Religion, Language, Currency, and other Customs.   Posted by Gamemaster.Group: 0
Gamemaster
 GM, 4 posts
Tue 20 Oct 2009
at 05:28
Religion, Language, Currency, and other Customs
Religion

Religion functions much the same in Ytarria as it does on Earth.  The three major religions are Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.  Paganism has a foothold as well, including the "Old Religion" of the Celts and Germans, Greco-Roman cults that worship Olympian gods, Norse Cults, and Magical Cults.  Hinduism and Buddhism are also practiced in some regions.

The religions of the original inhabitants of Yrth are centered in the Eternal, a vast, omnipresent, perfect consciousness.

The former inhabitants of Gabrook, including the goblins, kobolds, reptile men, and hobgoblins, have their own gods that they worship, though nearly all goblins converted to humans' religion, particularly Christianity.  The inhabitants of Loren'dil, including halflings, centaurs, and giants, also had their own gods, although many halflings have conformed to humans' ways, as well.

Dragons seem to worship themselves, in a way; merpeople are skeptical of religion in general; and sharkmen desire a unity with their gods, which would seem to not be a good thing for their neighbors on Yrth.
Gamemaster
 GM, 5 posts
Tue 20 Oct 2009
at 05:43
Re: Religion, Language, Currency, and other Customs
Language

Anglish - the speech of Christian lands, evolved from medieval English and influenced by Norman French

Northland - a related tongue to Anglish, spoken by Northmen and derived from Germanic

Aralaise - a heavily accented form of Anglish spoken in Araterre

Old Aralaise - a distinct language similar to 16th-century French, spoken in remote villages in Araterre

Arabic - nearly identical to Earth Arabic, although with a different accent; spoken in Islamic nations

Latin - spoken by scholars, clergy, and some Megalan noblemen

Ladino - spoken like Spanish but uses Hebraic characters; spoken by Jews

Hebrew - used by Jews as a liturgical language

Tredroy - a patois consisting of Anglish, Arabic, and various old Earth words

Native-level Anglish or Aralaise gives an Accented familiarity of the other language.  Northland or Anglish at native levels gives broken familiarity with the other language.  Native-level Anglish or Yrth-Arabic can quickly learn Tredroy.

Nonhuman speech

Most nonhuman races have their own tongue, though kobolds and orcs have no script.  Nonhumans generally know the human language of their own region.  There is only one written form of the elven language, although there are more than a dozen spoken dialects, each of which can be understood by speakers of other dialects at one level less.  The language known as Elvish is a trade language, and most elves only know it at accented levels.  Dwarves have one language, although different regions possess different accents.
Gamemaster
 GM, 6 posts
Tue 20 Oct 2009
at 05:52
Re: Religion, Language, Currency, and other Customs
Economics

Most trade, even in relatively large towns, is done by barter.  Coins are accepted, but are considered rare.  Some people live their whole lives without ever seeing a gold coin.

Megalos
Copper farthing ($1)
Silver penny ($4)
Gold mark ($200)
Megalan pound (a pound of silver - rare) ($1000)

(Also used by Araterre.  Caithness mints its own coins using the same values and names.)

Al-Haz and al-Wazif
Copper halala ($1)
Silver dirham ($4)
Gold dinar ($100)
Talent (thick gold coin, rare) ($1000)

(Also found in Cardiel)

Zarak (pure and physically large)
Small copper khenn ($1)
Copper dann ($12)
Silver ffo ($144)
Gold Tohn ($5,184)
Gamemaster
 GM, 7 posts
Tue 20 Oct 2009
at 06:03
Re: Religion, Language, Currency, and other Customs
Other Customs

Crime is generally punished using the "eye-for-an-eye" philosophy.

The arts, including theater, music, the visual arts, literature, and architecture, all flourish.

Sexual morality is strict in theory and flexible in practice.

Social hierarchy is arranged according to the feudal system, with the largest number of people in the serf class.  Merchants compose a sort of middle class.  Knights comprise the warrior class, and the nobility is made up of society's elite.  Slavery exists, and slaves have almost no rights beyond those granted to them by their owners.

Most towns are run by local councils.  Guilds exist to govern particular craftsmen and protect trade secrets.  Guilds include merchants' guilds, craftsmen's guilds (Spinners, Weavers, Tailors, Dyers, and Embroiderers), the Armsmen's Guild, Mages' Guilds, Alchemists' Guilds, and various criminal guilds.

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:03, Tue 20 Oct 2009.

Gamemaster
 GM, 515 posts
 Keep calm
 And carry on
Fri 7 Jun 2013
at 06:18
Re: Religion, Language, Currency, and other Customs
Punishment in Ytarria generally follows an eye-for-an-eye code, with fines are very common.  Thieves may be publicly flogged (twelve lashes being common), branded on the face and/or hand, or mutilated in some way (cutting off a finger or ear, for example).  Certificates of Honesty are often issued for those maimed in accidents (leading to a black market for these certificates).

Treason and murder without mitigating circumstances are capital offenses, and execution is usually swift and public.  Death as a result of a duel is not considered murder, although dueling is often outlawed.  Cheating in a duel is considered attempted murder.

Landed knights and lords are generally responsible for keeping the law on their own estates.  The king, emperor, or Muslim ruler is the ultimate arbiter of law in their lands.

In Megalos, slavery and execution are more common than mutilation.  The rich can usually bribe their way out of any crime except high treason.

Aralaise law is similar to Megalos.  A man may only be sentenced to execution by someone of higher rank than himself.  Commoners are hanged; nobility are beheaded.  Slavery is not as common, and imprisonment is more common.

Caithness follows the Megalan pattern but is less severe.  Lords usually hear cases, and magic is not often used in determining guilt.  Caithness justice emphasizes compensation of the victims' families and often involves large fines payable to them.

In Al-Haz, Shari'a law is followed meticulously, with mullahs in charge of courts, and maimings and floggings are common.  Both alcohol and public non-Muslim worship are banned.  Women must be veiled, and public lewd displays (such as bare arms) are punished with private floggings (to preserve modesty).

Al-Wazif also follows Shari'a, but the lord is as authoritative as the mullahs, and Shari'a is implemented less strictly than Al-Haz.  Alcohol is grudgingly allowed among non-Muslims, although public drunkenness is not allowed, and women do not have to be publicly veiled.

The Cardiel legal system is a labyrinth of Shari'a, Christian church canon, Jewish tradition, and the remnants of Megalan common law.  Religious freedom is guaranteed, there is no death by torture, and slavery is outlawed (any escaped slave who makes it to Cardiel is free).

Criminal investigations have learned much from knowledge that has come through the Banestorm, and forensic science is practiced.  Michaelite priests are often used to investigate crimes, and at major trials, the prosecution and defense may employ wizards to provide arcane evidence.  Such evidence is usually well-respected, for wizards typically are not willing to risk their reputation on falsifying evidence.

Christianity

Slavery is frowned upon by Christians, going against the principle of brotherly love.   It is illegal to make a Christian a slave, but slaves do exist, pagans, heretics, infidels, and beings without souls, leading to many slaves coming from prisoners-of-war.  However, slavery is a common punishment in the Megalan Empire.

Sin is always evil, and penance imposed.  Megalan priests sell indulgences, though this practice is forbidden by church law in Cardiel and Caithness.  Indulgences range from five farthings ($5) for drunkeness, six pennies ($24) for fornication, twelve pennies ($48) for fraudulent trading, a half-mark ($ 100) for adultery, one mark ($200) for sodomy, and five pounds ($5,000) for killing an opponent in a duel.  A few indulgences have been sold for premeditated murder (at least twenty pounds - $20,000), and even for black magic (fifty pounds - $50,000), but for these vile crimes, even the greediest priest would still insist on an extended penance and reformation.

Heresy is defined as any belief that contradicts church doctrine.   (Some examples:  Protestantism; Manites, who believe mages are God's chose people; mixing Christianity and pagan religions; and the Penitentines, who hold that Yrth is Purgatory.)

Unrepentant heretics are often burned at the stake, though to prevent martyrs, they may be imprisoned or heavily fined instead, and public, honest renunciation of heretical beliefs is often enough to have the punishments lessened or waived.  However, some rebels may be struck down without a trial.


Islam

The core of Islam is the Five Pillars.  All aspects of a Muslim's life are governed by Shari'a.  All cases are heard by religious courts.  Punishments also follow the "eye for an eye" principle, though hands are cut off only in instances of great theft.  Usury (charging interest on loans) is both a sin and illegal.  Shari'a works on preventing blood feuds by emphasizing reconciliation between wronged parties and follows strict laws on evidence, unusually requiring multiple witnesses.

Adultery is punishable by death by stoning; fornication by flogging; but multiple witnesses are generally required.

Slavery is viewed as not good but perhaps unavoidable.  Free Muslims may not be enslaved.  Castration is forbidden by law.

Many Muslims argue that there is no such thing as heresy and has no term or concept for atheists, seeing them as unbelievers who refuse to acknowledge God.  Muslims see people of other faiths as also searching for God and do not condemn them or forcibly attempt to make others convert to Islam.

Souls

On the concept of souls, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism believe that nonhumans have souls, though they have different rationales for this.  Examples of accepted communities in the Christian faith in life many halflings and goblins.