Final Chapter of Monstrous Compendium up on AO3

The 13th and last chapter of Monstrous Compendium Online, “Advice From an Old Wizard”, is up on Archive of Our Own.


Now going to work on some new stuff – Track of the Apocalypse – and that way hopefully build up the bunnies again to finish some other unfinished stuff eventually!

30 thoughts on “Final Chapter of Monstrous Compendium up on AO3

  1. Yay! Was awesome.

    By the by, I know you said in the author notes of Embers that it is, in fact, sharing a universe with Stargate. In light of that, and that spirits have shown to have effects on the body, do Water Tribe and Fire Clan have more active oxytocin? Elevated oxytocin levels would help account for increased tribal, and taken to extreme could be a trigger for the sociopaths and psychopaths that turn up in them. And yes, part of this was speculation because the SGC isn’t going to accept the reality of the spirits until they trip over it, twice. At least.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually, the tribalism in the Avatar universe is pretty mild, compared to real world tribalism.

        For good or for evil, even the most clannish people in the U.S. are not terribly clannish, compared to the tribal and clan-heavy places of the world, or historic human norms.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. So, so true. I really wish schools taught less historical events and more what people were actually like, even a hundred years or so ago. Failing that, I wish more people would watch old shows like “Wagon Train”, written when the show writers could actually talk to at least the sons of people who’d dealt with Indian tribes interacting with Western settlers.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks.

    Looked it over last night. Briefly, and the reread was in bits and pieces. I liked it, thought it resolved things very well, and am satisfied. I fully trust that Kirito, Asuna, et al. will finish the job.

    I look forward to hearing more about Track.

    I have a lot of other stuff to organize in my life, and am bad at organization, but I still intend to finish the project I’ve been nattering about since December. I’ve some hope it would have a positive effect on your SAO bunnies, but keeping the delusions trimmed back seems to be important in whether my projects are successful or fail unfinished. This would be the biggest creative writing I’ve ever finished, and the smaller ‘completions’ show that I easily forget critical elements. That is what practice and completing projects successfully is /for/. Thank y’all for the sounding board.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The SAO bunnies just need a rest for a while or they won’t write as well. I have a piece on worldbuilding for fanfic, and Track in specific, going up tomorrow. 🙂

      ATM I may be indulging in action movie theatrics and flinging characters off of high places.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds exactly like what I did tonight – watching Assassin’s Creed.

        And a huge “Yay!” from me for starting to give us Track, which I’ve been looking forward to since you finished Sweeten. Had to practically sit on my hands occationally to not be one of those bothersome people who are begging for updates – my patience finally pays off. 😄

        Liked by 2 people

      2. *Snrk* From what I’ve read about Assassin’s Creed, the characters only wish they had some of those skills….

        I had to clear a lot of things first before Track, including finishing MCO to have one less thing on my plate. But it’s currently going well, have about 20 pages of the second chapter written and a sketch for the first one.

        …Yes, I’m writing the second chapter first. Because the first will have a bunch of foreshadowing, and it honestly seemed easier to write the action in the second chapter first, then note what needed to be foreshadowed and write those bits into the first chapter so I wouldn’t have to worry about going back and editing large sections if the action went crazy.

        *Bemused* Also the bunnies really really wanted to write the section that should hopefully have readers biting their nails and yelling at the characters to “Don’t go in there!” And who am I to argue with the plotbunnies when they get fired up and have energy to write?

        (Writing a bit of Creeping Horror may have been a personal challenge. Hee.)

        Liked by 1 person

      1. No, not really.

        Plan is:
        1. Reread Swain, and put together notes for this reread.
        2. Use those notes to structure my final decision making on plotting.
        3. Produce outline.
        4. Produce draft from outline.
        5. Create AO3 account.
        6. I probably should edit before posting?

        First three steps are about as far out as I feel comfortable planning right not. Creative writing for me is not a process that would not fit well with feedback as each chapter is written. I also find communication challenging enough that I probably have to work on this more or less solitary, at least through the first draft.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. As much fatalism as ambition.

        The idea process and the enthusiasm aren’t much under my control. So the experiments suggesting I can’t work without an outline are only suggestive, not truly conclusive. Next project is not a smart one to do this process experiment on, but I have the choice of either going forward with things I can be pretty sure will fall short of my expectations, or spinning my wheels. I’m tired of spinning my wheels.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, that was a masterfully executed cliffhanger. Wheter that is a good or a bad thing I can’t decide. Though I must say, I enjoyed the whole story greatly, and the last chapter was no exception. So I thank you for the joy you have given me by writing this story. Now then, regarding the chapter itself. I have no doubts that there are many problems that need solving back in Japan. Though the representative of the taskforce they sent with the volunteers seems like a good choice, at least. I doubt that she’ll try to manipulate the players in some form, though you never know I suppose. Well, until proven otherwise I’ll just assume that she is genuinely interested in helping all of them.

    And with the knowledge they bring from their own world, their own… ingenuity (read craziness) I have no doubt they will change a great deal of things in Aincrad soon enough. I like the plan that they hatched to ensure peace. Afterall people are less likely to shoot at one another if they are busy trading with one another. Given what they bring with them they’ll have a monopoly in a great deal of things. Which of course makes them even more likely to succeed in their endeavour, you can hardly murder your only supplier of important wares after all.

    Of course it will still take time for there to be true peace. In 40k citizens of the Imperium are essentialy indoctrinated to hate xenos of any kind. I wouldn’t be surprised if the five nations did something similiar to their own people in regards to youkai. That said, Klein’s plan to feed the keeper of the flame cookies sounds like a brilliant strategy. I’d probably fall for it myself. I shall look forward to the sequel however distant it might be. So thank you once again for writing this story, it added some brightness to many dark days.

    In the near future I shall look forward to your new project, although I have no idea what “Track of the Apocalypse” is about. All will be revealed in time, I suppose (as I still havent figured out how to look into the future yet).

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Woo-hoo! More of the train-folk being awesome ahoy!

        Also, be very interesting to see how much better Mumei and Ikoma are at fighting kabaneri now that they’ll be at peak of health rather than half-wasted.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Track starts a few days after Sweeten ends, so they’re not quite up to full fighting trim yet. Better, though. Fortunately. Because they’re heading into Keishi.

        …Think the equivalent of Kyoto, only as a city taken by Kabane.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I see, thank you very much. I shall have to check that out. It has been some time since I watched Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress but I think I recall the important parts at least. Might have to rewatch it.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. And so it comes to pass at last. But is this the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

    /The university student turned her drink around in her hands. “I’ve spent the past year trying to catch up on… well, everything. Politics. Tactics. Strategy. Everything a noble leader should know. Trying to learn it myself, trying to find people who can learn the things I’m no good at, trying to make sure the other faction leaders are doing the same….” She gulped down amber liquid. “I’m scared to death.”/
    Looks like Sakuya/Sayuri is coming along for the ride to help ride herd on this insanity. Cue light-hearted grumbling from the Medusa sisters. After all, they had to learn on the job after being ‘volunteered’ for the leadership position and this newcomer gets to have advance warning.
    /“If you weren’t scared, I wouldn’t want to follow you. And I know I do.” Asuna leaned back, smiling. “After all… you made sure we’re going to have chocolate.”/
    Greenhouses for the cacao trees but you’re going to need a lot more than just that to make modern chocolate Not the least of which is a large supply of high-grade sugar…..

    Wait a minute (double checks). The Prestigitation cantrip can ‘sweeten’ food and said effect is apparently not temporary. Probably wouldn’t work as a sugar substitute but who knows.

    /“Klein said a lot worse than that about Beniryuu. And Kirito thought it.”/
    That’s a new twist. How do you successfully watch your language when the kid can literally read your mind to ‘hear’ the curses you’re choking back?

    /“I told you it would work!”/
    Insert Girl Genius-style maniacal laughter and gloating here.
    “They called me mad! They called me insane!”
    “You are. Pulling off the impossible doesn’t change the fact that you’re mad as a hatter.”

    /And there’s Lady Sakuya, and Lord Mortimer, and General Eugene, the other faction leaders ought to be here real quick/
    Dang they’re bringing the whole enchilada to this party.

    /Because it was outrageous and world-breaking and made so much sense./
    Kirigayas in a nutshell.

    /There’s only so much willow bark and hot water bottles can do./
    While I’m not 100% up to speed on drug manufacturing, I’m pretty sure producing said pharmaceutical (much less in bulk) requires some pretty hefty/advanced chemical infrastructure. Just how many shipping crates did they bring?

    /The time it takes ‘em to scrape their jaws off the floor ought to get them to back off for a while./
    And deal with the ensuing strokes and heart attacks Klein’s appearance will cause.

    /A little girl who’s probably never had cookies, or chocolate, or even a snowball fight. That’s just not right./
    Klein, never change.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I was frequently refreshing the AO3 page to catch the chapter drop as soon as possible. Nice finish to the story.

    I’d say this was the Beginning of the End of the Beginning. 🙂

    My guess would be that sending Fuurinkazan + Kirito-tachi to deal with the Undead incursions would be the best way for them to acclimate to Real Aincrad, put their particular skills and magic to use, plus minimize the number or likelihood of facing humans or sentient beings in combat. Keep the stress of “PVP” low at first.

    Considering the breadth and depth of magical applications, and creatures with Elemental powers, going for black/smokeless powder firearms and artillery would seem contraindicated. Too easy for the enemy to use fire or water based effects to disrupt that capability, not too mention the effort required to create the industry for it. Not too mention, the antagonist factions would likely be able reverse engineer that level of technology relatively easily, and have a greater industrial base to implement equivalents.

    Better to focus on improving the quality and quantity of weapons and gear the Youkai are already using, with Earth technology, concepts, and methodology, so as to secure the borders and make more military adventures unpalatable.

    The overall strategic goal I guess is to implement a mass education campaign for Aincrad, in order to get as many minds as possible working on the wealth of knowledge and ideas brought from Earth, and figuring out how best to adapt and implement the concepts. Environmental considerations would seem to be a concern from the very beginning, with nature and nature-spirits so important to the setting.

    Being fond of aircraft, I can’t help but wonder what Earth/Eberron tech aircraft might look like. Finding the balance between pure powered heavier than air (or lighter-than) flight, and use of lift wood and other magical means.

    Of course, that means the shadow wars/special ops will pick up intensity instead, targeting the newcomers and new facilities the most, no doubt. Perhaps knowledge of network security, and various physical security measure technologies from Earth can be adapted using magic means to protect people, facilities, and homes. “Invisible Fencing” can be implemented with millimeter wave radar, for instance, if it can be emulated in Aincrad.

    Earthside, Japan has a monopoly so far on all things Extra-planar (aside from what spies and surveillance have garnered), so lots of opportunities. Lots of risks as well. Japan, and whatever site was used by Kayaba and now the Task Force, is likely to be the first stop of any other Planar incursion, from residual effects, and/or any beacons being used. Hostile incursions could be Very Bad, depending on what’s coming through. Psychic enemies, Demons, etc., are likely to break out of any containment, if they don’t just manage to target minds directly.

    Intelligent hostiles/antagonists like other Dragons, would probably try to target outside of Japan, meaning even less chance of containment If something goes Horribly Wrong.

    I’m someone who tends to be positive, and want things to have relatively good outcomes in fictional scenarios, but I can’t help but think that Earthside of the MCO-verse would experience at least one City-killing/Regional Devastation event in the next decade or so, because the potential for disaster caused by hubris or fell/fanatical intent seems all too likely…

    Thanks for the story, enjoyed it greatly.

    Looking forward to more Kabane, and more SAO (MCO, WtAS) whenever time and bunnies allow.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You mean they’re still alive but asleep? Are they aware and unable to take back control or in essence braindead? Either way sounds awful.

        I was going to say “bad handbag” or similar but really don’t believe they should do that to our least favorite red dragon – any items he becomes is too likely to be cursed.


  6. I think it can be assumed they died without berserking, since as Kirito noticed SAO victims didn’t have guards at their beds, so no fear of suddenly rampaging ‘coma’ victims.

    though perhaps their bodies did show more changes than those that woke up, or died without having been turned, since the doctor Midori spoke too about Kirito’s Chimera feathers did give hints that patients did show noticeable physical changes, though all we know about are thick fingernails and Kirito’s feathers.

    Liked by 1 person

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