This will serve as the review topic for my story Beyond Ruin. Chances are you have plenty of questions—I’ve done my best to anticipate them in the FAQ below, but if you’re still confused then please don’t be afraid to ask a question!
So what even is this?
Beyond Ruin is part of an ongoing idea I have currently titled Divine Strength. The goal is to eventually write a novel, but I’m still quite a ways off from that. If you’d like to see how the idea has evolved or other stories fleshing out the idea, I have a blog post collecting everything relevant in one place.
Who are these Queens?
There were once goddesses who lived in an ethereal realm, each personifying an element or a concept. Over time, the ethereal realm and the material realm grew closer together, and the goddesses eventually found themselves in the material realm. Since they did not have physical bodies, a group of powerful sorcerers placed the goddesses within crowns to save them from fading into oblivion.
When a human with a female body puts the crown on their head, their soul is merged with that of the goddess, creating an entity known as a Queen who is not quite goddess, not quite human. This Queen possesses vast reserves of divine power, granting her powerful magical ability in the element she is tied to, and makes her physical body stronger as well. A crown can never be separated from a Queen as long as she lives. When the physical body dies, the crown is passed on to another, who dons it and has their soul merged with the goddess soul, creating a new yet familiar incarnation of the Queen who retains the memories of her previous lives.
There are nine Queens: the Queen of Knowledge, the Queen of War, the Queen of the Land, the Queen of the Sky, the Queen of the Sea, the Queen of Light, the Queen of Nature, the Queen of Ice, and the Queen of Fire.
Why don't the Queens have regular names?
The short answer is that beings born of magic prefer to be identified by titles rather than the names used by beings from the material realm.
The long answer: a human name would refer to the body specifically, but they're no longer that person. When putting on the Crown, who that person is completely changes, so they refer to themselves as "Queen of X" because that is their new identity. Queens will sometimes refer to previous bodies using their human names, but only if they need to differentiate between their multiple selves.
What’s going on at this point in time?
For the first 300 years of their existence, the Queens waged constant war with each other. This filled the world with hate and despair, causing the forces of magic to birth something wretched: four creatures known as the Ruinous, hideous abominations who wished for nothing but to destroy all that they saw. The Ruinous swept in from the four cardinal points of the region ruled by Queens, leaving total devastation in their wake. Unable to win on their own, the nine Queens met at the center of the region and worked together to defeat the Ruinous, ultimately bringing their vicious conquest to an end.
This story takes place not long after that battle. The Queens have decided to declare a truce, and will now make formal claims on the lands they have inhabited so that the region can be brought into a sense of order. A neutral meeting place, known as the Hall of Ether, is being built at the center of the region, and the four Queens at its cardinal extremes (the Queens of the Sea, Ice, Fire, and Nature) have been tasked with sealing away the dormant but still-living bodies of the Ruinous to insure that the creatures cannot be reawakened.
What can we expect?
My first goal is to write a chapter focusing on each Queen. Once I meet that minimum, I might write some more scenes to keep working on the characters, but I don’t know for sure yet. I’ll be updating with new chapters as I finish them, and if I get an idea of when I’m going to wrap it up I’ll try to give some advance notice! There’s also a chance things could change during the story, so if things contradict each other, whatever comes later should be considered canon.
Edited by Ursus Wielder Pahrak, May 12 2016 - 09:44 PM.