Building a World, Part 1 – Races

I’m going to try something new here and do a few posts about creating a fleshed out world for my Tale of Enki universe. I’ll go into detail about some of the core aspects that I considered in regards to world building and address how I came up with idea as well as how they evolved.

the first topic I’m going to tackle is something that an awful lot of good fantasy universes have and that’s a variety of races. In Tale of Enki, I’ve got six core races with five of those races being playable characters in Tale of Enki: Pilgrimage. The races are: enkians, rocklopes, vulpah, sheepah, ogres and lokor.

The enkians are basically a hybrid between half-elves and ancient Greeks. Rocklopes are rocky, tribalistic cyclopes. Vulpah are humanoid foxes who are very nature focused. Sheepah are humanoid sheep who come from tribes of traders and tradesmen (carpenters, builders, etc.). Ogre are humanoid pigs who have been corrupted by a brutal deity that have since managed to progress back towards some form of civilisation. Lokor are demons banished from their home plane by their creator god who have been forced to make a new life in the world of Enki.

Tale of Enki Cast

L-R: Drusilla the lokor, Ka-gu the vulpah, Peachy the peachbug, Gargan the ogre, Rook the enkian and Twostone the rocklopes.

I went with six races because that m.atched the races available in the first Baldur’s Gate. That’s honestly the only real reason other than I like it as a nice round number. The first two races I devised were enkians and sheepah who appeared in one of my early platformer games, Land of Enki. On a side note, that series share the name Enki and some of my early ideas come from there, but it’s a separate universe. Enkians were initially envisioned as being similar to Hylians from Zelda as Land of Enki was a Zelda II tribute. Sheepah exist because I wanted some mind of silly merchant for the game and came up with a humanoid sheep-man called Sheepadeep who spun off into a whole race. They’ve largely remained unchanged from my initial plan.

Rocklopes were planned to appear as a race of helpful NPCs  in the unreleased Land of Enki 3 and my roguelike, Enki Adventures, that became abandoned due to the programmer having a busy uni schedule and then my focus on Tale of Enki. The rocklopes have some influence from Zelda’s gorons, but later they became more like fantasy barbarians in the style of Conan with a bit of typical dwarven culture to them. Ogres were also created for the roguelike and they were more or less naked pig-men that chucked spears at you. Over time I transitioned them into wearing clothes. A good decision!

Junior.png

Junior, one of the rocklopes designed for my old roguelike project.

I wanted a demonic-looking race as well as one who fit the dark elf/drow type of aesthetic somewhat. The lokor were born from this. They’re typically isolationist ethnonationalists with very little interest in anything besides themselves and their own. They’ve been split into two with the larger group being the aforementioned ethnonationlists and the smaller group being civic nationalists in another smaller country, but more about that another time. That’s one of the more complex races for sure and it’s somewhat reflective of the modern right wing. Both sides have plenty of valid arguments to be made, but it brings them into conflict with their own kind.

That then brings us to the vulpah. They were the latest addition and were devised as NPCs for my roguelike, but now they’ve expanded to a race that was once at the top of Enki, but have since been beaten down and their numbers have dwindled. They’ve since succumbed to their own degeneracy with interests of the flesh and substance abuse running rampant throughout their population. They’ve managed to trap themselves in a spiral of self-defeat so it’s going to be very interesting writing future lore/games that show them trying to break that cycle. Will they be able to come back strong or will they end up wiped out?

There’s a lot of conflict between the races, but also a lot of respect for various aspects. The rocklopes are probably the closes to being universally well liked because they generally keep to themselves and defend their borders, but have no desire to expand those borders. Ogres are predominantly seen as the villains because of their savage history and worship of a god of brutality, but most are decent folk. Enkians are both loved for their many advances in technology, the arts and magic, but they’re reviled in other ways because they’re part of an expanding empire. Of course this is all generalisation and there’s a lot of complexity to each of these races, but that gives you the general overview.

That covers my first article on how I’ve started building my world. I’m next going to touch on deities. It was the next step I took in building my world so it only fits that it’ll be my next topic.

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