jeriendhal: (Default)
Sorry it's been so long since i've posted. Since LJ became a non viable platform I've been mostly producing fanfic and posting that on FFN and AO3. Here's what I'e been working on lately.

 Dragon Mom:
 I'm trying to work this into a coherent story instead of just a series vignettes. Slow going so far but right now it's my only viable idea now that the Red Vixen Adventures has concluded

She didn’t actually have a name. Indeed, she would have been insulted if she’d been told she needed one. “The Dragon of the Green Hills” was a lovely title, and it fit her perfectly. Well, if you wanted to get really technical about she was A Dragon of the Green Hills, but her son would earn his own title in time, assuming he didn’t accidentally spear himself on the end of some poor knight’s lance before he grew old enough for his own cave.


Earth or Bust : My ongoing The Martian fanfiction, covering the trip from Mars back to Earth. Though it's go my usual indulgence in character angst, I'm trying to keep it to a minimum, since Watney is usually cheerful. Still, I've got him dealing with a little trauma, giving all the stress he was under on Mars.

“I know you don’t like the idea, but think about it. This,” Beck tapped the Temazepam bottle in his hand, “isn’t a crutch, and it isn’t a cheat. It doesn’t mean you’re weak if you take it. It just means you have a problem, and you need help. Same as if you had an infection and needed antibiotics, or a band aid for a cut. That’s all."


The Long Recovery of Judy Hopps:
  Judy and Nick spend time on the farm as she recovers from her injuries in the previous stories. Mostly slice of life fluff and a bit of romance.

“Nick, are you okay?” she asked gently.

“Yeah, fine,” he gasped. “Y’know, I was totally prepared kiss my partner and best friend like an idiot without even asking her and torpedoing any potential romantic relationship before it even started never mind terminally screwing up the one we already have,” he said in one breath.

jeriendhal: (Default)
I know I said I was going to try to rewrite this in order, but I go distracted when this scene popped into my head. Continuing from Questions of Jurisdiction  


* * *

The argument between the barbarian and the knight seemed to finally reach a conclusion, with the barbarian walking off grumpily, his paperwork balled up in his first. The knight in the white enameled armor nodded in satisfaction, walking up towards the mouth of the cave, halting about halfway up the slope leading to the entrance. He doffed his helm and Miriam saw that he appeared to be an older man, perhaps in his early sixties, with neatly trimmed grey beard framing a round, grandfatherly face.


“Oh, Great Dragon of the Green Hills,” he bellowed in an impressive baritone, one hand resting on the butt of his sword. “I, Sir Simon of the Broken Lands, call you forth to engage me in single combat, for the life of the innocent maiden you hold in your clutches.”


“Is he serious?” Miriam asked the dragon, finishing the last of her popcorn.


“Yes, but don’t worry. He means well,” the dragon reassured her. She stood up from her relaxed sitting position, stepping out of the cave, unfurling her wings and letting loose a roar that rattled Miriam’s teeth and set the baby wailing, before shouting, “You dare come before me, insignificant mortal, to challenge my strength?


Sir Simon winced, covering his ears with his palms as she bellowed her challenge, before answering calmly. “Have a care, dear. You’re going to make me deaf in my old age.”


The dragon smiled, coming down the slope to meet him. “I’m sorry, Simon. It’s been a rough few days, and I haven’t had a chance to be properly shouty in ages.”


“Believe me, I understand,” he started to say, before looking past the dragon to Miriam, “Has she got a baby?”


“Yes, it’s all very complicated,” the dragon said. She turned her head back towards the cave, “Come on down, Miriam. It’s all right.”


Mariam made her way carefully down the slope, the wailing baby clutched tight in one arm as she tried to balance with the other. “Hello, Sir Simon,” she said rather breathlessly as she stopped her half-slide down the rocks.


“Just Simon, dear. The Sir is for when I have to be official.” Simon looked at the still wailing baby in her arms. “And who are you? Was the dragon’s roar too loud?” he cooed, wiggling one gauntleted finger in front of the baby’s face, to be grabbed by two tiny hands. In the same tone he continued. “Don’t be scared, she’s a nice dragon. She truly is. We’ll just finish this up and get you something nummy to eat, would you like that?”


He had to be a grandfather, Miriam quickly realized, as the wailing baby hiccuped, looked surprised for a moment, then giggled happily. “Are you and the dragon going to fight?” she asked.


“Well, I was hired to rescue you,” Simon replied, retrieving his finger from the baby’s grip.


“I”m sorry, ‘hired’?”


“Exactly.” He held out his hand to her. “Sir Simon of the Broken Lands, professional monster duelist. I’ve battled wyverns, outsmarted sphinxes, dealt with occasional bridge troll, and fought dragons. Mostly dragons as a matter of fact. I’m the one they send in when some poor maiden is kidnapped and unransmoed, and no younger, unmarried knight wants the job.”


“I see.” Miriam shook his hand automatically, then blinked, thinking about what he’d just said. “So no one else wants to rescue me? Should I be insulted by that or not?”


“I shouldn’t think so,” he said amiably. “Honestly, it’s become quite unfashionable for women to find a husband this way. Though I’ll admit it’s a bit cheaper nowadays as well. Repairing the dings in one’s armor can be quite expensive, never mind the stabling costs for a warhorse.”


“I know,” the dragon said, her tone growing melancholy. “It used to be I’d have a waiting list of princesses wanting to be kidnapped each season. Took me seven years to find this one.”


“I’m not really a princess,” Miriam corrected.


“It says you are here,” Simon said, showing her his paperwork. “I saw the king sign it himself.” He glanced at the glowing runes encircling her neck, eyes narrowing. “Though I’m beginning to believe there’s more to it than that.”


“She’s a wild mage, completely untrained,” the dragon explained. “By the time I found her she was convinced that she was possessed by a demon, and her own family had staked her out hoping I’d just eat her.”


“Ugh, peasants,” Simon declared. Then he frowned deeply. “Wait, if she’s the daughter of peasants, why would the king get himself involved?”


“Because he’s concerned about his people?” Miriam ventured. At the dragon and Simon’s mutually dumbfounded expressions, she added, “No?”


“No,” Simon confirmed. “Well, unlikely at least.”


“It’s a mystery,” the dragon agreed.


Simon looked cheered. “Oh, you know what that means, don’t you?”


“What?” Miriam asked.


“You get to go on a quest,” the dragon and knight both exclaimed.


jeriendhal: (Default)
 

She didn’t actually have a name. Indeed, she would have been insulted if she’d been told she needed one. “The Dragon of the Green Hills” was a lovely title, and it fit her perfectly. Well, if you wanted to get really technical about she was A Dragon of the Green Hills, but her son would earn his own title in time, assuming he didn’t accidentally spear himself on the end of some poor knight’s lance before he grew old enough for his own cave.

Her opinion of her son is ENTIRELY justified. )
jeriendhal: (Default)
 In an attempt to write a more coherent, and more to th point publishable, story, I'm giving the old Dragon Mom snippets a Page One rewrite. Comments are welcome


* * *

It was getting awfully cold, Gilly thought. Here she was, wearing her best party dress and tiara, standing in the middle of the front lawn, at midnight, chained to a post, and the blasted dragon was
late.

She gave the chains desultory tug, then unlatched her right wrist and scratched her nose before resecuring herself. It was midnight under a full moon, and she was a princess. The dragon had to show up, those were the rules.

I’ll give it ten more minutes and then I’m calling it a night, Gilly thought irritably, feeling the chill wind blow against her dress, her silk slippers growing damp and cold in the dew covered grass. She should have brought a shawl just in case, but it had seemed to clash with the whole “Princess Waiting to Be Devoured” thing. It had been hard enough to convince Daddy to mount this ugly pole in the middle of their nice, manicured lawn. She wasn’t exactly looking forward to the Look he’d give her if the dragon didn’t even show up.

A shadow fell across the moon, darkening the sky. Clouds, that tears it. I’m going back inside before it starts raining, she thought. Gilly was just reaching up to undo the latches on the cuffs again when she was nearly blown blown off her feet, a hot wind blasting her back as a dark shape passed over her head.

A dragon's gotta have standards )
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
Note: I think I may have an overarching plot for both these stories.

Note 2: And the Princess finally has a name.

* * *

“Wait, so Miriam is the True Heir?” Princess Neffry said.

“So it would seem,” the dragon agreed. “Stolen from the previous queen’s beside after the birth of your father-in-law, kept Underhill where time passes more slowly, and released into the care of some not so loving foster parents.”

Neffry rubbed her nose, trying to think. “All right. So she’s the Queen, and the Sorceress. That’s never a good combination.”

“Can’t I be the Hero again, or maybe the Good Witch?” Miriam said, looking miserable.

“It’s all right dear,” the dragon said comfortingly. “No one thinks you’re evil.”

“Not yet.”

“Okay, so who stole Baby Miriam?” Neffry demanded. “It can’t be the King, he’d have to have been one Machiavellian infant.”

The dragon’s son raised a claw cautiously. “Mom?”

“What, dearheart?”

“When the Fairy of the Old Tree had me, she said that some bits of Underhill work, uh, differently.”

“’Working differently’ is what Underhill is all about,” Neffry said.

“I know, but I mean… ugh!” the little dragon turned around, chasing own tail briefly. “I mean, sometimes it doesn’t just go slowly. Some places in it, it goes all the way backwards.”

“Sooo….” The dragon mother looked thoughtful. “Fellow grows up the Spare instead of the Heir, goes to Underhill to move back in time, steals his big sister before she grows up, then moves to a different part of Underhill to wait until he’s the Heir.”

“Wait, wait, that doesn’t work!” Neffry said. “Wouldn’t you end up with two men, one the King and one still a prince?”

“It’s magic, dear. Trying to figure out causality is just going to give you a headache.”
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
For [livejournal.com profile] mmegaera: “Peanuts”

Note: I may have to get I've been gifted a paid LJ account thanks to [livejournal.com profile] allah_sulu, just to have an excuse to commission a Dragon Mom icon.

* * *

“Are you all right?” the dragon asked.

“I'm all right,” Miriam answered absently. “So I'm actually a princess?”

“Kidnapped by fairies, evil step-parents, left as a sacrifice by a dragon. You've definitely got all of the qualifications.”

“I don't feel like a princess.”

“Well I don't feel like a mother most days, but here I am.”

At the bottom of the hill, the knight and the barbarian had finished their argument, and were drawing weapons.

“Ah, good.” The dragon plopped a paper bag into Miriam's hand.

“What's this?”

“Tradition when spectating. Enjoy.”
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
Aaaaaand we're back.

For [livejournal.com profile] mmegaera: “Dragons”

* * *

“I'm sorry, I don't believe in dragons,” he said to the hundred foot long, winged and scaled creature in front of him.

She blinked at him. “Why not?”

“Where I come from, they're myths. Fairy stories to show the triumph of good over evil. Look, your wings are too short and your body is too heavy to even fly. You can't possibly exist in the real world.”

“So that makes me...?”

“A dream, a special effect, a drug induced hallucination. I don't believe in you.”

“Well,” she said, “perhaps I don't believe in you either.”
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
I had some free time and was feeling silly. I do think this story is getting overcomplicated though....

* * *

“Everything all right while we were gone?” the dragon mother asked. Miriam tried not to jump. For something as large as the mother was, it seemed very unfair that she could move so quietly.

“How did you get in here?” she demanded.

“The secret back entrance.”

“What secret back entrance?”

“Exactly.”

Miriam shifted the baby, which was asleep and drooling in her arms. “We’re fine. Where’s your son?”

“Quite literally trying to get out of a hole he dug for himself. I’m inclined to leave him to it for a while until I’m sure he’s learned his lesson.” She gestured to the two figures outside the front entrance. Two men were arguing, one dressed in heavy white enameled plate armor, the other wearing not much more than a fur loincloth and a large axe. Though they were far enough away that their voices were indistinct, it was obvious they were engaged in a furious argument, as they waved pieces of parchment at each other. Between them stood the knight’s white horse, its head moving back and forth as the two traded insults, like a spectator at a badminton match. “What’s up with those two?”

“The knight called it a ‘jurisdictional ambiguity.’ He came along intending to rescue me from being imprisoned by dragons, but the barbarian wants to slay me and rescue the baby from the evil sorceress. Who is also me, apparently.”

“Well, you are a sorceress,” the mother noted.

“Not a trained one. And I’m definitely not evil! The knight does think I’m bespelled though.” She tapped the glowing runes encircling her neck. “Which I guess is true, actually.”

The dragon sat down, laying her head between her paws. “Think I should intervene? Or maybe you could hand the baby to the knight and make them figure out who’s going to be in charge of it.”

“No wet nurses, remember? Besides, I wouldn’t want to give it away until I’m sure it’s going to get back its true mother.”

The dragon’s expression grew pained. “About that…”

Miriam looked at her warily. “Yes?”

“You did say the people who abandoned you to be picked up by my son were your parents, right?”

“Of course they were.” She paused, a horrible thought occurring to her. “Weren’t they?”

“Let’s just say that baby isn’t the first one that the Fairy of the Old Tree has stolen.”
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
For [livejournal.com profile] colliemommie: “This was not in the job description.”

* * *

“Right. We're going to have to have a chat with the Fairy of the Old Tree,” the dragon mother said. “Miriam, would you please take the baby from my idiot son?”

The baby, which had been giggling as her son bounced it carefully in his hand, meeped as the son stopped and lowered it towards Miriam.

“Wait, why do I have to take care of him?” she demanded.

“Because we must have A Talk with the fairy. Which may involve flames. If any mighty thewed warriors show up, make sure they have a wet nurse with them.”
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
For [livejournal.com profile] colliemommie: “Mutually assured destruction”

* * *

A look of horror settled on the mother's face as her son shuffled from his hiding place, the human baby balanced carefully in his left hand.

“Son, what did you do?

“It's not my fault,” her son pleaded. “I went to the Old Tree in the forest to take a nap, and the fairy there gave it to me for safekeeping.”

“The Old Tree. In the Old Forest. The one I told you never to go near.

“Er, yes?”

The mother thumped her forehead against the wall, making the cave shake and the baby let out another cry of distress. “Oh, son.”

“I couldn't just leave her!”

“It's a human baby, kidnapped by fairies and given to a dragon to hold,” his mother growled. “Didn't you ever LISTEN to all those stories I told you?”

“It's not that bad,” her son pleaded. “I'll take care of her!”

“We are going to have Heroes coming to rescue this child! Not the short clever ones, but the ones with mighty thews and axes! And you're going to have to fight them! Then I'm going to have to fight them when they cut you down!
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
For [livejournal.com profile] colliemommie: “Don't make me come in there!”

* * *

Miriam watched as the mother dragon glided into the cave. The mother read her expression instantly and asked, “What has my son done now?”

“He asked me not to tell you,” Miriam said.

“Did he bring anything home?” When she didn't answer, the mother let out a bellow towards the back of the cave. “Son! Get out here!”

“I'm busy, Mother!”

“If you brought another princess home..!”

“It's not a princess!”

“I don't care if it's a kitten! You come right back here and...”

She suddenly went quiet as a baby began to cry.
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
For [livejournal.com profile] ankewehner: “Federation”

Returning to Dragon Mom

* * *

“Look, it's simple,” the princess said. “I've got a wizard poisoning the water, a father-in-law who is either in league or possessed by him, and a missing husband. I could use a little help.”

The dragon squeezed her eyes shut in evident pain. “I'm sympathetic, I am, but there are very good reasons dragons don't get involved in two-legger politics.”

“I'm not talking about hiring you to breathe some dragon fire, I'm talking an alliance, a role in government.”

“Eh, sorry?”

“You live on our lands, it's time to start acting like a citizen of them.”
jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)
So while I've no interest in doing an actual 50k piece of writing this year, I am going to try to at least set the month of November aside to write something every day. I'm shooting small this time, between one hundred and five hundred words a day. The question is what. Major choices are starting the second half of my 365 Days of Drabbles project, or working more on Shadow of Her Sins. Alternatively I might try to put together coherent narratives for Sci-Fi Cinderella or Dragon Mom/Happily Ever After, which came of the first half the Drabble project. Or I might just work on a new piece of smut set in FYS focusing on Quisling and Khan.

Opinions?

[Poll #1940950]
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
For [livejournal.com profile] ankewehner: “Swamp flowers”

* * *

She paddled the boat through the marsh. First Quest, the dragon had said. Consulting mysterious hermit for clues. Except that she didn't know where the hermit was, aside from “In the swamp”.

The boat slipped between two cypress trees, and she found herself in open water, the sunlight streaming down to land on a field of water lilies. She nearly dropped her oar in the water as the blue, pink, and yellow swamp flowers surrounded her, bringing blessed color to the marsh's endless brown and green.

“Welcome to my home,” a green woman said, perched on a cypress branch.
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
For [livejournal.com profile] avanti_90 "Someone gets turned into someone else's shadow."

* * *

She bowed to her father-in-law. "I've returned from the cave of the dragon mother, your Highness."

He nodded, tenting his fat fingers. "What did it have to say?"

"Quite a bit, mostly about cows. But she also told me the Strix River was struck by blood magic. Anyone who drank from it at that time is at risk."

"Blood sorcery? How interesting."

Well, interesting wasn't the way she'd have put it, but she wasn't a king, and only very recently a princess. "Anyway, where's my husband? I need to speak to him."

"Not here."

"Where then?" Then she caught sight of the king's shadow, projected against the wall from the fireplace. It was not shaped like the fat king at all, but held the slim, strong form of her handsome prince.

And it was raising its hands, as if in warning, or terror.

"He went off hunting," the king said mildly. "I expect he'll be gone for quite some time."

"I see." She smiled fixedly. "I should return to my rooms, your Highness. I confess I'm very tired."

"Sleep well then." He waved her off, and she fled as quickly as she dared.

How do you rescue shadows? she wondered.
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
For [livejournal.com profile] colliemommie "I want more [Dragon Mom] as well!"

* * *

"So you're not enslaving me?" Miriam asked, touching the glowing runes around her neck.

"No, dear," the dragon repeated. "We don't do that sort of thing. We catch princesses left out for us, then take care of them until a handsome knight comes along that's willing to duel for them, or collect a chest of gold for their safe return."

"What about me? I'm not a princess, and I don't have a handsome knight or a rich father to rescue me."

The dragon... smiled. "Oh, my dear. You're going to be something very special. You're going to be a Hero."
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
For [livejournal.com profile] aldersprig: "I'm always fond of collars "

* * *

"All right, dear?" the dragon asked, as Miriam tried to breathe.

"Burning..." she gasped.

"Close your eyes, just breathe in and breathe out. Only that. It will pass.

She did as she was told. After a few seconds, the sensation that she'd just drank molten lead passed, and she was able rise shakily to her knees. "All right... now..."

"I"m sorry, but I had to contain your magic. Otherwise it was going to burn you out before you could learn control.

Miriam crawled over to a puddle of water and looked at the golden, glowing runes now circling her neck.
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
For [livejournal.com profile] aldersprig: "More of Dragon Mom"

* * *

The dragon looked at the begging human, then Looked with her inner eye. The... adolescent... if she judged right, glowed with a familiar light. Yes, Power was there, but with no training to control it. No wonder she was scared.

"You don't have to back if you don't want to," she said gently. "In fact, I think it would be best if you stayed here."

The girl dropped to her knees. "Oh, thank you, Dragon," she wept.

"Don't thank me yet. If you are to survive long enough to learn Control, then you're going to have to make some accommodations."
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
This... wasn't what I intended to, really. Actually it was supposed to be another drabble prompt request, but somewhere along the way it went completely off the rails. Enjoy.

* * *

Dragons. Diplomacy. Right, she thought, as she continued though the introduction she'd been drilling the past week. It couldn't possibly be harder than tricking a witch into giving back her face. "…on behalf of the Crown Prince of Greenwood," she finished.
 
There was a long pause, then the dragon said, "This is about the cow thing, isn't it?"
 
She blinked. "What cow thing?"
 
"My son, he keeps going after the cows, the lazy boy. I keep telling him to hunt gryphons, they're better exercise and more of a fair fight. The cows just stand there and look up at you as you're diving down at them and barely move. He'd snap them up like popcorn if you let him."

Thrown completely off track now by this line of conversation, she ventured, "Popcorn?"

"It's this stuff we get sometimes from across the ocean. Blow a little fire on it and it practically explodes. Yummy eating too," the dragon said cheerily. Then she went on, "So it's not about the cows?"

"Not cows, no."

"Not about that twit of a social climber I refused to kidnap a couple of months back, is it?"

"Er, no."

"What then?"

"Well it's about the Strix River turning to blood for three days and turning all the fields that touched it black and dead. We were wondering if you knew anything."

"Oh that. That just means someone hit your kingdom with blood sorcery." The dragon paused. "Nobody drank out of it just then, did they?"

"Not... that I know of."

"Might want to check up on that, dear. Seriously."
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
For [livejournal.com profile] seawasp: "The Shadow Knows"

Continuing from here.

* * *

"How fares my son and his commoner bride?" the king asked his spies.

"He loves her deeply, milord," the first said.

"He's young, he's yet to learn that love fades. And his bride?"

"She is discontent. Her hands are idle," the second replied.

"Good. If she grows shrewish, perhaps my son will think better of his infatuation."

"He has a plan," the first said. "He intends to send her as his Voice to the Hill Dragons."

"Better. Perhaps she will be eaten." He waved his hand. "Return, before you are missed."

His son and wife's shadows bowed, then faded away.

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