From two newsgroup posts both titled “Work in Progress: Bait (title will probably change),” and both dated April 21, 2013; I retitled it because (a) “Bait” did change titles, and (b) it isn’t really about that story in the first place.
“Bait” is now Veran the Fair and the Thieves of Borgran, and it still isn’t finished.
Today I got thinking about the setting, and realized I’ve been inventing too many backgrounds from whole cloth lately, instead of fitting stories into existing settings. Because of the way its magic works, Bait doesn’t work in Ethshar…
Setting of twelve novels and eleven short stories so far, beginning with The Misenchanted Sword. Many more planned, some begun. Multiple forms of magic with fixed rules, but none of them fit Bait.
… or the Bound Lands…
Setting for A Young Man Without Magic and Above His Proper Station. Unwritten/partially written stories in this setting include On A Field Sable, Assassin in Waiting, Swordsmen of the Fallen Empire, Untrue Names, The Prince’s Return, etc. Magic… well, there are actually three kinds, something the characters themselves don’t realize. I know the rules of sorcery (as do many of the characters), but there’s also wizardry and chaos magic.
You know, I could maybe make Bait work set in the Cousins. Hmm. But I’d need to rework some of the magic, because sorcery does everything through wardings and bindings, and that doesn’t allow for the teleportation spell I need in Bait, and it does allow for
…it would be a tough fit for Barokan…
Setting for the Annals of the Chosen: The Wizard Lord, The Ninth Talisman, The Summer Palace. No further stories contemplated. Magic is derived entirely from spirits, which doesn’t fit.
…or the Lands of Man…
Setting for the Obsidian Chronicles: Dragon Weather, The Dragon Society, Dragon Venom. No further stories planned, really, though a prequel called Lord Dragon was discussed a few years back. Magic
is vaguely defined, subtle, and complicated, and neither the magic nor the geography matches what I need in Bait.
…and it would only fit the Restored Lands if we go back the Great Pollution, probably before the Final War.
The Restored Lands (name subject to change) are the setting for The Dragon’s Price, an unfinished novel intended to be first of a series called The Signs of Power. Wizards are extinct; magic now takes specific forms indicated by specific birthmarks on the few people who can use it, and is strictly regulated by a theocratic regime.
(Though that’s maybe an interesting idea, that it is the Restored Lands long before they needed restoration.)
That could work, but would add theological complications, as there are real gods who can intervene in the mortal world in the Restored Lands, and I don’t want divine interference in Bait.
I don’t even remember what I called the setting for “Arms and the Woman” and Meant for Each Other, but it doesn’t work there unless, once again, it’s set in the distant past, before the Extinction.
“Arms and the Woman” is a published short story; Meant for Each Other is an unfinished YA novel. I like their setting and hope to re-use it elsewhere, eventually — it’s a world where (once again) wizards are extinct, but lots of their leftover magic is still cluttering up the landscape. But no wizards means no Bait.
I don’t think it’s really a good match for Meloria or the Inner Lands, from The Innkeeper’s Daughter, either, though that could maybe be made to work.
I’d need to rewrite what I have of The Innkeeper’s Daughter, I think, to make the magic match up better. The Inner Lands are ruled by the evil Lord Gorzoth, and a prophesied hero from Meloria is coming to try to kill him. Magic is complicated, poorly understood, widely but erratically distributed — not a good fit.
But on the other hand, I realized that it could fit the setting for an unwritten story called Home is Where the Heart Is. In fact, using that setting works really well.
Home Is Where The Heart Is consists of one page of notes and a lot of stuff in my head, I hadn’t actually started writing it yet, and until today I had no intention of ever using its setting for anything else, but it would work great for Bait, so there we go.
The working name for that setting is now The Wizardly Desmesnes. It’ll probably change.