Tag Archives: Romance

Gold Heart, Silver Chain: Chapter 1

Author’s Note: Well, here we are, the long awaited chapter one. This is a serial fiction, and chapters will be posted once a week until series completion. There are precursors to this series, and if you haven’t read them, that’s where you should begin; start here.

Genres (so far within the totality of the universe): Romance, Slice-of-Life, Drama, Fantasy.
Tags (so far within the totality of the universe): F/F, M/F, Mature Sensual Content, Mild Fantasy Violence.

Totality Rating: This serialized content is “Mature” due to romantic overtures between adult women and use of hard language (cursing/swearing). No severe warnings currently apply to this fiction. Warnings will be added on an as needed basis.

Thank you to our official artist, Ruka. She provided the artwork for Blair. More concept artwork and other details have been provided to patron members, who also receive chapters early. If you enjoy our efforts, please consider supporting this fiction.

Chapter 1

Blair often dreamed of that wedding when she closed her eyes. In the haze of sleep, she was swept away to that effervescent celebration she so heavily envied. She could expertly replay the events hosted by the Cadfan kingdom to the north. It was like magic to recall that night so fondly, and she wanted a union like that for herself.

It had been a splendorous night. She enjoyed the feast and danced all night long. Her body rocked to the ceremonial drums that pulsed amidst waves of flowing embers. That was the moment that an Advar and a Cadfan had joined together beneath the full moon sky. Sweat covered the bodies of the practitioners calling upon their own elements, the Advar among them paying tribute to the momentous occasion.

She remembered offering her own element of shadow to the festivities. Penumbra casting a silhouette, even where the fires flickered the brightest. The places that shadow normally couldn’t prevail found their existence in that utmost important ritual. Nightfall ebbed into the gray skies of morning that way, amidst the snowy northern reaches of Basa. 

That night, she had watched her cousin become wed in the Cadfan ceremonial way, and joined herself to that Cadfan woman under Advar ritual. Her cousin, consort to a warrior queen… who would have guessed?

Blair never would have.

To her surprise though, that was not the detail clinging to her mind. It was not the thing she dreamed of most. No, that honor went to the touch of a dainty hand in hers, and that small squeeze. Affectionate, if withdrawn. It was within that single moment, on that very night, she knew… 

She had found a suitor of her own. The queen’s younger sister, no less…

That had been a special moment. As the sun caressed the sky and the ceremony came to a close, life as she knew it had changed for Blair. It had been such a small thing, but it had meant the world to her. A weekend spent with that acerbic woman called to Blair’s own desires and designs, and Valda was all that she could hope for.

She was stunning in her beauty, crimson hair a shocking hue, viridian eyes like gemstones. With a tongue lashing out intellect like a whip, it was hard not to take notice of her. Valda was small stature, lacking in pure physique. She had a desire for simple finery, an exquisite taste for food and drink. For all of that, she was neither cowed by the Arvad surrounding her, and hardly intimidated by Blair’s tenacity. She would willingly bicker at every turn, and yet, she was softer for the moments partaken in observation.

A gentleness beneath it all…

Dreams were fickle things, although Blair was loath to admit that. When she awoke to a cold bed, inevitably colder thoughts drifted the hours by. Reaching out to the darkness surrounding her, she began to draw into the air, almost as though she was drawing upon a canvas. Tendrils of white void began slicing beyond the very darkness itself, beyond the living realm. 

The image was so clear to her mind’s eye. She followed the patterns, traced it out. The spectacle took form in front of her, until the door to her room opened and the light from the outdoors banished her drawing back into the shadows… erased entirely.

Finally, the door closed, casting the room back into darkness. The sounds of footfalls permeated the air as the well-meaning intruder rounded the corner. The thick velvet drapes were drawn shut against the open window, cool air flowed in, the light stayed out. Even amid what had to be daylight, it was as dark as pitch, just the way she liked it. She rolled her eyes as her father made himself comfortable in a chair resting within a corner of the room.

“Good, you’re awake,” the man chuckled softly, voice full of warmth. At his side there were two small orbs of midnight, one nestled upon each of his shoulders.

“I’ve been awake for a while now,” she said, watching as a small flame came to life. It settled upon a candle to light the room dimly. “I couldn’t sleep…”

The only light that came sparked from the dark corner, a small flicker of that flame moved until a shadowed face came into view against it. The man lit his cigarette, perching it there between his lips. Meanwhile, one of the small orbs darted to her. The tiny little orb was one of her baby brothers. He began bouncing around in the air curiously, as if to inspect her. The baby Arvad still lacked meaningful physicality, no more than a wisp of essence.

Until he had a physical vessel, he was incapable of feeling pain. He could do no more than observe the world around him. That made for endless trouble, particularly for those who couldn’t understand him. She caught him, cupping her brother in her palms. “What do you think you’re doing? Stop that and go back to Dad,” Blair grumbled dryly, opening her palms.

Instead of heeding her request, her brother darted around her head once more. She swatted at him just to get the point across, although it didn’t do much good. He continued to float around haphazardly, trying to keep her attention.

 “He’s a playful youth,” Blagden said to her. “A talkative little one, too.”

Blair nodded at that. “Have you named them yet?”

“We thought it wise to wait a little. Your mother and I are still getting to know them after all…”

Blagden merely took in the sight with a pride only a father could. If he were honest with himself, so many of his children returned to the elements soon after adulthood. Unable to find their value and usefulness, they returned to the shadows from which they were born. It was the natural order for them, the way things ought to be. Still, he would be entirely remiss if he didn’t wish for a child he felt worthy enough to take his place one day.

Firmly, he felt it within him and he looked upon his finest protege. His daughter, Blair. She would be a wise choice. The first that lacked a particular ruthlessness, and the first to wish for the position out of belonging instead of greed… but, she had much to learn before she could do that.

“By the way,” he began, drawing deeply from his cigarette. “We leave in three hours for the final leg of the journey to reach Vamon Coast. The way I see it, we can continue the shortcut upon the Black Causeway, exiting off northeast once we reach the Vamon Valley. It shouldn’t take too long.”

“Perfect, just what I need right now,” Blair said unhappily. She sat up in her small cot with a groan, stretching languidly. “More rain and the reeking scent of sulfur… what time is it?”

“Noonday… or thereabouts,” the Arvad man said to her. His voice was deep and warm. “Look lively now, you know what awaits us the very moment that we get there. Well, assuming it isn’t too late of course.”

“You don’t need to tell me twice. I want to see Valda the moment we arrive if that’s at all possible…” Blair said to him. Her thoughts were already upon the small pup sleeping in the basket in the corner. A gift she intended to offer the moment that nuptials were arranged. “Furthermore, I do not intend to leave without Valda at my side. I will make the fight for her if I must, you should know that upfront. Honestly, we should have left earlier..”

“I’m sure you will,” he said, sighing softly. “We would have left earlier, but your mother decided to frolic amid the town. I cannot seem to find her anywhere. 

“Did you try the seamstress?”

“That was the first place I checked,” he muttered in return.

“And just where is it that you believe I’ve wandered off to?” A womanly tone asked both of them, causing father and daughter alike to startle at the words. A hand shoved the thick drapes aside, leaning in through the open window. “I was shopping for goods, not gallivanting around… get up Blair, the innkeeper wishes to speak with you about something important.”

The Aasa were a tender folk, placidity was a trait favored often among them. They were also keen, known for brilliance and ingenuity. Yet, they were also somewhat strange people, at least by Blair’s understanding of them. They had been born from the whims of three elemental graces, that of Light, of Land, and the mortal man turned elemental, Advar himself. The Aasa were not kindred spirits to her… not as an entirety.

Aasa were shifters of animal kind, able to blend into the wilds they called home… but to Blair’s recollections, those old ways had been sacrificed. The Aasa had cast them aside. The Cadfan were to blame for that. There was once a time, long ago, when Cadfan and Aasa lived side-by-side. A time now sullied and spat upon, by the mortals of this world.

The Aasa could shift to animalistic nature, like the fauna surrounding them. The Cadfan could commune with that nature directly. Controlling the mortal beasts of the lands was their utmost ability, but such a power came with the awful reality of using the Aasa for tools of their primal desire for war and conquest.

These days, the Aasa hated the Cadfan for years of mistreatment. The Cadfan saw the Aasa as little more than cowards, and beneath them besides. After all, the Cadfan believed that if they could tame down the creatures that walked this mortal realm, why not be able to tame and control the Aasa as well? To them it was a simple fact that they were the greater race among them.

The Aasa disagreed.

“So, let me get this straight. You want me to take Kiki along with me on my travels?” Blair asked curiously, surprised by the request. “That’s an odd thing to ask of an Advar, one like me especially.”

The innkeeper nodded, setting down a large wash basin in front of him. He had bedding to wash, one of his many daily chores. “My daughter spends all day cooped up within the shed concocting nonsense unless you happen to be around. She’s taken a liking to you, for what little that’s worth. Ever since her uncle left to wander, Kiki keeps the hunger to see the world as well. She’ll leave for greener pastures one day, Blair. I’d rather she did that with those I can trust.”

“I assume that you want me to take her to him,” Blair said passively. “You should know, he isn’t within Vamon anymore. Last I saw him, he was settled with a small Aasa village in the north.”

“So say his letters,” the man said with a nod. He spent his time running the sopping wet cloth heavily against the uneven bumps of metal, releasing the impurities from the cloth. The clear water in the basin turned murky, just like his thoughts upon the matter. “I can only give her the same fate that I have now. The daughter of an innkeeper doesn’t have much to look forward to, not in these parts.”

Blair considered that, sitting upon the hillside with a loaf of freshly baked bread in hand. She watched the large dogs that made their home upon the hillside. They meandered  along with the shepherds and the sheep. The elderly man among the livestock paid no mind to them. She wondered what sort of animal he could shift into, there was no way to tell just by looking at him.

The flowing markings upon his skin did nothing to tell what he could shift into.. Only that he could at all. Ancient coloration against skin tone aside, in this form he was merely human looking. There was no other hint to his nature. If someone was lucky enough to decipher the markings, they might have a clue, but Blair was not so skilled.

Blair took a bite of her meal, washing it down with water. She looked away from the shepherd and back to the man at her side. The innkeeper’s request seemed so odd to her. She knew of the man’s brother in passing, but not enough to know the bond of the family. “It isn’t as if your brother’s inn to the north is any different from your own… aside from passing Advar like myself, I doubt he sees much in the way of business these days.”

“We’re simple men who settled with simple women, he and I. These days, that’s fine for us, but Kiki isn’t so easy to please. She’s a restless one, and I will be honest. I just don’t believe these small outpost villages suit her whims. She would be happier in a large city someplace, I’d say.”

Blair sighed softly, she could already feel the headache brewing. “You believe handing her to the Arvad guarantees that she’ll be given the opportunity to settle someplace else?”

“Once she’s ready. Perhaps she’ll be taken in-hand by one of your own kind once she comes of age… she may distinctly prefer that, for all that I know… Kiki is a strange girl that way.”

“Thankfully for us, enough of you are strange that way. Otherwise, we Arvad would be out of luck… but the Arvad life can also be a life of hardship too,” she said to him. “A life on the road is a life that lacks luxury.”

“She’ll have no harder a life than the one she already lives here. The truth is, she has little in the way of options for her future. I can hardly make ends meet some days,” he replied. “I’m a poor man Blair. The girl rarely listens to me these days, but she admires you.”

“Why not leave for greener pastures yourself?” Blair asked him then. “You could simply pack up and move.”

“This is my home, and it’s all that I know.”

“Hmm, she would do better with those of Land’s influence, or perhaps those of Light… the Arvad they cultivated are temperate minds, and they’re highly favored. They keep many mortal oddities among them. It wouldn’t seem so out of place for an Aasa to walk among the gentle Arvad nomads.”

“I don’t know them, and they don’t pass by this area often. They’re not known to come this far into the inhospitable wilderness. I wouldn’t entrust my daughter’s safety to those I hardly know, to me she’s still just a child. That’s why I’m asking you to do me this favor… I do know of you…”

Blair raised a black eyebrow, curious and skeptical. A favor begot one in return. This man had nothing to offer, and nothing that she particularly wanted. “I’m not one to take a plea for help. It sounds as though you don’t want me to drop her somewhere, but to be her keeper… I’m not so interested in that.”

“I’m not asking this with the intent to send her away for good. The opposite is true,” he said, licking his lips thoughtfully. “I’d hope on your next pass through, she’d choose to stay put.”

“If she doesn’t?”

“Then at least I see my daughter on the occasions you stop here to rest. I thought you enjoyed spending time with Kiki. Is looking after her upon the road truly that too great a burden to you?”

“If I found her a burden, I’d chase her from my sight,” Blair said, rolling her eyes as she continued to eat her meal. It had little to do with the young teenager. She could keep the girl safe. That she knew, but even so. The man had obviously lost his mind. “She’d be ridiculed for traveling with us, we shadow folk aren’t well-liked.”

“I like you…”

“We pay you for goods and services, what isn’t to like?” Blair questioned. “Outposts tolerate us because without us, you’d starve. The same isn’t true for the Aasa in the cities who have no value for the Arvad passing by… least of all an Arvad like myself. You’re just lucky that I find your daughter favorable to me, or else I’d have declined the notion outright.”

The man sighed at length, deflating so heavily that Blair almost felt bad for him. Almost, but not quite. More than anything, she found him pitiable at the very least.

“Just take her with you, Blair. Promise me that you will…”

A promise was a promise, even if she did feel a little dubious about it. If she had thought Kiki entirely useless, she wouldn’t have made the agreement, but she knew the girl had her own skills. Preparing to leave, she thought about how best to use the girl’s skills to her advantage.

Gathering supplies was the least of Blair’s concerns. The routine came second nature. It was the same as taking great care of the creatures tainted by the element of shadow. She could have done it blindfolded. Preparing to leave took days on occasion, just as the journey itself could take even longer.

Vamon wasn’t too far away now, and she felt the clock ticking. Still, it was better to keep busy than to restlessly worry about a possible proposal decline. She needed a distraction, and found it amidst the chores needing to be completed.

An aircraft slowly passed by, a young teenage girl pedaling the contraption with great effort. 

She began circling around before she slowed her speed, coming in for a landing. The Aasa were a wise and industrious people, gizmos and gadgets aplenty to compliment their forest dwelling nature. They deeply respected the lands, and found ways to aid in protecting it. Aircraft was a new industry, but a monumental one.

The impish Aasa teenager lifted the set of shaded goggles from her face. She was easily excitable, always curious. “So, what do you think? Do you like it?”

“I don’t dislike it, but you won’t be able to take it with you,” Blair replied. She was hardly interested in a machine meant to soar. That was meant for birds, not people. “You’ll have to leave that with your father if you intend to join us.”

“Aw, you’re no fun, Blair.”

“If you were meant to fly, you’d have been born with wings.”

“You’re just a big party-pooper. Even my parents say so. The shadow-folk are always so grumpy. That’s what Mom says,” the girl said, untying the two lines of rope. They were fastened to the seat, to keep her safe. She hopped off of her newest flying machine with a grin. “I want to see everything from up high.”

“Not even we Arvad fly, Kiki…”

“Not even just one?”

“Never that I’ve heard of,” Blair said, pouring a bucket of water into a nearby trough. With one hand  resting upon her father’s beloved steed that came to get a drink, she took a brush to his coat with the other. “Obviously, with the aid of great winged beasts we could fly, if we so wished. None of us can fly upon our own merits though.”

“Have you ever flown on one?”

No… I haven’t, and I won’t unless I must. I was born to walk the lands, not soar above them,” Blair told her. “Why do you want to follow us around so badly, anyway? This is a nice little village, and it’s where you belong. Your family resides here.”

“Dad said that I could go with you to see Vamon,” Kiki replied. “I’ve never been to a big city before. I’m old enough to go now, aren’t I? I am thirteen now, after all.”

“Yet compared to the vastness of the world, you’re still a baby,” Blair said as she watched Kiki collect her belongings from the back of the flying machine. It was a good thing the girl wouldn’t have to carry her bag by her own power, or she would tire quickly. “I doubt you’d be very impressed. Vamon isn’t a large city at all.”

“It isn’t?” Kiki asked, sounding disappointed. She nearly stumbled with her heavy rucksack before Blair caught her, holding her upright. “I thought you were going because the princess you really like has a castle there. She does, doesn’t she?”

“No, Vamon is only a farming and fishing town for the northern kingdoms. It isn’t as big as a major city,” Blair said. Then she took hold of the girl’s belongings, placing them beside her own. “It is rather large and prosperous, but it remains mostly rural settlements for cultivation. Sorry to darken your day with sour news, but the Birendra Citadel is just that. It isn’t a large castle by royal standards.”

“It has to be way bigger than this place at least,” Kiki replied with a small shrug. She settled down beside a gigantic black lion, plucking leaves out of his furry mane before picking up a small wolf pup of the same color. “Our farm is really small. We get most of our food from the traders.”

Blair rolled her eyes, the girl had her there. The small outpost villages were nothing compared to a town. The innkeeper here was a friend of the family. Blair could recall when Kiki had been little more than a diaper clad baby, sucking upon her thumb. She had come a long way since then. The Aasa people weren’t known to go on great pilgrimages often, they were not the wandering sort. Once they settled, they stayed, but Kiki was a wild youth.

There were exceptions to every rule, after all, and Kiki was a great many of them. She wanted to be a voyager of the lands, to leave and see them. Perhaps the diminutive teenager was much more of a kinfolk to the Arvad in that way, mortal soul or not. The mortals were inclined from time-to-time, if rarely so. 

Even so, Blair still didn’t think it wise to take the girl along. She had agreed because more hands among them meant more work done, and Kiki would be an asset, not a hindrance. “Vamon is a quiet place, generally speaking,” Blair spoke idly as she cared for the horses and oxen. “The Aasa’s very own Colm Citadel rests there too, to be exact. All of the Vamon Coast rests upon neutral grounds…”

“Do you think I can see it?”

“As we pass by, but you wouldn’t be permitted inside… never mind that for now. Be mindful of that wolf pup, Kiki.” Blair said then, grabbing the small creature by the scruff of his neck. She gently placed him back in the basket he belonged in. “He’s a gift for Valda, I don’t want him bonding with anyone.”

“Oh, okay…” The girl nodded emphatically before she paused. Brown eyes blinked slowly, narrowing curiously. “Hmm, Blair, what’s a-”

“A very tall tower,” Blair interrupted. “It isn’t their primary residence. Merely a property royal families keep to please the Grace of Light. Each one overlooks the lands they keep in Vamon… those lands are protected by light-aligned Advar, Kiki. Every prominent ruler is expected to keep a residence there.”

The girl nodded, she had heard a little bit about Vamon from the travelers passing by. She had always been curious about it, but so few of them would talk to her. Blair did, the shadow Advar always told her stories when they stopped here. For the lonely teenager on the hillside, that meant the world to her. “I don’t understand why that’s a rule Grace of Light has. The Cadfan have never liked us, and the animals they command are all super mean. Why do we have to have a… what was it again?”

“Citadel, Kiki… Citadel…”

The girl nodded. “Yeah, that. Why do we all have one?” 

“Grace of Light demands it, her desire is for peace and prosperity for all. Her elemental fountain rests there which is why it remains so peaceful and the land there never dries or becomes inhospitable. That’s why there are no beasts tainted by Light’s element. She wishes for visitation by all who walk upon Basa’s soil and she doesn’t cast hardship onto others. No one is allowed to wage war on her lands, that is absolutely forbidden…” Blair said, sighing then.

“But we always fight and that never changes.”

“That’s because you mortals don’t live long enough to see how useless conquest truly is.”

“Conquest my butt, he was just mean. Get this, the last time a Cadfan passed me by in the forest, his bear actually tried to eat me and chased me right up a tree!” Kiki complained, letting out an annoyed huff as she crossed her arms over her chest. “He thought it was funny too… stupid Cadfan… those guys living by the volcanoes are such big jerks.”

“It serves you right for wandering around outside the village… I don’t mind if you come along, but mean spirited Cadfan would be the least of your worries. There are all kinds of animals out there. There are monsters too,” Blair said to her softly. “Twisted mutations of the flora and fauna gone berserk by elemental influence aren’t to be ignored.”

“They don’t scare me,” Kiki said to her. She had absolutely no fear of the tainted creatures the Advar almost always kept beside them. She liked Blair’s animals most of all though, particularly the overgrown shadowy lions. They tended to follow their master around and laze in the sun. “Yours are all really cool, the cubs aren’t little anymore though.”

“They’ll grow larger, that male will too. These ones are pacified by the influence of those around them. We’re kin in a way, these creatures and I. The same isn’t true for the creatures tainted by other elements. If they had been twisted by any other element, we’d all be in very grave danger. These creatures aren’t like the Advar, Kiki… those stories the travelers tell, they speak the truth.”

“My dad says they’re lying, though.”

Blair shook her head. “Your father was born and raised here, same as you. He doesn’t know much at all. Mortals were not made to withstand elemental essence. This is true for all of Basa, creatures great and small. Even Aasa and Cadfan can be twisted and tainted by the elements in unnatural ways if they manage to piss off one of the graces. This is why mortals should never wander to an elemental fountain uninvited. Even we Advar are not permitted to wander to the fountains outside of our nature, not without express invitation…”

“What about that Grace of Light person?” Kiki asked. “They say she’s super nice.”

“Grace of Light… she’s different, an outlier among them. She is the only element that welcomes all beings without question, and without retaliation. We would become grotesque monsters ourselves if we were to encroach upon a fountain without the ruling power’s blessing. Grace of Light is merely of the mind to greet everyone…”

Kiki’s curiosity aside, the fact of the matter didn’t sit so well with Blair. She felt a sense of entanglement when it came to the way their ruling bodies operated. She didn’t care for it. The beings and their fountains weren’t godlike in the truest sense, merely spurned elemental powers seeking praise they hardly deserved.

“Have you ever met her?”

“Hmm?” Blair asked, being pulled away from her thoughts, casting her gaze to Kiki.

“That girl… Grace of Light. Have you met her?”

“I have met all of them once or twice. When called upon, we must answer,” Blair said to her. “That’s just the way it goes… more importantly, if you’re going to be staying among us, you need to earn your way. You need to find a job to assist, you’re good with your hands. Go over to the wagons and find my mother. She’ll put you to work.”

Go to Chapter 2 (Does not release until May 11th)

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. Patreon supporters receive access into our official Discord server, and a few other perks depending on the tier. If you don’t care for Patreon, and don’t care about perks, you can always support us through PayPal too… links below.

Those who join via Patreon get special perks, such as extra content, quicker updates, and more.

Click to Donate

To Our Supporters

Thank you for helping us to enrich our content.

Patreon Supporters:
($3) Little Ferrets: None
($5) Demented Minions: Francis Murphy and Andrew Wheal.
($7) Fandom Ferret: None
($14) True Blue Ferret: None.
($25) Premium Ferret: None.
($50) Round Table Ferret/Fluffy Ferret: Josh Sayer

Romance in RWBY: Blake/Ruby

Hello, Kernook here. It’s time for another “romantic pairing” posts. As usual, first, I’ll talk about all the reasons why you should “ship” these characters for a romantic pairing. Then, I’ll talk about reasons why other pairings might fit better.

If you have different opinions than mine, that’s okay. Everyone is allowed to like different character pairings… I like many of them. I don’t believe in “one true pairing” particularly in the RWBY universe as there are so many vast ways to explore the characters. I think RWBY is a fluid universe when it comes to romance with plenty to explore, so let’s dive into that reguarding Ruby and Blake, shall we?

I’ve already done one of these styles of posts regarding the “Arkos” pairing, which is between Jaune Arc and Pyrrha Nikos. If that pairing interests you, well then you may just want to check that one out. If not, no big deal, but i wanted to let you know it happens to be here if you cared.

In any case, the key thing to keep in mind when reading this particular post, or any others like it, is that I do ship a lot of characters. I think combinations offer interesting insights and ways to explore the series when you break out of the typical molds on canon ideology. Or at the very least, what passes for canon ideology.

“Canon” Verses “Fannon”

When I talk about “canon”, that means there is firm implication or proof in the series that something actually happens romantically between these characters. When I talk about “fannon”, I am speaking about things that the greater fan-base has concluded based on subtext, or clues in the series. Fannon is a very loose term, because it can almost mean anything depending on who you talk to.

Example: Saying that Blake and Ruby both read books for enjoyment is a canon fact in the series established all the way back in the first volume. However, saying that Blake and Ruby might enjoy curling up and reading together is fannon at best. We’ve never seen this happen in the show, and we can’t even assume they keep a preference for the same genre of books considering that Blake reads adult literature.

That said, the Blake/Ruby pairing, also known by fans as “ladybug”, is not a cannon pairing in the series. It is strictly “fannon” or commonly called “fan fiction fodder”. The pairing is made up by the fan-base. It has very little cannon ground to stand on. It will remain that way until the RWBY series proves otherwise.

Frankly, I doubt the animated series will go in that direction. It seems as though the creators of RWBY are headed towards the cannon pairing of Yang/Blake, also known as “bumblebee”.

I’ll cover the “bumblebee” pairing at a later date.

I tend to sail many ships, and “ladybug” just so happens to be one of them. I have written fan fiction on AO3 regarding this pairing, and I will continue to do so. That said, let’s get into the reasons why you should ship them.

Reasons to “Ship” Blake and Ruby (Ladybug)

Ladybug is a weak romance ship in the canon argument debate. However, their strongest argument, the best one in my opinion is their intended lifestyle and their future ambitions. From the start of the series Blake and Ruby are versatile and tactical fighters in the series and they’re both ruthless in combat against their target foe.

For Blake this is the White Fang, and for Ruby this is the Grimm. They both have goals to better the world, and even if they don’t know how to do that, they’re going to do their best to try.

This is explained during the mountain Glenn arc of the series. Neither of their teammates share that same ruthless tenacity early on.

Yang and Weiss just don’t have the same huntress oriented focus based upon bettering the world around them. We see this down to the core combat style of the characters too. Weiss is more defensive in combat, often acting as a support fighter. She has no clear enemy or direct focus upon which to aim her blade. For her being a huntress is a family focused center, and that will shift as the series progresses… more on this later.

Yang is more aggressive early on, but that’s because she loves to fight. Her semblance requires her to be in the heat of battle to really utilize it. That being said though, Yang’s goal to be a huntress has nothing to do with bettering the world either. She just wants to get out to see it, and being a huntress lines up with that.

Early on though, during the Beacon volumes of the show, Blake and Ruby are the most compatible when it comes down to their life and their future goals. This continues well into Volume eight, and no, I’m not kidding. It’s the one constant that they both have.

Secondly, they’re both outliers in their team. They have a difficult time forming bonds with others. This is another trait that is exclusive to the two characters early on. Ruby is the youngest, notably so. Blake is the only Faunus on the team. Both of them face adversity from these dynamics (Blake more so than Ruby).

Furthermore, arguably, Blake has the most life experience outside of the kingdom’s walls, but it’s to her disadvantage when it comes to forming meaningful bonds. Meanwhile, Ruby has the least life experience, and remains far less cynical as a result. As the series progresses Blake makes note of Ruby’s youthful optimism and tells her that she came to respect Ruby due to that seemingly “youthful” optimism that she once thought of as childish. She has come to admire Ruby deeply. This is a canon event in volume eight.

Opposite to this, their teammates just can’t relate to them. Weiss has spent her time in the spotlight. She’s famous, and she can be very narrow-minded. She’s standoffish by choice early on. Yang seems to fit in with everyone so long as her temper doesn’t get in the way.

This means that Blake and Ruby share an unspoken bond merely because of their nature. They’re outcasts to a point, and that perfectly explains why in the early parts of the series they have no decent character interaction together. Ruby’s too awkward, and Blake always had much more important things on her mind. This also makes for great fan fiction fodder, because writers can play with that topic in all sorts of ways.

Thirdly, and this heavily ties into the first point of a life’s goal, they both know exactly what they want out of being a huntress. The only question in their minds is how to attain it. They both want to be huntresses for the greater good of society. That’s a trait you can’t ignore. It’s so integral to Blake and Ruby as characters that Weiss and Yang just can’t measure up in the lifestyle awaiting them because of what huntresses truly are.

Ruby wants to be a huntress to help people. Blake wants to be a huntress to aid in the Faunus plight. This directly juxtaposes their other teammates. In later volumes, Yang struggles with taking the heat of that decision, such as in volumes seven and eight. As for Weiss, she’s more firmly grounded in the ideologies of a huntress by that point, but Blake and Ruby still have the firm upper hand on her there.

In the end for Weiss and for Yang, being a huntress offers freedom in some way shape or form from family related struggles. Being a huntress is about finding catharsis that comes down to the heart and core of these two characters and their personal family related demons. For Yang this is her mother, Raven, and for Weiss it comes down to her father Jacques.

When it comes to long term “work and life balance” capability the ladybug ship wins the war of ambition by a large and fast margin. This aspect of shared ambition and their emotional ethics is important. Blake and Ruby treat the act of being huntresses as an altruistic endeavor. It’s arguable that Blake and Ruby would grow up into a romance very well as adults. This becomes even more paramount in later volumes.

After a team disagreement, Yang actually leaves the core members of team RWBY for a while to work with their other friends. However the fact is, she leaves Ruby, Blake and Weiss based on that disagreement. Blake stays, she doesn’t choose to go with Yang, this is a core growth. Blake the runner, stays put. Yang, takes another step forward to understanding Raven’s reasons for lashing out and leaving for good. When the group reunites, they’re all stronger for these learned lessons… but what I said above holds true, when the chips are down, and you have to make the hard choices, Ruby and Blake will always choose what being a huntress truly is.

Even their weaponry reflects this. They both use equipment that is complex and dangerous to use. Crescent Rose and Gambol Shroud both have the ability to transform into scythes. Blake’s weapon is classified as a “Variant Ballistic Chain Scythe”. It’s important to note that Ruby is a weapon fanatic with a love of scythes that as she says “is also a gun”.

They both stand up firmly for what they believe, sometimes to their own detriment. Both of them prove to be strong leaders in their own way. Ruby is the leader of her teammates. Blake showcases her skill in leadership the Menagerie arc, learning to unite fellow Faunus together. Yang and Weiss just aren’t the same in this capacity. They’re happy to play “second fiddles” to wider narrative arcs.

They’re not leaders, and despite the complaints Weiss has in volume one, she quickly learns she’s not fit to be a leader at all, that’s not her strength.

Yang shows absolutely no skill in leadership at all. For Weiss the desire to lead the team is short-lived. She learns to be happy falling in line behind Ruby as the “best partner” that Ruby will ever have.

All-in-all as future huntresses, Blake and Ruby are very compatible. They have aligned skills and noble ambitions. They have a true desire to triumph over adversity, and they have the gumption to do so.

They would likely be happy traveling together helping the world after graduation. This is the strongest argument to make in favor of the “ladybug” pairing. Being a huntress isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle. Blake and Ruby wish to live as huntresses in similar ways. This could pave the way for a long term relationship. In “ladybug” fan fiction it often does.

There is an argument to be made about Ruby and Blake sharing a few interests and traits. In my personal opinion there isn’t much in this category, but I’ll go over some of them anyway.

Both of them have a fondness for reading. Ruby has her love of fairy tales. Blake has an appreciation for trashy romance novels. In the series, Ruby attempts to befriend Blake when she sees the Faunus reading in the corner.

Both of these characters share a deep empathy towards others, although Blake chooses not to make that obvious until volume eight. Ruby comments about Blake’s “cute kitty” ears early on in the show, showing at least a little interest in Blake as well.

As you can see, this is the weaker argument to make in favor of the pairing. Sadly, Ruby and Blake don’t get much screen time alone together. They don’t have time to bond. The few scenes they do share are mainly in the early volumes of the series when they’re at odd’s with each other. Sadly, most of those scenes aren’t even positive dialogue exchanges. Now later volumes, namely Volume eight, once again gives us a tiny bit of fodder to play with, but it’s weak at best without the wider view of the huntress lifestyle to back it up.

The subtext in the series is that Blake and Ruby interact by default as team members. We don’t actually see a deep bond form between them. Clearly there’s a deep friendship there in some capacity, but we can only speculate the extent of it.

Fans have often criticized the show for a lack of content regarding Blake and Ruby as friends, and that is often why shipping them can be difficult. Still, when you think about the perspective in this way, it actually makes a lot of sense. There’s a slowly growing chemistry here and one that’s pretty natural when you consider team dynamics, and how Yang and Weiss play stronger supporting roles for their team members.

Ruby and Blake don’t have strong moments together, because frankly, they’re both on equal footing and don’t need the emotional back-up from each other. They get that from their partners. Blake from Yang and Ruby from Weiss.

Until they’re separated and work as partners themselves, we don’t have to see it. Volume eight proves that their bond is just as strong, though… perhaps stronger in this way, even if only in this way. If you care to look for this subtext, there’s a whole wealth of it to find here.

Reasons to Sail a Different Ship

In all honesty, I will sail the “ladybug” ship until it sinks, just as I will sail the bees and our beloved roses. That said, ladybug does have a lot of downsides. Writing fan fiction for “ladybug” can be very difficult. It’s not that the pairing is impossible. Rather, it’s that you have to go looking for commonalities in somewhat strange places.

Blake is obviously more mature than Ruby when it comes to romantic relationships. At the start of the series Blake is reading adult media. The implication is that she’s engaged in at least some of those acts before entering Beacon. This can be a major issue for fan fiction that takes place during the Beacon/Vale arcs of the RWBY series. The two year age difference between these girls might as well be night and day. That’s fitting though, at fifteen you hit separate milestones than you do at seventeen and eighteen which is about the age of the other Beacon characters. Remember, Beacon is closer to a university than it is a high school.

On her team, Blake has more chemistry with Yang and Weiss from the get-go. You could even make an argument that she has a stronger chemistry with Sun and Ilia than she could ever hope to have with Ruby outside of the profession and lifestyle of what a huntress needs to be.

To contrast that, Ruby has her own strong chemistry line-up. Weiss is obviously the strongest. Little miss “shut up, don’t touch me” is still very willing to hug Ruby back, and that’s a mirrior of the hug between stand-offish Blake and a very physically driven character like Yang.

For someone like Ruby, Jaune sticks out fairly well as a strong contender too, but even Penny, Pyrrha and Oscar make the fan fiction rounds a fair bit. If you want to get really weird and do the sibling romance thing, Yang’s a strong contender too. No shame for those who do, but I’m on the fence about how I feel about that one.

Either way, frankly because there’s hardly any canon material for Blake and Ruby as a romantic pairing, other pairings just make more sense on a surface level. Blake gets more valuable screen time with Sun, Weiss, Ilia, and Yang than she does with Ruby. Those scenes are central plot elements for Blake and they can’t be easily ignored.

The same could be said for Ruby, though. Her key cannon material revolves around Weiss, Penny, Pyrrha, Jaune and in later volumes Oscar.

Now we come to the final nail in the “ladybug” coffin. For all of the arguments I made to support the pairing, most people can make a very valid counter rebuttal. I’m about to do that here…

Firstly, Blake is practically a ninja and she benefits more from fighting alongside Yang or Weiss. Both of them have semblances that compliment Blake’s fighting style in a way that Ruby’s just can’t. The same can be said for Ruby, she benefits more from fighting alongside supporting fighters like Weiss. As it is, both women are better off sticking with their cannon combat partners after graduation.

They have weaponry that is complex and dangerous to use. This is all the more reason not to be fighting side by side. Neither of their weapons are entirely predictable. Ruby’s odd fascination with weaponry doesn’t end with scythes, and wouldn’t end with Gambol Shroud anyway. She would be just as enamored with any weapon type that she hasn’t seen before.

Secondly, Ruby is the youngest and that is a huge problem in early volumes. She might be a prodigy, but early on she’s incredibly naive in all of the ways that Blake isn’t. Also, because Blake’s a Faunus she has the potential to have other interesting character pairings. Weiss can be narrow-minded because of her family and her upbringing. Overcoming those odds is a classic “odd couple” sort of romance. Honestly, that’s a driving force in most Weiss/Blake fan shipping, also known as “monochrome”.

A defiance of social norms and adversity makes interesting plot points both in the series and in fan fiction between these two characters. Monochrome has incredible strength by nature throughout the entire series because of this.

Thirdly, they both know exactly what they want out of being a huntress, and that’s a problem. Those desires are similar, but also very different down at the key crux of it all. Given Blake’s character and her motivations, it’s possible that one day she would cease to be a huntress. Chances are good that Blake will end up leading a re-established group like the White Fang. This would turn into a conflict of interest. All that Ruby ever wants to be is a huntress, that is her entire ambition. It’s arguable that both women would be better served by finding other relationships and living their lives elsewhere.

Where Yang and Weiss are intent to follow, Ruby and Blake are natural born leaders, and to heads in this case sometimes aren’t better than one. The emotional support, and team turned family unit relies on this family to maintain its equilibrium to a degree. Weiss is very keen to keep it that way, and her protectiveness of that unit is a good argument for why the romances would never shift. Weiss is particularly territorial over her friends and her teammates down in the subtext… she’s actually a mirror of Sun in that way. If you screw with them, you screw with her, and end up in a garbage can as a result.

Weiss has already made the promise to be the best partner that Ruby will ever have. She fully acknowledges and accepts Ruby as a leader. Weiss is a pragmatist at heart. She sees the value in following Ruby’s orders… and to a greater degree, following Ruby’s ideologies when her own fail to measure up to “be the better/less cynical person” that she wishes to be.

Yang shows no interest in leadership at all, and she willingly follows Blake’s lead at the drop of a hat. Yang has always been as supportive of Blake as possible. To be honest, cannon just slaughters the argument in favor of the “ladybug” pairing when it comes to this point.

Looking at everything from this angle, we can come up with a few different conclusions.

While its true that Blake and Ruby are very compatible as huntresses, they require other teammates to be truly remarkable in combat. They have aligned skills and noble ambitions, but that will lead them in vastly different directions in life. Chances are good they’d be even happier with their other teammates after graduation. Being a huntress isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle.

There’s a good chance that Blake will move on, and if Ruby wishes to live as a huntress she may end up alone. Weiss becomes embroiled in the trade after renouncing her family name, and it’s clear she views her team as her family, stating so to her asshole of a father in volume 7. while it’s unclear if they will be a canon ship or not, whiterose has and will always be a very powerful shipping contender… and the way she maintains and upholds the concept of this new family unit really can’t be understated. She truly becomes the mother hen to the wider group, a position that Yang used to fill.

As I said before, there is a very weak argument to be made about Ruby and Blake sharing a few interests and traits. This is a very pairing specific issue. The rebuttals I would make depend entirely on what “ship” I would be trying to sail instead. Listing everything would be impossible, I’ll just say that the rebuttals here are endless, because they literally are.

Final Thoughts

The ladybug pairing is a ship best explored in small fluff pieces, alternate universes, or fictions where ideology play a strong factor in the narrative. That’s because Ruby and Blake don’t have the same sort of natural progression that other characters do. Most of their important scenes together are in volumes 1, 2,3,7, and 8… volume 6 has some content, but it’s not particularly powerful. That honor goes to the roses and the bees, particularly the bees.

The “ladybug” pairing is ultimately unique. Unlike the other shipping combinations of team RWBY and beyond, there isn’t a lot to work with. In fact, “ladybug” shippers probably have the hardest time making a relationship between Ruby and Blake seem believable. However, that being said, the subtext is particularly strong depending on how you choose to view it.

A good deal of Ruby’s friendship or possible romance with Blake remains implied. It’s never shown in direct detail. They don’t have any interactions that turn into long-running direct core plot points, either. All of the other teammates do, but Ruby and Blake just don’t.

Trying to romanticize what little we do see, requires creativity. You can’t sail this ship if you’re following strictly cannon screen time. You need to step out of the box and be willing to suspend some of your disbelief to truly enjoy it.

That being said, “ladybug” is one of my top ten pairings in RWBY. No matter what your view is, I will avidly sail this ship until it sinks.

What are your thoughts on Blake/Ruby as a ship? Love it? Hate it? Tell me why down in the comments below.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you next time.

Click to Donate

You can help support us through PayPal or Patreon.

Meanwhile, check out some of our other great content below. You can also find more information about supporting us at the bottom of this post.

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. Patreon supporters receive access into our official Discord server, and a few other perks depending on the tier. If you don’t care for Patreon, and don’t care about perks, you can always support us through PayPal too… links below.

Those who join via Patreon get special perks, such as extra content, quicker updates, and more.

Click to Donate

To Our Supporters

Thank you for helping us to enrich our content.

Patreon Supporters:
($3) Little Ferrets: None
($5) Demented Minions: Francis Murphy and Andrew Wheal.
($7) Fandom Ferret: None
($14) True Blue Ferret: None.
($25) Premium Ferret: None.
($50) Round Table Ferret/Fluffy Ferret: Josh Sayer

Agreeance to Meet: Gold Heart, Silver Chain Precursor #2

Author’s Note: This is the second precursor chapter for Gold Heart, Silver Chain. If you haven’t read the first one, start here.

Genres (so far within the totality of the universe): Romance, Slice-of-Life, Drama, Fantasy.
Tags (so far within the totality of the universe): F/F, M/F, Mature Sensual Content, Mild Fantasy Violence.

Totality Rating: This serialized content is “Mature” due to romantic overtures between adult women and use of hard language (cursing/swearing). No severe warnings currently apply to this fiction. Warnings will be added on an as needed basis.

Agreeance to Meet: Gold Heart, Silver Chain Precursor #2

Setting: “The Black Causeway”

A royal messenger from the north had ridden with haste down along the pathway of the Black Causeway to deliver a missive of great and profound importance to his people. With direct orders issued from his great and noble queen, he’d barely slept, hardly ate, only rode along the path to where he suspected the wandering nomads to be.

He cared little for the Arvad as a whole, he looked down his nose at them great many times when a collection of them roosted right outside of the auspicious kingdom that he called home. Still, loath though he was to admit it to himself, the new consort to his majesty was not completely useless. She was no waste of space. Granted, she was still a low brow, a questionable choice, but it was not his place to question at all. He was only to serve, his loyalty promised great rewards.

It would be beneath him to speak ill of the royal houses that so favored his tenure. As one of their messengers, he lived a life not many could. He’d never do a thing to give that up. That he would be regarded with a job of such import, that was an honor. It sugared what might otherwise be an insult. As he sat to break bread with the wandering nomads of the shadow’s influence late that afternoon, he waited for letters to return with.

Meanwhile, Blair penned her replies carefully, but with an urgency. She would not want to leave her chosen one waiting. She sat by the fire, meal untouched as she worked to craft the perfect responses to the members of the Birendra family. 

Blair’s most important letter of all came last.

Dearest Valda,

You mentioned something of a diatribe, but I assure you, this will not be that. It occurs to me, however, that there is much you’ve probably yet to be told of our ways. We don’t often speak of them, it goes against the very nature we keep. Tied to our elements as we are, there are plenty of ways that can go entirely awry. There is so much I wish I could tell you about my element, and we Advar who are so often stringently governed by them. However, there are details mortals cannot understand. 

The universe is much too vast, and even we Advar can’t possibly know everything either… more often than not, we know nothing. Conjecture becomes a comfort, our best guesses are merely that.

I was born by the Grace of Shadows, Valda… he is our patron deity. Well, for those of us bestowed powers in his likeness anyway. Of the six great beings to cultivate Basa, he is the one I am expected to answer when called. I recall when I was gifted to my parents as little more than a small speckle of a spirit. I remember those days, floating along at their side. 

I was conscious of my own individuality, even back then. I could think on my own and watch the world. Although I couldn’t wander far from the influence of my mother and father, I could at least learn the ways of the land. For several long years, I stayed in that form. 

She looked up to the ruckus going on around her, a pure and unmitigated havoc of curious infantile Advar frolicking where they ought not to. The poor Cadfan messenger ran away from the harmless youths, unaware perhaps, of their very young nature. The poor man looked as white as a sheet, and Blair could hardly blame him for his fear in the matter.

Cadfan and Aasa knew so little about the Advar way. Tangential knowledge could never be the same as the firsthand understanding of the primal flow. He tripped face down in the mud, and that was a fine point to make. Blair suspected that her cousin was going to teach the Birendra family a great deal about the Advar way of life. Still, she was not of shadow, she was of flame.

There was only so much that she could expect her cousin to impart about the matter. A lesson, a personal one, seemed wise.

Mortals think we are parasitic in our infantile state, but that is far from true. We don’t feed from our parents like leeches, we take nothing from the outside world. As newborn spirits, we only have a need for one thing; to be tied to this world, just as every Advar is. To be kept stabilized in a place that is not made from shadow alone. To be protected, we require the influence of our parents.

That is why we are born in their image, you see… 

It is so that our parent’s stronger influence can protect us from the environment. When we are small, it is entirely foreign to our nature. It takes time before we are mature enough to reclaim a bodily vessel after we have been reborn… I recall the shadowy void faintly from my own infancy, but I do not recall my past lives… the life that I live now, is all that I know. Perhaps this is only my first life, but somehow I find that doubtful.

Advar like my parents, with no mortality between them left to speak of, they can only have children this way… to wish for a child deeply. If they truly desire that bond, their own souls commingle with the void of our element, and that void makes life anew.

Why do I say all of this?

Valda, I don’t know what rests beyond the shadow, or why such a power resides within us… I only know one thing. We of the Advar, we are not meant to take life, but to birth it. The older we get, the less we require the influence of our parents. Eventually, the tether between us fades. Then, we are expected to lend ourselves to this world, or face the repercussions of our failure when we don’t.

A droplet of unplanned ink fell onto the paper. Blair suspected that was just her luck. First the rain rendered her penmanship imperfect, now the pen failed her too. Against her better judgment, or perhaps simply because she felt she would least be judged for it, Blair continued to write anyway.

The moment we are no longer needed, that is the moment we become obsolete… but, so-in rests the reason I tell you all of this. I have news. My parents conceived twin souls just last week… a grace for them, a damnation for me.

I’m of age now… old enough to cast out on my own merits.

The last vestiges of my own soul’s tether with theirs faded only recently. Once it did, they became viable tethers once more for new life, and so, that is what they became. The infant spirits are still too young for me to try and commune with. Only my parents can do that for now.

I’ve been told I’ve been given brothers.

Rather spirited brothers, if she were to say so herself. One seemed to float around bombastically at every opportunity. To search and find anything he could to harass with his curiosity. The little one simply knew no better. Commonplace politeness was a learned behavior, it was not instinctive. The other seemed the shy sort, or at the very least indifferent to anything besides his own family. On occasion he would linger, as he did now, floating above the paper.

Blair paid him no mind, she had no need to do so. It would be a few days before he became old enough to attempt a connection. Even then it would be so minimal, she doubted the little one would take kindly to the attempt.

She certainly hadn’t cared for anyone’s attention when she was a floating speckle, no larger than a single grain of rice. It took time to understand this new world, to contemplate its existence, and his new place within it.

Please, do not think I am displeased at the notion of siblings, Valda…

This is a blessing, of course it is. Still, it means that I must do, as I was given life to do. The final cord tying me to this world has been cut… and I must locate another. I have found that in you, and even if your family does decline me after this impending meeting, I’ll know that I have tried.

The element that lords over me… well, I dare not speak ill of him. However, it would be truthful to say he is a capricious being at times. I do wonder though, what factors make Arvad of the shadows, like myself, useless to him in this realm? 

We don’t know… we just don’t know. 

I doubt any Arvad truly knows those details, I think it is meant to be this way. You see, so much of my existence is like that. It is unknowable, the same as it is for all who walk in this world. We have our unanswered mysteries too. 

I don’t know when the shadows of this world will consume me once more… but, I don’t want to go back, not yet. I’m not ready to die, Valda. 

I want to live… and to live with you at my side… I would like for you to tie me to this world in a way that only you could ever do. I will see you upon the Vamon Coast as soon as I am able to reach it.

It will only be a little longer, promise.

Forever yours,
Blair Blodwyn.

 Setting: “The Vamon Coast”

To the gentle sounds of a harp, and the fading sun in the distant sky, Valda watched the golden hues paint the lands of Vamon. In the east, the open waters were calm. The boats slowly made their way into shore after a long day at sea. In the west, fields of grain rolled on as though it was also its own seemingly endless expanse.

Perhaps it was, for all that Valda knew. She rarely left the comfort of the northern kingdom. If she had her way she wouldn’t be tied down to a kingdom at all.

With a letter folded between her fingertips and plenty of considerations to make, she licked her lips nervously. She pushed some of her long crimson hair behind her ear. Loosening a bright white ribbon from her wrist, she used it to tie her hair back. 

It wasn’t what she was accustomed to, her sister had even stated as much when she took notice.

Valda turned to the woman lazing across a long plush woolen pillow upon the floor. Really, it had little to do with the woman’s own taste in decor, but rather the liking her newly kept consort had for it. Truth be told, she felt that her sister looked rather ridiculous. Still, Valda knew it was likely what she had to look forward to in her own future. A life lesser in splendor, but filled with other sorts of warmth.

“I should get used to a lack of finery, I doubt I’ll have attendants out on the open road.”

“That’s still assuming I agree,” her elder sister stated. 

“Do you doubt that you will?” Valda asked softly.

The elder sibling sighed at length. When she had chosen to take an Advar as a lover, she knew exactly what she was getting into. Perhaps she hadn’t been raised among finery, but as an Advar of the flames, Azar knew war. She understood battle, and in that way she was not so far removed from the Cadfan way of life. Blair was not the same, and loathed though the older woman was to admit it, neither was Valda.

She wished that her younger sister would keep to those of like minds. To find a suitor strong enough to protect her and keep her safe. Man or woman, Advar or Cadfan… her ethics be damned, even an Aasa of the right distinction would have possibly been tolerable. A woman of the shadow, such as Blair, was nothing of the sort.

“You were not made to go traipsing through the wilderness,” she said pointedly. “You’ve not even seen a skirmish, let alone proper war. I’d be a fool to blindly agree. I know what dangers loom unseen and they are not for the likes of you… not as you are.”

Valda rolled her eyes. “You doubt Blair’s ability to protect me? Now that is rather insulting.”

“I doubt many things, because I have seen many things. If that makes my thoughts on the matter insulting, so be it. I will come to a decision on this, but it will not be on your terms.”

“Virani,” Valda bit out icily. “Don’t you dare stoop to hypocrisy… not now.”

“Hey… Val, she’s got a point. Take it from someone who knows,” the woman beside her sister spoke, pointing a thumb in her own direction. “It ain’t always so easy out there. I’m not saying Blair can’t protect you. I know my cousin better than anyone… but, you know, that’s a lot to put on anybody.”

“It is a lot to ask perhaps, but it is a burden she seems to wish for,” Valda replied. She felt conflicted, holding the letter she had received aloft. She regarded that folded paper, eyes casting to it before looking to Azar. “Surely, you understand that, at the very least.”

“Yeah, okay… sure, but what about you, Val?” Azar said, feeling as though she had been put between a rock and a hard place. “What’cha have to understand is that you’ve got to be able to face down what the world tosses your way. You really do have to be strong-willed to be with someone like Blair… shadow-folk can get pretty nasty when you screw around with them.”

“Yes, well your temper is nothing to sneeze at, either.”

“Not the same, won’t ever be… our elements are too far down in us, it goes too deep. Blair’s not a bad person. Thing is, she is born from the shadow,” Azar said, sighing at length. “Nothing you do will ever change that. They say we fire-folk need someone to smack us upside the head when we get stupid. You know, that isn’t always so far off the mark. Someone who can match us, that’s someone worthwhile…”

“What exactly are you saying?”

“Shadow-folk… there’s no cooling them down, Val. If you wrong them, they won’t stop until they get retribution. That’s why I know Blair will protect you no matter what. Only question is, what’s the damn cost of it?” 

End of Precursor…
Precursor #3 will be released April 27th, 2022
Chapter one to be released May 4th, 2022

Go to Precursor #3 (Does not release until April 25th

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. Patreon supporters receive access into our official Discord server, and a few other perks depending on the tier. If you don’t care for Patreon, and don’t care about perks, you can always support us through PayPal too… links below.

Those who join via Patreon get special perks, such as extra content, quicker updates, and more.

Click to Donate

To Our Supporters

Thank you for helping us to enrich our content.

Patreon Supporters:
($3) Little Ferrets: None
($5) Demented Minions: Francis Murphy and Andrew Wheal.
($7) Fandom Ferret: None
($14) True Blue Ferret: None.
($25) Premium Ferret: None.
($50) Round Table Ferret/Fluffy Ferret: Josh Sayer

Kern’s Collections: Emma: A Victorian Romance

Loneliness is a hard burden to face, and heartache is isn’t so easily soothed by a few kind words and a passing glance. If it were that simple, these two souls would have likely passed each other by without a single care. However, that’s not what happens, because life and love just isn’t that simple.

Hey everyone, it’s Kernook here, and welcome to another Kern’s Collections. Today I’ll be talking about Emma: A Victorian Romance.

Video Production of This Script

This is the finished video regarding the script. It is written, edited, and read aloud by Kernook of “The Demented Ferrets”. You can watch the video on this blog and on YouTube. I hope you enjoy the content.

This is a truly interesting anime because it lacks so much of what we consider to be typical in the medium. You could completely take this story and make it into a live action series without any hesitation at all, and almost everything would still fall into line perfectly with what the story. It wouldn’t even be jarring or out of place, because this anime doesn’t contain many of the tropes we’ve come to expect from anime as an art-form.

A simple maid of all work, and a bright eyed young gentleman cross paths. Love blooms between them despite the class divide. This is the entire crux of this anime reduced down into a few simple words. It isn’t a particularly complicated series, but it’s not over the top either. It is subdued in many ways, a slow burn romance the likes of which you just don’t see anymore.

Emma: A Victorian Romance is a soft and gentle story about romantic love between a man and a woman. Frankly, that’s all it needs to be. It isn’t a question of if these two lovebirds will end up together, because they certainly will. Instead, it’s a question of how they will navigate that romance in a world so keep to keep them apart.

The series came out back in June 2005, offering fans a true glimpse of heartfelt storytelling set in 19 century England, London to be exact. In that way, you may in fact consider this to be a sociology anime in some ways, because the social system put into place is what divides these two characters. In most ways, it’s the only thing that divides them at all.

As a maid of all work, Emma is tasked to care for the complexities of a small household. She cleans, cooks meals, makes tea, answers the door and anything else that her employer may need. Her life is a simple one, meager because that is the life of most maids. Particularly for the maid of all work. This station was a commonality for households that lacked grand estates that would employ several people all with a key set of tasks. Hiring one promised a symbol of status at the time. If you could afford to hire one back in those days, you did because it made you more respectable. Emma’s general backstory is a common one for women of this era.

Young girls were raised into the trade, and so was Emma. This was a life most girls would come to understand if they sat below a certain social class. They could learn by an employer that had taken them in, or by their families in hopes of helping their child find a job. Women just didn’t have many places of employment back in those days, and a certain level of decorum was expected among the classes. A certain responsibility loomed over society at the time, and Emma’s story shows how romance unfolds when two people deny that responsibility outright.

When a simple maid steps into the world of the gentry, there are a hurdles to overcome. William, is a member of this gentry and he is the eldest son of a wealthy family. Now, that’s not be confused with royalty. He’s not royal blood. Gentry have high status, but often times they do not carry royal bloodlines. The confines of status mixes looms heavily upon William’s shoulders, especially when he meets Emma, and falls in love with her. He doesn’t care what society demands of him, he loves her.

This is a series that relies heavily upon implication and pleasantries. While you’ll find all of the usual wrappings of your typical romance anime here, a layer of firm composure rests atop every interaction. You’re not to see goofy levels flirting or inane romantic stupidity. Instead, you’ll tend to find the budding romance is composed, refined, and full of unspoken nuance. Love between these two isn’t easy, and the uphill battle they have is one strictly left down to the confines of their society.

Like Gaming?

Kresh Plays: Call of Cthulhu

The Call of Cthulhu isn’t a bad game, all thing considered. It’s not far and away amazing, but it’s not god awful. It’s a solid experience and narrative is worth the ride if you can pick it up on sale.

If Emma had been born into the gentry herself, she could have fallen in love openly and honestly with William, with very little difficulty or opposition. Since she is a maid however, that’s just not the case. They both have their statuses to consider, even though William often doesn’t really care what people think.

All-in-all what makes this story so interesting isn’t that they fall in love, but the confines and intrigue of that love. As you watch the show, you’re brought to wonder what it means for Emma and William to have this connection in a world that would staunchly disprove of the mere idea, let alone actually doing it.

This is a series that keeps melodrama to a minimum, and focuses more on truly emotional events to drive the plot forward. There is a key character death for example that heavily impacts Emma’s livelihood, just as it would have in 19th century London at the time. That event and a few others are handled with the same gentleness as the rest of the show, even in those melancholic moments.

Ultimately, this is a series made for a true romance anime fan. Someone who likes the slow burn romantic entanglements, and the issues that might arise from them. Emma: A Victorian Romance is one of the best true romance anime I’ve ever seen. The title says it all, and if you enjoy romance between a man and a woman, this is certainly worth your time. That being said, if you want to see a healthy mix of GLBTQ or GRSM representation in the anime you watch, I’m sorry to say it’s just not there. Though if that’s more what you’re into make sure to follow the channel, because I will be covering an anime with those sorts of themes too in upcoming videos.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at it’s finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you next time, in the meantime, check out our other great content below.

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. Patreon supporters receive access into our official Discord server, and a few other perks depending on the tier.

There is a $1 tier, perfect for blog readers, so don’t hesitate. Join today!

Patreon Supporters

At the time of this post there are 3 supporters of our content, currently all of them are in the “Demented Minion” tier.

($1) Little Ferrets: None
($3) Fandom Ferret: None
($5) Demented Minions: Francis Murphy, Josh Sayer, and Andrew Wheal.
($10) True Blue Ferret: None.
($25) Premium Ferret: None.
($50) Round Table Ferret: None.

Romance In RWBY: Pyrrha and Jaune (Arkos)

Hey everyone, it’s Kern here, time for another RWBY related fandom post. Today I’m talking about romance in RWBY.

Thank you to our patrons for supporting our content.

As of Volume 3 the “Arkos” ship in the past, and although it is canon content Pyrrha died in that volume. Regardless of that, I still enjoy the concept of the ship and thought it prudent to talk about it today. At the time of this post Volume 8 is in full swing, and soon to be completed.

I really want to get into discussing RWBY content and this is as good a place to start as any when it comes to shipping since it is a ship that (as far as fans know) doesn’t need to compete with possible cannon content in later volumes yet to be released.

Pyrrha Nikos and Jaune Arc comprise the pairing affectionately named “arkos” by the fan community. For the first three volumes of RWBY, Jaune and Pyrrha are teammates that grow into being vague lovers. In the end of volume three Pyrrha dies and Jaune must live on.

Volumes four, five, and six show Jaune learning to heal from his grief. His slow emotional recovery is well done, probably some of the best I’ve seen in a production like RWBY.

As of Volume 8, it’s safe to say that Jaune has mostly recovered from his grief at this point. Though there are moments where it crops up on occasion. So let’s take a look at this romantic pairing a little more closely.

Early Beginnings

In volume one, the romance is entirely one sided. Jaune’s eyes are on Weiss, not Pyrrha. Of course, Pyrrha doesn’t make her feelings truly known, either. Jaune is typically very dense, but at the very least he’s earnest.

In volume two Jaune and Pyrrha become a cannon pairing. However, Pyrrha’s tragic death in volume three also opens the way for Jaune to pair off with someone else in later seasons. Unless the writers of the show somehow bring Pyrrha back to life, it’s safe to say she’s gone for good.

I don’t personally sail this ship from a cannon perspective, but I do read fan fiction with the pairing in it. For me, it depends entirely on the setting. Alternate universe fan fiction, or fan fiction in the Beacon/Vale timeline can be well written. People who choose to write the pairing earnestly can often offer an entertaining read.

I do think that Jaune and Pyrrha have better pairings for each of them. The “Arkos” ship is a bit of a mess as far aa romantic pairings are concerned. In early cannon, Jaune is oblivious and has other interests. This is compounded by the fact that Pyrrha doesn’t make her affection obvious until much later. Then once she does, she doesn’t live long after.

That said, I respect “arkos” and its cannon roots. It certainly is a popular pairing, and I’d never disparage that.

Like Anime and Gaming content? Check out our other platforms and support our content:

Click to Donate

You can help support us through PayPal or Patreon.

Reasons to “Ship” Jaune and Pyrrha (Arkos)

Just like other ships in RWBY, the first volume of the series focuses on how completely incompatible Jaune and Pyrrha really are. Whiterose, and to a lesser extent bumblebee, also suffer from this trope. The first volume wanted to imply how vastly different hunters can be. Showing that off between teams and partnerships really gets the point across.

Let’s be bluntly honest, early on Jaune is not a good candidate to become a good huntsman. He has a noble ambition, but that’s about it. Like Ruby, he’s awkward beyond belief too. He lacks basic combat skills, common sense, and he lied on his school documents. Beyond that, Jaune has his priorities in the wrong order. That’s a fact most of the others around him notice, Ruby particularly.

He is constantly bullied for lack of skill in the early parts of the series. Jaune has no right to be a Beacon student in the first place, and he knows it. Let’s be real honest here, it’s going to take a lot of volumes before he finds his footing, six of them to be exact.

Meanwhile, Pyrrha Nikos is an accomplished student. It’s implied that she’s somewhat of a celebrity, but this isn’t touched upon as heavily as it is for other characters. Pyrrha has won tournaments and received a sponsorship. No matter how loosely it’s touched upon, she’s famous, and her face is plastered across cereal boxes.

Weiss Schnee, heiress to the Schnee Dust Company, regards Pyrrha with the utmost respect. Considering how rude Weiss can be in volume 1, this is a mild indication that Pyrrha has dabbled in high society. There is firm subtext that Weiss and Pyrrha may have even crossed paths before. They don’t formally introduce themselves, and Weiss seems particularly friendly with her. Despite Pyrrha’s popularity, Jaune doesn’t even know who Pyrrha is.

In fact, in my re-watching of the series, I realized how much of a jerk Jaune was to Pyrrha even when she tries to introduce herself to him.

He practically pushes her out of his way just so that he can talk to Weiss. It’s obvious that Weiss isn’t interested in him, but he doesn’t seem to realize that.

At first, Jaune and Pyrrha are simply unfit for each other. As a pairing, his sights aren’t even set on Pyrrha as a romantic interest. Instead, he’s much more interested in Weiss. This is what I mean about the pairing being a little messy. It’s not even a love triagle, so much as it is Jaune being unable to “read the room” so-to-speak.

For Pyrrha and Jaune, volume one is nothing more than establishing personal growth for these characters. While Pyrrha holds a romantic fondness for Jaune, he’s too dense to really notice. With his sights so firmly planted on Weiss, he doesn’t see the love and affection that Pyrrha wants to offer him.

If it sounds like I’m harping on that a lot, that’s because I am. The series is very focused upon the unrequited love dynamic going on between them, and it all comes to a boiling point eventually, but until then, that’s what we get out of them. Jaune acting like a dunce, and Pyrrha still caring very deeply for the misguided and well-meaning idiot. Jaune still has a lot growing up to do, but that comes later.

Until then, Pyrrha acts as a supportive partner for Jaune flawlessly. She unlocks his aura, and helps him with his training, teaching him the basic skills he doesn’t have. At first, Jaune fails to return that level of loyalty. Instead he befriends Cardin, and allows himself to be bullied. Even with Pyrrha’s best efforts, Jaune finds himself failing, both as a team leader, and a huntsman-in-training.

As I said though, the second volume is when Jaune begins to understand the important role he has as a team leader. He starts to emulate Pyrrha’s actions, learning to be humble. He isn’t exactly happy when Pyrrha forces him to study, but he doesn’t argue with her either. Pyrrha shows growth in her own ways too. Much like Weiss, Pyrrha has learned that small moments of immaturity aren’t a bad thing. Pyrrha joins the food fight between teams RWBY and JNPR. She reads comic books, and enjoys spending time with her teammates.

Jaune still fawns over Weiss, even though she isn’t interested in him.

Pyrrha isn’t obvious about it, but now she shows signs of being jealous. This becomes a major turning point during the school dance. Jaune is so sure that Pyrrha will find a date to the dance that he says he’ll wear a dress if she doesn’t have one. After being rejected by Weiss for the umpteenth time, Jaune attends the dance alone.

When he sees Pyrrha sad and alone, he can’t help but follow her. When he asks where her date is, she tells him that she never had a date to begin with.

Pyrrha explains in detail that her privileged place in society makes it very difficult to connect with others. For the first time, she’s being blunt with Jaune. Upfront and honest about her feelings for him, she lets him know exactly how she feels. She makes it obvious he’s the sort of man she wants in her life… so, needless to say, Jaune eats his words.

Jaune goes and puts on a dress. Returning to the dance, he spends the rest of his evening with Pyrrha. This moment is what officially sets their relationship into motion in cannon.

To be honest, we don’t get much else for Jaune and Pyrrha in volume two after this point. Major plot elements and story elements take place for team RWBY, meaning that other teams get sidelined.

It should come as no surprise when I say that the “arkos” pairing is strongest during volume three. Pyrrha shows affection for Jaune openly, and he returns it. She’s much more open about her feelings now, and Jaune reciprocates that. All of this relationship for the past three volumes culminates into a sudden and climatic kiss. Then Pyrrha rushes off to face a battle all on her own, knowing it’ll get her killed.

This is where the “arkos” ship sadly sinks. After her fight, volume three ends. Jaune learns to live without Pyrrha Nikos in his life. While volumes four, five, and six have moments of him recalling his time with Pyrrha, that’s all there can be anymore. During the sixth volume, Jaune comes across a memorial statue of Pyrrha, and finally comes to a catharsis about her death.

So, why should you ship this pairing? It’s quite simple. Jaune grows from a cocky teenage boy into a resolute young man during the first six volumes. Pyrrha was the catalyst for that growth. Pyrrha’s own self-discoveries, while subtle, shouldn’t be understated either. As a fan, it’s interesting to think about how these characters would have grown into adults with full fledged hunting licenses.

While other pairings in the series focus on grandiose character moments and memorable witty dialogue, it’s not the same for Jaune and Pyrrha. For these two, it’s all about the things left unsaid. The simplicity of mundane life that gets taken for granted. It’s profoundly beautiful and tragic. This is perhaps what allows the pairing to live on within the fandom.

Reasons to Sail a Different Ship

There is only one reason, and for now it’s just the way the cannon story played out. Pyrrha’s dead, and Jaune isn’t. Even so, you can still find Pyrrha alive and well in fan fiction. Although those usually take place before the events of volume three, it’s an alternate universe entirely, or follows a peaceful timeline… one where the fall of the kingdoms either don’t occur, or they occur with her still alive and well.

As of right now, Jaune stands in an interesting place within the series. He can have his past love of Pyrrha, and still have another cannon pairing down the line. Even if he does get into a new pairing, that doesn’t change the cannon timeline and the past.

Pyrrha Nikos will always be his first love, and his first real loss. He’s also shown a cannon interest in Weiss in the past. Depending on what later volumes do with Weiss, they may become a cannon pairing down the line. Although, that’s only speculation on my part.

As far as “fan related shipping is concerned, there are many implied options to choose from. Jaune can easily be shipped with Ruby or Weiss. Cannon gives him just enough moments with both girls both to provide fan fiction fodder. He can also be placed in a bisexual triad relationship with Ren and Nora, which is a common thing to do too.

Jaune plays the role of the underdog in the series. He acts as a vessel for male viewers to latch onto and relate well with. Fan fiction showcases this in spades. Jaune is often put into unnaturally erotic situations that he usually wouldn’t find himself in. Women who canonically show no interest in him, start to fawn over him in the world of fandom. This makes him a strange outlier among male characters in the series, and his pairings are practically endless when it comes to erotic fantasy.

For Pyrrha, There are also a few implied options. Ruby and Weiss are the stand out choices for monogamous relationships, but the fandom doesn’t stop there. Ruby, Blake, Yang, Ren, and Nora are stand out options for polyamory ships.

In fact, much like Jaune, open relationships tend to run rampant with Pyrrha. Fans often ship Pyrrha using polyamory with her teammates and trusted friends. Countless other characters, male and female alike will occasionally be thrown into Pyrrha’s polyamory blender, making for some of the more interesting pairings within the fandom.

Final Thoughts

The “arkos” pairing is one of the most dynamic pairings in the RWBY series. Jaune and Pyrrha are side characters, particularly during the early volumes. They don’t get a whole lot of screen time compared to team RWBY.

In spite of this, their romantic progression is on display almost all the time. The hints are subtle, most of them are buried deep under subtext, particularly in the first volume.

For me, the ships are less about who they’re paired with, and rather, the dynamic itself. I’d rather read about Pyrrha in small polyamory groups. However, I generally prefer Jaune when he’s steadfast in his monogamy.

I think there’s something to be said for reading Jaune as a bisexual, and seeing him in an open relationship with Ren and Nora. Lastly, I believe shipping all of team JNPR together is just as valid as shipping all of team RWBY together. Perhaps, it’s even more valid simply by the notion that there are no siblings involved (sorry enabler fans).

All in all, like all pairings, there’s no “right” ships to sail. It’s up to you as fan. Getting to decide how best to enjoy these characters, and the ships that come along with them is one of the hallmarks of fandom, and that should never be forgotten.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you next time.

Click to Donate

You can help support us through PayPal or Patreon.

Meanwhile, check out some of our other great content below. You can also find more information about supporting us at the bottom of this post.

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. Patreon supporters receive access into our official Discord server, and a few other perks depending on the tier. If you don’t care for Patreon, and don’t care about perks, you can always support us through PayPal too… links below.

Those who join via Patreon get special perks, such as extra content, quicker updates, and more.

Click to Donate

To Our Supporters

Thank you for helping us to enrich our content.

Patreon Supporters:
($3) Little Ferrets: None
($5) Demented Minions: Francis Murphy and Andrew Wheal.
($7) Fandom Ferret: None
($14) True Blue Ferret: None.
($25) Premium Ferret: None.
($50) Round Table Ferret/Fluffy Ferret: Josh Sayer

Fandom: Stardew Valley

Hey guys, Kernook here. This is not a review. Rather, this is a post about a game I absolutely adore and always suggest to those looking for a casual gaming experience.

I love farming simulators. I always have, and my first introduction to the genera was Harvest Moon. I absolutely loved it, and my mom did too. We’d spend hours after I got home from school playing it together. The two of us dedicated way too much time building a farm, raising the animals, and befriending the characters. Getting to play my wholesome little farm family lingers as some of the most memorable gaming moments in my life just due to how often I played those types of games.

Naturally, when I’d heard an indie developer was working on a game to rival the Harvest Moon franchise I didn’t believe it would be successful. I was told the game would be available on steam, and when it released, I bought it. I was skeptical, but soon I realized my fears were unfounded.

Like Anime and Gaming content? Check out our other platforms:

Stardew Valley is one of the best farming simulators I ever played. It’s a game I often return to when I just want a game to play casually.

Farming isn’t all that you do, but it is a rather large part of the game’s core design. Tending to crops and caring for the animals are the only way to make some of the highest quality goods in the game. Unsurprisingly, Stardew Valley was heavily inspired by the Harvest Moon franchise. Therefore plenty of the core features in the game revolve around key aspects that were so loved by players of Harvest Moon.

In many ways, those core ideas were expanded upon, and new concepts were added too.

Eric Barone, also known as “ConcernedApe“, developed the game as an endeavor to improve upon the genera. I’d like to think that he certainly did, as Stardew Valley is an incredibly robust game all on its own, not to mention the modding community that comes along with it.

Published by Chucklefish, the game was released for Microsoft Windows in February of 2016. Later ports of the game were released for macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android devices.

ConcernedApe developed the game over the course of four years, and players are still treated to occasional updates. If his updates aren’t enough to satisfy, the modding community has a wealth of content to satisfy even the most seasoned players looking for new challenges or simply additional features.

The Story

The story starts the same way many other farming simulators do. Usually, an aging family member decides to leave you an old farmhouse in hopes that your character will continue the family’s legacy.

Upon starting the game, you play as a young adult who takes over your grandfather’s farm. Packing your bags, you move to Stardew Valley. The farm is in a horrible state of disrepair. It’s your job to get it into proper working order.

In this respect, Stardew Valley settles into a predictable pattern. However, the game will subvert expectations quickly.

Let’s take a brief look at the opening story…

Now I’ve made a male character, but both genders are open to creation. You can make a male or a female character, and have that character marry a man or a woman.

Your character’s has an old and ill grandfather. He leaves his legacy to you.

Once you’ve made your character, the scene begins with an old man lying in bed. He’s clutching an envelope and struggling to breathe. This man is your grandfather, and he says that this letter is for you. Then, he asks you to not to open it until the time is right. He gives you the letter, and the screen fades to black.

A moment later, a new visual awaits…

Your first look at “Joja”, the major corporation that threatens to consume everything that your character seems to care about.

A grey and lifeless office building comes into focus. Cubicles stacked closely with one another pan slowly, showing office workers in poor conditions. Two figures loom over the exhausted employees, gazing down at them from the comfort of their offices on the floor above.

This is the first indication that Stardew Valley has a darker story to tell. Make no mistake, this isn’t like the farming simulators of the past. The plot elements begin the same, but this is a somewhat mature re-telling of classic tropes. The game is riddled with grim subtext and context clues to further its narrative.

This oppressive atmosphere seems like a prison. The building is untidy, and workers are being treated unfairly. The imagery in front of you suggests long hours and little pay. The sounds themselves are mechanical, lacking any warmth. There are none of the usual comforts you might find in a typical office building.

The lighting is dim, grime cakes the desks, and a security camera hangs over the head of each employee. The skeleton of a deceased worker hangs limply in his cubicle. The slogan plastered upon the wall is a lie.

Life isn’t better with Joja…

Your character is unhappy. The poor working conditions have obviously taken their toll. His eyes are closed as the monitor in front of him glows blue. He looks as dull and lifeless as everyone else around him. His eyes slowly open, groggy and with a sense of hopelessness.

He bends forward to reach into the drawer of his desk. His grandfather’s letter rests neatly inside, sealed and waiting. He opens it, finding a heartfelt letter from his grandfather.

You’ve kept the letter for an indescribable amount of time. Yet, today is the day you choose to open it.

According to the letter, your grandfather has left you his farm. He tells you to reconnect with what matters most in life. The names you’ve chosen for your character and your farm will be listed in the letter.

Your grandfather writes that the farm is tucked away on the southern coast, located in a place called Stardew Valley. After a moment the scene fades to black again.

Although it isn’t shown on screen, your character packs his bags and heads off for his new home. The scene opens with a bus speeding down an otherwise empty country road. Upon arrival, you meet the first of many NPC townsfolk.

Robin, the town carpenter. She is the first of many characters you’ll meet in the game.

Her name is Robin, and she’s the local carpenter. She’ll be useful later for making upgrades to your farm. She tells you that the town mayor, Lewis, asked her to come and greet you. She offers to take you to your new home.

Befriending the townsfolk is a core game-play mechanic. The closer you are with them, the more you get to know them. All of the characters have at least some level of depth to their backstories. It behooves you to make friends with all of them.

Like other genera titles, giving gifts twice a week and speaking to the NPC’s daily raises their friendship score. Higher scores give you access to more cut-scenes. Each character has things they like, and things they don’t. You’ll have to learn about that through trial and error, or simply look it up online if you don’t want to go through the trouble. Lastly, Don’t forget to give them gifts on their birthdays. It gives a greater friendship boost.

Lewis is the town mayor. If you want to get a divorce later in the game, you can do it at his house.

Robin takes you to your farm. There, you see what a complete mess the farm is. Obviously, it’s fallen into disrepair. This is the another core game-play mechanic. There’s a lot of different ways to enjoy your time playing Stardew Valley, and one of them is maintaining your farm.

You can raise crops and animals here. That’s not all, the game offers a robust crafting system, allowing you to run your farm is several different ways. Bee keeping is one of my favorites, but there are others too.

You’ll need to clear the mess on the farm to get it in working condition. First however, you need to finish the cut-scene.

Once you enter your farm, you meet Lewis, the mayor of Stardew Valley. Robin and Lewis banter, proving that not all of the townsfolk get along. Eventually, Lewis tells you to get some rest because there will be plenty of things to do tomorrow.

Finally, the cut-scene ends, and the screen fades to black. After this, you get control of your character for the first time. This is where the story truly begins.

Final Thoughts

The game isn’t intense or “hard core” in any way. The appeal of it comes from the short bursts of time you can offer and still feel like you’ve gotten something done. The game saves after each in-game day, and they’re fairly short.

Now, you can binge the game for hours on end too, I certainly have at times. However the long-running appeal for me is that I don’t have to binge it to enjoy it.

No matter how you choose to play though, you’ll have to manage your character’s time on the farm wisely. Days move quickly and you have limited energy at first. As a farmer, you’ll clear your land and care for your crops. You can choose to raise livestock, too.

Seasoned players will tell you that it’s best to avoid livestock during your first in-game year. You’ll have to earn money if you want to expand your farm, and livestock can be a drain on time, money, and valuable crafting goods such as wood and stone. That being said, the great thing about Stardew Valley is that it’s meant to be played however you wish to play it. You can set up your farm in many ways, and it’s not set in stone.

By crafting goods, mining for ore, and befriending townsfolk, you’ll make your deceased grandfather proud. It’s important to join in on social activities around Stardew Valley. You’ll be able to start a romance that may lead to marriage. If you get married, you’ll get to have children. If you have a same-sex marriage, you’ll be able to adopt. There are many inhabitants in the small town, so there are plenty of spouses to choose from.

The game is fairly open-ended, allowing you to choose how you’d like to play. Friends can play together too. Stardew Valley features a multiplayer mode that allows up to four people to play on the same farm at once.

I absolutely love Stardew Valley. With the wealth of content constantly being released by fans and the creator alike, Stardew Valley is a game that is always refreshing to return to.

The modding community is a fairly healthy one too, and the types of content you’ll find among them is vast. Some of them produce darker cut scene content, that add to the already lightly mature themes discussed in the series. I won’t cover that here because if you’ve played the game already, the mods are the next logical step. This is more of an overview for players who haven’t heard of the game, or simply weren’t sure if they’d like it.

So, if your looking for a relaxing title, with a story that appeals to an audience that isn’t inherently a child at heart, then look no further. Give it a try and see how you like it.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you next time.

Click to Donate

You can help support us through PayPal or Patreon.

Meanwhile, check out some of our other great content below. You can also find more information about supporting us at the bottom of this post.

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. Patreon supporters receive access into our official Discord server, and a few other perks depending on the tier. If you don’t care for Patreon, and don’t care about perks, you can always support us through PayPal too… links below.

Those who join via Patreon get special perks, such as extra content, quicker updates, and more.

Click to Donate

To Our Supporters

Thank you for helping us to enrich our content.

Patreon Supporters:
($3) Little Ferrets: None
($5) Demented Minions: Francis Murphy and Andrew Wheal.
($7) Fandom Ferret: None
($14) True Blue Ferret: None.
($25) Premium Ferret: None.
($50) Round Table Ferret/Fluffy Ferret: Josh Sayer

The One True Paring Fallacy

Artwork made by Rukangel, this piece is called “Asylum” and features Rei and Minako from Sailor Moon. Find more of her artwork on Deviant Art.

Hey everyone, it’s Kernook here with another post. Today I want to talk about the One True Pairing concept, and why it’s a fallacy.

When fans of a series gather to form large social groups over a specific type of media, we call this a fandom. In general, fandom tends to be a positive space, but there can be occasions when it isn’t. Discussions can get heated and when fandom takes a a nosedive into negativity people tend to slip off and form smaller cliques.

One of the ways this can happen is when a fandom is overrun with the “one true pairing” fallacy. This occurs when fans collectively agree that two characters belong together romantically, no matter the circumstances, or the outlying opinions of others. I’ve seen this problem occur mostly within anime and gaming, but I’m sure it happens elsewhere too. It’s a rare problem, but it is nearly toxic to a fandom when it does occur.

Now, many people have personal “OTP’s” or a “one true pairing” that they love to sail as a ship. On its own, that’s completely fine. There is nothing wrong with that. As long as the “one true pairing” isn’t forced on others as the only ship to sail, there is no problem at all with having them.

Romance In RWBY: Pyrrha and Jaune (Arkos)

Pyrrha Nikos and Jaune Arc comprise the pairing affectionately named “arkos” by the fan community. For the first three volumes of RWBY, Jaune and Pyrrha are teammates that grow into being vague lovers. In the end of volume three Pyrrha dies and Jaune must live on.

This problem of the “one true pairing fallacy” comes along when a large contingent of the fan base adopts the “one true paring” mindset viciously. This usually happens in less popular media and welled established, fan communities.

A lack of widespread diversity can hinder a fan base. Eventually, that will cause these echo chambers to exist. Particularly in older fandom, where die-hard fans have lingered around for years after the initial hype ended.

A fan simply has to love and enjoy the medium. Weather or not they sail any ship should be up to them. The “one true pairing” ideology shouldn’t need to apply.

I personally never wanted to sail an “OTP”, primarily because I don’t consume media that would require me to have one. I don’t believe having an “OTP” does me any good. I don’t gain anything from the media I care about by having one. In fact, I often think it does a media like anime a huge disservice by having an “OTP”.

Anime has a tenancy to leave an open ending. Several of them are just long running advertisements for its manga counter part. To see the full story you’d have to consume both pieces of media, and some fans like myself don’t have the desire to do both.

At the end of the day, “one true pairings” can be very powerful things inside of a fandom, and its our job as fans to recognize that. We need to be respectful of the ships we sail, and she ships of others. It’s the only way to keep a fan base growing, and all fans should want that. The stronger and more diverse a fan base is, the more fan based content will thrive.

Do you sail an “OTP”? Let me know in the comments below.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you next time.

Click to Donate

You can help support us through PayPal or Patreon.

Meanwhile, check out some of our other great content below. You can also find more information about supporting us at the bottom of this post.

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. Patreon supporters receive access into our official Discord server, and a few other perks depending on the tier. If you don’t care for Patreon, and don’t care about perks, you can always support us through PayPal too… links below.

Those who join via Patreon get special perks, such as extra content, quicker updates, and more.

Click to Donate

To Our Supporters

Thank you for helping us to enrich our content.

Patreon Supporters:
($3) Little Ferrets: None
($5) Demented Minions: Francis Murphy and Andrew Wheal.
($7) Fandom Ferret: None
($14) True Blue Ferret: None.
($25) Premium Ferret: None.
($50) Round Table Ferret/Fluffy Ferret: Josh Sayer

Kern Reviews Classic Movies: Desk Set


In December of 2020 Kernook made a quick and off-the-cuff video review of the movie. Watch it now.

I have to say, I absolutely love Desk Set, a 1957 film starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. To me this film is a festive classic and timeless classic. Although it isn’t really a “Christmas movie” in the general sense of the word. Desk Set takes place during the holiday time, and that’s enough to give you a tiny taste of the seasonal flair.

In my household we watch it every single year during the holidays, often more than once. Spencer Tracy plays the role of Richard Sumner. Katharine Hepburn plays the role of Bunny Watson.

Basically, the movie is about Richard Sumner loitering around in the research department of a large television network. He has been asked to keep his reason for being there a secret from the people working there. Meanwhile, the talented manager of the department Bunny Watson, intends to find out exactly what this man is up to.

The movie culminates into a battle of wits as the two of them try to figure each other out. At its heart, this movie is a mix of romance and dry humor. Desk Set has a slow pace, but plenty of wonderful character moments to offer.

As far as the characters are concerned, Bunny Watson is a pragmatist with a sharp tongue and incredibly bright mind. Richard Sumner is a bit pig-headed and stubborn at first, but he quickly warms up to Bunny as the movie goes on. They challenge each other first and foremost, romance acting as a slow burn to a greater narrative thread.

It may be live-action and not anime, but I do have it as part of my collection, and I strongly suggest that anyone who enjoys classic films should also do the same.

The movie has certainly aged well, considering that it was made in the 50’s. There are re-mastered DVD and blue-ray releases for those who care to have them, but a washed out VHS tape also serves me well. It may not look as pretty, but, it does have a sentimental value.

If you like classic movies with a slight nod to holidays themes, it will serve you well. So, in the spirit of the holidays go find yourself a copy, huddle under a warm blanket, and enjoy.

This has been Kernook from The Demented Ferrets where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are always par for the course.

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content. Patreon supporters receive access into our official Discord server, and a few other perks depending on the tier. If you don’t care for Patreon, and don’t care about perks, you can always support us through PayPal too… links below.

Those who join via Patreon get special perks, such as extra content, quicker updates, early fiction chapters and more.

Click to Donate

To Our Supporters

Thank you for helping us to enrich our content.

Patreon Supporters:
($3) Little Ferrets: None
($5) Demented Minions: Francis Murphy and Andrew Wheal.
($7) Fandom Ferret: None
($14) True Blue Ferret: None.
($25) Premium Ferret: None.
($50) Round Table Ferret/Fluffy Ferret: Josh Sayer