Societal/ Cultural
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August 20, 2006, 7:19 pm

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World Orders in Éran


Although many tend to see the world as driven by power and money, there are many other forces at work in fantasy world to make the driving forces of the world more varied.

It is tempting to understand the dynamics of the world order in Éran solely through the eyes of the dominant one: Humanity. Much like earth, the human world order is primarily driven by political power and wealth, in that order. Empires and kingdoms clash and struggle with each other fpr supremacy in these two fields. Although it is the dominant world order in Éran, it is however far from the only one and other races tend to perceive the world according to very different paradigms that shape their involvement in the world.

Human wizards, although not altogether disinclined to pursue worldly power and wealth, generally tend to consider such ambitions secondary to magical power. They tend to see human history as being primarily shaped by the forces of magic and consider the pursuit of this the highest means of power. To most wizards it is archmages and artifacts that have shaped history moreso than kings and armies. Some use it to accumulate political power and wealth. Many others consider such ambitions not only secondary but irrelevant to the real pursuit of power. Consequently, while magic certainly plays a role in the political landscape, it is not as commonly used as one might assume.

Elves tend to consider the human understanding of the world petty and misguided. They acknowledge the political landscape of the human realms only to the extent of ensuring and protecting their own place in the world. For elves the driving forces in the world are natural harmony, knowledge, aesthetics and the general pursuit of excellence. These four aims pervade their way of life and structure of society in all forms, from architecture, to arcane studies, tactical and military training, etiquette and mannerism, etc. Whilst political power and the pursuit wealth are not entirely absent from the elven mindset, they are generally far lower on the scale of ambition compared to humans. The very strong feeling of kinship among elves generally prevents such ambitions from taking on an unwholesome character.

Dwarves are at a glance similar to humans in that they likewise value power and wealth. Wealth in particular is a seminal part of the dwarven world view, but moreso to do with their great love and appreciation of craftmanship than comfort and luxury. Whilst they are likewise no strangers to opportunism and ambition, dwarves are in general very homocentric and generally only define status and power as being significant within their own realms. Their strong sense of allegiance to their clan which very much defines the ladder of social advancement no doubt plays a role in this. Their love of enterprise and skill as well as desire to share this with others do make dwarves a bit more extroverted than elves and are in general fairly inclined to trade with their human neighbours though they have little interest in their political affairs except to the extent it affects their own realms.

Blackfolk, collectively speaking, are driven by a sense of purpose not found among most other races. They believe they are the chosen of the gods and are set on Theras not only to correct the mistakes of the earlier races of men, elves and the like, but to actively work towards ‘purifying’ this mistake. As such, when blackfolk grow in sufficient numbers together, it is usually only a matter of time before they become convinced of their strength to carry this out. They are generally also friven by more of a pack mentality than humans and tend to define themselves strongly according to tribal allegiance which define their social advancement. Luxury and excessive comfort, whilst individuals may find these seductive, is on a whole forwned upon as leading to sloth and thorpor.

Dragons think on a scale entirely different to humans. Political realms mean nothing to them, nor the power that comes with them. In their eyes, they are a step between the common races and the gods and a considerably closer step to the gods than the mortal races. Indeed, many even consider the young gods mere usurpers; children of the true lords of existence just as themselves (and very much unlike the fallible and mortal creations of the young gods), not rulers. The acknowledge and bow only to Arun the elder god of fire. Those that do take an interest in mortal affairs generally tend to do so out of curiosity or amusement. Nevertheless, many dragons are intrigued by precious metals and objects and are not above taking these from the puny mortal races should they desire to.

The phaerie can often seem aimless in their general outlook on life, but as with the other elder races, immortality grants a different outlook on temporal affairs. They consider themselves children and keepers of the source of life and magic and in general tend to simply delight in and play with creation as wrought from this. Though they acknowledge the current dominance of the young gods in the cosmos, as with the dragons, they do not consider this more than a temporal affair (temporal being of course on a very large scale in immortal eyes) and maintain a respectful but distant relationship to the powers that be. They consider the mortal races merely another fleeting but nonetheless delightful aspect of creation, although with some concern as to the potentially destructive tendency they show at times.

If there is a race imbued with a sense of lost legacy, it is surely the giants. Tales of former great kingdoms and empires lost to the mists of time remain strong in their oral traditions. They remain a people with strong pride and great patience although they also realise that the time of restoring themselves are far away. Only a few have any mastery of their ancient rune magic and the continual conflict with the mortal races as well as their timeless struggle with the dragons who have always taken special delight in hunting giants have seen their already depleted numbers continue to dwindle over the centuries. Infighting among giants is not uncommon either and as a race they generally struggle to organise themselves in anything more than scattered small tribes. A few have abandoned the dream of collective glory for the giantrace and have entered human lands to make a living for themselves there.

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Comments ( 2 )
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Voted MoonHunter
August 23, 2006, 13:04
Interesting and useful to both players and GMs. It provides some motivation and drive to each social force.

In fact, the title is almost a misnower. This is about Social Factors rather than World Orders (which implies a geo-political submission).
Voted Mourngrymn
August 23, 2006, 15:01
I agree I was expecting a completely different type of sub when I read the title. However it is still a nice added tid bit for the players to know before hand. I also have done something similar to this for Hewdamia where I described each races view toward the others and their policical views. Rather helpful when players need a base to go off of.


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