The social structure of the cultures in this world reflects ours through a twisted mirror. By that, I mean that I took specific qualities and aspects from our world, like the aristocratic patriarch, and flipped them upside down or twisted them with fantasy elements so that they would feel less hostile. I feel that this will help people see how ridiculous those aspects are when they are reversed, and from that they, might see how we are allowing similar things to happen.
Below, I have outlined the basics of these cultures.
The Peadarians are an aggressive, matriarchal race with an upper- and lower-class system that is based on the swirling pattern and color of their skin. An important note: an outsider to their race cannot tell the difference between the upper- and lower-class swirls. It is a self-imposed system.
The Gutix, look more like humans, or more specifically, humans look more like them. The best way to describe them is as human with fur, tails, and claws. The males have fur that is blue silver, while the females have fur that is brightly colored. They are neither a patriarch nor a matriarch; however, the males are more assertive than the females and hold positions of authority more frequently.
The Ifanians are a predatory race that prefer the night over the day. They have claws instead of nails and are difficult to spot, unless they want to be seen. The females and males are equal in their race. With fluid gender roles, neither are stronger than the other. While advanced, they prefer to stay in their clans or tribes, and fights or wars among them are rare.
I feel that one Fantasy cliché and Science Fiction Clichés, need to be addressed.
The Fantasy Magic cliché.
I thoroughly dislike the magic cliché that I have found in a lot of Fantasy books. Magic is a powerful force that no one can stand against, and inevitably there is a dark wizard casting his evil spell during a lightning storm. To avoid this, I made magic a character. The magic that I have decided to use is not something that someone can choose to learn. The magic has a will of its own and a mind of its own. It chooses who can use it and who cannot. It is dangerous to use and highly addictive. It has the ability to overpower and consume those who use it.
To create greater distinction between the races, I divided magic into three strains. Physical, elemental, and psychic. Each race can access only one. Peadarians can use physical magic, the Gutix can use elemental magic, and the Ifanians, psychic magic. (Although this is mentioned in the book; I don’t go into a lot of detail about it because this book is not a how-to manual on magic.) The three different strains of magic also serve as a fluid form of symbolism throughout the book.
The Science Fiction Clichés.
A history of the Human race summed up in one paragraph. When the three races met, their germs mutated. (Pandemics, billions of deaths, unstoppable infectious diseases.) A company spliced the genetic code of the three races, mentioned above, to produce one creature. The Human. They did this to create reliable test subjects that could generate consistent treatments. The cures that the Humans produced, prove to be effective for the other races. I want to explore the aftermath of when their ethical ideals changed: What is ethical, is not important when faced with extinction.
The fallout is further muddled by having the company that created the Humans claim that the main character is their property. (Keep in mind that this occurs as the main character is on trial for war crimes.) And they want her back. They claim that humans aren’t people, they are property. I am aware that cloning has been done before. I hope that by making the entire Human race clones, I have twisted the situation enough for it to be a fresh take on an old idea.
The goal is to make the argument and ethical dilemma so relatable and real that the main character can see and empathize with both sides. I feel this will add depth to the character and make her more compassionate and convincing.
The stereotype of Humans being a weak race that can’t go head to head with aliens, is one I want to avoid. On the other hand, I also want to avoid the cliché where humans are a technologically advanced race, on a planet to take its resources.
I sidestepped these, by having the Peadarians run a misinformation campaign to manipulate the Human Immortals into fighting for their side. They convinced the Humans that the war is about how the Humans are being treated. The experimentation/biological warfare, as the humans see it, rubbed them the wrong way. In the eyes of the Humans it justifies their violent and ruthless tactics. Which made the other races see the Humans as the “monsters that stalk the night.”