Posted by: lordkyler | February 22, 2014

The Iron Crown

A basic sketch based on the dream I had that lead to this story idea

A basic sketch based on the dream I had that lead to this story idea

This story came about because of an interesting dream I had. I’ll relate the dream here and follow up with where I’ve decided to take this idea next.

The dream:

I had just emerged from a cave. I was dressed in military gear and carried a gun. I was accompanied by a group of similar people. Through that instant knowledge that comes in dreams, I knew that we were a scout team investigating a new place. A place of magic. Indeed, this story premise can be summed up as Stargate: Narnia. We ventured through magical portals to explore and evaluate new worlds.

This place was very nice. Green, rolling hills similar to the Shire. In fact, it might have been the Shire except for the concrete canals that crisscrossed the area. I commented to the team about the use of cement. Then we split up to investigate the area.

Lying on the long grass in front of me was a crown. It was not a fancy crown. It was made of rough and slightly rusted iron, in a simple band with a conical spike on each of the compass points. It almost resembled a smoked dog collar more than a crown, but a crown it was.

There was a garden lawn gnome (not a living one, just a decoration,) nearby. I tried to place the crown on its head, thinking it had fallen off, but as the crown approached the head, it began to break apart into dandelion fuzz. I pulled it back and it reassembled. I tried again and this time it dissolved completely, seeds blowing away on the breeze. Another news flash: The crown can only sit on the head of the rightful king.

Our team reassembled and we spotted a long fence made out of slats. We came for a closer look and could see very fast movement between the slats, though we couldn’t make out what it was. There was a gap in the fence, so we headed towards it. Heading to the same gap in the opposite direction was this big guy with a set of antlers. He kept trying to get to the thing in the fence but couldn’t. We arrived at the gap and found railroad-type tracks.

A moment later, there was a blur of motion and a troll pulling a trolley came up. The troll was the same kind as a level two troll from the game Battle for Wesnoth, sort of like Gollum with the build of an NBA player and stony skin. He was very lanky. We hopped onto the trolley with a few other folks and pulled away just in time to see Antler Man miss his ride again.

The troll picked up speed very quickly, accelerating to the speed of a car. For a while, all we could see was slats, but suddenly the fence dropped away as the ground sloped off beneath us. We stayed level, as the tracks were on a massive trestle with a much more gradual slope.

The track came out at an angle that provided a spectacular view. Stretched out below us was a very large, very flat plain, like an enormous quilt dotted with farms and villages. Other trolley tracks crossed the area. All of them led to the focal point of the plains: The biggest dang tree in the world.

It was bigger than the home tree from James Cameron’s Avatar. Much bigger. It was an enormous spreading oak-type of tree. The roots were arched, keeping the tree aloft like the ones you see in swamps or jungles. An entire sprawling multilevel city was built around then roots and underneath the tree, lights twinkling at then heart of the perpetual shadow beneath. Colonies and villages were arrayed on the trunk like fungi, and winches and cranes stretched from the roots to the branches. People on giant flying beasts circled around, appearing like insects next to the tree.

The most remarkable feature, was not the tree’s size. The shape of the tree was unusual. The roots extended much farther to the left than they did the right, and so did the branches above it. Interwoven with the extended branches were the limbs of another tree. This tree was about half the size of the first, but hung suspended from its branches with roots free.

Resting on the outstretched branches of the large tree was a massive bowl easily large enough to house a city. The roots of the smaller tree dangled into the bowl, and served as a gigantic mixer, spinning and blending.

I ventured the opinion that perhaps the bowl was made for mixing the concrete we’d seen earlier in the canals. One of the other soldiers with me said that perhaps it was pure knowledge from a higher plane being distilled into liquid form. We all turned and looked at him. He was like “What? We’ve seen weirder things,” to which we all agreed. I suppose the idea of such a liquid is that upon drinking it you instantly acquire inspiration.

In any case, we couldn’t be sure. The troll ran on at high speed, somehow never missing a step. The dream fast-forwarded as we descended down the long track into the city built at the roots of the giant tree. But before I could explore the city, someone woke me up, and I couldn’t get it back. Gosh dang it to heck.

The Story Now

So, obviously there are a lot of interesting aspects at play here. Thanks, subconscious! Keep it up!

The main one I’ll be using is that of the Stargate: Narnia concept. This seems to be a solid device with a lot of potential. I mean, if the government had found the Narnian Wardrobe… There are so many ways this could go. The ability to visit multiple fantasy worlds gives me the opportunity to play with ideas too small for a full book, do a great deal in the satire and parody department, and so on.

Now, the idea of powerful warriors coming from another dimension brings to mind one thing: Deus Ex Machina endings. That’s right: The main characters manage to find themselves tasked with saving the world more often than not. And they may not be quite as heroic as you’d expect… but I won’t share everything about that yet.

This will be an action-fantasy-comedy. I’m planning to release this (eventually) as an online serial, one chapter or short story at a time. I’m looking forward to it and I think I have some really good ideas in store. I will announce the launch of the series here, so keep an eye out. Thank you for reading.

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