Hopefully it is the right forum for this sort of thing...I wasn't sure if it should go in here or in the writing forum. XD
I'm mainly not sure if this just sounds dumb. In my head it sounds okay but....ya.
Also, I haven't encountered anything like it reading but I could be wrong about that too. XD
A civilization of demigods need bait for their Predator traps. Some poor human bastard gets tossed into a labyrinth, forced through a series of choices [character creation], and then mindraped to remove anything worrisome (Knowledge of advanced biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, and software development) that might result in the poor bastard figuring out how to fight back.
Then, the poor bastard gets dumped into the trap (an Earth-like world with maybe a couple million people in the same general area) and left to fend for himself. Preferably not dying.
The story is a series of such people [almost all of whom are going to die] who eventually find a way to put a stop to the jerkass demigods doing this to humanity [Making humans the Second People].
The core concept is that there are things out there that would enjoy devouring all life in the multiverse and such creatures are magical in nature. They seek out new worlds filled with life and multiply like a virus until everything is consumed. Generally, these creatures reproduce via beings with souls (sentience). However, they can eat any class of living matter which results in them essentially devouring all life before scattering back into the Void.
The threat being what it is one of the First People eventually decided to seed other worlds with life after they got tired of sacrificing their own lives in defense of their worlds against the Predators. So they seeded sentient, ensouled life on other worlds and sealed them off behind a Veil.
Humans get tossed into the honeypots/trap worlds intended to draw the attention of predators away from the First People (Better you than them!). Such humans are generally granted enhanced physical forms (sufficiently advanced technology + magic ftw), which are based on the mythological underpinnings of humanity (so vampires, werewolves, or just a human looking demigod like Achilles who is invulnerable...except for the heel). Whether this is due to the First People creating said mythology intentionally, a side product of the cross implementation process by the First People, or simply the fact human imagination/belief is the limiting factor is unclear.
The First People [for reasons of self preservation, if humans are exposed to everything the First People can do and figure out a way to duplicate it...that would be bad.] mind rape the humans that go through this process, eliminating knowledge of certain classes of technology and substitute it for a relatively equivalent level of magical knowledge. They don't want humanity defenseless, just lacking sufficient knowledge to advance technologically to the point they can open a door between realities that they First People (who are heavily dependent on magic, rather than technology) cannot understand/defend against with certainty (They know how magic works, they know how such bridges work, and they know how to break them reliably. So the fear is a technology capable of bypassing their safeguards as they've spread their population as thinly as they could to reduce the chance of a Predator infestation exterminating them, so enough Humans from Earth with sufficiently advanced technological and magical knowledge could successfully overwhelm them [admittedly, we are talking like 100:1 loss ratios]).
Void – Space between universes. There appears to be a virtually infinite number of Predators in the Void, attempts to exterminate them have failed. Thankfully, very few find their way out of the Void without being intentionally summoned (by an idiot, one would assume).
Veil – Barrier that seals off magic while lighting up the veiled location like a beacon for predators to feed (think bait). The balance to a Veil is that there must be honeypots to draw the Predators too or it'll eventually collapse under the constant pressure. These honeypots are are effectively neighboring realities with small populations, 'nuclear option' type safeguards to deal with infestations, and intentionally permeable version of Veils (which allow a trickle of Predators in). If the colony/honeypot gets overwhelmed, the First People simply employ their nuclear option and use the core world's population to create a new honeypot.
Please note, the 'nuclear option' is not actually a nuclear weapon. Its more on the scale of a star going nova, which is why they'd much prefer some poor bastard of a younger race is the one that suffers. Especially since the only way a honeypot can be effective is if there are a millions of sentient beings on it actively using magic frequently. Otherwise, there is no bait to the trap and it would look just as 'tasty' as say....a world the First People built a civilization on.
Veils extend into the Void but by their stealthy nature, they do not attract large quantities of Predators over short periods of time. However, if after a reasonable amount of time, a predator does not 'vanish' from the Void...the sheer number will start to draw others and it will grow exponentially until the Veil collapses. However, this is still better than say....having Predators randomly show up a few times a year and infesting a random person and risking complete genocide on an annual basis as there is no effective way to detect something that isn't 'real' by the laws of the natural world in an automated fashion. You have to rely on HUMINT (well, the alien equivalent)..
A typical structure for this little trick is something like:
First People Colony [Veil, operating at maximum capabilities. Note, this is not invincible. A large enough swarm can take it down but generally such swarms]
Several 'Core Seeded Worlds' (Or just some unlucky bastards that are insufficiently advanced to realize they are being screwed over.) [Veil operating at limited capacity but sufficient to deter predators short of a massive swarm]
each linked to
A series of honeypots with around a million or two individuals actively using magic to survive (Potentially Deathworlds kept under control via Magic) which have highly permeable veils (Predators show up frequently but due to population size and civilization structure, its theoretically possible for the situation to be handled indefinitely. However, in reality, this almost always results in the nuclear option within a single human lifetime.).
The First People – The first civilization to survive. They were very, very lucky and no one else has managed to achieve that level of magical and technological advancement. Of course, the abuse they put other races through probably has something to do with that.