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08 January 2007 @ 09:30 am
Moving Forward II  
II. Turning Points

*Sherra discovers something about the elves that makes them a commodity (Power source/Magical Properties/Weapons)
--Again, what about their essence, or blood, or something or whatever being something of a natural neutralizer? It would definitely make them dangerous. The other real questions is, whatever it IS, how does Sherra find out about it? Does it have anything to do with her involvement with Lei and/or her perceived demise to him?
*Well, she could be actively searching for it if the elven cities have enough of a concentration of them to create a weak holy type barrier. Then it could be found out by accident. What would happen if one was injured and she touched the blood, or anything like that? What if their blood is different? (ex: Harry Potter and the unicorn with liquid silver blood that Voldie ate.) What if we make up a race of creatures that feeds on them for that specific purpose. Almost like the opposite of a vampire, it has to feed upon the holiness of their blood. I'd imagine that if they want to keep it a secret so badly then they rarely speak of it, even to one another.
What if the beast man knows about it? He/she could have been raised by the elves or something odd like that. Maybe there's a rather eccentric elf that we could add to the bunch that found him and he knows more of their secrets because of that? He could try to use that power against Sherra to show her for what she really is. Though that's a little morbid, and why would he hurt one of his own? Maybe he accidentally injures another elf trying to attack Sherra after Xelloss pins the suspicions on her, and then he tries to attack her when his claws are covered in elf blood? The list is fairly endless on ways they could find out accidentally or otherwise. It might be interesting for the seal to begin breaking when Sherra is attacked but not have it destroyed until the dragons ruin her? Maybe he never believes that she is undercover and the first attack on her in the elven land is what makes them go back to the human kingdom with her on tow? He could want to protect her as he's getting more and more disgusted with everything around him. Likewise, armed with this information, once they're back in human territory Xelloss could put his own plans into motion while Sherra milks Lei's unrest for all it's worth?
Just some possbilities.

--Maybe as a shift of power, the natural neutralizer the elves possess, when it's exploited weakens the elf race but strengthens the humans. It would explain why the elves had gone into hiding and interaction with them seemed somewhat taboo. Especially considering if it wasn't just mazoku the power affected.
*I'm not sure on this one. If their use was so absolutely widespread then they would have been completely exterminated once their use was known. I don't think they would be use to the dragons, but maybe their blood can be used in conjunction with the human's newly learned forging techniques from the dwarves to make holy swords? That would be rather useful against just about anything. I think holy magic can damage ryuzoku pretty good, though not as well as it would work against a lesser demon or mazoku.
Considering that Xelloss could probably withstand a light blow from a Ragna Blade, he might be too powerful on normal terms for anything like that to actually kill him, though it could be fun to torture him with it. I think all his hate is gonna go on the dragons though.

*Humans are slowly gaining power, Xelloss somehow influencing the assimilation of technologies?
--I'm starting to back off the technology idea and focus more on the magical element because all of our plot points are leading here. The creation of the claire bible, the expansion of knowledge pertaining to all forms of magic and the power that the elves possess. Especially how much later Xelloss seemed to know about the workings of magic despite not using it in the sense that the races do. I might just scrap the technology thing at this point in the story.
*It should probably also be noted at this point that by the end of the war, the human kingdoms have lost much of their power to their own wars and their governments are falling apart. This is what paves the way for Seiyruun in the end, as that country was not around at the time. It might be fun to tie that in somehow, given that Seiyruun is built to be a giant magic circle to create a white magic barrier. Maybe it was modified by those who used to know holy magic before the end? Maybe we could put the ancestor of Seiyruun's founder in this story? Might not be bad to add an 'honorable' character or two. We seem to be running short. XD
And yes. If we ever write any stories outside of the demon barrier, then technology would make more sense. Inside the barrier stayed behind on technology because of the ability and dependancy on magic. That's why Jiras had bombs instead of fireballs. We don't have to worry about it yet, but we'll have to decide eventually where this story is going to end. It might make sense to end it officially at the end of the actual war itself, then have an immediate spin-off sequel dealing with the reconstruction of Sherra and the dangers of the Claire Bible? Otherwise the story would be too long and rambling. So far, I think most of these ideas tie in well with cannon, though we're walking thin lines on some of it to keep it cannon to anime and books.

*Humans acquire knowledge about the 'elvish commodity', due to Sherra?
--Xelloss empathizing with humans has always been an angle I want to work with. But if Sherra really did involve herself with Lei, would it disgust her? And would Xelloss get somewhat less attached to humans if he was in fact jealous of Lei? I still wonder whose hands the blood of the elves mostly rests on here.
*I think that Sherra is going to be uncomfortable with her role no matter what. Luckily by this point, Lei is going to be on the verge of going nutzoid, so hopefully he won't notice any of her slip-ups. Now, in terms of personality, Sherra's pride seems very self contained and both all encompasing and slightly uncertain. Kanzaka apparently says somewhere that Dynast is the least cunning and intelligent of the Mazoku sub-lords. This will probably carry over somewhat onto Sherra, though she might learn more from Xelloss. I think this would indeed lead to her being fairly disgusted with the other races, as she later sees changing humans into lower demons as doing them a favor. Still, Lei is suspected to have a piece of Shabranigido inside of him, so even if she doesn't LIKE getting along with humans, she will follow the orders and plans that were given and won't risk defeat. She is going to have to depend on Xelloss, I would imagine, since she's probably better suited to strategy and direct battles. We could incorporate some theme along those lines. Sort of like the whole thinking of dancing as a different sort of fighting analogy.
Though I would think Xelloss to be defensive as well as posessive of things, he would hide his jealousy. If we want to delve off the purely mazoku thought process for a moment, we could speculate that Xelloss isn't really one to hold grudges. His depth of observation is extremely keen and both he and his master can objectively look at things in how they could change in the future. I think given this, even if he was jealous of Lei in a comical sense, he wouldn't hold it against him. He has probably seen some of the power of the human spirit already, even in the face of hopelessness and recognizes it as something that could be dangerous later. He would still see humans as lower, however, and would probably respect it in the same way that an adult might be impressed by the accomplishments of a small child. In that case, the one he would be angry with- if he was going to take his jealousy out on anyone- would be Sherra. Since she is the one who is more his equal, that would automatically make it her fault. 'Who's advanced? WHO'S ADVANCED!' XD It could be amusing for him to try and direct jealousy, he would probably be horrible at it.
As for the elves, I think they're going to get it from all sides in the end, which would explain their retreat from all the world in general instead of retreating to an ally. They stayed away from the dwarves, humans AND dragons, so I'd say that they just get kicked around too much to put up with.

*Experiments kept secret, but rumors raise elf fears. Panic slowly setting in.
--This is the point where I need a turning plot. There's gotta be some big event that breaks out with Lei before the lead attack upon the water dragon king. This is going to take some more serious thought. Assuming I'm working with the idea of Sherra being involved with Lei, and leaking info about elves to the humans through Xelloss or whatever, her being found out at this point could cause some cataclysmic events. As just a very unfleshed idea, here's what I'm thinking: Perhaps the aforementioned distrustful beast man is doing some investigating into Sherra and Lei's relationship and unwittingly comes across the mazoku plot hidden beneath. Xelloss in a spur of the moment act of tact (or perhaps this whole thing is staged?), removes his suspicion from the picture by pointing the finger at Sherra as some kind of traitor and fueling some rage. Beast man leads an on the moment attempt on her life wherein he uses the elven power that supposedly is secret (perhaps involving a hapless bystander as "fuel") and damages Sherra for real, but Lei walks in and assumes she's just been assassinated and wipes out beast guy before he can reveal the truth. Tensions would rise immediately between humans and elves in this manner as some sort of political assassination plot, especially if Sherra were seen as some kind of ornamental figurehead, and give Lei more incentive to use elves as war tools. His sanity at this point becomes unrolled, perhaps this is not the first he's lost to this conflict? Xelloss at this point might reveal to phib's minions about the nature of the elven power which begins the assault on the dragons to tear alliance between those two apart. At this point, Sherra would be somewhat in the background to recover, she might not reappear until closer to the final battle so that Lei doesn't figure it out. Grau/Grou's role here might reach it's peak before he gets wiped out. This is as far as I can think for the skeleton of this idea, but it's something to work with.
*I think that this entire plot string would lengthen out some in order to place people and events where they belong. If we want to put it in some sort of chronological order and add more info to try and make it make a little more sense, let's see if it works like this? As you said, the beast man (unknown relation to the elves?)does become distrustful, Xelloss points political fingers at Sherra as a traitor to redirect the pressure, perhaps even point towards her entire 'sect' for treason (I would imagine that an elvish figurehead would have quite a few direct followers). He attacks out of frustration, perhaps even through and obsession to prove himself trustworthy to the elves. The attack backfires because of Lei's misconceptions, but the scandal reaches a peak for Sherra and Lei decides to take her back to the human capital as an emissary? Perhaps even because she would be injured right now and wouldn't be able to retreat to heal without blowing her cover? She could fake a sickness or poison to explain the lack of blood injuriry, maybe even siting some poison that reverses the effects of white magic (Xelloss explaination?) which is why they can't heal her there in the elvish city? Maybe then he decides to take her to the human kingdom for 'alternate treatment' though once outside of the holy influence of the elves (though some might still be with her), she begins to regenerate more easily anyway? I think the turning point in this should be the introduction of the dragons. Perhaps Xelloss got word to the king directly after finding out about the elvish properties. He might disappear for a while after his accusations and after the attempted asassination for a while, further fueling the anger by Lei or other humans there thinking that they had Xelloss 'silenced'? Sherra might even be able to play this up to breed distrust among them. That way, when Xelloss rejoins them on their travel, the human king could already have set research into the experimentation of elves in motion in the desperation of a war that they're beginning to lose to the hordes of lesser demons. I think this is right around when dragons should show up- before Xelloss and Sherra arrive there, making it seem to the elves that the dragons condoned the actions the humans were taking against them and that the dwarves were helping if, indeed, holy weapons were created from the holy properties of their blood. The humans could even give some of those weapons to the dragons as a treaty present for their help in the war to come, which would further convict the unknowing ryuzoku in the eyes of the elves.
I'd say that the elves withdrawl then, their numbers disappearing quickly to the exploitation for the war efforts. At some point, the dragons should come in contact with Sherra, recognizing her as a mazoku and ruining her (perhaps in her still weakened state?) and thereby sending Lei over the edge. Then either Xelloss would take Lei/Shabranigido to Gaav or Gaav can sense and collect him (since he isn't needed for the barrier) for the upcoming last battle. I'd say that before this, during the trip to the human kingdom is when Xelloss would have more freedom to leave at night and report/discuss things with Gaav or the other priests and generals (ie. Filbrizo's subordinates and such). But the destruction of Sherra should happen right around then. Maybe the holy blood of the elves works like a poison inside of a mazoku's body? The alien object anchoring the physical body while slowly dissolving the astral body? That would make it more likely for the Golden Dragons to be able to destroy her, if she's already weakened.

III. Relating

* Lei Magnus still relatively normal human. Distrusts (other and own races). Trusts in Xelloss?
--I'm still not sure on my stance with him, maybe he doesn't get directly involved with it until later. Having his "lover" killed off certainly might make him more violent. Obviously the piece of Shabby in him might have a lot to do with his dissolving pacifism. This in itself might increase his magical capacity and lead the way to him creating dragon slave and blast bomb.
*Hrm. A lot of the timelines I'm working with don't really work with trying to make him more violent to create the spells. Maybe when he was younger, he experimented with them? The destruction of the arc dragon was most likely defensive. He could justify that with helping to protect. Perhaps it is, however, his experimenting with these spells and seeing the destruction that they cause that make him against war as he gets older, especially magic used in times of war?

*Does Xelloss speak half-truths that win the cynical heart of Lei into trusting him?
--I think in some small way, Xelloss would actually become friends with Lei in similar to the manner he did with Lina. Respectful, but not above manipulating. Certainly with a healthier fear of him though, as he does contain Shabby. It might become a bit sour if Lei gets involved with Sherra though, it certainly would make for a conflict of interest in Xelloss if he's supposed to being furthering Lei.
*I don't think that it would go sour for Xelloss. As I mentioned, if he was going to be angry with anyone, he would probably direct that towards Sherra, not Lei. And we might want to make Lei a rather tragically good character who slowly gets driven mad, that way it would be much more dramatic. He could be strong of will as well as action which would garner Xelloss' respect for him, especially with Lei obviously being very intelligent. When you break it down like that, Lei sounds like a more tragic version of Lina, though I'm sure that the personalities aren't even close.

*Lei's magical research (knowingly/unknowingly) involves the use of elves?
--Perhaps even the leader and/or king (at least one of) the humans? Lei sure would be pissed to know he was serving an asshole.
*This does sound plausable, especially given my suggestion that Lei be specifically against the use of magic for war between humans. Perhaps the king orders what is done, I'm not sure what I think about a sorcerer King at this point in the game.

*What is Lei's factional standpoint? Why does he create so many powerful attack spells? Why does he hate war?
--So would Lei actually leave the humans or stay under them? It would be really odd if he was slowly assimilated into the mazoku group with or without knowing who they were and whether or not he was being manipulated, I need to figure out his motivation at this point.
*I think that he would stay on his course until the true breaking of the seal within him begins. I think at that point, the mazoku would take him, making sure that it breaks entirely. Shabranigido stays in the form of Lei when he commands the final battle, and I think that the barrier should be at completion right before or right after Lei is taken as the seal is breaking. If the dragons saw what was happening as they killed Sherra, then that would explain the full frontal attack that they tried to perform. It would also explain why Xelloss was sent to face them as Shabranigido prepared himself/recovered/or was freed fully within Lei Magnus. This timeline would also put Sherra's destruction very close to those events, making the parallel between that and Xelloss' ruthless and ultimate destructions of the ryuzoku army. By the time he went back, I believe that Shabranigido would be in full control, though perhaps still influenced/aware of Lei in that he rewarded Xelloss for his actions.

IV. Mazoku Half-Time

*Do the ma'ou other than Filbrizo have a role here?
--The Gaav/Phibrizzo angle is a good one to touch with here. Gaav really really hates Phibrizzo in next beyond what he stands for as a mazoku. There could be room in here for some explanations why. Is Phibrizzo a particularly abusive commander? He's very good at scheming but what about his people skills? XD Maybe even his own minions hate his guts. He may just be treating Gaav like cannon fodder.
*I accept this theory fully, given the amount of contempt that he did show towards Filbrizo. I'm not sure about abusive, but I definitely can see Filbrizo being an ass. Xelloss hated working for him to the point of watching him get destroyed. I think that Filbrizo's ego could be the largest of all of the mazoku, and he is definitely sadistic, probably enjoying the fact that he is the strongest outside of the ma'ou. On that note, it could be interesting to address some of the effects being trapped into a human body IMMEDIATELY have for Gaav. If we're dealing with the Claire Bible or the reconstruction of Sherra, why not? Xelloss had absolutely not respect for Gaav, despite his power. Was that simply because Gaav was a traitor? Xelloss is rather notorious for bending rules to get his way, so it makes me wonder if something else happened that made Gaav lose face.