As the appointed hour for the Villain’s Journey panel did draw nigh, Kate the Impaler did venture forth from that refuge of good alcohol (which, she – alas – could not imbibe)(damn medications) and amiable company, Barfly Central, that she attend the panel. It must be said the warrior maiden eagerly anticipated the conclusion of the panel, for she was greatly wearied by the day, and must be well-rested for the panels she was due to attend upon the morn.
Such unfortunate state did not prevent Kate the Impaler from joining with those worthies Emily Lavin Leverett, D. Alexander Ward, and Jean Marie Ward to discuss the nature of the Villain’s Journey… or at least discuss matters pertaining to Villainy and the characterization thereof. In a curious quirk of fate, the nature of the Villain’s Journey was ne’er to be found in the topics touched upon that night, though much was said unto the nature of the antagonist and how therefor an author incapable of depicting a villain might make use of that creature known as the shadowy Big Bad which is most famed (or notorious) for never truly revealing itself, lest its nature as a pathetic dweeb be exposed unto the entire world. This creature, it was agreed, is one best disposed of by such arcane means as dropping enchanted rings into volcanoes, since to bring it into view would be to strain the imagination of author and hero both.
Much was made of the nature of the Villain-as-Hero, on which the warrior maiden waxed prolific, as she did inherit her noble title from that most famous of historical villains, Vlad the Impaler (Dracula, as if there’s anyone who reads this that doesn’t know that already)(And besides, he was a hero, not a villain. He just had lousy publicity and got worked over by the media of his era)(Sound familiar?)(Ack! My parentheses are talking to each other!).
In due time the panel did end, and Kate the Impaler bade farewell unto her noble fellow panelists and tottered to her room, whereupon she did fall into a deep and (for her) restful sleep.
The final day of the Convention of Raven did dawn fair, though the narrator must concede that Kate the Impaler did lament much upon the earliness of the hour, the soreness of her feet (for the armor most suited to slaying Dragons of Social Justice Glittery Hoo Haas is far less comfortable for lengthy wear than the armor the warrior maiden uses for slaying less obnoxious dragons), and the hoarseness of her voice, for lo! In the space of one and a half days, Kate the Impaler had spoken more than she might normally do in an entire month. (The narrator wonders what they put in the water at these things).
With her armor firmly in place, the warrior maiden did take herself unto the breakfast buffet, wherein she did destroy quantities of bacon, sausage, and eggs that she might fortify herself for the day to come.
After conversing with a fellow warrior and touring the works of art gathered unto the convention that others might be enticed into rewarding the talents of the artists by showering them with green paper whose designs, though not especially attractive, are as fresh bread to a starving man, and the greatest accolade of all (for what greater praise is there than parting with the money one has labored long and hard to earn?) (Wait, what were we talking about again? Oh yes…)(Stupid narrator) After touring the works of art, Kate the Impaler did go unto the panel “Death Isn’t Cruel” where, with the aid of L Jagi Lamplighter, a small gathering did celebrate the life and works of Sir Terry Pratchett.
Much joy and laughter was had as those who could be enticed to share their experiences with Sir Terry or his works did regale the gathering with their fond memories. The warrior maiden did confess that she would be sore disappointed if at the time of her passing she was not met with a tall black-robed skeleton with twinkling blue eyes, and spoken to IN ALL CAPS before being carried off to her final destination by a white horse named Binky.
With a mere hour remaining ere her final panel of the day, Kate the Impaler did rest for a time, whereupon a member of that most secret guild of SMOF did approach her and divulge that the campaign to end the sorrow of young canines was indeed sending waves of shock through the grand halls of fandom, and how in response some sought to wrest that jewel of fandom, the Convention of World, from any locale where the friends of sorrowful young canines might gather, and take it to a far distant place that in isolation they might gather in force and thereby bring about changes to the Rules of Hugo, thus condemning the young canines to eternal sorrow. (For those not inclined to translate: read up on the contenders for the 2017 Worldcon, pay your $40 and vote. You’ll be a supporting member for 2017 before the price rise kicks in, and you get to choose where it is. Vote for the best candidate. Ignore that I like Washington, DC as a venue. I only like it because it’s the only one I could drive to).
The warrior maiden did assure the SMOF that voting would indeed be encouraged, and promised that no secrets would be divulged, for yea, as the house of fandom is divided, so too is the secret guild of SMOF.
Kate the Impaler did attend her final panel, “If Mary Sue is so Awesome, Why Does Everybody Hate Her” prepared to do battle with dragons disguised as Social Justice Glittery Hoo Haas, for the description of the panel did suggest that well-written, competent female characters were equal to that most loathsome of authorial self-insert, the Mary Sue. But no! With the aid of Barb Fisher, Gail Z. Martin, and Fiona Quinn, a lively discussion was had on the differences between competent female characters and Mary Sues, and all did agree that a protagonist who protags is not a Mary Sue (or her male equivalent a Marty Stu/Gary Stu).
When it was revealed that some consider themselves threatened by competent female characters, the warrior maiden did state most bluntly that teaching girls both that they are wonderful in all ways and that the least setback is a mighty blow from which she might never recover left those poor creatures in such confusion that they did commit idiocy when confronted with evidence that they were less wonderful than they had been told, to fervent agreement from her fellow-panelists and many of the audience.
All agreed that crippling our characters is unnecessary and mean in spirit, and thus, we must all strive educate others that a character who is more capable than they is one to aspire towards and not a mockery of their inadequacy.
Thus did the panel end, and with it, Kate the Impaler’s time at the Convention of Ravens. Wearied and satisfied, she did retreat to her room, wherein she might rest ere once more braving the horrors of DC area traffic in order that she might return home and return to her day job.