How Many Cultures have you Created?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Absyinthe, May 10, 2016.

  1. "A culture is a way of life of a group of people--the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next." [1]

    When world building there can come a time when you create a culture or even many cultures for your world. I'm curious to know how many you have roughly done over your time of world building? As well do you have any favorites that stand out to you? Possibly even least favorites? ^.^
  2. A lot of my extraterrestrial worldbuilding is done on just the physical appearance of the species, so the culture is often a work in progress, but I can pick out 26 that I'd consider separate from each other.

    My favorite has always been the Exulian demon. Exul, the planet they live on, has a weird magical atmosphere that divides the surface into three areas according to the distribution of sunlight: the Wild Zone (complete darkness), the Light Zone (harsh neverending daylight), and the Civ Zone (just balanced enough to be hospitable). The Light Zone is considered more dangerous than the Wild Zone, since the Civ Zone has longer nights and darker days than Earth; a lot of demon culture is based around this idea that light is a dangerous thing. Parents often tell their children stories about the horrible creatures that live in the Light Zone to keep them from going off into forbidden territory.
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  3. That is amazing! What kind of species live in the light zone?
  4. It's mostly populated by creatures called angels. They're actually a demon's only natural predator (unless you count the somni, which live in the Wild Zone and feed off of fear so they hunt demons but don't actually kill them) and are terrifying things with a huge mouth filled with foot-long teeth, an array of hypnotic spells that slow thought and movement, and a venomous bite that can stop a demon's heart in half an hour. Their brilliant white wings and clothing made from the bleached skins of their prey make them blend into the overheated environment, so they use a lot of psychological warfare and persistence hunting tactics. So yeah, those stories are definitely warranted!
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  5. That is excellent, I love your creativity!
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  6. Aw shucks. uwu How about you, you have any interesting cultures?
  7. Hmm, I think that the culture of Lustmye in the universe of Gnarlinstaire is my sort of interesting one, and it is entirely revolved around sex and selling it to others. While the culture of Grenafore uses the Exotic Gems and Minerals to gain new abilities.
    • Bucket of Rainbows Bucket of Rainbows x 1
  8. Pff, I can only imagine someone from Lustmye going to some other world without realizing what they're getting into, and everyone involved is just so confused when there's all kinds of sudden unwarranted sex.
  9. Eight cultures on Saldecla, two on Empire Lands, one on Pehl'la... and then a few others scattered about, like maybe 20 more? Maybe more? I don't know.

    I'm just gonna go with a hundred because that sounds about right.

    Every time I make a character, I have some cultural ideas built with them.
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  10. Literally the only thing I ever do creatively is universe-build, so if I had to pin it down... I'd say about ten fully realized cultures, twenty shower ideas, and dozens of one-offs for characters. The one I'm working on right now, and the one I'm thinking of sharing with Iwaku for development help, is what is nicknamed by the rest of the planet as the Ferals.
    Long Exposition Dump, Spoiler'd for thread convenience.

    Show Spoiler

    I took my original inspiration from the history of Vietnam, and combined it with what I knew of Victorian Imperialism and Russian Political Evolution to simulate a nation in an ever-changing state.
    My take on the symbol of the Outcasts Undivided, the four lines represent the timelines (age increasing with height) of the four tribes, with the line at the center representing their shared history. They converge at the top, signifying their unity. The symbol is simplistic in design by choice, as there are few artisans in feral culture and the symbol needs to be etch-able into wood.

    I'll need a small bit of backstory for why the Ferals are the way they are.

    The Feral Tribes are the exiled descendants of the "Mad Ones of the Sua," the Sua being an advanced early-victorian type society of anthromorphs with feline qualities. "Mad Ones" are the result in a deficiency found in most Sua for emotional regulation, wherein the dopamine within the frontal cortex is pathed in such a way that violence, excitement, and adrenaline can very easily overwrite common dopamine pathways to the point where these emotions are the only time a Suan feels any form of happiness at all. Thus, "madness."
    Because of this, the Sua adopted an extremely peace-oriented and zen-focused society, yet even within this society outliers formed. The peaceful Sua soon found themselves unable to properly defend their island from outside invaders, and begun the process of "enlivening," wherein a mixture of herbs and stimulants would purposefully madden a Suan-- the only side effect being that the maddening induced this way could be passed down genetically. Thus, when the army of Mad Suans were abandoned on the Windless Plains, it took merely two generations for the entire population to become "maddened," with the relatively sane Suan Generals becoming warlords and breeders within their own right.

    Still good? Aight, now for the actual culture.

    EARLY TRADITIONS: Early on in Feral History, unabashed violence and anarchy were the only two features of the once-peaceful plains. Unable to find fulfillment in anything but violence, danger and procreation, the feral population rose and fell drastically as times of upbringing and times of combat waxed and waned-- a lasting remnant of this age of strife is the tradition of "Mwe'sya," or, "Pitiless Battle." Approximately every five years (as long as numbers are not dwindled by external conflict), the four Tribes of the Bloodied Plains gather their warriors together in the central valley, wherein the ground has been fertilized to produce abundant grass with the blood of countless battles. In the center valley, the "Hye'sya'nuya," the "Ground of Battling Kin," warriors from each tribe pair off into fours, wherein they do battle until the sixth day when each tribe rallies their warriors into a final hectic clash. Mwe'sya is one of the core parts of Feral Society, and it has lasted through the ages of history that have changed the plains-- and there are many smaller traditions that surround each tribe preparing itself for conflict.

    Sarsi: Hold the northeast plains, named after the tribe's founder. The Sarsi are the most savage of the four tribes, as their founder created the tribe by brutally eliminating any who would say otherwise and imparted his mindset onto his followers. Sarsi culture is defined by combat, and this trial-by-fire leads to the runts of the -many- litters being either killed, placed into servitude of the stronger siblings, or sold as a product to the other tribes or outsiders.
    To prepare for the Mwe'sya, of-age Sarsi perform the "Esa'sya," or, "Proving Battle." In this once-in-a-lifetime confrontation, the strongest child of a Sarsi whom fought in the previous Hye'sya'nuya faces off against the parent in a battle to the death, wherein he or she attempts to slay their precursor and claim the weapons of their ancestors. If the upcoming Sarsi successfully commits patricide, he or she performs a ceremony wherein the parent's bones are fashioned into weapons to use against the enemies of the Sarsi, to harness the parent's power to be used by the child.
    One of the other more notable traditions of the Sarsi in relation to the Mwe'sya is the choosing of a lifetime champion of Sarsi to battle against a champion of Ushwa, the betrayer; the two champions face within the Hye'sya'nuya on the third day of the Mwe'sya, in honor of the battle the two founders had during the Fall of the Tireless Queen. If the champion is killed in combat, another champion is chosen by a tournament held within the same month, and the Sarsi Tribe as a whole pays tribute of runtlings to the Ushwa for the following five years.

    In proper Sarsi fashion, they bring Battle-axes and Swords to the Mwe'sya. They shine in the single combat of the first five days, yet have almost to a year lost in the final battle.

    Ne'nuya: Hold the northwest plains, direct translation is "Bound Kin." This tribe more than any others focuses on it's familial bonds, and family honor is one of the key parts of the Ne'nuya way. This clan is the most notable for it having the most laws, despite most laws simply being justifications for killing that would generally happen regardless. "Sus'hyo," Honor Killing, is the justification for killing in response to the harm or dishonoring of a family member, stealing of property, disgrace of land, intrusion of a Hye'Nes, and much more.
    The Ne'nuya prepare for Mwe'sya by having the entire family train in concert, as both the males and females are expected to carry the weapons of their parents in the conflict. When entering a conflict against enemies outside the four tribes, Ne'nuya are known to fight as if the entire tribe were a family-- unifying together to face any foe that comes while protecting their own with a savage ferocity.

    In keeping with the Ne'nuya way of strength in bonds, they bring Swords and Spears for both single and group combat. They fare decently within the five days of single combat, yet are renowned and feared for their wall of spears in the penultimate day, and wear the pride of many victories.

    Ushwa: Hold the southwest plains, also named after the tribe's founder. This tribe is known far outside the Bloodied Plains for their cunning and guile, as well as for their pervasive tourism and almost singular role in driving the Ausmen out of the Bloodied Plains. Unwarranted entry into this tribe's holdings is fraught with danger, as the traps created during the War of Drawn Claws are maintained and renovated on a daily basis out of a mixture of tradition and caution.
    The Ushwa were the first to fall under the war machines of the Ausmen, and faced the worst persecution under their reign-- because of this, the Ushwa are the smallest tribe, and bring the lowest number of tributes to the Mwe'sya. Though they struggled greatly beneath the yoke of a more advanced society, the miracles of invention and wonders they saw from beneath the iron fist instilled in them a great fascination with the outside world. A very small portion of the Ushwa population keep the intricate lines of traps maintained, as most of the population is out exploring for the better part of five years-- only returning for the Mwe'sya to honor feral tradition.
    One of the most notable Ushwa traditions is the election of a champion for facing the champion of Sarsi, the beast; the two champions battle each other on the third day of the Mwe'sya in honor of the founder's battle during the Fall of the Tireless Queen, A new champion is chosen among the most promising of the Ushwa ranks every five years, and the loss of a champion as seen as but a fact of life in the tribe. Victorious champions, however, are rewarded with a lifetime without want-- pampered within the unseen inner workings of the southwest plains, never to be seen again by the outside world.

    Curiously, the Ushwa have never stayed with a singular method during the long history of the Mwe'sya. In battle, almost every Ushwa is seen wielding a unique weapon from a distant land, and this leads to them holding the most inconsistent of records. During the penultimate day, the Ushwa are wracked with a history of decisive losses, highlighted only by a scant few pyrrhic victories due to exemplary leaders.

    Tribe of the Gathered Warriors: Hold the southeast plains, ruled as a puppet government by the Ausmen of the East. All of what is known of the Tribe of the Gathered Warriors before Ausmen Imperialism is a single word-- "Nyacresa," a mixture of the words "returning" and "Queen." It is believed that this tribe consisted of the loyal subjects of the Tireless Queen, whom continued through the guidance of her exiled lover long after her death at the hands of the Revolution. Entering a holding of the Gathered Warriors is similar to entering the holding of any other tribe in a general sense-- you see the tanning huts for fresh kills, the bone craftsmen plying their wares and the public arena that dots every street corner, yet there is always a sense of discomfort in the air. Strange machines spew clouds of smoke inside poorly-covered huts, and the watchtowers are closed with a thick, dark glass.
    The Gathered Warriors were the tribe that surrendered to the Ausmen, and for that they are eternally despised by the other tribes-- their culture is all but eradicated, with merely the image of a feral tribe replacing a forgotten pride. Travelers passing through the southeast find that it is an uneventful journey, with the creature comforts of modern living found in out-of-place Ausminian Inns and the luxury of every feral in a holding growing up with the first language of the humans. Yet... Many travelers attest to a glint, a spark, in the eyes of the ferals they meet in passing; as if a bloodlust was only just contained, as if a seething hatred were only just ignored.

    Though the other tribes would gladly let the Gathered Warriors exempt from the Mwe'sya, they still enter without fail. Their use of modern weaponry at first incited an outrage among the tribes, leading to the average Gathered Warrior relying on a simplified version of an Ausmian Mace. They are noted for faring poorly in both single combat and on the penultimate day, with their tributes noted for their lack of ferocity and longed after by the weaker tributes of other tribes.
    Hye'sya'nuya - Ground of the Battling Kin
    Mwe'sya - Pitiless Battle
    Esa'sya - Proving Battle
    Sus'hyo - Honor Killing
    Nyacresa - Returning Queen

    I know this is kin'ae long, and I apologize if it's a bit of a drag-- but these are only the traditions of the "Early History" of the Feral Tribes. I've been working on this race since the beginning of the year, and I've -really- enjoyed getting things down. I'll be sharing the entirety of this with all of Iwaku soon, but let me know if you have any criticisms!