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Yeps. Just something I had lying around and self-pubbed because other Exiles I knew were doing it. I never tried to get it traditionally published for whatever reason -- lack of confidence, surety that it'd have to be heavily modified to be profitable. And I'm not exactly ashamed of it but I know it's a super niche piece of writing so I'll share it with you because you seem to be interested.
The paperback is prohibitively expensive because it's print on demand but the digital version is fairly priced for the work I put into it. Feel free to buy me a cup of coffee, so to speak. :)
Uh not really, it's some dude with a lot of money who plays the game and also wrote a book about the sword. If there's a deeper reference, I don't believe he's discussed it.
I was flicking through my phone, was alerted to this thread and decided to hit the PC for a more elaborate contribution.
Firstly, yes, I am the supporter-designer responsible for everything Oni-Goroshi is. Good and bad. All the stats, the figures, the writing, the financing of the voice-acting, the grind and Uber Hillock. The lot. A few design devs such as Rory, Nick_K and Erik oversaw the project and provided so much valuable advice and amendment, but they gave me a lot of leeway with this thing given it was sort of a redemption for the bungle that was The Goddess Unleashed (although hunting for the recipe of that one was a blast, thanks to GGG codewarrior Rhys' riddling skills). The only thing I'm not responsible for is the ridiculous rarity of the divination card but eh, whatever. That was a side project at best. Oh, and the fact that UH is easier to kill via melee than ranged. That one surprised and delighted even me.
Thanks to everyone for the praise on the voice lines! I'm not proud of all of them and I think a few weren't acted particularly well but most stick the landing and properly convey the Goddess character as she has been written elsewhere. The trash-talking of Piety was indeed my priority, given I consider her the only really fleshed-out villain in the game and thought I could craft some sort of mini-arc by way of a cat-and-mouse game that goes too far (poor Tolman). Most of the other lines are either hints as to what sort of...person the sword is/was, or meta-commentary on the game itself (increasing towards the end, and outright snarky throughout act 10 -- particularly fond of what she says to Vilenta). My absolute favourite line is what OG says when you enter Lunaris 2 though. That one's got it all. I spent hours and hours honing that one line, and I had to argue with one dev that players WOULD know who Vinia is, even though the name is only spoken in optional npc dialogue. That aside, not a single line doesn't somehow increase the player's understanding of who and what the Goddess is, so that's mission accomplished.
Unlike the carefully constructed voice lines, the flavour text for Oni-Goroshi is rushed and awful and I'm really sorry. FWIW I much prefer the flavour text of the original version of this sword, the now defunct, craftable-only Goddess Unleashed:
As a maiden I was bound; as a crone was I scorned
Promised power rarely found, delivered fury fairly thorned.
Not enough?...Fine. Now I am become both and another
To take your hand and cradle your talents, not smother
The consummate flames. So hush, dear, say not a word.
Bequeathed, betrayed...beloved. At last, I am the third.
It plays on the flavour text and stats of the first two swords, Goddess Bound and Goddess Scorned, which were both really simple, catchy AABB in rhyming structure (inspired by the text of the bow Death's Harp). 'Cradle your talents' alludes to the 6L property; 'say not a word' is the hint that after equipping her, your usual voice lines will be replaced. 'Take your hand' is both very much the sort of thing she says and is a nod to the fact that your off-hand is no longer available. 'Not smother the consummate flames' is about the transition from Goddess Scorned's wielder having immunity to ignite to Goddess Unleashed's self-inflicted one as a price of empowerment. You didn't need to know any of this for it to work, but it was all there. It was good flavour text.
In contrast, I belted out that half-cooked OG flavour text after sitting on it for weeks, unsure how to end it, and would give...almost anything to revise it. I wanted to express the casual, downplayed meeting between the sword and her first wielder, to justify why I had the base item named 'Charan's sword' beyond mere ego. To move away from the artifice of poetry and just go for almost banal banter. I have broken down elsewhere why each line as it is but if you have to do that, you've sort of failed as a writer.
Lastly, there have been some pretty weird rumours regarding the sword's origin. I found a thread on here saying it was from RA Salvatore because of a few coincidences. Or that it is inspired by Lilarcor, a talking sword from Baldur's Gate. Both are absolutely untrue. I've read some RA but really only early Drizzt stuff, and I've never even played a BG game. Talking swords are a cliché these days, and the inspiration for mine comes from a series of game books from the 80s called Grail Quest. It had a talking version of Excalibur called Excalibur Jnr, aka EJ. Snarky bugger he was. Those satirical game books planted the seed from my youth, the starting point of the source material, which I'll mention now in closing.
That is the one and only external work concerning Oni-Goroshi, Charan Jaydemyr's 'talking' Goddess of Swords. I wrote most of it well over a decade ago back when I was waaaay too into fantasy role-playing, but cleaned it up as best I could and published it myself a few years back because there was a trend among Exiles to do so. I've never sought a publisher, and enjoy the freedom that self-publishing allows. I am a (semi-retired) professional manuscript assessor, although the bulk of my work has been revising/advising university theses. In short, for all its flaws, this book is not 'fanfiction'. It is an original work unlike anything else out there. The purple, overwrought prologue is a deliberate hurdle -- but I expect anyone attuned to Oni-Goroshi's tone can get why it is what it is. The rest of the book is one long multi-layered struggle between her and her 'wielder', Charan. It's about the conflict between memory and reality. The question of what we really desire, and whether that desire is ours or something imposed by external forces. It's part Dune, part Vampire Hunter D, part Avatar The Last Airbender, part Oliver Twist. It's a psychological maze that at a distance looks like a fantasy. It's a slow burn (surprise, surprise) but I promise by the end everything will make sense. If not the first time through, certainly after another. Or maybe three. I dunno. They say you write what you want to read, and I love books that improve with repeat visits. Not sure if I've achieved that here, but Blackcloak is designed to be reread, so you'll get your money's worth. :)
I don't write for money and I suck at self-promotion but I've learned if you don't put a price-tag on something and talk about it when someone seems interested, people decide it's worthless, so there it is. I think the Kindle price is pretty fair given how much work went into it. And I am working on the next book, which I think is much better if only because I now have the obvious attempt at subverting the Mary-Sue that is Charan out of my head and can move onto more interesting points of view. But it's also better because it's even further removed from who I was when I wrote Blackcloak, now that I'm in my early 40s and have largely outgrown fantasy.
Again, I'm glad you enjoyed my little grind, my brief invitation into playing PoE (and games in general) the way I often do: unnecessary grinding of the early areas to gain an edge later on -- essentially, time and effort to compensate for a lack of genuine skill. ;)
W James Chan
He's...not everyone's cup of tea. Let's just put it like that. Tbf, you could probably say that about anyone really. For what it's worth, if you're interested in him, he's still very active on the forums - goes by the name Foreverhappychan now. Or you could just read his book (the Goddess series of swords in the game that were made for him, including Oni-Goroshi, are based on it somehow) - https://www.amazon.com/Blackcloak-Sword-Bloody-Tapestry-Kaefre-ebook/dp/B00UMD9TGQ