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Need Ideas for Divine Drama

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Devor, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    In my story there's a fairy realm ruled by a large divine court instead of a handful of prominent gods. They aren't relevant for most of the story, but eventually I'd like to reveal one of the villains as a lost member of this divine court.

    At the moment I'm a blank slate for what kind of stories and dramas might have plagued this divine court or why a member might have left it.

    As a sort of story telling tool, I was thinking that to start I'd use "the three great tragedies of the court" as a way to package thousands of years of divine melodrama. In those three tragedies, I thought, let's say about seven members of the court left the fairy realm and entered the mortal world, where they might have had an impact on history or the plot of some kind.

    Loosely brainstorming, I thought maybe one was trapped in the shape of an owl or fish or something, another may have been killed and had the body thrown into the mortal realm in shame, another might be imprisoned here in an elaborate torture scheme for treason, and the other four might be a mix of family failures, empathetic wanderers, mortal lovers, and renegades.

    For the moment let's assume that they're capable of any kind of wacky magic and shapeshifting, and I'll decide if there are limits when I have a better idea of where I'm taking it.

    Do any of you have any loose ideas?

    Lots of old myths have all this kind of family drama. Do you have any favorites I might use for inspiration?
    TheCrystallineEntity likes this.
  2. Among my favourites are the story of Izanami and Izanagi, Amaterasu in the Cave, Persephone, pretty much anything involving Loki, Sekmet the lioness, Osiris' death, Aengus and Caer, and Midir and Etain.
    Devor likes this.
  3. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

    I'd think one initial step might be to come to terms with the sorts of rules and regulations and raison d'être that governs the court. Something like a national constitution, although perhaps most of those rules and regulations would be unwritten—not quite so formalized—but still govern the members of that court. This would give you some ideas for how a member might breach those rules and come under the hard thumb of punishment, including banishment to the mortal realm.

    As for ideas in general....?

    I like the story of Pygmalion, who created a statue, fell in love with it, then married it after Aphrodite brought it to life. Something similar could be done for your world, with a twist. Perhaps some mortal created a figurine, a sword, a trinket, and used magic to summon and trap one of your divines within. This would be forcible removal of the divine from the divine realm by a mortal.

    Along similar lines...perhaps the divine being was cast into the mortal realm due to accident. He was exploring the parameters of some kind of forbidden magic, and there was an accident during an experiment leading to his being cast out of the divine realm and trapped in the mortal realm.

    Then there was Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods and gave it to humans. A champion of humanity, contravening the wishes of the gods. If you are working on creating a villain, I could see something similar being used in an ironic, dramatic way, although this would depend on your divine court having some negative bias for the mortal realm. Your villain contravenes their wishes, aids in the advancement of mortals, and when the court discovers this they banish him to the mortal realm—"Be with your mortals, if you love them so much!"—but the end result: a) having spent so much time among mortals, he's actually grown to hate them, and b) consequently, he hates the court who banished him to this inferior realm.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
    Devor likes this.
  4. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    After I posted this, I was loosely thinking that a mortal had come in, trapped someone in the shape of an animal, and then left with their prisoner. One of the members of the court then went out to find their kidnapped comrade ... and after years of searching, ends up becoming the villain instead.

    I've also been thinking things like, what if one of them created a weapon that could do great harm, and was executed for it, having their body thrown into the mortal realm. Hundreds of years later, somebody seeks out the body hoping to use strange foreign magics (that is, not fairy magic) to learn all about the weapon.

    And for the third, as FifthView mentioned, it's the divine court so someone's got to fall in love with a cactus or something.
  5. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    Only sort of half remember this...

    ...but I do recollect an olde tale of sorts where the Faerie courts were occasionally forced to pay homage to the lords of Hell. Mayhap one of your tragedies could be how that situation came about, and a failed effort to resolve it.

    Likewise, there's the split between the summer and winter courts, could be a story there.
    Devor likes this.
  6. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    I'm trying to avoid going too heavy with the seelie and unseelie, summer and winter courts. It's an area where I feel it crosses the line between inspired by and attempting to use and butcher the original sources. I don't know why this crosses that line for me and all the other direct references I'm using don't, but it does.

    I have this notion that the fairy realm is a vast chaotic wilderness where only pockets of semi-civilization exist, each established and ruled by one of the courts. The gateway between the two worlds only opens up to the realm of one of the courts, and over the years that court has provided the "ten treasures of Falina Cairn," powerful magic items built with the court's special magics. I was hoping to keep the other courts out of it because I have plenty enough going on as it is... and I have buried in my noggin somewhere the idea that if my setting went beyond novels and into something like an RPG, I want to leave this space for other writers to create their own courts and corresponding settings. But that's probably just silly talk.

    Right now my head is here:

    The first tragedy occurred right after the gateway opened, and the fairy court was fully exposed to the mortal races for the first time. Two friends - brothers? sisters? I dunno - went into the mortal realm, and one fell in love with a mortal. They may have brought gifts. When the mortal died, the lover went into a depression so deep that they banned members of the court from going into the mortal realm ever again. I want two people to be involved here, but I don't have much of a role for the second one right now.

    The second tragedy involves the creation of something powerful and dangerous, invented by maybe a queen-type figure and given to a warrior, who did tremendous harm to the court, perhaps killing the king-type figure. In the end the Queen was executed and her body tossed into the mortal realm in disgrace, the warrior imprisoned in the mortal realm where he had less power and no allies, and the warrior's partner fled into the mortal realm in search for him.

    The third tragedy, as I think I said in a previous post, involves a mortal coming into the fairy realm, capturing a member of the court - like an old wizard mentor type - in the shape of an animal, and leaving to use the prisoner for their knowledge (going with a talking fish would be very celtic here). Another member of the court then flees into the mortal realm in an effort to reclaim maybe their grandfather.

    This has seven people leaving across three tragedies, and I was thinking that events in the mortal realm would reveal that these tragedies are all somehow connected in the background to each other and to the plot of the novel (well, I guess at this point I'm mostly in future sequel territory, but I'd like to have a hint of the future so I can start seeding it).

    Does any of this make you guys think of dramatic stories or dramatic details that I might use for inspiration? This is very much in a sketch phase.
  7. Futhark

    Futhark Inkling

    One of my faves is King Monkey being kicked out of heaven. I could see an eternal prankster grating on the nerves, and when the portal first opens it’s like ‘your off to explore a brave new world’.

    I have an idea but it’s kind of vague. What if a fairy turned into an inanimate object, say a sword for example, in order to stay and protect the mortal family they’ve come to love, but can’t change back, trapped in a dream state? They knew this and did it willingly out of love, grief, what have you.

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