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(v 806.080557 - 6/08/2008)
I want this story/novel/whatever you call it to be pretty free flowing and Your Own Work, so this Bible will probably be kinda brief, giving you the main characters, settings, premises (premisii?) and a few loose guidelines. Newest changes are in RED. Changes that appeared in the last version are in ORANGE, in case you missed them.
The Basic Premise here is that young eight year old Jana Anderson is given any wish in the world she wants by a waitress at a popular restaurant. Thing is, the wish comes true - she wishes that everyone in the restaurant gets their wish. Hers causes her to grow up, she's now eighteen. Everyone else, though, (all forty two of them) have ALSO gotten their wishes. Some people may have asked for the Chicken Fried Steak instead of Liver, and others were whisked away to far off incredibly twisted lands by their wishes. With the aid of a talking skull in a box (no, seriously) and a motorbike that runs on magic, she travels the world, attempting to get people to give up their wishes to make the world right again.
THE MAIN CHARACTERS
Jana Anderson starts our story as a bored eight year old suburbanite kid at a restaurant with her parents (Tim Anderson and Julia Anderson). She likes dolls, and playing house, and, like most girls her age, really hopes to grow up to be a pretty singing ballerina princess astronaut. She's an innocent with a kind heart, and this is what causes all our problems.
As her parents both run out to powder their noses, her waitress comes by and asks what she'd like. Anything that she wants. And Jana decides she wants everyone in the restaurant to get their wish, which happens.
Jana gets her wish; she's an eighteen year old woman now. She's a tiny spitfire - a slim well toned five foot three in in her boots, ragged blonde hair down to the waistline (usually with random braids), blue eyes, and sharp features.
She has the book-smarts of an eighteen year old. She has the (easily annoyed) maturity of an eighteen year old. She has NONE of the experience. Her body is new to her, the world of grown-ups is new to her, and she's going to need to learn that when adults tell her one thing, they'll often mean they're going to do some another thing. It'll be a tough journey for Jana, and she'll grow smarter about it as the series progresses, losing some of her childish naivete and immaturity and maybe even gaining some ruthlessness to get her quest finished. She has an innate warrior's instinct for danger and the memories of a life lived almost as ferally, but, deep down, she still wants to be that eight year old's Perfect Singing Princess Ballerina Astronaut.
When threatened or under stress, though, her remembered life as an eighteen year old very much on her own the last ten years in the forest as an almost feral child, takes over, allowing her to think with more of a huntresses maturity, but also with a savage edge. As time goes on, even after the first episode, Sylvia has taken the edge off the savage huntress, but not completely. As the series goes on, Jana will be a fully formed young woman, with the imagination of a child, and the seriousness and confidence of and adult.
The world (really her local area of San Antonio) she wakes up in is very much a Dungeons and Dragons fantasy, and as such, she's dressed as an eighteen year old female warrior savage in leathered animal skins and tribal beads. She'll wear other clothes in other non-D&D looking portions of the world, but may need to be reminded occasionally that animal skins are not what one wears when having tea with the Queen.
Jana wields a dagger enchanted with magic by a sorceress (see Allisandra below), that cuts deeper than it should, and cuts MUCH deeper the angrier Jana gets. Which isn't that hard when her eighteen year old memories take over.
Jana's acquired a cherry red Kawasaki 2007 Ninja motorbike, once of Vengeance's imports from another land. Sylvia has altered it to run on magic that she provide. Eventually, Jana will need to learn to "fuel" it up herself
Sylvia starts out story as the waitress who asks Jana what she'd like. After the switch, she becomes a powerful potions and magic witch, but "dies" in an altercation with our main baddie, Vengeance.
However, Sylvia's wish wasn't to become a witch. It was to cheat death through magic, and cheat it she did. Her skull (the actual skull, not a severed head or decomposing lump of flesh), once placed in a small ornately hand carved wooden chest survives, and gives advice.
To outsiders, it looks as if the box is actually talking to Jana, and Jana makes a point of not opening it to talk to Sylvia, although she will to allow the skull to "see" the world they're in a bit more clearly, occasionally yell at it when it tells her something she doesn't like, or to scare the hell out of the people around her. She can work magic, and her magic leaves a visual impression of transparent gold when worked. Unfortunately, keeping the motorbike fueled usually keeps her from doing too too much magic. Can't make the game too easy, you know.
Sylvia doesn't spew forth riddles or puzzles. If Sylvia has the answer for something, she occasionally won't say it unless Jana asks. She'll make Jana think for herself if Jana leans too much on her for advice, or if she knows Jana should be able to work out the solution herself.
Sylvia has a lot she can say sometimes - she can see an hour or so into the future, can see from inside her box for about a quarter mile around her (a half mile if she's outside the box). Sylvia can "feel" the gems or wish wielders from farther away than she can see, but only vague directions, and usually cannot tell the actual person unless out of the box and within line of sight.
Should we need to see Sylvia, either in flashbacks, or "reconstituted" she usually wears a long robe of Tyrian Purple, tied at the waist with a gold cord-belt, and a large floppy witches hat (also of Tyrian Purple) on top of a mass of red hair done in an up-do. Clear blue eyes and fair freckled skin.
Sylvia is a Southern Belle-ish mother and deeply cares for Jana since she can't find her own daughter and sees in Jana the eight year old who granted everyone their wishes (and doubt's that her own kids would like to see her in this condition). She's rather relaxed and laid back, but prone to fits of silent depression and skulking, especially as she realizes that without Jana, there is nothing anyone can do for her, or she can do for herself. Outside of her magic abilities, she is helpless. Sylvia is also somewhat shell-shocked due to her predicament, and much of her silence comes from the deep depression and shock of being reduced to an immobile skull, withdrawing into herself.
Jana will eventually take Sylvia's wish, once Sylvia feels she's mature enough that Jana can handle her quest on her own, and Sylvia, honestly, can't wait. I mean, she's a skull. It's not like she can water-ski any time soon.
As of right now, there are several recurring characters. Don't let that stop you from bringing in other characters that could recur, although if you're going to use someone else's character, it's probably good manners to ask the creator of that character first.
Jin was a patron at the restaurant celebrating his anniversary with his wife, when he made the mistake of ordering the liver (ewww) when he should have ordered the rabbit. His wish was granted, and he became a wealthy silver miner and dealer...who could only eat rabbit. His gem was the first one taken, and now he can (and often does) eat anything he wants.
Jin however, is not only quite wealthy, but map-smart. He knows the Central Texas area like the back of his hand, and his wealth gets him where he needs to be, and lets him talk to people he needs to talk to. He spends most of his time, though, searching for his wife (this character is currently off limits).
Jin is a somewhat pudgy Chinese man (can you blame him, when all he's had for decades is rabbit?), dressed in trader's furs. He mints his own silver coinage (under "license" from Vengeance), and is willing to help fund Jana in times of need if she'll keep her eyes open for his wife on the trips.
VENGEANCE (aka William Throckmorton)
As of this writing the one recurring character is Vengeance. Before the switch, William Throckmorton is a thirteen year old nobody. He's not a bad kid, just kind of ostracized, still trying to find his niche in the world, and that niche isn't all that popular. He's fantasizing about his perfect world when the switch happens.
William becomes Vengeance after the switch. He is the owner/king/emperor/grand poobah of the city state of San Antonio, where the restaurant was. He's not a bad emperor, in fact, it's rather a benevolent dictatorship, but he plays up the part of Bad Ass because, in this world, he can. He's doing rather good for himself, what with his supermodel type concubines, his D&D style city state that is running well, his being a pretty good magic user and his making sure everyone under him is happy. Unless, of course, he isn't.
So guess who Jana first asks to give all this up?
Vengeance may be a benevolent dictator, but he knows he's got a good thing going - he's not giving it up for nothing. He attempts to kill Jana (ends up killing Sylvia, instead), and chases her out of outside of his city state. And pursues her until she manages to escape his sphere of influence...
...until Vengeance realizes that she may be able to end this wish world even WITHOUT all forty two wishes (my "I can't get forty two chapters!" trapdoor). Then he gets pissed - and starts coming after her. Deep down, he knows his life is so much better here than back in the pre-wish world, and he's terrified of being in that restaurant alone again.
Vengeance's world is black. He lives in a seven spire castle made of obsidian, with a moat surrounded by molten steel (kept hot by magic). He looks about 40, chiseled and determined. He wears a black set of body armor, which clashes with his steel grey hair, pony tailed to his waist and fiery orange eyes.
His guards and acolytes all wear black. Acolytes, his personal servants, and "gophers" all wear black hooded cloaks. His military officers also wear only black full body armor with tall oval helmets, and are armed with lances and horses.
TIM AND JULIA ANDERSON (Jana's Parents)
Alison is a 33yr old transgendered woman who's wish was to have been born a woman. With that wish came a few, perks. Because of the world setting, the wish scoured her memories and desires found a suitable body. A sorceress she had played for some time in an old D&D campaign named "Allisandra".
Allisandra is a member of The Frozen Daggers. A society of sorcerers who have focused their magic completely on ice and frost based spells. She is overall a good person, but a quite powerful sorceress. At the end, while she does give up her wish stone, she is convinced that it was a terrible idea and that she should protect Vengeance from Jana.
Allisandra is a character belonging Amanda F, please contact Amanda if you wish to use her.
A woman from the far east, she is what is commonly lumped together as a bard. She sings her spells, often as songs of legends from her home world. There is one legend she believes in so fiercely that she has dedicated her life to finding "The Song' referenced in it. Supposedly the The Song is the force that shaped the world, and mankind used to be able to hear it in their hearts. That beauty brought peace to the world. At some point in history it was lost.
Mee Lien is convinced that if she can find "The Song" learn it, and bring it home to her people, they can share it with the rest of the world and return to an age of peace. She also believes since Vengeance is apparently responsible for this world that he must know where "The Song" is. And she will make him tell her.
Mee Lien is an Asian woman. She wears her long black hair in a bun held in place by an ornate comb most of the time. She is attractive, and looks small at 5'0" but very wiry and agile. She carries twin war fans "Fire" and "Ice". Each is supposedly empowered by the dragons of legend, and have pictures of them on the fans. Ice is the female dragon, and fire the male.
Mee Lien is a character belonging to Amanda F, please contact Amanda if you wish to use her.
Don is the husband of Jill and father to Cynthia, a mechanic in the Old World, now living on a farm in the country. His wish allowed him to have a family again, and, while not wanting to, he was willing to kill Jana (or at least threaten to kill Jana) to keep his family.
Don is a character belonging to Lauren Grey, please contact her if you wish to use him. While I don't expect to see Don recurring more than once, he does have an uncollected gem, please do not have him lose it without contacting Lauren.
Aaron was a Maitre d' of the restaurant where the wish world began. After overhearing a woman being verbally abused by her father, he wishes he could be her father instead. However, instead of simply becoming her father, he literally becomes like her father, angry and abusive. After losing his daughter in the wish world, he spends his time trying to find her and bring her back under his thumb. Eventually he turns to Vengeance for help in finding his daughter.
Aaron is a character belonging to Ken W. Castle, please contact him if you wish to use Aaron. While I don't expect to see Aaron recurring more than once, he does have an uncollected gem, please do not have him lose it without contacting Ken.
Jana thinks about them often, and is searching for them. She knows they have wish stones, but really, she wants to simply find them again.
These characters are currently off limits. Please do not have them appear as main or supporting characters in your stories. Having Jana remember them, or mentions of them are welcome, though.
Psykovor is a young man's deranged wish gone horribly horribly wrong. Harold Hempstead was a young weapons buff who, with his older brother Jake (who idolized the Old West), was at the diner. He had been reading about living swords, and was reading a story about a living weapon that could steal the souls of those it killed. When the wishes were granted, Harold found himself in Old West Odessa, holding a living gun called Psykovor. If Harold expected it to be loyal, however, he was sorely mistaken. Psykovor found Harold to be weak. Knowing Jake suspected something was wrong, Psykovor controlled Harold into killing his brother, and then influenced Harold into killing himself. He then roamed the area around Odessa, controlling Harold's dead body, preying on those who passed by. A chance encounter with Vengeance's men led Psykovor to learn about Jana and Sylvia's quest. While Jana destroyed Harold's body, another eventually found Psykovor...
Psykovor has the appearance of a dull gunmetal six-shooter with dark grey hilt, and at least two wish gems embedded in the hilt. Psykovor is cold, inhuman, and utterly ruthless. When someone is killed by Psykovor, their soul and memories are absorbed into it, and if the victim was a wishmaker the wish gem appears in the hilt. Psykovor possesses those who hold him in his possession, ranging from subtle influence to outright control. He is capable of making alliances when necessary, but if someone is useless to him or is just good for information, Psykovor will likely just kill and absorb him/her. Psykovor is seeking wishmakers to kill and absorb in order to stop Jana; unlike the others, he knows he will cease to exist if the world changes back to normal and wishes to live.
Psykovor is Scott Bishop's character, and is open to anyone to use with two caveats: he cannot lose souls or wish gems, and he cannot be destroyed.
TIM AND JULIA ANDERSON (Jana's Parents)
The world has been seriously altered because of the wishes. Our story starts out in San Antonio, Texas, which has been converted to a D&D style city state run by vengeance. The whole world isn't like this, though - pockets of technologically advanced areas exist, pockets of hunter gatherer communities, pockets of whatever the wisher has asked for in that area, or that the wish has transformed to "support" a wish. This allows you to allow your story to function if you don't want to stick with any one type of location. All we ask is that there be some basic continuity. If Los Angeles is a fascist state run by Swedish Dictators in one chapter, another chapter can't have it as a gigantic free love hippie commune. There'll be a list of cities and what they are on the next page.
Arkansas - a vast dangerous wasteland populated by ogres. The town of Vita has been created by a wish, and is much like San Antonio, although specifically shaped around a wish wielders D&D campaign.
Florida (Cape Canaveral) - City is still mostly urban, centered around aerospace, specifically spaceflight.
Louisiana (New Orleans) - To be determined
Mississippi (Northwestern, Bordering the Mississippi River) - The area has changed in the style of 16th Century Japan's Warring States Period. The area is the tight grip of a powerful daimyo who will stop at nothing to make sure his rule isn't overthrown.
Missouri (St. Louis) - To be determined.
Nebraska (Unnamed Small Town) - This area has become an anime based Japanese suburban town, and attempts to "rewrite" characters into girls-chase-the-guy anime clichés.
Pennsylvania (State College/Bellefonte) - Reverted to 1997 ten miles around town. Town has minimal services and receives limited news of other areas. No Gas for vehicles, but some electrical power in the evenings.
South Carolina - Entire State has been transformed into a World War II battlefield.
Texas (Del Rio) - City is gone and desert has taken over. Contains a dimension warp to another world.
Texas (Oddessa) - Transformed into an Old Wild West town.
Texas (Houston) - City is still mostly urban, centered around aerospace, specifically spaceflight.
Texas (San Antonio) - Dungeons and Dragons-ish Medieval Sword and Sorcery World. A small villiage of 25,000 in the center of a volcano caldera. Run by Vengeance.
Vermont (Unnamed Rural Area) - A lake of molten glass.
What kind of stories are we looking for here? Pretty much anything goes. There's no set theme or tone to the series. You wanna write a broad comedy, please do. You want to go all Shakespearean, go right ahead (just don't kill our main characters, if you don't mind?). Wanna go for a Pullitzer? Good luck. The nice thing about the premise of the series, is you can DO that.
Each story will have a prologue to it, don't worry about writing it. This is my way of smoothing over continuity issues, inserting arc elements into the stories and basically tuning the story up as it chugs along.
THE GROUND RULES
Here are some basic ground rules for the stories. More will be added as we need them, but I'm hoping we won't.
There are several ground rules regarding wishes. In order to give up a wish, the character giving it up must TRULY...in their HEARTS...give up that wish. They can't just say "Okay, don't want that Playstation anymore." They have to truly give it up. When they do, a bright flash appears coming from their chest, and a round spherical gem (it can be any kind of gem, I prefer Jade myself) appears from the corona of the flash, usually floating out a few inches from the chest before dropping to the ground. The person feels the gem popping out as painful, but not debilitating, like a sudden jolt.
If the person dies, the wish can do two things. First, the wish is transferred to the person most directly affected by the wish. If a father wishes his son was a football star, and dies, the son becomes the wish bearer, and Jana must convince the son to not be a football star. Secondly, if the person dies and he was the only person (directly) affected by his wish or if he had no one to pass it on to, on death, the gem will usually end up found in the person's hand. In this case Jana must simply collect the gem (or, for fun, chase down someone whose stolen the gem, or dig up some graves looking for it).
Jana can also FAIL to get a gem. Someone doesn't want to give it up or is incapable of giving it up, or even can't FIND a gem. That will be dealt with in the last chapter.
Wishes once given up, cannot be reclaimed, but at the same time, the wish may not really END right at the point. Depending on how "deep" the wish has had to rewrite the world, the wish may revert or not. If the wish is personal, affecting only the person who made the wish, it will revert right away. If the wish has had to rewrite a world deeply, it may not revert, or won't at all until Jana does the ritual to revert all the changes at the end of the series. So someone may decide to give up their wish because they know they'll have it until Jana succeeds, or may give it up only to decide later to kill Jana so she can't revert the world, and they can keep their wish, even after recanting it.
Most of the regular folks in our world have no memories of the Old World, before the switch. They feel they have always been in this world, and act accordingly. A few, however, dream of the Old World as it used to be. They see it as just recurring dreams, but a few realize that others dream of the same people and places. A few others realize that the dream world corresponds to this one. An even smaller group claims that THIS is the dream world, and the Old World is the real one. Some will even say they remember their lives in the Old World.
But the only ones who truly know what life was before the switch are the forty two wish wielders. They know this world is not the original world. They remember who and what they were back then, too. At the same time, they have full memories of their lives HERE as well, as if they were born here. The wish wielders, however, know that those are false memories. The real ones are the ones from before the switch.
LONG TERM CHARACTER CHANGES
I'm all for character development. I don't think you can make a good story without it. That said, you probably don't want to make too many drastic changes to Jana - she has to survive 42 chapters. Please do not lop her arms off (unless it's either REALLY REALLY REALLY important, or you can find a way to put them back on again...we prefer the latter). The same goes for Sylvia. Essentially, changes are welcome, and growth definitely encouraged, but make sure everyone is intact so the next person can play in the toy box.
If you plan on featuring another person's characters, please do not do so without their permission and/or advice. While this is a collaborative effort, the original author may have plans for their character's return. Let's keep the communication going, though. If you want to feature another person's character, a list of recurring characters will provided with the Author's name.
Jana and Sylvia excepted, of course.
THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE OF ALL
Have fun with this. Don't feel constrained by something here. If it gets in your way, let's talk, see what we can work out. We can bend the rules as far as they can without breaking if need be.
AND THANKS FOR PARTICIPATING!
Still interested? EMail me at email@example.com and let's me know you're in, and let's get to typin'.