My current writing project involves exploring a world where the heroes won. They defeat the evil overlord of the world, freeing the kingdom from the overlord’s cruel, tyrannical ways. They helped the Chosen One fulfill his prophecy, vanquish the evil one and bring peace to the land.
Only, that’s not how it works. That’s not how anything works. With the evil lord dead, the Chosen runs away. The adventurers split, some chasing after him, others staying and attempting to keep the kingdom from completely delving into chaos, and still others questioning their core beliefs. Without the overlord’s iron grip, there is freedom as well as chaos. Roaming bandits, gangs of thugs, chaos and violence erupting across the countryside. The barbarian goes after the chosen one, the ranger is told to follow. The paladin attempts to rule temporarily with a difficult council, while the cleric goes to his temple to attempt to understand why he no longer feels the presence of his god. The rogue returns to his criminal ways, establishing a guild of thieves and robbing wealthy nobles blind. The druid thinks he’s stopped the maniacal industry that kills his trees and nature, only to find the industry continues and progress doesn’t stop just because a ruler is dead. The necromancer who betrayed them sits in a cell and laughs at them all in their foolishness. The wizard reads ancient texts, trying to understand why, though everything went the right way, there is not peace as the prophecies foretold.
Within this, I’m also trying to push the character/fantasy archetypes to their limits. What does it mean to be a barbarian from a wild desert tribe, who fights with anger? Are you just a violent sociopath? Are there truly gods or are paladins and clerics simply religious fanatics who can use magic? Is a druid just an eco-terrorist who can shapeshift? What are prophecies, how are they made, are they real or simply vague phrases that could fit any situations to give false hope? What then, does it mean to be the Chosen one of a prophecy, if anything at all?
It started as a single one-off, a simple idea of a tired barbarian wandering into a village and killing a bunch of bandits, but I wanted to explore what the barbarian was thinking, how does it really feel to rage and kill? How would a man feel after killing for so many years, an endless cycle of calm replaced with intense anger and violence? Delving into this character, the bits pieces fleshed themselves out. Why was he wandering? Who was he after? The Chosen. The Paladin and Rogue ideas came next, and then the rest of the world. Now, I’m very excited to see how this world develops, how these world-weary characters who thought their duties finished, would deal with the consequences of their actions.
I’ve only recently begun and I’m not sure how long it will be. It almost makes sense to me to be put out as a serial, with chapters focusing on singular characters. When I’m farther into it, I’ll figure out the structure a little better, just thought I’d give you a look into what I’m working on and how it’s building in my mind.