Author Topic: Idea: Fantasy futuristic magic furry zombie apocalypse. Sounds silly, might work  (Read 454 times)

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Offline Zugus: Bane of mailmen

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I've just sort of had this idea in my head for few days and might be able to do something with it.

The setting is a sort of fantasy world, if it had gone into the future and used magic to create a highly advanced civilization, one effectively powered by synthetic magic. All devices, weaponry, transportation, etc were/are powered by magic and the cities themselves are very crystalline in design and structure.

But a powerful wizard, who is naturally imbued with magic (which, as it is natural, is much more powerful), has accidentally cast a spell while spellcrafting which caused all of the anthro animals in this civilization to become hyper aggressive, feral, wild versions of what they are (Think if the anthro animals became non-anthro and then got super rabies without the disease or foam at the mouth). They're almost like zombie animals, but not undead, just wild, rabid, and irreversibly changed by magic.

The last self aware members of society must now live in the ruins of their formerly great civilization and fight to keep themselves fed on a daily basis in the face of large and dangerous hordes of their former friends, neighbors, leaders, and brothers. All of these feral animals will otherwise have most of their own normal traits that we would see in real life.

Don't know quite how to flesh things out or what main plot would be, but I feel like running with this.

Thoughts? Too ambitious? Too silly?
If you know the mailman, and you know yourself, you need not fear the result a hundred boxes dropped.

-Sun Zug

Offline Old Rabbit

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Sounds like a good story to me.

A plot could be trying to regain control of their lives. Perhaps one or more hero
figures that could help rebild their world.  Of course he/she or they could have
several  minor pot lines during the process of rebuilding.  The wizard could be
used as a master bad guy perhaps creating humanoid bots to spy on the good
guys.

The book could end with regaining their world or not. How is up to you  of course.

Hope that's helpful to you.  :orbunny:
« Last Edit: July 23, 2017, 10:18:34 am by Old Rabbit »
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Offline Zugus: Bane of mailmen

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Sounds like a good story to me.

A plot could be trying to regain control of their lives. Perhaps one or more hero
figures that could help rebild their world.  Of course he/she or they could have
several  minor pot lines during the process of rebuilding.  The wizard could be
used as a master bad guy perhaps creating humanoid bots to spy on the good
guys.

The book could end with regaining their world or not. How is up to you  of course.

Hope that's helpful to you.  :orbunny:

A key that I don't know what to do with is whether or not this is to be a doomed world. One from which there is no return.

Either way, this is meant to be a fallen civilization. Something on the level of the ICE 9 apocalypse from Cat's Cradle, only that I'm not sure I want it to be so permanent yet.

The old civilization is a fallen utopia of sorts; a gleaming empire built on evil deeds and equally destroyed by the actions of this wizard; a gleaming crystal Rome since reclaimed by the elements and the beasts. I'm thinking though that he may not be intentionally evil, but repeatedly miscalculating the consequences of his actions to cause more harm, with his spell being one which was meant to remove negative emotions and the will to do evil from the subjects of the empire, only to remove their self awareness and to warp them into savage beasts. Almost like C-Consciousness from STALKER (If you've ever played or seen any of those games).

Perhaps the synthetic magic should also be steeped in blood. The wizards were rare and powerful in that they were the few people who could use magic without any need for machines. Consequently, they were also loathed and viewed with suspicion, expected to turn and wreak havoc upon the empire at any moment. I think of them almost as powerful as the Jedi, but not so obviously good or evil, just they they existed and were partially responsible for the Synthetic Magic revolution which built the world as it was before the story's wizard destroyed it. I'm wondering whether or not the wizards should be few in number as a result of mass harvesting for mana, or if they should have simply created a means to give others powers similar to theirs.

I'm thinking the Wizard should be an anthro rodent of some sort or a rabbit, perhaps a vole or mouse if a rodent. Something small which, in real life, would have a constant fear of being hunted, with a mixture of noble (or malicious) intent and insecurity having compelled him to begin his experiments in the first place to fix the world around him for his own safety and to make something which he perceives to be better. The wizard created the situation but he is not at all in control of it. At least, not to start with.

Whatever protagonists there are will have been ordinary citizens of this civilization who learned to survive in crystalline urban decay with rabid animals all around them. They won't be so black and white either and all of them will have had colored pasts for being willing subjects/servants of this dead empire. One among them will be idealistic enough to want to save the world while the rest may simply wish to survive. After all, there does need to be some impetus for them to actually come to the heart of the situation, otherwise they would just wander aimlessly until killed, which wouldn't make for much of a story.

Your feedback is appreciated Old Rabbit  :) I just might have a bit of difficulty converting thoughts to words.
If you know the mailman, and you know yourself, you need not fear the result a hundred boxes dropped.

-Sun Zug

Offline Old Rabbit

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You have some good ideas with your story. Off hand I would think the way
you end it depends on the audience your writing to. Most people like to
see a story end with the so called happy ending. Others find the struggle
it's self enjoyable. So if everyone dies with the world ending it's ok.

Just need to remember people are looking for entertainment. The
main character desn't have to be a goodie two shoes, but needs
to have some atribute that people might like in them selves..

Sherlock Holmes wasn't a real nice guy, but people loved how he solved
mysteries, and that made the books popular.

Keep up the good work. :orbunny:

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Offline Zugus: Bane of mailmen

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Trying to think of how the opening goes has been a bit difficult, so I think now I will want to start to develop each character as their scenes come along so to speak.

First, the Wizard (not sure if I don't want to refer to them as Mages, Magi, or Wizards yet):

As mentioned before, he is a paranoid type but one which also has some idea of what is noble. He is a utopian believer at heart, who wanted to make a better society at heart, but who is (or was) equally motivated by his paranoia and insecurity to take any action possible to preserve that which he held dear, his own life being high on that list.

By the time the story starts, he would have been experimenting for several years, at least half a decade, in order to create a subtle mind influencing spell which could be used en masse on people in order to slowly influence them away from negative and malicious thoughts. The result of this furious research though will be his near complete insanity, which should stand in stark contrast to entries in his research journal, which may be found by the protagonist later on, or narrated over in the opening.

Of course, this insanity leads him to create the spell which so horribly warps the citizens of the crystal empire in order to transform them into their rabid feral forms.

I don't know if I need to develop him further or not, as I don't know whether I want him to live just yet, but this idea is what I have tentatively.
If you know the mailman, and you know yourself, you need not fear the result a hundred boxes dropped.

-Sun Zug

Offline Old Rabbit

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The story could start with the Wizard loosing a mentor. This could
help give the wizard a reason for his paranoia.

I have a idea you might like for the wizard.  you were saying he
is removing bad thoughts from others.  Perhaps these bad feelings
would build inside his own psyche. This would give his insanity a
good reason to exist for the reader.

Just a couple thoughts.

Keep up the good work. :orbunny:
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Offline DazWizzle

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Hi Zungus,
Having just written a very similar story to your idea myself I can offer a few pointers that will hopefully be of some use to you.

For the main story the first thing I advise you do is work out what the plot is. There is not much use starting and having it run rampid without a end goal in mind. For example try something like 'The Wizard is written into a prophecy that he/she will be the one to return the world to normal restoring the zombified populous to normal' or something similar, like what old rabbit suggested.

I have a very very similar story idea to what yours is, Dying planet, the populous turning feral, a world within the protagonists psyche.
In total I have had 27 revisions of my story and the world building started around revision 15 when I left the human race behind.

For the Wizard come up with a few ideas and even write short story's about his/her life. They can be completely unrelated to the story but provide a good foundation on character development.

As for the use of terms, Mage, Wizard, Magi... try looking up synonyms. I opted for 'Shaman' with mine but I guess its an idea to pick one that's suited to your setting.

Hopefully this is of some help to you. For the record, my world building notes are 20K words long and the two books total 125K words. The world building was the hardest part but my advice with that is build the world as you go and add to your document. You can always add in things like a town name when you make an edit.

Regards,

Offline Zugus: Bane of mailmen

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Hi Zungus,
Having just written a very similar story to your idea myself I can offer a few pointers that will hopefully be of some use to you.

For the main story the first thing I advise you do is work out what the plot is. There is not much use starting and having it run rampid without a end goal in mind. For example try something like 'The Wizard is written into a prophecy that he/she will be the one to return the world to normal restoring the zombified populous to normal' or something similar, like what old rabbit suggested.

I have a very very similar story idea to what yours is, Dying planet, the populous turning feral, a world within the protagonists psyche.
In total I have had 27 revisions of my story and the world building started around revision 15 when I left the human race behind.

For the Wizard come up with a few ideas and even write short story's about his/her life. They can be completely unrelated to the story but provide a good foundation on character development.

As for the use of terms, Mage, Wizard, Magi... try looking up synonyms. I opted for 'Shaman' with mine but I guess its an idea to pick one that's suited to your setting.

Hopefully this is of some help to you. For the record, my world building notes are 20K words long and the two books total 125K words. The world building was the hardest part but my advice with that is build the world as you go and add to your document. You can always add in things like a town name when you make an edit.

Regards,

Thank you.

My idea here revolves more around the corrupting influence of magic. These animals haven't simply turned feral, but they've also been imbued (that is to say, corrupted) by magic. All that they attack is either consumed, or doomed to be corrupted by the same token, like a magical disease.

I would've started as you suggested, but the world, for whatever reason, was the first thing that came to mind for me. I just thought of it one day when I was bored and, instead of forgetting about it like most fantastical machinations of mine, I decided I actually wanted to shape it into something.

Without really intending to, I've already mentally developed the world more than any of the characters.

As for the plot, an idea that's come to mind goes something like this:

A Wizard, intending to cure the ills of the world, has instead unleashed a curse of apocalyptic implications upon it, turning those he had hoped to "save" into terrible and monstrous creatures, corrupted and strengthened by the power of magic.

Our protagonist (names will come later) knows that his small settlement is on its last legs and that it will succumb to these horrible and vastly powerful "animals" if he does not manage to find other survivors to bolster it and to rebuild some semblance of civilization in order to survive against the hordes.

As his quest goes on however, he begins to have visions of a mysterious and formless glow, which whispers to him to "come closer", to "save his people" and "revive the engine". As these visions become more frequent, last longer, and reveal more, he encounters others who have the same visions who call themselves "The Brotherhood of the Glow". This cult seeks to revive the "Mana Engine" which had created the crystal empire that only the eldest from our protagonist's village had any memory of.

From what few stories our protagonist had heard, this empire was a gleaming beacon of progress and prosperity which, through the use of synthetic magic, had become a highly prosperous civilization that was vastly stronger and more advanced than any other.

As his adventures with the Brotherhood progress, he starts to find out their terrible secrets, and that this empire had been built over the corpses of all that it had conquered and that its people had slowly been corrupted by their love and worship of mana, their civilization's lifeblood. The Brotherhood had also kept, within its ranks, scholars of the crystal empire who were related by blood to the upper echelons of the crystalline society. They detailed, in loving obsession, the genocide of countless other nations beneath their crystal empire's armies and had hoped to revive their civilization, which the wizard had accidentally destroyed, so that they might rule the world with a crystal fist.

Realizing what the Brotherhood intends to do with the Mana Engine, he attempts to sabotage their efforts at every turn, knowing what will happen to his village if he does not stop them.

Eventually, the Brotherhood, with our protagonist in tow, reaches the Mana Engine. The Brotherhood, down to its last surviving members, is finished off by our protagonist in his last ditch effort to prevent them from possessing the engine.

By this point, however, the glow has gained substantial influence over his mind and, to our now nearly insane protagonist, unexpectedly speaks through the lifeless bodies of the cultists to convince him to "finish the job".

Unbeknownst to him, his revival of the Engine only allows the Demon, who had masqueraded as a divine and mystic glow, to gain direct control over the monsters to use them as an evil army which was to give them the organization to exterminate all life which was not imbued with magic. Indeed, the Engine, and the Demon which inhabited it, had the power to spare the village but, in exchange for this, the protagonist was to forcibly imbue them with magic, to give this Demon absolute power over all of them, giving them ultimate security in exchange for the loss of their souls.

Wanting only to save those that he cared about, the Protagonist accepts the Demon's offer and he returns to his village to infect the few people who remain (some having succumbed while he was away).

The end result is that civilization is brought back to life, but all of its people are made eternal slaves to what is effectively the ultimate embodiment of evil. The protagonist only realizes his error when he finds that his people, instead of being saved by the magic, have been saved in body only. He realizes that, as a result of his folly, he is the last sentient person left alive, and that he is a conscious slave who had, by his big heart and this Demon, been tricked into granting this thing absolute power over everything, with him left to be the Demon's plaything.


Of course, this is tentative, and I've yet to think exactly of the details, but the gist of it is that the would be "hero", with nothing but good intentions to save his people, is instead corrupted by the influence of this Demon who tricks him into doing all of this and into helping it gain absolute power over the world. Its mostly a story about losing one's way in the face of unspeakably terrible circumstances and of the belief that the ends justify the means.

I'm not yet sure I want the final ending to be so dark though. But the story itself is more or less about this dark. The Demon is effectively an eldritch type monster which gains near infinite power once it is able to combine the power of the Mana Engine, with its own mastery of natural magic which is vastly more powerful than the synthetic magic used to build the crystal empire.

Except for the rough shape of the world and of the strong corruption of power theme that will run throughout, all of this is subject to change.

I also don't quite know how I want to fit the wizards in, except for the fact that it was they who created the Mana Engine, and that these same wizards had killed the others of surrounding nations in order to gain absolute power as the sole living beings who could fully utilize mana for their ends. The Wizard's spell (from the start), however, ultimately warps them into the strongest of the feral beings which then are too powerful to be contained by the soldiers and peons of the empire, making their infection inevitable. I don't really know yet what the ultimate fate of these initial wizards will have been though, or for the fate of the first wizard, who was a surviving outcast that had escaped the crystal empire's gaze after his people were annihilated.

It is his attempt to uncorrupt the world which kicks off the story's events.

I am writing this while very tired so some of this might not make sense. But this is roughly the gist of it. As it stands, this world is doomed either to be conquered by ultimate evil, or annihilated by savage beasts; pending any empathy I may eventually have for any of the characters.

I still need to work out the nature of infection and the nature of mana. So far, the working assumption for me is that mana is generally regarded as evil and is highly toxic to any living thing which cannot utilize magic. The "Animals", by some means I've not yet determined, are capable of infecting people which effectively makes them magical zombies whose blood is mostly mana.

I am hoping I don't wake up tomorrow just to find this riddled with contradictions. This fiction writing process is relatively new to me as I've otherwise been pursuing other things which are completely different to it.

I really appreciate the feedback.   :)
If you know the mailman, and you know yourself, you need not fear the result a hundred boxes dropped.

-Sun Zug

Offline Zugus: Bane of mailmen

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Seeing that massive wall of text, I will summarize the themes present. This might make more of what I'm going for apparent, and could probably help me better shape this story going forward.

1. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions

2. Trying doesn't count, only results do

3. The world does not care about feelings, only realities

4. Doing the right thing (or in this case, failing to) in the face of harsh circumstances.

5. No one knows whats best for everyone else

I hope this clears things up. I do want to make a good story though before any of this.
If you know the mailman, and you know yourself, you need not fear the result a hundred boxes dropped.

-Sun Zug

Offline DazWizzle

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Sounds interesting, I like the idea for the story. What are you planning on doing with it? Is it something just for you or are you looking at publishing?

Offline Old Rabbit

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There are many good rules for writing stories.

One thing to remember when writing a story is write for
yourself. Usually if you try to please others the story and
writing of it will suffer. I think readers can tell when a writer
likes the story or not.

That's not to say we should ignore good writing habits, but
we put more heart and effort into stories we like.

When writing seriously, set goals. work out an outline of
the story, build simple biographies of your main characters.
This makes them more real to you and the reader.

You probably know all this already, but sometimes it helps
to be reminded of it.

Keep up the good work.

Old Rabbit :orbunny:
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Avatar drawn by me.

Offline Zugus: Bane of mailmen

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Sounds interesting, I like the idea for the story. What are you planning on doing with it? Is it something just for you or are you looking at publishing?

In this case, not sure yet. If I come to like it, ultimately I will attempt to publish. Otherwise, I just want to keep a record of some of the creative things which have just entered my mind. I need to clean up some details of the first wizard and the cult though. Something tells me the first wizard shouldn't necessarily be dead and I feel like there more is a character to make out of him. The cultists also need some personality too. In my mind, they are partly based on the Brotherhood of Nod from the Command and Conquer games, but less comic bookish and more sinister.

Another thing which gives some basis from those games would have to be the Tiberium, which The Brotherhood of Nod worships (It's a semicrystalline substance which is also quite potent and very toxic.) Mana is something which occurs naturally, but prior to the crystal empire, only Wizards and supernatural beasts had any use for it, with the rare wild creature being imbued with it.

There are many good rules for writing stories.

One thing to remember when writing a story is write for
yourself. Usually if you try to please others the story and
writing of it will suffer. I think readers can tell when a writer
likes the story or not.

That's not to say we should ignore good writing habits, but
we put more heart and effort into stories we like.

When writing seriously, set goals. work out an outline of
the story, build simple biographies of your main characters.
This makes them more real to you and the reader.

You probably know all this already, but sometimes it helps
to be reminded of it.

Keep up the good work.

Old Rabbit :orbunny:

I personally find I have a bit of attraction to dark things in general. Heroes are real nice, but its always the darker motivations people and characters could have which are more fascinating. It was always amazing to me the things people would do to justify horrible actions and this story follows that line of thought pretty closely. No one in this story is going to be any kind of saint.

The only thing I'd worry about is what to do with the universe. The more I think about this, the more I realize I could write just as much of a story going backwards from the start as forwards. I could either write what I've planned or I could go over the history of the crystal empire and its brutal conquests. To say the least, different anthro animals in this universe really did not get along at all. Cats, for instance, will have been made extinct since long before the apocalypse and Mice will have been marked for extermination prior to it. Think of it like Alien races from a lot of sci fi, but these are all in the same world.

Perhaps the wizard's spell doesn't have to be the beginning of the story? There is a lot of lore I could throw in based on what I've already thought of for this story.

As for what to call the wizards, seeing as a lot of the history of the crystal empire is written from "the victor's" perspective, I think the wizards of the crystal empire shall be known as "Divinators" (seeing as their powers and their engine were effectively of godlike proportion next to the ordinary people) while other wizards will be recorded as "Reapers", due to the socially engineered perception that they were unconditionally evil and that they did not have souls for their gall in defying the Crystal Empire (still need a real name for it). How they are named will depend on who is asked however and other labels may arise as needed. To say the least, anyone who was not of the empire would've vehemently hated Divinators.

As perception plays a huge role in this story, there will not be a universal name for the wizards.

I'll keep thinking and eventually get around to writing when I finalize where I want everything to go.

As always, feedback is greatly appreciated  :)
If you know the mailman, and you know yourself, you need not fear the result a hundred boxes dropped.

-Sun Zug

Offline Zugus: Bane of mailmen

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I think I'm going to let this brew for a bit. I can't really focus too well, so how this starts keeps changing in my head each time.

For now, this will probably sit around until I figure out what to do with it.
If you know the mailman, and you know yourself, you need not fear the result a hundred boxes dropped.

-Sun Zug

Offline Old Rabbit

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Sounds like a good idea. It's always good to work out the story from the
beginning to the end before hand.
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Offline DazWizzle

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Sounds like a good idea. It's always good to work out the story from the
beginning to the end before hand.

Yes and a detailed Synopsis between 1500 and 3000 words will keep you on track. Gives you a solid reference point and helps you avoid the plot bunnies.