Population 2.4 million
NAMES AND LANGUAGE Profession related last names. Lords and ladies don’t have profession related last names, they drop them if they rise in status. Thieves imitate in kind of joke. People are the Lotorans.
CLOTHING STYLE The richer you are, the brighter and more garish colors, more embroidery, and decorations. The fancy clothes indicate that you don’t have to work so the more impractical, the better. Ridiculous headdresses for the women. Current fashion is wigs for men and women. People smell of most exotic perfume possible to cover unclean streets. Tons of jewelry. Impractical weapons popular for men, but considered shockingly unladylike for women.
EXPORTS Lots of finished goods, luxuries. Farmland highly cultivated, everything appears orderly and proper. Most of the 5 kingdoms’ shipping to Calithwain goes through them. They charge high prices especially to Alcanster.
JUSTICE Tons of bribery, thieves executed after third offense, political criminals captured on even small offenses to be used as bargaining chips and traded for their own spies. Trial by one judge, often corrupt. Bodyguards common to protect from other factions. Official police do quite little but regulate feuds. Lots of dumb laws to persecute foreigners. People often held in huge prison until they can make ransom.
FOLK TRADITIONS People polite on surface, have great deal of protocol and traditions. Living closer to the palace is a status symbol. However, they are reluctant to commit to doing much, particularly if they must make a sacrifice. tymro friends “till yer money runs out” Famous artist wrote Song of Teral, popular everywhere. More popular locally is “Connecting to Courtiers” by T.P. (anonymous). Popular court song about a braggart seducing a lady of Alcanster and getting away with it. It’s very prestigious to be a patron of some artist, playwrite, or musician. Alcanster court dances are still done, but considered old fashioned. The waltz is the new risqué dance, adapted from Ch’leroc. Religious ritual masters in high demand as dancing masters. Ten is the big number and one, as individuals are important.
HOLIDAYS/CALENDAR: 12 months, one day each month when people encouraged to go to temple for monthly service. Otherwise little religion. On those days, people give charity to increase their luck. Called penance days. Birthday of the king is big celebration, so is founding of kingdom at same time as midwinter new year. Opulent feasts and masquerades.
LIFE CYCLES Nurses and tutors for kids. Babies introduced to servants and relatives in lavish party-ceremony around 6 months old. Called being Presented. Not being done means family was too poor or didn’t like kid. Cause for teasing and malice. People throw coins at weddings.
MEN AND WOMEN Both insist on being treated with much deference for their genders. Men pay a huge price to a woman’s family to marry, so women are valued. Sons support the parents when old, daughters bring them money. Women can’t inherit property usually.
POLITICS Many merchants and traders come from here, but it’s rumored that they’re spies. More rumors than actual spies existing. Elaborate council with many levels and figurehead king rule. Ten levels of council. King is the first level. This king wastes a lot of tax money on silly whims like statues in all public places. His biggest, silliest one is a circular road around the capital—lots of money and manpower. The rural people favor the king’s older daughter taking his place. The merchants find her too sentimental and kind, and prefer the younger son, who went to business school. The council is divided, but some owe the current king many favors. The boy is controllable, but Lady Sardenna, a mage, has too much power. Frequent Tinkari raids. Bribery and blackmail traditional. Assassination occasional. The Highest Palace (Literally and by law). Visitors who have money are charged and harassed, taken advantage of. Mages treated with cringing respect. Different political groups back their favorite candidates, and participate in rigged elections. When any other group proves that the ruler is incompetent, has done something illegal, or that the elections were rigged, they can hold a new set of elections.
CLASS Get respect from money and power (spies and backdoor projects). No slavery allowed in kingdom, but they provide slaves quietly to Tin’Kar. Large poor class, often treated badly, used for dangerous jobs. Normal people called Worthy John or Friend John. 10 levels: 1 Your Grace 2-4 Your Magnificence 5-7 your splendor 8-10 Your lordship. Lord merchant, honored guildmaster. For kissing up, use your honor to anyone, or if you’re not sure.
CURRENT ISSUES The latest controversial artist. People want stricter theft laws, but extortion’s ok. Bodyguards are lobbying for more laws to protect them if employer killed- will be more expensive for lords. A disease is making its rounds
HISTORY Fiki named lake Liko after he played some pranks in Lotorinum. No plate tectonic troubles. Lake Teral named for heroine who died tragically and romantically to save her love. She was from Alcanster, he was from Lotorinum.
RELIGION Warriors believe in the Wandering God who randomly dispenses fortune. Thieves believe in the Star of Luck since that’s less of a persona and can therefore be trusted, or at least entreated. (good/ bad star patterns influence momentary success). Merchants sometimes believe in a god, sometimes don’t bother. There’s a big fancy temple without much spirituality behind it, people’s donations give them absolution. Some Alcanster religion
FOOD Fish is the cheap peasant food throughout the land. A few poor farmers have chickens. Rich people eat the strangest foods they can get hold of, or better yet serve them to guests as a way of showing off.
MONEY Very big coins but edges often shaved, no ridges to prevent. They usually weigh them, you’re a fool if you don’t. Star coin has topaz, silver has picture of White Hills, bronze has gooseturtle.
MAGIC Lotorinum uses an amulet or jewel on a chain since they’re easy to hide and show conspicuous wealth to peers. They’ve invented a clear organic substance called soralis they can encase the jewels in, and are very proud and secretive about it. Soralis is crystallized tree sap, hardened with a powdered root so hot water won’t melt it unless it’s badly (or murderously) made. Master Wizards take pupils and charge ridiculous rates.
National symbols gooseturtle colors green and orange