Some ideas about a story in a parallel Carrollian setting, based on some notes from a dream from long ago. Yes, I know it’s been done to death. There are so many “dark Wonderland” stories out there, it’s disgusting. The “Wonderland vs. Oz” stories alone could make up an entire bookshelf. Nobody needs another one. Mine is pretty loose… and, sadly, unfortunately, regrettably, shares some very general ideas with Frank Beddor’s atrociously bad Looking Glass Wars series (which is mostly bad because it should have been so good). My apologies.
Anyway. I’m posting them here so I can finally throw out these little scraps of notes lying all over my desk.
There was once a battle for rulership of Wonderland (or the realms that stands in for it here). It went back and forth, various factions gaining and losing sway, great wars raging across the land. Until a young woman from one noble House, in the midst of a battle, found a way to pour all of her passion, all of her love, her fear, her rage, her hope, out of her heart and into her hand, forming a weapon- the first Heartblade. With this weapon, she became an unstoppable force, carving her way across the battlefield and leading her troops to victory.
Since then, Wonderland has been ruled by descendants of that first Queen. The ability to draw forth the Heartblade has carried down the bloodline, and any who would take the throne must produce a Heartblade to prove their blood as part of the ritual of ascension. For the most part, their rule was benificent, and the realms prospered.
Until the last Queen, in a desperate act of defense against assassins sent by a rival family who felt that aristocracy was overrated, drew and held her Heartblade for two full days without food or rest. No Queen had ever held her heart empty for so long. And it would turn out to be longer, for even after her rescue, the Queen refused to sheathe her ‘blade until she had hunted down every last member of the rival family and put it to their throats. Yet, even after she had done so, her grip did not slacken in the least. She has held it ever since, though the color has drained from it with the years until it is no longer red but black. And so it was she became known, in the whispers of the people, as the Black Heart Queen.
The realms have suffered under her since, for where she was once full of warmth and compassion, she has become cold and calculating. She no longer cares for the people or the land, only for consolidating power in her own hands, to ensure her rule is never threatened again. She dismissed her consort, declaring that there shall be no heir to her reign- she will remain Queen forever. Without the joys and woes of human emotion to weather her, she has not shown any sign of aging in the last hundred years.
There are, of course, rebels. The largest resistance faction is led by the White Knight, the Queen’s former consort. He remembers the vibrant, passionate woman he loved in his youth, but despairs of ever knowing that woman again. He knows, for the good of the people, her reign must end.
And then, of course, there is Alice. A teenage girl from our own world who follows a white rabbit through a looking glass into a strange and frightening place. The Knight will temporarily abandon leadership of the rebellion to help her find a way home. During their adventure, it will become apparent that she is a lost heir, and she will have to make a choice. Flee this curious world and its dangerous conflicts for the safety and comfort of home… or stay and lead a downtrodden people against a despotic ruler.
What would you choose?