Halfway through the month of November, it’s time to take a look at what my fumbling fingers have managed to wreak so far. There’s been some good, there’s been some bad, and there’s been a lot of ugly.
I’ve made it through Part One of the story, “The Gathering of the Good Guys”, and I’m embarking on part two, “The Big Trip.” At this pace I’ll esaily eclipse the required word count, but the story is a long way from done.
I’ve got all the characters in (except the carp), but a lot less silliness than I was shooting for. I know what I would do to go back and put the silliness in – Trabant the Immutable can certainly be a lot dottier, John the Smith can be more of an ass, and in general the people who are not immediately involved in the conversation can add a lot of silliness.
The story has developed into a romance, actually; I decided it would be stupid to drag out the tension between Bixby and Lada when it’s totally and completely obvious they will end up together. So what the hell, I decided not to create some sort of artificial “I hate you so much I love you” stupidity. They like each other. A lot. There are other people who might make that more complicated, but they won’t stop liking each other. I respect you, the reader, too much for that other nonsense.
So I have a Sexy Elf maiden wearing a hot little number that, when we visit Elfaville, turns out to be what the men wear. The males are not terribly masculine; when Chavdar the horny hafling first sees the elf men, his comments prompt Lada to say, “Chavdar, there are two things you should know. One, elves have very good hearing. Two, those are males.”
Chavdar himself is quite a bit of work, skilled with cutlery, seemingly amoral, but sometimes surprises everyone — himself included. We had a nice trip through the Valley of the Great Kings who Mysteriously Disappeared, where some of the statuary looked remarkably like John the Smith. While there, I threw in a random artifact (“plot token,” in the parlance of the trade) that I have no idea what I’ll do with. Maybe nothing. Ha!
Princess Skoda is a lot more than the annoying brat I had planned initially, she’s definitely got conniving on her resumé as well; her agenda may include a few bullet points she has chosen not to share with the rest of the group. One thing for sure, when things go badly, she wants Bixby at her side, and she’s willing to do what it takes to make sure that happens.
After the traditional Bestowal of Gifts By The Powers That Be (In this case Bixby’s new Mother-in-Law, so there’s infant’s clothing and an amulet with warnings about contacting a doctor after four hours — she is more than a little anxious to be a grandmother), the team is heading off for the DwarfHole. I have enough misadventures planned for that place that I will likely forego the required Bad Guy Obstacles to get them there more quickly. Luckily in this sort of story the Brushes With Death along the way rarely mean anything in terms of the plot.
Here’s one longer passage that pretty much tells the entire story (in chapter two), then a couple of other lines I enjoy. I thought I would find more lines to include, but they way the funny bits build doesn’t leave many lines that stand alone.
- “There is another wizard, a twisted and evil man. No one knows his name, he goes simply by ‘The Master’. He lives far from here, to the west, beyond the great river of Zug, past the Bumpy Hills of Kromdor and the Grassy Plain of Plax, beyond even the Treacherous Mountains of Hagarslax, across (or around) the great inland sea of Hydrox, and then through the vast Squishy Swamp, with its leeches the size of alligators, and alligators the size of leeches. Over the last years he has had his twisted, evil minions scouring the Earth in search of the Important Thing. He must not succeed.”
“The Important Thing.”
“What is it?”
“Um…” Trabant the Immutable shifted in his seat. “No one is certain.”
- “It is bad luck, they say, for the husband to lie with his wife for the first time before he cleans all the mud off her.” (I just realized I forgot to mention that Bixby missed a spot!)
- “So… why aren’t we going the other way?” asked Bixby. (Certain death in the form of Dark Riders awaits them across the river they are about to ford.)
- “Listen everyone. This is a dangerous place. Don’t ever, for any reason, leave the path.” (I don’t thik I have to tell you what happens.)