⚔️ Go to Early Morning Training ⚔️
You’re up before any rooster crows to practice your sword skills. You’ve trained in the skill since your parents were murdered in the Great Rebellion only four years after your birth. You’re deadly with a blade, and these early morning training sessions keep your skills hidden from prying eyes. As a member of the lower class, you could be severely punished for daring to learn a skill like this.
MANDY: *blinks slowly <–which is actually a good description of me in the morning* Fighting? First thing in the morning? Fighting at all? Ya girl over here likes to take things slow and steady, and make sure I’m looking presentable before I’m doing anything in the world. I can’t get behind this wake up call.
SHA: I can get up early, but I can’t get up early and then sneak outside and start doing intense athletics. That’s a whole other level. Also, anyone in a five mile radius would hear me panting for breath like, “Who let me do this?”
📣 Hear an Unexpected Announcement 📣
It’s a good thing you have your training sessions so early in the morning—you’re armed and ready for the ruckus that breaks out in the town square. You hope that your little brother is still sleeping soundly in bed as your rush straight to the action. (Your favourite place to be!) A message has been posted.
MANDY: Omg, this is so much STRESS in the morning. I just want to eat a protein bar and take a little nap! Why did little brother get to sleep in??? I am a bit noisy and like to be in the know, so I’ll for sure be checking it out.
SHA: Usually I run (okay, walk) in the opposite direction of ruckuses. And I don’t leave helpless children in bed when trouble abounds which our fantasy peeps do too often, I am calling them out!!
🏰 Head to the Palace 🏰
The tyrannical ruler from the bordering lands has made another threat and your King has had enough. He is assembling the army! Well, you’re trained with a sword and the King needs soldiers. He can’t refuse you. No time to say goodbye to your family or pack supplies. You’re marching to the palace right now.
MANDY: YAAAAAAAAA. PALACE. I hope it’s pretty. I’m so ready for palace time. I LOVE PALACES. Like, okay, sure, there are threats and probably real death coming, but PALACE. Ugh, it’s going to be so cool.
SHA: Bye fam, probably going to die now. This is not me AT ALL. I always pack supplies on journeys! Or at least a little cash because I get peckish and need nourishment.
👑 Join the King’s Secret Team 👑
At the palace you’re furious that everyone is turning you away. So what if you’re too young? So what if your sword isn’t premium quality? You pick a black-clad figure and demonstrate your best fighting techniques. Take that! Little did you know the King’s spymaster was watching. You’re recruited onto the King’s spy unit to infiltrate the tyrannical ruler’s castle!
MANDY: Ugh, how rude of these people to turn me away. It’s not like I’m actively telling them how terrible I am and what a terrible choice I would make *looks around innocently* But I mean, at least I can sing, SECRET AGENT (WO)MANNNNNN as my theme song?
SHA: If someone is clad in black, you KNOW they’re high-ranking and/or a bad-ass. I kind of still believe this in real like. Like I’ll see someone all in black, and I’m like, ooh, that person is definitely cool. IDK, I’ve been programmed this way. In my life, no one with particular power/influence has ever observed me and then given me a good opportunity though. Oh well.
☠️ Have a Moral Dilemma ☠️
The tyrannical ruler’s castle is not what you expected. The servants are well paid, the food is equally distributed. When you sneak into the ruler’s chambers to slip poison into his drink, you realize you can’t end a life so easily. You begin to question what really caused the Great Rebellion that killed your parents. Could your King be the real tyrant?
MANDY: Wait, is there where I fall in love? I feel like I fall in love at this point with new fake tyrant. This sounds like Wrath and the Dawn subplot. *eyes Sha* I’m naturally paranoid, so I would 200% be doubting everything and everyone, so moral dilemma sounds about right.
SHA: I have not snuck into anyone’s palace to slip them some poison. I did pour salt in people’s water when I didn’t like them before. I was a naughty Little Sha.
🧬 Discover Your True Heritage 🧬
The tyrannical ruler’s door creaks open. You don’t have time to hide before he steps into the room. Somehow, he is not surprised to find you standing over his desk, poison in your hand. (His kind, he says, are immune to poisons.) He invites you to sit, and tells a story about an a royal baby, abandoned in a small town, raised by two peasants. Two peasants who died in a rebellion.
MANDY: I’m already a princess. I don’t need anyone to tell me this. Also, like, I’ll be too worried that he’ll be ready to kill me that I will hear absolutely nothing of this story as I go into a spiral.
SHA: Okay but WHEN IS SOMEONE GOING TO BE ALL, “Sha, your parents were actually rOYAltY.” I’m waiting impatiently.
💀 Die 💀
You slam open the door to the King’s study, fearless. You confront him on the injustices he has committing to his people, withholding only the fact that you are … you could be … royal. The King laughs, uncaring. He invites you to sit and share some wine. An odd request, but you both drink. He tells you that he doesn’t care about the people, only the money they can bring. Your vision starts to blur. The last thing you see before you collapse is the King smiling cruelly down at you.
MANDY: Did this heroine aka me never watch The Princess Bride??? How dare me. BUILD UP AN IMMUNITY. Then drink. Lame me.
SHA: I would have 100% had a better plan than running up to the King and saying, “Why are you such a jerk????” Also as poorly written as “I drank the suspicious liquid” sounds, admit it. Admit it. This happens in some YA fantasies.
✏️ Plan a Sequel ✏️
You awaken in a pit. The King tried to poison you, but you survived. That must mean. . . Huh. This is too much to do in a day (or in one book). Let’s plan a sequel and take down the real tyrant ruler, shall we? Or better yet: rule a land of our own.
MANDY: I DID BUILD UP THE IMMUNITY. Cool me. At least I got a nap?? I’m going to need it, since I’ve got some overthrowing to do. Also, can I get a meal? My protein bar isn’t holding me for this.
SHA: Always gotta come back to life right before the sequel. On another note, I would not like to rule my own land. Too much work.