Creating Culture in The Wraith

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Happy Weekend! How is everyone doing? I’m having a good Saturday morning so far, I had my coffee and then went out to water our flowers and discovered a bird’s nest in one of our plants. That was a surprise!

Today I’d like to discuss..

An important aspect of my books and how I went about creating the culture and world that the demons reside in. I had so much fun coming up with this culture. It isn’t explored a lot in book one, but it’s a huge part of book two. Since book two isn’t finished yet, the culture may evolve some as I explore the world more, but I just wanted to share what sorts of things I think about when creating a fantasy culture.

Firstly, the culture or people themselves needs a name. You also need social structure, and to consider whether their society has a class system or not. If so, how would this affect the individuals in each class, and their relations to one another? Their economy? What sort of social system runs this world, and what languages are spoken? Is there a religion? How do the different gender roles and ages interact with each other? There are also things to consider such as leadership and politics, geography and its effects on the people, and more.

It sounds like a lot, but it’s important to know these things even if they aren’t shown in the book. There’s even more I haven’t covered and probably haven’t thought of myself, but I’d like to share what I have so far about the culture and world of demons in my upcoming book The Wraith.

The world of the Yoruta, more commonly known as demons.

The Yoruta are divided into two types, the Erlaubi and the Rux. These two categories of demons live separately from each other and rarely interact. Their languages are similar enough that they can communicate if needed, but there are misunderstandings. The dialect the Rux speak is called Ruta, and the dialect of the Erlaubi is Yoca.

The Rux demons are what Dana and the Order members are more familiar with. Their power are physical-based and they are often baser demons, reacting in more animalistic fashion to aggressors. Some of them stray into the world of humans in search of sustenance or else on orders to target an individual. The leadership of their region have targeted humans in the past, but the reasons aren’t given to the soldiers. They simply do as they are told.

The region the Rux live in is mostly barren, with small pockets of flourishing nature surrounding an oasis. Their towns are structured around these, with the fortress bordering the largest one. Outside of the borders of the fortress, the Rux have marketplaces, villages, and all of the other makings of civilization. Their economy isn’t doing too great currently and relies on a mixture of coin and the bartering of goods and services. The main occupations are farmers, builders, and weavers. Some also dedicate themselves to maintaining their villages through leadership, cleanup and waste disposal, and healing.

Inside the wall however, is where the real power lies. The ruler, or Daeheru, resides in the fortress along with his advisors and council. There is a barracks on the grounds where soldiers are housed, as well as a farm adjacent the water where crops and livestock are raised for the fortress. The soldiers themselves are used mostly for keeping the peace and enforcing the collection of taxes, however they do occasionally have to put down rebellions.

The succession of power and title of Daeheru (Lord) is passed down either be appointment by the current ruler, or else taken by force. The Daeheru’s power is limited to the region of the Rux –The Erlaubi have their own leadership and laws.

The Erlaubi consider themselves a higher order of demons than their counterparts. They are physically more appealing, to humans at least, and their powers are more mentally based. Because of this, empathy is a common trait and they have more peace than the Rux—their economy is even an approximation of human Socialism. For professions, there are a few that tend their crops and maintain infrastructure but the majority consider themselves to be artists, political ambassadors, or teachers. Hobbies like weaving are common, but are not considered primary professions. The region they reside in contains plentiful water sources and has much more vegetation and animal life, which also makes it so they don’t need to struggle as much as their brethren. This breeds resentment from the few Rux who know anything about the differences between their regions.

Despite their differences, the Rux and the Erlaubi share most cultural values. The staggering majority of Yoruta feel that physical sex is irrelevant- some individuals lay eggs and others fertilize. Elders raise offspring until their adolescent years, at which point the parents take over and teach them about the world and trades. There is very little religion to speak of, and not much prejudice over races or power traits aside from the main division of Rux and Erlaubi.

One thing that all Yoruta have in common is that they are private about their true name. A name is generally made up to use with others, and the polite form of inquiry is some variation of “What can I call you?” This is because knowing the demon’s true name gives power over them—they can be invoked in rituals and spells and weaker ones can even be forced to do the user’s bidding. The sharing of a demon’s true name is a sign of the utmost trust.

That’s all I have so far! I’d love some feedback on what I have so far on this culture. What do you all think? Do you have any questions or suggestions? Comment below!