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A Reason For Worship

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A Reason For Worship

Postby Floridian Dream » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:40 pm

I've had this idea for a while for a story based off of a dream I once had in which semi-aquatic non-human beings—some otters, others some sort of reptile (not sure if crocodilian or iguanas)—gathered in what I estimated to be an underwater cave that served as a sort of temple in which they paid their respects to what seemed to be either some sort of right-triangular bivalve or a conch shell.

What I'm struggling to decide at the moment is for what reason these non-humans are worshiping this shelled entity. I have, however, come up with a few options:

  • It is of special/"divine" origin; it may be the offspring of an extra/hyper-dimensional being and a terran life-form, or simply an earthly/physical/3-dimensional manifestation/avatar of the former
  • Special/"Divine"/Extra-dimensional or otherwise, it may somehow be responsible for the origin of its worshippers — it may have intentionally uplifted them from simpler animals via special powers in that they may serve it, or they may simply be a byproduct of exposure to a strange energy passively emitted by the being as it arrived on Earth, mutating them into different forms of life, including intelligent life
  • It is merely the reproductive queen of a eusocial, ant-esque colony, and plants its otherwise sessile worker larvae into the heads of vehicle host animals which said worker larvae control (I'm a bit hesitant to use this option, however, because I thought of using that concept for a different story and a different species, and I prefer not to simply re-use concepts in this way)
  • It simply revered because of a fluid it secretes that its worshippers use to have "visions"

If anyone has any particular preference for any one of these options or has any of their own to share, I would very much appreciate hearing your opinion.
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Re: A Reason For Worship

Postby Talon Sinnah » Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:45 am

First of all welcome back FD try not to stay away to long.


I personally would steer clear of the larvae idea for two reasons. First if you are using it in another story then a original idea would work better in my opinion. Second I feel that the perisite idea has reached a bit of a cliche point now.

I like the fluid secretion idea especially if the object isn't a extremely intricate part of the story. If it is I would go with one of the first two.

Personally I would make it date back long before their history and they take it as a sign of protection for some reason.

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I am the poet of the body and I am the poet of the Soul. The pleasures of heaven are with me and the pains of hell are with me. The first I graft and increase upon myself, the latter I translate into a new tongue.

-Walt Whitman-
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Re: A Reason For Worship

Postby Floridian Dream » Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:18 pm

First of all welcome back FD try not to stay away to long.

Hey Talon! Sorry for being away for so long; it's just that lately I haven't had much to share. I'll try to visit more frequently, though.

I like the fluid secretion idea especially if the object isn't a extremely intricate part of the story. If it is I would go with one of the first two.

So, yeah, I figured it would probably be either the secretion thing or the first two options. I mean, it might be the secretion one, since I mostly plan for the human protagonist to pretty briefly encounter it. If I were to go for the first two options, I'm thinking that at least some of the object's history may either be related to the protagonist by its worshippers (at least as much of its history as the object cares to share with its worshippers) or the protagonist learns this by browsing through forbidden, esoteric literature, but for the most part, the totality of the object's background is mostly ambiguous, at least in that one story.

Personally I would make it date back long before their history and they take it as a sign of protection for some reason.

Yeah, that might work. Like maybe there was something that was threatening the existence of these beings or something like that, and then this object came and saved them from it.

I personally would steer clear of the larvae idea for two reasons. First if you are using it in another story then a original idea would work better in my opinion. Second I feel that the perisite idea has reached a bit of a cliche point now.

I definitely agree with you on the first one; I think simply reusing my concepts kinda implies a lack of original imagination.

As for the second one, yeah, I guess the psychotropic parasite thing is a little cliche, but I had originally got the idea (mostly for the colonial parasite thing) from a creepypasta theory regarding the pokemon Parsect (don't know if you've heard of it). You see, after reading it, I kinda got the idea of a zombie apocalypse story regarding an infection of a previously unknown breed of cordyceps, or at least a close relative to it.

I quickly added, however, the concept that most of the fungi infecting the humans were controlled by a stationary queen. I kinda thought either that making the fungi colonial in this manner would make them seem more insect/ant-like and thus more creepy-crawley, or that administering a sort of center of command would at least add some sort of nuclear villain for the story. Although, I think the queen would be more of an antagonist than an actual villain, because she isn't doing this out of malice, she's just doing what's in her species nature. Don't assume, though, that she's just this mindless, instinct-driven fungus; I actually have imagined her being intelligent, potentially to a sapient extent.

It may be that her species simply doesn't have much regard for the well being of their workers' hosts other than keeping them in optimally functional condition, that they have a superiority complex over other forms of life outside their species, that such other forms of life (preferably if it's mobile) are—to them—simply tools, vehicles for their workers' disposal, kinda like how most of us humans may feel about our horses, cars, and computers, and such…

I do imagine them (or another species behaviorally similar to them), however, being divided into three philosophical factions in regards to how they treat their hosts (or "symbiotic partners," as some of them might call them), if you're interested in hearing about it.
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Re: A Reason For Worship

Postby Talon Sinnah » Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:50 am

I'm always willing to hear ideas lol. I like the fungi idea as the controlling entity, it reminds me of the game Last of Us if I got my story line right, it's been a while. I never would have thought of putting them in three factions.

I like possibly adding in the esoteric literature, it could open up a lot more avenues for you too
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-Walt Whitman-
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Re: A Reason For Worship

Postby Floridian Dream » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:26 am

I'm always willing to hear ideas lol. I like the fungi idea as the controlling entity, it reminds me of the game Last of Us if I got my story line right, it's been a while. I never would have thought of putting them in three factions.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure Last of Us involved some sort of Ophiocordyceps; I think it was genetically engineered or something.
So yeah, I'm still not really sure if this thing with the three factions applies to the fungi in my story or some other species of psychotropic parasites, but I've definitely imagined that not all of them have the same mentality as to how they treat their hosts (or "symbiotic partners"), and so they're divided philosophically—and possibly culturally and politically—on said treatments, which are basically different forms of symbiosis — and yes, parasitism counts as a form of symbiosis.

The most traditional of the three factions is Dominionism (although the other factions may call it Parasitism), in which the "parasites" have complete subjugation over their hosts' will and actions, viewing them as little more than tools, vehicles to make the parasites' living more convenient.

The second faction derives a fairer treatment to the hosts. I call it Commensalism, in which the relationship between host and parasite (or "owner/rider/trainer") is more like that of horse and rider; essentially the host doesn't have its will completely confiscated. Rather, the rider basically trains its host to follow certain cues.

The third is derived from Commensalism and takes the relationship between the two organisms to the other extreme. It's called Mutualism, where essentially both organisms (now referring to themselves as "Symbiotic Partners") are of equal importance to each other, and neither can survive without the other. They would analogously compare their codependency to how human organs are dependent on each other to make a human organ system, which, in turn, is dependent on other human organ systems to make a human body; if you separated all the organ systems and all the individual organs, none of them would be able to function properly on their own, let alone survive.
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Re: A Reason For Worship

Postby Ariel » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:20 am

Whichever way you decide to go with this, it sounds intriguing.
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Re: A Reason For Worship

Postby WisconsinSFfan » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:07 pm

Is there a theme you'd like to explore? If so, then that may guide your decision. Like TS, I think the intoxicating secretion is a neat idea. Could do a tie-in to religion as a drug, a commentary on addiction, or that people suckle at the teat of the government. If there's a message you want to send, the reason for worship could be that metaphor.
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