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So, I've been working hard on figuring out how the bathhouses built by my Orcs work in my story setting. You might be thinking, "Why would your Orcs have bathhouses? Aren't Orcs slovenly and barbaric?" They may be in other story settings, but I'm using the Roman Empire as the primary basis for the way my Orcs work. It isn't a total copy-paste, mind you, but one thing that my Orcs have in common with the Romans is that they are good at building all sorts of infrastructure - roads, aqueducts, and so forth - and that they have bathhouses with clever methods of heating the water and the like. However, one thing we worldbuilders have to be mindful of is how the stuff we devise will work its way into our actual stories. It won't do for me to put so much time and effort into figuring out these bathhouses if I don't actually have them featured in any of the stories in this setting. So, I have to ask myself, what do I do with them? How can I use them as a location in my stories and how can these various details come into play? Aside from showing that my Orcs practice very good hygiene, what purpose do these bathhouses serve? One thing that I settled on was that these bathhouses are not just for getting clean. They're how Orcs like to socialize. There's a lot more to them than bathing. There are almost always gymnasiums attached to them, so characters who want to do some sparring will likely use them, they usually have things like barbers, cafes, small shops, and even chapels and temples that are built within the same complex, and some of them are specifically designed with couples in mind. Thus, they can serve as locations where people can have various types of conversations, get to know each other better, or even be romantic. These bathhouses may also be places of healing, so they can serve as a location for an injured or sick character to get treatment. But, most of all, I think they can serve as a very atmospheric location for characters to let their hair down or do some thinking. My main protagonist, Perdita Nightshade, often does her best thinking in the bath because the warm water and pleasant aromas help to relax her body so she can focus her energy on matters of the mind. Thus, Orcish bathhouses can provide a refuge for my characters when they need one. Anyway, I just thought I'd share these thoughts I had. As I said near the start, while worldbuilding can be a lot of fun, it is very important that we make sure that we consider how these details will factor into the stories we intend to tell. For some writers, this is easier than it is for others, but I think anyone who enjoys worldbuilding runs the risk of getting more caught up in it than in telling a story.
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