Saturday, 4 February 2012

Harts Change - Some scribbly bits


One of the things I've always liked about working long hours is that, some nights, you get pretty much the whole shift to yourself.
This gives me time to sit down and scribble bits and pieces out, sometimes they lead to something and other times they don't.
So here's a few first drafts of things that possibly may or may not have happened at some time in Harts Change.

A Note regarding the text:
If it be writ in blue,
notes from me to me (and you)
But text in purple be,
something something explanatory

You might well wonder,
wither he goes.
and why the words are now bad prose.

You don't know and nor do I,
this might just be a waste of time.

(I have never claimed to be a poet.
So read on dear reader and have some, Mo√ęt)


Edit:
How do these people do it?  
If 'ere I get the urge to declaim some verse,
Please chop my leg off.  Or something worse)

!WARNING!
 - WHAT FOLLOWS IS SPECULATIVE IN THE EXTREME.
IT IS TOTALLY AND UTTERLY VERBOTEN IN THE EXTREME TO USE, PERUSE OR EVEN THINK OF PUTTING THE TEXT BELOW THESE LINES INTO THE BOOK UNTIL I HAVE MADE THE FINAL DECISION - 

SERIOUSLY.  WE WILL MESS YOU UP
!WARNING!
(I didn't make this warning up for the post.  It's there so that I don't mix this lot in with the actual notes.
Except for that last line.
Warchild:
Who is she?  A little girl of indetirminate age whom Evelyn rescued in the Battle for the royal city of Hermitage.
Since the battle she's been living with the tailor whos house provided a measure of cover for Baron Lutin in that same battle.

The name Warchild [nw: works as a general term and will do for now but find a better name] is a nickname usually given to those children who are the bastard children of civilians and enemy soldiers.  As the Ambians have certainly not being in Kalagrim that long I would say that it is also a general term for an unwanted child that lives on the streets.  Of course with the death count of the change it means that there will be a great deal of warchildren around the place which is something that I can work with.

Warchild Timeline:
(A brief overview of where Warchild would make an appearance. My notes aren't usually this organised)
Chapter 3
  • Battle of Hermitage
    • Warchild is introducted when Evelyn rescues her.
    • At the request of the tailor Evelyn visits and adopts the child into the Oneeye family after some protests but deciding that, if the church are so interested in her then there must be a reason and the girl needs what little protection her name will give.
  • Church Scene.
    • Both Straggletaggle and Warchild are willing participants in this bold move.
  • Beggar Kings Mission
    • Find Leonia and what her plans are. Evelyn attempts to leave Warchild with the tailor but the girl is having none of it.
Chapter 4
  • Evelyn, Warchild and Straggletaggle are ambushed outside Lilytown
    • Evelyn is captured, shouts to the others to get away. Her last view of the girl is Straggletaggle leaping at an Ambian soldier before following her into the dark.
Chapter 5
  • Liberation of Tardeel
    • Reconciliation of sorts with Sor Esteele
    • Warchild and Straggletaggle are reunited with Evelyn after she arrests the dog trader.
    • Warchild is left with Sor Esteele and remains there willingly this time.
Chapter 6
  • Letters from Sor and Warchild received while on the march
Chapter 7
  • Warchild comes to live with Evelyn. She has small pack of Strags puppies and some of the other pit dogs around her at all times.

Warchild Pros and Cons:
(Nothing major in this section.  It just so happens that I've got a little list.)

Ba dump Tsch!

Pros:
  • Something else to throw at Evelyn
  • Helps to explain things to reader
  • Helps to form closer ties to the Esteele family (Sor) which is always going to be a source of tension.
  • Potential for conflict with Toryan and the Ambians
  • Forces Evelyn to be more responsible where before she was more or less throwing her life around because there was nobody who mattered that much.
  • Helps to open up the church schism plot just a little wider.
Cons:
  • The wide eyed innocent could quickly become a Mary Sue very easily.
  • Will people, both in the book and readers, think she's just a replacement for her son?
  • Quickly adjusts to Evelyn as her mother [but since this is the first draft of her this trait can be forgiven somewhat]
  • Chapter 3 is her first appearance. Is this too late to introduce someone who may or may not turn into a major character?
The Drafts:

1: Warchilds introduction and adoption:
Scene: Lady Oneeye recieves message from the tailor
To Lady Evelyn Oneeye.
You would do me a great honor were you to visit my shop and allow me to craft some clothing for you. After saving the lives of my family and the city it is the least that I can do.

My family. He gestured to his three sons. Their mother was long ago taken down to the waters and of course you've already met Warchild. He looked down fondly at the little girl who was curled up beside her
She was yours?”
I've had my boys looking and asking around but I think her parents never survived and what was I to do? Actually Lady, we, that is I, were wondering if you would take her”
I, er, wait. What?”
The girl needs a mother. The boys and I can't give her the attention that she deserves [nw]
But she knows you”
It's said that your own son did not survive either”
No, he didn't. But there's a war on. I don't know where I'll be from one day to the next. Maybe if we were at peace I could do something”

The priests have been watching lady” it was calmly said
Does this concern me?”
It might. They seem to be interested in collecting orphaned children Our local wass asking about her the other day and his eyes lit up when I told him her story, offered to take her right then and there”
I told him that you had already claimed the child as your own and he left, not very happy at all. Since then I've had the clergy in almost every day”
That should be good for business”
Don't you see! They know you saved her life. We've all heard about your wedding night. I was in the crowd when it happened! They're fractured and petty” [nw: am I pushing the wedding night thing too hard?  On the one hand it was certainly news but on the other it was a long time ago now.  Thought about this is required]
They're what?”
Petty”
No. The other thing, fractured. How?”
They're trying to keep it quiet but the changed has forced a big shakeup. Some of the priests are saying that the Holy Crocodile has abandoned us”
How do you know this?”
Any businessman keeps his ears open and his mout shut. Please consider giving Warchild your name for whatever protection it gives her”
Warchild?”
She won't rell us her real name. Strangly fitting though, she's in good company with my sons who don't have proper names either”
and you've no marriage tattoo”
Never. Back when we were young and in love we could afford a pair of poorly done tattoos or a single well done one. I always told her that I'd get it done later and then she died so there was no point”

It's a big thing your asking” Evelyn said doubtfully
I don't live the most peaceful of lives at the best of times” she drew the ulu and looked at the unmarked blade “this was to be my sons. Is there anyone around here with the acids?”

The candle flame bounced on the almost silent room as the carefully applied acids burnt their way into the metal of the knife.
Beside her the girl had once again started to nod off “Stay awake little soldier” Evelyn whispered “it's almost over”
The young girl opened her eyes wide but remained leaning heavily against Eveylns side.

This is a good knife” the acider breathed in the smoke from the candle and blew it out onto the blade “and it deserves a good family. You'll take the child into your family?”
and my home, wherever it is”
Then annoint the blade"
Evelyn didn't hesitate to take the knife, and draw it across her heart, through her tattoo and leaving a trail of red before handing it to the child.
With hearts blood I welcome you into my family”

Warchild reached up to take the blade and pressed it to her wrist, young as she was she made no sound and the smell of burnt flesh only made her wrinkle her nose a little. When the blade was taken away the Oneeye crest and the ancient writings were perfectly imprinted in her skin. “I am welcome, mother” and without another word she buried herself in Evelyns arms.

2: Meeting between Warrick and Evelyn:
(Scene: The next day after she's adopted Warchild and smuggled her back to the barracks of the Tinkers)

Whats this I hear about you becoming a mother again?”Warrick asked
Where did you hear that?”
Please, don't think that I don't get to hear everything that goes on in this place”
What's done is done. I welcomed into my name with blood and acid last night”
The ancient ways? You know that the church isn't fond of them”
The church and I parted company long ago”
Then you won't care about this?” Warrick handed over the carefully folded letter in his hand “it arrived a short time before you did”

(For those you wondering.  The letter is a plot hook, the church has rejected Evelyns application to look through the library for any information of Loves Regret.

What's Loves Regret?  It's an Omega level secret is what it is.)

3: Return of Straggletaggle
(Scene: As they are leaving Tardeel with the prince and the army.  Evelyn, Warchild and Straggletaggle are reunited)
The door is ever open”
I'm stilll waiting for my roast pig”
Next time. It's been a bad year for pig”

He's changed his attitude” Toryan remarked “I think I like him better when he isn't trying to kill me”
I'll give him points for trying” Evelyn grunted and then stopped “wait, do you hear that?”
She pointed over to the other side of the bridge where a man waited to cross with a very noisy cart of dogs

You there. What have you got in there?”
Good fighting dogs lady, He looked at the crest on her cape in bewilderment “um lady”
Oneeye” Evelyn supplied cooly “These are all your dogs then?”
Raised 'em from pups”
You've got my dog in there”
Only if you've the coin to pay for one”

The cages of dogs shook as Straggletaggle threw his bulk against the side of his cage.

The pipers have sung their warsongs and you're playing with dogs for the pits”
Hey! What are you doing? It took three days to catch that one”
Toryan, if you would? Now listen very carefully. I need to know where you captured him and if there was a girl with him”
A girl? What would a girl be doing with a monster like this?”

Evelyn. Lady Oneeye? You'll want to see this”

In the very bottom of the cage sat her daughter, cramped and wretched. In an instant the war cleaver is unhooked and pointed at the dog man.
[nw: Toryan is moving around a little too freely.  Remember he's still an Ambian and technically the enemy, people aren't going to like seeing the enemy just saunter around like he owns the place]

You move, you twitch one little finger and I'll gut you like the fat pig you are”
A few soldiers hold the man while Evelyn gets Warchild out of the cage. Her ulu knife is found in the mans belongings
Put him in the cells. Let Lady Florencia know that I'll send up a report by the day after tomorrow at the latest”
Very good Er what about the girl?”
The girl”
will be staying with me soldier” Sor Esteele cut through the crowed “until her parents are able to collect her”
(This will tie in with the imperial slavery plot for Harts Blood)

Actually about that dad” Evelyn said nervously “take a look at her Ulu”
Yours? I thought you said”
He didn't. I sort of inherited her after the battle of Hermitage”
Sor held up his hand “wait, wait. I'm going to need time for this to sink in”
That's time I don't have. I never wanted to be the kind of person to leave a child on a strangers doorstep”
The last thing we are is strangers. This is your daughter and I'll look after her until you return in victory”

My little warchild. We've just found each other and now I have to leave you already”
Wanna come with”
Not this time child. I'm leaving you in charge of” she paused “my father”
Strag?”
He's coming with me. He's got to keep me safe”

Strag?” remarked Sor
Straggletaggle, my dog”
The dog in question looked up from being fussed over by Warchild at the sound of his name.
Pit dog?”
Yep”
Thought so. Lots of stitches”
He took on a bear after I freed him”
Is that your mothers flower behind his ear?”
Couldn't resist”

Lady Oneeye?” the piper busily straightened his red sash “The prince requests your presence”
Kiss your girl goodbye daughter. I'll take good care of her and we'll wait for your letters.

Warchild didn't want to let go and stood next to Sor sniffling loudly. Straggletaggle stayed by her side as as long as he could before rejoining Evelyn who marched by the side of Prince Nichus.
What an interesting beast” Leonia remarked from a cart that trundled gently along
Straggletaggle growled at her words, fur bristling and hackles raised
He's a good judge of character” Evelyn grinned
I've always been more of a cat person” Leonia replied slightly huffily

(Nothing much to add here.  Sor Esteele of course is Evelyns father and the one who disowned her.  After the liberation of Tardeel he made the first hesitant steps to reconciling with her but it didn't end well because family fights never do.

This scene and the letters below allow me to expand on his character a little and maybe, MAYBE, allow them to get back together) 

4: Warchilds letter to Evelyn
(Scene: At the siege of Daggers rest Evelyn receives a pair of letters)

Dear Mother,
Today I went to court with Grandfather. I had to answer a lot of questions about what had happened to me but before it finished I was made to go to bed. This was most unfair but Grandfather came in and tole me that the dog man had been dealt with and he wouldn't ever be back. When I talked with Lady Florncia she asked what she should do with all his dogs and when I asked for one she gave them all to Grandfather and me!!
She said that this could be a birthday present but it isn't my birthday.

I found the one that Strag was very friendly with and Grandfather says that she could have puppies
We are all having a good time and I hope that you can come home soon. Grandfather keeps telling me about wars that lasted years but I don't want to wait that long.

Love, Warchild, your daughter

5: Sor Esteeles letter to Evelyn
(Scene: At the siege of Daggers Rest.  Evelyns receives  a pair of letters)

Lady Evelyn Oneeye. Some things never changed and her fathers writing remained as formal as ever.

Although your daughter has no doubt explained recent events in her own letter I thought that I might write and clarify a few things.
I've already explained to her that I don't write very often and and am now doing so with her gracious permission.

The day after your army left I received a visit from a pair of priests. This I felt was strange because, aside from temple services, the priesthood haven't bothered with me since, well since that night. Warchild was kept well away from them and althought she was never brought up in the conversation I can not help but feel that they were looking for her.

The man who goes by the name “Glino” was tried in front of the Lady Florencia this morning and he was exectued quickly enough that night. Warchild had been taken to bed due to the lateness of the hour but seemed happy enough when I spoke to her and told her about what had happened.

Congratulations are in order for your pit dog it seems. The Baroness herself made a gift of the dogs to myself and Warchild. The overall condition of the pack is generally fine and the pair of us have plans that I have been ordered to keep secret from you.
It is easy to see that your daughter has a gift. Unafraid she walked amongst the pack and not one of them dared to touch her except to demand some extra attention. Yet when I ventured into the pen they quickly became savage once again.
When she left the pens it was with a bitch in tow and revealed that she was pregnant!

It is very early days right now but the mother is certainly being pampered in a matter befitting any queen that you might name.

However the hour grows late and I must retire. A big day for everyone tomorrow!

"In the hope that this reaches you safely and that you reach us"
Sor Esteele

(Glino was the name of a gnome back in the D&D days.  Don't laugh, we also had a dwarf named Flodo and every town we'd run into Slartybartfast.

Kalagrim writing goes round in an outwards spiral and will receive it's own post when I've typed up my worknotes,  that's an indication of just how quiet it can get sometimes.

I mean I've got enough time to write notes about writing in Kalagrim which, if I'm been totally honest, will have little to no affect on anything and really only provide me with a little big more background about the world)

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