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Yep, it's another Nymph-related question!

Recap: Nymphs are "born" when large amounts of residual life force (say, in a town cemetery or slaughterhouse) build up and combine with the magic bleeding into this world from an alternate reality. They are beings of nature, manifested as human women in their prime, and their clothing is akin to that of Tinker Bell and her friends.

Now, Nymphs are just about immune to hot and cold; they can wade through lava flows and stroll through the Arctic. They can also breathe air and water with equal ease, cannot be poisoned or burned and survive the pressures on the seafloor (meaning the continental shelf and abyssal plain, not the intense pressures inside the trenches, AKA canyons of the sea). They also know any plant or animal in their environment and can speak and understand any human language.

They sound like they'd make great warriors, right? Especially considering they have superhuman strength, speed, endurance, healing factor, and all that (see Ton Day's answer to Nymphs and Humans: Preventing Anarchy. for more on that). But no, that's not the case. Every Nymph is born naive, curious, peaceful, and with a deep love and awe of nature, along with an equally deep longing for purpose and belief in fate.

In fact, Nymphs are so passive that they are obliging; if they encounter a predator (say, a Titanoboa) they'll not only allow it to eat them, but they'll hop in its mouth and wriggle down its throat so it doesn't have to catch or even swallow them! Granted, in this case, these instincts are a population check on the biologically immortal Nymphs, and it's not even the end for them (please see Finding Nymphs Before Predators for more on that), but this does pose a problem to creating a society of warrior Nymphs.

Now, I believe it's possible: Nymphs are beings of nature, and nature has an aggressive side; they may be childlike, but there are child soldiers; however, there are a lot of rather significant barriers to accomplishing this. Basically, I'm looking for a way that someone can collect Nymphs after they spawn and convince them to become warriors despite their peaceful, extremely passive, nature-loving personalities.

My question is: Can Training Alone Create a Society of Warrior Nymphs or Will Other Methods Be Necessary?

Some of my thoughts:

  1. Is this even feasible? Sure, people can overcome their instincts to a certain degree, but there are also plenty of instances where instinct overcame discipline. Can Nymphs, which for the purposes of this question are essentially human women with hard-wired traits and beliefs, change their natures like this? Or in other words, can people hard-wired to act or believe a certain way (through their biology, mind you) overcome and even change their nature?
  2. Everyone has a certain line that if crossed will result in them resorting to violence, yes? However, even though Nymphs can and will fight to survive (metaphorically of course) once they've found a purpose, they love and respect nature, so hurting anything natural will probably be unthinkable to them. Then again, they are human, and humans can adapt to just about anything (mentally speaking)....
  3. By "warrior Nymphs," I mean an Amazon-type society where the Nymphs live isolated from the rest of humanity. Their targets are animals or humans, whatever attacks them. They're not going after people or creatures, just fighting to protect themselves from the creatures that want to eat them. FYI, an IRL example of this would be Switzerland's policy of armed neutrality.

As always, I appreciate your input and feedback, thank for your help! If you choose to VTC or downvote, please give me an explanation so I can improve this question and post better ones in the future.

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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, another nymph question! What's your nymph's army intended targets? Animals, humans? It's more a matter of finding a common goal than training, though brainwashing-machining them can help "influencing" their viewpoint to match yours... $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Feb 11 at 2:21
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    $\begingroup$ @Tortliena: is that excitement I hear? Don't worry, I'll add the details now. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 11 at 2:52
  • $\begingroup$ Since they are considered human woman can we also consider they have feelings? $\endgroup$
    – Archerspk
    Feb 11 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Archerspk: yes, I thought I made that clear. Sorry for any confusion. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 11 at 18:30
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Nature isn't peaceful

I don't think you need to go too far in your justification, it's not like nature is a quiet and peaceful place. I would argue that it wouldn't be impossible for an older nymph to arrive at the conclusion you want by themselves, but if you want to be active in the process or have some event accelerating that process, maybe just showing them some beasts mauling each other might eventually make them realize that nature isn't just about grassy hills and tweeting birds. if you want to sprinkle in some hate toward humans you probably won't have to go further than a logging operation and soon enough they might just take arms.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting argument; I will have to take that into account. Yes, it does appear likely that warrior nymphs will develop more or less naturally. All in all, very helpful, thank you! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 11 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, and I edited your answer so it would look better to people viewing this question. You can rollback if you want, I was just trying to help. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 11 at 18:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias Glad to help! $\endgroup$
    – shas
    Feb 12 at 8:20
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Training is not what makes a whole society. Well, at least not alone. In order to start a group of people working together, you need to have common goals planted in a good geographic and political soil, then the birth of its associated culture should be able to sustain it.

Your question is not ultimately clear on whether you want someone who is not intimately part of the "nymph-azon" to play an important role or not, but it's more likely a nymph or a very pro-nymph person begin this, because an isolationnist, neutral warrior society which isn't yours isn't very useful, unless you use them a territorial barrier between you and your foes. But in this case it's probably wiser to make them join your alliance rather than act as a simple wall.

So down it goes to nymphs and pro-nymphs people, working together to make a military strong, isolationnist society. I'll go through the process I'd use to make such things :

The Goals, the desire and the hatred

Start with some common, deep goals. Your goals can be many, and can draw its existence from an overall feelings your nymph will have. Here is a set of three emotions, which should be enough to start an isolationnist, military society :

  • They form a natural bond with the place they are born with, like a mother to a child : It's an almost essential trait if you wish to keep them from moving around because of their innate curiosity.
  • They are still confused and pondering what their purpose in the threads of fate are, so they wait and meditate until they understand it : Pushing this further, they might decide that their fate is helping other nymphs find their own destiny, so they would take a much longer time before saying goodbye to this world.
  • Finally, they have seen what other civilizations made on their environment, rooting out the nature of it, and they so much dislike it : It's classic, but oh bell how negative emotions are good at creating military wishes.

As you can see, I've taken the average nature of the nymphs and took out these to prevent them from moving too much, die too early to form anything constructive, and have a good reason to develop weaponry and strategies. Now, with enough of these, you can make a society whose goals is to protect their place of birth and meditation from any intruders.

A tiny note : Depending on the density of nymphs/km², not all nymphs need to have these emotions. If you have enough nymphs, but only half of them share these feelings, half of these will find another place (or a belly) to fulfill their wishes, but it's fine, they were never really part of your society in the first place!

Ideal geographic and political soils

Your best bet to grow such society is to have an island away from people (I assume nymphs prefer lands over seas). Because it's harder and riskier to make trade flows through the sea, less people will come into contact with nymphs, and therefore less nymphs will be attracted away from their village. Also, young, tiny societies are very vulnerable, so you need some initial time to make them grow into something more resilient. In other words, don't put them inside an existing kingdom, they won't last.

Also, note that not all goals need to be achieved at the same time, only having the first two ones are necessary to make a stable society. The third one will come from the time an invader will come, forcing out the nymph "villagers" of their peacefulness.

In general, if you wish to have strong military intents is to either make the world very dangerous, or make two neighboring societies different enough so that cultural tensions grow. So keep it in mind if you wish to make nymph-azons.

Potential culture outcome

It's going a little further than your original question, but it may be interesting to see what can come out of this.

When you have common goals, and a good soil to grow, you can have many potential culture to make it last a lot longer than the few individuals who started it. Take those goals, the way you need to live there and translate them into traditions your nymphs will have. These traditions can then be given to any new born nymph as a way of life they can follow, continuing the society.

For instance, because nymphs are born from the death. in order to ensure a good number of nymphs wandering around, you can tell that these nymphs in particular find the need to accelerate the cycle of life and death (while keeping the nature's balance) in order to find their purpose through the many mortal beings they watch live and die, to study what the end means. Or, because of their hatred towards human, they are a group of self renewing refugees going out as outcasts of human societies and back to their roots, sharing a partially multicultural traditions due to the knowledge they acquired during their travels. It's two of many, many traditions you can imagine, and that would match your base intentions.

Ending point

Note that this is an overall process, and may not contain exactly what you want, or the composition you wish. But it's like a salad, you can put whatever feels nice into it and try to obtain a similar flavor! If you have other believable and relatable feeling-induced goals, other potential geographic and political conditions, and a long lasting culture sprouting from all of these, then you are a winner!

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for sharing your perspective, I didn't realize a Nymph's innate nature could help them form an Amazonian society! At the same time, I don't understand how Nymphs would find the need to accelerate the cycle of life and death to find their purpose or why hatred of humans would make them "self-renewing refugees." $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 12 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias If nymphs are social like humans, they would find a reason to be together and grow directly or indirectly their numbers. For the sped-up cycle of life, it could be for "scientific" reasons as a stepping stone to understand what the end of life exactly means, or because they find beauty in nature in its constant growth and decay. For self-renewing refugees, they have a common enemy which gives a reason to stick together. Nymphs which are born outside and been left out of other societies would hear of this place somehow and come there, effectively renewing the population. $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Feb 12 at 18:16
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, thank you for explaining! Very good answer you have here. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 12 at 18:27
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Feelings

The only way I can imagine a peaceful entity to become agressive or resort to some type of defensive state are feelings.

Let's say a Nymph gets in love with another Nymph, they were born at the same area, some peaceful forest. They lived together for years, developing a strong bond. When suddenly humans ( or other predator ) comes over and kills and consumes one of the Nymphs with strong bonds, therefore losing the loved one and then a new feeling comes over to the Nymph who lost the loved one, such as: pain, anger, sadness.

After becoming overwhelmed by these feelings, the Nymph now wants revenge upon those who took it's loved one.

But how do they become a society of warrior nymphs?

The lonely Nymph now wanders into the forest trying to find the best way to get it's revenge. Then new Nymphs start to rise and the lonely Nymph convince the newborn ones that Humans ( or other predators ) are evil and will kill any Nymph at sight, so to avoid those bad feelings and sorrow, the Nymph which was lonely started training and training others to make some kind of Nymph resistance, arming themselves with stones, primitive spears or anything they could to at least defend themselves against predators.

After a while surviving predators and growing in numbers, the Nymphs now start to move closer and closer to a Nymph warrior society which relies on the feelings and bonds between the Nymphs, mainly love for each other.

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    $\begingroup$ I didn't think of bonds of love causing Nymphs to transition from peaceful to warlike, very interesting! +1 for your new perspective. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 19 at 14:03
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    $\begingroup$ Love is the strongest feeling, isn't it <3 ? Note that the more the individual goal and feeling becomes a community one, the more the used terms will be fuzzy and lose focus : The hatred for Killy the nymph hunter will become a dislike of all bandits, then an overall distrust of humanity. Same goes for love! $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Feb 19 at 14:21
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Mind control chips. People (sensu lato) have been trying to do this for a long time. Obviously the technology has advanced a long way since that time. Nymphs heal well, so the usual practical health issues with large-scale brain manipulation are reduced.

Overall, mind control tends to focus on stimulating the nucleus accumbens. This is sometimes called "pleasure" or "reward", but the true sense is positive reinforcement. A tobacco smoker may not truly enjoy his poisoned herb, but it reinforces behavior. Note that the nicotine does not come with a label that says it came from tobacco that came from a cigarette - the brain has to somehow pick out that the action of smoking has something to do with the positive reinforcement received. Before the herb was malappropriated by European tourists, native peoples used it more often to positively reinforce a ceremony of making peace.

With that in mind, an electrode or hidden reservoir of short-acting drug could be used to change nymph behavior, whether by getting them to follow simple commands or (more likely) by getting them to espouse particular philosophies. An obvious unholy grail of many a fell knight would be the reading of words from the human brain (There are more reputable sources, but those are some nice images). If you can positively reinforce thoughts and read the thoughts directly ... well, then you have something.

It has been 20 years since we have had any real notion of where the new "forever detainees" go, so I imagine that there is quite a body of research you could use to make this scenario more plausible -- if only you could read it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hmm....definitely some food for thought here. A magical version of mind-control chips could be quite interesting.... $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 21 at 4:00
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  1. You can have contrary desires: Humans Have an instinct that encourages them to avoid danger. They also have a need Of the respect of others this can go against Their desire to avoid danger in certain circumstance . The nymphs may have a bult in desire To give of themselves to nature but also a Built-in desire to survive And one may override the other certain circumstances. Your amazonians are just nymphs In a circumstance where Survival instinct overrides other instincts.

  2. Magical mutation : You're amazonians are There result of whatever magic that created them going wrong Resulting in the kind of mutated nymphs, They're very similar to the others but slightly more aggressive more prone to violence and more concerned with survival.

Ideology: Perhaps the nymphs become convinced that their enemies are not part of nature or maybe even opposed to it.

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    $\begingroup$ Interesting ideas! I didn't think of contrary desires overriding each other, but I did think of some sort of Nymph variant arising. After reading your magical mutation idea, I'm giving that more thought.... $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 22 at 23:07
  • $\begingroup$ Ooh, now you've added idealogy to the mix. Very clever! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 22 at 23:08

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