About the Story The KeyEdit
- Comments by the Author, Tamrend:
I started writing The Key toward the end of 2003. It was, quite literally, a challenge to myself. Many times before, I had started writing a story, only to stop a few pages in, unhappy with what I had written. With this story, I was attempting to break that barrier that I kept running up against. Making it fanfiction helped with that. Since it could not be published, there was no pressure to make it perfect. I deliberately refrained from editing anything until I had finished an entire chapter. The downside to that is that often mistakes will slip through.
Like most of the fiction I have written, the concept began with an image in my head. A man lies at the center of a pile of ashes, apparently dead, while two girls move hesitantly toward him. I intended from the very beginning to tie this idea in with the Diablo world, and in fact, the circle of ash is actually a meteor spell. In reading some of the background for the characters in Diablo, it struck me as odd that the Zann Esu, the sorceress character, is described as being one of the older mage clans, but elsewhere, the lore says that the Zann Esu "wrested the secrets of magic" from the "male-dominated mage clans". These two statements seemed somewhat contradictory to me. If they were one of the older clans, why did they need to "wrest" anything?
Knowing that this contradiction was probably an oversight on the part of Blizzard writers, I set out to solve it, and came up with the idea that something happened which caused the Zann Esu to disappear completely, even to the point of vanishing from recorded history. From that, the plot of The Key developed, and I posted my first, short chapter on the fan fiction forums at www.diabloii.net. Incidentally, the story is set between the time of the Binding of the Three, when the Prime Evils were sealed away, and the events of the video game series.
I was delighted to discover after a few chapters that I had something of a fan base for my story, and churned out several more chapters in a matter of months. Then, around the middle of 2004 and twelve chapters in, I began to slow down, posting a chapter ever few months. The first big dry spell began in late 2005 and went on for over two years. The more time went by, the more guilty I felt about leaving my readers hanging with an unfinished story. For some reason, though, I just couldn't find my way forward. Finally, in late 2008, having just learned that I would soon be laid off for the third time in my life, I got over myself and wrote a chapter. The second dry spell followed, but then in June of 2009, I had a burst of creativity and began to show something like my old prolificacy. As of this writing, I am adding an update to the story every month or two.
- --Tamrend, 27 November, 2009