Ah, "Sorcerer Bait." My great experiment of merging AR with fantasy themes. This story may well be my personal favorite. Of all my current stories I came up with the basic outline for this one the earliest. Yes, "Bait" was in my head long before "Test Run" had its first letter typed.
The reason is simple, "Bait" is the only one of my stories based on a dream I had once. In reality the dream had nothing to do with elven sorceresses or dark palidins. It was very simple really.
The dream goes as follows. Ahem, I found myself in some kind of government test facility. There was a dark haired beauty of a scientist with me (Alyna). An Alien had escaped from confinement and was hooking itself up to some equipment (Yes, an "Aliens" alien. I was reading a lot of Alien comics at the time okay?). Needless to say we ran for our lives. Enter a female scientist with short blonde hair and some nasty telekinetic ablilties (Selene. See, this really isn’t so difficult.).
Anyway, despite being warned the blonde decides to go in after the Alien herself. On the moniters we watch her get zapped by one of the devices in the lab and regressed to infancy (Yes, it looked very nice.). Anyway, the rest of the dream involved a lot of running around trying to figure out how to beat the Alien. Woke up right after I shattered a glass sword it tried to trick me with against a tree (Don’t ask.).
"Now" you wonder, "how in the world did he come up with ’Bait’ from that mess?" Simple really. I loved the idea of the arrogant, powerful blonde getting turned into a little baby. I also realized that magic would make the story a lot easier to do and I wanted to try a fantasy story anyway. Viola.
Another thing, it’s always bugged me that ’Dungeons & Dragons’ never had any youth spells. To quote Selene, "There’s no such thing as a youth spell. I read every book and I couldn’t find any." In fact, in college once, when my roomate left for a weekend I did go through all of his ’D & D’ books and never found a youth spell. This story is my way of saying ’Ha!’.
From there I also realized that making the brunette younger than the blonde would add to the effect before and after she got regressed. So, I knew I needed a wizard (me) and that the brunette could be his apprentice. I then made the blonde a powerful sorceress they hook up with.
All that said I am very glad I did not write "Bait" as soon as I had the basic outline. The story developed very nicely as it sat in my head for more than a year.
At first the AR was to be a random thing with no one knowing how to fix it. Then I thought of Raithe siding with his apprentice after they found their enemy’s spellbook, making her older and having the ARed Selene study under them.
In one of the last incarnations of the story I had something darker planned too. As in the final version, Selene would be a wannabe hero, eager to aid in a quest against an evil mage. She was to then fight the mage on her own, surprised at how defensively he fought. As she killed him the AR spell would hit her and she would become a child.
She was to then eagerly pour over spellbooks with Raithe to find the spell. In this version however, when Raithe uses the spell to erase the curse on Alyna, Selene discovers the girl is actually an extremely powerful dark sorceress whom Raithe addresses as ’Mistress Alyna.’ The curse of youth and forgetfulness was placed on her by the white wizard Selene just killed. Selene was to then be ARed to infancy to become a plaything for the evil Alyna.
As interesting a twist as that would have been I simply liked the characters of Raithe and Alyna too much to do it. It was then I decided to simply make them cursed loves and leave it at that. I always did like "LadyHawke" anyway.
Everything else in the story pretty much came to me as I wrote it. The tavern, Bartok, Josephene, Nulls, lost knowledge (take that ’D & D’), shields (can you tell I’m a Trekkie?) and the rest of the spells. I guess it helps that I was playing a lot of ’Diablo’ at the time. :)
Oh yes, and as to why I made Selene a quarter elven. I like elves. Almost as much as AR. There is a character named Deedlit in a Japanese Anime named ’Record of Lodoss War’ that I’d always wanted to see get regressed (And eventually Glassthorn indulged me. Thank you Glassthorn.). I modeled Selene’s physical characteristics after Deedlit’s. The only difference is Selene’s hair and ears are shorter and her breasts definately aren’t.
There’s another reason too. In ’D & D’ (And ’Lodoss War’) it was held that elves aged much slower than humans. I believe it took about fifty years for an elf to reach early adulthood in ’D & D’ and they would live for a very long time. This helped make elves a bit aloof compared to human characters in that they were much calmer and had a much broader view of the world. Have to admit that if my lifespan was about three hundred years I wouldn’t be rushing into danger either.
Of course, this is all well and good if you were raised by other elves. But what if a half or quarter elf were raised by humans? I think it would get rather frustrating to watch friends who were once smaller than you grow up and live their lives while you’re still considered a child. This is how Selene grew up, aging at half the rate of all of her friends. You really can’t fault her impatience when you look at it that way can you? Also, imagine her horror when she’s faced with the prospect of having to grow up all over again. Chilling, isn’t it? Heck, she’ll be in changing rags for at least another five years.
Hmmmm, I kinda feel sorry for her now. Maybe I’ll make it up to her in a sequal. Then again, imagining pointed ears on a little baby is something I just cannot resist. :)
Thank you for your interest.
The Dark Oni.