The rich smell of tea rises up from a fine Archadian china tea cup. An elegant, aged hand grasps it, bringing it to the lips of a dignified dandy. "You see, sometimes even the leading man needs to 'fade' into the background for a time," he drawls, Archadian accent thick. "It would simply never do to constantly know the inane details of every second of the leading man's life. So, we fade out, let the rising stars have their moment before we step back in. It's fairly simple, you see."
It's kind of a given that nobody can be on at all times, and that life calls players away from the keyboard at inopportune times, sometimes even right in the middle of a session. While unfortunate, it doesn't mean the end of a story; simply, that character takes a step back from the narrative, becoming part of the backdrop and allowing others to take the spotlight.
- Civilization: Past the "scrabbling for survival" stage of the post-apocalyptic recovery. Onto the "struggle for expansion and frontiering" stage. It'll be this way for a few centuries as countries grow very slowly, expand, and new towns are founded and settled. Lots of land, free for the taking, if you can wrest it from the Fiends that populate it. Civilization is no longer in any serious jeopardy of becoming extinct, but there's still a long, long, long road, probably five or six centuries, before the world can be back to as it was in the events of FF12.
- Technological level: Magitech Steampunk. Mass production exists, rolling steel mills exist, and magitech is used casually and everywhere. It is, however, very crude, and there's not a lot of push to innovate. Airships are common, and within the cities, short-range skycycles are a common sight among those who can afford to keep one.
- Economy: Fairly robust, all things considered. Lots of arable land, plenty of food, populations booming (and many lost, in turn, to disease and Fiends). Trade is almost entirely by airship. Many save for years to make their Pilgrimage, and spend a great deal in that time, so Pilgrims tend to be a source of income that's important for most any city. Typically, towns get by via primary industry; mining, farming, logging, fishing, hunting, etc. Some towns do some very limited manufacturing, but usually one must go to a proper city to find anything approaching a factory, and even so, there's not terribly many of those.
- Religion: Ardently polytheist, there are over a dozen religions in Ivalice. The Glabados Church and the Flame of Kiltea are the two largest, but even together they still represent the minority of the faithful population. Many worship spirits, or ancestors. Many of the faiths are inclusional, and find nothing wrong in worshiping more than one deity at a time. Likewise, shrines to saints are recognized and revered as well.
- Magic: As common as ever. Everyone's a hedgemage, at least a little bit. Even Joe Dirtfarmer NPC knows a *little* magic, even if it's just something basic like a minor Cure spell or an Earth magic to patch up the garden.
- Education: Primary education is mostly unheard of; one learns their letters and numbers from private tutors, which makes literacy rare in the peasantry beyond very simple basics. Secondary education is much more sophisticated, with Universities found in most any major city.
- Science: High science has faltered due to the ease of relying on magical tools. The world remains in a Newtonian understanding of the world. Atomic and molecular theory aren't known. Chemistry = Alchemy, to the minds of most anyone. (Indeed, the use of hedge magic blurs these lines tremendously.) Geometry and mathematics, physical sciences, all remain equivalent to Newtonian understandings. Materials engineering are within the norm for early industrial revolution. Some limited alloys are known and used.
- Warfare: Limited, and small-scale. An army of one hundred is fairly sizable, an army of a thousand, mind-boggling. Firearms are available and fairly reliable, but lack the punch to defeat the heavy armors, and so melee weapons and heavy body armor (and magic) remain viable on the battlefield. The Empire of Archadia has the most powerful military navy force in the world, at... two destroyer-class airships. To most city-states, funding an entire ship for the strict purpose of warfare is an egregrious waste of resources without purpose. Most every airship has /some/ form of basic defensive weaponry, but most are ill-suited for anything beyond basic ship-to-ship engagement.
- Fiends: Everywhere. The ground is crawling with them. Even a trip of a few miles virtually guarantees one will have to avoid or engage a Fiend or pack thereof.
Biology and You!
In the world setting of Ivalice, the magic of baby-making can be strange and confusing. Some religions want you to marry first! Some don't care! Some want you to have as many babies as you can! Some want you to never make a baby at all! It's all so confusing.
First, there will come a special time in your life where there will be fur where there was no fur before. Maybe your ears will get longer. You'll start to feel funny things, at funny times. Special feelings, deep inside.
Here's what happens when you put those special feelings together!
- instructional video dissolves into boring chart*
PC Races are interbreedable with pretty much any other PC Race that can manage to fit together.
The children of these unions has a 50% chance of breeding entirely true to the mother's species, and a 50% chance of breeding entirely true to the father's species. (In short, decide for yourself, pregnant-character players.)
Racial Chimeras are possible, but incredibly rare.
Most children can be shown to have a few identifiable traits from both parents. Eye color, distinctive markings, small cosmetic changes that do not interfere with the functional structure of the species.
A mother's body will only grow the infant internally as large as can be fit. So greatly disparate sizes can still be reproductively compatible. *a picture cues of a TaruTaru woman wiping her brow while a blushing Ronso stands nearby*
However, once born, the infant will be otherwise identical in needs to any other infant of its species. *cue picture of TaruTaru mother shoulder-hoisting a massive baby bottle for a wailing Ronso infant*
But what about pairings that don't work? Say, a terrible monster and an innocent maiden? *picture dissolves into pixel-censored pictures of mithra and malboro, best left undescribed*
Well-hell-hey! No worries! No child will come of the union! But don't get eaten! *picture dissolves into a picture of mithra bones scattered around*
Note, too, hermaphrodites do exist in this world, but are, as biology dictates, exceedingly rare, to the point that people who see even one in their lifetime are counted to have seen something virtually unique.
The world of Ivalice is not one where women-folk have ever stood idly by while men went out upon adventure. The first reason for this was due to the evolution of Human to Hume as a species; in the intervening generations lost to history, men and women, physically, equalized in size and upper body strength.
Other races never had any such perception, even in their pre-history; both Mithra and Viera used to sport tremendous matriarchal disparity in their cultures, but with the coming of the Larsan Folly and the struggle to survive, old ways have broken down, and new ways are rising, and as the world mingles, time and again the equivalency of gender survives and thrives.
As such, within this world, for all roles martial to domestic, males and females of any given species tend to be equal in station and capability. Even females gravid with young are often on duty right up until the last week of gestation; and most are capable to return to work under less than a week's rest.
Consequently, our Ivalice is a world of gender equality, a meritocracy. That a person may hold the belief that one gender is more capable than the other at a given task is the exception, not the rule; and no doubt the slighted gender is ready in a heartbeat to prove them wrong.
All genders may be soldiers, Judges, priests, guardsmen, mages, crafters, politicians, leaders, rulers. The Larsan Folly asked of civilization not "Who are you?" but "What can you do?". And in the world that has rebuilt itself, meritocracy rules the day.
Exceptions are more likely amongst the Viera and Mithra; typically the older Viera, old enough to remember the days before the Larsan Folly, while the Mithra remember the ancient tales where one in only ten thousand born were menfolk, of their kind. As such, while today the Mithra breed to gender ratio of about 1:1, it's still considered good fortune in a Mithra home to birth a son.
Inheritance, Title, Nobility and marriage
Ultimately, in the land of Ivalice, with so many religions espousing so many different marriage standards, the linking of marriage with name and title is tenuous at best; and is based much more on family bonds than law.
What *is* Law is that Adultery is punishable, seven lashes of the rod and a repayment of the dowry. But for this to occur requires someone to actually press the charge, and people to bear witness that so-and-so and so-and-so are married. Perhaps by certificate, perhaps by church roster, perhaps simply by a group saying "Yes, they call each other husband and wife".
Some faiths espouse not marrying at all; some (the majority) encourage marriage as one-on-one, some accept multiple husbands/wives. As such, even in interpreting the Ancient Laws, defining what compromises "Adultery" can be a slow and difficult task for a Judge, or any moral authority.
Consequently, matters of inheritance and title and name are almost always pre-arranged before a child is born; noble houses will choose whether or not to grant title to a spouse or children. Some may even pull it entirely if the marriage is opposed by the house(s).
What is understood is that, beloved by a house or not, a child may only claim heritage and name and title of one house; and that is often chosen for them before birth.
On the Subject of Sky Pirates
As a note, pirates come in two distinct flavors: 1) Dashing, debonair individuals who are really Sky Sailors 2) Scurvy dogs who rape, pillage, burn, and are generally nasty people
Now, that being said, option number one allows for the play of regular sailors who operate ships that transport cargo, passengers, or patrol the skies. These are typically decent individuals who mean well for who they work for and for individuals in general.
The second option, however, allows for the play of darker individuals. These pirates are downright nasty. From the lighter side of smuggling illegal contraband into cities via ship, to pirates who steal airships and ransom off crews and passengers. These types -will not- hesitate to kill off those who are a nuisance in attaining their goals: more wealth.
In flying over the skies of Ivalice, one has to be careful in which ship they come alongside, for it could be filled with either kind of pirate.
The Old Valendian Calendar, which marks year 0 as the year the last descendant of Raithwall died and the Galtean Alliance passed on. The events of FFXII take place in the year 706 Old Valendian. The calendar keeps being used throughout the Ivalice-related games, placing FF:T at roughly 1600's Old Valendian.
This places the start of our game at roughly 900 - 920 Old Valendian.
The calendar also uses 365 days, as well as 12 months in a year. They are the following (in order similar to the Gregorian calendar):
- Plumfrost, 1st month of Winter
- Greenfire, 1st month of Spring
- Coppersun, 1st month of Summer
- Ashleaf, 1st month of Autumn
Each month is 30 days long. There are 5 days in which aren't accounted for, and can be turned into IC holidays. They are the following:
- Center Snow (First day of Winter)
- Leaf Bloom (First day of Spring)
- Yester Sun (First day of Summer)
- Golden Leaf (First day of Autumn and typical harvest time)
- Rememberance Day (formerly known as Hidden sun, a holiday in which gifts were given, but the name has been changed to reflect the cataclysm that has occurred)
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