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Michael Czerwinski

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  1. First Assignment: Story Statement Pern Twinblade must navigate the intricacies of politics as he helps the princess investigate the death of her mother, all the while trying to uncover the source of the discrepancies between the kingdom’s benevolent leadership and the corruption rampant throughout the land. Second Assignment: 200 Word Antagonistic Force Summary Grennith Za is a monster who operates from the shadows, a human returned from death as a power-hungry revenant. His life experiences taught him subtlety; no one can rally against you if they never realize you are the one pulling the strings. He prefers to operate from the shadows, observing people struggling and interceding on their behalf under the guise of benevolence while turning their struggle into a tool to further his own ends. He extends this social and political manipulation to the public at large, controlling the educational system and gradually reworking historical narratives to ensure his legacy is preserved. He provides a constant challenge, looking for ways to either tempt or strongarm powerful figures into his service or, more often, viciously targeting a rising hero’s uncertainty’s until they break before him. In his pursuit of power and his bitterness rising from his naivety that resulted in his untimely murder, he has no qualms about any lowly, murderous pursuit, so long as it secures him the public’s love and strengthens his stranglehold on the nation. Third Assignment: Breakout Titles Loreweaver: Book One of the Beastbond Chronicles Reimagination Through Fire: Part One of the Beastbound Tales Fourth Assignment: Comps John Flannagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series meets Nancy Farmer’s The Sea of Trolls series John Flannagan’s works, specifically the series’ first novel The Ranger’s Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan, explore the coming of age of a young boy, Will, within a fantasy setting. The main character of Flannagan’s novels faces enormous societal pressure as he explores the role of ranger and the issues explored, primarily of identity and (in later works) companionship speak to my own works themes. Nancy Farmer’s Sea of Trolls series explores cultures steeped in magic. Again, the protagonist is a young boy who struggles with expectations placed upon him by his family as he comes of age. Farmer’s protagonist must explore his own spiritualism and recognize that a great deal of the world’s magic responds to his own connection with it, a model of spiritualism I embrace within my own work. Farmer’s protagonist recognizes the world has different sorts of magic accessible to people of all different sorts of life, a theme explored in the concept of unique and specialized beastbonds, the model of magic in my own setting. Fifth Assignment: Logline Lured into the capital with promises of glory, a young boy deadest on learning the truths of the past quickly discovers opposition in the forms of book burnings, assassins, and the heroes he thought he knew. Sixth Assignment: Inner and Social Conflict Outlines Inner Conflict: Pern Twinblade’s inner conflict is fundamentally about his identity and his place in the world. Disconnected from his father, a celebrity who everyone seems to know better than him, Pern struggles with the external expectations everyone seems to have for him upon meeting him and differentiating his own internal motives from the external ones he’s never able to escape. Theoretical: Pern could content himself with the life his father has chosen for him, an unassuming life far from the intricacies of court politics and the difficulties of heroism. Pern hungers for those challenges, though, and refuses his father’s stifling, if well-intentioned, protections, seeking to discover for himself where he belongs. Social Conflict: Socially, Pern must struggle against the assumptions others make about him having already met his father. There is no escape from the recognition as his father’s reputation has other characters automatically heaping expectations at his feet, complicating his exploration of self. Hypothetical: While Pern is training to become a member of the city guard, his hard-won accomplishments are constantly attributed to favoritism from the city’s elite. He could choose to pursue another career and avoid the endless public scrutiny that dogs him, caving to the societal pressure and entering a field where there are no preconceived expectations. Instead, he rises to the challenges, taking solace in his certainty that he’s earned the laurels he’s received, and seeks to distinguish himself in ways that cannot be so casually dismissed. Seventh Assignment: Detailed Setting Outline Magic in the world of Validorn comes from two places. The first is from the magical beasts that roam the land or thrive in the forested lands of the aptly named Beastwood. Warriors, travelers, and artisans go to appeal to the magical creatures and forge a bond with them, traveling together and sharing in the creature’s magics in exchange for gifting the creature the human’s abilities for reason and intellect. Each beast bonds under different circumstances and to different sorts of people but at the end of the day, it’s a relationship of mutual trust and respect. Other magic comes from monsters, creatures that have magic but are incapable of forming a bond with humans. The monster’s skin, fur, feathers, or other components might have magic in them but the creatures cannot voluntarily share it. The name implies the cultural stigma between the two sects of creatures; beasts good, monsters foul. However, plenty of beasts are malevolent and only bond with the wicked or refuse to bond entirely while many monsters show kindness to those who approach. The distinction exists entirely in humanity’s ability to access the magic for themselves. Perhaps there was a time when the word monster was less loaded but after the rise of a Grennith Za, a monstrous once-human revenant who plagued the land for decades, it’s generally reviled. The story takes place after the rise and defeat of the monstrous tyrant, the lands at peace and the heroes of legend now retired. Their legacy permeates the land’s culture, from economic relations facilitated by their travels and diplomacy to entire national identity’s that have been redefined around the different heroes’ images. It is a post-hero world with no visible evil to rise against. The central conflict of the setting, or at least the external conflict, revolves around the next generation of movers and influencers struggling to act in a world so inundated and defined by the actions of their predecessors and, in many cases, parents.
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