Alcanster

Population 2 million

 

POLITICS Class system, rich nobles, poor peasants, growing middle class.  Common internal power struggles in families.  Most mages bad, in the Crimson Circle.  Because of this, magic is forbidden here.  Very rare magical animals from Calithwain but theyíre mostly afraid of the country.  Rather feudal with lots of farmland. Ancient alliance with Chíleroc, peaceful history with TiníKar which is out of their way.  First of all, kingship is hereditary, gender doesnít matter.  Very seldom, a king has chosen a younger child to follow him.  This often leads to wars and revolution.  In ancient times, the people used magic (a pool like the one in Seln) to pick the King. This isnít precisely magic, but it is frowned upon nowadays. 

 

NAMES AND LANGUAGE  Menís names end in n frequently, women in l.  The traditional, rigid old style names are ---el, the new, popular and showy names are --elle.  Named after a heroine named Danielle; since she married the prince these new names are a tad pretentious.  Everyone Someone of Somewhere.  Women are supposed to use euphemisms, extra sheltered from all issues of magic or indecency.

 

FOLK TRADITIONS  Luck to you on your path, Peaceful night.  Darkland regarded as tragedy.  As out of place as a Tinkari at a formal banquet.  ďHonestĒ as Lotoran trader.  Old wives scare people with tales of monsters of Darkland, kids play monsters and heroes.  Courtly adventure ballads, a few religious works, great old national epic that nothing can compare to called The Chronicles of Sinon.  Everyoneís read it.  Danielle of Kelen Hills universally popular, even made into dolls and puppets  Old Ordno stuff popular right now.  English renaissance country dances for the farming peasants and courtly dances for the nobles.  The waltz is considered indecent at all levels of society.  5 is the big number.

 

HOLIDAYS/CALENDAR: Children dress like Danielle of Kelen Hills in a holiday called the Feast of Mipur.  She wore a crown of ribbons at her coronation; that characterizes all the costumes.  Since it is a spring holiday, plum tarts are traditional.  Midwinter new year with masquerades and elegant feasts.  Black and white foods served.  Summer festival with picnics in woods.  Birthday of king. 

 

LIFE CYCLES  A very specific color of dark gray is used for shrouds.  Light gray for wedding gowns.  Bodies cremated so Circle canít use them.  First, bodies are displayed at funerals, then immediately cremated.

 

MEN AND WOMEN  Men are supposed to court women romantically.  Women are allowed to inherit but only occasionally do.

 

CLOTHING STYLE  peasants wear brightly colored ponchos, with colored clothing that underneath.  Nobles wear dark colors or pastels, but bright colors are usually considered vulgar.  Black and white go in and out of fashion, usually out. Embroidery is popular.  Long, elaborately curled hair.  Few wigs.  No beards.  Rose scent popular.  Tons of jewelry, often given as gifts.  Daggers and learning to use them more popular now for men and women.

 

JUSTICE  Trial by jury of 5 well educated nobles.  Royal pardon can be granted to anyone.  Prejudice against lower classes; even the accusation of magic can ruin a personís career or life.  Traditional punishment: property goes to king and or person is exiled.  Exile greatly feared.  Death penalty debated.  Small prison system.

 

CLASS  Get respect from feudal style rank, little or no advancement possible. All nobles and much of middle class literate.  Poor class is treated so-so, responsibility for them lies in next level up.  Harsher penalties for poorer classes.  Higher the rank = more formal among equals.  Houses mean nobles- Lord and Lady.  Area divided in Kingdoms (governed by monarch) - provinces (governed by lords/ladies of Houses.  Children Master/Miss)-  counties (governed by overlords, called sire?) - towns or villages (governed by mayors called by name).  Friends or strong acquaintances drop titles.  All positions but mayor hereditary, 5 classes:

Royal, The royal House: direct succession.  A few trusted advisors/ childhood friends go in this class, but not all are blood relatives of the monarch.  Always literate.

Nobles, lords/ladies of Houses.  Children Master/Miss.  This usually includrs relatives of royal house.  Always literate.

Well off (overlords, merchants, fine dressmakers).  They provide fine services for lords, king.  The heads of guilds are sometimes here.  Usually literate.  Called Guildmaster or Honorable John or your honor.

Freemen (live in towns or villages, work for selves, own land.  Servants for king sometimes count selves here) Guild members are here.  Literate if it helps their trade.  Called Goodman John

Serving class (servants for nobles or work nobleís fields).  Saying that the only land they own is graves.   Whether they have enough food depends on lords/overlords taxes.  Illiterate.  Called Goodman to be super polite.

 

EXPORTS  Lots of food, grain, cheese, etc.  Mostly through Lotorinum who charges a lot.  Famous for nut candies.

 

FOOD  Known for sweets and pastries, cooks and wines from CHíleroc are popular.

 

CURRENT ISSUES Does Crown Prince Jeric, who seems shy and introverted as well as removed from the people, have the potential to be a good king?  Old King Beren is slowly declining. 

 

RELIGION  Predominant religion White Lady/Silent Wanderer.  Superstition about Dark Wolf- bringer of Death

 

GEOGRAPHY  Few plate tectonic troubles.  Goblins live under Dark Valley; they battle the evil monsters who live there.

 

MAGIC Alcanster uses wands, in general 

The Circle:  leader, several counselors and elite bloodhounds, The Two Dozen: ordinary bloodhounds, three levels of members: adept, noviciate, novice.  Also priests of the Dark Wolf.  Sacrifices wear white, Hidden blue, novice red, red with bronze chain, silver chain, bloodhounds in heart blood purple.  Elite in black, necromancers in dark gray.

In the Circle, thereís always someone spying or listening in on every conversation, looking for a weakness in which to stick a knife

The Circle dares to cut wand wood from the sacred Living Tree of Calithwain.  Itís in the center of the dark forest and sacred to dryads.  Itís the oldest hamadryad, peaceful and contemplative.  Knows the answers to many ancient puzzles.  The tree speaks and feels pain, knows many great secrets.  The Hidden never practice blood magic, the Circle sometimes uses sacrifices to add to the power of the spell.

CITIES  Lenn was the 2nd biggest and most important city, made into capital when they lost the first one.  Population 67000 Tiralann near lake teral.  Bigger trade than other cities.  Lenn has an actual castle but palace and big city evolved around it.  Lots of castles and forts near Lotorinum.

MONEY  Medium sized, ridged to prevent shaving.  Star coins have amethyst.  Picture of ruler on both coins, a set of silvers issued with Danielleís picture.

 

National symbol- pheonix.  National colors purple and gold.  Crest is purple field with a red flame jaguar and of gold border.    

 

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