Channa Ti, Pathfinder


Legacy of Fire

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Contributor

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Reread the story today. I think I know why I like Channa Ti. A lot of characters who come off as surprising do so by sacrificing the sense that they are a real character, consistent to some sort of realistic personality. Instead, they come off as random and unreal (perhaps even mad.) But in "Dark Tapestry," Channa Ti surprises me while retaining the sense that there is a believable (sane) character underneath the surprises.

Thanks for this, Mairkurion. I get impatient with books in which characters do and say things for no apparent reason, so I'm very happy to hear that you're perceiving Channa's internal (if occasionally twisted) logic.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Charles Evans 25 wrote:

Auuurgh. Still waiting here in the UK for PF #19 to reach local games stores.

I still haven't gotten my subscription copy in the mail, and I pay for fast shipping... and live in the states... so don't expect it too quick

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Elaine Cunningham wrote:
so I'm very happy to hear that you're perceiving Channa's internal (if occasionally twisted) logic.

That's because Mairkurion has occasionally twisted logic himself....

just kidding

Spoiler:
maybe


Cpt_kirstov wrote:


I still haven't gotten my subscription copy in the mail, and I pay for fast shipping... and live in the states... so don't expect it too quick

You believe in postal logic? Easter bunny, too, eh? ;-P

Post works in mysterious ways, or so I've found. Sometimes PF barely takes two weeks to arrive, but a had to wait for some stuff for 6 weeks or so (and that package was shipped the same day as one of the 2-3 week ones).

And back when I was addicted to plasticrack, I had stuff I ordered from the US arrive before stuff I ordered from within the country.

Weird, weird things go on there. I didn't have anything arrive before it was even sent, but that's probably because soemone in the chain was lazy - was sent on the 7th, arrived on the 3rd, forgotten till 12th.


Cpt_kirstov wrote:
Elaine Cunningham wrote:
so I'm very happy to hear that you're perceiving Channa's internal (if occasionally twisted) logic.

That's because Mairkurion has occasionally twisted logic himself....

just kidding
** spoiler omitted **

It's all that time spent with vines.

______________________________________

"Internal logic," yeah, that was the word I was dancing all around. You're welcome, Mrs. C! It's simple: you keep churning out the stories, I'll make with the happy-providing perceptions!


I get to read it later today, since my shipment somehow arrived today (it was shipped last monday and had to cross the Pond - I think I can get used to shipping times like that!)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

just read the first two parts.

Wow.

This isn't the Forgotten Realms boys and girls. And I'm liking Channa Ti a lot, as long as she stays firmly on the paper and I don't make her mad...

Thank you Elaine!

Contributor

Matthew Morris wrote:

just read the first two parts.

Wow.

This isn't the Forgotten Realms boys and girls. And I'm liking Channa Ti a lot, as long as she stays firmly on the paper and I don't make her mad...

Thank you Elaine!

Glad you're liking the story so far.

As for Channa Ti, I started with a typical D&D druid--a serene mystic who dwells in emerald groves, nurturing the woodland creatures and healing hapless passersby with potions brewed from rare herbs and crafted from recipes learned at the feet of wise, benevolent elven mentors. And then I put him in a cage match with Channa and let her stomp him into organic fertilizer.

Every now and then, the creative process takes some interesting turns.


Elaine Cunningham wrote:


Glad you're liking the story so far.

As for Channa Ti, I started with a typical D&D druid--a serene mystic who dwells in emerald groves, nurturing the woodland creatures and healing hapless passersby with potions brewed from rare herbs and crafted from recipes learned at the feet of wise, benevolent elven mentors. And then I put him in a cage match with Channa and let her stomp him into organic fertilizer.

Every now and then, the creative process takes some interesting turns.

HAHAHA! Holds side and pounds fist. Apt description.

You know, this return to the serial format is really making me think about the way first-time readers experienced a lot of the classics of English literature. The first episode drew me in and hooked me, so I was looking forward the next. The second is just killing me with the "What? Oh no!" cliffhanger effect--of course this happens when there is a greater time interval in publication. And nice use of wild shape, Mrs. C.

I'm beginning to think Channa is just one of those ladies who cannot ever trust a gal pal.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

Got the PDF, but will steadfastly wait for the print version to learn about Chan's second chapter... :P

It's getting hard though... the PDF keeps calling me... :P

BTW, absolutely loved the first part. My only complaint is that it should have been longer!!! LOL!

Contributor

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
BTW, absolutely loved the first part. My only complaint is that it should have been longer!!! LOL!

I hear you, but when you're talking print publication, there's only so much room. The ideal word count for each episode was about 4200, and I tried to hit that mark as closely as possible.


Good read. I'm still confused about something:

Spoiler:

If Ratsheek only wanted to get Channa Ti - by the way, is that first and last name? Is there a Melissa Ti out there? Can friends, if she has some, call her Channa? Ol' Chan? - to meet an employer, why did she kill her companions and drag her in like a slave?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

KaeYoss wrote:

Good read. I'm still confused about something:

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
I think it's a case of the gnoll was planning to sell her and got a better offer to introduce her

Maybe her friends call her Miss Ti?

Along the lines of baf jokes. I've a mechwarrior named Serena Ti.

Of course she pilots a firefly.

Contributor

KaeYoss wrote:

Good read. I'm still confused about something:

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:

Channa and Ratsheek were once slaves. They made a pact of mutual aid and escaped together, then parted ways soon after. (This bit of backstory will be revealed in episode 3.) When episode 1 opened, Ratsheek was with a band of gnoll slavers and grudgingly considered a valuable member of that group. Because she lived among humans for many years, she is more adept at dealing with them than are most of the other gnolls. But she is also something of an outsider among gnolls. They are suspicious of her and would not take kindly to her favoring Channa in any way. The other members of Channa's adventuring party were killed for the valuable grave goods they'd discovered, but Ratsheek convinced the other gnolls that Channa had considerable value as a slave. She then enabled Channa to escape AND made a profit from the deal. In Ratsheek's mind, she not only handled the situation cleverly and to her own advantage, but she also went above and beyond any lingering obligation she had to the half-elf.

I don't think either Channa or Ratsheek would consider the other female a friend, exactly, but they have bonds of common experience and, at one time, mutual dependence. Neither trusts the other, but there's enough between them that Ratsheek wouldn't willingly sell Channa back into slavery. That said, Ratsheek wouldn't hesitate to throw Channa under a bus if the gain was sufficient, and Channa knows this. She expects to be betrayed sooner or later and is seldom proved wrong. On some level, she's a little sad about it.


bracket spoiler bracket Text. bracket slash spoiler bracket

I spelled it out and put the spaces in for clarity. "Spoiler" is spelled out, however.

Contributor

Matthew, the explanation you offered behind the spoiler cut is correct, up to a point.

Spoiler:
Ratsheek did indeed pocket more for facilitating Channa's introduction to the Vudrani cleric that her portion of the half-elf's slave price would have been. The gnoll is, first and foremost, a self-serving creature.

As for Channa Ti's name?

Channa is her first name, Ti is an elven word that refers to a number of things: her half-elf heritage, her lack of a clan and a place. There's no real equivalent for it in English, but a close approximate would be "not." Not an elf. Not a member of a family, clan, of community. Using it as a last name is a defiant rejection of her father's people. Humans are extremely unlikely to realize this. Even humans who might speak a little Elvish wouldn't pick up the cultural nuances, because "Ti" is also a word for silence; specifically, the silence that happens when the jungle creatures get very quiet in the presence of a predator. A person who knew only a little Elvish would interpret her name as "Channa the Silent," and think that it was a reference to her taciturn nature or an ability to move quietly. Those who know a little more would think she chose the name for the badass connotations. But any elf would immediately recognize the significance of a half-elf taking this name. It's a emphatic rejection AND a extremely pointed one-fingered salute.

Contributor

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:

bracket spoiler bracket Text. bracket slash spoiler bracket

I spelled it out and put the spaces in for clarity.

Thank you! I fixed my spoiler-containing posts.


With pleasure.
:)

This was actually another thing I liked about the story--plunging ahead in media res and giving us back story in snippets here and there.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Thank you for that very educational elaboration, Ms. Cunningham


Elaine Cunningham wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:

Good read. I'm still confused about something:

** spoiler with explanation omitted **

Thanks! Now it makes sense. Guess I should be a bit more patient and things like that would be explained in time. But what can I say? I'm impatient. Thanks again for indulging me.


Elaine Cunningham wrote:

Matthew, the explanation you offered behind the spoiler cut is correct, up to a point.

** spoiler omitted **

As for Channa Ti's name?

Channa is her first name, Ti is an elven word that refers to a number of things: her half-elf heritage, her lack of a clan and a place. There's no real equivalent for it in English, but a close approximate would be "not." Not an elf. Not a member of a family, clan, of community. Using it as a last name is a defiant rejection of her father's people. Humans are extremely unlikely to realize this. Even humans who might speak a little Elvish wouldn't pick up the cultural nuances, because "Ti" is also a word for silence; specifically, the silence that happens when the jungle creatures get very quiet in the presence of a predator. A person who knew only a little Elvish would interpret her name as "Channa the Silent," and think that it was a reference to her taciturn nature or an ability to move quietly. Those who know a little more would think she chose the name for the badass connotations. But any elf would immediately recognize the significance of a half-elf taking this name. It's a emphatic rejection AND a extremely pointed one-fingered salute.

So the 'ti' is a little like the 'n' of n'tel'quessir in the Forgotten Realms?

Contributor

Charles Evans 25 wrote:
So the 'ti' is a little like the 'n' of n'tel'quessir in the Forgotten Realms?

Hmmm. Not really. In n'tel'quessir, the "n" simply negates what follows. "Ti" means "not," but in the sense of "an absense of (something)."

I spend far too much time thinking about stuff like this. :)


Once you start your own thread here, titled something like, E.C. teaches Elven, and in it your post count approaches Heathansson levels, then you will know you've spent too much time...but then it will be too late!


Elaine Cunningham wrote:
Charles Evans 25 wrote:
So the 'ti' is a little like the 'n' of n'tel'quessir in the Forgotten Realms?

Hmmm. Not really. In n'tel'quessir, the "n" simply negates what follows. "Ti" means "not," but in the sense of "an absense of (something)."

I spend far too much time thinking about stuff like this. :)

Is the 'n' of Forgotten Realms elven more absolute in intended sense than a simple 'not' would be, then?

I had always read tel'quessir/n'tel'quessir as being 'of the [elven] people/not of the [elven] people'.


Elaine Cunningham wrote:


I spend far too much time thinking about stuff like this. :)

Yeah, with the stuff you know about Ti, one would think you're Taldan :D

Contributor

Charles Evans 25 wrote:
I had always read tel'quessir/n'tel'quessir as being 'of the [elven] people/not of the [elven] people'.

Same here, more or less.

It always seemed unlikely to me that any Elvish word, phrase, or contruction would transliterate precisely to Common (or English, for that matter.) There are bound to be alternate meanings, puns, and culturally based idioms, just as in any other language.

Also keep in mind that there is no structure, grammar, syntax, or internal logic to the Forgotten Realms version of "Elvish." Unlike either Klingon (which was created by a linguist) or any of Tolkien's carefully constructed fantasy languages (ditto), FR Elvish is a patchwork quilt pieced together by game designers and authors, most of whom have little training in linguistics. I can assure you, being a principal offender in this regard, that the main criteria for newly created Elvish words is that they "sound like something an elf might say." In keeping with FR nomenclature, that usually involves a promiscuous use of vowels, usually in clusters. Or by using some spelling variation of a Welsh word, as in the name of Drizzt's panther.

Bottom line: In the absence of a overall structure, I would be hesitant to compare words and phrases in one Elven language to another and state they are precise translations. The only exception would be simple naming words--words for sun, kitten, daughter, potable drinking water, and so on.

That said, it seems to me that language is a vitally important part of building a fantasy character or culture. I would not presume to make sweeping statements about Golarion variations of Elvish, but when I'm thinking about an elf-blooded character and her relationship with her elven kin, it helps to envision telling bits of language.

For example, consider the German pronouns for "you" singular. There's "Sie" for formal usage and "du" for more familiar, intimate relationships. The progression from Sie to du is telling; the demotion from du to Sie, even more so. What language would be inclusive for an elf, and what would exclude? What would constitute a insult, subtle or otherwise? These things can be important to characterization.


Hoping that Pathfinder #19 will finally arrive at my FLGS by the end of next week, but as a further thought, is Channa-ti enough of a linguist to speak elven with any fluency?
If not, the possibility could be there that she has misheard or misunderstood an elven concept, and in particular what 'ti' might actually be to an elf, when choosing a name. :D

For example I sometimes see posts in English on messageboards by people I know do not have English as their first language; posts which, because the writer is more used to the rhythms of their native language, do not quite come across into English completely successfully. The sense I have of what they are trying to say is at odds with what has been literally said...

Contributor

Charles Evans 25 wrote:
Hoping that Pathfinder #19 will finally arrive at my FLGS by the end of next week, but as a further thought, is Channa-ti enough of a linguist to speak elven with any fluency?

It's her first language. She was raised among the elves of the Mwangi expanse.


Elaine Cunningham wrote:
Charles Evans 25 wrote:
Hoping that Pathfinder #19 will finally arrive at my FLGS by the end of next week, but as a further thought, is Channa-ti enough of a linguist to speak elven with any fluency?
It's her first language. She was raised among the elves of the Mwangi expanse.

:D

Will try to keep further posts here minimal until #19 arrives.


Charles Evans 25 wrote:


For example I sometimes see posts in English on messageboards by people I know do not have English as their first language; posts which, because the writer is more used to the rhythms of their native language, do not quite come across into English completely successfully. The sense I have of what they are trying to say is at odds with what has been literally said...

That's nothing. I get that with posts from people who do have English as their first language.

Contributor

I was pleased and surprised to find a black-and-white illustration of Ratsheek on the Paizo Blog today.

As I observed on my LiveJournal, the braids add an unexpected touch of femininity to the dog-woman's appearance. That, plus the bangs, reminded me of the beribboned topknots people put on Yorkshire Terriors. That cracked me up, but then it got me thinking.

Let's say you're a Yorkie. You have the heart of the wolf in a body that's half the size of a house cat. Everyone things you're cute and no one takes your sopranino yapping seriously. Then one morning you wake up as a six-foot humanoid with the power of speech, opposable thumbs and a variety of weapons to test-drive them on. Oh HELL yeah. There would be some serious settling of scores.


The illustration also made me think.

Any yappy froo-froo hound would make a terrible monster, given size.

Contributor

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Any yappy froo-froo hound would make a terrible monster, given size.

Even worse? Squirrels. They can climb vertical surfaces, jump over 10 times the length of their bodies, chew through wood and metal, and are clever enough to bypass most baffles and traps. A gnoll-sized squirrel would be cause to break out the assault rifles and flame throwers.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Elaine Cunningham wrote:
Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Any yappy froo-froo hound would make a terrible monster, given size.
Even worse? Squirrels. They can climb vertical surfaces, jump over 10 times the length of their bodies, chew through wood and metal, and are clever enough to bypass most baffles and traps. A gnoll-sized squirrel would be cause to break out the assault rifles and flame throwers.

That's it! Jacobs! Mona! Sutter! We need squirrel people in Golorian!


My squirrel story:

Spoiler:
I moved to Princeton, NJ some years ago from Texas. I was surprised to see the differently colored squirrels that lived in the area: red and black! The little fellas had lived in such close proximity to humans for so many years that, unlike Texas squirrels, they were relatively tame. I was taken with their exotic appearances and charmed by cute hands and faces and their cheeky forwardness. Often times on campus, they'd run right up to you and sit on your shoes. Living in an apartment near campus bordered by woods, I felt something like a druid, befriended by little woodland creatures. With a second story balcony, we started buying bird seed to draw certain species of birds, especially junkos, closer. We happily shared the birdseed with the squirrels. Fools. The squirrels started coming en masse. They forced a way into the roof, so that they could live near the food source. They made tons of noise scampering through the roof. In shame, I moved out of the apartment, never to befriend those greedy bastards again...


Mairkurion {tm} wrote:

My squirrel story:

** spoiler omitted **

I bet the next tenant was in for a surprise...


Elaine Cunningham wrote:


As I observed on my LiveJournal, the braids add an unexpected touch of femininity to the dog-woman's appearance. That, plus the bangs, reminded me of the beribboned topknots people put on Yorkshire Terriors. That cracked me up, but then it got me thinking.

Actually, it reminds me of little red riding hood. I think it's the combination of girly braids, hood, and (pseudo-)canine features.

I guess Ratty doesn't play by the rules and gets the girl first, to eat the granny later. "Child, what big... uh..."

I guess that hunter's in for quite a surprise this time around.

(Serves him right for all the cruelty he's subjecting the wolf to in various tales)


Yay! PF #19 due in my FLGS come Thursday...

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just read the first three chapters and I must say good story so far.

Now my question. I'm probably miles off the mark here but in the first journal entry it mentions one of the slaves being a gnome with green hair would that happen to be a relative of a certain Iconic? Like I said probably well of the mark here.

Contributor

Kevin Mack wrote:

Just read the first three chapters and I must say good story so far.

Now my question. I'm probably miles off the mark here but in the first journal entry it mentions one of the slaves being a gnome with green hair would that happen to be a relative of a certain Iconic? Like I said probably well of the mark here.

That wasn't my intention, but I suppose it's possible. :)


Kevin Mack wrote:


Now my question. I'm probably miles off the mark here but in the first journal entry it mentions one of the slaves being a gnome with green hair would that happen to be a relative of a certain Iconic? Like I said probably well of the mark here.

That's like asking if two people are related just because they're both called smith ;-P

Liberty's Edge Contributor

I just downloaded Pathfinder #21 and ravenously devoured episode 3 of "Dark Tapestry". FANTASTIC!

Since you're already participating in this thread, I hope you and the other folks here don't mind if go ahead and address my comments directly to you, Elaine.

I love your work in this Pathfinder Journal series!

Your characters are both cohesive and interesting, and your descriptions bring the setting to vivid life.

I wasn't sure if I was going to like Channa Ti as "the next Pathfinder" for this series, but you totally won me over in the first episode. Your take on druids almost makes me want to play one as a PC. As a GM, it definitely impacts the way I'll think about druids in the future.

After finishing this month's episode, I realized that, while I'm still interested in "what's next", I am enjoying each serial episode on its own, as well. In my opinion, that's a tough balance to manage and you're doing it very well.

Anyway, enough gushing. As someone who's recently begun trying to spread his "writer's wings", you've definitely inspired me with your tale. Please keep up the great work!

Contributor

Paris Crenshaw wrote:
Since you're already participating in this thread, I hope you and the other folks here don't mind if go ahead and address my comments directly to you, Elaine.

One of the great things about messageboard threads is that every participant can talk directly to every other participant. :) So sure, this works just fine.

Paris Crenshaw wrote:
After finishing this month's episode, I realized that, while I'm still interested in "what's next", I am enjoying each serial episode on its own, as well. In my opinion, that's a tough balance to manage and you're doing it very well.

Thanks! Glad you're enjoying the story. And you're right--finding a balance between a self-contained episode and an overall story arc was the most challenging aspect of writing "Dark Tapestry." In the planning stage, I expressed to the editor, James Sutter, my intention to treat the story like the first season of the Showtime series "Dexter," in that each episode would have a story and a resolution, but it would also be part of a whole. "Dexter," imo, nailed this particular aspect of storytelling and as such, is a pretty good model for serial fiction. And serial killers, for that matter.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Elaine Cunningham wrote:
In the planning stage, I expressed to the editor, James Sutter, my intention to treat the story like the first season of the Showtime series "Dexter," in that each episode would have a story and a resolution, but it would also be part of a whole. "Dexter," imo, nailed this particular aspect of storytelling and as such, is a pretty good model for serial fiction. And serial killers, for that matter.

I agree that this is an effective way to tell a serialized story, and the television shows I'm always most drawn to are those that manage to find the balance, though I lean more toward ones where the season-long (or series-long) arc is given preference in terms of pacing. It's a very different feel than we got with Eando Kline, in which the primary plot was the novella-long arc instead of each adventure, though they did all have their own resolutions. With Channa's story, it certainly feels more episodic than Eando's, and as a result, even halfway through the total story, I don't get the same sense of purpose as we had for Eando. I know that she's headed for the sunken lost city, but the different adventures along the way don't seem to be leading her toward that goal. I trust that everything will come together neatly in the end, but at present, each installation feels like its own short story with the same character rather than one-sixth of a larger whole. I'm really enjoying the stories so far and think Channa's a great, engaging character. I just don't know whether there's the right balance between episode and series plot arcs for my taste.


Here in the UK the recent 6 episode TV series 'Demons' was very episodic, with the first five seeming to have not much connection (apart from the same main characters) to one another, but when the last episode screened, it all came together and it made sense to me why they'd shown what they had in each of the earlier ones.

Contributor

yoda8myhead wrote:
I just don't know whether there's the right balance between episode and series plot arcs for my taste.

Fair enough.

One of the tricky things in serial fiction is balancing resolution with momentum. Too much resolution, not enough forward movement.

One thing that might create a better sense of forward movement would to have a small-arc resolution but then move in the direction of the next problem. I think a cliffhanger at the end of each episode might be a bit much, but perhaps a bit more uncertainty would be an improvement.

Contributor

Charles Evans 25 wrote:
Here in the UK the recent 6 episode TV series 'Demons' was very episodic, with the first five seeming to have not much connection (apart from the same main characters) to one another, but when the last episode screened, it all came together and it made sense to me why they'd shown what they had in each of the earlier ones.

Interesting. That's a difficult storytelling feat to pull off. I'll have to see if that's available in the US, maybe pick up some of the tricks and techniques. :)

Because here's the thing: Just recently I started comtemplating something of this nature. A fellow author/editor read through a short story with a folklore flavor and suggested that I expand it into a novel, with each chapter structured like a stand-along story until everything comes together. It's an intriguing notion.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Elaine Cunningham wrote:
Charles Evans 25 wrote:
Here in the UK the recent 6 episode TV series 'Demons' was very episodic, with the first five seeming to have not much connection (apart from the same main characters) to one another, but when the last episode screened, it all came together and it made sense to me why they'd shown what they had in each of the earlier ones.

Interesting. That's a difficult storytelling feat to pull off. I'll have to see if that's available in the US, maybe pick up some of the tricks and techniques. :)

Because here's the thing: Just recently I started comtemplating something of this nature. A fellow author/editor read through a short story with a folklore flavor and suggested that I expand it into a novel, with each chapter structured like a stand-along story until everything comes together. It's an intriguing notion.

Check out the listings for BBC America if you have it in your cable plan, I have seen ads for it I think... not sure if it was on a dr.who episode or with the BBC robing hood DVD season 2 box set.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Just wanted to say that I am really enjoying this journal. Nice work and I hope we get to see more from Elaine.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Just read part 3. I'm beginning to understand her code of honour, I think.

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