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Fantasy races

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Tom, May 28, 2013.

  1. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    Hey, I just wanted to tell someone about the races in my WIP so I figured I'd see what you guys think of them.

    The first race is the Ulinjad. They're about 7 feet tall, muscular, with red-brown skin, black hair, and yellow eyes with slit pupils. They naturally have long horns, but when they're born their horns are removed with an acid because they're considered unattractive. They live about as long as humans.

    There's the Balsgor next. They're sort of a humanoid species of dragon--they have wings, but are usually flightless. They have smooth, leathery skin instead of scales, small rounded horns, tails, and small fangs. They're considerably beautiful (besides the horns and fangs) because they have fine, glossy black hair, large eyes, and delicate oval faces. Most stand a little shorter than 6 feet and live about 150 years.

    Then I have the Mreke. They're my selkie race (I love selkies). They stand at roughly 4 feet, are slightly built, and have sleek black hair, ice-blue eyes, and white skin. Like selkies, they shapeshift into seals, but they don't need seal-skins to do so. They live about 100 years.

    I also have dwarves and elves, but please don't come after me with battleaxes.

    The elves have split off into three major groups: the northern elves, the southern elves, and the marsh elves. The northerners are taller (around 6.5 feet) and stronger than the other two groups and have a tendency toward the redhead gene combination. The southerners are olive-skinned, usually dark haired and gray-eyed. The marsh elves can't really be called elves anymore because they've mingled with the other races. They're usually shorter than the other elves (5 feet) and slighter built. All elves live about 500 years (immortality is so cliche!).

    My dwarves stay true to their roots in Norse mythology as far as appearance goes, but I've made them taller than usual, about 5 feet, slimmer, and longer in the legs. They have true black eyes, with no distinction between iris and pupil, and are usually pale-skinned and have blond or light brown hair. They live around 250 years.

    I've also tweaked humans a bit. My humans live roughly 100 years, and when they first made contact with the elves, the elves were scared of them because they have rather large canine teeth. They're also strongly tied to the earth element, so I don't think you'll find any humans trashing nature in my storyworld.

    So, what do you think? (This is a really long post!)
     
  2. Addison

    Addison Auror

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    Sounds very interesting, and intriguing. I especially like how you've already come up with names for your races and how you've tweaked the more common ones to your liking. After all, part of the fantasy writing is making everything how you want it to be.

    Great races! :)
     
  3. Jabrosky

    Jabrosky Banned

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    I wonder why your first race evolved long horns in the first place if they're considered unattractive. You'd think sexual selection would eliminate that.

    Nonetheless I do feel inspired to create some of my own races right now after reading your OP. :)
     
  4. The Construct

    The Construct Minstrel

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    Well actually, if Wikipedia is to be believed, the Dwarfs (or what became known as Dwarfs) in Norse mythology weren't even depicted as being short. So making them taller is even MORE true to Norse Mythology than how they're usually shown.

    Also, very good races. Selkies are a favourite of mine, too! :) You actually reminded me that I had yet to add them to my world (fortunately that's easily fixed).
     
  5. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    Thank you, The Construct, for that interesting fact. It always annoyed me that dwarves are depicted as being short.

    Oh, and welcome to Mythic Scribes!
     
  6. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    I was also going to post sketches I have of my races, but the scanner ain't workin. Meh.
     
  7. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    I, too, love selkies. Mine are paddling around a harbor in Seahaven, a fictional city in Washington State.

    Get that scanner working!

    And Jabrosky makes a good point. Why are the horns considered unattractive? Is it an influence from other races? Do your dragon-kin share this distaste for their horns? Inquiring minds want to know!
     
  8. Ciloth

    Ciloth Acolyte

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    I, also, am curious why the horns are unattractive. Is the practice of removing the horns new in order to fit in with the other races? If not, why hasn't sexual selection gotten rid of the horns?
     
  9. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    I think the Ulinjad consider their horns undesirable because of their impracticality. They live in a mountainous region, densely forested, and if they had these huge horns they'd forever be getting caught in branches and brambles and might possibly throw their owners off balance when climbing!
    Another factor is their interaction with humans. They trade with humans a lot and many humans will not do business with a horned Ulinjad simply because he or she looks dangerous and uncivilized.

    The Balsgor don't have this problem because their horns are just small, rounded projections above their temples, not likely to get caught on stuff, not heavy enough to affect balance, and easily concealed with a clever hairstyle. However, the wings and tails are extremely conspicuous so the Balsgor always have to be on guard when interacting with humans.

    Sexual selection is sort of helping--a few generations ago Ulinjad had even larger horns--but until the horns are completely bred out of them, they're going to have to keep taking the risk of mental retardation and permanent disfigurement to get rid of them.

    And yes, acid can do those two things. I have a friend who breeds goats, and when they're a few weeks old their horns are removed with acid. She used too much acid on one of her bucks and now he's "not all there"...
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  10. Lycan999

    Lycan999 Minstrel

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  11. Lycan999

    Lycan999 Minstrel

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    Not sure what I did wrong with that quote
     
  12. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    Somehow you ate part of it. Your end should look like this: [/QUOTE]
     
  13. ecdavis

    ecdavis Troubadour

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    Your races seem well thought out and interesting. I'm a big fan of Elves myself, as they have been the main characters in both sets of trilogies I've written.
     
  14. hots_towel

    hots_towel Minstrel

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    these sound awesome, but im curious though. Why would you expect people to come at you with battleaxes for having elves and dwarves in your story? do you find it a little too cliche?
     
  15. Malik

    Malik Auror

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    They're only cliche if you do what everyone else does with them. If you make the elves tall and beautiful and mighty just like the ones in WOW, if you make the dwarves short and drunk and solely for comic relief like Gimli, if you make all your elves bowmen like Legolas, etc., then yeah. People will read your stuff and yawn.

    I gave my elves oversized canine teeth. I figured they evolve more slowly (longer lifespans, far fewer offspring) so they'd be closer to feral than humans are, and the vestigial fangs are a reminder of that. They are educated and enlightened but when they're angry they fall back on their roots and they hiss and growl. I gave them skin the color of bark -- gray to brown -- and hair the color of autumn leaves, with dark predator's stripes in their hair. I made them small, lean and balletic. A full-grown male elf in my world would resemble a flyweight boxer in stature and musculature; my female elves are petite and very slight. I did a linguistic trick with their speech patterns that makes humans insane after a time. It drove me nearly nuts writing their dialogue but that's why you minor in structural linguistics -- to drive yourself bat****.

    What I'm getting at is, you can look at my elves and (I hope) still recognize them as Faerie / Fey / elves of legend, but I hope I've done something a little different with them, and something that makes them make sense in my universe. But then, I'm big on things making sense. Not all fantasy writers have to be.
     
  16. Malik

    Malik Auror

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