In my post “Thinking About Avalon” I put forth a vague vision of what I think the state of Britain would need to be in order for Arthur to return. In summary: REALLY desperate. Like, really, really, really desperate. I go back to the state of Britain in the Pendragon Cycle: Getting overwhelmed by barbarian hordes, petty British kings warring with each other, people getting driven out of their homelands, the protection of Rome gone…things were seriously messed up, or at least in very serious danger of getting messed up soon.
Now, a long time ago I said I had an idea for a three-pronged story: One about a young man (probably teen) trying to find a girl he knows will try to kill herself, one about a slightly older, but still young, man who sees a vision of a woman he has never met but he knows is his one true love, and one of a young woman (probably teen) whose father has gone missing supposedly for good and who she is determined to find.
I am trying to make an effort not to give up on this idea, but all my thinking about Avalon leads me to this: What if I do even more combining and combine those three plot threads with the return of Arthur? What if it’s an epic fantasy.
I don’t want to go into all of it but I conceive of a future Britain mired in a drought, electronics basically either dead or stolen, little central government, and with towns forced to become self-sufficient. Leaders of towns basically become kings of city-states. With the cars either gone or inoperable, a horse becomes almost as great or greater a commodity than a moving car.
In other words: The Isle of Britain, cut off from the outside world once more and plagued in its own problems, has essentially turned into the wild west (why would one fight with swords in such a world)?
And so we have our first character, a young lad who owns very little books and whose fondest possession is a dog-eared copy of “Le Morte D’Arthur” – or perhaps “Arthur” by Lawhead. Why not? People mention White all the time, after all. He believes that in order to bring Britain back to greatness they need to unite once more under a great leader…but he has no idea how to accomplish this. After a night of heartfelt prayers he receives a vision, a girl committing suicide…
And then we have the girl, whose father left on a hunting raid and met up with outlaws. After a brutal gunfight most of the men were killed. Her father was not found among the dead, but he does not return either. After a year of waiting, slowly getting more angry and self-destructive, she decides that she must go find him on her own if nobody else will help…
The man is the trickiest one of all. Like before, I do not know how he will fit, but I also feel that, somehow, he belongs in the story. I will sit on his third of the tale for awhile.
There is an epic fantasy here, a truly fresh re-treading of the old ground. I plan to plot this out over my Christmas break. Time to get serious.