But, being the rebel I am, I'm not going to do it like normal people! I am, instead, going to follow my heart
(before anyone says anything, yes, I know there's a sister event to NaNo, for scripting. But that's for screenplay writing, which is a whole other animal)
Now, the natural hitch in this is word count. Examining scripts I've written in the past reveals that at the words-per-page rate I've previously written at, a 50000 word script would be...292 pages, give or take. I. I'm a bit skeptical about it actually going on that long, but who knows.
I am currently doing planning and research. What I've got thus far, I'm putting in this post.
Note that I don't actually have names for any of these characters/concepts. Have I ever mentioned how much I suck at coming up with names? Well, I do. A lot. So I'll come up with them eventually, but not now.
So what we have is a world that is faux-modern. Most of the modern amenities exist, but in an altered form, because instead of technology, this world is built on magic. Most existing technologies have an equivalent, but magic both works and is fairly easy to perform (on a basic level) in this world, so instead of exploring gunpowder, chemistry, electricity, etc, new magical techniques and artifacts were researched instead. Technology exists, but doesn't have widespread use, and is comparatively primitive (steampunk sort of levels). So, for example, someone might have a gun, but instead of using a gunpowder reaction to fire the bullets, it would magically generate a small explosion withing the chamber. Naturally, flashier spells are also available.
In this world, the source of magic, the fuel a mage taps into when casting a spell or laying an enchantment, is his or her own Imagination. Magic and Imagination go hand-in-hand; you can't have the one without the other. However, excess Imagination tends to leak out invisibly into the environment around them. This is a natural process, and happens all the time, but happens at an accelerated rate when the Imagination is used for magic. On its own, this excess Imagination is harmless; but if enough of it collects in one place, it can gain a physical form and intelligence.
If the Imagination that becomes one of these creatures is charged mostly with positive emotions such as happiness, compassion, or love, the resultant creature will be a benevolent one, using its powers for good, or at worst to its own ends without being deliberately harmful. However, more often the imagination that makes up the creature is charged with negative emotions: anger. Fear. Hate. In those cases, a Monster is born.
These monsters are mostly based on classic mythological creatures (from a variety of sources), and are generally malicious in their behavior. Mischeivous, at best. They cause people trouble, whether it's by attacking them, or getting them lost, or stealing from them, etc.
Now, there have always been monsters lurking at the corners of society, popping up every now and then, but in the past that wasn't too big of a deal. They were rare or inconsequential enough that people simply coexisted with them. But over the past century or so, magic use has exploded. Where once it was the realm of wizards and sorcerors and were carefully guarded secrets, it has become commonplace and constantly, constantly used by everyone around the world. Lots of magic use means lots of leaked Imagination. Lots of leaked imaginations means lots of monsters...so many, in fact, that for a time it seemed that the human race would be overwhelmed by the onslaught.
Then, fifty or so years ago, the Monster Hunter Organization was founded: An organization dedicated to systematically removing the monster threat wherever it reared its head. It was made up of highly trained mages, who use magical spells, and Post-Humans, who are people who've broken down a monster into its base Imagination (or 'essence') and consumed it, giving them the powers and abilities of that monster. Although most of the time they're just normal humans, they can transform into a hybrid form that is halfway between their normal body and whatever creature they've consumed the essence of. Two post-humans can also combine their essence together, essentially temporarily combining them into one hybrid form. Typically this takes the form of one of them weilding the other as a weapon, or wearing them as armor, etc.
A standard five-man cell is structured as follows:
3 Post-Humans, generally trying to give as wide a range of abilities as possible. These are the muscle of the group.
1 Utility Mage. This is a mage who is not trained for combat, but rather in all the other spells they'll need. Healing spells, teleportation, scrying, communication, etc.
1 Combat Mage. Less physically threatening than most post-humans, but also more versatile, with a large variety of spells intended to hurt, maim, and kill at his or her disposal.
(I should also add that the mechanics behind the monster problem are not widely known, and in fact were not determined until fairly recently. Theoretical Magicians still debate it hotly to this day, although that is the dominant theory of the moment)
That describes the sort of world that they live in. Now, here's out cast of characters:
Dragon Girl: One of Our Heros' three post-humans. She's rude and a bit crude, and loves her booze. Tends to sit with her feet up on the table. Doesn't take anyone's shit, and really, really loves fighting so just give he an excuse, honestly.
She ate the essence of a red drake. In bher transformed state, she grows fangs and claws, her face shifts to become more draconic, her skin is covered in thick red scales, and she can grow wings on her back that allow her to fly at a fairly decent speed. She can also breathe fire, and has her strength significantly augmented Also, her leg structure shifts so that her standard posture is a crouch, but that just goes with the draconic appearance.
Ghost Knight Guy: Dragon Girl's counterpart. He tends to keep his head and think things through before acting. Tends to keep to himself. He prides himself on his eventemperedness, but loses his cool almost INSTANTLY when Dragon Girl is involved because she just pisses him off on some level he can't really explain.
He ate the essence of a ghost, more specifically the ghost of a knight. In his transformed state, he dons armor, a shield, and a mace. These weapons are all ghostly, so they leave trails of mist behind them in the air. His physical strength is augmented, and he also gains the ability to 'ghost' through objects, passing through them without touching them.
He and Dragon Girl always have a big argument when they combine essences, because both of them want to be the 'dominant' one: the one wielding their other partner. When he's the dominant one, he weilds her as a flaming sword. When she's the dominant one, he becomes armor plating that covers her body and protects her.
Strong Girl: Tall, well-muscled, tanned. She has a very serious personality, and a lot of focus. She's the quiet one who sits on the outside of the circle, never really saying much unless what she has to say it extremely important. However, if you do start her talking about casual stuff, good luck shutting her up; her brain is encyclopedia-like, and she'll blabber on for hours, or until your ears fall off, whichever comes first.
She's eaten the essence of a Minotaur, and can basically use it to hulk out massively (and also grow horns), increasing her strength enormously. Unlike your usual Huge Brawler, though, she's also a disciplined martial artist, witht he focus and training needed to put that strength to good use. It's a devastating combination.
Utility Mage: Snarky. Cynical. He's useless in a fight, but he's been hanging out with his cell for long enough to know that they'll take care of everything, so he doesn't have to worry about anything except doing his non-combat job.
He was originally on the Combat Mage training track at the Academy, until he was taken aside by one of his teachers and advised that he didn't really have the disposition for it, and that his talents would be better served as a Utility Mage. He followed his teacher's advice and switched courses, but since graduating he's been bugged by a what-if sensation, a little uncertainty regarding whether that was the right choice.
Combat Mage: A small, shy, bespectacled girl who has been newly assigned to this cell. She's fresh out of the Academy, and somewhat nervous about her first assignment; something that isn't helped by the rag-tag group she got assigned to.
Although she's not a physical threat in any respect (she failed her physical test three times before barely passing it, and is just small in general), she has one ability that stands out: she's completely memorized the spellbooks and incantations thereof, and can select the best one to use on the fly. As long as she maintains sufficient distance between herself and her opponent, she's nearly unbeatable, as she can select the proper spell to cast to counter whatever they do.
Magnificent Bearded Bastard: Our local Big Bad. He's a high-ranking official within the Monster Hunter Organization, who is secretly working to fuck everybody's shit up. You see, a few years back, this guy had a revelation: If things carried on the way they are, the human race is fucked. Magic use creates a horde of monsters, which in turn causes humans to use more magic to comabt them, which in turn leads to even more monsters. Eventually, either humanity will be overrun completely, or the scale of the fighting will grow to the point where it'll destroy everything.
The whole cause of the problem is this age of magic. So he;'s going to put an end to it. He knows that this will kill countless thousands of people, as their infrastructure vanishes and the food supply dries up and medical spells stop working, but at least the human race will survive, after a fashion.
I'm a bit fuzzy on what his plans are, but I do know that he'll use Our Heroes to bring him some form of McGuffin that will amplify his powers and allow him to do his thing. I'm not sure what he should be able to do before delivery, but afterwards, he'll gain some form of time-manipulation abilities; basically, he can get a do-over on any given action. For example, Ghost Knight Guy hits him with a mace, he takes the hit, it does damage...and then time reverses itself so that he's holding the mace aloft, ready to deliver the blow again. Even though Ghost Knight Guy can see time reversing, his motions are locked in and he can't do anything but make the same action again; Magnificent Bearded Bastard, on the other hand, can change what he does, and now that he knows what Ghost Knight Guy is going to do, he can counter it perfectly.
Thoughts? Comments? Etc?