Tiger Prince, Thorn Witch
Tiger Prince, Thorn Witch is a story written by green papaya. It ran in Special Issue 13 at http://www.shousetsubangbang.com/mirror/tiger-prince-thorn-witch/
Hong has spent her entire life trying to avert the destiny a fortune teller foretold for her: to be a tiger's bride. But when her city comes under siege from a powerful magician, she must make a deal with a stranger in order to save it--even if it means having to face her destiny head on.
What a whopper of a story! I did not expect it to get this long, but I'm very happy with how it turned out. This story had quite a different plot when it was first conceived, but some things have remained constant: Young Do has always been a tiger, and Hong was always meant to be a foreign bride who finds her freedom on the mountain.
A few worldbuilding things of interest:
- Hong's name means "rose." If we're going to be honest, I'm not sure what Young Do's name means (it depends on whatever hanja you're using); I just like it as a name.
- The name for Sun Hue, the city that Hong is from, is a modification of a name for Hue, the old imperial capital of Viet Nam. Hue used to be known as Thuan Hue. A lot of Vietnamese can be written with Chinese characters because, well, imperialism. If you take the character for "Thuan" and transliterate it into Korean, it's "Sun." Therefore, Sun Hue. I wanted to evoke a more Southeast Asian feel for Sun Hue, hence their dominant mythical animal is the snake.
- Kinryeo's name is also a compound of Vietnamese and Korean words. The "kin" comes from Kinh, the name for ethnic Vietnamese. The "ryeo" comes from Goryeo, one of the old Korean kingdoms. Like its name, Kinryeo's culture and lands are a mixture of Vietnamese and Korean. The northern part of the country, where Young Do resides, has more Korean influence. That's why you see more people with Korean names (Da Bin, Hae Soo), and Hong wears a hanbok after her bath. Young Do, if you're wondering, is wearing something similar to this. Except blue. And better looking.
- Dohoa itself takes its inspiration from an actual citadel in Viet Nam. You can read more about it here. Dohoa is Young Do's seat of power. It didn't make it into the story, but Kinryeo is feudalistic in structure. There's a king way down in the south and great clans who help him rule over different parts of it. Oh, except for Young Do, who kind of refuses to bend the knee. Hence Yen's comment about Dohoa being "rather different than the rest of the country." Also why Young Do styles herself a "prince" rather than, say, just a lord.
- Finally, the magic: Hong practices sympathetic magic, while Young Do practices something more like elemental magic. I really love sympathetic magic and the poetry that can be evoked with it. It's a system that has room to be epic while still having rules by which it must exist.
If you're interested in learning and reading more about Kinryeo, head on over to my Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/ninetales. I'll be posting many more stories about Hong and Young Do there, as well as stories from other characters in Kinryeo. You know you want to click it and find out what happens with Young Do's curse!