Share This

The Obsidian Throne | Kestrel's Aerie

The Obsidian Throne | Kestrel's Aerie

The Obsidian Throne

I was having trouble sleeping one night this past weekend (I blame restless cats), and tried to lull myself back to sleep while daydreaming (I know, I know…but I was awake!) about story ideas. You’d think that would knock me right out – empty mind and all that. But in this particular case, you’d be wrong! I wish I could remember the exact genesis of the thought, but suffice to say, I came up with an idea for my NaNoWriMo novel. I have some good friends who have no trouble coming up with, and developing, multiple stories at the same time. Not so with me: I get an idea in my head (the project formerly known as “Darklight” comes to mind) and it’s stuck there, and no amount of free association or other mind tricks can dislodge it. So the fact I came up with anything at all was pretty amazing.

ANYWAY…I suddenly had a vision of a Crown Prince celebrating his eighteenth birthday by acting as King for the day: Answering the petitions of commoners as his father, the king, would normally do. Midway through the day, he realizes being monarch isn’t all it’s cracked up to be; in fact, in a smoothly running monarchy as Alducia is, it’s fairly boring. Cato (that’s the prince’s name…unless it’s Kato, but then readers might expect the Green Hornet, too) arrives at the conclusion that learning to be king – weapons training, riding, hunting – is a lot more fun than the reality of actually being the king.

Legend: the throne is carved from (a) a dragon’s tooth; (b) a dragon’s scale; (c)…talon; (d)…horn

That is, until the last petitioner of the day enters the throne room. Ah yes…the throne. It’s carved from a solid block of obsidian, hence the name. Legend…well, rumors of legends…has it the throne is carved from (a) a dragon’s tooth; (b) a dragon’s scale; (c)…talon; (d)…horn. You get the idea. (The deep scratches in the seat and back of the throne probably fueled those legendary rumors.) Oh…and the throne is BIG. And not very comfortable either. (You try sitting on stone chair that has a seat three feet deep for three or four hours and see just how enamored you are of the idea of doing that once a month for the rest of your life!)

So yes…the last petitioner. A wizened old man named Drake, with a full head of jet-black hair and long beard, every bit as black as the stone throne.1 (Yes, the name is cliché: remember, this isn’t even a WIP2 yet!) Drake relates a prophecy to Cato that reveals the future of the Four Kingdoms is at stake (the Four Kingdoms are only a few generations removed from being at war, before being united into Alducia by Cato’s great-grandfather), unless the “heir with royal blood from both sources” (needs to be more poetic, right?) rights a grave injustice done many years ago.

Conveniently, the prophecy requires the heir and his twin sister, Celeste (who has a bit of a magical bent, not shared by her brother or her parents, evidently) be joined by the prince’s best friend (coincidentally born on the same day as the twins), who happens to be his squire, and of course is a commoner. Wil – for that is the squire’s name – happens to be deeply and hopelessly in love with Celeste, but of course, he can’t act on that; besides, she not only is a blue blood, but acts the part remarkably well, and treats Wil as the servant he truly is.

Somehow, Drake convinces Cato (who, in turn, convinces his parents, sister, and squire) that a quest must be undertaken to fulfill (or defeat, depending on your viewpoint) the prophecy.

* * *

So these are the very broad strokes of the story’s premise. I’ve developed more backstory, and I’m finding Scrivener’s cork board feature to be extremely helpful in jotting post-it notes with story ideas, character backgrounds, plot details, sources of conflict, and other story elements. Somewhere along the trail, the trio will pick up a fourth companion, for example. Will she become enamored of Cato, who’ll be oblivious to her charms? What great secret(s) will the group unveil? Is the Obsidian Throne actually carved from some part of a dragon? (Hint: I have no idea of the answers to any of those questions. Yet.)

My greatest difficulty right now is waiting six months to start writing (NaNo rules require you not to start the actual writing until November 1). However, the fact I was able to not only come up with another story idea, and come up with more characters, more plot, and more detail than I have been able to muster for my first project, is extremely exciting for me. So I’m hopeful I can also come up with even more ideas for other stories, now that there’s a crack in the dam holding back all my creative juices. I have my fingers crossed, anyway.

Now it’s time to go back and reread Tami’s NaNo series and really pull this thing together. Furthermore, since I’ve been reading (and copyediting) Iris’s Feather Path installments, I’ve observed character and plot development, including the introduction of new characters, first-hand. What an incredibly eye-opening experience to see a very brief mention of a name turn into a major character a few short chapters later! Definitely a technique I’ll keep in mind.

__________
Notes:
  1. By the way, I did a search on Amazon Books for “Obsidian Throne” and got no matches. However, there is an Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and a coauthor (sorry; forgot the name) that appears to be a YA series that has a few similarities to my story; after all, the genre is not exactly brimming with Unique and Brand-New story lines.
  2. Work in progress
9 Conversations about The Obsidian Throne
  1. Tami
    April 20, 2010 | 11:44

    Congratulations on what sounds to be an excellent story idea! I hope the NaNo2010 posts help you (heck, I hope they help ME!) in getting a good all over view of the book I want to write, rather than just a really good launching pad. <3
    Tami´s latest blog post is Photoblog: A Box From Germany My ComLuv Profile

    • Kestrel
      April 20, 2010 | 14:04

         Twitter: Every time you post one, my eyes open a little wider, my mind expands a little further (who needs recreational drugs? :P ). I know the description above sounds very YA/MG, and very, very trite, but believe me, the ideas I have are a lot deeper (at least, I think they are). :)

  2. Aislynn
    April 21, 2010 | 09:40

    This sounds like a great plot idea – I’d read it. :) I look forward to hearing about your progress in the story as you build its framework and start writing in November!

    • Kestrel
      April 21, 2010 | 11:32

         Twitter: Thank you. :) It’s always great to hear from a new commenter!

      As a matter of fact, I just submitted the first 50 words (which will no doubt change in draft) to Miss Snark’s First Victim. I hope my entry makes it in: I’ll be interested to see what kinds of critiques I get.

      • Kestrel
        April 22, 2010 | 12:17

           Twitter: Just to follow-up: I realized when I woke this morning that my entry to MSFV was “lame.” And the crits pretty much confirmed that. I keep trying to tell myself more stuff than a reader needs at any given point in time. *sigh* Once I get past that very bad habit, I might be able to craft something someone might want to read. :)

  3. Karen
    April 22, 2010 | 11:08

    Long ago and far way I had a home on a mountain built around an obsidian throne with ruby insets. It was on a MUD text based game. There I fell in love with gaming and met new and wonderful friends. I think it was Fallen Haven.

    Thank you for the memory and now I retreat to them to try to remember even more…

    Karen

    • Kestrel
      April 22, 2010 | 12:15

         Twitter: Hmm…I like the idea of rubies in the throne…I may borrow that! :) Glad I was able to help you recall some fond memories.

  4. Iris
    April 22, 2010 | 15:59

       Twitter: You mean I have a method for character introduction? I never realised that! I just kind of… do it.

    I am glad you are hooked onto the Obsidian Throne. Sounds like a story with potential, and I personally like the potential in haughty Celeste and air-headed Cato. They sound like characters with both flaws and room for growth, which is something that can make them very likable.

    November can’t come soon enough for witches and crown princes, it seems. *smirk*
    Iris´s latest blog post is Feather Path: Chapter X My ComLuv Profile

    • Kestrel
      April 22, 2010 | 16:06

         Twitter: Hey! Cato isn’t really an airhead. At least, I don’t think he is… But yeah…Cellie (she hates that name, btw) is a Princess-with-a-capital-P. What Wil sees in her is beyond me. Maybe Celeste will punch him… *winks*