I can't believe it has been that long since the idea for Our Solemn Hour first wormed its way into my mind. It is a very reluctant idea. It doesn't want to come out easily.
The story wouldn't flow. A character popped into my head, and proposed such an interesting idea:
So, what happened to Ronan? Well, after that, he never came back. That was the first and last time I heard his voice. Why?
Ronan was a bridge, a gate to introduce me to the world, and not a character in it. Imagine a world where shades and horrors haunt the night. A world where light is our only defense from the vile monsters that lurk in the darkness. That is just how the world is.
If such horrors are a feature of the setting, and not something our heroes are gathered to stop, that would make this world very different from most of the ones I have ever read about or encountered.
Even back then, I realized that the story needed several ingredients:
I love the idea of swordsmen and pikemen. Heroes who can fly through the air simply by leaping into it. Spirits walking alongside humans, and other races that are somewhere in between.
I have toyed around with this idea before, but I have never really committed myself wholeheartedly to crafting such a mystical world.
I'm not sure how much I'm going to hold myself to this idea. While I would still like to avoid medievalism, the idea of an Elizabethan Queen is intriguing to me. I would like to stick with the general principle though.
These would be stories about people not empires. Game of Thrones is a good example of the type of story I do not want to do. While it is entertaining, it is nothing but the story of squabbling nobles. I want to do something different.
I've always found it fun to try to hold in my mind the reality that Queen Victoria was on the throne while cowboys were moving through the American West. The juxtaposition is a beautiful thing, sort of like a Zen koan.
Character driven stories are neither natural nor native to epic fantasy. It would be fun to try to change that.
I thought it would be interesting to bring up this first image of Our Solemn Hour. If nothing else, it is proven to me that the idea continued to bubble in the back of my head. The world that is starting to take shape owes its origin to this little idea, but it has grown into something more.
I would love to know what you think about the broad contour's I've laid out in this post. Is there anything that you would add or subtract? Let me know in the comments.