Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Origin of Rhett

So anyways, figured that now would be as good time as any to let you all know how broke I am. Around tomorrow or the next day(Friday at the latest), my net's getting shut off. Just enough time to do one or two last good blogs about the direction that my story's going to take and to clue you in on just where the hell Rhett came from.

18 years before the main story arc begins, in the kingdom of Enthralia (Working name, subject to change) was lorded over by King Reginald and the sorceress of light, Queen Cyrilla. Theirs was by no means a perfect relationship, for though Cyrilla loved him greatly, Reginald had a wandering eye. Scullery maids, ladies in waiting… All made frequent trips to various hideaways that the King had in his massive castle. Cyrilla knew about the infidelities but chose to stick by him, rather than ruin the family that they’d made. Young Prince Phineas was but three years old at the time. One day, the kingdom’s council of wizardry elected a new Magus Supreme, a dashing young sorcerer of incredible power who went by the name of Greyson. Greyson was charming, eloquent and unmistakably handsome. The Queen, who’d had a chair on the council for years, was immediately smitten with the attractive stranger.

Greyson himself wasn’t exactly unattached though. Sheena was madly in love with her young beau and fiercely protective of him. Sheena had grown up in poverty a child of an abusive father in a small go nowhere town where she was mocked for being overly plain and utterly destitute. Over time, she noticed magical skills begin to slowly manifest in her. She kept them secret, not wanting any other reason to be considered different. Still the abuse continued, until one day her father pushed her too far. In a flash of hatred and anger, the man who’d ruined her life so far was a smoldering pile of ash. She ran from the town that day, horrified by her actions until she’d met Greyson. He was kind to her, noticed power within her and began to teach her to harness her gifts. Over a few years they developed into a couple. She never spoke of her past. She never felt the need to. Why worry about the horrors of days gone by when her present and future looked so bright?

But, Greyson, being the dynamic sort, a swaggering, cocky young master of the elements, could never see beyond his own ego and into her heart. The more she clung to him, the more he’d push her away. By the time they both arrived in the Palace of King Reginald, their relationship was extremely strained. Greyson was taken with Cyrilla’s grace and beauty and the flirtation began. It started slowly, innocently enough at first. But, as you know, these things have a tendency to snowball fast. There were long walks down the castle corridors, secret spell sessions, lengthy and earnest discussions about life. They were surprised to see how much they actually had in common. They were surprised how drawn to one another they were. It was true love. They just had the misfortune of already being involved with others. So, for a while they tried to cool it off, spend time away from one another. But, it was hopeless. They soon found themselves in each other’s arms. During the initial flirtation, Sheena tried in vain to squash the budding romance between the two, becoming more and more obsessed with winning Greyson back to her as each day went by. Finally, in a last ditch attempt, she prepared a romantic picnic and went to sobbingly plead with her beau… That’s when she saw them together. Filled with black rage, she slunk back into the shadows and planned her revenge.

They kept their affair a secret from almost, but the council knew. They tried to talk Greyson out of the tryst, citing that the King would have their heads if he ever found out. But the young man was in love and would hear none of it. Within a few weeks of their relationship, the Queen was with child. The council, sans Sheena, who’d been sent off on a mission to collect reagents for various spells, confronted Greyson and his illicit lover. Sobbingly, the queen confessed to her love of Greyson and her dilemma. She’d never meant for this to happen. She’d never meant to stray. The King had made her happy for a while until he’d gotten bored with her. The only person that she felt that she’d betrayed was young Phineas, who she doted on. If the King found out, she’d surely be beheaded for infidelity, hypocritical considering his own affairs.

Taking pity on the queen, her pregnancy was hidden from the court with a glamour that the council provided. Over the next few months, the couple debated on what to do with the child. Finally, the decision was made. They were in love. They would leave the kingdom together on the night of their child’s birth and start a new life. The council would tell the King that there’d been an accident in the laboratory and the Queen and Greyson had been vaporized attempting a particularly high level spell. After the couple left the laboratory, however they began to argue over whether such a tale would lead to the destruction of the council at the hands of a vengeful king. In the shadows, Sheena listened to every word.

The night of the child’s birth, Cyrilla kissed the sleeping Phineas goodbye and prayed that his life would be filled with nothing but joy and happiness. With a tear in her eye, Queen Cyrilla took one last walk through the corridors that she’d made her home and went to Greyson. In the forest, under the moonlight, their child was born. They’d scarcely had an hour together as a family when Sheena appeared. Her face was a mask of rage. Once again, she’d been cast aside and treated as worthless. Once again her dreams had been destroyed. In an act of wrath, she fired a ball of flame at the infant… And watched in slack jawed confusion as the conflagration fizzled about him without burning him. The child, the product of two of THE most powerful mages in the land, seemed to have developed an innate resistance to magic in the womb.

Loudly she exclaimed that if it was the last thing she’d ever do, she’d murder the babe. Cyrilla stepped forward, handing off her child to. The threat of having her newborn threatened completely washed away the pain of childbirth and filled her with untold fury. She’d left her home to start a new family and she’d be damned if she let the jealous ex-lover of her husband to be threaten that. The baby was handed off to Greyson who took off flying through the woods. In haste, the wizard deposited the child on the doorstep of the mayor of a nearby town, Canticle and flew back to rejoin the fray. When he arrived, he discovered the burnt and blackened corpse of his beloved. Weeping loudly, Greyson flew back to the castle where he was questioned by the council. He was resolved to tell the King everything, but the wizards contend that to do so would mean the death of them all. They also brought up the fact that Cyrilla wouldn’t have wanted the King to know of her infidelity and her bastard child. The blame is placed solely on Sheena, who according to the council’s tale abducted the queen and Greyson in a vain attempt to siphon their magical abilities. Greyson, in this version of the truth had been spirited back to the castle by the Queen, who’d died defending him. A bounty is placed upon Sheena’s head and the King mournfully buries the woman that he’d taken for granted. Greyson is absolved of any wrong and the council’s lie keep them from finding their way to the chopping block.

The years go by. Sheena, always on the run from the king’s men searches in vain for the child. The King, realizing the folly of his ways, becomes a better father to Phineas and learns to rule responsibly. Gone are the days of philandering and boozing. He’d never lose his son the way that he’d lost her mother. Phineas is raised to be an extremely sheltered young man, seldom if ever being allowed out of the palace. Greyson, wanting to forget his part in the tragedy begins to smoke magic herbs regularly. His mind begins to slip, he ages prematurely and eventually he’s removed from any position of power in the wizard’s council. That’s fine with him, by the time the book starts, he can’t even remember why he started smoking in the first place. He can’t remember Sheena, or Cyrilla or that he even has a child. But, the smoke… The smoke remembers. And as it billows out of the castle walls, that part of him, the part that loved Cyrilla… The part that wanted to honor her and cherish her. The part of him that for a second dreamed that he could have a happy family… It takes form and pays a visit to his son.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Basic Layout for part 1 of the book.

So anyways, over the last few days I've been running through some basic plotwork in the interest of making my story more cohesive. I think that I've found a way to tie everything together. Rhett lives in Canticle. His job? Hand-servant to the mayor's beautiful daughter. I'm fighting the urge to urge to name her Harmony or Melody or something dreadfully trite like that. Anyways, Harmony's probably the only person who actually treats Rhett alright. I mean, she's not in love with him or anything, but she's been more or less the only friend that Rhett's ever known. He's got feelings for her, but can't really express them in the way that she'll respond to (A full fledged chorus number). That's not to say that he doesn't spend a lot of time trying. But it's never gonna happen, because Harmony's got eyes for Gerald... Pretty much the town hero.

One day Gerald happens across Rhett trying to write a song for Harmony and basically mocks the crap out of him. He takes the lyrics, rips them up and gives him the whole, "Stay away from my girl" speech. Later, at the town fair, he tries to embarrass Rhett and succeeds, only to have Harmony stick up for her friend and... I don't know, push Gerry in the mud or something. Humiliated, Gerald leaves the town to blow off some steam and while hanging out at a bar, lets a mysterious stranger in on the situation, revealing his love for a beautiful young woman who's proven to be able to resist his apparent charm and her defense of a completely mundane individual. The man offers to help Gerald with his problem and brings him to "A friend that can help". That friend turns out to be the villainess of the story who after hearing the story reveals that Canticle is hiding the Chosen One. The only person capable of fulfilling a prophecy that would stop her rise to power. She gives the orders to a figure waiting in the dark... Canticle is to be burned to the ground. Gerald for his own part realizes the error of his ways and tries to escape to warn the others... He's dispatched off screen in some horrible fashion.

Back in Canticle, emboldened by Harmony's defense, Rhett's trying to finally get up the nerve to express his true feelings. But, at that point, a handsome young man suddenly appears and completely shows up Rhett in the romance department, wooing Harmony with a stirring song. Rhett tries to win her, but the guy's just TOO slick. The stranger sets up a date with Rhett's crush right in front of his eyes and lures Harmony out of town. With Harmony already heading to the date, Rhett tries to stop the stranger, but his hand goes right through the man. As Harmony rushes off to a romantic midnight picnic that the mysterious non-corporeal magicman has set up, the stranger confides in Rhett that he's there to save them. Any minute now, the town's going to be destroyed. Rather than simply give up on the people who've always treated him like crap, Rhett rushes into town to warn them of their impending doom. As predicted, a word of warning from what's essentially the town idiot yields little more than a sarcastic musical number. But, as a shambling horde of steam powered monstrosities approach the gates, the townspeople rally and launch into a musical plan of retaliation... Then another song starts up with a completely different plan... Then another... Then another. Rhett, realizing that there's no saving them, manages to cut through a secret path that Harmony and Rhett used to take out of town just in time to avoid obliteration, all the while having his vision obscured with a strange cloud of smoke that seemingly follows him.

When the smoke clears, Rhett finds himself at the feet of his beloved, and is faced with the harsh task of informing her that everyone she ever loved is dead. At that point, Rhett's already ingrained belief that he'll never be anything remotely resembling a hero is confirmed. He couldn't save anyone. With a sobbing Harmony in tow, and the mysterious man nowhere to be seen, Rhett takes off into the night, looking to start over. Back at the villainess's hideaway, a hideous dwarf, the master of the monstrosities that had destroyed the town, reports back to his dark queen. No survivors. Prophecy averted. The town that had supplied this fantastic kingdom with their music and dance has been wiped off the map. Now the real plan can move forward.