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A new idea I'm playing with.

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Kevlar, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. Kevlar

    Kevlar Troubadour

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    It's not technically new, but rather a couple of old ones mashed together. I just want to know what people think of it.

    The Empire of Nox (or Nessus, maybe, or something else. Tell me your opinion.) has expanded its territories greatly over the last fourteen years, springing up from nowhere. Their armies are well disciplined, the élite among them using magical technology in fighting. But their armies are the least of it. Their greatest asset is the colossi, towering, humanoid creatures made from stone, metal, and flesh. Even the small ones, the ones that don't quite reach thirty feet, have never been felled. It is only a matter of time before Nox (or Nessus or something) owns the world.

    In the village of Baelish, though, everything changes. Nox has finally decided it is important enough to destroy. From the west they send twenty soldiers. From the east they send a colossus, a small one little over thirty feet. As the villagers prepare to make a stand against the soldiers, the coloussus is sighted. Eventually the colossus is upon them, and still the soldiers stand still. When the villagers turn, hopeless but desperate, to face the colossus, the soldiers charge. Blood is drawn, but amidst it a company of freelancers, the Border Company, appear, destroying the Noxans (or Nessi) and attempting to get the villagers to flee. A boy of fourteen, however, Ezeriel, Ez to those who know him, leaps from a stone watchtower, a relic from when Baelish had a lord. As he leaps he strikes with the sledge he took from the smithy. He lands on the colossus' upper back, striking again, and again. When the thing tries to swat him it can't: It wasn't built to be able to touch its shoulders. It tries to shake him off, but he grabs fur and holds on. Whenever he gets the chance he strikes again, until he destroys the core in the thing's head, killing it. He then joins the Border Company, and the story commences five years later.

    Or

    The Noxans don't limit themselves to one line of thought. Thinking to reduce their own casualties, they have been creating soldiers of the same sort as the colossi, but man-sized or a little over. The soldiers, however, suffer from the same issue: singlemindedness, something that does not work for soldiers. To overcome this the Noxans give the soldiers more and more intelligence, and even emotion, until they go too far. One of the soldiers, the most autonamous, rebels against his Noxan masters, fleeing their control. Faced with issues of his own morality, and his intelligence, the soldier will decide he needs to fight against Nox. No matter what he does, though, he can not win the acceptance of Nox's enemies. To them he is simply a soulless piece of Nox's sorcerous machinery.

    So which story would you rather read? I want to do both in a first-person POV, but I've never seen a dual-POV first-person novel ,so I don't think I want to take that route. Should I write them both, seperately?

    Also: Is there anything too cliché aboout either? Is the 'young hero that did what no one else had' played out? Is the second story too "I Robot"? Is there anything you specifically like about any of it? Dislike?

    Do you like Nox or Nessus more, or do you not like either?
     
  2. Johnny Cosmo

    Johnny Cosmo Inkling

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    I like the second one because it reminds of of Mass Effect; the Quarians having creating the artificially intelligent Geth. They then go to war with each other after the Quarians start to fear their creations are becoming too intelligent, and the Quarians have to flee their home world. Of course, you're story only mentions one Colossi - so I'm sure the story would diverge from that theme and move into more of a hero's tale, which would be an interesting twist - especially if your 'hero/Collosi' was sort of magical automaton. I particularly like the style of this, which is from the game Age of Mythology;

    0009.jpg

    As for the names... neither really, but Nessus more. They don't come across as names of Empires to me. Perhaps you should look into some Greek terms and phrases, and name your Empire accordingly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  3. Kevlar

    Kevlar Troubadour

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    Its not based on any sort of mythology, so greek names aren't a perfect fit. And there will be plenty of colossi, they'll be a big thing in either story. Ignore their size when I say that. Basically ,after looking arround, I found some 'automatons' that, mixing them together, could result in what I'm thinking of. The AoM automatons aren't really what I had in mind, I was thinking of something more like:

    http://media.smashingmagazine.com/cdn_smash/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/steampunk-robot-on-fire.jpg
    http://images.wikia.com/forgottenrealms/images/8/89/Warforged.jpg
    http://cghub.com/files/Image/147001-148000/147768/087_realsize.jpg. <-- With a less human head
    http://digital-art-gallery.com/oid/...y_robot_warrior_picture_image_digital_art.jpg

    Stuff kind of like that, though I'll probably draw up my own sometimes soon.

    Also, in case I wasn't clear enough, these are happening at the same time. Both are happening in the world, even if I only write one. I might just go ahead and start writing both. I'll probably end up gavitating towards the second storyline, but who knows, if I do write them in sync events from one could have better impact on another. Maybe even some shared scenes, from the eyes of two very different characters.

    I think the mechanical/magical soldier also provides an interesting mechanism: Gets his arm blown off? Get an engineer to build a new one ,stronger and more heavily armoured. He also won't need to eat, sleep or breathe, which might be interesting for the story.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  4. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    When I read the second story, I was thinking "I, Robot" but I didn't want to say anything. But then you said it at the end so it verified my thoughts. But there's nothing wrong with it being similar in theme to "I, Robot" just make it your own. There are lots of stories about alienation because of race, species, religious orientation, etc. so I don't think that's a major issue. Just tinker on the concept a bit and make it less like it if that bothers you.

    I do like the idea of soldiers who can be repaired and recycled. You can have different attachments and armor and such.

    Perhaps an element of the story could be that the soldier is made of all these recycled parts and starts to feel like he's not real (like a Pinocchio-complex) so he goes out searching for a way to become more real. Whether it's magic or whatever that can help him.

    Anyway, promising concept. Keep it up!
     
  5. Johnny Cosmo

    Johnny Cosmo Inkling

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    I assumed that Colossi would be more influenced from the Colossus, which is a statue of a Greek Titan - but I guess it's just for the sake of naming, which is fair enough. As for the Age of Mythology automatons, I showed that example as a blanket for 'mechanical armor' like the ones you linked. The only reason I linked to that was because I read that your Colossi had fur. In short, I only meant to imply that it'd be cool if they were machine like, and some of your links look cool/how I would imagine.

    As both stories occurring in the same world... I guess I'm just not into the 'building a giant human-shape war machine' thing, for the same reasons that humans on Earth would never build giant human-shaped war machines - it's just a little impractical, and there are far more effective designs. But that's just me, I know some people obviously enjoy that kind of thing, so that's cool.

    And yes, I agree. The idea of him being upgradeable would make it easier to understand how he could become a threat to the Nox/Nessus. Perhaps the other Colossi find it hard to adapt in such a way, because they don't think like humans, and are magically 'programmed' to behave in certain ways that weren't so accommodating to the upgrades.

    On a whole, it's an interesting concept.
     
  6. Kevlar

    Kevlar Troubadour

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    The thing about the character is he's not really a colossus: he's about six and a half feet the way I imagine him. And there's others like him, more than there is colossi, which, even for the empire, are expensive to build. The reason they'd be effective is that none of their enemies have the technology or magic to combat them, and because the empire would use them straategically: the one that attacks Baelish would never be used to besiege a city, for instance, they would use one a little closer to seventy, or maybe a few of that size. Also, where the steel-clad, man-sized soldiers don't have flesh, the colossi do, because its more cost-effective to grow a good portion of them than to build the whole thing. This, combined with the years they'd take to reach full growth, would greatly limit the amount the empire could command. Also, though they would kill quite a few men, the colossi are more of a siege-weapon, designed to shatter walls and buildings instantly as opposed to slowly battering them with catapault and ram. The use of one in a village like Baelish? Let's say it was passing through the area.

    And yes, issues with his/its origin will play into the story. Especially as the character starts learning human ideals and ideology, such as the idea of soul. After all, he'll know his whole self is contained in the steel and crystal monstrosity in his chest. And, I've decided, he'll have vocals: like piano strings.

    You guys are really helping me flesh this thing out.

    And yah, colossi is just because no other word fits so well. I'm aware the Colossus of Rhodes was a giant bronze statue of Helios.
     
  7. not sure about the large colossi having flesh/fur, maybe moss covered rock instead? less vulnerable, and that would still fit in with the cutting costs bit too.

    But aside from that, why not have both stories, just merge them! On the one side you would have the 'giantkiller' going off to fight the Colossi, on the other the disillusioned colossi going off to 'find' himself. Halfway through you could have the two thrown together - perhaps they become imprisoned together, and through having to team up to escape they begin to understand each other. Where you take it from there...
     
  8. Angharad

    Angharad Troubadour

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    I like the second one better. The first one reminds me of LOTR where Legolas is battling the cave troll in Moria, and also Harry Potter where they are battling the troll in the bathroom, both of which I love, don't get me wrong, but it just feels like it's been done before. The second one seems much more complex and interesting. I like the name Nessus better than Nox.
     
  9. pskelding

    pskelding Troubadour

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    I'm more inclined towards the first idea and the Border Company coming to the rescue. I'm not too into the whole little kid kills the Colossi and his storyline. For me it might be more interesting to have the Border Company (having returned from the far reaches of the "Empire") have a weapon (or tactic) that kills the colossi. Then making the Company's motivation and goals unknown to the other countries and Nessus (don't like Nox) makes for a more interesting story IMHO. The whole Luke Skywalker hero-journey thing is done to death for me at any rate. You could rework it a little and make a prologue with the kid finding the magic weapon and the company finding him on the outskirts of the empire. Then jump forward 5 years in chapter 1 with the company showing up and killing off a colossi. There are other variations. The colossi is a good idea and the setup has many possibilities.
     
  10. Kevlar

    Kevlar Troubadour

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    Been a long time since I've been on this forum, let alone this topic, and I've realized I've misrepresented the first story (I've sort of started working on both though). Eziriel, while as a 14 year old is sort of your typical young fantasy hero, all altruism and wanting to do good deeds, doesn't stay that way. The Border Company isn't exactly your band of Merry Men. His killing the colossus would be the prologue. Chapter one would see him nineteen, dirty, bruised, bearded and waking up beside a whore. Sound like Luke Skywalker?

    Plus some of his haunting memories would be slaughtering those who surrendered, burning Nessan villages with the Nessi still inside, turning a (reluctant) blind eye to a murder-rape and killing men on simple suspicion.

    Does that make it sound less like all the cliché work out there, and more appealing than it at first seemed? I want to do both stories, but if no one's at all interested with the first I might abandon it. Probably not. Just want input.

    Oh and yah, moss is in. Flesh on the colossi is out. Just don't like the idea any more.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  11. mythique890

    mythique890 Sage

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    Personally, I prefer the first story. I also prefer the name "Nox," but I seem to be in the minority.

    The best stories come from ideas mashed together. Can you do both and intertwine them? That would be much more interesting than either idea on its own (not that they aren't interesting ideas by themselves, but here I think the sum could be greater than its parts). :)
     
  12. Kevlar

    Kevlar Troubadour

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    I planned on doing both, as seperate novels, and I plan to tie them in together. For instance, as the automaton is running from a place I've decided to call Ironhand Hold, he is captured by the Border Company and they eventually release him, warning him off of civilized lands. Not sure about the between yet, but I plan on having them end up in the same place for the climax.

    I plan on writing them side-by-side, as this will be my best shot at consistency and compatability. For instance, with a shared scene, I would write it in one book, and then the other. Being as I plan to do both in first-person I can't really throw them into the same book.

    Now that somebody actually likes Nox I've put a foot back on the fence. Of course, seeing as the majority prefer Nossus, it would seem a smart choice. And I'm not invested heavily enough in this project yet to care much either way.
     
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