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Here are some details for context:

  • There are two civilisations, A and B. B is significantly smaller, around a few hundred people.
  • B is visiting A's home world via a magic item that can teleport a limited number of people to other worlds (including other universes). B doesn't have a home world because they are travellers.
  • Both civilisations will discover that A's home planet is in danger of complete destruction, though it will end up either not destroying the planet or not being as serious as they once thought.
  • Some of B escapes to another world, in which they have access to a device that shows whether A's home planet still exists (can still be called a planet) or not. B will see that it does exist, previously thinking it would be completely destroyed. The device is magical.

Some other details:

  • A is around our level (2023) of tech, but B has lots of varied tech from all across the universe because they can travel with the magic item, but they don't have everything, especially not big things since they are constantly travelling.
  • A and B are mostly friendly to each other.

What natural event would make people think that the planet would be destroyed, but either still allows it to survive or is able to be stopped?

Something that might be possible is a big rock like a meteor or asteroid big enough to destroy the planet which would be redirected somehow, but I'm not sure how they would do that.

For even more context, B's magic teleportation item teleports (with a long cooldown) to a random world, each having an ID. Since they landed on A's planet, they want to help them as much as possible. Eventually, it seems like the planet will be completely destroyed, so they have no choice but to leave. In the next world they land on, they find a magic device that shows whether a world is completely destroyed or not given its ID. They find that A's world is still intact.

What are some events that could seem like it would destroy a planet, but doesn't actually, probably because it could be prevented?

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  • 3
    This should be on Worldbuilding.se rather than here.
    – Chenmunka
    Nov 22, 2023 at 7:45
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    @Chenmunka I asked on worldbuilding.se and they told me to put it here: > VTC:Too Story-Based. This is asking for a plot point, not help building a world, which is independent of any and all stories. – JBH 17 hours ago
    – thirteen
    Nov 22, 2023 at 18:36

1 Answer 1

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Maybe you should watch or read stories where a planet is in danger of being destroyed but isn't.

Like Star Wars, for example.

Or the Star Trek episode "The Alternative Factor", where two entire universes are in danger of destroying each other.

Many episodes in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel series had dangers to the entire world which were defeated. In one episode Buffy's tombstone said "She Save the World. A lot."

It is rather terrifying to imagine living in a fictional universe where the world needs saving about every other month.

The Tv Tropes site has a trope "Saving the World". It lists examples from different media.

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SavingTheWorld

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt

And what you need to find is stories with something or somebody is feared that is not really that terrible.

Here is an example:

Planet A might have earthquakes and and other portents coming from a mountain which is actually not a mountain but the giant tomb of the Dark God. The Dark God was sealed in the tomb ages ago and the writing on the tomb and ancient legends say that if the Dark God ever emerges from the tomb it will destroy Planet A or maybe merely kill everyone.

The Tv Trope called "Sealed Evil in a Can".

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SealedEvilInACan

And when the tomb is about to crack open the people from planet B flee to another world to escape. And later they find a viewer and view planet A and find it is still there and the civilization there is still flourishing.

Because the people who put the Dark God into the tomb had exaggerated ideas about how evil and deadly It was. And actually It didn't do much damage except to its tomb when It emerged.

So it was more like "Sealed Good in a Can".

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SealedGoodInACan

I remember an episode of Space 1999 where another world was on a collision course with the Moon and everyone on the Moon faced doom, but because of a technobabble reason or a "mysterious unknown force" the other world passed though the Moon without damaging anything.

In Two Flags West Major Kenniston at Fort Thorn, New Mexico, kills the son of Kiowa chief Satank. The fort looks doomed during the Kiowa attack until Major Kenniston gives himself up to Satank.

So possibly someone can stop whatever threatens Planet A, but would have to die a horrible death to do so. Nobody volunteers, so the B people flee from Planet A, and later they discover civilization A is still intact, and wonder which the A people sacrificed their self.

And these are a few suggestions.

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  • Thanks! I never thought about it in that way, I'll think about that.
    – thirteen
    Nov 27, 2023 at 13:49

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