Creating a Culture

When I decided to add Orcs to the world of Zaria, I decided immediately that they would be different from the stereotypical “hulk smash!” Orcs that are so common throughout most of the Fantasy genre.

I had already developed the concept of a group of city-states that had once been a republic. I knew that these city-states, or at least some of them, would be places of high culture that were also home to mercenary legions.

So when it came time to develop my Orcs, I decided that they would be the core to these city-states. But that wasn’t enough.

I decided to add a couple of wrinkles to the Orcs and so I created the colonies of Thayer and Galten across the Vast Sea, nestled in the mountains near the nation of Ansgar. But now I had another problem: these colonies would have been separated from their homeland for so long that they would have culture all their own.

Right now, I’m working on Battle for Broken Plains, the story of how Raedan Clyve came to be the Baron of Broken Plains, and as I write, I find myself creating the culture for different parts of my world that haven’t been explored as fully elsewhere.

The challenge is to create a culture that clearly descended from the established culture of the City States, but at the same time has its own aspects. The Orcish colonies have lived near the brutish Nordahrians for so long, they have picked up on some of their traditions.

It’s one of the things that I like so much about Fantasy: the worldbuilding of a culture that mixes mercenary instincts with fierce clan loyalty and a culture of marauding.

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About Joshua K Johnson

Josh is the author of The Cerberus Rebellion and The Hydra Offensive, Gunpowder Fantasy novels set in the Griffins & Gunpowder universe. He is currently working on a new novel set in the same world as well as The Centaur Incursion, Book 3 in the existing series. He's married with a 5 yr old son and a 1 year old daughter, keeping him busy. He currently works and is a full-time student.

Posted on November 2, 2012, in writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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