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How do Immortals work?


Ultimately it's gonna boil down to the author's personal outlook on the world. Personally I think the idea of anyone having "seen it all" requires a pretty shallow understanding of history, or a crippling lack of imagination on the part of the immortal. Life is busy, it only repeats itself if you watch it from a distance and ignore all the details. Someone who has seen empires rise and fall a dozen times didn't stare at them from a hilltop. They were in there, eating the food and talking to the people and watching the plays. Even after a thousand lifetimes, all of those little things would still have an impact on them.

I've watched hundreds of movies in my lifetime, and at least dozens of books. And yeah, I see patterns, but I never got bored of the basic concept of movies just because I assume "well I basically know how they're going to go anyway." And life is FAR more detailed and FAR more emotionally involved than any consumable media is. Even if emotional detachment eventually kicked in (which is something I've never bought, anyone whose never lost a friend and had to make new ones is approximately 14 years old) and the immortal started looking at companions more like pets than equals... I love my cat. I know I'm going to outlive it five times over but I enjoy my time with it and I'd rip the throat out of someone who hurt it.

Life is not boring and anyone who thinks otherwise hasn't lived it properly. When I say an immortal person is going to be a lot of different people I don't mean that one century they're going to be Steve and then another century they're going to be Paul, who is nothing like Steve. I equated it earlier to being akin to a goth phase or something similar. One identity might still be recognizable to another, but we're talking glacial shifts over an arbitrarily long lifespan. Little things, like "was into disco for 12 years" or "really really liked pudding" or "went through a period of depression and got all smug and detached because it was easier than making and losing friends."

You pile on these little things over centuries or millenia of time, and those slow, tiny spectrum shifts will produce someone completely unrecognizable. Not because they woke up one morning and decided to change, or because they went through some trauma and reevaluated their life, but out of sheer, slow, Ship of Theseus change. Fashions change, tastes in music and food change, friends come and go, political circumstances change. An immortal who solidified their worldview would speak in a dead language, wear togas because these newfangled "pants" were a stupid gimmick, and refuse to listen to any instrument more modern than the pan flute.


I find the whole idea of mortality too constraining. It is tied very much to the life cycle of human kind. Once free from the shackles of life and death the possibilities in terms of fantasy become limitless. For this reason I chose for my main character to die on the very first page of a series of stories I have written. Not exactly immortal as he is truly dead, but in the world beyond, where he is tasked to close a portal to the something that is this world, he adventures through a dreamstate unchallenged by death. His journey, and in fact many journeys, as I venture into my third in the series, is more dreamstate but in truth I am not challenged at any point by mortality.

Not exactly the immortal living amongst the mortal that you probably infer. However, to be truly immortal you must be master of your own time and therefore the gate that controls normal life is not relevant. So maybe the position of the gate [ or death ] being a construct of living creatures in their fear of death can be seen as transient. Giving light to another side that only immortals can perceive. Immortal being the light into the darkness. Beyond the world of mortals. Fascinating, don't you think?

Sorry. I'm new here. I write all the time. Only for my own entertainment. Words for me are a personal journey and when not subject to scrutiny permit true freedom to explore magical worlds and adventure and escape. What is fantasy if not to escape....... Apologies for my poor grammar and misuse of words. Matters not when you write only for your own amusement.


toujours gai, archie
Every time I see the thread I think "How do immortals work? They don't! They have people who work for them."

The line's too labored to be worth a post, but it does bring up the question: would immortals work? Would they have landed wealth? Live off fearful donations? Spirit people don't count; they just leech the ether (ooh, immortals as parasites, depleting the magical aether of a world; to save magic, you have to figure out how to stop them)

Er, what was I saying?

Oh yeah. Jobs. If an immortal took a job, boy howdy would he have seniority!

Insolent Lad

In the overall concept of my varied fantasy novels, only the gods are truly immortal (though theoretically they will end 'someday') and they consciously choose whether to reproduce (or maybe create) . And even if they did overpopulate their respective heavens --- or just get tired of their relatives --- there are an infinite number of other universes they can go live in.
As for having "people who work for them," that, of course, is why we have demons. :)
One way to look at it would be to consider the words 'endless time', 'undying', 'immortality', 'eternity', and 'infinity', and realize that all five are not remotely the same in terms of meaning.
First I'm new to reading Fantasy and and so far the few books I've read None of them have really answered these questions.

Ageing - So they don't die of old age or disease. So do they don't age? So if they don't age how do they grow from children to adults? Do they suddenly stop ageing once they reach a certain stage of maturity? You never see old elves or many children elves. If elves are never ageing how do they grow in the womb or from child to adult? Are they born somehow fully grown?

Over population - so immortals can be killed I think but they don't die naturally, so if nothing really bad is going on how do they stop over-populating their planet?
I know these questions are ridiculous but

In THE MIND COFFIN, immortals transform, for example, when Adam & Eve add (in a fleapit) a mission patch, green bottle, pilot's wings, an eye, a door knob, sock garter, gold coin, they give to the Earth & Air Monsters a charm (literally!), who turns out to be later JORGINHO TABLET.

in THE MIND COFFIN the planet is actually, the known universe, named Koschei's Egg.