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Unread 10th of April, 2016, 21:51
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Modern Fantasy

I spent a lot of my time building worlds in my head, doing the research for what I'm adapting them from, making a cohesive backstory to the land and trying to make sure everything is balanced and has plenty of hooks for interesting story.

I never do anything with these, it's just for fun. Hell, every single one I have ever created has been forgotten about soon after I finished, because I was finished and the fun was over.

But I recently got told I should be writing this stuff down, so here is 4000 odd words about a modern fantasy world I'm trying to create. It's mostly stream of consciousness, and you can tell the parts that are patchwork and the parts I've put more thought into.
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The idea behind the history is to present it as legend, stories that are told and were passed down from person to person over generations. The broad strokes are (or should be) true, but the details and motivations of the players has been lost and changed over time.

In addition, I'm trying to present it in such a way that it can be read on multiple levels. On one level it's a standard straight forward fantasy, the winged humanoid angels of heaven vs the fire and ash demons of hell. But it can also be seen on a metaphysical level, creatures from an 8th dimensional reality walking into and interacting with this plane of existence. And at the same time, it could be a sci-fi story, alien fleets encountering and battling over planet earth.

To start with I've discarded the traditional definition of god, and replaced it with a propaganda thing. God loves you and has a plan, Big Brother is Watching You, Out Glorious Leader Invented the Helicopter. The idea is that fleets of powerful beings turns up at a planet, go "We serve Bob! He's the true creator of everything and is perfect and wonderful and actually owns you, so we're going to be taking over now. kthnx.

The 5 Angelic Fleets found an Earth that was occupied by two categories of beings. The useful humans, primitive to be sure, but amazingly tough animals with the capacity to go without sleep for days on end, run from dawn to dusk and keep going, and even survive something like a broken limb! They would make perfect slaves/servants, but the problem was the second class of creatures native to the planet who thought the same thing.

The Old Gods/Fae were powerful, capricious, and disorganised creatures that had ruled over humans since they both evolved on planet earth, but for all the Fae were mighty on an individual level and terrifying as their Wild Hunt chased lone mortals through a midnight forest, they were no match for the organised Armies of Heaven.

After a short, brutal war, the Angels either killed the Fae and driven them into hiding, giving them sole dominion over earth and freeing the humans to experience the light of Our Glorious Leader. The fleets moved on and they left an order of Governers/Watchers on earth, who were given the task of identifying the best way for the humans to be integrated into the Heavenly order, while laying the ground work of their conversion to the True Path.

It was after this that the Angels encountered Demons for the first time. Creatures that were not quite on their level of power, but in far greater number. An odd, disjointed war broke out between the two forces, armies from each side meeting in battle in random locations. The problem for both Angels and Demons was that the Angels didn't know the location of Hell, and the Demons couldn't find Heaven Without the ability to strike a decisive blow at the homeland the war dragged on and on.

While all of this was happening, the Watchers left on earth did something entirely unexpected. The stories are uncertain as to exactly why, ranging from wanted to carve their own little fiefdoms to falling in love with the humans, but the Watchers en mass, the Angels with the most experience on Earth, made themselves known to humans.

The Watchers introduced advanced technology and practices to the humans, such as washing your hands before you eat and not pissing up river from your drinking spot, and were widely accepted by their thralls. That would have been bad enough, but they went one step further and bred with the humans, spawning a race of creatures who had possessed elements and powers of both their Angel and Human parents. Nephilim, the first of the playable raced.

As distracted as the fleets of Heaven were by the endless war against Hell, they couldn't ignore this turn of events and Fleet Two (Michael) was dispatched the solve the problem. Fleet Two's solution was brutal and two the point, hunting down and killing the Watchers until they were no more, and slaughtering the nephilim wherever they could find them. Society that had been created by the Watchers crumbled and humans fell into barbarism, almost becoming extinct as the Occupation continued. For generations the Second Fleet held sway on earth attempting to destroy all trace of angelic blood in the humans. Whenever a nephilim would arise, they would descend, eradicating entire families.

But the Watchers had loved humanity too greatly, and their influence was widely felt, laying unseen in the bloodline only to emerge in an unexpected show of power. Eventually nephilim sighting declined and became no more, but not because the Second Fleet were succeeding in their quest, but because countless slaughters had taught the nephilim to hide their Angelic heritage

At was roughly at this time that the Werewolves first emerged. No one was sure from where they came, but general agreement is that they were created by the remaining Fae. A deliberate attempt to mimic the nephilim by crossing Fae blood with humans, creating a hidden race of spies and agents in both the human population and the wilds.

In many ways the survival of the nephilim was thanks to the Werewolves, who would act to hide and protect humans from Angelic wrath, only for one of the nephilim to later arise from the children of the saved. This was to their detriment as they protected and manipulated from the humans from the shadows.

While Fleets Two was busy on earth the war against Hell had continued and discord started to grow within the Angelic ranks. The stories are conflicted, but what is clear is Fleet One (Lucifer)
decided as the most powerful of the five Angelic fleets, that he should have direct command over the forces of Heaven, and attempted to lead a coup against either Our Glorious Leader or the Angelic Council.

The other fleets refused and the Second Fleet abandoned Earth to join in, declaring their mission a success. The war in heaven was terrible, the might of the Angels turned on each other, and despite Fleet One being more powerful, the weight of the other fleets combined was too much to overcome and Fleet One broke and retreated.

In a strange twist of fate, it was as the remnants of Fleet One were fleeing that they finally found the Demon homeland, stumbling across Hell. The demons were unprepared for a direct attack on their homeland, and Fleet One seized the opportunity, striking. In the chaos the King of Hell disappeared, the Demon generals were either driven off or capitulated, and Fleet One found itself ruling hell.

Marshalling the new demonic resources, Fleet One formed a plan to strike back at the Angels and take become sole ruler of Heaven, Hell and Earth.

Once again Earth found itself occupied, as Infernal forces poured out of portals, and the darkest period of human history began. The Werewolves and Nephilim all but stopped their conflict as both groups began a desperate guerrilla war against the demons who openly strode across the land, sowing chaos in their wake.

For a hundred years the Earth suffered, and a new type of type of human half breed arose. Mages, humans with demon blood in their ancestry that allowed them to cast demonic magic. Then the forces of Heaven, still recovering from their earlier civil war, responded.

The invasion was titanic, the greatest concentration of the Angel Fleets in eons, all descending on earth, determined to avenge themselves upon the traitor. And then the real cunning of Fleet One's plan became apparent - the earth was a trap. The previous century was spent preparing for war. Demon Princes, great dragons equal to all but the most mighty of Angels held sway over hastily erected fortresses. Mind bending demons enthralled armies of possessed humans hiding in the population. Something something shape shifters sneaking in as something.

The Angel fleets were quickly bogged down in a quagmire of a war, beset at every turn, needing to stop and dig out individual threats before moving on, battling for every inch of progress. As they spread out, they searched with relentless zeal for Fleet One, but he was no where to be find, abandoning his new demonic followers the moment the fighting started.

The final piece of the puzzle became clear when he appeared with the the surviving element of his original force at the gates of Heaven. With the might of it's forces occupied elsewhere, Heaven's greatest defence had been the fact that it had been hidden away where none of it's foes could find it. Fleet One swiftly broke into the heart of Heaven itself, declaring a new regime.

But if Fleet One had one flaw it was the inability to conceive the limit's of it's own strength. Occupied as it was, Heaven resisted and the toll on his limited forces quickly pushed them to the breaking point.

Chaos reigned in Hell, stripped bare of resources to fuel the war. Chaos reigned in Heaven, as battle and blood stained it's floors for the first time. Chaos reigned on Earth, two armies tricked and betrayed into fighting each other in war neither could escape through with mortals and their few defenders trapped in the middle.,

Then everything changed. Wards on the dimensional barriers were uncovered, automated anti-air defences powerful enough to destroy an Angel Flagship were discovered. Creations Demonic magic, Angelic technology, Fae power, but twisted together into something else, something different, something new. All were activated at once, and the demonic battalions were thrown back to their ruined home, the Angelic fleets were driven from the system, and a fragile peace was left in it's place.

No one knows where the Earth defences came from. Many suspect that the original rulers of the land, the Fae creatures were responsible, enacting a revenge long in the planning, but if so where were they in the aftermath?

Humans started to rebuild, ignorant of what had happened and forgetting all but the broadest details to myth and legend. The Werewolves and Nephalim took stock, some factions of each taking the opportunity to renew their ancient hostility, but most held back.

The crashed remains of Angels were scattered all across the planet, and the nepilim rushed to recover them before more people could be brought to harm by their accidental discovery. The great host of demons had been expelled, but a number of the lesser ones remained. Face changers, hiding under stolen identifies, empty spirits creeping across the divide to claw their way into mortal hosts.

And most of all the Mages remained, human enough to have a natural tie to earth, demon enough to have unnatural power. The Nephalim at once struck out to destroy these interlopers, and generations of Mages were hunted and destroyed, with Werewolves interfering, becoming involved with one side or the other in turn, or battling against both.

It was generations, into the area where our records just stretch back, for the shadow war to end. The discovery of demons - lessor compared to others of their kind, but still powerful - creeping past the wards to possess mortal hosts, turned the tide. To the shock of both Werewolves and Nephalim, the Mages had found out about the possessions first and were already fighting against their demonic kin, devising several exorcism rituals. The Mages had no desire to return to being under the heel of the demon overlords.

It took the work of mighty diplomats, but eventually a peace was decided on in The Accords, an agreement to avoid all out war between the different factions and spare information about any outside invaders in defence of the earth and her people.

After The Accords had been signed and everyone was free to turn their attention to other matters, the Shadow Community were shocked to discover another player in their midst. Vampires were scattered amongst the mortals, and for all anyone could tell, had been hidden there for ages.

No one was sure quite what the Vampires were, demonic origin of some kind, but not a demonic possession or offspring, more like an infection that spread from person to person. Debate raged within all camps what to do about the newcomers, alternating between wiping them out, seeking a cure or inviting them to the partner status of the Accords. The debate rages to this day.

Also something about shape shifter demons. And I need a few misc things.

PLAYABLE FACTIONS
BASIC PACKAGE OF POWERS:
BONUS FLAVOUR POWER:
WILD CARD POWER:


NEPHILIM

Angel blood somewhere in their ancestry The child of a nephilim isn't always a nephilim, but the child of two tend to be. The have the basic super solider package of powers. Strong, fast, tough, healthy. Think the fastest, strongest, etc a person can be and then add one so they're just super human. They don't live superhuman lives, just what you would expect from a human who was super fit. Think a 70yr old who still runs marathons. Their bonus flavour power is being the only one who can use angelic tech (need to nail that down, magic swords? Holy Knuckledusters) which they scavenge from old wreckages.

Their wild card power I'm still not sure on. It needs to be something villainous, something extra that would justify them as a threat more then being good at punching thing. I would like it to be related in someway to "Command" as a part of their angelic heritage I was thinking a voice of command, like Jedi Mind tricks, or empathy that isn't just detecting emotions, but projecting them.

I really need to lock this down.

WEREWOLVES

The agents of the Fae. The werewolves have it tough, they're all pretty sure that they're being manipulated by the Old Gods/Fae, but none of them have ever actually met one or received instructions. So whether they want to or not, they end up second guessing everything that do, is it what they want to do or are the following the instructions of some hidden puppet master?

Werewolves run in family lines, but only crop up ever other generation or so. If they're lucky a new werewolf will have a grandparent around who can teach them the ropes, or they'll have a first or second cousin to share the experience with. The community tends to keep an eye on the families of their own, both watching for someone turning and to protect them.

The basic power package they get is super senses. Think daredevil like powers, without the blindness. That might seem weak, but it has a lot of versatility of use, and the other powers make up for it. Their bonus flavour power is what gives them their name, they can shift at will from wolf to human form (I was going to have it be other animals too, but I dropped that). The trick is that during the full and new moon, they can shift into a half wolf, half human, seven foot tall creature that is the strongest of the strong and just fucks shit up. But they can only do it at those times.

As to the wild card power, I was looking at Far Cry Primal recently so this should be obvious enough. They have the ability to mentally ride raven companions they have, see through their eyes and vaguely direct them. It's not a pure control, ravens are smart but not THAT smart. I like ravens.

MAGES

Mages have a kinda fucked, having the demon thing in them. In generally they're no more of an arse than anyone else, but mages will feel the amoral pull more than most others. In addition, no one can really tell where they come from, they're clearly half breeds but no one can trace them across family lines. Mages tend to have trouble having children, but they can also live to impossible ages of a few centuries. New mages tend to be brought on as the apprentice of an older mage when they're found to have the power.

Who knows what evil dwells in the heart of man? Their basic power package is The Shadow, the ability to cast illusions and mess with memories at higher levels. I'm a tad worried about balancing that. It's both underpowered and way way overpowered, but who knows? The Shadow knows.

Their bonus flavour was tossed in because they needed a physical power, they're telekinetic. It's of the level of, push open a door from across the room or pull an item to my hand, or give someone a light shove, not make some fruit salad with their mind or force choke someone.

The wild card. When they demons were on earth they carved a bunch of portals from place to place because demons are lazy gits and didn't want to walk. Mages can find and use these portals, and they're the only ones who can.

VAMPIRES

Yeah couldn't resit having vampires as a faction, what can I saw? They're backstory isn't known by anyone, not even them. There are stories about various things going way back, but who knows? Well I do. When they Demon King fled from Hell, he was too clever to openly declare his presence on earth, so he spread himself out. Infecting people, who would them have the urge to spread that infection, it gave him an army of tools to play with and made it almost impossible for him to be killed off. He was the one who activated the defences that kicked demons and angels off earth (the fae had been building them and playing a long game, he ruined that on them).

But he messed up with him infection plan and got too spread out, and now he has no control over his children. A person gets infected, becomes a vampire and has the need to drink blood and has the urge to infect other people, but he's stuck unable to do anything but watch from thousands of eyes and try to find a way to escape from the prison of his own making.

So a vampire is just a normal person who gets turned. Can't be in sunlight, has to drink blood, is extra sexy, and kinda wants to spread the infection but wants to do it like a person wants a shiney new toy, most can ignore it. If it weren't for the whole needing to eat people thing (yes they can avoid killing, and when they're weak they can eat animals) they wouldn't be so bad.

They're main power is the fact that they're almost indestructible and heal super fast. Short of burning them to death, or cutting off their head (or sunlight) they'll just pull themselves back together and keep going. There is no upper limit to how long they can live, but most tend to get tired of life after a while and either kill themselves or go to sleep (mortal mind forced to live forever). The healing also makes them seem super strong, but it isn't really that. The human body is capable of doing more than most people can do, pain stops us from damaging ourselves. Remove that limit and you have people who act like a mother who lifts a car off their baby.

Their bonus power package is a sort of hypnotic power. This can work in either one of two ways, the first is enthralling someone - one person at a time - that forces the person to focus on them and freeze, or it goes in the other direction and make themselves just seem unnoticeable and easy to over look - this works on groups at a time.

They still need a wild card power and I'm not sure what to do with it. I don't want them turning into mist or flying, and I've already got a shape-shifter that I don't want to overlap with. What I really want is something extra to make it clear that these aren't just buffy style vampires, but I may as well just embrace the V:tM and let them feed their blood to humans and create servants that become addicted to the blood.


BUT WAIT, WHAT ABOUT THE FAE/OLD GODS.

Well they were the original pantheon of gods, faeries etc. They were powerful but disorganised when the Angels turned up and kicked the shit out of them. Some of them survived and have been hiding, spending their time planning on how to take their world back, sending out threads of power to try and keep things going their way and make sure their human pets don't all die out. The werewolves are the most successful of their projects in that regard, but sometimes they just can't resist and go out and hunt a few people down in a Wild Hunt type thing in the middle of the night. That's why Werewolves have their half human form, they were designed as hounds for the hunt.

Basically, Fae aren't good guys. The only good guys here are the humans really. So where are they now? Well they were building the anti demon wards and the anti angel defence cannons thing, planning using the powers of their enemies against each other. But the King of Hell got involved in it and messed it up, making it so that it also locked them out. And now they're stuck in faerie land, they're only little pocket dimension, getting more and more pissed that they won but can't fucking claim their prize.

SO WHAT ABOUT DEMOMS?

Hell got fucked pretty badly. It was never a nice place by earth standards, but when Fleet One got there it was stripped for parts and left a barren Mad Max world with few resources. There is no society and everyone there struggles to survive, it's why demons are so willing to risk being shredded by the anti demon wards to make it to hell.

AND ANGELS?

They started as the power powerful faction, and while they got fucked the most, they're still top dogs. The Five Fleets is now basically one and a half fleet. Heaven is still functioning, but damaged to the point where it will never recover. The angels don't know if they can punch through the anti angel defences, (they could) but they do know in either case it would leave them almost without strength. They send the occasional message through to earth, but in general they just don't give a fuck. They're too busy trying to hunt down Fleet One who seems to have went missing during all the chaos.

SO WHERE IS LUCIF - I MEAN FLEET ONE

Dead! Overstepped his strength and died. No one knows it, so he ends up being blamed for a lot things, but nope, just a corpse. A corpse that floated through space and crashed back to earth. And make no mistake, Fleet One was the most powerful of the fleets with the most powerful technology. And if someone should find it? Well you know what they say about power corrupting. If if traces of Fleet One became active on earth, it sure seems like the rest of the Angels would suddenly become very interested.
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Unread 27th of April, 2016, 08:27
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Okay I like the Nephy having super physical powers, plus the ability to use Angelic tech (normally magic swords plus demon detectors plus heads up display. Tech should be adapted/hidden as normal items. Eg: heads up display as glasses/goggles/contact lenses). The extra stuff is empathic abilities, detecting plus broadcasting emotions.

Werewolves are good as is. I'm a little iffy about the bird thing, but it's close enough.

Mages need drastic revamping. I like the portal usage, but everything else needs to go. Trying to find a way to make them feel unique while being balanced is difficult. The keywords for their powers are "CHEATING" and "CONTROL" so trying to make something work around that.

The easy solution is the worst one, just going "they can cast spells." I am thinking about having their ability to cast sigils of some sort, but even with that I'll need to set out what sort of things they can cast, making a spell list of sorts. The idea behind sigils is they cheat tasks by bending reality to make it done.

Functionally I'd tie it into life force. Mages have more life force than others and can burn some of that up to power sigils. Life force recovers over time, like being tired and having a good meal or a nap, but the key thing here is that they can tap into the life force of others with the right sigil. It doesn't need the permission, just cut it into them and then start draining. They can only take a little, leaving the person fine to recover, or they can take a lot and kill the person.

I like it from a functional perspective (it's basically cast from HP) it limits what they can do without preparation, and from a narrative perspective it has a demonic evil feel to it. And it allows for someone to know secret uberpowerful sigils to be more powerful than your average mage. But I still need to come up with a basic list of ones they can cast. And I still need a bonus flavour power for them. Seeing auras? Shit I don't know.

Vampires are basically fine. Their bonus package power needs to be adjusted slightly. It's either the ability to enthral a person like a snake, or hide in a crowd. Each person gets one or the other not both (unless uber powerful old vampire). The enthralling breaks if they do anything obviously threatening like bare fangs, or run or start singing musicals.

Their Wild Card power I'm still unsure. Vampire's keywords are SURVIVAL and STEALTH, which they already have covered pretty well. Thinking outloud, able to detach their shadows to perform simple tasks? Something about using their blood as a weapon or tool? Flying? Able to control bats? If the last one, then Werewolves will need a replacement for their bird thing.

SKINCHANGERS are low level demons who managed to avoid being banished when the wards came up. They change shape into other people and typically steal their identities and lives. Not that powerful beyond that, but they are very old and very cunning.

Demons themselves typically come across to earth and possess people, where upon they go a little bit crazy at the paradise that this place is. The day to day Nephy are tracking down demons as they come through, stopping them from doing damage and covering it up (saving the possessed if possible, but rare for it to work). Demons who escape initial detection tend to go into hiding and are harder to find. But they all tend to be about wallowing in enjoying the enjoyable things to excess. Their powers are standard possessed fare. Twisting the host body to impossible angels, climbing walls, taking more damage to be put down than a normal human, etc.
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Unread 16th of May, 2016, 16:50
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Basic power, bonus power, extra power. Physical, sensory, and miscellaneous.

Nephy have captain America stuff. Super strong, fast, agile, etc. They also have empathic abilities, and some ability to transmit emotion (calming for the good, awe, lust for the bad). They also have the ability to use angelic tech that is scavenged, which is their weakest power. Mostly magic swords, heads up displays and datapads that only work for them. Normal human lifespans, but they stay super healthy and fit to the end (70 year old marathon runner).

Mages have the ability to cast Runes. They are written in blood and draw on the life force of the blood user. Bad mages can use the runes to drawn other's life forces out. They don't cast fireballs, but will do things like set alarms, make locks difficult to open and cast illusions. This is the strongest of the mage's power. The second power is the ability to open and use demon portals, but they can't open new ones, just the one that already exist. The last ability is the ability to sense supernatural abilities. Can always tell when someone is a superhuman, and when superhuman abilities are being used. Maybe they can also sense lies? They can live longer by drawing bits of life-force from others.

Werewolves have superhuman, but normal human, senses, turned up to max. They can smell someone through a wall, hear a heartbeat, etc. This is their strongest power. They also have the ability to turn into wolves, and in the new and full moon they can go into wolfman form and be super super strong and awesome. Their last ability is an alpha aura, they constant cast out the sense that they are the biggest most dangerous thing in the room and should be obeyed. They can't turn this off, and it doesn't really work on creatures who can think - but it can have an impact - but the big thing is it has an effect on animals (dogs always super love them). Problem being animals can't think so they can't be commanded, dogs are easiest but with some effort they could train other animals. This is their weakest power. They live normal human lifespans.

Vampires are almost indestructible. Unless they're burned or beheaded they will always come back - eventually. They also have the supernatural ability to hide, if there are shadows around they can cloak themselves in them making them almost impossible to see - werewolves might notice that there are shadows they can't see through, mages might realise that there is power being used in some way - so long as they stay still. Ambush predators. The last ability is that their blood is addictive, if they feed it to someone then the person becomes addicted to it and will do almost anything to serve the person who gave it to them. But vamps can only enslave one person at a time.

In addition, vamps have to drink blood daily in order to stay alive and use the powers. In addition if they get exposed to sunlight their powers fail and they burst into flames. As a trade off, when they're eaten within the last 24 hours they have the ability to mesmorise someone by maintain eyecontact. Also they live forever.
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Unread 18th of May, 2016, 16:35
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Okay I want two more things.

The first plays into the concept of "Angel, Demon, and Squid" where you have the standard set of heaven and hell, plus something other. So the concept is like the Warlocks of DnD. Something from outside the known setting reaches in, or is summoned in, and makes a deal with a human. They give the human power, and in exchange they get to "ride along" and experience the world.

They don't have any control over the human, their influence is mostly limited to uh "whispering" in the ear, as much as it is possible to communicate with something beyond the realms of time and space. It's also a smart host who does his best to appease the parasite a bit, if only to make them stop being annoying.

I just need a power set here. The concept words are "ALIEN" and "OTHERNESS" so I'd need something that is much different from the other standard powers while still being balanced. There is also a thematic problem, the Vampires kinda take on the whole "weird other thing that doesn't fit." I could try to have two categories. The halfbreed, and the symbiotic. Mages, Werewolves and Nephy are halfbreeds, born that way. The other three are made to be what they are.

Wait. Three others? Yeah, I also want to do something with dragons - but I'll need to revamp the history, I don't want yet another character with ties to hell. The basic, and very vague concept subject to change is that dragons were ancient powerful things that did stuff ages ago. Then were all killed long before (maybe by the fae?). Only dragons are too powerful to ever really die, so people are being born who have dragon souls.

That is, the spart of dragon spirit latches onto a new born child and hides in there, growing more powerful over each sucessive incarnation, until long from now they'll be strong enough to reincarnate properly. The side effect is this is the first time they've been strong enough to actually have an impact on the world - that impact being giving their hosts powers.

The question is, what powers?
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