A War Without Death

Starling 12
Dreams & Schemes
Published in
2 min readMar 7, 2021

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Idea: Worldbuilding/Character

Genre: Various

Pitch: Immortals. People who have gained the ability to never die under any circumstance. They do not age, and no matter how many times they are opposed and beaten down, they always come back. But it is more interesting than the practical benefits is to see the effects that immortality can have on a human being’s psyche — their outlook on life and existence, on other short-lived people. Some of them hold steadfast to their beliefs and goals, no matter how long it takes them and how much they fail, whether those goals are good or evil. Others become bland, and watch generation after generation get themselves in a tizzy over something temporary, in the immortal’s eyes. These two starkly different reactions propose an interesting question — will human perseverance, when given infinite time, run around in circles like a dog chasing its tail? Or will it run out, wither and crumble into hopelessness and unfulfillment?

Personally, I believe it depends on the personality. There are humans who give up in a regular lifetime, and humans who fight until their dying day. When humanity’s basic greatest threat, death, is completely removed, it changes the very fundamentals of their values. So, stab them in the heart? They’ll complain about the hole in their shirt. Burn their favorite copy of The Iliad? They’ll unleash the wrath of Achilles. So what happens when immortals oppose each other?

This is a delight to play with, as the core to every character is what motivates them. Avoiding death is a shared motive for everyone, existing somewhere in our priorities. Yet in a battle with no death, the only competition is who has the most determination. Two immortals will fight until one gets bored or tired and gives up. Their motivations become entirely emotional rather than physical, with how much they are willing to trade and sacrifice for victory. It doesn’t even matter what the object of their desire is; only what the object means to them. It could be a stick or an entire country. But one could kill the other a thousand times and still not be any closer to victory. This forces other means of emotional attack, of treachery and deception. A story about a war between immortals would question human life and willpower.

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