31 Jan 2019

The Elf's Prisoner - Commentary 14

Setting off on adventure and a look in at Jyslyn's family, in The Elf's Prisoner Chapter 14.

Kazimier did try to brush off who he was bringing with him as he accompanied Nyssa.  His great grand-aunt, though, has raised enough children and has spent long enough on the Council of Matriarchs to know when someone is avoiding the truth.  Matriarch Starpetal is family; she's concerned about Kazi's well-being, even if she isn't his mother.  My goal here was to show that the Matriarch was still a person and that she did care about Kazi.

Why did Tilly leap to the conclusion that Kazi's wizard is Jyslyn?  He only used the pronoun, "she".  This goes back to first edition AD&D where drow men were far better as wizards than drow women, who tended to be better at being priestesses.  In my setting, I wanted the dark elves to have splintered from the surface elves, for reasons lost to time.  Both the Wildwood elves and Jyslyn's home were matriarchal.  Why not have the same division of magic?  Elven men, regardless of origin, tended to be wizards.  On the surface, Kazi went into a priesthood, like Jyslyn studied magic.  The mirroring wasn't intended, but as the setting gets more developed post-NaNo, these tidbits start getting obvious when they weren't during writing.

The adventurers finally get out on the road.  It took long enough, though I wanted to set up the story and the characters before setting out on the plot.  I made note of what everyone had here, in part so that I could refer back to the chapter if I needed to remember what people had.  Kazi was already shown with a longsword back in Chapter 1.  The estoc, carried by Jyslyn and by Wren, was chosen because it wasn't a rapier but still had the long thin blade.  Turns out, it's also two-handed, mostly, so that will have to be fixed at some point.  Nyssa's horses were inspired by the King Arthur Pendragon RPG, which detailed not only how many horses a knight would have but what types of horses, too.  Nyssa won't be riding her charger; the horse is too valuable to risk injuring when not in a battle.  She and Leo will use the riding horses, leading the charger and the pack horses.  Wren's horse was bred for speed.

The interregnum came about because I needed to figure out what was happening elsewhere.  While I could have just made notes in a text file, I decided that it'd be easier to just write the scene.  First, it's NaNo and those words would count in the story.  Second, I had no idea what was going on back in Jyslyn's home.  Turned out, Jyslyn's eldest sister is not a nice person at all.  Well, neither of her sisters are, but Valenza puts in an extra effort.  After all, falling on swords and then throwing yourself into a river doesn't happen everyday.

Valenza also made sure that the rest of her siblings knew who had power.  The goblin was a redshirt here, combined with the innocent victim of monster and shark movies.  He existed to show what Valenza could do and how dangerous she is.  It was fun writing the scene.  Everything that the heroes wouldn't do, not even Jyslyn, could be on display.  I wouldn't be able to have a Valenza-led story, but having her make an appearance here did help me figure out what was happening behind the scenes a little.

Friday, the first night, in The Elf's Prisoner Chapter 15.
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, Bumblebee.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, parodies.

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