Humans & Brunlings: Know the Difference is one of the required readings for any individual wishing to take part in Project Genesis. Brunlings are one of the two sapient hominids native to the planet of Sabel, and knowledge of their history and background as a species is vital to their appropriate use and implementation within the worldbuilding of this project. As such, the goal of this article is to help provide a primer on who the brunlings are and how the operate with their human neighbors. It will also explain what the brunlings will and will not do, what kind of religions they form, and how they see themselves at a individual and social level for those interested in creating a brunling nation or culture.
Please note, this article is intended mainly for those seeking to develop a brunling nation or interact heavily with an existing brunling nation or population center. The goal here is to ensure there is a general understanding of who and what the brunlings are, and who and what they are not. As the brunlings are a fictional race, rules are in place to ensure they are employed in an appropriate and lore-friendly manner for the benefit of all here in the Project Genesis community.
Within the setting of Project Genesis, humans and brunlings originate on separate continents – humans hail from the northern continent of Nurthra, and brunlings from the southern continent of Sunthra. Given the general scale of the distances involved between the two races, interactions between either were scarce for most of history. The first generally accepted encounter between humans and brunlings is cited as having occurred around 3000 BCE, near the northern coastline of Sunthra. Though the two species had some interactions with one another in terms of trade, culturally, the two were sufficiently "alien" enough to the other that large-scale cross-cultural contamination was somewhat reduced by IRL ("in real life") terms.
The major calendar defining moment in Sabelian history would be the Great Unsettling in 1 CE. It was during this period that the first major waves of human tribes and warrior hosts from Nurthra began to migrate across the Sea of Haunts (the term "haunt" in this case in its original meaning for "fetch", "bring home", or "frequent"), and into the eastern half of Sunthra, opposite the TBD Mountains. By this point in time, the brunlings had established their own collection of city-states and nomadic tribes, and had mostly settled the majority of the continent on their end of the Sea of Haunts. Among the great empires that existed in Sunthra at this time would be Brunethel itself, which had already come to dominate most of the western half of Sunthra.
Due to the long-standing effects of brunling inheritance of major memories through their patriarchs, the violent conquests and uprooting of brunling populations in the east of Sunthra would play a major role in defining how many of the brunlings came to view humans going foward. While the brunlings of the west and Brunethel would generally remain on cordial terms with humans, those who were forced to flee from the east would maintain overtly hostile relations with their new human neighbors. Consequently, all of the brunling nations within central Sunthra have notoriously bad or difficult diplomatic relationships with the human nations on the southern continent, and those from the north that support them.
In the modern era of Sabel, relationships between humans and brunlings can range from friendly to tense to hostile. Because the brunlings are a fictional race, it would be necessary to discuss diplomatic relations from their point of view for clarity. As a guide, brunling nations which have had little to no major interactions with human cultures, such as those on the extreme western end of Sunthra, or near to the south pole, are generally neutral or cordial toward humans. The same applies to human nations in the far north of Nurthra and throughout most of Austra. Those brunling nations within western Sunthra, like Brunethel, generally have a wider range of views on humans, but generally lean toward being friendly or neutral. As a rule, all brunling nations located within central Sunthra bordering the human nations in the east have historically been hostile toward humans. The best comparison would be the relationship between the nations in the Balkans, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.
What is a brunling?
Brunlings (meaning "brown-skinned ones") are a race of hominids native to the southern continent of Sunthra within the setting of Project Genesis. Their Homo erectus ancestors migrated south into the continent for reasons unknown approximately 1–1.2 million years ago, where through the movie magic of Handwavium!™, they evolved into the modern-day brunling species. Accordingly, the brunlings differ from humans in a number of crucial areas which shall be covered below.
Humans and brunlings are not in any way the same species in spite of their visual similarities. Though both appear to be human on the outside, brunlings are functionally different in every other way biologically and psychologically. Their interests can likewise different from their human neighbors, though not so much as to make them completely alien; though their goals in life vary greatly given the distinct biological roles individuals have within their species.
Provided below are a list of generalized differences between humans and brunlings for those seeking to make use of either group for Project Genesis. It should again be noted that these are simply generalized differences that should in no way serve as a hard-cap what either side can or will do. In particular, the "Aspirations" section is simply to demonstrate how brunlings think and operate separately from humans. Brunlings as a rule are extremely family-oriented, and will place the needs and concerns of their fathers far above any individual concerns that arise.
|Population||6 billion (FY20)||4 billion (FY20)|
|Sexes||• Male (♂) / Wyeling (W)
• Female (♀) / Sheling (S)
|• Apex (Δ) / Frumling (F)|
• Mesa (O) / Fereling (f)
• Nadir (∇) / Neshling (n)
• Propagate lineage and attain female physical/emotional access
• Attain respect of peers and family members through personal feats
• Perform work fulfilling responsibilities as signs of masculinity
• Establish legacy and bloodline to continue family line
• Attain to high social status—political, religious, or otherwise
• Build a large family for the purposes of personal affirmation
• Protect and provide for family and ensure its long-term survival
• Establish record of personal accomplishments for patriarchal approval
• Attain admiration of apex/nadir partners for physical and emotional access
|Society||Individualism (strong) / Collectivism (weak)
Humans are naturally self-serving individuals who, more often than not, place personal comfort above collective interests. Though this may at first appear to be a negative trait, such individualism has permitted the growth of the arts and sciences as outgrowths of personal interests and patronage. Many communities in human society are indeed very communal and traditional, but many of these have fallen out of favor as economic and political liberalization allow for more personal freedoms among the human population.
|Collectivism (very strong)|
Brunlings place (in order of importance) family, tribe, and race above else in their society. Totalitarian and collectivistic government structures are far more common among the brunlings that democratic systems that would be more common to humans. Individualism is considered more the domain of the apexes, but even then, they are guided by their ancestral faiths toward ideals that place duty to family and nation above their own personal whims (though not always). Brunlings are rigidly devout and conservative, excessively communal, and violently opposed to major social changes.
Like humans, individual brunlings have hopes, dreams, and aspirations which motivate them to pursue certain goals in life. However, brunling motivations are largely different from that humans in that they tend to think more in a collective manner rather than an individualistic one as would be more common with humans. They are, as a rule, motivated by the familial bonds they share with one another through their fathers. Humans are motivated by personal interests and then familial and communal interests.
A human for their part will generally think about how a certain course of action in the following manner:
- Benefit or harm them in the short-term or long-term in a cost-benefit analysis.
- Affect their standing or that of their immediate circle of friends or family members.
- Influence their community or society in a short or long-term chain of events and consequences.
In line with this method of thinking, humans will move from the individual out to the collective when performing the majority of tasks that confront them. Because of this, actions pertaining subjects related to personal relations, financial decisions, political dealings, and criminal activity (among other matters), tend to be the consequence of self-serving decision-making within the human mind. A human will generally place the needs of themselves and their immediate family members above that of the wider community they live in, beyond which they will then place the needs of their community or tribe above that of the wider society it belongs too.
Brunling thought on the other hand are similar but with a drastically different mode of reasoning. A brunling will typically act in accordance to the following system of thought:
- What benefit a decision will bring to their father and his ancestral heritage.
- How the given course of action will bring prestige to their family or community.
- In what manner they might attain higher social status through said course of action.
In contrast to humans, while brunlings share similar self-serving motivations, they will typically think and behave according to how a set of actions might first benefit their fathers and then their families. The reasoning for this is generally regarded as a method of securing the survival of their species by first ensuring the reproducing members of the population, in this case the apexes, have their needs met first and all others involved second. Apexes being only a tenth of the brunling population are the only individuals capable of reproducing, and are therefore the fathers of all brunlings on the planet. As such, they are highly-regarded and given first place in all decisions that an individual or community might make.
Any discussion regarding brunling psychology must also include the unique method of personality and memory inheritance within the species. Brunlings do not inherit every memory ever held throughout the entirety of their species or its history, but core memories such as behavioral traits and personal quirks and motivations. These all pass through the apex population and into their offspring, meaning that any memories or developments made by a mesa or a nadir would not be passed on to new generations. The process regarding this system of inheritance is covered in depth on the brunling article itself; all discussion here will simply be abbreviated for clarification.
So strong is this process of memory inheritance, that brunling personalities can be considered "replicas" of whatever personal quirks or traits their fathers possessed. Many brunling children will proactively work to model their own behavior after that of their fathers's traits and personalities as best they can. Deeply-conservative and paternalistic fathers will give birth to similarly conservative and paternalistic children, with this personality mimicry replicated again and again as new generations of brunlings are born. The brunling religion of Brunetroth itself is a direct creation of this process, and will be covered in detail below. But for the subject at hand, no brunling is independent of this system of inheritance. If a mesa is born to a father with a long-line of fathers noted for their short-tempers, she will (as a rule) be a short-tempered and violent individual (more so than most mesas already).
This personality inheritance is a major contributing factor to the stability of brunling societies, but one of the primary (if not the primary) reason brunling societies are slow to change and advance at a glacial technological rate without direct intervention from an apex highfather. As a demonstration of these sluggish acceptance of new technologies, the brunlings only adopted television sets en masse in the 1970s, five decades after they had been introduced in the nations of humanity. The vaunted stability and compliance to the governing authorities noted in brunling society comes with the cost of a unyieldingly reactionary and xenophobic population, for no other reason than because their forefathers held these beliefs dear to their hearts during their own time centuries ago.
It should be noted that while the brunlings are not a monolith or gestalt conscience, they are sufficiently rigid in their thinking as to generate a number of shared traits that all adhere to. For example, while many brunling nations differ from one another culturally and politically, there is no brunling equivalent to the mainstream progressive movements that existed within human society. Likewise, universities which generally served as places for the exploration of new ideas and concepts for social and political change for humans, serve mainly to find ways to reinforce the decisions and beliefs of long-dead highfathers past. Whereas human children are typically playful and inquisitive, brunling children are orthodox in behavior and conservative in their thinking. In the eyes of the humans on Sabel, brunlings are ultraconservative, reactionary, and culturally backwards as a people, and the edicts that exist with the faith of Brunetroth only serve to reinforce that stereotype, even among those brunlings born and raised outside of the traditional lands of the brunlings.
As with all communities, real and fictional, the brunlings are not with major issues of social and cultural importance. While they are value stability and adherence to the status quo, brunlings face a wide range of issues that continue to plague their society well into the modern day. Below are some issues that every brunling social group is faced with regardless of their background:
- Reclamation of the old brunling lands east of Ournethel, and whether or not the last two thousand years following the Great Unsettling have erased any claims they once held on the land. Following the great migration of humans into Sunthra in 1 CE, many of the brunling nations that exist today within central Sunthra have found themselves home to entrenched brunling populations with long-standing genetic memories of the event. These brunlings continue to agitate for reclamation of "their lands", and have established many political action groups, lobbying organizations, and for some, even terrorist organizations that pledge not just human communities, but brunling communities believed to be at "fault" for not adding their siblings in their quest for vengeance.
- Whether or not Ournethel is an oppressive state within the brunling world, and if it truly deserves its status as the leading brunling nation in Sabel. While many brunlings look up to Ournethel as an example of "brunling exceptionalism", many more have come to believe that Ournethel's constant interference in the affairs of its neighbors and demands for adoption of their financial and political system, are beginning to upend the traditional rights of the highfathers to govern their families as they so please and are entitled to.
- Whether or not nadirs ought to be treated as equals or second-class citizens, as they make up two-thirds of the population but are denied innumerable rights and privileges enjoyed by apexes and mesas. In a great many brunling nations, nadirs are not allowed to do one or more of the following:
- Independently own land, weapons, or housing
- Possess an bank account independent of the family bank account
- Attain independent financing for projects or business ventures
- Vote in public forums of any kind unless specifically designated as voters
- Move into independent housing without approval or a guardian
- Own a car without family approval or with a guardian present