By Dave Galanter
When tasked with writing my first ReDeus story, I knew that some writers were going to have some of the returned gods as actual characters. I wanted to avoid that my first time out. I wanted my story to be about an atheist who found he now had to deal with a world where beings proclaimed themselves deities and had the power to back it up. How was he dealing with such sweeping changes? But for my second ReDeus entry, I thought it was time to meet a god, up close and personal.
That’s what happens in “Helping Hand,” my second ReDeus tale, and I continue the same main character’s experience. In some ways, Jordan Tate is a stylized version of myself. I asked how I might deal with such a world as his? Like Tate, I like to know what the rules of the game are in my daily life. But when powerful beings–who can change the rules with a whim–are on the board, the game can change at a moment’s notice. Can Tate handle that? Well, that’s the story. That, and why a god may be interested in little-old-him.
Raven, in Native American mythology, is a trickster god (much like his Native American rival god Coyote). In my first story, Raven seemed to like that Tate had used trickery to meet his ends. In this new story, if we were going to see Raven in person, he’d have to fit that bill…but if the trickery were too overt, it wouldn’t be god-like, would it?
So I wanted to tell a story that was in some ways subtle, and explain why someone as important as Raven may want to have any sort of relationship with an electronics store owner like Tate.
It was also important for me to contrast the secondary characters from this story to the previous one. Tate’s cohorts the first time out still believed in the Judeo-Christian god that hadn’t returned. His friend Bankim in this story is Hindu and believes in the gods that have returned. He appeals to Tate to do something that his friends in my first story never would have: pray.
For Tate’s part, he knows he’ll never stoop to that. But it’s one thing know there are such things as “gods,” and another to have them interact with you on a level that can’t be ignored.
As a writer, to have the chance to be both Tate and his god-like foe was too good to pass up. One can’t ask for much more than that when telling a tale, and that’s one of the things that makes ReDeus a unique romp.
ReDeus: Native Lands will be available in print and digital editions in August.