Interest Check- Persephone Myth Reimagining


#1

Hey everyone! I’ve been lurking and asking related questions under a different account (which you may recognize :D), but I want to start fresh with this one.

So this is my first foray into the world of interactive fiction. This work is a reimagining of the Hades/Persephone myth where no abduction or coercion takes place. This WIP was partly inspired by my love of Greek mythology retellings and this amazing post.

So-
There is an uprising against the gods that began with wronged mortals. The gods turn a blind eye to them, but as their numbers increase and as they attract the attention of primordial beings long left undisturbed, trouble begins to brew.

Unaware of the shifting power landscape, Persephone prepares for her first presentation to the Pantheon of the Gods. Demeter has been indoctrinating her to become a secondary goddess, an aide to the Goddess of Harvest, but Persephone wants to be more.

On Mount Olympus, the mortals strike with an arsenal of beasts and behemoths long abandoned by the gods, and a war begins. Persephone, still new to the world of Gods, still unaware of her powers, has to escape to the underworld for her safety.

The story then follows Persephone’s development into the Goddess of Spring and Rebirth. You control how and which powers develop. You control whether she becomes a loved or feared deity. You control the relationships she forges or shatters. You control whether she fights for or against the gods. You control whether she brings Olympus down.

You can play as Persephone or Proserpinos (or any other name that you choose). I’m referring to her as Persephone at the moment because it’s canon, but this game is not gender-locked, and you have the opportunity to play as any gender which includes nb, trans, and cis options (you can input your preferred pronouns as well if you want to). You also have complete control over Persephone’s customization as well.

There are also 4 romance options:
Eranthe (nb): A leimoniad (a nymph of the meadows) turned lampade (an Underworld nymph) after their death.
Rhoesus (m): The headstrong leader of the Rebellion.
Hecate (f): The Goddess of Witchcraft, Magic, and Ghosts.
Hades (m/f): The Ruler of the Underworld.

All the romance options except Hades are gender-locked. Melia and Hecate’s gender is an integral part of them, and I have no wish to make them customizable. But Hades’ gender is determined by the player.

Also, while romance plays a significant part in this, I hope to include a strong focus on platonic relationships, so you can play as aro/ace and avoid romance if you wish to and still have multiple satisfactory endings. There are also multiple endings for each romance option, as well as a polyamorous one.

While I have read supposed older versions of the myth which say that Persephone traipsed down to the underworld voluntarily, I am wary of the heavily abusive connotations that come with the commonly accepted version of the Hades/Persephone myth. I especially detest the retellings which romanticize the abusive relationship and the Stockholm Syndrome which Persephone develops.

I am determined to make this WIP as unproblematic as possible, so I will be taking multiple creative liberties with this work.

I’m curious to see how interested others are in this. I’m well into writing the first chapter, but I want to know whether I should continue with the story or not.

Thanks for reading all of this, and any suggestions or criticisms would be greatly appreciated!


#2

I, for one, would be very interested in reading the first chapter of this/seeing where it goes!

My big concern would be power dynamics - even if Persephone chooses to go to the underworld, it sounds like she doesn’t have many outside options, so, y’know, taking care to avoid coercion there (which it sounds like you’re doing!).

Edit: also maybe a concern with Rhoesus?

Also, what does taking down Olympus mean in this context? Breaking some monopoly on godly power? Straight up killing the other gods?


#3

I really love this idea. I have also always loved Greek/Roman mythology and took some classes on it at one of my high schools years ago. Also, Hades has always been my favorite of the Greek gods and the Hades/Persephone/Apollo story was always one of my favorites. I am following this in hopes you do continue!


#4

Again, you get to choose ‘why’ she goes to the underworld. While there’s no abduction, there is external pressure that sort of forces her to flee to the Underworld? No particular individual coerces her into going there, but she sort of considers it to be the sole escape path. Again, she’s free to leave the Underworld whenever she wants to, and you do get a chance to leave or stay at a junction in the story.

Rhoesus isn’t fully developed in my head yet?? I’m still figuring out the kinks. I’ve got a basic backstory written, but he doesn’t single out Persephone and pursue her. She sort of slips away from Olympus in the middle of the chaos. Again, I’ve got a basic idea of the plot but I’m still figuring out things.

The two have a dynamic built on control, but their relationship is fleshed out in later interactions. It’s more egalitarian than it sounds (I hope), and I’ll try to eliminate any significant power imbalance. I sort of see them in an enemies to maybe-allies trope with a relationship founded on grudging admiration.

Yeah, it’s more of a breaking the monopoly on a godly power and restructuring the existing power structure. I’m thinking that one out too.

It’s a lot of thinking. D:


#5

As a stoic lover of greek mythology (and any other mythology, for that matter), I’d love to see this.
I also love the story of Hades and Persephone, so I’d like to see how this turns out.

All in all, looking forward to this.


#6

Yeah, no, that’s more what I was referring to – like, even if there’s no abduction and she’s technically free to leave when she wants, there is very much potential for some squicky dynamics here (if her outside option is going back into the mortal world where she thinks she’ll be killed or whatever). Which isn’t to say that that’s necessarily how it’ll go! Just a thing I hope you’ll keep in mind.

I’m a fan of “enemies to maybe-allies trope with a relationship founded on grudging admiration” :smiley:

I was just curious! I’m excited to see where this goes!


#7

You had me at a Persephone retelling and had me hooked with choosing Hades gender. xD As someone who has always been a huge fan of Greek mythology I’m super excited to see this. I’ll be keeping an eye on this thread for sure!


#8

Greek ? check!
Give Hades Bewbz? check and check !

Start writing already and take mah mouney!!! :heart_eyes:


#9

No, that’s a really good point and you’re right. I’ll have to come up with something that feels less squicky, or at least modify it so that she doesn’t feel that she’s absolutely helpless when entering the Underworld. My goal is to make Persephone have at least some control over every decision she makes. Even if she has to go to the underworld, she should be resolute in her decision to go to the Underworld rather than have a “I’m coming here because there’s nowhere else for me to go” mentality. Essentially, there should be a part of her that chooses to go to the underworld. She may like the decision, even want the decision, or she may dislike the decision. But she will make the decision. Thanks for pointing it out! (And if you have any ideas about why she wants to go the underworld, hit me up)

Again, if there are still issues that I’ve overlooked, please do let me know.


#10

I’m really looking forward to this! I always loved Greek mythology and how absolutely wild it can be, and I must admit being able to choose our own gender and name is definitely a plus. It would certainly make the game more immersive if we can choose our own identities.


#11

I would most certainly like to read a story like this. I was always fascinated with the tale of Persephone and Hades and I’d like to see it in a new light. :smiley:


#12

To be fair, “I think I’ll be murdered if I don’t go” is a pretty compelling reason, even if she’s not thrilled about it :slight_smile: (Giving a choice of reasons and/or reactions would be nice, but honestly, the most I can think of is “strategic retreat!” And obviously it’s a thing that needs to happen for the story to work.)

The bigger concern for me is really once she’s there. Like, why is Hades letting her stay? (Also, why are there not a bunch of other gods fleeing there?) How is he treating her? What happens if they don’t get along? If there’s an option to start something romantic early on, how is that being initiated/handled? (No need to address these, just sort of where my brain was going!)

Like I said in my first post, it seems like you’re pretty conscious of the potential pitfalls there! I don’t want to sound like “this setup means that their relationship will be terrible no matter what” – I think it could be great! I’m only bringing it up because this sounds really promising.


#13

Yes to everything you said. I’m actually pretty glad you’re pointing out possible plot holes because tbh the whole thing would be senseless if they’re not addressed. I have a couple of theories in my mind which are more plausible than the ‘strategic exit’ that you mentioned and so do a slightly better job of explaining the plot holes. I’m logically working through them. Persephone escaping to the underworld can be explained, but allowing Persephone into the underworld is a different ball-game.

Again, Persephone is a central character here, and I’m reimagining her as someone more than a Goddess of Spring. Here, she’s a Goddess of Rebirth (and maybe even of Life??), but the powers associated with this aspect of her divinity lie dormant initially. Essentially my Persephone contains a vast reservoir of power that has the potential to shift the tide of the war. The Underworld then becomes the safest, most inaccessible place where even Gods need permission to enter, and it becomes the perfect place for her to nurture and experiment with this immense power without a constant fear of threats.

In the beginning, Persephone is a pretty weak goddess whose powers function at a very base level. There’s a vague scenario in my head where some gods (maybe Athena and Artemis??) recognize Persephone’s latent powers and foresee the unrealized power she wields. There would again be a segregation between the gods who want Persephone to master the full extent of her powers and those who are wary of her and who want to dampen her powers to avoid a future where she uses her power against them.

Again, Persephone’s persecuted, but this time by the pantheon gods. I feel that the gods supporting Persephone would make arrangements to hide her and give her a safe place where she can study her power, and hey, no one’s EVER going to think of looking for Persephone in the Underworld.

In this scenario, Persephone stays in the underworld and has weekly visits from a select number of Gods who train her and educate her and guide her along the path to discovering her powers. In my mind, Athena, Artemis, and Hephaestus are regular visitors because I love them and because I feel that Hades is chill with them.

Also, I feel that other gods won’t hide in the underworld because They’re.The.Top.Twelve! They’ve got their egos, and they are the heading this war. They don’t have the luxury or the inclination to cower.

In my mind, Hades sort of gives Persephone space to do her thing but they grow on each other?? Again, you’ll have the opportunity to hit on Hades from the get-go but my headcanon Persephone/Hades is a torturous slow-burn with loads of pining.

This is again a really flawed headcanon that I thought of immediately after I saw your reply. But I do think that ideas develop out of constant communication, so thanks. And again, if there are issues, point 'em out!


#14

That all makes sense!

Totally into it :slight_smile:


#15

I’m glad :D. My brain’s working on overdrive and I’m typing too much. But thanks for walking me though it.


#16

Would some rod be orenentation locked


#17

All ROs are player!sexual so you’ll be able to romance all of them of you wish to. The ROs you’re able to romance will be limited by the MC’s orientation, but there will definitely be 2 ROs for an MC attracted to one specific gender.


#18

make it oh would you ples


#19

Persephone is one of my favs yesss :clap::clap::sob:


#20

Thank you for your responses! I’m glad that you all seem so interested; it gives me motivation. :smiley: Currently, I’ve planned out the first chapter and I’ve just finished the customization part where you can select their name, gender, and appearance. I’ve also added a subroutine for genderfluid MCs that will pop up a couple of times during the game.

If there are any specific questions you want to ask about the characters, or if there are any comments you want to make, or if you simply want to talk about how you interpret the different characters, feel free to do so!