Saturday, June 28, 2008

There will be Wizards

How can one have a fantasy story without wizards? Furthermore, who is to say the Hushers are the only ones with the Secrets?

First, as individual dabblers they would be crushed. But then again, if people didn't allow any secrets out, then the Hushers wouldn't last that long. The key I think is that the Hushers would focus on anything that had large or kingdom changing application. After all, politics is what they're really interested in, which among other things means the technology of the Abysmali and the Enchantments that Simsaur magic can create.

Of course, magic is largely a matter of making arrangements with the right things or utilizing existing agreements. Rocks and the like tend to have much longer memories than most after all. On the other hand, one of the reason I have been so careful to outline various kinds of magic is the fact that I want my magic to be just that, magic. So while I have underlined the actual functional rules behind it, the reader shall be privy only to the surface. Still again, the point is that a true wizard in the Fantasy sense collects these secrets as a hermit might, one bit at a time.

That means some of the names of summoning the Ma-Ka-Fa, the names of some Gods which can be sommoned or dealt with. There would be some of the nature of prophesy taught, but Dreams and Destiny would be more a wizard's creed since Prophesy is the matter of Kings and Empires.

Thus with the Hushers there is a reason for Wizards to act like wizards, lonely and seculed, occasionally dabbling in the affairs of men, but only the most stunningly powerful. Hedge wizards or witches could provide basic services so long as they do not become too uppity or break the Laws as the Hushers have set in the reserving of knowledge to themselves.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Hushers

Time for a bit more crunch in our world. I am hoping to do a map soon, the map is often a doorway into a magical land, and as long as you don't obsess over it too much, or use it as a crush, can be a powerful tool to entering 'another land.' Tolkien certainly used them.

But first, I got an idea whilst I was out on a Family Reunion. If we're talking about a world in which there is an inevitable cycle of prophesy and empire that occur over and over again in cycled fashion, then it stands to reason that someone would notice. Religions exist of course, but High Fantasy often has lost and ancient knowledge in the past, which is reclaimed by the 'new and rightful ruler' at the time of the establishment of a new empire.

The other thought that occurred to me was that in a Gold Rush, it isn't really the miners that get rich but the people that sell things to the miners. These predators on dreams give the miners everything they need, pots, pans, supplies, mules and the like and then they also provide them 'entertainment' when they actually do find some gold; wine, women and song to help them compensate for the hard life and hard work they make trying to get rich. No need to worry about tomorrow, everyone's going to get rich.

So if a smart bunch of fellows realized this headlong rush into renewal and empire, they're be the ultimate lobbiests, recognizing the inevitable decline of one empire forshadowed by the rise of the next, but this time they lock up all the knowledge and keep it for themselves so that the new emperor must come to THEM for all of the secrets gone through all of the ages.

That is what the Hushers do with all of the secrets that the humans have gathered for the last 2000 years. They've done it for three empires now, and in the case of the last empire, they might have gotten a little impatient and hurried things along by a century or two. After all, they do their best business when an empire is in rise, not in decline. Oh sure, they still make a killing selling the occasional tidbit here and there to those who might pay them enough, but the really good stuff, they keep for themselves.

Of course, power corrupts, which means that even the Hushers don't really understand all of the knowledge that they have at this point. Vast hoards of books, perfectly copied and preserved...except for, perhaps the occasional bored employee who might miss something on an obscure tome whilst copying it. Of course, they have Abysmali devices to copy one book to another, but no machine works perfectly. So whispers might abound about some of the Husher secrets that don't work as well as they used to.

But the main thing about Hushers is that they're the toughest power around in these dark times, because they know how to make the weapons and the magics that can stomp anyone else. First they embargo you and then if you still keep looking into things they want left alone or raise in magic or technology too much, then they send out the Hushknights upon you to burn you to the ground.

On the other hand, the fact is that all the Husher's really care about is sitting in their vast towers hoarding books and knowledge, so long as no one violates their chosen thresholds, they are utterly neutral in politics in every way least generally. There are exceptions but not for the purpose of our story.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sopensen and Humans

Both Sopensen and Humans had an awfully long time to be in charge of everything and contact every race, so it seems to me that they've got elements of the others while having their own innate 'racial' ability.

The Sopensen have the ability to cleans and bring peace and order to the world. Its kind of like the Jarral's ability but extended beyond hearthstones. They were the only force that was able to heal the world after the ravages of Bleyok.

I'm thinking that they have a lot of the technological secrets of the Abysmal, and that they have learned science, but the forward way instead of doing it backwards. I'm also thinking that they've learned some of the magic secrets of the Simsaur, but they have secured contracts and permissions rather than automatic authority over everything the way the Simsaur do. They also have hearths. I think the one thing they won't touch is the Bleyoki stuff. They also don't have destiny or fate.

So in practical terms, humans have all of this stuff. A human wizard has to learn secrets which just as well might be magic authority, extraplanar contracts, hearth or healing, science tricks or the like. There will probably be traditions amongst humans, many of which were lost or changed or refined over the centuries. Since the world is in stagnation by the time our story starts, so too will most magic, and whilst some knowledges might exist in vast moldy tomes, most people don't bother to learn it because they have no need to.

Humans don't know about Day and Night. Their concept of destiny is very blurred. They believe in destiny and that everyone has one, and that sometimes a diviner can help someone determine their destiny but it isn't written in stone. I picture entire religions based around different interpretations of destiny.

Prophesy, on the other hand, is now long established as the 'mightiest' power of all. It shapes worlds and empires, and now everyone expects there to be another empire. It has happened so many times before, why not again? As such, most rulers spend a significant amount of time learning and interpreting prophesy. There is, of course, millenia of junk that has accumulated in all of this. It is a nebulous science at best, but since it is an area so many people pay attention to, others want to add in their two cents to gain a bit of immortality.

Having said that, there would be enough interest at preserving it, that there would still be those that have at least a close symmetry and understanding, and an understanding of what is a real prophesy and what isn't. Indeed, those truly in the know understand that most prophesies have been fulfilled, though exactly how many have been fulfilled is a little gray. Those with the gift are watched for very carefully, lest anyone and everyone try to get an edge within the 'wiggle room' such a prophesy allows.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Bleyoki

So how does one manifest the power of 'evil and corruption'? I mean, honestly, standard corruption is so over rated. Things rot. Yeehaw. I'm the evil bad guy and I'm making things rot.

Bleyok might do that. He's a petulant runt (emotionally speaking) who likes to kick sand in what the other gods have done. During his reign it totally makes sense that he would control the minds and destinies of all living creatures, though his power was obviously never absolute otherwise there wouldn't have been a world left by the time he was done.

No, far more interesting are the little bundles of joy he left behind for the next age, the Bleyoki. First off, they've got to be physically strong, because that's the way Bleyok's mind works, but I'd imagine they're quite clever as well. In fact, being evil and immature, he's probably going to have elements of the Simsaur, the Abysmali and the Gods, but particularly magic and science. I can't picture him caring about the power of Hearth and Home.

So it strikes me that the main thing that the Bleyoki do is copy other abilities, really really ridiculously well. If someone else comes up with a spell or a device, they do the same thing and remanufacture it at a rate that is just disgusting. However, I can't picture them having any kind of a coherent social structure. But at the same time, if they're the 'orcs' of Green world, then why not have hoards of them?

I guess they can't really be Orcs, even though that's how I initially thought of them. Maybe more like pernicious humanoid ants.