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7/29/2020 c1 Cookie
Hmmm this is quite interesting I'm a little confused on the whole Sapphire thing, but minus that. I'll give this a passing Interesting. The writing had definitely improved and its much easier to read. This version of Fergus is also curious compared to 'classic' so I'll be looking at this with a careful eye.
7/29/2020 c1 OneTruthCup
Huzzah! A peek into this alternate verse! (Hopefully by the exclamation points, you can tell I’m excited...)

So! First impressions of this one-shot, and so far I’m a happy clam. You introduce the basic setup up quickly and clearly, and that opening scene where Fergus watches Rani drown is a real hook. It gives a perfect picture of his character at this point, his cold and calculating attitude, the lows he’ll sink to, the ladders he’ll climb, all in pursuit of personal ambition. Furthermore, it’s a wonderful contrast to “present day” Fergus, who’s known as “down to earth,” a simple guy with a simple life, trying to hold onto love and looking for “what’s real.“ He’s a bit of an oddball, certainly more aggressive than the average pixie, but though he’s smart and capable of seeing the bigger picture, his desires lie in the small world he’s carved out for himself. It’s interesting to think of what could inspire such a change in Fergus, and more than that what else his rise to power will cost him. In particular, I’d like to compliment you on how you allow Fergus to exhibit these qualities through dialogue and actions, in between the necessary narration/exposition. I can really FEEL his bitterness at being half wisp, at being the outsider, his more passionate nature, his subtle fear and frustration. For an introduction, it’s a pretty great balance of showing and telling.

Relatedly, Fergus’s character is best shown off through his interactions with other people. Sapphire I’ll get to later, but first and foremost, I want to mention Talon, AC (or Eskel), and all the background drama with Rani. I like that what initially brings Fergus into the outer edge of the social circle of these two leaders is more an act of charity (raising Talon) than a way to gain something. He raises Talon because it harkens back to his own past in a roundabout way, because babies deserve to be taken care of, because he cares about Talon even if other pixies like Sapphire might not. It’s telling of the type of person he is, that Fergus is willing to murder his boss in cold blood, but also willing to raise an orphan of no relation. (On top of that, this version of Talon seems like a real cutie!)

Relatedly, it was enjoyable to read Eskel and Fergus toying with each other here.
For all that AC and Fergus technically have a connection through Talon, I see what Fergus means in that they’re not quite “real” to each other. To some extent, I think most people can relate with that. There can sometimes be a freeing element when interacting with strangers or acquaintances; there’s no shared history to consider, no expectations, no consequences if you don’t charm or beguile them. It’s social interaction without strings attached, a verbal one-night stand.

In regards to characterization, Anti-Cosmo is noticeably more of a mischievous bad boy here than in Knots, at least to me. I’ll admit, the flirty behavior is fun too, not least because in this case it’s why AC can’t resist ruining his disguise. You’ve given him a very confident wild personality, and I have to say, I like it!

Getting back to Talon, I find it hilarious how much more willing Fergus is to be a dad here than in Origins. I mean, I understand WHY that is, but still. Funny. Im guessing that Talon is even more pixie-ish than in your classic version? Maybe part looking up to Fergus, part sticking it to the (biological) old man? Either way, from what little I saw he seems like an earnest kid. Good to know he and a Fergus have some precious moments before the potential tragedy/gradual shift of priorities that I’m sensing.

My thoughts on Rani, meanwhile, are brief but favorable. She seems like a very confused person trying to act tough, and I can definitely see elements of that and her loneliness from her appearance. And, while I’m not 100% sure that I can trust AC’s account of things, I’m still positive enough that she’s the one with wandering eyes, rather than the other way around. It fits pretty well given what I know so far.

Finally, I’d like to comment on the shapeshifting aspects here. Talon’s request sounds like he needs black magic to change, so I’m guessing it’s more of a Seelie or pixie thing than something universal. Either way though, I love how you integrated it into conversation with Sapphire. It’s spells out (ha) their abilities, aspects of pixie culture, and their relationship conflict all in one go. Once again, I appreciate the ways you establish aspects of Fergus’s character without making it explicit. And, something about willful shape shifting is just cool.

All in all, I’m very happy to have gotten to read this. I’ve been looking forward to seeing more of the RR AU, so I‘ve even stayed up late to read and review. I just couldn’t resist! Also, congratulations again on graduating. Bye!
7/28/2020 c1 28Jet Engine
This is gonna be a heck of a ride. I'm eager to see more of Rani and Sapphire, not to mention just learning more about this AU in general. Your work never disappoints, and this is no exception.

Also, assuming you're familiar with Hazbin Hotel, I'm getting serious Angel Dust vibes from "Eskel," and that's not a bad thing.

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