Tuesday, June 23, 2009

You and Your World: Race/Species

It should come as no surprise that many of us here aren't human. So today, let's talk about our race and/or species. What are you? What are the common characteristics of your people? In what ways are you similar or different from others of your kind? Does race or ethnicity play a big role in your life?

Authors, feel free to add your own comments about your reasons for choosing or creating your characters' race or species.

Let's embrace character diversity and understanding!


Kalila said...

I'm a djinn, of course. Djinns in their natural form are immortal, but we can take on many other forms and in some of them, we become susceptible to the ordinary dangers of mortals. If a djinn were foolish enough to morph into a fly and someone swatted him, he would die.

I have to be very careful when I'm in mortal form.

Nevin said...

And don't forget to tell them, Kalila, that djinns in their natural form are large, lumpy, and gray.

Kalila said...

We are not, Nevin! Are you trying to embarrass me or something?

Tell them about yourself if you need to run your mouth.

Nevin said...

I'm just an ordinary fairy. Not terribly special. I'm different from my fairy friends and family, though, in that I like human music. As a result, I'm a bit of an outcast. It makes me sad, but I'm very fortunate to have such good friends among other species.

Goran Njiric said...

Human here. There aren't any aliens anywhere in our solar system. Most of the sightings are crazies trying to make sense of orbital debris.

I'm... human, I guess. Ethnicities tend to be non-issues out here in the void. People who are stupid about things like that tend to quickly find themselves stuck in one place. Especially if you run afoul of an irritable captain who disagrees with you.

I guess, if we're using Earth-based classifications for humans, my father's family came from somewhere in Eastern Europe, hence my name. My mother came from one of the early colonies in LEO, but her mother is from, um, the Caribbean? Some sort of island. That explains why I'm as dark as I am.

All this stuff probably still matters on Earth. I hear you can still get shot down there for being too dark-skinned in the wrong place. I guess we're all still just mad apes on a mud ball and in a few rock cans.

Jason said...

I'm jumping in here before Aidan because he won't explain us properly at all. Besides, talking about our true nature to humans is High Treason and I would rather bear that burden than let him do it.

We're demons, born of fire rather than water like humans. The first of our kind is Maliquium, a demon of extreme power, but we mated with humans as we got to know them and it weakened most of us. (My own wife was human.) We look very like humans and we now are born the conventional way, er, human-style.

Most of us run on hatred, so we have strict codes of conduct, laws, and a network of alliances to keep our natural tendancies in check. Aidan doesn't understand it, can't understand it, because he isn't someone who needs it. He's different.

Because Aidan is so pure, first son of a first son straight back to Maliquium, he is a very powerful Seer with the full array of the powers of our kind. His twin Kaelin is equally powerful but in different ways. His strength and fighting skills are beyond what most of ours are, honed in hand-to-hand cage fights with demons when he was undercover with the enemy.

Aidan however, is...loving. It's the only way I can think to describe it. And he inspires love among all of us, especially me. To me, he is nearly my own child because I was Sworn to his protection at his birth.

We are essentially immortal, but we can die, if we're killed. It requires intention, though. We can't drown, or die in a car accident, or from falling off a building--unless we're pushed. Intention is key to our death.

Our enemies are our close kin, but we refer to them in the Latin Simulacra because they are bodiless. They can only take form by possessing a human. It's sad when it happens because the human will die from it.

Lazaro said...

I'm a zombie. I eat brains and play drums. What else do you want to know?

Ricky said...

That's probably enough information for most folks around here, Lazaro. Thanks for sharing.

I'm just an ordinary human, American variety.

Anonymous said...


My mom is from Philadephia. My dad is from Wisconson.


shy said...

'Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven.'

~Yiddish Proverb

Anonymous said...

I'm human. Lituanian.

Aidan said...

Yeah, but where are you from, Shadow?

Aidan said...

Sheesh, Jason, I hate when you guys talk about me like that. Makes me sound like a sissy.

Marc said...

The last thing you are is craven, Aidan. We all know that. Who among us has faced down an interrogation by Maliquium's lieutenant and lived to tell the tale?

Kaelin said...

Where were you born, Goran?

Anonymous said...

Hi Aidan,

I live in Los Angeles.

Where do you live?


uliee ee said...

uliee ee:

I was born under the water...

(my word verification is : splas)


Goran Njiric said...

Burroughs Colony, at the Mars-Sun L3 point. I didn't leave until recently. Granted, I'm 67 and far too old for this 'adventure' stuff, but it was a good offer.

Nevin said...

Marc, Aidan sounds very brave. Ricky was brave when he had to face down the gods, but we suspect it was only because he assumed he would die and had nothing to lose.

I'm rather afraid of the gods, myself. They're not nearly as terrifying as an angry, close-minded human, though. At least with deities, you know where you stand.

Aidan said...

I live in So Cal, but I can't share exactly where on a public forum. We're close enough to see each other though.

It must be why you fade in and out of my perception so frequently. LA is so...noisy. And there's lots of ground grumbling, too, going on all the time. The ground is not conducive to Sight.

Ricky said...

Thanks for the left-handed compliment, Nevin. I think.

Goran, what you do sounds interesting. I was really into space and science when I was a kid, but once I found out the best my government could manage was orbiter shuttles that tend to explode, I decided space adventure wasn't for me. Not in this lifetime, at any rate.

Besides, managing a group like Maelstrom is about as much adventure as I can handle. I'm beginning to think my dad was right that a quiet life is best.

FLOWER said...

I'm angry - quiet, self-destructive
so humanly not humanely - angry.

Pelwyn said...

Our people are of a race called the Hanorja, (huh-nor-uh) who dwell in the land between the Dagger Mountains and the Cobalt Sea. We are shorter and slighter than humans, less magical than elves, and not in the least like dwarves.

For one thing, our men (called hamen) have no beards, and for another, we loathe being underground. Although we are fond of speculation as to our kinship with other races, all we know for sure is that we are Hanorja, and that our ancestors came over the mountains in ages past.

The magic in our race is concentrated mostly in the line of the Kings. Melbrinor, my husband-to-be, is the first born of the King, and is extremely gifted. Heaven has given the Kings these abilities to protect and rule our people. They are also much taller than the rest of us, and can ride horses.

Most Hanorja don't know how to use the magic they have. It often is overlooked or unused. Mainly we use it for hiding, protecting, and nurturing.

We co-exist with nightstalkers, unicorns, sprites and haggiths. We mainly keep ourselves to ourselves.

Nevin said...

Hi, Pelwyn! I would be happy to help you with your magic sometime. It's important to develop one's latent abilities and live up to one's fullest potential!

Vic said...

Isn't that just like a fairy, talking about "fullest potential" and the like. Figures.

I'm a vampire. Predator. Creature of the night. I can't go out in daytime unless I'm covered up, and even that doesn't help for long. I'll do it if it's a matter of urgency, but most matters just aren't that urgent to me.

I'm not one of those vampires that kill. I would never destroy a source of food on purpose. Some vampires are more destructive than others, but humans are mostly safe around me. At worst, a young lady might be a little anemic after I get done with her, but it's nothing a little rest and a few good meals won't fix. I need to feed frequently, though. Being in a rock band is great for attracting meals, I mean fans.

I've been told I'm too surly and should be "nicer" to people. What kind of predator would I be if I went around wishing everybody a nice day? I'll do it if the fans and reporters are around, but give me a break. Vampires don't have to be nice.

You guys are mostly okay, though. So, uh...have a nice day.

Pelwyn said...

Thank you for your kind offer, Nevin. I may take you up on it. I don't mind admitting that I am more than a bit apprehensive at being married to someone so overwhelmingly gifted. How could I ever dare disagree with him on anything, for example? Not that he is in any way ungracious to me, but he's always right, and has so many talents.

I feel more than a bit nonplussed, but I love him so, I'm willing to risk it.

Vic, do you feed only on humans, or other races as well?

Ginger said...

I am completely, fallibly human. Which is both a disappointment and an incredible gift.

Flower, why are you so angry? It makes me sad to hear you say that. You are too young to have all those feelings bottled up inside.

Aidan said...

Thanks Nevin. Marc really makes it sound like more than it was. Since they were electrocuting me, I figured I was going to die anyway. I sure wasn't going to give anything away about Kaelin and ALSO die. That would've been stupid.

Goran Njiric said...

Ricky, that makes sense. The early years of space flight were fraught with all kinds of terrors. Now it's a bit easier to get around, and far less dangerous.

There's always virtue in a quiet life. I had one until just this year. It's worth the risk when a good opportunity is presented. Especially if it's the sort of offer you only get once.

FLOWER said...


Long story - no - short story.
Bottled up beats vented although Kalila might not agree.

Gabby said...

I just wrote a whole thing telling about myself and it vanished. S--t! Writing's not easy for me. So I'll just say I'm black and shiny as a panther and as hard to see in the dark. I'm fifteen, only five seven so far, but real fast, and "whippy". I can jump anything and between rooftops, which cops hated. I can fight like the devil too. Haven't spoken since the murder.

Oh yeah, I have cigarette burns everywhere and scars on my back. Thanks, Ma!

FLOWER said...

Abilities-much Ginger!
How can you train yourself to do that jumping stuff - I won't tell Egg - he'd try it - course first we'd have to find two houses close enough together.
No-one should be allowed to hurt you like that.

Vic said...

Pelwyn, I only feed on humans, as a general rule. I've tried other species but haven't been very excited about the experience.

I've never tried Hanorja, though. Ricky, do we have any gigs booked near the Dagger Mountains?

Ricky said...

Not at this time, Vic. And it'll probably stay that way.

Candy said...

Pelwyn, Is there any chance I could become a Hanorja after I finish this journey of mine? It sounds super and I'm not really very big. I would love to ride horses and marry a prince. I wouldn't mind leaving off all my Goth stuff for that.
I would love to do paintings of your world!

Pelwyn said...

Candy, I don't know if you could *become* Hanorja but I you could certainly live here if you wanted. Only most of the furniture might be a little small for you. Mel complains about that all the time.

Most people would think you were a princess and treat you like one, because you are taller than us. We greatly value artists.

But, yes, I'm afraid the goth look would have to go. We love bright, cheerful colors and patterns. We even paint them on our houses!

Aidan said...

I'm definitely too tall to do Hanorja. I'm 6'6".

It's funny though, the Archives say something about Seers going to "different worlds." I always thought it was a metaphor but now I'm not so sure...

Pelwyn said...

Aidan, you're not too tall for a prince. You are a prince, after all.

Aidan said...

Oh well...that. Yeah. Just ignore that. Sheesh.

Marc said...

He's all red now and throwing things. He only throws things when he's well and truly embarrassed.

Well done, Pelwyn! And might I say your avatar is particularly lovely?

Pelwyn said...

Why, thank you, Marc! Although I'm very sorry to have embarassed Aidan. What do you look like?

Nevin, what characteristics does an "ordinary fairy" have? What do you look like? Where were you born?

Gabby, what does your unicorn look like? I wonder if it is at all similar to ours. Are there any other creatures in your forest?

You sound a lot like a nightstalker. I don't mean that in a bad way. Marenya has found a tame one called Nighfala. She is a very beautiful, sleek, black and powerful mountain lion. The farmers call them nightstalkers because they take livestock at night. She doesn't talk either.

uliee ee what kind of creature are you? Where do you live? What do you look like? You sound like a very playful being.

Ginger said...


I think you might visit Pelwyn's country on your travels without knowing it. I was just reading an article in the paper that the University of Pennsylvania Anthropology Department has identified some of its pottery as having been created by a previously unknown people group in North America.

They thought that the pottery designs had been brought to the New World by European settlers, and been copied and changed by native peoples, but now they think it is a distinct group from any known Indian or European tribe and they don't know where they came from or what happened to them. All they know is that they were a little smaller than other humans.

But perhaps they weren't human, after all.

They are contacting museums around the world to see if they can identify more pieces.

Pelwyn said...

Oh, I guess everyone has gone to bed. Good night, everyone!

Jason said...

Hi Pelwyn,

Marc is my younger brother and he's suddenly too shy to answer.

He's got lighter hair than mine, almost blond from the sun, and wavy. He often wears it tied back with a bandanna. He has two earrings in the cartilage of his ear and some tattoos: a peace sign, a rising sun over his heart, a spider on his back, Aidan's name in Farsi scripted across his spine, and of course our Celtic Knot on the inside of his bicep. He's more flexible than built, rather leaner than me and not as tall. (I'm as tall as Aidan.)

He's really tan and has my dad's grey eyes. And he's actually quite kind, for a demon.

Nevin said...

Pelwyn, I'm from England's (oops...it's the UK now, isn't it?) Lake District. I'm pale, blond, and I sparkle a little. I've tried to correct the problem with sparkling, but my magic isn't powerful enough. The band has a makeup artist who helps me with it so I can be photographed properly.

I don't have wings, although I could create the illusion of wings if I wanted to. When I'm pretending to be a human, I like to wear eyeglasses. I feel very intellectual when I wear them.

Oh, and I have an occasional spot of trouble with my weight. Nothing serious, but humans make some truly delicious desserts and I find them a bit hard to resist. I really do love pastries and shortbread!

I'm going to tell one of our nice administrators that we should talk about food tomorrow!

Gabby said...

Pelwyn, Shhh! We can't let anyone know about my Unicorn. It's cool that you have them too, Mine has a huge, heavy mane I hang on to when he lets me ride him. His tail touches the ground and his fetlocks are so hairy that when he moves it looks like he's wading through moonbeams. His feet are like a stag's and the horn in his forehead has sparkles radiating from it, maybe like Nevin says he has. But the main things are his eyes = huge and dark and kind. He talks to me with them and I understand. Sometimes he's so white he glows and makes me squint, other times he's like mist and as soft to touch. I'm different when I'm with him. Not me at all and it scares me.
Maybe he would like to meet yours - But he mustn't leave here.
The Mystical Wood has every kind of animal, monkeys, deer. Tigers. They're always playing with each other and no one ever hurts anyone else. All kinds of birds too, and snakes. They play with me too and make me laugh out loud.
When I sneak back into the "Home" I have to forget how wonderful it was- and be tough and mean again and it scares me that someday I won't be able to and the boys will kill me.

Naomi Rochester said...

I do not seem to belong anywhere. I am of mixed parentage--my mother was American and my father was Japanese. That's simply not acceptable in either culture--at least not in 1890.

I'm rejected in both societies. I've been called a mutt--and that's the nicest thing people have said to me; most call me things much worse or they just stare, their disgust plainly written on their faces.

I often don't know how to identify myself. I was raised in Western society but my mother is dead now and I've been sent to live with a family far north of Tokyo, removed from anything I once knew. It's a difficult transition and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to identify myself with any part of my heritage.