1. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    Introduction to my religion.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Boger, Mar 30, 2016.

    I've developed basic structure for a religion, that separates the world in two factions: the nameless land vs. the outsiders. It's going to be elaborate, I don't expect you to understand it at once, but I'll try to explain it clear enough for anyone.

    There's a historic site (location) which has made one land superior and wealthy beyond reproach. The idea is that inhabitants of the land say: "no, nothing special here", while they shun tourism and any outsider looking to visit the site. The 'magic' is that there is a shrine, something like a Stonehenge with one boulder, and generally only one thing about this relic is known: it was protected, and everyone wanted to see it since it's creation.

    It was created by ancestors who were attempting to create a memorial for their ideology... They conceived ideas about nobility, speech, text, philosophy that were very archaic, and this shrine was their place to meet. Since they were in fact perceived as noble and wise, influential even during many councils, they shunned outsiders who would not understand their traditions and meditations. Curious people were not welcome and perceived as incompatible. You weren't supposed to be led by curiosity.

    The monolith was the first piece of recorded history, and the first building block of the nameless land. Traditionally, the occult were in control of the site, hence the world's oldest border was also conceived by them. Due to this exclusiveness of the site, the first displaced, nomadic populations started to roam in search of a home. They had to search power elsewhere, and they did so, installing parallel governments and cultures on their own lands, always inferior and always looking for a window to go back. This is why the nameless land remained powerful since ancient times, and only there, the 'true' people lived, closest to their ancestors and heir of their heritage.

    A church is created in an attempt to reunite all people over the world. At first, it was created as a weapon against the nomadic people, the enemy, always trying to invade their home. It was a reaction, sort of like propaganda, because the defectors were having religious motivations to try to get to the shrine. Part of this was that the nameless land was cursed for expelling it's children, making them live as outcasts and that there must be some kind of evil deity who rules over the nameless land, inexplicably empowering them and making them rich. The people in that land at some point decided, okay, sure, let's make it look like this is true, in the hopes that they stay away, they made a mock-up church.

    It worked inadvertently: they funded a church, who had members who were convinced and truly religious in their country. This church would slowly start to bring peace across the world. Except it's center, main power, was located exactly at the shrine. It was built there simply to be more convincing, as a statement: the ancient shrine is history, outsiders have no reason to keep invading.

    It should be said that obviously, at this point, the world is populated and it's many many thousands of years later. Nobody really cares about the ancient feud anymore, and the way the world is, is simply what it is.

    The church does what it does, and seem to be the only entity that care about the cultural welfare of the land. Part of the history of their culture is that they're economically superior, significantly wealthier than the rest of the world. This, along with a tradition of carelessness of their own inherited values and morals, and xenophobia, resulted in a pandemic state of perversion and superficiality. Entertainment, commerce, capitalism are the way of life. Don't think too much. If it's not flashy, it's probably no good. There's a taboo about the ancient religion, because they're secretly ashamed of it: they're not talking about what they protect, and the rest of the world wants to know about it, see it, feel it, worship it. Besides, there's a church for those who need meaning in their lives. And it has nothing to do with the ancient feud or the ancient occult, so nobody has dirt on their hands.

    The plot, in short... some kid finds a sacred document, which was hidden since it's creation, and long been considered a myth. It was forgotten by many, but also has the status of a holy grail. Especially for the people outside of the nameless land.

    It creates publicity. The reactions of the world are mixed. It exposed a scandal of the church, who were inadvertently banned.

    The documents are studied and it states clearly that the finder is the owner of the documents, but also the owner of the ancient site and king of the people.

    See, the document was a prophecy and it turned out that it wasn't just a myth or scam of the outsiders to try to reclaim their land.

    So, the finder was just a child, and you may wonder, why was he in church, and what was their scandal? Well, they were trying to instill a sense of respect for authority, since they'd be the only people in society to really care about anything. That part of wanting to be ethical and moral, also meant they took care of weaker people, who would otherwise had to move abroad, because there wasn't much chance that anyone else would care. So, the church used to take in orphans and so on. One orphan is punished, and because he's a little troublemaker, instead of endlessly praying in front of the altar, tries to demolish it.

    Yes, the altar was the shrine, and also, the hiding place of the ancient prophetic scrolls.

    They way he found it, was according to the prophecy.

    The people decided that he became in charge of the empty empire of the banished church... They had to make it up to him and also were generally amused by all this, and relieved, because of the amount of criticism that they get from the international community for "not caring" and not being responsible. So, the little kid understands his role, and he announces that the abandoned church are from then on his palace, and the shrine is restored, he orders a throne to be built on it. Presto, he's the prophesied king, the first king of the nameless land, and in the words of the prophecy, he has now almost divine status.

    Which is true, because he becomes the most powerful person in the world.

    Except, he has a brother. And since that day that the scrolls surfaced, he's been feeling detached, things didn't add up. He used to respect his caretakers and they taught him to study. This is the only thing that makes sense to him, and he feels like the world is bigger... he goes on a mission abroad to gain knowledge, as a prince he'd be financially supported and so on.

    At some point his identity is discovered, but they agree to keep it a secret. He went abroad under the guise of ''foreign affairs'', to investigate cultural exchange. He made this his mission, and he assembles a delegation of scientists to take into the palace... A big gesture, because there hadn't been any foreigners in the country forever.

    During this study abroad he learns about how the outside world developed: sober, humble, and more serious. People saw studying as a virtue and there were many libraries and so on... A lot of this is just to compensate for what they've been deprived of since the earliest of times.

    It backfires. They aren't used to such wealth and perversion. The prince is left no choice but to reassess.

    He decides to do what his genes tell him to do: lie to the world.

    A big, global news broadcast, is his chance to make an announcement of a revelation.

    He tells the world he is the "Last Forsaken"... This unleashes outrage across the planet. His brother, the king isn't stupid, and he realizes his brother is after the throne. This is so astonishing that he dies of a heart attack.

    The throne is empty again.


    Here's the catch. It is a title that is given to the supposed savior of the world. It was conceived to counter the power of the oppressive nameless land. The land was nameless, because the prophecy was not completely fulfilled. It wasn't completely fulfilled because it wasn't complete. The people of the land settled for that fate. The outsiders cursed them for this, because the prophecy needed to be altered to become effective in the way that it was envisioned according to them. Of course they weren't allowed near the documents, and they were hidden and eventually became forgotten.

    The outsiders thought that there was a chance, an unknown fate, that the prophetic scroll could be sacrilegious, since the cursed people worshiped an incomplete prophecy. The scroll was referred to as the 'Law' by its creators. The outsiders called their own people the "Forsaken"... They would never have the prospect to complete the prophetic text, in order for it to become effective. They were convinced that essentially, the prophecy, that tells of the dawn of God, could never be fulfilled as long as they were denied access. Therefor, God would never come, and they were forsaken until they could let Him come.

    The land that God would come to, would then be His, and then... who knows? The original prophecy doesn't disclose that. The people who believed in the legitimacy of this prophecy would believe that it would all become clear, and that they didn't want to dictate a deity. A God would reign as He sees fit, wether he names his people, land, or not.

    The outsiders said, no. They said the prophecy wasn't finished because the creators didn't have the insights back in the day, and since they were the descendants, it was up to them to study the prophecy and through an elaborate process of approval, add annotations. A bundle of what was considered the 'most noble annotations' was the core religion of the Forsaken, who wouldn't be forsaken anymore as soon as they found a way to add their annotations to the mythological scroll.

    Due to the ambiguity an unknown status of what fate this scroll brought unto the world, whether it was a curse or not, it was generally known to most people as the Scroll of Doom. That was due to a campaign of terror of the Forsaken to try to get the guardians to reconsider, but it didn't work, and this informal name became slang and unofficial, most common name to refer to the prophecy, since most people around the world didn't live there. Expanding on this there's going to be some other slang that, for now, have no intrinsic value to the main themes.

    Now I'm going to look at the content of the prophecy, taken from the WIP. I have to look this up to not make mistakes by working from memory. There's different interpretations that drive the main plot, as the main character, the prince, the brother of the king, learns how to cope with this sensitive information and his own role. As well as the definitions that are loosely applicable as language evolves. Seemingly by chance, it works out in a very interesting way, I will plan to end the story with an open end which is in my opinion essential.

    They wrote what most people shun today, dubbed the scroll of doom, containing a prophecy that describes the end or beginning of god. The general population considered the 'fairy tales' evil by origin, and in short, go as follows: One of two discovers ‘the Law’ through suffering. Prayer and suffer derive from the same word in the ancient language. The second one was supposed to compete over the power of 'the law' with it’s discoverer. The winner would gain all control. It is not defined who wins, but the transcript isn't exactly impartial either. It just ends without ending its coherent story, not clearly stating its purpose.

    It predicts and defines the one who'd find the scroll through prayer would become the second most powerful being (after god), the first most powerful ruler in the world; the king of the nameless land.

    It is said, this will expel the All Knowing, by taking His throne. (the shrine is said to represent this ruler and runes on top represent God, so the king becomes ruler and people don't need to depend on on a Deity)

    The scroll calls refers to 'the law' which is, until the owner becomes more lawful and all of its meaning is lost. This was how they defined Law.
    The forsaken population, those denied access to the land, in early times, developed the idea, or hope, that the people of the land would someday wither, and that then they would regain access to the shrine, complete the transcripts, and then God would come. It was possible to some, that the competing powers could be people, populations, a deity, even an object, or the scroll itself. They said, God would come to reign over His land, but their savior, the Forsaken, would testify for the suffering of the people, and He would mercifully retreat to the heavens, to name this savior the king. This was considered the most extreme interpretation: a person would compete with a God and win, and thus become the most lawful being, having defeated God. Also, since god would go to the realm of the dead, the rise of the Forsaken would be considered the end times with unforeseen results. People thought their worst fears would become reality on doomsday, the day that God retreats. There's a cult that practices on these teaching, focusing on the afterlife etc.

    In my story the publicity that the prince causes, makes it so that he becomes more lawful than the king, because he becomes more infamous. A plot twist: the prince is more integer but his brother rules, so he becomes more known. Nobody right in his mind would say something like that while all the eyes were on him. The Law is true; due to his notoriety, it so happens to be he is heir to the throne and incidentally his brother, the king dies from sheer disbelief (also he's got poor health). It seems the prophecy was fulfilled, and it was due to the knowledge he got abroad from the people that taught the idea that the prophecy wasn't finished and therefor possibly a curse.

    Ideally they recognize him as a god, and similarly he accepts the world to be reunited and the borders of the oppressive nation are opened. An age of happiness and equality ensues and, trivially, his power is being challenged by many who claim to be the second competitor. That is, crime, because they attest the law.

    That's the end, in order not to disclose whether the prophecy is fulfilled or not. But the popular belief is the idea that someone has become king who has been shunned like the forsaken, so it must mean that since then the curse was ended, the prophecy was complete, and since then it became effective. However I like to think that the feud is over, the prince was more potent as a person for being more integer, and to make it interesting: he's human too. Maybe he becomes corrupt and ends up attested, having everyone say "I told you so"... Things for a sequel. See, his brother, to him was more powerful by definition, perhaps god-like. But now he's on that throne, he's God-like in the eyes of others.

    People will give their own twist on things anyway... It's not supposed to be a perpetual system of... strangeness though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
  2. JLT
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    JLT Active Member

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    I can't say that your description isn't clear, but neither is it particularly compelling enough, in and of itself, to hang a plot on. You're going to have to rely on characterization to make this work, I think.

    Also (and this is one of my pet peeves), you're using "it's" for "its." To find out where, use a search-and-replace function and substitute "it is" for "it's." If you've used it correctly, it will make sense. If you haven't, it won't. Example:

    "It's remarkable that a cat can use it's tongue to lick it's tail."

    Run through the search-and-replace it comes out: "It is remarkable that a cat can use it is tongue to lick it is tail."

    The first use makes sense, while the second occurences don't.

    As grammar errors go, it's one of the easiest ones to correct via search-and-replace, and I'm always surprised that more people don't catch it that way.
     
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  3. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    It was for a short story.... WIP is currently 10k words. Mainly struggling with the narrative, how to weave the background into the daily lives of the brothers, while also attemtping to keep it mystical. I'm planning on three or four scenes starting where he returns after many years and meets his brother... he thinks that he's going to make a difference and he's secretly exploring the idea whether the throne is his; he was told that the prophecy allows for this. His mission fails, but he wants to make it look to the world like a renown success. During this press conference he simply announces that he is the messiah, nobody expected it.

    Thanks, I was working on improving that error, I somehow made it like it would spell "it his".
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016

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