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Author Topic: Idea, free to good home  (Read 1958 times)
Nev the Deranged

Posts: 741

Dave. Yeah, that Dave.

« on: May 02, 2004, 04:12:26 PM »

Just a throwaway idea that ran through my head that I thought someone might make use of. It's probably been done a few times, but I can't think of any examples off the top of my head.

A group of people (of significant size... city? nation? planet?) who have forsaken violence as part of their culture and religion. For this reason, they tend to be easy prey to other, more warlike groups.

Except that some of them volunteer to protect them. They learn the arts of war and violence, and learn them better than anyone, driven by the strength of their love for their people.

However (perhaps, "of course"), by taking up arms, they become exiles from their people. Outcasts from both their society and their religion, forsaking even their eternal reward in the afterlife in order to protect their culture and people.

 This has been done, I know, but all the examples that come to mind (the Aiel and the Tuatha'an in Wheel of Time for instance) are set in a future time when the two groups, culture and exiles, have forgotten (or mostly forgotten) their common roots.  

 I'm thinking of it more in terms of a current thing, where people, for some reason, choose to leave behind everything and become protectors (I'm resisting the urge to apply capitalization to common words here, it would be too easy to say "Outcasts" or "Exiles" or "Protectors" and give them a simple throwaway cliche name). These people are simultaneously respected (true respect, not respect from fear), feared, and utterly, completely shunned. They are not even allowed to associate, speak to, or otherwise consort with the people they protect. They are literally considered non-humans according to the religion of the people they came from.

The thing is, as I imagine it, they are not motivated by the usual sf/f outcast-hero standbys. They don't do it because they have already lost everything that was meaningful to them. They don't do it because they are under some intolerable pressure, or because they can't solve a problem without violence.

They choose it out of love, and utterly sincere belief in the truth of their religion. They KNOW that not only will they be shunned until they die doing their duty, but they will be barred from heaven when they do. They sacrifice literally EVERYTHING in order to preserve what they believe to be Right.

Then I thought... hmm... that sounds like Sorcerer to me.

So, replace violence with demons (or better, use both, perhaps mingling the two in some fashion... perhaps for a people who have never practiced war the only way to learn it is from demons?) and bam. Interesting setting, at least to me.

The only thing I can think of that would give the feel of the intensity and the love-as-motivation aspect would be the Blood Guard from Stephen R. Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever books. Which, now that I think of it, is probably by far the most potent conflicted-hero story I've ever run across... between the hyperliteracy and the brutally unflinching emotional portayals, that story literally beat me down until I had to stop reading it. But that's another thread.

So, there's my idea. I offer it up freely to whomever would make use of it for any purpose, in part or in whole.

Enjoi ^_^
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