I think the best way to describe the fight between Keydis and Eloquii is heart wrenching. The sword fight in particular was excellent; I found myself sucked into a mental movie of sorts. My heart was racing and I was on edge because I wasn't sure if El would either yeet himself off the cliff or nearly kill Keydis. The tension and the series of low-blows that expose how rough Keydis has been with El over the years really came through in both of your writing. I appreciate how even Keydis wasn't sure if she was there to help Eloquii until the end.
The beginning was also well done, particularly with the world building of the snowy mountain. It wasn't as captivating as the fight, but that isn't really a critique on either of you. It's hard to match the energy of that fight scene in a scenario that isn't as dramatic in its nature.
Another enjoyable bit was the constant back-and-forth between El and his pravum. I felt quite a bit of empathy for El while he struggled and wrestled with what he had done and what had happened to him. Glad he didn't eat those berries!
It was also nice to see how Keydis has changed, but she definitely felt more like a supporting character to El's narrative until the two met up.
There is so much to unpack that I feel a bit overwhelmed, so I will focus on what really jumped out at me and that was something I consider an integral part of any good story and that is character interaction. The dynamics between El and Keydis were the strongest part of the collab for me.
Their prior relationship and how it was affected by the actions that El took and how that played out in the fight made for gut-wrenching reading and upped the emotional stakes in a big way. The physical battle was given a new depth by the psychological battle that was also happening between the pair.
It was great to see how the relationship developed even in a short space. It has opened up a new chapter between the characters and generated some potentially fascinating interactions that I hope to read more about as you go on.
Wow. Gonna completely retread ground here - this collab was stunning. The descriptors of the battle on the snowy cliffside, the insight into both characters and their reasons for fighting, and ultimately holding back. I don't have the whole history but this felt like a serious culmination of many years of writing together, and it paid off in spades by having specific instances to reflect on - which largely consisted of Keydis being rather cruel to El, from an outside perspective - and build on the conflict between two people who didn't seem to really want to fight.
This is my first time reading anything from El, and holy hell what a well written character. The despair and self-loathing he feels over his past mistakes and his inability to truly contest his pravum really shone in this collab, and especially the way it was described that he was losing control at points in the battle.
Something more to the battle - I appreciate that the two had so much in common and so much in contrast. The red and blue separation always makes for striking imagery, and the way that you two managed to weave your prose into the combat has really inspired me to take notes as it's something I've struggled with.
The buildup of the collab really seemed to point towards El potentially dying towards the end, and I can only say that I'm really glad that things turned out the way they did, and the imagery of Keydis showing a softer side in comforting him helped add some dimension to her character I had previously been unaware of.