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Muse Voices

The Adamantium Trade - Notes

Okay, I finally worked out something that makes the lady turning herself into a dragon thing a bit more plausible. The idea is that, in this world, use of magic at all is physically transformative. I'm also figuring out that this particular story is about Alys and Tarran, though I will, of course, use different names to protect the guilty.

'Alys' has rejected 'Tarran's' advances, and 'Tarran' has concluded and decided to accept the fact that 'Alys' doesn't love him. Because of that, he has ceased to care about looking like a human, and so the magic has begun to transform him into a raven at a faster rate than it usually causes these changes. I don't think Tarran has actively been abetting it; he's simply let it have its way. I think Tarran works for a ruler or a master who Alys wants nothing to do with. Yes, sort of a Lily/Snape thing.

Usually in stories, the more closely a mage resembles his or her totem animal, the more powerful said mage is--for example, Voldemort. But Tarran has simply surrendered in this (so far) most important of all battles to him. So what's going to have to happen in this story is that he must have a Kaylie moment--when he suddenly realizes that Alys does love him. Once he realizes that, then he has something to fight tooth and nail for. And what he's going to fight tooth and nail for is to become a dragon, like Alys. Alys rejected him because she understands whyt he doesn't want to leave his country. Since both of them are loyal to their homes, their love is at an impasse.

However, since this story is to be written for Sword and Sorceress, the protagonist, and therefore the character experiencing profound change, needs to be Alys. So I could either gender-bend them, or I could do the more challenging thing and figure out how Alys needs to transform. Because she can't start out the story intending to become a dragon. She is, after all, headed toward becoming a swan.

Which would be the better title? "The Adamantium Trade" or "The Shape of My Heart"

* * *

(Alys' POV): Alys and Tarran both want to prevent war between their two countries. A large deposit of adamantium lies mostly just inside the border of Alys' country. Tarran's ruler wants it and doesn't care how many people have to die so he can get it. They have concluded that they can't prevent a war, so they must amass their army. Perhaps Alys' location is at the adamantium mine so she can guard it. That gives her something active to do.

Alys and Tarran meet on the Dreampaths. This is very risky because either of them could magically trap the other's mind there. If it is ever learned that either mage sought the other out and didn't try to entrap him or her, their loyalties will be questioned. Tarran delivers his ruler's terms--warning her that his king's army is coming--and Alys rejects them. Tarran leaves, frustrated, because he's trying to save her, and she refuses to see it.

Alys goes to see Tarran, and he does trap her, because he intends to go off and try something wonderfully brave and stupid.

Alys figures out how to escape Tarran's trap and finds him at the adamantium mines and shows him a better way, that she figured out on the Dreampaths, to do the wonderfully brave thing--together with her.

They turn into dragons. Tarran's ruler is thwarted, and all live happily ever after, well, except for Tarran's ruler, but who cares about him?