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 Realms of War: "Continuum"

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Alaundo Posted - 10 Jan 2008 : 16:45:48
Well met

This is a Book Club thread for the short story entitled "Continuum", by Paul S. Kemp, from the Realms of War anthology.

Please discuss herein.
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Thauranil Posted - 06 Apr 2013 : 12:11:03
Reread this short story myself recently. I thought Rivalens actions were callous beyond belief but it was an act that one could easily believe him capable of. I was intrigued by her last wish about being the cause of his downfall and with Brennus discovering the ring one can see a chain of events that might very well lead to it. A well written and poignant story.
Dennis Posted - 01 May 2011 : 05:38:23

Funny how rereading makes one feel. Reread this last night, and I actually liked it the second time around. I really feel sorry for Alashar. How devastating it must have been to be slain by your own son [save perhaps if you're a Greek god---matricide and patricide would have been...sort of expected].
Dennis Posted - 23 Oct 2010 : 00:32:21
I read it after reading the entire trilogy. I feel it's so short a story. I want to 'see' Telamont's reaction upon learning his wife's death.

Maybe if I read it prior to Shadowrealm, I would have appreciated it more.
skychrome Posted - 31 Mar 2009 : 21:46:25
Paul:

after finishing Shadowrealm I started re-reading everything about Erevis from Halls of Stromweather on.

Now that I read Continuum again I get truly excited especially since you anounced the Cycle of Night Trilogy.

Continuum is a masterpiece and shows the love for details and atmosphere that I know from your writing. The story has a slower pace which allows you this level of detail while Shadowrealm was so epic, that you obviously had to write a little bit more macro.
Brennus... Rivalen and his mother... and also the beginning of Varra's part: simply great!

Now the really interesting thing is this:

It took me a second to understand, that the perishing of the flowers around Varra was due to the wish granted to her. Rivalen mentioned this feature in the beginning when beeing on the same site with his mother so the connection needed a brief moment to sink in.
So if a wish granted implies some of the flowers die... then I am really eager to see in you next trilogy, how Rivalen's mother's last wish to be part of his downfall will be granted, as apparently it worked (flowers died)!

Maybe it is already fulfilled with Brennus' finding her artifact, but as he ultimately does not turn against his brother, there may be more to come!?

Would also be intersting to know, how Mask managed to shift Varra in time, if the meadow's magic was elven and thus the magic's design not his part. Varra's wish could also have been executed in a different way but the timeshift that is convenient for Mask.
Will you provide background on this in the next trilogy?




Arion Elenim Posted - 07 Sep 2008 : 06:55:05
I'll never forget that line of Mask's: "Just fiddling about the edges...."

Mask as Uncle Ernie? 'fiddling aah-ahh-bout....'

:)

I've told Mr Kemp this before, and I'll say it again: Continuum is just an incredible, chilling story.
PaulSKemp Posted - 05 Sep 2008 : 19:36:51
quote:
Originally posted by Stout Heart

OMG it blew my mind I want to read Shadowrealm so bad I'm just about in love with paul s kemp these days. This short story was amazing. The part I love most is when he says to his mother what was your wish and she says to be the instrument of your down fall. It was just so artfully written it makes you want to invest in his characters because he gives them so much depth.



Thank you, Stout Heart. I'm truly pleased that you enjoyed the story.

Paul
Stout Heart Posted - 05 Sep 2008 : 18:52:07
OMG it blew my mind I want to read Shadowrealm so bad I'm just about in love with paul s kemp these days. This short story was amazing. The part I love most is when he says to his mother what was your wish and she says to be the instrument of your down fall. It was just so artfully written it makes you want to invest in his characters because he gives them so much depth.
PaulSKemp Posted - 25 Jul 2008 : 16:31:41
quote:
Originally posted by Kyrene

[quote]I have the Erevis Cale Trilogy on my online wishlist thanks to your contributions to the Sembia series. I'd be hard pressed to pick a favourite between Shadow's Witness and Black Wolf


Black Wolf is a wonderful novel. Dave is a great writer and a great editor.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the Cale Trilogy when you get to it, and the Twilight War after that (should you choose to go on).

Thanks again,

Paul
Kyrene Posted - 25 Jul 2008 : 06:37:26
quote:
Originally posted by PaulSKemp

Thank you. I'm really pleased that you enjoyed the story.

People probably tell you all the time, but I have enjoyed all of your work I've thusfar laid eyes on. I have the Erevis Cale Trilogy on my online wishlist thanks to your contributions to the Sembia series. I'd be hard pressed to pick a favourite between Shadow's Witness and Black Wolf.
quote:
AS for whether the child is god-touched, I have to sidestep the question for now.


I'll ask no more, as I'm not yet decided on reading more of The Twilight War. Have to read the trilogy first...
PaulSKemp Posted - 24 Jul 2008 : 16:18:16
quote:
Originally posted by Kyrene

Not yet having read anything more* about Erevis than what was told about him in the Sembia books -- and a short story here and there in some of the anthologies -- I had no knowledge of any of the characters in this one. Not that it really mattered, since it was a dark but superb read. I did miss Mask though, but have to smile now at Varra's reactions to the "dark young man". Does that mean the child will be gods-touched?

* Something I've been meaning to rectify, once the funds are disposable.



Kyrene,

Thank you. I'm really pleased that you enjoyed the story. AS for whether the child is god-touched, I have to sidestep the question for now.
Kyrene Posted - 24 Jul 2008 : 06:36:37
Not yet having read anything more* about Erevis than what was told about him in the Sembia books -- and a short story here and there in some of the anthologies -- I had no knowledge of any of the characters in this one. Not that it really mattered, since it was a dark but superb read. I did miss Mask though, but have to smile now at Varra's reactions to the "dark young man". Does that mean the child will be gods-touched?

* Something I've been meaning to rectify, once the funds are disposable.
Alisttair Posted - 30 Jun 2008 : 21:47:07
I thouroughly enjoyed this short story. I enjoyed that it was the first one in the book because I had "just" finished reading "Shadowstorm" before starting Realms of War, so my mind was already into characters in this story.
Firestorm Posted - 28 Jun 2008 : 00:08:16
quote:
Originally posted by PaulSKemp

quote:
Originally posted by Firestorm

quote:
Originally posted by PatrikF

Her name was Varra, and she appeared as a minor servant in Shadow's Witness on pages 105-106.

That's her. Servant of Zhentarim lord Verdinal. Its page 104 actually.

Just struck me as too coincidental to have Riven acquainted with a girl of the same name knowing a woman who looked like Tazi would be Cale's weakness.....

Probably nothing, but that's why I am asking Paul here:) To Satisfy my curiosity:)



The double use of the name is coincidental. Sorry for any confusion. I regard Varra as akin to Jane or Kathy.

I appreciate the close reading, though.



Thank you:)

Now I can continue coming up with Hypothetical Situations depicting who will be 3rd and 4th of 5:)

I keep thinking Abelar might be one, but I can also see him reconciling what he did.

I am almost sure one of the Tanthul brothers will be one, but I can't decide which:)

Rivalen has more cause to become one. Mask being one of the few who can hide him from his Father, to smite Shar due to her choosing another for her chosen, etc. If Riven and Cale can become this close after being deadly hated enemies, then anyone can(Except Azrrim, who helped kill Jak)

Ahhh, hypothetical's:) Likely You have a world of surprises in store for me and I am wasting my time deciding on what will be what:P

The new book is coming out shortly right? I am Dying waiting:)

Edit: OMG NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I just realized that they moved the release date to December 2008???? After the last 4 months of thinking it was coming out in August
PaulSKemp Posted - 26 Jun 2008 : 19:41:56
quote:
Originally posted by Firestorm

quote:
Originally posted by PatrikF

Her name was Varra, and she appeared as a minor servant in Shadow's Witness on pages 105-106.

That's her. Servant of Zhentarim lord Verdinal. Its page 104 actually.

Just struck me as too coincidental to have Riven acquainted with a girl of the same name knowing a woman who looked like Tazi would be Cale's weakness.....

Probably nothing, but that's why I am asking Paul here:) To Satisfy my curiosity:)



The double use of the name is coincidental. Sorry for any confusion. I regard Varra as akin to Jane or Kathy.

I appreciate the close reading, though.
Firestorm Posted - 25 Jun 2008 : 22:58:22
quote:
Originally posted by PatrikF

Her name was Varra, and she appeared as a minor servant in Shadow's Witness on pages 105-106.

That's her. Servant of Zhentarim lord Verdinal. Its page 104 actually.

Just struck me as too coincidental to have Riven acquainted with a girl of the same name knowing a woman who looked like Tazi would be Cale's weakness.....

Probably nothing, but that's why I am asking Paul here:) To Satisfy my curiosity:)
PatrikF Posted - 25 Jun 2008 : 12:45:21
Her name was Varra, and she appeared as a minor servant in Shadow's Witness on pages 105-106.
Rinonalyrna Fathomlin Posted - 23 Jun 2008 : 18:07:56
quote:
Originally posted by Firestorm

Hi Paul. Just one question that has always been annoying me since rereading Shadow's witness.

The Verra that works as a servant to the Zhent lord...


Which "Verra" is this? Where is she mentioned?
Firestorm Posted - 23 Jun 2008 : 17:01:19
quote:
Originally posted by Kajehase

The "Verra" that Cale's hooked up with is actually called Varra.


Doesn't answer my question.

I have seen several instances where Forgotten realms books spelled a specific character by 1 name in a book, then changed the spelling in another. Be it a typo or accident.

First and foremost, R.A Salvatore's "Homeland" Spells Gromph Baerne "Gomph" for the entire book every time his name is brought up
Kajehase Posted - 23 Jun 2008 : 14:54:12
The "Verra" that Cale's hooked up with is actually called Varra.
Firestorm Posted - 23 Jun 2008 : 06:06:30
Hi Paul. Just one question that has always been annoying me since rereading Shadow's witness.

The Verra that works as a servant to the Zhent lord, who is acquainted with Riven is in fact, a completely different Verra than the one Cale met in scullport and is now seeing right?

I know it is not feasible that it is the same Verra anyways, I just wondered why they share a name(Ill assume you liked the name) rather than making up weird scenarios in my head that Riven knowing Cale's weakness for women like Tazi and planting her to set him up down the road.
PaulSKemp Posted - 29 May 2008 : 17:14:18
Thank you, Dag. I'm sincerely pleased that you enjoyed the story. I had a good time writing it. Eager to see Shadowrealm on shelves, now.
Lord Karsus Posted - 21 May 2008 : 04:47:38
-As has been mentioned, this is one of the two best short stories concerning the Forgotten Realms, period. Superb. And, as was mentioned already, the conclusion to the story, Brennus' line...fantastic.
PaulSKemp Posted - 05 Mar 2008 : 18:51:19
quote:
Originally posted by Dart Ambermoon

Master Kemp is the first one to get me interested in anything Shade by his portrayal of Rivalen and Brennus, which only continues with this short story.


Dart,

Thanks for all that. I sincerely appreciate it.

And keep on truckin' with Realms of War. Lots of great stories in there by lots of great authors.

Incidentally, I just turned Shadowrealm in a couple days ago, so all is moving forward. I think it wraps the trilogy nicely.
Rinonalyrna Fathomlin Posted - 05 Mar 2008 : 18:42:49
quote:
Originally posted by Dart Ambermoon

I also enjoyed the focus not neing on Cale (and I do love me some Unwilling-Chosen-of-Mask), but on Varra and the refugees. Varra has gained a lot of character through the story IMO, showing what a brave soul she is.


I always knew she had character and was a brave soul, but it was wonderful to see more of it, and for Varra to get more screen time. I also have to admit, it's good to see a female protagonist emerge in this series (or at least, that's what I think is happening). Sometimes, the Cale stories can feel a little like "stories of men without women." That's not a bad thing in and of itself, but what can I say? I'm female and I have a fondness for strong, non-obnoxious heroines.

quote:
Same can be said for some of the refugees. Itīs always nice to see soul in those characters that normally donīt get any spotlight faced with catastrophe.


Totally agreed.

quote:
It felt very...hmm...realmsian.Pregnant? Didnīt see that one coming.


Nor I.
Dart Ambermoon Posted - 05 Mar 2008 : 18:15:44
So, finally got my hands on the anthology and what a geat story to start it off...as Iīve stated in the respective threads to the two novels already, Master Kemp is the first one to get me interested in anything Shade by his portrayal of Rivalen and Brennus, which only continues with this short story.

The scene in which Rivalen kills his mother is bone chilling in its description and especially in Rivalenīs action (or lack thereof) contrasted with his motherīs words in her final moments. His thoughts (not just here, but in the whole story as in the thoughts of the Sharrans throughout the trilogy so far) flesh out Sharīs creed in fantastic detail and help the reader truly understand it, even a lot more IMO than any published lore on deities, etc., so far. As a reader Iīm fascinated and as a DM I never felt I could run a Sharran NPC this well before. Especially the line "He realized, with a clarity born of pain, that hope had been his transgression." struck me and actually made me put the book down (not an easy feat), to ponder it for a good while.
Rivalenīs story is fleshed out nicely, also adding a vulnerable spot or two and I loved the realization, when he understood he had been but a tool in getting his father to worship the Lady of Loss. Greek tragedy canīt hold a candle to this.

The portrayal of Brennus was equally striking, adding more touches of humanity to him in the way he deals with his homunculi, his feelings towards his parents and the fact that the "best diviner" actually didnīt want to become that, but has a love for constructs. The small flashback to his childhood actually had me liking the guy. Liking him! Canīt believe I said that. Add to that the whole nackace intrigue...whew! As if you neded more burning questions for "Shadowrealm". Iīm voting for another trilogy right here.

I also enjoyed the focus not neing on Cale (and I do love me some Unwilling-Chosen-of-Mask), but on Varra and the refugees. Varra has gained a lot of character through the story IMO, showing what a brave soul she is. Same can be said for some of the refugees. Itīs always nice to see soul in those characters that normally donīt get any spotlight faced with catastrophe. It felt very...hmm...realmsian.Pregnant? Didnīt see that one coming.

Mask...well, I was like "is that...? Canīt be...or maybe...". Very interesting to see him take a direct part in things and very interested to see how that pans out. And what Cale will think when he finds out. Mask is one slick "bastard". Iīd love to see him play a game of chess with Rivalen, actually.

To sum it up...wonderful short story, excellent bridge for the series, leaving me hungry for more. Paul makes the darkness seethe and the flickers of light and bravery sparkle. Youīve just raised the bar for yourself and "Shadowrealm"...again!

Thank you for this one.

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