Daily Life and Customs
Daily Life and Customs
The imperial year has 364 days, with twelve months and a seven-day week. Each day has twenty-four hours. First hour is one hour after midnight, and they count up from there. There is rarely call to know the exact time of day, however, unless one is a priest. Most businesses are simply open so long as the sun is up.
- Newyear’s Day: The first day of the year is one of celebration and good tidings. Babies born on this day are considered lucky.
- Godsday: The 5th of Rain is set aside to revere all gods. It is the holiest day of the year for many religions and important to most others. Many believe Godsday to be the day of the year that the gods’ attention is most closely centered on their mortal worshippers.
- Day of Joining: The 10th of Sun is thought to be a day of good luck, especially in new ventures. It is holy to many religions. Ten times as many couples are married on the Day of Joining as on any other day of the year.
- Brightfather’s Day: The 14th of Blessing is a very old holiday the exact origins of which are lost. Most religions observe it, and all citizens look upon it as a day for making peace with enemies. After all, it was on Brightfather’s Day that the pact between races was made which led to the downfall of Ghul.
- Harvest Festival: The 31st of Harvest is a day of feasting and dancing to celebrate the harvest. It often features short historical plays put on by children in colorful masks.
- Festival of the Cold Moons: The 23rd of Moons is generally regarded as a day of ill omens and evil spirits. The Festival of Cold Moons is a somber affair full of rituals to ward off evil and protect loved ones. The elves, one the other hand, call this night Chaokaemus. For them, it is a celebration of rebirth and joy.
- Yearsend Day: The Festival of Cold Moons may be a somber time, but the 3oth of Yearsend is much worse. The last day of the year is a time of calamity when no sane person would be caught out of doors, least of all for something important like a meeting or, gods forbid, a wedding. By the time this day comes, the good luck for the year has all been used up. Children born on Yearsend Day are cursed with terrible luck for as long as any yet live who know when they were born. Carrying a mummified cat’s eye charm is said to ward off the effects of the curse.
The Month of Vallis
There are rumors that a certain powerful spell cast on Yearsend Day will give a mage access to a secret thirteenth month between the end of Yearsend Day and the beginning of Newyear’s Day.
Said to go back to the times of ancient kings, it is traditional for one to wrap a thin strip of cloth bearing one’s name around the index finger of a trusted ally to show respect and friendship. This is considered a sacred bond that requires the giver of the band to help the receiver to his or her utmost ability.
Although not a universal practice, a wide variety of people from all races and creeds believe that every home has a luritas spirit. When arriving at a home for the first time or in response to a formal invitation, it is custom to bring a small gift for the luritas. This small object is placed on a shelf near the entrance specially designed for the purpose.
It is beyond the means of most common folk to frequent drinking houses even occasionally. Instead, one can often find the inhabitants of a whole neighborhood out in the streets sharing a keg or two of ale that they all chipped in to buy, singing, dancing, and telling stories well into the night.
Human men typically wear a shirt and vest and often wear a hat of some kind. If the weather calls for a coat, wide lapels are preferred. Hair is kept short, and facial hair is rare.
Human women tend to wear dresses. A working woman or one with limited means will often cover her dress with an apron. Hair is worn long and often loose, though it can be styled up for special occasions.
The coinage of the empire has various names for each denomination. Platinum coins are known as dragons. Gold coins are called thrones. Silver coins are officially called shields, but many people call them “shinies” or “moons.” Copper coins are officially branded pennies but are also called “jennies,” “bobs,” or “jacks.” Coins other than those minted by the empire may have different names, of course, so many shops dispense with names altogether and simply denote prices by the metal of the coin. There are some shops that only accept imperial currency, and all government transactions must be done with official coins.
If one has more coin than one wishes to carry about, personal vaults with varying degrees of security may be rented at places such as Hammersong Vaults in Oldtown. For very large transactions (in excess of 1,000 gp), some merchants will issue or accept letters of credit. One should be cautious not to depend on this, however. Failure to honor a letter of credit when asked is a criminal offense.
Commonly Used Technology
Despite the technological decline of the empire, there are a few conveniences that have not been abandoned. Most buildings have glass windows hinged so that they can be opened. Many buildings also have indoor plumbing with hand pumps for bringing in water and drainage into the sewers.