I do a lot of world building when I write a story – even if it is as short as 1000 words. Since my most recent composition (Unlocking Godhood) is potentially a work of collaborative fiction, I figured I’d share a little bit about that world – at least as I initially envisioned it.
The story takes more or less now-ish, in the near future, or recent past. The majority of the world is very similar to our own on the surface, but potentially very different deep under the hood.
I apologize if the following material feels a little rushed or uneven.
Important Modern Factions
Terrestrial life on Earth was created by the carelessness of interstellar refugees. These Progenitors were extremely intelligent and physically hardy. For more information, see the History section way below.
While most of their traits are either absent from, or lie dormant in, modern lifeforms; every so often a living being is born with traces of their Progenitors that eventually activate. Such individuals are extremely rare, and typically require a combination of the right genes and the right environmental triggers to activate. And no one knows what the right triggers are.
For the most part, most impacted individuals find that they have their natural abilities turned up to eleven. They are typically stronger, tougher, faster, and smarter; and live longer than their kin. Additionally, most can perceive forms of matter and energy normally imperceptible by humanity, have a low-level of empathetic awareness with their fellow ‘gods’, and have significant resistance to mental manipulation or intrusion.
Affected non-humans often become monsters of myth and (urban) legend. Humans in antiquity took up roles as ancient gods, until the Demiurge killed most of them. Since then, the new gods have kept a low profile; focusing on finding others of their kind and staying alive.
About 4000 years ago, the Demiurge stumbled across Earth and decided use the world to entertain itself. Taking notice of humanity’s worship of their slightly superior kin as gods, it decided to set itself up as the one, true God. To help nudge humanity along the Demiurge’s chosen path, it took some of humanity and reshaped them into instruments of its will.
When the Demiurge eventually got bored with humanity and Earth, and left them behind; it left its archons behind as well. Many archons were confused, and most wanted to continue acting out their master’s will. However, one of the youngest archons, who had been infinitely disappointed upon meeting his god, took in upon himself to slaughter his brethren and start a new. His focus would be the rebuilding of his order with a focus on accumulating knowledge.
Having found the great library of the Demiurge’s knowledge, the remaining archon created elaborate puzzles and distributed them across the world. When solved, they would notify an archon. The archon could then collect the solver, if human, so that he or she could be remade into an archon. Other problem solvers could be evaluated and eliminated as necessary.
At their base, archons are humans who have been forced through multiple different dimensions within which humans were never meant to exist. When they come out back into our plane of existence, they are horrifyingly misshapen creatures that do not even appear tangentially human. Though no two archons come back looking the same, they all come back stronger.
Both blessed and cursed, archons are able to warp our normal reality by subconscious whim, yet find any significant exposure to our reality painful and potentially lethal. To combat their weakness and to give them control over their powers, the Demiurge created a series of suits for them to wear. While the archons are encased in their armor, they are protected from the outside world and gain the ability to consciously control how they view and shape reality.
Unfortunately, the encounter suits come with two significant downsides: they are stuck in what are effectively really nice space suits for eternity and their powers are significantly dampened. The archon’s suits are typically white or metallic in color and their helmets don’t normally have any ‘facial’ features, except for eyes/sensors.
When the Demiurge came to Earth, it was followed by its adversary – Satan. Satan came to Earth just to screw with the Demiurge. Like the Demiurge, Satan took humans and reshaped them to its purpose – to antagonize others. When the Demiurge left, Satan left as well; and, like the Demiurge, it left its followers behind.
Unlike the archons, the demons seemed undisturbed by their creator’s absence, and continued doing what they had been doing before – antagonizing everyone. Demons exist to cause conflict and strife, and will almost always immediately depart if individuals put aside their differences and choose to work together, or if the demon’s opponent yields or submits to it.
Humans who show great skill in sowing strife among their fellows may be offered an opportunity to become a demon. If the human accepts, he or she is taken to black pool located under Jerusalem and submerged within. What emerges will be a demon.
Demons suffer no change in mental state during the transition, however their bodies undergo significant metamorphosis. Their entire form is replaced with a non-terrestrial form of matter that can be changed at will. They can easily become more dense; grow armor, claws, and/or thorns; or reshape their legs so they can run faster.
The demons’ shapeshifting does have some limitations. They have to keep to a rough physical template (one head, no eyes, two arms, two legs, a torso, and a tail – even if just human-type vestigial tail) and are unable to alter their total mass. Further, they are limited to displaying only three colors (pure white, absolute black, true red). As they are composed of non-terrestrial materials, they perceive matter and energy in a completely different fashion, and the lack of eyes is not detrimental in any way.
While demons are functionally immortal and immune to most Earth hazards, they can be killed by some non-terrestrial powers and entities. Further, they tend to keep there numbers roughly on par with the total number of archons.
They have many names in many cultures: sirens, succubi, Fair Folk, etc. These creatures are one of the many interstellar aliens to visit our world. Unlike the Progenitors, when the sirens chose to hide on Earth, they managed to do it successfully.
To humans, sirens appear to be very attractive and friendly females. To a god, they appear to be non-human, but still humanoid, beings that the god finds attractive, but potentially dangerous. Classical examples would include mermaids, sirens, succubi, and fey. More modern examples may include asari, orions, or twi’leks. In truth, they are physically hideous, multi-dimensional beings.
Their pleasant appearance is an artificial creation. They have the ability to project a generalized ‘I look pleasant’ idea into most other beings’ minds. Those beings’ minds fill in what the siren should look like, and edits perception and memory to make sure any inconsistencies are removed or overlooked. This includes altering images and other representations of sirens.
That said, sirens are fairly benign. They have no over-arching conspiracy. They have no malicious intent. They just came here to get lost in the crowd. Though there may be individual bad actors, this is no different than what you may find with any group of individuals.
Barring accident or injury, sirens should live for millions of years.
The Society for Advancing and Safeguarding Humanity
In the ages before Chicxulub asteroid impact, one of the intergalactic races that tried to settle on Earth was capable of, limited, time travel. They could move forward, but not backward. When they found out the asteroid was coming, the Travelers leapt forward and encountered primitive man.
The world had changed a lot since the time of the dinosaurs, and the Travelers wanted to shift it back to one that would be more suitable for them. To this end, they provided some primitive humans with some rudimentary technology, rituals that would allow them gain amazing abilities, and instructions on where and when to meet them every few hundred years. This seemed like a great deal for the humans involved. Their lifespans improved, they had the ability to out perform their peers, and they enjoyed higher standards of living.
What they didn’t tell the humans was that the rituals they performed invited alien entities into their bodies, and that the alien entities would slowly consume them from the inside out until there was nothing left but those entities, and the human shell would be discarded. Nor did they tell the humans that the technologies they provided tended to be those that would slowly make the world less and less habitable for its human inhabitants.
One might think that such a group would burn out quickly. However, enough infected humans maintain their belief in the delusion that they are becoming better just long enough to hook the next generation of humans who will fall prey to the same devil’s bargain.
Almost 4 billion years ago…
Existence is a large place, and Earth is a tiny and mostly insignificant speck to most of the beings that inhabit our universe. So insignificant, in fact, a faction of an ancient star-faring species tried (unsuccessfully) to use it as a place to escape the notice of bigger, more powerful entities.
While this refugee species’s name is lost to time (as far as humans are concerned), we’ll call them the Progenitors. While most of the universe (and life there in) is made up of material that humans are unable to observe and acts under principles foreign to us, the Progenitors are largely similar to us on a galactic scale. This is in no small part due to the fact that terrestrial life evolved from their discarded bio-matter, which they dumped into Earth’s early oceans.
That said, the Progenitors were only similar to us on a galactic scale. Without any technological aid, they could survive in a wide variety of environments, including the vacuum of space and the deepest reaches of our oceans. Further, they could withstand extremes of temperature and gravity that would kill most terrestrial life in seconds.
For a while, the colony of Progenitors did manage to hide from the larger fish in the cosmic pool; but they were eventually discovered. It wouldn’t take long for conflicts to start.
One of their first opponents attempted to destroy them through the use of biological weapons. It’s due to this long forgotten species that we have viruses and fungi. Their last creation, known as the Pathogen, managed to wipe out their entire species as well as the Progenitors.
The Pathogen is a tiny, round-worm-like parasite. It has the ability to reproduce both sexually and asexually. Its spores are extremely resilient and can remain viable for millions of years. The parasite is capable of manufacturing viruses, prions, and other chemical signalers that can alter its hosts behavior. Further, it is capable of creating a hive mind of fairly significant intelligence, if enough parasites infest a host.
The Pathogen still exists today in long forgotten corners of the world and possibly top secret laboratories…
From about 315 million years ago to 65 million years ago…
A powerful, multidimensional entity stumbled upon Earth, and took a brief interest in the life existing upon it. We’ll call him Ouroboros. No one on Earth, save its people (the Saurians) would know its actual name. Even so, the name would be unpronounceable by the human tongue; and its written form would be some sort of pictograph.
Ouroboros saw potential to create miniature beings like itself, and, for what was an extremely short period of time for it, it shaped the evolution of life on Earth. Ouroboros was responsible for creation and evolution of the various reptiles on earth; including an intelligent species, the Saurians, that still lives to this day.
While significantly more powerful than any of the entities on Earth during its time there, Ouroboros had enemies as well. Eventually, one such extraterrestrial opponent lobbed a large asteroid at Earth in order to spite Ouroboros. Even though Ouroboros’s greatest creations, the Saurians, still survived deep underground, the great entity said ‘Fuck it. I’m done.’ and just walked away – as did pretty much every other cosmic entity on Earth at the time.
In the modern day, the Saurians slumber in ancient cities deep, deep below the surface of the Earth.
The image used in this post was used without seeking permission. I believe its use falls under fair use. If it’s yours, and you feel its use is inappropriate; please contact me and let me know.