Third Life: medieval war story. heavy Game of Thrones vibes. romance, loyalty and angst
Last Life: subtle zombie apocalypse vibes. The call is coming from inside the house. There Is An Imposter Among Us. Betrayal at every turn
Double Life: this is. This is a sitcom. it’s a sitcom about marital troubles and gossipy neighbors
There’s something, of course, very angsty and hurt/comfort-y and cathartic etcetera etcetera about post-Third/Last/Double Life fics that take part in Hermitcraft.
BUT, as any good writer will tell you, you gotta pace your sad scenes otherwise your reader will get burnt out. You gotta intersperse in some comfort, some gentleness, some banter, even some humour. So, all that being said, you know how in the ___ Life SMP series, some recipes are changed, or some items disallowed?
What I’m getting at here is that the ___ Life SMP member of your choice - let’s go with Grian as the example, he’s always a favourite - has no idea what a helmet is. He can’t even craft one, the recipe just doesn’t work for him. Etcetera with the altered TNT recipe (they made it cheaper) and crafting saddles (which they made possible at all). And, most recently, in Double Life, the only enchanting table in the whole place was in the Deep Dark. There has also never been an End in any of the ___ Life series.
Imagine that Grian being isekai’d back to Hermitcraft. He casually takes out three leather one day, on a therapy-approved horse expedition, and crafts a saddle. He asks what the hell that thing you’re wearing on your head is. He argues, very strongly, that you need paper for TNT, and only one gunpowder. He freaks out seeing an enchanting table and looks wildly around for The Warden he’s sure must be nearby.
Basically, there’s something you could explore here through the humorous guise. Something about how he (and the rest) got trapped in a place where even the very mechanics of the world itself worked differently. The obvious one, in the whole life limit and Red Life Makes You Evil thing. That’s big, that’s huge, but while it’s terrible, it’s not hard to wrap your head around.
But the low-key but pervasive everyday things, like the crafting of one of the most common armour pieces, or that everyone knows that saddles have to be found in loot chests. Some of those things might be more disturbing to think about, in the long run. Tiny things you don’t realise you take for unchangeable truth until suddenly they’re not. And the next question: would you ever be able to work out how many of those tiny things were different? How much of everything was just... one step to the left?
He doesn’t look like a king.
“King”, in Ren’s mind, is a powerful being. Crowned head and robed shoulders, commanding respect with the brandishing of a blade. “King” means something.
What does Ren mean?
Ren means floral shirts and attentive ears and a tail that wags a bit too eagerly when he sees BDubs. Ren means Gigacorp and profits and order. Ren means paved roads and over-the-top plans and a desire for good and order and beauty.
And maybe that can mean king...
And as he watches his reflection amidst the tower BDubs erected in his honor, he thinks a crown might look just fine between his ears.
The shadows which lag behind him don’t seem to agree.
“You’re playing a dangerous game, pup.”
Ren winces at the thing which speaks through his mouth, reflection warping to accompany graying skin and burning eyes. He’s grown used to the Red King butting into his contemplative hours, but it still sends a chill up his spine whenever he does.
“Not like it’s one we haven’t played before.”
“We lost that game.”
“So we’ll win this one.”
Ren’s reflection scoffs at the idea, red eyes rolling in distaste. “You can’t win a game without an objective.”
“So we make one!”
A clean server, order, community, roads weaving the providences together. That’s an objective, isn’t it?
Ren smiles at the thought of all the good he can do.
The Red King grimaces. “You cannot be serious...”
“Why not be!” He laughs, a hand running through his hair as he turns his attention out the window. The sun’s setting on Hermitcraft (not that he thinks BDubs will let it sink fully) and it’s painted spawn in a beautiful pallet of orange and yellows and reds. There’s an overly-dramatic sigh as he leans against the banister, looking out at the server.
His reflection remains in the mirror though, the Red King’s face one of concern as he watches Ren yearn.
“Tell me you don’t wanna wear a crown again?”
A hollow, inhuman laugh. “I’d like nothing more. But this isn’t the server we ruled last time.”
“Right! This one’s uncursed, man. We don’t gotta kill anyone, and no one’s gonna try and kill us.”
“Until they do.”
“They won’t,” Ren insists. A wave of magic ripples through the server and the sun restarts again, bright blue painting the eastern sky. “They won’t. They’ll all be chill with it.”
“With a leader they didn’t choose?”
“With the good I can do! If they doubt me--then I just show them what I’ve got in mind! They’ll love it.”
They’ll love me.
Ren doesn’t say that last part aloud.
Still, The Red King shares a body and mind with Ren Dog, and hears it nonetheless.
When he speaks again, his voice is low and gentle, so unlike the tyrant Ren first met. It’s more like the being Ren’s gotten used to. The Red King: gentle and timid and willing observer of Hermitcraft through Ren’s eyes.
“And what happens if they don’t? If they object to your coronation? If they try to take your crown? How do you deal with such?”
And Ren doesn’t know. He doesn’t know, and he doesn’t seem to have to say it. He just... stares... As if there’s an answer in the skies of Hermitcraft.
The Red King, kind and patient, gives Ren time to think.
And when it seems he won’t respond...
“The server we ruled last time... It was not this one, pup. It was temporary. It was always meant to end.
“Shall we rule this one, you must lie in bed with the consequences of your every decision for eternity. Are you certain that is something you’d like?”
And Ren doesn’t say yes. He doesn’t respond to the question of morals laid at his feet. He just... stares...
And the Red King of shared mind sighs in contempt.
“Then so be it, Ren Dog.”
And the hound stares out unto his kingdom.