Pumpkin's Manga based Serialisation. I say manga based because whilst standard prose, the main themes and plot mechanics are heavily influenced/based on shounen traits (e.g. hero and his supporting band of characters, fighting enemies that get progressively more powerful, striving to fight the big bad and having to take out a series of "sub-bosses" along the way). Currently untitled. It forms the origins story as well as concurrent motifs and themes for the rest of my stories based in the same series of alternate dimensions, hence "Multiverse Origins" I'll explain it in terms of its original inception, which was based within the Christian mythos. Heaven has become distanced from God, their power diminishing as Her light slowly fades from the Golden City. One of the Four Archangels, Raphael (fem) conceives a plan to rebirth the Messiah on Earth (the incarnation of the Earthly form of the Messiah will help close the gap between Heaven and God). Two suitable human souls are selected, a teenage couple currently going through relationship issues (hereafter referred to as Joseph and Mary). However Hell gets a whiff of the plan, and basically kidnaps Mary, with the aim of hijacking the plan and using her to free the final bonds of the "Satan" character. The main plot arc is that the Joseph character must descend into Hell, accompanied by a small band of Angels, and go undercover to save the Mary character. So it was initially devised in the Christian mythos, but I'm not personally happy with that idea... it comes across as far too cheasy and cliched. Currently I'm working under the idea of basically putting a "Norse overlay" on it. It won't directly apply Norse mythology, however it will be Norse-esque, in feel and much of the aesthetics. Instead of Heaven it would be Alterheim, instead of Hell, Sunderheim, the Angels are a kind of superhuman Viking caste known as Vas Einr. Eisr is the equivalent of Bleach's reiatsu/Naruto's chakra. Satan becomes "The Cold One" who is imprisoned in the Cage of Thorns at the centre of Sunderheim. God becomes Vasha. In two minds about whether Demons would remain as Demons or become the Sar Dirga (as Vas Einr is taken from Vasha, Sar Dirga is taken from Sarvidde, the "unmentionable/unthinkable" true name of The Cold One). However, currently I'm feeling once I give The Cold One a name (such as Sarvidde) it suddenly becomes a lot more Lord of the Rings-esque than I'm comfortable with lol. As research for the Norse-esque take on the manga I shall be checking out the viking manga "Vinland Saga". Currently I am also exploring options of a more contemporary original take (imagine the "Angels" in a kind of Reservoir Dogs style set up, all wearing sharp white suits etc). That's the basic premise. There's a lot more going on though. - There's a reason why the Angels couldn't just normally waltz into Hell and decimate it, but I don't want to give too much away. - One of the other four Archangel characters IS however lobbying for outright War, trying to rally the Council/Senate to his cause. He believes the best defense is a good offense and despite Heaven's weakened position they should attack Hell to demonstrate their (superficial) superiority. - The same war-lobbying Archangel character learns of his fellow Archangels plan, and arranges for one of his own agents to be a part of the group, who is tasked with relaying information, as well as retrieving the "Godblade" which Hell came into possession of during the last major war, the retrieval of which would greatly strengthen the brightness of God's light that shines in Heaven, and empower them. - There's a vast wasteland dimension that connects the Hell and Heaven dimensions, which is inhabited by many various creatures which were driven from Heaven when the Angels arrived. One of these races of creatures are a sentient type of giant bear, only instead of fur they are covered in chitinous armoured plates (http://sho3box.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/bug-tyranid-warrior-b.jpg) and live in clans. The covert band of Angels accompanying the Joseph character encounter an exiled one who joins their group. Within Alterheim there are two main types of beings, Vas Einr (Angels) who innately have special abilities. The other type are basic Human Souls that have been worthy enough to ascend to Alterheim. They don't have special powers, but it has been known before that truly holy souls can awaken the Eisr in their soul perhaps through some personal penance or enduring great feats etc. The Main Players: Humans: Sebastian - 17 years old, main protagonist, struggling in a relationship with Imogen. Within the spiritual realms his soul is unique. As a human soul he does not possess the Eisr that flows through the veins of the Vas Einr, but as a Living Soul still connected to a body on Earth his has vast potential. Imogen - 17 years old, chosen to be the Mother of the new Messiah on earth. Kidnapped by the dark forces of Sunderheim in their attempt to hijack the rebirth of the Messiah. Other humans of note: friends, family and aquaitances that will mirror the "entourage". Vas Einr: The Four Lords of Alterheim (equivalent of the four Arch-Angels) Radha - The only female of the four, based on Raphael. It is she that is left to oversee the administrative duties of Alterheim, as well as fend off lobbying from Grieg to go to war in the Great Council. It is she that truly knows the peril Alterheim is in, and devises the plan to rebirth the Messiah on Earth to restore Vasha's power. Grieg - Commander-in-Chief of the armies of Alterheim, pro-war, based on Uriel. Lobbying the Great Council to go to war against Sunderheim, despite inferior strength. Estalte - Once known as the greatest of Vas Einr, it was he who was successful in sealing The Cold One within the Cage of Thorns. He is a mere husk of his former self, still drained and exhausted from the tumultuous battle with the Cold One, basically on life support in a manner of speaking. Based on Michael, Balthus - Has become very introverted and shut himself away, he spends all his time locked in the Hall of the Voice, waiting for the voice of Vasha to speak once more... based on Gabriel. ----------------- Boska - Radha's personal assistant/secretary/confidante. He is Radha's agent and messenger as she arranges her plan. He travels to the Farholt to inform the entourage of their mission. Rikter - Withered ancient old commander of the Farholt, a bleak and grim citadel built into the mountains overlooking the vast reality bending plains of the Enderwier (the dimension that separates Alterheim from Sunderheim). Farholt is the farthest Vas Einr habitat from the Light of Vasha. The Entourage: Vergen - The Second in Command of the Farholt. A gnarled aging Vas Einr, grim, pessimistic... (I would be lying if I said I didn't think of Auron from Final Fantasy X when I think of Vergen). Appears in his 50s. Served under none other than Grieg himself in the First Great War, former apprentice of Grieg. Fell out of favour with Grieg and was removed to this far flung corner of Alterheim under the guise of "an honourable position as the foremost guard against Sunderheim", and as such houses a grudge against Grieg. Dislikes using his own abilities since they were taught to him by Grieg. It is he who is tasked with leading the group into Sunderheim to rescue Imogen's soul. Lyra - Vergen's apprentice, bit of an ice queen initially to Sebastian, quite haughty. Without giving too much away, she will play a very important part as the group ventures deeper into Sunderheim and eventually arrive at their destination. Sal - a Glifreiter, sent from the Great Academy to assist the Entourage on their mission. Tier - sharp tongued and arrogant, an elite corps member sent by Grieg to accompany the group after Grieg learns of Radha's plan and confronts her, she conceads to letting Grieg send one of his own agents along. A master blademan even despite his youth. Vergen is at odds with him for many reasons, including his brashness, lack of true war experience, arrogance, as well as him being Grieg's current apprentice. Tier is sent into Sunderheim with secret orders from Grieg to try and obtain the Vashblade, the weapon given to Estalte by Vasha to enable him to seal away the Cold One, lost in their titanic fight, but acquired by Sunderheim. For obvious reasons Grieg wants it back/for himself. Gar - an exiled Grogr, the race of chitin armour plated giant sentient bear type creatures that live in the Enderwier. He has his own backstory revolving around his exile. Sebastian takes to him and he is invited to join their group, accepting, seeing it as a chance to redeem himself to his clan. A grudging respect for Vergen as Vergen has hunted and killed many Grogr over the years, including a relative of Gar (although one Gar didn't like all that much), who's pelt Vergen has fashioned into an armoured cloak. ================ Those are the main good guys. Main badguys include The Cold One (the Satan figure, who is locked and restrained inside the Cage of Thorns, at a mere fraction of his true power, he influences the dimensions beyond through the manipulation of his servants), his First Servant (still coming up with a good Norse name for her, but she is basically the equivalent of Lilith in Judaism, and can split herself into many forms). Then there's a group of "Lords of Hell" type characters, going from weakest to strongest who the Entourage must get past in order to rescue Imogen. They still need a lot more fleshing out though. I haven't written any of it yet. As you might have gathered from some of my other posts, I like getting my details and little side facts straight with regards to world-building and background before setting out. I don't mind too much about planning characters in detail as they will begin to develop themselves and take a life of their own once I start writing (although I want to get each of the main groups core abilities nailed down before I start). I plan to limit my chapters to 1000 words. I figure that's probably the limit your average forum dweller would have before losing interest. I hope to get some images done for it too eventually. So! Sorry its a lot to take in at once, any constructive criticism and feedback as well as ideas/suggestions would be very very appreciated.