Ok. I"m thinking of writing a story, set in a setting that's in the past. Or at least, you know, standard fantasy world. Slaves. Phalanxes. Fighting. Wars. Bronze armour. That kind of thing.
Um… how dark should I make it? I've made several threads on the main causes of death in pre-industrial times. Is it gone way too far when I make the MC's family captured on a slave raid, and then his mother and sister got raped to death? Is it going too far when I have a character get a cut on himself, which turns septic and he dies writhing and sweating a week later? How about abuses of power? Murder and mayhem on the streets… or reasonable judges and working law enforcement?
Ok. I have a nice town. Its also near a border. How likely is it to be raided and hit by bandits? How about famine? How common was famine? Should I write places where people have sold themselves into slavery for food? How about an entire village killed off by cholera?
Simply put, on a dark to light, cynicism to idealism scale, how dark and cynical should it be?
I'm sick and tired of 'Modern world human rights laws, democracies, class systems, basically near indistinguishable' and I want to change that. But how much?
Source: reddit post