Atharian Society

Atharians function under a Serfdom societal system, with the Nobilty at the top and the Serfs at the bottom.  

Members of Society

Nobility

The highest noble rank is the King/Queen of the realm. In Atharia there are 6 regions which are held by the 6 Kings & Queens of Atharia. Within nobility, there is a hierarchy structure of titles; Dukes, Counts & Barons. These titles are symbols of one's rulership over a region. This gives the noble the ability to collect taxes, which they can utilize to spend on state affairs, as well as pay their own taxes to their liege.   For more information read the Atharian Nobility article.

Lowlands

Ruled by the Queen of Brostia, Queen Saphielle. The Lowlands is the capital duchy of Brostia, which the title is also held by the Queen.

Commoners

The commoners of society are everybody in a realm who isn't noble. These people are alleged to a noble, who is paid taxes either in coin or produce. In return the noble manages the realm's law and justice, military and foreign affairs.  
First Class Citizen
These are wealthier citizens, who often express themselves as though they are part of the noble society, however, they are not nobility. These can range from well-off businessfolk to property owners.
Second Class Citizen
Although citizens are free to own property, they quite often do not. The Second Class are regularly Serfs who have only just been granted freedom or do own small property in which they also work at. Artisans often fall in this category, where they perhaps own a home with an attached workshop or place of conducting small business.

Citizens

The citizens are the 'freeman' of society. These people are not bound to any land but are still bound to the nobility of the land. They are expected to pay their taxes, but they are free to acquire the means to do so in any legal way they wish; such as owning land, running a shop/business or distributing goods as a trader.  

First & Second Class

Though not officially or legally so, Atharian citizens divide themselves into two classes; first and second. The most noticeable difference between the classes is their economical situation, where the first-class are often wealthier than the second. However, there are other subtle differences such as mannerisms, fashion and education. There are fewer first-class citizens than there are second.
 

Serfs

A Serf is one who often works in the fields, forests, mines, and other laborious places. They are the lowest member of society who are have fewer rights than a citizen. Serfs are under a obligatory and lawful contract bound by oath to a Lord of the Manor. The Serfs live within the land of the Lord who must also tend to the land's work; farming, logging, mining; anything which the Lord requires. In return the Serfs are given accomodation and the ability to earn profit or produce from their labour. However, Serfs are also required to pay taxes, determined by their Lord.
By Our Mother who guides us, I, Name of Serf hereby pledge myself to the Lord of the Manor, Name of Lord/Lady; for whom shall reliquish me of this vow if they so choose. I give my effort, my heart and my life to my lord/lady, for which I shall rest in the warmth of my lord/lady's most honourable light that shall guide and protect me henceforth.   My Lord/Lady I am yours.
— A traditional Serf Oath.
Diverged ethnicities

Laws & Rights

Different realms of Atharia hold different laws and punishments. However, there are many common laws which everyone must follow. These laws include crimialising theft and murder.  

Freedom

Serfs in the whole of Atharia are able to be granted freedom, in the form of Citizenship of the realm in which they reside in. This can be granted to the Lord of the Manor. A deed such as this is a rare privilage which many Serfs can only dream of.  

Economy

Trade is conducted via coin, commodities and contract. Citizens are able to acquire items either through purchasing them with coins.

Coins

Silver
The Silver Coin is the primary currency of society. When merchants, traders and businesses utilize coin in their trade they do so with silver. In fact the entire economy can be assessed by what is known as the Silver Standard.
Gold
Worth 1000 silver, gold is almost always seen among the nobles, however well-off businesses are also found to have gold coins. Gold is the coin which taxes are paid by. If a Citizen is unable to pay their taxes via gold coins, they do so either via commodity or military service.
 

Language

Atharian is the adopted language of the entirty of the Atharian Alliance. Most of the words and grammar are based off of Lorlundian, with some words derived from languages across Atharia, including some Raelish words. It is expected in many places of Atharia to be able to speak, read and write in Athari; in fact it is often law in some areas.

Taria's Order

The key religion in Atharia is Taria's Order. They worship the Sun Goddess of Creation; Taria, as they believe it was she who created Atharia.   In Atharian society, the Clergy (those who work for the Order) are the devout of the public. They are perhaps the most respected group of people, second to nobility. They hold more rights and privilages than both Serfs and Citizens. In fact, many would claim they are above the law; though evidence is yet to surface. However, it is within the Order that they must abide by the good nature of the law. They must also, and primarily, follow the Order's Golden Rules; or risk being damned as an Oathbreaker.  

Oathbreakers

Those who serve the order, take a vow to the Order's Golden Rules. Breaking the rules, may cause the member of the order to become an Oathbreaker. These people are shunned by most of society, except by the Sympathisers of the Oathbreakers. It is not illegal to aid or be affiliated with an Oathbreaker, however those who are would also recieve grief and discrimination.  

The Outlaws

An outlaw is somebody who lives outside of the laws of the land. Also known as Vagrants, these people can range from bandit criminal groups, to travelling bards and Hefflings. Many outlaws are seen as a menace, especially to the nobility as they pay little to no taxes. Instead they can be a drain in the noble treasuries as coin and resources are spent on routing out bandits, criminals and often Hefflings.  

Bandits & Criminals

Hiding in the wilderness are people who have fallen out of society, and have found themelsves in the life of crime. Merchants. nobles and even the odd wanderer who travel are wise to be cautious to avoid being ambushed and robbed of their coin, presious items and sometimes food.   Many bandits and criminals work in groups who live in secret camps, hidden away for their own safety and to store their loot. Some bandit groups even find the employ of an Oathbreaker, whether by intention or necessity; especially as the more cunning groups are more than content to accept former Valons of Taria.  

The Circuit

It is said, there is a secret underground organiation known as the Circuit. The rumours tell tales of a once power organization has dissolved, however many pockets and hubs remain. Leaving behind a decentralized system of criminals.
 

The Hefflings

The helpful community of the Hefflings are considered as outlaws of many of the realms of Atharia. Many nobles believe they ought to contribute to society by paying their way in the form of taxes. However, many would argue if their taxes actually went to something 'useful' then perhaps there would not be any need for Hefflings to solve the problems the state should do; like, seeking bandits and hunting for beasts which still linger from the woeful time, the Decade of Darkness.

Comments

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29 Dec, 2020 12:27

This is a really nice summary of the society. I feel kind of sorry for the serfs, especially as they are not allowed to own money.

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