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Theonosis:Future

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This page documents things that will happen in the future of Theonosis. We are planning it openly ahead of time so that anyone will be able to participate. For now, this page is here to get people thinking - we're not going to move forward until there's some significant body of contributors who are interested. If you want to, please watch this page (click "watch" near the top of the screen to add it to your watchlist) and leave a note on the talk page with any thoughts or ideas on how you would like to proceed. Before moving forward, we'll publicize it widely, so you can join in on the discussion then.

Everybody wants to play a role in big stories. We all want to create a hero who saves the world, destroys ultimate evil and finds true love. Of course, we can't all do that, or our heroes (and villains) would trip over each other. Thus, we can discuss big stories here, and design them in such a way that everyone people will be able to participate in an enjoyable manner.

Proposal

There's an involved backstory I've come up with, for which see Jentrian Empire and Royal Family, but this proposal will cover the most important part. The Jentrian Empire will take over the entire world for an extended period, let's say 500 years. For the 2011 National Novel-Writing Month, we can work together to write novels that tell the story of the empire's rise. Person A can write a novel from the point of view of a young cadet in the an elite knighthood in the empire as it invades new land, and Person B can write a novel that tells an interlocking story from the point of view of the rebels, or of unrelated events that have an impact on the course of the war. For the 2012 National Novel-Writing Month, we write a novel that tells of the overthrow of the empire, and we can again plan ahead to write interlocking stories. Of course, we'll want to do at least some planning for the future now, so we can set up ideas in 2011 (the rise) that will then pay off in 2012.

  • We're assuming the Empire will rise and fall in 500 years which is 20 months or almost two years. You can still tell your own stories ignoring the empire in that period, at least for part of it, since the empire rises gradually and maybe never has a firm hold on certain areas. Also remember that you may set your novels backwards in time, or you can begin writing a novel anytime for the post-Empire period - since the basic story of the empire's fall will be publically discussed, you'll know what to expect. Alternatively, we may want to lengthen this period of time to allow for a third year of novel-writing and extend the life of the empire, or we might want to include a few years of buildup, when the empire gradually comes to control a big chunk of the world before it begins its final rise. Anybody who wants to participate can discuss the exact timeline.

My idea for the Empire: a totalitarian dystopia where magic is used to keep an extraordinarily tight rein on the populace. There are 72 members of the Jentrian Royal Family, each one of whom handle a particular aspect of society. For example, the Carpenters Guild is part of The Empress' bureaucracy. Every single aspect of life in the empire is assigned to some member of the Royal Family, from specific species of animals to meteorological phenomenon and even crimes like rape and murder. That's because the Royal Family are Deities who pretend not to be. They get the population on their side by blaming misery on the gods, and attacking them, so the people think the Royal Family are ordinary people blessed with immortality because they are so wise. Rather than prayers, the royal bureaucracies promote a legion of rituals, covering every aspect of life. So not only is the Empress the patron of the carpenter's guild, but when an ordinary person seeks to hire a carpenter, there's a specific prayer or ritual for that (what it is might vary from region to region). There might also be prayers a person is supposed to say when he hears a raven, he might speak an oath to The Emir, the patron of ravens. If he seeks to succeed in business, he will seek advice from the stories he has been told about The Margravine, the patron of business.

  • 72 is a lot of royalty, but this way there are plenty of opportunites for people to write a novel during the fall of the empire wherein a major villain (Royal Family) dies or at least is severely wounded. Because the empire is "anti-god", during the time of its dominance, the established gods and their followers will have to be in hiding. There are plenty of ways that can be accomplished, and there are many story ideas there, so you can write novels about moving into a cave deep underground, for example, or pioneering a harsh new land, to get away from the empire.

Each royalty has several knighthoods, both elite and common. Elite orders are paladins, wizards, etc - these are the heroes and villains of the empire. But the empire also calls ordinary common organizations "knightoods". So the Empress' Carpenters Guild is called the Knights of the Ringing Hammer, they have no special magical powers or training outside of carpentry and loyalty, it's just a guild they call a knighthood. Some of these common knighthoods may be based on other criteria, for example, The Viscount's Knights of the Stale Brother are a knighthood for uncles. Everyone who becomes an uncle must join, and they advance in ranks based on acts of loyalty, community service, etc. So people may be in many common knighthoods at once, and be considered a very high-ranking citizen of the empire.

Furthermore, the empire's knighthoods extend even to crime. Because the Royal Family are gods of every Zone, this includes the more unsavory ones, even though the empire is very law and order-oriented. To ordinary citizens, The Duchess is the patron of the poor, alleyways and shadows. They also say that she and her knights protect people from thieves. Thieves, however, are secretly members of the Knights of the Gleaming Coin, sponsored by The Duchess herself. Similarly, The Czar secretly sponsors the Knights of the Grinning Lady, which consists of sadists and rapists. The Landgravine even sponsors one knighthood for kidnap victims and one for kidnappers.

  • The rise of the empire could have, as part of its climax, the empire turning non-human citizens as well as Modroben and Modrobenians, as part of the empire's attempts to consolidate power. Allowing only humans (including subspecies like water-breathing humans) to survive gives some more dramatic potential, and again gives room for people to write interesting stories about elven refugees and that sort of thing.
  • We may want to spread out the fall of the empire over enough time for two or more waves of novels. There could be one group set during the worst of times, when there is no real rebellion. We could all write interlocking novels that lead up to the formation of a rebellion. While it might seem like everyone will want to write a story that takes credit for the entire creation of "the rebellion", remember that our novels can be biased. So it's okay if a hundred people write a novel about a thousand different characters taking credit for "the rebellion". Then the second wave could be about that rebellion, or multiple rebellions, actually attacking and taking down the empire. I think it would be great have a colossal battle between the rebellion and the empire, and anybody who wants to can write a part of the sequence of events behind the battle. We can even work in a little time-traveling and other elements to complicate things, so each contributor can play a role in the battle turning out, and of course so that the readers have to read everyone's books to get a complete picture of what happened during the battle.
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