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Monday, June 15, 2015

Culture Concept: Stormwings

Today's post is a brief examination of a fantasy culture. Most fantasy settings I'm familiar with stay in the "safe zone" of mapping their cultures to medieval Western European cultures and modernizing them a bit. Sometimes, there's a stand-in "Native American" culture that irreverently smashes together dozens of unique indigenous cultures. Or there's a "samurai-era Japan" culture that obsesses over familial honor. Those fit snugly into the old Planet of Hats trope. I hope that my own fantasy cultures do not fall into that trap, but I can leave that for others to judge.

I'm presenting my culture in bullet points, 1) because that makes it easy to absorb, 2) because that makes it easier for others to build off, and 3) because it is just a concept at this stage. So, I present for your judgment, modification, and use: the stormwings.


  • Stormwings are 30-feet-tall, winged giants who live in cloud communities above a vast scrubland and revere a long-dead god from whom they claim ancestry.
  • Stormwing society is strongly communist, and goods and resources are proportionately distributed among communities based on population. Their economy is based on raiding and tributes.
    • Stormwings collect tribute from the creatures that live below them in the scrublands and actually worship them as gods.
    • Stormwings perform long-range raids on distant cultures by moving an entire cloud community to hover over the foreign lands.
  • Stormwing society is led by a god-emperor called the Chosen. This is the stormwing who can claim and "prove" closest descent or union with the stormwings' dead god: Ythian.
    • Stormwing communities are led by cousins or other family members of the Chosen.
    • Upon the death of the Chosen, the stormwings hold trials of proof to determine who should be the new Chosen.

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