Extra Punctuation

Extra Punctuation
Sacred 3: If Someone Asks If You Are a God, You Say Yes!

Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw | 26 Aug 2014 16:00
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Just the knowledge that God exists and rules over us all opens a few cans of worms right off the bat. So at that point you know that every piece of ill luck that has befallen you has happened with the approval of your all-powerful overlord, who, if they didn't directly cause it, could at least have prevented it. You exist entirely at the whim of something that can never understand what it is like to be you, because they are immortal and gifted with powers that grant influence upon reality, while you can only struggle through a short, miserable existence. Society cannot function without a middle class - the vassals or the peasants or whatever you call them have to be able to think that they, too, could rise to the top if they put the work in, because otherwise you send the message that the underclass have no power over their own lives, and do not deserve any. Of course they're going to get restless.

Maybe the all-powerful God-beings can't help the fact that they are born with the ultimate level of privilege that most can't attain, but in that case, it behooves them to stay the fuck out of the affairs of mortals, Star Trek Prime Directive style. In fact, when Winker Watson discovers the ritual to turn himself into a God, the existing Gods should be fucking grateful that someone found a way to exercise upward mobility in this stagnant society. But no. The angels of paradise just empower the world's greatest adventurers to go and destroy him because he's evil, and he's evil for no better reason than because he wants to transcend his allotted place in life. If God Himself is actively trying to destroy you, you cannot help but be the underdog, and this gives you a permanent stake on the moral high ground that explains why Winker Watson was able to rally such a huge army to support him.

Oh, but Winker Watson must be a force for evil, because he's forcefully conquered the land and slaughtering people. The conquest thing we'll leave aside because these things can only ever be judged in retrospect, one man's liberator and all that. As for killing people, that is something we only judge as evil because it is evil in our world to kill people, where death is the final uncertainty from which no one returns. That attitude would definitely not be prevalent in a fantasy world, where in most cases, life after death is known to exist for certain.

Winker Watson knows that there exists God, and angels, and some kind of paradise realm. On top of that, the souls of dead heroes - still intelligent, cognizant and capable of communication with the living - are seen to haunt and empower weapons. So this seems to be a world where death is not an ultimate cessation of being, but a transition from one state of being to another. A rite of passage to a far worthier and happier existence as an immortal being in a higher plane of existence who retains their intelligence and personality but will never again suffer pain. I'm sure that death is an unpleasant process to go through, but no more so than puberty, and for someone to obligingly get that whole process over with fast for you may be considered an enormous favor, like throwing someone into the deep end to teach them how to swim, or forcefully making out with the groom at a wedding to make him finally realize his own denial.

So all I'm saying is, when you're writing your little stories, remember that context is everything. Someone wanting to eat five thousand Cadbury's crème eggs looks a whole lot different if they happen to be on a sinking Cadbury's crème eggs freighter.

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