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Any interest in this genre?

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Any interest in this genre?

Postby BoradorIV » Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:55 pm

What genre?

Slavic Fantasy.

What's that?

Fantasy based in the myths and legends of the Slavic people.

Who?

Well, pretty much, they are the people who evolved into the Polish, Russians, Croatians, etc. And of course the modern people they evolved into.

A lot of my ancestors came from Slavic countries, and even though many did not, my Slavic heritage is most prominent (Slavic last name, (but I don't know what kind), Polish face, etc), and so I wanted to explore what sorts of myths these people had.

Though Slavs apparently couldn't write a lot before they were Christian (according to "Wikipedia", so I don't actually know), but what has survived seems like an interesting enough basis for a fantasy story.

Slavic Fantasy is a real genre, but I do not know of any books or films based in it from the Western World (obviously there are some Slavic writers who write it in), which leads me to my two questions;

Does anyone know of any Slavic Fantasy from the west?

And,

Would you like to see some Slavic fantasy from the west?

If you hadn't guessed already, I am working on one. But it won't be done for a while. I may post some drafts, snippets, character or culture profiles, etc. But I don't have a ton of time anymore. My point in posting this was to hopefully find of some existing Slavic Fantasies, and maybe inspire some new ones.

Oh, and I will post LEGO versions of the characters (don't expect a full illustration, though).
In fact, I already have some on my Flickr. But I only have a few minutes, so I can't get a link.
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Re: Any interest in this genre?

Postby Maedhros » Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:38 am

I've studied quite a bit of Old Church Slavonic and written quite a lot about the history of the Balkans in the Middle Ages, mainly around Bulgaria and Romania (the latter is of course not strictly Slavic from what you'd say today, but shares a lot of the history and stories of its neighbours), so this is a phenomenon that interests me quite a bit. Sadly, as you point out, our sources of actual myths are very sparse.

One of the things I find most fascinating is the clashes between different cultures and traditions. Having worked with Bulgars for example you also get that turko-mongol element (which is actually quite important in all of Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages), not to mention the Greek - and Scandinavian for that matter, if we look at Kievan Rus.

As for suggestions, I read quite an interesting book a few years ago by Dubravka Ugrešić, about Baba Jaga. It's called Baba Jaga je snijela jaje in the original but I think it's available in English with the title Baba Jaga Laid an Egg. It's not really a fantasy novel, the setting is a modern one but it tells quite a lot of both Slavic myths in general and Baba Jaga in particular, and it happens to be both a well-written novel with quite a fun story and an interesting mood, as well as full of interesting facts.

Anyhow, it'd be interesting to see some of your ideas and work on this.
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Re: Any interest in this genre?

Postby ottoatm » Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:23 pm

I love the history from that era, so yes! :-) It's so dynamic and pretty tumultuous... the perfect ground for good fantasy :-)
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Re: Any interest in this genre?

Postby Kev » Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:35 pm

I like all castle, and think East European warriors and fortresses are as cool as those in the West. I would like some armor representative of their distinctive spiked helms, etc.
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Re: Any interest in this genre?

Postby BoradorIV » Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:59 pm

Maedhros wrote:I've studied quite a bit of Old Church Slavonic and written quite a lot about the history of the Balkans in the Middle Ages, mainly around Bulgaria and Romania (the latter is of course not strictly Slavic from what you'd say today, but shares a lot of the history and stories of its neighbours), so this is a phenomenon that interests me quite a bit. Sadly, as you point out, our sources of actual myths are very sparse.

One of the things I find most fascinating is the clashes between different cultures and traditions. Having worked with Bulgars for example you also get that turko-mongol element (which is actually quite important in all of Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages), not to mention the Greek - and Scandinavian for that matter, if we look at Kievan Rus.

As for suggestions, I read quite an interesting book a few years ago by Dubravka Ugrešić, about Baba Jaga. It's called Baba Jaga je snijela jaje in the original but I think it's available in English with the title Baba Jaga Laid an Egg. It's not really a fantasy novel, the setting is a modern one but it tells quite a lot of both Slavic myths in general and Baba Jaga in particular, and it happens to be both a well-written novel with quite a fun story and an interesting mood, as well as full of interesting facts.

Anyhow, it'd be interesting to see some of your ideas and work on this.


I take it that you are some type of scholar?

I haven't been that thorough with my research yet. Honestly, the lack of old myths is less a problem for my current purposes since I'm actually building a fictional world from the Slavic myths, not writing one based in any actual kingdom. Sort of like a Middle-Earth type thing, only I use Slavic Creatures and names, and not Norse ones (although Tolkien did use some Slavic names, Boromir, Radaghast, etc). It would be nice to have more old myths, but I find that if I expand my search to include later Russian and Polish myths, there is enough material to start with. I'm not really going for any specific portion of Slavic culture, just a general thing, and since they're still Slavic countries, including them still counts, I think (I'm doing it whether it does or not, HA). I'll have to look into Bulgarian myths more closely, since a quick search shows that it was the "Slavic Capitol of the World" in the middle ages... Although, I don't know about that source... It is notorious for being "Wikipedia." But regardless of that, it would be worth checking out.

And that book does sound interesting. Perhaps I'll look into. Though I thought it was spelled Baba Yaga?

I plan to make the story as original as possible, but every plot point is based in some sort of myth. I'm currently going for an Evil Witch/Firebird mix. It would of course be a quest, since those always make interesting stories. I don't have a ton more than that though. Currently, one of the most critical plot points can only be explained by "it's magic" and I don't like that, so I have a lot of work to do. It may not even resemble its current self when its done. I guess that's a good thing since it's a bit scattered.

ottoatm wrote:I love the history from that era, so yes! :-) It's so dynamic and pretty tumultuous... the perfect ground for good fantasy :-)


Great! I hope I have something to show here in the next few months...

Kev wrote:I like all castle, and think East European warriors and fortresses are as cool as those in the West. I would like some armor representative of their distinctive spiked helms, etc.


They are for sure. I don't know how far I'll be able to go with the visuals, but I hope to at least have something significant. My current Slavic Warriors suffer from A) a lack of good parts and B) not having a real specific look in mind. I'm just trying to give them a color-scheme that reminds me of St. Basil's, since that's usually the visual I get when I think Slavic (for whatever reason). Though they look cool, they aren't really what I was going for. I hope to update them when I get the chance.

The most disturbing thing; I just realized I could do research in the Library for my story... I had almost forgot; I for some reason was only thinking "internet"... Gee!
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Re: Any interest in this genre?

Postby Maedhros » Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:18 am

BoradorIV wrote:I take it that you are some type of scholar?

I haven't been that thorough with my research yet. Honestly, the lack of old myths is less a problem for my current purposes since I'm actually building a fictional world from the Slavic myths, not writing one based in any actual kingdom. Sort of like a Middle-Earth type thing, only I use Slavic Creatures and names, and not Norse ones (although Tolkien did use some Slavic names, Boromir, Radaghast, etc). It would be nice to have more old myths, but I find that if I expand my search to include later Russian and Polish myths, there is enough material to start with. I'm not really going for any specific portion of Slavic culture, just a general thing, and since they're still Slavic countries, including them still counts, I think (I'm doing it whether it does or not, HA). I'll have to look into Bulgarian myths more closely, since a quick search shows that it was the "Slavic Capitol of the World" in the middle ages... Although, I don't know about that source... It is notorious for being "Wikipedia." But regardless of that, it would be worth checking out.


Well, I am PH.D. student, but you don't have to be that to write a good story based on Slavic myths, and I think it sounds like you have some good ideas here. As for Bulgaria as a "Slavic capital of the World", that carries some truth, but also means making it a bit too simplified. Bulgaria in the early 10th century was indeed the place where what we now know as the cyrillic script (the script that Cyril actually invented is now called Glagolitic - do check it out, you might have use for it since it really looks quite cool) was developed and where most of the early slavonic literature was written, it was also one of the most (if not the most) powerful realms in the Europe of its day. However, it was also quite multiethnic and a melting pot of different traditions, before all it was under very heavy Byzantine influence, its most famous Emperor (Symeon) was even nicknamed the "Half-Greek" because of his upbringing in Constantinople and great learning in Greek literature and philosophy. He also actually styled himself Emperor of the Romans (Byzantines that is) rather than Emperor of the Bulgarians.

So, well, basically I always get a bit skeptical when I see attempts to find a sort of clean culture or tradition apart from its surroundings, since history has never worked that way. Then again, a fantasy story based on myths is of course something entirely different - on the other hand, maybe you could make your fantasy world even richer by glancing a bit at the cultures that were entangled with and influenced the slavic cultures. Like the Byzantine (yes, I take every opportunity to get people interested in that ;)).

As for the spelling of Baba Yaga I suppose the y-variant is the most common one in English, but that's because the English J doesn't sound like a Slavic J, which instead sounds like an English Y. Hence a Slavic Baba Jaga is pronounced the same as an English Baba Yaga.
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Re: Any interest in this genre?

Postby BoradorIV » Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:26 pm

Maedhros wrote:
BoradorIV wrote:I take it that you are some type of scholar?

I haven't been that thorough with my research yet. Honestly, the lack of old myths is less a problem for my current purposes since I'm actually building a fictional world from the Slavic myths, not writing one based in any actual kingdom. Sort of like a Middle-Earth type thing, only I use Slavic Creatures and names, and not Norse ones (although Tolkien did use some Slavic names, Boromir, Radaghast, etc). It would be nice to have more old myths, but I find that if I expand my search to include later Russian and Polish myths, there is enough material to start with. I'm not really going for any specific portion of Slavic culture, just a general thing, and since they're still Slavic countries, including them still counts, I think (I'm doing it whether it does or not, HA). I'll have to look into Bulgarian myths more closely, since a quick search shows that it was the "Slavic Capitol of the World" in the middle ages... Although, I don't know about that source... It is notorious for being "Wikipedia." But regardless of that, it would be worth checking out.


Well, I am PH.D. student, but you don't have to be that to write a good story based on Slavic myths, and I think it sounds like you have some good ideas here. As for Bulgaria as a "Slavic capital of the World", that carries some truth, but also means making it a bit too simplified. Bulgaria in the early 10th century was indeed the place where what we now know as the cyrillic script (the script that Cyril actually invented is now called Glagolitic - do check it out, you might have use for it since it really looks quite cool) was developed and where most of the early slavonic literature was written, it was also one of the most (if not the most) powerful realms in the Europe of its day. However, it was also quite multiethnic and a melting pot of different traditions, before all it was under very heavy Byzantine influence, its most famous Emperor (Symeon) was even nicknamed the "Half-Greek" because of his upbringing in Constantinople and great learning in Greek literature and philosophy. He also actually styled himself Emperor of the Romans (Byzantines that is) rather than Emperor of the Bulgarians.

So, well, basically I always get a bit skeptical when I see attempts to find a sort of clean culture or tradition apart from its surroundings, since history has never worked that way. Then again, a fantasy story based on myths is of course something entirely different - on the other hand, maybe you could make your fantasy world even richer by glancing a bit at the cultures that were entangled with and influenced the slavic cultures. Like the Byzantine (yes, I take every opportunity to get people interested in that ;)).

As for the spelling of Baba Yaga I suppose the y-variant is the most common one in English, but that's because the English J doesn't sound like a Slavic J, which instead sounds like an English Y. Hence a Slavic Baba Jaga is pronounced the same as an English Baba Yaga.


Ah, okay. Well, like I said, my source was "Wikipedia", so not exactly reliable. But I have noticed through researching this that cultural mixing is quite common. One of the creatures I'm incorporating, the Alkonost (and the Sirin) apparently come to the Slavs from Iranian mythology (I'm not sure why it said Iranian. At the time it would've been Persia), and other elements just seem familiar, like the Karazel (sp?) is pretty much a Norse Dwarf. So, yeah, I will definatly look the Byzantine influences on Bulgaria, I'm sure there's something there I can use.
As for the Cyrillic Script, I actually already know the bulk of the Russian version. Not all of it, but a good chunk, I'd guess around 70% or 75%. Not less than that, anyways. It is, of course, useless since I don't speak Russian, but hey, it is one heck of an alphabet. I was actually surprised by how easy it was to learn. And fun too.

EDIT: Oops, had my sources confused. The Alkonost and Sirin is from Greek Mythology, not Iranian. D'oh!
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Re: Any interest in this genre?

Postby Maedhros » Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:47 pm

Here's a link to some information on the Glagolitic alphabet, which is totally different from the Cyrillic, and, as I said, really looks quite cool!

Oh, and somewhat beside the point here but Iranian is actually a broader term than Persian, since Iranian can refer to any peoples speaking Iranian languages, and there are quite a lot of them (also, Iran has always been called Iran by themselves, Persia is mainly a Greek designation which actually is a province within Iran). Many of them were also found on the steppes during the medieval and some had influence on Eastern Europe (the term Croat is of Iranian origin for example, even though we have no traces of the supposed Iranian language that the first Croats who migrated into Europe spoke).
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Re: Any interest in this genre?

Postby BoradorIV » Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:59 am

Some updates...

First, I actually really like Glagotic,but since Cyrllic would be more recognizable, I think I'll stick with that for any visuals that I end up doing. But I'll still try to learn it, since I love learning new alphabets. Thanks!

Now, for the updates.

Well, there's good and bad news. Lots of both, actually...

The good news is I've spent some time on Bricklink and have found a TON of great parts to recreate the characters with. Nothing specific, but LEGO makes a lot of good stuff for Eastern European dress, (really love that hat from that Hobbit dwarf. My goodness, its a dream. So is that big fur hat from that British guard. And all those red coats from the Hobbit... Ahh). And on top of that, I found the PERFECT helmet for Slavic soldiers: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thrashq4g/14956941541/ (brown one)
If I wanted historical accuracy, I'd keep looking, but since this is fantasy... Yeah, that'll do. That'll REALLY do.
As I said, I don't think I'll do a full illustration, actually, I'm certain I won't do a full illustration, but I want to at least do a little.

So, now for the bad news...

Well, I think I've figured out why Slavic fantasy is not a common genre in the west... Information is so hard to find. This is a people that couldn't write for ten thousand years, and then when they could write, they went Christian, and THEN they fell under a government that censored mythology and folklore for propaganda reasons, because they thought it would give people some sympathy for old system or something stupid like that... On top of that, said government happened to be the most prominent enemy of the west, so we weren't really comfortable learning their myths and stories (Which is strange, since we usually don't care about that, ie, China, the Middle East)

So, what does that mean for this project? Well... Not a lot, but I'm probably gonna make a lot a stuff up... Which isn't a huge deal, since the only role mythology was going to play was World building. My ultimate goal was to create a unique fantasy world based on the cultures of the Slavs and populated by the creatures they believed in.With my own spin, of course. And then from there, tell an original story. But I'm having a really hard time finding out what creatures they did believe in. There are a lot I can only find in a few sources, but no others (Ved), some I can find in several, but all accounts are so vague (Psotnik), and some I don't even know what to think of (One source said the Slavs had some equivalent of a Satyr? This is the only place I've heard of it though).
The only one that is really clear is the Alkonost (and Sirin). Which I plan to use. Those Chima birds should work nicely here. As for other creatures? Well, I don't know. I looked in both my local library and university library and could only find one book between them. It looks like a good book, granted, but I doubt it'll have everything I need. I need some solid source... I need some confirmation on these creatures, especially the Psotnik, since I really love the idea of them and really want to use them, but am skeptical since if its something some random person made up, well then it's their creative property and I can't. (now I'm sure the Psotnik does have some basis in Polish Folklore, it seems like it would, and the word itself means "elf" but I have to be sure).
The problem with internet research, heh. I have no clue whats real and whats not. Though in this case, my research into books indicates that they aren't much better. This stuff is nuts.

HA! All that complaining. So what does it mean? Basically, expect a lot of this to be at least partially original. I'll try to get the cultures down (that shouldn't be hard. I'll just get a book on Russia or Poland to see what they eat, how they talk, etc.), but my sources are much scarcer than I thought...

Another plus though! I have started to work on the heraldry. I don't have a ton (and what I do have, I'm not overly happy with) but it's a start. I've got some idea on where to go (Most of the knights (called Bogatyrs) are named after gods, so I just use their symbols; IE Perunov uses an Eagle, since Perun was sometimes shown as an eagle).

And to top it all off, working on the figures has really made me wish LEGO would make a real theme based in Eastern Europe. They probably won't, but I can dream.

This is one heck of a post. :shock:
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Re: Any interest in this genre?

Postby Maedhros » Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:00 am

Looking good so far. Here's some additional input. I don't know so much about Slavic folklore but some things that could be worth checking out are:

A horseman. We know that the legend where S:t George slew a dragon became very popular around Bulgaria and it's probably due to older cults and legends of the region. Already in ancient Thrace there seems to have been a god based on an emblematic horseman (mostly known as Sabazios).

Samodiva/Samovila/Veela. Mostly known from Bulgaria and Serbia. A somewhat sinister forest faerie of sorts, there's quite a bit of information on them on Wikipedia.

Also, don't forget the Vampires! Again most of it comes from Bulgaria and Serbia (and Romania of course, if you wish to include that) but there's really a lot of interesting stuff to use there, and vampires being as popular as they are it's also quite easy to find information on legends, folklore and traditions regarding different kinds of vampirical creatures (as well as burial rituals and such).

As for heraldry I know that a double eagle was quite prominent among the early Slavs (6th-9th century), probably as an echo of the Hun empire. So you might want to use that. When it comes to heraldry in LEGO form I made a digital rendition of the Durmstrang heraldry a few years back (link). I could fix some shield or torso designs for you based on that if you want.
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Re: Any interest in this genre?

Postby BoradorIV » Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:07 pm

Maedhros wrote:Looking good so far. Here's some additional input. I don't know so much about Slavic folklore but some things that could be worth checking out are:

A horseman. We know that the legend where S:t George slew a dragon became very popular around Bulgaria and it's probably due to older cults and legends of the region. Already in ancient Thrace there seems to have been a god based on an emblematic horseman (mostly known as Sabazios).

Samodiva/Samovila/Veela. Mostly known from Bulgaria and Serbia. A somewhat sinister forest faerie of sorts, there's quite a bit of information on them on Wikipedia.

Also, don't forget the Vampires! Again most of it comes from Bulgaria and Serbia (and Romania of course, if you wish to include that) but there's really a lot of interesting stuff to use there, and vampires being as popular as they are it's also quite easy to find information on legends, folklore and traditions regarding different kinds of vampirical creatures (as well as burial rituals and such).

As for heraldry I know that a double eagle was quite prominent among the early Slavs (6th-9th century), probably as an echo of the Hun empire. So you might want to use that. When it comes to heraldry in LEGO form I made a digital rendition of the Durmstrang heraldry a few years back (link). I could fix some shield or torso designs for you based on that if you want.


Thanks for the suggestions. I'll look into the horseman, I think I've heard of the Veela, but haven't quite figured out how to work them in.

And of course I couldn't forget the Vampires. I came up with a real interesting subplot involving them. The only real issue is that it makes the ending a bit... well, it's not really the tone I want to end on, but honestly, it is currently the only way that makes sense. It's a pretty neat subplot, anyways.

Yeah, the double eagle seems common. Actually, I see a lot of Eagles in general. Thanks for the offer, but I actually have a resource for Heraldry clip art. I obviously couldn't use those if the story got published (which I'm not planning for right now, but it did cross my mind). The reason I'm not happy with what I have is because my computer was having trouble with the internet, so I had to use old ones that I had saved and edited a long time ago, and they were all warped and such... So I had to clean them up in paint... Yeah, not pretty. Once I get the website working I should be good.

I didn't want to do this, but if anyone from Poland is reading this, if you have time, can you please confirm what I've read about the Psotnik? It's a mischievous elf? I kinda went ahead and made one of the main characters one, but since my sources all say the same thing, and are really vague, I wanted to make sure it was really from Polish folklore or myths and not just something someone made up. Thanks!

And then if anyone has any information on the Ved (large hairy men who help with farming)? I know what they are, but my sources are so scarce I want to confirm they really are from mythology.

I have to do a library project for my first year class at college, so while I'm there, I'll ask if they have any books. Right now I don't have time to actually read them, but if I'd still like to know what they have.

So, yeah. If anyone has any sources, please let me know, anything will help. I plan to have a rough idea of the story pretty soon(not this week, since I have a lot of work), or at the very least, I'll have a rough profile of the main character. We'll see. I hope to have a complete rough draft by July, so a bit of a wait. But I really hope it'll be worth it.

Until next time,
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Re: Any interest in this genre?

Postby BoradorIV » Sat Sep 27, 2014 9:59 pm

Bump for some updates.

Well, sources are really scarce, but I think I'm good on that front. I find that there simply aren't too many sources, so I'll work with what vagueness I have. If you think it's discouraging to have so few sources and so little information, it's actually having the opposite effect. I'm encouraged by that because now if I do well, future writers in this genre can just copy my model. I hope to make this sort of thing more common. Obviously I don't expect that much success, but it helps motivate me, so I'm going with it.

I have a list of every creature I have so far (pardon the jokes, I don't take lists and outlines too seriously sometimes):

Psotnik: Mischievous little people that feed off inconveniencing others. They posses the power to become invisible, and to make themselves unheard. All are male; they reproduce by using magic to disguise themselves as human men, and then mate with human women. After this has been done, they leave, and the human raises the child. But the child leaves and never returns when he reaches six years old. They love alcohol, women, and music, but have no real family or community structure. Most go their whole lives without seeing another of their kind. They're loners, and loners gotta be alone.

Sirin: A human/bird hybrid. Has the head, chest, and arms of a human female, but the legs, tail, and wings of a crow. Highly sophisticated and intelligent. They use armor and weapons.

Alkonost: Same as Sirin but with the legs, tail and wings of an eagle, not a crow.

Karzelek: Typical Fantasy Dwarf.

Leshy: Forest dwelling humanoid. Blue skin and green hair. Also have a pair of horns. Live in harmony with nature. Defend the forest. Generally do not like humans because we are not always kind to the forests. Highly sophisticated and intelligent, yet they have little armor or technology because they do not want to take too much from nature.

Ved: Large hairy people. Two factions: Those that love and embrace other creatures, and those that hate them. Good faction helps with farming. Bad faction attacks towns and cities and kill anything they can.

Rusalka: Pretty much mermaids that live in the underwater kingdoms. There are also males, even though they traditionally went by a different name, I am grouping them together because two names for the same creature would get confusing.

Vampires.

Polevik: Odd creatures with grass for hair that live in the fields. They eat humans, so they try to lure them into traps by changing road signs and imitating voices.

Vila: They are female spirits of the forest that torment the Leshy.

And of course, the humans.

As you can see, I've taken liberties. The whole thing with the Rusalkas being both male and female is one (though it isn't too left lane. As I said, the Slavs have mermen, they just used a different name). Polevik didn't usually eat humans, but I figure they needed some reason to lead people astray, and I figured that one was good enough. The Polevik aren't all that prominent, anyways. Alkonosts and Sirins don't usually have arms, but sometimes they do (I really didn't invent that, I've seen an old picture of one that had arms and wings).
And then the Leshy. Well, I haven't changed much except the fact that they aren't spirits in this. They're the same otherwise, but I've made them into humanoids instead of spirits, which honestly, I think is an okay liberty to take since it hardly changes anything about them.

Most of the big liberties are that I'm going to take involve putting these different creatures into cultures when I can. Some work better than others. Others don't work at all. So all of these creatures don't live in castles or kingdoms specific to their race. Only Sirins, Alkonost, Leshy, Karzelek, and Rusalka do. The others have cultures, but not kingdoms necessarily (there's no Psotnik Kingdom, for instance, they just wander around. They don't even live together in groups).

And of course, these are just the main creatures. There are Witches, Dragons, and the like, but they aren't necessarily races so I didn't list them here.

I think I have enough fantasy races, so I'll be focused now on the cultures and the like of what I have. Some will be easy, others will not. I'm hoping to have a fully developed and realistic world, so this isn't going to happen overnight.

For the main characters? I've only got names and brief descriptions. (all of which is subject to change. I don't really love most of these names, and I'd like to avoid Bible names if I can since these characters couldn't be Christian, though that's never an easy task). I will also include how I pronounce the names, since some are kinda weird. Remember to roll your R's.

Lazlo Popyelev (LAZ LOW) (POPE YEL LEV): A Psotnik who lives in the human kingdom. A pretty typical Psotnik based on my earlier description.

Boris Radagestev (RA DAY GES TEV) : A grumpy middle-aged cattle farmer.

Svetanya Perunova (SVET AN YA) (PURR OOHN OV UH): Current main character. She is the wife of Bogatyr (Knight) Radomir Perunov, and the daughter of another Bogatyr Aleksiy Ladov. I have more on her personality, but it isn't quite done yet. Her's will naturally be the most developed, so I'm putting the most work into it.

Radomir Perunov (ROD O MIR)(PURR OOHN OV): Svetanya's husband. Bogatyr tasked with recording the history of the kingdom by the Tsar.

Sergei Velesov (SER GAY) (VEL ISS SOV): Radomir's rival. He is not well respected by the Tsar, and is often dishonored due to his family name not being the cleanest.

Milana Ladova (MEEL AHN UH) (LA DOVE (as in the past of dive, not the bird) UH): Sergei's sister, member of house of Velesov. Svetanya's sister in law. Married to her brother Ivan Ladov. (Sadly, as Ivan is a Bible name, his may change)

Tsar Vladimir Dazbogev - Well, he's the Tsar of the human kingdom, currently called "The Kingdom of Dazbograd." Named for the Slavic Sun God. He currently doesn't do too much, so I haven't given a lot of thought to his character yet. ("Vlad" means ruler. I didn't just give him the first name that came to mind)

(Did you notice that the female characters all have an "a" at the end of their name, while their husbands don't? That's something Slavs do. Women, even today, put an "a" at the end of their name if it ends in -ov or -ev or the like.)

As I said, I haven't gotten too far into this yet. I need to develop these characters a lot more. I'll be writing profiles for most of them later, but this is roughly what I have now.

On the LEGO front, I'm starting to pick out parts for main characters instead of just general things that fit the genre. Going pretty well so far. I hope to actually make a Bricklink order here in a few days, but we'll see. There are many factors that may limit this.

Until next update.
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Re: Any interest in this genre?

Postby Maedhros » Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:08 am

Sweet! I especially like your psotnik and leshy. Reading about the Rusalka I came to think of the opera Rusalka by Antonín Dvořák. Do you know about it? I'm not suggesting you sit through a whole opera performance for inspiration, especially if you're not into opera, but you might find some inspiration looking through a synopsis on Wikipedia or wherever. There are quite a few other witches and spirits of sorts featured there that you might find interesting.

Also, some suggestions regarding the names and titles. I know this is more than a little bit nit-picky (and might not be so important, but I did see that you were quite picky about not using biblical names) but I thought I'd give you the information in any case, and you might do what you wish with it. Lazlo is not a Slavic name, it's actually (most often spelled László) the Hungarian form of the Slavic Vladislav (via latinized Ladislaus probably). Sergei isn't very Slavic in origin either, being a Slavic version of the Latin Sergius. Also, tsar is a latin loanword (from Caesar actually). Actually few of the titles we know have Slavic roots (knyez is Germanic in origin - the same word as king - while boyar is of Bulgar origin). Purely Slavic titles would be voyevoda (which translates roughly to warlord) or vozhd (which is more of a neutral "leader").
"Hinc satis elucet maiorem habere uim ad discenda ista liberam curiositatem quam meticulosam necessitatem.”
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Re: Any interest in this genre?

Postby BoradorIV » Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:41 pm

Maedhros wrote:Sweet! I especially like your psotnik and leshy. Reading about the Rusalka I came to think of the opera Rusalka by Antonín Dvořák. Do you know about it? I'm not suggesting you sit through a whole opera performance for inspiration, especially if you're not into opera, but you might find some inspiration looking through a synopsis on Wikipedia or wherever. There are quite a few other witches and spirits of sorts featured there that you might find interesting.

Also, some suggestions regarding the names and titles. I know this is more than a little bit nit-picky (and might not be so important, but I did see that you were quite picky about not using biblical names) but I thought I'd give you the information in any case, and you might do what you wish with it. Lazlo is not a Slavic name, it's actually (most often spelled László) the Hungarian form of the Slavic Vladislav (via latinized Ladislaus probably). Sergei isn't very Slavic in origin either, being a Slavic version of the Latin Sergius. Also, tsar is a latin loanword (from Caesar actually). Actually few of the titles we know have Slavic roots (knyez is Germanic in origin - the same word as king - while boyar is of Bulgar origin). Purely Slavic titles would be voyevoda (which translates roughly to warlord) or vozhd (which is more of a neutral "leader").


Thanks! I'm also quite happy with the Psotnik and Leshy. The opera rings a bell, but I don't think I've actually heard of it. Might have seen that it existed in my research, but that's it. I'll look into though, sounds pretty interesting.

Well, I only wanted to avoid Bible names because they are from a religion that wouldn't exist in my world. Names that came from other cultures (like Sergei and Dmitri) are fine because they exist from culture mixing, which is impossible to work around, while Bible names exist from conversion to that religion... Upon thinking about it, that doesn't actually make any sense since I've used Slavic Pagan names, which also wouldn't exist... That rule is likely going out the window. I'm not too sure why I thought it mattered in the first place. Plus, I really want to use the name Ivan (John).
I actually knew that Lazlo was a Hungarian name (and that it had an S) but it fit the character (in terms of the way it sounds). It was more of a temporary name until I had something better, as these are all. Some, like Sergei, I literally just picked the first modern Slavic name that popped into my head until I had time to sit down and find one with some meaning. Actually, I did a bit of thinking, I think I'll change Sergei to Kazslav.
I have to keep the title of "Tsar." its one of those cues that tells you "okay, this is a Slavic culture" due to it's famous use by the Russians (who weren't the only ones to use it). But since every leader isn't a king, other leaders will have different titles. Leaders of smaller settlements (like cities and towns) are called Posadniks. Which is a bit close to Psotnik, so that may change.

So, yeah, I'm fine with using elements that aren't purely Slavic, for some reason I wanted to avoid Bible names, but upon thinking on it, they aren't much different from any other name. I'm not too sure where I was going with that... I believe that is what is referred to as a "brain fart"...
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Re: Any interest in this genre?

Postby Maedhros » Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:51 am

Well, as I said, it was a very nit-picky comment, and I actually like your being open to an idea of cultural mixing. The most important point is of course that you're happy with what you're doing and that you have an idea behind it.
"Hinc satis elucet maiorem habere uim ad discenda ista liberam curiositatem quam meticulosam necessitatem.”
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