My world is collaborative post between me and my friend.

So, There is one nation that I'm fleshing out and it was overall a fun but I got writer's block.

Most of the evil shadow empire have corrupted nobles and hordes of corpses doing their bidding. But my empire was empire of explorers and salvages. They had toured the library of Shaokia even before they had settled in what OTL vinland was located. They have replicated Shaokkian's castle in the frozen bay to emulate the architecture of long vacant Shaokia, They even broke their ethic forboding slavery and war once just to force the old Shaokia residents to reside in their home. There was a secret lich lords and malicious shaman lurking around, but the empire was born from the hospitality of the shadowlanders and they will never let those magician corrupt their empire. They were good in general.

Enough of that, on to the important questions.

Since they were know as huge admirer of southern culture and have a rather soft policy toward westerner sky-wanderers, how can I make them look strong toward the westward wanderer? Their manpower is low and their Shaokian friends are supposed to be elevated highborn, who don't dirty their hands with blood.

Our world is low fantasy (The Last Avatar's bending ISOT to stone age) and there are no mystic beasts to tame for warriors. The wall is out of question since it would be too costly of expenditure for Arctic empire. The sorcerers were rare and even if they assisted in war, it would only be of help when their undeads were supporting living units.

Shaokia=Cahokia(Notable for building settlements strectching from Appalachia to Miluakwe)

Shadowbinder=Inuit(Notable for preserving the culture of Shaokia while retaining their own culture, And their colonies in greenland)

sky-wanderer=Various first nation migratory tribes(Notable for destroying Shaokian civilization and their strong sense of honors)

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ VTC OT:POB. According to our help center, questions where "every answer is equally valid" are off-topic. How will you judge between "paint their faces to look mean!" and "post garrisons at every bridge the westward wander crosses!" Please review primarily opinion-based for details. Also, this question is really confusing (what's a western wanderer?). Too much of the wrong details and too few of the right ones. What does "Since they were know as huge southerner-boo" even mean? $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Feb 17, 2019 at 11:11
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I read the description and I'm more confused than enlightened. The third paragraph just uses some in-world lingo which doesn't mean much to me. Nor do the referenced events. They created a frozen castle? What does that even mean? They broke their code of conduct? What is that code? A leech lord? Are the shadowlanders and the shadow empire different things? I really don't know. Then we have even more things - TLA (The Last Airbender?), ISOT (???). And why did the zombies suddenly appear in the last sentence? What even is that "shadowrealm" from the title? $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Feb 17, 2019 at 13:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch what are "salvages" and what is a "leech lord"? You've edited these from, respectively "salvgers" and "lich lord" which is two terms I'm familiar with. The former is a person who salvages - extracts usable materials from a thing that's presumably beyond repair. What they get is called "a salvage" but I don't think "an empire of explorers and materials found" makes much sense in context. A "lich" is an undead magician. Comes from "lich(e)" - corpse. A "leech" is something I've very seldom seen a "lich" called in some fiction. Although it could be a parasitic worm. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Feb 17, 2019 at 13:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm a bit surprised that this question was deemed to be one where every answer would be equally valid. I thought through quite a few possible answers and didn't include them in my proposal because they seemed like they were clearly not valid. Such as "the nation could have engineered becoming the country everyone uses to host their bank accounts, like the Swiss." I mean, the Swiss used that technique, and it's proved effective - but it wouldn't be against nomadic tribes. $\endgroup$
    – Ed Grimm
    Feb 18, 2019 at 6:01
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @EdGrimm as a matter of fact, the Mongols, of all people were the first to introduce banknotes as a currency that was valid and accepted all across their empire. Before that the currency was made of the precious material it was backed from - like gold. Or people would just barter, of course. With paper money you could exchange goods for the promise of a gold or whatever backed the currency. And it made trading much easier since traders didn't have to carry as much gems, gold, silver, etc. Mongols are famously nomadic, so I can easily see fiction where there is even more banking involved. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Feb 20, 2019 at 6:32

2 Answers 2


They all look like TOTAL BADASSES!

BADASS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVQb_pbWDYA

People are tall; 2.5 meters average. Crazy buff, even the kids, with horrifying tattoos. Also other sorts of painful looking body mods. And these people shout everything they say, because they are hard of hearing from the constant banging of metal things together. Visitors are initiated by the frequent, public sex acts between all and any members of society; these seem violent and they are certainly enthusiastic, but always consensual and they are one of the bonds that hold this society together.

Most terrifying however is the body odor of these people - an indescribable funk something like burning cat pee. In the city it is concealed somewhat by all of the actual burning cat pee.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ An entire race of libidinous technovikings with low inhibitions and a penchant for body art? Awesome. $\endgroup$
    – Joe Bloggs
    Feb 17, 2019 at 14:03
  • $\begingroup$ Wasnt expecting a Viking, But i will consider this. Mainly because having buff tibetian seer surrounded by wolfs might be intersting for my friends. $\endgroup$ Feb 17, 2019 at 16:00
  • $\begingroup$ 2.5m average height, but human? OMG, that looks so intimidating, but those poor people! (If this confuses you, just look up the threads in this SE about how tall people could get.) $\endgroup$
    – Ed Grimm
    Feb 18, 2019 at 5:46

If you just want them to look strong to one side,

  1. Rumors. These won't be effective against everybody forever, but it can be effective for a surprisingly long time. Maybe the wanderers are greatly intimidated by the Shaokia, despite the lack of actual threat?

  2. They have some common disease(s) that the wanderers have no real immune response to. Wanderers who get exposed to these diseases usually die, so resistances build very slowly. This incidentally could be how rumors would get started, which would then outlive the deadliness of said diseases (or possibly the prevalence).

  3. They're actually really friendly towards the wanderers - far more friendly than the wanderers would appreciate. The leaders of the wanderers have found that the southerners will welcome their whole tribe, causing most of them to leave their nomadic lives and no longer follow the orders of their tribal leaders. To maintain their control of the tribes, the tribal leaders have learned to steer clear.

  4. Wandering tribes tend to follow food supplies. Maybe the creatures the wanderers hunt for food don't handle the climate/terrain of the pacifists, or the foodstuffs they eat just don't grow there.

  5. They happen to have a natural supply of something that the side in question is weak towards. This could be mundane items, magical items, or even artifacts. Maybe the wanderers tend to have some allergies?

If you want a mostly weak side to be strong in general

  1. They are home to a number of heroes. This one could be targetted towards one or more countries in particular depending on the heroes and their number.

  2. Mercenary connections.

  3. Naturally imposing terrain with few desirable resources, especially if the people of the country in question are significantly better at traversing that terrain than the people in the surrounding countries, and if the people could specialize in using normally outlandish weapons that just happen to be ideally suited for their environment. For example, Switzerland.

  4. The people of the land aren't really fierce. But the animals of the nation are amazingly deadly. The people just happen to know how to live with them. Maybe the animals are very unnerved by the Shaokian?

  • $\begingroup$ To be honest, The rumor might not work as wanderer didnt even have basic understanding of shadowland cultures. The disease/darkness preventing them from penerating into the heartland or even enter the shadowrealm seem good but then i need to justify a thousand shaokian living inside shadowrealm unharmed. The lack of supplies preventing them from settling inside and the soft-policy was actually implemented but some still try to impose their might on the darkners. I also liked the magic options but magical-imbuded item is much rarer than magic users so unless they had witch produce it, Hardly. $\endgroup$ Feb 18, 2019 at 10:09

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .