I’m knee deep in edits for The Cock of the South. It helps me sometimes to talk about it, and I decided to take you along for the ride.
This is an epic fantasy set in a Greco Roman environment. The main character is a dwarf nick-named Cobby. I wanted to change a few historical facts around and establish this as an alternate environment early on. I decided that Remus defeated Romulus. This makes the dominant civilization the Remsians. (Not the Romans for you non history buffs.)
Cobby was raised in Remus by humans, and never actually told he’s a dwarf. Disaster strikes early on and Cobby runs for his life. He finds more than dwarves along the way and they all have a common problem; Remus.
Cobby is a member of the Southern Dwarves, a destroyed race whose remnants are scattered. He meets other fantasy creatures along the way, some intelligent, some animalistic.
The story takes on an exodus quality and gains a cast of thousands. (Don’t worry, they don’t all get dialog.) I mixed in a little bit of American “hang together or hang separately,” put it in a cocktail shaker with a generous helping of blood and shook my ass off.
I acknowledged the fact that some problems can’t be solved. Missing persons can’t always be accounted for. There is no Interpol or milk carton to put pictures on. I’m back to The Rolling Stones, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.” People are cruel and death is brutal. This one may not be for children.
I decided to acknowledge the gods, but didn’t bring them into the story. They don’t give a crap anyway.
Fairy tale structure has always appealed to me, and I wanted to try it. There are a few threads built into the story. Cobby’s father is a soldier, statesman, and merchant. There are three sons that reflect one of these qualities. Cobby is the merchant. To succeed in his story, he has to accomplish all of these. I included some other elements too, like gifts from friends, an oracle of dubious quality, and more.
I’m pretty happy with the story and the environment. I’m going through it word for word, yet again. I still need to do a word search for my personal sin words. This might take some time, but I have time. I refuse to hermit myself away and give up date night and such.
I’m also searching for a cover artist who can do some Frazetta style fantasy art within my budget. I’m sure I’ll find something, but I’m open to suggestions if you know someone. I’ve looked at some fantastic art recently, but none of it has been exactly what I want. I may have to take The Rolling Stones’ advice myself.