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High Fantasy Creatures/Races

Discussion in 'World Building' started by James G Pearson, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. James G Pearson

    James G Pearson Scribe

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    Hey everyone,

    I just wanted to get everyone's opinion and input about their novels, mainly their creatures and races within. For instance, I've strayed from the path of 'normal' High Fantasy and have no Elves, Orcs, Goblins, Mages, Wizards, Dwarves, etc. Instead, I've made a few of my own. I don't know how high on originality they are, but I like them.

    Firstly, there's the mighty Leonhardt. Warriors from the North whom have the ability to change into Lion-men, or Werelions depending on what you like to call them. They serve their king in a the Kingdom of Halerock.

    Secondly there is my new assassins, only really discovered a few weeks back, the Egir-Wut. A group of assassins with seemingly supernatural powers. They terrorise their prey in the form of ghosts in the darkness, before killing them. A fog tends to rise from the ground they are about to kill on.

    What sort of races and creatures do you have in your novels?
     
  2. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    I mainly go with the typical fantasy fare: vampires (which I've put my own spin on), elves and Fae. One WIP that I haven't made much progress on yet involves werewolves, and another concerns sapient wolves in a non-Earth world.
     
  3. Noma Galway

    Noma Galway Archmage

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    I have a race called the Immortals. They aren't really mentioned in my WIP, but other stories based in the world have them. They are basically humanoid with huge black wings. They rise fully-grown but ever-young from flames, and they are the embodiment of shadow. Their wings don't grow immediately. Every time they set foot on the ground, a mortal near them dies. Once they grow wings, they fly pretty much forever. The only way for one to die is if they dive into very deep water. Or you throw them into deep water.
     
    James G Pearson likes this.
  4. Bman10119

    Bman10119 Dreamer

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    In my current work i have a race that lives in the jungle, they have three fingers and a thumb on each hand, scaled blue skin, four eyes that are capable of switching between normal sight and thermal, small horns, and a tail that splits into two fully functional independent tails that they use to navigate the jungle and wield weapons. They're called the Viagaard. They're usually only seen outside of their homelands as slaves, captured by the gnomes who share their home continent and have settlements on the continent where the other cultures live. They have a hiss when speaking.
     
  5. teacup

    teacup Auror

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    The idea behind one of my MCs is that he's (in a basic sense and just as the story begins) the "fantasy adventurer." You know, like in Skyrim and such. Monster hunter and the like. He comes from a country filled with, well, all things high fantasy. Elves, Dwarves, blablabla. He comes to another country, the setting of book 1, which has none of these, not even magic. So in my story I don't have many high fantasy creatures, but they do exist in the world.
    Though, there are actually Werewolves and Spirit Wolves (original creation) there, but he doesn't know it yet.

    My Werewolves are the common "wolfman" type, infecting other by scratches, but I've made my own origin for them, and they were designed to be super soldiers, before it all went wrong.

    Spirit Wolves are a creation made by a Goddess, forming the souls of men and wolves together. Put briefly, they are wolves until the full moon, at which point they turn human! They have power over souls.



    is that a play on "lion heart" ?
     
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  6. James G Pearson

    James G Pearson Scribe

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    Very cool idea. I like where you're going with that!

    It's a sort of play, it's High Germanic for 'Lion Heart.' I take a lot of words for my races/creatures/weapons/assassins/characters from words in High Germanic and Old Norse.
     
  7. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    I have a question: what's the difference between race and separate species/creature?
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  8. buyjupiter

    buyjupiter Maester

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    I normally do humans and/or human-plus-other blends. Gods of something or other also frequently make appearances in my stories.

    However, for one of the novel length ideas, I do dwarves as the good guys & heros. Gnomes are kind of neutral, technologically and alchemically talented. Dwegs, however, are my own little creation (and the bad guys). Their origins are in dwarves that were "twisted" (morally, spiritually, magically, and however many other ways you can put it). The Dwegs have since evolved (in-world) to become something very different from either the dwarves or the gnomes. The physical description was the hardest bit, to be honest. I kept wanting to go Peter Jackson's version of Uruk-hai. There are references to dragons, but I'm pretty sure the dragons have all died out in this world.

    For another set of worlds I'm creating, I am looting and pilfering through the mythological traditions from around the world and using the demons/bad spirits for the evil gods. There is so much good material out there, that with a few twists of my own, I don't have to do all that much "from scratch" world building. (I may end up with products that are vastly different from their origins, but at least I have something to base race creation on).

    I also have an orc-type creature who's a healer (I haven't settled on how I'm going to present him just yet--trying to avoid Tolkienesque descriptions). And a dragon in the same world.

    And then there's the golem, which doesn't really fit in anywhere as its man-made, but with personality and agency and it isn't really a "race" as such. But it isn't human.
     
  9. Hainted

    Hainted Sage

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    I have the Cobbe. Humanoid spiders that feast on humanoids. Close-up they are frightening, with multiple eyes, and long fangs hidden under a mandible that looks like a human jawline. Upright they have 4 limbs,like their prey, but each limb splits into 2 to allow for climbing or speed. In low light, or silhouetted they appear humanoid, until the mandible opens, and the limbs split. They have no spoken or written language, and other races don't know how they communicate with one another. They are sapient though since many of them work as assassins, taking jobs to supplement their diets.
     
  10. buyjupiter

    buyjupiter Maester

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    Eek! Assassin humanoid-spider hybrids? ::hides under covers:: I am deathly afraid of spiders, so if I have nightmares tonight Hainted, it's all your fault. ;)
     
  11. Gryphos

    Gryphos Auror

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    I have the Tuatha, similar to humans but taller and with goat-like beards. Inspired in some ways by the Tuatha de Dannan of Irish myth.

    I also have Paracotl, which are basically tall anthropomorphic birds that live in the jungle and are deadly assassins and warriors. But hardly anyone knows anything about them since expeditions into their jungle rarely come back.
     
  12. Yellow

    Yellow Minstrel

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    For the story i'm writing currently there are no other races, only humans, although there are a lot of what I call Non-physicals (haven't got a name for them yet) which are, you guessed it, forms of consciousness that don't have a physical body. You could say they are ghosts-ish or spirit-like, except they aren't supernatural or anything, and they have societies and cultures, which are of course quite alien. And yes, they are invisible for all practical purposes, though they can comunicate with humans through telepathy, dreams, and chanels, which are essentially people who have a heightened awareness of the Non-physicals, because magic!

    Then I have another story in progress which is much bigger in scope, where I do have a large variety of races, all of em' home brewed! My favourite are the Strophalia, a race of sentient, highly inteligent mushrooms. They are somewhat reminiscent of Ents, but with caps and spores and generaly more mushroomy, and they can grow from a couple of inches tall to over 20ft. Now, in real life, the part of the mushroom that grown above ground is it's sexual organ, and the rest of the mushroom's "body" is underground, known as the mycelium. The idea of the Strophalia is that they also have a mycelium, which is in fact the equivalent of their brain. Since they have gigantic collective brains, these guys are extremely smart and sophisticated, much moreso than humans. All the surface growths that come from the same mycelium share a sort of hive consciousness type of thing, and could be considered the "fingers" of the overall being. I'm not sure i'm making myself clear, if I'm not please let me know!

    Another one of the races i'm quite proud of are the Aviaan, which are a bit less strange than the Strophalia. They are bird-human mix, usualy twice as tall as regular humans, although not much heavier (hollow bones and very slim bodies). They are winged humanoids, covered in feathers, and posessing bird heads and claws on both hands and feet. The type of their heads vary from region to region, so cold weather Aviaan might be owls, hawks, while Aviaan from tropical climates might be tucans, quetzals, or any number of jungle birds.
    They have a very rigid, unchanging monastic society, and every profession is considered a different type of monastic service to the whole society. They also practice their own martial art, which is known as the Dance of Wing and Claw, involving extensive physical training, but also mental training which allows most common Aviaan to enter a trance like state of hightened awareness. As you might guess, they are very, very dangerous in combat, although they will only fight in self defense. The defining aspect of their culture is their belief that the Gods are dead (they actually experienced the death of the Gods in their history, or at least an event that they interpreted as such). This belief led them to trust only in the past, in previous experience, and in themselves, which in turn led them to a sort of ancestor worship religion centered on knowledge. As such, every Aviaan puts to writing the events of each day, in hopes their experience will serve future generations, and they have done so for many centuries, putting together huge bodies of text known as Libraries of Moonturn, where every event fo Aviaan life for the last 2000 years are recorded in extreme detail. In a sense, having lost all possibility of faith in divinity, they worship history.
     
  13. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

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    For me there's never been any doubt about using the traditional races. It's always been half the fun to come up with new and novel takes on those "cliche" fantasy races while staying true to the core of what makes those classic fantasy races such a classic. For instance, warlike Orcs, only instead of ugly barbarians, a culture focusing on the honor of war like Rome or Samurai-Japan.

    Unfortunately my latest WIP doesn't provide much of an opportunity for me to do that as it mostly focuses on the internal struggles and politics of a human nation and their biologically / magically enhanced nobles. There are a bunch of other races in the world, but if you're not a Noble or a Commoner then you're lumped together under the title of Secondary Race. Technically it should be Second Races as it refers to races crafted by the First Race and logically the Nobles would be half-Secondary Race themselves, but culture isn't always logical and over time they've become known as the Secondary Races. The Nobles consider the Secondary Races to be lesser and dangerous sort of like fairies, but they do allow limited trade and contact with certain secondary races. I'm likely going to use classic fantasy races as inspiration for the secondary races, but I'm going to twist them into stranger, more alien forms to better fit their role in the story.
     
  14. SM-Dreamer

    SM-Dreamer Troubadour

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    Let's see. Well, aside from humans, dwarves, elves, and dragons (the usual, lol) I have demons in my world. Not Western, but based on anime influences and eastern mythology (spirit would be a better term). Elemental or bestial sub classification. And each race is spread out over a few landmasses, so there's a number of sub-cultures for each race.

    Oh, and trolls and orcs that are less seen in that world. There's a forerunner race that's responsible for making/mutating some races, called the Ko'ori'que, a hermaphroditic, winged race, and their mortal enemies, the Lazashii, a reptilian, cannabalistic race that tried to wipe them and the elves out at one point but were themselves destroyed (and led to the creation of demons and trolls and orcs).
     
  15. Jabrosky

    Jabrosky Banned

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    For one of my worlds I have a race of sapient chimpanzee relatives called the Chuwen. They have a highly warlike and autocratic civilization patterned after the Mesoamerican cultures (e.g. Aztecs and Maya), and they come into conflict with the African human protagonists.
     
  16. Malik

    Malik Auror

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    Typical fantasy stuff. My series is a portal fantasy. The world where my MC ends up is the world we came from before our ancestors decided to bail and start over on Earth. It's more complicated than that, but this is how my MC comprehends it, at least at this point in the series. So, many of our mythical creatures are there. I didn't want to stray too far from that.

    I mainly write humans but my characters interact with elves. The elves have bark-colored skin, predatory patterns in their hair, and sharp canines, but they still have the typical fantasy elf characteristics - long-lived, beautiful, serene. I gave them a Vulcan duality; they adopted their mask of serenity and culture to tame their feral instincts. That feral nature is where we get our cultural memory of elves being mischievous and wicked. They've moved on since then.

    My world has several subhuman goblin-esque species ranging in size and temperament. Dwarves and dragons are mentioned but they don't make an appearance. I also have many magical species: centaurs, gryphons, pegasi, etc.
     
  17. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    When I first started out establishing my world, I wanted to stick with the usual stock of races. Then I realized how constricting the expectation readers will have when they identify the races, or how turned off many readers are from the usual stuff.

    So I put my races through some modifications. The only race that are typical stock is dragons and humans.

    My races are loosely based off of known races. I've listed them here before. I won't list them all here again.
     
  18. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    I've got elves and dwarves and hobbits - except I've renamed the hobbits and call them anfylk. They look pretty much like you expect them to look from just seeing the names. The elves are tall slim and pretty, the dwarves are short and have big beards and the anfylk are short too.
    I've got humans as well, but they're normal and boring, just like humans in the real world.

    Then you can go scratch the surface and discover that there might be a bit more to them than you first thought. ;)

    Sentient Species - Odd Lands Wiki
     
  19. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

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    I only have one race of humanoids in my current WIP, and they are basically hobbits mixed with... deer. Not quite like satyrs or centaurs, a little more human-y, but they have things in common. Of the other creatures in the world, there are some plant-like creatures similar to faeries, some stone giants like the ones from Shadow of the Colossus (so really giant), some creatures that are basically Ents, and then mostly just regular creatures that have little powers or are hybrids of two things, like adorable baby chimeras. :p
     
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  20. MVV

    MVV Scribe

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    I've got humans and elves. Humans are generally bad and try to manipulate the world. Elves are half-nomads and don't use magic. Then, I've got goblins who aren't as evil and stupid as one would expect in traditional fantasy, evil faeries, pretty normal zombies, vampires and werewolves... and then, catfolk. The world is not fully developed yet so I may consider some more.

    EDIT:
    I forgot about the Spirits who live in another plane. Basically, Spirits is where all the magic in my world come from. Mages call the Spirits and bargain with them. Spirits are similiar to demons or maybe even devils. The big difference is that they aren't necessarily evil. They're just very powerful and some enjoy it more than others. Heheh.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014
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