Welcome to the Let's Make a World database, where I've fleshed out the suggestions to hopefully make it into a coherent world. If you'd like to look up a particular phase, use your computer's "Find in page" function (F3 and/or Ctrl+F on Windows, and if anyone has instructions for how to do in on a Mac, let me know, I'll happily add it) and type "Phase #" replacing # with the number of the phase you're looking up.
Phase 1 ----- Suggestion by BansheeCupcake
Lemawo is a frigid planet, covered mostly in ice. Most of the oceans are hidden under sheets of ice a dozen feet thick, and in many places around the world, the sealife never sees the sky because the frozen ceiling never melts. Instead of warm tropics, the equator of Lemawo consists of hardy, colorful tundra that freeze overnight. And where the snow never melts? There are plants and animals the likes of which we've never seen that thrive in the unforgiving temperatures.
The planet has three moons that make an isosceles triangle around the planet. Together they create one mega-tide system. Where the waters are thawed, this results in tides that average a difference of 100 feet between high a low tide--though in some places, the difference in depth is even greater than that. Where the seas are frozen, it can appear from land as though the ice is the belly of a massive beast, breathing in and out--rising up and down, very slowly over the course of the moons' rotation. The ice is always breaking, and refreezing itself, making travel on the frozen seas some of the most dangerous of all.
Phase 2 ----- Suggestion by Mytherva
The inhabitants of Lemawo are at the dawn of a global industrial era, as power production has been refined enough to be mass produced. All across civilization the creation of factories, engineering, and transportation are taking shape on a scale never seen before. Thus far, the great minds behind these advancements have worked in collaboration with one another across all cultures, and all have prospered for it. There is a hope that these advancements will unlock access to resources previously locked out of reach by the harsh conditions of their world.
Though these inventions have less of an effect on the day-to-day lives of the average citizen, powered lighting systems available to all have created something new: a night life. Entertainment industries are taking off in most cultures, now that the hours available for leisure have expanded.
Phase 3 ----- Suggestion by DruidDoll
The magic of Lemawo reacts to emotion. It doesn't seem to matter which emotion is being felt, only how strong it is. But a raw expression of tears or laughter? Unfocused and nearly impossible to use, therefore this magical energy has to be collected and channeled.
The most effective means of harnessing magic is through art, and the emotional response tied to it both from the artist and from those who are an audience to the artist's creation. Only the original artist can "write" a spell into their work, but learning how to do that effectively takes time and practice, and it must be practiced in tandem with creating art at the same time--so a talented mage will always have some degree of artistic skill as well. On the other hand, you can become a skilled artist without magic-know-how but you have to be careful that you aren't casting spells accidentally.
Phase 4 ----- Suggestion by Mytherva
Many generations ago, Lemawo was plagued by wars. There is no one yet alive who remembers this dark history from first-hand experience. A few ancient vestiges of this period remain such as archaic fortresses left to ruin, and old battlefields where relic weapons can still be dug from the frozen ground. In some frigid battle zones where scavengers are few and far between, the bodies of medieval warriors were never recovered, and remain frozen there to this day.
But war was not the life blood of any of Lemawo's cultures. It bled them dry, and at last, they all were weary of it. Peace, after so many untold years of fighting, seemed like a dream until a famous treaty was drafted and the greatest leaders from all the world banded together to make it so. This assembly is heralded as heroes by the present age for bringing an end to the fighting and the beginning of an era where peace and prosperity could begin in earnest.
But while Lemian-kind may be peaceful, the world around them is still largely wild and untamed. Disasters and wild animal attacks can happen anywhere, but there are a few dangers of note.
This is most evident in the existence of the Titans (temporary name)--mighty creatures that roam the wildest of locales. In ancient times, they lived closer to civilization. Some ancient people's even revered them as gods. But when the eras of war came, many rumors circulated that their parts could be harvested to make mighty weapons, and though there is no historical record of a 'Titan' ever being killed, the creatures retreated to the farthest reaches of the planet. They do not trust Lemawo's human-like races, and if they don't destroy those fool-hardy enough to seek them, the dangerous wilds they call home surely will.
The other more dangerous feature of Lemawo is a comet-like entity that orbits the same sun, at roughly the same distance as Lemawo does, but said orbit is askew from most other celestial bodies. Once a year, Lemawo passes through the comets tail as their orbits nearly intersect, and the weather of the planet reacts violently to the debris--kicking of whirlwinds that rain electric energy all around them for a little over one full day. Since the dawn of civilization, Lemians have known to stay away from the planet's surface--going below ground or below water to hide from the storms. With advances in technology, a few cultures have developed bunkers that can withstand the storms with greater ease than building pass, but there is always a great deal of damage to contend with every morning after the storms pass.
hase 5 ----- Suggestion by BansheeCupcake
Our first Lemian society is built onto a lone, dead volcano by the coast. The ancestors of these people claimed the empty lava caverns as their home. Over the ages, the culture has expanded outwards from the mountain's interior. The oldest structures can still be found in the depths of the volcano, and with the introduction of powered lighting, expansion further underground has seen a rapid rise--creating space for factories and labs right over the rich veins of minerals that these facilities need to produce their products. The interior of the mountain is described by many as a labyrinth of tunnels and bridges, but caves are well kept and sturdy, so there is little concern of cave-ins. Lift systems developed in recent generations have made travel up and down the mountain a lot easier as well.
The surface of the mountain has become home to most of the commercial districts and entertainment areas and parks have claimed all the ridges with the best views. Meanwhile the residential zones have spread lower down to the coastline. Government facilities take up residence in the collapsed caldera at the precipice of the volcano--one edge of which is collapsed, giving a grand view all the way down the mountainside to the sprawling suburbs and the sea beyond.
Phase 6 ----- Suggestion by Mytherva
Lemians recognize four different seasons over the course of the year. The year begins with a frigid wind that blows in from the inland plains. It pushes the humidity of the sea away, resulting in cold, dry weather. Though little grows during this time, the dry conditions make it an ideal time for building, and many agricultural laborers spend this time finding temporary work in construction. The temperature drops continually through this season, reaching it's lowest point when the dry winds subside, and a gush of wet air blows in from the sea--taking with it storms, and if the moons are in just the right place, tidal floods that at times cause great deals of deal of damage to the point that many shore-side districts are evacuated annually just to be on the safe side. Each neighborhood has their own bunker within the mountain to be temporary housing until the storms pass. The end of this season is marked by the passing of the annual comet event, with it's electrical storms.
Once the storms settle, the calmest, and longest of the seasons arrives, taking a little over a half a year's time. The weather is wet enough to allow crops to grow and once the damage of the storms are repaired, life continues on as normal. Eventually the winds begin to change again, running parallel to the land, and bringing dryer weather in the fourth and final season of the year. Farmers continue to grow their crops until the end of the season, and harvest time marks the start of a new year when the winds are at last too dry for anything to continue growing.
Phase 7 ----- Suggestion by Sulfur-Cupcake
Within the depths of the volcano are many valuable ores that are difficult to find anywhere else in the world, but are plentiful here.
Bone Copper--discovered only fairly recently. The skeleton an an ancient titanic creature was found within the volcano's lave fields to the west. The bones are laced with a copper-like metal that can be extracted with little damage to the bones themselves, given enough time and patience. The conductive properties of this metal have proven to be an integral part of creating new technology, allowing power to transfer from place to place with very few side-effects. When used in art, the metal has only mediocre magic properties--the bones themselves on the other hand have far greater potential, but can be very brittle once the metal is extracted.
Red Water--A strange, toxic metal that is a liquid even at Lemawo's cold temperatures. It retains heat for a long time, and for many years, the Lemians thought it was actually cooling lava, only that it never solidified. Red Water is a vital part of expeditions into the wild and along trade routes to other cities, making a valuable insulator from the cold. It's a mainstay of forges, and more recently buildings are beginning to be built with a sort of plumbing of fine pipes through the walls to provide them with heating via this red metal.
Phase 8 ----- Suggestion by Sulfur-Cupcake
This nation, historically, has always been one of the most peaceful, preferring to profit off of the wars of others, rather than participate. With the eras of peace, they have seen a great increase to their trade and are determined to maintain the state of worldwide peace for as long as they can. It's central city has become one of the major trade hubs of the world, and the population is more culturally and racially diverse here than anywhere else.
But with this growth, there's a need for space. Respect for nature is not high on their priorities, especially when it comes to the resources of their mountain--which they mine relentlessly, and using more than a few methods that some day they might end up paying for a hundred years down the line. For now, though, the siren's song of progress sings louder than the fears of the environmentally conscious.
Phase 9 ----- Suggestion by Mytherva
At the top of the mountain is an ancient, magic tree that no fire, nor storm, nor bitter winds, nor rising floods, nor time itself seems to have any effect on its growth and well-being. Every so often, the tree produces a seed--the life-force of a new being.
Of course, it requires a body, or else it will never even sprout. Craftspeople--the most skilled of sculptors--make a body of clay or stone (sometimes even both) for the seed to inhabit, lacing the construction with their magic all along the way. An empty chamber is left at the heart, where the seed and any gifts the creator wishes to grant their creation are placed. The sculptor absorbs the emotional energy the creator has for it, as well as anyone else who has a role in its creation (often a master longing for an apprentice to teach their trade), and once enough of this magical power source is collected, the seed begins to germinate.
At this point, the heart chamber is sealed, and the body is left to rest as the seed grows--feeding off the magic stored within the body. Within a few weeks, the being is up and walking, if a little uncoordinated as the seed within still has some growth and maturing to do.
Presently all crafters of bodies belong to a guild that sets standards for body creation. Because the seed eventually grows to exceed outside of the original body, often tripling its original size, the sculpted form is built small and child-like so that the adult being will fit the average size of the rest of society. Occasionally, the guild is convinced to allow for larger sculpted bodies, but the creation of these giants are rare and very special cases. As of yet, there is no known limit to just how large a member of their race could grow to be, if given a large enough body with enough magic to sustain the seed's growth until it has control over it.
Phase 10 ----- Suggestions by BansheeCupcake and Shadowalker9
With time, the plant part of their being grows out and over the stone and clay body, usually beginning around the head and torso, and reaching out towards the arms, covering the body fully within a matter of a few years. The body's organic material will continue to grow until they reach maturity, and can regrow from any injury so long as the underlying stone and clay pieces aren't severely damaged.
The outermost layer of this organic material (their 'skin' for all intents and purposes) takes on a swirling, wood-like texture to protect the rest of the body from the elements. It is not easily cut or chipped unless the individually is severely dehydrated.
Just beneath the skin layer is a layer of phosphorescent chemicals. During the light of day, the effect is nearly invisible except for in their glowing eyes, but under the dark of night or deep within the mines, you see the glow seeping through the patterns of their skin. Unlike regular phosphorescence--which is the result of being "charged" by a light source--the phosphorescence of this race is charged by the amount of magic they have in their body.
Because their existence relies so heavily on magic, it's as necessary for them as water is to humans. Fortunately, it's also something their bodies can produce naturally, so long as they're in good mental health. Putting the capacity for spells into an artwork takes a bit of magic out of them, but that can usually be recovered within a day or two. Dangerous magic loss comes from emotional struggle. A stressed or anxious individual, for example, will experience a glow that dims darker and darker over time, and emotional trauma can make the glow nearly non-existent in a matter of hours. As a result, mental health is considered a top priority in their culture, and their resources to assist in this pursuit border on the excessive. Visitors to their society are always welcome to take advantage of these services too.
Phase 11 ----- Suggestion by Mytherva
The skin tone of these plant-based Lemians (not including the carved body they start out with) is based on the time of year their seed was shed from the parent tree, as the trunk of this tree shifts colors throughout the year between greenish blues all the way to cool violets. When a magic seed falls, the Lemian that comes from it will have a skin tone matching that of the tree's trunk during that time.
If a seed stays with the tree too long, the Lemian's color becomes much darker than usual, and likewise if a seed falls too early, the Lemian's skin will be much lighter in tone. Both are uncommon, but the result of either case doesn't seem to have an adverse affect on the Lemian's health, and individuals of all skin tones are just as likely to grow up as healthy as anyone else.
Their eyes and phosphorescence under the skin is colorless, usually appearing as white through their eyes and the thinner parts of their skin.
Phase 12 ----- Suggestion by EpicNinjaGirl
Where the skin tone of these Lemians comes from their parent tree, the hair color comes from the minerals in their sculpted body underneath it all. Even a dusting of some of the common mountain metals can turn their hair brilliant red or blue or anything in between. Greens and yellows are rare--the minerals needed to cause such a hair color usually harder to find and far deeper in the mountain. Mixing several minerals and metals together results in a rich black hair color. Brown, meanwhile, comes from volcanic glass, which is common, but an extremely unforgiving material to sculpt with. Only creations of the most skilled crafters have brown hair.
The hair grows steadily darker over time, creating an ombre effect of lighter shades at the top, and darker towards the bottom. Different Lemians' hair grows at different rates, resulting in a range of possible lengths.
Phase 13 ----- Suggestions by owliegirl and Mytherva
As these Lemians first came into existence around the world's equator, they have less developed natural anti-freeze capabilities compared to other beings or even compared to many of the world's plants. As such, they keep most of their skin covered by fabric, as their magical bodies produce very little heat on their own and they prefer to retain as much of that limited energy and possible.
They wear a skin-tight layer, often in one or two pieces, that cover their torso and down their legs. Usually this fabric has magic interwoven into it that produces additional heat.
Over that are various layers of more free-flowing fabric meant to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye so that it collects more magic to power the self-heating properties of the bottom layer of clothing. Shawls and cloaks are common for retaining even more warmth.