1. Gammer
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    Gammer Active Member

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    Handicaping Gods

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Gammer, Jun 13, 2010.

    In my story, the villain is this demi-God, who was thought to be dead for 50 years resurfaces. The Gods know he's alive and informs the hero who "killed" him 50 years ago.

    But my problem is, this situation brings up the question if the Gods know about it why aren't they doing anything. I was going to go with they made a promise not to directly interfere with affairs of mortals but that doesn't seem like a good enough reason to me, especially considering the large threat the villain is going to be.

    What's a good, believable way to handicap Gods? Or what's a good reason for them not to want to interfere with this problem?
     
  2. Cardboard Tube Knight
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    Cardboard Tube Knight Member

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    Well it could be the gods don't care or that they are not allowed to wage war on one another. It could also be that the gods are limited in scope and not powerful enough to find or track him without someone mortal or that they're physically unable to harm one another and can only be harmed by none gods. They're your rules, you make them and you can pretty much bend this universe to your will.
     
  3. Mantha Hendrix
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    Mantha Hendrix Contributing Member

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    Gods don't have to fit within the same, old cliché. You can make them whatever way you want them, as cardboard said.

    Maybe the God's have a set of rules, telling them times that they can interrupt. Maybe something has instructed them to act when certain conditions are met, and only when.
     
  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    There is nothing wrong with gods using mortals as pawns in the struggle. And is there a reason why one (or some) of the gods wouldn't be backing the demi-god in question?

    Terry
     
  5. Anonym
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    They're either not omniscient, omnipotent &/or omnibenevolent. It's the same philosophical argument for why the Christian or any other supposedly magnanimous, all-powerful God/s would let bad things happen to good people. Don't see why it wouldn't be applicable to any other diety. Hope it helps.
     
  6. Falconjudge
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    Falconjudge Member

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    Actually, the Christian explanation for that is that he IS omnipotent, and therefore beyond our limited sense of things.

    And that could possibly work, too; gods don't have to explain their actions or reasoning in stories.
     
  7. Anonym
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    I know, but given the didacticism and extreme effort put into making humans understand God and his specificies by Abrahamic religions in general, that's always seemed like a cop-out to me, personally. You're told how and what rituals to perform, what days to abstain from what, ect, but not why good people suffer? That's my issue with it. But having been raised in a Christian family and society, I am aware of the limited-understanding counter-argument, don't worry. Power and knowledge are easy enough to swallow; it's the purported omnibenevolence thing that breaks it for me, more than anything. Thanks tho :).[/ramble]

    Yeah actually, story-wise that's not a bad idea. Gammer could possibly paint the Gods as a mysterious, seemingly morally-ambiguous pantheon of beings beyond all but the faintest degree of human understanding. Reminds of the Greek or Norse Gods somewhat. I imagine there are probably books that have done that.

    More info on the envisioned nature of the Gods would be helpful.
     
  8. Sonata
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    Sonata Member

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    Perhaps they have a king or queen who is the demi-God's father (Like Zeus and Hercules) and didn't want him killed so they have to get someone else to do it to avoid punishment themselves.

    Or he could have an item that hides his whereabouts from deity.
     
  9. Honorius
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    Honorius Active Member

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    Ancient pacts could be useful. Something like, 1000 years ago there was a civil war, at the end of the war, the gods decided that never again would a god attack another god, you know, to prevent war. Well just so happens that because the demi-god is only part god he gets the loophole. Gods can't hurt gods, and people normally cant hurt gods. There's no law for people, only the threat of the gods. So if a human had the power, they could attack the gods. Since he's a demi god, he can't be hurt by the gods, but he can fight back.
     
  10. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Anonym, consider reading The Problem of Pain, by C.S. Lewis.

    Gammer, beyond what has been mentioned, consider reading/studying mythology, such as Greek or Norse. That may spark ideas.

    I guess you could even watch the Conan the Barbarian movies for a few ideas. Maybe not a lot of depth of thought required, but it may follow along somewhat with the plot you're considering.

    Terry
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Fritz Lieber's characters Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser were constantly doing battle with gods. You could get some ideas by reading those novels as well.
     
  12. Thanshin
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    Thanshin Active Member

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    Q: Why don't gods stop evil demi-god?

    A1: They don't care enough. They'd really like demi-god to be stopped but they won't care for it enough to do it themselves. They have to reign over dozens of other worlds like this one, they don't have time for this.

    A2: It's unoptimal. In the fight between gods the one who manages to do things with the least effort, eventually wins. Sending a puny hunam to fight their fight is much better than direct confrontation.

    A3: There are laws. Neutral gods have no problem in allying against whichever god breaks the laws. One of such laws is not to directly attack another god, or being of godly descent.

    A4: They won't risk it. They aren't sure enough of the result of confronting the demi-god. What if it's a trap set by an opposing god? What if it's a test from a neutral god? What if it isn't really a demi-god? Paranoia is what keeps gods alive.
     
  13. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Another answer: the gods always act according to their nature. A God of Love neither can nor wants to exact revenge. A God of Authority and Law neither can nor wants to bend the rules. A God of War may consider killing to be fair and acceptable, as long as it is done on the battlefield or the rules of engagement are followed. A God of Assassins, on the other hand, may feel admiration towards a stealthy and deceitful murder.
    Perhaps the gods don't even care about anything that doesn't directly interfere with their sphere of influence. They're not human, after all.

    Using this model will force you to be creative and come up with a different explanation for each individual god. You may have to adjust the manner in which the demigod is killed so all gods are indifferent to or unwilling to interfere with it. Or perhaps adjust the pantheon.

    But it all depends on what you had in mind for your fictional world.
     

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