Hi Past Selves, me again. Still working on developing a story idea.
It’s basically about a world where godlike alien beings have come to Earth from a cold dark void, overdosed on our planet’s abundant energy and food, and gone crazy fighting each other. In the process, they kill off most of humanity, either directly in their battles or indirectly by generating “mana” energy (the name was given by humans) that adversely affects the central nervous system. They learn about how to communicate with us (the few that bother to) by absorbing the memories of individuals. The individuals do not generally survive the process, and the ones who do… are not who they were anymore.
The setting is one or two ice ages after the Godwar.
The “gods” still occasionally battle each other, but most are now worn down and injured by the millennia of fighting. Being immortal, they cannot die, but they can do everything short of that, including go mad from pain, or lose their intellects and most of their power. Only a handful have avoided becoming wounded in one way or another.
Humans are still around, but mostly as small groups of stone age hunter-gatherers barely surviving on the fringes, fearful of the uncaring greater beings they now share the world with. A few populations of humans have been taken as sort of pets by Gods, being allowed the opportunity to reinvent things like agriculture, irrigation, cities, metal, and writing. (Real people have, historically, invented these things independently whenever the population is large and settled enough. So I’m assuming this will hold true in the future.) These “civilized” concepts are slowly spreading to the surrounding “barbarian” tribes as well.
This is not a pleasant time. It is much like our ancient past, violent and unjust. Many suffer, many toil, many hunger. Life is cheap, cruelty is common.
A man wakes from a dream, only to find he is in the body of a God.