Day-to-Day life

The population of the city of Brighthelm has a majority of humans, but due to the presence of the colleges of magic there is a relatively high elemental-elf population for the city as well, however many of them spend most of their time living and working in the colleges and so may not be seen as often. Kender can easily be found within the city (Kender get everywhere.) True and dwarves elves are relatively rare, with the elves mostly living among humans and dwarves sticking to their own communities. While some dwarves can trace their ancestry back to the time of the Romish Empire in Albion, many come from immigrant families, most of whom have been involved at some stage with shipping lyrium from the North. The orcs are a relatively new arrival to the city, first appearing on the scene about 50 years ago. They appear to be quite rare but tend to live in closed communities and some say have difficulty fitting in to a civilised culture.


The vast majority of the population of Brighthelm (and Albion) speak common. Though it might not be their first language, trade and social interaction would just not be possible without it. Orcs are again perhaps the least well-spoken race; they have their own guttaral language which many among them seem stubborn to abandon, while they are equally reluctant to teach this language to non-orcs. Most orcs can speak at least broken common, out of necessity. Tengwar is the language of magic, necessary for mages to cast spells or for anyone else to use a scroll to cast a spell, however this language is seldom used for communication (at least with beings from the Prime Material.) Elves have the ancient dialect of Quenyar, and elves of each element speak a different dialect. Normally these languages are only used for art forms such as poetry, but in some families and small communities elves of the same colour may conduct all their conversations in their ancestral tongue. Elves are also known to use their own language to have private conversations while members of other races are around.

Brighthelm is a multicultural city, and you may expect to encounter people of several nationalities while passing through. While the traveller or immigrant is advised to have at least a basic understanding of Common, it is not hard to find speakers of Cymric, Caledonian, Gaulish, Norscan, or Teutonian if you know where to look.


The currency within the City is the Shilling. There are 5 silver shillings to the gold shilling.

In general, people work hard and msot of their time is taken up by their day-to-day employment. Most people living within the city manage to make a living, with an expendable income of about 10Sh. on average. (This is vastly different to the situation of the subsitence farmers who live in villages dotted outside the city, who struggle to scrape by.) Particularly skilled or shrewd businessmen might make up to 20Sh. in expendible income per fortnight. There are certain noble families living locally who have great stores of wealth, but in general this is locked up in property or allowances. Still, a lavish noble could comfortably spend 25Sh a fortnight on luxuries without having to labour like common folk.

Weapons and armour are a part of daily life, and such these commodities are easily found. Most guildhouses and temples can outfit their members with whatever weapons and armour they are capable of using (as are most bandits, goblins, and necromancers.) It is assumed you can obtain whatever equipment you require without needing to spend any of your expendible income. Similarly, you do not need to cover the cost of food, rent etc. out of your character's expendable income.

A few useful prices to know:

1 Sh. is the price of a drink in the Sussex Arms.
2 Sh. is the price of having a member of the Messenger's Guild deliver a message anywhere in the city.
5 Sh. is the price of a cantrip scroll from any college.
10 Sh. is the price of a level 1 scroll or size 1 alchemical.
20 Sh. is the price of a level 2 scroll or size 2 alchemical.
25 Sh. is the price of 1 dose of raw alchemical Lyrium.
50Sh. is the price of a power or stability focus for use in magical rituals.

Mercenaries are available for hire for negotiable prices, from about 5 Sh. for a single mercenary doing a few hours of guard duty, to hundreds of Shillings for a group of mercenaries taking part in a high-risk operation.

Law in the City

The Law in the city is a long-standing institution, supported primarily by the City Watch, but also by the Temple of Astalon in some circumstances. Often different organisations or institutions will lend further support to the lawkeeping institutions when it suits their interests.

There are two classes of Law, King's Law and City Law, but the distinction is mostly academic. King's Law has been issued by the king, and all his subjects throughout Albion are expected to abide by them. It is the responsibility of the city to ensure the King's Laws are enforced, with the risk of the King's forces stepping in to intervene if they city does not do an adequate job. City Law consists of laws passed by the council, and generally related to smaller offences and some issues of taxation. The council itself is monolithic and has several elves and dwarves as life-members, so change is extremely difficult and the law has not varied significantly in the past several decades.

King's Law

The King does Hereby Forbid and Exclude from His Majesty's Good Graces the Practice of These The Underwritten:

Murder (bearing in mind that there are some things that walk on two legs which you can kill without being tried for murder)
Rape (please also bear in mind that IC rape or references to are forbidden in this system)
Grand Theft
Breach of contract witnessed before a Judge
Maiming (usually taken to mean the loss of a limb, eye etc, which would interfere with ability to work)
Worship of Vivamort
Worship of Sordan

For Any Offence Against This Law, an Trial must be Heard before Duly Constituted Authority, and such Punishment be Levied as that Authority sees fit, even unto Exile or Death.

This shall be the whole of the Law that the King doth require of His subjects. Outside of the Above, the Duly Constituted Authority of the Royal Shires may Enforce by Local Custom.

It is very serious to be found in breach of King's Law, as the usual punishment for breaking it is execution.

City Law

There are numerous city laws and statues, too many to list here. Many of them relate to the way various guildhouses operate, and anyone with a specific enquiry may make a request for information at the council offices where a dedicated civil-servant will consult the relevant tome on the subject. Most day-to-day laws are covered by common sense, and covers crimes such as petty theft, kidnap, breach of the peace, and actual bodily harm (on a lower level to maiming). Breaches of city law are usually not punishable by execution (although this may depend on the current regime) but may lead to imprisonment, painful interrogation, fines, confiscation of property, and so forth.

Several churches consider the will of the their God to be a Higher Law than that of the city or King and so may attempt to arrest and carry out summary justice on people whom they percieve to be sinning. Often this will overlap with either the criminal or the priest or both breaching city/kings law, but not always. In some cases intent to breach the law may be unclear and is a matter to be weighed at trial - for example, an Azraelite who kills someone who has used the Investigation knowledge miracle may well argue that they did not commit a murder as the victim had already "died" on a previous occasion.

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