Writing Competition Submission - Dolkoroth

Dolkoroth

By The Lorecrafters Guild of PILLS

Logline (50 word limit)

The last surviving priest of a dying religion goes on a quest across space to commune with their God and find retribution for the death of their friends.

Story Summary (1,000 word limit)

In the future, everything is dying. Billions of years have passed since men found their way into space and, like a parasite, they clung to the worlds of the galaxy and drained them of every last resource. The galaxy is shattered, planets are dead and cracked and deformed, once grand space stations float aimlessly through the void, and the sight of a spacecraft is especially rare. As time went on technology became more and more useless as power needs could no longer be met across creation, which in turn gave rise to faith. The Dolkoroth — the last men to speak to God, formed the last order of governance across the galaxy. They ruled over the fading remnants of mankind, but were not enough to keep humanity from starving.

In an act of rebellion, the last of humanity revolted against what they saw as the oppressive Dolkoroth and wiped out the religious order, leaving only one member behind: The Priest. This is where the story begins. The Priest lives in the remains of the Dolkoroth, in the high temple that once served God, and they are unsure of what to do with themselves. So, they do the only thing they can, they maintain the temple. They clean the debris, get rid of the weeds, and give blessings to the many graves of their friends. All while waiting for a sign. One day that comes in the form of a vision. The Priest sees Earth — a planet that has been lost for millions of years — and becomes sure that their God is living on the planet and is trying to reach out to them.

The Dolkoroth are special. When a member achieves what’s needed to join their ranks, they enter a ritual made to bestow them with power. Actual power. Their chests are opened and a power source is installed within the cavity. This power source turns the priests into a battery, allowing them to power things like spacecrafts. It is a ritual from a time when fuel was dwindling but not rare, and it was one of the main reasons the Dolkoroth were wiped out.

The Priest has access to an old spacecraft and, using himself as the battery, powers the ship. Earth does not appear on any star maps, and even if it did, those maps are incredibly outdated. The Priest travels to a world known for its vast population, a scum driven landscape of slavers and death dealers, where he hopes he can find some clues as to where Earth may be found. He’s told, in no short terms, that the task is impossible by the wise fortua (souls whose purpose it is to guide people), but he might find hope on another world. There he can find the remains of the last starship to leave Earth and may obtain some clue as to where it came from.

In travelling to this next world though, the Priest brings the suspicions of the Laruix — one of the remaining groups in the universe that have access to what little fuel there is left. They use what they have to follow the Priest to the next world. There the Priest makes their way across the shattered landscape to find the starship, but is quickly met with one of the Laruix, a young fighter by the name of Toik. Toik, instead of killing the Priest, begins to ask questions about God. The Priest talks to him, but before any real answers can be given, the Laruix are heard. Toik grabs the Priest to hide him, and the Priest invites the boy to walk with him while he answers his questions.

The pair eventually find the starship, but it is a strange place to them. It was built during a time when technology was sufficiently advanced and power was plenty. They do find a clue, however, hidden in the data banks of the ship’s memory. Although it does not give the location of Earth, it does give the very last place the ship docked before crashing on this world: a space station across the Gap — a part of the universe that requires jumping technology to overcome. The Priest knows he can do it but requires a ship capable of performing the feat. As they discuss, the pair are attacked by the Laruix, who now see the Toik as a betrayer. They escape the starship and leave world, confident in their next destination.

They visit the one place where they might find a ship capable enough of jumping, a floating graveyard that serves its place in history as one of the great battlefields. Unknown to them though, the graveyard is the territory of the Modur, another group like the Laruix that have access to what little fuel is left. They capture the Priest and Toik and ask them what they’re doing. When the Priest explains the situation, they are sympathetic and allow the Priest to go but he must leave Toik behind. They plan to execute him as one of their enemies. The Priest rescues him, and they flee with a new and capable ship.

From there they make their way to the space station and find, through fortune alone, a star map that gives the location of Earth. The Priest prepares the ship for another jump, but as they are about to set off the Laruix finally catch up to them. The Priest, in an act of sacrifice, takes control of the station and wards off the invaders by detonating the power within him, giving Toik enough time to flee.

Toik arrives on Earth, or the desert that the planet has become. He spends many years travelling the dunes, trying to finish the Priest’s quest and learning faith himself. One day, to his dismay, he discovers where the visions had come from. A small boy living in the desert. A boy who found an advanced piece of technology that allows a person to transmit their thoughts and feelings across space.

Main Character Descriptions (50 word limit)

The Priest

An ageing relic, the Priest is a man of conviction and faith who knows how to defend himself. There’s a wisdom and patience to him that’s hard to understand in the current state of the universe but he’s also a gunslinger, trained in the ways of the gun.

Toik

Young and brash, Toik was raised to believe that the first answer to any question is violence. This skilled fighter is a like a space barbarian, quick with rage, but there’s a softer side to him hidden beneath the muscle. A side that’s curious and wants to learn.

Larvun (Leader of the Laruix)

A snarling beast of a man who thinks they rule what’s left of the universe. For creatures like him, fuel is power, and whoever has it is king. He’s a cruel and unfeeling creature that’s a direction creation of the universe around him.

Mother Mercen (Leader of the Modur)

An older creature, like The Priest, who leads her group of scrappers with confidence. She’s the type of person to think through a challenge and always has a leaning to do the right thing for her family, no matter the personal cost.

Setting Descriptions (50 word limit)

Billions of years in the future, planets have been exhausted of all their natural resources. The cosmos is empty, everything is dying, ancient space stations drift idly around shattered worlds. There is no law, no ruling government, it’s every man for themselves.

Episode Summaries (100 word limit per)

Episode One - The Priest

The Priest works to maintain the temple and pay respect to his dead friends. Then he recieves the first vision.

Episode Two - The Civilised World

The Priest, deciding to find Earth and commune with God, pays a visit to a populated world. Here he draws the ire of the crowds as he witnesses the devolution of humanity and the Laruix, who rule this part of space, begin to suspect him.

Episode Three - The Relic

The Priest, after speaking with the fortuna, travels to another world that has been reclaimed by nature. There he meets Toik and together they find their way to a crashed starship in order to find answers on where the Earth is.

Episode Four - The Graveyard

Needing a ship capable of jumping the Gap, they visit a graveyard ruled over by the Modur. Here the Modur are sympathetic and allow them to take a ship, promising the Laruix won’t come here.

Episode Five - The Station

The Priest and Toik find their way to the station, a clue from the crashed starship. Here the Priest decides to sacrifice himself when the Laruix show up by detonating the power source located in his chest.

Episode Six - The Earth

Toik continues the Priest’s mission and ends up as a desert wandered on Earth. After years of searching, he finally discovers who had been sending the visions. A young boy who found a powerful piece of ancient technology.

Tone (100 word limit)

Dolkoroth is saturated with a serious tone that carries the weight of its story and has the feel of an old western. It’s about people surviving a desperate environment in a lawless time. Although there can be light moments, the story is meant to be taken in earnest.

Theme (100 word limit)

The main themes in Dolkoroth revolve around the ideas of ‘faith in self and god’ versus ‘faith in technology’. The universe used to have faith in technology, why should they believe in God when technology has greatly improved their lives? What happens when that technology fails though, and you’re faced with uncertainty? The Priest’s main obstacle is their faith, which is seen as a weakness by others. But by having faith, he has purpose, and he can rest knowing his friends did too, even when it’s revealed that ‘God’ was merely a boy playing with something they don’t understand.

Your Contact Information (Social Media or IRL)

D_D_#2176 (discord)

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