Valdorian Age - Rising Power on the Frontier
Abyzinia’s entire economy rests on the backs of slaves. Legends say that once sorcery provided for the livelihood of the realm, but as sorcery faded from the world, Abyzinia had no choice but to rely on more and more slaves, until now even the rank and file of its army consists of slaves.
Slaves row the ships across the Blue Waters, work the mines in the foothills of the Nightlurk Mountains, clear back the underbrush that encroaches on settlements in the Ylsythen Jungles, work the large farms that sprawl across the southern part of the Savannah, labor as porters on the docks in the coastal cities, provide manual labor for artisans and craftsman, serve as household servants in the homes of even the poorest commoner, and perform many other duties. No law protects them – they are only chattel, their living conditions dependent entirely on the predilections of their owner.
The rest of society is divided between nobles and commoners. The main difference between the two is commoners must work to make a living, and nobles can spend their day at whatever pursuit strikes their fancy. The commoners make up the ranks of the sea captains, farm owners, inn- and tavern keepers, artisans, and the like. One must be born into the nobility – no one ever rises to the rank – and each noble can trace his family back for millennia. Only three professions are deemed suitable for a noble: sorcery, war, or diplomacy and government. Since sorcery is such a rare talent nowadays, most nobles who chose to do something with their lives take up war or politics. From these come the officers in the army and the chancellors and ambassadors in the government. A vast bureaucracy of these nobles runs Abyzinia, which is why the madness of the sorcerer-kings has little impact on the realm as a whole.
The noble titles in Abyzinia are
- Ato is a generic term for any member of the nobility. Most diplomats and government officials have this title; it’s considered the equivalent of “Sir.” The feminine of Ato is Woizero (equivalent to Dame).
- Bitwoded is given to chief office holders in the Abyzinian bureaucracy, those who act as advisors to the ruler. Its closest equivalent in Elweir is the Royal Exchequer, the Port master, and so on.
- Kenyazmach is a military rank given to commanders of a hundred warrior-slaves
- Gerazmach is a military rank given to commander of a thousand warrior-slaves and ten Kenyazmach
- Dejazmach is given to the warlord of Abyzinia, who command all the armies; its equivalent is Lord Marshal.
To denote sorcerers the suffix of –litora is added to the title, so for example, ato-litora or dejazmach-litora. These stand slightly higher in station because of their sorcerous talents. For someone speaking Valdorian, all titles above Ato are given the honorific title “Lord.” The title for the sorcerer king is Ras-litora (and for the witch-queen, Rasa-litora).
Abyzinians of both genders wear long skirts usually dyed deep red or blue, but other colors are not unheard of. The skirt is worn draped over one shoulder and reaches the ankles. The nobility wear much finer clothing; revealing gowns made from cloth-of-gold and silvery fabrics are common. Both men and women often wear jewelry and other adornments made from gold and silver – but unlike their counterparts in Elweir, who tend to wear so much finery it becomes gaudy, Abyzinians are never anything less than elegant.
There are two languages spoken in Abyzinian. Nobles and commoners alike speak simple Abyzinian. High Abyzinian is the formal language of the court, used only when addressing the Witch-Queen and recording official documents. High Abyzinian is the original language of the land, but only the nobles still learn it.
Return to Abyzinia