The Ways of Allerah
*The Ways of Allerah *
I. Calendar & Time:
Time is measured carefully on Allerah, as it is very important for people to know when to plant, harvest, when to travel, when not to travel, and the weather. The Alleran year consists of 360 days, divided into 12 30-day months. These months are further divided into 7-day weeks. This calendar is known as the Sun calendar because it is based on the suns position relative to the stars, and since it was developed by the ancients during the Epoch of the Sun.
Gregorian Month Alleran Month
1)January Malen 2)February Vosken 3)March Stokren 4)April Euneyen 5)May Litheian 6)June Aurien 7)July Iolost 8)August Peliost 9)September Phirrost 10)October Uverost 11)November Novan 12)December Dodecan
Gregorian Day Alleran Day
1)Monday Moonday 2)Tuesday Twoday 3)Wednesday Windsday 4)Thursday Riversday 5)Friday Highday 6)Saturday Starday 7)Sunday Sunday
Most of the Alleran months are named for the greater gods. The four seasons that Melanases runs through these months are autumn, winter, spring, and summer. There are also two equinoxes and two solstices that denote the passing of the seasons. The Alleran day is broken up into 24 hours.
24:00 to 6:00 is called the Night Quarter, or the Early Quarter 6:00 to 12:00 is called the Morning Quarter 12:00 is called Noon 12:00 to 18:00 is called the Afternoon Quarter 18:00 to 24:00 is called the Evening Quarter 24:00 is called Midnight
Most simple people can determine the approximate time (give or take an hour or so) of the day in moderate weather by simply looking outside. Properly trained folk in Astrology or Intuit Direction, or people such as explorers, adventurers, or sailors can often determine the time within a few minutes during fair or moderate weather, and can even approximate it sometimes during inclement weather. There are a few larger towns and cities that have decently accurate clocks so townsfolk can determine the time accurately, but for the most part peasants and country dwellers cannot afford timepieces or waterclocks like the nobility can. It is for this reason that meeting times, appointment times, and work hours are divided to accommodate the lowest common denominator (which is most of the populace).
Nobility, royalty, and the upper class often decide to meet at “eight o’ clock” or “half past fifteen”, but most people are not able to define the day in these terms. Instead, they refer to noon, midnight, the morning mark, the evening mark, and halfway in between. So if someone were to say “meet me at the morning mark” it means meet me around 6:00. Noon and midnight are their respective times. If an event begins at “half the afternoon quarter” it means approximately 15:00. Therefore every hour that is a multiple of three stands as a “common hour”. When ordinary folk are told to convene at “half the afternoon quarter” it really means “around 15:00” and people begin assembling between 14:00 and 16:00. Assemblies usually start “late”, but really this is assumed when the time for convening is given.
The Common Hours: 3:00 “half the early quarter” 6:00 “the morning mark” 9:00 “half the morning quarter” 12:00 “noon” 15:00 “half the afternoon quarter” 18:00 “the evening mark” 21:00 “half the evening quarter” 24:00 “midnight”
The Alleran week consists of the seven days. The last two days of the week are referred to as the “weekend” because they cap the week off. Town, country, and city activity during the week varies from place to place, but for the most part the various classes follow different schedules.
Lower Class, Farmer: Typically works Moonday through Starday, from morning mark to evening mark or half the afternoon quarter some Stardays.
Lower Class, Laborer: Typically works all the morning quarter from Moonday through Starday. Often works Sundays as well.
Middle Class: Usually works from the morning mark to half the afternoon quarter, or half the morning quarter to the evening mark from Moonday to Starday. Or works from morning mark to evening mark from Moonday to Highday.
Merchant Class: Typically works from half the morning mark to the evening mark five days a week, usually Moonday through Highday.
Poor Class, Aristocracy, Nobility, Artisans, Clergy, and State: For the most part the bulk of the workweek for peasantry runs from Moonday to Highday or Starday. The higher a person is in class status, the fewer hours a week they have to work. Most people do not have the privilege of being able to take both weekend days. There are many classes that do not fit into a specific schedule, however, and these include the above mentioned. Highday and Starday evenings are the busiest days in taverns and Inns, for most people do their travelling and revelry during those times. Sunday is considered a day of rest, and often of feasting. For those who can afford a day of rest.
II. Society Classes & Governments
Virtually the whole of the civilized world is divided into classes. These classes represent wealth and profession steps (or barriers). The “common folk” fall into these categories.
Poor Class: This class includes homeless peasants, street people, alley thugs, which are incorporated poorer less developed areas of towns, run down sections, and slums. This class has virtually no income, no jobs (other than begging or stealing), and come across a few scant copper pieces a week if they are lucky. The upper end of the poor class spectrum includes things like impoverished families wearing rags and living in small leaky wooden shacks. (Income: none to 2d6cp per week; total wealth: none to 1d6sp)
Lower Class: Most of society is made up of lower class peasants. These include serfs, most farmers, laborers, and servants. This class contains at worst indentured and poor serfs and servants, to perhaps farmers and other laborers with basic food and clothing needs met, and perhaps even a small humble dwelling. (Income: 1sp to 1d4sp per week; total wealth: 4d8sp to 5d6gp)
Middle Class: The middle class volume is somewhat smaller than the volume of the lower class, but is still an important part of society. The middle classes include people with small businesses, market stands, important assistants at shops, and generally people of moderate income. (Income: 2d4sp to 2d3gp per week; total wealth: 2d6×100gp to 10d6×100gp)
Merchant & Upper Classes: The merchant and upper classes consist of skilled merchants, artisans, master craftsmen, landowners, large business operators, and other wealthier people. These people generally have land and a decent sized house, or perhaps even a mansion. (Income: 1d4gp to 2d6×10gp per week; total wealth: anywhere from 1,000gp to 120,000gp or so)
Nobility: Nobility is more of a title than a class, for although most nobility is wealthier than the merchant and upper classes, there are some people in the nobility who are simple middle class people. Nobility consists of important lords, important knights, and very important officials. Nobility is hereditary, and a family name retains it’s nobility so long as societal, political, and wealth standards are met. Nobility is earned as well as hereditary. Noble deeds, exemplary skills and management, and exorbitant wealth is sometimes enough to earn one a place in the “earned nobility” class.
Royalty: Dukes, Duchesses, Barons, Counts, Emperors, Princes, Sultans, and Kings are all royalty. The royal class is the smallest and most elite of the classes, containing a fortunate and wealthy few who are born into the right bloodlines. It is possible, however, to become royalty by marrying into it, or by world effecting deeds. This is indeed the mightiest class of all.
There are many political systems in the world of Allerah. Each individual kingdom or realm will have a thorough description of it’s government and surroundings in the “Realms” section, but a brief description of the main forms of government help guide the tourist on Allerah. A monarchy is a rule by a single leader, such as a king, or very rarely by a small council of nobles and a figurehead. Feudalism is as much an economic system as a political one, and is often found in monarchies, theocracies, and tribal governments. A church or religion rules a theocracy. A magocracy is rule by mages. Chiefs, or sometimes councils of braves or warriors often oversee tribes and clans. A republic is ruled by elected officials representing the wishes of the people. An army and/or generals rule a militocracy. Anarchy is lack of a government, and usually exists in the wilds where society has not been established.
III. Economy & Trade
Barter & Goods: Currency is a very uncommon thing in Allerah, as it is in any middle-aged civilization. The most common form of exchange between individuals is that of goods and services, or barter. In the country chickens, cows, seed, and equipment are far more practical to trade than pieces of metal. In cities bolts of silk, spices, tools, and other commodities are just as useful, if not more so, than coinage. Coinage is usually reserved for those who travel a lot, and those who wish to reduce much of the bulk of their wealth into small manageable coin. Services too are marketable commodities. There are many individuals who do odd jobs for money, working perhaps a week or a few days at a time for food and lodging or small fees.
Coinage: The standard coin denominations are common over all of Allerah, and have been instituted since the late Epoch of the Sun. Coins are approximately one inch in diameter, two to four millimeters thick, and one hundred of them weigh a pound. Different mints often produce their own coins and some people even produce their own. There is really no such thing as counterfeiting, however, since the value of the coin is intrinsic. That is to say if 100 gold pieces were melted into an ingot, the ingot would be worth 100 gold pieces. Or conversely if a cart of gold ore were smelted and minted into 100 proper size gold pieces, those gold pieces are as valuable as any other gold piece. (Some crooks have, however, been known to gold plate copper pieces and cheat others).
100 copper pieces = 1 gold piece 10 silver pieces = 1 gold piece 10 gold pieces = 1 platinum piece
In addition to coins, trade bars are often implemented for large trade deals, vaults, and banks. Trade bars are somewhat more compact than an equal value in coins, and they are easily stacked and transported.
1 silver ingot = 10 gold pieces 1 gold ingot = 100 gold pieces 1 platinum ingot = 1000 gold pieces
Gemstones: Gemstones and jewelry are popular among wealthy travelling merchants and adventurers as they have great wealth at relatively no weight. Gemstones are also more easily concealed in boots, pockets, small sacks and so on and don’t draw any attention, as does a purse of jingling coin. The disadvantage of gems is that if you do get mugged, much wealth can be plundered in one fell swoop. The second disadvantage of gems is that not everyone is interested in them, but the same can be said of coins. Gems and jewelry range in value from near worthless copper rings, to 5gp simply crafted silver rings, to 100gp platinum necklaces, to near priceless crown jewels.
Holdings: Land holdings, pieces of art, and homes and buildings are also forms of wealth that can be bought and sold, but are used very infrequently for trade power.
Magic: In a world of divine and arcane magic, magical services are also available for purchase. Not only can spells be bought and traded, but a thin yet influential supply of wondrous ensorceled items float about the land. A single powerful magical item can buy a castle if the bargain is struck with the right person. Even mild magic is rare, and small magical items can fetch a respectable price in magic trading circles.
Negative Wealth: Taxes, tithes, loans, donations, and debts are all ways that people lose money without purchasing materials or services.
It is said that for the right price, anything can be purchased. Services abound in the realms of the world, and it is only a matter of searching before the right man for the job is found. Whether someone seeks labor, a tracker, an armorer, or even an assassin, if the right locale is searched for, such a person will be found. The prices for such services vary, depending on the effort required to do a task and the availability of a person to do the job. People that sell services for fees are called hirelings, and the following are some examples: cooks, trackers, guides, scribes, herbalists, hunters, masons, and grooms. All adventurers need to buy a little extra help now and again.
Magic in Society: Magic is an uncommon phenomenon on most of Allerah (with the exception of Phalox, “the realm of magic”). Cities are the places most likely graced by a mage or sorcerer for two reasons. Firstly, mage schools and colleges are located primarily in cities. Secondly, mages and sorcerers tend not to enjoy roaming the wilderness. Many mages however, do dwell in the countryside. Many sorcerers particularly like the wilderness. Magic is more likely to be encountered in a city both because the population density is greater, and the reasons stated before. Divine magic is spread more evenly than arcane magic, and is more common.
Few people can ever expect to have a spell cast upon them, let alone own a magical item. Magic in society is most commonly found among the elite and wealthy, but particularly among adventuring groups. Some primitive tribes have found magic as well. Though most tribal magic is divine magic harnessed by shamans, a few tribes of some races manage to produce a sorcerer or two from their ranks.
Nature of Arcane Magic: Magic is a form of energy. An incorporeal and invisible magical field exists everywhere in the world at every instant. This magical field contains “magical energy”. Some people have found ways to harness this energy using words of power, mystical gestures, and unusual materials. Wizards and Sorcerers and all others who cast arcane spells tap into the field of magical energy and harness some of its power. This power is then transformed into magical effects. When magical items are created, they are imbued with amounts of power from the magic field, by virtue of the items creator. Spellcasting becomes fatiguing as a magic user casts more powerful spells.
Nature of Divine Magic: Divine magic comes straight from the gods. Such spells are granted to the faithful of a specific deity, or to those who a deity feels deserves them.
Communication is an important part of handling life in civilization. Different races and cultures at different times have their own forms of communication and writing. Languages fall into five categories: social, elemental, otherplanar, ancient, and secret. Cultures, races, or societies on the world speak social languages. Elemental languages are spoken by magical creatures from elemental planes, or is used in elemental magic. Otherplanar languages include the three major languages spoken by entities from outer planes. Ancient languages are dead languages that are not used anymore, and secret languages are languages used by secret societies or groups.
Common: The common language and alphabet are derived from early Kalite literature. Kalite humans, Half-Orcs, Half-Elves, and Halflings use it. It is called common because it has been adopted by most civilizations in the world, and it is the language of trade. It uses a character-based alphabet.
Terthan: Terthan is a language spoken by many tribes of plains people and wilderness dwellers in middle and eastern Telean. It has a loose alphabet that is based on the elven alphabet.
Dolmish: This language is spoken by the dwellers on the Crescent Isles. It is based loosely on the Draconic alphabet.
Reionian: The language of Reion was created over thousands of years from the Epoch of the Sun by the inhabitants of Reion. They have their own symbols as a sort of character “alphabet”.
Gnoll: The Gnolls have their own language that is based on the common alphabet. It is a relatively new language as these things go.
Harishman: the Harishman people and the Asadians both speak the language of the desert nomads.
Halfling: Halflings have a language very similar to common that uses the same alphabet. It is a newer form of an older language halflings spoke. It is also a newer language, and is used about as much as common among halflings.
Dwarven: All Dwarves of any type speak this language. The Dwarves have their own language based on their own runic alphabet.
Orc: The Orc language is based on the Dwarven language, and uses the Dwarven runic alphabet. Most Orc clans use it.
Gnome: Gnomes also use the Dwarven runic alphabet, but have their own language.
Goblin: This is yet another language based on Dwarven runes. Goblin is spoken by most goblinkin, which includes goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears.
Giant: The final language that uses the Dwarven runic alphabet is Giant. All giant races speak a form of this tongue. Ettins and ogres also use this language.
Elven: The Elves have their own language and alphabet they have been using since the dawn of time. All elven subraces use a dialect of it.
Sylvan: The Sylvan races include dryads, leprechauns, brownies, and several other “races of the woods”. Virtually all forest druids and wood elves speak this tongue. In fact, it is based upon the elven alphabet.
Draconic: The Draconic tongue is the language of kobolds, lizardfolk, troglodytes, dragons, and all reptilian creatures. Dragons are purported to be Allerans most ancient creatures, so this may have been the first language. Draconic has its own alphabet.
Undercommon: Undercommon is a widely used language in the Underdark, the world beneath the world. It is based on the elven alphabet, and is used mostly by the deep races to communicate to with each other. It is the trade language of the Underdark (when the rare chance occurs that things are peaceful enough to allow trade). Only intelligent beings and society have members that know this language.
Ancient Asadian: This language was once spoken by the original inhabitants of Al Asad, but has since been replaced by the common tongue.
Ancient Kalite: This ancient form of the common tongue was the same language used by the early Kalites, using the alphabet developed by the Golls. That alphabet eventually became the common alphabet, and the tongue itself evolved into common.
Rhynetian: The ancient and crude runic alphabet of the Rhynetians was developed shortly after the ancient Kalite alphabet, and lasted until the fall of Rhynos.
Bantic: This language seems to have been an early mishmash of some primitive form of orc, as well as the otherplaner language of the Barriaur. It is assumed that the first inhabitants of Allerah spoke this language, and all others were created separately, or followed from it.
Aquan: This language uses elven runes, and is used on the elemental lane of water, and by water based creatures.
Auran: This language is the tongue of air based creatures, and is used on the elemental plane of air. It uses the Draconic alphabet.
Ignan: Fire based creatures, and the fire elemental plane speaks Ignan, another language based on the Draconic alphabet.
Terran: The language of earth based creatures and the earth plane is Terran. It utilizes the Dwarven alphabet of runes.
Abyssal: This is the harsh language of demons and other chaotic evil creatures from the outer planes, such as Tanar ‘ri. It is used particularly on the Abyss and it’s neighbors. Abyssal utilizes the infernal alphabet, a cryptic alphabet of runes and symbols.
Celestial: Celestial is spoken on the good outer planes, such as Arcadia, the Seven Heavens and Olympus. It has its own alphabet.
Infernal: Infernal is the devil tongue, spoken by lawful evil otherplanar creatures such as devils. It uses the Infernal alphabet, as does Abyssal.
Druidic: This is a very secret language taught only to druids. A special alphabet was developed for this language alone.
Thieves Cant: Thieves cant was developed by assassins, rogues, and bards so that guild members could communicate secretly with each other. It isn’t a true language, but rather a large collection of phrases, keywords, facial expressions, and gestures that are hidden in regular casual speech to hide messages and communication. It has no alphabet. Different guilds often throw in a few keywords that are unique to their guild.
Merrilan: Merrilan is not so much a secret language as a specialist’s language. It is the language of wizards. It has its own scribbly runic alphabet that few people care to know other than arcane spell casters. Even then, spellcasters only need to know a few words of the language to cast their spells. Wizards interested in spell research and in deciphering scrolls learn this language.
VI. Terrain, Transportation, Travelling
Getting from one place to another has always been a problem for those people who cannot fly, so many methods of transportation have been devised. Travelling is routine upon the planet, whether it be a shipment of trade goods, transport of troops, simple treks. The simple traveler is usually outfitted with warm clothing, heavy riding boots, a cloak, and enough food and water to get from point A to B. Travelers in more feral areas tend to be armed.
Walking: The oldest form of transportation is walking. Heavy boots makes this task easier on the feet, and proper clothing makes long treks easier in inclement weather. In civilized areas simple roads and trails are enough to enable one to walk from point A to point B. The task becomes slower, more difficult, and more dangerous in wilderness, particularly in swamps, jungles, and mighty mountains. Usually a specially trained friend or guide is needed to allow foot travel through tougher terrain.
Riding: Mounts are glorious possessions when some heavy cargo or extra speed is needed. Mules, donkeys, goats, horses, and even hounds can be used to transport goods. Any medium sized creature can ride a horse, mule, or donkey. Small creatures can ride small mules and donkeys, goats, and even large dogs. Rare and exotic mounts also exist, such as elephants, tigers, and camels. Usually some sort of special animal handling or mount control skill is required if one is to be taking a mount over unusual terrain. Some terrain, namely quagmires, mighty mountains, and swamps are impassible to most mounts. Most mounts cannot handle extreme heat and deserts also. Mounts need to be fed and taken care of, and caution must be used when using a mount, for an overworked animal may perish.
Mount-Flying: Hippogriffs, griffons, and dragons are some of the creatures that have been used as flying mounts. A rider must have good knowledge of flying mounts to be able to command one. Most people that take flying mounts end up being passengers. The advantage of flying mounts is that they avoid lots of terrain and make travel quicker. The drawbacks are that flying mounts are difficult to control, require food and care, and can be fussy. Flying mounts are also very rare.
Flying: Flying is a luxury few can afford, though there are several methods of magical flight. Spells and potions are simple ways that magic users can use to enable flight for several minutes to several hours. A single person can use a few spells and potions to stay aloft all day. It is rare to see a mage powerful enough to be able to remain airborne for an entire day, let alone and entire party. The best use of spells, wands, and potions is as obstacle avoiding power, and for short flight bursts. Magical items such as flying carpets are much more useful, as they can be used indefinitely and with many users. Flying is a very fast way to move between two points, but falling and weather are very serious risks. There are even arrays of creatures that do not take kindly to people sharing the skies.
Sailing: Many sorts of ships float upon the rivers and seas of Allerah. These range from small one man canoes made from hollowed logs, to huge multilevel galleons. Some ships are powered by current, others by manpower, and many by wind. Watercrafts are superb for transporting goods. They are also indispensable for crossing seas. Watercrafts are able to carry more than a single person can carry, and usually more than groups of people and mounts can carry. The risks of sinking and cargo loss are obvious, but the seas are also home to living threats to ships. Sailors and seaman deal regularly with pirates and creatures of the sea.
Carts: Back on land wagons, carts, and other modes of hitch allow for transport of goods and people. Carriages and wagons led by teams of beasts can do more work moving people that the people themselves can. They can also transport more goods, and greater weight than people can. The risks of using carts for transport are the same for those risks associated with mounts. Carriages and wagons also need a decent trail or road to follow, of they soon become stuck and mired. Mounts and carts cannot pass all terrain.
Magic: Powerful mages have access to magic that can instantaneously transfer them between places, often with their entire party. Teleportation spells are rare, and can be dangerous if they malfunction. Some magical devices, such as gates and portals, allow travel between two linked places. Plane travel is accomplished in this way.