Reply To: Worldbuilding and Non-magic Magical System Input

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Joshua Scheele





All I can say is wow! I never saw or expected it to be interpreted like this. I apologize for the possible confusion as I clearly did not explain some vital points further as I was hoping to make a shorter summary of this. Plus, I was kind of a hurry when I wrote it. Hopefully I can clarify everything. XD I do see what y’all are getting at and I actually do agree with your points as certain things did not occur to me. I did not really go deep into the meanings of how you interpreted it as and rather surprised. Definitely many interpretations that did not come to mind. Thank you for taking your time to boil it down.

I originally was in a moral/convictional dilemma before I started writing the book. I wanted to skip everything to do with religion, supernatural, and anything that seemed like magic even though it is really science focused. I mainly wanted to avoid interesting interpretations and wrongful misconceptions.

To be frank, I find this unnecessary. I much prefer fantasy world’s with ambiguous “the creator created it” and from their on out, it’s just a natural world with fantastical elements. I don’t like supernatural fights like that for numerous reasons.

When I concluded to include a creator because there always must be a designer otherwise, I would be going towards big bang theory of things just showing up without direction or design. Plus, I could not imagine life without faith in something and someone greater who would set the moral standard of right and wrong. At first, I wanted to just say God created the world and that was that. However, I felt was a need to express deeper reason and evidence why the people in this story should have faith in their creator by making him more active than what Tolkien did. So, there will be supernatural things that will rarely occur.

I will still use the word magic or a term referring to supernatural because there will be ancient tech from advanced civilizations that died out. Then less advanced people discover it, they will think it is not natural and possibly evil at first till someone discovers what makes it tick and prove it is just science. Then they will harness it as their knowledge grows. Just an inspiration thinking about how people from the medieval ages would treat a cellphone, they will most likely think it is product of witchcraft. XD

I plan to make different civilizations who will worship their own gods like people here did and still do with each culture. This may involve some pagan beliefs which might refer to some things that seem supernatural or magical but once investigated, they really weren’t. It was just someone perhaps utilizing ancient tech to gain influence over people. I was inspired by stories from a missionary to the Congo and was challenged to a duel of the Gods by competing in certain practices such as walking on broken glass and burning coals without being injured. Supernaturally he came out unscathed and he prayed a lot during those moments. I was thinking moments like those could happen if one my faithful characters runs into a contest but gives all praise to God. Then I will prove them pagans wrong in the story that there is only one God.

I like this idea but if you introduce captured spirits I’m gonna wanna know more about the individuals who are captured and how and the state of their immortal souls if they have immortal souls? That’s an idea that’s used in a lot of different ways, in Dracula vampires are primarily captive souls of men and women bitten by vampires and are imprisoned as Satan’s minions until they’re freed by one of the many rites of exorcism. It’s more sensational than Biblical the author wasn’t Catholic or Christian, but he steals a lot of Catholic symbolism and traditions (rather…ok insanely inaccurate but hey, still an interesting read so far). This natural or supernatural according to the rules of the world; fantasy system or magic system? And how morally acceptable is it to harness spirits like they’re pets??

I don’t plan to write about messing with spirits and souls of people and creatures. I might hint at another realm like heaven where the faithful find rest. But no necromancy or witchcraft. I would not say it is conviction but just playing it safe as they do go into a lot of crazy pagan stuff. I often wondered if Dracula was a real legend and was one of many supernatural distractions that Satan has plagued this world with to draw us away from God. I know a lot of pagan people who believed in stuff related to that this was possible and actually wanted to make it true. I learned a few things from them constantly talking about it whether I wanted to or not. So, after learning about some real pagan ritual stuff in northern WI, I think I will pass on that stuff for now unless I find a better way to use it without that sort of relation. XD

quote quote=144357]The planet has two creators, but one of them was secretly God? Were there a race of superhumans/angels/demigods/whatever, and two of them decided to go off and make a planet, but one of the two was actually God, while there are others off doing their own thing, or is it more like the brother (gonna call the non-God the “brother” since otherwise this will be too confusing) thought he and his supposed brother were the God of the universe, but then it was actually God and His son who he convinced was his brother? Goodness, this is hard to talk coherently about. You mention “the selfish desires of his fellow stewards” later, what does that cosmologically entail? Your description has a strong flavor of gnosticism about it, with a supreme good and a lesser evil creator of the world. That makes me a little surprised you intended this to be palatable to a conservative Christian audience. Combine that with the element of a living source of planetary power akin to Gaia, the inscribing what you might call sacred geometries onto crystals to tune them, and the possibility of astrological events to empower magic, and your worldbuilding sounds pretty New Age to me. The fact that the “good” choice of restoring the world results in mutation and aberration of natural creation is also odd, especially when it results in uplifting animals into sapient creatures.[/quote]

I actually agree with all your points. Thank you for pointing these out. It is clear my mind got caught up on the cool features and others who looked over my work missed these. This is what makes Christian groups awesome!

So, with revision on my thoughts, I am going with one God the creator who creates everything people and all. Then assigns his stewards (angels) throughout the galaxy to their respective corners. They are not perfect just like us mortal humans. XD They start with flawed ideas of stewardship. (I got this idea from the parable of the master who send his stewards out with his riches to invest them.) There will be stewards who just sit back and are not proactive as their charge goes into chaos because they do not know what true right is from wrong. Then there are some who get drunk with borrowed power and display themselves as their planet’s God. They are something like Morgoth who enslave their inhabitants to worshipping them and giving them what they want. Then there is the one MC steward who is paired up with another steward who seems the weakest of the bunch to take care of their planet inhabitants. The MC wants to sit back but at the same time he wants to be proactive. He gets impatient with the inhabitants as they squabble and snaps with rage as he goes to destroy it all.

However, the other steward steps in front of him and takes the blow that seems to destroy him as he did not defend himself. I was thinking that it would be something like a projection like an illusion God uses as a test for this steward. Then God reveals himself like a scolding but loving parent. He then gives the repentant steward the option to repair what he broke with a giant crystal to be placed at the planet’s core and uses its power source to mold the planet back to normal. As for lifeforms I thought of just making them already created. When the crystal helped mold the planet back together, it caused a wave of energy to flood the planet for a moment. I was thinking that this energy is more like terraforming, causing giant crystals to grow, creating new substances that did not exist or changing certain ones into something different, and enhancing others. It essentially creates all sort of crystals everywhere as new substances and mutates like tree and plants into being made of crystalline material while still holding a similar shape. Most of the changes will occur as micro evolutions over time.

For instance, one mutation will be that certain people or creatures from a certain area/environment that was affected more than others, will gain stronger bones, claws, and teeth. They are made of different colors of crystalline structure possibly by region and it is genetic bloodline linked. As for example regular elves will become different types of elves. Plus, there will be people such as my primary MC human girl who will come a from a bloodline of ancestors who were genetically modified with powerful voices that can interact with the crystal. This will be known as a great cataclysm that made life way more difficult as everyone slowly relearn the world they once knew.

My thought was the creator was showing some humor that he was not done yet with his charge and as he purposefully planned for this change to occur. He provides the steward knowledge on the crystal and this brand-new world that will prove useful to use to create his tech for defensive measure. (This steward job just got a whole lot harder as he must become a researcher too about what he is now trying to manage. Planet management 101.)  XD This world now has some of the most valuable resources and a powerful energy source. So, it will make prized target by the bad stewards who think it should theirs by conquest. The good steward must understand how it works and can be used to prevent theft and abuse while using it to create tech to help defend his charge from the selfish actions of the bad stewards. He will keep his tech exclusive to himself but will tidbits of info to be discovered by someone he desires to learn it and boost the planet’s tech advancement. He will also recruit people he sees as worthy to join his hidden organization to protect the world from the shadows to keep bad people from within the planet to not cause distractions to his new mission to survive. Plus he does not want to known to the world, less they worship him as God and wishes for them to just worship their creator. He will serve kinda as a Gandalf person traveling from village to village all over the world, to donate supplies they need when they need it and show them Christ like love. Kinda like a missionary if that makes any sense.

I meant the mother nature as a joke but thought to make the crystal an artificial intelligence that helps the steward monitor the planet using the influence radiating from the core crystal mother crystal. But now decided to skip that. The core crystal grows tendrils that will reach up to a certain level in the planet’s layers and large crystal formations grow where it breaks surface mainly in underground caverns and will one day be discovered to be utilized or abused.

One idea that I like is to make the crystal reactive to people’s intentions/emotions. Say if the crystal is used on a weapon and is used in anger, it will fail as if refusing to go along with the deed, like making the weapon impossible to wield. I had this mind as if it is influenced by God’s will and programmed to help those to seek what is just and resist those who do evil. Though with a primary bad steward’s help, my villain will discover he can forcibly corrupt a crystal because the bad steward imbued his will into a small crystal he found as he sneaked onto the planet and gave it to the villain who was insane with revenge. The bad steward got caught and kicked off by the good steward and his forces. However now there is man sick with revenge who will turn into his pawn who will use it to become the greatest scientist outside the good steward’s organization only to abuse it for evil.

As for the markings for tuning, maybe it was knowledge the steward was provided as a gift to help him understand and prepare. Another part of the Planet Management 101 manual since he decided to act without reading the manual. I do that way too often. XD Or perhaps it would be better he invented it making it seem less sacred, which he then slowly leaked to the public to discover and learn.


If you want to attract fans of Sandersonian magic systems, I definitely recommend you be careful about making sure the reader knows the limitations and quantifications of a character’s tech at any given moment. I assume you’re familiar with Sanderson’s laws of magic?

Yes, I have read it and I am slowly dissecting it if I can use any inspirations in my world mechanics on what kind of abilities the crystals allows and its limitations.

So…Cain and Abel but Abel turned out to be God? Tolken used the terminology gods to denote the angels, Gandolf was like the god of sleep or something (see older siblings’ rant on Simerillian two-thousand subtext ten million). Say these are two “minor gods” fighting and as children of God we have God’s Life in our souls and all our good actions are by grace, simply our consent to grace, and an avatar is…now avatar is a hindu term for the “manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth; an incarnate divine teacher” or “an incarnation, embodiment, or manifestation of a person or idea”…I don’t quite know, I feel like the idea you’re trying to express is “he did more than just kill someone; he killed part of God a reflection of His Being, something of His Image” and we’re created in the image and likeness of God so every murder is that, is like that and you’re trying to connect the dots with your symbolism kinda overlayed with the Crucifixion? I would personally lose the term avatar because it has a lot of pagan connotations from what I’ve gathered but it is becoming more commonplace. And you’re trying to connect these dots to–in addition–our duty as stewards of the earth and our sins, we ourselves killed Jesus Christ on the Cross by our sins and this is a story about this character discovering how to love as Christ teaches us to love. Something like that?

Kind of…. but not what I had in mind. I just needed him to commit the worst sin and destroying the planet would be one as he is killing precious life, but the story would probably there.  Plus using something important to him and then being caught by God in the act would cause a quick arch as he realizes how bad he messed up by betraying the one who means everything to him. XD So I will not use something like a physical body but more like an illusion meant as a test. And yeah “avatar” was not the right word sorry. I did get some of my inspiration from that creation story structure Tolkien used with having a creator and these stewards. The good steward will be my example of a real angel who does what is right no matter the cost as he serves God’s will and points everyone to God. He will fight against I guess what you might call fallen angels (demons) who seek to serve themselves and direct others against God’s will. He will also interact the incompetent stewards to point them to God and their master’s definition of stewardship.

I also thought it was a great example of Christ’s sacrifice for us by preparing give his life. And absolutely yes this story is sorely focused on taking every opportunity to not only be just a fantasy story with religious aspects but one that will influence the reader to think about what does it mean to do what is right and what and who defines it. Most of all, to show the definition of Christ like love. To not seek revenge in anger, how does righteous justice differ from personal revenge? and power does not make someone strong because love is the strongest thing there is. With love Christ conquered death for us.

So Mary is a crystal…Catholics often describe God as the Sun and Mary as the moon symbolically in that she has no light she simply reflects God’s light just like the moon just reflects the light of the sun. Mmm…not quite on-board with that world-building aspect. Ehhhh…not gonna lie I’m still dubious, but actually showing miraculous occurrences is a kinda very murky waters very difficult to describe very difficult to write in a scene. There’s some potential some stuff that can be ironed out but mother nature crystals kinda turn me off I don’t think you can really do “avatars” but I can see some aspects that are interesting. I also agree with pretty much all of @taylorclogston’s points.. I’m an amiable skeptic, where are you going with this?

I was thinking of using natural affects of the moon like how it causes gravity to make waves huge waves in ocean.

“High tides and low tides are caused by the moon. The moon’s gravitational pull generates something called the tidal force. The tidal force causes Earth—and its water—to bulge out on the side closest to the moon and the side farthest from the moon. These bulges of water are high tides.” – Google’s definition of moon gravity affects.

Another idea that came to mind was that the terraforming also created an force field that cause crystal elements to react when something like sun radiation or some sort of cosmos event occurs. Might even help against the bad stewards’ attacks/invasion. Perhaps it can block portals.

I was thinking could be something to do with the gravity of the planet and radiation that can cause something like the northern lights which is the reigniting of the canopy of crystal particles floating high in the air. Then maybe as my planet’s inhabitants learn how to harness power crystals, they can also harness this too but it naturally renews the energy stored inside the power crystal disconnected from the crystal formations connected to the tendrils from core crystal mother crystal.

I hope this has ironed out a bit more and hopefully enough things to make it sound better and more graspable. Then I will polish what I have here and expand on the smaller details. Please let me know. Thank you for your time and feedback! I have like 20 pages of notes on this planetary system alone not including the 28 pages on my boiling down the christian aspects and applications! XD

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