The Bookwyrm

Connected Universe Idea

3 posts in this topic

Ever since I became invested in the Cosmere (yes, the pun was intended), I have toyed with the idea of writing my own connected universe akin to Brandon Sanderson's. 

As a writer, I am very good at worldbuilding, and can usually come up with interesting ideas for stories and the places that those stories would happen on. But I am no good at actually writing a coherent plot with interesting characters. I usually just write a few chapters of a story and then abandon it because I can't think of what to write next.

Anyway, over time I've had many ideas for stories, and some of these ideas became ideas that I could fit into a connected universe. I have always liked the idea of a story based around dragons, because I like dragons, but dragons that have capabilities for interstellar travel. When I combined this idea with some of the other ones that I'd had, I was able to make a very rough outline for some kind of connected universe, akin to the Cosmere.

Here is the rough overview of this Connected Universe. (Note that this is basically just copied and pasted from a google doc that has all my notes.)

Overview

Spoiler

History

Dragons and humans, (And possibly other intelligent beings?) come to live on their own respective worlds. In the distant past, before written history, these people spread across the galaxy (universe?) by methods unknown. I may also have it so that humans evolve independently on different planets, so that they are still the exact same species, (or at least similar ones) while still having no actual relations. The same with the dragons, where different dragons come to live independently on different worlds. Suffice it to say, humans and dragons end up on many different planets in the distant past. This prehistoric scattering sets the stage for the origins of the story.

Certain dragons are destined to bond with certain humans, and this bond results in powerful magic. Some dragons and humans have magic on their own, though, without needing a bond, though in some places this latent magic is suppressed. Dragons, feeling the need to bond with these humans who live on distant worlds, use their powers to open portals to other planets.

On some worlds, the dragons are welcomed with open arms. The magic and power they bring is accepted gratefully, and the cultures of both the humans and the dragons on that world grow together. Other worlds see the dragons as monsters and kidnappers, accusing them of taking their families. Earth was one of these worlds, though different cultures on Earth saw the dragons in different lights.

While Earth and some other planets closed themselves off from the dragons, the ones that accepted them became part of an interstellar society. Cultures moved and were influenced, and entire populations moved between worlds. This interstellar society lasted for several millennia, and almost all of the cultures were still in a “medieval” period in technology.

However, this period could not last. There are evil dragons, and they take advantage of the passages between worlds to take control of people, riches, and power. Some worlds are kept safe, due to the armies of warriors and magic users, both human and dragon, that formed on their worlds, but others are left helpless to the war that spread across the connected planets. Eventually, those in charge (still working on who “those in charge” is) saw the need to simultaneously cut off all interstellar portals at once. 

Every world was isolated at once. Without the interstellar mixing and growing of cultures, each world ended up going in the direction they were headed when the portals closed. The dragons of certain worlds evolved slightly to easier fit the planet they had been trapped on. Many ages passed, so that the time of an interstellar community became history, then legend, until few on any world remembered that there were other ones.

The stories begin, generally, at the time where these portals begin to open. The “ones in charge” see that the evil dragons, who were imprisoned on a few select worlds, may be close to breaking loose. They want to try to re-unify the isolated planets so that they are able to face what is coming.

Things to Work Out

Do I want there to be gods in this universe? Brandon Sanderson does some cool things with them in his, considering they’re the basis of his entire story. I can see ways to incorporate them into the story, but if I leave them out, then the story will probably turn out fine anyway.

Other intelligent life? Dragons naturally want to bond with humans who they are destined to bond with. If I added other intelligent species, how would they fit into this pattern? Would they also bond with Dragons? Would they have their own thing to bond to? Would they not bond with anything? These are questions that I still need to work on.

And here are the summaries of some stories that would take place in this connected universe.

Northern Seas

Spoiler

Northern Seas takes place on a planet that consists of a single large continent in the southern hemisphere, with the rest of the planet covered in one gigantic ocean that covers all of the northern hemisphere and some of the south. 

The Southern Kingdom, which is the primary country that calls the southern continent home, is generally more civilized. They are more based on the “medieval europe” trope that a lot of fantasy is based on. The royal families often have golden eyes.

The Northern Seas are a more wild and untamed area. A people of their own kind have somewhat developed there. They are a genetic mix of the ancient natives of the islands dotting the Northern Seas and the first southern explorers who made their way there. The Northern Seas are now filled with traders, merchants, mercenaries, explorers, ambassadors from the south, and pirates, among many others. It is a place of opportunity, but also a place of danger.

To the far north are a tribe of people who are separate from anyone else on the planet. I am basing their culture on a mix of polynesian and native american cultures. These people are descendants of interstellar travelers during the era of connections between the worlds. They understand the history of their planet better than anyone else on it. They have light brown skin and greenish-blue eyes, generally.

There are two types of magic: Gifts and Arts. Gifts are a type of internal magic, one that gives the Given certain traits or enhancements that they can call upon when needed. For example, someone with the Gift of Strength can activate their gift to gain a burst of physical strength. Gifts can only be activated for a certain amount of time, though, and need to be “recharged” after a long usage.

Arts are a more traditional type of magic. I am still working out the details of it, but I think it may be based on air drawn runes and symbols. Arts are banned in the Southern Kingdom, because people used them in their past to do great evil. Each of the three main cultures of the planet have their own type of Arts.

The story centers around a young woman who is the cousin to the princess of the Southern Kingdom. Her father is the king’s younger brother, but her mother is actually from the far northern tribe. Her father once went traveling around the northern seas when he was young, which was how her parents met. Her mother, after falling in love with her father, traveled back with him to the Southern kingdoms.

This young woman is unique because of her eyes. One of them is gold, and one of them is blue-green. She has several Gifts, and is secretly being trained in the Arts of both the Far North and the South. She has a strong personality, and is always fond of adventure, though she also likes the formal setting that she grew up in. She enjoys the balls and the luncheons, which is uncommon for a character of her general trope.

For reasons that I still need to work out (which is not good, because these reasons would be plot-central) the main character is sent away to travel the Northern Seas. She has a guide, who is an old, experienced, and somewhat gruff woman who was a friend of her father during his travels. She eventually makes her way to the far north and meets the tribe that she takes half of her heritage from. She is eventually a catalyst for the opening of a portal that connects her world to another.

This planet is home to sea-serpent like creatures that descended from the dragons that first came there. They are fully intelligent and have their own undersea kingdom, hidden away from the rest of the world. Sometimes, people from the tribe in the Far North will form magical bonds with these serpents. The main character also forms a bond with one of them.

Drifter

Spoiler

This story takes place on a world with no ground, a planet known as Drilea. I am imagining it as a small gas giant, though the gravity they feel is only slightly greater than that of Earth. The clouds of the planet are a yellowish color, though there are white water clouds in the upper atmosphere, where the floating islands are. The people of this planet live on these floating islands that drift in low orbits around the planet in the upper atmosphere. Some of them are small, only holding a single village, while others are large enough to be considered small continents. (Imagine ReDawn meets Skyward Sword.)

The dragon descendants on this planet are known as Drifters. They have huge wings and scales similar to the color of the clouds on Drilea. They are used to bring goods and people between the islands. However, only skilled and privileged people are allowed to bond with these Drifters, which becomes a plot point in the short story I started.

The magic for this book is called Windspeak, or Windspeaking. I don’t have much more about it than the name.

Earth Story

Spoiler

This is a story that would take place on Earth, our planet, in our modern day and age. The general plot is that dragons are returning to Earth after the millennia of isolation that all the planets felt. Dragons have, of course, faded into myth on Earth, so their arrival is treated interestingly.

The main character (or at least one of them, that I have in my head) is a young teenage woman of about 17 or 18. She ends up getting pulled into the whole business with the arrival of the dragons, considering she is destined to bond with one of them. 

The governments of the world are trying to deal with the “invaders”, as the dragons are labeled by some. While some people want peace with them, trying to find a solution without bloodshed, other countries are more hostile to the dragons, and are willing to go to drastic measures to protect against what they believe are hostile invaders.

The main character(s) would probably be approached by a secret organization of one or more of the countries who are not hostile to the dragons, and are drawn into a conflict to prevent a war between humanity and the dragons.

In my head I have this as some kind of a spy thriller story, based around an otherworldly “invasion”, but the “invaders” are dragons.

(Something along those lines. Much of the plot of this is still being worked out in my head.)

Andromeda's Descendants

Spoiler

This is based on the myth about Andromeda, who was captured by the sea monster Cetus, and the hero Perseus, who killed Cetus and saved Andromeda.

In reality, Cetus was a dragon who formed a bond with Andromeda, and Andromeda’s family was not pleased. They were among those on Earth who despised the dragons and saw them as monsters. Cetus was labeled as a kidnapper. Andromeda’s family asked Perseus to kill Cetus and “rescue” their daughter. But, in the end, Andromeda made the fully informed decision to leave Earth with her dragon. Perseus, who was eventually married to Andromeda, saw reason and went with her and Cetus to a distant world. Much of the mythology surrounding Andromeda and Perseus after Cetus’s supposed “death” was either based on information that traveled through a few sparse portals back to earth, or was completely fabricated.

 Over time, the legend became distorted enough that it was told so that Perseus did kill Cetus.

This story would take place many years later on a world where most of the people are descendants of Andromeda and Perseus. I don’t have much more than this.

That's basically it. What do you think? Comments, questions, suggestions? They're all welcome.

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this. is. beautiful. good sir, you've come up with this on your own? A masterpiece at work, here.

Do you have a name for this vast Universe?

(May I help author some bits, because I rly want to but if not that's fine)

You have inspired me to create my own connected universe. I had been thinking about it before, but hadn't really gone through with it.

I think I will though.

Sir, I thank you, I thank you and cannot wait to read these and see what you do.

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I can't wait to see what you will create Bookwyrm as I know that you can turn this idea into books.

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