Webster defines Nothing as something that does not exist. Ironic that something is within the definition of nothing. In any event, imagery of blank darkness immediately comes to mind. What if Nothing did indeed exist? With fantasy, anything is possible, right? And what if this Nothing served as the souls for supernatural beings with draining properties such as wraiths or vampyres?
If The Cosmos is indeed infinite then every possibility must therefore exist, including the concept of Nothing. Webster defines infinite as being limitless, boundless, and endless. Just because something is not comprehensible or conceivable does not mean it does not exist. Do not make that fatal mistake. Just ask those who arrogantly waltzed into the crypts of The Unfathomable Serviturs with the hubris only mankind dares to wield like shields. Oh, we can't, because those simpletons were never heard from again!
Nothing is connected to The Dark and is filled with endless layers of eternal darkness. It feeds on everything and gives the gift of potentiality back to The Cosmos, which in turn spins that potentiality into infinite possibility. For you see, Nothing is an integral part of a Cosmic ecosystem on the grandest of scales.
Supernatural beings like wraiths, vampyres, and banshees have no natural souls like mankind, fore these creatures are no longer a part of mankind if they ever were connected to our species in any manner. At the moment of creation of these kinds of creatures, Nothing fills the void of these beings and becomes their de facto souls. A hunger consumes these creatures of the night and dominates their very existences. It is a painful process that continues until the day of the destruction or dooming of these tragic creatures.
Unfortunately, Nothing must be fed, and the Cosmic ecosystem must be serviced, both at the expense of these supernatural creatures. No natural born man should want any part of the curse these dark beings shoulder every minute of their pitiful existences from their creation to the very day of their demise. Doom cannot come too quickly for these creatures who no longer feel The Light with souls of Nothing!
My Thought Trains keep rolling every minute of every day. They are loaded for bear with ideas of every stripe. When I unload them, I discover new characters, creatures, spells, towns, plot lines, and so much more. These Passing Thoughts quickly become new friends that beckon me to them. All I have to do is find the right home for them. Yippekiyay!
Ideas are powerful things to behold. Think of all of the wars that have been fought over the notions of liberty, freedom, and fair play. Philosophers have written tomes upon tomes about these ideas. Some of the greatest fiction has based plots on these mental constructs. Tolstoy's, War And Peace, and Shaw's, Arms And The Man, come to mind in that regard. Since concepts arouse and fuel our passions in real life and in other works of fiction, why don't they play a central, or even more prominent, role in fantasy stories?
Concepts, by their very natures, are intangible and untouchable in any normal way or by any ordinary means. The existence of magic and supernatural elements are game-changers. Those things make it possible for characters to manipulate these untapped resources to whatever fantastical ends authors can dream up within the tapestries they weave for their characters. Ideas are hidden gems just waiting in the shadows for fantasy authors to shine a light on them!
No good author or game master creates without some level of conflict within his or her stories or games. Without friction or disagreement of some sort, fiction or fantasy games would be as dull as watching paint dry, or perhaps, more so. At least something changes as paint dries, if only the glare of the paint on the painted surface.
At root, conflict is the clash of opposing elements, ideas, or forces. It can stem from hostility or be part of a natural process or progression. In either case, conflict changes things for better, or for worse. This latter alteration is where the meat of something interesting waits in the shadows to be discovered and explored by the reader or player. Conflict is intrinsically fascinating and peace, not so much, although we all like to live our lives peacefully and free from trouble hounding us every other minute.
The literary world has historically put conflict into a framework of four categories: Man against Man; Man against Himself; Man against Nature; and Man against God. Another category of conflict could be: Man against Ideas. One could place Ideas in the Nature column, but concepts are different and distinct from most naturally-occurring elements of Nature.
Although a hurricane embodies the concept of pressure, is pressure something separate from the natural phenomenon of the hurricane? Is pressure one of Mother Nature's tools, or is it an idea with which she must contend? If the latter is true, then another kind of conflict has reared its mighty head; Nature against Ideas.
Why not mix it up? Why not write fantasy stories or create fantasy scenarios from the point of view of Nature or one of The Gods, or even from the perspective of a Concept? When you start mixing and matching, the windows of opportunity begin to fling wide-open. These openings feed the fires of the imagination!
Time is a concept most of us take for granted. Sometimes we personify Time by referring to it within sayings like, "Time marches on whether we want it to or not," and in lyrics to songs such as, "Time flexes like a whore, falls winking to the floor, her trick is you and me, boy." Websters defines Time as a period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues. This definition doesn't shine much of a light upon the concept, but at least, it's a starting point.
Many people are slaves to Time and pay attention to every passing second, while others fritter away their Time as if it is an endless commodity. Everyone deals with Time in their own way. For all of the effort spent on keeping track of Time and measuring it, nobody seems to have much of a handle on its nature.
Hang Time, the shifting Sands of Time, a stitch in Time saves nine, Time waits for no one, The march of Time, lingering Time, wasting Time, and managing Time are all within the lexicon of common usage. Within the context of a fantasy setting, Time can be weaponized and used like a stick to beat beings into submission. This concept can even be utilized to grind away at reality. The idea of Time can be so much more than something through which characters move forward and backward through eras or histories of reality. What if Time were measured in echoes, moments, and glimpses, rather than in seconds, hours, and years, or referred to as the past, present, and future?
The idea that Time is relative to the observer has yet to be explored fully by fantasy artists. Does it have to be one observer, or can it be a team or system of observers? What if two observers are equidistant from one another and from the object of their mutual observation? What factors come into the equation? Does geometry have anything to do with it? Can Time stalk us like a predator, and if so, what would that be like? The imagination just fires and fires when you begin to think about the possibilities of this cool little concept, we call Time.
Time is an integral part of the physics of The Cosmos. It is connected to gravity, space and thus is embedded into the fabric of The Cosmos, and movement which is a measure of objects going from one space within The Cosmos to another. Time, however nebulous a concept it may be, is important to anyone hungering for Cosmic Truth.
Diluvians understand these connections and have embraced this understanding within their magics. Diluvians manipulate equations to manifest physical changes within The Cosmos and Time is often the focus of their theorems and algorithms. Humanity woefully needs to catch up to The Diluvian's mastery of Time, or these creatures so alien to the human condition will either enslave or erase humanity altogether. For years cosmologists have been warning of these dangers that have been lurking in the shadows, waiting for a window of opportunity to open. Whether humanity can survive its ignorance is yet to be seen!
They say the eyes are the windows of the soul. For an artist, the windows of his or her soul are the works he or she creates. Every artist imparts a bit of his or her soul into every story, every song, every movie, every painting, or any other creation he or she makes. That's what distinguishes art from mere objects or things.
Every creation tells a piece of the artist's story. All you have to do is look for it, and its there to be discovered in all of its splendor. The artist draws from his or her well of experience and bestows that upon his or her masterpieces. That's why the artist has to be keenly aware of his or her self in order to produce true works of art. With this in mind, take a fresh look at your favorite pieces of art, whatever medium, and see for yourself!