So earlier this month I suddenly remembered that NaNoWriMo was coming up and that I wanted to have a go at taking part. Even though I’m not an experienced writer I decided at the start of the year that it was a challenge that I’d like to say I’d attempted. Anyway, I forgot for a while, lost track and I guess I didn’t leave myself much time to prepare for it. I’d had this vague idea for a few months anyway, I just hadn’t fleshed it out. I liked the idea of telling a story set in a pet shop that sells familiars to wizards and witches. I thought it would be cool to give it a ‘Spirited Away’ vibe where there’s all sorts of colourful and interesting things going on. Then I started to consider it as being something that exists within its own plain and connected to many others from where all sorts of mythological creatures can be collected. Of course, doing a fantasy story means that I have to make up lots of rules for how the world will work and its taken a bit of time to make those decisions. I probably haven’t planned as much as I should have, but I have a good idea of the general gist of things and should should be fun to see where this leads.
Rylon had always dreamt of walking in his fathers footsteps as a scholar – the leading minds in the study of magic and how to put it to best use. It was the scholars that had discovered the existence of other worlds known as shards; supposedly once whole but shattered during the great fracture. Journeys are made to other shards in search of new resources, but it requires a lot of energy and done so at great risk; The further the distance the more expensive it is to jump between them. During Rylon’s childhood his father had attempted a jump only to never return. Since then, Rylon has dedicated his life to the idea of one day discovering his father’s fate. The problem is that to become a scholar you have to be capable of producing a high quantity of mana, something that not all humans are capable of, Rylon included. He had failed the magical potential test that he had been awaiting for so long.
Rylon was deeply affected by his loss of purpose, like a boat with no rudder to direct it. He pondered what he was now to do with his life. His mother – despaired to see him so down spirited – insisted that he go to work at his aunts pet shop. Rylon had only met his Aunt Anneka a few times and had always thought her a little odd and reclusive. Her shop sells an assortment of creatures discovered across different shards. It is currently popular to own such unusual pets; Some also have magical potential and can be trained to perform simple tasks for their masters. Rylon was neither thrilled nor dreading it, and decided to acquiesce to appease his mother. It would only be a few weeks after all, and perhaps keeping busy with a change of scenery would distract him from his current melancholy. If only he knew that working at the shop wouldn’t be as simple as it sounded; grooming unicorns and handling wyverns would be the least of his worries.