Or rather, daughter. This is a concept that I have been considering for forever. It always has the tagline “Son of Schmendrick” in my mind (at least, this iteration of the concept) even though I have always pictured a young girl. At different stages in life, generally before adulthood.
Something I used to think about doing when I played QfG five a million times in a short period of time: writing an afterstory. One of the reasons that I never did that was because I just don’t have a mind geared for fan fiction. I think I tried to write it once and ended up with a completely original story. By accident.
Venturing away from digression, it is part of this whole nostalgic fling to have that concept come up again. And now I have the perfect forum in which to indulge the ridiculous impulse. Of course, being that I have not magically changed from the last paragraph, this isn’t proper fan fiction. It’s about the daughter of a retired hero who is my concept of Schmendrick.
No referenced events, places, or characters from the game. Fine line distinction? Yes. But an important one.
Opulence did not suit the family of a hero. A year spent in harsh climes, experiencing nearly every kind of want had left the head of the family with very lean needs. But he did have one indulgence. His chair.
It sat halfway between the fireplace and the window. The window was another expensive luxury, but his wife was the one who had insisted upon it. She would lean on the back of her husband’s chair, watching their children through the smooth glass panes.
She clicked her tongue against her teeth and reached over to grip his shoulder. “Anstice has run off again,” she said softly.
Chuckling, he reached up to pat her hand. “She’s twelve years old,” he reminded her. “And my best student. Wherever she’s gone, she has magic to protect her.”
While the two of them slid into the old, comfortable argument of how appropriate some of Anstice’s lessons were, Anstice herself climbed a tree.
It was a very old tree. Thick as an ogre and twice as tall, with lower branches that she could not wrap both arms around. Higher up, the branches were plentiful and thinner. Near the top, they were whippy enough to flick at her if she wasn’t careful.
She straddled the highest branch that would hold her weight, careful not to let her dress bunch up or tear. Although her parents had suggested she wear britches, Anstice preferred the flow of a skirt. So long as she wore a pair of her little brother Dastan’s short pants under the skirt.
A bit of aggressive fidgeting assured her that she had achieved a decently sturdy perch, she reached up and plucked the red alder wand from her hair. It fell away from its loose bun, settling about her shoulders like a yellow cloak.
Anstice squinted at the wand. It was not as imposing as her father’s mighty oaken staff. But it still had a good heft. She could pretend it was a dagger.
As she twirled it round to imitate a dagger, a spark popped from the tip. Jerking back, Anstice felt it drop from her hand.
Her chest slammed against the branch as she launched forward, grabbing at the wand. Blue sparks crackled out of her fingers like lightning. They stretched, then shot away from her, flying after the wand.
A foot off the ground, the wand was enveloped by the magic. Its own rich red colour spread throughout the blue ball, turning it purple.
Still hugging the branch, arm outstretched to the ground, Anstice grunted in effort. The magic was harder to control without both feet on the ground. By the time she’d managed to pull the wand back within her physical reach, the mental exertion had begun to play on her body.
She clasped the wand to her chest and leaned her back up against the tree trunk. Sweat matted her hair against her forehead and neck. Her breaths came in ragged pants.
“Better practise that one some more,” she said to herself, tucking her hair behind her ear.