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What are some of the weapons and armor that find a home in your world?

The most common weapons in my setting are firearms similar to early 20th Century firearms. The major governments of the world have their own factories to arm their militaries. The civilian populations generally own weapons authorized for civilian use, while some countries have very little government and therefore the civilians own whatever weapons they can get their hands on.
The most common weapons in the setting are bolt and lever action rifles and revolver style pistols. Some militaries, like the Tribunal Corps, utilize semiautomatic and automatic weapons similar to World War II era weapons.

Armor, on the other hand, is unlike anything in the real world. Several nations have begun using powered armors to enhance their military forces. It is still a relatively new technology, so the mass production of powered armor is limited to just a few specialized factories around the world.
One specific example of powered armor present in my setting is Ancadian Power Armored. Ancadian culture revolved around an ancient warrior society. In recent history the loss of their empire and the expansion of the modern world has seen the end of the Ancadian warrior class, however, this has not stopped the warriors of Ancadia from carrying on the old ways as mercenaries and guns for hire. The ancient Ancadian warriors wore custom armors that reflected the owner's personality. In modern times the Ancadian warriors have begun using custom powered armors recognized throughout the world.

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Christmas has got me wondering, what are the major festivals celebrated in your world?

In Udland there's a holiday, or rather a day of remembrance, that revolves around the city of Dencada. Dencada was the site of one of the longest, bloodiest battles of the Trench Wars and the site of the signing of the treaty that ended the Trench Wars. Dencada is located between two rivers, called the Ordo Den and the Nishu Den. It sits on the border of Aral and Udland, and during the Trench Wars its train stations and industrial centers were of great importance to the war effort against Parsia. Parsia knew that if they sacked Dencada, Udland would be hard pressed to get supplies into north Aral so they pushed into the city with twenty thousand men.

The Battle of Dencada saw the city turned to rubble, however, despite the odds the citizens of Dencada were able to prevent the sacking of the city. Parsia exhausted over a quarter of a million men and were still unable to sack the city.

When the war ended Dencada became the site of the Treaty Signing overseen by the Tribunal. A year later the Presiding Leader of Udland declared the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Dencada a national day of remembrance for those who died defending the city and all of Udland. Ever since Treaty Day has been celebrated throughout Udland, especially in Dencada. Fireworks, parties, and festivals are held through the city, as well as the nation. At sundown thousands of candles attached to small hot air balloons are let loose, each one representing a person who died defending Dencada.

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Religions within your world / setting…

There was a time when the Ankadi were without order, unity, or honor. In those days the families feuded over everything, killing each other without remorse over petty squabbles. It was a dark time only exasperated by the coming of the eastern peoples. The eastern peoples brought terror to the Ankadi through rape, torture, and blood thirsty raids. No one was safe.

It was in this dark time that two brothers rose up to defend the peoples of Ankadi. Tyrel and Resnik, sons of Kadus, of the House Aki, forged armor and spears and swords and awaited the next raid on their village. When the raiders came they found two terrifying statues in the center of the village. The brother's plan was to wait for the raiders to circle them and then they would attack. As the legend goes, the raiders came to circle the two brothers and when they moved in to look closer at the strange statues the two of them began shredding the raiders one by one. When they dust settled every single raider was dead and neither of the men had received a single scratch or bruise.

This is the backstory to the national religion of the Ancadian peoples, specifically the peoples of House Aki. The story goes that the armor of the two brothers was so beyond what had ever been created before that the only way the two could have forged it was with the help of the long dead ancestors. After the legendary fight the two brothers began assisting their fellow villagers in making their own armors. House Aki then marched on the eastern peoples and the other Houses, unifying them under a single powerful Great House. The brothers became national heros, and later the Great Ancestral Lords of Aki.

The Ancadian religion has since become a religion of order, unity, and honor. Brotherhood through battle and bloodshed has become the goal for all the Ankadi peoples. Death in battle the final dream of all Ancadians. The two brothers have become the symbols of that goal and the armor worn by the warriors of Ancadia is the embodiment of order, unity, and honor.

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What does the economy (or economies) of your world look like?

The Isela Peninsula (i.e. Ancadia)

Ancadia, and its balkanized territories, utilize marks. A mark is a measurement of gold or silver that has been used in the Ankadi/Isela regions since the establishment of the Ancadian Houses. The economy of the region is based on a semi-agrarian barter system in which the common man makes what he can and trades for what he needs. Marks were and are used by some to trade for food, clothing, etc. In the past the warriors of Ancadia were given marks by their Lords as compensation for their work, since they could not grow, raise, or make anything to trade in return for other goods and services. In recent history, the mark has become more popular as international trade and internal industrial development have started to replace the agrarian/bartering lifestyles of many in the region. Several of the nations have even shifted to issuing cloth chits, or vouchers, rather than issuing actually coined marks.

The Tribunal Nations

Since the formation of the Tribunal, the nations of the Tribunal have tried to streamline everything from their militaries to trade. This triggered the formation of the Tribunal's established currency, the Tribune. Prior to the establishment of the Tribune, the nations of the Tribunal were forced to endure the process of currency exchange. This created a sub market where in the exchange banks began charging for exchanging the currencies. This put heavy strain on merchants and traders moving back and forth from nation to nation. Essentially, the exchange banks were "robbing" the traders and this led to the Exchange Wars (a bit of a misnomer, as it wasn't really a war, but rather it was a series of strikes, protests, and riots in several major trade cities/ports throughout the Tribunal nations). The Tribunal High Council saw a need for a new unified currency and after nearly five years they managed to establish the first unified currency of the Tribunal. This move essentially made the Tribunal the wealthiest power in the world and quickly the Tribune became the preferred currency in the region.

The Holy Nosroy Empire

The Holy Nosroy Empire is a strange nation. Despite being the largest empire in the world, Nosroy maintains no internal currency whatsoever. Within its borders the Nosroy Caste system runs everything. Those at the top are authorized anything they please, while those at the bottom are left with the scraps. This system evolved from the empire's religion and later its Codes. The people at the bottom produce for those above them. Each level is allowed a percentage of their production for themselves, but the rest moves up to the next level/caste. At the top the Patriarchs, essentially the Military/Priests/Politicians/Lawmakers of the Empire, work solely on maintaining/expanding the Empire and produce nothing while they have access to anything. This system has allowed Nosroy to operate and expand without the normal economic toll that other nations/economies might experience.

The United Commonwealths of Hegon

Hegon is a standard capitalist nation. Its economy is based primarily on supply and demand and the free market, with fuel serving as one of the largest assets in the nation. The currency of the nation, the script, rivals the Tribune and is loosely based on the aforementioned currency. However, the use of the currency is much different. Hegon is a lot like late 19th Century America in as much as it is a very competitive nation with several corporations that have come to rival the governments of the Commonwealths. The nearly rampant capitalism of Hegon has led to the expansion of what was once a small nation into one of the largest nations in the world in just the last three centuries.

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Life in a Day

Malcolm Etch
Age: 31 (40 Earth Years)
Occupation: Restaurant Owner
Location: 6^th Avenue, Market District, Dencada, Udland
Date: 18 Mokt 677

Centri was rising and the diffused light began to shine into the dining room of Papa Etch's. Malcolm Etch was the third generation owner of the small bakery and cafe. Like every other day, Malcolm woke up and began preparing fresh bread and pastries two hours before sunrise while sipping a thick unfiltered mix of *ash* and coffee. The smell of baking bread and ash mixed in Malcolm's nostrils.

Outside the restaurant the early risers were already moving up and down the street. In just ten minutes the front doors to Papa Etch's would open and a new business day would officially begin. Malcolm was tired and his bones ached. The ash helped cut the pain and the caffeine helped him wake up, but neither was a permanent fix. He knew that by the end of the day he would be in pain, sipping a concentrated shot of ash with a pint.

A knock on the side door forced Malcolm to stand up. With a grunt and stretch he walked over to the door and unlocked it. Anya, the morning shift hostess entered the cafe with a smile on her face and a skip in her step. "It's chilly today, Mr. Etch," she put her coat on the hook next to the door and grabbed her apron.

As Anya put together her hostess station, Malcolm locked the side door and watched the young hostess. She was only 17 (22 Earth Years) and Malcolm found her bubbling energy annoying this early in the morning, but the customers loved her and that meant more business.

"Anya," Malcolm sat back down and poured another cup of ash coffee, "be ready, the cold weather means we're going to be very busy this morning. Especially with all the visitors in town for Remembrance."

"Of course, Mr. Etch. I'll be ready," she finished prepping her station and then started setting the tables in the dining room.

An hour after opening the cafe and already there was a line outside the door. The popularity of Papa Etch's normally resulted in long wait times and lots of business. The chilly weather and the visitors that came to the city for Remembrance had nearly tripled business. Malcolm was already feeling his back and joints tightening as he moved back and forth from customer to customer. Anya was handling the influx of customers quite well and the kitchen crew hadn't missed a beat. Despite the pain in his body, Malcolm was glad to see his cafe running so well.

Four hours into the day and business was beginning to slow down. Malcolm and his crew began preparing for the midday rush. Anya came over to Malcolm with the same amount of energy as she had earlier that morning. "So far we've served two hundred customers. Business is looking great, Mr. Etch."

"Thanks Anya," he finished one more cup of coffee and poured another, "is everything ready for lunch?"

"Yes, the midday crew has already arrived and the dining room has been restocked. We should be great."

"Thank you. You heading out or are you looking for an extra shift?"

"I'm free, if you need me," she smiled.

"Yeah, it'll help to have you here with Elise for lunch."

"Okay, Mr. Etch."

The lunch crowd began filtering in and the midday rush was proving to be just as big as the morning rush. The kitchen crew, dining room crew, and hostesses were all moving around the crowded dining room. To an untrained eye it looked chaotic, but Malcolm knew his crew and they were barely sweating the rush. He, however, was running on fumes. His left knee had swollen and his back was locking up.

"Anya, I'm going out back if you need me for anything."

"Okay, Mr. Etch. Is it your back?"

"Yeah, I'm fine though."

"Let me know if you need anything," she smiled at him as she turned to help another customer.

Out back Malcolm sat in a chair he'd personally moved outside for himself. He smoked a pipe filled with a blend of weeds native to Nashal Valley. The blend was supposed to ease back and joint pain, but Malcolm only ever noticed that it made his whole body tingly and numb. In either case, his back always seemed to loosen up after his break.

As he inhaled another mouthful of smoke, Anya came outside. "Mr. Etch, I have a customer asking for you. Says he knew your father."

"What's his name?" Malcolm stood up and dumped out his pipe.

"He said it was Solsky I think. He has a really think accent"

"Oh, okay. I'll be in in just a moment."

Once inside Malcolm saw Solsky sitting at a window table set for two. He walked over and held out his hand. Solsky quickly stood and wrapped his arms around Malcolm, "You looked more like your mother, but those eyes are definitely Morgan's."

"And you are?"

"Oh, I'm sorry. You haven't seen me since you were this tall," Jacob moved his hand to beside his knee, "I'm an old friend of your father's from years ago. I actually worked with him to rebuild this old place after the war."

"Jacob Olinsky?"

"Yes sir. I heard about your father and had to visit."

"That was three years ago," Malcolm sat down and ordered the two of them coffees.

"I know, I was in Hegon and couldn't make it to the funeral. I'm sorry. How's your mother been?"

"She died two years ago. Shortly after my father."

"Oh, I'm very sorry, Malcolm. I see that you're keeping the old shop breathing. I've got lots of memories here."

Anya delivered the coffee personally and smiled at Malcolm before returning to her station. Jacob took a sip and sat his cup down, "She's cute. So, how are you Malcolm?"

"I'm good, busy. Remembrance always brings in customers from around the country."

"That's good. Glad to hear the Papa Etch's is doing so well. How are you though? Personally, I mean."

Malcolm took a long sip from his coffee and then sat up in his chair, "I don't have a lot of time for a personal life."

Jacob laughed, "That's what your father always said. Took me forcing him to ask out your mother before he finally learned to balance work and life. How old are you now, Malcolm?"

"Thirty-one. I'll be thirty-two in Othrir."

"And still single. Just like your pops," Jacob dropped two cubes of sugar into his coffee, "what about that cute hostess?"

"Is there a reason you're here and is there a reason you're trying to play match maker?"

"Sorry, I just look at you and see your parents. Makes me feel like my young self all over again. Seriously though, your father was the same way. You need to get out, enjoy life. The cafe will stand on its own."

Jacob finished his coffee and the two of them talked about Malcolm's parents, the cafe, and Dencada. After an hour, Jacob stood up and said his farewells to Malcolm, "remember, this cafe is not your life Malcolm. Get out sometime and enjoy life."

The midday rush was over and the crew changes were underway. Anya was finishing up at her station as Malcolm watched from his table. She had just worked through two full shifts and even after all that she looked like she did that morning. Malcolm was thinking about what Jacob told him and he realized that he spent every day here from sun up to sun down. Today he was going out.

Malcolm got up and walked over to Anya's station. "Anya, can I ask you something?"

"Of course Mr. Etch."

"You can call me Malcolm."

"Okay, Malcolm," she smiled.

Malcolm took a deep breath, "Would you like to come out with me tonight for the opening of Remembrance?"

Anya turned to look at Malcolm, her smile doubled in size, and she nodded, "I'd love to."

"Okay," Malcolm felt a smile forming on his face, "I'll pick you up at sundown."

"I look forward to it, Mr. Etch… I mean Malcolm."

Centri began setting and twilight covered the city. Malcolm and Anya walked side by side through the Market District park towards the parade grounds at its center. Anya was bundled up in a blue coat and her cheeks were rosy from the chilly air.

Once they made it to the parade grounds the two of them found a bench and sat down. The grounds were full of people awaiting the opening of Remembrance. Food carts littered the field, filling the air with the sweet smells of warm sugary treats and drinks, grilled and smoked meats, and other common food cart dishes.

"So, who was that man that came in today?"

"He was a friend of my father's. He was originally from Hegon, but he lived here in Dencada for several years. He actually helped my father rebuild the cafe after the wars. He was coming to pay respects to my parents."

"Oh, that was very nice of him. It smells amazing tonight. I love this season."

"Yes, the Orsin trees absolute make this season."

"Malcolm, can I ask you something?"

"Of course, Anya. Anything," Malcolm was very nervous.

"Why did it take you so long to ask me out. I've been waiting for almost two years for you to ask me."

Malcolm felt blood rushing to his cheeks, "to be honest, I hadn't thought you's say yes. Also, I've always let the cafe control my day to day. If it hadn't been for Jacob's visit I probably wouldn't have thought to ask you tonight."

"Well, I'm glad you did," she leaned in and kissed Malcolm's blushing cheek.

Moments later, Centri set beneath the horizon and shortly after a barrage of fireworks flew into the skies above the entire city. They symbolized the surprise Parsian attack on 18 Mokt 640 that triggered the bloodiest battle of the Fourth Parsian-Udisian War. Anya cuddled up to Malcolm. She wasn't alive when the Battle of Dencada was fought, but every Dencadan knew how horrible the war was. Malcolm, however, was born during the war in the basement of a blown out little cafe, the cafe his Grandfather had built.

With the final fireworks lighting up the night sky, Malcolm and Anya headed back to the cafe. Inside the cafe the two of them shared shots of ash, pints, and coffee while they traded stories and laughed at each others jokes. For the first time in years, Malcolm was alive.

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