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The Kingdom of Verduria [To Drilldown]

Lords of Verduria
Kings of Verduria
Titles of the King
The Verdurian Cabinet
The royal family
Composition of the Esčambra
Noble titles
Guilds and associations
The Verdurian constitution
Civil and religious holidays
Verdurian schooling
Parliamentary voting systems
Coinage and Prices

Lords of Verduria / Sannoi i Verdúria - 2477-2943 [466 years] [To Index]

born lordship died name age at asc. relation to last Lord
Elective Period 2477-2520 [43]
2413 2477-2484 Velto Cänen 64
2447 2484-2486 2499 Andor Cänen 37 son
2435 2486-2490 2495 Estdorot Alletiey 51
2420 2490-2496 Nirunor Ayeon 70
2429 2496-2510 Ružen Sáluer 67 son-in-law
2466 2510-2520 Albes Sáluer 44 nephew
House of Sáluer 2520-2634 [114]
2502 2520-2544 Žénamor Sáluer 18 son
2506 2544-2561 Elticai 38 sister
2536 2561-2580 2582 Mirtiy 25 son
2533 2580-2589 Landavo 47 cousin
2538 2589-2608 Lire 51 wife
2584 2608-2634 Genařo 24 grandson of Mirtiy
House of Belucaro 2634-2704 [70]
2593 2634-2664 Genař Belucaro 40 descended from Žénamor
2622 2664-2678 Abend (so Dobre) 42 son
2650 2678-2699 Abend (Buyel) 28 son
2654 2699-2704 Ružol 45 cousin
House of Yan 2704-2789 [85]
2664 2704-2721 Urysama Yan 40 Surconta i Curesi
2693 2721-2742 Namésior 28 son
2720 2742-2758 Asárë 22 daughter
2746 2758-2768 2792 Tegen 12 son
2749 2768-2789 Dezäna 19 sister
The Usurpation 2789-2792 [3]
2754 2789-2792 Mélicom Dádiat 35 cont i Menla
House of Prežeon 2792-2958 [166]
2753 2792-2814 Lelusio Prežeon 39 Steward of Išira
2793 2814-2859 Valura 21 niece
2828 2859-2888 Ánabar 31 son
2872 2888-2902 Safcu 16 son
2892 2902-2939 Avtor 10 son
2915 2939-2958 Caleon 24 son

Kings of Verduria / Dalî i Verdúria - 2943 to present [565 years] [To Index]

born kingship died name age at asc. relation to last King
Arcalnei dynasty 2943-3128 [185]
2915 2943-2958 Caleon (Este) 28 son
2940 2959-3031 Ževuran (Este) 19 son
2973 3031-3059 Estdorot 58 son
3030 3059-3095 Onvaďra 1ë 29 granddaughter
3054 3095-3113 Ažerey 1e 41 son
3089 3113-3115 3128 Zol 24 son
3092 3115-3128 Acuyo 23 brother
Usurpation of 3128 3128-3131 [3]
3089 3128-3131 Boďomor Kušďey 39 general
Soley dynasty 3142-3198 [56]
3100 3142-3173 Caloton 42 Šoh i Pelym
3144 3173-3181 3182 Efaristo 29 son
3146 3181-3198 Alunařo 35 brother
The Grey Years 3198-3241 [43]
3104 3198-3221 Utu 94 wizard
3133 3221-3241 Utu-On [Čagu] 88 vizier
Eleďe dynasty 3241-3301 [60]
3207 3241-3264 Tomao (Ihtüec) 34 Forum leader; beom Arostrana
3247 3264-3266 3312 Ihano 17 son
3244 3266-3296 Elena 22 sister
3268 3296-3301 ? Andrea 28 daughter
Abolineron dynasty 3302-3374 [72]
3254 3302-3316 Mëranac 1e 48 cont Abolineron
3278 3316-3319 3349 Icëlana 38 daughter
3302 3319-3328 3369

Ažerey 2e 17 nephew
3328-3335 3349 Icëlana 50 aunt
3335-3369 Ažerey 2e 33 nephew
3331 3369-3371 3374 Mëranac 2e 38 son
3328 3371-3374 Miďë 33 granddaughter
3355 3374 Ayeša 19 niece of Mëranac 2e
Vočnor dynasty 3376-3404 [28]
3341 3376-3399 Pelerin 35 commoner
3358 3399-3400 3421 Orest 45 son
3369 3400-3404 Vlerë 33 sister
Usurpation of 3404 3404-3420 [16]
3358 3404-3420 Onvaďra 2ë 46 Queen's Councillor
Vleteon dynasty 3420- [60+]
3387 3420-3462 Vlaran 33 beom Amežna
3423 3462- Alric 39 son

Titles of the King [To Index]

Dalu er Sanno i Verdúria / King and Lord of Verduria
Velto Cänen, then Mayor (Caď. amaruos) of Verduria, was granted the title sanno (Lord) by the Caďinorian emperor in 2477 in appreciation of his efforts in recapturing the Caďinorian capital, Ctésifon (Žésifo), from the Naviu.

Caleon Prežeon took the title of dalu (king) in 2943. In Caďinor the word meant 'prince', but it is clear that Caleon— and the Caďinorian emperor of the time— took it as a declaration of sovereignty.

The present title, combining both traditional terms, was adopted by the Esčambra in 3316, formalizing the practice of Mëranac 1e.

Cefsanno i Arcaln / Warlord of Arcaln
The military governorship of the stronghold of Arcaln on Arin island (usually just called soa Nezi, the Island). The first Warlord was named by the Emperor in 1626, and the emperors were careful to keep the warlordship separate from the mayoralty. Velto Cänen was the first Warlord to be named Mayor as well.
Šoh i Veor / Duke of Veor
Caleon revived this ancient title to make known his sovereignty over the Plain south of Verduria— the provinces of Žésifo, Krasnaya, Curesi, Šerian, Irvesi, and Aodo, which he had conquered. (Veor was an ancient pre-Caďinorian kingdom in this area.) The title is traditionally given to the King's firstborn son (not daughter).
Sazë i Zeir / Prince of Zeir
The principality of Zeir, like Verduria a province of ancient Caďinas, was united to the Lordship of Verduria in 2870 with the marriage of Ánabar of Verduria with Ašeli of Zeir.
Beom Amežna / Baron of Amežna
This is Alric's own title; his father Vlaran had been Baron of Amežna before assuming the throne.
Cumbrigec Zelmei / Defender of Zelm
Ževuran Este (the Great) became cefsanno of Zelm in 2968, by conquest. By his own Great Code, however (3021), the title of cefsanno for castles other than Arcaln was abolished, as it had acquired the meaning of 'commander in chief'. Lords of castles were thenceforth styled Defenders.
Orayul i Célenor, Luyšor er Sereor / Sovereign of Celenor, Luyšor, and Sereor
These provinces have maintained a special constitutional status since their conquest by Caleon, and Célenor in particular has tended to slip into independence when it could. For some centuries the provinces were governed by their own Dukes, but royal administration has been affirmed, intermittently under the Eleďî and Abolineronî, and more firmly by the Vleteonî.
Lon Enäronei / Honor of Enäron
The Lords and Kings from Valura Prežeon onward styled themselves Cumbrigec Enäronei, Defender of Enäron, thus claiming authority over the pagan presbyterate as well as a rather high place in the eyes of the chief of the gods. Tomao as an Eleďe of course renounced the title, and assumed instead the title Snugá Iainei (Servant of Iain). Mëranac 1e Abolineron created the present, more modest form of the title.
Innesec Esčambre / Founder of Parliament
Elena, the architect of the modern or Broad Esčambra, gave herself this title in 3270; it has sometimes been emphasized by kings as a reminder of their authority over Parliament.
Zol Ženei / Strength of the People
This title was taken by Alric in 3470 after the Barons' Rebellion, as a reminder that he, and not the barons, was the ultimate ruler and protector of the people.
Mašrom Nanei / Master of the North
Caleon, conqueror of Caďinas, gave himself this grandiose title in 2950— in lieu of Emperor, some said. Caleon certainly had the self-esteem to declare himself Emperor, but is said to have disdained that title, not only because of the inferior character of the later emperors, but because, he said, Verduria was destined to surpass, not merely equal, the glory of Caďinas.

Some former titles

Šoh i Pelym / Duke of Pelym
The noble title of the Soley kings. The lands of Pelym were then administered with other Crown lands; but in the chaos of Utu's usurpation (3198), the Soleys managed to keep Utu off their lands, and thus the Crown lost the title.
Sanno Erei / Lord of the South
A title taken by Ževuran Este (the Great), who indeed extended the realm as far south as it ever got. Estdorot added er Sarei ('and of the East') when he invaded Dhekhnam and restored the liberty of Sarnáe. But the kingdom entered a dark period soon after, and no later king has had the temerity, or the territory, to style himself thus.
Načaúl Etaldei / Ruler of the Plain
A title assumed by Safcu, son of Ánabar, as a token of the doubling of Verduria's size following the union with Zeir, and readying a claim to the provinces to the south. This was the favorite title of Utu and Utu-On, who indeed preferred it to dalu, and was therefore abandoned by Tomao and the later kings.
Biyeta / Elector
The Biyetora was the Body of Electors which had the hereditary right, also called biyeta, to choose the King. As the King was invariably chosen from among their own number when they were given a chance to choose at all, the kings were of course electors themselves. Elena's reform however eliminated the Biyetora as a legal entity.
Thus the full title of Alric, irrespective of decorations, knighthoods, military honors, and memberships in various societies, is this:
Alric Vlaranei Vleteon, Dalu er Sanno i Verdúria, Cefsanno i Arcaln, šoh i Veor, sazë i Zeir er beom Amežna, so Cumbrigec Zelmei, Orayul i Célenor, Luyšor i Sereor, Lon Enäronei, Innesec Esčambre, so Zol Ženei er so Mašrom Nanei.

Alric [son of] Vlaran [of the house of] Vleteon, King and Lord of Verduria, Warlord of Arcaln, Duke of Veor, Prince of Zeir, and Baron of Amežna, the Defender of Zelm, Sovereign of Célenor, Luyšor i Sereor, Honor of Enäron, Founder of Parliament, the Strength of the People, and the Master of the North.

The Cabinet / Soa Konselora Daluy [To Index]

Sanno Konsolore Daluii / Prime Minister
The head of the Government; advises the King, executes his wishes; responsible for the day to day administration of executive power. In the absence of the King, presides over the Council. Also responsible for running the royal household (though this is delegated to the Hozën Daluy, the Royal Steward) and for introducing government bills into the Esčambra. Appointed by the King; approved by Parliament.Currently Abend cont Monteneon.
Pere Esčambre / First in Parliament
The speaker of the legislature. Elected by the members of the Esčambra. Often identical to the preceding.
Sanno i Kunaša / Lord of the Exchequer
Director of the royal treasury, which collects taxes and disburses money to the various government functions according to the budget prepared by the Esčambra.
Reďréë i Ruscurë / Foreign Minister
Head of the Ambassadorial Service; responsible in large part for international affairs, save war.
Alte Dalui Ovnelom / King's High Justice
Administrator of the King's courts and prisons. Generally a retired judge of the High Court. The royal experts in law also report to him. Appointed by the King with Esčambra approval.
Reďréë i Belgo / Minister of War
Head of the Army and Navy. Normally filled by an army officer (and a noble).
Sanno Kalei / Lord of the Forum
Head of the City Forum (Mažtan-Kal). Elected annually by the Forum.
Šrayom Mažtane / City Wizard
Responsible for any magic needed by the state; also oversees wizards practicing within the kingdom.
Reďréë i Celdoni / Minister for Trade
Regulates trade; collects customs; polices the guilds; registers corporations; grants royal charters and monopolies.
Reďréë i Hutorát / Minister of Agriculture
Ensures the steady supply of food to the nation by buyingup excess crops in good harves years and disbursing them in poor years, and likewise for livestock. Prosecutes the oppression of landholders by the gentry. Organizes poor relief. Administers the King's own estates.
Pere Ďitelom / First Engineer
The Ministry of Roads (Reďreo i soî Ďitelî), headed by the First Engineer, is responsible for public roads, buildings, and parks, as well as the royal shipyards and armory.
Řivo i Verdúria / Mayor of Verduria
Head of the local (city) administration, which oversees local commerce, maintains roads, maintains public order, and undertakes public works (such as the Plain's first sewer system). Chosen jointly by the Esčambra and the Kal, with veto power by the King.
Mašrom Denië / Master of Documents
Keeper of the City and National Archives and the Crown Jewels; recorder of legal decrees; overseer of the universities and seminaries of the kingdom; liaison with the temples and churches. Organizes national ceremonies.
Šoh Célenorei / Duke of Célenor
By the terms of the treaty by which the Duchy recognized the overlordship of Verduria, the Duke of Célenor has a seat on the Council, though he does not always have any official function. Currently Caloton Matrey.
Councillors are appointed by the King unless otherwise noted.

Before the usurpation of Utu the (pagan) Patriarch of Verdúria (Perař Verdúrë) sat on the council. Mëranac attempted to revive this custom, but the Eleďî demanded representation for their own Patriarch, and the revival was abandoned.

The Palace Guard and the military administration of Arcaln report directly to the King, though this is sometimes delegated to the Prime Minister.

The royal family [To Index]

The Vleteon dynasty was founded by Vlaran, baron of Amežna, selected by the Esčambra in 3420 after the death of Onvaďra 2e (who had seized the throne, and who died without issue). He was something of a compromise candidate—none of the stronger nobles were able to muster a majority or agree on one of their own— but proved to be a strong and effective monarch, and indeed recovered Célenor and Zelm for Verduria.

He was succeeded in 3462 by his son Alric, who has been an exception to the general failure of second kings in Verdurian dynasties. Like most modern Verdurian kings, he has been content to let commerce and industry develop, rather than seek conquests in the Plain. (He has however extended Verduria's colonies in Téllinor and Qaraumia.)

Vleteon family tree

Where Vlaran, as a minor noble, could do no better than to marry into a rich family, his children had to be married to royalty. Alric, the oldest child surviving to adulthood, was married to Živesa of Ismahi, and Šelicöra to a prince of Barakhún; Mërošec merely married into the richest noble family in Verduria, the Tälî.

Živesa bore no children, a matter of increasing concern to the family, since the lack of a heir so early in the dynasty would throw the succession back to the Esčambra. The princess was sickly as well, and died in 3462, the same year as Vlaran. Alric's succession was not contested, but his heirlessness was a problem, and his advisors hurried to find him a suitable— and healthy— bride, as soon as was decently possible after Vlaran's funeral and Alric's accession.

Their choice was Leticai Cirisea, daughter of the king of Benécia; and many a troubled brow was unfurrowed when the new queen (elrei) bore a daughter in 3467. Tilye, now a teenager, is the Crown Princess and Duchess of Kaino (šoha Kaino); next in the line of succession is her baby brother Velto, who is also the Duke of Veor.

Prince Mërošec (the duke of Dobrai) and his family live in the Dalušeíra, the King's Palace in Verduria— Verdurian kings have learned not to give their royal brothers too long a leash. He has served more than once in Alric's Konselora. His daughter Sumëra was married to a prince of Krasnaya, and his son Caiem is an officer in the Navy.

Princess Šelicöra lived for a time in Barakhún, but complained of the cold, and she now lives with her husband on one of the royal estates in Zeir (or sometimes without him; the marriage is said to be troubled).

In addition to the Dalušeíra and the estates in Zeir, the royal family has palaces on the Island, in Pelym, Curesi, and Šerian. It also retains Vlaran's original baronial estate of Amežna in Verduria province.

Under Verdurian law royalty is not contagious past the second generation. So, for instance, Mërošec's daugher Sumëra is properly addressed as saza (princess) and her husband as sazë maris (prince by marriage); but Sumëra's son Mërcalto will be addressed simply as telnë Vleteon ('worthy Vleteon').

Composition of the Biyetora and Esčambra [To Index]

Type of member
in Biyetora
in Esčambra
Elective Lords
The Yanî
as of 2742
The Soleî
Elena Eleďe
City Stewards 6 30% 8 15% 10 14% 12 7%
Government officials 8 40 10 19 5 7 3 2
Nobles 6 30 29 55 46 65 109




Pagan clergy 6 11 10 14 45




Eleďe clergy 5 2 15 3 24 4
Members at large 20 7 8 2
Guild masters 35 12 32 7 35 6
Borough representatives 30 11 76 17 115 21
District representatives 119 27 136 25
Petty barons (beomulî) 10 2 16 3
Total 20 53 71 169


Elected 30 11 195 44 251 46
Electorate 20,000 700,000 4 million
The Biyetora was established by the Caďinorian Emperor in 2477, as the body which would choose new Lords of Verduria; it gradually acquired legislative authority as well.

The Esčambra or Parliament was made formally distinct from the Biyetora in 3174.

Elena's reform (3267) formally abolished the Biyetora.

Verduria-city is divided into boroughs (kešanî), whose leaders are stewards (kešaroi). From the time of the Soleî until Elena, the boroughs elected representatives to the Esčambra, but sent their stewards to the Biyetora.

Verduria is divided into ten provinces (fetörî): Verduria, Zeir, Šerian, Curesi, Irvesi, Aodo, Zelm, plus the vassal states Célenor, Luyšor, and Sereor. These are in turn divided into districts (šanî), although duchies and marquisates (šohî and surcontanî) are not considered part of a šana. It is the districts which elect representatives to the Esčambra. Cities also do not belong to šanî, and thus elect borough (kešana) instead of district representatives.

All nobles have the right to sit in the Esčambra, but (under Alric's reforms) only if they maintain a residence in Verduria-city. All nobles but certain beomî had a biyeta. The table may suggest that the number of nobles has exploded; but the columns for the Elective Lords and the Yanî include nobles in Verduria province only, and under Caleon those of Verduria and Zeir only.

There are over a hundred petty barons or baronets (beomulî), which elect a subset of their number to the Esčambra.

Members at large are appointed by the King, or are representatives of other bodies; since 3380, for instance, the University of Verduria has its own Member.

A Member of Parliament is known as an esčambrom.

Noble titles [To Index]

There are 187 peers in the kingdom of Verduria, a number which has been fixed since 3422. Note that some peers have more than one title, so there are more than 187 peerages. In addition there are 163 baronets (beomulî).

The following table lists the major titles by province, and gives the ženata of the family which currently holds the title.
Province šoh (13) surcont (20) cont (34) hipcont (25) beom (95)
Verdúria(40) Kaino (= heir)
Menla Vešnoa Amežna
Scušana Ďacendi Arostrana
Arosd (app'td) Tandora Unřo
so Řuk
Nëron Mihel

Arin (= P.M.)
Belušati Alletiey
(14 more)
Zeir (23) Zeir (sazë)
Deuneon Šayumor
Cuerin Nicuru
Šerian (22) Veor (K's son)
Bogric Abolineron
Daboral (10)
Šerian Lescey Vešnoa Lažna
Ulian (2 more)
Irvesi (14) Irvesi
(2) Firustey (9)
(1 more)
Curesi(13) Dobrai (K's brother)
Šcarea (2) (6)
(2 more)
Zelm (10) so Sar Kara (2) (1) (5)
Aodo (12) Aodo
Mituré (2) Bilmán
Ďarcalno (6 more)
Célenor(20) Célenor
Nërona Carďë (3) (10)
Ožnëa (2 more)
Luyšor (12) Luyšor (dalu) Adel (4) (6)
Sereor(21) Sereor (dalu) Nuo Ervost (3) (12)
Leďear (2 more)

While we're at it, Krasnaya has one Lord (sanno), 3 surcontî (Aranë, Yužnaya, Enocur), 4 contî, 2 hipcontî and 6 beomî.

Guilds and Associations [To Index]

Guilds proper
Craft associations
Commercial associations
Professional associations
Kešana associations

Guilds proper [Top of section]

Guilds (neronî) make or sell things; guildsmen are skilled, respected craftsmen. You start out as an apprentice (ebrák) as an adolescent; once you've mastered the craft you become a full member (neronom); you become a master (osän) only if you have your own shop with apprentices. Guilds are powerful organizations, responsible for maintaining the quality— and exclusiveness— of their trade, and have the power to discipline members. A guild will have a hall (neronsäte) with monthly meetings and other social events. The guild president is elected by the masters, who also send a representative to the Esčambra.

The 32 guilds of Verduria-city are named below. Other cities and towns will have differing lists.

The full name of (say) the Lanyomië 'Mercers' would be Lonse Neron Lanyomië 'Honorable Guild of Mercers'. All the guilds are lonse except for those indicated below with ül (ancient), este (great), or daluy (royal). The guild name is given in the plural genitive; remove the final - (or -ë if there's no i) to get the name of the profession, e.g. lanyom 'mercer'.

Lanyomië - Mercers—dealers in fine textiles: linen, velvet, silk, etc.
Uveromië - Tailors and Drapers
Šautomië - Skinners and Tanners
Huvecië - Dyers
Testasomië - Weavers
Šapomië - Hatters
Addobromië (ül) - Glovers— dealers in gloves, scarves, belts, and other accessories
Calseomië - Shoemakers
Lapiskuskuomië - Bunny-suit makers
Rälomië - Cooks
Bulondomië - Bakers
Myasomië - Butchers
Vintošuvecië (ül) - Vintners— sellers of wine and distilled liquors
Pažusecië - Fishmongers
Sfetomië - Grocers— dealers in cheese, spices, imported foods such as tea, coffee, cocoa
Sižomië - Blacksmiths
Ořurokecië (este) - Goldsmiths
Genturokecië - Metalsmiths (silver, brass, pewter, etc.)
Endomië - Carpenters
Fäbomië - Painters
Fevomië - Woodcarvers
Gunoroë (daluy) - Armorers— makers of armor as well as swords
Streloroë (daluy) - Fletchers and Bowyers — makers of bows, arrows, and catapults
Sönilecië - Saddlers
Bečomië - Coopers (barrelmakers)
Žoudautomië (ül) - Jewelers
Teleomië - Instrument maker
Lotomië (ül) - Boatwrights
Pažakomië - Mapmakers
Scilecië - Shrubbers
Donyošomië - Candlemakers
Steklomië - Glassblowers

Craft associations [Top of section]

The craft associations (cunculî) or lesser guilds (neronulî) are organized in imitation of the guilds proper, but are less respected, usually lower in the class hierarchy, and less privileged legally; the most important consequence of this is that they cannot prevent non-members from practicing the trade.

Except as shown, the full names follow the pattern Lonsë Cunculë Šualnaomië (Honorable Company of Stablemasters); different adjectives are given in parentheses. Note that pretäro ševië is an unusual and even absurd term; the usual word for 'hairdresser', fifačič ševië, was considered undignified. Similarly, celkunom actually means 'moneychanger', but moneychangers are unorganized street vendors; their name is used by the much richer but despised ružkunomî, the moneylenders.

A few of these— notably the booksellers, scribes, chinaware makers, and stablemasters— are 'lesser' guilds simply because they are relatively new.

Prusoë (crečë 'agreeable') - Innkeepers and Restaurateurs
Šualnaomië - Stablemasters
Crifomië - Scribes
Impuyecië - Booksellers
Lekádecië - Apothecaries
Zeřašomië - Herblorist
Tuyošariomië - Tobacconists
Pretäroë ševië - Hairdresser
Ledliomië (estë) - Makers of Fine China
Čanomië - Potters
Ďumatomië - Masons
Celkunomië - Moneylenders
Cumonora Alaďeomië - League of Musicians
Cumonora Furomië - League of Actors

Commercial associations [Top of section]

In the last half-century there have appeared commercial associations (cunculî celdonisî), which are groupings of Verduria's early capitalists. Their missions speak of education and regulation of their members, but this is only an imitation of the charters of guilds. More importantly, Parliament consults the associations on matters affecting their industries. But their chief activities are schmoozing and networking. This is not an inconsiderable function in an early capitalist society; most major sea expeditions, for instance, are financed by consortia organized at the Sea Traders'.
Cunculë i Kunnáî - Association of Banks
Säte i soî Celdonecî Zëë - Hall of the Sea Traders
Cunculë Fascomië - Manufacturers' Association

Professional fellowships [Top of section]

A professional fellowship (cumoterát) is more respected than a guild— guilds make and sell things, you know, and professionals are distinguished by knowledge (otery) alone. They are however only at the edges of ripriroda, 'science' or 'scholarship'. They are not after all disinterested and open in their search for knowledge; it is the way they make a living; and they prefer to keep some secrets from each other and above all from laymen.

The cumoterát itself runs colleges for some of the necessary studies, supervises apprenticeships and the passage to full membership, holds meetings and parties, and generally sticks up for the profession— much like a guild. But full members (cumoteromî) really respond to no one— the cumoterát does not discipline or oversee them, as a guild would.

The names follow the pattern Cumoterát Lekaroë (Fellowship of Physicians). The magicians add the adjective nüminse 'dreadful'. The magicians' and lawyers' fellowships are named after the art rather than the man; a lawyer is an amrabom, a magician a šrayom or alcedlom.

Lekaroë - Physicians
Sätevisanomië - Architects
Ďitelomië - Engineers (designers of roads, bridges, and canals)
soei Amrabei - Law
Ceřecomië - Alchemists
soei Šraii - Magic (literally, the Hidden (Art))

Kešana associations [Top of section]

Certain boroughs (kešanî) have their own organizations; the best-known are the Kešana i Išira, which acts as a sort of chamber of commerce and neighborhood watch for the upscale Išira neighborhood, and the Cumonora i Scafiora (Scafiora League), which does the opposite for the lower-class Scafiora (Docks) section; it's widely viewed as an organization of criminals.

Universities [Top of section]

Scholars (visanomî) have no professional organizations; rather, they are associated with a university. The kingdom's universities, with their dates of founding and the monarch who granted the charter, are:
Verdúria 2312 Caďinorian emperor Sörtoro
Šerian 2571 Duke Řezörn of Šerian
Curesi 2982 Ževuran the Great
Zeir 2985 Ževuran the Great
Vyat 3290 Elena Eleďe
so Sar (Nuo) 3314 Mëranac 1e Abolineron

Patriarchates [Top of section]

The highest potentates in the Caďinorian pagan hierarchy are the perařî or patriarchs, each of whom presides over the temples in his perařát, as well as one cletana or priestly seminary, and whichever monasteries recognize his authority. The modern patriarchates are:
Verdúria (Verduria) Barakhina (Barakhún) Maranhë (Viminia)
Zeirdan (Verduria) Kulža (Curiya) Kalomei (Lebcaizura)
Šerian (Verduria) Zariaspa (Bažra) Saikn (Azgami)
Ožnëa (Verduria) Liynnor (Svetla) Avéla (Érenat)
Žésifo (Ctésifon) Aránicer (Svetla) Ilzanea (Dhekhnam)
Lumrehy (Solhai) Sarnáe (Hežina) Eteban (Dhekhnam)
Beloa (Bešbalic) Dracnáe (Dracnáe) Visecra (Dhekhnam)

Theoretically these are all equals, with the Pere Perař (First Patriarch) of Žésifo as the supreme head. In practice, since the fall of the Empire, patriarchs have mostly gone their own way. However, the Pere Perař has sought to impose a greater discipline on the central Caďinorian patriarchates (Lumrehy, Kulža, Zariaspa, Liynnor, Aránicer), and the perař of Verduria has managed to attain a similar elevated position over the Verdurian patriarchates.

The Dhekhnami have closed down the cletanî in their territory, and chased the perař out of Ilzanea; they still suffer those in Eteban and Visecra to remain, these having made Soviet-style professions of fealty to their overlords.

Below the level of perař there are vacuranî (primates), administrators of monastic orders; cürî (curates) of different degrees, responsible for provinces, districts, or cities; and altcliďî (archpriests), who supervise the cliďî (priests) of a city borough, a town, or a rural circuit. The cenoi or abbots of monasteries may report to their vacuran, the local altcliďu, or both; and the cletandoroi or deans of seminaries are subject only to perařî. Details of the hierarchy, as well as titles, can vary by region.

The Eleďe hierarchy is modelled on that of the pagans. There are Eleďe patriarchs in:

Nëron Pavel (Benécia)
Dobray (Krasnaya)
Kebropol (Kebri)
Avéla (Érenat)

These also maintain seminaries; there are two in Verduria, Nëron Mihel in Verduria-city and Nëron Pavel in Šerian.

The Verdurian constitution [To Index]

Classical times

In the noontime of the Caďinorian empire, all important imperial offices were appointed, either directly by the Emperor, or by subordinates, subject to his veto. This applied both to the command of the fortress of Arcaln on Arin island, which controlled access to the sea from the rivers of the Plain and vice versa, and to the mayoralty of the town of Arénica across the river from it.

The commander of Arcaln was a calenorion (from calenos 'fortress'), and was normally a noble from the Caďinorian heartland, chosen for military and managerial skill, and loyalty to the Emperor. In the early days, when Arénica was a small town (cumunda), its leader was a dusorion or headman, whose choice could be safely left to the locals. By the late Classical period, however (~ 1800), the town had grown to be an important seaport, dominating the Etald Verduran, the Deep Green Plain in the north of Eretald. Under its new name, Verduria, it was elevated to the rank of a mactana (city) ruled by an amaruos or mayor (1735). The amaruos was now appointed from Ctésifon, but normally from among the local grandees.

Common practices became traditions and then unalterable routine; Caďinas ossified, and offices tended more and more to become hereditary. It was an easy transition: it was one less decision to make; it avoided politics and resentment; and the important families tended to remain the same anyway. From 1897 the mayoralty was held by the Saney family; from 2074, by the Darodenî.

The later Empire

In 2107 the Red Cabal of nobles and generals culminated thirty years of intrigue by taking over the government and executing the young Emperor, with such brutality that this event, rather than the barbarian invasions, has always been taken as the beginning of the Dark Ages of Eretald.

In 2198 the wizard Uhnonca, profiting from a mysterious lack of Darodenî, took the sash of the Mayor for himself; he thereupon managed to take control of Arcaln and rebelled against the Cabal (not however in the Empire's name, but in his own). He was put down after a bloody three-year struggle. The lesson, so far as Ctésifon was concerned, was to neglect the northern city no longer. Verduria was placed under the direct rule of the Oligarchs.

The Red Cabal soon after fell to Irun of Banda, who proclaimed the restoration of the Empire. Irun and the later Emperors made Verduria their winter capital. As a result Verduria grew and adorned itself with palaces and government edifices. The Mayoralty was again entrusted to trusted lieutenants of the Empire.

The Lords

Caďinas was increasingly plagued by barbarian invasions; and in 2435 suffered the ultimate disaster— the occupation of Ctésifon itself by the Naviu. The Emperor escaped to Verduria, and for some time thought of making his permanent capital there, far from the seething nomads of the south.

Ctésifon was recovered in 2472, with the essential aid of Velto Cänen, the cefsanno of Arcaln. In gratitude the Emperor elevated Verduria to a satranda or free city (2477), and made Cänen its sanno or Lord. Verduria and Arcaln were now united under the same hand for the first time since Uhnonca.

As a satranda the city would largely rule itself; but ground rules were established by the Emperor. To elect Sannoi, the emperor set up a system of electors. Those with a vote, a biyeta, were the kešoroi or stewards of the city's boroughs (kešanî), certain local governmental and military officials, and the more important nobles— about 20 in all. This assemblage, the Biyetora, would be important for the next milennium.

The Biyetora, as a gathering of the chief notables of the realm, was inevitably called upon for counsel and cooperation in many areas. It soon had an official role as an advising body and as a court, and was expanded to include pagan clergy and more nobles. It had no taxing authority. It was called together every few years— more often if a Lord felt weak and needed its help or authority.

Ironically, it was rarely consulted for its original purpose; by 2520 the sannát was effectively hereditary, though accessions were always ratified by the Biyetora. Only when a dynasty ran out of heirs, or when the heir was too young or too weak, was the Biyetora's role more than ceremonial.

For day to day administration the Lord relied on a permanent body, the Konselora or Lord's Council. Membership was informal, consisting simply of whoever the Lord chose to listen to. After 2800 counselors were entitled to a state pension.

The dominion of the sanno was essentially the city of Verduria and the estates previously attached to the cefsannát; the remainder of the province (fetöra) of Verduria was ruled by nobles, who theoretically owed no allegiance to the sanno except in wartime. The Lord was in practice not much more than the mayor of Verduria and captain of the province's army. This began to change only in 2870, when the Lord acquired through marriage the vast estates of the Princess of Zeir, making him the largest landowner in the combined realm. But even in 2920 the alliance Lord Avtor Prežeon made with the Marquis of Irvesi was directed largely against Ondorot of Vyat— a Verdurian noble.

The Kingdom

The Curiyan occupation of Ctésifon (2792) only underlined Verduria's de facto sovereignty; when Bura of Ctésifon expelled the barbarians (2917), Avtor sent congratulations and gifts. Bura's son Ertala was more demanding; and Avtor's son Caleon, fresh from subduing the bandits of the Western Wild, was unwilling to play along with Ertala's alpha-male fantasies.

Ordered to appear in Ctésifon to swear fealty, Caleon came; but Ertala's arrogance so outraged him that he returned to Verduria and (with the Biyetora's backing) proclaimed himself dalu, or King (2943). Dalu had meant 'prince' in Caďinor, but its semantics had shifted as provinces became autonomous, and Ertala took it as it was meant, as a declaration of independence.

Ertala raised an army to subjugate Verduria; Caleon demolished it. He marched into Ctésifon, proclaiming his intention to have Ertala thrashed like a schoolboy. The last Caďinorian Emperor killed himself rather than suffer this indignity.

The new King now found himself at the head of the largest state in the Plain. How was it to be ruled? Direct rule, at this stage of history, was not really possible. The conquered lands (not only Ertala's tiny empire but Irvesi, Aodo, and Célenor) were inevitably given to dukes and generals to rule; though Caleon absorbed what was left of the imperial state apparatus, which even then was stronger than his own.

The broadened horizons of the Prežeons made it necessary to delegate the rule of Verduria-city itself to the Great Steward (Este Hozën), who was appointed by the King in consultation with important local officials. It wasn't long before the Steward was simply called the Řivo, after the title of the mayors of large cities. Verduria-city has had mayors ever since.

On Caleon's death— he was assassinated by agents of the Marquis of Irvesi— the Biyetora wanted to put his brother Ženeon on the throne. Caleon's son Ževuran had to fight a short civil war to secure his succession. (Ironically his greatest support came from Zeir and the newly conquered territories, Ženeon's from Verduria province.) Upon his victory Ževuran dissolved the Biyetora and ruled by decree. For counsel he relied on the Konselora, filled with his loyal followers.

Ževuran did contribute to the rule of law, by promulgating the Great Code of 3021, unifying Verdurian and Ctésifoni law, which had diverged in the last milennium. He established courts to enforce the law, and gave his officers the right to pursue violators anywhere in the realm— an important first step in the long process of subjugating the independent feudal nobility to central rule.

The later Prežeons were weak, and the conquests of Ževuran and his son Estdorot (who had even crossed the Ctelm mountains to thrash the ktuvok empire of Dhekhnam) were largely lost. After a short civil war Caloton Soley seized the sash (3142), and called up the Biyetora for the first time since 2959 to affirm his kingship.

Caloton, in his will, gave the Biyetora legislative power, for the first time. He had no high opinion of his son Efaristo, and felt that the nobles should do most of the ruling. He also modernized the composition of the Biyetora, distributing biyetî widely in the new territories, and giving seats (without biyeta) to guild leaders, Eleďe priests, and elected representatives of the kešanî. This expanded body was called the Esčambra or Great Council. In 3194 taxing authority was given to it, as part of a compromise between the king and the nobles abolishing certain feudal duties.

The Konselora also became a more formal body in these years. The heads of the kingdom's ministries were now always members, and the chief minister, that of the Exchequer, was an increasingly important figure.

Tomao Eleďe

The wizard usurpers Utu and Utu-On rarely called the Esčambra— though they tolerated the City Forum (Mažtan-Kal), whose leader Tomao Ihtüec ended up leading the rebellion which deposed Utu-On. And instead of simply declaring himself King, Tomao allowed the Biyetora to offer him the Kingship.

The Esčambra was thus by now an indispensable symbol of legitimacy, and except for despots an essential part of government. Tomao indeed passed a law requiring the Esčambra to meet at least once every three years.

Tomao was a follower of the relatively new Eleďe religion, and thus he and his dynasty remain controversial in Verdurian history. Pagans cannot quite forgive him for disestablishing Caďinorian polytheism (tësaďát) and separating temple and state; but they cannot deny that he saved Verduria from tyranny and presided over a renaissance. Verdurian ships reached Xurno, Uytai, and Téllinor, and even crossed the Zone of Fire; the first joint-stock corporations were formed; and printing was introduced from Avéla.

Tomao was succeeded by his son Ihano, and then by his daughter Elena (3266).

Elena's reform

The precipitating cause of Elena's quarrel with the Esčambra was the loss of the first Kebreni war (3267). The Esčambra impeached the heads of the Army and the Minister of the Exchequer (who under Eleďe rule had become effectively the head of the government), demanded that they be replaced with its own candidates, and threatened to reconsider its own approval of Elena's reign.

Many were outraged by this demonstration of arrogance, and Elena agreed. She dissolved the Esčambra, imprisoned the ringleaders, and proceeded to entirely reform the legislature. Thus by revolution from above, Verduria received its modern constitution.

Elena created 25 new peerages, increased the number of urban boroughs entitled to elect representatives from 30 to 76, and gave ten seats to the baronets or beomulî, to be chosen from their number. Some pagan clergy were stripped of their Esčambra seats, which were given to Eleďî. Rural šanî (districts) were also to elect representatives for the first time; and the franchise was greatly extended: henceforth all male Verdurians worth more than 100 ořulî per year, and all unmarried females worth more than 500, were entitled to vote. The electorate at a stroke expanded from roughly 20,000 to more than 700,000, out of a population of 5 million. (Since then inflation, without any change of law, has expanded the electorate to 3.8 out of 6 million.)

Finally Elena abolished the Biyetora, the subset of the Esčambra responsible for choosing a new King. The monarchy (recognizing long tradition) was henceforth to be hereditary, though the Esčambra would still have the right to choose a King when the succession was in dispute or the ruling dynasty had no heirs.

The immediate impact of Elena's reforms was to pack the Esčambra with her allies; but the long-term result was to make it a more democratic body, and one which reflected the new power of the urban bourgeoisie, the Eleďî, and the merchants as against the traditional nobles and clergy who had dominated the old Esčambra.

A more suprising result is that the more representative nature of the new Esčambra eventually increased its own authority and its legitimacy as the voice of the Verdurian people; no monarch since Elena has been able to wholly dominate it.

Modern trends

The kingdom has functioned under Elena's constitution for more than two centuries. The story of that time has been the eclipse of the nobles and the rise of a strong, centralized state ruled jointly by King and Parliament.

The fortunes of Verduria's brokers, sea traders, merchants, and manufacturers dwarf the land-based estates of the nobles. Verduria is now oriented toward trade, and even the rural districts have been transformed by the market economy. Peasants no longer depend on the local lord as protector or buyer, and are increasingly unwilling to suffer his claims and pretentions; and in this they have a powerful ally in the King.

The last stand of the nobles was the rebellion of the Duke of Šerian in 3470, soundly defeated by Alric. Noble privileges remain, but the authority of the King even within the nobles' estates is no longer questioned. Alric has even compelled the nobles to live in Verduria-city— where he can keep an eye on them— if they wish to exercise their vote in the Esčambra.

A system of party politics developed even in the early years of "Elena's Esčambra". The parties are named fakoi, after the boxes in which members drop their votes. They tend to come and go, but they normally align with the abiding divisions in Verdurian society: the old order vs. the new; agriculture vs. trade; the Svetla vs. the sea; the pagans vs. the Eleďî; and above all the country vs. the city.

Since the time of the Abolinerons the preeminent figure in the Konselora has been the Lord of the King's Council (Sanno Konselore Daluii) or Prime Minister— in effect, the head of the government. The requirement that he be appointed by the King but approved by the Esčambra has made his choice a battleground between royal and parliamentary power, usually solved by appointing the head of the largest fako.

The end result is a system not unlike the French constitution: day to day administration is in the hands of a prime minister dependent on parliament, while defense and other broad-scale issues remain in the hands of the king. The King has somewhat more power than this analogy would suggest, including the ability to dismiss the prime minister or to call new elections for Parliament at will, as well as complete control over the army and the courts. But his power is certainly not limitless; indeed, by this time he cannot truly function without the Esčambra, which alone has the power to tax and the power to alter legislation— and whose representation of the power centers of Verdurian society ensures the legitimacy of the government.

Civil and religious holidays [To Index]

Civil calendar

Till 3378 (except during the Eleďe dynasty), the civil calendar included the pagan holidays.
Date Holiday Explanation
1 olašu Cäma i Lebe Zon New Year Holiday.
14-16 cuéndimar Cuenda Mažtane Festival of the City.
20 vlerëi Imdaluát Coronation Day. The date varies by King; this is Alric's.
27 yag Cäma i Urukeša Recoltëi Harvest's End Holiday.
10 želea Ceďue Scurë National Day. Although the holiday was created by Elena Eleďe, it commemorates the formal creation of the Esčambra in 3174. For years the Esčambra opened on this date, but now it opens on the last scúreden of the month.
week of 1 šoru Elšoru Middark. Winter solstice celebration.
23 bešana Ižžon Foreyear Day. Civil appointments begin. Parliamentary elections are held on the previous ceďnare.

Caďinorian Pagan calendar

The Verdurian year is itself a monument to the gods. Each of the months is dedicated to one of the gods; in addition, there is a feast day at or near the beginning of each month.
Month God Celebration
olašu Řavcaëna (1) Imameto demeče Investitute of Spring
reli Nečeron (1) Dën relë Day of Sowing
cuéndimar Enäron (1st week) Cuéndimar Great Festival
(17) Dën Vlerëi or Vleryana Day of Vlerë
vlerëi Vlerë (6) Cuendaya Lesser Festival, honoring the King
calo Caloton (1) Ceďue Caltei Feast of Caloton
recoltë Boďneay (1) Dën Recoltëi Day of Reaping
(28) Elzon Midyear's Day
yag Oruseon
želea Ažirei (1st ceďnare) Išet Cumproseo Solemn March
išire Išira (1) Dën Išire Day of Išira
šoru Fidra (1) Elšoru or Ceďue Ceďuië Enddark, Feast of Feasts
froďac Mëranac (1) Eliveri Midwinter's Day (chiefly rural)
(1st ceďnare) Dën Deutaye Day of Deutaya (in city)
bešana Eši (1) Aďcet Godsfest
Note: If 1 bešana falls on a scúreden or zëden, Aďcet moves to the next day.

Of these festivals the most important are Cuéndimar, a week-long festival centering on Enäron, and featuring plays and rites reenacting celebrated events in Caďinorian history; the Solemn March, in which thousands of worshippers, in a solemn, chanting defile, give thanks to Řavcaëna for the successful harvest, and pray for protection in the coming winter; and Elšoru, which celebrates the lengthening of days in midwinter, and (not incidentally) Keadau's expulsion of the Munkhâshi from the Plain.

In addition kasten or leap-day, which falls in no month, every five years, is a holiday, and is celebrated with feasts, games, and pranks.

Since ancient times each of these festivals has been celebrated by the priests, at the temple of the appropriate god. Sacrifices are made, to implore the gods' favor. The local lord will supply the greatest sacrifice (it is customary in the north, for instance, for the king to offer a white bull to be slain on the steps of the Temple of Enäron at the Investiture of Spring); but the lowliest peasant will attempt to find a rabbit or a pigeon or a handful of grain to offer.

Eating and drinking is involved, as well. Small villages eat communally on the feast days; in town, the feasts are organized by clans, by guilds, or by neighborhoods. The local lord, in partial recompense for feudalism, is expected to supply meat and beer for all.

Eleďe calendar

In general the Eleďe calendar is arranged in cycles of six weeks or so, punctuated by major holidays. Most holidays fall on a ceďnare. Holidays are indicated by ceďnare + day; thus 2 means the 2nd ceďnare of the religious year; 2 + 2 would be the second day after that.
Date Holiday Explanation
1 Ižpasca Before-Easter. (Passover)
1+4 Dernë Zury The last supper.
1+5 Šoruden Day of darkness.
2 Pasca Easter.
3 Nërona Maria Magdale. Mary Magdalene.
5 Nëron Ikobo St. Ikobo (an early Eleďe).
7 Brac Eleďei Glory of Eleď. (Ascension)
9 Zurem Itianei or Donulî Mass of the Spirit, or Gifts. (Pentecost)
10 Nëron Cefa St. Cephas. (St. Peter)
13 + 1-7 Cuenda Creise Festival of Creation. A seven-day Arašei feast (Cuêzi Vissiveyas dêriex) celebrating and reenacting the Creation.
15 Zurem Durnëe Dënië Mass of the Last Days. An Arašei holiday which looked to the last days as a liberation from the tribulations of the Dark Years; it now more blithely anticipates the final victory of Eleď.
17 Nëron Mihel St. Mihel, leader of the Eleniki.
19 Nërona Vënica St. Vënica (an Eleďe prophet).
20 Nërona Maria Benula Blessed St. Mary.
23 Nëron Ihano St. John.
26 Samnurža Iainei Fast of Iáinos. Cuêzi Gāemāu Iáinex; thanksgiving to Iáinos in the time of harvest and a renewal of vows to follow God.
28 Nëron Ihano Immeyec St. John the Baptist.
30 Capiye Žantomië Reverence of the Prophets. Cuêzi Cāpias numīcuriē; once a nine-week series of holidays celebrating various prophets; now a one-day invocation of them all.
31 Nëron Iosif St. Joseph.
32 Eleďnes Birth of Eleď (Christmas).
34 Dalî or Zurem Donulië Daluë Kings or Mass of the Kings' Gifts. (Epiphany)
35 Nëron Pavel St. Paul
37 Nëron Oromo St. Oromo (an Arašei saint).
38 Zurem Einatui Mass of Einatu. (Michaelmas)
40 Racont Marian or Zurem Yee the Telling to Mary or the Mass of Yea. (Annunciation)
42 Zurem Iriamei Mass of Iriam. An Arašei holiday in honor of the first ilii.
3rd from last Zurem Detombei Mass of Man's Fall. An Arašei holiday mourning the fall of Cuzei, now serving as well to prepare for the Passion.
2nd from last Nëron Teronel St. Teronél (an Arašei saint).
last Zurem Aďetonei Mass of the Church.

Zon Erei (Year of the South) 3480

Showing holidays of all three types: civil, pagan, Eleďe.
scúreden širden fidren calten zëden néronden ceďnare
olašu spring equinox 1 Cäma i Lebe Zon.
Imameto demeče.
2 3 4 Ižpasca
5 6 7 8 Dernë Zury 9 Šoruden 10 11 Pasca
12 13 14 15 16 17 18 N. Maria Magdale
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27
reli 1 Dën rëlë 2 3 4 5 N. Ikobo
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Brac Eleďei
29 21 22 23 24 25 26
cuéndimar 1 Cuéndimar begins 2 3 4 5 6 Zurem Itianei
7 Cuéndimar ends 8 9 10 11 12 13 N. Cefa
14 Cuenda Mažtane ← 15— 16→ 17 Vleryana 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
vlerëi 1 summer solstice 2 3 4 5 6 Cuendaya. Cuenda Creise begins.
7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Cuenda Creise ends.
14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Imdaluát. Zurem Durnëe Dënië
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
1 calo Ceďue Caltei 2 3 4 5 6 7 N. Mihel
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 N. Vënica
22 23 24 25 26 27
recoltë 1 Dën Recoltëi. N. Maria Benula
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22 N. Ihano
23 24 25 26 27 28 Elzon kasten
1 yag fall equinox 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Samnurža Iainei
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 Cäma i Urukeša Recoltëi
želea 1 Išet Cumproseo. N. Ihano Immeyec
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 Ceďue Scurë 11 12 13 14 15 Capiye Žantomië
16 17 18 19 20 21 22 N. Iosif
23 24 25 26 27 28
išire 1 Dën Išire. Eleďnes
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Dalî
16 17 18 19 20 21 22 N. Pavel
23 24 25 26 27
šoru winter solstice 1 Elšoru begins. Ceďue Ceďuië 2
3 4 5 6 7 Elšoru ends 8 9 N. Oromo
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Zurem Einatui
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27
froďac 1 Eliveri 2 3 Dën Deutaye. Racont Marian
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Zurem Iriamei
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27
bešana 1 Aďcet 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Zurem Detombei
12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Elections. Nëron Teronelei
19 20 21 22 23 Ižžon 24 25 Zurem Aďetonei
26 27 28

Verdurian schooling [To Index]

Here's a schematic of the types of schooling in Verduria:
Age → -7- -8- -9- -10- -11- -12- -13- -14- -15- -16- -17- -18- -19- -20- -21- -22- -23-
Rural ečom
Craft ečom ebrakát
Professional ečom avisar smernáe
Religious ečom avisar cletana lebomát
Academic ečom avisar suméria scrifteca

Ečom - Grammar school [To Index]

In the last few centuries, it's become the norm in the city for everyone (boys and girls) to have some schooling. This generally means up to six years of study at the ečom or grammar school, starting at age seven.

In the country children may have anywhere from one to four years of ečom; girls are less likely than boys to be sent to school.

The traditional course of study is hiceteviso (mathematics), alaďea (music), Caďino (Caďinor), aluatas (grammar), eyurcrivát (rhetoric), plesčura (history), kestora (natural philosophy), and lätat (athletics). Only a beginning is made on these in the ečom, whose focus is more on teaching reading and writing, singing, games, stories from Verdurian history, and the recitation of memorized poems.

There is little religious instruction, even in church-run schools, since it's generally felt that young children cannot understand doctrine, and should be absorbing religious practice and morality from their families instead.

Ečomî are privately run; but in a society where doing things for the common good is a bedrock virtue, this amounts to saying only that it's not a function of the state per se. Founding an ečom is a good work, like founding a hospital, and many ečomî were established by nobles or rich men, often in their wills. Others are run by religious orders, by guilds for their members' children, or by scholars who live off the students' fees. In the countryside they are often attached to temples or churches.

Ečomî are usually small, with anywhere from four to sixty students (a schoolchild is an ečomu) and one to five teachers. Even in the country, there is likely to be an ečom within walking distance of a child's house, so children go home for dinner.

The teachers (imbemec, literally, one who puts things into your head) generally live on the premises. Traditionally most teachers were men, though there have always been female monastic orders devoted to teaching; in the last few centuries there has been a great increase in the number of female teachers (themselves a result of greater education, and financial need, among the urban lower classes).

One who has completed grammar school (or most of it) is ečomul— once a respectable status, now fairly common.

Ebrakát - Apprenticeship [To Index]

Boys were once required to take up their father's work. This is no longer the case, but it's still common in guild (neron) and craft (cunculë) families for the oldest son or two to follow in his father's footsteps. (A child of exceptional ability, or with a father of unusual wealth, may attend an avisar instead.)

If you wish to join a guild or craft, you begin with an apprenticeship (ebrakát) to a master craftsman , at age 12 or 13. The length of the ebrakát varies by the craft, but it's typically six years. (It was less in the Dark Years, when lifespans were short and crafts were simpler.) Apprentices are maintained by their master (an osän, who is usually but not always a relative), but not paid.

Girls are only very rarely accepted into an apprenticeship. If a man has no sons, he will often adopt one instead, and marry him off to his daughter. (A condition of such marriages is that the groom take the father's name as well as, ultimately, his business.)

After finishing your apprenticeship, you generally have the status of lebom (journeyman) for one or two years. A lebom is entitled to wages— which is not always to his benefit, since some masters prefer to take on apprentices, who don't have to be paid, rather than pay journeymen. It's common to switch masters after finishing one's apprenticeship.

You will then be examined by the guild and hopefully accepted into membership, in which case you're a neronom. (The guild may reject you for bad work, or for immorality; and it may delay membership if there are already too many members for the work available.)

Avisar - Academy [To Index]

After finishing the ečom, noble and bourgeois children study at the avisar or academy. Avisarî are found only in towns and cities. Most are independent institutions, though they may be supported by royal or noble patronage; some are attached to monasteries, temples, or churches; and universities usually run a preparatory avisar.

Prototypically you begin the avisar at 13 and study for three to five years. Instruction is thorough and severe. The curriculum focusses on the traditional subjects mentioned above. However, girls are often taught drawing or sewing instead of Caďinor; and for nobles, the lätát is likely to involve horseriding (for both sexes) and swordsmanship (for boys), rather than the games favored in middle class schools. There may also be religious instruction.

Avisarî are larger than ečomî, with 50 to 150 students (a student is an avisaru), and 5 to 15 teachers. Some avisarî act as day schools, like ečomî; but since they are often far from the child's house, and because students may be sent to an avisar in another town, many are boarding schools.

In the smaller or more conservative towns, girls are generally not sent to avisarî; but in the cities most middle and upper class girls do attend one.

Avisarî, unlike most ečomî, are single-sex. Most Verdurians do not have what we would recognize as a teenage; one passes directly from chilďood to work or apprenticeship, and what free time one has is generally spent with family, not with fellow teens. The closest exception is the prolonged dependence of the avisar years; and here it is felt that contact between the sexes is distracting. Avisar girls often form lesbian relationships— generally with official approval, since it's seen as a harmless way of keeping the girls' minds off boys. Same-sex experimentation is common at many boys' academies as well, but here the authorities try to prevent real bonding, since this is considered debilitating.

One who has completed the avisar is called avisarei.

Some children are taught by private tutors (inďulomî) instead of attending an avisar.

Smernáe - College [To Index]

A college (smernáe) is maintained by a professional fellowship (cumoterát)— the physicians, architects, engineers, lawyers, alchemists, and magicians. Colleges are normally urban, and the students and teachers live on the premises.

There are girls' smernáî for medicine, architecture, engineering, and magic; girls may be admitted to to schools of law or alchemy under exceptional circumstances.

The curriculum consists mostly of practical training in the profession, though there will be some general studies: Caďinor for physicians and magicians; natural philosophy for alchemists; drawing and mathematics for architects and engineers; rhetoric and history for lawyers.

The professions are not eager to share their secrets with the outside world. Students are sworn not to reveal the content of their courses, and if there are texts, they are written in an obscure fashion impenetrable to outsiders. The interpretation of this secret language must of course be taught in the college. Advanced medical and magical training may even be given in Caďinor (or to be precise a modern Caďinor, with Verdurian intrusions in syntax and lexicon, which would probably strike the ancients as strange and difficult).

After college, the student is accepted into the profession, but it is usual to then serve as a lebom for two years or so under the direction of an experienced member of the craft.

Cletana - Seminary [To Index]

There are two types of seminaries (cletanî), religious and military. Religious seminaries train priests, while the military cletanî train officers. Students live on the premises, which are generally urban.

There are of course seminaries for each of the major religions. In Eleďe and Irrean seminaries there is a large emphasis on doctrine; in the pagan seminaries this is replaced with training in Caďinor, still the language of the pagan hierarchy and pagan religious literature.

If the seminarian aims to be a priest, he will serve as a lebom (acolyte), assisting an older priest for two or more years, before being assigned a cure of his own. Seminarians may also become teachers in schools run by the sect, or join a religious order. (It's possible to join an order without attending a cletana, but those who do cannot advance in the order, and tend to get all the menial jobs.)

Cletanî have adjuncts for girls; all the sects allow women to join religious orders, and some (notably the Irreanists, and Eleďî coming out of an Arašei background) allow them to be priests.

A military cletana does not have the atmosphere of an American military school— you don't send a boy there because he's a disciplinary problem. A Verdurian military officer is a gentleman, and often an aristocrat; besides military strategy and tactics and army or navy procedure, the student is given instruction in the traditional Caďinorian curriculum— and in manners— and is expected to end up as suited to the drawing room as to the battlefield.

A graduate of a military cletana will serve as an adjutant for some years before becoming a full officer.

Caďinorian tradition has long recognized that an exceptional woman may be suited for a military career (starting with the mythic heroine Koleva). To avoid problems, officers and soldiers are instructed to treat these women com serán, 'like a man'— with no special favors or accommodation, no harrassment, and no sexual interest. (This is one niche in Verdurian society for open lesbians: it's acceptable for a female officer to be so com serán that she has a girlfriend or wife.)

Šriftanáe - University [To Index]

The university (šriftanáe) is the place for serious academic study. Specialties include history, Caďinor, Cuêzi, Verdurian, linguistics, the various genres of literature, theatre, philosophy, mathematics, oratory, education, astronomy, civil administration, geography, music, war, and science.

The first level of the šriftanáe, the suméria, is more or less formalized, and takes three or four years. Thereafter the student is called a sumerul. A sumerul can go into business or government, teach at a lower level in the educational system, tutor, or continue to study. Formerly, he could also teach at the university; but now a second level of study, called the scrifteca, is required for this. A person with a scrifteca is a recognized master of his subject, can teach at the university itself, and is dignified with the title Šriftom.

No level of education is closed to women, but only about a tenth of university students (smericî) are women.

In contrast to our system, where the college authorities are considered to act in loco parentis, smericî are considered to be adults. Thus, their freedom of action is limited only by penury. (Nobles consider the avisar to be sufficient education for their heirs; only their third or fourth-born children, who will not inherit the estate and thus need a means of getting on in life, are sent to university.)

Parliamentary voting systems [To Index]

Electing members [To Index]

City boroughs have elected representatives to the Esčambra since Caloton Soley's reform of 3174. There was originally a property requirement for voting, and the electors were few enough that they could all get together in a hall and choose one of their own as esčambrom. (The total electorate was about 20,000, divided among 30 boroughs, for about 670 voters per borough.)

Each borough (kešana) could establish its own rules for voting, but the following was typical, and is still the prototypical voting system in the Plain. Candidates were nominated by the borough officials or by electors. (No one could nominate themselves— if you couldn't get one friend to suggest your name, you certainly weren't going to get elected.) One ballot (divea) after another was held till one candidate attained a simple majority.

For each ballot, each voter was given a stone (ďumë), filed past a table on which one box per candidate had been set up, and dropped his stone in the box (fako) of his choice. The winner was of course the candidate with the most stones in his fako.

The ballot was not secret, but if you didn't want anyone to see your vote, you put a fist in two boxes at once, and dropped your stone from one of them. (Observers would raise a ruckus immediately if they heard two stones dropping, hands rooting around in the stones, or other no-nos.)

As the electorate has grown (by immigration into the cities, by increasing prosperity, and by inflation), meetings of all the electors are no longer practical. (Though there are now 115 boroughs, the urban electorate has grown to over two million, so that the average borough has 18000 voters.)

One expedient is to require poorer voters to appoint a 'supervoter' (proelusec) to cast their collective votes; the proelusecî then meet together as above to choose an esčambrom. Traditionally a proelusec represents forty voters. In some kešanî the householders in a neighborhood get together to choose a proelusec; in others it is the proelusecî who seek voters, canvassing the borough till they have forty signatures.

Other boroughs have elections more like ours, with declared candidates and a voting day. The voters vote just once, bringing their stones to the borough hall (kešansäte). If no one has a majority, then the candidate with the least votes distributes his stones as he sees fit to the other candidates. The process continues till someone has a majority.

Rural districts (šanî) began to elect esčambromî as a result of Elena's 3267 reform. Due to their size (in Elena's day about 3000 voters per šana, today 13,000) and the difficulties of rural communications, elections have always had to be indirect: the voters in each village get together and choose a representative, by consensus or with stones. Then these representatives meet in the district capital to choose an esčambrom from among themselves, with the usual stones and boxes.

Parliamentary votes [To Index]

Votes within the Esčambra work the same way. In fact, the word fako (box) has become so associated with propositions and the factions supporting them that it's become the Verdurian word for 'political party'.
Party politics has developed since Elena's reform. However, it is still immature, so nothing like proportional representation has been worked out. One reason is that the Esčambra is divided into blocs which inherently represent certain sectors of society. Nobles, clerics, and guilds have assigned seats. And since there is a property requirement for voting, the elected seats effectively represent the bourgeoisie (urban seats) and the freeholders (rural seats).

The chief parties, with their representation in the 3480 Esčambra:

The representation numbers exaggerate party discipline. The formal party organizations are restricted to the elected seats, and have little coercive power over their members— it can be said that the only effective party whip is class solidarity.
The Navy party dominated the Eleďe renaissance, and the Caďin party the more reactionary Abolineron period.

A national unity government was formed after the Time of Chaos (3374-6) and governed during the first years of the Vočnor dynasty; the Caďin party thereafter ruled alone.

The reign of Onvaďra was confused; her power base was the Navy party, but the issue of her usurpation divided the party. Onvaďra's supporters formed the Ženië party, an odd alliance of progressives with pragmatics. There were several coalitions, some of them based on personality rather than the parties per se.

Under the Vleteonî, the Navy party has generally governed, either alone or in coalition with the Ženië; the Caďinî governed only during a few years of Vlaran's reign, and for a brief period preceding the Barons' Rebellion of 3470. Note that since Alric's law requiring nobles to reside in Verduria-city to vote, the above representation figures overstate the power of the Caďin party.

Coinage and Prices [To Index]

There are six coins in common circulation in the Kingdom of Verduria. The following table gives their names, sizes, equivalent in terms of the next smaller unit and in terms of silver falî, and very approximate value in dollars.
Coin Type Defined as Equivalent value
large gold = 3 ořulî = 12 f $58
ořula small gold = 4 falî = 4 f $19
fale large silver = 3 aržentulî = 1 f $4.80
aržentul small silver = 4 emurî = 1/3 f $1.60
emura small emur = 6 stanî = 1/12 f $0.40
stan large tin = 1/72 f $0.07
Emur is an alloy of silver and tin. Technically so are the 'silver' coins, which are 10% tin. Since at the current rate of exchange silver is 72 times the price of tin, the exact composition of the emura is 21.41% silver, 78.59% tin.

The 'large' coins are all the same size, about 10 grams, and roughly .4 mano wide (= 3.3 cm). The 'small' coins are all the same size too, 1/3 the weight of the large size (thus, 3.33 grams, 1.9 cm wide). As a result all the large coins share a single reverse; a smaller version is used on the small coins.

In many countries merchants can legally accept only coins from their own country, marked on the reverse with the national stamp, which is therefore called the amrabul, from leta amrabul 'coin made legal'. The Verdurian stamp is pictured at right.

The value of money [To Index]

Precious metals are of course a commodity like any other, and their value both changes over time, and in relation to each other. The above figures are those prevailing in 3480.

In the Caďinorian period before Ervëa, the price ratio of silver to gold was about 8 to 1; after Ervëa, due an influx of silver following the colonization of Sarnáe and exploitation of mines in the Ctelm mountains, the ratio rose to 15 to 1. It fell to 10 to 1 during the medieval era, due to such factors as a greater assiduity in mining and panning for gold, restricted access to the silver mines in the mountains, and the preference of the barbarians for silver (they had plenty of gold from Xurno). Presently, with increased access to worldwide sources of silver, the ratio has climbed to 12 to 1.

The price ratio of tin to silver is 72 to 1; that of copper (civru, used by some countries as currency) to silver is 110 to 1. (The value of emur of course depends on the mixture used.)

In medieval times trade was moribund, and most economic transactions were accomplished through barter or the exchange of feudal obligations; coins were used mostly in the cities, and perhaps their largest economic use was by kings to pay for mercenaries and luxuries. The amount of coin in circulation, however, was dwarfed by the amount hoarded (by lords, by rich merchants, by monasteries and seminaries, by monsters, by barbarian hordes, etc.— not by kings, who spent their money).

In modern times the money economy has revived, and money is invested rather than hoarded. The coin-hoards have returned to circulation, and governments and banks are again coining money. Not surprisingly, then, prices have soared since the medieval period when coins were rare.

The brokerage houses (kunnáî) have recently discovered reserves: they have realized that only a small portion of the money on deposit will be called for at any one time, and the rest— the majority— can be lent out at interest. As a result, an explosion of investment capital has become available, and the amount of money in bank accounts is much larger than the total coinage.

In addition, the larger transactions these days are not made by currency, but by shuffling numbers between ledgers. There is no paper currency in the Plain, but there are bank drafts, functionally equivalent to our checks.

The value of coins is also affected by their purity and of course their size; and treasuries play with both in order to maintain a proper ratio of coin values— or a satisfactory purchasing power. The value of various countries' currency is thus much more volatile than that of the metals themselves.

Units of account [To Index]

Accounts are usually kept in a unit of account (leta crifei 'coin of the ledger'), preferably a stable currency not subject to devaluation or the tricks of treasury officials. In the late medieval period the preferred unit of account was the Floran silver meckin (V. mecin), since it was constant in size and purity, widely available, and never devalued. The Kebreni gold suithum (V. sutam) was also widely used, largely because modern accounting was developed in Kebri, and because Kebreni trade made Kebreni coins widely known.

For the last few centuries the preferred currency has been the Verdurian ořula, which has been similarly stable. (From the time of the Eleďe dynasty on, the Exchequer— soa Kunaša— has been wise enough not to mess with the coinage. One reason is that in Verduria's dynamic economy, there are plenty of other means to satisfy the government's appetite for cash.)

Note that a unit of account need not correspond to a physical coin. That of Žésifo, for instance, is the Caďinorian čunima, which has not been coined there for two thousand years; and that of Érenat is the oř crifei, the 'gold of the ledger'; these are occasionally minted for special occasions, but haven't been the coin of the realm for three centuries.

Prices in the market may or may not be expressed in the unit of account. The ořula is a bit cumbersome for the market; prices are normally expressed in falî (= 1/4 ořula); but very cheap items are quoted in stanî.

Other countries [To Index]

The following chart shows the principal coins of the Plain. Numbers in italics are values expressed in terms of the country's largest silver coin; non-italic numbers are values expressed in Verdurian falî.

Thus, bes 12 under Guaya means that the Guayan bes is 12 times the value of the Guayan eleura; while eleura 1.1 means that the eleura is 1.1 times the value of the Verdurian fale. From this it can be seen that the bes is worth 13.2 falî.

The chief coins of the late Caďinorian Empire are shown; it can be seen that their names and values have persisted across the Plain. The names derive from the objects that were pictured on them: 'hero, sword, ship, bird'.

Other nations have influenced their neighbors' coinage as well, notably Svetla (the chief nation of the south of the Plain), Kebri (due to its dominant position in the Littoral), and Elkarinor (the land of the elcari— as the great miners of Almea, their coins are numerous and respected).

Kebri, Ismahi, Cerei, Curiya, and Svetla punch holes in the gold piece to change the price ratio of silver to gold coins to 10 to 1. Other countries achieve a smaller gold/silver ratio by making the gold coin smaller.

Small tin and copper coins are omitted, and not a few intermediate or extra-large coins as well.

gold silver emur
Caďinas baesos 15 cruva 3 glabro pelantos 1/4 alathis 1/12
Verdúria 12 ořula 4 fale 1 aržentul 1/3 emura 1/12
Célenor flave 12 ořula 4 fale 1 aržentei 1/3 alati 1/12
Krasnaya bes 12 ořula 4 aržentei .9 felát 1/3 emura 1/12
Ctésifon bes 12 besima 4 glavo 1 pelant 1/4 alati 1/12
Guaya bes 12 ořula 4 eleura 1.1 aržentei 1/3 alati 1/12
Solhai daluy 12 ořula 4 glavo 1 felát 1/4 alati 1/12
Viminia daluy 12 ořula 4 fale .5 aržentei 1/3 emura 1/12
Caizura 12 ořula 3 fale .85 dungo 1/2 emura 1/10
Curiya 10 metoř 5 kop .9 felát 1/4 stanse 1/16
Svetla ežonde 10 mesuy 5 ešenë 1.29 ešenalt 1/4 razo 1/16
Pakshohan caďin 4 ešenë 1.03 ešenalt 1/4 alat 1/16
Cerei ežonde 10 mesuy 5 ešenë 1.13 metešenë 1/2 stana 1/10
Hežina eždonde 12 metuy 6 ešcenile 1.08 felánt 1/4 alat 1/16
Mútkün nashtorî 9 ôkhek 3 ilôdil .733 pelant 1/3 aladhi 1/12
Hroth khurind 9 metuî 3 ilôdil .75 pelant 1/3 aladhi 1/12
Barakhún khurind 9 ôkhek 3 ilôdil .8 pelant 1/3 kharshi 1/9
Elkarinor machîl 18 khurind 6 buduq 2.43 nkhinîluq 1/2 kphath 1/12
Benécia ořón 12 oříl 4 hínalek 1 harši 1/4 stanón 1/20
Kebri suithum 10 kuirnu suithum 5 alath 1.32 kuirnu 1/2 sylkona 1/12
Érenat sutam 12 ořula 4 glavo 1 cürnu 1/3 alati 1/12
Ismahi saçne 8 sasavi 2.67 glure 1 mes,u 1/3 alasi 1/12
Denisovič sutam 6 ořula 2 mecin 2.07 mešu 1/6 emura 1/18
Flora nolleck 10 obnolleck 5 meckin 2.1 obmeckin 1/2 priddel 1/6
Xurno ej 12 mikuš 2.54 teišmikuš 1/2 gešik (copper) 1/10
(Names of coins are in the languages of the states involved. Cognate terms are used in Verdurian if they exist: e.g. sutam for the Kebreni suithum, pelánt for the Barakhinei pelant, alati for the Hrothese alathi. In other cases the name is adapted as best it can to Verdurian phonology: e.g. sašne for the Ismaîn saçne; mecin for the Floran meckin; hurin for the Barkhinei khurin; ež for the Xurnese ej. For the meaning of coin names, see the Verdurian-English Dictionary.)

Prices [To Index]

These prices applied in the city of Verduria in olašu 3480.

Prices are not uniform even within the kingdom of Verduria, much less the Plain— although the discrepancies are nowhere near as striking as they were in medieval times, when the same commodity could be five to ten times more expensive in one area than another.

Dollar equivalents are based on a ratio of 1 fale = $4.80, which was chosen based on the price of certain foodstuffs. By modern standards Verduria is a low-wage, high-price economy. (But within the Plain Verduria is known for offering good wages.)

Worker's daily wage (incl board) 1.5 f $7.20
Same, without meals 2 f $9.60
Boy's daily wage (with meals) 1 f $4.80
Common soldier's daily wage (active duty; with meals) 1.7 f $8.20
Alčiro's daily pay (~= captain) 15 f $72
Dramatist's fee for a play 320 f $1536
Ordinary dinner 1 f $4.80
Restaurant dinner 2 - 8 f $9 - 36
Cheese, 1 süro (.61 kg) .3 f $1.40
Butter, 1/2 süro (.30 kg) .4 f $1.90
Beef, 1/2 süro .2 f $1
Mutton, 1/2 süro .14 f $0.67
Chicken, 1 whole 1.75 f $8.40
Eggs, 10 .4 f $1.90
Loaf of bread 0.3 f $1.50
Beer, 1 lažna (.8 l) .07 - .15 f $0.33 - .67
Wine, 1 lažna .4 - 3 f $2 - 14
Mead, 1 lažna 0.2 f $1
Coffee or tea, 2 veraî (.16 l) .08 f $0.38
Food & Drink— Wholesale
Wheat, 1 luco (36.27 l) 2 f $9.80
Beef, 1 cucuri (6.1 kg) 1.7 f $8.20
Mutton, 1 cucuri 1.2 f $5.80
Beer, 1 bečka (barrel, 145.1 l) 4 f $19
Wine, 1 bečka 20-100 f $100-500
Gold, 100 hecurî (.61 kg) 817 f $3922
Silver, 1 cucuri (6.1 kg) 677 f $3249
Tin, 1 cucuri 9.3 f $45
Copper, 1 cucuri 5.8 f $28
Iron, 1 cucuri 1.9 f $9
Materials & miscellaneous
Bricks, 1000 11 f $53
Wood, pavona (1750 kg) .75 f $3.60
Newspaper, daily .07 f $0.34
Newspaper, weekly .25 f $1.20
Printed book 2 f $9.60
Manuscript book or scroll 40 f $192
Telescope 50 f $240
Mirror 15 f $72
Candles, 1/2 süro .2 f $1
Cloth & clothing
Fine wool cloth, čima2 (.76 m) 1.5 f $7.20
Coarse cotton cloth, čima2 .5 f $2.40
Silk cloth, čima2 40 f $192
Noblewoman's fine dress 400 f $1920
Bourgeoise's dress 80 f $384
Work dress 20 f $96
Tunic and pants 15 f $72
Shoes 10 f $48
Cloak 6 f $29
Hat, simple 2 f $9.60
Blanket 6 f $29
Sword 20 f $96
1/2 hour carriage ride .17 f $0.82
Day's rent on carriage 3 f $14.40
1 night's lodging in an inn 2 f $9.60
Horse, riding 60 f $288
Horse, for war 500 f $2400
Feed & stabling for a horse, 1 night .3 f $1.44
Tickets to a play .25 f $1.20

© 1997-8 by Mark Rosenfelder
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