Xenophilia and Xenophoby (A to Z Challenge, X)

28 April, 2016

The Sea of Stars is rife with odd and bizarre things, from dog folk to fish trees, cows that can read and eternal snow falls, and other ever stranger things.  Much like the way that people think of venturers, it depends on a group’s recent experience with strange things on how welcoming or hostile they may be towards the next unusual thing that comes visiting.

Generally, the more cosmopolitan and urban, the more likely an area is to have strands of xenophilia, embracing the strange, and welcoming the opportunities presented by new and exotic things even if they occasionally prove dangerous.  There will always be a market down some alley in a big enough city for any strange and unlikely thing that comes through.  Novelty is welcomed in such places especially if it seems to give the possessors of such novelty some sort of social (or other) advantage.

Here or thereConversely, small towns and isolated rural area tend to a natural conservatism and fear of things from outside, xenophoby.  After all, change means uncertainty and danger and small communities do not usually have much in the way of reserves in case things go wrong, so better safe than sorry.  Now, this is not to say that all such communities are hostile to strangers and new ideas, just that they are more cautious, often much more, when it comes to trying new ideas and letting strangers do stranger things.

Of course isolated and distant communities may have their own strangeness which to them is now just traditional and the way things always have been done, there are many of such places that resulted from the first century after the Sundering which turned everything upside down.  “You don’t eat beetles?”  “Where you come from potatoes do not grow in the shape of human faces?”  “But all goats have two heads.”  “You didn’t hatch from an egg?”  “Of course you grow a new set of teeth each year.”

Notes: Yes, xenophoby and xenophobia are essentially interchangeable words but I like using obscure words when I find them so there you go.

More on xenophily here.

Photo by Susanne Nilsson and used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.


  1. I’ve found that when DMing, xenophobia tends to be my default answer whenever I’m in a pinch trying to figure out how an NPC will react to a situation. “The party approaches the man in the corner who I haven’t prepared anything for. Um…he notices the elf and draws his sword!”

    • You see, I take that and would want to run the other way. “He sees the elf and says, ‘You have returned! As the Prince of Elves promised us twelve generations back that he would send his agent in our time of need!'”

      • I like that! I’ll have to twist my thinking a bit…

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