1. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    If you were to create a new world, which culture that already existed would you use?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Cassiopeia Phoenix, Mar 14, 2012.

    I'm kind of stuck in the novel I'm trying to write right now because the new world I'm creating is not exactly a brand new world... It's more like a new myth of creation that explains the powers of certain characters in the story, and I'm looking for a culture that already existed so I could have a base for physical appearance of the characters, names, places, architecture and language...
    The Egyptian culture kind of doesn't fit -- because the god that created the world of my story created a perfect paradise, and deserts are hardly what I would call a paradise.
    So... Ideas to your fellow writer? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    You can always tweak it to fit, it doesn't have to be exact. What about Meso America or somewhere like Easter Island ? or Tongan ?

    My world is a mix of Celtic Britain, ancient asian myths, modern Britain and some Buddhism. I also used a bizarre thought I had as a child. Other parts of my world have different origins.
     
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  3. Kaymindless
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    Kaymindless Contributing Member

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    I started looking this up because it's actually an interesting question; the only paradise creation I've ever known is the garden of Eden.

    Though there's: Iroquois Creation Myth.

    But it seems hard to find them where they start with a paradise. I'd actually suggest finding a few areas of the world that would match your idea of paradise and then look into those cultures and creation stories.

    Or like Elgaisma suggest, pick and choose.
     
  4. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    Not sure exactly what you're looking for, but I'd just like to point out that it is only from our modern society of overwhelming convenience and comfort that the land of the ancient egyptians would be 'hardly' be considered a paradise, by human standards. It was not directly set in the desert, rather, perched on the river Nile and nourished with some of the most fertile soils in the world. Even the slaves lived comfortably, and were well taken care of. Insulated by natural, nearly impenetrable barriers of protection - the cataphracts to the south, the vast barren deserts to the west, etc. Except for one brief period of imperialism in their later history, they were, to my knowledge, one of the only civilizations to have never had a standing army. No war, no need.

    I'm no expert or anything. A hand full of classes on ancient history. But yeah, if there were ever any idyllic civilizations, ancient egypt would be among them.

    That, or maybe one of the american aboriginal societies: harmony and symbiosis with nature, relative egalitarianism, rich mythology.
    Meso american, like Elgaisma said, could be a good prototype. Tenochtitlan was one of the biggest cities in the world, before Cortez and whatnot. Although the whole human sacrifice thing might not jive with your paradise ideal.

    Dunno, maybe that'll help. Good luck.

    Edit: Ah, or the Golden Age, roughly, of the Greeks - an explosion of philosophical and technological progress, the advent of democracy and early humanism (in the ancient/medieval sense, not the modern one), etc. The stoics, skeptics, epicureans, atomists. The age of Pericles, Archimedes, Plato/Socrates, Pythagoras, etc. In many ways the seeds of western thought as we know it were planted by the ancient greeks.
     
  5. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    Meso America! Great idea! I live in South America, so why I haven't thought about Meso America before...? *bangs head* Thank you very much for the suggestions!
     
  6. Pink-Angel-1992
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    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

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    Mix and match different cultures. Do some research and take from bits that you like of cultures to make your paradise. For the world that I'mm creating one are I'm going to have th culture based on British culture, partly because I am british and have always lived in England, but I'm thinking about mixing it with Russian culture (or another - have yet to do my research for it to decided, been thinking about names and developing a map), because an area, due to a spell, is going to be covered in constant snow and it will be cold all year round. If you like one culture but their land isn't what your looking for then find an area that is and look at their culture and mix what you feel would be needed with the one that you like. Or you could find a culture you like and simple alter that to fit the land that they'll live on.

    Hope that makes sense and hopes it's off some help.
     
  7. Tashanel
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    Tashanel Member

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    Did you mean, you need culture that mention a perfect paradise?


    Or culture that from beautiful nation? Try ancient china. It Is wide and have almost everything terrain type. Long before Taoism born in china, ancient china religions are family-oriented and do not demand the exclusive adherence of members. So what will they say, the ancestor always watching them in other world (if you define paradise is a world after life, so you can call it). For my last word, China is cultural rich and resource too. It's nearly perfect for me

    And also, "thought systems" are really strong there which make this culture are strong. But do not underestimate their myth and mythological creature. They have more complex than any myth that I ever heard.
     
  8. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    Oh, Ancient China. Me likes the idea. A lot.
    I was actually talking about a beautiful nation, since the myth is about a god creating a perfect paradise so his creations could live in... I was picturing a world based on an ancient culture with a language that survived until these days (so I could name characters and places) and a strong ethnicity to base the appearance of the characters... And there was the architeture issue as well, so...
    Thank you very, very much. Perhaps you will see my prologue soon.
     
  9. Tashanel
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    Tashanel Member

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    That happened! on avatar: the last air bender! LOL
    (their work are really brilliant for alternate earth that use china culture. Even they mix with other culture too!) :D

    I will love to see your prologue :D
     
  10. Asaph Judea Wagner
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    Asaph Judea Wagner Member

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    Try india, with their rish culture, mythology and history. The subcontinenet is divided into around hundred smaller countries with different customs.

    Also the Finnish, Irish and Welsh and their myths are pretty cool.
     
  11. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    I still have a lot of research to do before start writing the real deal, but perhaps my prologue will come around in one month, or so...
    Anyway, I have decided for Ancient China as setting, though I still have to check if there will be any myths or magic creatures from another cultures. I'm definitely up to put some magic creatures...
     
  12. Asaph Judea Wagner
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    Asaph Judea Wagner Member

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    If you do China, use Toaism, Confucianism and Buddhism. There are plenty of rural myths in China and rich history of battles between empires inside China. China can give you pretty much all you need.
     
  13. Tashanel
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    Tashanel Member

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    But still "how ancient" china that wanted to use. Because long before taoism and Buddhism came, people in ancient china time worship the ancestor that doesn't involve god and goddess. This is explain the related between native american with china culture nearly same.

    And even after taoism and buddhism merge, that also call ancient.

    There's a lot of choice:
    - Using before taoism and buddhism
    -in taoism and buddhism era
    -after taoism and buddhism

    But personally, i love using before taoism and buddhism (why I just call these? Taoism and buddhism are the most influent till now). Because it will explain ancient root culture of china and other though system on earth. But still, it will hard to search most reliable information right now. So it will be, 2100 BC - 722 BC that have a competent literature (Xia Dynasty to the "birth of though"). Or even you can start from 8500 BC - 722 BC which is from neolithicum era.

    For spoiler, ancient china also have a poem that talk about massive flood that happen between Noah age :D
     
  14. Asaph Judea Wagner
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    Asaph Judea Wagner Member

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    This quite awesome. Are there any games inspired by that area for prespective? And whet are the visual changes between before Taoism and Buddhism and during them?
     
  15. Tashanel
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    Tashanel Member

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    there are. it call Emperror rise of middle kingdom that game base on Xia Dynasty. And numerous game that base on Xia Dynasty. Try google it :)

    And also the most known in history between xia dynasty was Gun's legend to attempt to stop the flood. what do you mean by visual change? I just know some not in detail :)
     
  16. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    In times like this, I wish I had a history book about Ancient China... Though I was thinking more about the Song Dinasty, which was a sort of Golden Age, with the use of gun powder and the population doubled in size. It was about 960 AD.
    I am considering putting a civil war somewhere in my story, and in the Song Dinasty there was a civil war that I can use as a base for my own...
    Flooding everything seems just fine as well :D

    And the myths... Thank God for them, because I had zero characters but my MC so far, but then I found a page with some gods from Ancient China that gave me inspiration for supporting characters.
     
  17. Tashanel
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    Tashanel Member

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    But still you must be careful. Is it real Gods in that time or not (If you wanna really perfectly factual). Still a lot of mix-match the God within Taoism and Buddhism influence. That two though system are merge within sky emperor that came from before it. The though school maybe in 722 BC, But it influence maybe before that time. So pick wisdom-ly :D

    Oh yeah don't forget magic creature dragon which eat sun, and then people creating firecracker to drive out them :) It is most notable tale :D
     
  18. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    No, I'm not looking to be factual... I am just using the Ancient China as a foundation, so to speak. And the gods are inspiration for characters, not real gods... In the world I'm still building, there's only one god, which I created myself.

    Oh, I've heard about that tale, it's pretty fascinating. China is pretty interesting, in general.
     
  19. xhawkeyex
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    xhawkeyex Member

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    A very good question. I would try for a shangri-la style with forest trees and ancient temples. Kind of like an ancient Myan culture
     
  20. Devlin Blake
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    It wasn't a paradise if you were a woman, a slave, or a non-greek. If you were one of those, it was an oppressive 'good ol boys' network. Which brings up the point, is your a paradise a paradise for all who live there or just for the chosen few? Either way is fine in fiction, but you need to be aware of which kind of "Paradise' yours is.
     
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  21. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yes. I would echo this. It's fine to choose a wonderful location and come up with the perfect culture. But that's not enough to make a good story. And it's true, most of the ruling class in these cultures (including the Chinese, the Egyptians and the Meso-Americans who built cities) had slaves or people of very low caste to keep the place operating, and took much of what the peasantry produced to feed themselves. I don't know how you will handle this aspect of life, but it can make or break your story.
     
  22. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Simple, you make the slaves sub-human...it's always worked in the past...
     
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  23. Gawler
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    Gawler Contributing Member

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    Too late to make a difference but I would have suggested the Hawaiians
     
  24. TheSorcererOfTime
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    TheSorcererOfTime New Member

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    In my urban fantasy series I plan to draw on pretty much every real world culture, since it's based on our world. But to be more specific, it's a semi-Asiatic world. Every culture in their world that's based on Old World (Afro-Eurasia) cultures, and a good number of New World ones, have at least a couple of Asian characteristics, and not just Eastern and Southern Asia.

    The main country that the protagonists live in is based on my country, the US, only it's settler "mother country" is based much more on France than England, and in my world their equivalent of the Native Americans wield a lot more dominance and power than in real life so it's a blend of NA and European cultures, with some Asian cultures added in.
     
  25. Auratus
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    I recommend you to search Godchecker.com in Google. It provide great number of names and some details of many mythology. Some less-known doesn't have much detail. But you got the names.

    I will recommend anything you never heard of. :)
     

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