World-Building Wonders – Animal Research Inspires Cultures

Welcome to another installment of World-Building Wonders! Find an escape into an author’s awesome world — and worldview! Today’s featured author is Terri Luckey.

I’ve had several compliments on my world building in the Kayndo series and I’m often asked how I came up with everything. The answer is three-fold. I dreamed some, I did research, and I let my imagination run wild.


In my dream, wars wrought planet wide destruction of civilization, and a white wolf came to help the few survivors left. Those survivors formed clans with animal companions and banished technology.

I researched tribal cultures, animal behaviors, weapons, edible plants, healing plants, etc., and incorporated that into the books. You can find more information on healing plants and edible plants can be found at my website.

Some of my tribal names are based on animal scientific names. In Wolf Clan the people are Calupi, in Horse clan they are called Kwin, Fox clan are the Valupi, Eagle clan are Accipi, etc. Throughout the Kayndo Trilogy, I introduce these clans and the unique aspects of their cultures that are heavily influenced by the animals they live with.


My main character is Dayvee. He’s Calupi, and lives in Wolf Clan. Like wolves, Calupi are status conscious and their rank is judged by their worth to the pack. How well someone can hunt, gather, and fight to defend the pack affects their rank. A wild wolf pack has Alpha, Beta and Omega members. It’s the same in Wolf Clan. Dayvee’s father is their Alpha leader. Dayvee’s uncle is one of the next highest ranked, a Beta. Omegas have the least status. A Calupi can challenge someone of higher rank to a fight to gain more status, but if they lose the fight their rank will fall.

In book one of the series, Dayvee thinks if he gains enough status, his father will be proud and might even come to love him. A red fringe on a weapons pouch is a mark of distinction and earned by risking your life to save another. Unfortunately, Dayvee loses his red fringe and receives the white fringe of an Omega, given to a Calupi who puts other pack members in danger. Omegas get all the worst chores and are often picked on. Most Calupi think Omega’s should be miserable so they learn a lesson. Dayvee’s willing to do just about anything to gain status. Find out in Ring of Death how far he’ll go.


Before writing the Kayndo series, Terri Luckey wrote for newspapers, radio, and television. Her job titles have included Reporter, Advertising Script Writer, Promotions writer, News Editor, Managing Editor and Continuity Director.


After wars burned their world, sixteen-year-old Dayvee has only his knife and chakram to survive the clan’s training, the wilderness, and threats like mountain lions…but his malicious training leader, Nero is out for blood. His hatred will test Dayvee’s resolve, courage, and friendships. But even deeper trouble than Nero brews in the kingdom of Taluma and a Kayndo–an animal master–may need to rise to defeat it.

The Kayndo series has received excellent reviews and today only the first book, Ring of Death, is free to download on Kindle!

2 thoughts on “World-Building Wonders – Animal Research Inspires Cultures

  1. This is definitely something I need to read. I’ve never understood the anthropomorphic animals thing, but why not have societies that interpret a culture from their iconic animal? So cool!

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