The only thing she knows is true anymore is that the dragon needs to die.
In which Dragon gets a backstory and more dragonic worldbuilding is discussed.
Daily Wordcount: 1280
Total Wordcount: 16,560 (includes Title, Chapter Headers, etc.)
NOTE: This is a MuseFic in which the Writer, the Muse, and her fictives work to create the rough draft of a story (or just worldbuild). There will be spoilers for the story being drafted, which will most likely contain plot holes, retcons, and other inconsistencies.
P.P.S. – Plan Z
“I can’t believe you!” Jashn snapped at Kahny as they reemerged into the pseudo-living room from the story. “That was incredibly dangerous!”
“Um no,” she waved him off. “I’ve seen our futures, remember? I had nothing but free time and I used it to figure out when the safest point to confront you was.”
“And one of those futures must have had the very small possibility that I’d lose control!” He sat down in his comfy chair and crossed his arms. “The most probable future is just that, it’s not set in stone!”
“Well you didn’t eat me so yay me.” Khany went over to crash on the couch next to the Muse who was once again deep in fanfic binging. “Why are you reading those instead of a real book?” She asked, curious.
“I want a story snack, not a story meal,” said the Muse without looking up.
“That fic is 300,000 words long.”
“And yours is less than 20,000 which is where you should be today, and you’re not, so shoo.”
“I hate to say this, but she’s right.” The Writer looked up from her notes. “We’ve caught up a lot today, but we’re still three days worth of writing behind. And I have a sneaking feeling that this story is just the beginning of a much larger story… so we need to get going.”
“Then let me drive for a bit,” said Dragon, getting up from his beanbag bed with a long cat stretch. “I need some backstory as well, at this point.”
“Be my guest!”
Long before the town full of sheep was even a daydream there lived a young man who was apprenticed to a dragon. He was the son of a bookkeeper until it showed up and offered him a more exciting life. He took care of the dragon’s interactions with the humans it came across, bartering for safe passage or goods and services. Unlike most dragons this one traveled the world instead of settling down and bathed in pools of wild magic as it came across them.
Since it wasn’t soaking in a constant steam, it had little magic to spare and it prefered to use the boy instead of trying to stuff itself back down into a human form.
It had taken other human apprentices now and then in the past, depending on how many human civilizations it expected to come across. But as the world had grown and the cities and towns had expanded, it had grown more reliant on the human help.
Eventually the dragon grew frustrated with all the interruptions in its travels and it retreated into the deep wilderness. And it took the boy with him.
The boy grew into a dragon, but instead of replacing mentor as most dragons do, he left. There was no village to watch over in the mountains, nothing to protect or nurture. The old dragon may have enjoyed the peace after a long life of traveling and adventures… but the young dragon wanted to make his mark in the world.
Which is why he found a shepherd and convinced him to start a new village.
The dragon was not happy. He paced behind the thick quartz walls and waited for Khany to return. There was danger in confronting the stranger, but it was danger that was still hazy and undefined. The futures surround the stranger were oddly blurry and most of what they had learned they’d done by asking questions about the world around him.
Whether he was the cause of the fire or the solution to it, they still weren’t sure. What they had learned, after much back and forth, was that Khany would not survive the fire if it happened.
They couldn’t see her death, that was as hazy as the stranger, but she wasn’t in any of the futures after the fire. There was no grave, no funeral, but she had no family left to mourn her and there might not have been anything left to bury.
That had made her worryingly fatalistic, although there was nothing to show that the futures without the fire were any more probable than those with it. They’d changed things that much, just with their questioning. Now they just had to change it a little further…
One of the few things that they’d found that helped mute chance of the fires was to divert the magic away from the town and towards the caves. The dragon had spent the last week funneling any pools away and narrowing down the flow. Which had caused the magic to back up in the caverns much more than normal, causing the walls to glow with a pulsing heartbeat of magic.
It wasn’t dangerous, but the thick magic made the air feel like water. It itched along his feathers as they stirred in breezes that weren’t there.
But that wasn’t what worried him.
He’d told the truth when he’d said the fiery future didn’t exist until Khany had come to the caves.
It seemed like yesterday that they’d brought Khany to him as a baby. He’d felt that spark of wild magic dancing in her eyes and almost killed her then, but he’d seen her future. Seen the flood and her death in those waters written as solidly as stone… so he’d given her the gift of those years. It seemed cruel not to let her enjoy them.
Only she hadn’t died. Because the future is never really set in stone and the one improbable thing that could had saved her… did.
Now he’s confronting a future that he’d never seen and trying to answer questions that it had never occurred to him to ask the old dragon.
And if he didn’t get this right, Khany might not be the only one who died.
“You sounded like you knew what you were doing when I first met you,” Khany said, giving Dragon an accusing look. “You had all this under control!”
“Fake it till you make it,” said Dragon, unapologetically. “I might not be an expert at predicting the future, but I still know more about it than you do.”
Jashn blinked. “Wait, so there’s a chance I know more in general about being a dragon than he does.”
“Well, I suppose?” The Writer checked her notes. “I mean, you’ve been learning from a dragon who was controlling a city and was very old, but he learned from a dragon that had been traveling all over and was also very old… so I think you just learned different things.”
“I got less of the ‘this is how to store and channel magic’ and more of the ‘this is how you improvise when there isn’t much magic’” said Dragon. “I got plenty of the paperwork and human interaction down when I worked with him, but not as much of the warding and scrying work. Those I learned on my own.”
“You’re not doing too badly,” Jashn noted. “I suppose we can join forces at some point and I can help you out there, we just have to move the story on to that point. It will be interesting to see how much we overlap.”
“…If this devolves into scenes about magical theory and dragon city-keeping strategies, I’m out of here.” The Muse was not amused.
“It’s NaNo, all words are good words!” The Writer struck a dramatic pose, but no one was really paying any attention as they had devolved into chatting about dragonic teaching methods and how they were going to be so much better when it came to training their own replacements.
So she called it a day and made some quick notes for tomorrow.