Author’s Reflection: Din

I actually have quite a lot I could say about the piece that will be published today, even though, upon reading it, it may not seem dissimilar from anything else I’ve published here.
Din is based on concepts I began to develop over eighteen years ago. The world in which Din takes places and the characters it references were probably the first concrete ideas I had for such things. I have pages of notes and many text documents dedicated to the world of Aia and its circumstances and inhabitants. I developed them for years, but I ever found much success in turning them into full-fledged stories.
I came back to Aia just in this past year or two, after having neglected it for many years, because a friend of mine asked me to be the Dungeon Master for a Dungeons & Dragons group. I’m the type of person who’s not satisfied running an adventure I didn’t create, so I felt driven to establish my own adventure, and setting. I could think of no better place to start than Aia.
The Aia of my Dungeons & Dragons adventures has greatly transformed from how I originally conceived of Aia, but the basic elements of the world are still there. Aia grew around my concept of nine women called the Guardians of Lora, who had been tied to nine elemental deities and tasked with protecting a woman, Lora, who knew everything. They still exist in the world. The story today came to be as part of my new desire to update and reinvent them to fit in more with my current aesthetic.
Part of that reinvention began as I tried to conceive of how the Guardians’ powers would translate to them being a D&D class, should they ever appear in the campaign I’m running. To have them make sense as D&D characters involves some serious changes to the way their powers worked. The version created by the middle school version of me had them controlling powerful elemental magic while also allowing to summon actual avatars of the deities to which they are bound. In D&D, that’s not completely feasible.
I’m actually happier with the version of these characters that I’ve come up with thanks to pondering them through the lens of D&D. In a way, today’s story is like White Marble: it’s more of an exploration of characters and elements that could belong to something longer than it is an entirely self-contained work of short fiction. What happens here may or may not end up being canon, should I extend the story of the Guardians into a full work. For now, I hope you enjoy what I have written.

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