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Notes - Little Lark

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First, a bit of housekeeping on ages/names:

Wallace is around 23 in this fic. Madelyn's 20. The other key players are also in their (indeterminate) 20s. As for my naming scheme, y'all know I hate naming OCs and such, but I kept with a vaguely Roman-Britain/Celtish theme. Any other names that show up are from the game.

Cordelia -- a reference to Shakespeare's King Lear. (Kent and Cordelia, a duke and Lear's daughter respectively, are the only characters who remain loyal to Lear to the bitter end, even after Lear banishes them. Our Kent's mom has always been named Cordelia in my head for this reason. lol.)

Adrian -- a reference to Hadrian's Wall. Also, alliteration ftw!

Brandon -- pulled out of my ass. Well, somehow my brain jumped from William Wallace to Bran the Blessed, but this one's not so much an active ref. He just felt like a Bran, and it fit in my naming scheme.

I also switched back to the "Djute" spelling over "Jute", which I have preferred in the past. I still prefer "Jute" for various reasons, but not to the extent that I really care which one is used, so I figure I might as well just go with the fan translation on this one.

And now, three main things to point out about this fic:

1. People tend to have a very limited view of medieval women and their place in life; I was trying sort of to respond to that while not completely disregarding the limitations that *did* exist for them, and the general mindset of society. (The society that these women were born and raised in, and thus shared in the ideals of.)

That being said, I'm well aware that there are "anachronisms" regardless. Chalk it down to FE being not our world but a fantasy world -- with magic, and with at least two highly respected historical women, one of whom founded what is probably the major religion on the continent -- which does or *should* change the dynamics somewhat. Also, I'm admittedly lazy, so some of details I just threw in if I could make it sound more or less plausible. (potatoes -- which was mostly a nod to hooves EPIC depiction of Wallace XD, patronage of the arts, etc.) I mean, again, I have Lycia, especially eastern Lycia down mostly as early medieval, Roman-Britain-ish era, but there are definitely some world-building details I slipped in that are probably more accurate to later periods.

At any rate, mainly this is just to say, I don't really buy the spunky tomboy!Madelyn interpretation that I think is probably common. In a relative backwater canton like Lycia it's not unbelievable (see: Isadora, who is also a nobleman's daughter, though I wouldn't exactly call her tomboyish either), and in fact seems like a natural assumption to make, given Lyn's personality and well, the fact that Madelyn ran off to the plains. Nothing against it, I guess, but it's pretty cliched imo, and anyway it's more interesting I think to assume the opposite, and really make her a product of her society. It makes her ultimate decision far more difficult and complex. Instead I funneled off the tomboyish aspects to Cordelia, mostly because I like the idea that Kent's mom was crazy but mellowed out with age (also other factors, but won't go into them here). I was also setting up an obvious parallel there with the Cordy/Brandon relationship -- eloping probably did not in general lead to happily ever afters.

2. Sacaen/Lycian relations were modeled loosely on a mix of American Indian/colonist relations and Christian (Western Europe)/Saracen. (The Sacaens themselves are more Mongolian than anything though, as I've mentioned elsewhere.) I know very little about Roma, otherwise I'd say there's a bit of similar stigma attached to the Sacaens probably. Similarly to #1, I was writing from the viewpoint again that if you're born and raised in a society with a certain set of prejudices and standards, you're going to retain those same prejudices no matter how open-minded you might otherwise be. And often these prejudices will not be overt, but rather will manifest in very subtle ways -- not all of which will appear "negative" at first glance. Also, prejudice goes both ways.

More or less, I'm pretty cynical about Madelyn/Hassar and don't think it was quite the romantic episode everyone likes characterizing it as, though I have no doubt the two of them eventually fell genuinely in love. (We begin to see that happening towards the end of the fic, I think.) For one thing, I have a hard time figuring out what Hassar would be doing smack in the middle of Lycia anyway, not only for long enough to have become good friends with Wallace but also with enough freedom to interact with Madelyn on a regular basis and indeed, fall in love. Sure, Lycia and in particular Caelin probably has "looser" standards, allowing for more freedom of interaction -- hence the servants' relatively friendly relationship with Madelyn -- but I reeeally don't think Lord Hausen would have allowed his daughter to interact casually with just any guy off the streets, especially a Sacaen. (there is almost certainly an element of "savages stealing our women" involved wrt Sacaens and Lycians, though the truth is probably the opposite, i.e. probably more mixed marriages involve Sacaen women and Lycian men rather than the other way around.) Also, I could understand if Hassar were hanging out in Araphen or one of the other cantons closer to the border, but in Caelin of all places? Hmmm. (Guy in Santaruz is an exception -- we KNOW he's been wandering away from his clan, in order to prove himself. But Hassar's the chief of the Lorca, or at the very least the son of the chief!) Well, this is addressed in fic, obviously.

3. Lycian politics must be insane, if only for the sheer number of players involved. Military arms are probably a much larger factor than court intrigue in general (contrast Etruria). And aside from that, Lycia fascinates me because it strikes me really as the most heterogeneous of the various countries on Elibe. There are a variety of cultural influences at work, I think.

But, perhaps most relevantly to this fic, Lundgren has never really made much sense to me. According to primogeniture, Lundgren would in fact be the heir over Lyn in the order of succession. In most instances. Though actually the way inheritance is set up in Elibe frankly confuses me. Clearly we have something like equal primogeniture or actually something probably closer to agnatic-cognatic or cognatic primogeniture as oppposed to purely agnatic in place (see: both Lyn and Guinevere), but eh. To put it in plainer words, women *can* inherit -- i.e. females are not excluded entirely from the line of succession.

Bah, primogeniture is confusing period, though. This is a pretty decent rundown, though seriously lacking in sources. (see also: order of succession) Or see this book (published in 1895 by a British dude).

Lyn's case is simply weird in particular as she's not just female -- she's the daughter of a daughter. And the other thing that seems to be clear about Elibe is that, as a typical "medieval" setting, inheritance is traced through the male line. So if Lyn were a son, then yeah, she'd maybe have a stronger claim than Lundgren (by "quasi-salic inheritance", in which succession can go through the female line but only males can inherit still). And then there's also the whole deal regarding proximity of blood. And this is leaving out the fact that Lyn's father is Sacaen, and that Madelyn wouldn't have inherited if she had stayed and married Araphen in the first place. There are really a lot of factors at work here -- i.e. it's really not as clear cut as the game tries to make it. Lundgren actually has a pretty strong claim on the throne even without resorting to the whole "Lyn is an imposter spiel" (which is probably another factor in why he has so many supporters, disregarding the implied blackmail).

The only reasonable explanation I can think of is that Lundgren himself has no tenable heir. I mean, clearly he's old enough to be a grandfather, and yet the game treats him as having no heirs? (In the sense that, if not Lundgren, the throne should have gone to Lundgren's son, or daughter if he had no son, and from there on to his OWN grandchildren. The whole inheritance dispute realistically would NOT have ended with Lundgren's death. As long as the male line holds out, they'd have priority over Lyn. And whether or not she actually had the strongest claim she really really would not have had an easy time of it if she'd actually wanted the throne, as she wouldn't have had any political backing whatsoever, and only the slightest military backing!) And if he didn't have heirs -- then why the fuck did he want the throne so badly? If he'd been a younger man at the time he made his power grab, then that'd be totally understandable, but if you believe the game he's just been sitting around for YEARS waiting for his brother to conk out so he can enjoy a few years of rulership before he himself conks out... huh?

So no, Lundgren almost certainly has heirs of his own, but for some reason or other their claim is just as shaky as Lyn's. But before Lyn shows up, there are no other complications, so hey, he can rest easy, assured that the throne's going to go to them through him regardless, simply because they're the only options.

Anyway, this will be explored more in Wherever I May Find Her. I'm just setting up some issues beforehand here.


And re: other stuff, yes, I was intentionally drawing parallels between Wallace/Madelyn and Kent/Lyn (though they really don't quite map very well XD), and yes, Hassar speaks quite a bit, if only because I don't believe in ".... ..... ....." romances. :P

And if you can't put two and two together regarding exactly what Madelyn was planning, it's probably my fault, but damn it, I just wanted to get this fic over with already. So uh yeah. Sorry. Her motives are complicated and not at all straightforward.

Anyway, if I don't get around to responding to comments I'm sorryyyyyyyy but really tired. T_T

(This fic totally needs to go through a round of editing when I am considerably more sane. i.e. I FAIL)
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On June 22nd, 2009 09:28 pm (UTC), shimizu_hitomi commented:
Aww yeah. Actually I'm not sure how much of fandom thinks of Madelyn as a tomboy as I don't think there's all that much interest in Madelyn actually, but I do know generally in eloping plots the heroine is generally portrayed as being all ~*modern*~ and feisty and fighting against societal expectations and all.

Which yeah -- I'd actually completely forgotten about those supports, but it makes so much more sense with those that Madelyn was ladylike to the end, even if Lyndis is idealizing her memories of her mother. It's pretty clear that Madelyn did still hold quite a bit of emotional investment in Lycia -- for one thing, she makes sure to give her daughter a Lycian name (and notably, Hassar goes along with it).

I think even in this fic Madelyn was attracted on some level to Hassar to begin with -- I don't think she'd have gotten the idea to run off with him otherwise. (And actually the one she'd had a crush on originally was Brandon! Hey, she was fifteen. XD Though she got over that pretty quickly.) It's just that Wallace has always been one of the constants in her life, and deep down is the one person she cares for the most.

or that they weren't in love at all (though this is possible, actually)

Yeah. I'm such a diehard romantic though, so I prefer thinking that they actually did fall in love eventually. I really like the idea that after running away from the restrictiveness of Lycia, they had a better chance to really get to know each other as individuals and realized they were actually quite suited to each other. But then I'm one of those people who adores stories where people manage to find true love within arranged marriages or marriages of convenience (or even if not love, friendship), so yeahh. XD

Let me go look up that Kent/Lyn thing though.
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On June 22nd, 2009 10:02 pm (UTC), shimizu_hitomi replied:
quicky translation
キアランの民に祝福され、幸せな 旅立ちであったという。

After her grandfather's death, Lyn, who had been at his side caring for him, entrusted the lands and people of Caelin to the rule of leading power Ostia and left for Sacae. At her side was the figure of her former loyal retainer and now most beloved spouse (!11), the honorable* knight Kent. It's said that they had a happy departure, with the blessings of the people of Caelin.

* the character for "saint", so I'm guessing it means something more like the "legendary knight" (except not legendary, because there's another word for that and Kent is not mythical/ancient history yet :P)

Um yeahhhhhhh! From my understanding つれ合い is actually ambiguous in that it sometimes is interpreted as just a neutral "companion", but in this context it's pretty obviously husband/wife (or at least "significant other", which is probably the best way to put it). The Japanese is phrased something like "he had now become" so it's not clear if this is something official (i.e. to the general public), though the last line seems to indicate that the relationship was public knowledge by then.

I personally think it was probably one of those open secret type things. Like everyone knows they're "together" even if they're not, officially, and even if they don't actively approve of it, it doesn't bother most people either.

It totally would be Lyn's style to just shotgun it out there though. (Though perhaps again it would be one of those unspoken things that everyone is still aware of regardless -- like everyone knows she plans to leave as soon as her grandfather's gone, but no one actually discusses it?)
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On June 22nd, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC), shimizu_hitomi replied:
Re: quicky translation

I didn't realize the file of character endings I had was incomplete! I only realized when looking at the Japanese page just now and looked it up on Serenes Forest. I mean, I didn't realize Oswin/Serra had an ending. Heeheeeeee. And Isadora has a few endings other than with Harken. Interesting.
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On June 23rd, 2009 04:46 am (UTC), rdmajere replied:
Re: quicky translation
My knowledge of the Japanese script is flimsy at best, yet - such a discussion is too tempting for me to not jump in.

聖騎士 = Holy Knight. Paladin would be the American version.

つれ合い could also simply be beloved, right?

Edited at 2009-06-23 04:46 am (UTC)
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On June 24th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC), shimizu_hitomi replied:
Re: quicky translation
Oh yeah! Durr. XD I was thinking "Holy Knight"? Elibe doesn't have "Holy" type magic?? Completely forgot that paladins are holy knights.

つれ合い -- I think so, though I think there is a strong association with it being a spouse. One of the Japanese dictionaries that showed up when I googled said that it's how a third party refers to someone's spouse. Also since なった is used there's a sense of him "becoming" something..... But well, honestly, my Japanese is not that good so.
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On June 24th, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC), shimizu_hitomi replied:
Re: quicky translation
After googling a bit,


Here we go. I hope that link works, though if not, it basically says that "otto" and "tsureai" were used more commonly pre WWII compared to "shujin" to refer to husbands. That's kind of interesting...
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On June 24th, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC), rdmajere replied:
Re: quicky translation
Indeed! It's good to see someone going into detail with fanfiction. The thought itself is making me a little giddy with happiness.

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On June 24th, 2009 01:26 am (UTC), hooves replied:
Since you responded to yourself down there, I didn't see that until just now. But yay! I like the Japanese script/ending better. :D

I don't think that many people care about Madelyn or Hassar, actually. I mean, they're not as important to the plot as Lyn is, but if you write about Lyn extensively, you kind of have to include them to some degree, right? At least, I think so... I'm including Madelyn right at the beginning of my novelization, but the more I think about it, the dumber that seems, since Lyn was (or seems to be) closer to her father. However, it's Madelyn's letter that starts the ruckus... Or rather, could very well have saved Lyn's life.

Ah, good point. You know, traditionally, men named the children, so Hassar must have really loved Madelyn to let her pick the name for their daughter. (Though the tribe only knew her as Lyn, so it might not have seemed as foreign to them, or they assumed that she was named in part after her own mother Madelyn. Hmm... Yeah, I don't think they knew her name was really Lyndis.)

Yeah, I agree that I thought Madelyn felt something toward Hassar in Little Lark in the beginning. It wouldn't have made any sense at all if she hadn't. I will agree with ol' Rd down there, and say that the pacing was a bit fast for a 'fic that could have gone into a lot of detail, but in my opinion, it was good as it was, if only because (again, an opinion) I think that it would have gotten quite lengthy if you'd have actually done it in a more detailed fashion. Which, y'know, would have been fine, but in my opinion also-- unnecessary. It was already around 10k, which was long enough for a 'fic about minor characters (who play a major role). Since the basic idea came across quite well in what you did write. :D

I really like the idea that after running away from the restrictiveness of Lycia, they had a better chance to really get to know each other as individuals and realized they were actually quite suited to each other. But then I'm one of those people who adores stories where people manage to find true love within arranged marriages or marriages of convenience (or even if not love, friendship), so yeahh.

Oh, I don't just like it-- I believe it's true. If Madelyn and Hassar weren't truly in love (though Wallace seemed to believe it), then I think they eventually found love in one another. My reasoning being Lyndis herself. Not her presence, but her whole attitude... It's not one of a person whose parents don't love each other. (I've noticed a lot of people whose parents aren't in love/weren't in love/are divorced/etc just don't really believe in love.) Lyn, however, seems to have the biggest just...yeah. She's so loving and lovable, and I can't see her being that way without a good example.

Also, I love those kinds of books/things too. Two of my favorites were the Christian book series Love Comes Softly (which is about a woman who heads out west with her hubby, only for him to die in the middle of nowhere, leaving her alone. She marries a farmer who lives alone but needs a wife to help raise his little girl; they end up falling in love, and damn it if that series doesn't go on until their kids have kids). My other favorite is A Bride For Donnigan, about a mail-order bride who goes out west. It's really good. :D
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On June 24th, 2009 07:17 pm (UTC), shimizu_hitomi replied:
Yeah, definitely I think Madelyn and Hassar are important to include -- they're her parents, after all. They raised her. She wouldn't be who she is without them. I'm not sure if Lyn was closer to her father though; we do get that kind of vibe though, huh? I mean obviously she loved them both -- maybe it was just easier to relate to/understand her father, since she grew up in Sacae and he was Sacaen, while Madelyn herself was kind of out of place? I mean, I kind of suspect Lyn didn't really start to understand her mother (she must have seemed very different from the other Sacaen women) until after she went to Caelin and discovered the other half of her heritage.

Which brings up an interesting thought -- Lyn must have known that Madelyn was Lycian, but not that she was the daughter of a marquess. I wonder what or how much Hassar and Madelyn told her about how they met/got together.

And agreed. "Lyn" probably doesn't sound all that foreign, but Lyndis definitely would have... so yeah, probably they didn't know her full name.

My reasoning being Lyndis herself.

Ah yeah! This is a really good point actually. She was clearly raised in a very loving environment, with very loving parents. Children are pretty sensitive, so it definitely would have rubbed off on her if they hadn't been!
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On June 24th, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC), hooves replied:
maybe it was just easier to relate to/understand her father, since she grew up in Sacae and he was Sacaen, while Madelyn herself was kind of out of place? I mean, I kind of suspect Lyn didn't really start to understand her mother (she must have seemed very different from the other Sacaen women) until after she went to Caelin and discovered the other half of her heritage.

I think that's exactly it. Madelyn, IMHO, would have seemed out of place probably throughout Lyn's entire life, and I'll bet even after being around 15+ years, Madelyn was never fully accepted by Hassar's people. I mean, why didn't he marry within his tribe? I'm sure people did feel slighted by that-- you know, his own people not good enough?

Etc Etc Etc. But continuing, I think once Lyn discovered her mother's background, and that part of her heritage, it might have really broken her down. Maybe? If that makes sense. I can see her almost mourning her mother all over again, especially once she actually understands her.

Also, I'll bet they never told her a darned thing about how they met. Probably something really simple and kind of... "Oh, I lived in Lycia, and I SAW UR FATHER AND IT WUZ TRUWUB." Vague, boring... I didn't know the extent of how my parents met ("At a party; I stepped on your mother's toes 'cause I thought she was someone else.") until recently. :D

so yeah, probably they didn't know her full name.

That's just an assumption on my part, seeing as how she hadn't heard her full name since her parents died. I think it actually means a lot to her, and I'll bet you anything that having to hear everyone call her that in Caelin really bothers her. It's something special and personal to her, and for everyone to start using it... Well, it might hurt? Not so weird having Florina or Kent or Sain use it, but for Reissmann and every noble at court, and etc., it might be. :D

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