Ron huffed into his clenched hands. When that didn’t work he stuffed them inside his shirt burying them in his armpits. Living in Gordawn, with these city people, had made him weak.
The Hunt stirred behind him, waking hungover from their drinking last night. Questioning the Hunt leaders or his employers was hard on Ron and he wouldn’t do it, but had he been in charge they’d have travelled twice as far last night, slept half as long, and drunk not at all. They’d have been cinching the last panniers on the horses now as the sun tore away from the horizon. Instead, the cooks carried burnt bacon throughout the camp to waft the rich men awake and encourage them from their warm tents.
Ron wanted to kick them down.
131 words on day 662
‘Tis Wednesday. The day of the humping.
I’m stepping back from Benhá for a bit. I’ll return with serious plotting soon. In this interim I came back to the Camp-home post from a year or more back to light plot Ron’s story. Unexpected backstory tumbled out and now I need to move forward from there.
A quick refresher if you are just joining us or if reading yesterday’s post troubles your sensibilities… Ron fell in love with Neri despite their families cultural resistance. The couple ran away from their mountain tribes to scrounge a city-life in Gordawn. Tension between the two led to an argument and Neri left the opressive city for the comfort of home. Ron, hurt and prideful, stayed in Gordawn as a pig-cutter. That summer job led to work as a hunter in the fall and early winter. His skill earned him a vacation of sorts and, being close to Camp-home, he has returned to visit his family and explain.
Too shamed to enter his former home along the traditional route—The Trail—Ron trudges a more direct path through the snowy mountains.
This is the extent of my discoveries. Nearly.
Ron’s route takes him close enough to Neri’s tribe’s settlement that he is spotted by scouts. Neri’s tribers capture Ron and haul him back to the settlement to face justice for Neri’s death.
Neri’s twin, Seri, explains to Ron what her tribers know: a hunting party crossed paths with the trade wagon Neri hired on with to return to her settlement. The encounter went bad, people were killed on both sides, and the trade wagon caught fire. The tribers eventually won the fight. When the went among the wreck to claim their fallen tribers and the spoils the discovered the wagon held the burnt bodies of several slave girls. One wore a [necklace|bracelet|trinket] which identified her as Neri.
Ron shares with Seri that he’s seen Neri in Gordawn since that encounter and that Neri can’t be dead. Seri wants to believe him but there isn’t time to convince her people before Ron’s punishment [whatever that is]. Seri frees him and they must make their way back to Gordawn to find Neri.
372 words on day 523
Last night I prodded my database for some answers and didn’t much like what I found. It’s possible that rather than being entry 522 as noted below this is really just 505. I’ll need to take a deeper look into that possibility. I’m not surprised to be off; I’m surprised to be that far off. In fact, I’d initially suspected I was ahead. Bummer.
I don’t know what my original intention was for Ron’s return to Camp-home. I envisioned him as a bit of a spearman trudging through the snow to a place that he could no longer call home. Now I’ve got him cavorting with the neighbor’s daughter and running off to the city. Giving Charming a dead body seems to have helped me over the cusp and into the business of conflict.
What I didn’t yet post about Ron’s situation is that Neri never made it home.
Up until I wrote that prior sentence I imagined her dead, but that doesn’t aid my cause so I’ll make her missing. Or both. Dead as far as her fellow tribers believe; missing as far as Ron knows. Driving the plot that way gives me a built in tug-of-war between tribers thinking he’s escaped justice and him thinking he’s on a rescue mission. Plus his tribers can be dubious about helping Ron. Making matters worse is the Gordawn girl he fell in with after Neri left.
Setting up the murder mystery might require a little delicacy. What clue leaves Neri’s tribers convinced she’s dead but Ron convinced she’s just missing? Perhaps Ron has a glimpse of her in town in the late Fall during hunting season? The sighting is fleeting enough and his employment situation dicey enough that he doesn’t/can’t pursue the vision further at the time? Meanwhile, the traders she’d made off with are attacked and killed on the road—probably by her tribers. She’s left some trinket with one of the girls that proves she was among them during the attack.
Where does the story begin then? That’s an assload of backstory to discreetly divulge on the reader assuming I start with Ron’s snowy walk. Though most of it would be naturally part of the evidence discover during conversations following his impending capture so maybe not so tough to impart.
If that is the backstory what is the frontstory? His rescue quest? Their capture mission? Both twined? Her escape? More twining?
411 words on day 522