Last time we left off with The Dark Lord lording over their darkness in the Dark World. But the Dark Lord wants to take over our world too. Not only that but when he enters our world he gains Super-powers. In our world he becomes absolutely undefeatable.

What we know so far:

  • The Dark Lord comes from a world that is overwhelmed with sadness and depression.
  • The Dark Lord caused the depression.
  • The Dark Lord is immune to the depression.
  • The super-powers will be a spectrum of (absolute)invulnerability, speed, and strength.
  • The Dark Lord will only be able to spend brief periods of time in our world. (This is their weakness, being here is extremely painful)


  • Effects must be temporary. Returning home eliminates the power.
  • Only the Dark Lord gains a benefit from crossing.
  • The super-power(s) can change but they need to be unbeatable. No amount of thermonuclear annihilation will win. The only way to defeat him is in his home dimension.

What mechanisms could exist across these two dimensions such that only one person would be impacted?

Criteria for judging answers:

  1. Fulfilling all constraints.
  2. Done with the least amount of magic and hand-waving. (These are not off the board though, so use them if you need them.)
  3. Lastly, because of the nature of the previous answer, bonus points for tying the answer directly to depression and mood.
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    $\begingroup$ He's some kind of plant (or probably even closer to mushroom) and use light to power himself in pretty traditional way. BTW, he'll release some oxygen too :). $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 20:05
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    $\begingroup$ I don't want to kill him, I just want to make him suffer, indefinately, but trapping him here in a prison. We have dams that hold back 100,000+ tons of water surely enough steel,concrete, and etc will restrain him. After all most humans can't even lift 300lbs so even 30,000lbs would be super human and we can restrain that. $\endgroup$
    – cybernard
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 20:15
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    $\begingroup$ You're still asking about just one character. Not a rule that would affect a civilization. The basic premise of the site is to help you build a place where many stories can take place - not help you write just one story. So, no, this is till 100% story-based. Any answer will work and which is right depends solely on your plot, not the rules of the world you're creating. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 21:21
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    $\begingroup$ @JBH I don't think this is character based. Yes, this is something that is affecting a single character, BUT it is an aspect of the world that is causing it, NOT the actions of that character. $\endgroup$
    – AndyD273
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 21:30
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    $\begingroup$ From the POB perspective, yes. Remember, the question you're answering is, "what are the attributes of the best question?" $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 0:48

7 Answers 7


It's not the dimension travel, the Dark Lord actually feeds on happiness. He drains it out of people and doing so makes him stronger.

His own world has been drained of all joy, and as a result he can barely sustain himself there but ours is a veritable feast just waiting to be consumed. As he does feast he grows in strength as a result.

There are a large number of reasons why he may only be able to spend a short amount of time in our world. Some examples include:

  • There is just too much energy here, it overwhelms him and after a while he needs to return to digest what he consumed.
  • Pushing through the barrier involves a great deal of effort and he can only hold the breach open for a time before our world rejects him.
  • He's tied in some way to a physical place or thing on the other side (for example a mystical throne he needs to rest on, or a phylactory that holds his soul, or dirt from his grave that he needs to sleep on, etc).
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ And why exactly should the Dark Lord then be limited to a short period of time in this dimension? $\endgroup$
    – Soan
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 21:16
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    $\begingroup$ @Soan Too many possibilities to list them all, I gave a few examples though. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 0:58
  • $\begingroup$ Ah nice these where what I missed from the first iteration from your answer $\endgroup$
    – Soan
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 12:23
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    $\begingroup$ If you go the "overwhelmed" route to explain his limited stays, you can add that expending a lot of power while here can extend his stay a bit (but not indefinitely). That really creates a nice story structure, in which he isn't trying to draw attention earlier on, so has shorter stays and later on, he is trying to affect our world and can do somewhat longer stays. $\endgroup$
    – Jasper
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 13:46

The difference between our world and the dark world is that magic in our world hasn't been used and polluted, while magic in the dark world has been abused for a long time, especially recently by the dark lord.

When he travels to the light world, it's like pumping jet fuel through a gasoline engine. It gives huge performance gains, but if run that way too long will cause it to burn out very quickly, and so he has to go back. It's possible that he could get acclimated to it eventually, but it would be hard and dangerous for him.


My answer is the opposite of Tim B's. Happiness is not what feeds him - depression is.

Stories that feature gods generally rely on the explanation that "the believer's faith is what fuels a god's power". Your story could use this concept, only changing belief for bad emotions.

His power would be just like cocaine or any other super addictive drug - it creates its own demand. His presence makes people depressed and these people's negative emotions fuel his power so he can reach more people... and so the cycle goes on.

In order to explain why he can only spend brief periods of time, you could easily say that happiness has the opposite effect on him - cute kittens, smiles and love are his worst nightmare.

Maybe he can only make the cross to the light if there's a shadow he can get under. This metaphor means that he can only go over to places that have an already high rate of depressed people (like a mental hospital or wall street after the crash). Maybe these people are already in an advanced state of the decease, to the point of being suicidal - and this is why his powers get even stronger, 'cause he has plenty of prime meals before him.

  • $\begingroup$ Wouldn't the implications of this be that he is stronger in his world (where everyone is miserable) and weaker in our (where happiness still pervades)? $\endgroup$
    – Summer
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 19:31
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    $\begingroup$ Sadness makes him stronger but it is not necessary to say that happiness makes him weaker. Since he can only stay for brief periods, maybe the "energy" produced by happiness is what makes our world uninhabitable to him. It obviously can't harm him since one of the constraints is that not even nukes can do that. The explanation could be simpler - happiness could be something that makes it hard for him to maintain his presence here. The beauty of this is that, the more sadness he creates, the more time he can spend here. $\endgroup$
    – Magus
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 11:55


The Dark is not a part of our dimension and because of that the Dark Lord is unable to actually manifest in our dimension only his mind and powers actually make the dimension switch so when he tries to cause chaos or darkness his powers will take effect. But because he hasn't really manifested in this dimension he is literally untouchable.

Time limit

His mind and powers being not really connected with his darkness is straining him which is why he fails to stay any significant amount of time in this world and soon will retreat to his home again to rest from this stressful experience.


The pure manifestation of only his powers is still terrifying enough because part of his powers is to decide how his might will look to the inhabitants of this dimension.

Strength and Speed

The lack of a physical manifestation lets the Dark Lord move at will to any point in the dimension while the unification of his powers to an infinitively small point supercharges them to never seen strengths.


It is a matter of contrast

A dark shadow doesn't seem that dark unless there is a light to compare it to.

Your villain comes from a world that would seem to us as unlivable, withering the very soul with hopeless despair. But, to the inhabitants of that world, it's just life. They may have all joy constantly drained from them, but it really doesn't cause much more suffering, because it was mostly gone to begin with. That depression, that abysmal apathy to everything and everyone? That's normal, just try to shrug it off and make it to tomorrow. Everyone who was still alive by now would be accustomed to living without hope. They'd be some of the most stubborn, resilient people you could ever find, so your villain's powers can't really do much more to them than he has already done.

But in our world? Our world is not like that. Sure, some of us live in that state, but for most of us, life is full of light and hope! And to have that stolen away is a miserable, soul-crushing experience. And I mean, the kind of miserable that just makes you want to lie down and die. If you haven't had to deal with that before, then you probably aren't equipped to handle it well.

In our world, he'd be strong because so many people don't know how to fight depression or how to cope with it. Anyone who doesn't already live with it might completely freeze up with indecision or despair, effectively letting this villain do whatever he wants! And anyone who tries to fight him will quickly find that they simply don't care anymore.

On an even more depressing note, his presence would have a more tangible effect - a drastic rise in suicide rates. For any individual around him, all it would take would be a moment of weakness, just a moment, and the means to follow through. And the threat of suicide doesn't end there. The thing is, when you run out of hope, death starts to look a little more inviting, and once the thought is there, it tends to stay there. Even after your villain has left, you now have who knows how many people who have had that thought running around in their heads. And unless this villain's powers have no lingering affects, every one of them will still be trying to recover and pull themselves back together again.

Back in his world, however, anyone who's still alive has either already developed ways to fight and cope, or they're dead. His powers aren't any weaker there, they're just less effective because everyone knows how to cope with it.


In his dark world, the Dark Lord is the most powerfull being and is filled to the brim with dark power. When he comes to our world, he emmits that darkness in form of a dark aura that causes depression to people nearby and deflects any damage. By emmitting more of his dark aura, he can move faster or push objects away as if he punched them with incredible strength.

The light of our world slowly wears this aura away and the Dark Lord must return to his own world to "recharge" his dark power. Actually using his powers to create an imprenetable shield uses up more dark power and he has to return sooner.

In his own world, however, everything is so saturated with darkness that the aura has less of an effect. Like a freeze gun won't be of much use in Antarctica...
The dark aura is only so powerfull in our world because it repells the light that saturates it.


DC Universe

The Dark Lord is actually a kryptonian who has also developed some sort of telepathy which makes people sad. The yellow sun if the Earth grants him the same powers as Zod and Kal El.

His need to return home is psychological: like so many Earthlings, he is incapable of using someone else's toilet (or a public one) for number two. Also his infinite strength and speed while on Esrth would be disastrous regarding that.


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