From the Archives: Polar intro

Fans from around 2001 might remember me mentioning a story called “Polar”.

It was going to be a December novel, and, if I remember correctly, I was going to write it and either sell it as an ebook or have it printed. Obviously that didn’t happen. Here’s what did:

Once I had a character studies and a very complete start-to-finish plot outline; I started writing. After I got though the prologue and the first four chapters, I realized that the plot I was working with made absolutely no f’ing sense at all. I mean, not even a little bit.

Hey… it happens to the best of us. Fortunately I recognized it before I embarrassed myself, and I took a long look at what I had done so far. Basically, In order to make this thing work I would have to scrap everything EXCEPT the prologue and start over from there, using a plot outline that actually made sense.

And by that time I was just tired of the idea so I let it drop.

Here’s the prologue from that abandoned novel:


Prologue: The Intruder

…long ago…

The manse was not the largest in the town, but it was by no means the smallest. It looked no different than the dozen or so others that occupied the wealthy section of town, yet it drew attention to itself in a hundred little ways. It sat apart from its neighbors, and rested further back away from the street than was usual. The stone wall that surrounded it was supposedly decorative, yet it did a suspiciously good job of hiding the manse and its grounds from prying eyes. Men and women… mostly men… came and went at odd hours of the night, but hardly ever during the day. There were more servants than there should have been. And far to many guards. Big, burly men armed with swords and crossbows wandered to and fro in the immense yard. Sometimes a passerby would catch a glimpse of them. Sometimes that passerby would find a crossbow pointed at his skull until he decided to look elsewhere.

But, as unusual as these things were, there was never any evidence of any wrongdoing… not that anyone ever bothered to LOOK for any evidence. There was no reason to. It was a free land, where a man could own whatever property he wished and keep it in whatever manner he desired. Patrick Garrisson was simply a man who desired a bit more privacy than most. Quite a bit more.

Tonight, he was not going to get it.

The shadow crouched in the darkness near the corner of the stone wall that marked the estate’s boundary. Dressed in all black from head to foot, the intruder was all but invisible on the moonless night. The slender arms and legs… the roundness of the hips… the subdued swelling of the chest marked the intruder as no ordinary man. Or rather, not a man at all. She had climbed the outer wall with all the gracefulness of a jungle cat, then dropped silently to the ground on the other side. Her feet… small and slender… landed deftly amongst the iron spikes and bear-traps that were arranged on the ground. There was no magic or luck involved; she knew they were there. Contrary to what Garrison and his guards thought, this was not her first time here. She paused among the deadly implements, seemingly unconcerned with their existene. She crouched down… she waited… unmoving, save for the delicate rise and fall of her chest. She watched… strangely-colored eyes moved back and forth slowly… smoothly… peering out from the eyeholes in her mask. Studying everything around her.

There were very few trees or shrubs between her and the main door. Almost no place to hide. Almost.

She started to move… then paused. She waited another minute for no reason other than that her instincts told her to do so. Then she moved.

The shadow darted across the lawn. Her soft boots made no sound, even on the dried leaves and grass that had been placed on the ground for just that purpose. She ran silently to the first tree… a scraggly young spruce. She hid in its shadow for only an instant, then sprinted just as silently to the line of low shrubs that lined the main walk. She threw herself to the ground and waited. The shrubs were small, and cast no usable shadow… or at least that was the intent of the person who selected them. The intruder could hide in darkness a quarter of her size. She paused, then pulled herself silently along the ground to the main entrance.

There was a guard. One guard. A large hulk of a man stood by the huge double doors. He clasped a halberd in one hand, and a bastard sword lay strapped across his back. A loaded crossbow hung from his belt.

The intruder crept toward him.

One of the doors opened, and a light spilled out into the yard. A smaller man leaned out and tapped the large man on the shoulder.

“Garrison sprung for some ale. Want me to bring ya a tankard or two?”

The large man nodded, but didn’t speak.

“Right back.” The other man vanished, closing and locking the door behind him.

Just as the door closed, the large guard leaned to one side… he leaned further… then he toppled over. A long, thin metal spike protruded from the base of his skull. There was surprisingly little blood, yet the man was quite dead. The intruder grabbed him as he fell and gently lowered him to the ground… then dragged him into the bushes. Someone would discover him in a few moments. But by then it wouldn’t matter.

The door opened, and the second guard emerged.

“Here ya g-”

The intruder reached out of the shadows, grabbed the man’s chin and forhead, then twisted. The guard’s neck broke with a muffled wet ‘snap.’ Both tankards of ale fell from his hands as he joined the other guard in death. The intruder snatched the drinks out of the air and set them down gently, then slipped in through the doorway. She paused long enough to pull the door closed and lock it.

There was a short hallway ahead of her. It emptied into a large ballroom that should have been empty. It wasn’t. There were odd scents in the air. Voices. Sounds.

The intruder swore under her breath… then smiled at the new challenge. She stood tall, raising out of her crouching position and drawing up to her full height. She was still shorter than most men, but when she walked with boldness and confidence as she did now, she seamed much larger than she really was. As she walked, she slipped her hands into the hidden pockets on either side of her black pants. Her gloved fingers played across the objects that waited there.

The ballroom had been converted to a guard post. Between the main entrance and the spiral staircase that lead upstairs two large tables. Most of the men that occupied them were so busy playing cards that they didn’t notice that it wasn’t a guard that entered the room. Not at first.

The intruder waited, grinning beneath her mask.

“THERE SHE IS!” someone shouted.

Guards leapt to their feet. A eight swords came free of their scabbards. Three archers stepped out of the shadows upstairs. They leaned over the balcony and aimed their weapons.

No one gave the order to attack. They just did.

The archers were professionals… the intruder knew this. Like all proffessionals they’d aim for the vital spots and go for the quick kill… this made them much, much easier to deal with.

She was dodging before the first bolt left its crossbow. Two missiles whizzed past her spinning form. A third came an instant later, missing her as she reversed direction and darted toward the guards.

Suddenly the kitchen door flew open. A large, wild looking man stood back from the door as a half-dozen slavering hounds exploded into the room. These were not work dogs or hunting dogs… no, these were killing dogs, hounds born and bred for the sole purpose of killing whoever their master commanded.

“TEAR HER APART!” the houndsman commanded. The hundred-pound beasts galloped toward her… spreading out and then closed in… converging on her from several directions at once. The archers on the balcony had stood back to enjoy the show, as had the guards by the stairs.

The intruder tried to hide her disappointment.

Her hands came free of her pockets, and the torchlight in the room glinted off of the set of inch-long metal claws that adorned her fingertips. She crouched for an instant, then leapt into the air. The first two hounds leapt after her… their powerful jaws seeking her legs. She rotated hard at the waist and kicked one leaping animal right out of the air. A second dog soared toward her… she twisted and slashed, flaying the dog’s flank wide open as it sailed past her. When her boots touched the ground again, she swept her hands in two sideways arcs… one dog yelped as her claws shredded its face. Another dog made no sound as her other hand did the same to its throat. She threw herself backwards onto her back adn lifted her legs… planting them in the fifth beast’s chest and shoving it away… it flew through the air, then hit the ground and slid several feet before regaining its balance. The intruder flipped to her feet and twisted to one side and then to the other as two arrows zipped past her from above. She couldn’t tell if the archers were actually trying to hit her or merely drawing her attention away from the dogs. It didn’t matter…. each was equally futile. Another hound had already leapt for her. Her hands shot out before… not in a defensive position but in a vicious attack. One set of claws piereced its chest as the other ripped into its throat. She spun the dog around

-THWOK-

The third arrow from above sank into the dog’s flank, then she twisted

KRUNCH!

And used the dead hound as a bludgeon to pummel a living one. The hound yelped and backed away, then snarled and charged… mouth wide open and ready to clamp down with bone-snapping force. She was more than happy to oblige. She reached into the charging hound’s mouth, but the instant before its powerful jaws snapped shut, she jammed her claws into its flesh and yanked her hand back out… shredding the hound’s mouth and upper throat from the inside. He severed tongue flopped out of the dog’s mouth as it started sputtering and choking on its own blood.

The intruder dispatched the final hound almost as an after thought… grabbing its head and twisting it a full 180 degrees even as the armed guards charged into the fray. She launched into them just as she had done with the hounds. Two men reached her first, one wore leather plate on his upper body… so the intruder spun and crouched down. The clumsy sword-slash passed over her. Then she leapt to her feet while dragging her claws upwards across the man’s un-armored crotch.

“AEEEEEEEE!!!” the man howled as she emasculated him.

The second guard never saw what happed to him. He saw the intruder spinning toward him and he moved to impale her with his sword. He felt something slash across his face toward his eyes… then there pain… then there was darkness… then he was dead.

The intruder snatched the man’s sword out of his grasp, then disarmed the non-man who lay squirming and bleeding on the floor beside him. She dropped into a fighter’s stance, with one sword held high and the other held low. It was an awkward, clumsy-looking style that made the guards think that the woman in black was out-matched.

They were wrong.

The two swords spun and slashed like extensions of the clawed hands that held them. She blocked two men while kicking at a third, her boot crushed his larynx and sent him stumbling back against the card table, where he collapsed. She spun, ducked and made a double-thrust… impaling two guards at once. She abandoned her swords, instead grabbing the weapons from the guards as they fell. She heard someone rushing her from behind… the houndsman. He charged her with a spiked mace held high. She turned and swung both weapons. The houndsman jerked backwards out of their path at the last instant. The intruder let the momentum of her swing spin her around… and around… and around again, gaining speed like a discus thrower. She let one sword go, and it flew from her hand-

“URK!” another guard collapsed… the sword protruding from his chest.

The intruder raised her remaining sword to block the houndsman’s downward swing… then she took her free hand and sliced his fat belly open from crotch to sternum. Quickly, she spun and blocked an attack from another guard. He stepped back to attack again, but the intruder stepped suddenly to one side. He spun to keep her in front of him-

-then collapsed as an arrow meant for the intruder pierced his skull. Having seen the archer preparing to fire, the intruder had maneuvered him right into its path. The remaining two guard circled her warilly, weapons held ready. The archers held their fire, but they were ready to shoot as soon as a clear shot presented itself.

It didn’t.

The intruder moved like a streak of black lightning, charging one guard with such speed and ferocity that the man was taken by surprise even though he’d been looking right at her. He narrowly avoided the claws that reached for his throat. He backed away and spun to the side as another slash sought his abdomen… but the intruder’s hand changed directions in mid-slash-

“AAAA-!”

The guard’s weapon hit the stone floor with a loud ‘clang’… and his severed fingers made almost no noise as they joined the weapon on the floor.

Screaming for his life, the man abandoned his fight and ran for the front door, leaving a trail of blood behind him. The archers took him out before he made it halfway there. The last remaining guard slashed and spun his weapon in a display of skill that was supposed to be impressive… but the intruder had wasted enough time with these fools. She slipped between his attacks as easily and gracefully as a dancer. She slid past him, removing his throat as she went… and vanished into the shadows beneath the balcony.

Above the ballroom, the archers peered down at the bloody carnage below them. One kept his eyes fixed on the stairs, for that were the only way up… the only way to get past them.

That guard was the first to die. The intruder’s claw-tipped hand reached up from below… from the wall where she hung by her other set of claws like a cat on a tree. She grabbed him by the throat and yanked him over the balcony. As he fell, she hauled herself up and disemboweled the second archer with quick slash. The third archer actually managed to fire his weapon. The bolt clattered harmlessly against the stone where the intruder had been standing an instant before. The archer spun…. saw the light glinting against the claws as they came for him… and managed a frightened yelp before his throat vanished in a spray of blood.

The intruder walked calmly down the hallway toward the large double doors at the end. There were other doors on either side of the hall, but they didn’t concern her. The double doors opened suddenly and a man emerged. He was tall and strong, but not bulky. He wore no armor, but carried an array of knives arranged on his belt. He snatched two of them from their sheaths and went into a classic knife-fighter’s stance.

The intruder kept walking toward the doors as if he weren’t standing there.

The knifeman smiled and nodded, then charged. He screamed a battle cry as he ran… then twisted and jumped and came at her with one leg extended in a flying side-kick. The intruder twisted to one side and jerked her elbow up and back, catching the man in the small of the back as he flew past.

He landed, stumbled, then spun and threw himself at… hands moving like snakes… slicing the air in front of the intruder’s face as she backed away from him. The thrusts and slashes and lunges came fast and furious. The intruder avoided each one by an increasingly narrow margain. The man was good… that’s why she didn’t bother to block. She recognized his fighting style, and blocking his attacks would have been a fatal mistake.

Instead, she took advantage of the wide hallway to move away from him. She backed up, then circled him… her own movements were smooth and fluid… slow and graceful one instant, and then turning lightning quick for a few blurred seconds. Her hands… each finger tipped with a metal claw… danced in front of her face as she stared at the fighter. She moved in for an attack, then changed her mind and backed away. The fighter lunged. She struck at his wrist, but the knife twisted and came up at an arc. The intruder snatched her left hand out of the way even as her left reached for the man’s exposed side. The fighter twisted and struck at her fingers. She spun… a spinning side-kick shot toward the man’s lower chest. He side-stepped the kick and slashed at her leg… but the intruder’s leg was faster than his hands. She twisted quickly-

CRACK!

Her foot broke his nose as it whipped across his face… a harmless, but humiliating blow. The man wasted no time counter attacking, he lunged for her again, then reversed direction suddenly-

WHOOSH!

The intruder’s claws missed his bleeding face by a fraction of an inch. He stepped toward her suddenly, one knife jabbing for the kidney, another going for the upper abdomen. She reached for both blades, but the man’s hands shifted… exchaning targets in mid-strike. She twisted… one blade sliced through the fabric of her black suit, but didn’t break the skin. The instant before the other blade could reach its target-

CRACK!

She hit him with a powerful back-fist blow to the face and then jerked backwards to avoid the knife. He stumbled backards, and she caught him with a front-snap kick to the chin. Blood poured out of the corner of his mouth, but the man didn’t seem to notice. He spun, ducked under a slash to the head, and threw a spinning hook kick at the intruder’s temple. She blocked the kick, but he man’s leg was gone before she could sink her claws into his ankle. She almost didn’t see the second kick… in fact, she DIDN’T see it… but she knew it was coming because that was what SHE would have done. She didn’t block it; instead she leaned back out of its path and slashed at the man’s leg as it missed her face-

“ARRRGH!”

Metal claws severed the tendons and blood vessels behind the man’s ankle, rendering the entire foot useless. His retaliatory knife-thrust barely missed her wrist, but her claws didn’t miss HIS. She sliced his wrist open to the bone, then planted her foot on his chin once again with another front kick. He stumbled backwards, almost forgeting that he was now lame… and bleeding to death. The intruder kicked his good leg out from under him. He fell, and her claws followed him down, piercing his neck. The figher’s blade came toward her face, but she threw herself back out of its path, ripping the man’s throat away as she did. He convulsed and died on the expensive carpet.

She continued down the hallway. The double doors were locked. She slid one claw into the lock and manipulated the mechanism with a twist of her delicate finger.

She yanked the doors open and entered.

Garrison was waiting. The middle-aged man stood behind his desk, flanked on either side by a young guard wielding a crossbow.

The intruder could see the fear in their eyes. She could smell it. She could already tell what they were thinking… it was what they ALWAYS thought. She wasn’t supposed to get this far. The dogs… the guards… they were supposed to keep her way. It was never supposed to come to this…

She stepped to the side, away from the door. She held one hand up in front of her, palm facing her face. Blood and bits fo flesh slid down her fingers from tips of her metal claws. Her black gloves were soaked. The sleeves of her shirt glistened. Drops of dark red dripped from her claws and fell onto the rug.

She glared at the guards, her eyes narrowing…

“Leave now,” she said.

Both guards bolted for the door.

“COWARDS!” Garrison shouted. He reached for the crossbow he had concealed under his desk. By the time his fingers touched it, the intruder was flying across the desk… her foot struck him in the upper chest, knocking him back against the wall. She grabbed him by the throat and looked into his eyes.

“It is over,” she said. Her voice was deep and sensual… smooth and seductive. “You should have sold out when you had the chance. All we wanted was the casino and the trade routes. Only the underground… You could have kept the legitimate businesses.”

“And live as your lap-dog?” said Garrison. His hand was easing toward his belt, where a small knife lay concealed. The intruder grabbed his wrist… razor-sharp claws sank into his flesh and remained there, halting his attempt. “You d-don’t have to kill me,” said Garrison. “I… I can pay you…”

“Not enough.”

“Yes… yes… enough. I have things-”

The intruder’s claws began to slide into his neck, coming dangerously close to his jugular vein and his windpipe.

“…please… here me out…”

“You have nothing,” she said.

“…information… I have information… please…”

Blood poured down Garrison’s white silk shirt, turning it red.

“…I… I know things… the traders… from far away… they talk… I listen… I know… I know something… something you might…arrrgh!”

The claws sank deeper

“You lie,” said the intruder. “You know nothing. You are a desparate old man, seeking to barter for his life with words and lies.”

“… I know… a name… a place…a c- AARRGH!…a… A CURE!…”

Suddenly the metal talons halted their steady advance into his flesh. They did not retreat… but they stopped moving.

“…eh…eheh… I know… you let me go… you let me live… I’ll give it to you…”

The intruder said nothing. She looked into his eyes, scowling behind her mask.

“…I know… I know how much it means… worth… worth more than my pitiful life… please…”

“Where?” she said.

“…d-desk… desk drawer…”

The intruder snatched her claws out of Garrison’s throat, doing as much damage coming out as they did going in. But nothing fatal. She spun the old man around and threw him down into his chair.

“Open it,” she demanded.

Garrison opened the top drawer of his desk under the intruder’s watchful eye. There was a scroll. He reached for it… but he intruder’s hand reached in and grabbed it before he could get close.

She rested one hand on the back of Garrison’s neck while she used the other to unroll the scroll and read it.

“It’s all true,” said Garrsion. Both of his hands were clamped over his throat, trying to stop the bleeding. “All of it… I swear…”

The intruder took the scroll and stuffed it into her pocket.

“We… we have a deal?”

“Yes…”

The intruder grabbed Garrison’s head and twisted it sharply, snapping his neck and killing him instnatly.

“…and the deal has just been broken.”

She made her way across town, keeping to the shadows even though she didn’t need to. It was late… the only peole out on the streets were those who wouldn’t be missed if they saw something they shouldn’t have. But her mind was on other things now… and the slaughter was best enjoyed when there was nothing to distract from it. She felt the rough scroll rub against her thigh as she walked. It felt heavy… heavy with the words that it contained. Heavy with the importance of those words

IF they were true.

She circled the block twice, then approached the wooden, two-story house with caution. No one was watching. No one had followed her… no one was foolish enough to try. She made her way around to the back, then walked toward the rear door.

There was a sound from above… and then-

-thump-!

“HISSSSSSS!!!”

The thing appeared seemingly from nowhere… dropping down from above and crouching in front of her. The creature was as hideous as it was silent… patches of fur and scales dotted its twisted, humanoid shape. Long, thin arms ended in talons sharp talons that were almost as large as the fangs that jutted from the thing’s snarling mouth.

The creature hissed furiously at her, slashing the air with its claws

“I have no time to wrestle with you now, J’Hasp. Perhaps later.”

The creature stopped hissing… its face drooped in a sad frown. Mewling in disappointment, it turned around and climbed up the wall, returning to its perch above the door.

She entered the house unmolested, even though the creature did throw a pebble at her head as she walked under it. She closed the door and locked it, then walked down teh hallway to the living room. As she walked, she grabbed the bottom of her black mask and pulled it off, revealing her pale, almost perfectly white skin. She tossed the mask into a corner, along with the gloves. She ran her delicate fingers through her long flowing white hair, fluffing it out and massaging her scalp at the same time. The cold air in the house felt good against her skin. She smiled. It was good to be home.

She reached the living room and walked over to the lone figure that rested in a chair before the unlit fireplace. She placed her pale fingers on his broad shoulders.

“It is done?” said the man. His voice was deep and resonant… much like hers.

“It is as you wished,” she replied. She leaned down, brushing her cheek against his and whispering into his ear “And, I have some interesting news for you… father.”

[END]

…okay, now that we’ve all finished pissing ourselves:

There is more, but not a whole novel’s worth… about three and a half chapters (not counting this intro). And, as I said, what comes next is a story that didn’t really make any sense. I still like the concept, but the sequence of events doesn’t flow… it’s hard to describe unless you’re a writer. If you ARE a writer, you know what I’m talking about.

Unlike the other story fragments I’m posting here, there is actually a small but certainly non-zero chance that I’ll finish this. THIS is one of the two ideas I was having a hard time deciding between for the next December novel. I decided against a completely revamped “Polar” in favor of something ELSE that I haven’t done a whole hell of a lot of work on lately. Still, Polar may get written at some point, or it may not. As it is, this intro is the only part of my existing Polar work (other than the characters themselves) that I would use in a remodeled version.


16 Comments

  1. nate, October 4, 2007:

    I’ll have to read this one today, between trying to get some work done. I remember the hints about this story. I thought it would deal with another person who had the same control over cold that December does. I guess by lunchtime I’ll know if my impressions were correct.

    Thanks.

  2. DarkIcon, October 4, 2007:

    Not from this intro, you won’t. This is just the intro, and the nature of the villain (who’s name is “Polar”) is not mentioned. So since you’re interested, I’ll just tell you that you are correct. Polar basically has 2X December’s ability and none of his humanity. He operates at or above the level that December only reaches when December loses control. Only he does it 100% of the time. But the story of where he came from and of December’s reaction to him is more important than what he can do. Unfortunately, you’re not getting any of that here either.

  3. nate, October 5, 2007:

    That was good. Of course I think that of most everything you do. I’d still like to see the finish of Captive Souls and Forgotten before you start something of this scope, but this is a story I’d really like to see too. Your December stories are among the best I’ve read.

  4. nate, December 22, 2008:

    How about those first 4 chapters? Even if you think they’re bad, there are those of us who would like to see them. No strings attached.

  5. DarkIcon, December 23, 2008:

    Merry Christmas.

    Be warned, I did not edit or even re-read this before converting and posting it. There will likely be more errors and annoying slips of the keyboard than you’re used to. Also, keep in mind that I abandoned this work for creative reasons. In the unlikely event that I decide to finish this story, I will almost certainly discard these chapters and start over from scratch.

    That being said, I’m interested to know what you think…

  6. nate, December 23, 2008:

    Thank you very much. My day just got a whole lot better. I’ll post comments once I’ve read it.

  7. Kragon, December 23, 2008:

    That was a great Christmas present! Needless to say that was like giving a bottle of Southern Comfort to an alcoholic.

    It’s like visiting an old friend.

    Needless to say, you left me in wanting. But I do see your reason in dropping it. But it is no reason to give up on it. Just get back to it in your own time. I look forward to seeing something come out of it. Or just seeing the Polar character in general.

  8. nate, December 24, 2008:

    WOW! Brings back memories of the old stories. I’m trying to make connections in my mind to cthrain.

    Thanks for posting this. I don’t see why you dropped it myself. It was shaping up quite well I thought. Maybe the focus on the loggers was a bit too much, but that could easily be fixed.

    This is the kind of writing that hooked me on this site to start with. Hopefully you’ll be able to return to it at some point.

    Thanks again, and Merry Christmas.

  9. DarkIcon, December 24, 2008:

    Thanks for the feedback; anyone else who reads it is welcome to leave their comments as well.

    It’s difficult to describe what the issues were with the story. I knew where I wanted it to go, and this fragment stops at the point where I realized that I couldn’t get there from here. Not in any way that made sense.

    The loggers were actually an essential part of the story. It was the part with the mysterious doctor in the mansion (and his cohorts) that December is visiting that was setting off all sorts of alarms. The story itself is about that doctor taking what he learned about December and performing an experiment on one of the loggers, thus transforming the logger into another version of December. Hilarity ensues. And by ‘hilarity’ I mean an orgy of violence in which lots of people die in horrifically entertaining ways. Fun for one and all!

    Oh well, I’m not taking the chapters down so anyone can read it if they want.

  10. nate, December 24, 2008:

    What a tease. I can just imagine December getting ticked off at the doctor for doing that, and calling in Eric, Lovvorn, and N’Doki for the hilarity part. Whether that’s what would happen or not, I’m sure there are others besides myself that would like to see this story at some point.

    And I could tell that the doctor and his associates had more to them that needed to be revealed.

    Thanks again for posting this.

  11. nate, December 30, 2008:

    Just read it again and I have to comment further, particularly in light of your recent post concerning writer’s block.

    This is the kind of story that makes me keep coming back to this site. The background and character development you’ve done with the Dragons Inn characters is absolutely amazing, and in my opinion that’s what’s missing from stories like COTA.

    Over the years you’ve hinted at more Dragons Inn and December stories, even a sequal to the Kultra solo, and the overall arching story line that will bring them all together and tie them up once and for all. Since you’ve already stated that you’ll never be able to flesh out your many ideas, why not go back to what the readers want? I can’t be the only one who wants answers on the characters that you’ve written NOVELS about. Who is Silvermass? Who/what is the burning man? What exactly is N’Doki up to? What’s Eric Hood’s secret? Priests of iron and fire?

    This intro has really grabbed me, and I’ll be going back and re-reading ALL of the old stories again. Because they’re that good! I’ll keep reading the new one’s too, but December and crew are what you’re known for on this site.

    Keep the donation button available. Even without the bonus stories, it’ll be used.

    Thanks, and I look forward to whatever you manage to write down in 2009.

  12. nate, December 31, 2008:

    Allright, I’ll try to make this my last post about this story, but it’s an important one to me.

    What’s the timing of this story in relation to the other published December stories and their revealed timelines?

    Does this take place before December Nights? Before or after the events that Theesa uncovered in Streets of ice?

    There had been allusions to December having a daughter, and her being lost to him, but his wife was killed by the Kings while pregnant. Just who is Angels mother, and where is she?

    So many more questions about this wonderful series.

  13. DarkIcon, December 31, 2008:

    Polar takes place years before the events of “December Nights”, and years AFTER the flashback sequences in “Streets of Ice” where December’s wife was killed. It’s one of the few glimpses into December’s life before you were first introduced to him. It takes place before Eric Hood and Lovvorn were part of the team. Angel is one of several people who filled Eric Hood’s role before Hood himself. N’Doki and J’Hasp have been around since the beginning, but N’Doki did not appear in this story.

  14. DarkIcon, December 31, 2008:

    And I probably shouldn’t say this, but the questions don’t bother me. The more interest people show, the more likely I’ll consider finishing/re-starting it.

  15. DarkIcon, December 31, 2008:

    Questions about Angel’s origin would have been answered in the story (which I still might finish one day) and so I intentionally didn’t answer that one.

  16. nate, December 31, 2008:

    One of the problems seems to be that I’m a single person instead of multiple people asking for more. Where the heck is everyone?!?!?!

    Thanks for answering.

    I just finished re-reading Flashback: The Wasteland. Might read The Expedition next…

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