Shadows Rise (Episode One)



  • Episode One Timeline

    I know it says 'main plot', but I later decided to make a separate timeline for every episode (every year within the story is a separate episode), and now I can't rename it. :P



  • I love the character pictures XD

    About how many years does the story take place over?

    I'm curious about your calendar, if you would be willing to share some of it! I'm mostly wondering because you have the beginning of the calendar being Winter, and then the timeline ends in Spring, unless you just don't have anything else major happening in the year? Also wondering if you came up with the names for the months yourself or got them some other way? I'm always curious about how people do that :)



  • @typical_demigod It takes place over the span of five years. And yes, there is a gap of a few months between the end of Episode One and the beginning of Episode Two in which the main characters hone their skills (and Sebastian recovers from his failed hunt injury).

    A Valcrestian year has 14 months, 28 days in a month (Tempus, however, has an extra day every six years and Obitus; the last month of the year, has 27) and 8 days in a week. It starts on Winter and ends in the Fall. Although the actual start of Winter is on Creation Day, which is a day that is in between the ending of one year and the start of the next. It's a day considered 'outside of time' and is a date where everything stops in Valcrest for people to celebrate. It's like their New Year's Eve.

    As for the months, they're based on Latin and related to Valcrest's 14 Gods. In order:

    • Spiritus (life/spirit)

    • Lacus (Water: lake/pool)

    • Lunaris (Moon)

    • Sagacitas (Mind)

    • Inviditas (Heart: combined from Caritas (love affection) and Invidia (hate/jealousy/envy))

    • Otium (Peace)

    • Aurelium (Air: combined from Caelum - heaven/sky/air, and Aura: breeze/air/wind/light)

    • Helios (Sun)

    • Pyros (Fire)

    • Lithius (Earth)

    • Cosmos (Space)

    • Duellum (War: battle/attack)

    • Tempus (Time)

    • Obitus (Death)

    I actually have the calendar for 2524 on a slide presentation on Google Drive, so you can check it out if you want: Valcrest Calendar - Year 2524


  • Plotist Team: Timeline Master

    I agree with @typical_demigod, you've made an amazing effort with the the calender, it looks completely intriguing! I love that you've made such a solid start with the worldbuilding and tied in some Latin so readers already have a connection, makes for a good foundation to work from! Do the 'theme' of the months have any relation to what happens in the story?

    Also what kind of 'hunts' are we talking about? Are the characters themselves supernatural?



  • @Sian There are some things I did with the calendar such as connecting certain months to certain seasons and having the year begin in the month representing Life and end in the month representing Death and making The Day of Creation being a day outside of time, etc... There are a lot of ongoing themes in the story that involve the Twins (what the 14 Gods are called), and I tried to reflect that in the calendar as much as possible.

    In Shadows Rise we have the Wolfpack; which is an assassin clan, and the Wolf Hunters who are these people who have been victimized by them in the past and are out for revenge. So, 'hunts' in the context of the story are instances when the Wolf Hunters track down one or more Wolves with the intent of eliminating them.

    As for supernatural... Eeeeh... There are magically gifted people in Valcrest (they are called Enlightened), and they make up a significant portion of the population. Being Enlightened in Valcrest is considered a common thing, though. Unless an enlightened is out to cause harm to people no one really cares too much.


  • Plotist Team: Timeline Master

    @Blackbird Are you going to expand on the original mythology for the Gods in your story? I love that kind of thing, I have a great writing resource - "A Dictionary of Creation Myths" which has some fantastic inspiration for this sort of thing.



  • @Sian Not so much in Shadows Rise. There's going to be some of it since I'm very attached to our mythology and I like to slip as much of it in where it's relevant, but it doesn't fit in with the tone of Shadows Rise as much as it does the main story we created the world for.

    The main story does revolve heavily around the Myths (subtly at first, but it escalates as it goes), up to and including the final 'boss battle' in the end. Shadows Rise is just something I'm writing as an aside to that main story, and it basically centers around this one conflict which ended up setting everything that happened twenty years later, in the main story, in motion.

    We do have a Myth of Creation and several smaller myths pertaining to individual Twins. Then there's Terra who in some interpretation of the myths was a mortal woman chosen by Life to bear his children, making her the human mother of the First Enlightened, but in other interpretations she is a 15th Goddess sent down to the mortal realm to grant the gift of magic to a worthy human which she falls in love with and then Life kills in dual... Either way, she ends up leaving Valcrest forever. So all religion outside of Valcrest; in the rest of the continent is, in one way or another, built around her instead.

    I will check "A Dictionary of Creation Myths", because... We are still building this as we go and all resources will be more than heplful. :)



  • Sounds like there's a story behind Inviditas....

    Using a power point for your calendar is actually a really good idea, and I might have to steal that idea to use for my backburner fantasy world :D

    So are the Gods all twins with another, making 7 pairs of gods? Also, I looooveeee that you have variations of myths. It bothers me when you have the exact same telling across the world of the same myth, when it generally doesn't work out that well. Even if it does work out that everyone has the same version of the same myth, you can bet that it isn't interpreted the same by everyone.



  • @typical_demigod I used a free program for planning D&D campaigns called Masterplan to build the calendar and then I exported each month as an image to build the slides. I don't remember where I got that program, but I'm sure it's not hard to find. Also, I think there are online calendar builders with similar functions as the one built-in on Masterplan.

    The 14 Gods were born in 7 pairs of Twins; one female and one male each time. They were sent into the Mortal Realm by Mother and Father (the beings who created the Universe), two by two at every few hundreds of years; I imagine when they were considered to be 'of age', so there is an 'age difference' between each pair. Although we built most of our myths around the premise that the Twins were all still very immature and that humanity is the mess it is mostly due to their influence during their time in Valcrest. The pairs are Sun (male) and Moon (female), Fire (M) and Water (F), Earth (M) and Air (F), Life (M) and Death (F), Mind (M) and Heart (F), Space (F) and Time (M) and lastly War (M) and Peace (F). So I gather there are a few centuries of age difference between Sun and Moon and War and Peace. Although I won't claim to know much about how Gods are conceived or birthed. :P

    Most of our myths were created in-character. Usually through someone telling a story. Our intention was always to make our mythology feel like someone's interpretation of the Twins and not something to be taken as universal rules. Especially since this started as a roleplay and we wanted to give people the freedom to have their characters interpret things for themselves and not just quote what we'd written. It helps that this continues to be a collaborative work and me and my co-writers have very different interpretations of some things ourselves. :P



  • That sounds like a really fun way to build a world, tbh :D Are the gods generally combative with each other, both with their twin and with the other pairs? (I guess probably, since that's how most pantheons work :P )

    Also, looked up Master plan, and in preliminary research, the site that built it is down. Up to now, if I've been in need of a calendar generator, I've always just used donjon's, but I will look into what all is apart of the master plan to see if it might be worth downloading...



  • @typical_demigod I wouldn't say 'combative', but some pairs of Twins were more of a unit and others clashed more. Heart and Mind butted heads, but they generally sought balance with each other. The Wolfpack worships Heart and Mind, btw, and they have this characteristic to them... That they are cold blooded killers out in the world, but from the inside, their community is relatively peaceful. They're like a large family unit (why I chose Wolves for them). So they have this philosophy that there are moments for rationality to rule and moments for instinct; compassion to rule. They seek that balance.

    Water and Fire did not get along all too well; at least as far as legends tell :P, neither did Earh and Air... So when they settled in Valcrest Fire and Air settled and formed a city in the desert, while Earth and Water formed their separate community in the mountains further South.

    War and Peace were believed to not get along as they were never seen together (allegedly), but when it was time for War to 'die' (won't go into how they lose their immortality because that's a long as heck story lol), Peace came to him and saw him through his final moments.

    Sun and Moon were a bit of an item and I'm not sure to what extent... Exactly... awkward cough

    So yeah, they had very complex and nuanced relationships. At least the way I see it in my head.

    If you decide you want Masterplan and can't find it anywhere, maybe I can upload it to Dropbox for you to download. It was a free program so why not.



  • @Blackbird said in Shadows Rise (Episode One):

    Sun and Moon were a bit of an item and I'm not sure to what extent... Exactly... awkward cough

    You know, I don't think there are many real-world pantheons that don't have at least one relationship like that, though.

    So yeah, they had very complex and nuanced relationships. At least the way I see it in my head.

    Those are the best <3 They definitely sound nuanced.

    Also, for Masterplan, I think I'll be okay without it, but thanks for the offer! ^_^


  • Plotist Team: Keepers of Code

    @Blackbird said in Shadows Rise (Episode One):

    Episode One Timeline

    I know it says 'main plot', but I later decided to make a separate timeline for every episode (every year within the story is a separate episode), and now I can't rename it. :P

    Sorry about that :)


  • Plotist Team: Keepers of Code

    After reading the whole thread, I can only admire your world building @Blackbird. It's quite impressive what you have put together here. I love mythology, reading about your myths and how people interpret them is quite interesting. Also, I'm really curious about your collective creation process. Are you all using Plotist at the moment?

    @typical_demigod I think we talked about this before but, do you have a background in anthropology or some social science? I know you like the Chimu and you've been researching them, but some of your observations are very "social scientific"



  • @jaycano Both me and my co-GM are using Plotist right now for individual projects connected to this universe. Me for Shadows Rise and him for another prequel that is more historical within the universe, it's set thousands of years before the main story and deals with the start of a war that nearly devastated the country. I don't know the particulars because other than historical facts he needs to run by me, he hasn't told me that much yet. :P

    I'm hoping that by the time we start rewriting the main story, though, that there'll be a way for us to collaborate on a project without making a joint account... Although, if not, we will make one. We have a shared email account for such occasions. :)

    As for how we collaborate... It started on a Roleplay site; the main story this is based on is a roleplay still running on that site, we'd PM ideas to one another and then we moved to a Skype-Google docs combo, and now we switched Skype with Discord, but basically we throw ideas at each other as they come and eventually fit them together into some sort of consistent lore over time. What we've got so far is pretty damn solid, but it's the result of six years of unorganized brainstorming. ^^


  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    I am so jumping into this on Monday. (see other posts for why so long). But yeah.. I want to dig into this and slip into your creation properly, and this is my way of making a note of that!



  • @jaycano said in Shadows Rise (Episode One):

    @typical_demigod I think we talked about this before but, do you have a background in anthropology or some social science? I know you like the Chimu and you've been researching them, but some of your observations are very "social scientific"

    (sorry for the long reply time o_o) Actually, no XD I'm just SUPER into anthropology/social science (which I think is partially why I love world building so much, because I can explore it in so many different ways and contexts). I have been seriously thinking of double majoring in anthropology/history when I go to a 4-year college tho. (Funny you mentioned the Chimu. I paused my research, but I'm going back over it all because I needed something easy for my final speech for class.)


  • Plotist Team: Keepers of Code

    @Blackbird It's a really interesting process and I think I will be asking you about it in more detail later on, if you don't mind. I'll see with @simon if we can put something together soon so you can work with your co-GM


  • Plotist Team: Keepers of Code

    @typical_demigod I must say I'm impressed then. The "sociological imagination" is something not many people really get, and it usually takes a lot of reading to finally grasp that detached but culturally aware view of the world.

    Interestingly, it's a trait you often see in good world builders like you or @Blackbird, even without a social scientific background.


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