This concept is based off of an scp foundation wiki monster. http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-231

An ancient deity called the scarlet king exists across several dimensions, but is prevented from entering our world due to a magical barrier. A cult formed in his name with the purpose of bringing him into the mortal realm to rule humanity by opening up a portal between dimensions, allowing his essence to seep through and take residence within an infertile cultist as a developing fetus. However, the gods essence is so massive that it cannot be contained within one individual, and must disperse his essence among other individuals in order to cross over. Thus, seven volunteer cultists were chosen to carry a "shard" of the deity, becoming what the cult referred to as the seven brides of the Scarlett king.

These seven were captured and taken in by secret governmental forces from the scp foundation, who seek to prevent these shards from being born through a process called Montauk-110. 6 brides died in complications during labor or suicide, with the seventh bride successfully giving birth after the sealing ritual failed. The coming of the Scarlett king caused calamity around the planet, with earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters spontaneously occurred with no explicable warning in various countries, leading to the deaths of 10 million people. The foundation have linked this strange occurrence with the birth of the child. Although powerful, it was a baby and weak enough to be controlled with the various incantations and sigils that the foundation laid in preparation for it, due to it being only 1/7th of the full god.

The child was raised by the foundation in an attempt to use its power in the service of humanity, but it escaped after a few years. This child grew up seeking to make a life for itself in the mortal world while being hounded by other forces: The cult who want to ordain him as their god, the foundation who wishes to use him for their purposes, and other groups who want to destroy him altogether. Through all of this, he has to come to terms with the fact that he caused the deaths of 10 million people, as well as other significant damage around the world. Killer's remorse is often looked down upon as a way to gain sympathy in order to not be held responsible for a crime, or for leniency. How do you get this across with a character without delving into self pity?

  • Unfortunately, I think this may be closed as a "what to write" question. I would recommend rephrasing this as, perhaps, "how to portray remorse for an immoral act". – weakdna says reinstate monica Dec 4 '19 at 14:19
  • Have you seen Avengers: Infinity War? There is a gulf of difference between agreeing with someone and understanding someone's point of view. – hszmv Dec 4 '19 at 18:07
  • @weakdnasaysreinstatemonica It could probably be rewritten to be a more generic question on the same issue, but the core question is a good one for the site to cover. – Weckar E. Dec 5 '19 at 16:28

My take is that the best non-self-pity way for this remorse to be portrayed is to have the character working towards making amends. Have him dedicate his life to hunting for damage done and trying to fix it. Maybe make him the enemy of the cult that caused this in the first place. He doesn't have to do this overtly...if they want to make him their god he could go along with it and work from within to destroy them. And I would recommend that you don't have him vow to do these things, or obsess over them or any other over-dramatic trope. Just assume that this is his motivation and let readers deduce the "why" as they discover his background.

This will portray him in a positive way, and gives lots of opportunity for conflict (both internal and external). It also gives opportunity for character change. For example, he might start out as a somewhat grim person because he blames himself for the death and destruction (though this shouldn't be something you bring out, as that can seem self pitying, just let the readers figure it out because of the decisions he makes and the things that he reacts strongly to) and you might eventually have him realize, as part of the resolution, that it wasn't his fault, and that eventual acceptance will allow him to become a less grim person.


It doesn't sound like he IS responsible for the deaths of 10 million people, being born is not a sin, or a conscious act of evil.

The people that intentionally caused his birth are the people to blame for the 10 million deaths and other destruction. Nobody chooses to be born, it is forced upon them despite their will, or in the case of an infant, he was presumably absent of any will, being devoid of mental capacity and the ability to have any moral sense at all.

He can regret the circumstances of his birth, but the blame belongs squarely on the cultists, and he has shunned them, there is nothing more for him to do, and nothing for him to feel guilty about.

You can portray that attitude. He should feel guilty for harm he intentionally caused, but the 10 million are not dead through any intent of his.

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