and sometimes you wake up with a most urgent feeling because
a mercenary company had to be able to call up a thousand men, to meet its obligations to the licensing lord, and the continent spanning empire had a round one thousand mercenary companies. which the lord with the authority ordered to a particular town on the outskirts that was being cranky.
yes, all of them.
yes, that would make a round million soldiers in the field at once. which, i just looked it up, is substantially more might than ancient Rome, even without the heading for the same city part.
the boss dude didn't actually expect a successful muster of a million people. he expected to be able to take a lot of companies off the books, saving himself a tidy sum even if the individual payments were tiny. A thousand of anything was a thousand more than he wanted.
politically he was demonstrating the basic jump / how high relationship that the otherwise fractured military had to him.
but as soon as he gave the order I had a feeling of impending doom like woah. and given I was an oracle that is a lot of doom. a lot.
so I conference called my company, via illusion. they thought I was calling about the battle they were about to win, but while that was a pretty big battle and the reason we'd have to scramble for a bigger total army if we wanted to move a thousand, it had suddenly become insignificant in the grand scheme, and I needed someone to ask me questions until we could figure out why. Some of it was obvious. Like, yeah, we're sending a thousand people each, but how are we organising them when we get there? So we needed to bring as many officers as possible, bring them out of retirement, bring the grey hairs and prop them up if we had to. If we were the only ones who brought a general then our general would be a considerable advantage. But I didn't know what we would be fighting. What on earth could challenge a million men? I didn't think it would be chaos, it didn't taste like chaos. But I could taste a whole lot of death. Which, battle. And may I say that foreknowledge is one thing and clairvoyance another and very handy in story and song, but foretaste doesn't usually get that literal, and it weren't exactly convenient. Still, if the only problem is death, and it's definitely a war sort of death, what's killing them? And what on earth could muster a force to match even those thousands without so much as a hint of it already?
Then we realised, necromancy. Necromancy is the enemy that only tastes of death. And of course they can match our army, we're bringing it.
And when I went looking for a solution?
There was just cold.
So, I went off to get a licence to get Captain Cold out of prison and assemble the Rogues. A scouting party could move faster. I'd recruit an even dozen, get down there, and see if between us we could cut the necromancy off at source.
I walked out with blanket permission to get whoever I wanted out of jail... and under a geas, same like I was now stuck under. Such a fuzzily worded geas we either fixed the problem (hah, which problem) or served for a whole year and a day.
So, year and a day with Captain Cold and whoever he would recruit. Heatwave, of course, though he wasn't even in prison, he'd get bound by the same thing to stay with Cold. And no Mirror Master, he'd disappeared into his mirror realm a while back and none had heard from him. But I thought we needed more cold, so we got Weather Wizard in, and then recruited Killer Frost.
Even just from that, it was going to be wild.
It would turn out that the city about to be besieged saw the scale of problem they'd called down on themselves and thought they were so epically screwed it could not get worse. So, necromancy. Except, and it's sad when they have to learn this the hard way at city scale, it can always get worse.
So Cold and the scouting party would go to the source and have a grand dungeon crawl in a graveyard full of barrows and ancient magic. But even after that was defeated and frozen solid (because even the undead have trouble going anywhere when they're somewhere betwee block of ice and crunchy pieces) the threat remained. Somewhere in the city the big bad had set up already, and if we went in there to deal, we'd be the wrong side of the walls when things kicked off.
But even without the geas on, after what we'd just seen, we knew what we had to do.
Adventure. Grand scale.
Don't know what I'd do with an even dozen characters though. Stories very seldom go that high. Span of control thing I think, humans tend to drop people if there's more data sources to keep track of than fingers, and you have to include the bad guys in figuring. So we'd get there and split the team into two expeditions.
Killer Frost and her version of Firestorm on the team to go in the city, me and Cold headed for the barrows outside. Rogues with us and ex heroes with them.
Probably Sara leading the second team? Oh, and the Black Siren from Earth 2. Means maybe Firestorm is Deathstorm? If nobody knows how Ronnie survived yet but he's been acting wrong since he did... huh, google suggests one version of Deathstorm is basically necromantic anyway... oh that would be fun... though what the comics did with it was very not fun, ffs, no more dead girlfriends, there's a law now. But, Deathstorm turning out to be a joker, because only half of firestorm was bound by the geas, that'd work grand. So team ex hero needs two more... Huntress comes to mind, in the Arrowverse. Hmm, if we start giving team accidentally necromancy a bunch of dead love ones then angst up to a thousand. Reverb? Maybe? ... Cisco is a cinnamon roll and I don't wanna. Roy would count if he's in prison for being Arrow. Sara and Roy have issues, and they're about necromancy. I'm not keen on the Arrowverse version of Roy though, he's so bland. Also that gives four Arrow to two Flash, and they don't cross connect real well, so nobody would know what Frost and Firestorm's issue was. Which is a way to get Deathstorm in without anyone noticing but ... I don't know, there has to be chewier combinations.
Captain Cold, Heatwave, Weather Wizard, Pied Piper, and two more. Trickster is a gimme if he's comics version but can you imagine bringing TV Trickster on any sort of mission? Or both tricksters having a fun little outing.
... if we want drama it isn't the way to split the teams. Two ex heroes with the Rogues, with heavy grief issues. Two rogues with team still think they're heroes, with heavy infighting issues.
Roy with the Rogues being told he's one of the guys now? The lack of prior connections would make it emotionally appealing to have a team again without conflicts, but reclassifying himself to be basically what he always thought he'd end up as... yeah, there's mileage.
Huntress has different issues though. Grief and rage. Killing her father, so she's got something to bond with Cold over. Huh, would either of them want to bring him back? Everyone would assume no, but they'd look at each other and know it's not that simple... and if their fathers even appeared to be back, would it be so easy to pull the trigger? Still, the one she'd want offered is the one we never met, jer dead fiance. And religion ought to play in, but this is a fantasy verse so first I'd have to invent the religion. But she'd be interesting. And up the number of girls around here, which, very necessary.
But I kind of want to put Hartley and Reverb together. I don't exactly ship that, especially since I'd have to invent whatever sent Reverb dark... and there's a temptation once necromancy is in play to make it the reason... but they've got a useful dynamic.
Sara, Black Siren, Killer Frost, Huntress... we need two more women for parity. Who would we not need to invent though? I mean they don't all get detailed. Two more rogues or two ex heroes... or? Nyssa wouldn't be in jail to get out though. Well Mick wasn't either and once you've got Siren and she gets Sara then she could go get Nyssa? Two assassins and a badass normal vigilante though, that's not powers parity. And I don't know what Nyssa's thing would be. Still, bring the love interest. ... wait, Nyssa wouldn't be in jail in the local equivalent of Star or Central, but she was locked up for a bunch of time. We can get Nyssa while she's having succession problems. Nice.
Sara, Siren, Frost, Huntress, Nyssa...
Cassandra Savage seems misplaced on the team we bring with us, but a child of an immortal who canonically uses corpses and blood to sustain his followers in unnatural long life? Necromancer in this setup. They'd meet her in the city. And without Snart have to take a whole different approach. Nyssa could have a very similar conversation about fathers though...
Metahuman women :
Plastique wouldn't be in prison per se, even if she survived exploding here. Also do we want to bring the mass damage power to the scouting mission? She'd be along to the seige. Huh, or her general would be too into necromamcy because wanting to bring her back...
Peek a boo is best for getting word out, but underground in the dark she's kind of screwed and she knows it. Still, we'd be bringing a healer. Huh, is she a Healer in the magic system I've been noodling? Necause those Healers do necromancy if they bork things. But that gives her two styles of magic at once.
Rosa Dillon I haven't met yet.
Magenta, same problem.
Valentina Vostok... well the first thing I can think of to do with her is have her flirt with Len in front of Mick. And be on fire. Um, that does not go in a gen direction. Valentina needs to find a compatible other half to stay stable. If she can keep her unstable form for more than an episode, like Stein did when convenient, she'd still get desperate. Deathstorm would be very, very interesting to her, both as someone to study and a potential solution. So, flirting with Ronnie in from of Caitlin... and being another person Killer Frost can touch... okay, this isn't gen either. Do I make her team geas or just wtick her in the city under seige? We need someone to be all come to the dark side for most of that team. That could work. And she'd end up necromantically stabilised instead of dead.
Trajectory got dead or disappeared into the speed force. Potential necromantic connection. Caitlin guilt? But not a team member.
The Pilgrim kicks a lot of arse but lacks personality. Also her powers are way cooler in potential than in action. Could do better, but no strings for the team to work. Unless you start with Mick as freed Kronos and have a thing where he's trying to free her?
Doctor Light of Earth Two ... the name annoys me so much because they treated their asian characters as interchangeable when they made her Linda Park. But she has light powers, which goes well with a dungeon crawl in the dark, arguably can do sunbolt and we can have undead be vulnerable, could do the keep away thing where a circle of light protects the party, and, helpfully, is a thief. She's a natural for the Rogues. And her powers would help Peek a boo a lot. But boo is a bit easy to get out of a jam. And into one. Hmm, don't know, teleporters are hard to handle.
Dr Light is badass though. And can do invisibility. That's who you want on a scouting mission.
Sara, Siren, Nyssa, Huntress, Frost, Dr Light.
If Dr Light had accidentally killed someone she'd have necromancy appropriate issues. I mean in canon she accidentally kills someone while trying to kill her own alternate universe doppelganger, so there's issues that are hard to translate without bringing the alternate universe thing. And her personality I don't feel ai've got a grip on. I mean even the earth one version. Start with bold, direct, but easily startled.
So, yeah, went through a list of female characters to see who I could plug in to my plot.
I know Lisa is the obvious but Len isn't going to bind her into a geas for anything, and she hasn't ended up in orison so she doesn't need freed.
I find bug eyed bandit boring. Also in a fantasy verse you'd have to give her real bees and that is too many legs. too many.
Isabel Rochev... meh. Has nothing to do with anyone else I brought.
China White is a whole different scale than this adventure.
One of the demolition team is ladies but I'm not bringing the team so nope.
And then there's that cop turned bad who was getting all the moneys in Starling. Liza Victoria Warner. If this were going to be live action I'd want the actress back. But she's in prison, ex hero sort, would want out on a geas. Cold would have no reason to choose her, but maybe Sara could. Also I haven't been paying attention to ethnicity and there's a lot of white on this team. Her instead of Huntress? Did she have much personal going on though? Would I be making that bit up?
... I know I'm unlikely to actually write this though.
Cold, Heatwave, Weather Wizard, Pied Piper, Firestorm
White Canary, Black Siren, Killer Frost, Doctor Light
and then decide between
Nyssa, Huntress, Lady Cop, Peek A Boo
... I could have Nyssa be in the city serving her also a necromancer father. Then her and Cassandra Savage have too much in common. But Cassandra has far less story mileage once Sara is along. Also if Ra's is undead then so is Sara.
Valentina wants to tempt Ronnie, Nyssa is temptation for Sara, they work as team come to the dark side for the infiltrators, who are
Sara, Siren, Killer Frost, Deathstorm, ... the others don't really tie in, do they?
I mean Piper is on the list because I like him, not because he has necromancy issues.
Leave Piper at home. Bring more women.
Argue about team composition on the way there. Have Roy think of himself as a criminal... urgh, I don't like that boring version of Arsenal. He's the only reason to bring criminal who thinks she's a cop though, so he's got a contrast. But, Roy and Laurel between them made Sara undead, and if we do a big anti undead spell then Sara gets hit by it, and Roy would do... pretty much anything to fix that. You have to bring that along. Siren isn't Laurel in the same ways. But she could be undead Laurel. Angry version.
Sara, Siren, Roy, one set of issues. Going to see Ronnie all back from the dead twice and see necromancy, even where Caitlin doesn't. Caitlin's issue as Killer Frost is going all cold and killing people, Deathstorm could have some dead inside issues, we need a third to pull on their dynamic somehow. I don't see how anyone on the list does that, they're kinda dyadic.
Team composition is hard. You want to bring people who can pull on each other's issues so as a writer you've got your brew set up, but you also need a reasonable range of powers, so in universe they'd choose each other for this particular mission. And if you're trying to achieve diversity or gender parity from a 'verse that maybe doesn't so much, well. More difficult than that even.
And choosing people that aren't at some point in prison or at least bad guys in canon feels like cheating on my initial premise somehow. And bad guys always get less depth so you kind of have to reach for issues.
ooh, thought of: Lady Cop is from Starling, after the Undertaking. Giving her grief issues is not hard. Imagine someone making the offer to Raise 503 people, that whole district of her home town. Now that's a pitch. And it makes it less personal in the good way, like if she believes it then that's her civic duty. And if necromancy is related to healing then it's easier to believe it, because respectable. So we need a necromancer with big ideas.
Haven't put as much work into the dungeon crawl contingent yet. Send the arogues into the tomb complex, that'll go well...
I have spent hours on this and yet I never get around to making story out of bunnies.
I shall go do something else.
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