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for A Tale of a Nightingale

11/9/2018 c55 Sr. Gwyneth
Thank you so much for continuing the tale, SpiritOfJazz,
Brynjolf comes to the rescue, trying to be the leader the Guild needs. This chapter did not disappoint! As the Enforcer struggles to keep his red-haired temper, he seeks to follow his mentor's example. I really enjoyed the "what would Gallus do?" framed in the usual Baptist mantra of "What would Jesus do?" ( I'm sure Christ would chuckle...well, maybe God would chuckle...) as he heroically snuffs out the fire that led to the carnage following Gallus's death. Trying desperately to balance humiliation and horror right there in front of the infamous Grey Fox, he doesn't falter, and gamely stands as the hero of the shambling group. Still he did have to struggle - it wasn't all smiles and "yes dear" when Isobel invited Karliah into their sanctuary - but it is overcoming his own temper and disgust in favour of patience and reason that crowns him hero.
11/9/2018 c55 4TheOneThatSeesGNS
Die Mercer, die!
11/7/2018 c54 Manu
I read this several times with tears and a smile on my face! Your wonderful story makes real the characters we love and already know ,and those created by you ! Wonderful ending of the chapter ! I finally wait for more interaction between Brynjolf and Isobel, but I enjoy and laugh for The Gray Fox and his family! I like them too much! And I loved Vipir and the whole guild who overwhelmed Isobel! She needed the love of her new family! She is lucky, many love her!
11/7/2018 c26 Sr. Gwyneth
Hi SpiritOfJazz,

I was just re-reading chapter 26. Sorry to hear some people stopped reading here, because it's a powerful chapter that really holds up to review. At first, Brynjolf's reaction to Isobel sleeping with Vipir may seem perverse, especially after his heartless little turn with Isolda (maybe Isobel should have robbed Vipir blind as well, eh?) but once he reveals the pathology of his childhood hurt, it puts his weirdly hypocritical reaction into some perspective. In many ways, his is the life unexamined. He's ordered his inner world with a sort of blind simplicity to avoid the pain he cannot deal with. Walling off of his childhood isolation and rejection was no doubt once a necessity to keep his sanity, but now in his later 40's, it has become a maladaptation, and he uses the same tactics to deal with Gallus's murder. Don't think too hard; find a leader and follow him - who cares where and how - and we see this in his unquestioning loyalty to Mercer. It is only when the Second starts to question and defy the Guild Master that he begins the breaking down process that ultimately allows him to see himself and change, eventually becoming the leader the Guild desperately needs. Maladaptations are painful to unlearn, and we as readers now recognise that Brynjolf is the one, not Isobel, who needs saving. The best stories are about the journey to redemption. Forget the Guild's dwindling resources or Mercer's betrayal; this is the cavity at the centre of A "Tale of a nightingale".
11/6/2018 c39 Sr. Gwyneth
Sorry SpiritOfJazz...hit the post button early by accident...

Choosing to make Isobel comatose does not in any way detract from the central story, which is the love that blossoms between hard-used Spring and brittle Autumn, and the reaction of friends and family to what seems an inappropriate match. This is the core human tale and you've done such a fine job of building the anticipation to a crescendo of release when Isobel returns to the Cisterns and Vipir dances "my best friend is alive!" And Brynjolf...beautiful...beautiful.
11/6/2018 c38 Sr. Gwyneth
Hi SpiritOfJazz,

Wonderful writing as ever! There is a real sweetness building between Etienne and Isobel and the trip to Solitude and then the Thalmor Embassy allows for the relationship to develop. We find out a lot about them both as they stop to rest, and then even more during the interrogation. Torture scenes are a common enough feature of Thieves' Guild stories - my friend Rider had an epic one in Of Kings and Thieves - great tale by the way( ) I humbly did the first edit. We had a 5 month long bromance (sis-mance?) because she wrote it after playing my mod LOL - Often it's The heroine, but sometimes it's Brynjolf himself in the hot-seat. I feel like it becomes this crucible for stress and endurance that will be rewarded with, well, the union of the lovers, right? It's a metaphor for the darkness before dawn. And it's usually the turning point. However, I feel that your first accomplishment with this passage was to finally make clear (or clearer) why Isobel is running from of the Penitus Oculatus. In the earlier passages, I wondered if the death of lovers and friends was merely a gory metaphor for something else. Now we know there were literal and brutal killings. Things are falling into place plot-wise and I think this was the most successful thing about the side-trip shall we say to the Thalmor Embassy. The other thing you're doing, which I just love, is inserting Isobel into a number of the NPC roles, such as, the Thieves' Guild survivor from the Thalmor Embassy. I suppose this is why sweet Etienne met his end, so that Isobel could essentially fill his slot. Of course we see this even more graphically when the Dragonborn himself arrives and rescues the Guild members from the Thalmor agents.(you know I couldn't stop reading!) This, for me, is a very strong choice you've made, as the story doesn't stray into super-hero side-tales and we can really focus n the Guild and it's many characters.

Another thing you accomplished was making space for Brynjolf to re-approach Isobel independent of her involvement. As I was alluding to above, torture scenes usually result in a rescue by the other member of the love-duo, but Brynjolf was not the rescuer. There is no cathartic release. Instead Isobel is returned like luggage. At first I wasn't thrilled, but the scenario did allow time for Brynjolf to essentially make amends to her, and the whole guild to see him do it, and to accept the reality of their union. This becomes essential to the jubilee that occurs when the now 'reborn' Isobel returns to both the Grey Fox and Brynjolf at the same time. Not only has Brynjolf had time for anger and shame to morph into humility and love, but the he doesn't have the same fear of having to hide it from the other Guild members. He can show her publically how he feels...His tears, especially after the humiliating journey with the Grey Fox, are a believable release. He's still all manly-man, but it's very close to the one and only time my husband ever broke down in front of me in all the 27 years I've known him. (and that crawl through Riftweald was absolutely necessary for his character development. I'll write separately on that...because it deserves it's own 'bravo')

But you asked, did you take the right path? I guess I would have prefered to have Isobel somewhat lucid. She may have appeared almost brain-damaged, or paranoid and Brynjolf would have to face being in love with someone who might never be the same person. Could this have complicated things? Maybe. But it would have made more sense for Mercer being able to take her to Snowveil. It might have given him additional motivation, especially if she was a babbling wretch who started to accuse him of the very crimes he was actually doing. (Maybe she could 'see Nocturnal') The evil Guild Master carrying her single handedly all that way through the dungeon is hard to believe compared with the rest of your story. However, this does not in any way detract for teh central
10/30/2018 c20 Sr. Gwyneth
I've stayed up hours later than ever a responsible adult should, who has chores and children and nonsense to deal with in the morning. But it is so. Damn. Hard. to stop reading.
10/28/2018 c11 Guest
See, what I really love here is that Isobel is too pig headed to understand what Brynjolf was trying to say. This is what makes your heroine different. ( and let me tell you, I feel for Brynjolf. I've been battling with my arrogant 12-year-old all day!)
10/26/2018 c54 Guest
T_T finally read re read again and is all I can ask for this day...
10/20/2018 c54 Belladonna0X
YES! Yes yes yes! Oooh we all waited so long for this chapter and you did not disappoint! It was so emotional and beautiful, I can't wait for the next update!
10/20/2018 c54 TheOneThatSeesGNS
*SCREAMS* ITS FINALLY HAPPENED, SHES BACK!
10/19/2018 c54 Lydia
waiting a long time is really worth it ! what intensity! so beautiful, and I really hope the two have their moment ! but I smiled for Gray Fox's reaction ! I already love the union of the two guilds ! Isobel now knows she is at home!
10/19/2018 c54 Guest
Brynjolf just kiss this woman for all of us and maybe take her! Was super as always and my heart lost a beat... And so happy for Isobel and ogoho love her brother XD
10/19/2018 c53 Manu
Grey Fox and Brynjolf for Isobel! great! and I like the new entry !
10/6/2018 c53 Lydia
yesssss! The Grey Fox is so great ! so nice that you continue this!
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