In the Shadow of Titans
Lower and Working Class
The bulk of this strata of society are firmly involved in the farming and rural life. Additionally most unskilled labour also comes from this group of people. In feudal society tradesmen were once a part of this group, but with the advent of the tradesman’s guilds only the worst tradesfolk are considered lower class. As unfortunate as it is, most criminals come from this class of people.
Those who live in rural areas tend to be a pious and god fearing people, whose worship is centred on the pantheon gods. Most peasants generally direct their worship to Pelor and Ehlonna to bless their fields. If the peasants do not worship these two though, they tend to worship the pantheon as a whole. Those that live in the cities though tend to be a whole different breed. Initially optimistic city life tends to jade those who have freshly arrived.
With regards to magic, most of the peasantry see magic as a dangerous and uncontrollable quality in a person. They will also generally be quite hostile to a magic user unless said person is accepted in the community, or they will be tolerated grudgingly if the user is college trained, and comes from an official background. It is not unusual though for a pogrom to feature the peasantry lashing out with mob violence at perceived witches. In the city however, most folk are exposed to magic on a regular basis and thus provided that it is from a college trained mage, will generally be quite blasé about the whole thing. Illegal mages though are still treated with the same contempt.
In regards to other races, depending on how much of a backwater the community is; reception of non-humans range from suspicion to an open welcome. For those in the city, many times they are often exposed to the differing races and thus tend to be more metropolitan than their rural counter parts.
In regards to authority though, in general it can be said that unless there are gross abuses of power or unreasonably hard times that the smallfolk believe themselves to be governed properly and that their ruler has their best interests if not at least an even hand at governing. In this day and age the lower and middle classes have a great sway in determining who makes up the parliament and as such many governing bodies attempt to appease them in order to stay in power. The peasantry are also quite fond of the church and by extension the templars. Many clamour to live in any territory that the templars administrate, as living in their territory or earning their patronage means that in general they pay less taxes when compared to their non-templar sponsored brethren.
Middle class citizens in Morinar are usually business owners, land owners, or craftsman of some sort. While merchants used to once be either of the travelling sort or entrenched in a specific community, improved speed of travel to varying parts of the world has allowed many more resources to be accessible at the hands of a prudent merchant. This has allowed many more products to be sold in various parts of the world, more so than the olden days where a man had to travel to get his own goods. Additionally due to the development of trading companies many subsidiary branches have appeared that allow a skilled person a way to get a leg up over others. What has also assisted in this rise, is the creation of the crafting guilds, as it has allowed many to band together both for mutual protection, and to make more powerful demands.
On a whole, the middle class are still a largely pious group, as they often pray to safeguard their caravans or businesses in some way, shape or form. Despite this though, more often than not, many middle class folk tend to take the more economically viable view when business matters and faith come to a head. As they say, money does make the world go round.
On the topic of magic, unlike the common masses, the middle class tends to take a more pragmatic view of magic. Provided it doesn’t take away their business, negatively impact their sales or interfere with them in some way, then more oft than not magic users are welcomed to browse or even assist with the creation of items. Magical items too are seen as a boon as they can provide a large haul of coin should one sell it for a good price.
Like many peoples, the middle class tends to be accepting of all races (excluding the hostile ones of course) based on both the potential for profit, and due to exposure as the middle class (minus landowners) tend to live in cities. It also helps that dwarven and elven craftsmanship also fetch high prices on the market.
In regards to state and government, so long as their trade isn’t being negatively affected or taxes taking too much of their profit, many tend to see little reason in complaining about authority. They simply take the bad with the good. Most also welcome the templars with open arms as having them as their patron often relieves them of their tax burdens to the state, for usually a much smaller deduction. The clergy are also welcomed because as stated before, any coin is good coin.
Knights in this day and age represent more of an honorific than anything else. With the advent of gunpowder, and the subsequent professionalization of armies, it has rendered the heavily armoured horseman quite defunct. As such many landless knights usually became career soldiers, usually as officers in the army, as their horsemanship skills still counted, especially with lighter forms of cavalry. Landed knights on the other hand tended to become established land owners as well as joining the army, though after a few terms of service had a higher tendency to retire than their landless counterparts. Being knighted is also a reward that is given to many deserving of a chivalric title, though usually it doesn’t come with any land in this day and age! It is still considered the lowest level of the aristocracy.
While not necessarily required to be pious, knights are expected to still abide by certain chivalric ideals. Though in theory they are all supposed to abide by a set code of conduct, it is not unknown for less scrupulous houses to rise in renown through more… unsavoury means.
Knightly views on magic vary wildly depending on who you talk to. Some knights will see it as the bane of the kingdom, where as others view it as an integral part of any military or civil endeavour. Unregistered magic users though tend to be hated by knights as a disruptive force. However, no matter who you turn to, magical arms and armour are valued a great deal, and tend to be handed down from generation to generation.
In regards to other races, due to the increasingly cosmopolitan nature of the world, many knights tend to have been greatly exposed to other races during their quest to attain knighthood and if not immediately after once they begin to tread in loftier circles. As such opinions on other races will generally still vary wildly.
Knights generally agree with the state as more oft than not. Most tend to leave the status quo be provided that it doesn’t actively interfere with them. Many adventurers take the reception of knighthood to be an indicator of good worth and standing with the community, and as such tends to give them a little bit more credibility with the people and the guild.
Mages, as they feature in society are either college trained, or folk wizards. The main difference here is the calibre of training and registration that the mages have. Untrained and unregistered mages are not viewed kindly in the kingdoms. Mages can come from any strata of society, from the lowliest beggars to the mightiest noble families.
Mages also tend to be rather pious as they worship Boccob, the god of magic. Certain mages though, have no faith, instead choosing to make their way in the world based on their own skill alone.
Mages tend see magic as a nothing more than a force in the world, much like how water is a necessary requirement for survival or how the wind weaves through the trees. It just is, and denying that fact or labelling it as evil would not change it at all. However not all mages share this view. Certain mages see magic as a natural force that exists to be controlled instead of just being. Yoking magical force under their grasp as one would bring horse and ox under control is not an uncommon view for a mage to have. Whatever their individual views may be though; all agree that magic is an essential element in the world.
Mages also tend to be very open to all races. Having been on the receiving end of much hate and intolerance, they tend to wait before they judge in this regard. Most mages also tend to value the company of elven wizards as their mastery of the magical arts is unmatched in the world.
Views on authority tend to vary wildly from mage to mage dependent on who they have been assigned to and how they are treated. Despite this, they all share negative feelings in regards to the templars, as many of their magic wielding brethren have died upon their blades in either justified, or unjustified witch hunts.
The clergy are drawn from every strata of society, though coming from a wealthy family doesn’t hurt your chances of promotion. Often times, nobles who have nothing to inherit, end up becoming a member of the clergy. It is also seen as an honourable way for an aging member of a family to depart from their duties. Naturally they are for all intents and purposes “dead” to their family for inheritance matters, and pass on their material wealth to their children. Unfortunately this method of forced retirement has been used to usurp power on more than one occasion.
Naturally the clergy are quite pious, for more on their organization see web article here. For the gods of the pantheon see web article 2
The clergy actually share similar views with the mages about magic. However that is only in regards to controlled magic. Perhaps more than anyone, they see folk wizards and hedge mages as being potential avenues for possession by the demonic. The fact that there has been no solid proof of this has not deterred the more militant brethren from leading their witch hunts and pogroms.
The clergy care not about race, as all they wish, is to spread their faith to all races no matter what they are.
The clergy generally leave the governance of authority to the various kings. So long as they don’t tread on clerical rights, their congregation, or actively enforce rules that are contrary to the wills of the various gods. Naturally they are not afraid to enforce the issue with steel from their templar brethren if they deem it necessary.
The Nobility are the cream of society. They are the privileged few under which many others work for and whose ranks many hope to join. Members of this class are essentially the rulers or are in charge of large amounts of land in each of their respective nations. An example of this would be House Martin of Andorria. The aristocracy in this day and age though are no longer the pillaging warlords they once were. Many instead to continue their family’s tradition of militarism have taken to joining the armies and navies of their country in officer positions. While some aim to be actively promoted in battle and wish to make a career out of it, others have joined simply to be “dashing” often acquiring a safe spot in the ranks with their family’s influence.
Because they are surrounded by such opulence as well as responsibility they tend to vary in their piousness. Many find a middle ground in doing both their duty, and enacting their faith. However should they come between a rock and a hard place, more often than not faith is what is discarded first.
Nobles also tend to see magic as a necessary fact of life. While no longer necessary for most families, a few of the wealthier families still maintain mage as part of their advisory council solely to deal with magical issues when they occur. Hedge mages tend to also be actively prosecuted when in a noble’s jurisdiction as gaining a reputation as one tolerant of witches is never a good reputation to have, especially when the clergy can enforce their views with steel and flame.
Nobles also tend to be open to other races. Again they value them for their specialised skill sets. On top of that they have trade and diplomatic relations to consider as naturally it is never wise to have belligerent neighbours.
In regards to their views on authority, nobles are in a position to influence if not outright dictate the laws of the land. This will almost always include some type of mandate that generally keeps the status quo between the peasantry and the upper class. Duelling is seen as a right that only the aristocracy possess.