Lore: Table of Contents

Money System

  • Standard Currencies

      • Shards

      • Copper

      • Crowns

      • Tenpiece

      • Thrones

      • Quads

      • Golden Crests

      • Ingots

  • Non-Standard Currencies

      • Pearls

      • Bonelits

      • Spearheads

Astarian Calender & Astrology

  • Seasons

      • Season of Primodia

      • Season of Tomes

      • Season of Swords

      • Season of Crests

      • Calibration

  • Elusia & Moon Cycles

Marble Route

  • Overview

  • Commutes & Services

  • Marble Resorts

  • Control of the Route

International Systems

  • Communication

      • Language Barriers

      • Messages By Land

      • Messages By Sea

      • News

      • Magical Communication

  • Global Culture

      • Class Warfare

Cultural Taxonomy

  • Curses and Insults

  • Slang Words and Phrases

  • Unique Phrases

Important Roles

  • Political Roles

  • Lordship Roles

  • Military Roles

  • Other Roles

Lineages

  • Common Surnames

  • Religious Surnames

  • National Lineages

      • Arcanus

      • Cryos

      • Mesa

      • Trident

      • Valen

Money System

The standardized currencies of Astaria are predominantly produced by the Dwarves and Titania. Some nations and races use their own currencies, but all nations have adopted the majority of monetary standards in some form.

Before the Age of Titania, the Dwarves were the closest thing to an international standard for currency. Most nations used far more localized currencies, but Dwarven currency was fairly well recognized and used somewhat frequently in the nations surrounding Mesa.

During the Age of Titania, Titania sought to create their own currencies and standardize them across Omna. They were moderately success with this pursuit, particularly toward the end of the Age of Titania, but the Dwarven currencies were still heavily used in an unofficial capacity. By the time nations were reclaiming their independence, Titania's currencies were also in widespread use.

Titania was primarily interested in standardizing minted coins. They believed that all minted coins should reflect the power and legend of Titania, their ideals, and their rightful leadership of Astaria. Their currencies were primarily minted with the symbols of Titania and their leaders. By contrast, the Dwarves minted alchemical symbols of earth, fortune, prosperity, power, and other such natures. They were less interested in the legends of their kind.

Standardizing the currencies had proven effective, and with Omna becoming more globalized the need for it had grown considerably. Assisted by the Divine Alliance and other political factors, most nations quickly decided to adopt a variety of coins from both Titania's currencies and Dwarven currencies, with some remaining nations eventually adopting these same standards at a later time.

Crowns and Thrones were adopted from Titania, due to their heavy circulation, with most other coins being circulated by the Dwarves. Most commoners never possessed anything above a Crown, so this transition went fairly smoothly. Wealthy individuals were able to melt down the larger currencies that were no longer accepted and collect on their approximate value.

Due to some hostilities toward Titania, particularly amongst Arcanus and the nations of the Grand Federation, many Crowns and Thrones were intentionally defaced as an act of defiance. Though this devalued the coins considerably, they became common enough in circulation to earn the nicknames of "Broken Crowns" and "Broken Thrones."

Standard Currencies

Shards

Shard is a sixth-piece slice of a full copper coin, and represents exactly one-sixth of the value of a copper coin. Shards are by far the most common form of currency for commoners. Most citizens earn eight to fifteen shards for a day of work, depending on their occupation.

There is an unwritten expectation that mages don't deal with shards. By comparison to commoners, mages are far too wealthy to be expected to deal with such trivial currency. When it comes to purchasing inexpensive services, most mages will either overpay by using their lowest coins available or will demand free service.

Most territories allow mages to demand free services within reason, but the clarifications of these rules are often vague enough that it is very easy to exploit. This is one of the major sources of class warfare between Terrestrials and Mages.

Copper

Copper coins are used frequently by commoners. These coins represent the base currency by which all other standardized currencies are weighted. Nearly all copper coins in circulation are created by the Dwarves. Some are believed to have been created by Titania, though they haven't produced any for centuries.

The use of copper is not common amongst mages, though not unheard of like it is with pence. It is more commonly associated with Mystics, since they are considered of lesser importance in the magical communities and rarely possess as much wealth or social influence.

Crowns

Crowns are minted coins that are equal in value to four copper coins. They are minted by Titania with one of the figures that Titania recognizes to have historical significance, such as some of the more recognizable Titans of history.

"Broken Crowns" are Crowns that have been intentionally smashed or damaged to deface the faces of the Titans minted onto the coin, but which are still clear enough to identify as having been minted as Crowns. Creating Broken Crowns is considered offensive to many people, but there are enough of them in circulation that most people are willing to accept them at roughly half their original value.

Tenpiece

Tenpieces are Dwarven coins whose metals were carefully chosen to be valued at ten times what a copper coin is worth. They are made from an alloy of silver and copper, with roughly eight times as much copper than silver. Tenpiece are minted with the symbol of fortune and prosperity.

Thrones

Thrones are minted coins worth forty times what a copper coin is worth, and ten times what a crown is worth. They are made from a copper and silver alloy at a roughly 50% ratio, and are slightly smaller than copper coins. Thrones are minted with the figures of Deros, Jarius, or An'yus.

"Broken Thrones" are essentially identical in concept to "Broken Crowns." They are Thrones that have been intentionally smashed or damaged to deface the faces of the figures on the mint; usually the figures of Deros or Jarius. An'yus is universally adored, and few Thrones of his are ever defaced except by those who choose to universally dislike everything about Titania's heritage.

Broken Thrones must still be identifiable as having been minted as Thrones to retain any value. There are enough of them in circulation that most people are willing to accept them at roughly half their original value. Few people create Broken Thrones due to their value. Furthermore, it is considered offensive to many people to create them.

Quads

Quads are quarter-pieces of Golden Crests, valued at one hundred copper each; and ten times more than a Tenpiece. Quads always contain one of the four symbols that was minted onto the four quadrants of the Golden Crest.

Golden Crests

Golden Crests are produced with an alloy of gold, nickel, and cobalt. They are valued at four hundred copper each.

Golden Crests are minted with one symbol in each of its four quadrants. Each symbol represents a different archetype: earth, magic, crafting, and knowledge. These symbols are intentionally organized into quadrants so that they can be easily divided into Quads.

Ingots

The final remaining standard is that of ingots; either of refined silver or gold. Ingots have no official sizes; they are measured to determine their value.

Non-Standard Currencies

Pearls

Pearls are used as a currency exclusively amongst the Jilak, except on rare occasions where the Jilak may exchange pearls with the Ninshana. To the Jilak, pearls represent the "currency of the sea" and are believed to be suited for that archetypal purpose.

The Jilak are extremely proficient at locating pearls, and have been collecting and trading them amongst their kind long before the Dark Ages. However, pearls are still not quite common enough to act as the base currency, so they supplement their trades with other standardized currencies.

Pearls are standardized in cost according to their size, shape, shininess, and color. Since these properties are often highly subjective, it would be nearly impossible for other races to properly haggle or trade using the Jilak rules of appraisal. The Jilak are able to keenly identify, classify, and appraise pearls with extraordinary precision; including the recognition of subtle properties that other races wouldn't be able to clearly distinguish.

Value of Pearls

White pearls are considered the base value, or a value of "one." Red and orange hues are worth two white, blue and green hues are worth five white, dark hues are worth ten white, and true black pearls are worth one hundred white due to their rarity. Iridescent pearls possess enough natural magic to be considered magical minerals by the Jilak, and as such are far more valued than any others; their value is not rated through a system of currency.

Spherical pearls are considered twenty times more valuable than baroque pearls, or five times more if they're nearly spherical. There are five classified sizes: tiny, small, medium, large, and very large. Tiny reduces the value in half, small adds no value, and medium doubles the value. Large and very large increase the value by a factor of five and ten, respectively.

Shininess is measured in three classifications: low, moderate, and high. Low adds no value. Moderate doubles the value, and high triples the value.

When pearls are sold to other races, they are not sold by the same standards that the Jilak use. Most pearls sold outside of the Jilak race are of lower quality, since some pearls would themselves be considered much more valuable as currency amongst the Jilak than if sold.

Pearl Exchange Rates

The base exchange rates apply to "small" pearls that are "low" shininess. If other properties apply, they would modify the exchange rate accordingly; often considerably so, such as when dealing with large pearls.

Pearl TypeValue
White Baroque1
Red & Orange Baroque2
Blue & Green Baroque5
Dark Baroque10
White Spherical20
Red & Orange Spherical40
Blue & Green Spherical100
True Black Baroque100
Dark Spherical200
True Black Spherical400

Bonelits

Bonelits are coins made by Bonesmen using the magical alchemy art of Bonecraft. These coins are crafted from the bone of a slain enemy, and may come in a variety of sizes. The coins are shaved to be perfectly smooth, and given symbols that indicate the nature and history of the enemy that was slain to create the coin.

The value of a Bonelit is primarily determined by the history of the coin, and the nature of the enemy that was killed to create it. Only one Bonelit is ever created from a single opponent, and only opponents that are deemed of sufficient worth can be used to produce Bonelits. As such, Bonelits aren't just representative of a coin, they're also the only indication of an important kill that happened. The exchange of Bonelits is a symbolic gesture of the deaths collectively dealt at the hands of the Wendori.

Most Bonelits are considered currency and are mixed in with other currencies for daily transactions, but some are so highly prized that they're considered personal equipment. Possession of a Bonelit is the possession of history itself. It is considered good fortune to carry valuable Bonelits into battle.

Creation of Bonelits

In a typical year, roughly three hundred to five hundred Bonelits are created across the entire Wendori race. There are approximately four hundred thousand Bonelits in circulation, so it is not uncommon for Wendori to not possess any Bonelits. However, it is their desired form of currency due to its nature.

The creation of Bonelits has been a tradition since the Wendori lived in Wendos. When a worthy kill is made, a sufficient portion of the victim's bones are presented to the Bonesmen. The majority of Bonelits are now produced in the Academy of Bone by younger Bonesmen trying to hone their skills. Since their creation takes only a few hours, it provides a simple way for Bonesmen to practice their alchemical techniques. Veteran Bonesmen only assist with the production of Bonelits when there is a particularly valuable Bonelit to be created.

Bonelit Markings

Bonelits are marked with several distinguishing features: the worthiness rating of the enemy, the type of enemy faced, the Wendori or squad responsible for defeating the enemy, unique indications about the Wendori (such as being Thaidoan), the Wendori clan being represented, and the date of the kill.

All of a Bonelit's special marks and features are important in determining its value. Ultimately, the value depends on the individual, but some features are generally more valuable, especially amongst certain clans. Clans typically value their own clan Bonelits more, and groups like the Thaidoans prefer the Bonelits marked by their own group.

However, the most important feature of a Bonelit is the worthiness rating of the enemy. The higher the enemy's threat level is, the more valuable the Bonelit is. Though all Bonelits represent a significant enemy, some enemies stand out as particularly impressive.

Spearheads

Inspired by the Wendori's unique culture, some tribes in the Ninshana began creating a similar type of currency to the Bonelits after their escape to Wendos. After the Dark Ages when the Wendori and Ninshana settled together in the Northern Isles, spearheads were adopted as a common currency amongst their kind.

Prior to the introduction of spearheads being used as currency, they were not considered part of the Ninshana's cultural accessories. Warriors needed to regularly replace their spearheads. However, their application as a currency fit well with the cultural tendencies of the Ninshana, adding a personalized touch to them. Warriors were given a natural source of income that regulated itself based on the quality of the warrior. The Ninshana royalty loved it, since it encouraged soldiers to join the ranks of the military.

Spearheads, once used in combat, are marked with special symbols; very similar in nature to the Bonelits. Their markings include the year of military service, the Ninshana's house and personal symbols, and the most relevant factors of the kills made with the spearhead.

The Ninshana are not nearly as excitable over spearheads as the Wendori are over Bonelits, but they nevertheless enjoy the additional personality and history that their spearhead currency provides.

Goblits; bits of goblin, like teeth. Have no actual value to most? Used for betting / gambling, and often represent values, like red goblits, black goblits, etc... Can also be used in games as markers and tokens.

Astarian Calender & Astrology

The Astarian Calender was standardized by Titania after the Titan Wars. Most countries were forced to adopt it immediately. Some tribes in remote areas may use other mechanisms for time keeping, but they are very few in number. Even countries that originally resisted its influence eventually transitioned to the Astarian Calender due to the pressing interests of diplomatic relations.

Seasons

There are four seasons, each of which represents a part in the cycle of humanity's development. Calibration is not considered a season, but for all intents and purposes is effectively treated as one.

All seasons are exactly 90 days long, and Calibration lasts for 5 days to complete the full solar cycle of 365 days. When necessary, Calibration is slightly extended to match the expected day cycle or to calibrate any time changes necessary to ensure that the astrology remains accurate.

When describing a formal date, the day and the season are typically used. For example, someone would say the "35th of Swords" to refer to day 35 of the Season of Swords. The year is used only if it needs to be specified in the context given.

Season of Primodia

The Season of Primordia represents the elements, natural forces, the realms, the dimensions, the sciences, and the aspects of humanity: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and energy. It is the foundation of all things, the powers that exist at an existential level.

Primordia is a reference to all powers that exist and essentially represents "all things," but it is primarily representative of the simple, tangible aspects of that existence. More specifically, it describes the aspects that can be first understood from the sentient minds that are part of it. It is the "birth" of all knowledge, discovered backward from the simplest truths.

This season is most relevant to the humanity's terrestrial, non-magical nature. This includes the classical sciences, the physical elements, and the basic spiritual capacity that all of humanity possesses without any conscious effort.

The moons of Primordia, in order, are: the Moon of Elements, the Moon of Spirits, the Moon of Time, and the Departing Moon of Discovery.

Season of Tomes

The Season of Tomes represents discovery, wisdom, knowledge, history, language, stories, culture, and all forms of academics. It is that which understands and builds upon the infrastructures of the universe. Tomes is meant to unlock the secrets of Primordia and wield the knowledge gained to achieve mastery in all skills.

Festivals during the Season of Tomes often celebrate and promote historical events and lore. Schools and other educational programs often have important traditions during this season, and this is also the season when many major theatrical performances change their routines.

The moons of Tomes, in order, are: the Moon of History, the Moon of Knowledge, the Moon of Wisdom, and the Departing Moon of Invention.

Season of Swords

The Season of Swords represents technology, justice, power, war, precision, crafting, construction, and invention. The use of the sword pertains to military force and the enforcement of law, but the sword itself refers to a perfection of technology and creativity. Swords takes the knowledge gained by Tomes and transforms it into something of substance; the tools of power and prosperity for humanity.

There are certainly many military connotations to the Season of Swords, which do not go unnoticed. Many festivals during this season relate to military operations and historical victories amongst the individual nations; particularly those of Titania.

Due to its strong connection with technology and invention, many creative festivals also take place. The magical academies have important traditions relating to their alchemists during this season.

The moons of Swords, in order, are: the Moon of Technology, the Moon of Justice, the Moon of Enforcement, and the Departing Moon of Wielding.

Season of Crests

The Season of Crests represents sentience, those who attain the power over the domains, those capable of wielding the sword. They are the champions of Primordia and the collective that has united into a society of prosperity and fortune. It takes the acquisitions of the Season of Swords and identifies those who have used the tools made available by Primordia to achieve greatness.

The term "Crests" is specifically related to the individual houses and lineages of the world. It represents family lines, particularly those who are recognizable. This season has many celebrations and festivities that honor the powerful lineages of the world: the kings and the legends. However, there is also a focus on family and reunions, as well as being a time of cooperation and diplomacy.

The moons of Crests, in order, are: the Moon of Lineages, the Moon of Diplomacy, the Moon of Mastery, and the Departing Moon of Chambis.

Calibration

Calibration is considered to exist outside of or "beyond" the seasons in a higher form; one that is necessary to keep things balanced and all astrological events in order. It represents those who bend time and space to their will, those whose Crests are forged by the fates, the unknown and the mysterious, and the higher dimensions that influence the lesser. It is more closely associated with the powers of magic than the Season of Crests.

Calibration lasts for approximately five days; from the end of the Season of Crests to the beginning of the Season of Primordia. It is considered the end of the year, not the beginning, and is the only recalibration of the solar calender.

There is usually only one moon during Calibration: the Moon of Calibration. However, in some cases a new moon will begin during Calibration, which is known as the Departing Moon of the Unknown.

Elusia & Moon Cycles

Elusia is Astaria's moon. It appears to be roughly half water, half greenery. The planet often gives off a gentle glow that looks like an aura, which is usually only visible at night. It's aura is usually shades of blue and green with other colors occasionally mixed in; but there are times when it made fade into entirely new colors for weeks at a time. It is common for Elusia to enter "Red Phase" once or twice a year, even if only for a few days.

There are similar weather patterns on Elusia as those that are observable in Astaria. Its aura is also often affected by weather. Telescopes cannot see closely enough to tell if there are any sort of civilizations on the planet, but it is assumed that there are creatures that live there. Some myths exist that Gods live there and watch over the planet, or that the ancient beasts originally lived on Elusia and descended to Astaria.

Elusia transitions through four moon cycles: a new moon, a waxing moon, full moon, and waning moon. The entire cycle takes just under thirty days. Elusia's aura is most visible during the new moon phase, but its surface is most visible during the full moon phase.

Each season has special titles for the moons that appear. A season will produce three new moons. The first moon always begins on the first day of the season, regardless of the phase it's in. It is known as the "Invading Moon" and only lasts until the first new moon.

Once the Invading Moon has ended, the next three moons all begin on the new moon phase that followed the last moon. The forth moon of the season is called the "Departing Moon" because, like the Invading Moon, it will not exist through all four phases.

Every moon has a title based on the season it appears in. In casual conversation, the informal names of moon titles may be used rather than season dates. For example, "during the Waning Moon of Justice" may be a general indication of when something is roughly expected to happen.

Marble Route

Overview

The Marble Route is a magical route that extends through most of the nations in Jeria, from the western lands of Ember through to the eastern nations of Titania and Arcanus. It connects several of the most important cities in Omna and is one of the most relevant factors to the global culture in Astaria. Without the Marble Route, international organizations would operate at only a fraction of their speed, or in some cases cease to exist. It has become a symbol of the expansion, culture, expression, and transference of information throughout the known lands.

The Marble Route originated in Catalyst under the guidance of the Divine Alliance, and has been under construction for nearly a thousand years. Its development is now much slower than in its early years, particularly since maintaining the magical energies now requires much more time. However, it is still being expanded based on international politics.

Commutes & Services

By using various magical techniques, the Marble Route offers the fastest land travel across country in Jeria. Much of the route's magic is possible through the calculated placement of the route over natural ley lines. The route is magically powered by the Marble Palace in Catalyst; a powerful shrine that is designed to flood the route with its engineered magic.

Those who travel on the Marble Route are able to travel at a slightly elevated pace and with much less fatigue. Casual travelers, including the creatures accompanying them, can typically travel ten miles further each day than they otherwise could.

The real advantage of the Marble Route, however, is when its natural magic is combined with the paid commutes offered by the resorts along the route. The schedules of the Marble Route follow a time-line that makes them most efficient, and the animals and carriages used are enhanced with artifacts to enable improved travel; either by speed, weight, size, or other conveniences. Beastmasters from Arcanus and Highmore have aided the Marble Route by providing beasts that are ideal for commuting purposes. Amongst other advantages, this has enabled much larger caravans of passage.

An economic commute with a basic fee can provide a citizen with comfortable passage across roughly 300 to 400 kilometers per 24-hour period using a relay of scheduled carriages. Horses are switched out between stations at the Marble Resorts, allowing well-rested horses to take over.

An expensive package using a relay of magical beasts can provide twice that distance. Some of the legendary creatures don't require much rest and can remain active for several resorts before needing to be switched out. Of the twelve magical beasts that travel the route, many are known by name to frequent travelers.

The beast services are extremely costly, however, and are primarily used by the elite class and royalty. The caravans provided are usually much larger and far more extravagant comfortable than the economic options, and the supplies that one can bring are greatly increased.

Marble Resorts

There are major resorts known as the Marble Resorts intentionally stationed every hundred kilometers or so, each of which has evolved over time into its own city. Each resort has at least one major stable where traveling mounts and beasts of burden are kept. There are usually separate stables that are designed for the Ancient Familiars that travel the route.

There is always one official Resort Station at each resort that has the Seal of the Stablemaster. The Resort Station is where the official commutes depart and arrive. All such commutes are officially sanctioned and scheduled by the Offices of the Stablemaster, operating under the authority of the International Ministry of Travel and Trade. Commutes are scheduled for the purposes of delivery, communication, public or private transportation, or a combination thereof.

Control of the Route

The International Ministry of Travel and Trade, a consortium of representatives of powerful organizations, collectively oversee the Marble Route and its services. They are one of the strongest influences in international politics and determine all trafficking and trade fees on the route for their services. The Divine Alliance and Silven Academy are the strongest controlling parties within the International Ministry of Travel and Trade, but most nations have some involvement.

The Divine Alliance represents the most powerful controlling party of the Marble Route. The magical shrine that empowers the route is the Marble Palace; the headquarters of the Divine Alliance. An alchemical factory overseen by the Divine Alliance was also set up in Catalyst to assist in the production of the legendary marble bricks that make up the route.

Silven Academy is the next most powerful controlling party of the Marble Route. They are responsible for a large number of Alchemists that assist in the development of the route, and several of the master Alchemists responsible for the maintenance of the Marble Palace. Without them, the magic of the Marble Palace would be very difficult to keep functioning properly.

The Dwarves, who provide the marble and critical magical materials that enable the Marble Route and the Marble Palace to exist, have fortified their positions as well. The Marble Route travels through each of their main cities, which has allowed them to expand their trade empires considerably. Their wealth has been viewed as a concern amongst some governments, as they have a near-monopoly on all magical materials and could devastate certain economies with certain trade embargoes.

Dwarves

Titania

Grand Federation

International Systems

Communication

Language Barriers

Messages By Land

Messenger services exist in most cities, but the most effective method of land communication is across the Marble Route. There is a Postmaster's Office stationed at each of the Marble Route Resorts that traffics messages across the Marble Route once the appropriate fee has been paid. Messages are sent along with every scheduled departure.

Most nobility pays monthly fees rather than individually, and some seals are given freedom from any cost. In rare cases, if the message is high priority, a messenger will be dispatched. However, the Marble Route's commutes are already faster than any other land method available, so the message would have to be particularly important.

In certain major cities, particularly those on or near the Marble Route, there may be a Messenger Parakeets that coordinates with the Postmaster's Offices. All of the cities with magical academies have one. Messenger Parakeets can communicate in whatever language their target knows, they can understand the context of what they're saying, and their verbal memory is extraordinary. This makes them ideal for quickly exchanging messages within a city.

Messages By Sea

The Jilak have an unparalleled method of communication. Many of their ships are equipped with a simple artifact known as an Echoshell. The only function of an Echoshell is that it can produce a variety of clicks, snaps, and tones; but underwater they can be heard from hundreds of kilometers away to a trained ear.

One of the primary roles of the Corvati is to capture and relay these messages across their network. This gives their navy an extremely rapid response time as well as allows important messages to spread several thousand kilometers in little time. It is common for a message delivered from Corter to arrive in Cauldron within a day's time.

The Jilak are able to charge extremely high prices for their communication relay. The magical academies and the operators of the Marble Route are their best customers. They refuse service to Titania due to their mutual disdain for each other.

News

News in Astaria spreads most effectively across the Marble Route and through the Jilak network. The Postmaster's Office stationed at each of the Marble Route Resorts also serves the function of disseminating official news.

Two or more scribes are stationed in the Postmaster's Office at all times. Manuscripts of any news with an official postmaster seal will be copied and delivered to neighboring resorts through the scheduled commutes. The process repeats across every Marble Route Resort until every Postmaster's Office has at least one manuscript available.

Bards, priests, scribes, and others with interest in the news can pay a monthly fee to receive access to the manuscripts, or a one-time fee for a single visit. They can then spread the news within areas they are familiar with, which helps raise awareness.

Bards are a common attraction at pubs in towns, and may even act as unofficial heralds if there is news that pertains to the decrees of their land. However, bards and others that provide these services in smaller towns or villages can't support themselves full time with this; they tend to have an additional occupation to support them financially.

Within the larger cities, news is often presented at the market centers or during religious services by those overseeing the service. In the major cities there may be official news boards with manuscripts written in Linguis, either to allow commoners to read or as an important location for nobles and the literate to get information quickly.

Magical Communication

Global Culture

Class Warfare

There is a giant social divide regarding those with magic and those without it. The governing bodies have long been ruled by Highborn and the powerful mages of the world. Status has become closely tied to magical lineage and power.

Even between Highborn and Mystics there are considerable differences in social status. However, greater disparities exist between mages and Earthborn. Thaumaturges that are Earthborn are usually considered to be of elevated status equal to or greater than Mystics; although others might continue to categorize them with the Earthborn, believing that inherent magical inheritance is more relevant than knowledge.

The upper class is disproportionally represented by mages. Though it is possible for the Earthborn to be wealthy and successful, their lives are typically very meager and impoverished by comparison to the magical class. Mages rarely want for anything, and live luxurious lifestyles without the struggles faced by the lower classes.

Entitlement is a large problem amongst Highborn, particularly amongst the elite classes. An extreme opinion is that Earthborn are inferior to mages and unworthy of anything other than total servitude to their superiors. Many believe that it is a moderate ideology to be indifferent, claiming that the Earthborn contribute any special value to society and therefore don't deserve any special treatment. Others are sympathetic to the Earthborn and may even feel that the Earthborn deserve to have their status elevated.

Publicly, many politicians will claim the support the Earthborn and their strifes, though in practice they rarely care. It is uncommon for Earthborn to have any influence in political decisions. In many territories it is illegal for any non-magical individual to even hold a position of government; or in some cases, one must have been born with it.

Cultural Taxonomy

Curses and Insults

Curse or InsultMeaning
DeadeyeA derogatory word for Wendori. Wendori rarely seem offended by the name itself, though may take offense to the intent behind it.
FishDerogatory name for the Ninshana and the Jilak; the aquatic races. Attempts to generalize their nature as being only within the sea, and that they don't belong on land.
FlurgInsult to describe someone as a child, unable to handle simple tasks or deal with realities that anyone else should be able to handle normally. Basically saying the target is an imbecile.
GooseneckCan refer to tourists, peering up with long necks, always looking around the area in grouped flocks. Can also refer to people that don't belong in the culture, outsiders, or general lack of street smarts.
Grass MonkeyA derogatory name for woodland creatures; the Elves and Leos.
HighneckA derogatory term for royalty. Means pompous or arrogant.
LadyhandsA name for somone that is a weakling, unable to fight, or pathetic by comparison to another (generally the speaker).
LowbornSomeone of unimportance; not as insulting as "mudfinger" but otherwise similar in nature.
MuckspawnAn insult that refers to someone being so useless that their presence is a detriment to society, and that as a result society would be better off if they were dead. It's derived from the name "Spawn," comparing the individual to the weakest and most trivial of the demons as perceived by those who speak it. In its proper context it is spoken by demon-slayers that regularly kill spawn. When spoken by said individuals, they're basically saying that in a properly functioning world the target should be killed at their hands, but other factors such as law compel them to resist.
MudfingerCan refer to "peasants" or "poor people that are draped in mud" or as an even greater insult comparing people to monkeys that throw feces at each other.
NoochInsult for someone that is a highly unpleasant individual.
NooseworthyInsult saying they're worthy of being hung by a noose.
PotscumAn insult to say that someone is the leftover scrapings at the bottom of a chamber pot.
War-pissersA derogatory term for soldiers, armies, or other military forces as being the replacable "pawns" or worthless minions that sit beneath the kings. Typically spoken by political powers that would never have to partake in war. It is rarely used in the presence of allied warriors due to its connotation.

Slang Words and Phrases

Word or PhraseMeaning
BlandA sexual connotation for humans, saying that they're the "ordinary flavor" without taste (see "Spice"). It is adapted into phrases like "I guess you like 'em bland."
Dress Yourself"Deal with it."
I'm Trackin'"I feel you." "I'm on board." I understand, and I agree. We're on the same page. Approval of something. Can also mean that you're doing well, and are good for whatever comes next.
Lick a Pig"Screw you." Literally a command to lick a pig; a derogatory way of telling them their behavior or presence is undesired. Often used as playful banter.
Raw"Nice" or "Word" as though said as a recognition of something cool, or a confirmation of understanding.
Sad TruthA solemn acknowledgement of something that is disappointing, yet true. Can also be used to acknowledge something good but with a sarcastic banter.
SpiceA sexually suggestive phrase that refers to a race outside of one's own, but which is also not human. It is adapted into phrases like "get some spice in your life."
TornAn expression of something outrageous: "Whack," "Unreal," etc. Generally used in a phrase like "That's torn."
TruthAcknowledgement of something that seems accurate. Also used like "Touche" to accept defeat of something.
Weak"Lame." A quick response to indicate that something is undesirable, or shouldn't happen as it does.

Unique Phrases

Unique PhrasesMeaning
Fishin'A sexual connotation describing someone that is attracted to or looking for an aquatic race as a partner. Phrases may include "Going fishing" and slight variations such as "the fishermen" that seek acquatic types.
HookIn the appropriate context, this is a derogatory term to refer to a Ninshana's spear.
Make a HouseA phrase that can have the meaning of making love or having children, though is more frequently used as as the former. Originates from the Wendori, but used by other cultures.
Not a scratch on a boneletA Wendori insult, saying that someone is far too insignificant to fight; they're so low on the list of considerations for worthy opponents that they wouldn't even be worth a scratch on a bonelet. In other words, it would not be worth the Wendori's time to bother, since it would gain them no prestige or value. Said like "You're not a scratch on a bonelet."
Out of your lakeAn insult that indicates that an aqautic race should not be on land, or at least not outside of their homeland. Variations of "your lake" may also include phrases such as "Go back to your lake."

Important Roles

Political Roles

RoleSummary
RoyaltyAny member of the royal family, and includes: Kings, Queens, Princes, and Princesses. Royalty are considered the highest power within the monarchy, and it is expected for their people to worship and obey them. They are expected to be addressed with "His Majesty" or "Her Majesty."
ChancellorThe primary overseer of government affairs and operations. This role possesses considerable influence and power; essentially more than anyone but the royalty. He speaks on behalf of the king (or queen) and his words are considered law unless overruled by the monarch. He is expected to handle the nuances of government so that the monarchs don't need to attend to it. They are addressed with their title.
AmbassadorsAmbassadors are diplomats that are assigned a specific nation, region, or organization to do business with them. They possess the ability to speak on behalf of the royalty and chancellor, or the government council, though often have limitations enforced upon them. They negotiate trade, marriages, and other diplomatic affairs between their government and their diplomatic target. They are addressed with their title.
ChamberlainManages a household and keeps its affairs in order. He handles permissions for who is allowed or disallowed the household to visit in certain rooms and times. This role will also oversee and directly assist with organization of all events for a household, including all necessary occupations and services, and will often act as the Master of Ceremonies for such events. For important events, the Chamberlain may himself announce nobility and others that come. They are addressed with "Lord" if they do not possess a higher title.
SecretariesMid-level roles in government, each of which has a different title; such as Secretary of Defense. Different governments will expect different types of secretaries based on their specific needs. In addition to their typical bureaucratic and political duties, they often act as advisers to the government council and royalty on subjects of importance within their area of expertise. They are addressed with the title of "Secretary," but not their full title.
TreasurerThe primary accountant and keeper of the treasury on behalf of the government. They manage all accounts, taxes, and assets. They are addressed with the title of "Secretary Treasurer."
PostmasterThe primary handler of the messages that are dealt with. This is a secretarial position, but given special title due to their importance. They are addressed with the title of "Secretary Postmaster."
AideA low-level position in government, there to assist one or more others of greater importance in some matter. Aides are typically specialized to fill particular skills that can accommodate their superiors.
CouncilorsA councilor is any individual with a seat on the government's council, typically lead by the chancellor. The role of councilor does not come with a title, as everyone who possesses the role would have an official title. Most are lords, trusted ambassadors, secretaries, commanders, and specialists of importance such as the High Apothecary and Postmaster.

Lordship Roles

RoleSummary
LordsLords, or the female form of Ladies, indicates anyone that rules over a specific territory within the government.
DukeA Duke, or the female form of Duchess, is the highest body of rule that can be achieved without royal birth. Dukes possess rule over a large territory within the government, and are considered second in power only to the royalty within their jurisdiction. They are addressed with their title, and "Your Grace" when departing.
CountA Count, or the female form of Countess, indicates a rule over an area within a territory whose borders are within that of a Duke's. The Count has authority to govern within their jurisdiction, though can be overruled by their Duke or the royalty. They are addressed with their title, and "My Lord" when departing.
BaronA Baron, or the female form of Baroness, is a title of honor. It comes with no inherent authority or rule, though does carry a certain degree of respect and social prestige. They are expected to be addressed with "Lord" before their name, rather than their official title of Baron.

Military Roles

RoleSummary
CommanderThe highest role over a major military operation of significant importance; such as an army, a secret military order, or a mercenary guild. Some commanders have more prestige than others, and the highest commanders may be titled High Commander to reflect this. They are addressed with their title.
CaptainCaptains are considered a rank below commander and act as their subordinates. They may also operate as the head of a military operation of moderate importance that is not significant enough to warrant them the title of commander. They are addressed with their title.
LieutenantLieutenant represents the lowest level of officer, and are subordinates to their captains. They are addressed with their title.

Other Roles

RoleSummary
Sirs & MadamsSirs, or the female form "Madams," indicates anyone of considerable wealth and land, but which has no other title to their name. Depending on their status and degree of influence or wealth, they may be welcomed at court.
MasterThe title of Master is conferred to those who have mastered an unusually difficult or rare craft that is considered of value. This typically includes powerful alchemists of strong reputation, potion brewers, or powerful shamans. In rare cases it may refer to legendary craftsmen and artists; such as painters, sculptors, blacksmiths, etc. They are addressed with their title.
High ApothecaryThis title is assigned to the highest medical practitioner; whoever is responsible for administering medical practices for the highest level of government and nobility. They may also oversee the operations for other medical practices. They are addressed with "Master" but are introduced with their honorary title of "High Apothecary."

Lineages

Common Surnames

CultureCommon Surnames
AndalusAbagalia, Embranulia, Gabriela, Shailana, Tatraselia, X'yela
ElvesAlashia, Amberyl, Celsi, Dedrimir, Drayl, Eluda, Lyre, Nyala, Rangal, Vencia
HumanBrook, Carver, Green, Minter, Rivers, Smith, Stoneman, Woodsman
LeoBashi, Caro, Haru, Jaimi, Kashi, Muri, Naku, Saki, Tero, Yudi
JilakCerillo, Divani, Esero, Equinis, Karilis, Mayeki, Nyuti, Patina
NinshanaApex, Borgig, Calgorag, Gagero, Octoro, Okex, Worslim
Wendori(Also clan names) Blade, Bonesteel, Calmheart, Firewind, Silverknife, Strongheart, Thunderstrike

Religious Surnames

ReligionDetails & Surnames
Druid FollowersChange their names to a surname that relates to nature or the seasons, such as: Bloom, Evergreen, Moss, Oaks, Summers, Winters.
The Seeker's (witch sisterhood)Basin (spirit talkers), Haven (sorcerers), Sooth (seekers of wisdom, omens, foresight, tarot cards), Perch (telepathic or sensory abilities), Cylus (charisma, domination, persuasion, influence, wealth), Drifter (forging new path, manifesting, investigation, discovery).
BluecrestThe name taken by anyone that follows the Church of Bluecrest; a small order, relatively secretive. They operate in secret within the rest of society, and work well amongst themselves.

National Lineages

Arcanus

Arcanus HousesDetails
AlkanorAn Elven House with a powerful magical lineage. Very political and strategic, has many alchemists. Rarely participate in any combat, but have wide connections and lots of wealth. They're a powerful force in business throughout Arcanus, and also have many ties to moneylending and trade.
BastionA house with incredible prestige throughout Astaria, the magical communities, and Arcanus. They were one of the original Beastmaster lineages from the Wild Tropics of Celsia, and have many legends that follow them. Was originally an Elven house, but Leos and Humans were gradually added over time; either through marriage or from the adoption of good Beastmaster candidates. They have twenty two Thetastones, most of which originated from the time of the Wild Tropics.
NightfallA predominantly Leo House of powerful mages and warriors. There are myths that follow them of being were-creatures, and they seem to enjoy the mystery of it. Most members of this house are trained in the magical combats from a young age, particularly in the Leo styles of Romu and Chimu. Several of the best practitioners of these arts are from this house. They also possess eight Thetastones within their lineage.
ObeliskThe house of famous rogues and spies of legend. They are known for their network of spies and connections, as well as a powerful magical lineage. They are believed to possess many secrets, and are rumored as one of the major reasons that Titania was never able to conquer Arcanus.
SeveusAn Elven and Human House of combat warriors that practice a wide variety of magical combat and beastmastery. They have sixteen Thetastones, and they live predominantly in the south of Arcanus to serve as a point of defense against the demons. There are also many that live in the Celsia Territory of Arcanus to aid in the war against Hellscape.

Cryos

Cryos HousesDetails
CryonusThe royal and ruling house of Cryos, who possess a very powerful magical lineage. They overthrew the previous house centuries ago after the Titan Wars and enslaved any free Andalus. They have lost considerable power due to bitter rivalries and opposing houses, but they maintain strong outside alliances that maintain their power.
AnwarThis house presents the greatest threat to the House of Cryonus. Their magical lineage exceeds the power of Cryonus, and they possess greater overall wealth. Throughout Cryos they have many supporters, as well as control the largest army.
DroomA warrior house that is heavily respected for their service against the monsters. They have a stronger dislike of Andalus than most, and tend to severely mistreat their Andalus. This house is loyal to Anwar.
DuskHighly strategic house that has elevated themselves from a much lesser house over the last century, through a series of clever maneuvering and alliances with other lesser houses that they've elevated along with them. Anwar and Dusk are mutually bitter rivals.
ParcherA lesser house, though still have political influence and a fair degree of wealth. They are best known for their talented alchemists. They have been elevated by the House of Dusk, and thus are strongly loyal to them.
SparrowA small but wealthy house with strong magical lineage. They are best known for their sorcery powers, and always educate their members with thaumaturgy; shamanism for those who prove themselves adept. They are allied with the House of Dusk.

Mesa

Mesa HousesDetails
CoalmanDwarven House that primarily lives in Terra. Owns and operates several of the major mines, and has a large stake in the magical mineral supplies. They are arguably the most wealthy house in the nation, and one of the wealthiest in Astaria.
SteelDwarven House that owns several blacksmith guilds through Mesa. They have many legendary alchemists and magical blacksmiths in their history. They have been responsible for the construction of many magical artifacts, as well as the development of the magical shrines within Mesa.
IngotThe Dwarven House that is primarily in control of the Dwarven Mints, as well as owns many of the banks and moneylending houses.
WarshagenA Dwarven House whose lineage began from Olek; the mightiest and most influential warrior of the Dwarves. This house is highly respected, almost worshipped, and possess many of the best warriors that the Dwarven race has to offer. They are heavily involved in the mercenary guilds of the nation.

Trident

Arcanus HousesDetails
BuldrapThis Ninshana House is widely known for its large ownership of land in the north of Trident. They actively seek to control more political power, and have a strong enough magical lineage to be in contention for the next most influential house in Trident after Ninani.
DragerA Ninshana House that dominates the control over the naval fleet of Trident. Ninani has tried to separate them from this power, since it gives them considerable influence, but have not succeeded. They have many foreign ambassadors in important political offices, and work more closely with the Jilak than any other house in the Northern Isles.
NinaniThis Ninshana House translates to "the royals" or "those of royalty." These were the original leaders of the Ninshana tribe and have a strong magical lineage. They still hold the most power within Trident; both in wealth and political influence. Some citizens of Trident don't like the disparities and blame the Ninani for it, but they tend to be highly respected amongst the elite classes that they interact with. Their house crest is a two-pronged trident, rather than a traditional spearhead.
OrlockA Ninshana House that is known for its warriors and magical combat. They command the most powerful mercenary guild and military forces. Some are known to work with the Wendori.

Valen

Valen HousesDetails
EnburrowA powerful slaver house that captures slaves for trespassing or citizens that are unable to pay their debts.
FurseA powerful drug lord that deals primarily in magical drugs. Has many political connections to Cryos, and makes commissions from their sales and distribution. Has strong ties with the operations of an assassination guild that operates in Vixen. The guild is a branch of Raveneye. House Furse is bitter enemies with House Zothro, and gang rivalries are intense. They are feared, and their vengeance is swift and deadly.
KalikA slaver house. Owns large areas of land. Typically stays out of Vixen and politics with the major gangs, instead choosing to control the other territories.
UndrakPowerful drug lord, also deals in magical drugs. They are second only to House Furse in drug distribution across the East. They try to avoid war with them, though tensions inevitably rise from time to time. They have a large mercenary force and many slaves.
VastorOwn many brothels; nearly all in Vixen, with the exception of the legendary House of Maidens. They are allied with Furse, and under their protection.
WingmunA slaving house that treats slaves with more respect than most others do. They provide somewhat more freedom and kindness.
ZothroPowerful magical lineage. Own major casinos, assassination guilds, criminal guilds, trade routes, and have many underworld ties. They consider themselves the most powerful house in the nation, but have many enemies contesting them for power. Has a personal army and several guilds that operate on their behalf.