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Breton Society Part IV & Epilogue, Through the Realms of Tamriel


Started by Harlwystyr
Post #144901
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Faction & Race:
Daggerfall Covenant
Breton
Chapter I: Introduction
Chapter II: Wayrest
Chapter III: Daggerfall
Chapter IV: Shornhelm
Chapter V: Evermore
Chapter VI: Farrun
Chapter VII: Jehenna
Chapter XIII: Breton Society Part IV & Epilogue

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With the intricately woven structure of the nobility, one can wonder how the commoners - the craftsmen, the farmers, the merchants, and so on - make their day run along, who they really are, and how they contribute to the kingdom. It is easy to classify the common folk, however, as anyone who isn't a noble, a local lord, a soldier, or another form of crown official is referred to as a commoner.


The Farmers

The farmers make up the largest and most stable group of people in High Rock, and for any conservative civilization in Tamriel, the farming community form the foundation for such conservatism. The life of the farmer in Daggerfall is nothing short of simple, although not in a bad way. Farming lands usually lie a great distance from the larger cities and towns, and most are situated in small communities where people know one another, which has lead to a sense of unity.

The Crown of Daggerfall has been extremely blessed with its population of farmers, as the majority seem exceedingly loyal to the king, with many readily volunteering to join the militias in times of emergency. There is only one greater loyalty the farmers possess, and that is to their families and communities, as previously mentioned. Any man in such a community will tell you that he takes great pride and interest in what his home town can accomplish with his help, and the help of his neighbour.

This loyalty extends so far that people in these communities support each others' needs and interests with a passion no guild or class can possibly hope to rival. Their existence is so fragile and dependent on the economic and political climate of the kingdom, as well as the weather, that they stand united on common ground on matters of self-interest.

Because of this, the local lord unfortunate to find himself at odds with a community over the enforcing of laws that may be seen as detrimental to even a single farmer is often opposed by the entire town. The farmers' wishes are generally heard and rarely forced into submission, as the nobles and local lords largely depend on the wellbeing and success of local farmers.

It should be said that not all of the farmers lives are mired in laws, taxes, and the bureaucracy, as the local town festival is of great joy. Any breton or observant foreigner knows of the many holidays clinging to the Iliac Bay, and nowhere is the joy of celebration for harvest and other things maintained more firmly than amongst the farmers.

To the farmer, a festival is not only an opportunity to celebrate, but also a great chance to meet and talk with other farmers about issues of mutual concern, such as new techniques of tending the land, and of course, the weather.


The Craftsmen

No military can function without the forges of the blacksmiths, and no noble estate can be richly decorated without a master craftsman, and Daggerfall dutifully reminds us of the importance of this group to breton society. Although most of these artisans-of-their-trade live in the larger cities, there several towns that act as centres for particular types of crafts. For example, the town of Aldcroft is often regarded as having a population of craftsmen who can produce fine boats, sails, and clay pots.

It is common for a town to at least have one craftsman guild. Just like a major organisation, these guilds look after the interests of their members, combating taxes seeing to working conditions, supplies, and sales opportunities. Of course, much of the success of these guilds can be attributed to the Guild Act of 2E 321 by Potentate Versidue-Shaie. Since then, they've not always been particularly powerful over the years, but have provided its members with a sense of camaraderie and a venue in which they can hone their craft amongst peers. (Editorial note by the author, 2E 355)


The Merchants


Especially in Wayrest, this class remains the most powerful outside of the nobility, and many merchants are the energy that drives the wheels of economy and progress across all of High Rock, and, indeed, Tamriel. On occasions, they can even rise to become as powerful as the nobles, and this is true to some extent in Daggerfall, where the riches of certain merchants dwarf some normal families'.

What sets the merchant of Daggerfall apart from those of other nations is that each merchant is a citizen of Daggerfall first and a merchant second. As with the other classes, their loyalty to the kingdom ensures that they respect and accept the greater interests of the nobles and the king, and rarely jeopardise Daggerfall's interests to pursue their own. Much of this loyalty lies rooted in the favourable business environment established and nurtured by the crown.

Perhaps the greatest strife in Daggerfall is between the merchants themselves. Whilst they prosper and in turn lend prosperity to the kingdom, the class lives on a fierce competition within and outside the realm - particularly with Wayrest - which can be seen as brutal by some. Some brewing concern amongst the nobles exist, however, that the merchants exert increasingly considerable influence, and this is not entirely false.

Ironically, this influence has been given to them by the nobles themselves, for often when a noble family is in trouble. Merchants will often step in at times of great loss, such as when a natural disaster ruinsthe farmlands of the noble family's holdings, and thus substantially listening tax income. They do this by offering to make up for the loss in exchange for a few behind-the-scenes advantages, such as control over trade routes within the lands of the distressed noble family.

Furthermore, it is often the interests of the merchants that lend to the taming of the land in the form of expeditions and surveys. The class is the best indicator of what Daggerfall needs in terms of resources such as wood and metal. When a merchant house begins looking in earnest for more resources, the crown takes notice, for that means it will not be long before official bodies like the military and begin to experience shortage, as the merchants remain the largest consumers of resources.

Farmland has often been of great importance in this regard, as there is a constant need for more of it to supply the growing population, and merchants see it not only as a regular supply of food and, but also as rent income and taxes to the crown. After all, the more tax one pays, the greater influence one can wield at court.

More often than not, mercenaries and adventuring companies are hired by merchant companies who invest in exploration of certain regions. These reconnaissance groups gather information about areas that might be suitable for cultivation and acquisition.

Nevertheless, it is the sea that remains the concentration point of most merchants. Daggerfall's contact with other kingdoms is largely due to the activity and influence of merchants, who, for example, import shipments of spices and rare materials from distant Morrowind and Elsweyr. This has contributed to breton culture in many ways, but fortunately, has also drawn much piracy to the Iliac Bay, making the merchants in turn dependent of the Bay Kings' ships for protection.


Epilogue

And so ends my experiences and observations amongst my kinsmen; of the various relations between the classes of society, and of how the daily lives are run and nurtured by the people of High Rock. And so my travels in the kingdoms of my homeland draw to a close. Not much has changed in High Rock, with intrigue, plotting, deception, and worse about - but with the hearts of commoners and certain monarchs alike burning strong, a bright future may yet lie ahead.

- From the Journals of Harlwystyr the Wanderer, Through the Realms of Tamriel, published in 2E 188.
This post was last modified: February 9th 2014, 10:58 AM by Harlwystyr
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