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Author Topic: War between the gods  (Read 911 times)

Offline Yora

War between the gods
« on: September 25, 2017, 06:49:59 PM »
Just an early idea I am exploring:  In the world that I have created, people are very small in the big picture of the world and spirits are powerful, feared, and amazing, but also alien and removed. I like small stories but also moments when the vastness of the cosmos and the inadequacy of the perception and understanding of people are revealed.

So I got this idea that there are great conflicts between gods. Conflicts in which people are only a footnote and that they don't understand. (Gods are not really interested in small mortals and worshipping them is mostly pointless.) Most fights between the gods take place in spheres of reality that people don't perceive, but sometimes it includes the natural world. Thinderstorm, earthquakes, and volcanic erruptions can indeed be side effects of titanic battles, but sometimes the gods may actually physically appear in the environment. And then things get pretty much appcalyptic. (There's a nice scene similar to this in Elric, or the stone giants playin during a storm in The Hobbit.) People can not actively interfere with those battles, but I think they make an awesome backdrop for some mortals on mortals action scenes. They are gods so battles can go for days.

One interesting idea is that people might to attempt to benefit from them as well. Deliberately seeking out places where battes happened or will soon be happening. (Makes me think of playing STALKER.) I really like the idea. I wonder what other directions I could take it.
We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on a big tower of other dwarves.

Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: War between the gods
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2017, 10:31:35 PM »
One issue that might be difficult to deal with for you as the writer is delivering this cosmic overview of things. How do everyday people know this? How do you convey this to your reader - unless you plan to just tell them directly (a risky plan in these modern times).
Our own world would be SO much simpler if we knew the facts of the matter - but of course, there's a crowd and cacophony of people all saying they know the real deal and it's in their magic, err, holy book, and not in anyone else's.
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Offline Lu Kudzoza

Re: War between the gods
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2017, 05:20:21 PM »
One issue that might be difficult to deal with for you as the writer is delivering this cosmic overview of things. How do everyday people know this? How do you convey this to your reader - unless you plan to just tell them directly (a risky plan in these modern times).
Our own world would be SO much simpler if we knew the facts of the matter - but of course, there's a crowd and cacophony of people all saying they know the real deal and it's in their magic, err, holy book, and not in anyone else's.

The world is divided into those who think they are right.

In order to give the cosmic overview Yora could do a few things. First idea is to write some scenes from the POV of the gods. Another option would be an omniscient narrator. The omniscient narrator would help showing the grand scale of the universe and the gods' places in it. However, you risk losing the reader if the narrator doesn't create a strong connection to the gods. Having the gods with a POV will make it more personal for the reader, but might ruin the effect of "the vastness of the cosmos and the inadequacy of the perception and understanding of people are revealed."

However it's done, it's a cool idea to juxtapose gods at war on a grand scale against mortals with a narrow focus of trying to scrape out a living (and worshiping gods - aka praying for help).

Offline Yora

Re: War between the gods
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2017, 05:48:29 PM »
My idea is that nobody has any real clue what is going on. Shamans see portents and occasionally someone spots vague shapes in the center of a thunderstorm or the smoke from a wildfire. But since so much of what is going on takes place beyond the mortal realm and on completely different time scales, any explanations are nothing but pure speculation.
It's not for mortals to know. All they can do is to try not to get caught in the destruction. (Or trying to harness the storms of supernatural power for insane sorcerous schemes.)

It's basically a Lovecraftian idea, but a less pessimistic version of it that I first encountered (no pun intended) in Babylon 5.

Sci-fi likes the idea more than fantasy, it seems, but I think it should work even better in a fantasy work.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2017, 05:59:04 PM by Yora »
We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on a big tower of other dwarves.

Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor

Offline Lu Kudzoza

Re: War between the gods
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2017, 08:45:09 PM »
My idea is that nobody has any real clue what is going on. Shamans see portents and occasionally someone spots vague shapes in the center of a thunderstorm or the smoke from a wildfire. But since so much of what is going on takes place beyond the mortal realm and on completely different time scales, any explanations are nothing but pure speculation.
It's not for mortals to know. All they can do is to try not to get caught in the destruction. (Or trying to harness the storms of supernatural power for insane sorcerous schemes.)

It's basically a Lovecraftian idea, but a less pessimistic version of it that I first encountered (no pun intended) in Babylon 5.

Sci-fi likes the idea more than fantasy, it seems, but I think it should work even better in a fantasy work.

LOL. I envisioned the mortals as ants to the gods from your original description. I was going to suggest you explore Ahimsa/Jainism (monks that don't harm living things - i.e. move ants out of their path and such) as a way to see the exact opposite of what you're trying to achieve. Of course, we humans expect Ahimsa from our gods. But the gods only see ants... or in your example, less than ants.