Culture of the Isle of Mist

Celebrations

New Moon's Night

Celebrates start of Journey. First new moon after harvest. Isle-wide.

Carnival of the Rings

Longest day of the year. Celebrates the pact signed between Violetford and Brightmill (and Golddale, once it was later founded). Copies (stone) still kept in temples in those three cities. The week before, each city sends two large merchant caravans, one to each city. They set up at designated spots just outside the city. Once there, they set up for a three-day festival culminating on the longest day of the year, where everyone basically stays up all night to get shitfaced and try to find a man or woman. But usually it's more romantic than that.

Rings-the-item very common symbols on this day (duh) just because of the accident of Ring's last name.

Sunbreak

TODO Spring holiday - start of planting, end of winter.

Procession

The Procession is the annual (fall) changing of the guard at the Gate. In Violetford, this is a downright huge event. All told, nearly 1200 people (soldiers, staff, and merchants) march the few miles from Violetford to the guardhouses at the Bridge. The new guards follow the old guards around for a week, learning their duties and the lay of the land near the Bridge. Merchants follow along to restock the stores at the military encampment (and to try to sell some extra trinkets to the soldiers newly going on and coming off duty).

There are nearly 500 soldiers posted full-time at the Bridge with nearly as many support staff at the camp to keep their gear fit and their bellies full.

History

Heavily in work

  • Some of oldest history is probably things like, "we know about Brightmill's founder and Lylye Ring, but we don't know how far back they were. Certainly older than my great-grandfather's great-grandfather."
  • Most communicated by parable
  • Have some artifacts (e.g., stone tablets of the Pact), but no idea how old they are beyond "really very extremely"

Rites and Rituals

School/Education

In cities, schools taught by clergy and some other volunteers. Violetford probably has more than a dozen of these little schools; the other towns probably have a smaller number, but still more than a handfull. Schools often teach reading and writing. Not for everyone, only the middle and upper classes (those that can afford not having their children helping with daily work). Need to do some thinking about the size of schools.

Coming of Age

TODO

Apprenticeship

  • Common for crafts and trades to exchange apprentices amongst cities
    • Keeps knowledge transfer between cities flowing
    • Strengthens political ties between cities (less likely for a Brightmiller to have ill will towards Violetford if he spent a nice year there mastering the art of barrelmaking)

Apprenticeship Graduation

Write name, master's name, Guild secret on piece of paper and ceremonially burn it. Demonstrates to Olidammara that you have the knowledge now, you're giving it to her (offering to her), and you'll protect it and only share it with those who deserve it.

Marriage

  • Arranged marriages common but not exclusive. Always with someone of another city/village.
    • more common amongst upper classes, to the point that upper class marriages are almost always arranged
    • farmers, fishermen, etc. far outside the cities often don't bother because they're already sort of "claimed" by one of the cities militias and don't have the money, time, or inclination to care so much about the political wrangling inherent in these arranged marriages. These families sometimes will arrange marriages with other families in the area (e.g., farmer's daughter being married to a fisher-family's son) as a way to strengthen the families' abilities to provide for one another during times of minor crisis.
    • Correlation between hard times and arranged marriages amongst lower classes; when times are good, they don't need to worry about these ties as much as they do when times are tough

Marriage Ceremony

Specifics of marriage ceremonies vary, but almost all have these elements in common:

  • Exchange of gifts between the families
  • Ceremonial shackling of the groom and bride - often rings, but may also be bracelets in some instances
  • Floral headdresses common for both bride and groom
  • Depending on region, ceremony always incorporates some local symbol of fertility

Economy

Trade

TODO

Money

Not fully standardized. The three cities mint their own coinage.

Brightmill's Coinage

  • Golden Mill
    • Worth 2 GP 5 SP
    • Largish gold coin (between quarter and half-dollar)
    • City sigil and minter's mark on face
    • Brightmill on reverse
  • Silver Falls
    • Worth 5 SP
    • Octagonal quarter-sized coin
    • Millstone and minter's mark on face
    • Brightmill Falls on the reverse
  • Silver Gliderfish
    • Worth 1 SP
    • Penny sized
    • River rapids and minter's mark on face
    • Leaping gliderfish on reverse
  • Copper Husk
    • Worth 1 CP
    • Penny sized oval coin
    • Mr. Brightmill's face and minter's mark on face
    • Wheat and corn on reverse

Golddale's Coinage

  • Golden Forge
    • Worth 5 GP
    • Half-dollar-sized coin
    • Forge and minter's mark on face
    • Tongs and bar on reverse
  • Golden Brazer
    • Worth 2 GP
    • Nickel-sized coin
    • Elder's face and minter's mark on face
    • Brazer on reverse
  • Silver Pick
    • Worth 3 SP
    • Dime-size coin
    • Pick and minter's mark on face
    • Shovel on reverse
  • Copper Lantern
    • Worth 10 CP (1 SP)
    • Hexagonal nickle-sized coin
    • Darklantern and minter's mark on face
    • Starburst sun on reverse
  • Copper Minecart (Cart)
    • Worth 1 CP
    • Dime-size coin
    • Minecart and minter's mark on face
    • Minecart tracks on reverse

Violetford's Coinage

  • Golden Elder
    • Worth 1 GP
    • Quarter-sized ten-sided coin
    • Elder's face and maker's mark on face
    • Bridge on the reverse
  • Silver Elite
    • Worth 1 SP
    • Nickel-sized coin
    • Elite plate helm and minter's mark on face
    • Warhammer on reverse
  • Copper Merchant
    • Worth 1 CP
    • Penny-sized coin
    • City Hall and minter's mark on face
    • Merchant caravan on reverse

Equipment

Generally, almost any gear found in the Player's Handbook can be found on the Isle. The key difference is in the cost of paper due to the limited supply of lumber available to be made into paper on the Isle. Paper cost is roughly double that listed in the Player's Handbook (8 sp per sheet, or 30 GP for a blank spellbook). Papyrus and parchment are not available as alternatives to paper. There are books and scribes, but they're uncommon and expensive. Most communication is via messenger, etc. Books are one-offs produced by scribes; no printing presses or anything like that.

These items are not available on the Island.

  1. Spyglasses or other equipment that relies on lenses/optics
  2. Metal shields
  3. Plate, banded, and similar heavy armors

Life on the Isle

Literacy

Average citizen knows how to read just enough to understand the religious texts at their local temple or shrine. For some smaller villages, people don't even know that much; they just know basic accounting symbols and key religious phrases.

Innhouses, pubs, and similar use the "painted sign" method of naming, but they also often have simple names on their sign describing what they offer (e.g., FOOD on a pub, ROOMS on an inn, etc.). The average citizen can read enough to understand that.

Guilds and Unions

Merchants, Messengers, and Lumberjacks guilds are very loose and mostly just register with one another for mutual protection and so that they can access caravan guards under the auspices of the Guild. Much of the guild fees for these guilds go largely to roadworks. The lumberjacks' guild also largely pays for the druids' services.

Crime and Punishment

All capital offenses are treated as such due to the great destruction they can bring to the Isle.

Capital Offenses

  • Murder
  • Attempted trespass on the Bridge (summary execution allowed)
  • Destruction of farmland
  • Theft of livestock
  • Temple Desecration

These offenses are treated as higher crimes than the more common version of the crime. As such, the punishment for these crimes is usually one or two "steps" harsher than for the more general crime.

Unique Offenses

  • Theft of Foodstuffs (a step up from general robbery)
  • Theft of Godsmetal (a couple steps up from general robbery)
  • Assault on a Soldier or Watchman (a step up from general assault)

Brigands are rare, but there are some in the various forests. City militias sometimes will be called up to try to clear out problematic bandit bands/camps, as do merchant caravan guards, but it can be very difficult to differentiate brigands from the various relatively law-abiding hunters and woodsmen who live in those forests. It's also very dangerous to roam the forests if you don't know the area due to the terrain and the local fauna. Violetford in particular maintains a "most wanted" list of brigands; the merchants and messangers usually offer rewards for the capture (always alive) of those most-wanted brigands.

Food and Drink

Residents of the Isle eat far more grain and vegetables than meat. With limited space available, farms that raise goats and cows are few and far between, and those animals are used for milk and cheese production rather than for meat. The Islanders get most of their non-dairy protein from either fish and shellfish (mostly found to the north and northwest of the Isle) or from chickens.

Speaking of grains, the Isle primarily supports wheat and some varieties of rice near the swamps to the west. Islanders also grow other vegetables suited for mild to cool temperatures and a very wet climate. Fruits are rare and consist mostly of some apples and similar tree fruits and some varieties of berry.

Military

Weaponry

  • People rarely carry weapons except for city watch and merchant guards
    • No exotic weapons avail on island
    • City watch have swords avail but usually use truncheons
    • People will look funny at you and step away if you're carrying a longsword through town
    • Most weaponry available on island is something that is a legitimate tool as well (knife, axe, pick, hammer, bow); single-purpose weapons (swords, crossbows) are available, but in limited quantities

Armed Service

  • Divine mandate to maintain well-trained guards
    • Violetford follows this mandate to the letter
    • Other two cities pay more lip service - some train, some do not
    • Elite guards (only a few on island) carry special "divine" warhammers
      • need real name for this group
    • Violetford keeps about 750 "militia"
    • Golddale keeps a minimal militia - 50-100 at most
    • Brightmill keeps a militia between Violetford and Golddale, usually like 250ish

Militia vs. Watch

The City Watches are the police forces of the various cities. Larger villages and towns may also have a small Watch presence. The Watch (with the exception of the Violetford Watch) are often not exceedingly well trained in combat beyond truncheon and fist.

The militias, on the other hand, are trained fighters that have access to city armories in order to defend the city from an external threat (or serve as the "national guard" in case of some kind of emergency). The militias are better trained as fighters than the watch (again, with the exception of Violetford's Watch). Militia are trained in armored combat and such.

The Stormwall are the best of the Violetford City Watch. They also must have trained in the militia and demonstrated moral and physical excellence. They are the only people who wear heavy armors.


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