28 Mar 2019

The Elf's Prisoner - Commentary 22

The plot grows deeper, in The Elf's Prisoner Chapter 22.

Wren got some time in the spotlight, finally.  She was the last of the main characters to have screen time to show off her abilities.  Wren is an Outrider, a scout for Wildwood's patrols to search ahead for any trouble brewing.  Outnumbered six to one, Wren did what she was trained to do, gather information and return.  Oh, and snipe.  Wren is a sharpshooter with her bow.  She's practiced, a lot, on the ground, on the move, and on a horse.

Jyslyn overreacted.  She also overdid her spell.  The rough rules of magic I was using at the time of writing meant that a wizard could channel as much mana as she wants, but to handle that much power going through her, she'd need to use such things as a focus, like a rod or want, and chanting to stand a chance of not burning out.  Even then, Jyslyn found herself exhausted from casting her spell.  If she had used a more direct spell, a bolt of magic directly on a goblin instead of moving the land itself to crush all five, she would be in better shape.  However, since dark elves have some magic resistance, it's easier to cast a spell on the surroundings instead of directly at one.

Nyssa was ready to charge in if any goblin survived the spell.  She wasn't sure what Jyslyn had in mind, but she has worked with other wizards in the past.  The plan is simple - wait for the wizard to cast the spell, then charge at any survivors.  If the fireball doesn't kill the enemy, the lance and horse hooves will.  This time, there wasn't anyone to charge.  The goblins that Jyslyn didn't get, Wren did.

The reason Jyslyn overdid her spell is because she suspected the goblins of working for her family.  She mentioned it last chapter, and since they were mentioned, they needed to make an appearance.  Checkov's horde and all that.  I've already established that Jyslyn's sister uses goblins as spies back in Chapter 14.  The catch here is that these goblins aren't looking for Jyslyn.  That's far too much a coincidence at this point.  Wren, though, has been paying attention to the plot.

The second interregnum came about because I had an idea of who my main villain was, but needed to work with her to get the details sorted in my head.  Sessarine verifies for the reader that Wren is correct.  She also demonstrates who and what she is for readers.  Sessarine doesn't like failure.  She'd probably get along with Jyslyn's eldest sister.

Friday, the Realm Under the Mountain, in The Elf's Prisoner Chapter 23.
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, the evolution of TV viewing.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, hiatus week.

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