Western bits

From: Jose Ramos (cristnav@arrakis.es)
Date: Fri 31 Oct 1997 - 13:58:33 EET


(All IMG)

Calendars

        IMHO Arkat's Dark Empire and the God learners both used the Thelayan calendar. So in the purges after the GLs fall, the calendar remained. Days have slightly different names, and most religious festivals fall on Godday, but that's all. Henotheists use the same Holy days as their pagan counterparts (a gaming simplification, but reasonable with all the GLs cultural exchanges).

       In Rokari lands the Holy time is a dual time. The first week is a carnival, full of celebrations and where most of the social rules can be ignored. The winter stocks that have not been depleted are emptied in big parties. The high point of the year, where you celebrate the passing of another year, and God's bounty.

        The second week is given to religion. We are alive, true, but Solace is far away and many will not make it. Fasting, prayers and communal services abound. Many of the community magics are worked at this time. It is the starting point of many quests for Lords and Knights (less involved in the ceremonies).

Kustria and Old Hrestoli

        My actual campaign is centered in Kustria, and there is a sequel planned, so I have thought a lot about it. There is also a fine description of the kingdom in Tradetalk 2, although I have some small disagreements with it.

        Kustria was established by Ulianus the Great, a Seshnelan (and rokari) King. I suspect his building of the Arena and the establishment of the Tournament was due to certain Old Hrestoli influences, compounded by the fact that nobody could beat him in a joust.

        Kustria is still a rokari stronghold, but its Lords and Knights are much more enlightened than your usual rokari. This creates a climate of religious tolerance.

        Finally, don't forget there are almost two hundred thousand people living in the kingdom. Hardly a fief. The Tournament Fief exist, but it is just a small part of the whole.

Brithini

        Horals are forbidden to ride, which is allowed only to Talars. Perhaps this was how Seshnela conquered Arolanit, a mounted force flanking the army and menacing the talars, who surrendered instantly?

        Old Hrestolism is the result of the "return to origins" movement after the GLs catastrophe. So it is a reconstruction of Hrestolism, not true Hrestolism.

        I don't see why the rokari would want to use a brithini calendar. Up to two centuries ago they were a mix of Old Hrestoli and henotheists, forged by Rokar and Bailiffes into a new religion. So either Hrestol's vision, or the birth of St. Rokar, or his death, or the unification of Seshnela.

Castes

        Rokari seems workable to me (not that I like their system), with some caste jumping, as I sent before to the list. You don't need that all the descendants of a soldier become a soldier, just one or two. The rest will slink down to the big unwashed masses. And the Lords situation is even clearer. One will inherit, the rest will drop to knight caste (what, no land to rule, then you are a knight), or further down.

        If a knight can become a Lord by marriage, you cover most of your needs.

        The hrestoli are even easier. Not only you don't have to advance if you don't want to (and if you don'y want to, you disqualify for advancement), in the top levels there must be a vacancy before you go up, no matter how qualified you are. You don't have all hrestoli farmers working like mad to become masters to advance. Most do their due and go back home after work, with their husbands/wives and children (that they would have to leave if they advance).

Jose

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