duality.
Aleksy GreyAleksy is an excellent example of a fully blended Black Widow Healer, both parts of which would not fully exist without the other. Wearing the White and Tiger Eye, she shows beautifully that even the lightest Jewels are powerful. Through her threads, we have seen her seamlessly shift between Healer and Black Widow and back, all the while being so very much her.
***
Aleksy is such a beautifully written character. You know she's living with an altered perception of reality due to the way Reid writes her. She is the example that just because you suffer trauma doesn't mean your life is over. She perseveres, she grows, and she has grown exponentially this year.
***
She's the perfect representation of the careful, nurturing Healer and the prickly, deadly Black Widow. Reid's done a hell of a job making a character that's as lovable as she is disturbing.
***
Aleksy is the embodiment of both of her Castes. You see both Black Widow and Healer in equal portion, never one more than the other, and they come together in a delightfully ethereal waify package that is wonderful and endearing to read and experience.
Abaddon al SabbahThe mix of Warlord Prince and Black Widow should have created an explosive, dangerous man, and in a way they did, but it's the control, care and patience that Abaddon demonstrates, embracing the more introspective parts of the Black Widow's Caste that truly makes him fascinating.
Devesh AcharyaDevesh is one of the primary movers and shakers of Nharkava in no small part because of being an unusual caste of a cursed soul doing well. Devesh is beautifully written and deeply intriguing.
***
Making a convincing multi-caste is HARD. Starling makes it look easy. Devesh very clearly broadcasts both aspects of his caste - both the Princely attention to detail and choosiness, and the Priest's reverence the spiritual lens through which he views all things. She also manages to braid both aspects together into a whole that is indelibly both Prince and Priest. She's done a wonderful job with him.
***
Nharkavan's view dual-casted Blood as anomalies, defective spirits. Despite believing it himself, Devesh hasn't let that slow him down. Embracing all the gifts that the Darkness has provided, Devesh puts them to use, his Prince mind analyzing the best ways to address the Glacian infection and his Priest soul to guide he and any who will follow closer to Mother Night and the freedom of his people from tyranny.
Maarika Sydan-HarmaaMaarika Sydan. No Harmaa... Team Maarika. Okay, so she's not a saint either. BUT. She's been played brilliantly and even in the one short scene I've had with her I've also been reading lots of her in my research for Finn and just generally keeping up with what's going on. Phinn does an amazing job with her <3 and I love how perfectly the Black Widow caste fits her even with that being trained. There's almost a quiet struggle going on there, I think, that's just behind the scenes - between Maarika's more conniving nature and her wish to direct it toward the greater good... and maybe her natural more selfish compulsions. LOVE IT.
***
I just love it because no one knows that Maarika holds a second caste. Both Glacia and Nharkava would be aghast to know that the Queen was doubly "blessed," seeing such a thing as inherently wrong. It just adds to the list of threats and things that Maarika must keep hidden from the public and increases the tension in so much of what she does. Apart from having two Castes, Maarika is a great character, beautiful, powerful, and driven.
Erisian MaboyaErisian is THE Priestess Queen of Blood Rites. She is flawed and fucked up, but her connection to her people and the Abyss are made in equal measure. She has a deep spirituality that cannot be ignored and compels her to not just fix herself but those close by her.
Serafina al Eirenemos Sera is THE Black Widow Queen. She is prickly, vibrant, aggressive, sexy, commanding, and absolutely territorial with her people. If you could have a Warlord Prince Queen, it'd be Serafina. Vivian writes this vibrant and commanding presence that takes over any thread that she's in.
Kesare FuentesI nominate her every year and she is worth it every year.
***
For all of the reasons I have previously stated, impact by absence is a pretty powerful thing.
Taxet MontecristoNominated without description.



Best Jewel-less Blood or Landen
Alusair (Scion) SigurdScion is one of the sneakiest and most manipulative people on Blood Rites. She's a scary woman who will show you that just because you don't have jewels doesn't mean you're not scary as shit. Underestimate her at your own peril.
Epona CorcoranEpona, the owner of the Hammer and Anvil Dinner Theatre, is just a treat to watch. She's placed between the wild, violent world of the Jeweled Blood and the peaceful, law abiding world of the Landen. Seeing her awe, fear and concern at the advent of even the mildest Jewel is a powerful reminder that each Jeweled Blood is a God to those less blessed. She's fun to read, endlessly inventive in her plays and musicals, all while balanced on the knife edge of her unique position.
Wolf Riemann Wolf is just a simple man in Rihland, trying to make his way in the world. He's a Landen, but he's a friend of the Territory ruler and he's got ties to a couple of the factions vying for control. Through it all, Wolf is just trying to honor an old friend, help a current friend, and make more friends along the way.
Oswald Trygggoofy and loyal, brings life and strength to being Landen
Noah LangevinLochlan has manufactured a masterpiece in Noah Langevin. This Landen Lawyer has a touch of Autism, and his ability to just stare down the Powers That Be in order to see Justice makes me want to grab a bowl of popcorn and cheer him on from the sidelines. Watching Noah prepare for the D'omeil vs Dark Haven case has been absolutely fascinating. Watching him rile not only the Blood but the very Landen Council he ostensibly works for is just delicious. The insights into Noah's mental world through Lochlan's monologues honestly make me so proud, because I've got an autistic son and - for the most part - Noah seems to think like a grown up version of my boy.
***
He has just been so much fun to read. Seeing him navigate the legal intricacies of Chaillot with his wonderful quirky personality has just been awesome!
***
Noah is a bad ass. He is manipulative, smart, and well-spoken and causes all sorts of ruckus in Chaillot. He is going to single-handedly throw a wrench into the Blood's best made plans.
Cyrus GravesA Landen unsatisfied with the place of Landen in society, Cyrus is placed as one of the most potentially powerful and influential of his brood in any territory. Not only is he rebellious, but he seeks to find methods through science that can balance the Blood against the Landen, and has brought together the most dangerous Landen society that has yet existed, to do so.
Alixen PerrotAlixen is unique in so many ways. The sheer strength of her personality leads her to bullying the Blood into doing what she wants and what she says, with no real concern or worry for her own safety. Whether she is actually blessed to speak with the spirits or merely an addict with avid hallucinations, she walks through the world with a different view on life and war than any around her. Those who have taken her in have found they have little choice, for she will persistently pester them until they pay attention to her, regardless.
Daniel ClaremontHe's scum. He really is. But he is an excellent example of just what the Landen are capable of when they put their minds to accomplishing their goals. From killing his own friend to claiming that friend's life as his own - loving his wife and killing his parents, etc... Daniel is the perfect picture of why the Blood always end up so surprised when the Landen rebel. He has a fierceness of will that just reaches through the screen and grabs you by the proverbial jewels.
***
A late entry, relatively, since he only joined us in November, but he's already very strikingly landen in a board full of Blood. I love how he interacts with Basile and Trinetta, the *Blood* members of the *Landen* council. He's just so wonderfully salty.
Porter LavoisierThough he only has a few posts in the thread building inside of Chaillot, Porter is a visionary on the breakthrough of discovering untold wisdom... while also being crippled by the fact he knows well the power and terror of the blood, and is counseled against pushing too far or exploring science deemed too forbidden for the Landen to know. Caught between a rock and a hard place, he struggles for knowledge still.
***
Porter hasn't had a ton of exposure yet, but he's a striking character even so. Bowie makes it easy to imagine Porter as a real person, right down to the nervous ticks.
Elle MassonElle's brilliance and her struggle is clear. What phinn has done with this character is given us a snapshot of a professional who's in their own (non-Warlord Prince-based) rut. She's not really happy but she's not UNhappy. She's just.. drifting. That status-quo is challenged by being able to join the Graves Institute, and you see the real life within the character bloom into the forefront and it's beautiful to read!
Peter NasarovPoor Peter has landed himself in the middle of a bunch of troublesome Blood. He manages to hold his own, though, and brings an enjoyable sense of punch and determination to any scene he's in.
Oswald Trygggoofy and loyal, brings life and strength to being Landen
Puja KhatriPuja is my Ravi's friend, and he didn't want any. They flirt, they talk, and he sends her on jobs that he needs done for his Rebel unit. When I wrote Ravi, he has connection issues--he can like people, he just doesn't think its a good idea, that invariably he will lose them. Puja wormed her way in with a few posts, and a little bit of discussion with Starling.
***
There are characters who see their lack of Caste or Jewels as a weakness, but Puja would probably be offended by the idea that she's weak at all. Though she still has to opportunity to get a descent jewel at her Offering, you can tell her life doesn't depend on it. Resourceful and (perhaps too) fearless, Puja tends to find a way to get whatever she wants from life. In whichever person she wears, fragile or powerless is not something anyone is likely to accuse her of being.
Bianca DitaHave you seen how sassy she is? It's a beautiful thing.

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Re: 2018 Superlative Love Letters
« Reply #3 on: Jan 12, 18, 01:58:53 PM »



Dynamic Duo
Jon & HaydenJonothan Harma and Hayden Sheane are the best, most unlikely dynamic dual on the board. So much fun, havoc and fear drips from them that I both adore and fear anytime they have a thread together.
***
Theirs is a complicated relationship with lots of thought into how we as people react to our friends doing hard things, how we stand beside them throughout, and how we get pulled into their lives in the most unexpected ways.
***
It's fun to see how these two have influenced each other to the point where neither is the same as they once were. Hayden has gained a harder shell to protect herself from a world that would take advantage, and Jon has learned to look at the world around himself as more than just a resource for his own advancement. Neither one is perfectly good or perfectly bad, but the things they have accomplished together are impressive nonetheless.
Lorenzo & NaraiiLorenzo and Naraii have the perfect mixture of best friends and on/off lovers in each thread that they're in. Whether they're fighting bad guys or comforting each other about family drama, the closeness of their relationship shines through. Their banter is also wonderful.
Gnaeus & MaerinaMaerina and Gnaeus are an unlikely duo, he being refined yet rough underneath and she being so utterly devoted to her calling as a Healer and duties as a member of the 100 families. Brought together by mutual needs, their relationship fused them at their very souls. The devotion between them is absolute. With the Blood being emotionally passionate people, sometimes it seems as though even the strongest bonds are prone to injury. Yet if Maerina asked Gnaeus to surrender his remaining jewel, he'd break it with style and flair and if Gnaeus was called into Hell itself, Maerina would simply dress light and pack extra water.
Daniel & CharlotteThese two literally buried his mother after Charlotte killed them. Then Charlotte slept with his brother to divert suspicion. Daniel and Charlotte back each other up while working to bring their vision of Chaillot, one without the Blood in control, to pass. Good job!
Kale & QuintenWatching these two interact is at once both sweet and heart-breaking. The recent threads involving Kale's maiming were just awe-inspiring, and the way that Kale tried to spare Quinten having to kill their father was just glorious. Watching Quinten lose it on his father not for himself, but for his baby brother, was even better. Wherever these two are, mischief and emotion are sure to follow.
***
From glitter bombing an entire major territory wide party to almost getting themselves killed, these two brothers are some of my favorites. There threads are heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measure.
Lucky & OmidThese brothers have been through hell together and continue to change and grow. This year they have grown apart after Omid's decision to join the Bali, and their conflicted feelings for each other have been fascinating to read.
Hayden & KalvarThe two Black Jewels talking are some of my favorite scenes. Hayden and Kalvar have a completely different outlook on life, but they some commonalities in their wells of power and their experience as outsiders. It’s cool to see the deeply self-righteous Kalvar bounce off Hayden who is more introspective and coming to grips with her role in LT.
Alixen & FrancoisGull and Noose together is just.. mesmerizing. Seeing how they know they are terrible for each other, knowing that they will one day end up with one of them dead beneath teh other's hands... it's just this fascinating glimpse into the world of chemistry and emotion getting the better of logic and reason. I love watching these two dance, and watching Francois tell himself that this time is the last time, all the while knowing it isn't, and that he will do this all over again.
Riley & JeremiahSO BEAUTIFUL - THE TRUEST OF TRUE LOVE.
***
Despite the fact that Jeremiah, as a character, only came onto the scene in August, it does not feel that way. The way that Riley and Jeremiah are written together you very much feel as if these are two people, a Queen and her Warlord Prince, that have been with one another since they were very young. They are able to play off each other well, know each other's strengths and weaknesses, and can understand without needing to speak aloud or along a thread. The trouble these two can get into is ridiculous but thankfully Riley has a territory to rule and Jeremiah is there to support her.
***
Did you read the thread where they eviscerated a Protocol instructor and left him dead on the classroom floor?? Have you seen how they comfort each other in sad times? They spend almost all their time with an open communication channel! They snuggle! but yeah mostly the part where they destroyed a man and didn't even call an ambulance to take him to the burn ward?
Kain & JakobTwo Warlord Princes on opposite ends of the spectrum under the Dark Religion are constantly forced to work together. Jakob hates the Midnight Keepers. Kain is a Midnight Keeper and convinced of his righteousness. These two always a few seconds away from coming to blows, but they also work pretty well together. Will they figure that out? We'll see!
***
This has been the best duo I've found and followed up with a bit. I did not find them until I came to Dena Nehele, but they naturally play off of each other in a way that makes them seem convincingly familiar with the other.
Travis & KeldaTrue partners in crime, the Seer and the Thief have over the span of the year turned from target and taker, to opportunistic art thieves, to the only ones the other can call in a quiet crisis, to a hedging master and apprentice, all wrapped up in a constantly failed flirtation. Watching their adventures has been very charming.
Radu & SwayYeah, there's a lot of heat between them. But these two are basically opposite sides of the same coin. In my head, they're this almost cosmically ordained pair. One male, one female. A Witch, and a Warlord Prince. Both bloodthirsty monsters, both stumbling through love and not knowing how to really handle it so they just DO. There is something just mind boggling awesome about these two, and I love how much of a surprise their public interactions can be to those that know Sway.
Dragos & JeremiahDragos and Jeremiah clearly care for Riley, but it's also apparent that both men respect each other. They've known each other for years, but now they serve the Queen of Dena Nehele, forcing them to trust each other. Jeremiah's trust (and desperation) even when far enough to ask Drake to kill him if he became a liability to Riley. This friendship can only get deeper as time passes.
Aleksy & LionelAleksy and Lionel not only have a fantastic connection with each other, but have been put through the gauntlet by everyone around them to find out if he is actually worthy of serving her. They're adorable and heart-bonded despite Aleksy not being a Queen :)
Lysander & HaydenTheir thread was so hilarious and fun to read. The chemistry between the two characters is charged and the hinjinks they make are always entertaining.
Devesh & VihaanBrought together by fate, kept apart by duty. Two of the sexiest men in Nharkava bound together by common goals and uncommon lust. These two are bound to continue to put off sparks every time they come together.
Phedre & Her PhonePhe's phone understands her. When she's being too mundane it assists with adding some spice to the conversation. Try these gems:
Phedre -
I totally get that
I do a lot of prep for people and loud
Even when I'm excited about unexcited moans I feel drained after
OMG
Phedre -
UNEXPECTED PLANS

Phedre -
"Erica if I come visit you, will you come for me?"
OMG COOK
COOK FOR ME(edited)

You really can't predict how it'll strike next.

Phedre -
Any audacious to twice it would butter



Best Hero
Flair Rilindisil Flair seems to me the ultimate hero; hard displine, and hidden passions firmly roped to purpose. A single parent, who makes time every day for his young children, despite his demanding job. A devoted brother, he cares for his surviving siblings, rather than backing away from the risk of yet more loss. Indeed, his personal courage in facing those risks only enhances the physical courage he displays in both rescuing his sister and serving so long in the Ebon Guard.
Mani OmaniKenna writes this character like he constantly wears a superhero cape, if BR had that. Every Mani post had me cheering for this little guy. He is adorable!
Elenor al SabbahElenor is this nobody Queen who came out of nowhere... and took the reigns of one of the most powerful Clans in Pruul. Watching her have all these amazing goals to bring the Sabbah back to honorable prominence and economic might clash with the cancer that is the True Sabbah has been heart wrenching, and I really - REALLY - hope she stomps them into the dirt.
***
She's the Queen of the Clan that pretty much ruined Pruul, and is set up to fail miserably, but she just keeps pushing though the obstacles put before her with stubborn determination. She wants to fix the Sabbah and she wants to do it without spilling more blood. I'm excited to see if she manages it.
***
Elenor is trying to lead her Clan from notoriety to respect. She has to put up with struggles both internal and external. There's members of the True Sabbah trying to kill or break her, not to mention the snarling members of her own retinue. It isn't easy, but she's trying her best to bring it all together.
Amerys TiernanAmerys is the genuine good guy of Little Terreille. She is the one who most definitely wants what's best for her people and will risk her life for her whole Territory.
Noah LangevinNoah is in this.. perfect storm location. He is able to shake the very foundations of Chaillot in managing the Suit against Dark Haven as well as helping the Landen Council spit in the eyes of both the Roux brothers and the Rebel Queens. But he isn't trying to choose a SIDE. Noah is about finding justice, and doing what is RIGHT in the situation. I want to see him come out on top, and then watch the world burn as it tries to figure out what to do with teh 'right thing'.
Tavar al SabbahTavar loves Clan Sabbah, even after all the wrong they've done. He wasn't willing to let Adramelech drag them down, leading him to try to assassinate the Voice of the Sabbah, which he failed at. But every thread he's in, Tavar is a flawed man trying to do the right thing after a lifetime of wrongdoing. You can't help but hope for his success.
***
He tried to single handedly kill the Old Spider and stop him from massacring children. He was content to let himself die for the territory. And still, even now, he gives to Pruul. He is one of my favorite characters in Pruul.
Valor TanithilValor will drop everything to save someone he cares for or to stand between an ally and someone who'd do them harm. He's powerful but deeply aware of that power and strives to use it responsibly.
Valeriu DumitrescuThe doomed altruist and pollyanna of Dena Nehele, Valeriu may not believe in the conquest of good over evil, but he believes in pretending to do so, which is almost as important. Holding true uncompromising moral virtue as paramount, he tries to guide himself by its star while the entire world around him, including his allies, continue to try to remind him of the wickedness of a world he knows all too well. He fights not only against the unjust, but also his own triangle and Queen, and does not quail despite his continued futility.
Rilandra VlasRiley fights to save her people, even if it means getting in bed with the Guilds.
Claudia GenadieOkay, so, yes, Claudia sort of messed up big time with Jeremiah. BUT she also uncovered a whole in his inner barrier that no one else had found and she took her Queen's banishment and left Court, seeking the way to heal him of both her assault and the one before. And even though her mother and mentor were killed right in front of her during her quest, she still persevered, coming home in the end and saving Jeremiah just in time. I was rooting for her the whole time.
Caelestis ChavezIdariel has painted such a classic hero type in Caelestis. It's wonderful to watch him go. All he wants in the world is to serve his Queen, love his OTP, and for Dhemlan to remain in good hands. Annnnd if he gets to show off fighting bad guys while that's going on, all the better!
Haakon GunvaldssonAll Haakon does is to save the people he loves. He cares so deeply that it borders on insanity. Being a Dark-Jeweled Prince in Glacia, he holds the rings for the women of his family, but not cruelly so. He strives to keep them from the worst of the Dark Religion and those who hold to it. Beyond that, he's always on guard for Maarika, his bonded Queen who is threatened by both Glacia and Nharkava. Then there's Silje, the young, immature Queen that he just can't help but want to fix. He killed her grandmother to save Silje from the wicked woman and financed Silje's escape into Nharkava with her Light-Jeweled brothers. Hero doesn't seem to cover everything that Haakon is, but it's a good start.
Ji Yoon MoonJi Yoon is so textbook. She's received her call to adventure. She's exploring a new world, forging her own way. Her benefactor/mentor has turned out to be her shadow, her helper is working for the enemy, and she has to somehow survive and thrive in a world where she has incredibly rare skills that give her an inordinate amount of opportunity and power. I think we're seeing the development of a great heroic character in Ji Yoon.



Best Villain
Jonathan HarmaaThis guy is an absolute snake and a beast, but he's never, ever dull. Jon tricked a Black Jewel into being his right-hand killer and took over Little Terreille in the process. The number of people trying to kill him or take him down could fool you into thinking he's the one under attack, but he's built his empire on top of a lot of bodies. Excellent work.
Taxet MontecristoHave you -read- him? No one who comes into his orbit is safe. And no one in Dhemlan, Kaeleer even has the power to detect what he is doing, let alone stop it. Terrifying. Subtle. And sexy as hell. <3 I love and hate Taxet, possibly more than I hate Nemesis. It's hard to say.
***
Whatever Taxet is up to is always concerning. What's he weaving this time?
***
The worst possible things that come from the Blood.
***
Killer. Subversive. Monster. Taxet is the scourge of Dhemlan and he's not showing any signs of slowing down.
***
What more is there to say? We love to hate him.
Saskia RoweShe's killed Brighe. She's kidnapped Calum. She's sunk her claws in Brennan Devlin. What else is this evil woman capable of? There are hints and promises of something epic coming and I'm frankly terrified.
Lydia KalasLydia isn't just a Glacian Priestess. In my mind, she is THE Glacian Priestess, and represents all that is wrong with the bloody Territory even more viscerally than Elisef herself. She doesn't just collar people - she *enjoys* it. I think Lydia does truly KNOW that what she is doing is wrong.. and that she enjoys watching all of Glacia sink into the same corruption against their own. Lydia *enjoys* the Silent War, and loves trying to tear her Queen of a sister to bits. She's so good at it that I often worry she'll win, and I find myself terrified for any LJ that cross her path.
Melany KreimhildShe sees herself as a hero. Better yet, she sees herself as a Hero willing to do *anything* to free her people. In Melany's mind, any death or sacrifice is worth removing Kalvar Elbremov and the other Eyriens from the Seat of Power, and even from the Territory. She is so focused on her vision that she is blind to the reality that in doing so, she is becoming the very thing she *hates* about them.
Garen L'VoideHe's evil and I hate him.
***
What a bastard. Still, let's take a moment to appreciate the evils that this man has accomplished. I love a villain that can be so bad for so long and remain unimpeded. Stop throwing away your light rolls, folks. If you're not sure if you can be as powerful as you want with the set you get, spend some time reading Garen and his W-Y.
Danton KeelsThe Guild Master of Dena Nehele is a bad-ass who "only" holds the Opal. Yet every member of the Guilds knows to fear him. He impresses terror on any who stand in his way and is guaranteed to run you over if you cross his path.
Saif NassorA cruel bastard who is currently doing his best to appear the hero of Raej for reasons he has not well clarified, no one is entirely buying his story of graciousness and redemption. A man who once turned Raej to the darkness it now knows all too well, he plots the death and destruction of all his enemies behind a veneer of revitalized heartfelt altruism that not a single person really believes.
Kain EskolaKain is the boogeyman of Glacia. You don’t wanna get in his way if you wanna live another day. Gavin has written this guy incredibly intense and he’s fun to read!
Kalvar ElbremovOf course he's a villain. He slaughtered almost an entire Territory's worth of one race. Yes, he was angry because he'd lost his wife, and yes, a good number of those Eyriens who died were being dicks to the Rihlanders. But this wasn't a crime of passion that Kalvar regrets. It was a choice he made to CLEANSE Rihland of the people at whom he was angry, and he is not sorry. Not for the warriors he killed, neither for the women, children, and elderly that died with them. What's more, he's upholding laws that hurt the very people he's told himself he's trying to protect. He's deluded himself into thinking he's the hand of the Darkness and he's dispensing righteous justice when he orders people maimed or killed because of their sexuality. He's just a villain who doesn't know he is one.
Lenore NoirI don't think Lenore's a villain, I think she just plays an amazing one on TV. I find her amazingly sympathetic even when she's being horrible to Regarte. She's one of those people who, if she got arrested tomorrow, I would be right there on the TV telling the reporter she seemed like Such A Nice Woman. She's innocuous. But evil. But well-intentioned??? Gosh.



Best Show of Power
Kalvar ElbremovHis annihilating the Jhinka and the casual display of Craft, showing his deep well of power, shows why he's a scary, scary fucker.
Draven RookHe melted buildings. He melted turned streets into ash. He turned into Living Flame, and inicenaratd everyone he saw, without a moment's hesitation or an inkling of guilt. Terrifying. Impressive. And al i can say is - we'll all be a lot safer when he's returned to his Queen.
Rilandra VlasRiley is still alive. If that weren't enough reason, she's throwing Parties, taking in Wards, and readying herself to deal with Milo Welvert and his schemes. She's willing to face down Artur to demand Striker's contract, and she's shown her Rage a time or three in the last few months. She fights hand to hand against people that are just dangerous to antagonize (Radu, Val, etc) and then will turn around and cuddle them into submission. She's also managed to Bond an Eyrien, and somehow keep everyone in the room from killing each other when he approaches her. For all her seeming inability to control things, I think Riley manages to control things far better than she should.
The UnchainedThe group contained an out of control combat between Two Gray Jewels in the middle of Goth. They worked as a team using shields, Shadow Building, psychic threads, and transport to move everyone to safety. RIP Fruit cart, though.
Syeira NeferetFrom interfering in a District Queen's love life to booting Eyrien Hunters out of her Territory - Syeira is a gal who does what she wants WHEN she wants. She doesn't so much care if others agree with her, and she isn't often going to consider the 'compassionate' route that some would counsel her towards. Syeira gets things DONE, for better or for worse.
Artur WodenArtur's explanation to Riley about the real cost of her protection for Dena Nehele's Queens was chilling. Riley's no shrinking violet, but even she was shocked by the admission. Artur is is not evil, but he's doesn't put up with Riley's crap. Well done!
***
Artur's show of power may have been more subtle than others nominated, but it was filled with impact. With just a few words, he brought Riley to her knees (literally) as he told her the exact amount of her life, and the lives of the other Queens the Guilds had killed and kidnapped. He revealed to her that while the Guilds had agreed to her terms, it was financially inconvenient for them to do so, while reminding her that while she ruled, she does not hold the power between them. Beautifully written, Artur carries power with a gentle ease that is hard to match.
***
Another late return, but Artur in "The long way down" where he reminds Riley just who he is and what he's there to do is a really great and understated show of power. There's this understanding that because he's pretending to be in her Court and the Guild Master has sworn the allegiance of the Guilds he is hers to command, and in this thread he reminds her that he is unequivocally *not*: that while he's cutting contracts on Queens for her, he owes her nothing else. http://www.bloodrites.net/dena-nehele-39/the-long-way-down/
The MinebornThey brought the rains! The whole group of messiah children worked together, killed Andremelech and brought salvation to Pruul.
***
It is easy for a dark jewel to kill, but it is much harder for seven traumatized individuals to come together and truly make a difference. It was a year in the making, but the seven Mineborn finally came together this year and brought Rain, life-giving Rain that wiped away the rot of Adramelech and brought a new dawn to Pruul. All without any major bloodshed. That is true power.
Kelda VollIn just a few threads, Kelda shows why messing with Black Widows is a dangerous business. Given a little time to prepare and some cleverness, she (almost) single-handedly takes down a small coven of Widows as retribution for an attempt on her life. Consequences may come later, but for now Kelda has earned a bit of a badass badge.
Adavera al JinanShe stood before the Spider of Pruul, and she drew a line in the sand. She made clear before all that her words could sway a city, and she emerged from the Riot in one piece with the Jinan Clan in a more openly powerful political position. She has since been making ties with other Clans and is trying to nudge everyone into the paths that she thinks as being appropriate for the people of Pruul.
Nova MarzenaDo not strike at a Queen's bonded male. In that moment, discovering Jeremiah riding the killing edge and strangling Sebastian, we saw the fury of an Ebon-Gray. It was only with Sebastian's request to stay her hand that Nova did not obliterate Jeremiah. It was an epic moment and one that should not be forgotten.



Most Influential Character
Tavar al SabbahFin has been there through most of the Mineborn storyline arc, as steady as the river moving. His constant presence in all of the major plot turns, I feel, is powerfully important because he's risen up in the ranks from exile to Voice.
Devesh AcharyaNharkava, I feel, would not be a Territory often played in if not for Devesh Acharya. Starling really brought hte Territory to life with Devesh starting to bring in fresh blood, helping two refugees from Glacia, and now trying to determine where 2 Province Leaders find themselves on the political scale. He is positioning himself as someone not entirely antagonistic towards Landen, while also being staunchly Pro-Nharkava. The plot is slowly spinning up for some real political maneuvers against Glacia, and I see Devesh' fingers behind most of the movements.
***
With the sanction of Mother Night herself on top of considerable resources, Devesh has pieced together a rather unlikely set of heros for Nharkava. More than just the members of his estate, his network stretches over the Territory, calling all factions to one common cause. Glacia's help to revitalize the land isn't worth the poison that the Dark Religion brings. Because he doesn't seek political power or gain for himself, but gives instead, the message from the strange dual-casted man is hard to ignore.
Rilandra VlasRiley is involved in nearly everything (and everyONE) in Dena Nehele. She is interpersonally woven with so many characters between her own Court, the Guilds, and the Wards, not to mention the different Queens in the Territory. She affects most of the storylines in DN and whatever’s happening to Riley matters to the other people there.
Adavera al JinanAdavera stood up in front of Adramalech al-Sabbah and riled the crowd against him. She faced the sandstorm of his wrath, and she bet her life and the lives of her Clan on the concept of Honor and Justice rather than standing aside and allowing Clanless Orphans to be killed. In doing so, she helped set off a chain of events that sees the Mineborn bring the Rains and start integrating into Pruul. She helps serve as an inspiration and a thorn in the side of multiple Clans, Tribes, and the city of Onn. Because of Vera, there is more inter-clan communication than there has been in a very, *very* long time. Pruul has changed, and history will see the Mineborn as the cause - but I think that if they really dig they'll find that the change of the Mineborn was caused by the actions of one very stubborn Witch.
Lenore NoirLenore wields immense power in and over Dark Haven. She has the ability to tip the civil war in any direction she desires, or introduce another faction altogether. Yet she does truly care about her patients and wants to see them become productive members of society.
Valeriu DumitrescuThe man of Dena Nehele vying hardest for peace and equality, he has helped redefine the views of the reigning Queen and reshaped the feel and direction of the Triangle while similarly almost imploding it with conflicts inside of their core. He has also helped point out every possible interconnected piece of the tapestries that lay out the clear fact that any war in Terreille comes to one place: Dena Nehele. He personifies the power behind the throne that is the Steward.
Drakkar EstorathWhen Drakkar killed Eristovar and claimed his place at Illyrian's side as the Warlord Prince of Askavi, he altered everything about the Territory, changes that trickled down through out Askavi to the most distant Eyrien and even to other Territories.
Elenor al SabbahElenor has been a huge driving part of the Pruul play. Dragongirl's arrival into the scene has not only spawned a bunch of plots but it's also drawn in a whole cadre of new PLAYERS. That's truly impressive and there's no doubt that Elenor is the most influential character of 2017.
***
DragonGirl kind of exploded onto the scene in Pruul with this character, and the play and drama she has stirred up in doing so has been incredibly fun to watch.
Jonothan HarmaaHe impacted two territories and controls one of the most powerful characters on the board. He is doing all right for himself.



Most Likely to Get in a Bar Fight
Bashir al SabbahWith that mouth? That kid gets into so much trouble.
Radu Orfan Because he's Radu Orfan. No, in all seriousness, Radu has a really hard time hiding his aggression in most situations. Even when he's trying to get somewhere to drink off his moods, he ends up in situations where he has to wrestle with his instincts or with the people around him. He's gotten Jeremiah Mercer to pound his face into a wall, he's infuriated Sorinna Roman, gotten sweet little Quinten to call him a hated murderer, and had Tobias give him the stink eye. Hands down, the most likely to get in a bar fight or get punched in the face first.
***
He has gotten into a bar fight before. Many. And if it wasnt for the Guild Master threatening to kill everything he loves...he would get in more.
Matin al SabbahReceiving end of the first punch for sure on this one! He has enemies. A lot of enemies. So many enemies his Queen has a standing rule that she's the only one in the Court allowed to murder him. If he makes it though the next year WITHOUT getting punched in the face at least once, everyone will be shocked.
Silver ThraxSilver probably counts the days between bar fights as an indicator of how healthy her mental health.
***
Silver and/or Tylmandra. Silver's a Healer and an ex fucking gladiator and she's so badass and has a fuse about .2 millimeters long. Her and Tylmandra in the same room just makes it spontaneously combust and... Phinn and Dash. Phinn and Dash you do this a lot and I like it. Keep doing it.
Marcos TorreroThis bloodthirsty serial killer abhors violence, but feeds off of it to whet his appetite and keep himself from his deepest urges. Constantly lusting for the next violent scrap, the eldest statesman of the Unchained most personifies the gang's name and smiles through bloody teeth every chance he gets.
Draven RookThey moved the fight outside, but he practically was. Draven is volatile and dangerous, willing to fight on the streets of Goth or inside a building that he's burning down.
***
Because you take a Gray Jeweled Warlord Prince, take away his Queen and his memories, and dude is going to punch some people.
**
Well, of the characters on the board, both he and Silver were the ones that actually have.
Vengeance ElessarYou can see it too, can't you? First person who looks at Vengeance the wrong way at the bar is gonna find themselves on the other end of one hell of a challenge.
Sixten FriskIt doesn't take much to goad Sixten into a fight. He's already loosely contained as it is. With his Queen neglecting his leash, likely the only reason he's not already knocked someone's block off is because he keeps to a relatively peaceful environment. Sixten's that guy who walks around always flexing, hoping someone says something stupid so he can make them regret it.



Best Star-Crossed Lovers
Jon & MaarikaAs much as neither one of them wants to admit it, and as much as the present circumstances would prevent them from being together anyway, they really are made for one another. They are cut from the same cloth, and if there wasn't so much damage and hurt between them, the pair of them together would be unstoppable.
Haakon & SiljeHaakon and all his severity is a perfect match for emotionally-challenged Silje and her need for perfection. He manages to understand her despite her lack of experience in the world and in dealing with men who aren't her family. He urges her toward becoming what she has potential to be, despite her fears and all the reasons she's learned to obey instead of lead. Though guarded, Silje absolutely feels a great many emotions, too many emotions, too strongly but Haakon is capable of calming that storm, and in doing so, may calm his own fierce demeanor. Still, their paths have always taken them in opposite directions, and rarely ever together.
Raet & MaseoRaet and Maseo have a 'thing'. Raet was drawn to him from the moment she laid eyes on him - his exotic looks and controlled nature appealing to her own nature and how she controls herself to appear as she believes she must. Maseo started out just wanting to manipulate her for his own ends, and I believe by the time he left Raej he developed softer feelings despite his own issues. Watching them get torn apart by forces outside their control was heart breaking, and their goodbye to each other despite, or perhaps because of, how angry such an evening would make their Queen made me want to cry.
Ji Yoon & MaseoThese two are adorable and sad at the same time. We saw their romance start to bloom and then get crushed by DAMN KAGEN. I hope that they are able to reconcile and make something real happen, but given that Maseo's in it for the money that likely won't happen.
***
Maseo and Ji Yoon are on opposing sides of a dangerous conflict. She can't separate herself from her family anymore than he can separate himself from the clan that saved his life when he needed it most. And yet, they're drawn to each other, both knowing that this will probably end very badly, but determined to try it anyway. It's sad to know where it's going but great to read!
Sorinna & GabriellaOKAY. I have no idea what plots are in motion here. If this is a thing or could never be a thing but... I ship them SO HARD and could see it being a thing where they could never be because two Queens, or whatevs. But... I just.. *hides her fanfics*
Rian & AkanThey were once lovers, until he was condemned by her to the mines. A belated thread completed this year shows just the pain of what was lost, along with the echoes of it in the forms of characters like Rian's daughter by another man, and a consort not named Akan Uzumati. Their story is heartbreaking, and they are fated to die at one's hand or the other, no matter how much love they both hold for the other. Too much has changed, and too dark is their fate to turn back.
Francois & AlixenHe's a smuggler on the side of the Resistance. She's close to the Warlord Prince of Chaillot. They both know that they're bad for each other and thatt they should probably stop, yet they can't. Francois especially understands just how badly he enables her, but he can't stop himself. These two are a good, sad read.
Lorenzo & CorazonTry as they might they just can't seem to get themselves together enough to make it work. Be it family drama or Corazon's desire to rule, these two Dhemlanese nobles just keep hitting a wall that, unfortunately, doesn't have one of the others against it.
Reo & FalenLovers in a territory that hates them. Each participating in professions that hurts them. They can never be together, but they cant stand to be apart.
Jeremiah & RileyNot traditionally star crossed. In another world - with different circumstances - Jeremiah and Riley would be lovers. Yet fate and otherwise have made it where that just cannot be so. Instead they have a rich, complex relationship where they would both die for one another. They have worked through the pain and turmoil of figuring out their relationship, fought to keep it, and it only grows stronger.
Saiph, Ghanima, & ErraiI would remind the board that star-crossed originally refers to two destined lovers who are separated by an impassable river. And in this case, these three are separated by a literal river (the Vaal). Saiph cannot return to Pruul without risking death, and Ghanima cannot leave, because her presence in Pruul legitimizes the Mineborn Council. Errai, bound to both Queens, is forced to continually choose one over the other, though his heart leads him to both. It's gut-wrenching.



Most Likely to Kill a Neighbor
Lucky al IzarYou know why. Bad temper. No moral center. Hates everyone. Oh, and now he's ruling a Territory.
Kain EskolaIf killing a neighbor served his goals, Kain would probably butcher an entire neighborhood and sleep like a baby.
***
Because Kain kills anyone who gets in his way.
Saif NassorHe's open about his killing habits, and everyone knows to be terrified of him. He's big, he's burly, he speaks like a savage half the time and he's not afraid to cart poisonous snakes to a tri-casted blind Queen and trade quips with her. He's also not afraid not to go before Sitara Chopra herself and deal with someone known to dislike slavery. Saif Nassor is the first guy I would expect to kill a neighbor, and be completely unapologetic about it while explaining that they annoyed the hell out of him.
***
Hell, if it said Most Likely to Kill Their Own Mother I'd still vote for Saif. I can't call him unhinged, because he's definitely not, but that just makes him more dangerous in my book. Hard to ruffle, he's got plans in mind and he's probably the only one who knows exactly what they are. If his neighbor got in the way of those plans, no matter how small, they'd never see him coming.
Jonothan HarmaaBecause he has multiple times before.
Akan UzmatiThe unhinged, broken warrior of the Black's Mad Court, is one of the maddest of all. His violence is sudden, shocking, and now barely contained. Constantly boiling on the approach of a killing edge, few are they who do not approach him with worry and caution.
Dragos CutrovDrake is an unrepentant killer, through and through. He murdered Sora's father and Claudia's mother. He's probably killed a lot more people besides.
***
We've seen Drake kill and the cold pleasure he gets out of it. We've also seen him restricted from killing and the displeasure that has followed. If their neighbor ended up dead, pretty sure most if not all would turn to look at Drake in question.
***
I mean...
***
Think I read exactly one thread where he didn't plan to kill at least one person in the room with him. He's probably got the Sniper from TF2's slogan tattooed on his eyelids. "Be Polite. Be Efficient. Have A Plan To Kill Everyone You Meet." - Dragos Cutrov
Danton KeelsIf someone didn't mow their lawn to keep the grass at the same level of Keels I just have the feeling he'd put a hit out on the guy.
Markus NiskalaHe nearly had a stranger killed for bruising his maid. Yeah. He would kill his neighbor. He probably already has, you just don't know it.
Gnaeus SannusGnaeus is only loyal to Maerina and his sense of revenge. Provided he thought that he could do it without hurting or bringing shame to Maerina, they would probably have quite a few dead neighbors already. With Gnaeus coming into his own again and old nightmares coming back to life, his delicate hold on sanity is a lot more likely to snap.



Scariest Fothermucker
Jonothan HarmaaBecause you like him Becuase you can feel sorry for the most proficient seriel killer on the Board. Becuase you know he's a sociopath, and still think that this time it will be different. That this time, he'll learn true compassion. Because he is charming, handsome and utterly riveting. You know he's going to rip your heart out - but you don't care.
Kain EskolaA character that can unnerve people solely by eating an apple is a scary person. He's capable of being affectionate one moment and beating someone to death in the next. He speaks calmly and passionately about the Dark Religion, but speak ill of Lydia and he'll cut your tongue out. Any time Kain is on canvas, worry about the other people around him. He's probably there to kill at least one of them.
***
Because he's on his way to kill you right now.
***
Kain is an animal on two legs. He will kill to advance his agenda and that of the High Priestess of Ivalo. He'll kill you if you're a Smuggler. He'll kill you if you get the way of the Midnight Keepers. In short, Kain will kill you. Don't get in his way.
***
Kain is terrifying. Whether it's awkward bonding attempts, combat to the death, or the possessiveness he feels for his lover, Lydia, Kain's is always a hair from destroying someone. Even when he's laughing or sharpening his sword for two hours straight, Kain could be telling a joke or ripping off someone's head. Just depends on his mood at the time.
***
Kain is the kind of man who might be your savior or might be your executioner. Depends on his mood.
***
If Kain is after you, just count the minutes until you're dead. Because he won't settle for anything less.
Lydia KalasWon't even lie... Lydia is one of the biggest reasons I was so unwilling to make a Glacian for a long time. She creeps me the hell out, and now that one of my characters is interacting with her I find myself nervous everytime I see Halyonix reply to the thread. :D
Kalvar ElbremovNever get on the bad side of a guy who commits genocide.
Claudia GenadieMostly because I have Kale in my head and Kale has nightmares of her. Also... she was very naughty in Jeremiah's head. She is a Sapphire BW who um... doesn't hesitate at all with what she can do.
Malcolm KinnairdWhile a charming and friendly man, Malcolm is the absolute personification of military might. His dark jewel and unshaking focus on the arts of killing have ensured he is almost without peer on this board in any battle; what is worse is his clear mercenary mentality that denies the value of any lives that might turn against his interest or paycheck. Some of the board's assassins might be more likely to endanger you, but no one would I least like to see approaching, blade in hand.
Draco TenebriusHe stormed Dhemlan's Academy, kidnapped Savion's precious Queen, and left a trial of dead guards in his wake. He showed up at peace talks and boiled an Eyriens blood while he was still alive. His own niece calls him "Death." Hands down, scariest fothermucker.
***
Draco just doesn’t seem to give a fuck. He storms into the Dhemlan Academy to kidnap his niece. He murders Eyrien diplomats with spells that boil blood. He is a Myos and an Iarvis with a Gray. All of that is a scary combination.
Taxet MontecristoNo one's topped the demon of Dhemlan. Whether it's his typically long-lived patience for playing the long game or his willingness to use his very powerful Compulsions without shame, Taxet's a hot mess of very scary Blood maleness.
Endevar RanosiAngry, lied to, repressed, Black Jeweled, Endevar.
Garen L'VoideHe makes me think of this one picture where somebody photoshopped a coral texture onto someone's hands and implied that bugs were going to crawl out of the holes.



Sexiest Female Character
Judiah VidanicI mean, who in Hayll and Pruul hasn't at least wanted to sleep with Lady Vidanic other than her son? She is beautiful, enticing and experienced, and just because she's off the market doesn't mean she's not still having a ton of fun.
Silver ThraxThat hair, them lips, that attitude, the scars, unf.
Kiara MakurThere is something about this Healer that just... *exudes* sex. Everything Kiara does draws the eye, and tightens the pant seams.
**
Leave it to Phe to write a Healer who exudes so much charitable sexuality. Like most Blood, she doesn't consider multiple partners taboo, but even in taking so many to bed (or her front yard), she doesn't come across as greedy. Instead, she's infinitely giving of herself, for enjoyment, to help soothe other's demons and even in service to Mother Night. This tiny dancer wants you to hold her closer and the rest of us want to read it.
Innocent GalasrinionNominated without description.
Sitara ChopraThis is pretty straightforward, her playby is unbelievably stunning, and has a strength of character that only adds to it.
Ravena AldanaNominated without description.
Alixen PerrotShe is sensual, uninhibited, and knows exactly what she wants. Add drop dead gorgeous and she's it.
Arcadian SvetlanaHave you read the Arcadian/Blade thread? Unf. Vivian's writing for her is so. damn. good.
Fairuz CatullusLOOK AT HER.
JUST LOOK AT HER.
Narcisa (Sway) CioraBecause Sway.
Adamara PavelaLovely, sexy, and gorgeous, Adamara is a truly stunning Queen that is only made more so by the trials she has survived and been shaped by.
Michaela Augustus-TibaultHayll's Domina doesn't pull any punches when it comes to her parties or her explicit hedonism. The Queen is sultry and ravenous, liking to get a taste of anyone who expects to share her company for very long.
Violet KaosDon't even look at me just don't look at me



Sexiest Male Character
Roland CadeLadies love a sharp-dressed man.
Godfrey CraigGodfrey knows he is attractive, and he cultivates it. He isn't like the stereotypical pretty boy who stares at himself in the mirror - he puts himself together and keeps himself in shape because it is a most useful tool in the Political Game. He's willing to use it not only against his Queen's enemies, but to also ensure his Queen listens when he tells her what she needs. He'll ruthlessly use his appeal to manage Emma, and better yet... she KNOWS it.
Abaddon al SabbahAll that power, all that angst, all that strange gentleness especially around Ghanima, it's enough to make him incredibly sexy and appealing, and it will be interesting to see where and with whom (if anyone) he ends up.
Valeriu DumitrescuRyan Reynolds, unf.
Sixten Friskhave you SEEN him? Have you read his threads with Kiara? I mean... damn. Towels are necessary ladies!
***
Mmm... Angry, unleashed Warlord Prince. Sixten's never very well contained and it only adds to the gratuitous amount of sex appeal he exudes.
Francois ToussaintNominated without description.
Endevar RanosiStylishly shirtless, an unending flirt, unhesitatingly domineering when the moment strikes, Endevar's greatest power is definitely not his jewel but the appetite he seeks to satisfy on the men and women who cross his path.
Saladin al TaburJust.. daaamn. Seriously. Saladin has a great personality, he really does.. but DAAAMN.
Devesh AcharyaIf you have any doubt at all, read his sex scenes. Devesh is INCREDIBLE.
***
*Dicaprio fistbite*
Dragos CutrovDuh.
Blade AmdirYes, he's a dick. Yes, he's arrogant. Yes, he's maybe just a LITTLE too preeny. But got dam, he's hot as sin.
Ravi YachakNot gonna pretend I'm not in love with Ranveer Singh, his PB, but Sol writes Ravi in such a way that expounds on that face and makes Ravi a warm, welcoming, and yes, definitely sexy sort.
Lionel KellyJust let me protect him he is so soft and small
Vihaan DaraTragic story; check. Wounded soul; check. Beard; check. Intense stare; check. Devotion; check. What else do you want? Vihaan has been so long repressed by the burdens of his past that entering a new life and realizing a new purpose in the service of Mother Night had made his insatiable with his desires... and that has worked out well for anyone lucky enough to encounter him. Greedy need is a damn good look on him.


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Re: 2018 Superlative Love Letters
« Reply #4 on: Jan 12, 18, 02:56:35 PM »
Most Captivating Territory
Little Terreille Little Terreille is a hotbed of intrigue and is a ton of fun to play in. The Territory Court is on fire. Laurel's Court is always up to something, and nearly every character is running at least three separate agendas while pretending to be up front with everyone else.
***
Crime, Court Intrigue, Class Warfare, and some privateering to boot, what's not to love?
***
Little Terreille has been hopping since day one. The factions and stories happening here are great. There's something going on in every Province and all of the stories are different, yet still overlap. You can always find a story to enjoy here!
***
There has been a lot going on in Little Terreille this year. Everything from the building up of Rockland to the pirate drama of Kane and crew to the political machinations of Portland - not to mention the general anxiety-inducing movements of Goth. LT is the place to go when you need your blood pressure to go higher because of the tense relations between the Provinces, Districts, and neighboring Territories.
***
I love that there's play at all kinds of levels in LT - the high court, the low courts, the streets, the docks, the sea. It's a true hodgepodge of opportunities, and there's room for just about any kind of character concept to get in here. Not to mention how LT is working its way into being a sort of lynchpin for the rest of Kaeleer. Under Jon, Amerys, and Hayden, there's no telling where the Territory will go.
Dena Nehele Dena Nehele came back strong after a period of inactivity. The intrigue at the Territory Court has spawned stories and new characters that touch every Province and even other Territories.
***
Dena Nehele came back with a vengeance this year. From the start, Riley's been in the hotseat, trying to assemble her court into something that enact her dream for Dena Nehele. But outside the Territory Court, others are making their own own moves, and it's all heading for a showdown that's going to be a wild ride.
***
Dena Nehele is Days of Our Lives. There's a guilty pleasure to it - like watching a train wreck. Between the guilds, the Queen, and the wards... it's been one hell of a roller coaster ride this year and I freaking LOVE watching all the drama. Which is just weird, cause I'm not normally a fan of soap operas. :)
***
Dena Nehele is the Soap Opera Crime Time Territory. There's like ten separate plot threads ongoing at any single time, and they're all coming from different portions of the Territory. Court Plot is going, sure, but there's also plot on the Province and District levels; the Guilds are doing stuff and the Little Tacea plot is ramping up to get seriously going in 2018. There's so many people and so much active writing in Dena Nehele, how could it be anything but the most captivating Territory??
***
Dena Nehele went from dormant to a bustling hotbed of intrigue, interconnected gangs, aristocratic maneuvering, and just some of the best smut. A dangerous and vivid place, it has definitively become the most transformed and dynamic places over the past year.
***
I CANNOT GET ENOUGH. The characters are amazing and the plots are so relevant. Plus, there is such a nice balance about the main plots that it leaves plenty of room for little personal plots too. It's easy to create a character here that's just your average layperson OR you could get all involved in the spicy stuff.
***
There's so much going on in Dena Nehele that one can find nearly any kind of story they like. Coming of age, politics, murder, romance: it's all here.
***
With Phedre's return, Dena Nehele has taken off like wildfire. The plots are complex and endlessly compelling, the characters are fleshed out and alive, and there is always something going on that makes me want more.
***
Soap Opera Crime Time! Dena Nehele has it all. If you're not playing here, you should be.
***
There is always something happening within Dena Nehele. Be it plots between the Aristo Council members, the struggles of Riley trying to balance her guild trained Court members, or the interpersonal drama of those who live within the Territory, it is always a delight to read and enjoy. ... and sometimes it gets pleasantly steamy.
***
I already nominated DN but I'm just reminding you that Dena Nehele is soap opera crime time. We have stepsiblings boning. We have half-siblings almost getting married. Eventually we're going to escalate to actual incest, I bet. We also have murders, political intrigue, and multiple sociopath Healers. What's not to love?
Pruul Pruul continues to have an active and in-depth storyline with lots of different writers bringing their skills to that desert table.
***
It is just such a dynamic Territory, with so much happening in it. All four (soon five) Clans have a nice collection of characters representing them, and the political climate is so tense and in flux right now. Everyone can feel things moving and shifting, but how they will settle is still very much up in the air, and that's a great place atmosphere for some amazing writing!
***
Pruul has been an amazing and very, very active Territory this year. Everyone there has really kicked it up a notch in terms of plots, amount of play, and the levels of drama.
***
So much has happened in this territory this year. The Rains have come, rulers have been toppled, major family ties have been tested. Honestly, this year has been better for Pruul than anything I could have dreamed.
***
I have greatly enjoyed Pruul. I love its derivations, the sandworms, the sandriders, and all of its dramatic tension. I have most of my characters there, and it has been a blast from the start.
Askavi On the brink of desperation, Askavi is brewing constantly with the threat of more; every person inside is torn between turning back to the old wars and losing hope and it is a dangerous powderkeg.
Chaillot Nominated without description.
Nharkava Nharkava is a land of colliding extremes. The natural warmth and color of the territory has been invaded by the Glacian's and their frigid unyielding Dark Religion. There are opportunities to play a huge variety of characters and interact with just about anyone else. The cold war between factions allows even enemies to interact without overt aggression. There's undeniable tension, but for writers, it's the best kind.



Best Territory Ruler
Rilandra Vlas Riley has been great fun to read as she tries to organize her Court and prepare for challenging times ahead. She is a mentor, a leader, and a lover all at once.
***
Riley is the heart of Dena Nehele and her presence is felt even in areas where she's not present.
***
Riley is the heart of her Territory and she defends it no matter the forces against her. She's saved the Queens of Dena Nehele, but her enemies aren't going to let her get away with flouting their positions. Her "allies" are even scarier. Through it all, Riley drives her Court and its people to be the best. They don't have any other choice.
***
The amount of personal sacrifice Riley has made in the last six months for the good of Dena Nehele as a whole is immense. She is constantly trying to juggle her rule, her bonded, the Guilds, her Wards, and her love life. When these things overlap, as they so often do, there are often intense consequences, causing her to have to make decisions such as banishing her Court Seer for hurting her Shadow, or taking out a protection contract for a Myos knowing he will hate it and resent, but also knowing it is the only way to keep her Triangle from tearing itself apart.
***
Riley's holding together a Territory that doesn't want to be saved, yet she hasn't given up.
***
Riley has made many sacrifices in the name of being Queen of Dena Nehele and it will be in the coming months that we will see if this will pan out in her favor. Or - in a worst case situation - everything comes crashing down. She has done her best, which is more than enough, to try and navigate and lead Dena Nehele to it's best possible future and with the Court that she has around her it might just happen.
Kalvar Elbremov This is a character who realizes the consequences of his actions and takes on the burden of ruling in an attempt to bring peace to Rihland.
***
He came out the door with fists swinging and murdered thousands of Eyriens after they killed his wife. Then he took the Territory seat, because he realized that none of the Queens left were really trained to rule. I am a huge Kalvar fangirl - can't lie about that. I think that his entrance ot the Game was perfect, and i find his being willing to shoulder the Territory until a Rihland Queen can take it from him to be noble. Granted, I also love his flaws - Of which there are many.
***
Kalvar is trying to unite three different groups into one people in Rihland. He's accepted the Glacians and freed the Rihlanders from Eyrien oppression. Only time will tell if he's successful or if manages to unite Rihland against him.
***
Kalvar is not the best person to rule Rihland. He is not eloquent. He is stubborn. He has a narrow viewpoint on the world that has room for sexism and hurts people. He is deeply flawed. He also is the character most vested in healing the divisions in Rihland. No one character in the Territory cares more to unite its separate peoples into a single whole. There's no denying Kalvar's heart is in the right place, and that he is trying his hardest to make it work.
***
Dash has done an amazing job writing Kalvar. He's the perfect gray ruler, the one who believes he's doing the best for the people below him, while taking questionable means to get there. Everyone who meets him comes away with a different opinion of him, it seems like, because the character is so multi-faceted. He's charming in his own way, despite his diplomatic deficiency, but he's not going to soon let you forget just how much power he commands.
Amerys Tiernan A character that could very well have been a puppet ruler, Amerys has taken pains to try to personify the very best aspects of the melting pot that is her territory while letting her kindness and genuine care do more to influence her people and her land than her jewels may otherwise allow. Utilizing the power of her allies, even those that cause her fear, she rules wisely and capably, guiding an important territory to advance towards what promises to be a new era.
Jonothan Harmaa The man behind the throne and the puppet master. Everyone looks to Amerys for guidance and her leadership, but the Court and its people are moving exactly how Jon wants. He’s the ultimate shadow ruler.
Kenna I have not worked with many others, but Kenna really drives and pulls for her Territory. She found hooks for my concepts, and pulled me right into the story.
Maarika Sydan-Harmaa Maarika has a lot of people to please, and so far has pulled it off without grave incident. Her position is very precarious, however, with Nharkava wanting Glacia out, Glacia watching the Queen like a hawk, and Jonothan only a Territory away in Little Terreille. There are a lot of demands on Maarika between all of that plus her bevy of bonded males. Considering all this, she still reads like a powerful woman with her eyes on the prize.



Best Group Organization
The Calderon Family This family is as dysfunctional as they come, yet they are bound to each other through blood and tragedy. Each of them love and can't stand each other, but you get the idea that if the chips were truly down, they'd pull together to crush whoever opposed them. Right before they went back to being at each other's throats, of course.
***
This family is full of drama, but each member is also extremely effective and efficient at what they do.
The Court of Dena Nehele The Court of Dena Nehele is focused, strong, and ripe with intrigue and rivalries. Aristos and assassins jockey for power and everyone wants the Queen's favor, in and out of the bedroom.
The Unchained This group is diverse and fun to read!
***
A rough and tumble group of outlaws, mercs, and idealists, it's the gang you root for. It's like BR's Oceans Eleven crew.
***
This group came together really quickly and really easily, and every time its members have a chance to interact it's a fun read. All the members have distinct and sometimes conflicting personality, but the bond between them typically overcomes whatever tension might be there for the sake of getting the job done.
Chaillot's Rebellion The two Queens have managed to draw out the Civil War to a degree that Etienne Roux was not expecting, and it is frustrating him. Their willingness to semi-starve the land of their Gift is not only pinching Etienne's troops, but the Landen caught in the middle. They want to remove their opponent from the Territory Seat, and it looks like they will be able to pull it off, even with everything else going on.
The Graves Institute Introducing some bold new concepts, the Graves Institute promises a really dynamic direction that no other group has really attempted before on this board. Focused solely on the advancement of the Landens through science and social work, this organization is not only the best at what they do, but the only ones who've done it.
Riley's Wards Riley's collection of wards are just... *odd*. She's got everything from the boyish and charming Heartly brothers to the heart-wranglign Orianna. She's got the feral and savage WP Radu, to the Queen and gentle soul Sorinna. Watching the Wards interact is always a treat, because you just KNOW that something is going to go wrong, and that Riley will lose hair for it.
Tenebrosi Iarvis The Tenebrosi Iarvis are everywhere in both realms, silently (and not-so-silently) influencing Provinces and entire Territories with their machinations. They're also connected to so many characters that it's kind of terrifying what they might do if when they are compelled to act.
***
They are everywhere, spreading throughout the Territories in both Realms, shaping the history of the entirety of the Blood.
The Mineborn They brought the rains! They also have stepped up to do some incredible things throughout Pruul to drive it toward the next plot era on the board. There's no denying that they've been hugely influential and successful to the overall plot of Blood Rites.
The Jacks I've had a lot of fun with them, and was instantly drawn in. Gray was fashioned as a rogue, and has become a part of a family.
The MyosThe Myos are the preeminent killers of Dena Nehele, and maybe Terreille as a whole.
The Reclaimers TWE ARE GONNA BUILD A WALL ABOUT EBON VAROS. Okay, maybe not yet, but the Reclaimers are a group that I am looking forward to seeing in play in the future. Reid has gone a great job with building them up and there’s so much potential for great interaction in the future. With Rihland in a state of growth and flux, the Reclaimers could become a force to be reckoned with.
Padmalaya EstateThe people that have been pulled into this group are not all who you might expect. There's the Dhemlanese long lived Landen woman, the Glacian Queen and her twin Warlord Prince, the talented witch called in to reign him in since his Queen can't be arsed to maintain her bond to her brother, the devout but cursed Priest-Prince, the Healer who maintains his sanity and oversees much of the estate, the Black Lotus assassin Priestess who's meant to kill him if he steps out of line, and the Dark-Jeweled architect with a tragic past. It's a motley bunch, but it works, and well. They share the common goal of ridding Nharkava of Glacia's Dark Religion and are only just getting started.
The Guilds of DN I couldn't just pick one. Look, the Guilds incite a lot of plot in Dena Nehele. The Guilds put Riley on her throne, the Guilds have caused the shortage of Queens, the Guilds basically are the lynchpin on which Dena Nehele currently turns, and undercutting them at any point could actually literally destroy the Territory. It's one of the main mechanisms for citizens of the Territory to lift themselves up, but it's also the main mechanism that keeps them down: murdering aristo queens and lower-class competitors and stealing proprietary recipes just because you have the money to do it. If you take the Guilds out of Dena Nehele, you destroy the Territory, and I think that makes them damn well qualified to be the best group organization.



Best Askavi Character
Renvar Yatskaya One of the oldest Askavi characters, and its orneriest, he shows the scars of every version of Askavi through the board's life and its prehistory and personifies so much of the darkness, pain and fight that is paramount in these mountains.
***
One of the oldest Askavi characters, and its orneriest, he shows the scars of every version of Askavi through the board's life and its prehistory and personifies so much of the darkness, pain and fight that is paramount in these mountains.
Drakkar Estaroth This Warlord Prince is a symbol of Askavi's past and terrified that he can't, or won't, be a part of its future.
***
The most bloodthirsty Warlord Prince in Terreille, even with a broken Offering.
***
This Warlord Prince is a symbol of Askavi's past and terrified that he can't, or won't, be a part of its future.
***
how he deals with fighting for his ideals and bonding with the queen he should hate
***
he's been a big mover and shaker in Askavi this year, and he's impacting more than just HIS territory.
***
This Warlord Prince is a symbol of Askavi's past and terrified that he can't, or won't, be a part of its future.
***
Drakkar is the savage ruler that the Eyriens need right now. He has taken up the mantle of leadership that others find so heavy and does so with grim determination.
***
Because you can feel the frustration and restrained anger while he tries to keep Askavi from tearing itself apart.
***
No matter the opposition, Drakkar is determined to win every war he's involved in.
***
Everything you want in a brooding warrior type and Gavin writes him so well.
Auralian Ruslana watching her try to manage Drakkar was just... amusing. But it DID work, in that she didn't die.
Endevar Ranosi The Ruler come home, humbled but idealistic to change his Territory for the better.
***
He has helped bring some life and danger back to the setting, and his existence provides some real opposition and risk for those who now rule it.
***
Because he's been back for no time at all and he's already stirring shit up.



Best Chaillot Character
Alixen Perrot This character is very ethereal and eccentric, but devoted to the people she cares for.
Lenore Noir Believes that she's doing good work in Dark Haven but maybe isn't
***
A strange and twisted doctor, Lenore is a centerpiece to Dark Haven and is one of the primary spooky engines of Chaillot's asylum.
***
She runs the Dark Haven with compassion and a cool head.
***
Phedre does an awesome job showcasing the morality of a woman who does what most label as cruel. It's so good to read characters that are so confident in their choices.
Noah Langevin Because this lawyer made me laugh, a LOT.
Elle Mason This Landen character is a crucial connection between one of Chaillot's most interesting places, and its most dangerous and powerful elites. Balanced on a point, she is a fascinating study and rich character.
Juliette D'omeil Appearing as she did has shaken Chaillot, and continues to do so now that the land is so desperate for the Gift. Toss in her willingness to involve the justice system, and her starting to become aware of her DJ brethren as being 'hers', and fireworks are on the horizon.
***
Juliette's been trapped in the worst place in Chaillot, something she was pretty much conned into doing. She's doing the best she can in a terrible situation while also trying to become the best Queen that she can be.
Francois Toussaint He's a scoundrel and a pirate, but he's also trying to be a good man in the face of injustice.
Porter Lavoisier This technological marvel is on track to place Chaillot on the map for entirely different reasons, and is wonderfully neurotic and terrified.
Cyrus Graves Because Petrichor has done such a great job of capturing the stressed, not-mad-but-almost-maybe-mad scientist who has a vision gripping him like a drowning man.
***
Seriously. It's Cyrus. Look at all that he's accomplished and gotten done? It's kind of amazing.



Best Dena Nehele Character
Rilandra Vlas The Territory Queen manages her enemies and her allies by any means necessary.
***
The Queen of Dena Nehele rules the roost and is deeply involved in her Territory.
***
The Territory Queen manages her enemies and her allies by any means necessary.
***
It would be difficult to pretend that any other character has been more important, or more influential, in this territory this year. Phedre has revitalized a setting and been involved in nearly every aspect of it with this character. Hardest working character on the board!
Radu Orfan I love him and I read every thread he ever writes in. I want MORE OF HIS WORDS. MORE.
Valeriu Dumitrescu Because he's an aristo who truly believes Riley is the best option, and watching it mess with his head has been a joy.
***
The Steward of Dena Nehele has really brought some exciting energy for Dena Nehele that helps highlight their risks, and brings sympathetic eyes to the Aristocracy.
Minerva Tailor I love the political power-play Healer who wants to rule instead of just fix people's broken bones.
Jeremiah Mercer He's been through so much, and still has so much more to go through. Mercer is just glorious, and Em is a genius for writing him as they have.
***
Jeremiah is so incredible! Em has made a bad-assed Rose Jeweled Warlord Prince who is the most compelling guy to read in the entire Territory!
***
Because there were alot of great characters in DN this year, but RatedEm consistently stole the show in any thread Jeremiah showed up in.
Sorinna Roman So sweet, so pure, with such spine. Even with a White Jewel, she is clearly one of the most promising young Queens not only in the Territory but on the board. I love her interactions with Riley, Radu, and Gaaabriiiiiii.
***
The Queen-in-training is a good person in a bad land.
Narcisa "Sway" Ciora Nominated without description.
Garen L'Voide Because any character that makes you hate him THAT much, you know has to be well-built.
Dragos Cutrov He's torn between duty to a Queen and to his Guild. It's fun watching him navigate those loyalties.
Sebastian Bane There's never a dull moment with Sebastian.
Anya Welvert She's just so creepy. I can't help but like her though I admit it feels like a guilty pleasure.



Best Dhemlan (T) Character
Kesare Fuentes Though not bound to the soft-closed territory of late, she takes with her all of Dhemlan's best and worst qualities wherever she goes.
***
Because she's a global force of influence and an amazingly written character!
***
Because Idariel continues to create plots with this lady wherever she shows up.
***
Kesare is everywhere and she always leaves her mark wherever she goes.
***
Though there's a shortage of options, I'd probably pick Kesare anyhow. Every one of her three castes manages to come into play and it's pretty awe inspiring to see how Ida makes it work.
Amina Nieto Tasked to Dena Nehele to assist with a fledgling Queen, and being totally left unprepared, she is struggling heroically to find her place amongst the drama until she is recalled.



Best Hayll Character
Gideon Cinerus Major player in the Rebellion.
Undine Licenius Well written and interesting, a blind Queen learning how to navigate political waters
Gnaeus Sannus Gnaeus' story is tragic, and infuriating. Watching him manage to be functional makes me want to hug him, but I'm pretty sure he'd kill me.
Michaela Augustus-Tibault Excessive, arrogant, proud, she is every bit the storm of personality and drive that so marks the Hayllian soul, and is sure to be an intensely influential character as her Province grows in import with the growing rebellion!
Caelissine Agrippina She's the best Priestess in the Territory and connected to so many people.
Maerina Augustinius It's not easy to write a character that goes against the grain, but Ida's Maerina goes against most established factions in Hayll. She's 100 families, but that doesn't mean she's an aristocratic snob. She's just a good person striving to create some balance in such a corrupt Territory and it's beautiful.



Best Pruul Character
Omid al Bali Omid's taken great steps towards establishing himself apart from the Mineborn. He wants to be his own man and he's either going to succeed beyond expectation or ruin himself trying.
***
Omid endures, no matter the trial put before him.
Lucky al Sabbah Bullheaded and amorous, Lucky is always just a good read
Adavera al Jinan Because she stood up in front of Adramalech and told him to fuck off with his trying to kill innocent kids. Seriously, she's got giant balls.
Ghanima al-Izar She is a rich character who has served to guide countless others, a strangely spiritual Queen that shows a power beyond her Jewel and a wisdom well beyond her years, and a willingness to do anything for her people and for Pruul.
***
What would the mineborn be without their feral Queen? Nima is the center of the web of the mineborn family
Tavar al-Sabbah Tavar shows how an immigrant into Pruul can become truly Pruulian in every facet.
***
He has added such depth to the territory. Every move he makes leaves a lasting impact
Saladin al-Tabur Every time I see this character post, I HAVE to read it. He's full of fire and spunk, and I died laughing as I read his snark to the Tabur council around Dinah.
Zaehrah al-Bali Nominated without description.
Dinah al Tabur Because halyonix has crafted a believable Queen with a heart for her people, even if her peoples' minds are a little more stubborn than she'd like.
***
Duty bound, Dinah reads as a multi-faceted Queen with plenty of interesting internal conflict.
Abulurd ibn Bali Because he's somehow amazingly creepy and yet the wise old father-figure as well.



Best Raej Character
Raet Neith Nominated without description.
Nailah Abassi Because while I hate her, she's really one of the most fascinating characters in Raej for me right now. She's got a TON of emotional depth, and her tie to Syeira is wonderful.
***
The High Priestess is playing for keeps and she's not afraid to use her power.
Sitara Chopra This Priestess is everything Raej is not, and that makes her unbelievably dynamic in this morally compromising place of heat, stress and danger. She stands out amongst the rest for her unique drive and passion for this land.
Saif Nassor The deadly Rattlesnake of Raej is shaking the fundaments of Raej in his 'redemption tour', unhesitating to trample everyone in his path to get to his goals.
***
He's back and it's terrifying. No one really knows where Saif went while he was "dead" or what he was up to, but being back in the land that "killed" him in the first place has set the stage for a lot of tension. What we've seen thus far is tame compared to his exploits and I don't know about anyone else, but I'm kind of hoping for some epic interactions from the mysteriously reborn Mr. Nassor.
Kontar Abassi As charming and sweet as he can be, Kontar is still a dutiful man. Handsome, balanced, and driven, he's a great read.
Syeira Neferet Her Court is the focal point for several characters.
Arsenia Salvator Because who doesn't love a finding-one's-self arc? Jamie's done a great job of painting Arsenia as a tortured survivor, someone on the cusp of rediscovering who they were meant to be.



Best Shalador Character
Erisian Maboya She is powerful, deadly, and scarred by her experiences. It's fun to watch her filter the world through her unique lense.
Akan Uzumati Broken sort of character that you love out of pity
***
Brutal, tormented, betrayed, his flashbacks have proven compelling and terrible, and I look forward to finding out why he is not dead.
***
Dangerous and powerful, Akan is a beautiful Eyrien with a dark soul. There aren't a lot of stories in Shalador, but Bowie's managed to tell compelling ones with his gorgeous tormented soul.
Rian Maboya One of the greatest characters ever made for this board, she is a woman willing to sacrifice everything for her land; so long as the land survives, and it remains HER land, all else may fall away. She is on the cusp of consequence, and is being expertly reimagined under her new player.
Nova Marenza Nova is pure awesome; the exiled Queen trying to find a path back home. She has to deal with the constant struggles of identity and failure, but never gives up on the hope that she'll be able to go home and rule her people again one day.
Itzelian Maboya Nominated without description.
Karana Maboya Karana is terrifying and intense.



Best Tacea Character
Ji Yoon Moon Ji Yoon is fantastic and clearly highlights the personality of the Territory as well as its traditions and norms.
Seung Corro What? The territory may be closed BUT HE IS STILL THERE AND HE IS STILL AMAZING.
The crickets.Nominated without description.



Best Dea al Mon Character
Valor Tanithil This Warlord Prince fights for his people and never backs down from a challenge
***
Valor is dangerous and deadly. He's restrained and respected by his peers, but capable of killing anyone for any reason.
***
The Master of the Guard is deadly, poised, and in control...until he's not.
Rakal Sigurd Complicated storyline and general badass
Charisma Larethis This Queen dealing with the Brood kidnapping her was awe inspiring. Watching her come to grips with the fact that she almost wants to JOIN them, but also wants to try to somehow make peace, is just... mind blowing.
***
This Queen rips my heart out and leaves me in tears. She's so perfect, and lovely, and she doesn't even RULE. Seriously, Charisma is probably one of my favorite DaM characters to read.
Thorn Zalishevin She has been fairly well abused by both her own arrogance and the maneuvering of those above her in power and station. She has done her best, doubling down to force her way as deep as she can into the halls of power, and her rise and relentlessness have been gripping to watch.
***
Hal has done amazing work with this Black Widow. I regrettably haven't read enough to put my finger on specifics, but she's just alluring to read and Hal keeps her plenty busy making more words.
Blade Amdir Blade is the example of what the Dea al Mon are at their core: Noble and savage.
***
because there's no one who better embodies both the beautiful strength and less-pretty arrogance of the Children of the Ebon Wood.
***
A dual-caste male in a Territory where such a thing could, potentially, get you killed. Blade is written beautifully and is a staple of Dea al Mon.
Epiphany Estinaria Epiphany is growing into her role as a Queen and trying to live up to her mother's example.



Best Dharo Character
Emma Morgan She doesn't care about the number of enemies or how powerful they are. She's going to bring them all down.
***
Emma cares for her people, but it's also clear that she cares mostly for herself.
***
Emma is the Mary of Scots of Dharo, which means she might have a bad end but it'll be a great watch until then.
***
EMMMAAAAAAA. Fighting for her people. FOR CYMREA. She's gathering her forces and staying true to herself. I love her fire and her drive.
***
Emma's gathering the pieces to take a shot at reviving a long dead nation and she won't be stopped.
***
Emma's a warrior Queen bent on reclaiming her ancient homeland.
***
I'm a sucker for the prolific characters in quieter T's. Apart from that, Emma balances the needs of her people against her own desires in a way that's compelling and realistic. Kudos to Gavin for coming up with this one.
Margaret Webster Because she's a Class A Bitch, and I hate her, and I love that i hate her. Lene wrote a wonderfully terrible mother here.
Tanner Langston A territory that is almost defined by its spies and treacheries, Tanner is definitely one of the worst among them. A heel of the highest magnitude, he is definitively among the lowest even when he reaches the highest. A charmingly wicked little miscreant.
Rhiannon Devine The spymistress is connected all over the Territory.



Best Dhemlan (K) Character
Mari Calderon Mari's hunger for power and domination over everyone around mirrors Dhemlan's corruption.
***
Because this lady just cannot catch a break. Gavin's done a great job of building a complex and dynamic family subplot, and it all centers around this wayward Queen.
***
Mari embodies Dhemlan's corruption and its fate if said corruption isn't checked.
Taxet Montecristo scary dude doing scary things
***
Terrifying and corrupt, Taxet shows what the dark heart of Dhemlan truly is beneath its veneer of civility.
***
It's TAXET. The mover and shaker of so many things behind the scenes in Dhemlan K that it is kind of surprising he's not actually ruling it sometimes. That would, of course, be too much trouble and bring him too much attention when he's just fine where he is.
Rodrigo Barbero Watching Rodrigo struggle in the face of overwhelming odds and oppressive personalities is likely the deepest of my enjoyments in the entire territory. He is endlessly out of his comfort zone, and that makes for a very fun character to read.
Lorenzo Calderon Lorenzo strives to be a good man on his own merits while trying to make amends with his family.
***
He feels dangerous and seductive, calculating and attentive. With his Gray, and the WP Caste he's definitely a threat to anyone and an alluring read.
Corazon Chavez One of the best Queens on the board.
***
Because she is the nexus around which a surprising number of compelling plots have originated. She's beautifully written.
***
Corazon is my guilty pleasure crush. Were she real, I don't know that I'd like her, but reading her is pure joy.



Best Glacia Character
Miina Kalas Very active character with lots going on around her
***
Oh Miina Miina Miina.... Her heart is in the right place but she's a little too willing to think and do what she's told. Now that her foundations are shaking a little bit I'm sooooo curious to see where her character goes. You don't have to drink the Kool-aid Miina, I believe in you!
Kain Eskola The dark brooding bastard of the Midnight Keepers is a force of personality that dominates every thread he steps inside. He is a dynamic character that demands attention and has really flourished in this last year.
Lydia Kalas The perfect example of what a good Glacian OUGHT to be. Lydia is incredibly fun to read and a compelling villain in her own right
***
Because she embodies the epitome of Glacian ideals and priorities, and she's damn fun to watch.
***
Best Priestess in the Territory and a fun read.
Markus Niskala Nominated without description.
Matias Saari Ah, the hidden caste, the need to be what he is vs. the need to keep it secret. Gavin does so well with conflicts in his characters and it's awesome to see it played it.
Astrid Volknyr Because Astrid is such a strong, stoic, yet still deeply passionate representation of the Glacian Underground.
Kaija Ali Nominated without description.



Best Little Terreille Character
Jonothan Harmaa He took down an entire Court in order to rebuild a Territory the way he wants it so that he can fight Glacia.
***
Jonothan embodies the corruption of Little Terreille and rules his land with an iron fist.
***
scary dude doing scary things

***
Roland Cade Roland's connectd to people all over Little Terreille and is on the verge of being a power player if he can just get out of his own way.
Lysander Kane Everytime he comes up I'm eager to read his stories. Lysander is hilarious,a nd romantic, and tragic, and all the best ingredients of a story wrapped into one adorable package.
***
Because WrenStar has managed to write both comedy and depth in a single warlord, and he's always entertaining to read.
Kelda Voll More than anyone else, Kelda has served to be the power behind the territory, and has twisted plots and driven the impetus of other characters to her choice. She has touched every aspect of this territory, and good or ill, has had an impact.
Hayden Sheane Hayden is so authentic and personable. She is the heart of Little Terreille, hidden but very, very strong when revealed.
***
There is never a thread with Hayden that I don't enjoy. Watching her grow into her Black is truly an amazing thing to read.
Amerys Tiernan Maybe she's a puppet, maybe she's not. She certainly doesn't see herself as one and she is going to do what is needed for her people, her Territory. She's sweet but fierce, and a far smarter than she lets people think she is. BEAUTIFULLY DONE.
Travis Desmarais The Gentleman Thief, he came in this year with a bang, showing an insane amount of development and heartbreaking and hilarious facets of identity through it all.
Aleksy Grey Nominated without description.
Algernon Breckenridge Because he's everything you could want in a Prince with an urban background and aristocratic job.
Violet Kaos Violet has lost much through the change in power in LT, but she's picking herself right back up and moving forward.
Hrodi Boesson Myst showed up on the scene and hit the ground running. Hrodi is a perfect WP, angry, but cognizant of his limits and triggers. Nice work, Myst.



Best Nharkava Character
Kiara Makur Kiara's sensual and full of live. She's a great represenation of Nharkava.
Devesh Acharya He's a dual caste Male who has managed to not only survive the attentions of a Black Lotus member, but also gather an intriguing cast of characters around him.
***
This subversive, faithful servant of the religions of Nharkava, he has been a captivating and willful person who is some of the most personified elements of the native land.
***
Devesh is who I think of first when I consider a Nharkavan character. He is by far the most compelling character in that Territory and is an absolute treat to read.
***
Because he's compelling enough that an entire character ecosystem has sprung up around him.
***
He's not the hero that Nharkava needs, but the hero it deserves.
Amir Sankar He's such a complex character! A True Believer within Nharkava, a light-Jeweled Prince who has such strong pride and purpose. I love it <3
Jabin Bhattacharya The subtle resister, this rebel is heartbreaking in his willingness to lose everything, even his family, in pursuit of a free Nharkava. I worry for his life every time I see him write.



Best Scelt Character
Brennan Devlin This character is picking fights he probably can't win, but he doesn't care. He's going to win or die trying.
Desmond Clery Desmond is a nuanced and subtle character who wows you with his kindness, even while he's plotting someone else's downfall.
***
Desmond has stepped up this year in trying to protect and care for his family, but he's also out for himself, making him a dangerous man among his peers.
***
Well written character with lots going on
***
The hardworking, diligent Warlord has overcome dramatic upheaval in his life and serves as a stalwart face for his family. He is a simple, direct, good man, and while sometimes not as inspiring a character concept, can be captivating when it feels so sincere.
***
Desmond's the leader of his clan and he's ready to wield that power to elevate himself...and them, of coures.
Epona Cocoran She's been working hard on her little sanctuary, and I love that the theatre is a place where we get more of the Landens and Jewelless Blood.
Morgan Clery This intense and dangerous scion of the Clery clan is the product of the bigotry and danger of Scelt marred to the madness of the repressed caste which seems to overwhelm all sense in the wild boy.
Blodwen Lyons Blodwen Lyons, because I could read Phedre writing about an emotionally burdened Queen for daaaays.
Molly O'Kerry She's trying to help her fellow Black Widows in Scelt's dangerous political climate.
Dubhghall Moriarty Did I spell that right..? Anyways, Sol's been keeping this one busy in Scelt as a member of the Hammer and Anvil and does a nice job of playing an expressive Blood male.



Best Rihland Character
Kalvar Elbremov The Black Prince rules the Territory, though you get the feeling he'd go back to being a simple farmer in a heartbeat if he could.
***
Kalvar IS Rihland and is the centerpiece for all of the disparate drama that's unfolding in the Territory.
***
The Black Prince knows what's best for his people, even if they don't.
***
Because it wouldn't be Rihland again without him.
Evony Bos Love watching her grow from a shy exile to bossy housekeeper
Adawolfa Sauer She is a stalwart woman who personifies the effort and quiet nobility of the Rihlander people. I relish how hard she works at returning the life to the mountains, and trying to bring the life of her fields up to their height.
Odinar Elbremov He's surly, he's growly, he's a warlord Prince! Better yet, he's one that has NO idea how to really handle Evony Bos at times, and watching them interact makes me die laughing. Then there is hte way he focuses in on Signe during Rut, and how he tries his damndest to offer Reo an out in the only way he knows how.
Malakay Hildedottir The conflicted and intense Rihlander consistently out of her depth with no hesitation in wading in as deep as possible, this new character has commanded so much excitement since her arrival.
Melany Kriemhild Mmm, gotta love a fierce woman and a writer unafraid to showcase flaws for the sake of a good story.
Signe Drachlan Because this poor Queen is doing the absolute best she can, and has had to be both flexible and unyielding in turn.
Tyr Madsen His name is probably spot on given his lack of hand but Tyr is a character of quiet strength. He knows himself, more than he often wants to, and often feels as if there is more than just the weight of age and loss upon his shoulders. Tyr, as a character, is a representation of the best that Rihland has to offer. If Rihland had a heart, I might believe it to be him.



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Re: 2018 Superlative Love Letters
« Reply #5 on: Jan 12, 18, 10:12:27 PM »
Best Written Thread
Money Between Friends Lovely interaction and use of Protocol between a Queen and Prince.!
***
Laurel Gold and Roland Cade give an excellent taste of the subtle dance that is Protocol between a Queen and a Prince. In the course of a dance, this pair manages to define their initial relationship, redefine it, and prepare themselves to work together as allies in the future in Little Terreille's new political landscape.
***
Excellent use of Protocol and character motivations. Rather than breakdown into a fight, both characters left with greater respect for each other.
The Gift, The Geas, and The Sacrifice The word craftsmanship in this thread is absolutely gorgeous. Nicole brings the entire scene to life and gives it such depth that I can imagine being there with the Seekers. And the Seekers themselves enhance the imagery and the importance of the scene.
The Wheel Has Come Full Circle This thread is poetry and heartache in one. Davos's dialogue is like a Shakespearian tragic hero, and the pain between him and Hayden is palpable.
Black Blade, Bright Heart This was the showcase of the relationship between Drakkar and one of the few people that is brave enough to 'put him in his place'. Not only do we get to see real glimpses of who Kaderian and Drakkar ARE, we also get to see something about Drakkar's past that really makes him tick. This thread was just... full of emotional oomph for me. I loved that Drakkar was no longer just this.. terrifying boogeyman of the War. He was also a heart-broken widower, with a dead child. His brother is dead or missing. His 'father' dead or missing... and he just wants *answers*. Reading this thread rips my heart open every time I go back to it.
The Swaying Sorrow of Spirit and Sin This story told as a vision on the depth of the abyss features two of the board's strongest writers with the sharpest minds for this setting, wrestling with the very mythology of the Black Jewels world. It is a masterfully written, compelling story and they've only just begun.
The Second Climb The return of the Black to Askavi, and the tumultuous reception and terrible news that came from both sides, was wonderful. Every post was sharp, creative, and filled with rich and insightful history of the board from as far back as the Great War to the current climate of the metaplot. It was expertly woven, and evocative.
Ghosts that We Knew and Must Know This thread was unexpectedly dramatic. There's so much to unpack from it, no matter which character angle you take it from. Dreams are crushed, a friendship absolved, a deal struck, a dubious future cemented. It was a great read.
Until all my sleeves are stained red This thread is easily overlook-able, because there's not any shocking action that takes place. But the dialogue between Hayden and Davos is deeply felt and poetic. It's easy to imagine two wounded people in the real world having this kind of difficult conversation, quietly, and without fanfare.
They're Raising Your Body From the Ground The writing in this thread from Dash, Vivian, and Phedre is absolutely beautiful. There is so much emotion running through each of the characters: The Queen of Moesia Province, her Steward who has denied her love to save her life, and his niece, a Queen she is meeting for the first time. Everything from Draco's heartache to Gabriella's terror to Adamara's producing the broken shards of her Jewel is written in a breath taking manner. I often enjoy Vivian's beautiful prose, and these three writers coming together for this thread magnify that with each new post.
Conversion The meeting of Omid and Abulurd is mesmerizing. Abulurd is Pruul, but he was also the first of the Voices to offer the Mineborn a place. Here, he makes good on that promise. The respect shown by both men here is a prelude to the pride that Abulurd shows when Omid answers his question correctly.
In this the Region, this the Soil, this the Clime Adamara Pavel is an amazingly beautiful and deep character and in this thread we see insight into her character as she interacts with Jeremiah, Riley’s bonded Warlord Prince. Despite that there is not a Queen’s Bond between them there is a connection between these two and we see that play out as Jeremiah talks about the truth of what happened to him during his first Rut. Adamara’s offer of support and understanding is heartfelt and beautiful and Vivian writes it all beautifully.
So Damn Beautiful Haakon and Silje come together yet again. Haakon is stark and severe, while Silje's emotions run the gamut from terrified to entranced. Silje makes a habit of removing memories of her dealings with Haakon for fear that her villain of a grandmother might discover the mutinous content of their conversations. As ever, Haakon tries to fix Silje, tries to instill some sense of duty if not right vs. wrong. The young Queen falters, but before the end of the thread, Haakon and her father strike a deal to get the Frisks out of Glacia, leading to so much more in Nharkava later.



Best Plot Development
The Gift, The Geas, and The Sacrifice This is a key moment in the plots within Dea al Mon. It's the moment that the Seekers bind themselves to the Geas and submit to Gale Galoneth's demands on behalf of the Territory. It's a powerful moment that creates the Seekers, a key concept within the Dea al Mon plots.
Make Like a Tree You see the terrifying truths of Dena Nehele in full display here, as well as the difficult choices that Voda has to make to keep Sheyla alive. Atop that it sets into motion a ton of plots that remained active throughout the year in Little Terreille with Sheyla forming her Glacian-refuge court.
Savage Thoughts, Broken Hearts Kenna's been working so hard on Pruul... and being able to see it culminate through the eyes of the spectators and hard-won allies of the Mineborn has been fantastic. There are something like 11 or 12 characters in that thread, I think, and each of them has their 'wtf' moment in a different way. From calls for War to accusations of Oathbreaking, riot and attempts at peace... this thread is fantastic!
Bleed Drops of Prophecy, Bleed Drops of Change The Mineborn finally ascend and cast down Adramelech, bringing the Rains to Pruul. Everyone had a part to play in this and its really pushed the next phase of Pruul's plot to the fore.
***
This was a massive thread, and the culmination of the Mineborn's hostage period. Watching the clash between Adramalech and those who would not tolerate his insanity was heart pounding. Watching Ghanima eat Adramalech's heart was even better. :) The Rains came, and all of Pruul was forced to acknowledge that their world was shaking. It was... glorious.
***
The Mineborn finally fulfill their destiny. This thread was great for seeing all of the Mineborn together, bringing the Rains to Pruul.
***
Everything in Pruul shifts in this thread and it is all done with minimal bloodshed. Love it.
The Man the Night Shapes The travel of Saiph to Raej, and the impact it is likely to have, all came out here. This is a huge potential swing for both Pruul and Raej, and I'm confident the consequences of these words will be felt on the board for some time.
of matters most dear Despite it's rather pornographic end, this thread is perhaps the largest spike towards an Askavi/Hayll war yet. With ties to other threads urging the former ruler of Askavi to hunt down information, and a dangerous past with the Queen, the former ruler of Askavi and the Queen of Hayll try to find some ground amidst the violence, brutality and more, while pursuing knowledge from a puppet who herself was far too uninformed. A deadly dance that could have ended in all-out war, but instead, merely a disappointed and damaged Queen.
Filled with my old wounds Jonothan and Maarika Harmaa are finally reunited after Glacia forced them violently apart. It's not the happy reunion Jon hoped for though, and he and his "dear wife" suffer through a fight that left neither of them unchanged. This thread, though a personal moment between two Cs, has had ramifications that have and will continue to spread through three Territories.
You Must Spit Out the Seeds Shyloh leads Jon into murdering the Hell Lords en masse, and then Hayden sets the aftermath up in flames. Now "Lord Black" has claimed the deaths of the meanest gang in Goth, which changes the tone of the regime "he" is establishing in the new Little Terreille. It's a great thread because of the deeply troubled characters that take part in it, trying as best they can to cope with the horrible things they've been through by committing more horrible acts.
Your Star Is So Sharp It Leaves Me Jagged Holes This is a defining moment for Little Terreille as the Court of Amerys Tiernan comes together. Not only is the writing fantastic, it pushes us into a whole new place for Little Terreille, creating the foundation of what is now the ruling body of the Territory while offering us deep complexity for all of the characters involved.
***
This was a great show of the politics that drives Little Terreille. The Territory Court arrives to deal with Courtland Province. There's a lot of competing ideologies and the possibility for violence is always close at hand.
Heart, Heart, Head Riley has to navigate the turmoil and struggle that comes from having the Guilds heavily involved with her Court. A contract to kill a Black Widow sparks the fire that leads to a horrible chain of events. Riley, Sebastian, Drake, and Valeriu are all at their best - and worst - in this thread and you see each of them try and dance around the issues at hand. Except they cannot do that anymore, not when the shit has so obviously hit the fan.
LIfe of the Party The list of characters involved in this thread reads like a Who's Who in Nharkava. Nearly anyone who is anyone is at Prince Sahil Bal's fete and rubbing shoulders together. There are enemies present as well as unlikely allies and this interaction will serve as a jump off point for so many more interactions down the line. Most anyone who matters is now only once removed from anyone else at the party providing the basis for threads down the line, for better or for worse.



Best Character Development
Filled With My Old Wounds Jon and Maarika reunite but in the most terrible of ways. Their efforts to cut each-other and hurt each-other cut too deep and they scar their relationship forever. It shows the true strength and difficulties of the Queen Bond and that even supernatural strings can sometimes tie too tight.
Not Enough Room for You and Me Omid and Lucky really have it out in this thread. For once, Lucky's doing the things that Omid wanted him to do...only to have Omid tell him that he's already joined a clan. It's easy to view one or the other as "wrong" in this situation, but neither one truly is. The biggest surprise is when Lucky, instead of reverting to type and using his fist, flies away for the first time rather than harm his brother. Both characters are changed after this thread and there's no assurance that they'll ever mend this breach.
***
Lucky and Omid have it out. Omid joined the Bali, preventing him from ever joining Clan al-Izar. Lucky takes it about as well as imagined, but his pain and uncertainty versus Omid's confidence in his choice is a wonderful juxtaposition.
***
Omid and Lucky grew so much in this thread that it is heartbreaking. They are testing the true meaning of family, while learning the limits of their power. I teared up during the last scene.
Life of the Party There is a lot that happens here - but a few characters really showed some growth here. 1:) Devesh Acharya - When i first read Devesh, he didn't exactly HATE Landen, but he very much felt they weren't worth a great deal of consideration and that they deserved only the minimum amount of respect. After having to deal with Kharisande for two years, he has grown to respect the Landen a lot more due to watching her defend her Owner against a penalty of death or Breaking, despite the obvious sin inherent in her having been a slave. He sees the Landen as being capable of compassion, mercy, and Service. This is kind of a big deal, considering what Nharkava has been going through. 2.) Kiara Makur - She is the bouncy, bubbly, and glorious "mama" of the Acharya household right now, despite having no babies of her own. Kiara loves life, and loves everyone around her too. She has this almost naive optimism that makes you just want to smile whenever you see her being written - and yet in this thread she shows a fierce protective side when she sees a powerful Warlord Prince showing derision to one of her friends for what her friend IS, and not what she has DONE. Watching Kiara have to wrestle with a sudden want to HARM someone was absolutely marvelous, because it seems so left field for her to desire harm against anyone. 3.) Kharisande Lehmda - Kharisande started out as a slave with an almost painful need to not upset any Blood. She was also extremely nervous around males of the Blood, and if anyone suggested she would go to a party with that many people in it, she'd have laughed at them. Quietly, mind you. But the two years of freedom in the Acharya household has had an effect, and she not only goes to the party she DANCES. She not only dances, she is able to lift her chin and remain steady despite the obvious disdain of a Warlord Prince ruler, and even in the face of his lust for her when she is absolutely terrified of ever sleeping with a Warlord Prince again. I was crazy proud of her for managing to maintain class and elegance in the face of the stress she must be going through.
***
There is just so much going on here! Kharisande and Kiara banding together to put on a united front to a racist collared WP, that same WP spiraling in his anxiety to lash out with rudness - Haakon stumbling across Silje and Sixten again, Devesh and Vihaan - Nharkava came to LIFE in this thread.
Never Really Knew Each-Other Anyway While ultimately pretty smutty, this story between Cadmus and Michaela show a large leap in the challenges and soul of both characters by the point of the story we've stopped at. I wish it had more words written, but the cruelty of Michaela and the stubborn resistance of Cadmus to the bond between him and his newly found cruel overseer, are fascinating.
Be Ever On Guard The proper meeting of Akan Uzumati and the Queen who would have been his daughter is brief but powerful, and tells a story of a heartbreak poorly contained by the brusque man who's heart was breaking. The sweetness and hope and even idolizing from the younger Queen and the torment felt in the older warrior is electric and shapes both of them for the stories to come.
Ride the Lightning In this thread, Kelda makes choices that lock in her role as one of the not-quite-good-guys of Amerys' court. When she demolished a small coven of contentious Black Widows, it was a conscious choice about making a statement, one that will have consequences in the end.
Savage Hearts, Broken Hearts Such a great thread for rapid character development for so many. Rania finding courage, to Adavera declaring war, to Ennead unleashing the beast within him. Every writer does a fantastic job.
Ghosts that We Knew and Must Know Three characters intersect in this thread in a way that will change the future for all of them. It's a great read in itself, but it also heavily impacts the development of all three involved characters.
Remember Me But Forget My Fate Wraith and Charisma both learned a lot about each other as they're pursued by the Dea al Mon. This thread was a good look at the dynamics and understanding of the Brood and the Dea al Mon as warring groups. By the end, there was an understanding, if not forgiveness between the two.
To Remain Unchanged After having been banished by her Queen, sent to learn the ways of Mind Healing, Claudia finally returns to heal the mind that she breached a season previous. Yet when she gets there, she finds that Jeremiah is not at all willing to he healed and realizes - with a growing dread - that this is more complicated than it appears. Hearing unspoken pleas, she commits her crime again - this time to help Riley’s male - and descends within to discover that the Myos Maker had trapped Jeremiah deep within himself. Bound him under Craft that could only be destroyed by reliving and experiencing certain emotional states. It was during this thread that we got to see Claudia at her best and at her worst as each stone of the cairn trapping Jeremiah was destroyed. We get to see Claudia as she has grown and the Black Widow she has become, the growth that she’s had over the past few months is never more apparent than in helping Jeremiah. We also get to see Jeremiah, who has been trapped for a season, grow and change into a Warlord Prince that has to accept that weakness and defeat are things that can - and will - happen. Something that he fears more than anything else and has to grow past.
Fear and the FeverGnaeus and Maerina have existed in peace for over a hundred years, being the perfect duo of Healer and her often invisible assistant. But an old enemy has stepped from the pages of a near forgotten history book and called the two to her home. Laurentia Caelius was one of those who tore Gnaeus apart long before sweet Maerina had a chance to restore him. Meeting with her again puts all that work in danger, but they go nonetheless to assist Laurentia's ailing husband only to find that Laurentia hasn't changed much at all, and plans to undo all of the good that Maerina has done for her Ghost.



Most Captivating Thread
The Gift, The Geas, and The Sacrifice I was eager to read each new post - whether it was the introduction of the Mirror Queens, the reaction from the Seekers, or that moment that the Mirror Queens changed the rules of the game. It's beautiful and powerfully written.
Sort it Out It was fascinating watching Amerys and Roland try to sort out their feelings, the rising tension between them, and the utter inability for them to reach an understanding that left them both feeling whole. Even with how hurt you know they are, they both deeply love each-other and you can sense it at the very end where they try to repair the damage done to each other.
Moesian White, Tulzbruja Red The collection of Dena Nehele's characters interacting, plotting, and playing off of each other was a fun read.
Money Between Friends Could not stop looking for updates on this thread. Roland and Laurel killed it here, marking themselves as power players in Little Terreille's new landscape.
The End Came Long Ago The near death of Kale and Quinten was absolutely gut wrenching. Worse, having to see Quinten kill his own father after spending so many years trying to keep the man alive made you want to cover your eyes. Poor Quinten. There is a certain spark that I think he may have lost in that moment, a certain innocence that no amount of gloom in his life had been able to dim until he lost control and went Mel Gibson on his father's corpse. Victoria almost drains her Jewels in this thread trying to save Kale as best she can. Radu nearly tears the palace down around his ears in his rush to get out to the elderly Heartly's home, and Riley herself is shocked into a sudden awareness of how she has not been taking care of her Wards in teh way she expected herself to. It's just been an absolute emotional mess.
She leaves a trail of honey. This thread between a woman who chose to keep rather than kill, and the practically defenseless Witch who is subject to the other's every whim, is unbelievably striking. Kelda's choices here, and Violet's struggle to show her spine and set her own terms, is a fascinating interplay of compromises, morality, hatred, and vulnerability. No thread this year so captured my attention.
Are you sure what side you're on This thread was just so much fun. It illustrated the risks and gains of a Queen Bond, with an experienced Queen handling a dangerous and uncertain male. Both beaifutly descriptive, and filled with subtle conflict, it remains a favorite, even to re-read it.
Spellwork & Lies A second conflict between Silver Thrax and Draven Rook leads to the appearance of Little Terreille's newest gang, the Unchained. The fight between Draven and Silver is riveting, but the desire of the Unchained to get involved and help out had me looking for updates more than I should have! Well done!
***
This give-and-take battle that threatened to tear apart the Unchained and the streets of Little Terreille was a rollercoaster of excitement, and I never hesitated to tear open the latest message. Draven's imbalance, Silver's obstinate rage, the Unchained's mixed reactions of fury and care, it was delightfully entrancing..
The Me That You Know I could not get enough of this thread. Seeing Hayden more relaxed than normal and Breck more forward than normal was such a fun read, and I cannot wait to see where the story between these two goes.
Until the Hasting Day Has Run The kidnapping of a Queen! An impromptu rescue party! A chase through the Dea al Mon wilderness! Infiltrating Bad Wildungen! This thread is packed with awesomeness.
Thrice Lost, Thrice Found I was on the edge of my seat reading this. Riveting writing from NINE different writers, working together to make a captivating (and plot-moving) thread.
The Second Climb This thread had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I waited in sharp anticipation for each new post, watching in Discord, and racing to read everything that was written. The three most powerful males of Askavi, either by Jewels or position, come together in the same place and discuss the future that is laid before them. Gavin, Bowie, and Petri knocked this one out of the park.
Heart, Heart, Head Couldn't put this one down. The dynamic between Riley and her Triangle is powerful, and everyone's got a valid issue. In the end, they're all still forced to work together, prompting Riley to take drastic action to keep her Triangle from turning on itself.
It Started Long Before To quote a lovely friend: it's the history of Dena Nehele nicely summed up to current events. Valeriu and Jeremiah discuss the state of things within the territory as well as learn to navigate one another as they now share a Queen.
Best Frienemies Forever Lady Undine Licenius, the blind Queen, finds herself at a loss with the direction of her family and into the home of an unlikely ally. Michaela Augustus-Tibault was her mentor at one time. The two women could probably not be less alike and yet there's a comfort in the mansion that Undine spent so much time in during her younger years. Eager to help, and eager to shape the mind of another Queen, Michaela urges Undine closer towards her own inner strength as well as closer to unlocking the secrets of her powerful sexuality.



Most Tear-Jerking
Your World Is an Ashtray Jonothan Harmaa is told by Hayden Sheane that his wife, Maarika Sydaan, is dead. He believes she was murdered by Glacia’s Queen Elisif Brenden in retribution for killing Sif’s favorite male, Otso Oskari. He is overcome with guilt and anger and pain. He confronts his own failures and regrets. It’s a rare glimpse behind his walls. Hayden, for her part, struggled to bring him the news. We see her taking increased responsibility for Jon and his wellbeing. They conclude the thread by promising it will be the two of them, to the very end -- and you really believe they both mean it.
***
I'm not crying for Jon. YOU'RE crying for Jon. Shut up.
Hourglass Drips Empty The sheer emotional trauma of this thread rips my heart out everytime I read it. The emotional turmoil between Raet, Maseo, and Syeira is just written absolutely beautifully. Maseo's observations regarding both of them is just... infuriating and heart wrenching. Syeira's being forced to accept yet another Bond she does not want, and essentially KNOWINGLY using it 'for raet's good'... it's just good stuff.
It Gets Worse Before It Gets Better I love Radu and Quinten's relationship, I really do. Despite Radu truly being a dangerous guy to be around for most of his life, Quinten and Kale managed to not only be around him, they became a weird little dysfunctional family unit. But Radu isn't good with emotions, really he isn't. So watching him try to get through to Quinten is just painful. Watching Quinten throw his pain into Radu's face with hurtful little barbs was even worse. Quinten is one of three people that can actually hurt Radu's heart, and he just shredded it in this thread. It legitimately made me tear up, and I know for a fact that Kenna was sobbing over what her little brain child was doing.
Not Enough Room For You and Me Watching the division between these two former stalwarts, seeing Lucky's obstinate refusal to accept his brother, and Omid's choice to turn away in light of it, was crushing. The Mineborn are maturing, their status as 'Mineborn' fading as the Mine lays so far behind them, and their paths are beginning to diverge. This story began that break, and it was so compelling and heartbreaking to witness.
Ghosts That We Knew And Must Know Watching Travis realize the woman he's invited into his home to be beside his* child is the very kind of woman who nearly once broke him open, and seeing that same woman fall apart at losing the only person who believed in her, only to be forced into an attempt at salvaged redemption while the other nursed their betrayal... it is depressing and wonderful.
***
I won't lie, this thread ripped my heart out. After Violet Kaos lost her entire life when the Hell Lords were wiped out, she sought shelter with Travis Desmarais, a Prince she didn't know well but had known to be kind to prostitutes in the past. After nearly breaking herself trying to keep her Craft under control, he decided to train her along with his ward. The scene of happy domesticity that opens the thread is quickly shattered as their guest, Kelda Voll. Her revelations about the full truth of Violet's past cause a terrible rift between Violet and Travis, and leads to Violet in the lowest place she has ever been. The flow of this thread of beautiful and each post just further rips your heart out of your chest and stomps on it.
Every Breath You Take A heartbreaking moment between a Queen and her bonded male. After an attack by a Black Widow was discovered (by another trespass via Claudia Genadie) everything that they thought they understood about their younger years was revealed to be a lie. After so many years Jeremiah reveals the truth of his time in a coma and the memories of the false life he lived. Riley learns just what experiences, though not real but felt all the same, he has been hiding: their bond breaking with her death. The pain shared between them is bittersweet, just as the comfort shared is heartbreakingly beautiful.
So Damn Beautiful Prince Gunvaldsson only wants to help Silje, but the Queen has forever done nothing but put distance between the two by conveniently causing herself to forget him. She fears repercussions from her controlling grandmother and rather than act on the advice that Haakon brings, she shuts it out, plucking at her memories like weeds in the garden. The saddest parts about this thread are the unspoken implications. How long has Haakon been trying to get through to Silje? How long will he continue to try? Haakon spends the evening with her father, but it's not said what the two decide. In the end, Haakon's involvement funds the Frisk's escape into Nharkava, and ends in the death of the grandmother, but no one knows the whole truth.


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Online Dash

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Re: 2017/2018 Superlative Love Letters
« Reply #6 on: Jan 15, 18, 12:38:45 PM »
These are amazing!

Thank you to everyone who said kind things about my writing and my characters. I appreciate all of you <3

Special thanks to phinn for doing the formatting and the work!
Email: Dash@Bloodrites.net   Discord: Dash#6159

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Offline Sol

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Re: 2017/2018 Superlative Love Letters
« Reply #7 on: Jan 15, 18, 12:59:08 PM »
Wow.  Just wow.

I have been here since the end of April 2017, and this community just seems to get better the longer I am here.

Thank you.  I have stuff happening in my life, i know we all do, so just, Thank you all.

Online Gavin

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Re: 2017/2018 Superlative Love Letters
« Reply #8 on: Jan 15, 18, 01:29:02 PM »
Thank you to everyone who said something nice about me or my characters. I appreciate every word beyond words. I'm constantly floored by all of the talent and genuinely awesome people we have here.

<3

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Re: 2017/2018 Superlative Love Letters
« Reply #9 on: Jan 15, 18, 01:54:44 PM »
There is a great deal of blushing going on here, guys.  Really! 

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Re: 2017/2018 Superlative Love Letters
« Reply #10 on: Jan 15, 18, 01:56:01 PM »
Thanks to everyone who nominated me and mine <3 It means a lot!

I look forward to continuing to be ridiculous in 2018 with yall!!




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Re: 2017/2018 Superlative Love Letters
« Reply #11 on: Jan 15, 18, 02:20:03 PM »
so much blushing and squeeing and agreeing!

thank you to everyone who said kind or unkind things about my characters -- it means so much!

and secondly, wow, i love seeing how much all of the characters here get and all of the praises for such hard work! i'm so happy to be a part of this awesome writing group and can't wait to see what threads come out in 2018!
i have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night





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Offline Rated Em

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Re: 2017/2018 Superlative Love Letters
« Reply #12 on: Jan 15, 18, 03:47:19 PM »
oh my godddddd

there is too much sweetness here!! q__q all the kind things people said about my Cs and myself ... i am legit speechless. thank you so much!! i am looking forward to being able to write with and create MOAR chaos in the year to come <3 <3 <3 with such an amazing environment, we're all sure to have a blast!


Offline Jamie

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Re: 2017/2018 Superlative Love Letters
« Reply #13 on: Feb 24, 18, 06:20:58 AM »
Thanks for pulling together the Love Letters, phinn and Dash.

I cannot even describe just how much time and effort goes into that enormous task.

<3










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