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  1. SirKibblers

    SirKibblers Member

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    Casual Body Horror

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by SirKibblers, Nov 19, 2017.

    In my story, all beings on the planet (and most all outside of it) are essentially infected with extraterrestrial, mutualistic parasites called souls, named so because they function similarly and are interpreted in similar ways to souls of the real world. A WIP summary of souls and their most common strain:

    Souls: Organisms from an unknown, alternate dimension that crashed into planets by comet. The soul inhabits a body as a host, but depending on the strain, will act differently on contact.
    • Blue Soul: These souls simply enter the body and reside in the heart (over generations, the organism evolves to develop a fifth chamber in the heart specifically for the soul), where it feeds soul essence into the bloodstream so that it may be distributed throughout the body. The result is a symbiotic relationship between the host and the soul, where the host keeps its consciousness and has its body monitored and maintained by the soul, and the soul receives its nutrients and maintains its health in the host's body.

    TL;DR: Everyone in the world has superhuman vitality and physical potential, and a conscious immune system, as well as insane regenerative properties. The reason I bring this up though, is because the soul can not only repair the body, but reshape it. This is rare outside of zodiacs, which also have a WIP summary:

    Zodiac: An immensely powerful being of unknown origin, creating an almost godlike figure. A zodiac is a soul that resides in an enormous crystal, which itself resides at the core of a constellation’s brightest (typically) star. The soul uses the crystal as a catalyst for magic, and the star’s immense heat as an energy source, allowing for almost unlimited spells of incredible caliber. The soul synthesizes objects inside the crystal, mainly soul mirrors made out of an unknown substance, that allow the soul to project its consciousness through space and time. Through this process, the soul’s mind takes on forms in alternate timelines by possessing hosts and acting through them. The hosts are expendable; if the host dies, the soul cuts its ties with the body and proceeds to possess another host, usually on a near identical timeline to limit variability.

    TL;DR: Zodiacs are souls without hosts that project their consciousness through space and time to possess empty or currently inhabited bodies as temporary, expendable hosts.

    If you read the TL;DR's, you should get the gist of it. Now on to the real topic. Some more tame examples are: if an arm is stuck somewhere, they can force the muscles to break the bones for flexibility, before putting them back together shortly after; in combat, if someone is just out of reach, they can dislocate the joint for extra reach, then realign it in an instant. Another thing to note is that pain is repressed significantly in most cases, usually proportionate to the amount of damage able to be sustained by an individual before it becomes a threat. Additionally, pain can be suppressed manually to a degree if the host (or the soul in the case of a zodiac) wills it.

    Now on to the zodiacs, featuring Leo, Virgo, and Gemini.

    Leo: A lion-like man, very much like Hashmal from Final Fantasy XII. His main attribute is that he does not have joints, but rather gatherings of fluid muscle that push and pull with extreme force. This allows him to bend his arms, legs, neck, and even spine in any direction he pleases, without sacrificing force or vigor.

    Virgo: Virgo's body is made up of a viscous liquid with a thick, malleable membrane. She inserts bone shaped objects into certain parts of her body (limbs, spine, head, ribcage, etc) to give structure and a more humanoid appearance. The bones are made of a material that can be made flexible through use of a spell by runes. Her face consists of two eyes that float in various positions on her face, however she occasionally retains its form like a standard face, forming structures like a nose and a bulge like the shape of lips.

    Gemini: A single, werewolf-like body housing two beings: Pollux and Castor. Their body is split vertically down the middle by a fleshy line of tendons. This separates their left side (Pollux) and their right side (Castor). Pollux’s fur is a light yellow color, while Castor’s is a grayish black. The two think and act independently, but only on their specific side. When one is exuding more “power” than the other (power can be affected by a multitude of things), they begin to temporarily reshape the line so that their side encompasses more of the body. For example: if Castor exudes enough power to extend his territory to Pollux's arm (the body's left arm), he will have control over that arm. Each side’s head and face cannot be taken over or influenced by the other, meaning their consciousnesses will always remain separate and independent. When this power imbalance equalizes itself, the border returns to its normal position.

    I feel like I made this too long, but I didn't know what was more important than what, or how to summarize it further than this. So anyone who has the time and/or patience to read it all, please judge me and tell me how to be better at forum posting. It'd be deeply appreciated. Also let me know your thoughts on it (the concept in the title), or any ideas of your own that may coincide with the topic or grant inspiration.
     
    Gadock likes this.
  2. Gadock

    Gadock Active Member

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    I don’t think you need to summarise this further down. I like what you’ve done so far; using history and use that as base to create something rather entirely unique.

    What is it further want to know though?
     
  3. SirKibblers

    SirKibblers Member

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    What do you mean? If you're looking for more information I've got plenty. :p
     
  4. Gadock

    Gadock Active Member

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    Well, to me it seemed a long post to just to ask about how to better forum :p
     
  5. SirKibblers

    SirKibblers Member

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    Oh that was just something I added at the end, but I can see how you could've misinterpreted that. The main question was what opinions people had on casual body horror in a story. An important thing to note, something I should've noted in my original post, is that I plan to make this into a video game series. Thus, everything will be visually presented in gratuitous detail, save for some strategically placed censorship, but only when the situation calls for it.

    Basically, just tell me what you think of body horror or explicit transformations as a standard for the game/story.
     
  6. OJB

    OJB A Mean Old Man Contributor

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    I suggest you read the book 'Who goes there?' by John Campbell.

    or, if you want the movie version: 'John Carpenter's the Thing.'

    or, if you want the Video game Version: Final Fantasy 7 (Bet you didn't know that Jenova was based off the alien from the Book, did you?)
     
  7. SirKibblers

    SirKibblers Member

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    Never played FF7, but I have seen John Carpenter's The Thing, many, many times actually. It's one of my favorites, if not my favorite horror movie. But this isn't exactly what I meant. In these stories, body horror is used as, well, horror, or at least something grotesque or shocking.

    What I aim to do is have body horror be present in most characters and situations and be, rather than a horror device, a natural occurrence. Would this be off-putting to consumers? I don't want to sacrifice my concepts for accessibility, but I think it's good to know when to stop.
     
  8. OJB

    OJB A Mean Old Man Contributor

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    Okay, since Horror is what I write, horror I can help you with. There is nothing wrong with any form of gore as long as there is meaning behind it. If you are putting gore in just to shock your readers, it is no good, but let us say you have a gore scene -or something grotesque- that has real thematic, allegoric, or symbolic meaning behind, then not only is acceptable but it gives the horror a whole new dimension.
     
  9. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Well grotesque and gory elements also inhabit the theater of war. But it not
    meant to be used as shock value, but more of the consequence of what happens
    in such a situation.
    On the other hand there seems to be an audience just for brutal chaotic body
    horror and mutilation for absolutely little to no reason. It just depends like
    OJB said, do you want it to be shock value or have some symbolic meaning.

    Look at Cannibal Corpse and the themes they explore in their lyrics. They are
    both gruesome, and yet are based around real and fictional things that are
    scary. But they are not senseless when you understand the context of what
    each is about. (Mainly Fictitious things based around Horror movies, but
    songs like Staring Through the Eyes of the Dead is all about being awake during
    surgery.
    Then there is crazy brutal stuff like this:


    So yeah in a way body horror is pretty casual in a way.
     

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