How can this work?

Question: OK, so in my fantasy, I really wanted to create two rival tribes, preferably of opposing beast-peoples (still debating on whether to use mythological ones or create originals). I want them to not exactly be heroes but far from villains. I guess anti-hero would work, but it sounds so cliched to me. Anyway, I want them to be very different but to share both a code of honor in battle and a fierce defense of home territory. I was wondering if you thought I could pull off this idea and make it work: Have the tribes have a long history of war, mostly territorial, but have them hold intense respect for each other as warriors, maybe even a friendship. I kept fantasizing more about it and thought of them even waging war purely for sport, but I doubt whether I could have that make sense. I'm tempted to try anyway, but do you think I could make the first kind of relationship between tribes? A history of violence tempered by mutual respect, possibly even camaraderie? Thanks for any help!

P.S. If the two tribes should inhabit different sorts of territories, for example maybe one in the mountains and one on the plains, how could I make such a history when the tribes aren't exactly next door neighbors? And how might such tribes interact in times of peace? Thanks again.

Answer: I think relationships such as this have existed throughout history. Groups might cooperate or trade with each other in times of plenty and war over resources in times of scarcity. Each would find a niche to specialize in. Codes of conduct covering war could evolve, especially if there was a collective realization that peace would need to be made after each war. Groups living side-by-side influence each other and develop some shared values.

Of course, what you have here is just background. The story will be about a problem one or both these communities face, or a goal one or both must pursue.

Comments for How can this work?

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Oct 26, 2012
War as a Game
by: Anonymous

You might look at the Native American idea of counting coup as a form of war as a game.

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