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Bethelamon
October 17th, 2006, 06:39 PM
Ok, I am writing a novel. Im creating a world for it, and a mythology. Now Im working very hard not to make into a tale of bearded wizards, boy kings, dark gods, etc. Basically, in the 'modern' world it is set in, there is no magic or anything, the main characters are not kings or famous or anything, there are no evil people, no monsters. Its realistic, basically.

However, there is a mythology, which the plot hinges around. Thousands of years ago, the world WAS a little more fantastical... but only in the form of ten people known as the Saints. And they weren't mighty sorcerers or anything... its complicated and I wont go into it. The point is that they left th earth thousands of years ago, and the modern world is a very non-magical place. Just like our earth, but a different place if you get my meaning.
But they didn't all leave... one of the Saints remained, in hiding, and that is what the story is all about...

ANYWAY.... I am writing a prologue. I don't know if it will be included in the novel or not, but I feel it needs to be done. Its basically the mythology of the world and needs to be penned. Its nothing too expansive.

Well Im half way through it, and have got to a point where I can take a pause and get some criticism.
Though obviously detailed nitty gritty criticism is always helpful, thats not only what Im looking for. This is a rough first draft and it is NO WAY perfect or anywhere near it.
What I am instead looking for is to see how people are interested in this mythology.

As I said, this happened a long time ago. The events of this mythology and the setting of the novel can be compared to the Bible and our modern world.

Are you interested so far? Any random thoughts, comments, criticism, praises, questions, etc welcome!!!!

________________________________________________

Of the beginning of the world, little is known. All that can be said of its coming to being is that it came accompanied with a great force of nature which ran to its roots - the so-called Guardian Spirit. This was the soul of the primitive world, an insubstantial idea of raw power and the earthís lifeblood. The exact science and purpose behind it will forever remain the greatest mystery known to mankind. In the infant age of both Earth and Spirit, nature was in perfect harmony, as the Spirit flowed from the deserts to the ice caps, and saw that all its domain was in order.
After an age which can only be guessed at, one event occurred which would shatter this harmony forever. The evolution of Man as an intelligent species would lead to the peace of the world being torn apart, and the earth being changed and scarred permanently. Importantly, it would force the Spirit to awaken from its sentient existence and begin to act upon the world, from which much tragedy would come.
As Man developed and overtook the rest of nature, the Spirit realised the new raceís potential to dominate the world. It recognised that if it was to restrain the conquering arm of Man, it would have to assert its ultimate authority. It was this momentous decision which would begin to craft the ancient mythologies from which our histories flow. The Spirit took the form of a Man most glorious who shone with fantastic light, while before it had been as insubstantial as the air. It revealed itself to the entirety of Mankind, who saw its power and ageless knowledge and fell down to their knees in worship. They called the Spirit Kayal, which means Lord of Nature. What was before the spiritual guiding force of the earth had now become human, in order to hold back the destructive heart of Man. Kayal was a God to men, and they saw him as the angelic saviour to lead them forward to heaven.

As the new age of Man began, Kayal was held as a god and worshipped by all the peoples of the earth. He chose to dwell within the Forest of Isethuin by the gulf of the sea, a paradise untouched by man. At first Mankind frightened him, and his new human form repulsed him, but after time he became accustomed to it as he changed with the world - indeed he became more and more human. Though still he preferred a reclusive existence among nature, only emerging to bless the peoples and keep their faith every year at midsummerís day.
Across the world great pyramid temples were built in devotion to Kayal, and the greatest of these stood upon the Plateau of Ardenai near to the Forest of Isethuin. Terenhem was its name, and it stood proudly alongside the tallest mountain peaks of that region. The people of Terenhem were the most devout in their worship of Kayal, and he favoured them.
Many centuries went by in relative peace, and Kayal was content to be worshipped, as this way he held much power over Mankind and could keep them from scarring the world further. His priests preached respect for nature and Mother Earth, and Men lived peacefully off the land, taking only what they needed. Things changed when people far from Terenhem began to doubt Kayalís power, and they fell into dispute. For the first time, Men went to war with each other. Blood was spilt on Mother Earthís soil, trees were burnt and the earth was torn up in turmoil. On the Plateau of Ardenai by Kayalís glory, the people were devout, but in the far corners of the world Mankind began to crumble. False idols were raised, nations fought for material conquest, and the splendour of Kayalís coming was forgotten.
What Kayal had strived to avoid had begun to happen - Man was conquering the earth and overcoming nature. On midsummerís day only Terenhem would receive his blessing, and he began to delve deeper into the Forest of Isethuin and was rarely seen. Before long he had abandoned Mankind, and turned his back even upon the people of Terenhem, who wondered what they had done to be forsaken so, and before long had joined in the wars which surrounded them. With the world in flames around him, Kayal forsook his human form and became spirit once more, flowing through the glades of Isethuin and savouring earthís last paradise, knowing that Man would never venture there.
But Kayal was to return to his human form, as a century after he turned his back, something happened which would draw him again into the world of Men and ultimately cause more grief to the earth. Tired of the warmongering and destruction of her people, a young woman from Terenhem wandered into the Forest of Isethuin, seeking calm and tranquillity away from the battles and fires she had come from. As she came she sang, and her voice carried deep into the trees where Kayal heard it, and was at once enchanted.
Like a wind he swept through the forest seeking the voice, and when he found it he was amazed - for here was a human who carried none of the petty and destructive nature which he had tried so hard to contain and ultimately failed. This woman was pure and untainted, and Kayal was enthralled by her beauty. So again he became Man, a Man most gentle and beautiful, and he revealed himself to the woman. Kayal had developed one weakness - through his time as a Man, he had developed human emotions and feelings. Once a God feared and revered, he had now fallen to what he had set out to contain - Mankind. He had fallen in love.
The woman saw Kayalís light as he tread through the dappled glades, and went to him. She saw his glory and his power, and was amazed. As he pledged his love, she pledged to stay with him, and he took her deep into the Forest away from the evils of mankind, and he called her Mirathel. Nothing did she know of the true nature of her lover, for bathed in his glory she was as if under a spell, and all previous memories and reason fell away. So it was that a long courtship began, and as they lived in the depths of Isethuin great ages passed by beyond the boundaries of the wood. Mirathel did not see them pass, as she was enchanted and oblivious to all else aside from Kayalís light, and Kayal did not see the ages pass for he was by then uncaring of the world - he had found the beauty of Mankind and had thrown aside the shadows it cast. Therefore beyond Isethuin the race of Man continued to change and grow. Wars were fought and peoples were destroyed, the land was scarred, burnt and constantly rebuilt. Civilisations rose and fell, though the great fields of Terenhem remained, and the great temple still stood high. This survived as the last of the memories of Kayalís glory and his guiding hand, for elsewhere across the globe he was forgotten and his temples lay in ruins.
As the years passed Kayal became further rooted in his human form, until after many ages it came that Mirathel was with child. The Spirit of the Earth had passed on its essence, and it was to live on in human form. This conception was indeed one of the most vital events in the shaping of the world as it is today. At last the day of birth came, and Mirathel was amazed, for she bore her husband ten children. And they were not simply Men, for they were indeed formed of Kayalís body, and thus were the Spirit of the Earth, and were the Earthís children themselves. Born of the woman Mirathel, they entered the world in the forms of Men most strong and powerful even in their infancy, and their hair shone golden.
Though through this great creation tragedy also came. As she bore the Sons of Kayal, Mirathel saw her lover for what he was, and the effect of many ages finally found her. She saw with widened eyes the time that had slipped past her during her courtship, and she saw beyond the boundaries of the wood to where Mankind burned in turmoil, and she saw her brothers who she had left so long ago. She saw Kayal in his true glory and terrible power, and was overcome with a great sadness - a sadness incomprehensible, the sadness of the world. Thus it was that the Bride of Kayal died, for the knowledge and truth of her life was too much for her mortal heart. Kayal tried as best he could as a Man to revive her, but despite his power he could not breathe new life into things past. For an unknown age he had bathed in the beauty of Mankind at its fairest, and now it was gone. He was left with nothing but a crumbling world and a physical form which he did not belong in. As the ten sons of Kayal wept their motherís mourning-song, the true destructive fires of Mankind closed in upon Isethuin.
Kayalís grief was terrible, and it is said that with it the earth shook. From his time as a Man that he was able to develop emotions beyond what he was capable of before. And it was this which led to the Black Night when Kayal howled into the skies, and all the world heard him and were afraid, for they did not know what it could mean but the end of the world. So it was that as the sun dawned upon Isethuin, Kayal took his children, forsaking his human form, and departed for the heavens. He left Mankind behind to fend for itself without his guiding hand and infinite wisdom.

SKK
October 18th, 2006, 12:56 AM
Hmmm... at the end:


He left Mankind behind to fend for itself without his guiding hand and infinite wisdom.

Seems he'd been doing that for 'countless ages' anyway, doesn't it?

Also, kinda strange for a godlike spirit of the Earth, incarnate, to throw in the towel immediately when people started doing what he was there to prevent in the first place. I know you're not trying to make a simple Jesus-clone, but your average all-powerful spirit should try a little harder, although I guess your spirit ain't a messiah for people, per say, but he should be a little more angry/passionate/peeved about his planet getting trashed...

Anyway, interesting to think about what these 10(+?) 'Saints' are gonna do during their 'second coming'.

BrianC
October 18th, 2006, 08:13 AM
Bethelamon, I advise rethinking the entire idea of this prologue (and it's not just because I do not like prologues in general). It seems to me that your story is strongest by first establishing the ordinariness of your world and then slowly letting the reader in on the secrets. A giant mytho-infodump at the very beginning gives the reader too much knowledge all at once withno basis to integrate that knowledge with the world setting. My sugggestion is to find a way to dole out the mythology in tidbits as the readers begins to realize more and more that something strange i going on. JMTC.

Liathano
October 18th, 2006, 11:21 AM
I think I would have to agree with BrianC. As a prologue it would be information overload and could be spread out over the entire story. I do like the concept as a whole and think you could make an amazing story from it. I also agree with SKK that as a God I think he should be trying harder maybe sending his sons in to attempt to right the wrongs or something.;) Keep going with it, and keep us posted.

Bethelamon
October 18th, 2006, 01:25 PM
Thanks for reading.



Also, kinda strange for a godlike spirit of the Earth, incarnate, to throw in the towel immediately when people started doing what he was there to prevent in the first place. I know you're not trying to make a simple Jesus-clone, but your average all-powerful spirit should try a little harder, although I guess your spirit ain't a messiah for people, per say, but he should be a little more angry/passionate/peeved about his planet getting trashed...
I kind of like the idea that he isnt REALLY that powerful, and that mankind is more powerful than him.

Anyway, interesting to think about what these 10(+?) 'Saints' are gonna do during their 'second coming'.
Ooh, they do a lot, its quite good. Thats the second half of this prologue.


BrianC and Liathano, I dont think this will be a prologue at the beginning of the book. In fact I know it wont. The information of the mythology will be fed to the reader bit by bit as you said. The purpose of what Im writing here is basically to get this mythology set in stone. Perhaps it could be an appendix? I dunno. But if it never gets used Im not bothered. As I am writing it though, I develop fantastic new ideas and themes which I wouldnt have reached just in my head.


I also agree with SKK that as a God I think he should be trying harder maybe sending his sons in to attempt to right the wrongs or something
Thats what he does. Basically... after he leaves, things get much worse. Living up in heaven, he doesnt see whats happening for a while. Eventually he does and he sends down his sons as angelic saviours. They cleanse the world, and rebuild mankind. The ancient civilisations of the saints are like the classical greek and roman civilisations of our world... eventually the saints depart, and all things 'magic' and 'fantastical' go with them, and the world slowly develops into what it is today (interestingly this gives me the idea of the religion worshipping the saints, which becomes less popular with time, until at the time of the novel most people dont really believe in the saints - they are aetheists. Religion is a very important theme in this story).

Liathano
October 18th, 2006, 02:38 PM
Sounds good. Is it going to be written from the viewpoint of the gods? I can't recall any I have read lately from that perspective. Are you going to post your chapters for us to read?