Welcome to a new series of posts where I world-build a culture. This is part of the MythicArchipelago Project over at Mythic Scribes. I plan on this being a glimpse into my process.
When I start world-building a culture I start with the broad generalities, often this includes the stereotypes other cultures have concerning the culture I am building. I also grab an idea to act as the, for lack of a better term, condensation nucleus of the culture at large. (A condensation nucleus is the tiny particle of whatever around which rain drops form.) The nucleus for this culture came from one of my history classes where we covered the French Revolution; when Maximilien Robespierre seized power he endeavored to convert France from Christianity to a religion that was described to me as essentially worshiping Reason. I found the idea for the religion interesting so naturally I appropriated it. So we have a culture of people that worship reason, but what else does that say about the culture?
One show I enjoy watching is Bones, one of the main characters, Dr. Temperance Brennan, is a supremely rational person. She uses reason rather than emotion in her decisions, earning her the reputation of being a “cold fish.” There is one of my stereotypes, the people of this culture are known as being cold fish. Now I do not want to turn these people into Vulcans, so they do not totally suppress their emotions. Perhaps showing and acting on emotion in public is taboo to these people. That could suggest showing emotion to someone is a sign of intimacy (but not necessarily romantic intimacy).
Before I get too much farther into this I want to name this people. Part of that is going to be deciding what kind of naming scheme I want to use, in this case I decided I wanted a Scottish flare. The people are called the Enessi, from the island nation of Enessia. The root I used for those is the “ness” from Loch Ness.
Next week I plan on delving a little more into the religion.