Main Plot Arc
From House of Hozz
Design principle: The fantastic setting highlights the similarities between TwinWorld and the one familiar to the audience.
- 1 Plot Lines
- 2 The Prophecy
- 3 Sets of contrasting points and symbols
- 4 Fleshing out the characters
- 5 Critique
Main Plot: Oswald
Premise: The youngest of four brothers overcomes his apathy and kills a dragon that has overcome his siblings.
Oswald is lazy, content to drift through life on talent. After his brothers discover an alternate universe, he tags along on a few adventures. When one of them is killed, he is moved to action. Some sinister force is bent not only on destroying his family, but controlling all of Twin World. He eventually tires of the intrigue and returns to Hozz, living a life of ease. Years later, Merril arrives with news that his other two brothers have also recently died. By piecing together the events that lead up to his brother's demise, and with the aid of their surviving friends, he manages to track down the source of the calamity. A Dragon sleeps beneath the Great Tree, his plots entwined in every facet of Twin World. Gathering his courage, resources, and allies, Oswald ventures deep into the mind bending depths of the dragon's stronghold. But when he finally penetrates the dragon's lair, the dragon makes him an offer; A life of ease studying the priceless history and powers of the hoard, in exchange for Oswald's friendship. The dragon makes a bid to seduce Oswald with his old vices, and abandon the pointless journey of revenge. Oswald accepts, and lives for many years in the dragon's hoard. Yet, slowly, he uncovers further evidence that the dragon was behind not only his own brother's deaths, but the continual warfare between the Zarth and the Fayrie and many other atrocities. Mourning his lost opportunities, and wasted years, Oswald (now an old man) takes up the Dragon Lance and kills the dragon, now his only friend. The dragon's death throes draw the Turmoil in from the edges of the world, and Oswald dies in the wreck of the hoard as the Great Tree comes crashing down upon them all.
Side Plot: Ziggy
Premise: The oldest of four brothers overcomes his pride and submits to a plan that he does not understand.
Ziggy thinks he knows everything about what is best for everyone. Hears the prophecy and follows Oswald into TwinWorld. Applies a mundane meaning to what he sees there, and remains stalwartly unimpressed. Although he can explain the little things, the shape of the world, and the Great Tree at its center haunts him. He helps to plant the new Great Tree at Propitiation. While there, he learns of shaping from the a group of Dryads (whose groves have been destroyed by the Dragon's schemes), and creates the Hilt of the Dragon Lance. Continues to ascribe mundane meaning to his experiences until he reaches the Great Tree. There he confronts the full force of the Fay Enchantment and is captured by the Fay Queen. While under the enchantment, his eyes are opened to the true nature of TwinWorld, and he understands how foolish and offensive was his prior presumption. Although unable to leave the Fay Court, he slowly bends the Queen's enchantments and siphons many of the linking spells back to the most potent outside anchor he can remember, the new Great Tree in Propitiation. The Dragon stirs up the Fay against him for reviving interest in the Prophecy and altering the old enchantments. He is released from the Fay Queen's service, and a mob of Fay kill him while he is traveling back to the House of HOZZ. Meril is among his murderers, and takes his journal.
Side Plot: Hugh
Premise: A man struggles to properly express real love in the presence of real evil.
Kills evil without remorse. Learns to love the Fay and the Zarth. Finds Meril an evil fay, but refrains from killing her. Justifies his actions by seeking out the "ultimate corrupting influence". Stops Zack's army from reaching the Heart of Water, and kills Zack. Wracked by grief, he goes to live on the Horizon. While there, he forges the blade of the Dragon Lance with a Zarth (who was given his tools and station by the Dragon in order to discredit another Zarth). When he travels back to the House, Hugh gives the blade to Meril. Learns of the Dragon Cultists and decides they must be evil. Goes to wipe them out, and is stunned when his evil powers are only very mildly activated in the cultists presence. The cultists defend themselves, and Hugh is gravely injured. A pair of dragon wyrmlings burrow into his guts, their evil keeping him alive as he wanders the Turmoil in a delerium. After what seems like ages in his time-dialated agony Zack comes to him and heals him (though Hugh does not recognize him). After resting at Cloud 9, he returns to the House of HOZZ. There is a letter waiting for him, calling him to testify in Merrils case in a Zarth court. Hugh travels to Anglestruct where he challenges the judge to combat for the case. Without his powers, it is a close fight, but he emerges victorious. He takes Merril back to the house of Hozz and lives happily there several years. While he is away, the Dragon incites the Zarth against him (in order to restore the former judge to power, as he was a key player in the Dragon's schemes). He is held trial for using his supernatural powers to corrupt justice. Unable to justify his past actions even to himself, he pleads guilty, and is executed.
Side Plot: Zack
Premise: A man gains power over others, but surrenders it for the beauty of freedom. See Litch for more details on his rise and fall.
Zack gains powers to control and re-animate others. His experiments grow more foul, and when he reaches Twin World he begins raising an army. He rules the Garden of Life, but his brothers become suspicious of his activities. When Ziggy is killed, Zack travels to the spot of the murder Zack hoping to reanimate the corpse. He is disappointed to find only the "burst" Livewood hilt remaining. He takes the sprouted hilt with him, as it reminds him of the Lindora he has been working on controlling. He succeeds in partially re-animating the livewood, and carries it with him as a sprouted staff. When he attempts to corrupt the Heart of Water, his intentions and true nature are made clear. Hugh hunts down his philactery, and then kills Zack and tosses his body into the Heart of Water. There Zack Meets Tanodia and is reborn as a healer. He helps to heal the victims of the army he led to conquer the Heart of Water, and in doing so befriends many from Propitiation. Traveling to Propitiation, he heals many others and hears of the terrors that they have suffered. He lives for a while in Propitiation, healing the wounded from their battles. Merril finds him there. Convinced (by the Dragon's circuitous dreams) that he is still evil, she stabs him through the heart with the Dragon Blade, which Zack partially blocks with the undead hilt-staff. The healing water from Zack's heart fuses the blade and hilt, and gives the weapon a life of its own. When he hears from Merril that Hugh has been wounded, he sets off into the Tumult along with a few crafty Zarth. After many hardships, they locate Hugh. Zack heals him and leaves him with the Zarth at Cloud 9. He goes on many other adventures, making new companions among the Fay and Zarth. Eventually he hears that Propitiation is being attacked, and returns to help. Unfortunately, as he arrives Propitiation is being overrun by the Zarth/Fay coalition (a friendship spurred by the Dragon's schemes to keep the Old Tree safe). Hugh dies as he roams through the battlefield, healing anyone he can. The healing heart that Tanodia gave him beats on, and becomes a healing spring until it is carried off the Horizon and out of memory.
Side Plot: The Dragon
Premise: A shrewd lover of beauty accumulates great wealth, only to have it destroyed when his schemes catch up to him.
The Dragon wants treasure. Over the ages, he has accumulated a huge horde in the roots of the Great Tree. In order to enjoy his treasure in peace, he must make sure he is not discovered, and especially not hunted. To this end he kills all of the other dragons that he can find, and has convinced most of the world that dragons do not exist. He encourages a small (but corrupt) group of Fay and Zarth to hunt any dragons that come up from the Pit, and has connections with the several dragon cults that spring up to worship dragons. The dragon cults seek out and protect any dragons that make it out of the depths, and then send them to The Dragon, presumably to "rule at his side". With these factions fighting each other, and neither aware of his location, he remains safe from the vast majority of creatures. He has heard of the last prophesy, but figures that even if the Great Tree falls, the roots (and his hoard) will remain. He is so practiced at manipulating events that he does it literally in his sleep, his enchanted dreams disturbing and directing whole nations. As Ziggy, Hugh, and Zack interfere with his plans he has them destroyed from afar without a thought. Their youngest brother, Oswald, nearly surprises him in his lair, but the Dragon sees Oswald as just another novelty to add to his collection, and exploits his desire for ease and knowledge to assure his friendship. He continues for many years manipulating and guiding events in an attempt to keep the Old Tree from sliding off of the world. It is with genuine surprise that he finds himself confronted, years later, by a livid Oswald who demands that he move his lair to a new location so that the Old Tree can travel to the Horizon as it should. Unable to give up his home and treasures, The Dragon refuses. Guessing that Oswald intends to unveil him to the world, the Dragon gathers all of his huge hoard into the central chamber, intent on protecting it. Instead, Oswald attacks him suddenly, inflicting many fatal wounds. With his last energy, The Dragon destroys his stronghold intent that, if he may not forever enjoy the beauty he has gathered, then neither may anyone else.
Side Plot: Merril
A badly injured woman finds healing through the love, sacrifice, peace, and knowledge of others.
Hugh's love, Zack's sacrifice, Oswald's peace, and Ziggy's knowledge.
Merril has had a hard life. After her mother died slowly from a wasting fungus, she was set adrift by her distant father. Forced to make her own way she worked her way into the employ of Mogan where she was very ill used. After escaping his clutches she turned to the Fay community, but was spurned for her scars and her past. Driven further and further from Fay society, she sought refuge among the Zarth...
"Four paths for four brothers, my sons. Twice spoken. Last to first, from doom to doom, oldest to youngest. In rest, in toil, in love, in confusion, the four paths lie. Together you shall come without will, and apart you shall go by choice and not return. One path runs through wood, one through fire, one through water, one through self. You shall slay your foulest friend. You shall heal your bitterest foe. You shall stand against evil and fall to good. You shall yield to truth and bear falsehood. Together your coming shall shake the Great Tree, and your going shall see it fall. Learn well. Choose well. Act well. Endure well."
- Four paths for four brothers, my sons. The prophecy is given by Durand about his four sons, who (at the time of the prophecy) have not yet been born.
- Twice said, Last to first, from doom to doom, oldest to youngest. This alternating phrase outlines the order (2x the pattern of: 4,1; interlude; 1,4) in which the prophecy is given. That is 4,3,2,1; (interlude about motivation "from doom"); 1,2,3,4; 4,3,2,1; (interlude about effect "to doom"); 1,2,3,4
- In rest, in toil, in love, in confusion, the four paths lie. 4,3,2,1: Oswald is in rest, Zack in toil, Hugh in love, Ziggy in confusion.
- Together you shall come without will, and apart you shall go by choice and not return. (interlude about motivation "from doom"): They are diven to Twin World against their will, but as a group. They leave Twin World by their own choice, each choosing his own good death.
- One path runs through wood, one through fire, one through water, one through self. 1,2,3,4: Ziggy's purpose deals with the Great Tree, Hugh's purpose deals with the Outer Fire, Zack's purpose deals with the Heart of Water, Oswald's purpose deals with his own motivations.
- You shall slay your foulest friend. You shall heal your bitterest foe. You shall stand against evil and fall to good. You shall yield to truth and bear falsehood. 4,3,2,1: Oswald slays his foul friend (the Dragon), Zack heals his bitter foe (Hugh), Hugh defeats evil (that thing he does) but is killed by good (the Zarth who bring him to justice), Ziggy submits to truth (the prophecy, and the deep knowledge of Twin World) and bears the falsehood (the Dragon levies lies against him).
- Together your coming shall shake the Great Tree, and your going shall see it fall. (interlude about effect "to doom"): The return of the children of Durand indeed shakes the social order of the Great Tree, and each of them sees the Great Tree fall in some way. Ziggy lays the linking magic which will siphon the life energy from the old Great Tree to the new one. Hugh severs the anchoring roots of the Great Tree, causing it to fall over. Zack sees Propitiation, the symbolic Great Tree, fall to the Zarth and Fay. Oswald sees the Great Tree literally fall into the Turmoil after he slays the dragon.
- Learn well. Choose well. Act well. Endure well. 1,2,3,4: Ziggy is to learn. Hugh is to choose. Zack is to act. Oswald is to endure.
Misinterpretation of the Prophecy
Each of the Hozz brothers chooses what he likes best from the prophecy, instead of following his own part. Portrayed here in mono-log form.
- Ziggy: Huh, I like "Twice spoken" People say, "don't make me say it twice" but maybe that's a good thing. I'll say things twice when I want them to really get it. "One path" Huh? Yeah, we've all got to follow the same path. I say we stick together and go to each of these places one at a time. "wood" is first, so we should get to the Great Tree. Also "yield to truth and bear falsehood" makes sense, we shouldn't be afraid to lie when necessary, as long as we admit it afterwords. Also, "learn well" is the first thing, so we should all be trying to learn as much as we can before we choose anything. Gotta follow the prophecy!
- Hugh: "Together you shall come without will" means that having a weak will is bad. We have to "stand against evil" like it says, and not be intimidated or confused. It even says "in confusion" but that's got to mean we should watch out for confusion. "Through self" means we can't rely on others, we're in this alone.
- Zack: This is an awesome prophecy, "doom to doom" and "shake the Great Tree"? Totally sweet! "slay your foulest friend" sounds like a trator though, so we've got to watch out for that. It would be easy to get betrayed with all these crazy creatures around. They might not be as friendly as they seem, and like it says we've got to "Choose well" who our friends are.
- Oswald: Wow, this is a confusing prophecy. I really like how he said "my sons", I've always felt kind of distant from Dad. "Last to first... oldest to youngest" what does that mean? There's "fire... water" in there, maybe it has to do with the four elements? "heal your bitterest foe" sounds good, we should try to reconcile with our enemies instead of hurt them. I like how it says "in love" too. I don't think we should worry too much about it though, if it's a prophecy, it will come true no matter what we do.
Sets of contrasting points and symbols
The main plot arc involves four major groups
- The Hozz Brothers are a group everyman. They spend most of their time working against their ultimate goals through pride, malice, misinformation, or laziness.
- The Fayrie are a woman symbol society.
- The Zarth are a male symbol society.
- The Dragon is a symbol of competent evil. He is playing both sides of pretty much everything and keeps coming out on top.
The long-term history has three sections
- The Dragon amasses treasure under the Great Tree, and gets most of the world to think that dragons don't exist, while the rest of the world is terrified of dragons, and tries to kill all the other ones (see this story).
- The Oracle is established as accurate and reliable, and then prophesies that his offspring will fell/destroy the Great Tree. He is forced to flee as many decide to try and kill him and his family before this prophesy can come true.
- The Hozz brothers fulfill the prophesy, but only after misinterpreting it and failing several times.
Fleshing out the characters
The oracle wants people to believe the truth. Unfortunately, he isn't sure what that is most of the time. His predictions come un-bidden, and even he doesn't know what they portend. When he make predictions, many take them the wrong way, or re-interperet and twist them to mean what they want. After the Last Prophesy, most people think that the attention went to his head. Some claim that he was manipulating events to go the way he predicted. Others claim he is in fact the dragon, sowing seeds of delusion. Some still believe his veracity, but since he disappeared (to earth) the hopes that his last prophesy will come true are slim. He lives on earth, with his wife and children, and still makes prophecies occasionally. They always come true.
I am Ziggy, and I approve this plot. Ziggy 01:18, 1 March 2013 (CST)