Hey btw, another worldbuilding thing: You can, and actually should have weird and impractical cultural things. They’re not inherently unrealistic, for as long as you address the realistic consequences as well.
Let’s say you’ve got a city where there’s tame white doves everywhere. They’re not pests, they’re regarded as sacred, holy protectors of the city, and the whole city cares for them and feeds them like they’re pets. They’re so tame because it’s a social taboo to hurt or scare one. Nice pretty doves :)
Then someone points out that even if they’re not seen as pests, doesn’t having a completely unchecked feral pigeon population – that not only isn’t being culled, but actively fed and cared for – mean that there would be bird shit absolutely all over the place?
A part of you wants to say no, because these are your nice, pretty doves. To explain that there’s a reason why they’re not shitting all over the place, maybe they’re super-intelligent and specifically bred and trained to not shit all over the place. The logistics of how, exactly, could anyone breed and train a flock of feral birds go unaddressed.
An even worse solution would be to not have those birds, editing them out of the world. No, they spark joy, you can’t just toss them out!
Now, consider: Yes, yes they would, but the city also has an extensive public sanitation service that’s occupied 90% of the time by cleaning bird shit off of everything. One of the most common last names in the area actually translates to “one who scrapes off dove shit”, and it’s a highly respected occupation. And thanks to the sheer necessity of constantly regularly cleaning everything, the city enjoys a much higher standard of cleanliness, and less public health issues caused by poor public sanitation.
The doves do protect the city. By shitting fucking everywhere.
While I absolutely love your idea, I just want to say that you can easily reduce public bird shitting from Pigeons by offering them comfortable lodgings where they can sleep and feed. Sure, you need to clean THOSE, but the pigeons shit a lot less all over town.
The Augsburg concept has one big pigeon house every 500m in which wild pigeons are fed, protected from weather and have nesting opportunities. Cities doing that have WAY less uncontrolled populations (since they can take out eggs if they feel they need reduce the population), way less shit AND a healthy population since it’s easier for veterinarians to notice and get to sick animals.
So I’d say one can of course still keep your general idea……but there’s also those MASSIVE palace-like pidgeon houses and only the most worthy are allowed to enter and directly interact with the pigeons (feed them, heal them, clean their lodgings). One big entrance for the human servants (priests??) and millions of small holes for the pigeons.
In fact, one could potentially turn your idea around IN THE PIDGEONS FAVOR. So your world is like ours and most major cities have a big feral pigeon population. And most of those cities HATE the pigeons and try to fight them and stuff. And they think that pigeon worshipper town is frigging cuckoo. BUT when comparing, then pigeon worshipper town is ridiculously clean and beautiful. No bird shit everywhere, no ruined house facades and statues from erosion through bird poop.
Pigeon haters go “how tf are you so clean, you have birds EVERYWHERE???” and the worshippers shrug and show their little bird temples spread around town that keep their precious birdies AND their town pretty.
I think this is a really good example of how research can greatly improve your worldbuilding! You don’t have to be perfectly accurate – it is fantasy after all – but the real world is so much more clever and beautiful than any of us know
advice that’s stuck with me: you don’t have to work inwards to justify a premise (e.g., ‘how would it ever be plausible to use snakes as currency’) as long as you work outwards in interesting ways from that premise (e.g., ‘how would a society that used snakes as currency look different? what would they use for wallets?’)
Wait, did you choose snakes specifically as a reference to that time when people literally used snakes as currency, or what is a random example?
Sorry, that time what