Yes, my plotbunnies are careening into and out of ideas like spiders given caffeine. The past month has been… extremely stressful, even by my standards. So given the choice between banging my head against the wall and not writing anything, or jumping into new (or, as in Whispers, much older) stuff and getting something written each day, I’m taking the writing option. Even if that means leaving some current works-in-progress to sit until I’m feeling a little less, “oh man, lawyers and more Federal paperwork around every corner.”
(I now know how to order official death certificates. Which are needed for all kinds of paperwork. This is not something I ever wanted to know.)
So. Currently the plotbunnies want colorful! Fantastic! Awesome powers! World-shaking magic!
But, bunnies being their usual contradictory selves, they also want a more small-scale story instead of an Epic Save The World. And they want to get in bits of real history.
Three images. First, a Hero/Villain battle crashing into a bookstore near the manga aisles.
Mystic bonds come down.
Disgruntled Sorcerer: “I was having a quiet day.”
Proceeds to check out, shove the fight out into the parking lot, and vanish before the cops can show.
Second, the head of the Heroic Group that’s chasing the Villains that stole a bunch of Ancient Magical Artifacts exasperatedly asks the Ancient Temple Master just why are they so upset, what got stolen, the Ring of Solomon or something?
Ancient Master: “I wish. It was the Ring of Ja’far.”
And then the poor Ancient Master has to deal with Disney assumptions, and trying to explain no, the ring is not from the Arabian Nights, Ja’far is just one of the more notable people in the recent past who’s owned the ring and used its magic.
It actually serves the Ancient Master right. The spirit in the ring, A’akinesh, has been locked up by the Master’s temple the past several decades or so for the simple “crime” of being a Powerful Entity that was on an opposing side. Think “Thrainduil hanging onto ancient dwarven weapons because Cranky.” Just, mystical temple, not elves. They didn’t even bother to try communicating; they assumed the ring was tied to a powerful djinn, and so was an evil weapon to be kept away from mortal hands.
Third: “HeroTemps! How can we be your hero today?”
Yep. There is a hero team that handles city-level threats and supervillains for (Currently Unnamed Fictional City). But there are also a fair number of people with minor but useful abilities… and there is a call center for all of them. Jane Donovan works in that center in the Artifacts and Items division. She’s the one A’akinesh lands on, and ends up working with him as the Sorcerer. How, I’m not quite sure yet.
(Yes, Sorcerer, not Sorceress. The two of them are having great fun trolling everyone. Think like this but genderflipped.)
A few things I know: While super-powered individuals and monsters have shown up through history, mostly they’re thought of as myths, legends, exaggerations. Only samples coming back from Mars got scattered about ten or fifteen years before the story begins, and things… quickly got Interesting. Magic is, belatedly, being recognized as real in some cases, which has made many people Very Unhappy. (In fact, “magic” draws off the exact same energy source as superhero powers – people who learn magic just learn specialized ways to manipulate it instead of Automatic Fireblast and such powers.) And there is a really unhappy supervillain Mad Scientist out there who stole the Magical Artifacts… and lost A’akinesh in the process. Not that he knows A’akinesh is anything but a magic ring either.
Oh, and Jane lives across the hall in the same apartment building as the civilian identity of the Badass Normal hero team tactician Jot – who she knows as a fellow HeroTemps employee, of course! They sometimes gripe about work together.
A few things I don’t know: What did the Mad Scientist steal the items for? Does Jane know Jot’s hero identity as well as civilian when the story starts? (More likely than you’d think, given she is one of their magic item experts.) Possibly most important – whose POVs do I use in-story? I need Jane’s, likely A’akinesh’s as well; I’m not sure if I also need Jot’s, though it would be amusing to have an outside POV for the mass facepalm of Cranky Ancient Sorcerer antics.
So… there is more, but this is some of the basics. Thoughts?