Saturday, April 20, 2013

R Is For Races...

No, not the kind of race where you speed to the finish line and win a shiny bauble. Races, as in types of beings in your world.

There are a lot in fantasy that are considered "Old School", such as:

Elves: Beings of fair skin and temperament. Ageless, graceful beings who usually dwell in the forests. They are masters of magical craftsmanship from weapons to clothing. Speakers to and for trees and animals, they're the most mystical in fantasy.

Dwarves: Short, stocky men (for you rarely see the women!) who dwell beneath mountains. Delvers and spelunkers, they dig to the core of the earth to find precious gems and minerals. Their handiwork rivals the elves in creation.

Ogres: Large brutes, somewhat more intelligent than their Troll cousins, they live for war. They can do some serious damage to their enemies, if not rip them apart completely.

Humans: Well, we know about humans, don't we?

Goblins: Short, chittering, greedy little buggers who tend to get underfoot. They reproduce quickly and can usually overwhelm an army just in sheer numbers rather than any sort of skill. They prefer to attack the weak of any given species and travel in large packs.

Drow: Dark Elves. With almost jet black skin and white hair, they are the exact opposites of their woodland kin. Eyes as red as blood and underground dwellers, the Drow have lots of different qualities and stories of how they came to be. Warring with their Elven brethren, they went underground and got involved in arcane magics. (At least according to Dungeons and Dragons)

Of course, in all of this, you can't forget dragons. They are just as important as the others, but I covered them in my "D" post.

There are lots of fantasy creatures that are not "Old School" coming into play more and more these days. There is nothing wrong with creating your own beings as long as you make them believable, for one, and know their creation background, for another.

Be creative! Don't hijack someone else's ideas unless you have explicit permission to do so. The imagination is a powerful tool when used correctly, so think about things in our own fairytales and folklore and expand upon it.

6 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Drow were always the coolest elves. Evil, but cool. Except Drizzt, of course. He wasn't evil.
When you think of creating races for science fiction, anything is possible. Those working on fantasy need to adopt that same thought process. The possibilities really are endless.

S said...

This is great, I would like to attempt a fantasy at some point and this a good starter for races. If i could make a suggestion, maybe a post on the races that aren't so well known. Like perhaps Djinn or something?
There are so many things you can do with even the usual races that you can make things like Elves completely different to another writes version of Elves.
Stacey

Jeff Laws said...

My favorite books are the ones where many different races are trying to live together. I used to read all kinds of books but I tend to stick to the urban fantasy genre because of it.

Shawn Yankey said...

Thank you. Lord Of The Rings now makes more sense. Your new follower, Shawn at Reading Practice

Mel Chesley said...

@ Alex ~ I love the Drow, especially Drizzt.

@ S ~ Maybe that will be my 'U' post for unusual. ;)

@ Jeff ~ Does make for interesting reading when they're all trying to get along but can't... quite.. do it. xD

@ Shawn ~ Glad to be of service. :P

Jamie Gibbs said...

I love taking inspiration from mythological sources for creatures. Not only will they better resonate with readers (since all cultures seem to share variations on a single common creature) but often our ancestors had even more warped imaginations than we have, so it makes for easier work to take inspiration from their creations :P

Jamie @ Mithril Wisdom