1. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale hostis humani generis Contributor

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    How can one connect to the supernatural world?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Iain Aschendale, Oct 3, 2018.

    Okay, I've been mulling this over for quite some time now, and I think I need help. The setting is an urban fantasy, vaguely reminiscent (I had the idea independently before reading the books) of The Dresden Files. In other words, it's the modern world, and for 99.999% of the population, it's just that, nothing more. Supernatural stuff is the realm of TV shows and horror movies.

    However, for my MC and a very, very few others, there's a real supernatural world out there. I know how the MC made the connection; he had an accident that resulted in him going flatline for several minutes. He Crossed Over and was brought back by the docs, but kept the connection, which can be strengthened through some more things I'm not going into right here.

    The second character who has a connection is a teenage girl who was an identical twin, but her sister died in the womb. Same DNA, same person to a certain extent, so she and sis have a connection and can talk to each other through mirrors. Like the MC, her powers will grow in time as she becomes more exposed to the Other World and so on and so forth.

    Now the point is that both of these people are pretty rare, which is why we've been able to muddle through four thousand (or whatever) years of human history with legends of another World out there, but no reproduce-able proof. I mean, you could reproduce it, if you knew just what to look for and had no ethics or fear, but many/most of the people who do gain a connection accidentally will have been dismissed as mad or burned at the stake, so...

    The question: Other than the Near Death or Dead Twin, can anyone think of another very rare way in which a connection might be established? My baddy needs powers too, but...well, I'd rather not just say "Ah, but you didn't know there were two of us, did you? I too survived the Great Astroglide Flood of 2007, eventually! Mwahahahaha!"

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Active Member

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    Have you considered making the villain a nefarious spirit who crossed into our world, possibly through demonic possession?
     
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  3. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan Member Supporter Contributor

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    Maybe killing enough family members or people with closely shared genetics and emotional connections could link you to the supernatural. The more you kill the greater the connection?
     
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  4. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale hostis humani generis Contributor

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    Shoot, I shoulda mentioned that, I'll edit it to correct the omission, but demons (imps) do exist and are the major point of the story, but the problem is, they're basically decent entities doing a job in the service of Higher Powers. There are going to be nefarious imps, but the reason they're nefarious is that they've been tempted and taught to be evil by (dun dun DUNN!) the baddy. Flipping the traditional storyline, in other words, and to be able to see, summon, and tempt them, the baddy needs the connection.

    That's an interesting possibility. Not killing family members consciously, because otherwise every two-bit psycho in history would be a supermage because he cut his mother's head off and left it on a pole, but perhaps someone who was driving drunk and had an accident resulting in the deaths of his family members?

    Not sure, but it's an interesting angle, thanks.
     
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  5. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Active Member

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    Ok, so your 'normal' humans connect to an entity in the 'other' world (dead twin etc) via 'stuff'
    How about the 'Baddy' is an entity in the 'other' world who connects to a human in the reverse direction but in a similar way, perhaps as the result of a mishap on the 'other' side.
    Maybe an entity on the spirit side had a disappointing outcome whilst playing with an Astral Megaflux Distorter. (I've heard that can actually happen.) which temporarily connected him/her/it to a human sole leaving a lasting,,,,, thingy.
    Hm, just a thought.
     
  6. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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    Maybe killing someone in your family and being there while they died and looking deeply into their eyes, or something?

    And maybe there needs to be a predisposition to these things, as well. I mean, quite a few people have been brought back from the dead, and quite a few people have had their twin die, so there has to be something more going on than JUST those triggers.
     
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  7. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale hostis humani generis Contributor

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    True. The twin thing is because the other died in the womb, before they were really differentiated. I'd been planning on passing off the "returned from the dead" as something that most people who have done it would either refuse to accept or perhaps be unaware of the connection, but your point makes me realize that I need to look into the numbers and statistics to figure out what sort of a population I'm dealing with.

    Now that's an interesting angle, thanks!
     
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  8. IHaveNoName

    IHaveNoName Senior Member Community Volunteer

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    You know how there are "spells" and "spellbooks" - things that are touted as "magic", but are largely garbage - but if magic really exists, there have to be real spellbooks and grimoires and such out there. Someone who stumbles across one of these things and casts an actual spell (assuming they didn't die or summon something that would eat them) would definitely have their eyes opened to the Other Side.

    Of course, there's also the simple "I saw a <insert random supernatural creature> one night walking home from the park" route. Most people would just shrug it off, but a very few would investigate and follow the trail and go down the rabbit hole...
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
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  9. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale hostis humani generis Contributor

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    Thanks for the suggestions, but this is something I'm explicitly trying to avoid (I need to learn to phrase my requests for help better, my fault). I'm colorblind, can't roll my tongue, and don't taste that sour stuff on the strips they gave us in elementary school, and I want the majority of humanity to be the same with regards to magic and the spirit world. This is why I need my susceptibility to be almost un-reproducible. If someone could learn magic from a magic book, they'd teach someone, who would teach someone, who would... In my world, there are two parts. The ritual is one of them, but the innate ability is the key. MC is in a panic because he thinks something magical is after him, googles "protective pentacle" but either gets the wrong information or screws up his drawing and creates a transport Gate instead and gets Summoned by a teenager (the one with the dead twin) who's half-assed trying to summon a demon. Hilarity ensues.
     
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  10. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    A few ideas:

    MC (or whomever you need to have the connection) spends the night in a haunted hotel and an entity/spirit/ whatchamacallit goes home with him in his suitcase or clings onto and exits with him. (You probably know that "ghosthunters" have cleansing rituals for themselves and their luggage when they stay in haunted locations.)

    MC (or whomever you need to have the connection) spends the night in a haunted hotel or takes a tour of a haunted place and an entity/spirit/whatchamacallit gets into his digital camera /camera function of his phone, is seen on the images, and the entity /spirit /whatchamacallit is accessible only when the camera is in use, and / or the camera serves as the portal to...wherever.

    An object. MC (or whomever... yadda yadda) gets a haunted object from a thrift store or antique store. (If you look in the "weird" section on Ebay and search for "haunted" you'll see a bunch of objects the sellers claim are haunted.) Or perhaps the proprietor "sees" that the MC is one of the very special people and leads him to a portal in the store.

    Here are a couple of locations you can use as inspiration for a portal:

    Do you know about Devil's Gate in Pasadena? I remembered it was in the L.A. area because my sis went hiking there, so I looked it up for you:

    https://www.timeout.com/los-angeles/blog/exploring-devils-gate-a-portal-to-hell-in-pasadena

    http://laghostpatrol.com/2011/05/devils-gate/

    There's also the "Haunted Picnic Table" in Griffith Park in L.A.
     
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  11. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    I think perhaps you should have something from the other world have to reach out to them. I very much dislike when writers use well understood things and tact on something strange to them. We know what DNA is: carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and phosphorus and nothing more, all operating under the laws of QED and in the grand scale scheme of things is completely randomly generated by evolution.

    For example: Stephen King’s It sounds like it has a similar supernatural world that almost no one is aware of. The main characters didn’t have any special genetics that made them more able to combat the clown, the turtle chose and helped them.

    It doesn’t have to be a conscious choice of a benevolent over being like the turtle though. A child god may notice a human dying and interact with it just for a moment in terms of its own lifetime and think nothing of it, but could leave lingering magical abilities behind. A being that lives millions of years would think of us an insects and maybe it saved your affected characters without them realizing it like how you might catch a spider and take it outside rather than stepping on it.
     
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  12. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan Member Supporter Contributor

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    What if the reason we have phantom feeling when we lose a limb is because we actually have a phantom limb just bobbing about in the spirit world?
     
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  13. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale hostis humani generis Contributor

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    I'm an idiot.

    Go to the lore...

    Seventh son of a seventh son (or seventh daughter of a seventh daughter)

    That keeps it rare enough and impossible to game.

    Thanks for the suggestions, they helped unstick my brain.
     
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  14. Mink

    Mink Senior Member

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    If using lore, there's a lot out there like babies born with a caul, a tail, etc. It's what I would go to in this situation. Something highly traumatic might be able to be used or a genetic link, as mentioned earlier.
     
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  15. Maggie May

    Maggie May Member

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    Grand Canyon has an area that is off limits to people. Native Americans have their stories about the area......... Someone accidently gets stranded overnight or what appears to be overnight. Possible the bad guy, running from the law makes his way in to one of those places and something happens. It has to be a place that few people can get into or have access to. Scuba diving in a cave and is sucked into fill in the blank. How they change is up to you.
     
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  16. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan Member Supporter Contributor

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    Definitely puts a new spin on Seven Brides For Seven Brothers
     
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  17. SolZephyr

    SolZephyr Member Supporter

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    About the baddy... How about if he's a genetic clone of someone who died? If it's a modern setting, it's a possibility, depending on how old your baddy is.

    I mean sure, it's very illegal to clone humans, but the technology does exist. Someone rich who wanted to bring back a loved one could conceivably do this.
     
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  18. Some Guy

    Some Guy People-thing Supporter

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    There is already forms of energy and matter, dark energy, dark matter, or whatever. They seemingly have no effect on us, even though they are all around us. Perhaps because we don't have the structure to observe them, or it's innate for rare humans to posses some structure that interacts strongly with the demonic ether, similar to a solar sail. They pass through each other in the rare circumstance, and let the hilarity commence. Or, perhaps certain rare people or amimals are 'keys' which activate something in 'marked' people (from some demonic game show or party game). I'd love to see that, "Come On Down!" o_O
     
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  19. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Active Member

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    How many you need?

    1. Intellectual.
    2. Via proxy.
    3. Schitzofrenia.
    4. Evil posession.
    5. Dreams.
    6. Inner voice.
    7. Chain of "coincidences".
    8. Family curse.
    9. Flash backs.
    10. Flash forwards.
     
  20. S A Lee

    S A Lee Contributor Contributor

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    There is a theory amongst psychics that early exposure to supernatural phenomena. I watched a couple of episodes of Psychic Kids and I recall one of the mentor figures commenting that ghosts are drawn to sensitive kids because they're more likely to help them. Maybe events happen to these people in youth and as a result they become aware of the supernatural around them.
     
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  21. writingistelepathy

    writingistelepathy Member

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    What about the use of a substance? In Stranger Things, the main character has access to 'the other side' because her mother abused a strong, illegal psychedelic drug when she was pregnant. I can't remember what drug, but that was interesting.

    Or, if that doesn't fit....

    Is it possible for a supernatural being (person?) to conceive a child with a regular human? Maybe there's a child or an adult out there who has unknowingly been conceived this way and somehow gains access to the other world at some significant point in their life. Or maybe that's your baddy...
     
  22. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

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    Oh I know exactly where that Grand Canyon idea can go. And I'm stealing it.
     
  23. Maggie May

    Maggie May Member

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    Be my guest!
     
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