High Powers: A Shine Cycle Subseries

There’s another planned subseries of the Shine Cycle, somewhat parallel in conception to the “Game of Life” subseries. While that is listed on my Outline of History as the ten “Battles of Earth”, this is the ten “Battles of High Powers.”

The High Powers subseries is little more than a concept at the moment; this is in contrast to the Game of Life, which has a premise for each one and quite a bit of (badly flawed, but scavengeable) text already written for the first two or three. On the other hand, this means that if you have an idea there’s less chance that it simply won’t work with what I already know. In the remainder of today’s post, I’ll brainstorm, working my way from the limited established series background I have to one way of coming at this.

The High Powers subseries, like the Game of Life, is an intermittent collection of battles in a long war that has spread through several galaxies in several universes. By the very nature of the conflict, the war is mostly a cold one—not that the principal opponents wage the conflict through proxies while maintaining the fiction of peaceful relations, but rather: The Dragon Empire (whose goal is universal domination) and its allies, to limit their losses, generally avoid any situation that is likely to turn into direct confrontation.

Conversely, the Shine and Wild Empire and its allies make the frustration of those cosmo-imperial ambitions their primary goal, but prefer to avoid needlessly involving any nations outside the conflict. With these factions opposing each other, and such a very large scope for the Dragon Empire to choose its ground, most of the time is spent moving from place to place—for the Dragon Empire, looking for an out-of-the-way place to begin another attempt at conquest, and for the Shine and Wild empire and its allies, looking for where the Dragon Empire has started its latest operation, like a few needles in several very large hay-mows—rather than actually fighting.

The Game of Life series—the Battles of Earth—shares one common thread through each premise. Gondolor, the Dragon Empire’s chief field commander, comes to our system in search of … something. (More about that in later posts; I did promise a series of posts about this subseries, after all.) But each time, he is caught more or less unprepared and defeated. Earth is not his ideal ground, for many reasons that will come out as I explore those stories further.

So I was thinking … perhaps the Battles of High Powers are times when, instead of attacking an existing, inhabited world (let alone a prepared position, which he does a few times) only to be eventually driven off, he finds a suitable uninhabited place somewhere out of the way and discreetly builds it up, only to be caught there when it is (perhaps) only mostly finished. In other words, if the Battles of Earth are about catching him off guard, the Battles of High Powers could be about pinning him down.

Now, how to go about this …

(When I’ve gotten some ideas for distinctive premises for each battle, I’ll resume this discussion as a new series of posts, again parallel to that for the Game of Life.)

And what do you think?


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