Another round of fan fiction from the Suikoden Day event, and this time it comes from RPG gamer Joanna Sheryln Dunlap. As with the previous post for fan fiction, this is another testament to how dedicated these die hard fans are who also gather every year to celebrate what has to be one of the best RPG games ever created by Konami.
So much so that the fan base has been begging the company to release all five games once again on formats such as the Playstation Network. Who can blame them? When you have been touched by a story line that gets you straight in the heart and keeps you on the edge of your seat, all you can do in response is want more, or want to relive those days once again.
So let's take another look at an awesome piece by Joanna and comment on what you think of her handy work below.
Excerpt from "Jowy's Story" (a fanfiction inspired by Suikoden II): Found/A New Family
By Joanna S Dunlap
Jowy was dreaming.
He and Riou were sparring again. Blow after blow, perfectly matched, neither gaining any advantage over the other. They fought hard, completely absorbed in their little game. Riou smiled at him, his face mingled exhaustion and energy. Jowy smiled back and swung his staff at him. Riou just barely dodged the blow. Still, no one had the upper hand, sparring on for eternity.
Then the sky went red. Both boys dropped their weapons to their sides and looked up at the black clouds overhead. A bloodthirsty roar tore through the air and Luca Blight's terrible mad face appeared right in front of Jowy. He jumped back in surprise. He brought up his staff, but it was missing. So was Riou. Jowy desperately looked around for his friend, but he was nowhere to be found.
"What have you done with him?" he screamed at the prince, but he couldn't hear his voice under Luca's laughter. Jowy spun around, looking even madder than the stationary prince. "Riou! Riou!"
A disturbing ferocity took over Jowy and he lunged, weaponless at Luca. The prince cocked his head down at Jowy, and produced his massive sword from thin air, and hurled it directly at him. Jowy had to no time to slow down or dodge, but he didn't have to. The great sword fell at his feet, stuck in the earth before him.
All was silent. Luca was gone. Jowy looked at the black sword, glinting red with the light of the sky. It seemed to taunt him, daring him to take it. It was easy. If he wanted it, it was his.
Suddenly, he felt as if he had been submerged in water. He awoke in shock. He was in the riverbank, splayed against a rock. Every muscle protested in pain as he pulled himself onto it. He blinked and took in the sights around him. The sky was blue and calm. The sounds of sweet water, singing birds, and laughter played in the air. Exhausted, Jowy sighed -
- and sat straight up, remembering. "Riou!"
"Aaaah!" He had sat up and shouted in the face of a little girl. She stumbled back.
"Oh!" he corrected, "No, no. Don't be frightened. I'm sorry. I -" but he fell - for he had tried to move toward the girl - and splashed again into the shallow water.
The little girl laughed and Jowy got up again, slowly this time. He walked slowly to the laughing girl and bent down to her. "Hi. I'm sorry I scared you. My name's Jowy."
The girl stifled her laughter. "I'm Pilika. Why are you all wet?"
"I, uh…that is…" Jowy couldn't tell this innocent little girl the truth. "I was going for a swim with my friend Riou. But we got separated. You haven't seen another boy around here, have you?"
"No," she answered. "Just you. I'm sorry."
"Oh," Jowy's heart fell. He hoped Riou had made it. He looked around for signs of him - his bandana, a tonfar, a ragged piece of red cloth, anything - but he found nothing. What he did find was his own staff. It had gotten caught up among some reeds and rushes.
He was happy not to have lost it, but he would have given it up for Riou. "Oh, that's my staff," he pointed it out to Pilika and began to hobble to it.
He was so incredibly weak. It only hit him now how foolish it was to try and walk again, but he had no chance to remedy the situation. Just steps before reaching the staff, his knees buckled, and his legs gave way. He fell again, and this time, he hit his head on a rock. The world went dark.
When he awoke, he was alone. It was quiet but for the faint sounds of distant voices. Sunlight pealed through the window, and Jowy sat up. He had been wrapped in a colorful quilt upon a meager bed. The small wooden room he was in was clean, and smelled of flowers.
This bare little room had a delightful charm about it that would be very out of place in his father's large house in Kyaro. He wondered where he was now. South of Tenzen, most likely, since the river ran south from Highland in the north down to the southern City-States of Jowston.
So, he was in the City-States. Jowy thought it wise not to reveal to anyone that he was a Highlander just yet, and was immediately thankful that he was skilled with accents.
He stretched and groaned from stiffness, and got out of bed. He was wearing white cotton nightclothes. His own clothes were clean and folded on a small chair in the corner by the door. His staff leaned up against the wall beside it. He changed his clothes and then made the bed.
He folded the nightclothes and put them on the chair, but left the staff for now. He trusted these people, whoever they were. He figured that if they meant him any ill will, they would have done something about it already.
He ventured out into the main room. There was something delicious cooking. A woman was standing at the stove, creating an aromatic masterpiece. "Hello," Jowy said in the voice of a City-State citizen.
The woman turned around happily, "Oh, you're awake and walking! How wonderful! How do you feel? You were asleep for days. Here, come sit down and have something to eat. You must be starving."
"Days? Yes, well, um…" he walked to the table and sat. "I feel…better. Thank you."
She set a heaping plate in front of him. "Eat up now. That's salt-and pepper potatoes and rosemary carrots. We have a garden. My daughter Pilika and I spend a lot of time out there. We usually have fish, you know, living by the river and all. I'll cook some up for dinner tonight. And here's a glass of water for you."
Jowy smiled. She sure liked to talk a lot. She reminded him of Nanami, only a better cook by the smell of it. Even the carrots, which he was not fond of, looked appetizing. He gently interrupted her, "Thank you. I am pretty hungry. This smells fantastic, I can't wait."
This pleased her and she blushed. "Oh no, it's nothing. Just my mother's recipe. I hope you like it." Jowy took a bite. It tasted as amazing as it smelled, even the carrots. She was quite a cook. "The food is delicious, thank you. I'm Jowy."
"Oh yes, I know. Pilika told me. It's wonderful to meet you, Jowy. I'm Joanna. My husband, Marx is out right now, and you've already met Pilika. She's taken right to you, you know. These past few days she's either been by your side or out by the river looking for your friend. She said you had gone swimming?"
Jowy took another bite. "Yes, that's right. But don't worry. I'm sure he'll turn up." These people had already done enough for him. No need to burden them with the truth. "Your daughter is a very kind girl. You must be proud of her," he said after swallowing.
"Thank you, Jowy. We do our best with her."
"I'm sure she picked up her kindness and hospitality from you."
"Why don't you go down to the river?" Joanna asked blushing, taking away his empty plate. "I bet Pilika is there. She'd love to see you."
Jowy liked the idea of stretching his legs. "I think I will. Thank you for the food, Mrs. Joanna. Can I help you clean up before I go?"
"Oh no!" she laughed, "I can do it. You just enjoy yourself."
Jowy found Pilika sitting at the bank of the river. She was talking to a duck.
“…so, if you see him, Mr. Duck, please come and tell me, okay? Uncle Jowy really wants his friend back.”
Jowy marveled at the kindness of this family. The hospitality of Joanna and Marx - the latter which he hadn’t even met yet - and now Pilika, a girl no higher than his waist; leading an animal search party to find his friend. After the massacre at Tenzen, he was so thankful, and his heart was instantly knit to them.
He came up next to Pilika and sat down quietly. “Hi, Pilika. You talking to Mr. Duck?”
“Uncle Jowy!” she threw her little arms around his waist and buried her head in his chest. You’re awake! I was real worried.”
“Oh, I’m alright, Pilika, Honey,” he laughed. “I had you and your mom and dad and Mr. Duck to take care of me.”
Pilika unburied her face from his chest. “So you’re all better now, Uncle Jowy?”
“Yep. Uncle Jowy’s all better now. See?” Then he leapt up, ran to a grassy bit behind them, and did a cartwheel. Jowy, sharp and agile, stuck the landing. “Ta-da!”
Pilika applauded with joy, “Hooray, Uncle Jowy!” and then, “Look! I can do it too!” She bounded next to him and attempted to copy his acrobatic feat.
She was a little awkward, and Jowy could tell that cartwheels were not something she practiced regularly, but he cheered for her madly nonetheless. Pilika beamed.
“That was great, Pilika! Well done! Was that your first cartwheel?”
“Mm-hmm,” She nodded. “I’m just like you! We can both make wheels! Let’s do it again!”
“Ok,” he lead, “now don’t stand too close. You don’t want to hurt anyone. You ready? Put your hands up. Now one, two, three!” They both wheeled on the grass and shouted “Ta-da!”
Jowy ran back to the bank. “What did you think of that, Mr. Duck? Weren’t we amazing?” He put his ear close to his beak, careful to make sure that “Mr. Duck” didn’t think it was a snack. “Mm-hmm. Uh-huh. Gotcha,” he nodded in pretend response. Then he walked back to Pilika. “Mr. Duck says that you were fantastic, but I could use some work.”
Through the afternoon they laughed and played, perfecting Pilika’s new skill. He taught her to hand-stand up straight without falling, stressing the importance of good balance. He held up her legs until she could hold the position on her own.
He taught her how to get a running start, and how to put one hand down after the other. He remembered how Master Genkaku had taught him as boy, and thought of Riou.
They were putting the finishing touches on a simple routine when Joanna called them in for dinner. Pilika begged for her to watch before they went in. Joanna agreed and called to Marx so they could both witness “The Grand Circus of Pilika and Jowy.”
Unfortunately, Mr. Duck, who had long since swam away, missed the show. When the circus had concluded, Joanna and Marx cheered for her daughter’s new talent, the proudest of parents.
“You seem to have your energy back,” Marx commented to Jowy over a supper of fish stew and bread.
“Yes, thanks to the hospitality of you and your wife - and Pilika of course,” he added, looking over at the girl, beaming at the comment.
“Pilika Honey, did you thank Uncle Jowy for teaching you how to cartwheel?” Joanna asked.
“Thank you Uncle Jowy for teaching me how to make wheels,” she politely responded to the prompting.
“You’re welcome, Pilika. It was my pleasure. Do you know,” He asked Marx and Joanna, “that Mr. Duck thought Pilika was more talented in the art of cartwheeling than I?”
“Is that so?” Marx asked Pilika.
“Yeah,” the girl answered between spoonfuls, “but Mr. Duck isn’t really that smart," and everyone laughed.
Days went by. Jowy continued to live with the family, and in return helped out wherever he could. Marx was away often. He was a trader, and traveled to many towns and cities to do business with the merchants there. This left Jowy to get to know more about the shy, sweet Joanna, and the perpetually energetic Pilika.
He would garden with Joanna, and play with Pilika. They both seemed to enjoy it when he would use his staff to whack pesky vegetable-stealing moles on the heads. Pilika found it all quite entertaining.
Pilika showed him the village, keeping a running commentary of everything they passed by. It didn’t take him long to learn that the village, Toto, had two nice dogs, one mean dog, many kids, a general store that sold delicious sweets, a smithy run by a giant man with a loud voice, a bridge with a monster living under it, and a very naughty boy that always pulled Pilika’s hair whenever he saw her.
Jowy suggested that it would do him good to get whacked on the head like the garden moles. Pilika thought this was a very good idea, and from then on referred to the child as “Mole Boy,” and giggled whenever she saw him.
He continued his search for Riou every day. He walked the river up and down, going further each time, looking for a sign. He asked passersby if they knew anything, but no one had heard of him. Jowy was getting more and more nervous every day that he would never find his friend. Still, he kept searching.
Days passed until Jowy had been in Toto for nearly a week. As frightened as he was for Riou, he found himself falling in love with the little family.
One night, after dinner, Joanna pulled Pilika away to help clean up. She pouted and protested, wanting to stay with Jowy, but finally, she angrily gave in.
This left Jowy alone with Marx, who suggested that they take a walk.
Most of the shops were closed by now, and Jowy could hear sounds of laughter and shouting from inside homes and the tavern - the lone business still open. This sound mixed with the chatter of bullfrogs and the buzzing of insects, creating a comforting symphony of country life.
The moon was waxing, near full, and the stars danced bright in their celestial ballroom. Jowy noticed how peaceful and beautiful it was. It was a refreshing opposite to the city life he had been raised in.
As the sounds of the town grew quieter, enveloped by the sounds of rushing water, Jowy and Marx stopped. They found a place to sit by the riverbank where he and Pilika had held their circus.
“It’s really nice out here,” Marx commented.
“Yeah, the air’s nice and warm,” Jowy added.
“The water too. Though I still wouldn’t have jumped into the water with all my clothes on myself," he said.
“Yeah, about that…”
“Don’t get me wrong, son. You have shown us that you’re a very nice young man. Pilika just loves you. But a man can’t help but be protective of his family - especially these days.”
“So, you could tell that my staff wasn’t made for fishing, huh?”
“Listen, Jowy. I respect you, so I’m going to talk to you straight.” Your arrival here was very unusual. I was hesitant to trust you at first, but we couldn’t just ignore an injured man. Now we’ve let you stay for as long as you have mostly for the sake of our daughter.
And while you’ve been with us, you’ve been very helpful and kind. We’ve respected your privacy up till this point, but we do live in a border town in the middle of a war. So I need to ask you to tell me who you are, where you’re from, and who your friend is. Otherwise, I’ll need to ask you to leave.”
There it was. Jowy figured this would come up sooner or later. Marx wasn’t a stupid man. He was obviously savvy enough to deal with merchants in the cut-throat metropolis of Muse he had heard about.
Jowy decided he had been cautious long enough. He could trust this family. He stood, turned to Marx, saluted, and said clearly in his natural Highland accent. “Jowy Atreides. Unicorn Youth Brigade. Highland Army.” He dropped his arms and slumped his shoulders. “Or, at least, I was.” He lowered his head. “There is no more Unicorn Brigade.”
Marx stood and paused before speaking. “Thank you for your honesty, soldier. I honor your decision to fight so boldly for your country at such a young age.” Jowy’s nerves eased. Marx continued, “ Now, who is ‘Riou?’ Tell me honestly, Jowy. Is he really a lost friend of yours, or is this some code to bring in your troops?
I don’t want you to have to betray your king and country, but I must keep my family safe. If you are a spy, and this village is in danger, allow me to at least remove Joanna and Pilika from harm’s way.”
“I could never wish harm on any of you, Marx. You needn’t fear me. I am no spy, and I am no traitor either. I have been betrayed. Riou is my best friend. We grew up together and joined the Youth Brigade together. I always watched out for him.
The Unicorn Brigade had set up camp in Tenzen, and when the massacre happened, we were the only ones to escape. We jumped into the river. That’s the last I saw of him.”
Marx noticed Jowy shaking from suppressed rage, and he put one sincere hand on his shoulder, calming Jowy a bit. “I am sorry for your situation. I will ask no more of it. We will help you look for your friend.”
Jowy looked to the sky and the mass of stars above, and sighed, choking back long-overdue tears. Then he turned and started back to town. “It’s been a week, Marx,” Jowy said over his shoulder. “I truly doubt he is still alive.” Then the tears came. He didn’t attempt to hold them back any more. He let out a long sob.
He felt he was in his own private world until he felt Marx’s warm hand again on his shoulder. “You must never give up hope, son. You never know what tomorrow will bring.”