I’ll admit it, I got a little scared.
The idea of starting a long story-arc that featured none of the main PvP cast members showing up seemed like a risky move. It has been in the past (especially with LOLbat). It’s fun to experiment but people lose interest when they go without seeing Cole, Brent, Jade and the gang for too long.
But it was a risk I was willing to take for Val Bronzebottom, a character I have come to care for very deeply. I have big plans for Val. Plans that involve Skull. But I needed to establish for myself who Val is as a person first. My fear was that just dropping her into the main cast woud make her a reactionary character. She would be defined by how she acted around characters my readers have known for years. I wanted her to have her own identity first.
Val was introduced as a part of a gaming group. I hinted at a long and complicated relationship between her and her friends Alan and Andrew. And this storyline would build off that. it would just require some time. When the story started to wrap up, I assumed that I had used up my goodwill. And since I got to the major plot points with Val, I didn’t spend as much time wrapping up as I should have maybe. It’s very easy to second guess yourself with this stuff.
So imagine my relief when I found my inbox full of the same question: “Wait! What happens next?” Whoops. I guess I wrapped things up too fast. The answer is “That’s it. They got all the way to the end. Even though they didn’t finish, they’re kind of gaming legends now. Alan and Andrew are not mad at Val at all. The end.” And overwhelmingly, your response to that is the same…“Wait! What happens next?” Guys I’m floored. I never thought I would get this kind of response from this diversion. And I’m elated that so many of you enjoyed it. I can promise that after this response, its guaranteed you’ll be seeing these guys again in the future. So don’t worry. We’ll get to what happens next. I promise.
Also a big thanks to Wizards of the Coast. Not only did they not sue me for approprating their brands for this story but they were very strong twitter advocates during the entire arc. Which was super cool of them.
And to everyone who wrote to tell me that this story got them rolling dice again, I hope all those rolls are twenties. Naturally.