Vespair drawing

Requiem of the Goddess - Mass Effect - Ashley/FemShep, Liara/FemShep, Miranda/FemShep, Aria/FemShep.

Title - Requiem of the Goddess
Game(s) - Mass Effect Trilogy
Pairing(s) - Ashley/FemShep, Liara/FemShep. Miranda/FemShep, Aria/FemShep. Tali plays a role later on.
Warnings - Dominance/submission. Mental and emotional kinks. Other adult themes and language.
Rating - NC-17
Summary - Goddess of mind, goddess of heart - closed-off without consent, She cannot flourish; unlocked to the universe in trust and control, She protects from all outside influences. Only one sits atop the throne of Shepard's subjectivity in worship. Renegon Infiltrator FemShep. Spans the Mass Effect Trilogy.

FanFiction -
Archive of Our Own -

Yoshiyuki Ly

Video games.

Don't ignore the:
Social realism + romance.
LGBT, minorities, and women as fully-realized characters.
Power plays that push mental and emotional limits.
Armor over vulnerabilities. Strip that armor to get to the soft, devoted core.

Historical fantasy romance. Self-published. It's available now. Book summary:

Prepared to die for her country, Solaire Copeland is drafted to the Drakengard knighthood at twenty-two years old, and vows to stop running away from the one she loves. Guarding over her dark secrets in shame, she nevertheless takes a leap of faith and entrusts herself to her intelligent equal in Stella Azrith, an alluring, measured, and methodical young woman of magic. Solaire elevates her love for Stella in romantic showmanship and subservience, even as the two of them struggle to understand one another through their temperamental differences. Anathema is a historical fantasy romance that tells the tale of Solaire and Stella's courtly relationship in their youth, as they grow into their characters--Archangel Vespair and Mistress Fury--from The Scorpion's Empress, Venus and Lysander, and Black Waltz as a prequel to the existing trilogy.

Desperate to keep Solaire at home, Stella conspires to prevent her from getting sent off to fight in an unjust war for their country, the Monomyth of Astora. In her scheming at the highest levels of government, she forms an unstable alliance with Fey Murasaki, the wicked and wily ambassador from Astora's closest foreign ally. Stella and Fey's influence across the land slithers in darkness while Solaire's knightly powers shine to alarming levels in the light, causing them to become targets--for both good and ill--of the nation's most powerful leaders. Through intensifying mortal perils, Solaire's love for Stella deepens to maddening levels, restrained only by her distinct sense that her free will erodes more each time she kneels in fulfilling servitude.

Independent streaks contradict religiosity in service of loving a woman with a will so strong--Solaire bears both the light and the dark or enlightened empathy and burning hatred, with her secrets fueling her rise as the strongest knight of an age.

Anathema - ebook cover

buy here on Amazon


Black Waltz
Contemporary fantasy romance. Self-published. It's available now. Book summary:

As a Black Waltz--a magical ballet dancer--Stella Azrith appears to all as a composed, no-nonsense sorceress of notable talent. Yet she is deeply dependent on her muse for far more than most artists, complicating her relationships. Nyte Lysander is a suave, emotional cellist who once struggled in her obsession to stay in Stella's world. She and Stella find one another again after a tumultuous breakup, needing the other for reasons warped beyond the norm. Black Waltz is a sprawling urban fantasy romance set 350 years after The Scorpion's Empress and 100 years after Venus and Lysander, concluding the trilogy. Can be read as a standalone.

Searching for acceptance, Stella and Nyte learn to understand each other anew, strained only by disagreements past and unspoken. Nyte's living situation in the crime-ridden district of Maleficus in the city of Eden pushes her and Stella to pursue better artistic opportunities elsewhere. As they toy with the idea of exploring a power play relationship, they learn about a greater evil that threatens the Azrith and Lysander family. The true enemy twists on its head through whirling rainstorms, driving Stella and Nyte to prove who and what they stand for.

There can be no waltz for three.

Black Waltz ebook

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Venus and Lysander
Historical-fantasy-romance. Solstice Publishing picked this one up. It's available now. Book summary:

Living as a nobleman and a woman, Valerie of Lysander is sick of waiting for the world to change. The discrimination she suffers as an outcast builds into resentment. Once Val takes matters into her own hands, the whole Empire of Tynan feels her brand of justice. The Emperor's adviser, Lucrezia of Azrith, wants more of Val's ruthlessness
for revenge against the unjust, and for her own desires. Venus and Lysander is an intricate romance set in the fictional Victorian city of Eden, 250 years after the events in The Scorpion's Empress.

Lucrezia is Lady Chancellor for the Emperor and a sorceress-in-hiding. She is forced to conceal her identity from the religious public for fear of death. As she learns to trust in Val's chivalry and affections for her, they both fall for the softer sides behind their similar bulletproof personas. Lucrezia receives a mysterious warning about a sadistic enemy threatening the Azrith and Lysander families. Once they discover their nemesis' true motive, Val and Lucrezia's tyrannous devotion for one another is all they can count on to survive.

buy here on Amazon

Finalist in the 30th Annual Lambda Literary Awards - Lesbian romance
2017 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention


The Scorpion's Empress
Erotic romance plus a bit of fantasy. Also under Solstice Publishing. It's available now. Book summary:

After years of serving a corrupt government, Ser Videl, an idealistic paladin, learns that her younger sister is tangled in a dark scheme against Raj Mangala, the compassionate yet troubled Empress of the city's oppressed lowtown; the two women meet and are deeply drawn to one another, finding a shared sanctuary in their violently-divided city. The Scorpion's Empress is intimately written through the eyes of both twenty-seven year old women.

Videl's loving devotion is just what Raj craves, but Raj is wary of letting her guard down while protecting her throne. Determined to prove her worth, Videl chases after Raj and works to unravel the mystery of the plots against the Empress. Raj wants Videl to serve her emotional and sexual needs, and the two explore a meaningful relationship of dominance and submission that delves fully into their deepest wants. When the conspiracy against Raj comes to a head, Videl's loyalties are tested when she is forced to choose between her past and her Empress.

The Scorpion's Empress

buy here on Amazon
Goodreads // Solstice Publishing

Winner in the 29th Annual Lambda Literary Awards - Lesbian romance
Finalist in the 2016 Independent Author Network Awards - LGBT
Winner in the 2016 New England Book Awards - LGBT
Honorable Mention in the 2016 Rainbow Awards - Lesbian erotic romance


Online Stories
Find most of my romance works here. The joy of sharing.

In-Depth Story Notes
Find my personal commentary and additional notes for certain stories here.

Book publishing dates/progress

1. The Scorpion's Empress (erotic romance with some D/s) - June 1, 2016
2. Venus and Lysander (historical-fantasy-romance) - January 31, 2017

3. Black Waltz (urban fantasy romance with some BDSM) - September 25, 2018
4. Anathema (historical-fantasy-romance with some D/s) - May 1, 2019
5. Chauvinistic Coquette (contemporary romance with some fantasy) - editing final draft - publishing date: TBD
6. Anathema II: The Scorpion's Empress (erotic romance, dark fantasy, BDSM) - next WIP - publishing date: TBD

These are all set in different eras of my fictional Anathema universe: the world, Tellus, with Nyx Vevina as God of the Anathema religion; she is the morally ambiguous shadow to her more spirited twin sister, Venus, who is revered as the standard of beauty, femininty and acceptance. My main characters all challenge the status quo in these societies in ways that are relevant to the real world.

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somehow still writing.

I keep surprising myself with this story.

First I thought I would burn out at 100k words - around chapter 17.

Then I figured I'd crash and burn around chapter 29/30 - admittedly the lowest point of the entire story for me. I was so done at that time.

That feeling carried on and on and on, weighing me down until...chapter 48. This is when I realized what the problem was. So I changed course.

Compared to now, working on chapter 62. I'm simply focused. I think it's also a reflection on what's to come. You'll see what I mean soon enough.

The only way I would stop updating Requiem of the Goddess is if I physically cannot continue writing. If something happened to me or whatever.

But I don't like talking about how I feel. What I'm going through or not going through. My tolerance levels are very low. I'm not at all willing to go along with what's expected of me or anyone else. I just find that any time I try to put myself back into whatever I'm "supposed" to do, I resist it. Whenever someone expects me to be a certain way, react a certain way, I don't see the point. I am disconnected in that sense, but entirely connected elsewhere, where I need to be. It's ironic to me that one of the main themes of Requiem is the ties that bind people together. But I am explicitly outside of that.

I do believe in what I write. I believe in it for you. Not for me.
Vespair drawing

thoughts on and decisions for Mass Effect Legendary Edition.

I'm not surprised that I feel so apathetic toward the remaster. This is how I figured I'd feel. No cut content restored, some old bugs still present, no multiplayer. They apparently changed Tali's face after the whole stock photo controversy -- but after almost ten years of picturing the same picture, I doubt I will be able to get used to the new...picture. Although, I'm satisfied with the gameplay improvements to ME1. I still enjoy the loading screens in ME2 -- that atmospheric music is very soothing to me. But that's about it. Think the only thing that outright bothered me in the remaster was Miranda's hair. Why did they change it? Her hair is so nice in the original ME2. Granted, I used a mod to change her messed up hair in the original ME3.

I missed my long hair mod for FemShep as well. Ended up using that super boyish cut from the new hairstyles instead. Didn't mind it, just took some getting used to. I started liking it after a while. With the longer hair I describe in Requiem of the Goddess, this is basically how I imagine my Shepard.

Golden brown hair, golden brown eyes, golden brown complexion. Sol as the first name. An intense hardass who looks just like the sun.
Literary themes? What literary themes?

Mass Effect™ Legendary Edition_20210517232425

I received a few messages about my Shepard in Requiem of the Goddess: just wanting to role-play as her for a change of pace. Feel free to use the identity code at the top of the screenshot here. The choices listed below are how I played her, though I won't list any decisions that would spoil the story after the current chapter we're on (chapter 59). You may be able to extrapolate and figure out what we'll end up deciding as the story goes on. Maybe.

Click on the text to open the spoiler sections to read more.

Mass Effect 1

Main party members:
Tali and Liara

No one

Notable side content:
[Spoiler (click to open)]
Bring Wrex along to kill Fist.

Intimidate Conrad Verner into leaving you alone.

Blow off Khalisah al-Jilani when she tries to interview you on the Citadel.

Deal with the rogue VI on Luna.

Kill Dr. Heart for Garrus, obtain the geth data for Tali's Pilgrimage and give her a copy when she asks, and get Wrex's family armor before Virmire.

As a general note, when selecting Renegade responses, never choose the human-centric dialogue choices. I usually pick Renegade responses with NPCs, with Garrus to influence his Paragon/Renegade leaning, and with Kaidan to avoid romancing him. I was generally neutral toward Liara. I was much nicer to Tali on the ship, after picking the Renegade options when rescuing her on the Citadel. For Ashley...pick whatever you want.

[Spoiler (click to open)]
Get the water, power cells, and varren meat for the colonists. Deal with the geth transmitter. Then kill everyone. Do not use the anti-Thorian grenades.

Let Shiala live.

[Spoiler (click to open)]
Make it so Anoleis and Gianna Parasini kill each other. Do this by proceeding to get the evidence from Lorik Qui'in's office, talking to Gianna afterward about making him testify, and then handing the evidence over to Anoleis, who will confront Gianna about everything.

Save the Rachni Queen.

[Spoiler (click to open)]
Convince Wrex to stand down. Do not let Ashley shoot him.

Let Captain Kirrahe die.

For the survivor, honestly, pick whoever you want. I chose Ashley just to see if they restored any cut content for her in ME3. They did not.

Battle at the Citadel:
[Spoiler (click to open)]
Convince Saren to shoot himself that first time by using all of the Intimidate responses.

Save the Council.

Appoint Anderson as the new human councilor.

Mass Effect 2
Carry everything over as-is.

Main party members:
Tali and Samara (Miranda and Jack early-game)

No one

Notable side content:
[Spoiler (click to open)]
Reinstate your Spectre status.

Don't punch Khalisah al-Jilani on the Citadel (Renegade trigger button). Instead, use the Intimidate option to get her to shut up and leave you alone.

Help Shiala with her request on Illium.

Visit the Normandy crash site and collect the dog tags.

During Samara's recruitment mission, I actually did not send the Biotic God volus into battle against the Eclipse sisters. Tali was disappointed in me for telling him to do it the first time. I felt bad, so I reloaded my save and used the Paragon option instead.

During Garrus' recruitment mission, find the datapad about the mercs' plan to take out Aria. You'll find this in the same room where the Eclipse mercs are sitting around a table talking together. Give the datapad to Aria after the mission.

At Afterlife, speak with Grizz. Complete the requested job from Aria involving Patriarch. Make sure he goes into hiding, if only because that is what Aria wants, and for no other reason. Then speak with Aria and select the new options, where she gives Shepard vague stories about her past. "Better luck next time."

Pick up the Widow sniper rifle on the Collector Ship!

Recruitment missions:
[Spoiler (click to open)]
Complete all except Grunt. You have to do his mission in order to unlock Horizon, but just don't wake him up.

Loyalty missions:
[Spoiler (click to open)]
Complete all except Jacob, Thane, Grunt (of course). Technically, we never did Miranda's loyalty mission in the story. There's a reason for this. But you can choose to complete her mission in-game if you'd like.

Kasumi's loyalty mission:
[Spoiler (click to open)]
Keep Keiji's greybox.

Mordin's loyalty mission:
[Spoiler (click to open)]
Keep Maelon's data.

Legion's loyalty mission:
[Spoiler (click to open)]
This is tricky. In the story, we brainwashed the heretics as the Paragon option. But I'm not sure if the remaster changed the "points" calculations for the geth-quarian conflict in ME3. In the original trilogy, destroying the heretics gives you points, which in-turn lets you save both the geth and the quarians. However, I'm not at liberty to spoil what's going to happen in the story. So again, just pick whatever you want for Legion's loyalty mission.

Tali's loyalty mission:
[Spoiler (click to open)]
I'm currently writing the chapter with Tali's loyalty mission. Not spoiling this one. Do whatever you want. If you want more "points" toward saving the geth and the quarians in ME3, you will probably have to avoid getting Tali exiled.

For the argument between Tali and Legion, get them both to stand down if you have enough Renegade points. If you don't, then pick Tali's side. Then talk to Legion about it and claim that you lied to her. Legion will forgive you.

Samara's loyalty mission:
[Spoiler (click to open)]
Samara's loyalty mission happens after Tali's in the story, so...

Garrus' loyalty mission:
[Spoiler (click to open)]
Let him shoot Sidonis.

Jack's loyalty mission:
[Spoiler (click to open)]
Use the Intimidate option to make sure she kills Aresh.

If you complete Miranda's loyalty mission, leading to their argument, it does not matter whose side you choose. Simply convince them both to stand down if you have enough Renegade points to do so. If you don't have enough points to do this, then it's fine to pick Jack's side. Miranda will hold a grudge against you forever unless you decide to earn her loyalty back. Deal with this or don't; it's up to you.

Lair of the Shadow Broker:
[Spoiler (click to open)]

Project Overlord:
[Spoiler (click to open)]

Suicide Mission - Collector Base:
[Spoiler (click to open)]
Please look forward to it.

That's all I can go over for now. Anything past this would definitely be a spoiler.

For my ME3 playthrough, I still didn't romance anyone. Choose whatever other decisions you want.

I'll get back to writing the story now. 

notable changes.

I've made so many changes to Requiem of the Goddess, it's exhausting.

The fundamental "what" and "why" of the story has not and will never change. It's the "how" that keeps shifting around, organically, as I knew it probably would. From chapters 1-47, I didn't deviate from the script in any significant way. Sure, I would make adjustments here and there, but nothing major. I can pinpoint the exact line in chapter 48 that changed the game. Ever since chapter 49, I've had to make huge structural changes to every single planned chapter, fine-tuning things to reach the quality I want. Again, I haven't changed where we're going or why we're going there. It's just the "how," the journey in between. I'll try to explain why.

When I first wrote this story years ago, I made a fundamental mistake. I reached the big twist, and a certain character should have suffered the consequences of her actions. I decided not to put in the consequences. The whole story suffered. I lost all motivation to continue writing it. I shelved everything and assumed I would never look back.

For the longest time, I was about to make the same mistake with this story. I kept barrelling toward that mistake. I assumed things would be fine. As I thought about it more, I realized that things would in fact not be fine. This would've ended up as over a million words in damages. I managed to course-correct just in time, but as a result, I have to keep making these structural changes along the way. There's a lot more to it than that, but you get the gist.

These past few chapters have tested me a lot. I'll write 4000, 5000, 6000 words of solid scenes, only to realize they don't fit anymore, so I have to scrap them. Or I'll realize my cool plans for future chapters are irrelevant, and then I have to swap everything out for those future chapters, while making sure the current chapter is consistent with the planned changes. And I know I'm going to have to keep doing this until chapter 59. Why chapter 59 you ask? That's when I'm finally getting back to the regularly-scheduled program. I haven't made any significant changes to these planned chapters (59+) because they're my base. They're the fundamentals of the Mass Effect 2 arc. I cut a lot out to get there, but from that point on, I hope it'll be smooth sailing.

I say all of this after just having thrown out everything I'd written for chapter 57. I spent a week writing the chapter, realized it was no good because of X, Y, Z, then transferred everything to my "removed" document. The exact same series of events will happen during the chapter no matter what. It's always the "how" that keeps shifting around. I also overhauled almost everything for chapter 58 ahead of time. The light at the end of the tunnel is chapter 59. I'm getting through it. I'm just shocked that my "removed" document now officially has 100,000 words of deleted scenes for this story alone.

Replaying the Yakuza games has definitely helped me get through this mess of a time. I'm never getting over that ending to Yakuza 6: The Song of Life. It completely broke my heart. But I do still love this series. Great characters, hilarious side quests, tons to do, and the gameplay never gets old. Yakuza 0's main story really taught me a lot, helping me bring my writing to the level it's at today. I can never recommend these games enough.

going up the rough side of the mountain.

I don't understand why I keep doing this.

I keep taking the most difficult road. The most stressful path. All for a ridiculous payoff in the end.

It's always worth it. But this leaves me wondering why. Why it has to be this way. It happens with me every time. Every single time.

The next chapter of Requiem of the Goddess is nearly done. I stopped my earlier practice of finishing a chapter before posting the previous one. I don't know, this feels more spontaneous. Less rigid. More free. I already know how the whole story is going to go. It's not like I'm running off and writing random, unplanned chapters. But I finally went through and planned on a micro level, mapping out the rest of these Mass Effect 2 events, chapter-by-chapter. It's a little strange to see everything in one place like this.

In the meantime, I've had to start working on another story in between other freelance writing projects I have going on for work. Just to avoid getting burned out on Requiem, or getting stuck in a maddening loop with it. I have no idea when I'm going to post it. Whenever that happens, I'll have already written several chapters, just like with my current story. I need to be sure. Having this other outlet helps me to take a break from Requiem of the Goddess every now and then. But once again, it's an ambitious tale.

These things are never simple, never easy with me.

I almost wish I were burnt out and tired after writing non-stop for a year straight. But it looks like this cycle will continue for quite some time.

i see my reasons why. I wish I understood them. I wish I knew why I keep doing this. Seems like there's no escape, no way out. It's fine and it's fun and it's freeing to write so well and so efficiently. There are certain consequences from this work ethic of mine. I just realized that I can't remember some peoples' faces anymore. People who used to mean so much. I try to recall what they looked like, and I only draw a blank. It's not because I'm older now or I don't care to remember these things anymore. My resources keep getting rerouted to these projects, to these arduous paths. It's concerning, but I don't have a choice. I really don't.

This is what I do. This is who I am.

You're here to consume this about me, so consume away.

Christmas in Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers.


I've been playing this game for seven years since 2013. I'm thirty years old. This is the first time the Christmas music in the starter cities doesn't make me feel depressed, or even remotely sad. I can finally just appreciate it for what it is. Even gave me some ideas for Requiem of the Goddess once I reach that time of the year in the story. I'd always had some ideas to get around to. But I have a clearer picture now. There's something about the chill atmosphere in Limsa Lominsa with the snow falling, with other people standing around afk, listening to the music like I am. Even though we're right next to the sea, and it's not supposed to snow here. Whatever. It's the thought that counts.

I used to get depressed at this time of the year. It's not that I've forgotten why or how. I remember exactly why. I've reached a point where those things have no power over me anymore. It took me a long time to realize this. It's okay, though. There's another aspect to it as well. Not just the emotional part.

My writing is my identity. I don't really have a personality of my own beyond the principles and ideas I stand for and believe in. Yeah, I'm very stern and severe, but that's just out of habit, not as a preference. I'm like this because of various reasons I don't want to get into. The point is, my skill as a writer determines my security with myself as a person, as a human being. With Requiem of the Goddess, I finally feel like I've "arrived." My skill level as a writer is where I want it to be. It's what I've spent my whole life chasing after, ever since I was half the age I am now.

I'm looking forward to what else I'll learn next year, and so on.

just now working on the next chapter of Requiem.

Ugh, sorry. Kind of late. Then again, I've written almost a million words this year. Maybe I can cut myself some slack. I'm too hard on myself, I know.

I got delayed due to the latest patch releasing for Final Fantasy XIV. I've been farming Emerald Weapon Extreme non-stop because...I actually like the fight. The song in phase two is a banger. I see Soken took some tips from Shin Megami Tensei's soundtracks. The Black Wolf Stalks Again sounds like it's straight out of Digital Devil Saga 2. I love it. I thought I'd be sick of it by now, but no. The only complaint I have so far is on the people-end. No one ever seems to want to main tank this fight, so I end up having to do it every time. Not a big deal, though. I enjoy doing everything perfectly and having the others rely on me as a guide for mechanics. It's satisfying.

I'm also upset about something else. The news of what happened to FKA twigs just about broke me when I found out. I really respect her a lot. Her latest album from last year is among my favorites of all time. So you can imagine the type of reaction I had. Reserved, as I always am. But still feeling.

I'll try to have the next chapter up within the next few days. I'm sure when you read it, you'll see the other reasons for this delay.
Vespair drawing

never seems to end.

It's always the same.

More importantly, I've been "working on" Requiem of the Goddess for almost a year now. I didn't sit down and start writing it until January of this year. But the plot started stewing at this time in 2019. Around October 2019, I had a strange feeling, telling me to pick up Mass Effect again for the first time in nearly five years. Now this story has taken over my life. It's made me put other plans on hold. Indefinitely. Completely limitless, this is the most ambitious project I've ever worked on. I'm not holding anything back. Aside from pacing myself accordingly. I'm somehow still not tired. Not losing my mind anymore now that I've reached this point. Things are different. Mostly in a good way. Different to the point where I shouldn't discuss the details.

What surprises me the most isn't how long I've been working on this. It's how consistent I am with my plans. In the very beginning, I changed a lot of ideas around. By the time I started posting the story online, everything was set in stone. I haven't deviated from anything major since that initial start. Everything in the plot plays out in service to the main pairing. That's how I want it to be. Going forward, it looks like my plans through to the final chapter will remain the same. All I'm doing is coloring in the details along the way.

What was the inspiration for this story? Well, aside from rewriting the original Requiem of the Goddess (and only using maybe five things total from that version), it's a personal process. I spent a long time living through multiple crises with multiple people. I was the common thread, searching and searching for something. Putting up with these crises to find what I was looking for. As soon as I found it, the catastrophe ended. I found my peace. And I used to spend a long time wondering if it was all worth it. Considering how things are for me today, I think the answer is yes. It was worth it.

You are reading that process. The catastrophes, the searching. The catastrophe's end. Peace. Meaning. Moving forward.

Requiem of the Goddess is about the death of an idea. That meaning is broad enough to apply to just about anything. On purpose. For me, one particular idea had enslaved me. The idea that I had to accept my life as it was. When I stopped accepting that idea, everything changed. Even still, I accept that I am the main antagonist of the story as the author. You never quite know when to trust me; just as I never quite knew when to trust my own life, how things went, and the world itself, with those outside forces as the authors of my fate. But the world is only a reflection of our point of view. It has no ideologies: good or bad. You can make it the villain if you need to. I serve the same purpose as the faceless arbiter of this story.

I always know what you're thinking as you read. I keep writing the way I want to anyway, knowing how you'll react. I am responsible for your thoughts, your emotions. I continue on anyway, aware of my precarious position. I'm not interested in keeping your favor or safety or approval. I'm only here to write. It is self-serving. So maybe that does make me the villain after all.