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In this world there is a large plateau completely isolated from life other than flying creatures which is mostly composed of rocky grass and badlands although does have some large patches of solid stone jutting from it. Living on this is a species of large humanoids (roughly 7-8 feet tall) completely composed of stone with human level intelligence and a lifespan of about two hundred and fifty years each having 3-4 children in that span. Their diet consists of small amounts of metals and gems of which the plateau has plenty and whose deposits they build their settlements on or near. Their technology level is roughly that of 10th century Europe. Remember that the biology or lack thereof is not an issue and that they have no access to outside trade and culture.

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What would their social structure look like? Architecture? Religion?

EDIT: The gems are more rare and more expensive.

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closed as too broad by Cyn says make Monica whole, We are Monica., Christmas Snow, John, kingledion Apr 26 at 21:30

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ If these creatures reproduce sexually, then on average each individual needs to have at least 2 children, or else the population will dwindle and go extinct. $\endgroup$ – Nuclear Wang Apr 26 at 18:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Nuclear Wang Good point! I forgot to think of that. They should probably have three or four per couple to properly sustain the population considering not all of them will have children. $\endgroup$ – red sky squid Apr 26 at 18:35
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    $\begingroup$ At the moment your question asks for a very broad and opinion based answer. It is entirely up to you the author what the culture and society are like - the answer as it stands could be anything. Please edit your question to describe a distinct porblem for the community to solve that can have an identifiable best answer. VTC. Too broad. $\endgroup$ – We are Monica. Apr 26 at 18:49
  • $\begingroup$ I presume "Rocky" would be a very popular name in this culture. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Apr 26 at 18:53
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I would start out with all the stuff you don't want to think about.What does their poop look like, for example. Does it stink? Is it an oil like substance? Is it used in anyway? Is there a difference between the elite's poop and the poor rock people's poop? Do they use toilets with plumbing? or just chuck it off the edge?

These questions will help you decide whether all rock people are equal, or perhaps help you think about how the society runs. If everyone is equal and gets the right amount of food, everyone's poops would generally look the same. If gems give more nutrients then metal, I can almost guarantee a being with human intelligence would capitalize on that resource and rise to an upper class. While the malnourished poor would resent them.

Low reproductive rates would also likely create friction if the society was more barbaric then "civilized". For example if the female rock people can have a child at 25 and 225, the men would likely be intensely fighting for the right to reproduce. Almost all ancient civilizations worshiped fertility gods, and I don't see why these guys would be different. In fact I could see their worship of fertility Gods being amplified because of the small opportunity to pass on genes.

A part of their society should address why they never leave the plateau as well, whether they are the city on a hill of legend, or their God lives beneath their feet in the mountain.

Are they barbaric? If so, cultural norms would be vastly different then if they weren't. For example, a barbaric tribe from 10th century Europe is likely to not eat with forks and knives. They also likely wouldn't have in-depth conversations at meals and may might over the female of the species to be the most likely to have their genes carried on. On the other hand, if they are culturally advanced, they may be closer to representing the Ogier in the Wheel of Time books.

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I do not think medieval civilization is an easy expectation. The medieval town is based on agriculture and large groups of people coming together to make permanent settlements. But... Metal and Gems are non-renewable resources. This means the more of them that get together in one place, the faster they will destroy their food source forcing them to abandon their colony. Instead, they are more likely to form a tribal society with temporary domiciles and small family units in mind.

But, even nomads can have medieval technology; so, instead of towns, they probably live in medieval wagon caravans. They have small forges, plenty of tools, and other things they pack up into their wagons when they are on the go. Their "buildings" are mostly tents, collapsible structures, or simple hovels that they can build quickly. The plateau would need either coal or wood to run their forges to achieve medieval tech as well. Since what you described makes wood sound rare, I'd expect coal to be a major resource, and most of their stuff be made of metal.

As for religion, they would not experience "renewal" the way that we do where every spring we see new food, and new life all around us. This would probably give them a very temporary attitude towards nature where they believe all things come to and end, and when something is gone it is gone forever. This could lead to a stronger bias towards Atheism or Deism without an afterlife. If they believe in Gods, they would probably believe in a Ragnarok like ending to the world.

This does not mean they would necessarily be unhappy and melancholy though. For the most part, their lives would be long and easy until the distant future when metal and gems are no longer so commonplace. Since they don't need to farm or hunt, they'd have lots of time for art, entertainment, and forming strong family bonds... or they could just spend most of their time sitting around like rocks watching the world go by.

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One think they would worry about is staying clean... Let me explain this strange answer: the biggest enemy of a rock is erosion. One of them is plants growing on rocks. They wander in search of gems. They venture through forests and deserts. They know that many plants are capable of setting roots even in stone outcrops. We have acorns figs and mulberry trees as an example. Once a seed establishes itself, its roots will slowly but surely degrade the rock. The smaller the seed, the more they should worry. So, they spend some time grooming and plucking-out seedlings of each other's backs. They must stay away from water for the same reason: plants and moss will have a good time! A green one is a sign of neglect.

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ok. if I read your info sheet thing correctly, and read your question correctly. let's say that they are fully mature at age 62. this might be when they have their first child, then 62 years later would be when they have their second. growing/having moss on you would be respected and probably taken as a sign of age and leadership. the eldest creatures might have long mossy beards... continuing on though, they might have their society sectioned off into different working classes, maybe some of them spent all day looking for gemstones, and I can assume that the parents of each child would raise them on their own. or maybe raising a child would be a community project, after all it takes a village to raise a child, or at least that's what I hear:) another job for those who are in-between children might be maintaining the village. it wouldn't surprise me if they worshipped an earth goddess or god. I hope this helped.

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