Posted by: lordkyler | April 20, 2013

Glyph – Premise

Glyph is a new story idea I’m working on, and one that I’m very excited about. It started out as a very small idea, and gradually expanded and absorbed other concepts.

Glyph is a fantasy set in a time period similar to that of the Three Musketeers or the Elizabethan Era. This setting, while not original by any means, is still far less clichéd than the standard medieval themed fantasy (although I will hasten to add there is nothing intrinsically wrong with that.) But this was a very colorful time period, with flamboyant fashions, new discoveries, bold voyages, and intricate politics and plots. It was a time of revolution and radical change, or renaissance and reinvention. Firearms exist but have not yet been able to replace traditional weapons. All-in-all, a very exciting time with a lot of possibilities.

Deciding to place my fledgling idea in this setting was what really brought the idea to life for me. The original idea actually started with a small doodle I had drawn of a strange looking character, which I labelled “Nyzke’s Glyph.” I drew several more eventually, all labelled in the same way with different fantasy names. That lead to thinking of an idea to go with them, and since they were named, they obviously belonged or had originated with a particular person.

Eventually the premise became this: Magic is an unpredictable, untamable, and random force in it’s raw form. But when channeled through a certain symbol or glyph, it will produce a specific result. It is similar to the way water is normally fluid and unpredictable, but if frozen or forced through a sprinkler head, it is forced to behave a certain way and can controlled.

I reached kind of a wall here because I couldn’t decide how these glyphs would be controlled. I knew that there had to be a physical image of the symbol through which the magic could be channeled, and that doing so would leave the image “drained” and unable to be used again for a time.

But would anybody be able to use any glyph? Would there be clans of those that could use certain glyphs? Usually I gravitated towards only one person being able to use the glyphs, those born with a natural affinity for it. For quite a while I toyed with the idea of glyphs being captured if their users were defeated. Sort of a Pokémon thing. But I could never settle on a system that I was comfortable with.

The idea went stagnant for a while. During one of my creative spurt frenzies, I decided to revisit the idea, and I knew it needed something else. That’s when I hit on the time period and suddenly everything started to fall into place.

So here’s what I have: The ability to use glyphs is hereditary, with a few individuals in each generation able to use this gift. Because of the power this gave them, most glyph users are in positions of power and constitute the majority of the ruling class, including the Royal Family itself, wielders of the immensely powerful star-fire glyph. Occasionally a new glyph will arise in a family, as is the case with our protagonist.

The world is on the cusp of major change. The King is nearing death, and has two children vying for the throne. Civil war seems inevitable. Furthermore, revolutionaries and civil reformists are secretly rallying the common man to seize their rights.

Many glyph users lead double lives, going about in disguise to accomplish their own agendas, for good or for ill.

That covers the basic premise. Sort of a Three Musketeers meets X-men angle. I’ll share more about the plot and the characters (including more concept sketches) in another post, but in the meantime I hope you find this idea interesting.

Fire Glyph!

Concept Art


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