Tale of the Valkyrie (Formerly Whispering Illusion) was considered to be Bhaalspawn's best story so far. It held a word count greater than all of Bhaal's other stories combined. The story was written as a Troll Fic to incite anger and rage from the small portion of the fanfiction community that is obsessed with Canon Adherence and Mary Sues.
|Date Published||October 30th, 2008|
|Genre||Humor/Drama, also features Romance, Supernatural, Action, Horror, Dark Elements, Parody, Family, Triller, and Adventure.|
|Chapter/Word Count||71 Chapters, 252,000 Words|
|Canon Type||Canon Defiled, Original Content, Virtual Season|
When Athena (the last surviving deity) realizes that her time is coming, she makes a desperate attempt to seize control of Odin's Valkyrie. By granting dark, twisted powers to a recently killed young man, she is surprised when he rebels and returns to Earth to be with his best friend.
Over the course of twenty years, Athena's twisted recreation of the Valkyrie and his new wife and family repeatedly duel with a twisted being known as Shadow's Prey, Athena herself, and his very own powers which are turning against him.
- Matthew Ryder: The titular character. Being the first of Athena's Val'Kyr, Matt is granted many abilities and supreme combat skills. He is also slowly corrupted by his own powers, which have been known to take control.
- Jaina Ryder: Matt and Meg's daughter. Known for being gentle and kind, as well as a little kinky, Jaina has a love for fun.
- Jacob Ryder: Meg and Matt's son. Neglected and ignored for most of his life, Jac was surprisingly easy for Shadow's Prey to corrupt. He turned against his parents and fled.
Mary Sue gags are often the most prevalent humor device in WI2. The main character, Matthew Ryder, has been established as one of the biggest Mary Sues there has ever been. Rather than scale it back, Bhaal decided to play the cliche for laughs, causing Matt to become a part-time Parody Sue.
Tale of the Valkyrie was marked incredibly high. Many people praised Bhaal's success at mixing Family Guy's trademark humor, with dramatic moments. People like how well Bhaal meshed Humor with Drama, and it is widely known that it is incredibly hard to do so. Whispering Illusion is also the only episodic Family Guy fanfic to not be marked as a Meg's Family Clone, due to it's floating genre, ande underlying plotline.
At the time of it's deletion, Tale of the Valkyrie had recieved over 4.5 million hits, currently a record for Family Guy Fanfiction.
Tale of the Valkyrie was subjected to heavy criticism on one of FF.Net's forums. Common complaints were stick characters, uninteresting plotlines, and a heavy saturation of Mary Sue cliches and too much of a focus on the story's Original Characters.
Bhaal ignored every single one of these complaints. Though he did have responses to nearly all of them.
- Mary Sues: Bhaal frequently called out the very concept of a Mary Sue. He reasoned that "Mary Sue" was simply a basic insult that people liked to give to characters they personally didn't like, as the definition of a Mary Sue changes and differs based on who the writer is talking to.
- Original Character Focus: Bhaal rolled his eyes whenever he heard this complaint. His reasoning was that saying a story is bad because it focuses on characters that one specific reader doesn't like is not only "retarded" but also just whining.
Bhaal never took any great offense with much of the criticism, the sole exceptions being when his personal friends were attacked, or when a critic was "severely reaching" or "repeating themself for the millionth time."
Debate Thread Incident
Ander Arias had been planning to write a formal review on Whispering Illusion, and came to a point he was having trouble with. He asked Bhaal in the Debate Thread about why Stewie had changed so drasticly throughout the course of the story. Bhaal responded with somewhat obscure answers, as if he either didn't grasp the question, or he didn't have a definitive asnwer. After discussing the aspect with Ander for a bit, they came to the conclusion that Bhaal didn't have an explaination, and that the characterization was merely something that fell into his lap.
But EDENLeo, walked into the thread talking about how disgusted he was with how much the story had changed the canon. Bhaal responded quite angrily to these posts, marking that it was his story and he was free to do whatever he liked with it. He made a not that debating a story was a privellage given by the author, and that privelage could be rescinded at any time.
When the argument seemed to be finished, Material, Tanadra, and Soldier of Sorrow responded in Bhaal's defense, stating that being Non-Canon is not nessacarily a bad thing, and that the readers of WI2 needed to take a different mindset than the readers of Meg's Family or The Spellbook.
In a sumamrize of the argument, it was clear that Ander was merely asking a question, to which Bhaal tried his best to answer. EdenLEO is considered the instigator, by trying to control how other people are writing, to which Bhaal clearly got offended and bit back. Some members of the forum, and even a few moderators wanted EdenLEO banned, and one moderator even suggested that herself and Bhaal turn in their moderator positions.
Bhaal deleted the posts containing the argument, and edned the argument by messaging Ander Arias, and giving him a more revised answer to his original question. The WI2 Debate Thread remained locked for a few weeks after it, and Bhaal even opened a Debate Thread on Canon Defilement to keep the Canon/Non-Canon arguments out of Fic Debate Threads.
Character Analysis Incident
In August of 2011, Tanadra posted an extensive character analysis of the story's main character, Matthew Ryder. In retaliation, another user posted a response trying to refute all of her points. This was nothing new to the story's reputation, as the critisism posted had been said repeatedly by the same person. Tanadra at the time was masquerading under the identity of a celebrity, and she was called out on it. In response, Bhaalspawn announced that Tanadra had written the analysis in December, before dying of suicide in January. It was at Material's urging that Bhaal posted the analysis for others to see. This revelation on who Tanadra was sparked another user to refer to the story as a "soap opera". This plucked a particularly fine nerve in Bhaal, who left the forum, deleted his stories and announced on his deviantART blog that he was leaving FF.Net for good. Material posted a message on the forum calling out the other user on his behavior, but it was deleted by the forum administrator the next day.
For a while, Bhaalspawn wasn't seen on FanFiction.Net. He returned after a week or so, with a new story (a sequel to Tale of the Valkyrie). He said he wasn't going to let "canon obsessed douchebags" beat him and was returning partly out of spite.
After a few months, Bhaal returned to the forum with a post demanding that Ander apologize for the vile things said about Tanadra, to which Tanadra's cousin, Soldier of Sorrow and a previously unseen user jumped to his defense upon learning what Ander had said. One of the mods attempted to abate the situation, but Ander intervened and banned every active Val'Kyr Studios member from the forum. Shortly after, Bhaal announced that Tale of the Valkyrie was written purely as a troll piece to anger Canon obsessives. An act of trolling he said that Ander had bought "hook line and sinker, on many different occasions."
Ander Arias has since become the subject of relentless satire on Bhaal's Youtube show and webcomic. Bhaal has stated that he will no longer accept any kind of aoplogy, and that if he ever met him in real life, his first instinct would be to beat him senseless.