View Full Version : Ragnarok

03-19-2009, 04:07 PM
Ragnarok being the WIP name, of course. I've got some ideas mulling around for writing a story. The main ideas boil down to a Ragnarok-esque war of the gods has happened, but the world itself continued. Now the world is in the throes of tumultuous war upon war, the World Tree is dying, the great libraries of the world have been set aflame, etc. Basically, the world has been thrown back into some WAY dark ages, and all in all, the world is boned. But now people have begun to take on the mantles of godhood, reinstating themselves as the new gods.

So, my question before I begin mapping a world, is this: If the gods of a world died in a war of insurmountable proportions, how do you think the world and the terrain would alter?

Steel General
03-19-2009, 05:09 PM
I think It would depend on whether the battle actually took place on the world or the 'other planes'. Now if there were all kinds of powerful wizards, etc. involved then you'd probably want to consider various (un)natural disasters; tidal waves, earthquakes, massive fires, etc.

...just a few rambling thoughts

03-19-2009, 05:36 PM
Quite alright. What I'm looking for is rambling thoughts. As I said, this is still highly theoretical, just attempting to find a setting and a story that has been circulating in my head for a few weeks now.

I've had some thoughts. Horrible, horrible things happen during the war of the gods. The sun blackening, the earth shaking, tears in reality. And then suddenly it stops, and anyone who lived steps outside to see the wreckage.

I'm thinking perhaps the gods waged war in a sort of alternate plane, but the deaths of the gods would be so profound that the earth would reel.

What I'm planning is that eventually, people will begin replacing the dead gods, but as they begin gaining power and worshippers and such, wars will break out until you have something like a second Ragnarok on Earth.

Again, these are just ideas, but I'm just trying to visualize how decidedly changed the landscape would be. I don't already have a world planned out, so I'm wondering how one would go about mapping a warped world. I'm guessing mountains where they shouldn't be, sheer cliffs, that sort of thing.

03-19-2009, 05:50 PM
Not only would they fight in various places and planes of existence but also in other times (sort of like Raistlin) rearranging the cosmos and physics in the process...up is not always up, the stars have been arranged into shapes, etc. Actually, this sounds like a very plausible idea for the "birth" of magic and those who learn to control it and wield it. Or for that matter, the birth of our world (for those who want something other than Big Bang or Creationism). Ripping the fabric of space/time and existence sounds like a great way to unleash the Pandora's box of unexplained phenomena.

03-19-2009, 05:50 PM
Yeah, if the Gods fought it out on the world I would expect entire continents blasted to ash, giant craters, vulcanoes, etc. There might still be lingering effects, natural like the climate being totally messed up, to unnatural (for example: step into this desert over here and hey, suddenly you get burnt to ashes because of some lingering spell or power - or ancient demons or mechanical constructions, leftovers of the great war). There could be a new ice age or an immense drought. Coastal areas or entire lands might be flooded. New land might have risen above the sea, bringing with it ancient ruins and legends.

Anyway, a war on that scale would probably mean a lot of humanity is scattered. Nations would cease to exist and people would band together in tribes. Food would be scarce as farmlands, cattle and other animals would be rare. There might be cannibalism and slavery. Lots of people would prey on each other, but there might be some people trying to start over in small communities. Smart traders would be able to make a fortune, although money might no longer function. Disease might run rampant.

There still might be a few (battered/besieged?) bastions of civilization, maybe that's where the people who want to ascend to godhood are mostly located. Probably not all them would be nice and maybe there's sacrifice and blood offerings going on. New cults and religions might appear, mostly dark in nature.

Then you might still have some of the old gods, diminished in power, maybe banished to the earth, who resent the fact that there are people trying to be new gods.

Should be a cool setting for a story/maps :)

03-19-2009, 06:34 PM
Gandwarf: Excellent, excellent, excellent. These are the kinds of ideas I've had brewing for a few weeks now, and I'm just now beginning to do the initial fleshing out of the world and the possible plot.

Ascension: I like some of those ideas. Might use them. Maybe the world really did end. Is this world a brand new world, or the same one? Would we be able to tell? Would we remember? And why did the world stop ending right on the brink of annihilation? I rather like those ideas and shall surely implement them in one way or another.

Thanks for all the extra inspiration and such guys! Map should be up whenever I can flesh this crap out.

EDIT: By the way, for any writers out there, what comes first for you, the map or the story? My cousin always starts with a map, but he's also the guy who is loathe to pick up a fantasy novel if it doesn't have a map. A rather Robert Louis Stevenson-esque outlook.

Steel General
03-19-2009, 08:36 PM
For me it depends...I've written short stories without maps at all (just an idea in my head), but I have also created maps and then written short stories about them (see my early Khuutath challenge maps if you're interested).

03-19-2009, 10:00 PM
I have been writing a story for many years now and it has turned into three books, non published. I started with the story and only later added a map. The map began as a sketch and I filled in stuff along the way. There have been three versions and the latest is posted over here, if you are curious: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2977

My world is pretty small though, with only a few nations and cities, so I had no problems starting the story. I can imagine if you are writing a story on multiple continents, dozens of nations, you might want to start with at least a sketch first :)

Oh, and like Steel General I have written several short stories and I didn't need a map for them.

03-20-2009, 07:15 AM
My cousin and I are currently working on a series of three novels that we would love to get published but likely never will. We started with the basic ideas, made a map, and started writing the story whilst adding to the map whenever something came up.

03-20-2009, 12:28 PM
An idea. If you're working in a future Earth, Japan could be afflicted by a magical hybrid between a man and a dragon. Sort of like Leto II, God-Emperor of Dune. He battles in his growth to becoming a new god with the horribly blackened and disfigured final avatar of a dead butterfly god.

03-20-2009, 12:40 PM
but only few humans are aspiring to godhood...

but basically what other folks have said... earthquakes, shifting of land, dead areas, deserts, ice caps, crazy weather, etc....

my big challenge is to make 2 world maps -- one pre and one post cataclysm...

and to imagine how nations change, fall, or emerge...


03-21-2009, 09:19 AM
I thought about that route, but I'm thinking that would be a momentous undertaking.

Steel General
03-21-2009, 11:35 AM
Hey you're creating an entire world from scratch (so to speak), it doesn't get much more momentous. :D

03-30-2009, 08:04 AM
I imagine a godswar like this would impact all the planes of reality in your setting, but perhaps the apocalyptic damage would be confined to the actual “battlefield” regions.

The loss of the gods, though, could cause wider effects depending on what portfolio aspects the dead gods controlled. The loss of a nature deity, for example, could cause all plant life to suddenly develop into dense jungles of carnivorous vegetation that grows unchecked across the landscape consuming everything before it. The loss of a sky god could create hurricanes of erupting gases and flames to relentlessly sweep across the land.

This way you could create some truly fantasy terrain mixed with the apocalyptic ruin of the battlegrounds. What do the survivors do? Hide in the blasted and ruined landscape with no resources or water, or attempt the journey through the firestorms and brave the dangers of the living jungles where they might find food?

I’m sure plenty of great ideas will emerge from this thread.


03-30-2009, 05:09 PM
Indeed they should. I'm currently trying the method of worldbuild -> destroy -> reworldbuild, but all I have right now is a highly rough, undetailed map of the initial world that I'm working on. Still gathering ideas and such for now. Eventually something will come of this, hopefully.