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Author Topic: We are Gray...  (Read 17567 times)
Taegin Roan
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« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2017, 06:45:07 PM »

Once again, and amazing job. I really like how you incorporated the training and practice into this one. That is something that I feel SW does not do enough of.
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"I am the Outcast's Shadow" - Taegin Roan
"Confronting fear is the Destiny of a Jedi" - Luke Skywalker
"So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala

TheDutchman
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« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2017, 04:39:35 AM »

Once again, and amazing job. I really like how you incorporated the training and practice into this one. That is something that I feel SW does not do enough of.
Agreed TR^^

Karmack, your world-building continues to impress, your writing organic and enjoyable.  To me, this FEELS like SW...yet with a new filter that simultaneously pays homage to the original but with the innovation of expansion that is not "more of the same." 

Until your next installment, friends  Cheesy
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Cataphract Triarch of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

Karmack
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Light side points please.


« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2017, 10:47:41 AM »

"You came in that?  I'm impressed."

I suppressed a chuckle at Arnor's dry sarcasm.  The man before us was ... unimpressive.  He wore a clean, tan utility coverall over a dark gray shirt and matching dark gray boots.  The boots gave evidence of hard use and little spit-and-polish.  His belt was covered with pouches and containers for any number of tools and gizmos, and there was a discreet blaster tucked away as well, not obvious but in easy reach.  His face was open with smiling eyes that bespoke easy friendship and honesty.

Suprisingly, I sensed little that contradicted the outward appearance of basically honest man working hard to earn a living in a dangerous and demanding profession.  His song was simple, and I could feel the complex fugue of our mission dancing around it's solid core in a most satisfying way.

That being said, one look at his ship proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was indeed an exceptionally brave man.

On the pad sat a CEC XS light freighter.  State of the art during the Great Galactic War and the following cold war, the freighter was ancient and it looked the part. The hull was battered, showing numerous patches and scars from past scrapes and general hard use.  Paint was scarce as well, and many of the hull patches were simply primed over.  But a closer look revealed ... discrepancies.

For example, the area around the forward torpedo launchers showed evidence of hull repair consistent not with damage repair but with upgrade and replacement.  This area was also painted, but in a scruffy way that was designed to actually hide the careful precision of the repair beneath.  The defensive laser batteries had also been upgraded and sported what appeared to be top-line systems one might find on an X-wing or B-wing fighter.  There were also several small sensor antennae on the hull, revealing a far more robust sensor suite than the battered exterior would imply.

"She may not look like much, ma'am, but she'll get you where you're going."  He grinned at his ship with obvious pride.  "The Lindy hasn't let us down yet."

Arnor, sensing the flow of the force, bit off her snappy reply and looked more closely.  I sensed more than saw her eyes narrow then widen a bit as the same details I had noticed registered. 

"Captain, no offense intended.  We have no doubt in your ship." I said, extending my hand.  "I am Karmack, this is my wife Arnor.  We are traveling companions of Master Jothan."

"Captain Lars, at your service." he said, sweeping into a bow.  "Master Jothan mentioned you both, and the cargo.  We should be on our way soon.  Feel free to board at your leisure, my first mate L'nara will see to any needs you may have."

I felt my own eyebrows rise slightly at that.  "He ... mentioned our cargo?"

Lars' eyes twinkled now with shared, secret knowledge.  "Yes.  He and I go way back, been in more scrapes together than I can count!  He's saved my hide almost as often as I've saved his.  Pure coincidence that I happened to be on planet and bumped into him yesterday in the market.  Well, he wouldn't say it was coincidence, but you take my meaning I'm sure."  His grin was infectious and Arnor and I both smiled at his innocent, conspiratorial tone as he gently needled his absent Jedi friend.  Then his mood darkened a bit.  "Not that it was really good news.  I would never refuse his request, but I can't say I relish going where he wants to go!"

Again, my eyebrows rose.  "Oh?  Where are we headed then?"

"You don't know?"  His eyes shifted left and right, as if looking for someone who might overhear as he leaned in close.  "We're going to one of the most dangerous places in the galaxy a Jedi can go."

"Jedda"
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TheDutchman
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« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2017, 08:19:17 PM »

Yes; nice cliffhanger, that.  Also: I like how you've tied a bit of Rogue 1 in  Wink

Until next installment, friends   Cheesy
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Sig courtesy of DarthScrub

Cataphract Triarch of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

Karmack
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« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2017, 08:30:40 PM »

Thanks Dutchman.  The Jedda connection was totally an homage to Rogue One.  I was thoroughly impressed by that movie.  Its not easy to write a good story that tightly bound to another one.

I was also thankful that they didn't totally destroy Jedda.  Just ... maimed it.

Craters.  What a great place to hide...  *smirk*

More soon, guys.  Maybe tonight.  I have a long shift shadowing a trainee, so depending on how the night goes...
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Taegin Roan
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Force Alignment: 2043
Posts: 6179


Lord of the Force


« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2017, 09:20:56 PM »

It is often hard for people who write action incredibly to also write good story scenes that are engaging enough to want to read, but yours is truly well thought out. And yes, R1 was great. Easily the best SW movie since ESB (though I like them all for different reasons). Can't wait for more.
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"I am the Outcast's Shadow" - Taegin Roan
"Confronting fear is the Destiny of a Jedi" - Luke Skywalker
"So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala

Karmack
Forumverse Loremaster
Master of Ceremonies
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Light side points please.


« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2017, 12:37:45 AM »

The discord as we dropped out of hyperspace was ... jarring.  The thread of the Song was there, bright and clear, but wrapped around it was a chaotic jumble of sound, a cacophony of darkness twisted around and intertwined with the light.

I shuddered at the sound, able only after long, hard seconds to push the chaos back and focus on melody that still rang clear and strong.  I sensed Arnor winning her own struggle to do the same, as well as Master Jothan and Illian.  It was hardest on the padawan, his senses flooded by the darkness without the strong grip on the core of light, the melody of this sacred place.

With the song settled, I opened my eyes and finally looked.

The Scar was just as jarring as the chaos in the force had been.  Where the Temple had once stood, there was a massive, black crater.  The power of the Death Star's super-laser had done more than destroy the site.  It had ripped open the crust, punched through to the planet's mantle and released what amounted to a massive super-volcano.  The eruption had gone on for days, spilling molten rock over the entire area and shrouding much of the planet in ash and gasses.  The resulting drop in temperature had turned the largely desert world into a ball of ice nearly as cold and frozen as Hoth.

Nearly.

I saw Captain Lars' jaw work very slightly at the sight of the Scar and his eyes lingered on the site briefly before flicking down to his instruments.  "Scope is clear.  No Imperials appear to be around."

"Why would they be?  There's nothing here worth watching anymore, right?" Jothan replied, and his own eyes also lingered on the Scar, now receding from view.  He looked down, then over at me, meeting my eyes.  "Rumor is that Master Kenobi died aboard the Death Star.  There is speculation that Princess Leia may have survived with a companion who wielded a light saber, but very little is known of what actually happened after Alderaan was destroyed.  And now these crystals..."  he shook his head.  "There is much more to this story, my friend.  But before we tackle it, I must report in and see if more help can be arranged."

I simply nodded.  The fugue of our pathway was still strong, and even with the chaos of the dark interfering with its beauty the melody was ... intense.  Like I could feel it in my bones, in a way I'd never experienced before. 

Jedda was still a place of focus for the force, despite the Scar.

There was little more discussion as we swept down and around the planet, crossing into the dark of night and following a meandering, evasive course before finally settling into a landing pad that had been all but invisible until we'd been actually landing on it.  Arnor and I donned cold-weather gear and we left the ship.  It was bitterly cold, the wind cutting through us like a knife despite the layers of gear.  Thankfully the trek was short: I followed Master Jothan into a nondescript cave which turned out to be a cleverly camouflaged door.  The heavy portal was opened and we entered, the warmth inside welcome even after a short exposure to the bone-deep chill.

Following our host's lead I dropped my gear in a locker near the door, as did Arnor, and we headed through a short maze of tunnels before emerging into a room.  There were five people sitting around a table as we emerged.  I could feel the power of the Song in the room, though amazingly some of it was hidden.  It was there, but I could only just sense its presence, I could not hear it.  It was disconcerting.  I realized one of the five at the table was purposely keeping me out, hiding the song from me.  I met his eyes: They drilled into me, tapping my own melody and harmony in a way I had not experienced since ... Master Chillum, my own Master.  Dead now at the hand of the Grand Inquisitor and his henchmen.  So, a true Master...

The eyes finally left mine and looked at Jotham.  This was Jotham's master and trainer, his analog to Master Chillum.  The two Jedi exchanged a look and the old Master nodded, leaving Jotham to turn toward us.

"Master, I present Maenowan Karmack and Koawan Arnor, of the Gray." 

I bowed slightly, and the old man acknowledged it.  "Be welcome."

Jothan now turned to us.  "Karmack, Arnor, I present to you Master Uvell and the emergency council."

I couldn't help it, my eyes widened at the name.  Uvell was a Jedi Master, thought killed by the Inquisitors years ago after smuggling out countless Jedi artifacts to some unknown place...  Shocked recognition rolled through me.  The Song!  It was so strong here because of the artifacts!  Yet also veiled and muted and hidden by the chaos of the Scar...  They were here!  The artifacts.  And perhaps other Jedi.

I bowed more deeply.  "Thank you for your hospitality."

Uvell face was a mask, his eyes still penetrating.  "You are Gray.  Why have you come?"

I glanced at Jothan and then down at the crate, now floating between us on its antigrav sled.  "Master Uvell, we are Gray, but like you we fight the Evil of the Darkness.  And these crystals," I indicated the crate next to me, "are a mystery shrouded in that darkness.  Arnor and I did not choose this path, it was chosen for us.  We are in fugue with Jothan and Illian.  The Song is strong here, but the melody indicates darkness ahead.  I believe these crystals were destined for some great purpose.  I wish to insure that their purpose servers the light and not the dark."

The eyes penetrated me for more long seconds before they showed decision.  "Very well."

Uvell sat and gestured to several empty chairs around the table.  "Join us, Karmack.  You are right, these crystals are destined for a great purpose, and it is evil.  Mon Motha gathers her forces even now, led by Master Kenobi and Master Yoda's apprentice, but they will be some time in engaging the enemy.  We must delay them."

Jothan sat and leaned forward on his elbows.  "How, Master?  We are so few."

Uvell nodded.  "Yes.  But you four are all that is needed.  We have discovered where that crate of ... remarkable kyber crystals originated.  You will go there and liberate their fellows."

"Where?" Arnor blurted out before she could control tongue. 

Uvall's face finally softened, and he smiled a sad smile.  "You must go where everything started.  You must go to Naboo."

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Master Singer of the Mak'Tor

TheDutchman
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« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2017, 06:36:23 PM »

Excellent Karmack!  The episodic nature of your writing is reminiscent of the serials of yesteryear (goodness I'm old  Wink).  As if reading my mind, after seeing R1, I had wondered if Jedda would suffer an "Endor Holocaust;" your description is quite realistic (exposed magma+air propelling ash and particles into the atmosphere... sorry, vulcanism is a hobby  Tongue).  I love the "council in exile" detail^^

Oh, I had to smile at the Gray ranks; it serves to really establish the world-building  Cool

Until next installment, friends  Smiley
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Sig courtesy of DarthScrub

Cataphract Triarch of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

Taegin Roan
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 2043
Posts: 6179


Lord of the Force


« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2017, 09:00:08 PM »

I guess I didn't reply to this post. I thought I did. Anyways, once again, great job. I love how Jedda went from desert to frozen wastelands. I don't know that much about that kind of thing, but I feel like it is probably correct. Your description of the freezing cold, even through the warm clothes was spot on.
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"I am the Outcast's Shadow" - Taegin Roan
"Confronting fear is the Destiny of a Jedi" - Luke Skywalker
"So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala

Karmack
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Master of Ceremonies
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Posts: 5594


Light side points please.


« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2017, 08:59:55 AM »

Excellent Karmack!  The episodic nature of your writing is reminiscent of the serials of yesteryear (goodness I'm old  Wink).  As if reading my mind, after seeing R1, I had wondered if Jedda would suffer an "Endor Holocaust;" your description is quite realistic (exposed magma+air propelling ash and particles into the atmosphere... sorry, vulcanism is a hobby  Tongue).  I love the "council in exile" detail^^

Thanks guys!  On the vulcanism: I have been facinated with them since Mt. St. Helens blew up in 1980.  But far more recently there have been documentaries about the super-volcano in Yellowstone National Park and what might happen if it erupted.  I drew on that and what they show in R1 to build what I felt would be a fairly realistic result of something that catastrophic.  I am glad that it rang true.

Now, on to the next stop!  Smiley
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Master Singer of the Mak'Tor

Karmack
Forumverse Loremaster
Master of Ceremonies
SaberForum.Com Moderator
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Force Alignment: 1147
Posts: 5594


Light side points please.


« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2017, 09:19:39 AM »

My meditation was troubled.   Concentration on the Song was nearly impossible.  The cacophony of Jedda continued to haunt me.  And the Song...  It was still now, like a deep river, quiet and peaceful yet full of potential energy.  But there was a sense of the movement ending.  The time of peace was closing: action, frenzy and danger lay ahead, and I could not sense the thread.  Over years of meditation I had learned to sense the thread of the melody, the basic harmony and rhythm of the song as it stretched before me.  The details and specifics were never revealed except as they happened, but the over-arcing theme and pattern were never a mystery.   Until now.  Now, I could not see.  Just final cords, and end to the current movement and ... something fast and hard.   

And dark.

The minor key of the future was all I had.  Darkness, perhaps hardship or sorrow.  But no details.  No thread.  No rhythm.  No harmony.  Nothing but a hint of darkness.

The Lindy dropped from hyperspace, and I instinctively reached out, listening to the songs of the system around me....

... and recoiled in horror.  The Dark rhythm of Evil hammered at me from Naboo, from the planet itself.  The melody and joyful harmony of life which should have suffused the system from such a rich planet was totally subsumed in an overwhemling hammer of acidic rhythm, a beat that demanded every other submit to its meter and pattern.
I tried to reach out, to touch Arnor, to share our light and draw strength from our union, but I could not find her.  There as only dark, hammering beats and I was lost in the pain....

A hand touched my shoulder.  Arnor's light flooded into me and her melody was suddenly there, sweet and clear in my mind and soul.  I grasped it like a man drowning and followed it back to the Song.  As I found my bearings I was able to focus again on the Song and with slow, painful effort screen out the Dark, the Evil, until the hammering was just another nuance in the background and the Song was all.

I let the Song fill me again, rejuvinating me, before finally opening my eyes and meeting Arnor's worried gaze.  "Thank you, my love."

"Are you OK?" a tinge of worry shadowed her gaze.  "I sensed you faltering, distracted, and then when the hammer hit..."

Impulsively I reached out and eveloped her in a fierce hug.  "I am fine now.  You have saved me again, my love."

Arnor hugged back, her grip strong enough to be uncomfortable for a brief moment before she edged back and kissed me.  "Two threads are stronger than one..."

"...and a strand of three is not easily broken."  I finished.  "Thank you."

"Ahem."  Captain Lars cleared his throat from the doorway.  I released my wife and stood, as did she.  "I wasn't ... interrupting anything?"

"No, Captain.  We were just about to join you.  I assume we're nearing Naboo?"

"Yes.  Jothan asked that you come up to the cockpit.  It appears we have a problem."
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Master Singer of the Mak'Tor

TheDutchman
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Force Alignment: 1026
Posts: 3842


Avatar courtesy of For Tyeth


« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2017, 10:36:32 AM »

Thanks guys!  On the vulcanism: I have been facinated with them since Mt. St. Helens blew up in 1980.  But far more recently there have been documentaries about the super-volcano in Yellowstone National Park and what might happen if it erupted.  I drew on that and what they show in R1 to build what I felt would be a fairly realistic result of something that catastrophic.  I am glad that it rang true.

Now, on to the next stop!  Smiley
Lol no kidding?  I lived up in Washington in Tacoma when St. Helens erupted; like you, that was the impetus of my interest in vulcanism  Cheesy  And--again likewise--have read & seen research regarding the hot spot under Yellowstone.  Awesome, just awesome  Smiley


I like that Arnor and Karmack can reinforce one another's Force (Song) connection.  I've always felt that people of like bent should be able to assist in such endeavors. 
On a technical note: my wife is an accomplished flutist and tried--in vain I'm afraid to admit  Tongue--to teach me music.  It's pretty much Greek to me.  Having said that, I remember her telling me that minor chords are foreboding and...discordant (?; my paraphrase not hers; if I'm wrong, blame me for having no musical sense whatsoever  Wink).  SO, I like how "...minor key" equates to "Darkness, hardship, and sorrow."  Again: it's details like these that really make for remarkable reading^^

Until next installment, friends  Smiley
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Sig courtesy of DarthScrub

Cataphract Triarch of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

Taegin Roan
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 2043
Posts: 6179


Lord of the Force


« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2017, 11:08:23 AM »

I like that Arnor and Karmack can reinforce one another's Force (Song) connection.  I've always felt that people of like bent should be able to assist in such endeavors. 
On a technical note: my wife is an accomplished flutist and tried--in vain I'm afraid to admit  Tongue--to teach me music.  It's pretty much Greek to me.  Having said that, I remember her telling me that minor chords are foreboding and...discordant (?; my paraphrase not hers; if I'm wrong, blame me for having no musical sense whatsoever  Wink).  SO, I like how "...minor key" equates to "Darkness, hardship, and sorrow."  Again: it's details like these that really make for remarkable reading^^

Until next installment, friends  Smiley

Yes, to all this. Especially the "Technical Note". Very well put. I too liked that, how it is a dark, hammering beat, rather than a beautiful flowing song. It reminds me of the difference between a Violin and a Drum. One is specifically to make something sound amazing, the other to add a depth and wildness to the song. Great job on this one Karmack.
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"I am the Outcast's Shadow" - Taegin Roan
"Confronting fear is the Destiny of a Jedi" - Luke Skywalker
"So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala

Karmack
Forumverse Loremaster
Master of Ceremonies
SaberForum.Com Moderator
Knight Commander
************

Force Alignment: 1147
Posts: 5594


Light side points please.


« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2017, 11:23:27 AM »

Lol no kidding?  I lived up in Washington in Tacoma when St. Helens erupted; like you, that was the impetus of my interest in vulcanism  Cheesy  And--again likewise--have read & seen research regarding the hot spot under Yellowstone.  Awesome, just awesome  Smiley


I like that Arnor and Karmack can reinforce one another's Force (Song) connection.  I've always felt that people of like bent should be able to assist in such endeavors. 
On a technical note: my wife is an accomplished flutist and tried--in vain I'm afraid to admit  Tongue--to teach me music.  It's pretty much Greek to me.  Having said that, I remember her telling me that minor chords are foreboding and...discordant (?; my paraphrase not hers; if I'm wrong, blame me for having no musical sense whatsoever  Wink).  SO, I like how "...minor key" equates to "Darkness, hardship, and sorrow."  Again: it's details like these that really make for remarkable reading^^

Until next installment, friends  Smiley

There are definitely emotional overtones to music.  I am a trained musician and one of the things we learned was how music engages our emotions.  Churches use it in worship for this reason.  Its ever-present in movies for the same reason. 

Imagine living life as if you were in a movie and able to actually hear the music that the movie-makers add later.  The foreboding music of the dark hall in a horror movie, or the thrilling, triumphant music as Steve Rogers leads his Howling Commandoes into battle! (Sorry, I'm a Marvel fan.  LOL) 

That's kind of how I'm picturing Karmack and Arnor.  They can "hear" the music, and it helps them anticipate and react to the situation.  They know the bad guy is about to jump out because they hear those foreboding cords.

As for minor being "dark"...  It can be.  But not exclusively.  Listen to some of the music produced by Jewish folks.  It is invariably minor in key, but filled with a wild, exuberant joy as well.  Their Song is balanced.  :-)

More to come.  There's something baaaaad happening on Naboo.  Palpatine's homeworld.  Go figure...  ;-)
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Master Singer of the Mak'Tor

Taegin Roan
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 2043
Posts: 6179


Lord of the Force


« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2017, 11:34:25 AM »

There are definitely emotional overtones to music.  I am a trained musician and one of the things we learned was how music engages our emotions.  Churches use it in worship for this reason.  Its ever-present in movies for the same reason. 

Imagine living life as if you were in a movie and able to actually hear the music that the movie-makers add later.  The foreboding music of the dark hall in a horror movie, or the thrilling, triumphant music as Steve Rogers leads his Howling Commandoes into battle! (Sorry, I'm a Marvel fan.  LOL) 

That's kind of how I'm picturing Karmack and Arnor.  They can "hear" the music, and it helps them anticipate and react to the situation.  They know the bad guy is about to jump out because they hear those foreboding cords.

As for minor being "dark"...  It can be.  But not exclusively.  Listen to some of the music produced by Jewish folks.  It is invariably minor in key, but filled with a wild, exuberant joy as well.  Their Song is balanced.  :-)

More to come.  There's something baaaaad happening on Naboo.  Palpatine's homeworld.  Go figure...  ;-)

Best example ever. (I am too) Grin
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"I am the Outcast's Shadow" - Taegin Roan
"Confronting fear is the Destiny of a Jedi" - Luke Skywalker
"So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala

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