This month, I’ve released eight chapters of Puppy Mill 2 to my patrons. These chapters will dole out over the next few months on a weekly basis, but for patrons, they get to see Merrie’s first days in Abbinkey Prison.
For decades, Abbinkey has been mostly a vague idea in the back of my head. It shows up as a terrible place in many stories including Daughter of Justice, Derik’s Luck, and many other stories. For all the fear that characters had for the prison, the prison itself never solidified.
The prison had shown up in my old Dungeons and Dragons game. Actually, a lot of events show up in these stories, but the prison in the game was a horror-filled slaughter-fest that nailed over half the party in the first two hours. It also pushed the limits of the players’ stomachs and I had to back off a little.
A year later, another adventuring group managed to stumble into a psychopathic plant mage. They didn’t know what to do with him so they “suggested” he head over to the prison and help with the escapees from the prison. (Well, they made the suggestion because he was kicking all of their asses with some rather brutal plant spells.)
Psycho plant people seriously turn me on. Don’t get me started with Poison Ivy. Yummy, tentacles and thorns.
But for all the adventures and stories, I didn’t have a solid idea of the prison. The horror wasn’t really sustainable for long-term stories. It wasn’t much better than a combination zombie, prison break, and “kill everyone” prison leaders. Like most movies, they make great one-shots but the prison wouldn’t have survived more than a few weeks before everyone died.
How to evolve the prison into something properly long-term terrifying was something that eluded me. Unable to figure it out, I just left it as a vague terror and moved on.
It wasn’t until Puppy Mill and the evolving Kivas mythology that I finally figured it out. The prison’s origin kind of snapped together between the two Kivas brothers, one that did terrible things and the one that stopped him (yeah, kind of stealing from Underworld, but I’m okay with that).
Writing the prison is proving to still be difficult, mainly because I’m bridging “what was” with “what it needs to be.” This is the same difficulties I had with the beggars dying in the ally in the first Puppy Mill.
It will work out. There will be signs of the old horrors in the story, readers will pick them up at the dump. What you’ll be reading in the next few chapters is the raw, painful resurrection of the prison as they recover from the events from the last adventure.
I hope you enjoy it.