Seed's Story: In Which I've Assembled an Index

Seed's picture
This is an official index of my ongoing story, Seed's story. I am not very good at thinking up titles. This will eventually include all chapters and other required reading, and if there's any illustrations or other related stuff, I'll put it here, too:
Oh, and Commentary, now that the story's over. Skip over the italics if this is your first read-through, I'd advise.

Before You Get Started: Required Reading

A Forest Fairytale
Seed's backstory, in fairytale format. Since this story is all about the consequences of his backstory, and working through the issues of identity and home that this creates, it is essential that you have a rough idea of the story.


The Near Prologue
Note that this prologue was written over a year before the rest of the story; as a result, it's only vaguely connected. The only skippable part.
Despite being skippable, I don't cringe...much... when I read this. It sets up the basic conflict of the story pretty well. I only went and called it "the near prologue" after writing the "distant" one. I abandoned it for over year because I didn't know where to go. The basic steps were the same -- I knew I wanted Seed to go outside the ordinary bounds of the Forest, but from

The Distant Prologue
This is one of the three chapters for which I wrote this entire story: I nearly did it as a comic, but decided against it a while back. This is much cooler anyway, right? ...yeah, right. Still, I like the idea of deer having to pick their names out from the void. I deliberately withheld the answer here so the answer to the question in the penultimate chapter would still be a little surprise -- but not too much of one. I like to think, once you enter a sentimental, fairy-tale-like point of view, the answer to where his name is written is obvious. I wonder if anyone moving from the "near prologue" to the "distant prologue," to chapters 1-5, got why I did this before they reached Chapter 6.

Chapter 1: In Which A Question is Asked Repeatedly and Our Hero Arrives in the Setting
AKA, "In Which the Writer Reveals A Fondness For Silly Victorian-Esque Titles." It's a weakness of mine. This is also where I introduced the echoing tree-voices, something I never once regretted. I loved writing the tree hivemind. I wanted it to sound like not a single entity, but a bunch of will-less ones sort of gathered together to make something like an entity. I had to move Seed to somewhere isolated, so he could be basically alone -- a Seed with friends around is harder to break, and that's not what the trees want. In my earliest conceptions, someone (Scape, I think) would have followed after him. This was quickly abandoned.

Chapter 2 : In Which Resistance Is Futile
Yes, yes...the tree are almost a very leafy borg in this. Originally, the Oak came up later in the story -- chapter 4 was going to be her first appearance here. She was an important part of the Seed Comics (I want to get back to those), so I knew she had to show up...but her role as exposition here is invaluable.

Chapter 3: In Which Seed Forgets His Greek Mythology, With Unfortunate Results
Seed is trying to remember first the Lotus Eaters, and then the Myth of Persephone, where she eats the seed of the pomegranite fruit and has to stay in the underworld and so on. In myth, it is always a bad idea to eat the food of a foreign world -- this applies to Hades and to the Faery world equally. So, of course, Seed ends up brainwashed and slowly reverts to a more tree-like form. I needed to up the stakes a bit, to make the Trees -- and their one-shot puppet Mr. Squirrel here -- a legitimate threat to Seed.

Chaoter 4: In Which We See That While Squirrels May Be Evil, Butterflies Are Usually Lawful Good.
A callback to the original backstory, but also to Seed's devoted love of butterflies. I originally didn't know how the spell would be broken, until it occured to me that the lake would wash magic clean, and therefore remove the spell -- but not the roots. The weakness that existed was still there. This also explains why Seed matters to the Trees; there but for their own lack of courage go they...They don't have the will, the sense of self, or the courage to do this, but they want it. I'm also having the most fun with the Trees here. I wanted to make them a little sympathetic -- I'm not sure they understand good or bad, really. They just want what they want, because they lack it. Of course, they ruin that with the snippy little rephrased echo "Goodbye...Loser." indeed. Like I said in the comments -- whoever was individual enough to assemble the words of the others in that way is probably not long for the collective. Somewhere in the Forest is a very snippy tree who has recently gained his own independant soul. I tremble.

Chapter 5: In Which Seed Meets His Shadow
Ooooh. This chapter is the second of the 3 ideas around which I wrote this story. If you read his diary entries, you'll see that Seed is a very doubtful and extremely self-critical person. But for Seed to come away from the story feeling that his choice -- to be a deer -- was the right one, the best one for him -- he had to be confronted with his own feelings about his relationships, the doubts that dragged him down. Enter the Shadow, who's strait out of Jung and Campbell here. Where he comes from, even I can't say -- except that he's the fulfillment of what the Oak was saying in Chapter 2, and everything he says is ripped out of the dark corners of Seed's heart. If he is an independant agent, then the fact that he, too, is in tears by the end of the chapter is odd. But I like to think that he is Seed, too, and that's why admitting all of this hurts. Who knows?

Chapter 6: In Which Community Aid is Called For

Chapter 7: In Which The Story Concludes
*Ending Unlocked: Seed "Golden" Ending*

And So the Story Is Concluded

Alternate Endings
I'd created multiple ideas for endings, depending on how much response Chapter 6 got. In the style of dating sims or visual novels, I gave each one a name reflecting the quality of the result for Seed. Originally, there were 3: the Horrible Ending (no posts), The Bad Ending (Less than 4-8 posts, I sort of waffled there), and the Good ending (The Outer limit of the "Bad End" posts +). A little before I posted the 6th Chapter, I decided to also add a fourth ending, which I've called the "Excellent," "Perfect," or "Golden" ending. This one I didn't really expect to happen. It would be triggered by somewhere between 10 and 12 posts. The quality and sentimentality of the responses could be worth additional points, or maybe lower the requirements, or something -- I never codified it exactly.
To my absolute amazement, the "Golden Ending" was achieved, and I thank you all. So, I may as well tell you about the others:

The "Horrible Ending" would have featured Seed eventually losing his will to keep looking. The Trees would have one, keeping him as a sort of half-tree abomination (which I'd have designed to be extra creepy), and sending him back into the forest to be their puppet and avatar. This version of Seed would basically be an emotionless empty shell in-forest at first, and wouldn't have conciously recognized his loved ones. I'd have changed the format of the diary entries from that point on -- they would have been short, sparse, and to the point. The would have very nearly dropped first person, except as needed. This Seed would be troubled when he saw old friends, but not sure why it hurt inside like that. It would have meant the at least temporary destruction of everything Seed was, though I did consider it fixable. I'm glad it didn't happen, but it is I think the coolest alternate ending.

The "Bad Ending" would have sort of been like the good ending; Seed would have come home in about the shape, physically, that he left in. He would have guessed the answer was his name -- but not realized that the people who knew what it meant were his friends. His trust would have basically been broken, and he'd have been kind of angry and bitter with the forest as a whole. It would have been home, but just because it was the only other option. This was easily fixable, but I'm very glad it didn't happen -- it is both depressing, not how I want to play Seed, and not nearly as cool as the "horrible ending."

The "Good Ending" would have been simmilar to the ending that was posted -- but it would have ended at the statues saying "Welcome home." Seed and the trees (and thus, Seed and the past) would not have reconciled -- but Seed would have been happy to know he had a home where he was loved, and would have been able to keep moving forward. Basically, if you stop reading before the "But Before The Story’s Over…There’s one Thing Left to Do…" break, you get the "Good Ending." ... So if you don't like that Seed manages to create what the Trees said they wanted -- there to be no losers, you can just settle for the "Good Ending."

((I'm not done the commentary, yet, though -- so stay tuned.))
Verycrazygirl's picture


Yaaay index. I'd love to read

Yaaay index.
I'd love to read some commentary, I say go for it!
IoRez's picture


Seed's picture

Some commentary and the

Some commentary and the alternate ending ideas have been added.
Hraeth's picture

These were all awesome to

These were all awesome to read. You've an excellent talent with words. I only wish I'd managed to come up with something decent for the community event part. 38 Everything I jotted down seemed so paltry. Rahh.

Anyway! Again, I loved this. Awesome job. <3

Really interesting to see the

Really interesting to see the different alternate endings you had planned. The epic evil one sounds awesome, but only in theory ;D
Seed's picture

Eh, it sounds awesome in

Eh, it sounds awesome in practice to me, actually. But also depressing. Like...epic downer, equal parts epic and downer. It may even make an interesting character in its own right, were I in the market.

Edit: added a bit more commentary.
ocean's picture

Lovely stories! I especially

Lovely stories!
I especially enjoyed how the trees talked, Mother Oak's character [and especially how she talks, heh], and the setting. <3