Shared by: pansey
In the story where a character is a hero on a quest, my protagonist could keep disrupting the typical way the quest works. -"Aren't you happy I've saved the princess?" "I don't like her. Lets hold her for ransom." -"I must embark on a series of trials to prove myself." "We could just bypass it." It takes place on a backwards world, that went through an artificial worldwide disaster. Humanity on the planet is slowly recovering, and the cultures are radically different than normal because the rules are re-written to cope with the disaster and to prevent it from happening again. -The narrator is a chronicler by occupation. His kind are taught to keep with those who are seen as gifted and record their lives. The gifted are generally the people in who leadership is trusted. Their chroniclers are not supposed to do anything to affect events, just to watch. Their position in society is respected but mostly ignored. The narrator at first sees the protagonists as other gifted people, but unlikeable ones. He gradually thinks of them differently after they prove their ways. -The gifted are thought of as being distinct from everyone else. Although they achieve more, an outside observer would see they are normal people who have family credentials. -The protagonists come in and upset all the rules. They end up okay because they can leave it behind. "Why do you seem so reckless? You don't care if you change things. Doesn't what happens here affect your life?" -The point, as usual, is that there are rules that are useful, but they can still be stupid. -The hero has to reconsider his point of existence. -Perhaps there are no actual superhuman powers, but mortal achievements are always trumped up. Before the disaster, genetic engineering was common enough for some people to be very unusual, and many of the creatures are unusual as well. Everybody have some sort of small difference from what would seem normal. Maybe these differences are things that make their lives easier, because that is what most would probably want. (because of these changes, the protagonists might seem relatively untalented. "pretenders") -There are very old-aged people around. They were alive when the disaster happened, and they are genetically or otherwise immortal or long-lived. Most look old from natural deterioration, but some simply never age because their body was modified that way. -Perhaps an essential thing that developed is to be either non-confrontational and work around problems (not specifically in a peacefull way) or bring all bad feelings out and do things simply and without schemes. Otherwise, something develops that would prevent an arms race (subterfuge should be looked down upon strongly). -The artificially stimulated variations in people should be shown to have stimulated evolution. -A lot of technology is arcane. Only a few of the very old are familiar with it. There are arcane books that are said to posses mystical power, but when the protagonists study one a little Ulyphia sees similarities in the symbols that seem like math. -Perhaps try to make it so that the quest would play out in a way that might make it similar to a fable for his people. -It should be so that the rules that have developed to prevent disaster are holding people back instead. It could be made that the more important thing is wisdom; in this case remembering history which the big enemy teaches them. -Perhaps the protagonists came to meet the magicians. -The "dark Lord" (otherwise, their nemesis) believes, like all, that he is doing good, although much of what he does is objectionable. -The hero leaves for honor and finds that honor is irrelevant. -The culture has huge mistrust. -The Duke's name is Papgoy. -Possible thing: a quest comes up to retrieve all the parts of an artifact. This would seem like a plot device, but after a while the characters find some way to bypass any reason to go after them, and it turns out to be unimportant in the end. It's the protagonists changing the story. -Ultimately, this hero never grows into the proper person he should have been to accomplish the quest alone. -A prophecy is fulfilled, but it's pointed out that there are plenty of prophecies around and all the fulfilled ones are rather ambiguous. Several times the narrator says that the hero is sure to be near completion of a specific prophecy, and the one names changes a few times. -The traditional, underdeveloped folk knowledge and wisdom would bring them to failiur were it not for the protagonist pair. At least one time, while trusting the knowledge of the hero, Ludin nearly get himself killed. One of his unique personal traits saves him. -Myths of the time, which are the stories of times past, often have guns as the weapons of heroes. They idealize them as we do swords in our fantasy stories. In a place of conflict, where the strongest wins, weapons that overpower all armor and win fights without endangering the hero are more valuable than they are here. A road of trials, Sent out on his test after never leaving his local area. He fights a battle and loses, then the battle is won for him, and then the objective item is stolen, and he is sent to do more to prove himself. Achieving the goal or "boon", He finishes the smaller quests and makes his way to the fortress of his enemy. There he learns much about the truth of the world's history, and that wisdom is more important than following and enforcing the rules of society. A return to the ordinary world, He goes back home and the protagonists leave. Applying the boon, He is heralded as a hero and he eventually gets the chance to apply his learning to his people. "A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.". --The king decreed: His nephew Almsart now receives his first quest. "You will prove your claims by journeying to the far west province and settling the dissension there and helping the duke Do as he wishes," and Almsart did as the king willed. -Has to risk his life to do this. He is not expected to survive, because he is just one hero of many available. It starts with the character in the middle of a quest. He is retrieving a powerful item from someplace. Basic information is introduced here during the narrative by his chronicler. The protagonists appear abruptly during an attack that nearly kills him. They don't explain their presence, mostly because they barely know the language. They offer help, and say they will reveal their reasons in time. "I know my people to be good. Good people would not hurt other good people, therefore my enemies must be bad people." They continue the journey, eventually reaching a castle. He wants to attack it practically alone, but the protagonists make their own suggestions. The guy gets angry when he feels they think his plans are ludicrous so he goes forward on his own. He fails to get it, but the protagonists bring it up later. They cryptically say that they worked around the obvious (the truth being that they acted in a way other than expected, stealing it.) The next day, during the return journey, the object disappears. The hero suspects the one who stole it in the first place, a "powerful magician". He resolves immediately to go to his headquarters and take it from him rather than return before his job is done. (He was sent on the quest to restore honor and worth, and returning with a defeat would be the death of him.) On the way, he receives a message saying he must engage in a series of tasks to prove himself (turns out to be a forgery by the magician, who is trying to kill him by giving him assignments that don't make sense but which, in his loyal dedication, he does not think about). Here, he does a few short things almost single handedly, and the protagonists increasingly take control over it. They actually save him a few times. The quests are typical sounding, include the rescue of an alleged princess. They see some things and people not seen before. (It has been decreed that "So long as ___ is alive, the people of the village will be spared. When he dies, his people will receive no special treatment by us." They eventually reach a thick forest where few are known to have gone through, and then the domain of the wizards. What happens to them here seems beyond their control. If they did what the hero wanted, they would have all died. Instead, by this point, the protagonists are in control. The ideals and ways of the protagonists work in now, and they eventually reach the home of the wizard they were pursuing. The wizard plans are explained, and the showdown thing happens... <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>< ><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> [Remember that the narrator is feeling bad about having to be the reporter for a lesser hero than the one he used to watch. He only starts feeling better until the protagonists come in.] Almsart, sixteenth in line for the throne, dragged along the great boar. In a show of honor and humility at once, he brought it through the mud toward it's pen. "Just let go of the rope and run out. Mind your backside." Almsart, as a gallant beast, heaved the thing into the pen and bounded over the fence as another boar viciously charged for him. "Thanks. Did you find the other one?" said the farmer. "Yes." said Almsart. He halted in speech, perhaps to ease the farmer into the news. "So, where is it?" Almsart put his hands on his belt and backed slightly. "The boar proved too aggressive. In the line of duty, there are always costs." The farmer almost seemed to exaggerate his anger. "This is nonsense! Eyo was as gentle as a baby! I insist you repay me now!" "I do you a service and you instead ask money of me? It was a total brute. Now you want money from me? You are not an honorable man." He started yelling now. He yelled often. Despite his superiority to many, he was inferior in ways of tact. "I am tasked by the King himself to recover a divine item. You should help me, but instead you make me work for money. Now you want money from me, and as an honorable man, I am forced to repay by your asking. Because of you, I will have too little to reach the Duke's castle and I will die. Royal blood will be on your hands." "Fine! Just stop talking." The farmer reached in his coin purse. "I will give you five pieces. Too much, but surely a good price for royal help." As the saying goes, sarcasm is next to deception. We continued on our way without saying another word. As we left, he yelled, "Where are you going? Everything knows you'll die if you though the wastes!" The ignorant lacked faith. Eventually Almsart's considerate consciousness brought him to ask my humble opinion: "Did I do wrong? His boar was too dangerous, wasn't it?" "In either case, sire, he was a dishonest man. His money is better as your money." He lightened. "I agree." ["I feel like I might have been able to subdue it." Indicate that he was lazy or wasn't as good as he could have been.] We continued on our journey. The road worsened and the plants thickened. Our riding animals became uneasy. Between every dot of civilization, the density of life waned into near-wastes. Few settled or strayed through here because some areas caused damage to the body. Simply walking through the atmosphere in these parts killed men before they knew it. We avoided this by the use of a rare relic. It displayed the danger by a needle and some marks indicating degrees of danger. When the king gave us this gift, he told us the value of it exceeded that of our lives and to treat it so. It's use allowed us to bypass more hostile lands while saving time on our trip. As it was, we only met the most desperate and unsavory people on this rout, and only on rare occasions. We met a band of them on the same day we left the farmer's company. We were searching a long-abandoned assembly of structures built of metal (such as were common in these lands) for items of use or value. When we had arrived, we declared our presence, and nobody showed signs of their displeasure at us or indeed of their own presence. We assumed safety. The king currently had claim to these wastes anyway. The curs inside the place allowed us to explore into it's deepest recess before they showed themselves. (I suspect Almsart would have noticed earlier, but his enthusiasm and sense of safety masked his sense of danger.) They appeared quietly and instantly. I looked up, and slowly realized they had surrounded us. We waited together in silence until Almsart finished rummaging through a pile of debris and focused his attention. Almsart, although apparently at the disadvantage, bravely yelled at them, "You fools! You don't know what you've done! I am a prince of the realm. You're dead!" One, who stood on a floor above us, shouted "Shut up. We know." He turned and seemed to argue with somebody. He lacked any honor or ways of decency, but he trusted a man such as Almsart would not attack from behind. However, somebody else did. A person emerged from someplace unknown and tackled him. The floor blocked my sight after that. Sensing mutiny among the thieves, I decided it prudent to escape in the commotion. I would not have, but the expectations for somebody such as myself allow such things. I ran until I reached a seemingly secure, dark area. Barely had I stopped running that Almsart appeared. "Opot! I have found you." Nobly, he had followed me for my safety rather than taking advantage of the chaos. "Some had guns. If they fought me with regular weapons, as decent people, I would fight them. They forced me into this." Few people ever used guns. Guns are tubes filled with a flammable powder and a metal ball. These devices rarely worked well, cost an inordinate amount of money, and are considered dated. "I don't understand sire. Clarify for my records what is so threatening about these." "These are the old guns. The machine kinds." Old technology had few reasons to scare, but very old technology inspired nothing less than awe. [The chronicler should mention that the relationship between him and Almsart is unusually close.] I found my first thought was wondering how simple bandits would procure them, but then more pressing matters came to mind. I wondered how we escape such powerful people. We heard no noises outside. In fact, the entire scuffle seemed relatively fast and quiet. Almsart began slowly walking toward the outside. I feel I should point out that, although some might think this is an act of sneakiness, he probably intended to avoid creating noise so as to hear attackers approaching. I followed his lead. In a way that forced me onto the ground from surprise, a woman appeared from a hole in the ceiling. She appeared distinctly unique. I first noticed a tail, and then the quantity of ancient objects she bore. "I'm with you. I can bring you to safety." I trust women. I recalled seeing no women among the bandits and assumed that whatever brought such a person to the wastes and to Almsart's presence deserved a tolerable trust. I began to follow her out, but Almsart stayed back. "Please, lord. She is clearly not of the same common stock as the bandits. Let us go with her." He took a moment to think, and then he stood up and followed. She led us through the corridors and broken passages. I didn't notice many attempts to be quiet or to avoid our enemies. A trustworthy person does not sneak. We reached a dead-end room, where she told us to stand back. She took something from the folds of her clothes and pointed it toward the wall. It produced a bright flash and broke the wall in an instant. She led us on and stopped in a hard-grounded clearing. She pulled a device from a pocket and moved her fingers upon it. Without any instructions by our host, Almsart and I stood by. Happily, I saw nobody else anywhere. I believed the noises scared the bandits away. Almsart asked, "Excuse me, but what is your affiliation?" After a moment of pushing buttons, she put away her device told us "I am here and I give you help. I know about your objectives and we can work together. This is all I can tell you." She resumed pressing buttons. "See? She keeps secrets. She can't be trusted." he sensed. I noticed one of her ears tilted back, as some animals do when they listen closely. "I don't like her." She turned to us promptly. "I hope that doesn't matter to you. Fools like you don't impress me either. Consider that I am offering you service in exchange for nothing but your company. I escorted you from the building; what does it take to prove to you that I have no intentions against you?" [On rethinking, it should be more like they are tourists. They happen to have come by this guy, and they think they could learn from him about the people while also affecting events as they wish.] Women rarely spoke this way to anybody, and never to Almsart. He looked ready to yell. He put his hand on his sword, but as he began to pull it he noticed something odd and turned to face a man who had been standing behind him. The man was smiling benignly. With impressive speed, Almsart jumped away and pulled out his sword. "You cur! Did you mean to stab me in the back?" The man stopped smiling, but he did nothing else. The woman said something in an unfamiliar language to him, and he responded with an affirmative sounding mumble. The woman said to us "He is a friend. Trust him as you trust me." Like her, this man looked special. He wore are ragged coat and carried an old kind of gun across his back. Almsart said then "I am in the company of unusual people. You have both had dishonorable advantages over me, but have not taken them. Secrets are hard to tolerate. Do you know everything about me?" "We know you are a relative of the Emperor and that you have been appointed to help the Duke in Chudo and that you are on the way to him now. This is all you can know that we know. Also, you make every effort to abide by honor. Your course of behavior, when faced with a superior opponent, is to either allow yourself to be defeated or to surrender to them. Must we fight now, or move on?" [Acts too cliché and too aggressive.] Despite Almsart's abilities, the advantages belonged to the strangers. They both possessed superior weapons and stood on wither side of him. "I do not want to fight you, and I do not need to fight you. I am willing to continue in your company." She smiled for the first time, and said, "I expected you to be more unwilling. You have made a good choice." [they may have killed him if he chose to go through with the other choice dictated. There are other people they might have worked with.] "If you feel ready, we can start moving." She said something to the man, who was now kicking at a piece of metal. He looked up and nodded. [“It is encouraged to have respect for such people.] “I’ve been thinking, Opot. About the day’s events.” “Go on, sire.” We walked down the empty road (If it could be called a road) with the strangers behind us. Nobody had talked for a while, except for incomprehensible words among those two. “Do you remember the farmer?” “Of course.” “He didn’t seem very trustworthy.” “Go on.” “Well, he knew where we were going. He also wanted to get revenge. Those bandits caught us by surprise. I think the farmer told them where we would be.” “A keen observation. Should I mark your case so we can bring justice to him?” “That’s an imperfect case,” the woman interrupted. “How is suspicion and coincidence enough to convict him?” I never knew a woman who acted this way. “How do you doubt a man of royal blood? Were you there, you would agree. He lied and used sarcasm. He obviously can’t be a good person. Why be so careful with such a person?” She said nothing for a moment. “There are no gains for arguing with you.” She left it at that and wandered toward her companion. “I thought she seemed arrogant, but perhaps she does know her place,” said Almsart. She explained was talking with her companion, and they laughed. They walked with us the next few days. They talked with us rarely, mostly talking with each other. I learned that she was Liff, and he was Ludin. I thought they were rude when they talked in their language, but I later found out he could not speak ours. Occasionally, they asked Almsart and myself unusual questions. Once she asked: “How do you know all your enemies are bad people?” After some time to put together his thoughts, Almsart responded: "I know my people to be good. Good people would not hurt other good people, therefore my enemies must be bad people." The two possessed strong interest in everything. They examined every plant and building and even many rocks with their relics. The man often smoked sweet-smelling leaves in paper. He rudely offered us to try them once. Instead of using words he nudged us and held them out. It tasted very bitter and seemed to dull my senses. We arrived at the Duke’s gates and met with suspicion. The guards asked “If you were sent by the Emperor, where’s your army?” Almsart tried to explain in every way that the small amount of that he set out with abandoned him days ago; that he can simply show them proof of identity if they let him in…[Here, make it sound like he’s saying very colorful things but like the narrator is putting it in less objectionable terms] The guards finally moved aside after the Duke arrived at the gates and vouched for his cousin’s identity. Our friends abruptly separated from us once we entered the village, saying they had business and would meet us later. [After Almsart leaves the keep, the protagonists suddenly have what they need for the quest.] The Duke escorted us to his stronghold, where he told us about his most urgent need. Recently, his troops managed to procure a rare book of arcane knowledge from an enemy’s scholar. Shortly after the book arrived into the safety of his castle, a spy took it away. Now his nearest enemy offered it to the highest bidding dominion. Next he gave Almsart his first order: “At dawn, take a small army of men to take back the book.” [what do the protagonists do here?] We began our trip as ordered. As we left the city, peasants wished Alsart and his army good fortune. They threw us flowers and cheered us on, but all of them seemed to be of a solemn mood. As we neared the gates, Liff and Ludin rode in beside Almsart. Although they ignored the order of procession, nobody bothered them. They acted and appeared exempt from the commoner’s existence, so the others left them alone. Besides the clothing they brought, Liff carried an assortment of local cures and tools, and Ludin carried toys, and odd objects. “What are you planning to so with these?” I asked. “Secret.” Said Ludin. He laughed, and Liff smiled. “He’s joking.” She quickly pointed out. “We’re being tourists.” “You shouldn’t joke like that,” said Almsart, sternly. [We tried haggling, but I dodn’t realize how much they would hate that.] We reached the enemy after four days march. We discovered other nations also desired the book, as we found no less than three armies siegeing them. Messengers arrived from two of them promptly. One represented a neutral army, and another an enemy. They informed us that each army was afraid to attack the castle or any other armies, because they would be at their mercy. A week ago, another army sent by the Duke of Chudo attacked the castle and was wiped out. They gave us instructions to leave them alone and proceeded to leave. Almsart had a camp set up. He retired to his tent to make plans. He sat alone and silent until he felt ready to share his thoughts, “You know my life better than anybody. You’ve seen my dishonorable youth, and you were there as I grew into an honorable man. I don’t have the history I wish. For this, am I fated to be irrelevant? Without the other armies, I might be doomed. Now, I can wither fail or die. They may as well be the same thing, for either way I amount to nothing. By fate, I can now only make my attack and take act as god planned me to.” Liff suddenly appeared through the flaps of the tent. “So you accept this willingly?” Ludin followed in. I thought I smelled smoke. Although she was clearly listening in, Almsart looked sad rather than upset. “I am glad to be a man of honor. If I must die for it, I will.” “But the odds are terrible. Your superiors can’t accept retreat against terrible odds? “If only I could. The recent days of my youth shame me. Retreating would prove that I am weak. If I die now, I won’t face the shame.” She looked disdainful, and so did Ludin for a change. She said “The world you live in is very narrow. Your choices are restricted. I would not be able to live with that.” Ludin added something. “Neither would he. He asks about your men. What happens to them?” “I am surprised at your ignorance. There are three possibilities besides victory: they decide to retreat, the enemy gives them back, or they die. Don’t be angry. That’s he way it’s meant to happen. Besides, what world do you live in?” She looked concerned. “What do you mean?” “I’m asking what sort of place you come from. My language is not your first, is it?” “No. Sorry. I come from a far away place. It is difficult to explain my circumstances. Besides, where I come from is irrelevant. The point is that this isn’t fair to yourself or the many people under you. Besides that, you can accomplish more if you use your means strategically instead of simply wasting it all on a futile attack.” Although this statement bordered on deception, her point was very relevant. In his eagerness, Almsart failed to consider a more successful way to die. “You don’t mean to suggest I deceive the other armies for my advantage?” “No, not specifically. I just think you mght be able to make a more considerate choice.” Nobody talked for a moment, except when she exchanged some quiet words with Ludin. “I’ve decided your right.” Almsart said after a brief silence. “Although, as far as I can see, you have concerns for myself and my people, you won’t convince me to act otherwise. However, I will make sure to do well in what I do.” “I see. We will not be joining you tomorrow, but we will be with you. Good night.” They left the tent. “Do you understand what she meant?” Almsart asked me. “Perhaps. I think they are on our side, but they will continue their adventures away from us.” “There are much weaker parts on the castle than others. If you attack there, you have a better chance of success.” “Honor decrees not to attack these specific places.” The course of events changed unexpectedly. On the morning of the next day, the army attacked. The soldiers were fresh and Almsart placed and moved them well, but the battle went severely against us. Apparently, many of our own troops deserted the previous night, knowing they would be at the mercy of their enemies. Then entire thing quickly turned to a rout. Less than an hour after beginning, we were practically defeated. The army of our benign rival had attacked the other side of the fort, and the army of our enemy stood by, possibly waiting for an advantage or to make up it’s mind. Most of Almsart’s remaining soldiers were dead or departed. Still, he pressed on. The gates were not even broken, and he himself pushed the battering ram at it. His men found they could easily leave the fight, and as they did so it seemed he would be the last man in his army and would die as he predicted. However, before his doom arrived Liffa and Ludin arrived from somewhere with the article of our quest in hand. As they passed us, going away from the fort, Liffa said, “We have taken it for you. There is no need to fight anymore.” “Almsart looked at once surprised and worried “But this is not what they expect of me!” I believe he wanted them to put it back. “We are going to leave with this now. Follow us or die.” The last, loyal, surviving men, however, overheard this and decided that they had done enough. They turned at once and left, and Almsart decided to follow. Almsart, the pair, a handful of soldiers and myself went back to the road we arrived on. We went at a fast pace, hoping to avoid pursuit by our enemies. Luckily, it seemed the other armies occupied them. Ulyphia explained not long after leaving that the army they took it from shouldn’t know they lost their book yet. She said we could slow down, because the other armies wouldn’t know we had the book if the former possessors didn’t. We did so. Concerned whether they abided by honor, Almsart asked, “How did you manage to take this book?” Ulyphia answered, “We have capabilities beyond yours, and we worked around the obvious.” “Yes, this is true. I would like to know the details.” Ludin smiled a little and moved to lag behind us. Ulyphia said, “Do you still have suspicions about us?” “I won’t hide it. I always have. You are strangers and you acted unusual from the start. I still don’t even know where you come from. I want to know exactly how you got this book. I neither saw nor heard signs to indicate you were even around, much less of fighting. Today I need to know if you are good people. Do you do things as I do?” The mood became uncomfortable as he said this. Everyone had started to relax in the recent moments, but now we found the possibility that we walked among enemies, or at least undesirable types. I noticed Ludin had his hands in his pockets and he was beside the woman. “What about you? You neglected to say anything until the difficulties were over. Have you been using us?” “I am deeply offended.” He appeared aggravated as well. “I have been honest my entire life…” “Yes, but honorable? You used to be quite clever. Did you expect us to be nice and steal it for the sake of you and your soldiers?” “My chronicler and all those who have known me can attest that I only act linearly. Furthermore, you admit to stealing it?” “We did.” “Then I must ask you to give it to me. Stealing from anybody is against the law.” “We stole it for you in the first place, but maybe we should keep it if you won’t be grateful.” “How do I know that? Maybe you actually stole it for yourselves. Maybe you are walking with me for protection. I insist you give this book to me now.” “Undeserving!”, spouted Ludin. “If you try to take it or hurt us, we will destroy it. We will stay with you until we reach the Duke, and then we will decide what happens next.” While we were optimistic a minute ago, we were now uncertain and felt an ominous tension. Some of the routed soldiers come along and they try to rejoin. They know the laws are against them, and now Almsart needs to make critical decision. He tries to sneak up on them once, but she senses him in her sleep. He feels horribly embarrassed. We drew near to our objective. We walked in the twilight, Almsart pressing us on. He seemed to feel like rushing would help, although our biggest threat was with us already. With the animosity at it’s highest, the unlikely happened. The book disappeared. We were resting for a few hours before the final walk of the journey. I sensed some unusual things happening; occasional odd noises and seeing the pair doing some unusual things. As we prepared to set out the two announced they had lost it. <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>< ><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> “They already sent a cousin of yours to take it. He and his men died.” Other armies have attacked the place already. The next day, during the return journey, the object disappears. The hero suspects the one who stole it in the first place, a "powerful magician". He resolves immediately to go to his headquarters and take it from him rather than return before his job is done. (He was sent on the quest to restore honor and worth, and returning with a defeat would be the death of him.) On the way, he receives a message saying he must engage in a series of tasks to prove himself (turns out to be a forgery by the magician, who is trying to kill him by giving him assignments that don't make sense but which, in his loyal dedication, he does not think about). Here, he does a few short things almost single handedly, and the protagonists increasingly take control over it. They actually save him a few times. The quests are typical sounding; include the rescue of an alleged princess. They see some things and people not seen before. ("It has been decreed that "So long as ___ is alive, the people of the village will be spared. When he dies, his people will receive no special treatment by us.") “Seek thee a green eyed woman.” (They also meet a sort of adventurer with indefinite youth and physical regeneration along with some other traits. Perhaps he is introduced grandly. The narrator expects him to have come for reasons concerning Almsart, but instead he turns out to be there for the protagonists.)They eventually reach a thick forest where few are known to have gone through, and then the domain of the wizards. What happens to them here seems beyond their control. If they did what the hero wanted, they would have all died. Instead, by this point, the protagonists are in control. The ideals and ways of the protagonists work in now, and they eventually reach the home of the wizard they were pursuing. The wizard plans are explained, and the showdown thing happens... "A device of mutual destruction called the "Sunny Greens" was triggered...Rumor had it that many of the people who worked on it intentionally kept it so it would not activate. Somebody depended on that rumor, and so they attacked, meaning to destroy their enemies completely. Whether the device was often turned off or not, it was on a the time...Not every body dies, but this world went backward...Since then, we've reformed ourselves to prevent arms races and bring out any aggression." To bring on government, those remaining brought back the medieval notion that some are inherently superior to others. Those who survived revived civilization. Many people had changed their bodies genetically, and most of the surviving ones reproduced afterward. Only a few had independently sustainable long-life, and those are the ones who are known as magical people because of they have arcane knowledge and access to technology. "The past was frivolous and lacked any objective. Now we have my objectives." They hear another version of the truth from a different immortal. "There was practically no fear at the time. War was rare. However, the quick power of our advancements created new fears. We feared the other planet particuarly. They were very secretive. Eventually a very powerful thing was constructed. They meant to use it for extremely advanced experiments... ”I wish they would keep quieter. Peasants know to always be loyal.” “But they are not peasants, sire. They defy classification in many aspects. They are their own.” "Superior strength means I should take the rout of power. Inferior strength means I should beg them and find an honorable way around it." He is supposed to face obstacles on his own and at great cost to himself, but the difficulties are worked around for him by the permanent protagonists. There are conspiracy theories that work on the idea that there is a small group of people running everything behind the scenes. This seems unlikely and difficult. The wizards and their plans should generally be known to all. "Diplomatic maneuvering is next to dishonor." In this one, the two are at about the same degree of friendship as when they began. They came along to help everyone by changing this guy. Also, they wanted to see a postapocalyptic world. "As a man of honor, Almsart was incapable of treachery or deception. However, these people had no reputation." Write like a hack, for fun. "I wondered why didn't they have a chronicler. Most people who did such things as to deserve one had a chronicler." The major characterizations here should be Ulyphia acting with certainty and without second-guessing herself and Ludin being quiet yet friendly (he doesn't now the language). "It's unfortunate for them that they hate lies, but like so many other peoples they have a behavior system based on them." The overlord, to keep his plans for the world active, uses indirect and direct ways to support selected nations that otherwise might fail (such as the one Almsart is from). "You have left me no other choice but to meet you with force. I don't want to kill you, and you could accept that I might be able to and go on without any conflict. You eliminate my choices, and here we are." Alternatively, he could surrender to someone the things they demand for the sake of their own lives. The narrator once was a chronicler for a famous hero, but he died. Now, he’s older and stuck with a younger and less prestigious man. He fears he may die before this one does anything very significant. Haggling is disliked. Auctioning is more popular. The two are kind of tall compared to the other people. They come from more prosperous places, and they were better taken care of as they grew up. Get the sense they are exempt. Read some excerpts of historian’s accounts to understand this. Portray believers in ghosts and such phenomena in a bad way in a postapocalypse, bringing back superstition. They spearhead the return of primitive thought. Told in the history of their world.