1. Published on Amazon? If you have a book, e-book, or audiobook available on Amazon.com, we'll promote it on WritingForums.org for free. Simply add your book to our Member Publications section. Add your book here or read the full announcement.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
  1. TemporalV01D

    TemporalV01D Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Oudtshoorn, South Africa

    (Help) Nine Nations of an Alien Race

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by TemporalV01D, Dec 18, 2011.

    I'm currently writing a sci-fi trilogy (with multiple prequels and sequels planned) set on a fictional planet home to a sentient race called the "Xen'vi". There are nine nations on the world (well, eight, really), each with their own unique flavour, if you will. However, I need help deciding how I'm going to bring across those flavours and how to make the nations more unique... ^^

    Basically, I want to work on the following for each nation:
    -Their culture (traditions, mythology and religious/cultural norms and taboo)
    -Their clothing style
    -Their architectural style
    -Their technology (weapons, vehicles, etc.)
    -The sound of their language (note that they are physiologically incapable of producing the "m", "n" or "ng" sounds)
    -Their written language (what it looks like and even the alphabet (27 characters each))


    Here a short description of each:

    The Valiero'vi
    Their flavour is meant to be rather Gondorian (Lord of the Rings). They are supposed to be the most refined (if that’s the right word) of the nations, but are also quite tolerant where religion, race and sexual orientation – among other things – are concerned. They also have quite high standards with things such as infrastructure maintenance (for example). They are also meant to be the “main” nation. They could maybe have a Greek/Roman looking alphabet.

    The Iga’vi
    This is the only industrialised nation and should have a flavour similar to the Industrial Revolution, but more Mordor-esque than Steampunk (in fact, they are very much an Industrialised Morder with primitive guns, bombs, tanks, stream power and rail-networks). Their architecture would likely look rather crude – dark, corroding metal plate constructions, but with the spiky appearance of Mordor / Isengard architecture from Tolkien’s works. They are also the only nation that largely use fire and are the nation that discovered how to create fire in the carbon dioxide atmosphere of the planet. They are pretty much the antagonist nation.

    The Svia'vi
    In short, they are basically the Na’viof my world. They live in tree-cities made of huts and bridges suspended in the jungle canopy. They are technologically very primitive, but live in relative symbiosis with the jungle, using animals as mounts (some of which are ridiculously fast), for instance, and using special radio-like plants (via their own radio-like organs) as a natural (but very secret) telephone network.

    The Aari'vi
    I haven’t decided what their real-world / existing fiction counterpart(s) would be, but they are pretty much the sea nation. Most of their cities are either on islands, along the coast or floating on the sea, anchored to the ocean bed (the latter would be built around huge ocean plants that form platforms on the very still ocean surface, while being very strongly anchored to the ocean floor). They control most trade on the planet.

    The Jay'vi
    These are meant to have a Middle-Eastern flavour, but not necessarily Islamic – probably more like the Sand People from Tatooine in Star Wars. In fact, they even have hovercraft (actually large, flat hovering animals) and guns (sniper-like weapons. Along with the Iga’vi, they are the only nations with this technology). Their general style (clothing, architecture, language, etc.) is meant to be closely related to the Aari’vi. Their territory is mainly located in a huge desert basin that has both massive dune fields and a series of canyons and gorges.

    The Tita'vi
    These are my “sea Eskimos”. They live on the shores of the Northern Ocean, which is basically the North Pole. They are excellent sailors and are mainly a fishing nation. Their settlements – many of them tiny and quite isolated – are located both along the icy coast and inland. They are closely related to the Iga’vi and the Iga’vi in fact had their roots in a colony of the Tita’vi.

    The Qui'a'vi
    Probably the most primitive nation, the Qui’a’vi live in lush, grassy plains and forests and basically have a Hippie-like flavour and are by far the most liberal of the nations and actually have Hedonist inclinations. They are also the oldest nation, having “given birth” to the others, and have a simple written language of lines and squiggles.

    The Col'tun'vi
    This nation lives in the vast plains near the South Pole and are basically my planet’s Native Americans. That’s about all I have about them… ^^’


    There are also multiple extinct nations, the major three being the Aka’vi (similar in style to Tolkien’s Elves), the Dam’parr’vi (similar in style to Tolkien’s Dwarves) and the Shon’vi (Barbarians, really, but with a very Mordor-esque capital city that they didn’t build. They are also the prequels’ antagonist nation).


    I can post excerpts of my novel that add description to what I’ve got for the Valiero’vi, Svia’vi, Ia’vi and Tita’vi later. =)


    © 2011 Charl-André Fourie
    Aka TemporalV01D / Valdin​
     
  2. Brandon P.

    Brandon P. Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    California
    What kind of biology do your aliens have? That might affect how their cultures develop.

    Which Native Americans are you talking about? Plains Indians?

    I do like that you've made your aliens multicultural rather than monolithic like most sci-fi aliens.
     
  3. James Berkley

    James Berkley Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    NYC
    Ok, not to be a spoil sport but
    A population at this low a level would be unlikely to be broken up into monolithic blocks of power. The more advanced, groups maybe, but not the more primitive.
    Before any industrial revolution there was an agricultural one. the agricultural revolution frees up human capital to be used elsewhere. that makes it unlikely that jay’vi would be producing sniper rifles.
    Also remember creative capital is needed to advance ahead of everyone else. This means the iga’vi are the most creative, and most likely the most free group of people.
    Also what is stopping the other nations from becoming industrial? Have they not been able to revolutionize their agriculture? Are the iga’vi stopping the trade of information, in an attempt to keep a technological edge? Or are the leaders of other states stopping technological advancement to cement their position in power?
     
  4. TemporalV01D

    TemporalV01D Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Oudtshoorn, South Africa
    @Brandon: Behold:
    [​IMG]
    Here are some main points:
    -They eat, excrete and reproduce (or just have casual sex) with orifices on their palms. They don't have taste buds.
    -The inhale and smell with four orifices on their chests. They exhale and speak through six orifices on the sides of their heads.
    -They can sense electromagnetic fields and radio waves/signals with their antennae (this sense is more acute in females). They are also able to send their own signals - always sending faint signals which they can't control - which means that they can detect each other. Each individual has their own EM/radio signature and emotional information can also be transmitted in this way, making lying quite difficult.
    -In the more primitive nations, the male's crest is a symbol of superiority. In more developed cultures, this has no more significance than hair. The crests are often pierced and decorated with items such as "crest rings", in both genders.
    -Clothing isn't a social necessity, as they lack lower orifices.
    -Oh, and they have four eyes that can see just as well in dark as in bright lighting and can pick up faint heat signatures.


    And yes, I would think plains Indians. My apologies, my knowledge of American cultural history is quite limited.



    @James: I should tell you, the planet is only half the size of Earth, so there isn't all that much room available. In any case, I see the point you're trying to make. The Svia'vi, Qui'a'vi and Col'tun'vi more than likely have multiple sub-tribes/clans within their society. In fact, I'm not even sure the Qui'a'vi even have a ruling party. In fact, of those three, only the Svia'vi have a capital city.

    As for the Jay'vi's guns, they such weapons because much of their territory was once under Iga'vi rule, so some of the technological know-how remained after the Jay'vi gained independence.

    The Iga'vi have a dictatorial emperor and have had such a rule for almost two centuries. In the planet's atmosphere, fire is exceptionally difficult to create naturally. The Iga'vi is the only nation that have discovered the necessary chemical process to create fire in the atmosphere and this is why they are the only industrialised nation.

    I should also tell you that there were some... external factors that played / plays a role in the above, but I won't go further than that to avoid spoiling the story.



    Also, here's an animated map of how the nations / groups developed over time in the four time periods that I have come up with for the world's history (please ignore the Fifth Age and the few frames before it. When half the planet suddenly becomes red, look away and forget about the redness):
    [​IMG]

    Key (it also applies to the map below):
    [​IMG]

    And this is what the nations are like during the time of the first novel in the trilogy (ignore the violet nation):
    [​IMG]



    Aaaand here's an excerpt from my novel that basically explains the Iga'vi's current state:

    _*_Fire did not easily burn on Xen. The world’s air could not sustain it. However, a few centuries ago the Iga’vi discovered how to make fire from liquid and stone. The reaction released flame-sustaining oxygen and fire could be created, the only other product being filthy, black ooze, poisonous in high concentrations. Despite this, the Iga’vi exploits this power to the extreme. The supply of light and heat, the smelting and moulding of metals and, most recently, steam power. These days, much of the nation ran on steam. Factories, war machines, ships and the nation’s incredible rail network.
    _*_The network was a vast series of railways, bridges and tunnels the criss-crossed the Iga’vi on all three its continental realms, as well as the island capitol of Bara’cûl. The metal rails were about a metre and a half across and – unless suspended as bridges – at the edges of shallow, half-metre deep trenches for the trains. The large iron wheels of the trains fit horizontally into large grooves in the inner sides of the rails, meaning that the strong rails themselves would have to break in order for the trains to derail, allowing them to go as fast as their steam-powered locomotives allowed. The trains themselves, of sturdy metal construction, had a crudely built and bulky appearance with slits in the metal walls as windows and bulky metal doors, lockable from the inside. The train cars, about two and a half metres long each, were connected to one another via short square corridors hooked loosely – allowing hinged movement between the cars abound turns and changes in the steepness of slopes – into the ends of the cars it connected. At the fronts and backs of each train, which normally consisted of around forty cars, were locomotives containing the steam-powered engines that ran the trains. The locomotives were shaped similarly to the cars, save for their ends coming together in a point at the ends of the train.
    _*_There were stations all over the Iga’vi, so it only took a few hours’ ride via Altari for Nash’ir and Khazor to reach one. The train cars were lined with crude wooden benches and the interiors were exceptionally filthy and the rides weren’t comfortable. Despite this, Nash’ir managed to sleep through the trip.
    _*_After a few hours of slumber, Nash’ir felt a hand on her shoulder.
    _*_"We’re almost there," Khazor said over the noise of the rattling train.
    _*_Nash’ir sat up and blinked. She turned her head and looked through the window. The train was on a high slope, it seemed, at the landscape was stretched out below her. The grey, barren pre-city plains went forth, interrupted only by a shallow mountain range that rose up through it, dividing it in half. At the end of this, surrounded by dark-brown ocean on either side, was the large city of Dorrath, the capitol of mainland-Cyro’bar realm of Iga. The city was shrouded by a low lying layer of grey-brown smog. The suns themselves seemed to be blocked out by a filthy cloud layer above it. Even the sky looked filthy. All that was visible of the city were the many huge factory chimneys and spiked black stone towers that punctured the blanket of polluted mist. The red light of fires could be seen glowing through the grey. All life that had been around the city had been replaced by barren plains of grey, on which the most hard, grey-skinned beasts roamed, searching for whatever foods they can find. The only other feathers on the plains were large mountains of waste. Scrap metals waiting to be again smelted down into the nation’s machine, wasted foods and garbage that did not manage to fulfil their uses, or already have, and bodies. The dead of the classes that could not afford funerals were simply discarded like trash. The dead were many. Famine, lung disease and the illnesses of poverty killed off those unfortunate enough to be born into the slums of Iga almost as fast as they reproduced, just not quite as fast. The slums of Valdin, if not already unbearable, were nothing compared to what one would find on the outskirts of a large Iga’vi city.
    _*_Soon the train turned, following the mountains down towards the Dorrath. They passed a garbage field along the side of the railway and the stank put Nash’ir into a fit of coughing. She glanced out of the window and noticed the many degraded Xen’vi wandering around the scraps, garbage and corpses in search of something to put an end to their eternal hunger. There were animals, too. Packs of scavengers picking the flesh off bodies and the rotting foods from the trash. Many of the poor who travel here out of desperate hunger never leave again, joining the dead that lie rotting on the piles.
    _*_This was the reality of the Iga’vi. The most hospitable places to live were those farthest away from the cities. There was still some green in the rural areas, though even there, the vast majority of the food a farmer would produce is taken by the state to feed the cities where food is incapable of being produced.
    _*_If the Iga’vi’s dream of global dominance were to come true, this would be the fate of the whole world. Though the state persuades its people otherwise, claiming that the resources of the rest of the world will bring health and prosperity back to the people. And they, of course, believe. So men and boys join the empire’s brutal militia. Out of fear, desperation and misguided patriotism.
    _*_The train soon made its first stop in the city outskirts, where the stench of poverty and death were as thick as the air, but the two Hunters stayed in their seats. They also stayed when the train stopped a second time in the heart of the city, where the richer of the city folk lived with a greater life expectancy. Somewhere at the top of a huge tower, high above the poisonous cloud at the bottom of the city, was the king of the Iga’vi’s Cyro’bar realm. He was one of three kings of the nation, the others being in the remaining two Iga’vi realms, who answered only the emperor on Bara’cûl.
    _*_Only did they leave the train at its final stop at the city harbour.




    © 2011 Charl-André Fourie
    Aka TemporalV01D / Valdin​
     
  5. TemporalV01D

    TemporalV01D Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Oudtshoorn, South Africa
    [Double post]
     
  6. Cacian

    Cacian Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    5
    can I ask why you are spelling the names with accents like Na'vi .
    It reminded of Avatar the movie.
    One more question:
    This is from my point of view
    If they are aliens how do you know they are males and females?
    The concept of male and female is a human concept.
    Aliens are meant to be fictional creatures and so by adapting to use their credibility of a being a humans is lessened in my views.
     
  7. Brandon P.

    Brandon P. Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    California
    Sexual reproduction is useful for enhancing genetic variation within any species. Indeed, any species that was composed of many different kinds of dramatically interesting characters probably would need it, as asexual reproduction creates genetic clones save for the odd mutant.
     
  8. Cacian

    Cacian Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    5
    Just a thought
    If these are abe to reproduce are they no likely to reproduce with others different species which should eventually rid them from themselves?
    It is a possibility.
    Hence my question should they be similar to humans?
     
  9. TemporalV01D

    TemporalV01D Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Oudtshoorn, South Africa
    The "vi" suffix wasn't intentionally identical to that of the Na'vi's. I came up with it independently. It is somewhat of a problem, I admit, but I think I'm a bit far into my work to change it (plus I can't really come up with a suitable alternative).

    As for the male/female thing, gender (and sexual reproduction in general) - as Brandon said - is a very effective way to sustain genetic diversity in a species by mixing the genes. It's also very important in evolutionary terms, as it speeds it up exponentially (much faster than asexual mutation). In fact, gender evolved in at least three independent incidents in the evolutionary history of life on Earth, so it's rather unlikely that it wouldn't also have evolved on other worlds with complex life.


    Edit: Their similarity to humans is due to simmilar evolutionary conditions.

    It would be very difficult for complex life - regardless of how they came to be - to procreate with other species due to genetic complexity (also regardless of what shape their unique alien DNA would take. It's a matter of compatibility).
     

Share This Page