The story

Aug. 24th, 2007 09:54 pm
farla: (Default)
Because apparently people who are not me and read this also read fantasy on a regular basis, and I should exploit this.

Here's the basic story idea.

There's a small village up in the mountains, at the edge of the known map. One day, a woman gives birth to a half-elf girl. Half-elves are considered incredibly lucky, and they're very rare. There hasn't been another half-elf born in living memory. The girl is incredibly charismatic and friendly, loved by everyone, a wonderful singer, a graceful dancer, and she can work magic just by touching things. Then when she's three she's kidnapped while she's out with her brother.

The brother is the protagonist. He's twelve and has no formal training. He knows how to take care of sheep and is capable of hunting small game, but he's at a beginner's proficiency in both, and he only knows how to hunt the things that live in the mountain area, not beyond. He's been in charge of his sister since he was nine, so some of her magic leeched into him - he's able to sense magic and he has one magical ability, to heal open injuries by touching them. He also has an enchanted stone his sister gave him that lets him know what direction she's in, and because his sister was especially friendly with cats, he can just handle the big, omnivorous catlike mount things people ride without training.

That's it. He's never been out of the village or seen a stranger before in his life. The village area is at the edge of the map, it's hilly, its wealth is just a matter of wool, milk, meat and grain, and they're right against the vast forests, so they don't have bandit raids or any other dangers that would make them train people as warriors. He's also moderately distinctive - he has the particular look of the people in his area, and because of his sister, his black hair is iridescent.

I need a way to get him across the map without being killed, and to pick up enough abilities to handle the quest, which he will be doing by walking in a straight line in the direction the stone says. I'd like to do that without resorting to him running into random people who help him, especially since the kid has no real interest in saving the world or righting injustices. He just really wants his sister back, so he'd be useful to angry groups who want to undermine the ruling powers that be (they have the girl because she's considered a good luck charm), but he's not going to go around collecting allies in the regular displays of kindness and sympathy to the downfallen.

As such, the exact fantasy template I'm looking for is a story where the protagonist succeeds despite having only moderate skills, and without augmenting those skills much. I'd also like to avoid the gathering of companions through unusual openmindedness, and prophesies of any kind, but that's a lot less important, since I can just ignore those chunks. I'd prefer longer stories as well. And something at mediocre levels - if I'm in awe of the writing or caught up in the story, I'm not watching the mechanics, unfortunately.

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farla

April 2011

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