zodiacal_light: AU: Because everything's better with zombies. (AU)
Fic update: wrote two new fics, one (Memory) reconciling the end of Battle Magic with what we got told in Will of the Empress and Melting Stones (my first Emelan fic!), and one (Duty) playing with an old, old idea about what would happen if Numair died on a mission for the Crown.

Speaking of Emelan... I'm really wishing I knew more people into the Circle books, because I've just been bit with a plotbunny for, well, another in the inexplicable genre of Tortall/Emelan crossovers. (Probably 'cause I've been reading a bunch of other peoples' crossovers, actually; it seems like half the Emelan fic out there is crossed over with Tortall.)

And, well, it seems like everyone sets their Emelan crossovers in the Lady Knight era. I have no idea why, save that PotS and Kel and the gang are pretty damn popular. I guess people sort of default to "present day" in writing fic?

But I am a SotL junkie, and as anyone who's so much as sneezed at this blog knows, I'm ... more than a little obsessed with Lioness Rampant, and the AU-ing thereof, in particular. XD

You can probably see where this is going. If you haven't read Emelan, beware of spoilers.

So I have a plotbunny for an LR/post-WotE crossover, and really, the bunny wasn't anything more than just "hey, no one does this! let's do it," so. XD Here I am, rambling in my journal, brainstorming.

Breaking out the bullet points!
  • Ages: I tend to only really like crossovers when the ages of the characters meeting roughly align. IDK why - power imbalances, I guess, and I like the two groups to feel like peers. So, well, Alanna's 20 in LR. In WotE, iirc, the Circle are 18. That's contemporary enough, but since I need to give them some time to get back to Summersea and kick off the plot, aging them to 20-ish isn't implausible.
  • All crossovers are contrived, and people mash the worlds together in different ways. I'm totally tossing geography to the wind and saying that the continents of Emelan are across the ocean from those of Tortall (i.e. past the Copper and Yamani Isles), not part of the same landmass or in a different dimension or something. (This ends up either postulating a third continent somewhere, or making the far side of the Roof the place where Emelan gets tomatoes. So yeah, totally screwing with geography.)
  • It really is easier to get the Circle folks to Tortall than vice versa, especially if one wants them to have more than a brief interaction. (Like, in it for the long haul, not just a state visit.) I know others have used the hints of dynastic trouble in Emelan to kick off their crossovers, but it really is the most plausible way to get the Circle out of Summersea.
  • I do not, however, just want to retread ideas others've done better, or break Emelan to send the Circle fleeing. So I am postulating that yes, Vedris really was grooming Sandry for his heir, even though she never realized this (as per WotE), and Franzen (Vedris' son of the many spellings) either seized power/prevented Vedris' will from being read, or Vedris died before officially designating Sandry his heir. Either way, Sandry doesn't think anything's strange about Franzen becoming duke of Emelan; she was expecting one of Vedris' sons anyway, and she may not like Franzen, but he's the one interested in the job.
  • Everyone else is surprised, but given that Sandry is kind of chronically clueless on this point, they can't really do anything about it. And Franzen's an ass, but he's not a bad ruler - just not a very good one like Vedris was, either. Just sort of middling. So the others don't have a real leg to stand on when it comes to agitating against Franzen except for "we like Sandry better," and they're good enough people to recognize that that's not a good excuse for causing civil strife.
  • Franzen, however, is keenly aware that Sandry was Vedris' favorite for his successor. So he asks her and her adventuresome foster-siblings if they'd be willing to go on a long expedition of exploration and diplomacy to the lands on the far side of the ocean, sending back info about what they find, establishing trade routes and diplomatic ties, etc. The trip will be well-funded, all of them will have documentation that they're working for the Duke and of their standing in Emelanese society, and so on. Briar, Tris, and Daja realize instantly that Franzen means this to be, literally, the trip of a lifetime; essentially, he's sending them into a kind of working exile so his rival and those who'd most strongly side with her are out of his hair. But Sandry's eager to have something to do and knows Franzen won't let her just hang around his citadel (nor would she want to), and she wants to travel like the others did, and she has just the barest inkling that maybe it's not a good idea, politically, for her to stay in Summersea, so they all agree to go.
  • Since this trip is also meant to get rid of not only Sandry, but the most troublesome of her foster-family, Franzen arranges for Evvy (a 16-year-old novice at Winding Circle) and Glaki (Tris' 10-year-old adopted daughter) to go as well, since those are the two strongest ties, aside from their teachers, the four have to Summersea: Tris would never agree to leave Glaki for good, and Briar and Evvy have been through so much that he would never go so far away he couldn't check on her occasionally. The teachers aren't a problem - three are dedicates, Niko's rootless, and the four already know they have to move on from those relationships anyway. Pasco's not a problem - he's too rooted in Summersea and is part of a very law-and-order family; uprooting him would be a bigger problem.
  • Traders have already established a few routes to the Tortall world: one runs through the Copper Isles to Carthak and the other from the Yamani Isles to Scanra and Port Caynn. They haven't really made much headway into the Great Inland Sea, since Tyra dominates the sea-lanes there, nor have they made terribly much headway into inland trade. The Emelan gang go on the first ship that will take them: Fifth Ship Kisubo.
  • Everyone knows the group's not coming back, and they're all determined to help the gang land on their feet there, though of course in ways that would benefit them too. To that end, Evvy's hastily made a dedicate - we know almost nothing about the process for becoming one, but Evvy was fourteen-ish when she decided to become a novice, and talked in MS as if she'd be going back immediately to become one; the only apprentice we see - Kirel - we only see for the first four books, which only covers one summer. So. I was sort of thinking initially of making it take a year (or the ubiquitous year-and-a-day from pagan circles), but ... IDK, 15 seems a bit young for Evvy to be a dedicate. I am sort of thinking that she was ready or nearly ready anyway, so Moonstream's not really bending any rules here. Moonstream promptly gives her a small pouch containing three things: a bottle of water from Winding Circle's central well, a packet of seeds and earth from WC's gardens (I'm thinking they're a particular kind of seed, too, but I don't know what), and a small heatproof box containing an ember from WC's main hearth. (Rosethorn insisted on gathering the seeds and earth from her own garden; Frostpine forged and spelled the box. Lark wove the cloth that pads the satchel. Moonstream might've gathered the water herself.) Moonstream tells Evvy to ask Tris for one of the winds she caught at WC when the time comes - the time for what? asks Evvy. The time to dedicate a daughter temple. It ordinarily is done by established dedicates of all four elements, but in the earliest days of the Living Circle, they were often established by a solitary dedicate using sacred water, seeds/soil, fire, and air.
  • The Traders want to establish more of a presence in Tortall. They're also not about to let one of their own get dumped without resources in a foreign land, especially one they've not explored, and Daja's a Trader in good standing, if a really weird one. So, since they need to establish a trading post anyway (you cannot tell me the Traders don't have things like trading posts and other infrastructure; they need it, to support their network, even if most of them are mobile) they give Daja a logbook and inlay her staff with the symbol that shows she's got the authority to establish one.
  • Briar and Sandry are already pretty well set up: Briar's got his shakkans, and plenty of experience as a successful businessman under his belt; Sandry's got official documents that note her noble pedigree and certify her as Franzen's ambassador. Tris may have some certification from Lightsbridge at this point; I'm not sure. All four have their mage credentials - both the medallions, and written documentation in case the foreigners don't understand the medallion symbols. XD
  • They take the Yaman-Scanra-Caynn route, and they learn Common along the way. The Traders suggest Port Caynn as the best end point for their journey - partly for self-serving reasons (they are hoping for more of a foothold in Tortall) and partly 'cause they think Tortall is the best bet for the six travelers to make a new life. If nothing else, they can get on foot out of the country, worse comes to worse.
  • So the six Emelan folk - Sandry, Tris, Daja, Briar, Evvy, and Glaki - land in Tortall right around the time Alanna meets up with Liam in Berat. They take some time to poke around Port Caynn, rest, and get on their feet before Sandry, determined to do right by her country even though she's finally cottoned onto the fact Franzen's not expecting her back anytime soon, drags them all up to Corus so she can present her credentials to the Crown.
  • George, unhappy that the woman he loves is off adventuring and worried about the unrest brewing, follows the promptings of his Sight* and goes for a walk. He runs into five mages with a type of magic he's only rarely seen, and a little Gifted girl.
  • Story starts.

*On the Sight: the Aly books give her a rather overpowered Swiss Army Knife Sight - it does everything the plot demands, but only when the plot demands it, and it lets her see all sorts of hidden things, whether someone's telling the truth, what their Gifts are, etc. In SotL, all we really know about the Sight is that it drew George to Alanna when he got that brief glimpse of her early in ATFA, and her Gift shields her from his Sight - he implies he would've known she was a girl if she were unGifted. So I feel free to extrapolate and play, and I've more or less postulated before that George's Sight is more subtle than Aly's, and sort of prompts him towards people who will be useful/good for him.

So... too contrived? Did I miss something blindingly obvious? (Wouldn't surprise me.) Other criticisms? I ... sort of really want to write this, but I'm not sure if the genre's overdone.


zodiacal_light: Humour: Because angst is not jolly. (Default)

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