Thursday, March 12, 2015

Old Pitches Revisted: Gods, Guns, and Crows

Blogging about Blogging Sins: So I'm about 90-95% recovered from the fall. I still get some twinges in the arm from the torn muscle, but I'm able to work consistently now. I lost several productive weeks in Feb/March, putting me behind schedule on several projects; a couple of board games and some rpg work. So I expect I'll be putting up posts only once or twice a week through mid-April. New week I'll have one of the two Post-Apocalyptic lists for the month. 

I wanted to make sure I posted something this week, so I thought I'd go back to some more of my earlier game/book.comic pitches. This one's literally called Age of Ravens, and comes from- I think- '99. I wrote about a third of a novel based on this. The idea centers on a modern, fairly grounded setting, but where a pantheon of active, interventionist gods holds sway. There's a little bit of 20th Century meets Glorantha, Conan noir, Harn crossed with Tinker, Tailor. There's some influence of Lord of Light here.  At least that's what I had in my head. I've worked on and off on a rpg take on this, but I keep hitting the double mumbo-jumbo problem (at least for myself). This doc's about 10+ years old. I present it unvarnished; I'd restructure this significantly it I came at this again today.

AGE OF RAVENS
Guns and gods collide as two heroes driven by a dead deity try to find their destiny and stop a conspiracy to corrupt the heavens.

IN BRIEF
The world of Age of Ravens contains a host of gods—most present, known and accepted by the populace. Faiths struggle in an alternate Twentieth Century where worship defines life. Baltimore cop Harvard Dain delves into a murder leading to a world of divine espionage and assassins. Marisol Kasser, rejected by her deity, searches for her place only to be dragged into the conspiracy. Joining forces they discover they pursue the last follower of the dead god, Crow. Their path draws them across the country, encountering avatars and lost pantheons. In the end Harvard and Marisol must choose who they will follow and who will control the new age.

THE PLOT
Paul Evenson, an American intelligence agent investigates research at a strange anomaly known as the Hole. He uncovers the scholar-god scientists’ plan to resurrect and control a destroyed god. Evenson’s sabotage releases the undead god and demolishes the facility. Pursued by rival government agent Hiram Zurhammer, Evenson vanishes into the Hole, apparently protected by his patron, the trickster god Crow.

Thirteen years later, Crow is dead.

Baltimore PD Detective Harvard Dain investigates a murder with supernatural elements. Sent by his community to protect their interests as a cop, he finds himself isolated from his fellow officers. Despite powers granted him by his deity, Manoc, Harvard remains marked as a follower of the god of the lost and marginal, smallest among the lesser gods of the Eighty-One.

Marisol Kasser has lost her community as well. Rejected by Rhamas, the All-Father, on the eve of her appointment as one his paladins, her wealthy family has turned her away. When she sees news of the murder, she suspects a free-lance job tracing the victim put him in harm’s way.

Stuck for answers, Harvard turns to followers of Chaikaj, the thief god, who point him towards Marisol and the victim’s service as an American spy. Marisol’s investigation leads to an ambush where she barely escapes a demonic attack. Evidence Marisol uncovers there points to a conspiracy involving demons, the government and old spies.

Harvard escapes an attack that kills a fellow officer as he digs deeper. Senior Intelligence Agent Zurhammer appears to warn him away—the attack had been intended to kill Harvard. Pressing on, he tracks down Marisol, but a police raid intervenes. Escaping, they discover Harvard has been framed for murder. They flee Baltimore tracing the few clues they have.
In Ohio, they find the last followers of Simeaus, the god of bindings and connections. Marisol investigates records on-site, finding a trail to Paul Evenson. Demons, unlike any seen before, assault the home and slaughter the Simeaus worshippers. Touched by powers, Marisol finds herself chosen by Crow.

In the battle’s aftermath strange allies appear in the form of Sheridan Kerr and Dahlia Wane, servants of Ghadravagra, the demon-wrestler deity. Driven by the call of their god, Sheridan and Dahlia have no choice but to hunt demons in the world. A shaken Marisol rejects Crow who stands for the disorder her upbringing condemned. But to continue she must accept the intuition granted her by the god. Harvard reluctantly accepts this path and the aid Sheridan and Dahlia; he finds himself unsure of the changes in Marisol.

The group moves westward—following a darkness in the divine landscape of America. Demons—the fear and chaos outside of the gods’ control—prowl and corrupt the land. Evidence points to an organized attempt to cover up these stories.

Spotted by authorities, a chase down on the back roads leads to a desperate firefight that destroys their vehicle. Their pursuers take Marisol and leave the others dead or dying. Taken to Roswell and the Hole—a rift in the sky dragging everything to it—Marisol meets Zurhammer. Obsessed with Crow as an enemy of the state, Zurhammer has allied himself with overseas powers representing a new fascist tide in Europe. Zurhammer leaves Marisol to be interrogated by two agents she recognizes as demons in human flesh.

Harvard and Dahlia survive only through a desperate invocation to Harvard’s god Manoc. They follow a flight of crows to the Hole. Marisol suffers at the hands of the demonic agents while Zurhammer rants against Crow. Harvard and Dahlia break into the facility and reveal the demons. In a desperate move, Dahlia summons her full aspect-- pulling the creatures to her as she flings herself into the Hole. The desperate grip of a demon drags Marisol into the void as well.

In the Hole Marisol sees the origin of the rising evil. From stolen documents detailing the creation of The Hole, European scientists found a way to destroy a god. Marisol witnesses the forced summoning which mortally wounds Simeaus, setting off the global plagues of ten years before. From the ashes arise a corrupt Twelve, dark avatars who echo highest gods. She sees their plan to destroy the gods and the world, a plan that even now has begun to take shape in Europe as old governments fall.

Marisol and a dark avatar of Crow fall back into the real world and the Hole closes. The demon escapes, but Marisol knows where he will go. At a commune in Southern California, Harvard and Marisol finally find Paul Evenson. Like Marisol he took the mantle of Crow unwillingly. The trail Evenson left for her came out of his own inability to complete the necessary task.

Marisol and Harvard find the last Simeaus worshipper-- Evenson’s wife who lies dying from cancer. Her murder will create a sympathetic corruption crippling America’s contact with the gods. Though he knows the danger, Evenson cannot bring himself to help her die.

They prepare for the final battle against the Crow Demon and his legion of the corrupted. Harvard must come to terms with his heritage and call his fellow brother in Manoc to him. Marisol must choose her path—can she accept the trickery of Crow or will she find a new path that can defeat her shadowy enemy and save the gods themselves?