Praise be to the spellcheck, for without thee I would be utterly lost. Lead me not into deceptive synonyms, lest thou reveal thine servant's inadequacies to his readers. Hallowed be the holy their, they're, and there, and may we forever remember where their holy presence should be placed within thine sentences. Reveal to me the differences between to and too, for I confess oh spellcheck the extra o still plagues your humble servant so. Forgive me my grammatical transgressions, and reveal to me the squiggly red and green snakes laying in wait at my feet.
In the name of the Subject and the Predicate
I am something of a fan of folklore and mythology and I've done quite a few dives into such tales in the past. Babica Preja is something of an amalgamation of a few bits of Folklore with some Dungeons and Dragons underpinning mixed in.
The first source of inspiration of her was, of course, the oh so famous Baba Yaga. If you have no knowledge of folklore at all you've still probably heard the name said somewhere before, perhaps in the movie John Wick as that is his nickname. In folklore, Baba Yaga resides deep within her forest where few return. She was the regional boogeyman used to get children to behave. However she was not just used as a threat. Baba Yaga was known to be nice to good children and act to them like a kindly grandmother, but to bad children she was a cannibalistic witch who use those brats bones as pickets for her fence outside. Baba Yaga is not "evil" in these folklore, but rather someone with an extreme and violent worldview where the "good" are treated nicely and the "bad" are worth nothing more than meat for her kitchen.
It is that stark and extremist morality that molded how I had Babica Preja interact with people. The Warlocks are the "good" people that run into her, usually demi-humans who've been unjustly persecuted or wronged by humans, and she offers them power to fight on her behalf to extract revenge on those same people. The rest of her creations are what happened to the people she considers "bad." Once someone is considered "bad" by Babica they are nothing more than material for her to make more wolves and ogres and such.
The second source of inspiration for her was some of the earliest versions of Werewolves in Ancient Folklore. You see, back in the day Werewolves were not seen as cursed people changed under a full moon. No that's a more modern interpretation of werewolves. The earliest known stories of werewolves is of a much different flavor, where the werewolf is actually something like a witch who actively changes themselves under the cover of darkness to cannibalize people. Accusations of being a werewolf were happening at the same time as accusations of being a witch were taking place.
The idea of being a wolf charmer, someone who can control wolves and use them to attack people, was seen as a type of witchcraft back in the day, and suspected practitioners were even prosecuted as such. Those wolves didn't just attack that traveler, Old Man Jeb got them to do it with his magic. That kind of idea. Werewolves weren't just seen as a singular wolf back then because of this, but rather someone who turns into a wolf and leads wolves to attack people. This served to inspire how Babica Preja utilized her powers and lead her minions into combat. It's very similar to how the folklore described these accused werewolves to operate.
Another aspect that comes from the earliest versions of werewolves was her Cloak. One of the versions on how people turned into werewolves is very similar to how I depict Babica changing. Instead of it being a metamorphosis, the witch like werewolf would have a wolfskin they would keep hidden from their neighbors and when they donned it they transformed into the werewolf. The wolfskin was actually seen as something like a Lich's phylactery, in the sense that if you destroyed the skin when the user wasn't wearing it you'd end up killing the person linked to it. This is only one of many depictions of how people saw werewolves back, then, but it was one I latched onto for Babica. I very much like the idea of her werewolf transformation being something more akin to an Eldritch Iron Man suit, where she uses it to protect herself as well as attack people in ways she normally can't.
Third source of inspiration for her was limitations I put on this story. These are not all the limitations, but these are two that I'm willing to share now that the season 1 finale is done.
Limitation 1: NO NECROMANCY. it's banned. No zombies, no liches, no ghosts, no spirits, no undead of any kind. Chop out the entire school of magic. Necromancy is a far too easy crutch to lean on for your bad guy in these kinds of stories, and by actively and purposefully cutting that type of magic out of the equation it forces me to think up ways the other schools of magic can be used by nefarious people.
Limitation 2: DRAGONS TAKE A BACK SEAT. Dragons get all the fun in these fantasy stories! They always get the spotlight cause they're the quintessential giant scary monster. Well they are going to take a back seat in this story. They are there, but they are not the movers and shakers of the story. Giants play the role that Dragons normally play, but even they are not going to get to hog the spotlight all the time.
So with that in mind, it crossed my mind of what would it be like if someone could use living people like a necromancer uses dead bodies? That is what inspired Babica's variety of MageCrafting, where she can only work with bodies while they are still alive. The second they are dead her MageCrafting doesn't work on them anymore.
There are other inspirations melded into her, but that would get into spoiler territory for future stuff, so I'll leave it at this for now.
I am really loving the reception that MageCrafter has received on this site. It is something of a passion project of mine and I appreciate that people seem to be really enjoying it in the comments and with their various upvotes. This will be my first work of original fiction so I'm glad that the planning I've done on it is paying off. I do not plan for MageCrafter to run forever. I have a plan laid out and it seems to be paying some pretty great dividends if the audience responses are any indicator. More to come on that front soon.
I'm also toying with posting another story as well. This one will be different than MageCrafter, though it will also have fantasy elements. This one will take place in an alternate world that is more akin to a modern day setting. Names of places and cities will be different, but the overall feel will be more modern day. It'll also have more of a tongue and cheek, comedic bent to it.
So yeah, I've had a bit of whatever the opposite of a writers block is lately, and I ended up typing so much it busted my Laptops keyboard. Had to go out and buy me an external keyboard after, which didn't set me back much, but I'd thought I'd share that fun little anecdote. Apparently typing well over 100k words in less than two weeks can exacerbate wear and tear on a keyboard.
The following are some of the characters I had a major crush on as a kid. There were characters I shipped together, and then there were these characters where I shipped em with myself.
The character that I was obsessed with in Lion King as a wee little lad was not Simba or any of the good guys. No! This ambitious underdog of a villain who got in over his head was the character that I was truly enamored with. That voice alone is criminally sexy and I still Stan the fuck out of it.
Dungeon Keeper's Narrator:
We do not speak of the Mobile Game in this house! However if you want to talk about the first two I'm all ears, cause I adored that game growing up. I wasn't very good at it, but man did I have fun with it none the less. One thing I particularly enjoyed out of this game though was the voice of the Narrator who speaks to you, the Keeper. My current story Spare Me Your Alpha Nonsense has a character with a voice inspired by this fella
Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
Angel never did anything for me. However when Spike rolled onto the scene I suddenly became a whole lot more interested in that show. He was funny, he was sexy, and he stole every scene he was in.
Balthier from Final Fantasy XII:
There is a whole lot of sexy in this underrated Final Fantasy game, but few steal the show quite like our self proclaimed Leading Man Balthier. The sheer suave confidence that poured out of every scene he was in awakened the gay in me quite a bit let me tell you.
This isn't a complete list, but these were the ones that immediately spring to my head when it comes to the topic of childhood Crushes. Lil Boy Demented certainly had a type now that I'm looking at this list lol.
Roughly 43 days ago I published my first story on this site, and since then I've posted an average of 3582 words per day. Some days were more, some were less, but 3582 is about the average.
Boy do I love having the drive to write back. It's been great having the creative juices flowing once again.
Listen, I'm going to need you to not pop by my place this year. I know, you're super bummed cause you wanted to drop off all that good shit, but seriously this is just not the year. In fact, you probably shouldn't do your run at all this year. Social distancing is the name of the game right now, and a man traveling by airborne animal sleigh going to all the houses (above a certain income threshold) in the world just seems like a bad call champ. I mean, what if you got Covid and didn't know it? Then you'd be bringing that shit to all the boys and girls down their chimneys or wherever the hell you break and enter from when they don't have those.
Perhaps you should look into Drone deliveries? You could make the drone festive or something, and I'm sure your elves could crank those things out in your sweat shops. Oh, excuse me, Santa's workshops. Gotta get that brand synergy right. Say hi to the Missus for me!
My community reputation has reached 1000! Yay for big numbers going up!
I've been having a blast writing on this site so far and I have more plans to come. An update for Spare Me Your Alpha Nonsense is coming around the bend next. That ones been waiting for a chapter.
I'm also thinking of starting something like a Horror short story anthology series. Each chapter will be its own standalone story. I do enjoy writing horror and I haven't flexed those particular muscles on this site just yet.
MageCrafter is of course in the works as well. That one is certainly the most involved story I have in the works right now. Stay tuned for more from Baldric and Kotik!