Author's Notes

Many readers have asked me what Daybreak was about during volume one. The question to this is actually twofold. Contrary to what some might think, I did not set out to write Daybreak as some long story. I wrote the first four chapters because it was an amusing idea that popped up into my head. However when I shared it with a few friends, they enjoyed it so much that it encouraged me to keep going. Daybreak's long-term storyboarding and setting design didn't really materialize until after chapter five. It was then when I chose the name "Daybreak on Hyperion" and renamed the setting name.

The continents in this fantasy world are all named after titans of Greek mythology because Daybreak is a "what if" scenario. In the Greek Titanomachy (aka "Battle of the Gods"), the Olympian Gods defeated the Titans and established their hegemony over the universe. Unfortunately most Olympian Gods are also terrible, terrible people -- lustful, envious, greedy, and bent on hording power to themselves. The Titan Prometheus, despite siding with the Olympians during the Titanomachy, eventually betrayed Zeus and stole fire for the benefit of mankind. The concept of Daybreak therefore revolves around: what if the dragonlords (modeled after the best of the Titans) won the war against the demons (Olympians) and gave humanity the power of gods: magic itself? How would that affect the geopolitical, sociological, cultural, and technological growth of Earth as we know it?

Daybreak is one such projected possibility.

As imaginary as it is, several tons of research went into the writing of Daybreak. From worldbuilding based on existing cultures and key historical events which were altered, to how tradition and psychology shaped our perception of everything from gender roles to social classes. My longest supporter on this project is a close friend and student of educational psychology who just received her Ph.D.; we've had many a long conversations about why our society is the way it is or how Kaede should react to certain things. So yes -- the genderbender aspect of Daybreak is taken very seriously, even if I love joking about it~

(For those of you who don't believe that turning into a girl should change one's personality and orientation, I welcome you to the neuroscience of gender biology on emotional and cognitive functions.)

To the best of my memories, I have yet to invent a single new term for the entire Hyperion setting. Every single term here can be traced back to a language term on Earth. For example, Weichsel is the German name for the Vistula River -- one of the origin points of Prussia; since Prussia was actually a Germanized part of Poland brought by the Teutonic/Baltic Crusade, there are a lot of Polish elements to the country (i.e. its cavalry emphasis is a tribute to the legacy of Polish Hussars, famous surnames of Polish noble houses are used, and Weichsel's cultural history is a nod to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth's ethic diversity). Rhin-Lotharingie is French for the Rhine River and the Lotharingia region, which formed the centerpiece of Charlemagne's Frankish "Holy Roman Empire" (despite being neither Holy nor Roman nor an Empire). Et cetera...

The story of Daybreak is littered with historical references, some highlighted but others not so much. Many readers have greatly enjoyed these and requested a list, so by demand, I have provided a list for volume two below. This list will be gradually completed as I finish writing volume two.

One last note. While volume two enters the realm of operational, tactical warfare, it is actually much heavier on combat than I anticipated and not reflective of how I the planned story as a whole. The greater emphasis on war took its toll on the slice-of-life scenes necessary for character and relationship development. For instance, as many have pointed out -- the genderbender aspect isn't as detailed as it could be (although this is also partially due to Kaede's personality).

Originally, I had wanted to go straight into the next arc after finishing volume one, except I realized that (1) the characters don't have enough experience/rank and (2) the story isn't set up for it yet. The death of Pascal's father set off a rapid chain of events which needed addressing anyway, so I went with it and took ''Winter Typhoon'' as an opportunity to... uh, grind for EXP and prestige ^^

 Anyhow, here's the reference and terms list. If anything is not included here, feel welcome to bring it up and I'll see about adding it:

Chapter 1:

Pascal Kay Lennart von Moltewitz: 'Lennart', albeit a very common name, refers to Swedish Marshal Lennart Torstensson, who caught the King's eyes the same way Pascal did: by passing battlefield orders 'wrongly'. Moltewitz refers to Moltke the Elder, father of wargaming and modern military command through a General Staff, as well as the Battle of Mollwitz, to which Frederick the Great quoted "Mollwitz is my school" for "the Prussian army always attacks".

Kaede Nika Suvorsky: I needed two unisex names ^^'. It also reflects on her parents' laziness in naming him/her lol, just pick out one baby name for both genders! Suvorsky however is based on a quote from Stalin: "I have no Suvorov, but Rokossovsky is my Bagration". Alexander Suvorov is known as the 'undefeated general of Russia' for his service under Catherine the Great. Konstantin Rokossovsky is the WW2 Marshal who pulled off Operation Bagration which destroyed the strongest formation of the German Wehrmacht: Army Group Center.

Sylviane Etiennette de Gaetane: I chosen her name for various etymology reasons, which are best not disclosed (yet!).

Emperor Geoffroi of Rhin-Lotharingie: named after Geoffroi de Charny, renowned throughout Europe during his lifetime as "the true and perfect knight". He died defending the Oriflamme banner at the Battle of Poitiers.

Armiger: I wanted to use an alternative word for 'Knight'. Armiger means "arms-bearer" -- one who attends to a knight -- but at the same time entitled to their own Coat-of-Arms. Essentially a lesser knight in service of a greater lord.

Black Eagles/Black Dragon: refers to the Prussian crest - a Black Eagle.


Chapter 2:

Oriflamme Paladin: as explained in chapter. Inspired by the Twelve Peers (Paladins) of Charlemagne and the Oriflamme banner of France.

von Falkenhausen (including Cecylia and Wiktor): named after WW2 General Alexander von Falkenhausen and his Bavarian officer lineage. Without his efforts in modernizing the Chinese military and planning the war against Japan, the KMT army would have suffered far worse. His bonds to China were so strong that the Nazis had to force him to return by threatening his family. He was sent to Dachau Concentration Camp for conspiring in the July 20th Assassination against Hitler, survived, then briefly jailed by the allies for crimes he tried to prevent.

von Manteuffel (including Ariadne and Neithard): named after the von Manteuffels of Prussia, including Stateman Otto Theodor von Manteuffel, Field Marshal Edwin Freiherr von Manteuffel, and General Hasso von Manteuffel. The name 'Manteuffel' literally means 'man-devil'. General von Manteuffel's Duchy Polarstern, meaning 'Polar Star' in German, hints at how important his family was to Weichsel's history.


Chapter 3:

Pandemonium Doctrine: a derivative of 'Soviet Deep Battle' doctrine melded with old light cavalry tactics established since the Mongol Empire (even before; but the mongols made it famous). The main difference between it and most other forms of western military tactics is that it seeks to paralyze foes on a strategic level rather than relying on battlefield destruction of enemy forces.


Chapter 4:

'Whereas some states possess an army, the Prussian army possess a state.' - Voltaire: French enlightenment thinker famous for his advocacy for freedom of religion and his sardonic attacks toward Abrahamic religions (Christianity/Islam/Judaism) for intolerance. He is also well known for his turbulent friendship with Frederick the Great of Prussia.

Trinitian Church: an almost-exact duplicate of the pre-reformation Catholic Church. Named after the Holy Trinity of Christianity.

Phoenix Hauteclaire: meaning "high and neat"; named after the sword of Oliver the Paladin, Roland's best friend and advisor.


Chapter 5:

Combat Box: tactical formation used by WW2 strategic bombers. It specializes in its ability to provide mutually-supporting, interlocking defensive fire.

Grand Republic of Samara: based on the Merchant Republic of Novgorod merged with the Tengrism of Turkic/Mongolian cultures. Although Shamanistic, Tengrism imported many aspects of Buddhism, which is normal for Asiatic religions. The word 'Samara' is both a Russian city/region/Volga river bend and a pun on 'Samsara' -- the cycle of reincarnation in Buddhism. It is worth noting that Tengri does not believe in "one true religion", as humanity has not reached sufficient enlightenment to know what is 'truth'. Like Buddhism, Tengrism does not care what religion a man worships, only whether he is virtuous or not.

Indentured Servitude: was very common before the Renaissance. Usually used either to pay for something one couldn't afford (i.e. trip to the new world) or as a form of criminal punishment. However, indentures were supposed to have a finite term, which makes Marina's case closer to regular slavery.

'In war, resolution; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity; (in peace, good will)': by Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Anyone who believe the statements against him to be unfair can read about the three million Indians his policies killed, or his stance on using military means to stop British decolonization. Had someone in Axis Germany did what he did, they'd been charged with crimes against humanity. But hey, victor's justice.


Chapter 6:

"Holy Father with us!": based on Gott mit uns! a German war cry originally introduced by Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. It grew to become the unifying cry of the Germanies, representing their shared ethnicity and protestant faith.

Hyperborean: Greek for 'mythical' people from "beyond the North Wind". Since the dragonlords had a somewhat Greek inspired basis, I saw no problems porting this for use by the Nordic-inspired Northmen.

Greater Jarldom of Skagen: based on Nordic Denmark/Norway/Iceland and the somewhat Uralic Finland. Unlike the vikings, Skagen actually banded together into a Noble Confederacy to stop warring among themselves in order to successful resist the Trinitian push, much like the Baltic factions did against the Teutonic Knights. The 'Stormlord' they pray to is inspired by the Nordic God Thor and the Romuva (Baltic Pagan) God Perkunas.

Ski Infantry: perfected by the Finns, and before that used by Russians/Novgorodians back to the Middle Ages. It offered infantry with speed and maneuverability comparable to light cavalry, despite drawbacks like poor footing. Skis are usually taken off before engaging, but not always. Some of you might find this ridiculous, but no, totally real.

Schiltrom: tight defensive formation which forms concentric rings of spears/pikes, all pointed outwards. A Schiltrom excels against cavalry attacks, is impossible to flank, but vulnerable to missile fire.

Swordstaff: yes this is a real weapon, traditionally employed by the Swedes. It's made by sticking a sword on a pole for the advantages of both, hence 'swordstaff'.

Hans Ostergalen: named after General Hans Oster and Cardinal/Saint Clemens von Galen. Oster is the leader of the 1938 Oster Conspiracy and one of the founders of the German Resistance during WW2. Galen led the Catholic resistance against Nazi prosecution.

Erwin von Hammerstein: named after General Kurt Gebhard von Hammerstein-Equord, Commander-in-Chief of the Reichswehr 1930-1934. He tried to stop Hitler's coming to power and failed numerous times to lure the dictator in for assassination. He died of cancer during the war and his family was sent to concentration camps for their participation in the German Resistance (thankfully, they survived).

'Ghost Division': 7th Panzer Division of the German Wehrmacht, which earned its fame under the command of Erwin Rommel. Rommel was also among the last of his kind, a general as chivalrous as he was brilliant, who not only ignored maniacal orders but even buried his fallen foes with honors. He was forced to commit suicide after partaking in the July 20th plot.


Chapter 7:

Nordkapp: literally 'North Cape', which on Earth can be found in upper Norway.

Housecarls: household servants/troops of Nordic and Anglo-Saxon cultures, with a reputation for holding firm shield-wall lines as long as their lord led them. Their most famous participation is during the Battle of Hastings, where despite the death of their King and the English rout, King Harold's Housecarls gathered around his body and fought to the death.

Rimefire Siphoneers: based on Byzantium Siphonatores and their Greek Fire siphons. Nobody ever figured out how to replicate Greek Fire due to the careful compartmentalization of its production/distribution -- in case you ever wondered why Weichsel isn't using it also.

Repeating Arbalest: an arbalest (steel crossbow) with Chinese repeating crossbow mechanism. Pulling a lever that heavy will require serious muscle training.

Zweihander: Germanic two-handed sword. Developed to hack through whatever it encountered, be it a spear/pike wall or a horse.


Chapter 8:

Meteor Hammer: ancient Chinese weapon consisting of one or two mace heads at the end(s) of a long chain. One of the most adaptive weapons and is very difficult to block, but also extremely hard to learn.


Chapter 9:

Parzifal Sigismund von Seydlitz der Chevallerie: named after Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz, one of Prussia's greatest cavalry generals, who turned several would-be-defeats in the Seven Years War into victories through initiative and aggression. In story, this would refer more to Parzifal's father's heroic reputation than the healer himself.


Chapter 10:

Ania the Matryoshka Cat: named after the Russian matryoshka dolls.

Knights Templar: its real-life equivalent was established during the Crusades and rose to become an international paramilitary force not answerable to any local government. This made them a 'state within a state', with a powerful standing army that could roam across borders at will and financial backing on par with large nations. The French King Philip IV eventually destroyed them over monetary reasons...

New World/Frontier: Norse colonization of the Americas began as early as the 10th Century, mostly to acquire furs and lumber. It's uncertain why their settlements were mostly short-term instead of permanent, or the world would be very different as we know it.

Kingdom of Västergötland: Sweden is a bit obvious; Västergötland is a real Swedish province. Note that Västergötland means West Gothland -- homeland of the Gothic people. Except in story, it's located on the eastern side of Fimbulmark Isle. This has implications which I may get to explore later... who knows.


Chapter 12:

Massive Strike Doctrine: based on the Naval Aviation doctrine of the Imperial Japanese Navy Mobile Strike Force ('Kidou Butai'), which emphasized mobile, concentrated, long-range attack power capable of crippling enemy forces without the need for a decisive surface battle. As noted, it was created by Isoroku Yamamoto.

Aqua Fortis "Strong Water": Nitric Acid (HNO3)

Aqua Regis "Royal Water": 3:1 mixture of Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) and Nitric Acid (HNO3)

Battle of Midway: where the Japanese lost four Fleet Carriers due to operational intelligence failure, tactical scouting failure, and the defensive combat air patrol being caught out of position.

Prussic Acid: Hydrogen-Cyanide (HCN).


Chapter 13:

Flares in Red, Blue, Yellow, Black: Colors of the naval Z-flag, which was raised before the decisive Battle of Tsushima by Admiral Heihachirou. It was used in the same way by Admiral Yamamoto prior to the Attack of Pearl Harbor.

Skywhale/Air Group Polarlys: Danish for 'Polar Lights', or the Aurora Borealis.

Skywhale/Air Group Lyngbakr and Hafgufa: Icelandic for 'Heather Back' and 'Sea Steam', two legendary sea monsters of the Greenland Sea.

Skywhale/Air Group Livjatan: Danish for "Leviathan", considered either one of the Princes of Hell or the Gatekeeper of Hell.

Noblesse Oblige: Concept of French origin that those born into nobility are obligated to take greater social responsibilities, particularly in leadership.

Lindsay de Martel: named after Guillaume de Martel, the flagbearer of the Oriflamme at the disastrous French defeat at Agincourt.

Highland Guard: based on the Garde Écossaise (Scots Guard), personal bodyguards of the French Monarchy.

"The Guard dies! It does not surrender!...": the famous response by Napoleon's Imperial Guard General Pierre Cambronne (disputed) when requested to surrender after the Battle of Waterloo.

Phoenix Joyeuse: meaning 'joyous'; named after Charlemagne's personal sword.


Chapter 14:

'It is better to be on hand with ten men than absent with ten thousand.': quote by Tamerlane, or Timer the Lame, founder of the Timurid Dynasty who attempted to restore the Mongol Empire.

'Hugging the enemy': tactic coined by General Chuikov during the Battle of Stalingrad. By reducing the distance between Russian and German positions to a 10-20 meters, he made it impossible for German air superiority to bomb the Russian lines without friendly fire.

Armored Wedge: based on the Panzerkeil formation, a variant of the Flying Wedge formation dating back to ancient times and used by migratory birds even before then. It specializes on offensive power and the capacity to break through heavy defenses.

Great Marianas Turkey Shoot: Battle of the Philippine Sea, where the IJN disproportionately lost over 600 aircraft due to inferior equipment, training, and underestimating American air defenses.



Chapter 16:

"I have fought a hundred battles for Weichsel, and not once, not once! Have I fought against our fatherland!": based on the French Napoleonic Marshal Ney's final words as he faced the firing squad for treason.




Chapter 17:

Realpolitik: coined by Ludwig von Rochau in 1853, it is politics and diplomacy driven not by ideological factors like morals or ethics, but solely by national power, practical interests, and material considerations. In other words, the belief of 'just' and 'right' when it comes to politics is mere propaganda for the less educated. But unlike political realism, realpolitik is not just a concept but also a prescriptive set of guidelines for policy. The most famous advocate of realpolitik is Otto von Bismarck, the Prussia Chancellor who would use it to unite the Germanies. 


43 thoughts on “Author's Notes

  1. CaptainBunny

    I really love this story and the characters. But does it make me a bad person if I hate Princess Sylviane for no concrete reason? I don't know why for some reason I never liked her. My dislike for her only grew after she bullied Kaede. On another note I really like the story and character development. Also, thanks for uploading the historical references, it was interesting to read and learn about.

    1. Aorii Post author

      She's meant to be a divisive character ^^' (and if you already think that, wait till vol3).

  2. TimeWreck24

    AHonestly, I'm unsure if this has been mentioned as a potential term for the entirety of the setting in "Daybreak on Hyperion" but have you considered calling it a historical causality differentiation? This term basically sums up the whole concept behind ie in a mythological sense, as you had specifically stated that it was written in a world where the titans had won the Titanomachy, in place of their originally deported victors, the Olympian gods.

    Edit: also try googling the term "infinite causality"as it would no doubt interest you if you like the idea you used as much as I imagine, seeing as it was used to write this amazing story so far.

    1. Aorii Post author

      Not really. Because if a term requires a length explanation to be understood, then its value as a term is... questionable ;)

  3. Kemm

    First of all, thanks for your work and nice job done.

    Now, you mention "indentured servitude" as something popular "before Rennaissance", and that Marina's case is closer to slavery as she has no set term. Maybe as repayment of debts or seeking of favors it was poplar before Rennaissance, but indentured servitude as a way to afford passage to the Americas saw a boom between Rennaissance and the Ameeican Civil War, and indentured servitude during this period, specially as we go forward in time, came to resemble American slavery (which shows some differences with regular slavery as seen throughout history) even much more.

    Indentured servants afforded their passage to the New World by signing a contract, were an estimate was done of how much time they had to work to repay the debt. Once they reached port, the captain sold the contracts to interested people, who should have them work for free (well, for food and bed) for as much time as stipulated. However, contracts could be resold and, for some reason, once resold they had to strat again (meaning if your contract was for five years and you had worked under a master for four years and three hundred sixty-four days before the contract was resold, you still had five full years of debt). The treatment they suffered was, in most cases, the same as houseslaves (rape including) and seemed to be the only whote people legally ollowed to marry an slave. In short, apart from their race, the only differences between an indentured servant and a slave were "limited maximum time of consecutively serving the same master" and "permission to learn".

    In Marina's case, the "debt" part of the indenture is equaled to "sentence", so it's "life sentence" with "prison" changed to "servitude" (had her crimes been less grave, the indenture would have still matched her sentence, like "five years", "three months" or "twenty years", or so it seems to me). Talks about if this is slavery or not should also explore what shall one think of denying someone their right to freedom (as in "right to be wherever one wants, as long as it doesn't violate someone else's right of property, at any point in time") instead.

    1. Kemm

      Also, since the notion piqued my interest, I went to see what could I find about Siphonatores.

      From my findings, I can tell that "ground forces equipped with a flamethrower-like weapon" is a misguided misconception that only appears in war simulation games (only one emperor used them as such and it was just a single line of soldiers meant to disrupt enemy formation). Siphonatores were operators of the Greek fire throwing device installed in ships. Ground use of Greek fire was usually seen in sieges as a defense weapon with the same or a similar device (so those could also be perhaps "siphonatores") or as an attack weapon in the form of exploding jars and burning caltrops launched by catapult or, much later, with "portable siphons" that resemble more welding torches than flametrowers and were used from atop platforms to kill the defenders atop the ramparts.

      Still, it wouldn't be weird, given the invention of that gimmick, that a thousand years later they had ended up like you theorize (an ramy of death with true flamethrowers), had the recipe for Greek fire not been lost. The only thing left to wonder is: how did the Skagen people end up with Byzanthine technology? Did they once have an equivalent of the Varangian Guard and they scamped out with the secret back to the North?

      1. Aorii Post author

        Well indenture servitude is slavery insofar as modern sensibilities are concerned -- hence Kaede being aghast at it. As far as how the reselling of contracts go I'm not surprised; humans always find some way of exploiting other (less fortunate) humans. But indentures did begin as something far less evil: simply a means of paying off unaffordable debts, or as punishment for crimes like theft/robbery. That also led to some people framing their own servants in order to put them into indenture so they didn't have to pay them (D=). However slaves are always different: painted as 'subhuman', coming from other, 'less civilized' races/cultures, leading to the widespread view that it is the 'natural order' for savages to become slaves; they couldn't really paint indentured servants quite the same way since those people came from the same race/culture -- that, in my opinion at least, is the primary difference between the two terms. The indentured were simply exploited, while the slaves were utterly dehumanized.

        And yes I know siphons aren't exactly infantry weapons. The mechanism used to heat up Greek Fire before spewing it out is too big; the fuel tank + heater combination often taking up the entire bow of a fire ship. But hey, the Byzantines also never lasted until the 1700s tech era when machine tools became finer and finer. Also no, Skagen didn't take Rimefire technology from someone else on the continent: they're the ones who developed it on Hyperion. It was another means of showing that the 'barbaric Northmen' were actually quite advanced (i.e. their seafaring technology, carrier warfare, autonomous magic, etc.)

  4. Chen

    I'm very enjoy you story. Thanks for it and I hope about continuing.
    One question: you know about difference in endings of Russian surname for different gender? So for Kaede as a girl, family name looks like Suvorskaya (despite it looks less cool). But it may be sort of resist for Kaede about current situation. Also, if family has Polish origin than a problem can be solved by change surname on Suvorski. Or you can stay it as is for coolness sake.

    Thanks for attention and sorry for my possible rudeness and bad English.

    1. Aorii Post author

      Yes, I'm aware of the Russian surname issue. But I don't think Kaede's mentality is ready to accept that kind of a change yet xD (it would be representational of having accepted being a girl).
      Thanks for the advice and support ^^

      1. Chen

        Thanks for answer ^^ Well, I wait when he/she accept.. or not .
        By the way after read comments on Baka-Tsuki (which blocked in Russia thanks to our stupid laws, so I write here), I note you think that name "Nika" a sort of unisex. Actually it is not. It a full female name coming from Greek culture. Or short form for various female and male names. Such a Veronika for girls and Nikolai and Nikita for boys. So Kaede's father can give him that name, but it describe him as very original person, I think ^^

        PS Of course it only for information
        PPS Sorry for my bad English again. I can read on it, but writing is a different story ^^

        1. Aorii Post author

          I guess at some point I need to revisit that issue then...
          Until then, suggestions welcomed =P

  5. XRick

    Hi there, Aorii. I'm just another guy (Portuguese) trying to write a Novel Series inspired by Anime, Manga and Light Novels.
    Recently, I've started reading the Manga-adaption of the Light Novel Series "Alderamin on the Sky" and, despite it's militaristic setting, I've been enjoying it quite the bit.
    Which means that I'm considering reading this story as well, given that there's still only 2 volumes and may be a nice read...

    Given that you're developing your original story in a Light Novel-style format, could I ask you for a way to trade a few conversations with you?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Aorii Post author

      Make another post with a real email and I'll send a mail over?
      Warning that I'm juggling multiple projects right now and don't have the time to significantly help someone.

      1. XRick

        (email edited out for your own sake, email put in the email form above the post is enough, we can see that - krytyk)

        I understand, I'll try to take as little of your time as possible, thanks anyway.

        1. XRick

          Since I wasn't sure about Aorii's request, I put the email here, sorry...
          The email I put here is the one I use, so I can be contacted through it.

          1. krytyk

            Nothing to be sorry about really, but if you put out your mail in the open like that malicious bots can pick it up and spam you later ^_^.

          2. XRick

            Then, how do you recommend me to have the email available for Aorii to contact me.
            Is it possible that he does have a Facebook or AnimeSuki account?

          3. Aorii Post author

            When you post, it requests an email address as part of the post that is not shown publicly but is revealed to the site's admins. The previous posts' email didn't look like a real email address since you stuck a FB page URL in there. This one does seems to be one. I'll try contacting through it. If you don't get something from me, you probably didn't enter the right email? Donno.

          4. krytyk

            The current email he used is the right email, he entered it in the post as well but I deleted it for privacy sake. I don't guarantee your mail will arrive though :p.

          5. XRick

            I received it, I'll promptly answer to it, thanks for the help and chance.

  6. Dain

    These two volumes were a pleasant gem to find, I'm eagerly awaiting volumes to come (no rush though, worldbuilding, char-profiling and storywriting is arguably even more enjoyable than reading :) and quality of the story speaks for itself of the effort involved, you clearly did your homework before writing; thoroughly enjoyed your work so far, thumbs up).

    Now a more detailed impression of a casual novel reader.

    First of all, reading the first chapters, the genderbender spin really put me off (I'm not a fan; mostly because it's almost never taken seriously, I guess; yes, I failed to take notice of the genre tags). I was even considering to drop it on the spot. Somehow though, overcoming the initial aversion, it actually became interesting instead. No-nonsense approach really is nice. This work takes Kaedes circumstances seriously, instead to dumbing it down to awkward comedy - this more realistic, more believable take on the subject is interesting to follow.

    It is nice how characters write the story, instead of story hammering circles into squares to reach some plot objective. Characters actions feel natural and fitting, I haven't found any 'omg wtf' moments while reading. Just has that good feel of characters being alive and not two-dimensional robots operating on five tree-word bullet list instructions. There were also (strangely) no character in particular that I hated (though I dislike the Holy imperiums emperor as a person already; that guy is a ruthless scumbag, rawr /biased view alert lol). Not even that intelligence guy who orchestrated the marshalls removal due to him gaining too much power, even though the removed party had no particular intentions to initiate a coup (for the love of God (ah, I'm not religous, but oh well) I can't remember most of the names though; but I like the naming sense of this work alot). It was not pretty, and definitely not just, but it was done for a good reason, from his perspective (and maybe mine.. maybe). I can't help but view the Rhin-Lotharingie throne usurper as a bit of a sarcastic ego-fool who (probably; doesn't look like he's dumb) realises what's coming but still plows through it to gamble for power and 'leave a mark in history in either case' though - asuming he has no hidden intent, like, for example, to remove the now-problematic current emperor (or was it king? i forgot) - excomunication in that situation is a major blow for the state after all, killing morale and creating pretext for Holy Imperiums open hostility - and then maybe take the heat and go down, all in the name of helping the state itself to cleanse of problematic individuals (however good they may be), himself included. I have my doubts though. Ahem, well, anyway, on we go.

    It's also nice how this work does not focus on one thing, for example politics, or romance, or whatever, but instead includes several focus points, and yet doesn't spread itself too thin. Politics feels good and deep, not black-and-white, has multiple views from different sides. It offers some believable overview of where entities stand and why they stand there. Combat and tactics are thought-out and feel realistic, including the more gruesome parts. It shows kill or be killed situations well and without the over-the-top romancism, dramatisation or hard-to-swallow 'justice heroes who feel nothing while killing' (hacking heads of fellow humans is never pretty; nice that avoided the facepalm situation where civilian turns into cold pro killer in a day without any psychological backslash whatsoever). Detailed tactics discussions and that history background feels especially good. Romance, character relationships and interactions feel real and natural, really enjoyable to read, and avoids the five-minutes-of-zero-effort-and-the-guy-has-a-harem situation well. Had Kaede gotten over ther psychological-nuke of a situation and fallen head-over-heels for someone before the end volume two, I would have been very much tempted to drop the read then and there. Instead, now it makes me root for her eventual happiness, while overall the situation feels live and real. The shock of realising that pregnancy is a real possibility now as things stand and how she handled it (or not) was an especially nice touch. Worlduilding itself feels solid, it's nice how things are explained and not just slapped there with a between the lines 'it just works that way, so deal with it'; that bar magic discussion is especially appreciated and makes things more fleshed-out. And let's not make it all dark and serious, comedy in this work is good, jokes are well dosed and in place for my taste.

    Overall it's nice to see how characters feel alive, how inner thoughts are explored and psychology plays a role, how huge problems and shocks are not degraded to slapstick fillers, how romance is not rushed, dumbed down or exagerrated, how politics is not a five minutes thing in two dimensions, how combat feels real, and how overall world feels fleshed out and has logic behind it. This work also accentuates ungliness of religious powers in middle-ages setting well.

    It's also nice that political map and a couple battlefield diagrams are included - helps to visualise the unfolding events.

    Finally, good to see you didn't go shy with word count; I don't really like short stories overall, they can't dive deep enough into characters and setting (space opera fan genes talking here lol).

    And that's how this work looks from where I stand as a casual reader, after finishing volume two. I'm no critic, these are simply my impressions colored by personal preferences. I may have missed something, but that's that for now.

    TL;DR: Engaging read, feels alive and human (uh, weird wording but you get the point). Awesome, really. (No rush, no pressure or anything, but) I want more! Two bites is just nowhere near enough.

    1. Aorii Post author

      Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it ^^ vol.3 is still coming along slowly; would have started writing already if it weren't for the busy weeks.

      Also wow that is a lot of praise, detailed and helpful too. Not that I don't enjoy being flattered, but don't hesitate with criticisms either =)

      I'm aware the genderbender would turn many potential readers away, but at the same time it's because we have few good genderbenders that take it seriously which inspired me to write that premise.

      Sometimes the highest achievers in the world are ruthless scumbags, since nothing holds them back! As for Gabriel the Rhin-Lotharingie usurper... he has a very complicated web of motivations which, I shall slowly explore in the Burning Throne arc (vol.3-4) ^^ I also expect romances to start taking more solid shape in the coming parts, even if they leave a lot of friction~

      1. Dain

        Glad to hear vol.3 is in the works, will be interesting to see how things develop and where things go both for characters, their relationships, and the world powers at large.

        Yes, genderbender is not for everybody, but the way it's handled here, well, I think it's good you took this no-nonsense approach. This way even not a genre fan like myself can appreciate it, and now even like it in the end. Kind of like Predestination (movie) didn't laugh it off and had some logic behind it, so it didn't bother me, even though I picked it up for sci-fi timeloop more than anything else. Also, this work has a balance of things, even if gender issues is not exactly your thing, politics, tactics and lively characters leave plenty of reasons to still read it. And in the end, can't please everybody anyway, there will be those who like and those who don't in any case, so it's ok to go abit sideways and not be yet another work with copy-pasted roadmap. It makes it more interesting that way.

        As for praise and flattery, well, it's not really intended as flattery, but rather more of a breakdown of how things look viewing through my glasses. Though it is mostly positive, but can't help it if I like the way this work handles things. Daybreak on Hyperion kind of reminds me of how Joe Abercrombie handled his The First Law series (haven't read anything past Best Served Cold; maybe time to check out his new trilogy), even though genres and format are abit different. His world has that organic feeling to it, with characters that feel alive and human. I'm a fan of that approach you see, and this work gives a similar impression, so there you have it, mystery of praise revealed.

        Criticisms weren't held back, just kind of hard to single something out when there were no particular plot craters or 'wtf' moments to speak of. If I really had to nitpick, then I'd say character development took a hit in volume two, and Kaede lost the scene for bit too long at times. But then I can immediately counter myself, as peace time and war time have their specifics. Can't expect same ammount of character development and relationship progress - when in front lines, there simply isn't that much time for thinking or acting on it, other things have to take a bit more of the focus in that particular premise. Glad it wasn't drowned to a stall though, that would really be a shame.

        Sylv felt a little bit downplayed in the last battle of volume two, even though she does lead the stand-out unit in the front lines. But then again, she was sitting in the frontal meat-grinder all the time, while so many things were going on elsewhere, so while a bit of a shame, it feels like it can't be helped.

        As a reader, I'd say keep up the detail in the work in all areas, no need to simplify tactics or battlefield scenes, or whatnot, detail makes them more alive and helps to draw the image in your head. Don't loose that organic logic behind the world. And definitely keep the characters going, with all their interactions, monologues, thinking processes, problem handling and the like. Character development is really a highlight here, if I had to pick one. The way it's written makes it easy for a reader to step into their shoes and see from their perspective, and that is nice indeed. So I hope that aspect doesn't flatten in the future, especially for the central trio.

        If I had to pick some things I miss, then maybe a little bit more of the background and history of the world would be nice somewhere down the line. Don't have to be in one big chunk, and definitely should not be forced though. Could be an extra chapter, if there is no real opportunities to touch a bit more on the subject in the general flow of events. Also some of the world powers feel abit blank at the moment. It's okay for Samara I guess, since they are more of a non-aggressors at the moment, while pretty much everyone else is pointing their spears at one another. Caliphate, on the other hand, as one of the major players, feels especially empty for now. However, the upcomming content should enlighten us a bit more about it, I guess, as the world event focus shifts more thowards Rhin-Lotharingie throne, together with the Inquisition rearing its ugly head in the middle of Caliphates offensive. Looking forwards to see how all that impacts the prominent characters and their various relationships.

        In general, I think just keep doing what you're doing, because the way things are handled feels just about right.

        Ah, talking about ruthless scumbags, yes, that sadly holds true oftentimes, both in fiction and in life. I just hope he meets his Brutus somewhere down the line (not that it helped much for Roman Empire, but anyway). Also will be interesting to glimpse more of what drives the throne usurper forward.

        1. Aorii Post author

          Fans like you are the reason I don't regret taking this approach ^^. For every traditional GB fan I lose, I gain one who normally disliked the genre (and open-mindedness usually speaks for their better maturity and intelligence). Also pertinent to the GB discussion:

          Yeah character development did take a hit in vol.2. Too many battles. Never overdoing that again ^^' The good thing is vol.2. truly defined Daybreak apart from most fantasy (the insidious politicking, tactical battles, and not-so-medieval setting where magic will kick your face in if you forgot its influence...).

          Frontal meat-grinders are really boring to write about, so yes her front is downplayed.

          I'll keep the 'Extra' idea in mind. And the Caliphate is underdeveloped because Weichsel has no direct business with them, yet!

          1. Dain

            Thanks for the link, I'll go have a read.

            As for vol.2, yep, It did bring alot to the table. Now we know alot more of what Hyperion is all about and how things work out there, including magic in mass-combat scenarios (those poor guys that got blown up with grenades in hands... don't juggle explosives near lightning, kids!; though it was explained why there are no firearms and such, now it's even more apparent) and politics at large.

            Now characters are more experienced and have stronger bonds (brothers in arms, amongst other things), and the scene is setup for many things to come.

            Ah, a question, what are some of the defining differences between Skagen and Vastergotland, how those two entities play out (if it is known)? I don't seem to remember if there was any mention of that in the text.

          2. Aorii Post author

            See v2ch10's Vintersvend scene for notes on difference between Skagen and Vastergotland. But to put it slightly: Skagen is a noble confederacy and major naval/colonial power. Vastergotland is mocked as more tribal and stuck in the Viking era.

  7. Truth

    II quite enjoy reading a military novel with a historian sort of point of view, it's very interesting.

  8. someoneadorable

    if god did not exist who create a law? or are you trying to say law of nature is something that invented out of nowhere?
    if god did not exist who create the 1st matter to start the chain law of nature including gravitation
    the begining and the end is always the same if in the space theres something called void without matter then it was the begining and the end so there must be someone or something that create the 1st matter to start the chain of event and chain of law
    so inventing god is something that a foolish do but inventing religion is something that a cunning human do
    with or without god religion can still exist
    ( and for someone who want to ask about scientific evidence of god this is for you " you are trully smart but alas not wise cause you only think about something from one point of view a point of view that your limited brain can achive, 1 thousand year ago if you say you can fly you are a fool but now its not like that anymore, science is something that always change so why do you think what we know now is all there is to know?")

    1. Aorii Post author

      Moral philosophy come even without the aid of religion. See Confucianism for the best example. Despite it's classification, confucius never once asked others to worship an entity. He traveled as a teacher, not a preacher.
      I really don't care for scientific evidence of god. I'm an agnostic myself, not an atheist, so I believe god exists. I just don't know the form of his/their existence. So I'm not sure where the rest of your rant is aimed at =P

      1. FreeLancer

        Something like Data Integration Thought Entity maybe? I'm sure one thing God doesn't have gender.

  9. CuriousCabbitBlue

    =D cool info an nice to know more about your efforts into the story

    on another note am interested how his sex change will effect "his' psychology x3 chuu if I ever get back into school even if its not a major so taking it again

    on that note how much "his" personality is effected by biological changes or heck even the summoning spell itself could be up for debate but even with that said be hard to just "switch" someones mindset like that so interested in how he grows into the new life an body, that an its amusing as heck xD

    so much history~! luff it, it is a shame how much history people are forgetting/ignorant anymore or just flat out believing it never happened =/

    also interested in, rather then just tactics if maybe some new weapons would be made with knowledge from her previous life (apparently I can't stick with a gender in my mindset xD ) they might see gunpowder as not really effective but using the basic concepts behind ballistic weapons and applying magic in to make a low mana cost but effective weapons, even maybe to non-magic wielding groups chuu cause you can use a medium/runes as like ammo ahh I love day dreaming x3 would imgaine it would be effective ether way, a moving faster then a arrow means less time to counter ~nods nods ~ hmmhms

    I'm hungry time to noms less dribbling with random ideas xD an maybe more mechwarrior hmm or skyrim

  10. Wizard_Marshall

    I need to read these interesting author notes more in depth at a later time, but what jumped out at me was the religion aspect. If the Titans/Dragonlords won and gifted mankind with magic, why do we have a monotheistic religion centered around this Holy Father? I mean, I can assume various possibilities like this religion spread under the rule of the Imperium before they lost their territories much like Christianity did under the Roman Empire. I suppose I'm more interested on why you chose monotheism over polytheism or why this monotheistic religion is so why widespread. As soon as I read the author notes, I thought about how much more interesting and diverse things could be if polytheism was predominant. Of course that's just my personal opinion. It just feels like certain doors get closed when we go a monotheistic route. I'm starting to ramble now.

    1. Aorii Post author

      Because based on how I planned out the timeline/history...

      (1) the Dragonlords never asked to be worshipped as gods, thus religion is still something man created rather than being pressed onto man. History has proven that organized religion -- which has a higher probability to last through the ages -- tends to focus on a single figure of authority than many. It's why even major polytheistic religions tend to focus on one "supreme god" above all others.

      (2) the Dragonlords are not perfect either. In fact the Dragon-Demon War arose because they made mistakes, with the war concluded through efforts led by a single martyr. So for this world, it's "Hyperion died for our sins" ^^' That being said, Hyperion is a dragonlord and not a man.

      (3) Yes the Imperium of the Inner Sea is the one that spread the Trinitian religion, which consequentially brought about the Imperium's decline due to people's inability to accept this religion.

      (4) The world isn't entirely Trinitian either. I've noted that both the Northmen and the Samarans worship something different, not to mention those on the far east. Not being an expert on religion, I haven't gone into too much detail though ^^'

      I will say much of this still goes back to the desire to have Trinitian religion reflect Roman Catholicism.

      1. Wizard_Marshall

        1) I don't think it'd be necessary for the Dragonlords to ask to be worshiped. I'm not a religion expert, but from my limited knowledge, people are more than capable of venerating/worshiping individuals/concepts on their own. I do agree with the 2nd half of what you said.

        2) Is Hyperion the holy father? And is the continent named after him? I seem to recall it being Hyperion, but I could be mistaken.

        4) Yeah, the day after I wrote my post, I remembered them mentioning a Stormlord?

        I won't push the Dragonlord angle since you have your reasons - Trinitian religion = Roman Catholicism. I probably hoped in the corner of my mind for some titanic fights between deities.

        That said, will the various religions be more important than their sources? I mean, like it's important to know how these religions formed but their objects of worship aren't going to have any impact on this story?

        On a completely different note, I thought of leaving my book 2 review on chapter 14 but the author notes seems just as good.

        I love this intricate world you've crafted. The terminology gets a little heavy for me at times but that just shows how much detail you've put into it. I really like the first book which felt very character driven, and I was somewhat surprised with how it ended - the title was a giveaway. The main cast was easy to fall in love with. They were diverse and detailed making them feel like real people, which I felt was a major driving force of the book.

        Book 2 kinda threw me for a loop. I knew we were entering the war, but everything just kind of exploded. The multiple battle fronts/machinations, the scale of almost everything, and the cast just majorly expanded. I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride. Due to that, a lot of the side characters didn't really evoke as much emotion from me as the characters from Book 1. I'd say about half made me feel something and half didn't. Admittedly, that might not be a fair comparison, assuming that Pascal's new "friends" are going to be major characters. It feels like you're juggling a lot, and I'm concerned I'm gonna miss some of the feels you're going to eventually try to evoke from us readers unless it affects Pascal and friends.

        The graphic fight scenes felt well done, though the larger battle scale is sometimes hard for me to grasp - mostly because I'm not familiar with the tactically planning of military engagements. Sometimes I feel like you're illustrating some kind of critical point in the battle, but I don't fully understand it sometimes - that's probably due to my lack of military knowledge though.

        I am looking forward to seeing how Kaede grapples with the horrors/happenings of war. Her moral grapplings are understandable, but I'm wondering why they're there. Is it just to illustrate the horrors of war that Pascal and the others denote as necessary? I remember her wanting to provide aid for the fallen enemy soldiers, and Pascal gave them some aid but was forced to leave them behind. I remember thinking what if those soldiers became bandits and made it to a Weichel or Rhin-Lotharingie town?

        1. Aorii Post author

          1) That depends on the source of the religion. A good example of Confucism, which despite being very close and often seen by outsiders as a religion, is not actually a religion -- mostly because the original Confucius never asked his pupils to worship him, merely that they adhere to his teachings in philosophical ethics.

          2) Remember that the "Holy Trinity" existing in Christianity. Aka God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, even if the three are not equivalent to one another. As the "Christ" role, Hyperion would actually be the "son".

          4) Religions will affect the story based on how they manipulate human behavior, like how the Trinitians and the Northmen certainly don't see eye-to-eye during vol2. I plan for religion to take an increasing bigger role as the story goes. But once again, I'm not a religion expert so it's easier to say than do ^^'

          Book 1 actually focuses on the 'core cast' I want to develope as main players in the story (minus Sylv; I simply couldn't get her in). Book 2 simply starts building a world around them rather than staying in a school-like microcosm. I agree, multi-front wars are a mess -- you should see me trying to juggle a dozen different armies at once in a game of EU4 while trying to outmaneuver multiple hostile armies simultaneously XD

          Kaede's experience with war represents how war actually is to any modern perspective. This is in stark contrast to Pascal and most of the other characters who grew up anticipating a military career and are far more 'pragmatic' about it. There's also a reason why before modern warfare and the concept of a "continuous frontline" most towns were fortified. In fact, armies which suffered a major defeat back in the day often splintered into stragglers, mercenary units, and raider groups.

          1. Wizard_Marshall

            2) So since Hyperion was a Dragonlord, does that mean the Trinian religion is human creativity at it's best and that they've misconstrued his origins?

            4) Okay, that's pretty much what I expected. So the Stormlord himself or any other deities won't be making cameo appearances right?

            Book 2 - I see. You certainly do burst out of the school bubble; I just felt unprepared for the transition between books.

            Sylv - I loved your introduction of her, especially her perspective. I'm looking forward to the portrayal of her and Pascal's relationship.

            EU4 - Lol that certainly sounds like an interesting fight.

            Kaede's experience - so she provides the perspective baseline for us modern readers to sympathize with? The part about army remnants devolving into mercenaries and bandits doesn't surprise me. What did surprise me was that a history buff like Kaede didn't seem to consider it. I suppose I can chalk it up to her not considering it due to the stress she was under.

          2. Aorii Post author

            One could also ask: was Jesus really a messiah, or was he just a character? =P
            One of my favorite lines from Voltaire: "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."

            Kaede's reaction comes from the modern belief that any execution of PoWs is a heinous and irredeemably evil act that should never be acceptable. Either way, nobody ever said morality and pragmaticism went together.

          3. TimeWreck24

            Another interesting factoid about the holy trinity is that it also was not entirely originated from Christianity alone. There was a concept of it in Greek theology, albeit in a set of female goddesses (namely Hera, Athena, and the commonly misinterpreted as not a goddess, Medusa. This point was actually also touched upon in Campione! Which was surprising to me. Also, I believe it was in many other older pagan religions, I just don't the remember the specific details on which ones were using it in what capacity.

          4. Aorii Post author

            It's different in the older pagan religions. Paganism is both polytheistic and sees 'gods' as part of the real world -- divine being that walk among men in reality rather than some intangible, higher figure. This makes it very easy for traditional pagan religions to 'import' gods from one another -- sometimes splitting, sometimes combining. So while the gods are equal, they're essentially different interpretations by different people of the same god.
            The Holy Trinity is the Christian view that God has three forms simultaneously, which are equal but also unequal. It is a singular interpretation.

  11. Coma

    always interesting to read the author point of view on how the story is developing...

    indeed the "volume 2" seem to be really heavy battle centric... but still in my opinion you did well in not missing a few chance for character development (especialy for kaede... the after battle at the camp... both with princess... that also got a nice characterization... and later with the one armed female officer... that I'm sorry but can't remebr the name ^^') ... I think such chance for development for both her and other could come with the aftermath of the northcap battle... it is building up to be quite the blody fight with things going far from what was planned...

    well with all said I'm eager to read how the story develope in both this current arc and in what have to come (since experience and status is something the characters need politic plot will probably arise soon enough ^^)

  12. Sonoda Yuki

    No no, if you don't include "gott mit uns" and "hakkaa päälle" I'll be troubled here...
    Those references were epic.

      1. Sonoda Yuki

        Perfect, now I can ride into battle without worry of my steed slipping on the terrain. sharpens pike


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