Well, this is a bit frustrating.
After rereading Ursula Vernon's unfinished work "Elf vs. Orc," and then reading some of Nanashi's fic in quick succession, I got bitten by the urge to write more of The Longest Night. It came out in a rather different style than what I have been trying to do for this fic.
I really wanted to try at writing something like a fairy tale. Not a happy chirpy Disney-type fairy tale (Past the Edge of the World has that covered), but one that expresses the feeling that the world is vast and unknown and dangerous beyond whatever little circle of civilization you may inhabit. Where magic is arbitrary. Where characters don't know all the rules, and the ones they don't know can and will end in death and further unpleasantness.
I love those sorts of stories. I want desperately to write one. Or several.
Instead I have something which has become far more matter-of-fact than the previous chapters. My brain is trying to ape Ursula Vernon's writing style and it needs to stop that Right Now because I am terrible at it. I would love to do dry humor, but I can't manage it consistently enough to carry a story, and more importantly it blends into this particular story about as subtly as a red baboon butt.
I'll poke at it for a few days. Maybe I'll try to rewrite it in something closer to the style I was going for. This is a very frustrating project all around. Every time I touch it I seem to come out writing it in a different style!