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General Forge Forums => First Thoughts => Topic started by: Tark on December 11, 2009, 07:05:40 AM



Title: Beyond Gods]Intro Fiction Shenanigans Redux
Post by: Tark on December 11, 2009, 07:05:40 AM
So before I sit down to get to writing Beyond Gods proper, I decided to write a bit of introductory fiction to get the brain cells rolling and give players an idea of what the game is all about, not unlike the fictions featured in nearly all White Wolf books. It's a bit tough to get the idea across considering the very abstract nature of the actual characters. For this I decided to use two featured characters: Sir Clarke de Arthur Montgomery an archmage turned Avatar by a spell which simultaneously granted him the powers of a higher entity while murdering his god, and the Hunger an intelligent universe with very darwinian outlooks on the multiverse as a whole.

I made some changes from the one I posted up on RPGnet and decided to take it here for further refinement.

Below me hundreds of thousands of creatures angelic and demonic argued amongst themselves about dozens of pointless petty subjects.  When I had first become a mage in some distant universe it was to achieve one very simple goal; to learn the secrets of the universe.  Now that I was here I found out that the vaunted secrets of the cosmos were rather anticlimactic.  The great beings I had once summoned were little more than petty bureaucrats at their best and treacherous snakes at their worst.  Yet here I was on their invitation.  To join them in some cause or another that would better the multiverse.  They made the multiverse better by lying, cheating, stealing, murdering and blackmailing any mortal, immortal or neither if they believed it would gain themselves some form of power.  Pathetic.

I left those creatures there, pulling the bulk of my power from that place.  I wasn’t impolite however.  I did leave a simulacrum, a small shard of my consciousness and power to maintain some awareness of the events as pointless as they were.  No point in making them angry.  Even small beings such as themselves could be a threat given enough ire.  I moved my consciousness across the planes, respecting borders, paying tributes where necessary.  I had no mind for making enemies at the moment.

As I moved, the need for politeness and etiquette dwindled.  My destination was one few of my kind dared to linger.  As I neared, I felt the presence of ghosts, memories of my destinations latest encounters, trailing me.  They were unnerving, and constant reminders of how close I came to becoming a mere meal to my ally.  Still, I let them be.  They were harmless so long as I ignored them and moved on. 
My ally.  Yes, I was fortunate.  I remembered those days.  Sweating, cold, working feverishly for decades to complete the ritual that would guarantee my ascension and place me among the gods as equals.  Magic was my path to power, magic was my staircase to the heavens, and it was through magic that I would come to rule the universe and learn all its secrets.  How ignorant I truly was.  Lying there, naked in the hundred fold geometric pattern carved in a bloody marble floor and muttering the chant I ached for the knowledge of all things.  I reached for the power to make it so.  I found it, seized it and sucked it into my consciousness with a ravenous hunger and terrible desire I never thought myself capable of.  Later, I learned what I had accomplished was little more than a cosmic fluke, a stroke of luck.  I had accomplished little more than the blindsiding of an unsuspecting god.  I reached out with my spell, throttled him and sucked out his mana without him ever realizing what was happening until it was too late.  A stroke of luck, made only possible because my future ally was simultaneously devouring his kin, making my prey mistake it for his attacker. 

When it was done, all my flesh had been stripped, all my mortality had been torn from me.  Yet I was not dead, far from it, I was reborn, I was exalted to a new consciousness, and as I opened my newly born omniprescience I beheld a sight I would never forget.  It appeared to be a man made of light surrounded by a sea of stars, though my senses immediately told me he was a god and my knowledge told me he was no less than the lord of my universes pantheon, but not for long, for long dark tendrils had pierced his divine shell and behind the man was an overwhelming darkness from which the tendrils originated.  I could feel the hunger radiating off it.  Was this the ultimate truth I had sought?  I watched with a bated breath I no longer felt as the man of light moved its consciousness weakly from his attacker to me.  He looked with shock and despair as at once both he and I understood.  With sorrow the last of the great god’s power was sucked from him and he disappeared into nothing.  No, that’s not right, he became worse than nothing.  Nothing does not feel, nothing does not despair, and nothing cannot remember what it once was.

You might ask: do I regret my actions?  Of course not.  I was not afraid; I was neither guilty nor sad.  I was curious.  Instead of fleeing the all devouring darkness, I approached it as it was savoring the last morsel of power that the great god had given.  This seemed to surprise it.  I felt that great hungering abyss regard me, and for a moment, it blinked. 

After a long eon of study it was the first to speak, its voice oozed with primal cunning and divine hunger.  “I do not know whether to devour you where you stand for taking what is mine, or thanking you greatly for guaranteeing my victory.”

I shrugged.  “Victory? A fluke from where I’m standing. Nothing more than a cosmic joke.”  I laughed a reaction that the darkness reacted to with bewilderment. “I mean, I spend an entire mortal lifetime to seek out the secrets of the universe and what did I find?”  I spread my arms to the ocean of stars and the throbbing darkness surrounding me.  “More questions.  More mysteries! Ha!”

Had I gone mad?  Had my ascension shattered my mind?  Perhaps.  Yet this outburst, this bravado, seemed to intrigue the creature.
“There is no mystery”, it said.  “Only desire, only hunger, only those who eat and those who are eaten, that is all.”

I raised an eyebrow.  “So what are you then?”

The creature loomed all about me, giving the impression of some great predator giving a roar, hungry; seeking tendrils undulated along the edges seeming to knock the stars about like mere toys.  It spoke then it what I imagined was its most impressive and frightening voice it could muster.  “I am the lurking terror, the bane of gods, the eater of concepts, and the murderer of worlds.  I AM HUNGER!”

The universe shook, the ocean of stars at my feet threatened to fall from beneath my feet.  Still I was unafraid.  Was this creature that simple?  No, it showed pride, bravado, a need to impress.  Perhaps this show was little more than to drive fear into my heart and soul, to force me to flee so it could chase me down and kill me like it had done to my former gods.  Of course I could sense its power, it dwarfed my own.  I could never win a direct conflict with this creature in a million lifetimes.  But what was a lifetime to me now that I obtained deification?  I put on the form of my old mortal self in what I had imagined was the latest style of clothing.  I gave an exaggerated bow and took off my hat to the darkness and tipping my staff to it for good measure as I had done for a hundred mortal kings before it.

“Since we are introducing ourselves, my name is Sir Arthur Montgomery the Child of Wind, master arch mage of the kingdom of Coraneria, seeker of the cosmic mysteries, and master of knowledge most arcane.”  I smiled at the darkness before me.

Perhaps it was genuinely impressed, or perhaps it was just amused by my mortal trappings.  I could never know.  Part of me sensed, however, that it saw something of a kinship in me.  It sought to sate its hunger, I sought to gather knowledge.  Desire was our commonality.   That was the beginning of our alliance.  I received protection, and a bit of guidance, by my association with the creature that called itself Hunger, I was left alone by gods who saw me as a trespasser, an enemy of their kind.  They might have easily destroyed me given my newborn nature.  Yet they feared this monster enough to leave me in peace.  It was just as well.  I discovered much later that I had a glaring weakness, a side effect of my ascension.  While I possessed the power, sight, speed, and influence of a god I still had little more than a mortal’s capacity for knowledge.  A cruel joke, I killed a god, befriended a universe, and completed a feat one in several trillion normally fails to accomplish, and I still did not have what I sought.  One could argue that in seeking knowledge I had damned myself to an existence of never having it.  I could argue that with a thought I could render them and their entire bloodlines to a viscous fluid, but I digress.

I was approaching the realm of my ally, a void in reality where only it remained.  I made my presence known and it invited me within.  For any other being this would be suicide.  For me, it was a sanctuary.  I settled in, resting my energies in the comforting darkness.

“I warned you against accepting their invitation”, it said.  “They squabble like children.  They play at being gods when they are little more than mortals with a taste of divinity.”

I shrugged.  “You did.  Still, how else was I supposed to know unless I experienced for myself?”  I made a dismissive gesture.  “Besides I am sure you’ve made decisions you’ve come to regret.”

The darkness quivered its version of laughter. “No. I do not regret.”

“I suppose not.”  I sighed letting my frustration show.  “I’m angry.  Doors are shut to me; I seek knowledge of the cosmos and find only shaking heads and hostile intention.  Where I don’t find either I find ignorance and stupidity.  I became what I am today to escape that nonsense, not stumble blindly into it.”
I felt the darkness regard me for a moment before it spoke again.  “We are seekers of things forbidden you and I.  No one is like us.  Yet everyone is us.  Everyone desires and seeks knowledge.  Everyone desires and seeks to sate their hunger for power.  Yet we are the ones considered taboo.”

I simply shook my head and seethed.  Normally I found the realm of the Hungers darkness comforting but all I could do now was feed my wrath into it.  I was frustrated, infuriated, I joined the League of Servants hoping that beings only slightly less than gods might lead me to secret stores of knowledge that were otherwise closed off to me.  Instead I found bickering and politicking that would make the most sinister royal courtier in my mortal time blush.
Seeming to sense my thoughts the darkness spoke again.  “Perhaps you should designate a new target for your seeking.  You told me once that knowledge is power.  If that is true than power is knowledge.  Perhaps what you need is to seek out power.”

I knew what he meant without him having to say it.  The Hunger only gained power from devouring other gods.  Only one thought occurred to me at the time, “I’m no murderer.”

This was a lie; of course I was a murderer.  Deicide, homicide, fratricide, I committed those things and much worse in the name of gaining knowledge and the power to obtain it.  I supposed by becoming a god that somehow I had the luxury of becoming a better person.  The universe stayed still for what felt like an eon before it spoke again.

“I speak of the natural order.  Predators devouring prey.  The weak being culled from the universe.”  The darkness pulsated around me.  It paused for a moment to savor its own words before continuing.  “Or if you prefer, I may be speaking of justice.”

“Justice?” I raised an inquisitive eyebrow.

“A group of foolish mortals approached me.  They claimed to have been part of a multiplanar organization.  The Mortal Alliance I believe they called themselves.  They wished for me to slay a higher being that has been tormenting mortals.  Before now I never considered the offer. “
I didn’t have to ask whether or not the mortals survived their ordeal.  Consuming mortals had all the nourishment for the Hunger as licking dust.  Besides, I sensed it had a special place in its nonexistent heart for mortals.  They might have been rebuffed, perhaps even terrified beyond their sanity, but at least they would live. 

I shrugged as I lounged back.  “Too strong for you?”

The darkness seethed.  It didn’t take well to perceived insult.  “None are too strong.  However, the god in question is cunning, and powered by vast quantities of mortal worship.  There is easier prey to be had.  However if I had aid.”  It let the words hang in the air. I had to admit it was getting good at manipulating me.  When I had first met the being it had all the social capabilities of a five year old.

I waved a hand dismissively.  “I know what you mean, but, you should know I lack omniscience”
I spat the last word, nothing got on my nerves more than the realization that my ultimate goal was an ultimate impossibility to attain.

“True, but you have other talents.”  The darkness admitted. “For one, you know more about mortals then I could conceive.  Second, you have allies where I find only enemies.  Finally, you have killed before, even if you were but a mere mortal.”

I was honestly astonished.  Never before had the hunger admitted to weakness, even more shocking was that it played to my ego.  It was getting good.  I’d have to start watching my words from then on.

“Very well.” I said. “I suppose if some mortals demand the execution of a cruel and unjust god we should answer their prayers, yes?   Still, I think you’ll need more help then me.”

“Who did you have in mind?”  The darkness asked.

“Who implies that it’s a singular entity.  Personally I’d prefer what. What I have in mind is the aid of an entire race of automatons.  I think I told you about them, or it, if you prefer.  The beings known as Zero-One?”

I felt the darkness’s disgust begin to rise.  I kept my smile hidden.  I knew this was going to be fun.


Title: Re: Beyond Gods]Intro Fiction Shenanigans Redux
Post by: Spooky Fanboy on December 11, 2009, 05:50:56 PM
Honestly, all it needs is some condensing.

Quote
I left those creatures there, pulling the bulk of my power from that place.  I wasn’t impolite however.  I did leave a simulacrum, a small shard of my consciousness and power to maintain some awareness of the events as pointless as they were.  No point in making them angry.  Even small beings such as themselves could be a threat given enough ire.  I moved my consciousness across the planes, respecting borders, paying tributes where necessary.  I had no mind for making enemies at the moment.

As I moved, the need for politeness and etiquette dwindled.  My destination was one few of my kind dared to linger.  As I neared, I felt the presence of ghosts, memories of my destinations latest encounters, trailing me.  They were unnerving, and constant reminders of how close I came to becoming a mere meal to my ally.  Still, I let them be.  They were harmless so long as I ignored them and moved on.

For example, this could be one paragraph if you cut away the redundancies and distracting details:

I left those creatures there, pulling the bulk of my power from that place.  I wasn’t impolite however; I did leave a simulacrum, a small shard of my consciousness and power to maintain some awareness of the events as pointless as they were.  No point in making them angry.  As I moved, the need for politeness and etiquette dwindled.  My destination was one few of my kind dared to linger. I felt the presence of ghosts, memories of my destinations latest encounters, trailing me.