Legends of Dios
Diosian culture is sourced heavily from the culture of 16th and 17th century france.
Society is generally medieval, with peasants owing fealty to their lords and their lords in turn to the king. This is rapidly being overtaken by a system of guilds as trade, craft and technology are beginning to create freemen and a new class of noveau rich.
Social status is exceedingly important in Dios. Frequently those of lower status are barred by law of entering property or sometimes even the presence of their betters.
The most common statuses are:
- Peasants: Owe their livelihoods and land to whichever lord owns their fief.
- Freemen: Will generally pay taxes and guild dues but their existence is not codified by the whims of any particular lord.
- Soldiers: Owe service and duty to a minor lord in return for better treatment and pay.
- Knights/Barons and minor lords: These lords have been gifted land in return for taxes and service (generally military).
- Marquis/Lords: Own large sections of land, usually with many vassals governing subdomains.
- Royalty: The king is nominally owner of all land within his realm. All taxes are eventually delivered to him.
Free cities: Free cities are governed by a council. The city normally pays recompense to a local lord or directly to the king as part of the agreement of freedom of governance. Any peasant living in a free city for a year and a day becomes a freeman.
In feudal societies the nobility are tremendously more wealthy than any peasant could hope to be. While some put their largesse to fund the betterment of their kin its safe to say that most do not. For the nobility life is a series of struggles to obtain more wealth and influence at court. Some do this by way of parties and social functions. Some seek advancement by warfare and success in battle. Some do dabble in trade though this is considered a little bit gauche (unless they are very successful at it).
Anyone mixing in high society had best be dressed for the occasion. Nobles seeking to show off their wealth often have many fabulous outfits, each worth several years of a peasants toil. In large cities entire sections are devoted to the clothiers profession. Conversely dressing richly in a peasants village may generate respect or hatred depending on the location.
While it would be nice to think that only the nobles were so obsessed with status and belonging it is true of most groups in Dios. Savoir faire is the skill of fitting into a particular group, it involves knowing names, local expressions and styles of dress. Those without it will find that getting favours or recognition from a group difficult. Diosian society is intolerant of social gaffes.
The main religion is the Church of Light. The light comes from a divine being who watches over all mankind so that he does not fall in to sin. This church is well regarded by the peasant folk because they provide light sources and medical care which most would otherwise not be able to afford. The church is a significant political force.
Warfare is common because resources are scarce. Victory at war provides plunder, social recognition and occasionally land. Many nobles make their entire fortunes out of warfare with neighbouring countries and are constantly jockeying at court for more opportunities to enter conflicts. It is also common for peasants to aspire to the soldiery because the plunder from a successful campaign can be a score or more of years worth of toil. Soldiers are also generally looked after better and better equipped than peasants.
Common soldiery: (in order of status)
- Guardsman (light armour, spear, possibly a shield)
- Crossbowman (light armour, crossbow, dagger)
- Elite Guardsman (Leather armour, spear, rapier, dagger)
- Arbalester (Heavy crossbow, dagger)
- Heavy infantry (Plate armour, shield, spear and shortsword)
- Musketeer (Leather armour, musket, rapier, dagger)