Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 6 - Seekretya - Da Races

Here is what the exercise has for Day 6:

"1. Spend 10 minutes figuring out what people who evolved in each major area of your world would look like. Then spend another 5 minutes asking "2. what if this group encountered that group?" Would they fight? Trade? Both? Inter-marry and blend their genetic types? Would they remain largely separate, with pure strains of both racial groups co-existing (not necessarily peacefully)? How would that encounter be brought about in the first place?" [I added the numbers]


Note: No Race is evil. Races are not paired.

There are 5 races in Seekretya, none of which exactly match the old Wee Folk of traditional tales. There are literary reasons and in-story reasons. Literarily, I don't want so many different races, I don't necessarily like the way they're depicted, and they don’t match the story mood. The main in-story reason is that when they got to Seekretya they had conflicts, wars, treaties and agreements as they jostled into the small, insulated world. They re-built themselves and their relationships.

The lingua franca of Seekretya is English, though there is a shared magic language as well and some groups may retain their original language in private, though that is becoming more rare.

The Races are reproductively separated. There are little people that are social (Fae) and there are little people that are solitary (Wee). There are social (Trol) and solitary (Megan) big people as well. The fifth Race is the human race.

Ok so these are somewhat paired, but it will turn out that ethno-grouping is almost stronger than race-grouping so it won't be an issue. I certainly didn't want to try to approach the question from the idea that there are pairs for everything, and the pairs play off of, fight, or complement each other. There is one Water People for instance and they don't have to be balanced by any other group. There aren't groups for all geographical features or ecological niches.

Any Race can perform magic and there are Wizards in all Races.

Although I don't agree with the idea of races in describing different groups of Homo sapiens, I think it is the right term to use in this story. These are all hominid races of people. They all share the same body type, generally the same abilities, minimum intelligence level and minimum technological development. They all have the same basic attitudes, desires and outlooks. In short, they are not aliens, but different people, more than just culturally different, but still people.

There is one species of sentient magical animals (and I hesitate to have these because I don't like talking animals, so I'll class them as Creatures) they are Dragons. They ARE alien intelligences.

The Races and Creatures are further divided into Ethnogroups. They call themselves clans, tribes, nations, peoples. Some of them have developed political territories with names like empire, kingdom, territory or land. These political areas I'll refer to as Lands. Races or Ethnogroups might coexist in a Land, or a single Race or Ethnogroup might divide themselves into several Lands and constantly struggle for control of their neighbors.

There are Ethnogroups that are generally pro-human and ones that are generally anti-human. This usually holds true throughout the entire Ethnogroup with individual exceptions rather than Land based exceptions, although an anti-human Land may ally themselves with Humans in the interest of dominating a competing Land (but they won't like it).

As far as the heroes are concerned, the anti-human Ethnogroups are generally evil. As Humans they see these people as unnecessarily cruel to Humans, or to have values normally considered as vices by most Human cultures.

MEGANS - Megans reproduce once every 3 or 4 years depending on if they have an omnivourous diet. Those with a more rounded diet go into estrus more often. Gestation is 16 months. Every 11 years everyone goes into estrus at the same time and they have what they call, "The Merging." Very large gatherings are held. There is a great celebration. Tents are set up for carnal visits (they are very private) and trading happens. The Mountain Megan trade sheep and goats, the Forest Megan trade fruits, nuts, berries and other vegetarian food stuffs.

Forest Megans are almost exclusively herbivourous. They are the tallest of all Races, at an average of almost 14'. They are ambivalent of Humans, and prefer to stay clear of them. The more omnivourous of them will eat a Human if the opportunity arrives, but that's very rare (like a man-eating hipo), usually when a Forest Megan is weak, sick or very old. These are generally the "trolls" in stories like "The Three Billy Goats Gruff."

So, going back to 30 Days.

1. Spending 10 minutes on what Megans look like, They are leggy and square shouldered. They are twice as tall as humans, but only about 4 times heavier. They aren't beefy. When they are overweight they get pot bellies. Their hair, skin and eye color are all across the spectrum. They do then to have thick hair on their heads, faces and bodies. The women have only slightly less hairy on their bodies, with their hair only slightly thinner. Their facial hair is much thinner, and not often noticeable. They then to be strong in the way thin, wirey people are. Their clothing is widely varied too. Some groups go almost naked, while others wear so many layers that you would think that they are all overweight.

2. I've already talked about how different groups of Megans interact. They tolerate the presence of most Trol groups, though they have no interaction with them. They think of Wee folk as pests, like insects. They are most likely to eat them or kill them without thinking much about it. Wee folk in their turn delight in tormenting Megans, considering them slow and dimwitted. Fae avoid Megans and vice versa. When they do come in contact both groups would give ground and leave the area. Faery lands and Megan lands do not overlap at all.

Coming Soon: DRAGONS, TROLS, FAES and WEES. Watch this space.

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