World building of a dream...
I love comics and world building. So I had this weird dream that woke me up in the middle of the night. It had people called Mendicants who pulled metal out of things. I started thinking how cool it would be if there was a world like our modern day earth but history was shaped by these kinds of people. And then I wondered maybe there would be divisions along gender lines with males generally able to manipulate metals and females air/gases, with the division being roughly the along the periodic table dividing line. Both males and females were born who manipulate glass and other non-metals. Oooo. BUT what if when the gender was born who COULD manipulate the other substances, he or she was magnitudinally more powerful than other mendicants? Hmm. And what if there had NEVER in recorded history been a male air mendicant and they were only legends. (Sounds like Avatar maybe need to rethink that one) Hmmm. And what if water mendicants were extremely rare and persecuted because they could be so deadly if they chose? Oh this is good stuff. haha!
So I looked up the work mendicant when I woke up. It means to beg. Hmm. What if they had to plead with the substance for it to obey. Would that make times of desperation times when mendicants were especially effective? Would wars be that much more dangerous?
So yeah. This is the kind of thing I think about in the middle of the night.
So what do you think? Cliche? Sound interesting?
Here is a picture of a metal mendicant at work as a mechanic.
Braden Hallett last edited by
The only other place I've heard the word 'mendicant' is in Sergio Aragones' 'Groo'. The word usually caused the character to become enraged and murder everybody. Literally everybody. Because he didn't understand what it meant. It was a surprisingly good comic!
I think if you chose to pursue the idea it would take you into a lot of the same power-areas that ATLA explores. But then again, it could be fun to explore what these people do in an established technologically advanced society (which the legend of Korra KIND of did).
In a modern war, I see bombs and guns still being way more effective than a bender. Even if they have crazy bullet-stoppy powers. Which, for me, would ruin it. Pretty sure if someone had figured out a musket in Avatar, there wouldn't have been as much of a power differential
However, I CAN see them being not just useful but prized and viciously guarded (kept secret?) in a post-resource glutted world. As in a world where there's not much of anything left.
Old landfills become goldmines (so much aluminum!) and unfindable water/natural gas resources can be reached and harnessed, all without expensive machinery.
No need for a water filtration system on the space station if one of the crew can separate and purify water.
Also a group of people ripe for enslavement.
Might be fun to play around with
I thought mendicant meant to beg more as in.. panhandling. I might be wrong though! I like the concept, but I'm a bit unsure about the begging part. I'm wondering how you would show that in the story without it seeming kind of... unexciting or boring to read about. It's one of those things that the concept might seem fine, but in practice what is that going to look like? Reading about a bunch of engineers who have to drop to their knees and plead for 10 minutes just to be able to hammer in some nails, well that seems like it could quickly get a bit tedious to read about. Do you see what I mean?
@nessillustration I was seeing more as a "you have to coax it rathan force it" kind of thing. Which would make a great character arc for someone used to getting his own way.
@art-of-b I was seeing more realistic and gritty science type applications. Like imagine in warfare these guys ripping the calcium from your bones or iron from your blood. Or ladies sucking the air from your lungs. But lesser ones might make great mechanics or enslaved as miners. But then again those metals might not be as valuable if people can readily get them. What would a new world economy be based on? Imagine the status women might have if they could sweep the air from the room or blow up containers of gas.