The only thing she knows is true anymore is that the dragon needs to die.
This is the daily(ish) posting of my 2017 NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) fantasy novel. [YANS] is short for Yet Another New Story, so it’s new worlds and new civilization ahead! Since last year worked out well, this year’s attempt will also be a combination of MuseFic and proper rough draft. The story will be completed at the end of November… even if the story isn’t really complete. 😉
Read at your own risk/amusement: There will most likely be spelling and grammatical errors afoot as well as flat out bad writing, info dumps, plot holes, contradictions/retcons, uneven characterization and pacing.
Daily Wordcount: 1,756
Total Wordcount: 51,008 (includes Title, Chapter Headers, etc.)
Day 29.b – It’s All In The Cliff Notes
“So is magic usage is so rare in humans, why is Khany so good at trying to use the magic the first time she tries?” Asked Jashn grumpily. “Other than she’s a total Mary Sue.”
“Because I was just moving the plot forward,” said the Writer, leaning back in her chair with a yawn. There was a small blue plot bunny on her desk nibbling around the edges of the magic world building. “Trust me, come the second draft all of you will have some proper heartbreaks and character growth.”
“I’ll settle for being something other than a set piece,” grumbled Dragon. “My only purpose is to take them to my mentor and to provided the magitech to get them back town.”
“I don’t even have a purpose,” countered Jashn. “They could have traveled to the city without me. Hell, they wouldn’t even have been arrested because she wouldn’t have seen them coming.”
“Stop sulking, I told you I’d fix it in post.” The Writer sniffed. “Now help me hash out the pools, I’m having some issues with the whole ‘magic magnets’ idea.”
The scrying pools are not natural formations. They are created by the dragons specifically to gather magic into one place (which will help draw in more magic). There are certain stones and metals that are best for this with tie into real world crystal and rock mythology.
Which means a dragon somewhere had to decide to make the scrying pools. We’ll work from the assumption that they noticed a small pooling happening somewhere and attempted to expand upon it. Or maybe the magic will pool in lakes and the pools are just a refined version of that.
It would make sense considering how much the magic acts likes water in high concentrations.
Which means the lake that the town dragon’s mentor lives by may be a high magic lake. Which would kill off all the animals in it, so maybe that’s not the best idea.
If there are some rocks that attract magic, then it should follow that there are rocks that repel it. That would mean if they want to protect things from magic, they could use these to build a shield around it or salt the area with it somehow. It’s probably something that either of the dragons might have used in their city or town planning.
Depending on how interesting ‘real life’ rock mythology is, this could add an interesting dynamic to the rest of the story.
“Wait. now there are magic rocks?” The Muse gave the Writer a look.
“Technically, there were magic rocks ever since the elder dragon pulled the whole ‘you think magic is just in pools?’ wisdom dump earlier in the stor. I’m just tweaking the idea.” The Writer made notes to do some rock research after November.
“So if there is all this magic hanging about, even in small doses, why aren’t there more modern things?” The Muse said with a raised eyebrow almost on par with Jashn’s. “With magic they get to bypass the whole ‘invent a thing’ part of the process. They just need to come up with the idea and then they can apply magic to it.”
“Except we’re going with the ‘most people can’t use magic’ and ‘most people can only use magic when it’s fed to them in a controlled manner’. So either they would need pools or someone feeding them magic.” Khany pointed out. She was only fond of magic to a point… it seemed a little overpowered. “Or make them magic gizmos.”
“Is Dragon the only one who is experimenting with the magitech? If so, why?” The Muse looked over at Dragon thoughtfully. He ignored them all and headed off for a nap in his beanbag.
“There has to be something taboo about it.” said Jashn. “Otherwise why would he be the only one and why wouldn’t be be sharing his inventions with others? Not that he seems to be the most social of personalities.”
There was a sarcastic puff of smoke from the beanbag.
“Maybe he’s just the first one to think of it.” countered the Writer. “Maybe the world hadn’t advanced to the point where they had machines interesting enough to start combing with magic.”
“Or maybe there was magitech earlier that was used to bad ends. They talk about war magics so there must be some offensive weaponry already created.” The Muse said. “So maybe they had some sort of dragonic peace treaty where they all agrees to stop fooling around with things.”
“And Jashn has been around the world enough to be aware of it, even if they did retreat to the valley to hermitize for a while. So he could have been inventing under the radar. But that would mean that now the city dragon knows he broke the treaty so he’d be in a lot of trouble.” The Muse pondered the unpleasant outcomes.
“So maybe not got with that.” pointed out Jashn dryly.
“Yeah maybe not.”
“Why not just make it something the other dragons think is pointless. I mean most of what he is making is for the benefit of the humans. Most of the other dragons wouldn’t be that interested in helping the individual people, right?” Khany offered.
“Only he’s a ‘good of the many’ sort of dragon, so why would he care about the individuals?” The Muse was still not impressed.
“Because I like making things and it’s fun.” Dragon said with a mutter.
There was a pause.
“That seems fair– I guess.” The Writer shrugged. “So he’s hiding it less because it’s a bad thing and more because it’s an uncool thing. And mostly he’s hiding it from the humans because he doesn’t want them getting ideas.”
“Which brings us back to one of my pet peeves,” said the Muse. “All of the characters are self serving, but it doesn’t really hurt them to be. Nothing they do backfires in any way or causes themselves harm.”
“Except for the mail tube,” pointed out Jashn.
“None of the characters other than Khany really changes over the course of the story either.” The Muse soldiered on. “It would be nice to see the Dragon have a little more compassion for the individual humans and for Jashn to stop putting his city first come heck or high water. We already have the arc of Kahny learning there are some things more important than individual lives, but the others need to change too.”
“Well Jashn was willing to leave the city to go help the town even though he didn’t really need to, but Dragon hasn’t changed any.” The Writer pointed out.
“And I don’t see why I have to,” he countered.
“– so that change is going to be a bit harder to work in, but I think we can do it.” The Writer fowned down at the script. “You know I just realised that Khany is way more dangerous at the end of the story. She started out a human with wild magic and now she’s a dragon with wild magic. Shouldn’t that mean that Jashn and Dragon would be more motivated to kill her off or at least try and drive her away so she can’t harm them?”
“Maybe she needs to go hang out with Dragon’s mentor,” said Jashn. “He didn’t seem to mind that she had wild magic. If he did there’s no way he would have taught her how to channel magic.”
“Unless he was pretty sure it was going to kill her.” Dragon pointed out. “Which he might have been.”
“That’s a little dark.” Objected the Muse.
“To be fair the whole thing is a little dark–” said the Writer. “I started off drowning a whole bunch of folks and it kept going downhill from there.”
“So what is the tone of this thing?” Khany asked, apprehensively. “It’s dark, lots of people die, or have bad things happen to them… Just not the main characters. I’m assuming we’ll fix that, so are we going to grimdark or is this going to be one of the ‘way is dark but the tunnel has light at the end’ sort of things?” There was a pause. “I’d like some sort of happy ending.”
“No clue.” The Writer looked down at the mess of a manuscript. “But in order to have more conflict and personal growth– I need to think of more bad things that can happen that are related to each of the characters.”
“Khany needs to have something bad happen because of the wild magic. To show the reader that it really is dangerous.” Dragon said.
“Well Dragon needs to have something happen related to his good of the many mindset.” Khany countered. “I want me to realise what he did was wrong.”
Dragon blew rude smoke rings in her general direction.
“Jashn needs to have something happen based on his fixation with fixing his city. He’s more the good of the one personality.” The Muse pointed out.
“But I did,” he objected. “Not really that specifically, but I did leave my city behind to go save the town. Or try to anyway.”
“The wild magic is magic, so it can flare and cause bad things to happen.” the Writer said. “But what sort of bad things? It could flare while they are flying and cause them to crash. That would give us another scene in the story, but that would have to be on the way from the mentor to the city. If it happened before then they’d have good reason to leave her behind.”
“Dragon needs to be in a situation where saving the individual is more important than saving the group.” The Muse said. “It would need to be outside of the one where the wild magic causes things to go wrong. We want these not to be tied up all nice and neat, otherwise the story will get too predictable and boring.”
“And Jashn just needs his change of heart after the battle at the city to make sense,” Khany said. “Right now hw just suddenly flip-flops on his previous determination to save his city at all costs. I mean coming to help us is sort of the same thing, since he’s worried about the monster coming back, but he have stayed home and just built up defenses there instead.”
“So what you’re saying is the story needs a lot of work,” the Writer sighed.
“..Well, yeah– it’s NaNo, what did you expect?”