I just watched this video from Shadiversity about implications of monsters and magic in a fantasy setting. Ha said a lot about how society could be, but it makes me think: how can the society "kickstart" in a hostile environment?

Imagine this: a world full of animals and plants, with a ecosystem like ours, and monsters with no ecosystem at all, they just appear, destroy things, and live until the moment when some animal or other monster kills it, so they disappear. Humans and other intelligent beings live as hunter-gatherers.

So, how can those humans build settlements and develop, if large groups can be easily killed by monsters?

Note: Of course this have no right answer, I just want to imagine what do you think about the topic?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to worldbuilding. Here we prefer questions which have a right answer, and we don't answer questions aiming just at polling other's opinion. Please take the tour and visit the help center to find out more. If you can rework your question to fit our standards, it might be reopened. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Jul 12 '19 at 10:10

We live in that world.

Imagine this: a world full of animals and plants, with a ecosystem like ours. And natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, mudslides, tornadoes, and wildfires. Disasters just appear, destroy things, and continue until the moment when some other kind of natural phenomenon ends them, so they disappear. Humans and other intelligent beings live as hunter-gatherers.

We live in that world. Instead of monsters there are natural phenomena which are just as mindlessly destructive. We work around them. Sometimes we can see them coming. Sometimes they wipe us out. If the natural disasters are too destructive, life gets wiped out or moves on. If they are occasional then they can be tolerated.

If monsters are added to the mix it would be the same.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is the single best answer. I'm surprised, because upon reading the question my thought was that any possible answers would be opinion based, but no. This is very much true. $\endgroup$ – Arkenstein XII Jul 11 '19 at 23:06
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    $\begingroup$ Furthermore, anyone who has even been mauled to death by a cave bear, dismembered by a crocodile, crushed in the jaws of a hippopotamus, or gored by a woolly rhino can attest... or, would do so if they hadn't died... that we do indeed live in a world populated by monsters. $\endgroup$ – Arkenstein XII Jul 11 '19 at 23:16

If I assume this nightmare world for primitive humans has Kaiju, Minotaurs, Harpies, and Others appearing out of nowhere and eating people and animals, then I would expect the rise of civilization to be greatly slowed since large groups of people without means to protect themselves from KMH+ would invite being eaten.

But, humans, being what we are, would respond to the threat. Our stories told around the fire pit would teach us how to survive. We'd want to take in surviving peoples of tribes obliterated by KMH+ and would hear their stories.

I think we'd figured out that numbers were the key to survive and the threat to our safety. It makes take a few tries before we figured it out, but eventually, we'd figure out how to organize ourselves and camouflage our presence to be a less inviting target.

We could very well start herding animals together as diversionary food for KMH+ and similarly, if we saw that KMH+ liked to eat some plants and not others, we'd probably put effort into cultivating them so KMH+ would eat that before they went after us, particularly if we got very good at hiding.

Once we are organized and focused, then we'd either start worshiping the KMH+ or figure out how to kill them.

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First things first.   We learned to fear them.   That was too easy.   We simply fled, and scattered like sand before the winds.

Second things second.   We learned to find them.   We looked for the signs of their coming, all the better to hide from them.

Third things third.   We learned to fight them.   When we could not run and hide, we could only do or die.   Sometimes we did.

Fourth things fourth.   We learned to use them.   To craft weapons from their remnants, and "tame" the smaller to fight the larger.

Fifth things fifth.   We learned to summon them.   To discover what made them appear, and to do so when we willed.   If only the zeroth thing learned had been never to raise up what we can't put down.

Now we control the monsters.   But now we have learned this new thing called war.

Who are the real monsters?

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