Discussion in 'General Fantasy' started by TheLonelyGod, Nov 2, 2015.
The designs of these are interesting, even if the names/descriptions need a little work.
What about a chariot race with flying horses? That should be exciting.
It's a few months yet until christmas.
These are short-shift descriptions.
What names and descriptions need work?
I'll just run through the thoughts that I had, you should get enough info from that.
Human - "How do they out-endure a Golem? At what?" "What does maintaining processor-memory of extremely byzantine and seemingly arbitrary deals mean?
Maize-Cutters - "Why the name?" "Rage element(?) - Violent yet not aggressive, how does that work?" "Use their mouths as a third/fourth manipulator? Assuming the first two are their hands/paws/whatever they have, which is the third if the mouth is the 4th?"
Phoonkt - "They look like bugs, but they're rarely seen outside of their suits.. what suits? Either describe it or don't mention it"
Golem - "What is a sing-stone?" "Of thought?" "Nuwep religion? What is that?"
Iokyu - "The description does not make sense"
The language - "Stop using a thesaurus to describe things. You're making it overly confusing for no reason. "Coalesced three-dimensional intrustion of series of memetic patterns originally designed as insipent method of containing thought." < Prime example. You're not trying to impress people, tone it down.
At this point I stopped reading. The font changes are unnecessary and is bugging me out. It seems as though you're over complicating things for some reason, you don't need to.
Did some urban fantasy sort of stuff a while back, here's some copy paste:
Troll: One of the two tallest races, they are also the strongest in terms of physical strength, able to lift several tons. They are considered mammalian and warm-blooded. Their skin is naturally leathery, but over time becomes hard and reptilian, especially in areas exposed to pressure or trauma, such as the back and the hands. When healthy, their skin tone is usually greenish-grey, although there are different varieties of trolls with different skin colors ranging from deep red to nearly white. Their nostrils are sunk directly into the skull without a nasal apparatus, similar to the biology of a common orc. Their ears are long and pointed, capable of hearing slightly beyond the range of humans. Their jaws are relatively large and strong, sufficient to crush stone; the lower jaw protrudes slightly due to this. Their irises are universally red, and their blood is greenish-yellow when deoxygenated and black when fully oxygenated. They rarely have any hair, but when they do it is usually grey or white. Their spittle is grey and mostly transparent. They are five-fingered and five-toed. Although their society had been tribal until recently, most modern trolls prefer to wear normal shoes, shorts and t-shirts rather than the stereotypical leather clothing. They are actually quite intelligent are able to speak in human languages, and their alignments vary for each troll. Trolls are omnivorous, and are capable of consuming meat, dairy products, alcoholic beverages and grains, but avoid vegetables.
Giant: The giants are an offshoot of the hominids that grew to massive heights in the cold climate of Winter Faerie, matching the height and strength of trolls. They are extremely similar to humans in almost every way, shape and form, except that their body heat, blood and muscles are much more efficient and their bones are far denser, approximating the density of concrete. Like the trolls, they are traditionally tribal, but have adapted to civilization and prefer to wear t-shirts and jeans along with normal shoes. They keep their hair relatively long. They can eat whatever humans can eat.
Elf: Elves are slightly taller than average humans, and have quite fair skin in their prime. Aside from the height, pointed ears, paleness and normal beauty, most elves seem quite similar to humans. The difference lies in the way elven muscles are specially adapted to magic, making them extremely fast and agile. They are masters of glamour magic, and some claim that glamour is like a drug to them. In fact, many elves have been so accustomed to using glamour that they have forgotten what their true selves looked like, even though more often than not they are actually quite beautiful, in a plain sort of way. They like wearing exotic and luxurious clothing whenever possible along with trinkets and sparkling jewels, and keep their hair long.
Drolins: The word “Drolin” is a contraction of the original descriptive term “dragon-ling”, which described their appearance to most non-reptiles. They look very much like miniature dragons to the untrained eye, but have only two legs and have real hands with opposable thumbs. They also bear small horns on top of their heads, but do not breathe fire. They are warm-blooded, but in most other aspects are reptilian. Their scales are normally a bright and reflective red when healthy, and their underbelly is a slightly lighter shade and duller. Their blood is black when oxygenated and yellow when deoxygenated. Their ears are bat-like, but are capable of hearing ultrasonic and subsonic frequencies. The whites of their eyes are not normally visible, but their irises are a luminescent deep blue that varies slightly in hue when lit from different angles. They are five-fingered and five-toed. They have a prehensile tail which can be used like an extra limb. They are flying reptiles, and have fully functional wings. Although bat-like in appearance, the wings actually have more in common with bird’s wings, and because of this Drolins are able to glide for long periods and circle without exerting energy. Drolins are sociable and intelligent, and have voice boxes capable of human speech. They initially had a pack-based society, but recently changed to a constitutional monarchy of sorts. Drolins generally do not wear much clothing except for some loose-fitting robes to cover private areas and some pouches for storage. Older Drolins occasionally wear trinkets and use canes, but most of it is for decoration rather than for necessity. Drolins are omnivorous, capable of eating meat, dairy products, fruit and grain, but generally don’t eat other plant matter.
Chimerae: They were a direct result of the Chimera Project, considered a separate species by most humans. Their predominant nonhuman features are furry, catlike ears and tail, pads on hands, feet and knees, retractable claws in hands and feet, and pointed fangs ranging from a centimeter in length to about two centimeters. Their brain, as well as the rest of their anatomy, seems to otherwise be identical to human features, aside from seemingly abnormally large muscles on the males, mostly due to training rather than genetics. This grants them human intelligence as well as feelings. Originally bred to be super-soldiers for Ironfist Empire, the female version was eventually modified for maximum attractiveness, submissiveness, and an inability to speak in human language through a combination of genetics and psychological barriers established from nearly birth. These barriers may be established in any number of ways ranging from electrical shock to loud noises. Generally, the barriers will last throughout the female chimera's life span; however, as Magus discovers in the case of Star, the barriers can be overcome with either magic of a sufficient power or strong enough emotions, such as love, hate, fear or joy. Some females have exhibited a predilection for crawling on hands and knees over walking; whether this trait is inborn or a result of psychological conditioning has yet to be determined. As a direct result of the generosity of the UNAN, many children of former plaves and chimeras now exhibit abilities inherent to UNAN citizens at birth, such as ability to communicate with animals, ability to heal wounds, and ability to manipulate the weather. They are social, and prefer to wear t-shirts and jeans with accommodations for their tails.
Reformed Undead: Although at some point in the past a zombie virus outbreak did, in fact, occur, certain strains of the virus became more benign, and rather than destroy the host’s brain the virus simply enhanced it and the body. As such, reformed undead maintain their original personalities, but feel no pain and suffer no secondary damage such as blood loss, shock, clotting or gangrene when injured, however badly, as long as the brain remains intact. Unfortunately, this means it is common for reformed undead individuals to injure themselves without realizing it, leaving them with the slightly disturbing appearance of being half-decomposed. Reformed undead generally wear clothing long enough to cover up any scarring, and although healing magic makes it possible to remove damage, usually choose to retain some mark to distinguish themselves as reformed undead rather than truly living. They try to keep the virus from spreading, and because of their positive effort have been gradually accepted back into society, although often avoided by the less accommodating people, who fear for their own safety. Being undead, they have no actual need to eat very much, but are capable of eating whatever their original race could eat.
Satyrs: Possessing the biological characteristics of both humans and goats, satyrs are approximately as strong as humans in terms of upper body strength. Below the waist, however, satyrs maintain the speed, dexterity and strength of a goat. They are thus able to run surprisingly fast and jump enormous distances. Their feet are cloven and two-toed, and they bear small knobby horns on their head along with ears reminiscent of those of a goat. Their ears are reminiscent of those of a goat, but are capable of hearing sounds above, below and at the range of human hearing. Their entire lower body is completely covered with a thick pelt of fur. Satyrs are social, capable of speaking in human languages. They prefer to wear t-shirt and shorts to accommodate their high ankle joints. They are omnivores, capable of eating everything a human can eat.
Humans: Humans are a sort of middle ground, a jack of all trades and master of adaptability. They are not exactly a minority in Faerie, but neither are they a majority. Depending on whether they have eaten food grown in Faerie, humans may or may not be bound to the land, unable to eat anything other than food containing the energy held uniquely by faerie food.
Orc: Contrary to popular opinion brought on by assumptions and misinformation, Orcs are not at all closely related to elves. They are actually their own race, and have more in common with the trolls. Like trolls, they are considered mammalian and warm-blooded. Their skin is naturally leathery, and unlike troll’s skin never become rock-hard or reptilian, only developing calluses similar to those of humans. When healthy, their skin tone is usually greenish-grey; there is little if any differentiation of skin tones. Their nostrils are sunk directly into the skull without a nasal apparatus. Their ears are long and pointed, capable of hearing slightly beyond the range of humans. Their jaws are relatively large and strong, but not so strong as those of trolls; the lower jaw protrudes slightly due to this. Their irises are universally red, and their blood is greenish-yellow when deoxygenated and black when fully oxygenated. They rarely have any hair, but when they do it is usually grey or white. Their spittle is grey and mostly transparent. They are five-fingered and five-toed. Orcs are social, preferring to wear normal shoes, shorts and t-shirts rather than the stereotypical leather clothing. They are quite intelligent are able to speak in human languages. Orcs are omnivorous, and are capable of consuming meat, dairy products, alcoholic beverages and grains, but avoid vegetables.
Dwarf: They are miners, craftsmen and inventors, but more importantly, they are extremely humanlike. The traits which distinguish them are universal beards which begin growth at birth, exceptionally efficient muscles allowing them to be about five times as strong as a normal human, and a height limit of about four feet. They are social and industrious, preferring to wear t-shirts and jeans in casual society and workman’s clothing at other times. They can speak and eat everything a normal human can.
Talking-Moles: Talking-moles, or Moles, are an offshoot of normal moles, in the way that humans are supposedly offshoots of monkeys. They are biologically nearly identical to their kin, but are several times larger at 3 feet and possess opposable thumbs in addition to midrange vocal chords, much larger brains and relatively large and fully functional eyes. They are on par in terms of intelligence with most other races, and can hear about as well as any other race. Most wear clothing of some sort, for fashion and ceremonial reasons rather than need. Current fashions are a little nostalgic: top hats, trousers, walking-sticks and vests for males, bonnets, aprons, dresses and gloves for females. Most have taken up magic of some sort, and dwarvish technologies such as natural gas, steam engines, plumbing and lightning-magic machines such as elevators. They are omnivorous, and eat almost all the things that humans can eat.
Leprechaun: They are small, short little creatures described as looking somewhat like a grey-haired and angry man. The reason for this is, aside from their generally distrusting attitude, they mature quite early and are born with grey hair. They have intrinsic magical abilities of teleportation. They are humanlike enough to be able to speak and eat anything humans can.
Pixie: They are the younger cousin of elves, and are similar in many aspects. They are small, about a foot high at most, and fly with insect-like wings which are attached at the shoulder blades. They refuse to cloak themselves in glamour unless absolutely necessary, but are constantly surrounded with sparkles and glittering magic. Their physical appearance is that of a child, but they prefer not to be seen outside of the city; they prefer to make themselves invisible. They are able to naturally pass through physical barriers, but are easily trapped with closed circles. They are notorious for the practical jokes they play on all manner of creatures, but they rarely do actual harm, and when they do it is because they do not understand mortal vulnerabilities, being accustomed to being about others of their kind. They enjoy eating all manner of sweet things, and are willing to do favors in return for gifts. They do, however, take the law of equivalent exchange extremely seriously. Rarely, if ever, do they ever truly give “gifts” freely; more often than not they will take requests extremely literally, and will ask for payment strange to mortal minds. They are capable of human speech and of eating human foods. They are social creatures, and prefer to wear t-shirts and shorts.
I once made a race called the Ainaasra, who are basically large roughly humanoid bird people with Eagle-like features. They lived on a colossal mountain in the middle of a vast plain, called Saenarin. It's about the height of Everest so the air would get really thin at the top. At the very top live a sect of warrior priests who have trained their bodies to function normally in high altitudes.
The Ainaasra are isolationist and rarely leave their home. The main exception to this trend is trade for food, timber, and especially books/scrolls/maps for their massive libraries.
At staying awake, biting through pain, and taking enthusiastic walks. Humans are pretty cool, because in IRLs we're basically nature's terminators. We will wound animals, then just follow them at a gentle pace, sometimes for days, until they get tired and just lay down.
Humans also have great processor memory - we can remember almost anything if it's repeated to us three times. In this setting, magic is performed as part of making deals with the world. You breathe because the air sustains you, and there is an ancient contract with the air to give you breath, so long as you breathe it. The bargain is managed unconsciously. Magicians make some pretty weird deals - fire promises not to burn them as long as they spit in their hat on Thursday, for example, and humans, being ritualistic beings, are super great at remembering all this stuff.
It comes from their foot. They're dromaeosaurs, so they have that cool-ass raptor claw. It looks like a sickle used to harvest corn ears.
They're violent - they have a predator culture, they have a lot of things that they will bite and scratch over, but they don't get into large bands and make war. They're more likely to get passive-aggressive with nearby settlements that they have a problem with.
They have a pair of hands, which they can't pronate. Clappers, not claspers. There is a "thumb," but it's just got a short angle of use. Since they're based on corvids and dromaeosaurs, they use their hands for some things, will also put a foot on things they're trying to manipulate, and then use the mouth as primary. I've thought about giving them a beak.
The suits look like bugs. It's hard to tell where the phoonkt ends and their technology begins.
Sing-stones are placed along songlines or Dreaming tracks, which are paths through the land, sea, and sky which represent the paths taken by old heroes and creator beings in the Dreaming/Everywhen. Time is perceived by most of this world's religions as being a geographical construct. If you're in New York, you can't be in Los Angeles, and if you move to the other, you're moving through time. They call any time that is not "now" the "Dreaming" or "Everywhen," and believe it occurs all at the same time. Dreams are believed to be part of this "all time at once" reality.
Sing-stones are representative in the songlines of a time when a creature or plant first appeared. There are also silence-stones, places where the creature became extinct. If you know the songs, you can go to a sing-stone, perform the song as a rite, and create another of those creatures. Usually it appears somewhere in the world. Sometimes it appears at the rock. In the golems' case, they've been granted a stone and a group of them can sing another out of the rocks. Like Fraggles, except with 100% more "Danger, Will Robinson!"
Iokyu are star-eating shadow monsters from space that treat cultural significance as gravity. If you had one on Earth, an iokyu would "fall" toward the Hope Diamond, be gravitationally attracted to swords, and have trouble escaping the pull of the original copy of the Constitution of the United States of America. They can (and usually do) possess people to prevent that from happening. Sometimes one will get stuck on a specific axe for centuries until an adventurer picks it up, then they'll shack up with that adventurer, creating legends about powerful relics that possess their wielder.
I don't know how else to describe these things. I didn't use a thesaurus here at all. That sentence is exactly what they are. I guess you could call them "word holograms," but that doesn't exactly explain what's going on with them. They're weird. Their appearance is a combination of bacteriophage and the aliens from the 1951 abduction case of Fred Reagan.
Yeah, the typeface changes definitely should be looked at.
Seems like a lot of your descriptions could use context and definitions to help make them clear. Never assume that the reader knows what you know. Explain everything as you would to a complete foreigner or stranger, someone who has lost all memory save for language. And even then, words and concepts need explaining.
Try describing things as you would to complete layman, to the village idiot or a practical farmer, who cares little for prose or lyrical descriptions. Then later you can try building up from there. This is especially the case when describing something completely alien to the average person, like your insect race, or the culture spirits.
Cool idea treating Dragons as weapons of mass destruction, and tying them to the rise and fall of an empire. Dragonlance kind of did the same thing with the dragon orbs, but their premise wasn't as cool as yours, it was too bland and generic.
Actually, that was the way with several of the races. The orcs were a later attempt by the same group, and that failed even more spectacularly, in that, once again, one of the creators decided to give his creatures intelligence, and again, they rebelled, only this time, while the empire was still in the progress of their conquest, so things collapsed almost immediately after the orcs decided that they didn't really want to be killed for the ambitions of others.
A race of greedy little monsters that go round eating everything they can get their hands on and you should call them Gobble-ins . Or like these pointy eared fancy people kinda like elves but these folk have six fingers on each hand & are called ' Twelves'
An interesting point to consider in a story is how said races communicate. The dragons in most of mine f.e. don't have the same vocal capacity as humans, so unless they use magic to modulate their vocalisations (a rather tricky technique to pick up), they can't speak intelligibly to humans. Their own language meanwhile is more basic, a mix of crude vocalisations and 'body language', and mostly only used to convey simple messages (territorial displays, mating display, etc).
When I think of Dragons communicating with humans, I always think of them doing it through telepathy for some reason.
Honestly me too, with a Sean Connery voice lol
Separate names with a comma.