1. CraniumInsanium
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    CraniumInsanium Member

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    Fantasy Mythos feedback

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by CraniumInsanium, May 3, 2016.

    I'm working on hammering out the details of one of my Fantasy Novel/Series Mythos. That is the Higher Powers and such that rule and govern that universe, and was curious about feedback to see if what I had come up with made sense.

    The general thought with my Mythos is that each god (I call mine Arbiters); has an opposite, a counterbalance. And that's what I wanted to see if the "balancing" sounded kosher. I mean yes, ultimately it's my decision, but I like having a sounding board.


    Allfather – Omnimother (good guys) Devourer (not necessarily good and maybe evil guys)


    Arbiters:

    Substance – Inert

    Elementall – Void

    Life – Death

    Logic – Chaos

    Intelligence – Instinct

    Emotion – Apathy

    Attraction – Repulsion

    Force(?) – Stasis (?)

    *On a technical note the Allfather is the Supreme/ruler of what you'd call the good forces. The Omnimother is an offspring of two Arbiters Substance and Elementall. The Devourer would be the Allfathers Counterbalance or opposite, and I'm had an inkling to have the Nastier(bad arbiters) team up to give the Devourer a sidekick as well. Tentatively "Excess".


    On a side note:
    Part of the reason I haven't worked on this story has been deciding what the endgame is, i.e what is my conflict, what I like to call the ignition point. And in most fantasy series there's a meltdown leading up to the end of the world and the return of evil or some such nefarious plottery. The meat of the greater theme involves a certain group of people; heroes, villains and neutral parties acting independently.
     
  2. CraniumInsanium
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    CraniumInsanium Member

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    One of the things I should probably clarify is that these Arbiters(gods) don't need worshiping. They are merely independent forces which exist in that universe because all the Titles for the different Arbiters exist.

    Think of a battlefield; what would you find there? Death, Chaos, Instinct, Emotion, Intelligence and perhaps Apathy. All of those are Naturally occurring phenomena, sequences or what have you. They don't need worshiping because those forces are an underlying part of life. Attraction and Repulsion, Emotion or the complete Apathy and lack of.

    The following is from my Notes for this Story and may be actually places as a piece or lore or an excerpt somewhere, and could probably use some tweaking, but it may help clarify my thought process on this a bit.


    The Allfather when he appointed the Arbiters knew that everything had an opposite. Before something had substance, it was inert and formless. Though elementall contained all in it, it did not contain nothing and nothingness could not have anything. Life turns to death, and from death life can arise. Before logic, there was chaos. Instinct preceded intelligence. There is emotion, and some have no emotion at all. While gravity may pull planets in an orbit, a collision results in the objects pushing the other away. So to the Allfather had his own opposite. For while he controlled and appointed order, he was not the first, and other forms had preceded him in other times. Other manifestations of himself in different ages and periods of reality. Balance itself struggled against his efforts to form reality, fighting and the opposite of all that was order. Where the Allfather places planets, Balance placed inertness, and where there was stone, nearby was void. When the Allfather created the Omnimother, Balance countered the merging of two Arbiters substances into one with its own. The Devourer was formed from the Chaos of Trianicas universe forming, and the Instinctual primitive life that was not touched by the Allfather or Omnimother. The Devourer sought to undo and balance the combination of Substance and Elementall. Planets may form, and life may arise, but chaos would bide its time, and instinct would always be whispering, never forgotten. The Devourer existed everywhere, as did the Omnimother. When violence erupted, the Devourer was there, slashing, tripping, and causing mayhem, reveling in mans primal urges and the lack of order. The Devourer like the omnimother had a physical form, as well as a spiriutal form, being able to stay invisible or taking form. (the image of the devourer in my head is the giant cat thing from the movie Avatar, black like onyx, multiple tails, but humanoid, being able to stand and walk as a bipedal, or rip and run like a tiger)



    and THIS....is the opening Prologue which Explains creation and the beginning history of that world. Again, not set in stone, but could use some tweaking.


    In the beginning the when the forces that ruled the higher planes decided to create the cosmos and our universe they chose Tryianica as the first and paramount home of their first creations. The Allfather in order to do so asked the Arbiter of Balance (Substance) if he would conceive a being with the Arbiter of Elementall and they bore a daughter, the Omnimother into what was before the universe came to be. The Allfather took the the Omnimother who bore to him the planets, stars, and all in between. When it came time to bear the beings they would bear in their image the Omnimother chose Tryianica, and claimed the planet as her own, and then tore out her heart giving it to the Allfather, saying “My usefulness to you is done. However it is not done to the children and those that will come. Scatter my body over the earth of the cosmos, so that I may be with my children, and also your children as they age. Keep my heart here in Tryianica, and my brain with you, so that you may consult me if you need. More important though, you will need it to place in my new body at the Great Beyond.”
    The Allfather did as the Omnimother had asked, and from her scattered flesh on Tryianica shaped the first man and woman. From the Omnimother's Elementall flesh made real they had sprung from the earth and with a great breath the Allfather gave them the spirit of the Gods above. With one final act to separate man from the animals, the Allfather took strands of his hair and bound it in a knot around the brain of each man and woman in their heads, giving the first true sentient beings from the Allfather and Omnimothers union a piece of each parent to always be with them. Mankind was thereafter blessed inadvertently by their creators with attributes associated with their natures. Other life on Tryianica however also had limited attributes from either the Allfather or the Omnimother being lifeforms on a planet created by both of them. These primitive forms of life manifested as guardians or representations of whatever attribute they were inclined towards, thus giving Tryianica Minor Arbiters, Spirits, Demons, Guardians, and keepers of the earth.
    Man was blessed by the Omnimother with the ability to manipulate elementall, and all that existed permanently wherever the Omnimother resided; earth/stone, water, metal, wood, and the nature of gravity, gases/vapors, crystals/gemstones and liquids.
    Man was blessed by the Allfather with the ability to manipulate things with the spirit of willpower; the non constant elements of fire, lightning and air/wind through pyrokenesis, electrokenisis, and aerokenesis. With divine will he gave man telekenesis, telepathy, levitation, and shapeshifting.
    Man could not have both the Allfather and the Omnimothers gifts inside him, the combined powers were too great, and the gift from each parent a child received was random in choice. If it was neglected however the skill would wither and become useless, withering further with consecutive offspring unless exercised in some degree, and entire family lineages of man became barren of the divine touch. Now whenever a child exhibits signs of extra human tendencies they take the Hulnex, or the rite of passage in which the child goes alone into a forest, desert, or other isolated area for seven days and if they return do so Marked as Gifted. Valdal are those Gifted by the Allfather, and Terdal are those Gifted by the Omnimother.
    The first one to be Gifted with both sets was named a Siedal. His name was Gaen and he indeed went mad, launching the time known as The Rampage which caused wars across the continents, and broke and created new land masses in the empty expanse of the Koron Ocean far to the West. He was eventually destroyed by the second Siedal to appear decades later into the Rampage. Yiflin was his name, and after achieving victory he too disappeared.
    The histories are vague and unclear on Gaens fate. Some say he was completely destroyed, and other claim mere defeat at his opponents hand. None know for sure if he lived or died, but Yiflin was the one to bring his Rampage to an end.
    Interestingly the histories are also unclear on Yiflins fate. All that is truly known is that after defeating Gaen, he disappeared only to give guidance to the Gifted emerging after the Rampage had ended. None know where he resided except that it was in the area of the Great Divide.
     
  3. Zadocfish
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    Zadocfish New Member

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    Okay, I want to help you and I want to read that prologue thing. But your spelling "Elemental" with two 'l's is driving me crazy. Is it supposed to be Element All? Because that's cumbersome.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2016
  4. Zadocfish
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    Zadocfish New Member

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    Also, the names you've given all the players, here... Allfather, Omnimother, Devourer, Arbiters... It's both bland and uninteresting, and it turns me off of considering the rest of the work. As for the rest of it... the "Avatar: The Last Airbender" thing you have going with the "gift" system is weird, especially since many of those powers are associated with science fiction and more importantly, which camp gets what powers seems incredibly arbitrary.

    Overall, it seems like you're going for a Greek-feeling pantheon and myth system with a newer-age fantasy magic system. That might work, if only you changed those boring and uncreative names. Maybe you're going for simplicity, but it doesn't sound good. The whole setup seems to lack a "hook," for lack of a better word. You know, something unique to get audiences interested. This just kinda seems like "standard magical creation myth subtype 2-A, magic power system 1-C," to me.
     
  5. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman might be a good book for you for inspiration. The Gods in there did want worship. I am sure you want to go your own way and I would have it no other way, but it is a good book in the ideology that you are talking about.
     
  6. CraniumInsanium
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    CraniumInsanium Member

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    Zadocfish- Thanks for the input. Yes, Elementall is what I mean. Perhapsh it should be hyphenated? I mean that All the elements, thus an all encompassing term for every element. Elementall felt like a natural fit, but I can see why it may cause some to twitch.

    I wasn't really aiming for a Greek feel here, but I suppose I could see how it could be interpreted that way with all the Minor Powers. The magic system I wanted to incorporate powers that people think of in modern life, and could apply also to a fantasy setting. The justification of how a Terdal or Valdal gets their powers would be predetermined by a dominance in the body/soul/dna or random factors towards being "Gifted" by the Omnimother or Allfather, which would be a subconscious and random event. Here a Terdal, there a Valdal, and another Valdal, and another and so on. The actual population density of "Gifted" is something I'm still figuring out; the ratio of normal people to "Gifted".

    I think I also get where you're coming from with the generic feel, and yes, simplicity is sort of the aim I'm going for. Most of the Mythos terminology probably won't be used. i.e. "and the Arbiter of Chaos entered the room and all were distraught". They would probably be referenced in terms of when history or prophecy was mentioned. Mostly Terdal, Valdal and Siedal would be used.

    One other note of particular mention is, say compare Robert Jordans, The Wheel of Time. That universe is Eons and Ages old, countless millennia have passed before the current story kicks off. In my universe, this is an extremely young world in the sense that only several hundred generations lets say several hundred to the low thousands of years have passed since the Creation happened. Essentially it's a young world in the throes of growing pains. Everything is still sorting itself out and finding its place. Yes some events have happened, but this story is of the second coming, of when a third person who can wield both sets of powers enters the world again, since last time it happened the world essentially went nuclear during The Rampage. I think that may be my hook. I'm not sure if anyone's tried this concept before. Probably, but in all my readings I can't think of anything off the top of my head.


    Deadmoon-hey, I've read American Gods as well as most of Gaimans books. AG is one of my favorites. I just sort of have a sour feeling in my mouth about gods being dependent on human worship in order to exist and thus retain powers. Think in the remake of Clash of the Titans where Zeus is watching the tower with all the crystals representing human souls crashing representing death. When they first made the world in Greek Mythology if I'm not mistaken humans weren't yet around? And yet they still had the power to create life, reality, and everything in between. I.E. it's contradictory that they'd need worship to do Godly things. Unless you look at godly power like a water from a bottle or something that can be used up and needs replenishing. At any rate in the section before the Prologue I was sort of shooting at trying to explain the whole idea that Gods are independent of worship in relation to their powers. Not trying to be argumentative, just trying to distinguish why worship would dictate what they can and can't do if that makes sense.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
  7. Nidhogg
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    Nidhogg Member

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    I like the idea of the counterbalances, but would suggest changing the name of some of the balances a bit, both for making it more interesting and also to provide clarification. For example, chaos is arguably a better opposite of order than logic (the opposite of logic could maybe be abstract thought?). Also, are elements and substance not the same thing, as they both appear to be referring to the presence of matter?
     
  8. Buttered Toast
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    Buttered Toast Active Member

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    For me, it was hard to read or understand, it became too much, maybe you can simplify it but I love the idea!
     
  9. hawls
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    hawls Active Member

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    I like the idea behind the concept. Personally, I feel the narrative surrounding your mythos lacks anything that sets it apart from other creation myths. But maybe that wasn't what you were going for.

    Do the gods actually exist in the world?
     
  10. CraniumInsanium
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    CraniumInsanium Member

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    Thanks Nidhogg, L C Cranston and hawls.

    Hawls: not sure if I was really trying to distinguish they mythos apart from anything initially. It was more of developing the mythos around the basis behind the "gifted" and their powers, thus with the explanation of the how Tryianica came into being and how the gifts tied in. I think after that I built upon things, and then that's where I realized there needed to be counterparts for each Arbiter. Like I couldn't have 5 all good Arbiters and then 3 that were focused on negative/destructive aspects etc. So kind of balancing out and eastablishing a full compliment of the heirarchy and deciding who was essentially the Allfathers counterbalance that offset everything he did. It's obviously a work in progress and I've been slacking off just not having the energy or juices flowing lately. I really should stop putting it off.

    To answer your question that's iffy, but more of a 95% yes they do exist. If what you mean by do they come in human form and walk among us, or even just actively take roles in human life, then yes. The Devourer definitely does or will, so other aspects like say the Arbiter of Void appearing on a battlefield would make that a YES.
     
  11. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You know "Arbeiter" means "worker" in German right? And German is not an obscure language - you may run into issues of readers not being able to take your gods seriously or even envision them as gods. Your "Arbiter" is only missing an E - it's too similar, and pronunciation is the same in my head. I don't even speak German - chances are many, many people would make the association.
     
  12. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    My bit of feedback is that Inert does not seem like quite the right counterbalance to substance. Inert is lack of motion, still, unmoving - not "nothingness" like the opposite of substance would suggest. Something can have substance and not have movement, so they don't seem contradictory to me. Perhaps Void might be a better fit as a counterbalance to Substance.
     

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