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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Building a Fantasy World
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reileen From: reileen Date: July 10th, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: second part

Also, duuude, I totally forgot to tell you about the saeraphs! (It's been a while since I've actively worked with this world; I pulled out my current notes out of curiosity and discovered this random stuff I wrote down.)

The saeraphs are much less numerous than the daemonic races, and the saeraphs aren't really...a race, per se, although there are different types. I only have three at the moment: oracles can divulge secrets and divine the future, paladins heal sicknesses and wounds, and archives can remember everything. The catch is that saeraphs typically are heavily handicapped for everyday life, or their powers come at a heavy cost (frex, paladins can't heal without someone else getting sick or even dying; the oracle that Kira visits early on in the current draft of the story can't speak to her without the help of technology, and of course his oracles to her are couched heavily in obscure symbolism and metaphors that Kira doesn't know about). I'm a little leery on this, however, mainly because now I'm concerned about potential ableist implications in how this could be handled.

Initially I was thinking that the saeraphs were the result of divine meddling in Seera Kai, to counteract the daemonic races, but it backfired somehow and now all saeraphs are screwed over, thus producing a world where it's preferable to be daemonic than saeraphic. But returning to your ideas about genetics, it's also entirely probable that what people think are traits from a whole different race are, in fact, the recessive traits from certain daemonic lineages.

Semi-relatedly, I'd also decided on the term chimera (chimaera?) to describe people who possess multiple daemonic heritages, though it'd probably have different levels depending on which one would be more dominant and which powers (if any) can be used.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 10th, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: second part

>>The saeraphs are much less numerous than the daemonic races, and the saeraphs aren't really...a race, per se, although there are different types.<<

Okay, this looks interesting. Saeraph works as an umbrella term on par with daemon.

>> I only have three at the moment: oracles can divulge secrets and divine the future, paladins heal sicknesses and wounds, and archives can remember everything. <<

Hrm. You might try hunting around for other terms there; those are more general than the daemonic names, and paladin is especially gaming-flavored. The concept functions are cool, though.

>> The catch is that saeraphs typically are heavily handicapped for everyday life, or their powers come at a heavy cost <<

That could be useful.

>>(frex, paladins can't heal without someone else getting sick or even dying; <<

Why? The most logical reason would be "equal and opposite reaction" -- that is, the paladin is pulling life energy from nearby people to fuel the healing. But that's not how divine magic actually works; you channel it from beyond. Now if the connection is bad -- say, divine energy is incompatible with the local ambient, coming from powerful beings of a different dimension -- then it can be hard to control and may damage the handler. The cost of healing is thus more likely to hit the paladin himself than random bystanders. Though I suppose if the divine energy were spilled it might do more harm than good, if you really want to hit the bystanders.

>>I'm a little leery on this, however, mainly because now I'm concerned about potential ableist implications in how this could be handled.<<

I think that depends on how you approach it. Is the society itself ableist, or does it make accommodations for people with different body needs? Even if the society is ableist, you can subtly show why that's stupid and have characters think about that conflict or go against it. You've got an opportunity here to show that power can have a really unpleasant cost, and that genetics is a cosmic crapshoot. Think carefully about what this could add to your story, or distract from it, before deciding how to play it.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 10th, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: second part


>>Initially I was thinking that the saeraphs were the result of divine meddling in Seera Kai, to counteract the daemonic races, but it backfired somehow and now all saeraphs are screwed over, thus producing a world where it's preferable to be daemonic than saeraphic.<<

I rather like this idea.

>>But returning to your ideas about genetics, it's also entirely probable that what people think are traits from a whole different race are, in fact, the recessive traits from certain daemonic lineages.<<

You could do this, but it would undercut the distinctiveness of the saeraphs.

Sidestep and combine the two: Saeraphs are descendents of a different branch of unrelated extradimensional beings. Neither the genetics nor the energy from that branch are as compatible with humans as the daemonic versions are, and forcing the meld is destructive. So the saeraphs can have very different powers, but the cost to them is much higher and they tend not to be very functional or healthy. Do they still feel driven to save the world? Or do they resent their ancestors for trapping them in such a miserable situation? Much tension! Much drama! Furthermore, consider that we were mulling over why the original daemons came here in the first place. If they were trying to get away from the original saeraphs, they might have gone looking for a dimension that felt homey to them ... and proved to be severely awkward for their opponents. Think of it as the daemons having the aetheric high ground: the saeraphs can still get on the field here, but they're always fighting uphill.

>>Semi-relatedly, I'd also decided on the term chimera (chimaera?) to describe people who possess multiple daemonic heritages, though it'd probably have different levels depending on which one would be more dominant and which powers (if any) can be used.<<

That works. I'd say go with "chimaera" to match "daemon" and "saeraph." That boosts the consistency.

A classic chimera combines various animals. In some sources, there are three equal heads all pointing forward: a hybrid whose heritage races manifest equally. In others, the lion head is on front, half a goat extends from the middle of the back, and the snake is the tail: a hybrid with one dominant heritage and two or more others with lesser and perhaps awkward effects.

reileen From: reileen Date: July 12th, 2010 03:56 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: second part

You've given me a lot to think about; I think this is definitely enough to go on for a while. Thanks so much for indulging me!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 12th, 2010 04:01 am (UTC) (Link)

*bow, flourish*

Happy to be of service! If you work through this stuff and move on with writing in this universe, I would like to hear how it plays out.
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