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Posts Tagged ‘Alden Loveshade’

For those who are more hands-on, Alden Loveshade joins us with his character Lemissa, from GURPS Fantasy Folk: Elves. This is a role-playing supplement for the GURPS system (Fourth Edition). The book is currently in pre-release, so the cover presented here is from a previous GURPS book.

Lemissa felt flustered. She absentmindedly finger-twirled her long red hair in circles, wondering where on Earth — or whatever world — was her cousin?

“Okay, I can do this by myself, sure,” she thought. “I survived that killer whale fiasco, made that elf lord laugh when I tripped on his cloud, and danced at that ball where nobody but me knew that human noble was really a dragon. I can do this.” She smoothed her red, short flounce-skirted dress, and curtseyed in front of the throne.


Character Questions

Who is your closest friend? A bigger question, Queenie — I mean your Majesty, sorry! — is where is my closest friend? Cousin Leyim is the one who usually makes these reports to the Cabal. She’s our by-the-book half; I mostly wing it. I’m the fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants half.

Are there intelligent races other than yours, and do they get along? Intelligent races? Oh, you mean of the elves, the real ones. These aren’t my real ears, of course, but we had to blend in. So we got our ears temporarily sharpened.

Let’s see. You’ve got your Standard Elves, but we found three different types of them, so I guess that’s not very standard! Oh, and there’s Wood Elves besides that. They’re all foresty.

Then there’s two different types of Dark Elves, although Leyim thinks they aren’t different races than Standard Elves, just different cultures. I don’t know; they seem very different to me! In any case, they don’t like non-elves.

Mountain Elves usually live on mountains and hills, of course, and Deep Elves like living under the mountains in caves, just like Dwarves. There’s two different kinds of Sea Elves you can also find in caves–if those caves are underwater! But they mostly live in underwater communities. They can bob on the surface, so watch out for their sea bows!

Oh, and High Elves? They aren’t high in the sense of mountains, but kind of high-and-mighty acting. They’re usually not the merry type; they’re more serious and mysterious. If you ask me, though, Shadow Elves are even more mysterious; even many other elves aren’t too comfortable around them.

Oh, if you want to get really high, there’s Sky Elves who live in clouds! And there’s Winged Elves who can fly up and visit them! And elves of several types are even higher, and live in space!

Of course where elves and other races meet you can get Half-Elves! There’s more than one type of human-elf cross, but I can’t even begin to tell you how many possible varieties there are. You can even have crosses of different types of elves, but I haven’t met any of them–yet!

Author Questions

Fantasy has many genres. How did you choose yours? In this case, I didn’t have to choose! GURPS Fantasy Folk: Elves is a roleplaying resource book that can be used in any fantasy genre–or in horror, science fiction, wild west, steampunk, etc. While the elven racial templates and some of the elven items are written in GURPS roleplaying game terms, much of the book can be used for any roleplaying game that includes elves. It deals with elves in literature and, according to some believers, real life. It describes elven cultures, languages, arts and sciences, weapons, garden agriculture, and descriptions of all the races of elves Lemissa named.

How do you know that your story is ready for submission/publication? As GURPS Fantasy Folk: Elves is being written under contract, I’ll know when the editor tells me so! I first made a query with Steve Jackson Games. When that was accepted, I made a proposal, then an outline, then a first draft, then a second draft which is undergoing playtest/peer review. That leads to my making changes and improvements based on editor and reader suggestions for the final draft. Then publication!

It’s rare that an author gets that much valuable input. I certainly made some mistakes along the way, primarily with formatting. Fortunately, SJ Games has very patient and helpful people. Steve Jackson Games has wanted this book for a long time. I have too. I just didn’t know I’d have the honor of being the one to write it!


GURPS Fantasy Folk: Elves

Watch for the official release here.

About Alden Loveshade

Alden is a self-proclaimed “keybard.” He wrote his first professionally published piece when he was 16; it mentions the world’s most famous elf. A professional journalist, columnist, reviewer, playwright, and fiction author, in his spare time he practices elven garden agriculture. While not working, he earned a couple of college degrees and received an honorary one he didn’t earn. A lord of Sealand, he denies any rumors he got his title through leading a sea elf revolt. http://alden.loveshade.org



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Fyrnux was used to maintaining self-control — but not in front of royalty. No teacher had taught how to properly enter the court of a queen. That was something for the people of the Malvin-Jullian Empire, not the Simmerian-Phi Alliance. Fyrnux hadn’t even known what to wear, but decided on a student uniform. The third-year student wore grey regulation pants and jacket, the latter with three silver pips on the left shoulder and underneath a brown and green plaid blouse. The grey-skinned Fyrnux had long straight black hair flowing freely overall, as was proper. Fyrnux had thought about marching in, but remembered this was not to be military formal, so tried walking in normally–but respectfully. “Be yourself,” Fyrnux thought, nervously.


Character Questions

Is there something you are willing to die for?

Oh my goodness, your Majesty, I really do not want to die, not yet! I am still a young student, studying to become a counselor.

I want to help people, like my new friend Oystra, who is starting as an exchange student on my world, Vonyai. Oystra is from Gepra, and is what is called a “female.” They have people there called “males,” too. I do not know how they are different, but want to live to learn! And I cannot counsel people if I am dead!

Which is more powerful – a wish or a curse?

Your Majesty, I believe a wish is for something you want that is good, a curse is for something bad. So I believe the more powerful would be a wish.

Tell us about the main religion or spirituality of your society.

Many generations ago, people on my world, Vonyai, were different, your Majesty. They had different skin colors and different genders, two, I think. Of course they did not get along with each other. After the Great Race War, people were all made the same so we could live in peace. We all have grey skin and black hair, and are all genderless. And people reproduce properly now, not like beasts do. Oh, I did not mean that as an offense to Oystra’s people!

We do have different eye colors, Yellow and Indigo, so of course we are raised separately. But both colors are allowed at my university so we can learn about each other. My world treats people fairly, so Yellows and Indigos live separate, but equal.

Author Questions

Who would be your ideal reader?

Would it be too obvious to say someone who likes what I write? That said, I like to challenge people’s thinking, and strive to challenge my own.

Most of my professional writing has been journalism in the much too rare “tell the truth and nothing but the truth” tradition. In fiction, I go back to my roots, which are tangled and interlocking. While I’m classified as a non-Hispanic Caucasian male, my three closest friends before I started school were all girls. As a boy, I learned Native American dancing on an Indian reservation and performed locally. I ran a computer lab at a school that was 80% Hispanic, tutored international students, and have a minor from my university’s Ethnic and Women’s Studies Department. So my ideal reader is one who is willing to seriously consider other points of view.

How much do you plan ahead of time, vs. following the story where it leads?

I don’t always construct a story or play in the same way. Most of the time, I create interesting characters, put them in an interesting situation in our or another world, then “record what they say and do.” My main characters are very real to me, so I know them well. I’ve even taken online personality tests as my characters to get to know them better. But even then, sometimes they do things I didn’t expect–which are almost always more interesting than what I planned.

Do you have any writing superstitions?

If I believe in them, I won’t think they’re superstitions!

Seriously, I have had the reverse, superstitions about my writing. This is probably primarily due to three things. One, I treat my characters as if they’re real people; two, I’ve written under several pen names; and three, I’ve shared pen names with others.

As a result, there are those who are convinced that a number of real people are all me. Ironically, the accused have included at least two people who were making the allegations! I supposedly have dozens of “sockpuppets.” They admin dozens of wikis and other websites, composed dozens of poems, edited dozens of magazine issues, authored dozens of books, etc. I wish I could do all that, especially when during much of the “sockpuppet” period I was working fulltime offline.

The thing that bothers me the most about it is that innocent people have been targeted in “The Loveshade Sockpuppet Conspiracy.” Fortunately, none of my friends have blamed me for the false accusations. But I still feel really bad about it. My hope is the conspiracy theorists are finally getting bored with their “theory,” and will move on to something that’s less destructive.


Exchange Students

Alden Loveshade is the author of “Orange Sun, Grey Sky,” in the anthology Exchange Students, edited by Sheila Hartney.

Study abroad! See new places! Meet new people! In our exchange student program, you can literally study anywhere or anywhen you can imagine. We’ll send you to new planets. We’ll send you to new dimensions and realms of existence. We’ll send you through time itself! Read this exciting anthology packed with twenty-two tales of science fictional and fantastic exchange students.

The Author

Alden Loveshade is a journalist, graphic designer, photographer, fiction writer, and personist. He’s enjoyed tutoring–and learning from–students of India, Mexico, Russia, Thailand, and the United States. He has degrees in humanities and theatre and a minor in ethnic and women’s studies, and has studied a wide variety of subjects including astronomy, biology, physics, psychology, and sociology. When not designing star systems for stories and GURPS roleplaying games, he enjoys historical recreation, walking in the woods, tending ponds, and trying to understand cats. http://alden.loveshade.org

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