1. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Races and Purposes

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Keitsumah, Oct 28, 2013.

    Okay, I have three races in my book, two of which I think I have sorted out (aka: humans and Shifters) but I keep running across different scenarios and ways that I can make my book simpler by changing the background of the third race.

    Let me explain: this race is known as the Imirri, and look perfectly human other than their eyes, which are always gemstone or metallic in color. They also can tap into powers over weather, ice, pressure, gravity, and on rare occasions time. This race plays the role of being the protector of the human race from the Shifters.

    The book takes place after the Imirri has supposedly died out, but the main character discovers that she is the last of their kind. Now, here comes the issue. The Imirri could work two ways:

    One, they could be a mysterious magical people from a distant land of mists called the Ether, or:

    Two, they could be a race created by humans casting a powerful spell and giving up their own magic to make special guardians during the war.

    I can do both very easily, but I haven't quite chosen on which one yet. Now I know this isn't much of a question, but can you guys help me pick which one? Even this tiny detail will end up changing part of the MC's journey, and I want to make sure it makes for good reading.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  2. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I personally like the second choice more. It makes her more human and relatable, in a way. It also gives her existence more of a purpose, which would lead to a greater sense of duty.

    Or you could combine the two: The humans who cast the spell thought they were creating an ally, but they were actually summoning them from a distant land of mists. She doesn't have to know the truth straight away, either.
     
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  3. Tara
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    Tara Contributing Member

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    To actually tell you which one is the best in my opinion I would have to know a bit more about the story itself, but there are two things I can suggest.

    Try to find out whether you have a preference, or whether you think one fits the story better than another one. I had a similar problem with one of my own stories: a race that could either be a separate race, or an effect of a certain act. After adding a character of this race to the story I realized the second option went with the story way better than the first.
    If this doesn't work: roll a dice. I know it sounds odd, but you will most likely prefer either of the two possibilities. If you are disappionted with the result you will go with the other option, if you're happy with the result that will be what you work with.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Nope. Not "won't," "can't." Your choice determines what story you will tell, and no one can decide that but you.
     
  5. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    @Cogito You are to brainstorming what the safety simulator construction crew is to a crash test dummy.

    @Keitsumah I think the second option creates a more compelling story.
    It becomes a question of how the human's will be portrayed. When they are the creators of the Imeri they have a level of control over the fate of their race, whereas option 2 some passing aliens bestow some rescuing on the humans.

    I think the creator option also has a potential for melancholy which always compliments fantasy so well. The humans worked so hard, and their contribution, along with the knowledge to make it was forgotten.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Jack, that kind of "brainstorming" is more stormy than brainy. It does not create a better writer. Learning to make a decision and run with it, on the other hand, does make a better writer.

    That's my priority.
     
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  7. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    You make a good point, soliciting advice will make her a horrible writer. You probably sparred her a ghastly fate, done in by the hand of an enraged editor.

    Of course the final decision is her's, she's not trying to hand off responsibility. She's asking for help understanding which course will better drive the narrative. And if we all give answers she hates she'll tell us to fuck off.

    It's fine that you refuse to take part in her process, but next time maybe you could refuse without getting your piss all over our nice parade, and just not post a comment?
     
  8. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The problem I see with option 2 is that why would humans give away their own magic to them during a war? If they're powerful enough to create a powerful race, they could just hog the magic and kick the Shifters' asses. Or is this how you figured humans wouldn't have magic in your world which would make your MC special? Or maybe they had just enough magic to create a more powerful race... but that doesn't make much sense to me. Maybe they, indeed, come from the Ether, humans just sort of dialed them up?

    'Cause I like the combination idea. Humans tried to summon some guardians, things went wrong, they lost their magic but the Imirri still has theirs and they help (or don't help if they're sentient and have a free will and know of capitalism) to protect the blundering humans from the Shifters.
     
  9. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Thanks for the ideas thus far guys! and i think i figured something out now.

    I will go with the idea that the humans created the Imirri, but something went wrong with the casting. (the humans who did have magic before kept it contained to a preisthood) aka: the antagonist himself foibled the spell and absorbed most of the magic, but some still slipped through and created the Imirri. They could sense his evil, and chased him out, forcing him to ally with the Shifters. Now, this is all two-hundred years before my character's timeline, but when that comes around she ends up discovering that the "true" antagonist is still alive.

    Well... as alive as a dark spirit can be. (when an Imirri dies they are trapped in their "spirit" form because their power can never dissipate, so the opposite is true for Shifters after the antagonist gets involved and corrupts them even further...)

    again, thanks!
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
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  10. tupbup
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    tupbup Member

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    I maybe a little late into the discussion but I agree with KaTrian about the problem of humans giving away their magic during wartime, this doesn't seem like a good idea.

    However, if at a point of desperation the humans cast a massive spell together which was far beyond their natural limitations, the Imirri could be an unintentional byproduct of the spell and the human's loss of magic a punishment for attempting something too powerful for them.
     
  11. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    Just throwing ideas out there, but what if the Imirri are descended from ancient humans. Some of these ancient humans could have mastered magic but the magical energy in their bodies caused their eyes to turn metallic in colour. Then, for whatever reason, these magical humans could have split with the non-magical humans. I personally like the idea of a civil war, where the non-magical humans rebelled against the magical ones because they were taking all the power and wealth for themselves. The two societies could have split, with the magical humans that would become the Imirri carrying on as they are and the normal humans eventually losing any magical ability whatsoever over the generations. Then, perhaps with the creation/arrival/sudden decision to go kill humans of the shifters, the Imirri could have felt obliged to protect the humans since they wronged them in the past. Thus they became their protectors.

    Or something like that. Personally I like the idea that the Imirri share ancestors with humans, you don't have to use the civil war idea. You don't have to use any of mine.

    As far as your two options go now though, I'll need more info on your world. What kind of the world do the humans live in, how much magic is there. Where is it in relation to the mist land the Imirri potentially come from? Perhaps think up reasons why the Imirri would have come to the humans' world. Also, what, exactly is the Ether?

    Hope this helps, I'll be happy to brainstorm more if you answer some of my questions :)
     
  12. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Okay, here's a rough outlook on the world:

    There are three realms, and three lands. They cross both spiritual and physical boundaries, but are all connected and can be reached by the determined adventurer. The land of the living (aka: neutral realm) is called Euthiria. The lands of the dead are called The Ether (aka: boundary realm) and Distaeria (aka: dark realm). The Ether is a thin realm that creates a boundary between Euthiria and Distaeria in order to protect the living from the darkness, and there is a huge ocean between Euthiria and the Ether.

    I'll try adding what the three races are and how they are linked, but that's the world.
     
  13. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    Ok, based on that, I'd say the first option you listed is definitely the better one. If there is a huge ocean separating the human land from the Imirri land, and there's no (apparent) reason for the humans to cross over it, then it makes sense that the humans would know very little about the Imirri.
     
  14. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Currently I am going with the idea that all three races started off from three brothers. Kinda like Cain and Abel, only with a third brother and no one dies, but one is nearly killed. Canus is the source of the shifters after he ran off guilty because of adaephus's supposed death, but Ellison found adaephus and saved him, but told adaephus to run in case Canus came back to finish him off. Hence the Imirri coming from the ether, where adaephus fled to. Ellison started the human race then.

    Though now that I think about it having everyone be distantly relegated would be wired lol. That's why I want to change it.
     
  15. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Okay, here's the list of the races and their capabilities:

    Humans: Sometimes known as the toughest of all three races, the humans have struggled to survive against constant wars and raids by the Shifters, as well as the unceacing winter that was brought about by the appearance of the Imirri two hundred years before. Though they have no magic and are vulnerable to the Shifter's mind control abilities by looking them in the eye, they are some of the strongest in hand-to-hand combat. (if i have them lose their magic to create the Imirri, that will have only bolstered their physical attributes)

    Shifters: Known as the "Nightmare" race, Shifters look like ordinary humans except for their yellow eyes and scars. In constant battle even amongst themselves over dominance, the Shifters nearly equal humans in brute strength, and by looking one in the eye you immediately forfeit any control over your body whatsoever. They have two other forms beside that of their human bodies. The first is the half form, where their hair grows longer and shaggier, and they sprout fangs and claws. Their eyes also change as the whites turn black. The second is their wolf form, when a Shifter can change into a wolf whose size varies depending on rank. The ranks go from scout,guard,raider, captain,general, to Alpha. Also, Shifters are only male, and must reproduce by kidnapping human or Imirri women. (so yes, all Shifters are half-breeds)

    Imirri: Rare and powerful, Imirri are the only people who are immune to the Shifter's stare and have powers over mist, light, pressure, ice, gravity, as well as many other things. They look like the average human except that they are usually taller in stature and have gemstone/metallic eyes. They are weaker physically than humans and Shifters, and so must remain at the back of a battle to avoid being killed while their mind is focused on protecting many others at once. This is the source race of the Starshade.

    The Starshade: a female that is created by nature itself (spoiler: she is spring) and is born over and over again. Overall, she is believed to be Imirri, and thus the epitome of the Imirri's power, and is prophesied to destroy the Shifters. She has three Guardians who await her appearance, and help her in battle by creating a link to concentrate her powers to one point. Otherwise, she will lose control and wreak mass destruction in some way or other before killing herself. (the point of her in the story is that winter has become permanent because Dark spirits are loose, and the only way to get them back to Distaeria is the have everyone die, but spring is rebelling against that idea) There have been eight Starshades by the time the story takes place.

    Light Spirits: ghosts of dead Imirri, who are sworn to protect life and return the Dark spirits back to Distaeria.

    Dark Spirits: ghosts of the dead who swore revenge or did unspeakable things in life. They plan to destroy all life.
     
  16. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    I actually kinda like this version. You could say then that the Imirri decided to protect the humans from the Shifters because they feel they owe the humans a debt because the humans' first ancestor saved their first ancestor.
     
  17. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    and so it backfires... gah these stories have so many options!!!
     
  18. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    Just choose one you like and one you think you could write a story based upon. You might find it works fine but then you might find it doesn't and you have to change it. It's all part of the process!
     
  19. tjoudega
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    tjoudega New Member

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    I'd choose the second one. It's more compelling to me because there had to be a lot at stake to give up magic. I feel potential for good background stories
     
  20. Consumingdarkness
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    Consumingdarkness New Member

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    I have been attempting to write a story for a while now it has a race similar but they control earth, wind, fire, water, ice, storms, darkness and light. not in the sense that the control the things around them but the can conjure the powers and use them, and there is a faction for each element. but i always feel as though i'm ripping off some other story or something so its frustrating
     
  21. Consumingdarkness
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    Consumingdarkness New Member

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    anywho the faction that uses darkness is created by the second born child of every family in the faction of light must be given up to the darkness (abandoned in underground caves and the god of darkness takes them and turns them into the warriors and protectors for all the other factions and good races and to combat the evil races)

    the leader of every faction is known as a Prophet who is in contact with the god of their elemental
    alignment, but the prophet of darkness decides he is going to turn on the other factions and he takes his people allies/ enslaves evil races. he kills the other factions (except the 2 main characters from the faction of light but he kidnaps one of them and turns him to dark element but because of his background in the light faction it tears his mind in 2 and he attempts to stop the main character and save him at the same time) the main character escapes with the help of some agents hire by his father (prophet of light) he is a child and knows nothing of what is happening he grows up being hated and alienated by humans and becomes a thief in a human city until something happens and his powers are unleashed and he destroys the city and is taken is by elves who teach his who he is and what is happening. and the story progresses from there.
     
  22. Consumingdarkness
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    Consumingdarkness New Member

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    a few issues i am having are
    for the power of light and darkness i have either 2 options 1. the power is an effect on the mind that if say its darkness being used it would effect them as though they are having a nightmarish hallucination and depend on the strength of attack used it would cause them to be so terrified they would lose their minds and take their own life. or option 2. would be say an area of effect causing a cloud of impenetrable darkness (yes i am aware it sounds dangerously close to D&D's globes of darkness)
     
  23. Fizpok
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    Fizpok Member

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    The second choice is definitely better, however, there is also a third one.
    Use both approaches.
    I read a novel some time ago about humans building an artifficial dragon to defeat a magical (evil) one. Why not? We ran out of guardians - let's make an imitation.
     

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