This post is part of an ongoing series laying out essential elements for understanding both the complex plot of my epic fantasy, Gods Among Men, and the byzantine plans of its protagonist, the wizard Damon Roth.
Here are links to earlier posts in this series.
- The Moment Of Epiphany
- The Big Picture, Part 1: The Point and Purpose
- The Big Picture, Part 2: One Influence To Rule Them All
- The Big Picture, Part 3: The World That Never Was
The World of Today
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I see Gods Among Men as being set on earth in the very distant future. At some point where Arthur C. Clarke’s adage, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” has finally come true.
In my last post, I explained how in my mythology the faerie world exists, but broke off most contact with humans in our early pre-history.
Adopting this mythology lets me both claim that supernatural entities—and hence supernatural or magical powers—exist, and explain why mankind at our current moment in history would be largely unaware of that fact.
It also, however, begs the following question: From this point, meaning our present, how does our modern society twist and turn to become my fantasy world of the future? A world that draws heavily on Medieval and Renaissance imagery with Gothic overtones. A place where Greek mythology and Shakespearean tragedies are plot elements in a battle of wills between the protagonist, Damon Roth, and the antagonist Demiurge. The kind of world where spacecraft coexist with spellcraft.
Where Do We Go From Here
It is my belief that certain trends in mankind’s past will continue into the future. First and foremost, there will be scientific and technological progress. Mankind will learn more about biology, genetics, physics, and a host of other subjects. Computer technology will advance, as will space travel, engineering, and the like.
Take these assumptions forward an indefinite period of time; a thousand years or more, tens of thousands if need be. What might be possible at the furthest reaches of these broad trends?
In my mythology, in the far future there will be practical space travel within the solar system. There will be many colonies on asteroids, moons, and planets that are functionally self-sustaining.
Nanotechnology is perfected and able to operate down at the atomic and possibly sub-atomic level.
Genetic engineering has reached the point where building custom life forms from scratch is possible if one has the right tools.
The differences between quantum mechanics and relativity theory have been resolved, and we have discovered how to draw vast amounts of energy from the universe itself. (Or from alternate universes or parallel dimensions or the space between universes or some other techno-babble explanation. The details here are not important. What matters is that there is nearly unlimited energy that can be tapped and converted to a myriad of uses.)
The Daemons in these Details
But I do not have a utopian view of the future. There are now, and will continue to be, those who oppose progress of the nature I describe. We have terrorist and dictators now who seek to disrupt the stability and peace of our world. Who, if given a chance, would cast us into a dark age.
I doubt the current batch of thugs have much chance of success, but suppose that desire continues to burn in one form or another for generation after generation. Suppose evil itself has a form, perhaps intangible, that will return over and over, searching for a way to break the foundations of civilization.
In my mythology, at the very height of our technological prowess, those who would do great harm found a way to do so. A way beyond their imaginations or ability to control. These evil men and women destroyed themselves, and unleashed forces that sent earth spiraling into a new dark age. One which isolates people on earth from their brethren in the space colonies.
In the process, the destroyers of civilization unleashed Daemons on the world of tomorrow.
Daemons are hybrid humans whose descendants will be called Wizards because of the powers they command which appear to be magical. Powers rooted in the merger of quantum mechanics, relativity theory, computer science, nanotechnology, biology, and genetic engineering.
I shall go into further details about daemons in a later post. One point worth noting is that my antagonist, Demiurge, is the last and most powerful of the original daemons. At the height of his power his name became synonymous with the honorific people hailed him by: God Among Men.
What Is Important To Damon Roth?
The events leading up to the fall of the scientific and technological civilization give rise to the magic that permeates my story. In a later post I will detail the scientific nature of magic in my mythology, and how its creation resulted in the new dark age. The key point right now is that Damon Roth and Demiurge are the only characters who have knowledge about the true nature of magic. This knowledge allows both of them to control people and events in ways impossible for anyone else.
Damon also has detailed information about how the societies on earth and in the space colonies developed. He knows the strengths and weaknesses in both, understands their history and goals, and is prepared to bend both to his will.
Damon’s plan to confront the future threat he knows of requires those on earth and those in space to unite with elves and other races. Both humans on earth and those in space must agree to abandon their existing governments and social structures and adopt new ones of his creation. Damon gives each side the chance to do so willingly, knowing their leaders will refuse. After their refusal, Damon violently destroys those who oppose him, saving those who are more amendable to his plans.
The details of what happened to those on earth and those in space are important, and beyond the scope of this post. Later posts in this series will explain what happened to each and how their respective experiences are needed for the survival of humanity and the rest of life on earth.
And On Another Note…
I am approaching the complex hub of my mythology. The events that foreshadow the tale I am trying to tell in Gods Among Men. Many times in this article I have had to use a phrase like, “In a later post I will explain…” This is because there is much information that I developed in fits and starts over many long years. Details which I have never formally expressed in spoken or written words.
I hope I am clear in my explanations, and the world I describe understandable. I believe this exercise helps me order my thoughts and answers my own questions about my own work.
It does take a long time to write these posts, however. Much longer than it took to write most of my earlier posts. The amount of time I spend actually writing and editing on Gods Among Men has decreased dramatically in recent weeks.
I may need to intersperse some smaller, less complicated topics amidst this exploration of my mythology. But I don’t want to stop writing on this subject out of fear that the clarity I have been blessed with recently will fade if I do. I am uncertain how to resolve this quandary, so I will have to wait and see where inspiration leads me next.
Until next time, have fun.