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So far, in Shadows of War several species have been mentioned: humans, Ice-Sprites, sprites, and (eventually) Elves. The reader may find themselves horribly confused and cry “WTF is that!” So without further ado, I present a short guide to the (sentient) species of a fictional world.
Humans: Perhaps the most prolific species in novels everywhere (Well, authors are
mostly human. If we were green men from Mars, that would be another matter entirely). Humans migrated from the south in the world of Shadows of War , driven north by who knows what. After contact with the elves, they settled down and built themselves towns and cities, all the while moving inexorably north. Eventually, the city states merged, by conquest or treaty, into kingdoms such as Regina. When our novel opens, humans can enjoy life spans of up to 80+ years thanks to the use of magic in medicine. Technology wise, they are at the pre-industrial stage with most people living on farms in the countryside. Inovations such as spectacles, telescopes, and microscopes are fairly common (though expensive) thanks to the development of new manufacturing technology. Humans in Regina are polytheistic, meaning they worship a pantheon of gods. (Religion will not be a major focus of the novel, out of respect to the beliefs of the readers.)
Ice-Sprites: Our main character is one. So what is an Ice-Sprite anyhow? Regina scholars debate whether they are: 1. A species entirely separate from sprites or 2. a branch off of their smaller “cousins.” According to their folklore, Ice-Sprites came from a land in the far north where it was cold and snowy all year. Explorers to the far north, have reported massive ice structures which may have once been home to the Ice-Sprites. After a year of particularly hard snows and famine, the Ice-Sprites split into tribes and migrated south, settling in the land that would become northern Regina. They were eventually absorbed into the realm and coexist with humans. In fact Ice-Sprites outnumber humans in some of the northern provinces.
Physically, Ice-Sprites are as tall as humans and generally wiry. Their skin color varies from white with a tinge of blue to dark blue. Dark blue Ice-Sprites are the rarest and considered the most beautiful. Hair color tend to mirror skin color. They have life spans of 100+ years. Among humans Ice-Sprites are viewed as warriors and to some extent saviors thanks to their actions during to the Necromancers’ War 500 years earlier. When I look back over my drafts, I realize that I may have subconsciously based my fictional species off the Jotuns or Frost Giants of Norse mythology (which goes to show that I read far too much).
Sprites: This a species that will not directly appear in the novel owing to being driven to extinction 500 years previously. Sprites were the original inhabitants in the land of Regina. As might expected of a small species, sprites tended to live in colonies of tree house. They were driven off by humans generally because of their penchant for thievery and mischief (Who wants to have a bucket of paint fall on their heads and/or have silverware stolen on a daily basis). Eventually peace was achieved when humans began avoiding sprite inhabited areas of the forest. Sprites did not involve themselves in the Necromancers’ War, which they never took seriously. Unfortunately, the necromancers hunted them down for sport and the species was completely annihilated.
Sprites were only 3-4 feet tall and delicately built. They had wings like those of dragonflies. Sprites had generally pale coloring (blond hair and light eyes) and lifespans as long as 500-600 years. Their bones were hollow, which made them ineffective fighters.
Elves: A species entirely foreign to the continent. Elves arrived in the area that would be Regina long before humans came to the area, fleeing a disaster (natural or otherwise) that destroyed their homeland. On arrival, they established the kingdom of Aquella and a city of the same name on the coast. Aquella reached its peak 200 years later, then entered a period of civil war. Eventually, the elves split into different factions. One group journeyed west to the great forests and became known as the Wood-Elves. Another faction migrated south to found the High-Elf kingdom of Tirion. The High-Elves taught humans how to build stronger structures and taught them magic.
Elves are generally half a foot to a foot taller than humans and have human skin, hair, and eye colors (Yes, there are elves with African skin color and hair texture). The most distinguishable trait of the Elves is their pointy ears. The length of an Elven life span is unknown and they are (by mortal standards) immortal. Elves are monotheistic.
Did anyone else manage to read the Silmarillion from cover to cover?
Not all who wander are lost.
Hi there. Thank you, whoever you are, for reading this. Ink Blotter, as the name may imply, is about literature, and as the description implies, will also contain a great deal of geek, nerd, and science topics. If you were brought here by the lit tag and were expecting some hipster, that’s all right, geeks and nerds tend to be the nicest people you’ll meet, so long as no one brings up the Star Wars vs. Star Trek debate. I also run another blog, which is my novel Shadows of War. Information about the world of the novel can be found here as well.