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What crime is great enough for a deity to be stripped of his powers and bound to mortal form? What act is great enough for him to gain them again? Is it enough for a god to recognize at last the desperate search for truth within one of his most fervent followers? Or must there be more? If someone came up to you and claimed to be your god, trapped in mortal form, would you believe him? Can a mortal win the heart of said god? Why would he/she need to try? Is prayer and devotion enough? What is faith?

These are just a few of the questions I’ve been asking myself over the last week. My concept for the novel is taking me on a lovely journey of religious self-discovery, since it centers on belief/disbelief. It’s been an interesting time. The thing is, I’ve always been considerably more liberally-minded than most of the rest of my family, despite my Catholic upbringing. Additionally, I’ve been far more accepting of ideas from outside influences. This has led, not to a complete rejection, but to a serious contemplation of my faith. It’s been rough, honestly, considering what’s been going on in my life over the last year. I’ve finished my college career, lost a grandparent, found my first real-world job, lost my favorite pet, started some new traditions, and managed to make some new friends while accidentally alienating others. It’s been an interesting year, to say the very least. I consider that everything happens, not necessarily for a reason, but that it happens, regardless. I am hardly the person now that I was then. I have to consider this to be a good thing. If I don’t, I’d lose faith in myself.

I am greatly looking forward to Monday and Tuesday this week. Why? Simple. It will be the first time I’ve had two consecutive full days off of work in almost 4 months. I’m not complaining about having work, mind you. I’ve got rent and student loans to pay, after all. I’m quite happy to have a job, especially since it allows me to be near books nearly constantly. I’ve always liked to be somewhere where I have books nearby. All the same, it’s a little exhausting to have only one day off at a time, especially when I’m working retail during the holiday season. I still can’t believe I survived all of that. Yeesh.

TLDR version: I’m tired, looking forward to time off, and questioning long-held beliefs. I feel I’ve finally stepped into the shoes of this character. I’ve just got to decide what kind of shoes those are going to be. Personally, I like sandals, depending on the weather. Otherwise, pirate boots are totally the way to go.

Side note: I’m wrapping up an amazing D&D campaign that has spanned the last (nearly) two years. It’s going to be sad to say goodbye to these characters. My character is a half-orc barbarian/dragon shaman who has devoted his life to being the scythe-wielding avatar of death for a white dragon. Should he survive this final battle, he will return to the frozen north lands as a barbarian king, uniting the various orc tribes under his banner, with the frostwind virago, Ilyana, by his side as his queen. It’s been a good run. I’m reluctant to set down the character sheet, but I’m ready for the chance to play some of my other characters again.

Anyway, I’m going to wrap things up for now, but before I go, I’ve got to return a favor to a good friend, who recently linked to here through her own blog. If you like this, but would prefer something in a bit more of a rambling flavor, give it a read. She and I tend to bounce ideas off of each other whenever we get together. We’re like the Inklings, only with less fame (thus far) and lame American accents. Ideally, someday we’ll both be famous, and this blog entry will be somewhere in the Library of Congress, for posterity. Goodnight.

 

3 Comments

  1. Ah, you make me feel like a wuss for only tackling death, dying, and the emotional politics of killing! God(s) is/are a far harder topic. Best of luck on your journey. It sounds like it will be a trying one.

    I didn’t realize that campaign had gone on so long. Saying goodbye to characters (whether D&D or literary)is always awful; sometimes I think I’m subconsciously stalling to avoid writing my final pages. What are you looking to play next?

    Also, do you know how hard it was to hold on to my lame accent in the UK? I kept having to remind myself not to mimic people around me. Would have been so easy to pick up a new one…but then I wouldn’t have gotten “And where are YOU from, m’lovely?” every time I went to market/the Hard Rock/everywhere.

  2. You shouldn’t feel like a wuss. You’ve been working on your story a lot longer than I have been working on mine. It’s been a part of you for a long time now. It’s going to be a long journey, but I’m excited.

    As far as the campaign goes, I’m not really sure what we’ll be running next. I’m thinking about playing a warforged for a while. We’ve been toying with the idea of playing a character who has no memory of his past, but likes to hit things are hard as possible, and watch them take damage as they bounce off of other things. I’d have to agree that saying goodbye to a character is hard, whether in D&D or a story or anywhere else. It’s weird how you get attached to things like that. People who don’t really exist can have an incredible impact on your life. Eerie, almost.

    Also, given how difficult it is for me to not slip into a British accent in normal, everyday conversation, I can imagine it must have been quite difficult to avoid doing that when surrounded by them. Yeesh. Besides, it would have been fun to get called “m’lovely” everywhere. 😀

  3. Interestingly enough, I see your questions about faith, God, and general belief present in much of the literature and storytelling that I love the most, and the questions are heavy, and not easily answered. The title of your post reminded me of FMA’s ep “To Challenge the Sun” and the love affairs between god and mortal of course hearken back to the mythology we are all taught as children in some form. I think much of it comes down to a balance of pretty much everything: power, love, respect, and faith. You might be interested in reading Terry Pratchett’s Small Gods, of the Discworld series, which tackles the mutual need between gods and men, and what happens to a god when belief starts to fade, in a very literal sense. I think imbalances in any of these things can cause a shift in the world, and to restore balance that shift may be mended. A god may be stripped of power when his thirst for it or use of it is unbalanced with the power of the mortals who believe in him, for example, and that his deeds in returning them to that power and faith may restore him to his godly state. As far as love between mortals and gods, balance is once again the key, and if the love changes the balance (say a mortal wanting to become godlike to be with the god he/she loves, or vice versa) the balance is shifted, and to right itself the price of pain will probably be paid. Jesus is a good example of the correct balance, being both God and Man, but not too much of either. As a man, still obedient to the Father, but as a god using his power to heal hurts within the world. Whatever the approach (though I was also raised very firmly Catholic, I’ve tended to form my own ideas about other faiths and how they are balanced) I believe all who seek to be the best person they can be and are not merely seeking reward are showing faith to the same God, just changing the form to suit their cultural or social needs and beliefs. What many tend to forget is that God in almost any form is all-encompassing, and is beyond the scope of a mortal’s mind to comprehend fully. We can’t trap the abilities and especially the love of God in a box just so that it feels comfortable within our mortal grasp. God is much bigger than that, and while we fight our little insignificant fights about who’s right or wrong about Him, He smiles knowingly, like a parent watching children play at adult work. I can suggest some other reading that is directly or indirectly linked to this subject and my ideas on it, if you’re interested, and I’m always around to chat about this or anything else if you need someone to bounce ideas off of.


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