Society and Culture of Greycastle

Information on Greycastle, our current starting city:

Do be shrewd in response to all who restrict the knowledge of the world to mere tales and history lessons. The most accurate understanding of the world therefore, can only be experienced first hand at the foot of Greycastle itself.

For those who are entering Darkage for the first time, they will indirectly face the culture of the world that may or may not have a clear explanation for why things are the way they are. This section aims to clarify such adaptions and express the acceptable reasons for such conditions relating to important themes. 

The Nobility

Greycastle features several high ruling houses, each varying in their interests and publicity as far as what a commoner would know. The means by earning nobility typically source back to only a few centuries at most, but the earliest record of these positions are seen by Mercanius’ sanctions based on merit. More specifically, the rise of the highest noble houses by his selection were able to demonstrate uncanny ability to serve and protect mankind from the evil’s of the world. This tradition held, and such attributes were acknowledged by the wealthiest house and decreed by the operating ruler throughout history. 

The King

The title of ‘King’ did not become officially used until the Vorlornian era, but the crown today without dispute belongs to Sirion Peredhil. The King functions as the high mediator, claiming ultimate legal authority over the Federation as privately documented in the ‘Treaty of the Nobility.’ The treaty outlines the responsibility of each high noble house to maintain the infrastructure and social order of Greycastle while the King ushers their balance of power as an non-social resident of Coventry. This rightfully separates the King from noble agendas and operations as a theocratic royal head, but does not limit him from request of private companies, such as the Steel Wardens, for aid regarding control and law enforcement.

Government

The social order of Greycastle lies in the trust of the high noble houses. House Firsprin sits as the chief executive force under the King, followed by House Calador as an economic power house. House Morstein too has been an enigmatic and steady presence in Greycastle through their efficient delegations and diplomatic resourcefulness. With the loss of House Trevelyan and House Rahl, the purveying of soldiers and arms has fallen significantly, burdening all to cooperate toward a return to functional balance of wealth and power.

The houses truly uphold the functions of Greycastle, pursuing their ideals as individual groups that are held under the Federation’s royal head. Any citizen may choose to support a high ruling house as a contract-for-hire, retainer, or lord himself for a return of coin or land, as the practice is not uncommon. Players of high-ranking and sound relationships with the high lords may be presented with local responsibilities, but the highest decrees will come from the King [staff].

Demons and Magic

The destruction of Mercia unforgivingly established a stigma of fear that has been passed down to the current days of Greycastle. No one knows of the true reason for this catastrophe, but superstitions from its wake created unspoken measures that should keep anyone of both high and low status weary of careless gossip. Words like ‘demons’ and ‘witchbloods’ are the speculative triggers to fear-mongering, suggesting dangerous beings that are interested in repeating past hurts and damage. 

Magic therefore, is hopeful to become a controlled process that is accompanied with careful instruction. Mercanius historically presented ‘magics’ that were linked to a divine source, confirming that the nature of prayers and miracles were non-volatile and productive for society. The ‘arcane’ itself however, spills into territories that suggest a pathway to experimentation that easily could end one branded as a witch should the wielder not attach responsibility to his or her pursuit. Let alone, the power of the arcane has not been measured.

..It will be up to the wielders themselves to convince the world of its merits and dangers, once the mystery of the systems of arcane magics are revealed. A bridge to cross in the future…

Literacy 

Following Mercia’s destruction, the documentation of the world via literature and books became so much more of a prized possession to the hands that were able to protect their collections from the destruction. Literacy is a skill in Darkage, and high noble houses have cherished their exclusivity to it. They have also leveraged their upbringing and access to such knowledge to promote their own importance, serving bits and pieces of what they know onto those who would agree to grow their agendas. To read in Greycastle is to promote oneself above commoner status. It was traditionally limited to nobles, but times have stretched this prestige. Still, it is best not to be caught digesting fantastic manuals and words if it is done outside of your lord’s favor.