Units of measure:
- Nick: A tenth of a thumb
- Thumb: The width of King Alarik’s thumb (just slightly less than an inch
- Span: The width of King Alarik’s reach from thumb to little finger (just less than 10 inches)
- Klick: 1000 spans (827 feet; 1/6 mile)
- Grave: A one cubic thumb of water (1.6 oz.)
- Bar: Ten grave
- Stone: Ten Bar (ten pounds)
- Truck: 100 stone (1000 pounds)
Money is measured by cut lengths of standard cord. This cord is extruded gold wire rolled through extremely intricate embossing rollers at the Royal Mint in Primulon. The resulting gold cord is distributed as sealed spools to Royal Coil Cutting Parcelers, whose offices are in the District and City Judicatures. Parcelers use Inspected Coil Cutters to cut the coil to an accuracy of a thousandth of a nick. Large sums of money were paid with spools plus measured lengths of cord.
Normal business used coins made of stamped coils of cord. These were standardized cuts that were tightly coiled into an embossing stamp and sealed by locking the coil into place with the stamp, which listed the length of cord in the coil. An official stamp would only hold exactly the correct length. If shorted, the coil would have a notch in the edge. The resulting coins showed the coiled lines of gold on the back with an official seal on the front. Businesses commonly had their own official stamps with the royal imprimatur on the center of the bottom edge of the design to indicate their official size in tenths of a nick.
- Nick: A tenth of a cut
- Cut: A thumb of cord
- Cord: A span of cord (approximately a day’s wages; about a quarter of an ounce of gold)
- Spool: A hundred spans of cord
Time & calendar:
- Beat: A little longer than a second.
- Moment: 100 beats, (1.67 minutes)
- Watches: 100 moments. Ten watches per day starting with the first watch at 6:00 am (set at Spring Equinox)
- Days: Anseday, Melday, Wanday, Twaday, Troday, Quaday, Qiday
- Sections: Approximately a third of a season. Every Season has three parts: Early which begins 30 days before solstice, equinox or midsummer; the actual season of 31 days, which starts at solstice, equinox or midsummer; and Late which varies. Late Winter is 30 days, Late Spring is 31, Late Summer is 31, and Late Fall is 30 days for three years and then 31 on the fourth year to adjust the year to the solar year.
- Seasons: Four; Winter, Sowing, Summer, Harvest
- Years: Age is determined by number of winter solstices. All children born in a year are one winter old that solstice. Nonliving items like buildings, etc. are dated by winters, sections and days. For example, a building finished for late harvest 30 would be dated two years later in Spring 24 as 2 winters 4&24
- Calendar: All winters are counted from the death of Ansälèn which traditionally happened on Winter Solstice in the Year of Our Lord. Years after that date are numbered with an AD suffix (which stands for Ansälèn’s Dominion). Years before that date use a BA suffix for Before Ansälèn.
- Ferrelär: Official years in Ferrelär begin with Coronation of Cyril Fendrale on Summer 1. Official years are written with an PC suffix for Post Cyril or an AC for Ante Cyril.
The three Kingdoms:
This is a loose confederation of clans and chieftains. There is much predatory behavior and raiding of each other as well as Aachen. The Black Plain, the central mountain ranges, and the two deep fjords tend to protect Ferrelär. The northern sea is effectively blocked by the near constant ice bergs and the dangerous storms that blow regularly out of the northeast. However, there has been increasing pressure to organize a major assault on what they consider the Golden Land, to the west. So far, Ferrelär has ignored these threats as beneath their dignity.
This is a self-ruled, representative government of semiautonomous counties. The focus of the entire nation is on technological advance. Their main focus is on finding an cost-effective substitute for andross, so they can have Power also.
Geography: by Region
The Pact & The Oath
Almost everyone in the Powered cities has signed the Pact and said the Oath.
There are several problems. First, only the rich can afford the Pact anymore. It cost 50 spool the last time I heard. That’s over fifteen years income for me. So, in your case, it’s probably better to keep the fact that you’re Powered a secret.
Second, it has become an inherited right. As a result, Ferrelär has been divided into two major classes, the Powered and the people. For example, I cannot use the Power buses. The official minted passes are simply not available to people like me. So, the very fact that you carry a pass brings attention to yourself—unless you are in one of the Powered cities. Third, and most significant to me, is the Oath. There is no way I could say the Oath.
I would have to promise to serve the King as God’s ruler and the Primate as God’s voice to the Seven Kingdoms. As much as I love your father, my promise is to serve Ansél. He has told me to serve your father, but my loyalty is to the Lord. The Primate hasn’t spoken for God in over two hundred winters. As far as I know, he doesn’t even know God. To say the Oath I would have to lie—and that’s forbidden.
East Luczidal: This is disputed land east of the Shtornal Range. Over the years it has changed hands regularly between Ferrelär and Aachen. Currently a part of Ferrelär, it has always been a hotbed of rebellion. The major sources of income are mines in both the Shtornal and Farnuel Ranges which provide the only sources of gold and andross in the kingdom. Plus there are large deposits of iron, silver and the best nutwood forests on Ferellon. It is a land rich in natural resources and greed.
West Luczidal: This is the center of the world for the Ansélän religion and the entire world of the Powered sophisticates. The source of Power is found here in the three rivers that are harnessed as they enter Lake Farnuel. The River Farwell, on the north, coming down from the Black Plain; the River Estal, on the west, flowing from the rain forests of the Adrael Range to the west; and the River Mürnor, on the east, flowing down from the andross mines in the Shtornal. All Roads of Power are found here except for the long run north from Primulon to Semulon, which was built by King Fortinal in 1237–42 PC to avoid the intrigue of the Luczidèrian court which absolutely dominated the 13th century.
Semancza’s stronghold: The moderating effects of the warm ocean current flowing toward Drönstal have two major effects. First, there is a great deal of rain and water. Second, this is the only region of Ferellon that rarely experiences frost. When it does frost, it is only in the highlands near the Gap to Semuel. As a result, this region produces a great deal of fruit and vegetables which are shipped out of the capital, Midracz to all of the Seven Kingdoms. This region enables Ferrelèr to have fresh fruit and vegetables year-round. In addition, the current provides Drönstal with an exceedingly rich fishing industry. Much of the fish is shipped to Murtoq and Dykmel for smoking and drying.
This is a stereotypical temperate region focused on grain production and livestock. The entire north ern reaches above Semulon are used for grazing. The nomads who raise the livestock are known as Gremyul. These people have roamed the northern ranges since well before the start of the Three Kingdoms.
The huge plain between Semulon, Primulon, and Sabon is entirely given to the raising of grain. The main shipping port is Sabon, since Semulon’s excellent harbor is often blocked by ice in the winter. The Road of Power to Semulon is primarily used for shipping the grain and flour to the richer southern regions below the Lake. The major flour mills are run by the River Farwell North 60 klicks north of Primulon.
Temperate and relatively dry with an average rainfall of 12–18 thumb. Major source of rainfall comes from the hurricane season that peaks in Late Summer and Early Harvest.
Warmer than East Luczidal and protected from the hurricanes by the Shtornal Range, West Luczidal has an incredibly temperate climate with a short, cool winter where every day gets above freezing (with rare exceptions). It is considerably dryer than the East with annual rainfall averages that range from nearly 24 thumb on the southern tip at Murtoq to 6–12 thumb around Fenly and the Lake. Summers get quite hot, but they are relatively short with the Sowing season lasting from Late Winter to Early Summer, and the Harvest season beginning in very Late Summer through Early Winter. Storms and winds are rare except in Late Summer when hot dry winds blow up the Luczu Fjord preceding the hurricanes in the East.
Wet and warm temperate climate. The entire year is tempered by the warm flow of the off shore current coming from the southwest. Most storms flow along the current bringing huge amounts of rain. Androwsa receives from 80–120 thumb of rain with virtually no break except during Late Summer and Early Harvest when the weather patterns change with the tropical depressions coming in from the south east. Frost almost never reaches below Midracz. There are rare winter storms that blow across Semuel through the Gap north of the Adrael Range. Most of the year Drönstal is plagued with winds from the southwest. Gales commonly blow for days, on the west coast, with speeds of nearly 700 klicks per watch (sixty miles per hour).
Temperate with relatively long and cold winters. Rainfall averages 12–20 thumb in the Sowing and Summer, with very dry Harvests. Winters are cold and usually dry with strong storms blowing south off Forever Ice. It is not uncommon for there to be snowfalls of over two span as far south as Primulon. However, these snows are only rarely powerful enough to make it across the Lake.
Primate Roark decidedly discouraged any direct prayer to Ansél. In fact, he demanded the much more formal appellation of Ansélän. His doctrine was that the Guardian Spirit, or Larzulá, was still active in the Church, but it was revealed only through the Ordained, the Traditions, and The Tale compiled by Farwyn and his fellow apostles over fifty generations ago.
Henglin Roark began blatantly killing the Known, when he could find them. For many seasons now, the Known had been blamed for many things formerly ascribed to the criminally insane. After the Crown’s Assumption of Power forty winters ago, most of society’s benefits were only available to the Church and through Patronage of the Crown. The Known were outside both. The Pact to be signed and the Oath to be said were anathema to them. Pact procurement had become increasingly expensive and now cost over 50 spool of cord.
See of Ferellär, the fabled Luczidär
This morning it looked quite ominous. An evening rain had darkened the normally golden stone city center into a dull brown—plus he was on the shadow side. This morning, the normally glowing city was a dark heap of brown stone mounding up to the gleaming gold leaf flower of roofs crowning the St. Farwyn complex.
St. Farwyn’s Basilica
The seat of the Primate. A huge complex of buildings surrounded by a fortified wall standing 80 spans tall.
The Basilica in Luczidär was the world center of the Ansélan religion, even though the Rock was far south, beyond the Forbidden Wastes and Krobashan, in Pedalumina. St. Farwyn was one of the earliest disciples of this man who had sacrificed so much for the People of the Kingdoms. After Ansélän’s horrible death, Farwyn was with the first group Ansél appeared to after the Regeneration. As Bjarn always taught, “Ol’ Farwym was a wonderful man of God. He’s not responsible for what the Primate has done to his memory.”
But Ansélanism had gone far from its roots. Henglin Roark had done more damage recently, but the Church had long forgotten the center of the Tale—that the real believer was Known by his trust. In fact, the trusting broken body on the Rock above the altar in the front of St. Farwyn’s had been replaced by a huge image of Farwym looking down longingly at the Rock (which, of course, was now carved out of a pure faceted crystal of Romulite that glowed deep purple and emanated a shaft of pure white light shooting straight up out of the point of the Rock to illuminate the old man’s face).
The department of the church charged with the maintenance of family trees, inheritance logs, and titles earned. In reality, they were consumed with power and manufactured lineage to suit the purposes of the Primate.
The Seven Kingdoms
Originally these were Ferellon, Pedalumina, Marlyn, Qantel, Krobashan, Frengtar, and the Isles. At the time of this tale, self-determination is running rampant. There is a huge worldwide movement toward self-rule through representative government. As a result there are now 27 separate states, nations, and king doms.
The glory of Pedalumina is long gone. With the present government almost nonexistent as a national force of coherence, the history of the Pedalem is ancient and tawdry. The current Emperor is more a tourist attraction than a real ruler. The empire has been taken over by roaming bands of bandits who build rapidly changing confederacies as new warlords dominate for a few decades each. There has been no effective, righteous government since Emperor Qardashian and the his Imperial Priesthood ordered the sacrifice of Ansélän over two thousand winters ago.
The other five kingdoms are mere memories told in epic poems. The world is now constantly at war. Ferellon’s protection has been its relatively isolated geographic position on the northeast corner of the Septargent Sea. In addition, until the rise of Primate Roark, Ferrelär Kings have been basically benevolent.
Krobashan, the kingdom that separates Ferellon from Pedalumina, is being violently torn by civil war. At this point, none but God knows which forces will win out. In fact, it is only by the grace of God that neither Ferellon nor Pedalumina is in a position to have imperialistic ambition, for Krobashan is easy pickings.