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Lyanna

Cultures in EL

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So, I thought this might be an interesting discussion to have among the story writers of EL. It's been discussed off-and-on a few times before in the last three years or so, but I don't think there was ever a specific thread for it. I was just interested in hearing what the new writers think about the cultures present in Seridia and Irilion, as well as the races. This isn't meant to be an "official" thread... just a "discussion and speculation, with arguments and questions" kind of thread.

 

I remember a couple of years back, when Roja was first discussing the race descriptions of the Orchans, she was linking them with the Native American Indian culture, with shamans and tribalistic beliefs. I think we added honour as one of their core values, after Saii's "History of the Lands" described them as such. I admit, I was thinking of and wanted to add in the honour-bound Japanese samurai/ninja clan culture to the Orchans as well. What do you guys think? What would a mix of Native American/Japanese samurai culture be like? And would that suit the Orchans?

 

And what about the other races/political entities?

 

When crafting the Tales of Irilion and the background politics, I was envisioning the Idal Empire as a parallel to the ancient Roman Empire (legions, prefectures, etc... as well as a whole bunch of Roman-sounding names). Did that come across well? And for the Draegoni, I was thinking of the (Asian) Indians as a base for their culture. A caste system based on the colour of their scales, highly spiritual and mystical, pacifistic by philosophy, etc. That's why the Sacred Caves of Bethel story sounded the way it did. Would that be an interesting culture to have for the Draegoni? What do you think?

 

And what about the elves, dwarves and gnomes? Dwarves have some traditional associations with either Celtic highlanders or Norse Viking cultures. Elves are sort of fixed as nature-loving archers (unless someone wants to dispute that?) What about the Gnomes, though? I don't think there's a set culture for gnomes yet. Anyone have thoughts on what sort of cultures might be interesting?

 

And all that is just based on races. Do you think there could be different cultures even among the same race, on different continents? (Eg. Compare English and French cultures to American and Canadian cultures... same root stock, but how different. Or Spain and the Latin American countries.) What kind of differences would you like to see?

 

 

Just to provoke some discussion. :icon13: Anyone is welcome to give an opinion.

 

-Lyn-

 

 

EDIT: I wonder if I dare suggest an Arab culture somewhere? :devlish:

Edited by Lyanna

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Hi Lyanna :devlish:

 

Developing cultural aspects of the races some more is good. The basis of all the races are already all outlined though. I suppose what could be needed are details, and even some more visual representations of their cultures in the maps, which i'm wanting to do so some more ideas for stuff can surely help.

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The Gnomes seem to me to be sort of like the ancient chinese, always inventing things. I also have heard (I dont know if this is true) that they were also somewhat short. The main area where gnomes are from, also seems mysterious, unless I am forgetting something, just like China to the Europiens.

 

Hope that helps.

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Hmm... that's an interesting idea. Gnomes based on Chinese culture, eh? Well, from what I remember of my fantasy, gnomes were usually inventive, small-framed, mercenary (i.e. money-minded), and well-travelled. I think the original concept was based off the Jews or gypsy cultures. But since the Chinese are considered "the Jews of the East" (ironic as that sounds), it's seems to suit quite well. Plus, they invented gunpowder first. Oriental gnomish architecture? :P

 

-Lyn-

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I think of gnomes in the classical sense...in fact their culture is pretty much made up already, as is all the races..at least I have them all in my mind and wrote down their race descriptions:

http://www.eternal-lands.com/page/races.php

 

Their architecture comes up in the buildings that have already been made. I suppose it's just some added details that are needed now. And I'm open to suggestions on that.

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I could see gnomes being more related to the ancient chinese vs. Gypsies. I always pictured gypsies as the nomadic sort of people, and all our races seem to stay in one area. We do lack a nomadic sort-of race anyways :wub:

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I wouldn't attribute something like "being a nomad" to an entire race, but to just a set of people in that race as is irl.

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From what I've seen, gnomes hate to be poked, they're fascinated with shiny things, which would contribute to their love of money, they have astronomical noses, and their ancient language consists of merping and meeping sounds.

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gnomes don't have a love of money. They like to collect stuff and have a love for playing around with things/invention, but they are anything but greedy people.

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No one talks about humans? How can it be?! I think humans should be discussed too. Because it's becoming too bothering to see humans as the ones that can do a bit of everything. As Roja wrote, they can build big cities and they use all they can take advantage of. So I imagine they have a high level of architecture, which leads to South/Central Europe or USA. I'm getting closer to Europe because it has bigger past. And it leads me to Middle ages! So I imagine Humans as very religious people. They kill a lot to spread their ideas of the one and only right life (crusades). Thats how I imagine Human race. :D

 

 

Note: Most of the post is explaining and you can read just last two senteces to get what I think of humans :icon13:

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Well there's no need to imagine what humans are like :icon13:

I don't mean to be rude or anything, but somethings are just obvious and need no explainations.

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Apologies for reviving an older topic, but I just got my forum account, and this really interests me. So, I'd like to add a few notes. ;) Sorry for the length, but I wanted to touch on all 6 races at once. Thanks for your patience.

 

All the races in EL seem to follow their European folkloric origins, except Draegoni and Orchans, which are modern inventions, though there are still traditional/IRL sources that can be used for them. So, starting with the official race descriptions and looking at traditional lore:

 

1) Humans are human. We know how they operate (I guess). Relating to the other races, Humans traditionally have a little distrust but also a fascination and willingness to learn and make friends. The Humans of EL belong to the medieval world, which covers all races and many religions, but generally prefers a strong social structure based on class and hierarchy. Humans will tend to be either "civilized" -- living in towns, following laws, belonging to official groups like army, government, or church -- or they'll be "barbarians" -- living in the wilderness, outside the law, forming tribes or bandit/mercenary gangs. Humans like order and structure and tend to impose it on anything that feels too wild or uncontrolled. Sometimes Humans will get into vicious fights, even wars, over what kind of order is best. In general, Humans are curious, adventurous, inventive, and ambitious.

 

2) Dwarves are small statured people intensely connected to the earth and its energies. They have magical/semi-magical abilities to find ores, mineral deposits and buried treasure. As a result, Dwarves are usually rich or getting rich. Dwarves are masters of manipulating the earth's resources, so they are master smiths and crafters. They have amazing physical strength and muscles as hard as rocks, but their attitudes can also be set in stone. They are often stubborn. They are proud of their heritage, and clan means everything to them. They are powerful warriors, preferring melee combat with a good solid axe or hammer in their hands. They enjoy drinking, feasting, fighting, and hard work for good pay. Their culture is solidly nordic/germanic, based on personal achievement, amplified by ale-fueled boasting (a cultural tradition).

 

3) Elves are connected to the spirits of nature. They are mostly tall, ethereal-looking people, but sometimes there are extreme variations in how they look -- in EL, this shows in their different skin colors. They see themselves as the stewards of the natural world. They protect the environment, and sometimes can be vindictive against someone they think treats the land badly. Elves have keen senses, especially sight and hearing. They can be judgmental and arrogant, but they can also be honorable, loyal, friendly, and fun-loving -- it kind of depends on their mood. In war, Elves are deadly archers and skilled swordsmen. I think, for EL, the Celtic culture is best for Elves, especially the Welsh Mabinogion tales. It has them living close to the land, involved with weather and the elements, keepers of secret lore/knowledge/history, and using magic in their daily lives, especially in the building of their towns and castles. Elfen social structure is based on aristocratic families.

 

4) Gnomes, in folklore, are a kind of urbanized pixie/elf/dwarf type character, small and light in stature, often wearing glasses or appearing very studious. They are the tailors, cobblers, tinkers, etc. -- semi-magical masters of all the basic (non-magic) skills and trades that humans also use. Gnomes are inventive and energetic, into science, technology, and education. Their cities are bustling little hubs of commerce. Usually, their only interest in warfare is the invention of new weapons, armors, castle defenses, etc. When they do go to war, they'll have all the newest, state of the art equipment. Their social structure is democratic, without a class system, maybe a meritocracy at most. They like life to be comfortable and easy -- small, round little homes with all modern conveniences, comfy clothes, etc. A good culture model might be the medieval trade guild system, or later 18th century trade associations, social clubs (like freemasons), and Protestant societies (like the Quakers) in Scandanavia, Britain and North America. I'm not sure, but I think Gnomes come from Scandanavian folklore.

 

5) Draegoni are associated with dragons, so their culture could be based on dragon lore. If we mix a little of Europe and Asia, we could say the Draegoni are wise. That would be their most outstanding attribute. They are philosophers, scientists, keepers of libraries and schools where highly advanced skills are taught. Legends say they are descended from dragon gods and that they have vast wealth and know where all the treasures of the world are hidden. Very tall, strong, exotic looking, Draegoni have magic in their very bones, even if they're not as into using magic as the Elves. They are pacifist in general, but maybe that's only because they do not care about what they see as the petty disputes of the other races. When they do go to war, they are strong, fierce and deadly. You do not want to make enemies of the Draegoni.

 

6) Orchans are kind of the ultimate "foreigners." People who come from a different land and a very, very different culture. The other races (the "mainstream") tell speculative tales about them (half human/half orc, etc). I see Orchans as the people who are native to the places the humans call "wilderness," which isn't wilderness to the Orchans at all. Since the Orchans come from the tropical islands (SRM and NRM), maybe the Pacific island cultures could be their model -- Hawaii, Samoa, etc. A big, strong, robust race of people who live in small clan-based villages supported by hunting and small farming, lead by warrior chieftans and shamanic religious leaders. Leadership is based on personal achievement, bravery, honor, and skills, with regular testing and trials to prove it. Warfare is a kind of sport to the Orchans, in which villages vie for social status against each other. Despite their warlike appearance, Orchans are generally friendly people who enjoy life's pleasures.

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Roja, if you're most interested in images to add to enhance the cultures, here are some random ideas off the top of my head:

 

1) If Human culture is medieval-ish (except for all the parts that aren't :pinch:), religion and government are very important, so maybe there could be even more, and more elaborate, RP-style text messages upon entering public buildings. Maybe just mentioning the names of the rulers and locally revered gods more often.

 

Also, maybe bring some non-European details in -- for instance some Arabian style tents, weapons, lying about the desert of Bethel.

 

I think the rest are all pretty well done as they are. I always know if I'm in an Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, Draegoni, or Orchan town. At most I might add a few visual details, such as

 

-- Clocks in Gnomish towns. Clocks have a lot of engineering significance.

-- And more newspapers lying around. Gnomes strike me as newspaper readers.

 

-- Maybe some more shiny stuff in some Draegoni town interiors -- quartzes, ice sculptures -- to go with their sparkly scales and amazing hair colors. They're the most glamorous looking race in EL, but some of their houses are seriously rustic.

 

EDIT: Otherwise, I have to say, you've done an amazing job creating the Draia reality, Roja. The artwork and backgrounds of EL were among the top things that drew me to this game. Thanks for all your beautiful work!

Edited by peino

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Wow peino, you've got a good grasp on the races. have you been reading the official stories? :P

As a story writer, and reader I'd like to respond a little to what you said

5) Draegoni are associated with dragons, so their culture could be based on dragon lore. If we mix a little of Europe and Asia, we could say the Draegoni are wise. That would be their most outstanding attribute. They are philosophers, scientists, keepers of libraries and schools where highly advanced skills are taught. Legends say they are descended from dragon gods and that they have vast wealth and know where all the treasures of the world are hidden. Very tall, strong, exotic looking, Draegoni have magic in their very bones, even if they're not as into using magic as the Elves. They are pacifist in general, but maybe that's only because they do not care about what they see as the petty disputes of the other races. When they do go to war, they are strong, fierce and deadly. You do not want to make enemies of the Draegoni.

This I quite agree with in most aspects, however, I don't know if I would defien the draegoni as pacifists. By no means am I suggesting they enjoy war and are always seeking it, but more they are those that go to war when need be, and no when it is time for peace. I always see them as being wiser in their wars than humans, not getting into conflicts over petty disputes, but neither do I see them as completely peacefull. I have always imagined them as a very proud race with ancient customs and knowledge I see them as veiwing themselves as slightly superior to others, be the race that lives the longest I think they would see themselves as wiser than all others. This is just a generalization, I don't veiw all draegonis as being so proud. But overall i think of them as a pridefull race, and pride always leads to trouble :D.

 

My apologies if I do not make sense... but that is bascially what i think of the draegonis

 

-- Maybe some more shiny stuff in some Draegoni town interiors -- quartzes, ice sculptures -- to go with their sparkly scales and amazing hair colors. They're the most glamorous looking race in EL, but some of their houses are seriously rustic.

Odd... both things that jumped out at me related to draegonis :P

Anyway, I'd just like to mention that there are many things like this, there is even an throne made entirely out of crystal on a draegoni map. There are plenty of glamorous shiny things within the deep confines of those southern icy cities.

 

-edit-

Another thing, you mentioned elves and their skill with archery and swords in combat, this tends to be the stereotypical definition of elves, And i rather disagree with it at times. I am currently thinking/wishingiwaswriting about an elvish character who has next to no skills in combat. You may have been saying that when they are warriors they are archers and swordsmen(woman :D) not that all are warriors, but thats just my thinking on that subject. I also think that any elf could be perfectly capable of being able to weild and axe just as well as a sword. I tend to get annoyed with fantasy stereotypes of elves being far sighted archers and dwarves being grumpy ale loving axe weilders and other things like that and hope that EL can make some things slightly different about its fantasy races

Edited by Enly

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Wow peino, you've got a good grasp on the races. have you been reading the official stories? :D

As a story writer, and reader I'd like to respond a little to what you said

Thanks! Actually, I've only made a dent in the official stories so far, but am working on it, and am eager to offer my own contributions as well. I'm a fairly dedicated amateur writer as well, though fantasy is a new genre for me. I specialize in horror, with a foundation in RL mythologies. Right now, I am working on a story about Peino, and if it comes out well, I will post it one of these days.

 

This I quite agree with in most aspects, however, I don't know if I would defien the draegoni as pacifists. By no means am I suggesting they enjoy war and are always seeking it, but more they are those that go to war when need be, and no when it is time for peace. I always see them as being wiser in their wars than humans, not getting into conflicts over petty disputes, but neither do I see them as completely peacefull. I have always imagined them as a very proud race with ancient customs and knowledge I see them as veiwing themselves as slightly superior to others, be the race that lives the longest I think they would see themselves as wiser than all others. This is just a generalization, I don't veiw all draegonis as being so proud. But overall i think of them as a pridefull race, and pride always leads to trouble :P.

 

My apologies if I do not make sense... but that is bascially what i think of the draegonis

Actually, I totally agree with you. The pacificist reference comes directly from the official race description on the EL website. It struck me as odd, but since I'm so new, I felt it wasn't my place to contradict Radu and Roja. So I worked it in. However, I added that bit about indifference being the possible real reason for Draegoni possibly not joining in with the other races in their conflicts because I figured a race that sees itself as so far removed from (advanced beyond?) the others would have no interest in their "petty squabbles." You know, unless they felt insulted/threatened, or it was a matter of a personal alliance. But by all means, I think the Draegoni should have a complex, possibly competitive society (with all that pride floating about), so warfare and the status of warriors would play an important role.

 

Anyway, dragons are not seen as symbols of peace, but as symbols of strength, power, and vitality. I do question the description of the Draegoni as being "pacifist" or otherwise avoiding war.

 

It's funny what you say about the pride of the Draegoni and their status as the most long-lived and wisest, etc., as well as their pride (arrogance). Elves say the same things about themselves. Wouldn't it be funny if a cultural rivalry developed between Elves and Draegoni over such things? The Who's the Most Egotistical? Contest. ;)

 

Odd... both things that jumped out at me related to draegonis ;)

Anyway, I'd just like to mention that there are many things like this, there is even an throne made entirely out of crystal on a draegoni map. There are plenty of glamorous shiny things within the deep confines of those southern icy cities.

Yes, I know, but I want more!!! *bangs fist on desk* More!!! The public areas in the Draegoni cities are fine, but some of the houses and other interiors look too Human-style to my taste, and some are as rustic as Hobbit houses, if there were such a thing as a Hobbit. I just can't see the proud Draegoni being satisfied with patchwork quilts and little wooden stools. As it is, the Orchans decorate their houses more to their own culture than the Draegoni often do, as far as I've seen in my wanderings.

 

-edit-

Another thing, you mentioned elves and their skill with archery and swords in combat, this tends to be the stereotypical definition of elves, And i rather disagree with it at times. I am currently thinking/wishingiwaswriting about an elvish character who has next to no skills in combat. You may have been saying that when they are warriors they are archers and swordsmen(woman :P) not that all are warriors, but thats just my thinking on that subject. I also think that any elf could be perfectly capable of being able to weild and axe just as well as a sword. I tend to get annoyed with fantasy stereotypes of elves being far sighted archers and dwarves being grumpy ale loving axe weilders and other things like that and hope that EL can make some things slightly different about its fantasy races

I was trying to describe the cultures in broad terms, covering all the major aspects of how they function in EL, so mention of fighting styles was necessary. I did not mean to imply that all members of any of the races do the same things or act the same way. All I meant was that archery and swords (and I meant the lighter blades, not the big heavy orcslayers) are Elf-style weapons, so if an Elf learns the martial arts within his/her own society, those are the weapons that would be traditionally taught. Notice that I also mentioned that Dwarves prefer axes and hammers and melee, but that is also a stereotype that does not apply to all Dwarves in Draia.

 

These specific stereotypical details about Elves and Dwarves come directly from the European folklore sources, and for that reason, I accept them as legitimate. That is the bottom line for me on all these fantasy character types -- the closer it is to the original folklore source, the better I like it. But in the original folklore, neither Dwarves nor Elves are primarily known as warriors. It's just that when they fight, these are their usually preferred type of weapons, because in the folklore those weapons were expressive of the nature of the beings.

 

I also talked about Gnomes and warfare, but in the original folklore sources about gnomes, they are not warlike at all, actively avoid conflict, and have no types of weapons associated with them. But I had to do something to account for all the heavily armed gnomes kicking butt all over Draia. ;)

 

Thanks so much for your positive response. I'm an artist and (amateur) writer, and EL has really gotten me exciited about exploring new styles and making some new projects. *itchy, twitchy work fingers*

 

Oh, and by the way, killer Dragon Boat story -- kudos and congrats on that one to you. I've been thinking about illustrating it, but I've only got a handle on one image for one scene and I feel like it needs more (at least 3 images to cover the whole story). Don't know if I'll get anything in by the deadline, as I've got an upcoming art event to prepare for as well.

 

--Peino.

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Thanks! Actually, I've only made a dent in the official stories so far, but am working on it, and am eager to offer my own contributions as well. I'm a fairly dedicated amateur writer as well, though fantasy is a new genre for me. I specialize in horror, with a foundation in RL mythologies. Right now, I am working on a story about Peino, and if it comes out well, I will post it one of these days.

 

Thats awesome :) EL could really use some more decent writers, and don't be afraid to post it whether you think it comes out well or not, other peoples opinions and advise always make my writing better.

Actually, I totally agree with you. The pacificist reference comes directly from the official race description on the EL website. It struck me as odd, but since I'm so new, I felt it wasn't my place to contradict Radu and Roja. So I worked it in. However, I added that bit about indifference being the possible real reason for Draegoni possibly not joining in with the other races in their conflicts because I figured a race that sees itself as so far removed from (advanced beyond?) the others would have no interest in their "petty squabbles." You know, unless they felt insulted/threatened, or it was a matter of a personal alliance. But by all means, I think the Draegoni should have a complex, possibly competitive society (with all that pride floating about), so warfare and the status of warriors would play an important role.

Roja rules the storylines but don't be afraid to present your own ideas :P there is not such thing as a bad idea, only one that roja dosn't like (which dosn't mean its bad ;))

 

I don't veiw draegonis as being to far removed from the other races, I do picture them as thinking themselves superior, but I also see them as thinking they are honor bound to assist when tragedy strikes draia as a whole.

 

It's funny what you say about the pride of the Draegoni and their status as the most long-lived and wisest, etc., as well as their pride (arrogance). Elves say the same things about themselves. Wouldn't it be funny if a cultural rivalry developed between Elves and Draegoni over such things? The Who's the Most Egotistical? Contest. :)

Conflicts between races and kingdoms are something that definately need to be worked on. The draegoni's and elves views of each other would dictate how they behaved when the meet in a story. It would be interesting for them to have a sort of rivalry. However the draegoni live approx 1,000 years, and elves about 800 this makes these two races by far the longest living, and I think that would cause them to have a certain special relationship.

 

Yes, I know, but I want more!!! *bangs fist on desk* More!!! The public areas in the Draegoni cities are fine, but some of the houses and other interiors look too Human-style to my taste, and some are as rustic as Hobbit houses, if there were such a thing as a Hobbit. I just can't see the proud Draegoni being satisfied with patchwork quilts and little wooden stools. As it is, the Orchans decorate their houses more to their own culture than the Draegoni often do, as far as I've seen in my wanderings.

Well I can't speak for the map makers, but i don't think they often go back and change already made maps.

As one who as explored the depths of many draegoni cities and maps I think it works quite fine the way it is. I see the draegoni's as an odd mix of pride an honor. They're rather stuck up, but at the same time humble. They think they're better than you, but will welcome you kindly and are cordial. that is just my veiw of the draegoni :P

 

The gnomes: here is a nice little description roja gave me while I was working out Sarma's story:

As I mentioned they are much more care-free and less organized than humans would be. They are not the kind of people to have crime; although perhaps a petty theft every now and then-and most of the times an accidental one. So they live in peace with each other, although they can surely get into arguments, but it never escalated into violence. They're not warriors; although there can be an exception here or there(obviously the game world goes off on a separate tangent with many of these things).

They are very friendly and unbiased towards all races-even monsters if the monsters won't hurt them. So they also try to settle in peaceful places, away from monsters which they are not good at defending themselves against...however if they do have to defend themselves, they do it with contraptions and devices they engineer. Fighting is a last resort for them.

They are inventors, dabblers, artisans, craftsmen, pack-rats...that sort

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Thats awesome :) EL could really use some more decent writers, and don't be afraid to post it whether you think it comes out well or not, other peoples opinions and advise always make my writing better.

Thanks for the encouragement. :)

Roja rules the storylines but don't be afraid to present your own ideas :P there is not such thing as a bad idea, only one that roja dosn't like (which dosn't mean its bad :icon13:)

 

I don't veiw draegonis as being to far removed from the other races, I do picture them as thinking themselves superior, but I also see them as thinking they are honor bound to assist when tragedy strikes draia as a whole.

I guess my description of them came out a bit more extreme than what I was actually thinking, so, yeah, I think I'm pretty much on the same page as you. None of my business, really, since I'm an Elf, and all. :D

 

 

Conflicts between races and kingdoms are something that definately need to be worked on. The draegoni's and elves views of each other would dictate how they behaved when the meet in a story. It would be interesting for them to have a sort of rivalry. However the draegoni live approx 1,000 years, and elves about 800 this makes these two races by far the longest living, and I think that would cause them to have a certain special relationship.

Of course, due to the curse of deathlessness, all races are technically immortal, but I think the ancient traditions of their long lives would have a real effect on their cultures today, and maybe on how they deal with the deathlessness thing.

 

I'm of two minds about how to deal with that myself. In the in-character log Peino keeps (how I keep track of what I do in game), the deathlessness is real and affects the language Peino uses to talk about what happens around him, working as much of the game's real functions into as coherent an RP reality as I can.

 

On the other hand, I noticed that, aside from the Themes of Eternity, the stories I've read so far do not deal with the deathlessness issue at all. So I'm not sure whether to have it or not have it in the story I'm working on now.

 

Well I can't speak for the map makers, but i don't think they often go back and change already made maps.

As one who as explored the depths of many draegoni cities and maps I think it works quite fine the way it is. I see the draegoni's as an odd mix of pride an honor. They're rather stuck up, but at the same time humble. They think they're better than you, but will welcome you kindly and are cordial. that is just my veiw of the draegoni :P

It's Roja's own fault for saying, above, that she was interested in visual clues to cultures to include in the game. :P To be honest, I think the cultures are represented visually just fine. At most, I might add more text messages attached to buildings and signs that repeat elements of the EL backstory, like rulers' names, laws, gods, etc., just to remind people of the general backstory that exists, however vaguely. But it's not really necessary, I guess.

 

The gnomes: here is a nice little description roja gave me while I was working out Sarma's story:
As I mentioned they are much more care-free and less organized than humans would be. They are not the kind of people to have crime; although perhaps a petty theft every now and then-and most of the times an accidental one. So they live in peace with each other, although they can surely get into arguments, but it never escalated into violence. They're not warriors; although there can be an exception here or there(obviously the game world goes off on a separate tangent with many of these things).

They are very friendly and unbiased towards all races-even monsters if the monsters won't hurt them. So they also try to settle in peaceful places, away from monsters which they are not good at defending themselves against...however if they do have to defend themselves, they do it with contraptions and devices they engineer. Fighting is a last resort for them.

They are inventors, dabblers, artisans, craftsmen, pack-rats...that sort

Ah, just what I was thinking. :) But it also goes back to my dilemma of how much to follow what happens in the game versus guiding a little what happens in the game. Right now, a lot of fighter players love to be gnomes. Ignore that, or work it in? I don't know.

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Of course, due to the curse of deathlessness, all races are technically immortal, but I think the ancient traditions of their long lives would have a real effect on their cultures today, and maybe on how they deal with the deathlessness thing.

 

 

Actually, the curse is being reworked into something else. The races do have average ages.

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Of course, due to the curse of deathlessness, all races are technically immortal, but I think the ancient traditions of their long lives would have a real effect on their cultures today, and maybe on how they deal with the deathlessness thing.

 

 

Actually, the curse is being reworked into something else. The races do have average ages.

Cool. I'll wait and see then. :icon13:

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Ah, just what I was thinking. :medieval: But it also goes back to my dilemma of how much to follow what happens in the game versus guiding a little what happens in the game. Right now, a lot of fighter players love to be gnomes. Ignore that, or work it in? I don't know.

 

Game and stories must be some-what sepperated, afterall we can't go around explaining how everyone lives by walking only one speed :D

 

Besides, there are plenty of orchan and draegoni PKers as well. I think gnomes can just be gnomes for stories, and ignore the PK stuff. But you really should ask roja as that is just my opinion :D (and kinda how i've been writing)

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This is interesting and I'm only part way through. I wanted to quickly pick up on the apparent pacifism of Draegoni compared to their pride which should cause perhaps more internal war. I say pick up, really I mean say something that is of no importance atall :hug:

 

Well Draegonis are very powerful and could cause eachother alot of damage if it came to a scrap. For this reason their great pride, when insulted, comes to a simple sizing up of strengths and cast. In this way, if a disagreement heads towards combat, it is resolved prematurely. This happens in nature to reduce needless damage to one another, and a race with such pride would definately favour maintaining a show of racial unity.

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I believe its a 'fact' that the dreagoni went through a civil war, after which i would think their race would pull it together and not screw up again, being the smart chaps that they are.

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Fascinating thread people! I may as well add my own contributions (even if they are a bit belated... :laugh: ):

 

- Humans. I see humans as the youngest and most versatile race in Eternal Lands. They can adapt to practically every environment, and can find ways to sustain themselves in virtually every situation. They are keen problem solvers and thinkers, and are frequently assisted by the Gnomes and Elves to craft great magical barriers and wards. Although they are not as physically strong or agile as the Orchans, and do not possess the strangely-powerful physiology of Draegoni, if prodded in the wrong area sufficiently they can frequently succumb to a feral-like state; which blocks out any emotions/feelings and makes rational thoughts virtually impossible. The best human-warriors are people who can tap into this mind-frame on command, and some are even trained how to. They are very broad politically, and frequently engage in debates with other races over world views. The majority of humankind live by a lesser version of the Elven 'good and evil' doctrine, they exile or trial whomever they consider evil, but some schisms do occur, and many groups with rival views do appear.

 

- Elves. Naturally elusive and charismatic, Elves are extremely charming, and can be masters of deceit if the situation calls for it. They, like humans, can survive against inhospitable environments, but have a much lower tolerance-threshold for extreme temperatures than their abundant counterparts. Most Elves prefer solitude, and peace, travelling in families or small clans at most. Despite this, they feel safe and secure when surrounded by others of their kin, hence why Tirnwood Vale is predominately populated by Elven families. They have evolved for living in the forest, but apparently not for hunting, as many Elves regard life as sacred and some even refuse to slaughter animals for their hides/meat (origins of the vegetarian/vegan ideologies). Their sight, hearing, and tactile senses are among some of the sharpest in the land; although their hearing is barely rivals Draegoni ears. They were apparently designed for agility, not brute strength, but Elves on average tend to be stronger than humans. Heightened senses make large battles an even bigger strain on an Elf's senses, thus they normally restrict themselves to archery/ranging work, or occasionally sabotage and pre-battle reconnaissance. They can be sanctimonious, as most Elves have a strict sense of 'right and wrong', and don't feel shy about expressing their beliefs to other races they consider evil. This makes them naturally untrusting of the Orchans and Draegoni, whom have been associated with evil deeds in the past.

 

- Dwarves. Strong, decisive and surly. The Dwarves are arguably the most resourceful race in the Lands. They can build great structures from virtually any substance, and don't have time for predators or rivalry. Despite their brash appearance, Dwarves usually have a large amount of focus and mental discipline, as the skills for shaping various items and structures normally prerequisite patience, steadfastness, and a steady hand. They can become dangerously skilled mages, but most don't decide to do so. A Dwarves biggest personality-weakness would be his/her pride. If challenged, a Dwarf would rarely refuse even the most outrageous task. Their stocky-frames are laden with muscle, making sword-wielding somewhat encumbersome, so most chose to wield axes, bows, maces, or other missile or force weapons. Dwarves can summon courage and valour from the depths of despair, and make great hero-icons in battle. They usually don't have much motivation to travel or participate in the front-line of wars, instead preferring to supply (sometimes both sides) with war-weapons, and fortify themselves into a secured and comfortable domain. Dwarves can hold a misdeed for many years, but view petty inter-clan squabbles as a pointless waste of valuable time. They will rarely refuse to sell stock to someone, and usually take a neutral position in many political affairs.

 

- Gnomes. Intelligent, wise, and relatively pacifistic. Gnomes are renowned for their seemingly inherent talent to create wonders (both magical and otherwise). They identify mostly with the Dwarves, but are drastically different personality-wise; Gnomes are shy, reserved, and their humour is intelligent and witty. They also tend to have less muscle than Dwarves, but are generally accepted as superior thinkers and creators. Gnomes try to stick amongst their kin as much as possible, as relations with outside-races are often difficult and usually lead to harsh consequences. They restrict themselves from the other races, choosing to live solely on a small island in Irilion. Although the basics were developed by humans, Gnomes have advanced significantly further in the fields of science and discovery than any other race. Their technology makes them envied by most races (except perhaps the Elves), and many try to acquire it for themselves. Despite this, most Gnome-knowledge is denied to outsiders. Perhaps more peculiar, Gnomes develop great war-machines but don't actually have a military of their own; so to speak. A small fleet of trade-ships make up the majority of their forces, and air patrols aren't uncommon, but a land-force is practically unheard of among Gnomes. Their build, more fragile than Dwarves, restricts them even further, and many choose not to participate in wars at all. No other races have attempted to seize the Gnomes' great technology, however, probably due to their many allies. Most powerful of which, the Irlion Empire, who will step in to defend the Gnomes if at all threatened. Bias is practically unheard of among the Gnomish people. They easily forget about grudges, and normally speak in a polite, educated, respectful tone. They, like the Dwarves, choose not to take sides, but will ally with one faction if the stability of Irlion is threatened.

 

 

- Orchan. Fierce, cunning and skilful. Orchans, of course, have a great love of battle. It is in their nature, and they have become very good at fighting. Orchans are few in number, but have developed several fighting techniques, and are hailed for their strength, speed and stamina; making them perfect assassins. Generally they only look out for themselves, but when mating/raising children, Orchans have a deep desire to protect their spouse/young. They will push themselves to the limit if threatened, and are many times stronger than even the Dwarves. Politics are practically non-existent, most Orchan tribes simply go under the guidance of an 'Alpha-male' or occasionally a ruling council. They often compete for resources (land, gold, livestock, etc.), and as such are usually left alone by other races. Orchans can take several heavy blows and still partake in a bloodbath. The majority of their lives steer around fighting, war, and death. Honour plays a large part in Orchan society, as dishonoured warriors are often exiled to die. They are not just mindless brutes, either. Some of the finest leaders were Orchan, as few are born with exceptional leadership skills. Orchans are multi-talented, and form their own unique armour and structures, but take an narcissistic view on other races. Family bonds don't mean much if someone is dishonoured. A male Orchan will gladly kill his dishonoured brother or sister if the price is right. They are fearfully truthful about war, inspire terror and dread in their enemies, and can cause pain and suffering in others like in the deepest, darkest of nightmares.

 

- Draegoni. Draegoni are a peculiar race. Their anatomy is drastically different from any others, (e.g. the addition of a third lung, making them excellent sprinters) which gives them a great advantage. Muscle is seemingly inherent, and most Draegoni are very physically active. Work that would be toil, even torture, for other races to complete would have a significantly less strain on Draegoni. Their scales also grant some armour, as they are very tough, and even valuable to mages. Depending on the colour of their scales, they are often restricted to one environment; for example, a blue-scaled Draegoni will feel at home in desolate regions such as Hulda, but will grow extremely weak when travelling in hot temperatures. They have created great fortresses and cities, but regard nature with the highest respect hence why Yeti still roam the corridors adjacent to the Dra'Syn. They usually have a somewhat arrogant nature, as most Draegoni regard other races as inferior. Senses are slightly more attuned than the humans, but hearing is the sharpest in the land. Despite their magical nature, Draegoni have more trouble mastering the energies that shape Draia than others, as the resonant energy their bodies draw is highly unstable, and a simple fire-conjuration can end up in a blazing inferno.

 

Edit: Right, that's enough for one night, off to bed now :laugh:

 

Whew. More to come, but I've spent too much time on the single post just now :laugh:

Edited by Aphistolas

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After reading through this thread again, I was struck by another thought.

 

However the draegoni live approx 1,000 years, and elves about 800 this makes these two races by far the longest living, and I think that would cause them to have a certain special relationship.

 

What sort of impact (if any) do you think a long lifespan has on the cultural attitudes of the races? Do you think it'll lead to a (multi-)generation gap problem, especially if world events are moving at a relatively rapid pace? eg. Portland City was founded approximately 120 years ago, according to its NPC librarian (Drial)... that would be about 9% of a Draegoni's lifespan, or about 15% of an Elf's. The rough equivalent in human terms, assuming an average human lifespan of about 90 years, would be about 8-14 years. Basically, only the youngest generation of Elven / Draegoni children would have grown up with Portland existing as a continental power. Their parents, grandparents, and great-(^n) grandparents would not have. Would the older generations therefore ignore the relatively young political entities? Or do you think the present moment would be important enough for them to pay attention, regardless of how long they live?

 

Also, speaking of generations, what do you think is the average year difference between generations in the races? The average human generation is approximately 30 years currently in RL. But given the relative longer lifespan of nearly all the other races, should the period of fertility and childbearing age also be extended proportionately? The impact of these on family structure (and hence cultural attitudes towards life, death and children, as well as the relative influence of each race on world culture) is significant. Example: Human females are fertile from roughly ages 12-52, a period of 40 years, or about 50% of their maximum lifespan. If we assume a similar fertility proportion for the other races, that means Draegoni are fertile for approximately 500 years, and elves for approximately 400 years. This, by itself, could lead to a population explosion that far outstrips humanity unless something else counters it.

 

This solution could take one of many forms:

1) Long fertility period, but very low fertility rate. (i.e. chance of conception is very low among Draegoni and Elves)

2) Long fertility period, but equally long gestation period (i.e. Draegoni and Elven pregnancy lasts a very long time)

3) Short fertility period, similar to human development (i.e. Draegoni and Elven females fertile for less than 100 years, experience menopause relatively early in their lifespans)

4) Cultural pressure against reproduction (i.e. Draegoni or Elven families are mandated by law to only bear one child each. eg. China's one-child policy)

5) Different reproduction patterns (i.e. Draegoni and Elven females have a yearly cycle, instead of a monthly one. Or maybe they only become fertile for a few days every decade. Or maybe they only HAVE one egg. Or maybe all the young in a batch will fight each other until one emerges victorious as the strongest of the litter.)

 

What do you all think?

 

After childbirth, of course, comes the issue of development and maturity. When would an Elf or Draegoni child be considered an adult? Do they follow in proportion to human development (i.e. first 10% is childhood, next 10% is teenage, next 10% is young adulthood, then 50% adult middle age, then 20% old age/retirement)? If they follow this pattern, then an Elf child would become a teenager at age 40, a young adult at age 80, a full adult at age 120, and an elder at age 600. Draegoni would become teens at age 100, young adults at age 200, full adults at age 300, and elders at age 800. That would place an Elf generation (time to reach full adulthood and start a family) at 120 years, and a Draegoni generation at 300 years.

 

The reason why this is important is fourfold:

1) It has an impact on the historical development of places. You can't have a city / town that "has given rise to generations of elves / draegoni" last for less than 100 years. The history of elven / draegoni towns and dwellings have to be scaled appropriately to their lifespan and development cycle.

2) It places certain age limits on the "adventurous" parts of a long-lived individual's lifespan. Assuming that Elven and Draegoni children are allowed to "go wild" during their youth, but are expected to settle down and raise a family by the time they reach middle age, that means most Elven and Draegoni adventurers would be teenagers and young adults. That gives Elven adventurers a career lifespan of about 80 years, and Draegoni adventurers a career lifespan of about two centuries.

3) It also places limitations on the "lost in history", or "nobody now living knows" excuse... while humans may have lost it, there will likely be Draegoni or Elves who remember. In other words, for a past event to have become legend or historical mystery, it must be set a LONG time back... more than the maximum lifespan of most Draegoni. At least 1000 years ago. Unless you can posit that the races don't talk to each other, so maybe all the shorter-lived races have forgotten, while the longer-lived races have not. Great potential for some monumental one-sided racial grudges there.

4) This has an impact on their relations with other shorter-lived races. If the vast majority of the Elves living in Tirnwood Vale knew Lord Luxin when he was a baby, and also know that they will outlive him, what impact does it have on their obedience and submission to him as Lord of White Stone? And, of course, it's not just Elves and Draegoni who have this problem. Gnomes and Dwarves share it to a lesser extent as well.

 

Thoughts, comments, suggestions?

 

-Lyn-

 

EDIT: Apparently, according to Jerun, Grandmaster of Air in the TG magic school, the elder races come of age at age 64 (four x four x four). So, what does this hold for the maturity cycle of Elves and Draegoni?

Edited by Lyanna

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