Crystal Hall (Whateley Academy and more):

Total posts: [30]
Crystal Hall

Hoe of the Whateley Academy stories as well as the various other stories the authors write, including these Exalted stories.

So yeah, general discussion thread.
Wanderer (Not Lost)
Kind of surprised there's only one topic with one message given how often this one is pimped. Personally, I enjoy some of the stories, but it's a far cry short of professional fiction and a few steps below most fanfiction in terms of quality in my opinion. Eh, in time they'll improve with more writing, right?

That is, assuming they ever get around to posting new stories now that the servers are back online...
That's because it has more entries on this site than it has actual readers.
Wanderer (Not Lost)
Eh, it's one of those things like eating fried fat. It's delicious but you have more than two or three at a time and you start feeling sick. Heh, and I have a growing feeling that the Team Kimba team stories are actually in-universe fanfiction. Suddenly, the rapidly shifting characterization, the Mary Sue traits, and the tendency for everyone to speak in turn make so much more sense.
All I can do is groan at the entry pimping. I actually saved one of them as an example of "How Not to Write a TV Tropes Entry."

From Our Werewolves Are Different:

The Whateley Universe features all kinds of characters who could be considered 'weres' of some kind or other. The 'regular' ones were created by the Sidhe in ancient times to serve as warriors in the fight against the Great Old Ones; their community near Whateley Academy (which is in fact built on their tribal territory) includes feline weres and at least one werebear in addition to plain old werewolves, and there are others scattered at least over the US. They are capable of infecting humans and most mutants by way of a quick-acting magical virus transmitted by biting, but this isn't currently common practice. At the school, one might also run into Harry Wolfe a.k.a. Techwolf, who's basically a wolf-man due to a family curse, or Bloodwolf, who's about as easy to get along with as his name indicates and seems to be getting his powers from some kind of wolf spirit. A secondary character living at Hawthorn Cottage is actually a wolf who turns into a human. There's the supervillain Lycanthros, who looks kind of caveman-ish normally, and can turn into a massive werewolf when he wants; he wears a bunch of pelts that might be wolves or maybe even werewolves, so he may fall into the 'deal with the devil' category of mythology...and finally (for now) we have the creatures nicknamed 'Voodoo Wolves' or more generally 'Voodoo Weres', who are part-regular were, part-Eldritch Abomination, serve somebody who goes by the meaningful title 'The Bastard', and can actually infect 'normal' weres and transform them into their own kind.

I mean, really.

edited 19th Sep '11 4:18:27 PM by Pannic

Wanderer (Not Lost)
And there has been one update (an Exalted story) and an explanation that apparently the webmaster just got laid off, so updates are being delayed due to jobseeking and depression.
Wanderer (Not Lost)
Yeah... I think I'm just about done with the stories. They're entertaining, but very little new is being added and it's getting harder to find ones I haven't read on the site due to the somewhat jumbled organization of things. The site has potential, but I think it's dying on the vine.
Wanderer (Not Lost)
And, of course, I fail to remain completely away. I've made my way through most of the core stories for the characters I care about. Unfortunately, it looks like many of the core authors are cleaving away from the Whateley Universe, which means the story output is low with the possible exception of the "fanfiction" done outside of the the canon cabal, which is still running fairly strong, although slowly in the case of some of the stories.
Wanderer (Not Lost)
So, website seems to be down. First, it was the forums. Now, is linking to an entry page for Big Closet, and a nonfunctional one at that.
Bad writing? Whoever said that is dead wrong. The universe is the most realistic superhero universe I have ever heard about. There are lots of loose ends to speculate about, lots of decent character development (even if the complaining characters drag on a bit), and the universe itself is easy to grasp the basics of. The forums are a good place to get answers from canon authors and talk with other users about stories, not to mention commenting on them.

And the general plot is dang exciting! There have recently been a lot of small/medium reveals that have sated my need for more stories for the time being, but I still would love to read more. And there are a LOT of readers, judging from the amount of users on the forums.

The servers which host Big Closet, Fiction Mania, Crystal Hall, and others have been taken down due to a hardware crash and will be moved to newer servers. The sites should be up and running tomorrow or later, according to the two-day estimate from one of the servermasters, Erin.
11 FuzzyBoots25th Apr 2013 12:10:39 PM from Pittsburgh, PA
Wanderer (Not Lost)
Personally, I enjoy reading some of the stories. Others are too... eh, Tennyo, Fey, and Chaka don't hook me in their actual stories. Ayla makes for a fun character, and I enjoy the above in the stories written by that author (too lazy to look up his/her name). Out of the other ones, they range from blatant wish fulfillment to solid writing. As I've argued on the forums occasionally in my story feedback, I personally find it mildly creepy how often someone changes their sex, wakes up the next morning, and then just accepts it as their normal state. In some cases, they were headed that way, and the BIT situation means that magic essentially brainwashes them into accepting their new "correct" gender, but there's a part of me that reads the descriptions and can't help but feel that the teachers have something in place to ensure that their children's minds are made up for them.

For TG fiction, it's amazingly intolerant of actual transgender folk, this assumption that because your sex has changed, you are your sex. That's one of the reasons I like the Ayla stories, the fact that he's not taking it sitting down, same thing with the Josie adventures and some of the fanfiction on the forums.

I do hold with the idea that most of the Team Kimba stories are in-universe "real person fanfic" to account for inconsistencies.
I LOVE Chaka! She's funny!

Tennyo... is absolutely clueless about things she should have noticed ages ago, and I get frustrated with that. That said, it's great to see someone provoking her and saying to myself, "Ooh, that's not gonna go over well..."!

Fey still hasn't quite gotten over the gender change, but her relationship with Bunny is a good distraction.

Lancer I think was already transgendered before he transformed, as was Chaka.

Phase needs to learn a thing or two about life and is scarily good at getting what he wants (except the obvious body problem, but until they catch Nimbus and find out exactly what he did to Ayla and Puppet, there's probably no fixing that...)

I love Jade, and I hope we find out soonish what's holding her in her current form.

And I really don't like Josie. He's such a wimp.

And they don't really thing all people should act their genders; they're just trying to help the involuntarily transformed kids not resist the mental change that will eventually happen, Whateley or no Whateley.

Anyways, for the story to be exciting, there has to be a bit of Author's Licence, but even so, it's not really all that bad.

13 FuzzyBoots1st May 2013 05:37:17 AM from Pittsburgh, PA
Wanderer (Not Lost)
Website is apparently still down. I keep forgetting to check it at home and I'm not clicking into The Big Closet from work.
14 FuzzyBoots2nd May 2013 08:30:12 AM from Pittsburgh, PA
Wanderer (Not Lost)
And it's back. I had to flush my DNS cache and force refresh, but it's back up again. No comment on the forums about the outage.
15 FuzzyBoots11th Jun 2013 09:52:38 AM from Pittsburgh, PA
Wanderer (Not Lost)
A while back, there was a heap of controversy on the boards over "A Cold Plate of Vengenace" wherein Loophole, previously a very principled and subtle character with few hangups suddenly revealed that she'd been raped by Songbird, a former Alpha, and that she'd enacted a somewhat hamfisted revenge involving convincing Songbird that Loophole had trapped her soul. The main complaints of the story were that Elaine seemed to be going off the deep end, her scheme was oddly full of holes that would hoist her by her own petard, and it involved her disclosing her scheme in a public area to Ayla, part of the main cast, with Ayla serving the position of "canon character loudly voicing And That's Terrible to let the reader know that this character was really Bad". The author responded hotly to the criticisms and indicated that all of the inconsistencies were part of the plot, as has apparently been too subtly shown.

Now, we have "Whilst Any Speaks" which seems to be addressing the concerns. We're only two parts in, but it does make some headway on solving things, although it involves spirit-totem-roofies, mindwipes through homophobia, and more incidents where we move to a scene with more longstanding characters watching what's going on and voicing aloud how powerful Loophole is and how she scares them. Business as usual on the site, I guess...
16 TairaMai10th Jul 2013 08:00:04 PM from El Paso Tx , Relationship Status: Owner of a lonely heart
rollin' on dubs
[up]And it's now in Seinfeld Is Unfunny territory: I'm afraid the 'Verse has jumped the shark for me. I hate to say it but I'm no longer following this series. It's just not my thing anymore.

edited 10th Jul '13 8:00:33 PM by TairaMai

17 PhilosopherStones10th Jul 2013 08:27:58 PM from Canada, Eh? , Relationship Status: Tsundere'ing
Lover of Roses
Are there any stories you would reccomend to someone who's just gettin' into Whateley?
The Dude Abides
18 FuzzyBoots17th Jul 2013 11:34:28 AM from Pittsburgh, PA
Wanderer (Not Lost)
That's an interesting question. I think a lot of it has to do with what kind of story you're looking for. Personally, I'm a big fan of the Literary Cabal (Lit Chix) stories, which largely run in parallel to the main storyline, but it's a bit more about investigation and social interaction than it is about superheroing. The Big Idea isn't too bad, and has a bit more of the genderswapping. If you're looking for a somewhat more comprehensive view of Whateley involving the Kimbas, go for the Ayla stories. They're the best-written in my opinion, and Ayla gets huge props from me for not falling into the "Yay, I'm a girl!" bit that almost everyone else in the Whateley universe tends to (Seriously, my head-canon is that the Academy has some magic/psychic geas in place to force people into accepting their new gender identity).
I've only read a couple stories, and it seems to me that most if the characters who got gender swapped were already transgendered, and their mutation have them a handy, non-surgical way to achieve their goal.
20 FuzzyBoots13th Aug 2014 05:48:34 AM from Pittsburgh, PA
Wanderer (Not Lost)
Incidentally, the website is once more getting updated with new stories, including one of the original authors, Maggie Finson, returning, albeit with a different character.
21 FuzzyBoots24th Sep 2015 09:43:24 AM from Pittsburgh, PA
Wanderer (Not Lost)
And currently the forums are down, although the main site is working. There's definitely been a shift in authors. The Kimba crew are becoming more and more background characters, although I can't say that I necessarily like some of their replacements. The new Whisper story is particularly interesting to me because it's not only a case where someone is reluctant to accept their sex change, but also one where it shows the coercive effect of the changes and how they're helped along by well-meaning friends and family who insist on switching to new pronouns and fashion. It's also particularly amusing because the author keeps making a point of how ridiculous female clothing is even as the world keeps insisting that there's no possible way that a girl could wear a baggy sweatshirt or wash her face with soap. I mean, it's completely different as a woman and you need perfumed bath salts or your skin will shrivel up and die. It's a weirdly misogynist message for the site.
22 FuzzyBoots29th Sep 2015 06:49:57 AM from Pittsburgh, PA
Wanderer (Not Lost)
Forums are still down, but they're working at setting up a new site that may include both forum and stories (apparently, they're starting to get frustrated by the long lag time in dealing with the Big Closet people).
23 FuzzyBoots5th Oct 2015 07:04:01 AM from Pittsburgh, PA
Wanderer (Not Lost)
I doubt anyone here is on tenterhooks about it, but the temporary site is down due to hacking. and the wiki are up, but there are no forums.
24 TairaMai7th Oct 2015 01:01:03 AM from El Paso Tx , Relationship Status: Owner of a lonely heart
rollin' on dubs
Okay, who would hack the site? I'm curious...

25 FuzzyBoots7th Oct 2015 06:46:02 AM from Pittsburgh, PA
Wanderer (Not Lost)
It sounds like it was a crime of opportunity. Someone noticed a chance to compromise it so that they could post spam. Add to that that the system chosen technically allowed people to make payments of real money for some benefit (although they'd yet to set anything up yet) and it becomes all the more tempting to hack into it. There's apparently a set of backup forums at the Buck and Bonnie site (run by E.E. Nailey, one of the authors) and the latest story is being cross-posted to the BCTS site, which allows for commenting.

That was coming along nicely over the past week... but unfortunately, someone decided to take advantage of our offer to come check it out and poke around to look for set up issues... and used a security vulnerability that was there temporarily to hack the system, change some things, and damage some user files. So about ten days work towards having a solution to this problem in place, rewound back to the start by a betrayal from someone claiming to be a part of our community.

For this week, however, we decided that we don't want to skip again. So what we're going to do is simultaneously release the new story here on the site AND at BCTS/Topshelf. This will allow people to read the story here, in the usual format that we put them in, and then follow a link (which will be on the line BELOW the link to the story, not in the story itself) to a version where you can comment on it. Once we have our own forums or commenting system up and running, we'll transfer comments across. At worst, this is a little confusing for those people who have never visited BCTS or used a Drupal based comment system.

edited 7th Oct '15 6:47:17 AM by FuzzyBoots

Total posts: 30