Worldbuilding Day 6: Races

8 Jan

Ooh, now here is something I never really gave much thought to before! It’s actually making me rethink my map for the first time in years. (I am taking these exercises one day at a time, only looking at the new exercise the day-of, so I couldn’t plan ahead for this). 

Today, we’re looking at races. What do people look like in various corners of your world? Keep in mind that different civilizations would have developed where a natural border, such as mountains or oceans, would have existed. What happens if these civilizations come in contact with one another?

Okay, so I’ve always had an idea of what people looked like in my various countries. But the website pointed out some things that should be pretty obvious, and rather than changing the people to suit their current locations, I’ll likely be playing with the map to make the people make more sense where they currently are. While many of the countries aren’t completely fleshed out, my sense of the people there is just too deep-rooted to change, and I don’t think it will be much of an issue to switch up the map.

Anyway. Here’s what I imagine each of the countries’ native people to look like. I’m not saying that everyone in that particular country or ethnic group looks like that, but sort of generally.

Actually, there was recently a study done to find “the face of the average woman” in various countries, which might be helpful to you if you have an idea of what these people might look like but aren’t quite sure how to draw comparisons or describe. Have a look at that link, scroll through the pictures, pick one you think is closest, and do some research. This is not only a great way to develop your people’s appearances, but also to come up with some history and even plot points, if you are so inclined. In addition, here is a summary of different types of noses (always a tough one for me!).

To the countries:

Kedron: Dark hair and eyes, olive skin, long oval face, straight and narrow nose.

Bellador: Lighter skin, typically green or blue eyes, hair tends to be lighter in colour (light brown/red/some blonde), rounder or “heart shaped” face and hawk or sloped nose.

Domanar: Light skin, blonde, blue eyes. On the taller side, lanky. Oval face, gently sloped nose.

Edolie: Bronzed skin (think Native American), dark brown hair and eyes, round face and high cheekbones, typically shorter.

Ruain: As above.

Noraja: Dark brown skin, black hair and brown eyes, wide flat nose, round face.

Hajar: As above, but with wider eyes and a squared jaw line.

As for how these groups interact, the world is largely at a time of peace when the stories start. The only warring nations are Noraja and Hajar, who have deep-rooted issues over where one group’s land ends and the other’s begins. Their people have not intermixed willingly (on occasion, mixed children are produced by prisoners, etc) and these children are often shunned by both countries. Norajans in Hajar and vice versa are not tolerated.

On the other hand, Ruain and Edolie have had peaceful interactions for many years, and consider it lucky to intermarry. They trade for things the other country can produce that they can’t, celebrate similar festivals, and are largely free to roam about each other’s nations. However, their peaceful attitude has gotten them in trouble with neighboring Noraja, Hajar, and Domanar, all of whom have enslaved the Edolie/Ruain people at one point or another. Now, they largely keep to themselves and fiercely protect their borders where required, though trade is opening up again with Domanar.

Domanar has allied itself with Bellador, though Bellador is aware that Domanar is more volatile and they proceed with caution where it is concerned, but at the moment it is the best choice of ally. Domanar happily supports Noraja, and some of the lesser nobles have married into Norajan nobility. They grudgingly accept trade with Edolie and Ruain, but these people are treated poorly within Doman borders.

Because of Bellador’s tentative alliance with Domanar, who they had problems with in the past, they have attempted to stay out of the Norajan/Hajaran conflict. Normally, they would support Hajar in such an instance but they do not want to strain Doman relations. They have cut off trade with both, pulled dignitaries out of Noraja, and have many troops at their border to defend, not engage. Previously, trade was tolerated, but Bellans scoffed at both peoples’ way of life, which is vastly different from their own. Relations with Edolie and Ruain are rare due to how far away they are, and under the current administration they use magic too much for Bellador to be very interested.

Due to Bellador’s feud with Kedron, Kedron has been largely blocked off from the rest of the world for some time. The two countries have had an “on again, off again” relationship since the beginning, fighting over land and resources much like Hajar and Noraja are doing now. Then, for a time they would unite, before falling back into it again. Coming to their senses, everything was very nearly resolved twenty years ago, but for over a decade Kedron has been completely cut off, unable to get through Bellador without starting a major conflict, which the current king is unwilling to do. They have managed to send some aid to Hajar by boat, as the Queen of Kedron is Hajaran by birth. As a rule, Kedronies have typically been more accepting of other races, perhaps simply grateful to see new people and obtain new resources that they couldn’t otherwise.

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