1. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    A Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy Setting...

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Link the Writer, Dec 23, 2011.

    Hey, I had an idea to write a story set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy setting with magic.

    Basically, I thought, "What if there was a devastating war using magic that completely destroyed the characters' nations, rendering it a barren wasteland with sparse few life here and there? What would happen?"

    The main character's name is Guji Oscarus and the setting is fifteen years since the war happened (when he was born.)

    I think that instead of radiation, perhaps magical effects that are still going? Or something like that.

    Need to brainstorm ideas. Where do I start?
     
  2. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    I had the idea for falling nations in my story, but it's not entirely scarce of life lol. i clicked on this partly because i wanted to make sure mine didn't seem too much alike like this one. But it isn't! I don't know how to start with that, how does it become post-apocalyptic?
     
  3. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I figured that fifteen years ago (when Guji was born), there was this great war between two nations over land. Think WWI and stretch it for eight long years. Soldiers cast magical spells at each other on the fields while secret agents sabatoged various things. Somehow, during all this, they awoke an ancient, dormant volcanoe (think Krakatoa) and next thing they knew, the damned thing blew. Hundreds of thousands lost their lives, the forests were burnt, lakes boiled, etc. The sun was blotted out by the ash and dust.

    After all the terror, the two nations still survived somewhat, but retreated to lick their wounds. Both sides blame the other for the explosion and devastation of the land. Where the setting is now, the land had recovered a bit and the war is about to resume once more. After all, there wasn't a formal surrender ceremony before the volcanic eruption, no? Technically, the war's still going on.
     
  4. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    That sounds very interesting. Sounds like it would be a video game or something, in the good way though. I like how you explained it, Link. It sounds brilliant. :)
     
  5. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    double post.
     
  6. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you want 'random' magic (effect similar to radiation), there'd have to be a reason a volcano would cause this, which isn't in itself a magical event in its devastation.

    The notion of a youth who did not experience the war, or much of the world before does have it's benefits, because as he/she learns about what was before and why/how things happened, so does the reader. However, this tactic can be overused or done awkwardly and turn off a reader.
     
  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Come to think of it, it'd be awkward that fifteen years after the eruption, everyone's all, "Okay! War's back on!" They would likely learn their lesson and not try to restart the conflict.
     
  8. Ross M Kitson
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    Ross M Kitson Member

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    Interesting premise. Why restrict to just a volcano? The global use of magic in combat perhaps creates a work-wide disaster- tidal waves, volcano, forest fire, hurricane etc. The geography of the world is shifted (similar to Krynn in Dragonlance). The old hatred still exists with each side blaming the other. Is magic now despised or perhaps just officially with a covert troop of soldiers using magic still on secret missions. Or perhaps the story is the quest to rediscover magic so as to use it in the ongoing war but thr guys sent on the mission realise it is the wrong thing to do?
    You did say brainstorm!
     
  9. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Interesting!

    I think it'd be more interesting if the plot was in the war itself instead of afterward.
     
  10. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    I read a story once where there was a devastating war between humans and fairies that left both sides very badly off. Fairies had cursed the humans' land so all kinds of dangerous magic was developing and kids were being born with Lovecraftian superpowers, while humans had dropped an atomic bomb on the fairies causing radiation sickness and mutations and such. Very interesting story.
     
  11. Allan Paas
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    Allan Paas Contributing Member

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    What Ross M Kitson said. Plus, as is in our world "nuclear fallout", there is something like "magical fallout". There are different sides, both trying to destroy each other, and so they used extremely high and volatile magic, more or less equivalent to our nuclear weapons. It is very dangerous to travel alone and in some places you just die - magic mutated creatures and plant-life, wild and uncontrollable magic as is here radiation. In some areas even your nightmares and fears manifest (Coldfire Trilogy has quite a bit about the fear part). The possibilities for ideas are very numerous.
    Have you played the PC game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.? It has a very good story. Mutants, not only animals but also plants; anomalies, this is in my mind the most interesting part of the game; radiation; some psychic "force" similar to radiation that can fry your brain. Checking out the world of STALKER might give some ideas.
     
  12. kablooblab
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    kablooblab Member

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    you'd think so but look at ww1 and ww2 I think you're fine. btw great idea for a story I like it alot.
     
  13. Betrayal
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    Betrayal New Member

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    Perhaps there could be a third party that sorcery or magic drains power from in order to use. Let's say in the centre of this world once lied a power that held the world together, it was of great magical power. But then humans found a way into the centre and harnessed this power to build on their magical technology and soon the power was weakening and dying. The earth started to crumble and become unstable. The Kings and monarchs of the world knew that this power was not forever and so war broke out in attempt to completely control the magical resources in the centre of the Earth. Eventually a war broke out and killed almost every single life form on the planet. The magical power was so weak by then, that natural catastrophes happened often such as twisters, tidal waves, volcanic eruptions, and towns and great cities before sank into the core as the Earth collapsed.

    You could perhaps try something like this. Instead of having a deity, you could have a non conscious power source or object, it could avoid complications such as lore and that stuffs.
     
  14. J.W.Exeter
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    J.W.Exeter Member

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    Suggestion?

    Something much more devastating than a volcano. After all, it needs to be apocalyptic. Not just disastrous.

    Maybe the invisible "veins" of raw, pure magic which run throughout the world, and that allow magic to be wielded, are tapped into at such an extend that they destabilize and wreak havoc on the environment. Sort of like if our ocean currents were to radically change.
     
  15. Anarchist_Apple84
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    Anarchist_Apple84 Senior Member

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    The fallout of the apocalyptic event is important. If it killed EVERYONE you'd have no-one to write about! So think about what follows the event.. are resources drained to an extent they can't supply everyone? This would cause infighting and mass segregation, as people flocked to the areas where resources remained. This would also lead to conflict, as humans have never really been that good at sharing...
     
  16. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    I CAN SAVE YOU HEAPS OF TROUBLE
    I hope.

    The guys who made Dungeons and Dragons made a post-apocalyptic setting called Dark Sun. It's basically what a fantasy world would look like if the world was screwed, magic was scarce and everyone was thirsty, hungry and probably enslaved.

    The premise is that magic stole the life-force of the earth, rendering it a barren wasteland populated by wayward desert mutants and marauding bandits. Their books should give you a few ideas.
     
  17. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    As other posters have suggested above, the volcano could just be the symptom of a much larger problem. If you decided to make the story about a breakdown of the world's magic, a volcano could still be a powerful example of what's gone wrong. For example, if Genji's parents came from a town that suffered a fate similar to Pompeii.

    If you want some ideas or inspiration, check out Brandon Sanderson's Elantris. It offers an interesting post-apocalyptic story in a fantasy setting, and it changed the way I think about how magic can be used in fantasy fiction. Also, Final Fantasy VI, which is a game everyone should experience at least once.

    For more general post-apocalyptic settings, someone above already mentioned S.T.A.L.K.E.R, and in the same vein Metro 2033 (novel and game) is very powerful. It even touches on your concern about how people could possibly start fighting amongst themselves so soon after such a disaster.
     

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