February 21st, 2010 | Work
Avatar Press asked me for another WOLFSKIN story, since apparently the original WOLFSKIN book sold quite well. As it happened, I had the synopsis for an unsold fantasy GN sitting in a folder. I rewrote, expanded and broke it down a bit, and then let Avatar hand it to Mike Wolfer to turn into scripts in much the same process we use on GRAVEL. Gianluca Pagliarani, the superb illustrator of AETHERIC MECHANICS and IGNITION CITY, was brought on to draw it. Avatar tell me that this is the last week retailers have to order it, so, if you want a copy, ask them for WOLFSKIN: HUNDREDTH DREAM #1 (of six).
What follows is how the original synopsis begins:
We begin with a sight the characters will never see: a shot of Earth from space, showing that the world has a single continent, Gondwanaland-style.
We zoom in on the northern part of that supercontinent – Scandinavia, the British Isles, Iceland all fused together, Iceland forming the most northern point, and then ocean between it and the North Pole. The Norwegian/Finnish fjords are slightly southerly — the Icelandic area juts out, a big peninsula that reaches further north than the rest of (this area of) the single continent.
We zoom in on the fjords. And down on Bergna, a fjord community; homes in the mountainrange that embraces the fjord bay. Down in the bay, traders throng. Stories are shared. People loudly proclaim their intentions, their destinations, their commissions, gathering passengers and companions and comrades. There are yells: “Quest!” or “Contract!” or “South!” or “Swords!”
Standing by the harbour, among the fish stands and wolfpelts, ILDSEN: watching sadly as Noi (Chinese) travellers strike a metal wand against a metal plate to shoot sparks into an oil lamp. Once, that was exclusively his job. He is a magician who makes fire. But artifice is growing, the use of tools becoming broader and more complex. And the more that fabrications and machines appear, the weaker the magic grows. He’s adrift in his own home.
There’s a millennialist tension to the place. This is a culture approaching the edge of an industrial revolution. Everything is changing.
Someone calls Ildsen’s name. A courier who tacks down the coast from the High Northish ice plains arrives here monthly, and always carrying a letter from Ildsen’s friend, Gisli, headman of a small township out there called Vé.
Ildsen, having little else to do, sits on the dock and reads the letter…