The current book, so far 85 pages long, is a goth western. Magic and bullets make a very challenging pair. And I don't know very much about the wild west.
It doesn't even have a title.
The Universe is exactly as our own, except different.
The year is 1870, the civil war is officially over even though there are bits of fighting in the south. The place, the Unclaimed Territory. The indians have been dumped here and reservations are set up, but there is no law, no government and not a whole lot of detailed history which gives me a free reign to set up what I want.
There are two protagonists. Major Marshall, U.S. Marine Corp is a battle mage. His job in battle is to neutralize the enemy mage. "I'm the most important, and most useless thing out here this day."
He goes on.
“The sky holds the sea in its bed and the sea holds up the sky. I will do my job, no more, no less. Over there in the cool shadows of a Virginia Elm is a mage, much like me. He will wield the cosmic energy of the universe and cast horrible spells of death and blood that will make the biggest cannon look like a child’s toy. He will turn the grass into porcupine quills and marching men will fall screaming onto barbed spikes. He will send tidal waves of brimstone that will swallow whole companies. He will stir up ghosts and nightmares that scared the crap out of you as a child and bring them to life, angry and seething, the scent of your fear in its nostrils. My job, the job I have been trained for since I was old enough to pee standing up, is to stop him from doing just that as he will be trying to stop me from doing the same. If we do it right, we will either neutralize each other, or kill each other. Balance.”
He's known for a tremendous about of lip flapping to the point that it gets annoying.
Our other protagonist is Amanda. First off, I like the name Amanda, however it's not the name of the protagonist. I just haven't figured out what her name is, but as a place holder, it's Amanda.
She was a simple farmer's wife living on a simple farm that just began to see profit. It is then when men came and killed her family and burned her house and barn. They were about to kill her too when in desperate rage she seizes the man's gun, he was busy raping her, and blows his head off. Rage builds in her and she looses her mind with revenge, no longer eating or sleeping, stumbling like a zombie. She hunts one of the men down and murders him in a saloon. She staggers off, leaving a dozen stunned and frightened witnesses.
The antagonist is another Battle Mage, Confederate General Cain, who tried to end the war in a single blow by summoning a demon who would simply march on Washington and stomp it flat. To summon such a creature, the general had to sacrifice 10,000 of his own soldiers. To keep the monster going, he needed to sacrifice another 20,000 of his own soldiers and the same amount of Union soldiers. But it would have been a small price to pay to end a war that was seeing casualties approaching a half million.
It was Marshall who stopped the general's plan, figuring out that the general had other intentions than ending the war. That the general wanted mages to control the world.
The laughter faded from the General’s face. “Ya’ll spotted my circle of protection and walked in freely. You know that any thought of violence against my person in this circle will burn you to a cinder before you can strike.” He glanced at his card rotating in the flames for a moment, then back to Marshall. “Ah am a simple man, Marshall, so Ah shall speak simply. This is no longer a world of men, Marshall. Men are quite proficient in fucking it up. They need a strong hand ruling them. A quick switch to keep them in line. It is time we mages took our place at the tiller.”
Marshall slowly wrapped his hand on the hilt of his sword, his gold eyes still searching. “Ten thousand years before Christ suckled Mary’s teat, we mages demonstrated why we’re not the rulers of men, General. Stone are my ears to your recruitment, General whose name I’ve yet to learn.”
The General stilled, his eyes locked on Marshall’s drawing blade. “Cain.” He said, his voice faint. “How can you...”
“Cain is an old name, General. Almost as old as Adam.” Marshall raised his sword, straight and heavy.
So now I'm at the part of the story where the characters are now meeting each other. Marshall has taken interest in Amanda and states he wants to help her get revenge, but he is also up to something, something that he is ashamed of. Amanda is trying to stay sane long enough to get her revenge. Marshall is trying to explain things to her and she couldn't really care less. Marshall discovers that the pistol Amanda has had been an officer's pistol, magic'd in the war. He awakens the magic, linking it to Amanda, what it does hasn't been revealed yet.
So, here's where I get hung up. Women. Seriously. Men come to your house, string your kids and husband up while you watch, take turns raping you, laugh and leave you for dead.
Everything is gone. House, barn, years of hard work. She is naked, bleeding from a serious head wound and has a gun with four bullets remaining.
Is hunting the men down relentlessly something that a woman would do? If a man, a soldier who you've been taught to respect, shows up and offers to help in her revenge, how much skepticism would she have?