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why would multiple brides be necessary for a deity to cross over into our world?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Erebus, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. Erebus

    Erebus Minstrel

    This concept is based off of an scp foundation wiki monster. SCP-231 - SCP Foundation

    An ancient deity called the scarlet king exists across several dimensions, but is prevented from entering our world due to a magical barrier. A cult formed in his name with the purpose of bringing him into the mortal realm to rule humanity. To accomplish this, they opened up a portal between dimensions, allowing his essence to seep through and take residence within an infertile cultist as a developing fetus. Seven volunteer cultists were chosen to carry a "shard" of the deity, becoming what the cult referred to as the seven brides of the Scarlett king.

    These seven were captured and taken in by secret governmental forces, who seek to prevent these shards from being born. This is accomplished through a process called Montauk-110, an expensive and complex sealing ritual involving incantations, ritual circles, and the sacrifice of a D-class prisoner. This ritual must be performed every 24 hours when the brides go into labor. If the ritual is successfully performed, it causes the beast to subside and prevents the birth. If unsuccessful, the seal is broken, allowing the deity to cross over. This would bring calamities around the world through many natural disasters, and begin it's period of darkness.

    According to the story, the scarlett king would be born through the last of the seven brides. By that logic, there is no sensible reason as to why the other brides would be needed, or why there needs to be seven of them in the first place. How can I make the other six brides relevant to the story?
  2. Well, my initial idea would require changing the story some but . . . what if the all seven children have to be born for the Scarlet King to come through and six already had? Perhaps the story starts with the brith of the sixth child and the govt arriving too late to stop it. (and not wanting to alarm the population, they don't confiscate this child or kill them but they use them as a way to track down the others.)

    So the only bride who the govt has need of is the last one who, of course, doesn't believe the stories which sound insane to her let alone isn't willing to give consent for the govt to perform those rituals on her.

    The children are called the "shards" and all of them are required to bring the Scarlett King forward. Without all seven children/shards working as a complete conduit, the beast has no power. The children become like soul "batteries" that the King draws from and he needs all seven to cross over. Maybe the first six have a role to play in making the "door" which requires at least some of them be older and capable of whatever that entails while the seventh is the "key". They can be various ages too, makes for the possibility of creepy children of all ages which I love in any story. And perhaps because a demon cannot control human biology/physiology, the final birth ends up as twins and the babies are split up to try and keep them from harm. . . on and on.

    Anyway, a fun premise to play with!

    Also, with the other six having been born as much as seventeen or eighteen years before hand, it offers a lot of possibilities for who they are today (a far better use of the story space then the parents) and removes the seven brides issue altogether. Perhaps one kid was adopted by a same sex couple, another is a teen street kid, another a youtube sensation while yet another grows up in a remote village in Mongolia or one is gender neutral etc etc, but they are drawn to each other somehow. Maybe the street kid has a small world map she tore out of a book at the library while getting warm and she has circled the locations of the other six on it without knowing why. . . OK, I'll stop because I know you were looking for a way to make the other six brides relevant but, honestly, the seven "brides" thing was the one thing that really wasn't intriguing to me at all about the initial idea, though that's just me. I immediately wanted to look for ways to get outside of that narrative box.
  3. Prince of Spires

    Prince of Spires Inkling

    I like Maker of Things Not KingsMaker of Things Not Kings 's suggestion.

    Another direction you could take it in is that it's not so much about the last shard but about any shard being born. A shard child would still carry a part of a deity / be a demi-god with bad intentions. That is not something you want to have running around in your society in the best of circumstances.

    Perhaps having a single shard still alive means the other shards can be born once more in different brides. So removing the last shard also removes the threat once and for all.
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    Maybe each birth breaks down some of the boundary between the worlds, but only after the first six is the boundary weak enough to allow the Scarlet King to finally cross-over the inhabit the seventh.
    Night Gardener likes this.
  5. K.S. Crooks

    K.S. Crooks Inkling

    The other six could be needed because the deity has too much power to transfer into one young body. As the seventh child ages they take in the power from one of the other children. When they reach a certain age (puberty or adulthood or some random age) they absorb the power from the final sibling and complete their transformation.

    OR the other children could be spare bodies so if the seventh is killed their essence transfers to the sixth and so on.

    Or the deity can transfer their consciousness to any of the seven children thus they can rule a vast empire by going from place to place without having to physically travel. A ritual or spell is done and they are now in the body of a sibling.
  6. Night Gardener

    Night Gardener Inkling

    Other scribes have offered the idea that all seven shards are necessary because if the Scarlett King comes from (7 ) dimensions. Which means that... currently in your WIP, this is the 8th dimension he is attempting to enter. That would make sense: he's trying to materialize in one place from 7 other places, so one bride is being utilized for each dimension. Perhaps... the Scarlett King is a conqueror? It started with luring One Bride. Now he's up to Seven. If he's successful, next time he'll need 8.

    The idea that it just takes an arbitrary number of Shard children to materialize the Scarlett King is also fine. It's inter-dimensional magic and it doesn't have to make perfect sense.

    There could be some ambiguouty to this: do all Seven shards need to be born around the same time? If one child is ritually thwarted, will it nullify the other six? Will he have to find 7 new brides, or can he use the same brides again? If they're all being born around the same time in random places, that would be extremely difficult for the government to intervene.

    What do cultists do with their impregnated Shardbrides? Why would the Cultist let them integrate back into society to risk being discovered by government agents? They would likely be kept in secluded safehouses, scattered all over the world, pampered and attended to. Unless, agents can somehow discover and raid the safehouses? If the Shardbrides integrate back into society to disguise themselves, they'd likely still want the protection and companionship of the Cultists. Are they also given a doting cultist husband, partner or doula/midwife to attend to them? Do cultists quietly move into nearby apartments and houses, ready to come to the Bride's aid at a second's notice?

    It would make more sense to me if a Bride can be discovered by agents at anytime after conception, so there's 9 months to try and ritually stop the Shard. Perhaps the bride actually going into labor requires more drastic ritual measures to stop the Shard from being born?

    Then, what happens to all the Shard Children? Are they used in a ritual to materialize the Scarlett King? Maybe they all get together and give up part of their energy to yet another stillborn child for the King to utilize? (Maybe that's why the Scarlett King seeks out women who miscarry or stillbirth? ...Which means that there's secretly an 8th woman/bride needed to complete the ritual that Agents don't know about? A barren bride? )

    I also like the idea that the Scarlett King is simultaneously inhabiting 7 bodies. Or needing six to unlock a 7th. Maybe he can shift around as need be. Like horcruxes or something similar: corporeal back-ups.

    I rather like the idea that the Scarlett King doesn't need to murder/sacrifice the Shard children, just "borrow" them in some way and return them to their mothers unharmed. The miracle of fertility and giving a barren woman a child to love and raise is something primordially compelling. Might make it really easy to get people (childless couples?) to join a Cult. And, the idea that these barren women 100% consent to this is always appreciated considering alternatives.

    There are some additional logistical questions for your consideration:
    1. What prevents the Scarlett King from just *constantly* impregnating these willing, barren women? He could be siring 1000s of children. Maybe he does, but only 7 will be considered "worthy"? Discuss.

    2. If the Shard children are born at different intervals (not all born at the same time) How are the cultists /agents kerping track of them? Can the agents just kill them as they are found?

    2B. Do these shard children exist to ALSO procreate for the benefit of the Scarlett King? If so, how do these generations of shard children benefit the King? Can two shard children find each other to procreate? What purpose would that serve?

    3. If six other brides already bore shard children, that would explain why agents are so desperate to find and stop the 7th. However, if the Shard children can age and die while waiting for their sibling Shards to be born... that implies that this Shards system is actually quite vulnerable if "there can only be seven". If the Scarlett King sires 6, and 5 get killed, he has to start over replacing those 5 plus still siring a 7th. It could be a vicious cycle trying to complete a set.

    4. If the Scarlett King can't sire children to 100s or 1000s of women, Why? Because the first seven out of say, 10, to survive and get to one place to complete a ritual solves all of his problems. There would have to be sequential signifigance why he's essentially siring one child at a time, OR, tries to create 7 shards at a time vs. Constantly creating shards.

    5. If he tries to create 7 shards at a time, Why? Is there some arbitrary window of time for the Scarlett King to attempt entry? Maybe, during some celestial event, the shardbride ritual *has* to occur and if the cultists fail to protect their brides and their shardchildren, they have to wait X amount of years to try again?

    6. The idea of a "small window of opportunity" would make it more manageable for the agents. Otherwise, they'd *constantly* be scouring the world for annonymous brides and their shard children. If the conceptions are limited to seven at a certain time, the agents have a chance: if they know the conception ritual occurs in say, December, they'll have to start looking that year and really paying attention in September. And, if they "break up the set", they succeed and will have to worry again X years in the future.

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