zompist bboard

WE ARE MOVING - see Ephemera
It is currently Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:38 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 91 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:39 pm 
Smeric
Smeric
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 4:27 pm
Posts: 1556
Location: Catalonia
blank stare II wrote:
I feel like it'd be too cliche to have bison roaming the plains, especially when I'm already cheating by using so much Plains Indian culture for the people who live there. I'll be researching other herd animals, so expect me to post something about it tonight or tomorrow. What do you guys think would be cool to have roaming some giant plains?

Peccaries. Or peccary-inspired animals.

_________________
Un llapis mai dibuixa sense una mà.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:05 am 
Sanci
Sanci

Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:22 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Sverige
Rodlox wrote:
Cool critter! tasty, I bet.

CaesarVincens wrote:
I like it, but any reason for the Øŋyk to eat bugs and roots in particular? It seems to me that most large animals eat either abundant plant matter, like leaves or grass, or eat other large animals.
That is, most animals that eat bugs are fairly small (see rodents, amphibians, most birds and reptiles), likewise, seed and root eaters might be bigger, but not human size.


Another factor is that larger animals can roam farther for food than smaller ones (ie, Short-Faced Bear, elephants)...and sometimes animals get larger to fight others of their own kind for resources.

also, lions are more likely to bug the small antelopes than the elephants. size helps.

IIRC there is a tribe of lions somewhere in Africa that has specialized in hunting elephants, and they hunt nothing else. Other lions, however, don't even try. Animals have cultures too!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:07 pm 
Lebom
Lebom
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 4:34 pm
Posts: 127
Location: second to the right and straight on till morning
Izambri wrote:
Peccaries. Or peccary-inspired animals.


I now have a peccary-inspired animal roaming these plains, along with a funny little gazelle. I have some sketches of them that I'd like to post, but my camera is dead and I'll have to get new batteries first. Thanks for the tip.

I have been using this ethnographical questionnaire to size up this culture in as concise a way as possible. I highly recommend using such a list. It has helped me think of things to do that I wouldn't have otherwise. All of the questions of the first section of the list are(or should be) answered below.


This is an ethnography of one of the tribes who live in the wide plainsland in the East of the Middle Kingdom. The reader is advised to yield to new findings as they are published[in other words, the info in this post is subject to change].
This information was hand-written as a series of notes by a man who lived amongst the natives for some eighteen months. He was well-received, though never considered a part of the tribe.

Starting from almost any point near the central portion of the Plains, and moving in any direction, one can walk for days and days before seeing a change in landscape. Those who have had the fortune of setting eyes on both the ocean and the plain often remark at how perfectly they recall one another. It is in these two places alone that the human eye can see to the end of its ability. Endless as the vista is, the people here care very little for anything that may or may not lie beyond their twenty or so miles of tribal territory. Their folklore tells much of children wandering away from camp only to be taken and eaten by strange beasts or even stranger gods, and of men lured beyond site of camp, only to become lost in an endless sea of green.
The grass in the plain is tall for the most part, fed by many streams and rivers, and reaching up to people's hands as they walk. In some places though, the tall grass gives way and one finds - not grass - but moss. Layers upon untold layers of dead moss covered up by this year's living moss. Sometimes one will find a lone bush, quite leafless for most of the year, but often laden with little bright red ønyk berries. These are psychoactive, and eaten ceremoniously by the elderly - recreationally by the young. Trees and other woody plants are unknown here.
The plains have a wide variety of weather throughout the year, with very cold winters and very hot summers. Wind speeds are often high. The prairies have no natural shade, and no protection from the elements. Those who live here weather the four seasons equally well, probably from being so utterly exposed to them from childhood. They lay under the stars on nights considered inhospitably windy or cold in other cultures and only retreat to their tents on the nights which bring frost. They have, of course, developed the art of building their houses in such a way that the constant winds are kept out completely, and in fact their dwellings would be quite sturdy enough, had the winds been doubled in ferrocity.
In the minds of the natives, these plains go on forever. They know nothing of the seashore, nor indeed of anything which might lay beyond it. In their belief, the horizon looks the same from every place in the world. Because everything that exists at all does so on the infinite Plain, to them the land itself is existence, and the plain is to them a sort of deity. Everything comes from the plain, and without it there would be nothing but sky.
Agriculture has been known to these and the surrounding people for several thousand years. Grain grows yearly in hand-tilled fields, as does a handful of varieties of vegetable. Birds and land animals are often caught in traps or killed with stone slings. The acute absence of wood, and with it the possibility of wooden hunting implements, in the area has resulted in some of the most ingenious trapping to be found anywhere on the whole continent.
For several months of the year, the landscape is home to very large naturally occurring flower beds, sometimes three or four football fields square. While said to be frequented by unlucky fairies, these areas do attract millions of prairie bees, eager for the sugary nectar. Having no trees on which to build their hive, the bees make their homes underground. Natives "harvest" these subterranean hives just like they do their vegetables, and fresh honeycomb(larvae et al) is considered a delicassy.
The mildly alcoholic drink macma is made from the eggs of the rodako toad, which are laid in the spring in pools of froth near the edge of a standing body of water. Scooped up and funneled into skin bottles along with vegetable juice, fermentation is given about a year. Macma is considered a celebratory drink, such as for marriages.
Food is a precious commodity among these people, who must invest much of their energy in procuring it. They consider their harvest, as well as their trappings, to be gifts from the Plain. Their customs reflect this in their many traditions stressing thankfulness for their three continually pressing needs: food, fortunate animal migrations, and building material.
For all their seeming want of basic creature comforts, these highly conservative people seem to see nothing lacking in their way of life. Taking great delight in things most of us seldom notice(such as the beautiful cloud formations continually morphing overhead), they make do with very little excess, and with almost no discontentment expressed even in the most dire of hardships.
Living in familial bands of between one and two hundred, the people of this tribe number well over four thousand persons. Theirs is one of four such chiefdoms living in an area covering some fifty thousand square miles[about the size of Ohio].
Each of these several groups have their own large settled area where they keep their fields, set their traps and generally live out their whole lives. Such camps usually hold less than two hundred people, and have at least one dwelling for each family. A complex series of cultural customs and taboos dictates where a new dwelling can go, which direction it should face, et cetera. Most times there is a community area in the midst of the fields, which are framed by lines of tents on each side but the east.
The main cause for correspondence between groups within the tribe is marriage, and outside of the tribe: war. Any uninhabited place(including the long stretches between camps) is considered wilderness, and is assumed uninhabitable. It is likely that the people living on these much-trodden patches of land have done so for countless generations, rendered unwilling to test the boundaries of their encampments by so many campfire stories which tell of wild and dangerous things in the wilderness. Anyone here will tell you that it is bad luck to stray too far from the village.
Large, wide-faced dogs have been bred for meat and for tracking wounded animals which have escaped a trap. Dogs are not considered pets.
The natives of this plainsland make much use of the meat, bone, hide, and hair of the øŋyk, kemba, and ŋuru*, which they catch in pits and nets. Some kemba have been raised from fawns, though no animal but the dog is considered able to be tamed.

*the kemba and ŋuru resemble our gazelle and peccary

_________________
I get a big kick out of playing my own language game–it’s a unique thrill only conlangers know.
- J Burke


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:22 am 
Sanci
Sanci

Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:22 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Sverige
Inspiring work! And thanks for the link, looks very useful. It seems to make some assumptions though, such as alcohol being the only drug and marriage being part of the culture.
Have you considered giving the øŋyk some relatives? Smaller versions living in forests adjacent to the plain, or perhaps mountain øŋyks with shorter necks (because a neck like that would probably be rather bothersome in a landscape with lots of hills). Or there could be another plain-living kind, specializing in a different food source.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:48 am 
Lebom
Lebom
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 4:34 pm
Posts: 127
Location: second to the right and straight on till morning
A good cousin for the øŋyk might be giraffe-like and use its long neck to reach the leaves at the tops of trees. The ones on the plain have a long neck so they don't have to bend down to eat. They can't move their necks like a camel; they can only move it side to side, not up and down. That's not to say a relative species would have this peculiarity.

_________________
I get a big kick out of playing my own language game–it’s a unique thrill only conlangers know.
- J Burke


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:36 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 2:58 pm
Posts: 807
blank stare II wrote:
I have been using this ethnographical questionnaire to size up this culture in as concise a way as possible. I highly recommend using such a list. It has helped me think of things to do that I wouldn't have otherwise. All of the questions of the first section of the list are(or should be) answered below.
....

This is great! Thanks. 8) :)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:50 am 
Lebom
Lebom
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 4:34 pm
Posts: 127
Location: second to the right and straight on till morning
Izambri wrote:
blank stare II wrote:
I'll be researching other herd animals, ... posted something about it ... What do you guys think would be cool to have roaming some giant plains?

Peccaries. Or peccary-inspired animals.


Without showing visual reference, blank stare II wrote:
*the kemba and ŋuru resemble our gazelle and peccary

A picture is worth a thousand words.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/7/kembanguru.jpg/
Image

The peccary tip got me thinking about the middle of the food chain. I mentioned these ru ŋuru in an earlier post. They are small to medium animals, reaching two forearms in length, and about two measures of grain(20 lb) in weight. They have large heads and short necks, with relatively small eyes and prominent ears. Their heads have a distinctive snout, ending in a disc-shaped nose. Ru ŋuru typically have a bristly coat; brown, with a white stripe from the shoulder down to the chest, and a short tail ending in a tassel.

Ru kemba I don't know much about yet. With few predators, they wouldn't have much reason to be like the ultra-light, super-fast antelopes of Africa; they would be a bit bigger and stockier. More graceful than moose though. Does this sound right?
[note: ru before a noun, e.g., ru ŋuru marks plurality]

EDIT: I now have predators for the kemba of the plains; I have since posted about it(an agile, long-legged wolf). They are not stocky as I conjectured that they might be; they are skinny and graceful like the antelopes of Africa.

I am writing all my notes by hand, unfortunately getting it onto a computer is a slow process.
Anyway everything is getting organized into different sections of a notebook, the way I imagine an ethnographer would do it. When I get enough material on this group of people(I am still trying to get that ethnographical questionnaire finished) I will move to another area. It'll be nice to shift my focus to another place in my conworld - I have been very absorbed with this region so far. But with three library books and about a million wikipedia searches under my belt from all the research I've done so far I can at least say that conworlding is educational.
That leads me to the question I posed when I started this thread, "how could it ultimately be organized?" The grammar for Abakwi is presented as findings from an anthropologist. I want to present this world as a series of notes by geologists, botanists, ethnographers, etc., each of which would take up a section in a large reference book. What I have visualized is a large 3 ring binder with a contents page at the beginning showing sections dealing with the landscape(with maps), then the climate(with charts), then sections dealing with the plants and animals(sketches). Then would come essays on the history, mythology, folklore, customs and other cultural notes of each of the indigenous peoples of the world. All of these sections would be separate works*; it would be presented under the guise of a compilation work of many [fictitious]authors. If the author of the Abakwi site had made about thirty more pages dealing with the people who spoke the language and the area they lived in, he would be nearer the mark.
If you can, please comment on this idea, I could use a fresh perspective because the task seems pretty daunting.

*I can imagine writing an expository essay on, say, Burial Practices Among the Nipplorians, for instance. It would be found in the same section as the article Marriage Ceremonies Observed in Nipplaria
(there is really no place called Nipple in my conworld).

I have been doing flora, fauna and people(race, culture, history) at the same time, all the while trying to come up with better maps. My main map is 2' by 4' and is shown here with a bottlecap for scale.

Image

I am redoing them in the style of these maps of hellea by our very own izambri.

_________________
I get a big kick out of playing my own language game–it’s a unique thrill only conlangers know.
- J Burke


Last edited by blank stare II on Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:46 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 11:02 am
Posts: 281
Zwap wrote:
Inspiring work! And thanks for the link, looks very useful. It seems to make some assumptions though, such as alcohol being the only drug and marriage being part of the culture


for some fictional cultures, one or both of those could be the case...it's certainly the historical case in parts of Earth over the course of history.

blank stare II wrote:
Ru kemba I don't know much about yet. With few predators, they wouldn't have much reason to be like the ultra-light, super-fast antelopes of Africa;


some herbivores on Earth race against others of their own kind; one of the male-vs-male contests deer do, is to show one another the full extent of their antlers and body size, and walk quickly side-by-side until one of the two of them runs away.

so if you want fast critters, you can still have them. (and just because there are few predators, doesn't mean there are none)

_________________
MadBrain is a genius.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:22 pm 
Smeric
Smeric
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 4:27 pm
Posts: 1556
Location: Catalonia
blank stare II wrote:
A picture is worth a thousand words.

Very good drawings. I like the ŋuru head in the center.

Quote:
I am writing all my notes by hand, unfortunately getting it onto a computer is a slow process.

Paper notes are a must for any conworlder, IMHO. Computers tend to die in the worst moments...

_________________
Un llapis mai dibuixa sense una mà.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:42 pm 
Lebom
Lebom
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 4:34 pm
Posts: 127
Location: second to the right and straight on till morning
Last night, apparently I wrote:
I can imagine writing an expository essay on, say, Burial Practices Among the Nipplorians, for instance. It would be found in the same section as the article Marriage Ceremonies Observed in Nipplaria
(there is really no place called Nipple in my conworld).


This, my friends, is a prime example of what you come up with when you conworld while stoned. Stay in school kids. 8)

_________________
I get a big kick out of playing my own language game–it’s a unique thrill only conlangers know.
- J Burke


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:55 pm 
Lebom
Lebom
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 4:34 pm
Posts: 127
Location: second to the right and straight on till morning
I stumbled upon an article about the Map of the Creator, officially called Dashka's Stone, a very ancient three dimensional relief map of the Urals.

I am planning on doing a paper mache model of one of my continents, about one foot by one foot. I'll form the mountains, valleys and plains first, then use silicon for the ocean surrounding the continent(also for inland bodies of water). I will probably spray paint vegetation in non-wooded areas, then use fake moss for forested areas. I'll post pictures of it when I'm done.

If it goes well I'll make a bigger one of the whole world.

_________________
I get a big kick out of playing my own language game–it’s a unique thrill only conlangers know.
- J Burke


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:08 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 11:02 am
Posts: 281
blank stare II wrote:
I stumbled upon an article about the Map of the Creator, officially called Dashka's Stone, a very ancient three dimensional relief map of the Urals.

I am planning on doing a paper mache model of one of my continents, about one foot by one foot. I'll form the mountains, valleys and plains first, then use silicon for the ocean surrounding the continent(also for inland bodies of water). I will probably spray paint vegetation in non-wooded areas, then use fake moss for forested areas. I'll post pictures of it when I'm done.


all the best to you.

_________________
MadBrain is a genius.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:19 pm 
Lebom
Lebom
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 4:34 pm
Posts: 127
Location: second to the right and straight on till morning
This is completely the wrong scale, but imagine this picture showing a MUCH larger area in the same space. Detail would be lost, but it would still be a pretty neat presentation piece if I want to show somebody about my conworld.


Attachments:
miniature landscape.JPG
miniature landscape.JPG [ 42.58 KiB | Viewed 3107 times ]

_________________
I get a big kick out of playing my own language game–it’s a unique thrill only conlangers know.
- J Burke
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:39 pm 
Lebom
Lebom
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 4:34 pm
Posts: 127
Location: second to the right and straight on till morning
Three pages ago, when I first started this thread, I asked for advice on building a conworld from the ground up. You see, when you build a building, you have to do it one brick at a time. You have your choice of which brick comes next, at least horizontally. But you must lay the ones below before the ones above.
I had the foundation already set, and I had laid the cornerstone. But would I go left, or right? Would I skip one brick in order to lay a more interesting one? I knew I would have to go back and fill in the missing block before I could lay the next level of bricks.

Then I re-read this thread from the top to the bottom, condensed my thoughts, nixed some ideas and amended others, read all the input that other members have posted, and evaluated my options for how to tackle this whole project systematically.

Then it hit me - I don't have to use the "laying bricks" metaphor! I decided to use the metaphor of a tree. It starts out small, and gets bigger as it goes up. It branches out predictably. So I am building the cultures of the world thus:

My timeline starts 150,000 years ago. At this time there was one group of people. These are the plains people I was talking about in my last few posts. Once I have their culture worked out, I will split off the group into a new group and move the timeline up by, say, ten thousand years. Once that group is figured out sufficiently I will move the timeline again, expand both groups into new territories, work out the new cultures thus formed(and their interactions with the other peoples already created) and so on until my timeline arrives at present day.
By following the "branching tree" metaphor, I can explain human migration, cultural differences, and a whole host of other things, and I will not have to pick and choose which aspect of the world to work on at a given time.
So far, flora and fauna don't get done until my conpeople first encounter them.

This post was difficult to put into words. Please let me know if it made sense.

_________________
I get a big kick out of playing my own language game–it’s a unique thrill only conlangers know.
- J Burke


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:17 pm 
Lebom
Lebom
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 4:34 pm
Posts: 127
Location: second to the right and straight on till morning
So the foodchain of the plains area starts at the top with a sort of short-faced bear-like creature which resembles more closely the giantest freaking sloth ever called Megatherium. Even the name sounds badass. But despite being giant and vicious, it is very slow. Therefore it mostly gets its food by intimidating other predators to steal their kills. The other predators in the area include a long-legged wolf which can run nearly cheetah speed(on the plains, you have to run super fast to catch anything) though of course it isn't nearly as agile as a cheetah. Maybe there will be a feline predator in the mix, but would that be too much competition, with three carnivores inhabiting the same area? The prey of the wolf(and, by extension, of the bear) include small wild horses, kemba, ŋuru and my favorite, the saiga antelope.
Humans hunt several of these animals, in addition to glyptodons, which have no natural enemies other than man.

If any of these animals seem out of place for some reason, please comment on it. I could use a fresh perspective, especially since I'm not very knowledgeable about this part of the world building process.

_________________
I get a big kick out of playing my own language game–it’s a unique thrill only conlangers know.
- J Burke


Last edited by blank stare II on Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:50 pm 
Lebom
Lebom
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 4:34 pm
Posts: 127
Location: second to the right and straight on till morning
Image

I have two inland seas in the western part of this continent. The one to the south doesn't worry me, but I don't know about the one on top. Its source also feeds a great river as you can see. Its course can be described as Ocean > River > Sea > River.
Does this happen? That is, can a river coming from the ocean turn into a sea and back into a river like this one does?
Also, must it be salt water since it comes from the ocean? If it is possible, I would like to have a freshwater ocean on this world rather than saltwater as in our world.
This is a picture from farther back to give a better frame of reference. Too much glare in this next picture, I know. I'm almost done with a much better map and it'll be less reflective :wink:

Image

That's a bottlecap in the lower left hand corner to give an idea of the size of the map. Just because I like to brag about the size of my map.

_________________
I get a big kick out of playing my own language game–it’s a unique thrill only conlangers know.
- J Burke


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:43 am 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:26 pm
Posts: 204
Basically what determines saltiness is how much water evaporates versus flows onward from a particular location. That is, the ocean is salty (as are the Great Salt Lake, the Dead Sea, the Salton Sea, and nearly all other endorheic basins) because water flows in (carrying all the salt, sediment, and other stuff it does), but has no where to flow out, so after it evaporates, the salt is left in the remaining water. It doesn't happen quickly, but the ocean has been there a long time.

The Mediterranean is a good example of an inland sea, it receives less water from the outflow of its rivers than evaporation removes, thus without a connection to the ocean, it would evaporate over a few/several millenia. This actually happened once. More to the point, it has a slightly higher salinity than the ocean, particularly in the east.

So, if you want your inland sea to be freshwater, water-out has to equal water-in pretty closely. I'm not sure what the hydrology would be, the river coming out would probably be something like the Amazon and Nile combined in terms of flow.

Also, I like the tree metaphor. I think it will serve you well, but my only advice is, as you saw, don't get caught up in a metaphor too much.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:09 am 
Lebom
Lebom
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 4:34 pm
Posts: 127
Location: second to the right and straight on till morning
I have already posted part of the ethnographical questionaire for these people. This is another two sections of it answered.


The earliest inhabitants of the plains appeared about 150,000 years ago. The plains were probably the first part of the world called "home" by modern humans. Had sufficient(read: any) records been kept throughout human history, all peoples could trace their lineage right back the grassland. This huge expanse of flatland was the very first frontier of Man.
Agriculture was first discovered by these people two thousand years after taking root in the prairie. It allowed them to grow to a great number, and to expand into several tribes stretching across the savannah. Within just a few dozen generations of learning to grow nourishment from the ground, the population boomed sufficiently to ensure the continued existence of human kind in this world.
The inhabitants of the plain have no written history. Living a hard life of trapping dangerous animals and working tirelessly to wrest a living from the earth, most of their energy is devoted to keeping from going hungry. Under these circumstances, it is no wonder that they have had no leisure time to try to put words down in written form. Furthermore, they have a rich oral tradition, and storytelling is considered an art and a pastime. Having no trade, they have no need to keep records. Their oral tales of myth and folklore are sufficient for their purposes.
Having deep love of stories, both the hearing and the telling, they remember many important events of their ancestors, though the details of oral tales often change over time. But reiterating cultural beliefs and customs has firmly grounded into them their way of life, and has even made it sacred.

That being said, over the several thousand years of their tenure in the plains, society has changed greatly. In fact with each new settlement it changes yet again. But the many generations it takes for a culture to change is too long a time to be recognized by any one person, and for this reason natives believe life has always been the way it is now, and the obvious assumption for them is that it will always be as it has been in their lifetime.

Plains people tell many stories of the stars, the earth and the world beneath the earth. They tell stories of their ancestors, embellishing them freely with whatever details come to mind. They tell stories of gods and great animal spirits who created the earth and everything in it, including people.
Many stories include Father Snake, who crawled on his belly from east to west, creating the world as he went. The great adversary in these tales is the hawk, who swooped down and carried off Father Snake, putting a halt on all creation. It is for this reason that Plainsdwellers kill hawks whenever they can, and shun the meat.
The many tribes of the plains are united by one language family, though the vernacular of any one location necessarily differs considerably from those surrounding it. Cultural taboos(that is, xenophobia) keep them from much contact with each other, facilitating divers modes of speech.
There are no class differences among these people, having just emerged from a hunter-gatherer way of life. There are loose social structures to be found, usually with a chief at the top. This will usually be an unofficial title; all wisened(read: elderly) men are consulted on important matters.

A man will usually take one wife at a time, and build a large tent to house his family. At this point he and his wife move out of their respective family's tents. A couple is married when they have told every tribe member of thier decision in person.
If a man is to take a wife, he is expected to give a gift of several days' worth of food, along with supplies such as blankets, in payment to the parents of the woman.
A man may divorce his wife for any reason, but in so doing he forfeits his familial tent and his children, and must either return to his own family's tent or marry anew and build yet another home for the new family.
The mother of the children is expected to care for the children in the event of a divorce. There are no social implications for being a neglectful father of children from a former marriage; upon divorcing his wife, the man is no longer considered the father. A man may marry the mother of another man's children. He is then considered the father. This is not a rare occurrence.
Families are named after the husband. This name may change in the event of his death or abandoning of the family.
Orphans with no parents usually stay in the tents of the elderly, for these are the only dwellings without children.
A man and a woman will typically have less than a half dozen children.

A family dwelling consists of a man, his wife and their children. When the children marry, they build a tent of their own to house themselves and their children. Male children are hoped for in all situations. This is because males usually do the hunting and most of the farming - more food is brought into the house by a man child.

_________________
I get a big kick out of playing my own language game–it’s a unique thrill only conlangers know.
- J Burke


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:17 am 
Sanci
Sanci

Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:22 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Sverige
blank stare II wrote:
So the foodchain of the plains area starts at the top with a sort of short-faced bear-like creature which resembles more closely the giantest freaking sloth ever called Megatherium. Even the name sounds badass. But despite being giant and vicious, it is very slow. Therefore it mostly gets its food by intimidating other predators to steal their kills. The other predators in the area include a long-legged wolf which can run nearly cheetah speed(on the plains, you have to run super fast to catch anything) though of course it isn't nearly as agile as a cheetah. Maybe there will be a feline predator in the mix, but would that be too much competition, with three carnivores inhabiting the same area? The prey of the wolf(and, by extension, of the bear) include small wild horses, kemba, ŋuru and my favorite, the saiga antelope.
Humans hunt several of these animals, in addition to glyptodons, which have no natural enemies other than man.

If any of these animals seem out of place for some reason, please comment on it. I could use a fresh perspective, especially since I'm not very knowledgeable about this part of the world building process.

There could be a second predator if it specializes in prey that the first one doesn't hunt. In this case there has to be a reason as to why the wolf won't eat that prey. Perhaps it's poisonous, and the wolves haven't developed immunity since they have so many other things to eat, but the felines have, since they don't. Another option is to have a second scavenger, small in size and able to live off mostly what the wolves and the megatheriums leave behind, with the additional snake or rodent every now and then. Because of its size I'm guessing the megatherium probably won't leave anything at all though. A third option is to just have two predators competing with each other, but eventually one of them would go extinct, leave the area or change diet. Perhaps the felines recently migrated to the plains from some other area and they're now slowly increasing in number while the wolves are decreasing. Or they're just temporary guests. The wolves, having lived in and adapted to the environment for many thousands of years, might be better suited in the plains and the felines disappear soon after they arrive.
I think all of these should be viable options.

Also, the megatheriums can't just be scary, they have to actually be able to fight off a pack of feeding wolves as well or the wolves would soon learn how to deal with them. They're probably faster than they look! At short distances, that is. Lions do this with hyenas, so there's nothing weird about it.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:32 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 11:02 am
Posts: 281
Zwap wrote:
Also, the megatheriums can't just be scary, they have to actually be able to fight off a pack of feeding wolves as well or the wolves would soon learn how to deal with them. They're probably faster than they look! At short distances, that is. Lions do this with hyenas, so there's nothing weird about it.


the strategy Megatheriums would have likely used, was an extreme form of what has been suggested for the Short-faced Bear...grow as big as possible, look like you're even bigger still, and if anyone objects to you taking their lunch (or tries to make you into lunch), just give a backhanded slap that knocks them into next week.

(and ground sloths had huge claws - any wolf that gets too close, will either be gutted, maimed, or clobbered (back of hand))

_________________
MadBrain is a genius.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:58 pm 
Sanci
Sanci

Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:22 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Sverige
Rodlox wrote:
any wolf that gets too close, will either be gutted, maimed, or clobbered (back of hand))

I count that as "fight off a pack of wolves" though, evolution is very flexible. But they would have to be able to damage the wolves heavily, I doubt they'd be allowed to steal their food if not. Of course, in this case they (the wolves) seem to have a very wide variety of prey to choose from, so they probably wouldn't care too much if they lost some of it. I'm drunk enough to be hiccoughing (it's been going on for like 30 min «³²°¼³ ¢) atm, so don't take my words too seriously!

Do you know of any articles or links on this subject? Short-faced bears in particular, I looked at the Wikipedia article but I didn't find anything.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:21 pm 
Lebom
Lebom
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 4:34 pm
Posts: 127
Location: second to the right and straight on till morning
The article called The Myth-Understood Hyena explains some misunderstandings about these scavengers which are known to scare off lionesses for their kills(though not male lions).
However, this page says that the hyena is actually a great hunter and scavenging only makes 5%- 10% of their meals. It also says that lions steal lots of their kills.

This discussion on carnivoraforum.com is about scavenging, specifically scaring off other predators for their kills, though it's about smilodons and short faced bears.

This guy doesn't know what he's talking about, but he makes a good point that T. Rex could have used its size and bad breath to intimidate other carnivores out of their meals.

_________________
I get a big kick out of playing my own language game–it’s a unique thrill only conlangers know.
- J Burke


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:34 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 11:02 am
Posts: 281
Zwap wrote:
Rodlox wrote:
any wolf that gets too close, will either be gutted, maimed, or clobbered (back of hand))

I count that as "fight off a pack of wolves" though, evolution is very flexible. But they would have to be able to damage the wolves heavily,


if you've got a pack of five wolves out hunting (the rest being back at the den with the cubs), how many deaths or serious injuries are you going to risk? particularly against a large armor-skinned enemy?

Quote:
Do you know of any articles or links on this subject? Short-faced bears in particular, I looked at the Wikipedia article but I didn't find anything.


National Geographic had a whole documentary series on prehistoric predators like them. its on DVD there.


blank stare II wrote:
This guy doesn't know what he's talking about, but he makes a good point that T. Rex could have used its size and bad breath to intimidate other carnivores out of their meals.


bad breath? size, sure; bulk, sure; breath, no.

_________________
MadBrain is a genius.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:27 pm 
Lebom
Lebom
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 4:34 pm
Posts: 127
Location: second to the right and straight on till morning
So pretty much we've come to the conclusion that it is possible for an animal the size and temperament of megatherium, and with the scavenging habits of the hyena, to be found roaming a very large plains area, scaring away other predators for their kills and perhaps supplementing their diet with some vegetation between meals. Being very large, they could cover enormous distances in a day in search of the massive amount of food required to sustain their huge bodies.*
In general they would have little trouble from other predators; at least that seems to be the consensus on this thread, and I am partial to that opinion because I can't imagine such a large animal to be anywhere but the very top of the food chain.
Being relatively slow runners due to their bulk, they would likely do little actual hunting. Instead they would, I believe, have developed the ability to smell blood from a good distance, and they would follow this to the nearest fresh kill - even a mile or more away.
Though, as I said, they wouldn't hunt much because of their slowness[the proper word, sloth, has too strong of connotations of laziness to use here], they would definitely be able to run down and gobble up a human, which idea I think I like because it would have great cultural implications. Just think of the folktales about the hero of old who wrestled one to the ground and fed the whole tribe with its meat.

*I managed to use four synonyms of big in that sentence 8)

_________________
I get a big kick out of playing my own language game–it’s a unique thrill only conlangers know.
- J Burke


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:11 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 11:02 am
Posts: 281
blank stare II wrote:
So pretty much we've come to the conclusion that it is possible for an animal the size and temperament of megatherium, and with the scavenging habits of the hyena,


hyena packs average around 80 members. you don't support those numbers on a diet of carrion.

are lions and hyenas and tyrannosaurs able to take advantage of someone else's kill and take it for themselves? absolutely. was it their sole source of protein? no...but it's been proposed as the diet of early homonids (scavenging off dead megafauna)

Quote:
to be found roaming a very large plains area, scaring away other predators for their kills and perhaps supplementing their diet with some vegetation between meals. Being very large, they could cover enormous distances in a day in search of the massive amount of food required to sustain their huge bodies.*
In general they would have little trouble from other predators; at least that seems to be the consensus on this thread, and I am partial to that opinion because I can't imagine such a large animal to be anywhere but the very top of the food chain.
Being relatively slow runners due to their bulk, they would likely do little actual hunting. Instead they would, I believe, have developed the ability to smell blood from a good distance, and they would follow this to the nearest fresh kill - even a mile or more away.


That's almost exactly how the Short-faced Bear is described.

http://shop.nationalgeographic.com/ngs/ ... rs-dvd-set

Quote:
Though, as I said, they wouldn't hunt much because of their slowness[the proper word, sloth, has too strong of connotations of laziness to use here], they would definitely be able to run down and gobble up a human, which idea I think I like because it would have great cultural implications. Just think of the folktales about the hero of old who wrestled one to the ground and fed the whole tribe with its meat.


wrestling leviathan/behemoth, indeed.

Quote:
*I managed to use four synonyms of big in that sentence 8)


*applauds*

_________________
MadBrain is a genius.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 91 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group