I need to know what Tammy based the Carthaki Empire upon? (i.e. Scanra=Scandinavian). Also what are the traits of the people (ex.eye color,skin,hair,hieght,etc). And lastly what the names are based on?
Tammy: It should be in the FAQs, I think, but just briefly:
I started with Carthage, but the Romans destroyed the place utterly. So:
Carthage was a Phoenician colony. I went to them for basic fashions, a lot of names (chunks taken from very long Phoenician names with some spellings tampered with), some architecture.
Then I moved on to the Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Sumerians, and basically anybody else in the Fertile Crescent for pieces of names and foods.
I still didn’t have enough detail, so I went to ancient Egypt for interior design (I live in New York City, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art has scads of Egyptian tomb stuff, which includes funerary offerings that include small scenes from daily life), costume, and foods.
I added on Apicius’s Roman cookbook (get the most recent translation, which includes measurements and supplies which fish he meant when he simply tells you a recipe includes “fish”). Then I went nutty and added recipes from UNMENTIONABLE CUISINE and a menu for a really posh conference that had things on it that I didn’t think were food.
By and large the ethnic groups of the empire are those of Africa as it would have been in Roman times, with a ruling white/Arabic/black class in the north, varying toward black further south. Hair colors would mainly be brown, brown-black, or black, with very few redheads or blondes. Eyes would be brown, black, gray-green, gray-blue, or very rarely blue, green, or gray.
The names I took from history books of the Fertile Crescent cultures–I broke the long names, mostly of their kings, down into pieces. I also used a lot of Arabic names and names from African tribes from my world baby name books for people from the middle and lower classes.