I’m participating in NaNoWriMo again this year and I thought I’d share my progress with you.
This year’s story, as yet untitled, is about my two World of Warcraft Alliance characters I made some time ago, Creme and Brulee. (I’m ignoring the accent marks while writing for now, so I can actually type their names). It is (in theory) about their past, and how they eventually become fast friends after a rough start (as mentioned in the previous NaNoWriMo post). There’s probably some adventuring in there, too.
Since I’m barely finding time to get my word count in during the month yet wish to keep posting content here, I’m posting the raw draft, one chapter at a time. It’s exactly what I wrote for NaNo, no editing whatsoever (aka it’s proof of why I usually edit my work before posting). I’ll keep labeling raw draft posts clearly (as seen above), since I don’t expect you to actually read it (and to let you know that I know it needs to be reworked). In addition, I’ll post a synopsis of what happens in that chapter so you can keep up with the plot without having to muddle through all those pesky words!
The first ‘chapter’ is called the Prologue (which means it isn’t actually a ‘chapter’ but whatever). It takes place back in the day when Stormwind had just finished being rebuilt (which I say happened in Year 20. Nothing seems to be entirely clear on that). Creme is a young girl, around 5 or so, and her mother, Elise, is taking her to Stormwind to the planned celebration/collection of payment for the workers (Elise is collecting her late-husband’s wages). However, things end up badly when the workers learn there is no payment and riots begin. Elise is killed in these riots, leading off to a very depressing start.
Things to change: I’m horrible at starting stories; this whole section may not be needed at all, depending on where the end plot actually goes. Creme’s history could definitely be worked in elsewhere. I also would start the story with the two of them waking up at home, not with the riots, because that way more backstory can be added. I also would need to work on how close the narrator stays to either character (having the narrator view things from Creme’s perspective as a young child is hard). Also, I’m pretty sure I messed up completely at one point and just rewrote a paragraph without deleting the previous one. That happens sometimes, I’m sure you’ll forgive me.
“Run, Creme!” her mother shouted, and so she did. It apparently wasn’t fast enough, as her mom soon stopped pulling her by the arm and scooped her up against her chest. Not a moment too soon – a broken bottle shattered upon teh ground where she used to be.
Chaos was all around them. All Creme could hear was shouts of anger, panicky screams. The cobblestones of Stormwind bounced in her vision and her mother continued to fight through the running throngs.
Creme didn’t understand why everyone was so angry, or why they were now dodging stampedes of people and flying rocks. Today was supposed to be a happy day, the day they went to the city because of daddy.
Just that morning, Creme woke up to the smell of bread being cooked. She had gotten out of bed she shared with her mother, though her mom had already gotten up, just like she always did to make breakfast in the morning to go to work. But it was today that they were going to go do the special thing. At least she thought it was today.
“Is t’day the day, mama?” she asked while entering the other room of their home. Her mother, Elise, was at the wood stove, warming some toast for breakfast.
“Today’s the day!” Elise responded happily, giving her daughter a glance before returning her attention to breakfast. “We’re going to the city!”
Creme giggled and jumped up and down. She loved going to the city. It took FOREVER to walk each way (her mom claimed it was merely an hour but it was soooo long) but there were so many buildings and people there! Her mom even said that her dad – Light bless his soul – had been helping to build the city again.
“We get to see it all done, right?” Creme asked. She had patted down her short hair and pulled up a chair to their table, all ready for breakfast.
“Yup. They’ve finished building everything. Now we can go look at it and go collect dada’s reward for helping.”
Creme nodded, happily. Her mama had told her all about dada, since the other kids would sometimes tease her because he wasn’t there. But mama had told her all about how he was one of the loyal workers building the new Stormwind, and that he had died while on the job. But Mister Jordan had made sure mama had a little set by so they could live on it, even though mama still needed to get a job. And Mister Jordan said that mama could collect his wages once all the work was done, with the other workers and their families.
“Food’s ready!” Elise chimed. The toast she had cooked was flipped onto a couple of plates, along with a slice of cheese and an apple. Creme knew it was a special day if they were having cheese AND apples with breakfast Her eyes lit up with excitement.
“Eat up,” her mom said with a wink, setting the plate in front of her. “We’re in for a long walk so you’ll need your strength.”
Creme needed no encouragement. She aimed to start eating the toast right away but it was too hot; she settled for the cheese instead.
“What will you be wearing today?” Elise asked her daughter.
“I dunno which one,” Creme said with a full mouth. “Da wed one o’ da-” She swallowed “- the white n’ blue one.”
“Blue is always a good choice. It does match Stormwind’s seal.”
“But red is my favoritest color ever!”
“Then you should wear that dress then.”
“But you just said that the blue matched so maybe I should wear the blue one instead so I can match too.”
“But if you like red…”
“No! I wanna match!”
“The red does match your hair, darlin’.” Elise reached over and tossled her daughter’s strawberry-blong hair.
Creme wiggled under her mother’s hand. “No mama, my hair isn’t red at all! It’s too light to be red!” She batted the offending hand away.
“If you say so,” Elise responded in a sing-song tone, amused at her child’s indignant nature. “Now finish eating up – we have a long day ahead of us.”
A few hours later – possibly due to a few last minute wardrobe changes that left Creme wearing a rumpled blue and white checkered dress – the pair had finally reached the gates of Stormwind. Creme slowed as they approached, mouth agape as she took in the sight.
And what a sight it was. The white stone of them main gate seemed to glisten in the morning sun, reflecting back at them. It stretched tall, taller than anything Creme had seen before, even the Abbey where they would sometimes go and Creme had thought that was super tall.
Giant chains, metal black and dull, held up a massive drawbridge, made of a deep, dark, thickly-planked wood, with nary a gap in between each plank. All ready in the morning there was heavy foot and cart traffic, with merchants coming into town with their wares.
“It’s amazing, isn’t it?” Elise said quietly to her daughter. Creme could only nod.
“Come on, love, we best be moving. There’s a lot of people coming into town today for the celebration, and I don’t want you to miss to much.”
Creme grinned and nodded yet again before grabbing her mother’s hand to run off though the gates into Stormwind City.
She slowed down some once they were in the gate, walking over the main bridge over a lake to get into the city proper. Huge statues, even taller than the gate, stood on both sides of the path.
“Who’re these people, mama?” she asked, slowing down to stare at them. They were wearing armor and wielding various weapons; sword and shields, bows and arrows. One of them looked like a mage with a staff.
“They’re great heroes, Creme.”
“Why’re they heroes?”
“They went to go stop the Orcs, where the Orcs came from.”
Creme gave a little nod, eyes wide. Her mom had told her about Orcs before. Long before she was born, her mom used to live in Stormwind but then the Orcs had come from the south with a great army. It was too big for the humans to stop them and they destroyed all the towns and cities they came across, including the biggest city, the capital of Stormwind. Her mom and her family had to run away, way up North to the kingdom of Loderan. A lot of people from the Southern kingdoms had to go there to avoid the Orcs, her mom had said. That’s where she had met dad. And when all the humans worked together to build an new army, they beat the Orc horde. That’s when they went to rebuild Stormwind, and her mom and dad also came down to help build the city.
Her mom had mentioned that the Orcs had come through a magic portal that led to their world. To stop them from ever going back for more Orcs, the human army sent some of their people to go stop the Orcish horde. The portal had been closed, but that army was never heard from again.
“So they went into the portal?” Creme asked, staring at the statues again. “Did they fit? They are big.”
“They were our size, love. They just wanted to honor them for their noble sacrifice for the rest of us, so we could build this city in peace.”
“Oh.” was Creme’s reply. She was hoping that they were actually giants. That would be way cooler.
Hands still tightly gripped, so Creme could drag her mother around at her will (or more likely, her mother would not lose her daughter in the crowds) they wandered. Vendors were selling various food; cheeses, fruits, pickles, hot sausages, cold sausages, meat pies, pastries. It was a great festival today, and there was much cause for it; the unveiling of the Keep, the last building to be completed in Stormwind was that day, calling the city officially rebuilt. And for the workers, it would be the long awaited day that they would receive their pay.
Creme, wandering from vendor to vendor, entranced by the smells and colors, finally managed to get her mom to buy her a few things. A small doll, who was also wearing a blue vest. Some roasted chestnuts, because lunch was still a little ways off and they still needed to tour the city together before heading over the the Keep with the rest of the crowds, for the unvieling after lunch.
They spent their lunch together in the Park, a beautiful area, full of green. Elise had to remind her daughter several times not to stare so at the Night Elves.
“They’re our allies, love; you shouldn’t stare. No wait, Night Elves wouldn’t here yet, so stop imagining things and eat your lunch!”
They spent their lunch together in the Park, a beautiful area, full of greenery and flowers. A large number of people were eating there, sitting in the grass or on nearby benches, making small-talk over the sounds of birds. Laughter and music filtered out from the door of a pub across the way. Bees buzzed around as they ate their sausages on the grass, dripping with grease and generally making a mess of things, such as dresses and dolls who got in the drip line.
Elise wiped Creme’s mouth with the corner of her apron once the girl had finished eating. Creme squirmed some; she was sure her mouth was just fine!
“Are you ready to go to main event?” Elise asked.
“Yes! Let’s go!” Creme hastily stood up and started to run off, but Elise caught her arm and managed to tag along on their way to the Keep.
There was quite the crowd there. A few people were wearing fancy clothing; probably some of the lesser nobles. The Lords and Ladies of the Stormwind people remained on the upper levels of the Keep, in their own party. They were a small number compared to the partiers down below. And the commoners of Stormwind certainly knew how to throw a celebration. Kegs lined the canal streets up to the keep itself, with throngs of people laughing and dancing.
Most of the people there in the streets before the Keep appeared to be an average citizen of the newly rebuilt Stormwind. Tradesmen and women who would sell their goods, or people who provided food and drink to the workers, room and board to the travelers from afar. Indeed, nothing seemed to out of the ordinary except for the fact that a good portion of the people there wore red ribbons. On their arms, in their hair, around their head; this was the mark of the workers, the members of the Stonesomething guild who had crafted and shaped much of Stormwind to make it even more glorious than it was in the past. Today was as much their celebration of triumph as it was the people of the Stormwind’s kingdom all together.
The mother and daughter danced and feasted with the rest of the assembled, until from up high came the time for the unveiling of the new Stormwind Keep. A hush drew over the crowed as the stirring speech ((that I am far too lazy to write right now because, come on, speeches are pretty boring like most of the start of this)) from the king (( regent? Who is in charge of Stormwind right now? )) himself. There was much applause and cheering from the speech.
The cloth covering the last of the structures was torn down, revealing the glisetening stone beneath, freshly polished just earlier that week. Blue stone tiles lay across the tops of the keep’s towers and structures, a deep blue that represented their own colors.
But then the King left the dias upon which he spoke, and the cheering of the crowd lessened slightly. After all, they workers were expecting an announcement of their pay, and at least some of it to be distributed later in the day. Is that not what this celebration was partly about?
The Stonesomething guild leader, Van Cleef, was one of those who were up with the rest on the Keep. Down below they could see him move up, to address the king. He was intercepted by several other of the lords at the party. Words were exchanged, unpleasant ones. Words that caused Van Cleef to storm off to the edge of the Keep, to address the crowd himself.
“Brothers and sisters – we have been lied to! Cheated! These noblemen and women-” he spat the words out, with as much spitting of words one could do while shouting- “do not wish to pay us for our services!” There was a pause here as the crowd began to murmur, surprised. Above the nobles bustled, unsure if they should stop Van Cleef from speaking.
Van Cleef continued. “They claim that we have done this out of the goodness of our hearts and the love of this kingdom. And while we love our kingdom and it’s people, did they ask us to starve ourselves and our families for years to build them this, this palace?!”
Angry shouts of agreement started.
“And did they not show through their actions, implied through their words that they would take care of us? Take care of their people? Pay for the blood, the sweat, yea, even the very lives that have been lost here?”
The crowd shouted in agreement, focused on Van Cleef’s words. The nobles had apparently decided to take action; guards were starting to swarm the upper platform towards Van Cleef’s position, and around the gathered crowd below. The king was nowhere to be seen, taken away to the safety of his new home.
“We do not ask for much,” Van Cleef continued. “Just enough to feed our families, to take care of our loved ones who saw so little of us while we labored – no, SLAVED away for our dear King and his lords and ladies. If they would just take care of this by paying us the money we deserve-”
“We promised no gold!” interrupted one of the Lords. “We said nothing of the sort, that you would receive compensation for your labors. Was it not clear that we believed you did this out of love for you country? Was it not clear that our pockets could never afford to pay for the labor of so many?”
Van Cleef barked out a laugh. “That you,” he said, making a wide, sweeping gesture, “you who live in opulence and do not even realize the plights of your so-called people cannot ‘afford’ to pay for your own city and living quarters? Do not make me laugh.”
“You have little understanding of the situation, sir!” was the Lord’s sharp reply. “What we have to support with our finances is much more than you could ever fathom!”
“Little understanding? You think I do not understand that you wish to keep the money sent from our sister country Loderan for yourselves? You do not wish to use it to pay your workers for the rebuilding work already done?”
Van Cleef opened his mouth to continue, but was knocked down by a blow to the head. He crumpled out of site behind the parapet’s wall.
The crowd, who at this point had been listening intently in various stages of disbelief and anger, exploded into action. Outraged cries filled the air at seeing their leader knocked down, presumably killed. Many began to pick up loose rocks and pebbles or otherwise arm themselves.
The guards, who had been passively surrounding the crowd, now surged forward in reaction toe the violence. Soon much of the crowd, the workers, began to fight them.
Above, the guards seized Van Cleef and dragged him away as the nobles themselves who had not already removed themselves from the area quickly ran to the inner sanctum of the Keep, who’s sturdy walls would protect them.
Of course, not all of the crowd was attacking the armed guards; many who were not vested in the interests of the Stonesomething guild – and even some who were – were trying to get out of the area. It was harder said than done. Guards wer trying to arrest as many citizens as they could. Apparently some arrest wagons had been pulled around during the speeches, where the unruly were being detained.
As soon as the fighting started, Elise grabbed her daughter to her chest and started to run with the crowd. They were jostled by many, and had to keep dodging minor fights and stampedes of others trying to flee.
They had run far enough that Elise could see a gap, an alley where the streets were clearer, even as the fighting raged all around them. Elise mad eher way towards it, but before she could get there a club hit her upon the head, seemingly out of nowhere. She fell limp to the ground, dropping Creme, stunning the girl.
Feet raced about her head as she struggled to sit up, to wake up her mother so they could keep going. But her mother wasn’t moving at all. The last thing she remembered seeing before a foot slammed into her head was her mother’s still face, covered with blood.