Cultures in EL
Posted 05 December 2007 - 02:14 AM
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.
Posted 05 December 2007 - 02:28 AM
Posted 16 April 2008 - 12:15 AM
- 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
Whew. More to come, but I've spent too much time on the single post just now
Edited by Aphistolas, 16 April 2008 - 01:24 PM.
Posted 23 September 2009 - 05:35 AM
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?
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, 24 September 2009 - 04:43 AM.
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