For our 6d6 Think Tank on creation myths, we delved into creation myths. My own submission was Jimano’s World. The core of the idea is the planet is actually a hermitage for a shy god. His very being shapes the world above him. As the hiding god moves continents change, mountains form and sea level varies. I’ve become somewhat attached to the idea and will be expanding at exploring it.
As creation myths go, this seems like a plausible explanation for the changes of the world. But the science of the people of Jimano’s World is far too primitive to measure such change as we know it. Their world, driven by Jimano, is best described a geographically active. What would take an age on Earth takes only years on theirs. Mountains ranges, prevailing winds, sea level, the course of rivers and even the shape of continents vary between decades. On this world, several sentient races have evolved:
Humans of the Plains: No sensible man ever builds anything that he can’t take with him. On this changeable world, their medieval society is based around nomadic tribes the size of city states. Farming only the fastest growing crops, their encampments can quickly become vast caravan trains as they drive their herds onto pastures new. They prefer to stick to the flatter plains, avoiding the rugged and barren mountains.
Elves of the Jungles: In the sweltering rain forests, the year round supply of food has made orchard tenders of the elves. 6 foot tall with long arms, they build tree houses to suit their needs as they travel in the tropics. With their more hostile terrain, the elves have sought to solve their problems with magic rather than technology. Their communities are small and tightly knit, almost insular. The elves control the Unchanging Isles and here the only stone city of the world can be found, high atop the cliffs.
Dwarves of the Mountains: Squat, barrel chested and with thick skin, the dwarves are well adapted to the higher altitudes they prefer. Unlike the other races, the dwarves are as one nation directed by the council of elected smiths. The nation settles onto newly formed mountain ranges to mine the exposed ores, only moving on once they’ve stripped it of useful value. Gregarious and communal, they trade freely with the humans, typically foodstuffs for metalworks. Each dwarf is fiercely proud of the small man-portable garden they each maintain. They live in yurts as only an idiot digs underground when mountains move like tides.
Djinn of the Sunshine: A race of spirits, the other races refer to them as being not of Jimano, as they are more energy than material. Disliking the wetter climates, the djinn prefer to stay where the wind does not bring the rain. Requiring little physical sustenance, they draw their energy from the sun. They migrate with the seasons, following the hot summer sun north and south as the year progresses. Very different from the other races, they rarely cross paths with the other nomads. They have next to no social structure as they’re simple lifestyle needs little organisation.
Gnomes of the Sea: Raiders, pirates and seafolk. The gnomes long ago abandoned the land as place to live. They prefer the open sea, where at least the landscape is the same as when you went to sleep. Trawlers for plankton and hunters of fish, they build large ships to weather the storms. The smaller frigates carry three hundred families aboard them, with the first rates having populations of thousands. At only two feet tall, these tiny folk adapted to a harsh world by treating it harshly. Many ships have adopted martial cultures and they are known for raiding. They are particularly disliked by the elves who must suffer the gnomes raiding for wood. It’s rumoured they’ve an unchanging isle of their own that is neutral ground for the shipyards.
Each of these five races has specialised to deal with being a nomad in a type of landscape. Is there a type of terrain that you think I’ve missed or do you have your own idea for another nomadic people?
Image Credit: Marin Sojka (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)