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Orion - Designing a Story - Asisstance Welcome

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Fireheart
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Orion - Designing a Story - Asisstance Welcome

I have an idea for a new character. I'm calling him 'Orion'. I finally saw the Wonder Woman movie and it inspired me to imagine a 'flying brick' who fought with a Lasso. Initially, I thought the character would produce all of their effects through telekinesis. However, the more I thought about it, I realized I was making a variant of Tony Stark, an eccentric businessman who crafted a series of personal enhancements to become a superhero. Only, his 'technology' was Magic - he was an Artificer, rather than an engineer.

Outline and Elements
• Athletic Businessman.
• Greek extraction.
• Astronomy and mythology are hobbies.
• Rock climbing is a passion.
• Falls through a ‘crack’ in the world.
• Lands in extra-dimensional land.
• Meets ‘mystical’ people.
• Learns ‘magical’ crafting abilities.
• Takes ‘Orion’ as a model.
• Decides not to make the same mistakes.
• Aspires to hunt/defeat the ‘monsters’ that threaten the People. Like a Hero.
• Somewhere in there, he is taken to ‘Olympos’ to meet individuals resembling the ancient Greek gods. Hermes, Gaia, Athena, Artemis, Hephaestus.
• They teach him slightly more sophisticated methods for his magical crafting.
• Finally, he climbs/falls back into contemporary ‘reality’ and resumes his life.

• On the superheroic scene, a new figure appears. An armored warrior, fighting with a silvery rope. He appears super-strong, fast, athletic, and able to deflect projectiles. He can fly and stick to walls, so he doesn’t Fall again. He has superb sensory acuity and is able to heal damage easily.
• He is called ‘Orion’ and bases many of his ‘powers’ on Greek mythology.
• He, himself, does not have 'superpowers' but has crafted a number of artifacts that give him those abilities.
• He particularly hunts those that mundane Law has trouble affecting. Also, he seems to be an ‘eco-warrior’, defending Nature and confronting those that damage nature. He investigates and exposes criminal activities, so that Justice may be done by normal civilian processes.

• In CoT terms, he’s probably a ‘Centurion’. Protection/Control. WtC would probably designate him a ‘Merlin’, acting as a ‘Dragon’, emulating an ‘Atlas’.

** I would like to solicit the input of YOU all, to help me tell this tale.

Be Well!
Fireheart

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The Story of Orion

The Story of Orion
Josef Kynigós is an outdoor adventurer who loves going into natural areas, climbing to the top of mountains and gazing up at the stars. He is part-owner of a chain of ‘adventure outfitting’ stores, ‘Artemis Outdoors’, with particular interest in climbing and mountaineering. He loves to challenge himself, with strength and skill, minimal equipment, and the support of the mountain itself, to defy gravity, to reach for the heavens and climb higher.

On a ‘research trip’ to Garden of the Gods National Park, near Colorado Springs, he was trying out some new equipment. Crossing a rocky face, to reach a crack which would allow him to climb higher, he felt his anchoring safety-line slipping. Not wanting to fall hundreds of feet to the rocks below, he flung himself towards the crack in the rock face, reaching it just before the anchor let go. Fingers scrabbling for purchase, he pulled himself into the crack and wedged himself safely between the rugged stone surfaces.
Only, this was not just a crack in the stone, but a crack in the world, and when he slipped into the shadow within the stone, he was seized by a hidden current. Like an undertow of darkness, it pulled him into the crack and through it, into another place. He fell through space, but not far, before he stuck rock and blacked out. The last sign of his passage was his safety-line being sucked into the crack like a hundred-foot bit of noodle, where it vanished.

He woke to the warm dimness of a dark hide tent. He was stripped nude but wrapped and cushioned by soft furs. “A Raven!” he gasped. The last thing he recalled was seeing a large black raven digging his anchor out of the rock and releasing him to fall. He ached all over, but his climbing helmet seemed to have protected his skull from shattering when he hit the ground.

Beyond the sheltering tent, there was movement, and an old man ducked through the opening. His skin was darkly tanned by sun and weather and his grey hair was long and braided. A spray of black feathers adorned his hair, “Yes,” he said, “I am Raven.” His eyes were bright with curiosity, deep with wisdom, warm with caring, and dark with experience as he quickly examined the fallen climber.
“No,” countered Josef, “A raven was meddling with my anchor. A raven caused it to release. A raven made me fall.”
“That was not This Raven,” replied the wiry ancient, with asperity, “This Raven found you after you fell from the sky. This Raven called for help. This Raven carried you here and tended your wounds.”
Josef lay quiet under this gentle rebuke, and responded sincerely, “Thank you for your care, Master Raven.” The old man chuckled and replied, “I am no one's ‘Master’, just ‘Old Man Raven’.” “Then I thank you, Raven,” he said, “I am Josef.”

Days passed into weeks and months, while Josef recovered his health. He met the other members of the tiny community he had fallen into, ‘Uncle Bear’, ‘Uncle Wolf’, and ‘Grandmother Spider’. All seemed ancient, yet unaging.
Old Man Raven was their nominal leader, Uncle Wolf the best hunter, Uncle Bear was called when simple strength was needed, and Grandmother Spider kept the hearth, when not weaving or spinning.

One evening, after the fire had settled into glowing coals, they sat together, telling tales and jokes and talking about their days and plans. Josef looked up at old Raven and saw a pattern of lights which he suddenly recognized. “Old Man,” he exclaimed, “I see your stars. Both here and in the sky!” He pointed up at the constellation named ‘Corvus’ (the Raven). He paused a moment in thought, then said, “And I know Wolf and Bear, of old, as well, there and there in the stars.” He pointed to those figures above, as well.
The lights he saw on the elders might have just been firelight, reflecting from decorative amulets and trinkets they wore, but Joseph was not certain. After a short silence, the old one said, “Yes, my totem is there,” he nodded. “All of us are in the stars and in this world, both.”
His bright eyes sparkled with curiosity and Raven asked, “What about you, young Josef? What is your totem?”
Startled, Josef blurted out, “Orion.” Then he shook his head, confused, before going on, “My people, long ago, told stories about the great hunter, Orion. Slayer of monsters, beloved of the hunting goddess, but over-proud and boastful. He swore to hunt every creature on the earth.”
“Perhaps he meant ‘one of’ every creature, but the Earth Mother heard him declare he would hunt down and slay Everything. She could not let him do that. Not to kill all of her creatures, her children. So she sent the Scorpion to sting him and end his threat of death.”
“Orion was powerful and strong, but Scorpion’s venom was deadly. So the mighty hunter was brought down by a tiny creature, that he would not have noticed if he accidentally crushed it under his sandals.”
“All the people wept, but the goddess of hunting had loved Orion and begged her father for a solution. The great chief of the gods was wise enough to see that simply bringing him back to life would not solve the issue of Orion’s threat to ‘everything’. So he lifted the hunter into the sky and turned him to stars. Then, to warn of the danger of heedless arrogance, he scooped up the Scorpion and placed it among the stars, as well.
“Such, then, is the tale my people tell. I do not hunt the creatures of the earth, myself. I hunt the wild places of the earth, to see them and appreciate them and to learn from them, whatever I can,” Josef concluded.
“Still,” he said after a moment, “there are monsters about the earth… Many of them are men. They do evil unto the People.”
“I would be like Orion the Hunter of old. To find them, to expose their crimes, to bring them to justice, and put an end to their evil,” he declared.
“Good!” replied Raven, and the others all murmured appreciatively, as well, “We know that Hunter of yours, to us, he is a Guardian. He guards the wild places, but he also guards the People from the monsters that can come out of them. It is often a thankless task, to oppose the darkness, but a necessary one,” said the Elder.
Just then, there was a flash and flare across the dark skies, Josef leaped to his feet, “A meteor shower!” he cried. “Star messengers,” returned Old Man Raven, just as a red hot stone shot from the sky like lightning and exploded in the sand, almost where Josef had been sitting.
“I will finish that for you,” offered Raven. Eyebrows raised in surprise, Josef investigated and found a slim trapezoid of nickel, impact-fused with a green, black, and smokey-white, wafer of multi-layered glass. When it had cooled enough to handle, he sifted the thumb-sized object out of its sandy bed. The old man carefully received the celestial ‘messenger’ and took it away.
A day later, Raven returned it to him, now crafted into an obsidian arrowhead and strung on a supple leather thong, which Josef naturally hung around his neck. “Now, carefully prick your finger and anoint it with a drop of blood, to complete the binding,” instructed the ancient mystic. Josef did as he was bid and saw a flash of light from the corners of his eyes. Old Man Raven nodded in approval, “Yes,” he said, “Accepted by the Hunter. Your totem is ‘Orion’, as you thought.”

Over the next days and nights, Josef talked with these new… friends, these star-beings, worked with them, to learn what he could from them and to contribute to their small community.
Their life was relatively simple, hunting, gathering, and crafting useful things. They had small plots of land, where they planted and grew food plants, but they did not ‘farm’ in the way that an industrial culture would recognize. Their methods were more akin to gardening, as they nurtured the soil, planted the seeds and plants, then left them to grow, before returning to harvest the crops.
They were ‘gatherers’ who carefully cultivated convenient concentrations of some plants for ready access. They were hunters who knew the cycle of the land about them and the animals that lived there. So they almost always knew where the prey would be and what prey would be available in each season. They were crafters who used all of the resources of the land, plants, and animals, to make tools that could help their lives be easier.
They were not sedentary but migrated between known locations, where those resources could be found. They knew of other groups of people about the land, met with them, occasionally contested with them for access to resources, and traded with them. Josef proved to have a good knack for this trading.
Josef had always been phenomenally fit, but these people needed personal resources of strength, speed, and resilience that went beyond what a city-dwelling businessman might ordinarily cultivate. At first, he could barely keep up, but he quickly developed a lean, swift, powerful physique to match those needs. While he was recovering from his fall, he put his clever mind and hands to work, assisting Grandmother Spider and Old Man Raven with their crafts.
Once he was fully on his feet again, he went out with Uncle Wolf and Uncle Bear, as well, hunting, gathering, and cultivating for food. Spider and Raven also regularly ventured beyond the camp, collecting materials for their crafting. Slowly, Josef came to realize that these people had non-material tools, and resources, as well, which they called ‘Spirit’, but which was indistinguishable from ‘magic’, as far as he could see.

During another evening of pleasant, after-dinner conversation, Raven gave Josef a sly glance and asked him, “So, young hunter, what do you want from this life?”
He thought about it and replied, “I suppose I want what anyone wants, Success, health, pleasure, satisfying work, a sense of having made a useful contribution to life.” He fell silent, pausing to consider more, then continued, “In that other life, before I fell into this one, I had sufficient physical success, and material success, I won awards and praise from my peers. I want to go back there when I’m ready. In this life… I would learn your way of spirit-crafting, as much as I can, but what I really want… In either life, I would take up the mantle of Orion, to hunt the ‘monsters’, to defeat them, to guard the People.”
“I would enjoy exploring and discovering this land. However, before I left you, I would store up a person’s worth of excess, to compensate for my absence. You all have been generous and kind to a stranger, you have cared for me, and I would return that generosity.”

Foradain
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I notice that by placing his

I notice that by placing his entry into the spirit world in Colorado, he is near the "border" between the areas where the Raven was respected as the trickster, and the areas where the Coyote was. Perhaps, if he heads "southwest", he may meet Coyote....Or maybe his travels in the Spirit world won't be bound by geography, and he could meet Anansi the Spider, or Brother Rabbit...

Foradain, Mage of Phoenix Rising.
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Fireheart
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Yes, I chose Colorado for

Yes, I chose Colorado for many reasons, but you are right, his extra-dimensional adventures are not bound by geography. All he has to do it slip through another crack in the world. One of my first-readers complained about the Native American setting and how it was not really connected to the Greek mythos that my character was based on. My argument was that the whole thing is based on Stars, so completely divorced from 'local' myth and that the primal people represented by Raven, Spider, Bear, and Wolf could have existed Anywhere on the globe.
Colorado also has a wealth of mineral resources and I thought that Orion's 'stars' might be gemstones, that he enchanted for various purposes.

Be Well!
Fireheart

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Unfortunately, this story

Unfortunately, this story seems 'stalled' by two factors. How the 'primal' figures Josef finds himself with might train and teach him to be a hero in the 'modern' world and how he might shift to a 'Greek Myth' focused space, to learn to invoke Gaia, or Hermes, or Athena, to enhance and focus his 'spirit-crafting' abilities?

Is there any un-handiness in the structure of the story, which a rewrite might help with? Any feedback from my peers would be useful.

Be Well!
Fireheart

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so he's like a mix between

so he's like a mix between batman and wonder woman?

Fireheart
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notears wrote:
notears wrote:

so he's like a mix between batman and wonder woman?

There are certainly parallels. Wonder Woman, only male, is the general effect/approach I'm looking at. Batman covers the civilian angle. Tony Stark/Ironman covers the general 'How' of the whole thing, he makes artifacts that boost his abilities. He will also be gifted with a supernatural lasso.

I was thinking of a hero 'in the image of' WW, but not drawing any other aspects from that character, save for an affinity for Greek Myth. I intend to draw almost everything from a 'mythic' interpretation of astronomy and astrology. Mix in some doorways into parallel planes of existence and I hope it will hang together.

Yes, I am gifting the character with nigh-superhuman physical and mental gifts, Olympic training, and then adding supra-normal, 'cosmic', magical powers, all to make the mythic figure of Orion seem applicable to a more modern setting. Why not?

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Fireheart

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...

...

*Cue Training Montage* Every day, Josef went out to learn from the ‘Star People’, to help them and to teach them new things, in turn. Much of what he had to offer was vaguely remembered trivia from Social Studies class, in his youth. He found the plants that would be ‘maize’ and introduced their cultivation. He engaged in many ‘water-works’ projects, improving the tribe’s access and use of streams and pools for irrigation and other uses. He piled up compost, for soil-improvement in dis-used gardens. He suggested and began the collecting and keeping of herds of sheep and goats, as ‘gardens’ for meat and fibers.
The ‘Star People’ tribe grew a bit, taking in young ‘Starborn’ and ‘Star-Crossed’ persons from the other tribes. All eager to learn the ‘magic’ and skills of the ‘Star People’ and their new prodigy.
Meanwhile, Josef also went out hunting with Uncle Wolf and any others who would teach him. He became familiar with the recurve self-bow used by the People, but quickly realized it would take a lifetime of practice to master it as old Wolf had.
Instead, he built on the Javelin skills he’d learned for the Olympic Track and Field team, honing his skill with the light spear and ‘spear-thrower’, or atlatl, that the People used to make the spear fly farther and with more power. For some applications, such as taking peccaries and larger herbivores, like bison, or aurochs, he used a heavy thrusting spear, called a lance.
Josef turned out to be most skillful with a simple rope or lasso, he had a knack for it. He could hide above a game trail, drop a braided-rawhide lariat-loop over the prey’s head and leap down, with the rope looped over a high anchorage. This combination of opposing forces often snapped the prey’s neck in a moment, bloodlessly.
Alternately, he might catch the prey’s feet in a loop of rope, slowing them enough for a quick thrust or throw to take them in a vital spot. If he didn’t simply trip or string them up with the rope itself.
Besides the practical, physical skills of taking the prey, Wolf taught him the more cerebral and intuitive arts of locating, tracking, and stalking. Knowing the terrain, knowing the prey’s patterns, anticipating their movement, setting up and taking advantages. Strike swiftly, end it swiftly, clean-up and retreat, leaving little sign of your passage. All of this, too, takes a lifetime of practice to learn and perfect.
In the evenings and other times when hunting and gathering and herding activities were curtailed, Josef learned spirit-crafting from any and all that might teach it. Raven and Grandmother Spider were most adept.
Raven explained it thusly - the celestial spheres contained all that was, they turned and danced against, among, around, and through the field of cosmic existence. This continual motion produced great energies. If one could listen just right, then the music of the spheres could be sensed. In spirit-crafting, one teased out a tiny thread of this energy, this power, and through Imagination and Will, one crafted a process or device which, when connected to the power, produced an effect in the world.
“As an example,” he said, “It is possible, through a series of precisely exerted physical pressures, to turn a piece of stone, or glass, into a perfect arrowhead. I know this, I have done this, a hundred times.”
“Therefore, I can take a lump of star-glass, and a whisp of spirit-power, imagine the whole, intricate process, and will it to completion in time to give you your amulet the next day.”
Grandmother Spider explained it more abstractly, saying, “Imagine it, See it, Know it, Be it, Do it. That last part is critical. It doesn’t matter how much power and thought you put into a thing, without Action, to start it and push it to completion, you have Nothing.”
They both suggested that, this being a material world, having basic material resources was also important. One might imagine a fantastic supper, plan out every detail, and, without the basic foodstuffs to create it, nobody could eat it.
This spirit-crafting could take a lifetime of learning and practice to develop and perfect. Josef did not have a lifetime, he stayed with the People for three years.

Happily, he was every bit the ‘prodigy’ he seemed, with a knack for focussing his mind and body on a task or goal, and accomplishing it. Coupled with a university education and a mind accustomed to the ‘scientific method’, he observed what worked, studied Why it worked, and applied those principles to the next problem. Each phenomenon was not a unique miracle, but part of a consistent continuum with logical rules, if he could work them out.

** Is this too much like a Gary-Stu? **

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Am I asking the wrong

Am I asking the wrong questions?

Okay, what part of this story do you LIKE?

Be Well!
Fireheart