How to worldbuild Scifi & Fantasy Cultures & Societies: Biology, Families and Dynasties (part 1)

How to worldbuild Scifi & Fantasy Cultures & Societies: Biology, Families and Dynasties (part 1)


Greetings and Salutations! I’m Janet from
World Anvil and today we’re going to talk about how you can create cultures and
societies in your worldbuilding project! So we’re going to talk about marriages
and families, we’re going to talk about clans or dynasties, and then we’re going
to address wider units like tribes and cultures. So hold on to your hats, guys…
It’s time to light up the forge! [EPIC MUSIC] Social dynamics are often really
overlooked in the art of worldbuilding, so why are they so important? Well, the
basics of your society are going to have a massive impact on the way your world
functions, whether it’s background flavor or main plot conflict. Thinking about the
way that your cultures work in your world is going to give you a deeper
understanding of it on every level. For example, the way your societies
function is going to change the way your settlements look… big families means big
houses… Looking deeper into the culture of your world, could also tell you things
about the history of your society: what kind of conflicts may have been a
problem in the past and what aspects of your culture affect people to this day.
Things to think about on that score are things like gender biases, age biases,
class and caste biases, or educational biases. If you have multiple cultures
interacting, thinking about their own biases is going to tell you a lot about
how they interact with one another. Aspects of cultural ideologies also have
a huge impact on things like conlangs and religions, so that’s a great place to
look at the ramifications of your new culture as well. When you’re starting
with the new culture it’s a good idea to think about the biology of the species
that you’re dealing with. Although we’re not necessarily defined completely by
our biology, it is a very good place to start because it introduces necessarily
limits and ramifications belonging to all physical bodies. For example the way
children are conceived is going to affect the way that potential parents
interact with each other. Aspects like the duration of pregnancy and the length
of childhood are necessarily going to affect how family units work. A long
childhood might lead to a very close parental bond with the children, whereas
a very short childhood – or no childhood, for example, if eggs are laid – may then
lead to less importance on the parent-child relationship within your
culture. Lifespan is another aspect that’s very important to consider when
we begin to think about our culture. Very long lifespans might lead to deeper
bonds within family groups, for example. All these aspects have a huge impact on
how we relate to one another and, of course, it all starts with makin the babies… [Music montage] Procreation is a major biological drive for every species on this planet.
It’s so important it causes humans to go to the gym and
triple in weight, it causes women to paint their faces and pierce things,
it causes animals to go completely crazy and start building things. Procreation is
a major drive, people! So when you’re thinking about your new culture it’s
really important to consider what is required for making babies. Now I’m not
talking about Barry White and a bottle of Prosecco here, I’m talking about the
physical things which need to be aligned in order for children to be produced. For
example there might be time constraints: some animals are not fertile at all the
time. Dogs for example go into season and have a period where they’re fertile and
otherwise they are not fertile. You can see this in all sorts of species all
over our planet. A great fictional example of this is the Vulcans from Star
Trek, who go through what’s called “Pon Farr”. During this period they experience
an uncontrollable urge to procreate: they get aggressive, their demeanor changes,
they lose their grip on logic… and if they don’t satisfy this urge really
really bad things happen… as have been visited in lots of Star Trek episodes. So
that’s a great example of a sapient species that goes through this kind of
mating season as it were. Another question is how many biological sexes
are required to produce a child? There are species on this earth which are
hermaphroditic so that’s one avenue to explore, but what if, for example, you had
three biological sexes in your species, or five biological sexes in your species? How many of those are required to make a
child and how does that affect the cultural ramifications of a society at
large? Another important question for your society is what makes an attractive
partner? Now this isn’t just as simple as someone being the biggest or the
strongest, as we know from our own cultures, and as we see repeatedly in the
animal world. Longest eyestalks, prettiest nest and shiniest butt are just
some examples of how different species on our planet choose their ideal mating
partner. Performances are also really common in nature. These might be
courtship dances, changing colors or the love songs of male mice… I kid you not
it’s a real thing! They sing, people! It’s like, Mouse Ballad 2019! Another important aspect to consider when you first start to conceive of your culture is whether
it has formalized partnerships or not, things like marriages. This might depend
on how long childhood is or the duration of pregnancy. Children require a lot of
looking after – as I’m sure you guys are aware – and the longer that they’re
reliant on their parent for food and for security, the more demanding it is,
therefore the more likely it is that there’ll be a team behind the parenting
of one or more children. Again in terms of demand it might be more likely to
have a multi-parent family if there are lots of children being produced. It
increases the amount of time that a parent has to look after the children
and so more parenting hours are required… therefore more people on the
other hand. If you’re looking at a short childhood and, for example, an egg-laying
species, single-parent families might be more normal. That’s going to affect all
sorts of things, like how your cities look, how your conlangs work and how
people view single parent and multi- parent families. It’s also worth
considering which biological sex, or sexes, has the babies, and who looks
after them? They’re not always the same person.
Now the majority of human cultures have the mother being the most important
person for the child – after all they carry the food! The Akka tribe in Africa,
though, is a great example of a culture in which men look after the babies quite
a lot of the time, whilst the women go out hunting. Men have even been known to
breastfeed their babies, that is to say, allow them to suckle on
their nipple, when the women are away in order to calm them down. And again, this
mother-centric approach to a child raising is not always the case in animal
species as well. Male seahorses are the obvious example – they both get pregnant
and give birth to their young. Penguins and a lot of other birds also take turns
in both incubating and feeding their children.
Rhea and emu females take this one step further. They mate with a male and then
lay eggs… and then they leave the man to look after those eggs and the offspring
that come from them, which can take up to two years. Meanwhile, they’ve gone off to
mate with another man. I guess that’s one way to do it! So these aspects – like how
long does it take to raise a child and who is involved in raising them – are very
important when it comes to defining social roles in your society or culture.
Longevity and different life stages are major questions that you will need to
answer when you start defining these points. When does a child leave their
infant or larval form? When does a child hit puberty? Elves, for example, live a
hugely long time. Does that mean their puberty is really long? Dear God, poor
Elves! Human cultures approach this in all different ways – sometimes the
children are raised by the village or sometimes only by the couple. Sometimes
the nuclear family is involved and sometimes not. There’ll be examples of
all sorts of different setups within your world, but defining the cultural
norm is going to go a long way in helping you define your culture as a
whole. Alright guys, it’s time for prompt number
one! We’re following a series of prompts in order to build our world from the
smallest unit to the largest unit. Get your notebooks ready or open up a World
Anvil page and start making notes! Remember to put your answers in the
comments below so we can all share our notes. How does the biology of your
sapient species affect the basic family unit? Think about the number of
biological sexes, and the durations of pregnancy, childhood and lifespan as a
whole. And that leads us to the next question… how big is your family? [Musical interlude] How big are the family units in your culture? Some cultures only reckon on parents,
children, and maybe aunts and uncles. Others might keep track of multiple
lines of distant cousins and part siblings. There are also different ways
to understand relatedness: for example, am I related to my father’s cousins or my
mother’s cousins? Some cultures only understand kinship through the
patrilineal line, that is, only people on the father’s side are relations. You
might also have some aspects of inheritance viewed through the
patrilineal line – for example monetary inheritance – and some aspects of
inheritance viewed through the matrilineal line – for example, inheritance
of identity or religion. Judaism is a great example of something which is
inherited culturally through the matrilineal line – if your mother is
Jewish then you are Jewish. Single lineage inheritance is really common in
societies that don’t have great records. What that means is that it’s easier to
keep track of only one line of inheritance than of two. This means that
when the families are bigger, or more sprawling, or with many short generations
you can keep track of them pretty easily. Another important aspect is what the
different roles that we understand, like uncle or father, really mean. One of the
cultures in Patrick Rothfuss’s The Kingkiller Chronicle
doesn’t believe in paternity – they don’t think that the father has any role in
the procreation of children. This means that there is no father relationship –
there is no fatherhood. In some cultures, relations of the same gender on the same
genealogical line are considered equivalent: for example, your father is
your father of course, but your father’s brother is also your father. The aunt on
your father’s side may be more or less important than the aunt on your mother’s
side. The oldest or the youngest child may hold some special significance. All
these kinds of relationship quirks add a rich and varied nature to your culture
and also will define all sorts of very subtle social strata and cues within the
family unit. It’s going to change how people relate to one another on a
fundamental level. And speaking of what we owe to one another, let’s talk about
honor codes and moral codes. Honor codes and moral codes – what we owe to each
other and especially to members of our family – are really important for defining
cultural boundaries. These can take a lot of different forms. For example you look
after your parents when they’re elderly but what about your father’s parents or
your husband’s parents? Are they also bound to you in that way? And how far out
do those obligations stretch? Another really important thing to consider is
the incest taboo. Now this is a real thing and it’s really important. For
example, obviously I can’t marry my brother, but can I marry my cousin? In
Jane Austen’s day that was completely normal and acceptable. In fact it was
often desirable as a way of keeping the wealth within the family. Different
cultures treat this in different ways. For example, in Muslim law if a woman
became a widow, her brother-in-law would be obliged to marry her in order to look
after her. In Christian law a woman could not marry their brother-in-law
under any circumstances. In fact that’s part of what kicked off the whole Henry
the Eighth disaster. These are very opposite attitudes which persist even
until today to the same issue, so how is your culture
going to deal with them? Another question is to whom do you owe
your allegiance? To your own family or to the family you’ve married into? Even
today in some cultures, a woman owes allegiance not to her father’s family
but to her father-in-law’s family once she’s become married. She cooks for them,
she works for them, she looks after them and not for her own family. And finally,
how does inheritance work in your culture? This might be different at
different periods of time because inheritance is about laws as well as
about cultures, so it’s one to think about quite carefully. Rules of
inheritance mould how families grow and develop. Families will often restrict to
the number of children they have so that the family wealth is not parceled up in
packets that are too small. Historically it was very common that the second son
and the third son would not be allowed to marry – they might be sent off to have
professions rather than allowed to settle down and have a marriage and an estate of their own. Again this was to prevent the family
wealth from being divided up too much – the idea was to keep all the money
together so the family remained prestigious throughout the generations.
Extra daughters might be given a dowry, but often they were encouraged to remain
unmarried or go off in into convents. Another solution from ancient Greece was
to marry nieces and uncles – again, thereby keeping the wealth within the close
family unit. The technicalities of the inheritance within your laws and within
your culture is going to affect these kinds of decisions within your cultures.
For example, is it the oldest child who inherits everything or the oldest son?
Can women inherit? Do they inherit exclusively? And how are items divided
between the genders… however many you have of them? For example, in certain
times and in certain places in history, women could inherit some things whilst
men inherited other things. On the islands in ancient Greece, for example, it
was very common that men would inherit the land but the women would inherit
their houses. This means that get out of my house was
not just a figure of speech! There may be specific divisions in who can inherit which items and it’s really important to think about
that in advance, because that tells you a lot about who has control of what. These
kinds of inheritance questions are, ironically, most important for people who
are actually wealthy – who’ve got stuff. Amongst the poor in almost all cultures
and histories these things are less important. Nobody cares who gets the
stuff because there is no stuff. So these rules might govern the family formations
of your wealthiest and most prestigious families in your culture, but remember
they may not apply to everyone. All right guys, it’s time for prop number two now,
so crack open your World Anvil page and let’s get writing! Remember to put your
answers in the comments below so we can all share our notes! How big is the
typical close family? Is kinship judged through the matrilineal, patrilineal or
some other way? How does inheritance work in your culture? I’ve broken this video into
two parts so that it’s a little bit easier to follow and a little bit easier
to track. Check out our youtube channel, that’s youtube.com/WorldAnvil to find the second part, or it should should be linked in this video as well.
Make sure you tune in so that you can answer the other prompts and learn more
about worldbuilding social dynamics. But for now, grab your hammer… AND GO WORLDBUILD! [EPIC MUSIC] Oh Lordy Lordy Lord… [strange noises] these might be
marriages for life or they could be something at a hello cat no you can’t
come here I can I can no no no your timing is
impeccable your small Beast I am not feeling social… with making the
babies uh-huh… babies…. [random screaming]

Comments

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    rashkavar

    Excellent discussion – largely a summation of the stream archives I watched, but it's good to have a quick review of the points on hand rather than burning the hours and hours it takes to watch through the entire archive again if all you need is a refresher course.

    Side note: I've noticed that while you use the backdrop for each video, you've changed positions a fair bit in your videos: this is a good spot. Good lighting, very clean audio, and the backdrop even seems stable.

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    Ty Fletcher

    One type of family dynamic you didn't mention was a more dynastic type of inheritance where there is not an inheritance but a passing on of control of the entire estate. Historical example would be Rome, where everything was owned by the families, and those families had a primary leader who divided responsibility and resources among the rest of the family. When the patriarch died or became inept, a new one took over. Sort of like a ruler of a country, but as a family. This allowed for much larger families without the issues of dividing all of the resources every generation.

    One raising option that you didn't mention would be a communal raising. If the raising period for offspring was massive or the number of them are massive, there may be specific sub-races or jobs specifically designed around raising the offspring to allow for the parent generation to maintain freedom/combat readiness. This would allow for a much stronger peer-level bond without any familial bond whatsoever. Think Sparta and their military training program.

    Another thing would be whether or not there is a way to address the incest taboo. The primary reason for incest being so bad in humans is because of the genetic dead-ends that incest leads to, but if magic/technology/alternate reproductive methods alleviate that, then there wouldn't be as much of a taboo. If magical talent was genetic, for instance, incest may be a very prevalent thing, especially if there is a spell to alter malformed offspring and increase reproductive potential. If there were more genders involved in reproduction, one of them could be a source-type reproduction(think vampires) where the genes are pure and incorruptible as they parasitize or overwrite the genes of whoever is being induced into the species or born. Or if you have many, would reproducing with four siblings and one stranger work, or no? Another option would be a form of reproduction that doesn't use genes, like reproducing with an elemental force/type of energy or creative reproduction like robots/golems designing their next generation.

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    Forlorn Visions Music

    So many wonderful points to think about. And just as I was about to start writing about the elves in my universe. So, here we go with the two prompts:

    1) Biology and the family unit – My elves tend to live about a 1000 years. The females have only a few fertility periods during their entire lives. Pregancy lasts for 24-30 months. During the first 8 months, a female requires additional sexual partners to provide enough DNA variety (with 2-4 being a socially acceptable norm) An elf is considered an adult he reaches the age of 100. —- I think, all those things considered, the mother would be the most important figure in the family, treated with almost god-like reverence. The second most important would be the father, who initiated the pregnancy. The other fathers would be chosen by the mother, and their contribution would occur during special ceremonies in the shrines of the fertility goddess. The romantic interest would have nothing to do with the whole process, as with so few and far between fertility periods, females would be abliged to procure as best progeny as they possibly can. So the fathers would be chosen based not a romantic interest, but rather a careful consideration of their talents the child could inherit. This would result in the family unit being almost non-existent, with the child being sent off to be raised by various tutors, and almost no input from the father, while the mother remains rather a figure of reverence, than a parent. With all that, a given the fact that my elves are hostile with pretty much rest of the world, I also think there would be a huge social stigma for mating with a romantic partner, as that would mean a woman put her own interest before her nation's and race. On the other hand, women would be completely free to pursue any romantic relationships and even marry, during their periods of infertility. Which means the nearly non-existant paternal role would in most cases fall upon the husband or the partner, not the biological fathers.

    2) Family unit size – With the mother being the most important figure in the family, kinship would definitely be matrilineal. With few fertility periods of the female, the siblings would most likely be centuries apart age-wise. Though, they would probably be raised in the same place, and by the same mother's romantic partner. The familiar bonds, per se, would probably exist only between the mother and her children, with the romantic parent being the father figure. On the other hand, the biological fathers of any masters in any field would gain a considerable social status and in practicality become the nobility, even if their progeny's mastery was the fruit of labour, not of biological inherited traits. This in turn would probably lead, to the biological fathers to hire the best tutors for their children, as their success would raise the father's social status.

    Just quick, on the fly notes, but I got the gist of it, I think. All comments are more than welcome! In the end, it's the criticism that fuels the forge ; ) Also, a quick note – english is not my first language, so bear that in mind : )

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    wombat pk

    When it comes to honor codes, I find that the actual practice of these codes, like Bushido and Chivalry, while idealized, were not actually practiced very closely, if at all, according to contemporary records but have seem to become idolized later on in history with writers looking back and creating characters (always "based" on a "true" story) who exemplified the qualities laid out in these codes leading more modern readers believing that the knights of Medieval Europe were are all courageous, dutiful and giving and then the modern reader might have similar feelings about all the Samurai. Am I reading too much into this? I mean, a society could have a code it really prides itself on, but over time they have stopped living up to it, or perhaps they never did (e.g. A Lannister always pays his debts). I apologize for my rambling interruption… now as you were ☺

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    The Dark master

    Oh, intresting thoughts. My elves are biologically immortal. They have a 100 year childhood, even though if they decide too, they can physically mature at a rate raster than humans do. They also have a 1000 year adolescence, where even if they are mentally matured by human standards at this age – they are considered foolish youths by their peers untill they get well into their first millenia. But elves live in fear of their litteral ancestors and their ancestors eccentricities, so the usual teenage rebellion is replaced by alot of running, "hidding" and anti attention drawing fearfull obedience. Elves have marriages where it's not uncommon to see a hundred adults, romantically involved with each other in near hivish relationships under one roof, all rasing each others children in an extended families that go back for hundreds of generations within "living" memory, and yes their houses, or tree houses are huge. And they are as proud as they are maniacle. Inheritance is both patriachal and matriachal, every elf raised in an elven settlement knows from whence they came – but also there is a reverance and fear for their ancient ancestors that supercedes family ties. For elves family is something that they can never escape and is always watching. Elves reach their prime – if you can call it that at around 10,000 years, where magically and intellectually they reach new hights of ability. Although their communities celebrate this, they personally fear this – because they are physically metamorphosizing into their own tyrants. Incest is not a taboo in elven society, nore are there any sexual taboos that they have that we wouldn't consider rape. However elves live in ligitamate terror of dragons – which racially completely out class them, and despite how phyically and mentally powerfull elves are, they are very mentally fragile. Meaning that elven settlements experience extreeme population booms and busts, where depression itself is a killer for elves. In the wake of the massive tragedies that elves experience. Elves generally only escape this cycle when they begin allying with, and summary ridding dragons. However for elves, dragons are akin to living appocalypses – so even approaching them, is a room 101 sittuation. In the world i build, there was no draco rage. Dragons just get bigger and badder indefinitely, and do not suffer from the effects of ageing – love nothing more and live for the idea of getting into a fight and are litterally kept in check by angels that adventure around the prime material plane, slaying them.

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    Nathan Beale

    I would just like to say that I absolutely adore the personality and joie de vivre (.. or lack there of, to go by the bloopers reel 😛 ) that you put into your videos. Even the dad jokes, though I feel you cringe even as you make them lol <3 Just please don't burn yourself out doing too much. I know it's greed disguised as caring about you, but I would like to see these videos continue for a longlonglonglonglonglonglong time, and you seem too awesome for me to support you burning yourself out.

    Anywhos, this crazy is gonna leave you alone now 😉

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    The Man on The Moon

    In my reptilian culture females can only lay eggs once in her entire life with usually 5-6 children. They also have rather long life spans of a century long average. So after the child has matured enough to be taken care of by the father alone (around 15) the mother either leaves the husband or stays with him for life. As for inheritance it depends on whether or not the mother leaves if not it’s split, if so then from the father same goes for who the child relates to. Some families have a tradition of the mother leaving every time in which case the child is only related to the father and his heritage.

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    Sunsence

    Has anyone of you ever considered marriage performed by a maester being a magical binding. The one to break the bond of the spell gets cursed?

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    Stone Rocks

    This was super interesting. Seeing the title, I almost skipped the video, but I'm glad I stayed to watch. You make a strong case for the fundamental impact of the procreative system on many aspects of society!

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    TonesTheGeek

    @15:08
    Wait Nieces and Uncles?
    Hey Jon and Dany! Everything's okay, don't make any rash decisions- oh, too late.

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    Dasha Youtube

    Well, I don't have a sapient species, but for my world I'm just imagining that cats are sapient.
    Oh, and they have a religion called Mewish (Mew + Jewish)
    And a languege called Purrlish (Purr + Polish)
    And a currency called the Meownd sterling (Meow + Pound sterling)

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    Alina Waterstraat

    In one country in my world, sisters will compete for their inheritance. The sister judged most powerful, smart, magically gifted, etc. gets their Mother's stuff. The other sisters must go do their own thing. Boys are expected to marry and/or join the military, but they can have property, jobs, etc.

    In one of my other nations, children are raised by everyone in the community, and they have a very communal lifestyle. Children of both genders who fail to get higher education are viewed as foolish and often get taunted and get the menial jobs like cleaning the housing complex or cooking.

    I figured that the two countries mentioned would be extremely different from each other. The first one has a rigid social hierarchy ruled by a Queen with absolute power, and the second has no difference in social status and is democratically run. The first uses magic, and the second uses technology, and they naturally hate each other and are sitting in a cold war.

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    C. D. Dailey

    Wow. That is a lot of things to consider. It is so easy to overlook reproduction and family. I tend to think of my fantasy people having it work in a way similar to how humans in my own culture do it. This is creative. However it does have the benefit of not rocking the boat. There is a lot of cultural morals around reproduction and family. I am worried if I deviate too much from that than it may trigger a backlash. So I like to play it safe.

    There is a place where I do change it up a bit. These are stories that I like to imagine. However I don't intend on releasing them, because it depicts taboo behavior. I like to learn about the explicit details on how animal reproduction works. From there I like to get creative and figure out how human like people in a fantasy world reproduce. From there I can build societies. I will spare the gory details, and get to the few parts that are PG rated. One of the biggest breaks from reality in the strange people is that polyandry is totally a thing. This is totally illegal in my country, United States. Promiscuous women alone get huge stigma. If someone has this stigma in their mind, than they would be shocked and appalled by the concept of polyandry. In real life cultures in general, polyandry is extremely rare. I didn't even know it existed until I took a introduction sociology class in college. As far as I know, the only real world people to practice polyandry is a group in the mountains of India. I thought of how to expand this in a fantasy world. The people have a culture were polygamy is the norm. The people use song, appearance and scent to attract others. The most attractive ones build their own group of followers. Then they marry the followers. The males gather female followers in a harem and practice polygyny. The females gather male followers in a reverse harem and practice polyandry. The one that do have harems are leaders. They are the elite of the society. There is a network among the elites. The reproduction changes from the K style of real humans to an R style, which fits better. A female lay a bunch of tiny eggs. She keeps them hidden and safe. The eggs hatch to tiny dragon-like offsring. They fly away and fend for themselves. The dragon-like blabies grow up to become large. They turn to a human-like form upon reaching adulthood. They chose an elite member of the opposite gender, and marry them. After marriage, some are lucky enough to attract their own followers. They hive off and form their own group. The new leader still keeps in touch with the older leader they followed. They join the network of elites. The R style is bizarre, but it does help. A harem and reverse harem has a lot of people living together. It is a lot more difficult to manage than a monogamous couple. A leader gives all their spouses a lot of attention. The people are way too busy with that, so they don't bother with parenting. When a female leader has a lot of babies, it helps her maintain peace and order in her reverse harem. Each husband can sire some children. This puts a lot less pressure on them. So their is less conflict. Too much fighting can break the reverse harem apart. In real life polyandry works better when the husbands are also brothers. A man is guaranteed to pass his genes on, even if it is through his brother siring offspring. This is an alternative that also reduces pressure and conflict. Maybe polygyny is more common in real life cultures, because females tend to be less competitive and violent. Multiple females can easy have babies with one male, even in species with K style. That is reduces the pressure immensly. This would be the boilogical root of the trnd of females being peaceful. In the society, each leader makes lots of babieswith thier harem or reverse harem. That accounts for most of the reproduction. Elites in the network also meet up in special exclusive retreats. Then they breed with each other. The resulting offspring are special from having two eilite parents instead of one. They would become the elites of the next generation. The elites form thier own special network to keep hold of society through generations. It is a little like inheritence but without money or material goods involved. The ability to attract followers is the main way to determine whether one belongs in an elite. Having two elite parents may make attraction easier, but it doesn't guarantee the child will be elite too. Besides since offspring fly off on thier own after hatching, they don't know who they are related to anyway. There is a system in place so that people tend to be more attracted to leaders with a different genetic makeup. There is a difference in the scent. When one smells a leader that is related, the familiar smell becomes unappealing. This is a way to avoid incest without the luxury of knowing who one's relatives are. In this wierd polygamous society, there is a story. A female protagonist leaves home and stays with a bunch of men. She falls in love with all of them, and eventually marry them. The woman is the leader of the group. Another leader is one of the males. He is a leader of the reverse harem. My imagination went wild with this race of fantasy people. This is not something I would do in real life. It is just too taboo. It is fun to imagine. I am not sure how far one can push the envelope.

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    MelGP

    I was already doing that for my five fantasy races, but you helped me adding some details ^^ I will just talk about one of them tho, so it's not too long (my first langage is french so soory for my bad english)

    So yeah, I got the traditional humans, elfes, dwarves, gnomes… and I had the huldres. They looks like humans, but with the horns and tails of bovidea. They are taller than humans, but dont live as long as them, and gain their maturity at the age of 13 when they start growing their horns and white vitiligo start to appear on their brown skin (they are almost white at the end of their life, around 60 yrs old if they are lucky).

    I wanted to create with them a clanic society base on a patriarcal harem… but where being a female is not like, horrible. So long story short, a male live with all his wifes and children and is consider the chief of the clan. When his sons gain maturity… they are not totally consider adult until their dad die, because they live under the rules of the clanic chief. So they can start to work like adults, but cannot marry and do their own clan. People would think that the sons would then try to kill their dad to inherit faster and start their own family, but if they do that, they will inherit less. So most of them will stay under their dad rules and patiently contribute to the richess of the clan by their work, so the inheritance is bigger. Once the father die, all the sons inherit as equally as possible all the richess of the clan, so again there is two way to see this : one of the son can try to kill his brothers before the father die so he can be the only to inherit, or all the brothers can work together to make the clan really rich so they can inherit a fortune, since getting rich is easier when you have numerous incomes. Once the father die, the name of the clan die with him, and each son create a new clan with a new name.

    But what about the daughters? Well, once they gain maturity, they are no longuer under the rules of their father… so they can do whatever they want. There is no organised mariage in childhood because no one can predict when a clanic chief will die, so will he be alive to marry the girl when she came of age ? Or would one of his son will inherit and be able to marry when the daughter would be ready ? And since the newly woman is free and master of her own destiny, she is the one to decide of who and when she will marry, so of course clanic chief do all they can to seduce her… and that's easier when you have a great fortune to show that you can take good care of her and her futur children. That's not always the case, and in fact most maid would go with the one they fall in love, so male have to compete not only one richess but on galantry too. Some maid will even use their new liberty to go see the world and live their life the fullest before settling to make a family, since their life is short and they dont want it to be immediatly fix in a maternaly and obediant role of wife.

    And what happen to the wifes when a clanic chief die? Well, they take their children (the one that are not at maturity) to form a big clan with all the other widows. They are forbid to remarry and give new children, but have again the same liberty as when they were maiden. And that's inside that clan that the maiden live until they choose a chief to marry. It's not unusual that love relationship between women are seen inside that clan, and this is an accepted fact. But if a maiden marry a chief, she cannot continu the relationship that she had when she was in the "widows" clan. Sometime there are maiden that never marry because they found love with another woman, so they live eternally inside de "widows" clan and help the widows to raise the youngs, or adopt the orphans. And for the male that are in love with each other? Well, it's really common when they are not chief, since they have some urges but are forbidden to marry until the death of their dad. But once you have your own clan name, you have the responsability to make that name prospere until your death, and for that you need to have wife and children, so… if you chose to not take that responsability, or choose to betray your wifes with a male… yeah, life will not stay good really long.

    So yeah, that's my huldres. Do they act like the mythical creatures that they are base on? Absolutely not, but hey, elf doesn't really looks like theire mythical self either now because of Tolkien, so i took some liberties ^^'

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