The Church of Aurum serves as the primary governing body. It’s broken into three distinct parts.
- The Divine Matron (referred to as the Most Holy) operates as the executive head of the church. She has a small council to assist her in decisions.
- The Aurdentia are the clerical, scholastic, and legislative branch. They meet regularly to review and revise the law as needed. They control the dissemination of church documents and information to the general public. They nominate and elect aurdents to serve the towns and villages of Amestris.
- The Aurgent Hand is the operative instrument of the church. They are the protective body within the human capital of Andorhal. They also send soldiers to human cities with an active church. They deal with physical threats to the church and its adherents.
Aurvanneth is the capital city of Amestris. It’s divided into 3 primary districts.
- At its heart is a 2mi x 2mi square known as the Golden District. It serves as a home to Aurvanneth’s political elite as well as the upper tiers of the church. The House of the Holy Matron is here as well. The district is heavily guarded and highly exclusive.
- The People’s District occupies a circular area radiating out 3 miles from the city’s center. Here you will find the merchants, craftspeople, artisans, markets, and other consumer services. This is where one feels the pulse of the city as a center of the nation’s trade. It is also walled, but not as heavily armed.
- The Outer District is an unsanctioned district. It sits in a ring taking up about a mile beyond the People’s District. Many citizens live here in hastily-built makeshift housing. The only time the church has officially acknowledged the district’s existence was when it built a walled path through it leading to the city’s center. This is the unofficial “shady side of town”. The northside Outer District is mostly low-income housing. The east and west sides are the Dwarven and Elven districts, respectively. The southside is home to docks, wharfs, and sailors.
Humans live mostly in Amestris, and they’ve spread over nearly every inch of it. They are a culturally diverse nation. “Life” means different things for people in the cold north vs those in the temperate capital vs those in the tropical south. The church is an important part of every human’s life, but its influence wanes the further one travels from the capital. Smaller towns and villages are mostly independent, relying on local governing bodies for law and protection.
Elves, with their long lifespans, found it more prudent to withdraw from the constant bloodshed following the Breaking rather than continue to let their numbers dwindle. They had already grown accustomed to using the forests of Aurlathen as strategic defense points, so they felt secure in making their home in various wooded areas. One group settled in a forest called Gal’hara near a large, glass-like lake. Over time, this group of elves (the Eiran clan) discovered the magical properties of their lake, and word quickly spread amongst the other clans.
After that, a significant portion of the elven population settled along the lake’s banks. The Eiran clan’s elder called a meeting of all of the elders of all of the clans that had settled on the lake. It was divined that the clans would merge into one great clan, led by the Eiran elder. The settlement was called Eira’me, and it has since become the hub of all elven activity throughout the land dubbed Gal’hara.
To the elves it seems that the humans, with their short lifespans, focus far too much on advancement and self-image and not enough on the beauty of the world around them. Elves strive to live in harmony with nature, believing that nature provides for and protects them in return.
Their down-to-earth culture does not discourage any adventurous spirits from breaking out and seeing the world. In fact, it is expected that an elf will have seen many of the world’s sights by their 300th or 400th year. Many elves choose not to return to Eira’me, and that is a widely approved practice in elven culture.
Dwarves are the best, ok? They’re also long-lived and, like the elves, took naturally to their favored battlegrounds: the mountains of Aurlathen. They found themselves suited to the caverns and tunnels of the Diremont, Aurlathen’s tallest and most notable mountain.
Dwarves did not agree with the one-rules-all attitude of the humans, nor with the clan style of rule practiced by the elves. Instead, they emphasized personal advancement in a chosen skill. Known as a Calling, each dwarf chooses an area of expertise at a young age. They then spend their life learning and practicing their trade, until they have mastered it.
Scientific pursuit is paramount in dwarven society. The Dwarven Center of Learning is housed in the subterranean capital city of Deepholme. There is a guild for nearly every conceivable area of science. The highest-level master in each guild serves as ambassador to the Dwarven Council of Masters, the governing body of Deepholme.
The dwarves are protective of their mountain and its secrets. Much of dwarven technology isn’t allowed to leave Diremont, and access to that technology from outside is heavily restricted. Many dwarves leave Diremont to further their own learning, a practice encouraged by the Council of Masters.
YOU GUYS DWARVEN TECHNOLOGY IS THE BEST, BUT YOU HAVE TO GO THERE TO LEARN MORE MWAHAHAHAHAAAA.