Gods of Us

Title: Gods of Us
Genre: Fantasy
Audience: New adult (18+)
Length: Currently 27k and going

Sorry if some things are unclear, there is only so much I can put in 500 words.

Summary

Twin brother and sister Zren-a-kali and Aya-haji live miserably in the empire of Eiythi. Zren being a soldier in Eiythi’s royal army where he is belittled because he openly doesn’t want to be a soldier and he hides the fact that he paints and wants to become a professional artist despite the emasculating shame of it. Aya being a concubine slave to the Emperor of Eiythi himself where she is continuously raped and beaten, and objectified because of her unusual non-Eiythian appearance, including her freakishly long golden hair. They both continue to do these things because it is the only way to support each other and their father.

Zren soon meets the sly Empress Nefrti (yes named after Egyptian queen Nefertiti) and she offers a way for him to help Aya not have to always ‘work’ for the Emperor. He accepts. All the while, Nefrti offered him that to involve him in her plan to have her husband killed along with Aya. A few nights later at an event in the palace, Aya kills the Emperor for attempting to rape her again. Her and Zren manage to escape the palace after the emperor is discovered but when they get home and tell their father, he sends them into an underground tunnel that will lead them out of Eiythi. He is killed by the guards looking for them.

Devastated and lost, they end up stranded in the deep jungle. After days of trying to survive, they find a small village filled with people that dress and speak very differently from normal Eiythian culture. A tribe called the Zakumijia, exiled from the Empire long ago. They take them in, Aya and Zren growing a grandparents/grandchildren relationship with the Chieftain and Chieftess and learning their ways of life, including their practices of magick. A year later, the Chieftess says that they are the children of her daughter who was the fallen queen of the Eiythi and reveals that the stories of the family being the mounters of the grand mythical creatures, Griffons, is true. Meanwhile, Nefrti discovers something strong and valuable is under the small land of where the Zaku live.

Aya and Zren later enter the hidden Griffon kingdom that was hidden away when the conquest of Eithyi happened. Meeting two witty Griffons who grant them permission to mount them. They also find the power source of the magick the Zaku possess, an ankh with the energy stored inside it, they take it with them. After that, Nefrti comes to collect what she discovered but then finds the ankh, when the Chieftain protects it she burns down the village, resulting in most of their deaths.
They return from being away and declare war with the help of the other two nations under Eiythi’s rule along with other hidden tribes. In the final battle, Aya and Zren win take the throne, and Nefrti is killed.

Epilogue starts years later and ends with Aya and Zren being attacked resulting in Zren’s disappearance and the possibility of introducing dragons.

Plot arc: There are a lot of internal conflicts that go on between Aya, Zren, and Nefrti so the external one may feel small but here is it: Aya and Zren clash with Nefrti first in the beginning when Aya feels betrayed when she finds out that Nefrti knew about what the Emperor does to the slave girls when she thought she was oblivious to it and when Nefrti reveals she really thinks they are all beneath her. When they flee and are accepted by the tribe and find out they have the blood of royalty and a tie to a race of mythical creatures, this confuses them and when they try to run from it, they are sucked into discovering it for themselves.

Nefrti’s main goal with them was to get them out of the way after the murder. After that she doesn’t care about catching them when they escape as long as they never come back and she can rule Eiythi. They don’t become a problem to her again until they declare they want Eiythi back after she burns down the Zaku village killing the Chieftain and Chieftess and nearly killing their love interests. She fights until the end, having proven to herself she is worthy after using the ankh.

They go to battle with her and win but Aya is knocked off her Griffon after he’s injured and ends up losing the usage of both her legs. Figuratively shattering her hope for freedom, and Zren blames himself for giving into the idea of war and causing it. They still reluctantly take up the crown, feeling like they can’t leave Eiythi with no ruler, so they exercise their right to the throne by conquest.

Characters

Aya is restless. When she lived in Eiythi wanted to move around and have more outside of her life, despite declaring she has a duty to support her family. But it’s understandable considering what she had to do to support her family. Even when she gets settled with the tribe and she has it all, a family, peace, and freedom for her and brother, she still becomes bored with what she has and wonders what’s beyond. At one point she even goes back to Eiythi to at first find some closure but then let’s her curiosity get the better of her and she provokes Nefrti with a bounty on her head. When she meets her love interest, Mican, and eventually learns about the culture of his land, she’s ready to get up and go leave everything to see it all with him. In the end, she not only loses her legs and her ability to travel the way she wants, but she also loses him too when he sails back to his land to be with his family, her being stuck in the same place she started. She gripped onto the possibility of them being royalty because it proved to her that they really were meant for something more. That’s why it was her idea to conquer Eiythi back in vengeance for their late parents.

Zren is the opposite. He was always happy being settled, even if it was a life he hated. He doesn’t like to pick up and move, he likes routine with no change. So when they find the tribe he wants nothing more than to marry his love interest, Naala, and stay with Zaku and pursue his dream as a painter. Before Nefrti burned down the village, he didn’t want anything to do with Eiythi again and he didn’t care about what happened to their parents because he considered the man who raised them to be their only parent. This is where they clash amongst themselves. In the end, he gives in after the deaths of the Zaku but he mostly just wanted to kill Nefrti, not take over Eiythi because he knew they couldn’t rule it alone. But Aya ends up taking the lead. Putting him back into the same position too.

Nefrti’s internal conflict comes from her wanting to prove herself. She gets caught up in trying to prove she is worthy to sit on the throne. Her sisters fill her head with the fact the people don’t respect nor fear her, they would only do so if they see her as a god through magick. Her father trained her to be a warrior princess but then turned around and married her off to the new king of the conquered land. Ever since then she tries to live up to what her father didn’t want, her as a powerful queen, and someone worthy even though she wasn’t born as his son.

Notes: Again, certain things may feel rushed or unclear because a lot more goes on that what I can explain in so many words, like the magic system and politics of Eiythi.

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Gonna remove this soon because this is my wattys entry and I don’t wanna leave up spoilers like this.

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@YazzWrites I suggest you wait until Nick gives his review. He must be very busy, but I assure you–his reviews are worth waiting for. Please wait for him to have a look at your story :smiley:

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I figured he’s busy and I understand that, I don’t mean to seem like I’m rushing him or anyone else. It’s just weird for me to have my entire story up like this when I’ve never done this before, y’know? :sweat_smile:

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Hey… there’s always a first time for all of us :smiley:

My best wishes for your Wattys! :heart:

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Okay there’s a few things going on here to clear through:

  1. Spoiling a Wattys entry doesn’t really do anything for the entry so I wouldn’t be concerned. The entry form requires a lot of this info anyways, you would be preventing spoilers from us which you already gave by putting here anyways. So don’t worry.

  2. There’s a lot of plot elements in this story that make it very difficult to follow. Something new that drastically changes the plot is introduced basically every paragraph and it lacks a consistent goal or throughline that propels the characters forwards. They sort of have motivations at the beginning, mostly just because it supports their father. Why they want to support him, why they’re doing these things of all things, is unclear, particularly how a slave concubine is supporting their father (seeing as she would make no money?). This creates a strange ending that is unrelated to the father and also unrelated to the emperor and is instead about killing a god, which is also unrelated to either’s characters ambitions or drives and is more just a thing that is naturally occurring in this world, with or without these characters. This needs to be focused down on one central theme or plotline that needs to be made very clear in the beginning and shown through to the end.
    c) Remove the rape elements. They have nothing to do with the plot and only exist to show the emperor is very evil/bad, which you don’t need to do. Period. Rape is not a character device and should not be used as such. An emperor who beats women and keeps a slave consort is already very clearly very evil.

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Sorry for the late reply.

  1. I meant like spoilers for potential readers since anyone could look at this at any time on here :laughing: I know that you and the judges for the wattys would see this anyway with the entry form.

  2. They want to support their father because they live in the lower class setting of Eiythi so they do what they do to survive period but they mostly want to make sure their father(who is a very frail old man) is okay, they don’t worry much about themselves. Zren also makes enough for them to get by but Aya doesn’t want to feel like she’s useless, and she’s terrified of the emperor so she doesn’t want to run away because they have nowhere to go and so he doesn’t hurt her family. Aya does make money from what she does because she’s seen as the emperor’s ‘favorite’ so she’s the only one who is paid and is able to visit her family often. So I suppose that doesn’t make her a slave technically just a concubine because they can be paid (a slave actually can too because that just means she’s forced to obey him, but I see that the term slave universally involves working for no pay so I understand the confusion).
    I’m going for a reluctant hero type of thing, which is why everything occurring around them isn’t related to what they want or the story they want to tell but they fight the fight because it affects them in sporadic but drastic ways each time. They’re very passive characters in the beginning and throughout the middle of the story, people around them make decisions that affect their lives heavily and they rarely get to make choices that move towards their own passions.
    Ex. Zren wanting to settle down but the choices of Nefrti and his own sister forces him to go against that very thing. Aya wanting adventure and freedom but being constantly held down by a duty to family/people around her or circling back to where she started because of the choices of Nefrti.
    The ending has nothing to do with the father because, like the emperor, he only serves one purpose. Both their deaths are something that sets Aya and Zren’s journey off only in the beginning. The emperor first because Aya’s choice to kill him makes them have to run away from their old life, literally and figuratively. Their father’s death is the emotional incident that jumps starts some of their internal conflicts.

  3. You’re right. I can easily make the emperor a creep or evil without the rape. There were no rape elements at first and I debated it then ended up keeping it because in my head it was her motivation to her murder him(because I thought the attempted rape scene wouldn’t make sense or it came out of the blue if he hadn’t done it before), but now I realize that’s obviously weird in general and since she has plenty of motive to do it away(he’s very mentally abusive to her with the whole ‘his favorite’ thing so that’s plenty right there). I haven’t even looked at the first half of the draft in a while so I barely even thought about how bad that could be until now that you pointed it out.

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