From left to right, here are some representatives of four fantasy nations I’ve designed. I might use them for some kind of computer game setting.
The Herabim: These camel-herding nomads live divided into patriarchal clans that roam the desert. They venerate the Moon as their sole god, believing meteors come down to Earth represent lunar messages which they hold sacred. Their design is influenced by Biblical Hebrew and Bedouin Arab cultures.
The Valorians: They inhabit a rugged coastal region dotted with active volcanoes, where they believe their ruling god Ignatos resides. Once divided into squabbling city states, they have since consolidated into a larger empire with an appointed dictator, but they have not lost their appetite for war and conquest. Militaristic pragmatists to the extreme, they invest all their science and research into designing more powerful weapons and defenses. The Valorians are of course based off ancient Greek, Roman, and Spanish influences.
The Azhuryin: They share a common ethnic and linguistic heritage with the Herabim, but have settled down to establish a larger civilization of scholars and alchemists. Though they revere the Moon like their Herab kin, they interpret it more as a symbol of natural order, and value education more than anything else. Their leaders are in fact an oligarchic council of intellectuals led by an appointed Arch-Sage. Aesthetically the Azhuryi culture draws from ancient Mesopotamian, Persian, and medieval Islamic influences.
The Hekhaptans: The Hekhaptans have erected the world’s oldest monarchy along the banks of a great savanna river. In sharp contrast to the Moon veneration of the Herabim and Azhuryin, the Hekhaptans consider the Sun to be their most important deity. They believe the Sun is the mother of Earth and all its life, and that their own dark skin represents a special national blessing from the goddess herself. Furthermore, Hekhaptans hold their monarchs to represent the Sun’s direct descendents, who have the responsibility of feeding and protecting their people with divine favor in exchange for monumental tombs. Obviously the Hekhaptans’ design draws from ancient Egyptian, Nubian, and various sub-Saharan African influences.