Monday, October 31, 2016

The People of Yeltharan (Open Legend)

Yeltharan has a population of around 14 million people.  Aside from a few large cities with populations over 100,000, most of these people are scattered into either small towns or independent farm and home steads. About half the population is involved in agrarian pursuits of some kind, and the other half are fairly evenly split between lumbering and mining.Yeltharan is a closed economy that neither imports nor exports, so it provides everything that its people need internally.

Rural Folk

Agragrian Yeltharans (from the Amberlands) fall into one of two primary groupings.  They’re either producers or refiners.  The producers are the wonderful folk who grow all of the vegetables and grains (and in some cases bees and ants) that everybody else eats.  Most of the agrarian Yeltharans are producers and these farmers are almost universally loved by the rest of the population.

The Refiners are all of the folk who are needed to turn the raw foods (Grains and other things) into the edible, consumable foods that everyone eats.  Principally millers, canners and brewers (though the mountain folk of Ja’Nd’raka also preserve milk and cheese from their sheep), the refiners process food into more readily consumable options.  (They also do a fine job of cleansing and removing the impurities).  Refiners aren’t as popular as the Producers, but they are a fine part of the Agrarian group.  

The Lumberfolk of Yeltharan are actually only a very small portion of the forest folk.  Most of them are actually hunters and gatherers that explore the wilderness and bring back food and other treasures.  The lumberjacks have a long tradition of taking care of the woods and only clearing trees that are past their time.  They’re very responsive to the forest and its needs, and are hesitant to clear too much lumber at any time.  Even the folk who operate the lumber mills are very careful to use as much wood as possible, and they’ve found several inventive ways to use scrap wood.  

The Miners are a hardy lot, sharing more in common with the Gedra they work with than other Yeltharans.  They spend a lot of time underground, and it’s a well known fact that the Miners have built their own camps and settlements down below, and there are rumors of entire generations of miners that live below the surface.  

For most of the population that live outside the major cities, the Yeltharans live a simple life of honest work.  They grow their crops or mine their resources or hunt the woods, raise their children, and try to live a good life.  Surprisingly there are few class struggles amongst the population.  Everyone has a roughly similar level of wealth, and they are extremely interested in taking care of each other.  There aren’t poor Yeltharans, and the population takes very good care of itself.  

City Dwellers
The City Dwelling Yeltharans (representing less than a million citizens) have a much stranger dispersal of occupations and jobs.  A lot of merchants and artisans dwell in the major cities, as do the majority of the wizards and the techs.  The nobility are principally found in the cities, though there are a few exceptions.  

The city folk have a higher level of wealth than the agrarians, but the wealthy aren’t astonishingly wealthy, (even the Royal family doesn’t display overt wealth, but spend a lot of their money supporting other business ventures).  Overall there are a few examples of extremely wealthy citizens, but most are comfortable and have been for generations.  

Physical Characteristics
Yeltharans are an interesting race, physically speaking.  All Yeltharans share some common physical traits (two arms, two legs, a humanoid physique) but there are a lot of physical differences between them.  Regional differences produce a typical appearance, but within region and in cases where Yeltharans from different regions mate, the offspring can have wildly different features than either parent.  

It’s important to remember that prior to the Dark Exodus, there were almost twenty different races of people who entered the Deep Earth.  Some of them died out along the way, and others changed over time.  Within two full generations, the different races grew into a single unified race.  Though each individual may look externally very different from another, they are internally the same race, the same species.  An underlying tenet of their social order is that “We are all Yeltharans” and they mean it.  Regardless of skin tone, extra limbs (outlandish mutations are possible on Yeltharan) or any other physical characteristics, they will pull together when confronted with a situation.  

The other thing this means from a racial standpoint is that you can go completely bonkers when describing your character.  All body types and choices are viable options, as are skin tones, hair colors, the existence of fur or scales...etc.  You can make your character as unique as you want and the society of Yeltharan has your back.  

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