The Beastmen

So after letting the prior outline percolate in my brain for a while, I’ve decided that I’m reasonably happy with the premise. I think my major concern at this point is about the events after the ‘traditionalist’ rituals are forcibly halted. At first I had this idea that a gateway or gateways would begin to open, allowing imprisoned faerie-like creatures from some sort of other world to enter our own (or rather, to enter the world of the story). But I’m starting to like the idea that there are no gateways per se, rather the world itself starts to change to reflect a faerie-like aspect. So I’m imaging that maybe 1 in 4 or 5 people actually change into beastmen of some kind, and parts of the landscape and some of the major buildings actually morph into these fantastic versions of themselves.

 

In fact, I’m thinking that might be the setting for the story’s climax. Rather than having the protagonist journeying through a gateway into another realm, I would have him going to a familiar place, such as the Duke’s castle, but that familiar place has been completely subverted and turned into something fantastic, and likely dangerous.

 

I’d like to pack in enough ideas to keep the story alive. In particular, I want the setting to feel unique. To my mind, in fantasy one of the hallmarks of the genre is that the setting itself becomes a character. I mean, not literally, but the setting is so important it acts like a character to the plot, in the sense that the setting goes through conflict and changes with the story’s outcome. So it’s very important to me that this setting be more than just the “generic medieval setting” found in so much trash fantasy.

 

Other ideas, then:

  • The dog idea? People are all people, but they’ve been selectively bred like domestic dogs, so some people are tall, lanky, and agile, while some are stout and strong – which is true anyway, but I mean to an extreme degree, like some people have been bred to be like 9 feet tall and can run at 40 km/h while some people are 3 feet tall but can lift 400 pounds. In the world of dog breeding, different breeds are created for different purposes, such as tracking, racing, companionship, herding, sled-pulling, retrieving, et cetera. In the world of selectively bred humans, I think similar concepts would exist, but more likely it would be based on occupation. So miners would be bred to be short, strong, and resilient, but not that smart.
  • The government idea: this world lacks political bodies based on land. In the real world, governments are of a place, i.e. a city, a state, a country, and so forth. In this fantasy world that isn’t the case; instead, governments are based on ideologies, where people of a certain political stripe, or religion, or possibly even a trade or profession, have their own government and it’s independent of location. The idea here is there are lots of these “governments”, called sects – no that sounds too much like ‘sex’ – called… factions, politicos… better to have a made-up name that evokes what it is… guild, government, faction, politic, sect, mafia, family, kin, folk, relation, unit, regime, rule, command, administration, association, union, league, federation, society… maybe a play on -ocracy, like Facracy, guildocracy? No, that’s shit. Unity. Fedocracy. Allegiance. Something with ‘allegiance’… legian sounds like ‘legion’… Legie. Does that sounds like it’s pronounced Luh-Gee? or Leg-gee? I want it to be Leeg. League. Leige. Legiance. I like ‘Legiance’.
    • So anyway there’s a ton of Legiances around; I’m thinking that will create some problems with the outline of the story, though, because how does one Legiance enforce law over another? Maybe there’s a Legiance devoted to laws and enforcement, and another Legiance dominated by the ‘modernists’ has exerted enough influence to have them outlaw the ‘traditionalists’. That might work.

 

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