Writing Every Day in August: Day 18

So, once again, we’re playing Coat of Plates. And calling out some of the double standards that plague the Fantasy genre…

Again, this isn’t necessarily a sequel to either of the previous two days’ pieces, I’m just really digging the recent theme of “Amara’s actually a colossal nerd”.

So, once again, we’re playing Coat of Plates. And calling out some of the double standards that plague the Fantasy genre…



Lately, Kat has been marvelling at the frankly frightening rapidity with which Amara has taken to Realmgard’s favourite miniature tabletop war game Coat of Plates. It’s only been a few weeks, but Amara’s obsession is already almost a match for Dunstana’s own.

By the same token, Kat is also amazed how quickly and thoroughly Amara has begun idolising the Krimson Katja character — doubly impressive for a character who she had previously denounced for her fashion choices of, in Amara’s own words, ‘wrought iron undergarments.’

So here they all are — Kat, Amara and Annie, now joined by Annie’s friend Sally Lyte — being Dungeonarrated through their adventure once again by Dunstana.

“For today’s adventure,” Dunstana explains. “You’ll all be venturing into the Depths of the Dungeons of Disideratus de Durandal. Basically, he’s an evil wizard and he’s doing evil stuff, and you have to stop him.”

“Isn’t that exactly what we did last time?” Kat asks.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Katherine,” Amara says.

Annie nods in agreement. “Technically, that last villain was a warlock.”

“Amara, you asked to be Krimson Katja again, so here’s you,” Dunstana says, setting down the figurine of the red-haired, eyebrow-raisingly clothed warrior woman.

“Splendid,” Amara declares at the prospect of once again playing the role of her new favourite fictional character. “What epic adventures we shall have together, Krimson Katja.”

“Maybe you should adventure to the tailor first,” Kat offers. “And buy her some real clothes.”

Amara glowers at her friend. “Yes, Katherine. Very, very droll,” she mutters. She shrugs. “It is what it is, I suppose.”

Dunstana reaches back into the box of characters. “And, Kat, you’ll be Dagobert von Face-Punch this time. He’s an expert in unarmed combat. And, um, punching faces.”

“Sounds like my kind of guy,” Kat notes.

“Me next! Me next!” Sally insists eagerly, as ever clutching her beloved stuffed rabbit close.

Dunstana sets down yet another figurine, a female Wilderling with long rabbit ears, a bow in her hands, and a quiver of arrows over her shoulder.

“Sally, you’re Hilda Harefoot. She’s a ranger. She’s, like, good at nature and stuff.”

Sally happily claps her hands.

“She’s a bunny! That’s perfect!”

She frowns thoughtfully and glances at her doll.

“Oh, but I hope Count Bunnyescu doesn’t get jealous.”

“What about me?” Annie asks.

“And Annie, you get to be —” Dunstana says, setting down the figurine on the map. “— Ronan Wayfarer.”

Annie’s character is a man — a very large man covered head-to-toe in heavy, sculpted armour made to look like muscles and holding a sword almost as big as he is.

Amara gazes down at this last figurine. Her eyes go wide. Her brow furrows. And she throws her hands up in bewilderment.

Unbelievable!

The others stare blankly at her.

“Look at this!” she exclaims. “Look! Of course, the man is wearing an entire suit of armour! I swear, I shall be writing letters over this. I am going to find the people behind this game — all of them men, no doubt — and give them a piece of my mind!”



Now, if Krimson Katja is supposed to be Red Sonja, Ronan Wayfarer is Conan.

Fundamentally, “Krimson Katja” is still a placeholder name, though part of the I’m conflicted about changing the name is that it pays homage to the fact that Red Sonja is FantasyUkrainian (incidentally, Howard’s original Red Sonya was Actual Ukrainian) — though ultimately, just because Krimson Katja (or whatever I decide to make her final name) is like Red Sonja doesn’t mean I’m under any obligation to make her the same as Red Sonja.

Similarly, calling him “Ronan” might be just a little too on-the-nose, but Conan is Fantasy-Irish (though the real historical place known as Cimmeria was in and around Crimea) and Ronan is a real Irish name. Incidentally, so is Conan — though in real life, it’s pronounced like cone-in, as in “O’Brien”; it was the movie that popularised the cone-an pronunication.

I’m still hammering this all out.

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