Shawn (inscrutable) wrote in roleplayers,

Collective World Building 2 - the mysterious foreign nation

Huy guys. A while back I put up a post here asking for help detailing the steampunkish/fantasy world I'm building for an upcoming campaign.

Now I've hit a bit of a wall on one part of the world, and I figure I'd ask for ideas once again.

There's a nation on the world that's fairly large and powerful, sits on a different continent from the main one the PCs are on, and is largely xenophobic and exotic. My original idea was something like China in the 1900s, someone large and distrustful of outsiders who has a strange and different culture. I want a nation that could put up a fight with the big guns of the rest of the world if push came to shove, but is far enough away that they aren't a direct enemy. I also don't particularly want them to be recognizably Asian. I want a country that's like China, but not.

This is where I'm hitting a few brick walls on the old idea train.

Details on the country of Nimlinel follow, if you have any suggestions or ideas for culture, society, government, weapons, etc I'd love to hear them.

Nimlinel was once populated by a fairly advanced nation of people. They had magic and funky, advanced technology and were pretty cool. Two thousand years ago the shit hit the fan and the earth was plunged into chaos as demonic horrors from beyond swept the earth. This was due to magical wars being fought far across the ocean from Nimlinel. While the people who caused the wars were somewhat forwarned about the chaos, and fled below ground, living in magically protected Cairns for 400 years; the people of Nimlinel were caught completely off guard, and were unable to survive the depradations of the horrors.
the lost race who had a bunch of cool shit, this may be a good way)

As the chaos subsided, people reemerged, and a group of explorers from the Vori Islands (a savage, violent place to the south of Nimlinel) settled on Nimlinel. Finding a lush, uncharted land free of the hardships and violence of their home, they moved there and began building a new home.

Now, they've had 1600 years to go from eeking out an existance to building a civilization. Perhaps they've discovered some of the lost secrets of the dead peoples, and regained a bit of the lost technology.

I want Nimlimel to be horribly xenophobic and mistrusting of outsiders, and I'm not sure how. Perhaps they discovered that the horrors were unleashed on the earth by the people from across the ocean, or perhaps some outsiders showed up 800 years ago and screwed them over.

I've figured out the basic history of Nimlinel, but I don't really know what their culture should be. They're related to the savage Vori Islanders, so that's a start. Tack on some civilization and rediscovered secrets of the ancients and we've got some coolness.

I'm thinking exotic weapons and a culture that seems strange to the PCs from half a world away. It should seem different from any realworld culture, but maybe hints of asian or aztec or what have you.

As for tech, I'm not sure. I really have no idea what sorts of cool stuff the ancients may have known, but I don't want it to be sci fi (becaue it doesn't really fit the world) and I don't want it to be steampunk, because we've already got that in the game. Maybe a few intricate clockwork things though. Maybe everything's wind powered, I don't know.

So feel free to suggest any ideas for the culture or peoples of Nimlinel. I'd love to hear them.

Incidently, I may change the name as Nimlinel sounds too Elvish to me, and elves don't exist in this setting. Any ideas for exotic names that don't sound like Knushyalkzaxxaranthia would be cool.

Incidently #2, there are probably other nations around Nimlinel, on the same distant continent. They're probably equally exotic and foreign, so any ideas on them would be great too.

Gracias in advance.
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