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Worldbuilding Advice & Feedback Needed

Forums Fiction Research and Worldbuilding Worldbuilding Advice & Feedback Needed

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  • #152324
    Joshua Scheele
    @storysmith

    Hey Everyone!

    I have busy working out the mechanics of my story’s world that heavily depend on a symbiotic relationship between humans/humanoids with mostly 4 legged intelligent creatures like talking dragons, wolves, gryphons, giant cats, and etc (similar to narnia). Since these 4 legged creatures, can’t realistically carry money around, I was thinking they could provide deeds/services as a form of payment such as security, hauling, scouting, transportation, mail, and hunting. Also since they can’t use money as compensation, they can earn tickets/tokens to  shops that cater to them like for cleaning/grooming, repairing their belongings, armor/warm clothing, lodging, and fine food.

    Any advice/suggestions?

    #152325
    R.M. Archer
    @r-m-archer

    @storysmith

    Not to cancel the bartering concept, ’cause that’s neat, but why couldn’t intelligent creatures wear some sort of satchel or belt (belt would probably work better since it could be kept closer to the body and not get in the way of moving legs) with a money bag attached?

    How would tickets/tokens not have the same carrying needs as regular money?

    Do they need cleaning/grooming services if they’re intelligent creatures, on top of their regular animal abilities to clean themselves? Would these services be more equivalent to a spa/salon/etc. for humans? If they wear clothes, I’m extra confused as to why they can’t carry money around. Lodging could be very cool, though, because that would give you the additional opportunity to ask how lodging is constructed to accommodate such creatures. And food is always a good bartering option.

    You’re off to a really interesting start! I’m curious about the overall relationships between the humans/humanoids and 4-legged creatures, and what sort of cultures crop up in each category and in the overlap. You’ve got a lot to play with there. 🙂

    Speculative fiction author. Mythology nerd. Worldbuilding enthusiast. Singer. Fan of classic literature.

    #152326
    Joshua Scheele
    @storysmith

    @r-m-archer

    Yeah that is a good question to consider as it is a working progress. I thought it would be more practical to not have a coin purse due to their tasks that primarily entail fighting (predators for example) where they are often rolling and wrestling. I figured they could have a special satchel that does not dangle or jangle causing physical or sound inconvenience. It would hold their exclusive currency (the tokens) that is a tough but fancy cloth like material with specific patterns that identify it as apart of a specific guild network. It is often used as a credit. Perhaps the shop can make money off of the special currency by selling it back to the public for a set price to be reused or maybe cashed into the guild to encourage its acceptance and use of the creatures’ services.

    I thought of having it go back to a historical event where the intelligent 4 legged and other races made a charter/agreement of equality and inclusion into society with certain conditions/rules of ethics within a certain portion of the world. Societies not matter where you look, always want to separate themselves from others even though they should unite as equals. This all occurred after a world cataclysm that upset the balance of the world due to some terraforming. Perhaps it was a mean joke but it was welcomed by the secluded creatures as a way to be unique and it also met their practical views.

    The grooming/cleaning services is a mix of my humor of it being a spa and the idea of what creatures don’t like being scratched and getting attention. lol I also figured they would be extra eager to make it a mark of civility to gain equality compared to their less civilized wilder cousins as appearances can often be almost everything in many cultures. It could make them more inviting to 2 legged races to interact with and see them for who they want to be.

    My favorite example are seaports that employ sea dragons for security as there are larger creatures of the deep that might cause inconvenience if drawn to the surface. As payment the port created a massive rock that is heavily guarded where the dragons can carelessly sun themselves and crews can clean all the barnacles and parasites off of them. Perhaps even protect their young while the parents are away.

    I am sure they all could use a dentist for repairs and abscesses. lol

    #152334
    R.M. Archer
    @r-m-archer

    Ah, that makes sense. I can see something sort of along these lines working well:

    I hadn’t considered the sound issue. Something fabric-like is a good way to get around that, and guild-specific patterns sound really neat.

    That’s interesting! What were the barriers to those alliances previously/what motivated them to remain separate, and how were those conflicts reasoned through or overpowered around the creation of the charter?

    Huh. I suppose that makes sense. Do they modify their appearance in any interesting ways to better stand out from the wilder varieties (with certain haircuts or brands/tattoos or dyed color markings or piercings or…) or are they just more neatly groomed and/or accessorized?

    Interesting! Vacation and built-in babysitters are always nice. XD Dentists would be helpful, lol. And general doctors, too, more along the lines of veterinarians. That could be an interesting field to explore, especially since I suspect you’d have to have different specialists for different species. That could create a lot of high-demand job openings.

    Speculative fiction author. Mythology nerd. Worldbuilding enthusiast. Singer. Fan of classic literature.

    #152338
    Joshua Scheele
    @storysmith

    @r-m-archer

    yeah photo is probably a good example of something that hugs the body and would not be a hinderance when running.

    That’s interesting! What were the barriers to those alliances previously/what motivated them to remain separate, and how were those conflicts reasoned through or overpowered around the creation of the charter?

    Before my cataclysm happened there used to be just humans and elves and no talking dragons, giant cats, and stuff like that XD. Now after the cataclysm, Elves have been split into different groups that are almost considered each their own race due to drastic differential appearances. The introduction of talking 4 legged creatures of dragon, small specific birds, gryphons, giant ravens, giant wolves, giant cats, dangerous elk like deer with blade like horns, and several more was the most unsettling for the elder races because they never did before. I refer it to it as the creator’s gift where the specific 4 legged creatures have the choice of talking like a Narnian animal or  stay with their old ways of a wild animal with some higher intelligence or kinda meet half way of keeping some wildness but also have the intelligence of humans and speaks with their own language.

    This language has many dialects depending on the species and regional subspecies that differs in growls, grunts, long winded guttural sounds, and whistles. Then there are animal humanoids like cats, wolves, lizard/dragon like people, badger people, weasel/wolverine people, and fox/raccoon people. Many humans and a good portion of elves saw themselves as the masters over these groups because they were there first and things should go back to the way things were regardless of the Creator’s wishes to add these finishing touches to his masterpiece. It is the concept of the jealous older sibling that he is no longer alone to inherit his Creator’s gift of the world plus everywhere you go it is just natural human sin nature for someone to place themselves above others.

    I was then thinking after societies pieced themselves back together after the cataclysm, wars constantly broke out that ended with centuries old hatred. The world divided between accepting the new races and talking creatures or exterminating them. Some tried to portray these new additions as abominations against the creator and should be eradicated as the Creator’s will. This led to inquisition factions but others rose up in defense of their own interpretation of the Creator’s will that if he willed them into existence then it is meant to be. Because of this support, some humanoid races mixed together along with elves and humans due to their genetic compatibilities as humanoids which of course worsened their case with those who seek supremacy of keeping their racial bloodlines pure. As for the the 4 legged creatures, they had a tougher time of trying to seem more than just monstrous abominations that are too smart for their good. I mean who wants to hear what their sassy cat is thinking……. mine probably would not survive long. XD

    I was thinking many kingdoms tried to enslave, exterminate, or drive them out. I would like to say those who believe in the Creator the most are the 4 legged creatures who took it as a challenge to reach their Creator given potential. They began to band together to find ways they can show they are equals or even better than their 2 legged neighbors with honor, strength, integrity, and faith.

    The idea of the charter began to grow as the creatures gave their services to those truly in need, especially unprotected villages that became the most prosperous in the land due to the services the creatures could offer. Through this creatures developed a strict code of ethics to keep their place with accountability and not give their enemies excuses to find fault with them. However, a good portion of the creatures and some persecuted 2 legged races gave up on civility and turned to savage ways to voice their hatred. Soon several kingdoms of 2 legged races saw they had no choice but to make an agreement/charter to recognize these creatures as their equals. Many interpreted the move as an experiment or a band aid to cool down the rising hatred that could threaten a fight to the death for survival. There were those who were pragmatic about the potential benefits they saw their society could benefit from if they included the creatures into their culture. However both sides had still factions who remained against any cooperation and are only acceptive of their own kind and anyone else is their enemy. This racial discrimination/isolation will be a huge obstacle for my MC princess who will set out to unite them as the only way for everyone to survive the pending doom that comes for them all. Her biggest point, they are all the Creator’s chosen/His children. They are stuck with each other because they each have a God-given purpose and they better start accepting it. XD

    Huh. I suppose that makes sense. Do they modify their appearance in any interesting ways to better stand out from the wilder varieties (with certain haircuts or brands/tattoos or dyed color markings or piercings or…) or are they just more neatly groomed and/or accessorized?

    Yeah, I wanted to have them add to the regional culture with their copies or own original flavors to their society’s way of cosmetics and fashion with all the above examples.

    Interesting! Vacation and built-in babysitters are always nice. XD Dentists would be helpful, lol. And general doctors, too, more along the lines of veterinarians. That could be an interesting field to explore, especially since I suspect you’d have to have different specialists for different species. That could create a lot of high-demand job openings.

    Yeah definitely XD I would say depending on how friendly the region is to the 4 legged creatures, these catering merchants and specialists are highly prized and protected among the 4 legged creatures’ communities as it does also signify a great deal of trust between the 2 legged races and the creatures. The creatures will go as far as to make sure the shop owners are always fed, healthy, and prosperous to keep them in business. Some 2 legged races will even volunteer to journey to remote communities of these intelligent creatures who regard them as a good investment to meet their daily needs as the specialist meets theirs. So in short one could consider themselves well set up for life with one of the most honest jobs with great benefits. Most shops are usually a collection of specialists that specialize in crafting/repairs, health, and luxury, the one stop shop with the everything a creature could ask for. XD

    I think a rambled a bit much on this XD hopefully that all made sense as I still have more details to work out and I am always open to new ideas. I feel this is quite experimental as I have never read/heard of an author doing something like this in depth.

    #153279
    R.M. Archer
    @r-m-archer

    @storysmith

    Sorry for the months-long disappearance. 😅

    That’s a really neat (and thorough) history! Thank you for sharing!

    I mean who wants to hear what their sassy cat is thinking……. mine probably would not survive long. XD

    LOL

    This racial discrimination/isolation will be a huge obstacle for my MC princess who will set out to unite them as the only way for everyone to survive the pending doom that comes for them all. Her biggest point, they are all the Creator’s chosen/His children. They are stuck with each other because they each have a God-given purpose and they better start accepting it. XD

    Nice! I love seeing plots inextricably linked to/derived from the worlds they live in; it makes the whole thing feel much more purposeful.

    Yeah, I wanted to have them add to the regional culture with their copies or own original flavors to their society’s way of cosmetics and fashion with all the above examples.

    Cool!

    I think a rambled a bit much on this XD

    Nah, you’re fine. Worldbuilding rambles are fun, whether you’re the one writing them or (at least in my case) reading them. ^-^

    I feel this is quite experimental as I have never read/heard of an author doing something like this in depth.

    Yeah, it’s not really done much. The only sort of similar book I can think of would be Axtara – Banking and Finance, which is about a dragon whose goal is to be a banker in a world where dragons are sentient but–presumably–not often integrated with society as such. I haven’t read it, but it looks like the worldbuilding dynamics would be interesting (and since the author writes excellent blog posts on worldbuilding, I expect he’s constructed a pretty solid world overall).

    Speculative fiction author. Mythology nerd. Worldbuilding enthusiast. Singer. Fan of classic literature.

    #154643
    Joshua Scheele
    @storysmith

    @r-m-archer

    Hi! That’s totally fine! Life has been ridiculously stressful and busy. Haven’t got much done since my last post. Do you have any favorite concepts or new ideas you think I should add into this part of the worldbuilding?

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