This Day Too Shall Pass
So ends what may be the longest day in Order & Entropy so far. A day that began shortly into Chapter 6, now ends in Chapter 8. I almost included another 2k words on this weeks chapter, just to really get things done, but instead I decide the next scene happens just after midnight. Nope, I’ve not been forgetting the date tags. It has just been Coria 33rd for three chapters.
I desperately hope my readers are not as weary of reading fight scenes as I am of writing them. No promises how long we are done with them, or that we are even yet. Not sure how I feel about Cadith’s little stunt at the end here, or the snarky remark. I may change my mind and drop that line some day in future editing, I don’t know. Not sure how well it fits his twisted personality.
Cadith is in every way a piece of work, and we will get some hints about that still, but a lot will be left to only the most determined to guess at. This isn’t grim dark, but he’d be right at home in such a world. It’s the kind of world he would build, given a chance.
I’ve been back and forth for years about Mercu’s fate. The way things worked out, the situation that became the natural course of events meant he would not be continuing on. What this means for the future, well, it certainly raises interesting questions even for me. I have entered a phase where, much like prophecy itself, there are forces at work, not easily disturbed, but those around the edges have remarkable power to upend plans. Mercu being with the caravan had no planned impact, Mercu being taken to Highvale could change or seal a great many things.
I hung a lantern on it, more than once. Mercu is not a skilled fighter, but he, much like Carmine, and a bit like Horence has done a lot with a little. He has walked in the circle of those tied to prophecy, and cheated death. I am itchy about the cavalry trope here, but in the end, the whole endeavor was fruitless. He didn’t bring help, and help arrived too late. For all Mercu’s risk, efforts, and injuries, we only have complications.
Maron, who was never before mentioned by name, a third attaché to Corien, sent to check the wards in the north arrives in time to do little more than complain, doubt, and save Mercu. Literally made his name up on the spot here. Don’t like it much, but in a harmless sort of way. What does aggravate me a bit is that Cadith, Corien, and Carter happened. Apparently I’m going through a C name phase. Though they happened in a rather obtuse order, over months.
Originally Carter had another name, and was just a mercenary commander, and not a mage. Had a lot less to say too. Totally revised that, such that Samantha would already be traveling with a competent mage. Probably should have had two more mercenaries too, maybe that will get revised in some distant future edit as well, but they will almost never be mentioned. Kind of like James, who is not actually the first character with a repeated first name. Andrew is also the name of the Elder King of Avrale, it has just never once been mentioned in canon as far as I know, and if it ever comes up…I think I’ll stick with it.
It’s an odd aspect of fiction. That we go out of our way to avoid repeating names. Where as in life we have to deal with the problem all the time. Common names be common, but it’s just exhausting in fiction. Also exhausting to keep making up new ones, or keep track of them all. Meloria, Maraline, Meliae, and Millarae, and a man for fussy sake, Mallory. Interestingly Millarae and Mallory are very different names in meaning. One about flowers, the other about misfortune. Meliae, on the other hand, is so on the nose as to be too cute by half.
I would just like to apologies to everyone, ever for the frequency with which I have had characters black out. It feels lazy, and yet at the same time, in retrospect so often warranted. I like however that aspect of progress. Kiannae toying with forces beyond her ability in Book II, finally managing to stay conscious, losing power, and overdoing it again. Getting clocked in the head during the throne room fight. Katrisha in chapter 6 when she basically tears the universe apart to put Kiannae back together.
Ok, tell me that one is not worth blacking out over, I dare you. I wrote it for like five minutes here to have Kiannae pass out because she pushed too hard, but no, growth, for everyone, and Lunka was here so, throwing her arms around the wolf works. Much better. Katrisha exhausted after one hell of a day.
Yes, the fight scenes, the endless fight scenes. Argh, I worry about this start and stop nature. Started to feel almost like an episode of dragon ball z, and hopefully not too much in the escalation of power. I mean, Katrisha has done the opposite of the implication here. Well established, all that mage blood in her hair was a massive untapped power source, and now it’s tapped. She’ll be gossamer white for a while now. I might go back and slip in some subtle nod to it happening as she wrestles with that new born, and briefly living elemental.
I hadn’t meant to do this, but I like it. Also the elemental for that mater. Not that I think everyone will completely understand that is what happened. Though there will probably be clear evidence it happened, I’m just not at all sure what I’m going to do with that evidence, or introduce it. I’m several chapters past where I expected to be here, which is a mild annoyance just because on the backend for sorting in file storage I’m going to have to fudge my naming convention to keep chapters in order. In previous books dealing with the 9/10 order split has managed to work out by prefixing the year. No luck this time. It will almost certainly still be 655 in Chapter 10.
So that is making me rethink where I will break Book III and IV. As well as the scope of Book IV. Just had a lot of fun rewriting a scene in the High City to match shifts in the world, and consequences of how that play out. One of those touch stones that I see no way around. Events that have already happened dictate the scene occur.
On a side note, as much as it is not said clearly, someone specific grabbed Katrisha’s lost staff during the fight. There are reasons for it, and consequences, some of which are still resolving even for me. Upending long standing expectations, and edging me ever closer to new, and unexpected potentials. Certainly keeping me on my toes.