I finally managed it. I figured out what Wildrose’s artifacts are. For a long time (while writing the story basically) I wanted Wildrose to just have a whole bunch of random artifacts that would do random spells that he would use cleverly. I have come to realize pretty hard, during writing this book, that unlimited options is the worst thing you could possibly have. With too much variety, there is no focus. I finally decided I had to sit down and figure out what the common element was for Wildrose’s artifacts. I knew three things:
1) He works at range. Ie, I kept wanting it to be something he could throw into melee from a distance and then have it do the thing.
2) He is very precise.
3) He has a larger variety of things he can do than the others.
I wrote a few scenes with different ideas, brainstormed several times with my husband. and eventually came up with his having a deck of tarot cards that are each an artifact and each have a spell in them. There are a few rules for the cards*:
1) The maximum number of cards in the deck is set, as are the spells for those cards. (I actually haven’t figured out what either of those are yet. I want the number of cards in the set to be a multiple of three as opposed to clinging faithfully to the actual tarot, and no, I have not spent the time yet to figure out what every spell he has is.)
2) He can have duplicates of a specific card, but he still can’t have over the maximum number of cards. For those of you who know D&D it’s like the 3.5 wizard with his spellbook and prepared spells.
3) It takes a certain amount of time to re-imbue a spell into a card once spent. Time it takes is effected by the strength of the spell. If he happens to lose a card, the process of recreating the card is far more arduous.
So now comes the step of going back and retro-fitting this into all the fights. As I said before I really should not have let myself get this far into the story without figuring this out, as it’s going to require a lot of rewriting, plus my beta readers don’t have it to give me feedback, but that’s where I am.
*This is the disclaimer that I’m still working on this story and ideas are bound to change, so nothing here is set in stone.