World notes and map|
Here are our character and world notes we wrote up for Nathan, the artist. Warning: egregious SPOILERS ahead.
She is stubborn, curious, headstrong. But she's also very lonely, isolated, and being shut up in the Villa and then the Tower creates an insecurity in her. She is like the totem tree, shut up in glass, cut back and held down. Once she's released from her prisons, she grows and shows her true power.
He grew up as a city boy. His ancestors lived on the land where Shyport, a major, Chicago-esque port town, eventually sprang up, and they stayed there, the descendants from that tribe living in the same urban neighborhood. Jack dresses with an urban style, but he was never wealthy. Street smarts taught him you have to take what you need before someone else does. He feels awful about destroying the tenement his mother lived in with a beanstalk back in Shyport, and after stealing Goldy from the giants (a mafia organization), he took off out west to escape their notice. While waiting for Goldy to lay a golden egg so he could buy his mom a new house, he started to steal and gamble his way into more money, but was robbed just before meeting Rapunzel by Heck Burnbottom's gang. He fears he'll never be able to give his mom a new house or return home when he meets Rapunzel. She enchants and surprises him, being so utterly different than anyone else he's met. She makes him want to be a better person.
She was born with a meager connection to earth magic. Her own mother was poor and cruel and when a town witch told her that her daughter had the talent, she got rid of Gothel. The girl was sloughed from one family to another until she was old enough to become an apprentice to Witchy Jasper. She seethed with anger about her mother's treatment of her and was anxious to prove to everyone that she was better than they thought. Even Jasper's kind (though wacky) treatment of her couldn't soften her heart, and as soon as she gained power by enslaving one of Carrion Glade's trees, she began exacting her revenge. In order to assure herself that she was better than her own mother, she was determined to have a daughter and treat her better than she'd been treated. Rapunzel is the result of her warped desire, the last remnant of good in her heart.
Never very smart to begin with, he was taken as a young boy from his family and put through Gothel's growth magic experiments so he would become a powerful henchman for her. The magic dulled his memory, and soon all he knew was Gothel and his desire to obey her commands. He is incredibly strong and persistent, and though not malicious, he didn't hesitate to kill when given the order.
Before Mother Gothel, only the Badlands were desert. The rest of the area was Great Plains-y. As people moved west to settle this rugged land, Town Witches set up shop in towns everywhere. They courted the rains and encouraged the seeds so the crops had a better chance of growing. After Gothel came to power and got rid of the Town Witches, she dried up all the land near the Villa, creating The Devil's Armpit. Granger Range and The Beast Fields flourish because they pay her taxes, but everywhere else is drying up.
The New World Territories is an alternate USA, mostly made up of immigrants from the Old World. There is some natural magic in the NWT, but much of the magic is European-ish, brought over with the immigrants. The Iron Horseway runs on the energy of pixies trapped in glass cylinders. The Magigraph transmits messages via the silent screams of brownies. Dwarves man the mines, and in the cities, dig sewers and subway tunnels. Mermaids move ships across the ocean. Most technology is tied in some way to either magic or magical creatures. Witches are normal people born with a talent for accessing earth magic and using it to manipulate weather and plants. They are especially needed Out West, where drier climates and agricultural living make them an asset.
Out West, there's not as much magic or magical creatures as there are in the eastern cities, where you're likely to run into a family of ogres or a unicorn pulling a carriage in the park. (We'll get into that in the sequel.) Magic is too expensive to afford out west, but there will still be signs of it all over Gothel's Reach.
copyright Nathan Hale 2007
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