In my narrative and story telling class this semester we did a project where we each had to write a log line and then swap the log line with another classmate and creating a beat board off of the long line that we received.
I was rather upset about having to do my project around what was a quintessential example of the Damsel in Distress trope so I talked with my teacher and she agreed with me that the Damsel in Distress trope is problematic and reinforces regressive notions about women being weak and in need of protection. My teacher, being awesome, allowed me to slightly change the log line and create a narrative about a retired knight going to rescue her husband.
Ani used to be a knight for the great king of Terra’s army. During her years of service, she met and fell in love with Ganth, a fellow knight in the army. As an arrogant and headstrong knight, Ani enjoyed her time in the army until one particularly devastating battle where she committed unspeakable acts of cruelty in order to secure the safety of her country. After that battle, Ani left the army, vowing never to wield a sword again. In the years that followed her retirement, Ani dwelled in her devastation from the events of the battle, never forgiving herself for the acts of cruelty that she committed.
Years later, after Ani had married Ganth, a letter comes to their house from the king requesting Ani and Ganth’s services for a dire situation. Ani downright refuses while Ganth responds to the call due to his duty as a knight. After Ganth’s departure, Ani notices that the seal on the king’s letter is a fake and rushes to the castle. Unfortunately when she arrives, she finds the throne room wrecked. She learns from a servant that a dark creature had murdered and impersonated the king in order to gather the bravest knights from the kingdom. When all the knights had gathered in the throne room the dark sorcerer and his dark creature minions kidnap them. Ani, despite not wanting to wield a sword, steals one from the armory and takes off on a quest to find the creature and rescue her husband.
Knowing that she has no idea where the dark creature has taken the knights, Ani goes to seek the advice of a wise witch that is rumored to live in the dark swamp. In the swamp, Ani saves a small ostrich from a mud monster’s attack only to find out that the ostrich is actually Ecko, the shape shifting daughter and apprentice, the of wise witch that Ani is in search of. Ecko takes Ani to see her mother who explains that the evil sorcerer is named Mura and that he needs to extract twelve purely brave souls in order to complete a spell that will make him immortal. The witch sends Ani in the direction of Mura’s hidden dungeon but insists that she takes Ecko with her as Ecko’s magic will help Ani defeat Mura. At first, Ani does not want Ecko’s help and Ecko doesn’t want to go because she has self-confidence issues with her magical abilities and only knows how to shape shift into an ostrich. The witch insists and the two unlikely heroes set off to find the evil sorcerer Mura.
On their journey to Mura’s dungeon, Ani and Ecko butt heads but ultimately come to understand each other and become friends. Ani helps Ecko gain self-confidence, which improves her magical abilities. In return, Ecko helps Ani overcome the guilt she has over the devastating battle that made her retire. When they arrive at Mura’s hideout, Ani confronts Mura directly while Ecko sneaks into the dungeon and frees the captured knights. Ani and Mura engage in a sword battle and just as it looks like Ani is about to lose Ecko is able to cast a powerful magical spell on Ani’s sword that gives it enough power to defeat Mura. After Ani and Ganth are reunited they, along with Ecko and the rest of the knights, venture home.