A wide range of topics relating to day-to-day living in the lands of the Aporue continent.
The following sections cover everything from timekeeping, calendars and measurements, to cultural tidbits, such as prevalent forms of dress, fashion, entertainment, and so on.
While this overview tries to offer a somewhat general view of Aporue, there is occassionally a bit of a Melza bias in the notes, given the city states prominent function in the roleplay. This is, of course, done for the benefit of the players, as well as to somewhat increase gameplay immersion into the setting.
Work in progress.
Like in any of the myriad worlds of the multiverse, the cultures of this world have developed a lot of various measurements. While different to ours, and many outright exotic-seeming in terms of their conception, many of them are generally similar enough to certain real historical measurements, in terms of context and overall spirit. As we are focusing first and foremost on the cultures of Aporue, here are some commonly seen Aporuean units of measurement:
Length and size units
trunk: 1 trunk = ca 26 meters (85.3018373 feet, 28.4339458 yards)
bough: 1 bough = ca 4.28 meters (14.0419948 feet, 4.68066492 yards)
limb: 1 limb = ca 72 centimeters (2.36220472 feet)
wrist-length: 1 wrist-length = depending on region, ca 21-25 centimeters (0.688976378-0.820209974 feet)
Land distance and speed units
ride: 1 ride = ca 3.55 kilometers (2.20587 miles)
jaunt: 1 jaunt = ca 392 meters (1 286.08924 feet,428.696413 yards)
strut: 1 strut = ca 2.80 meters (9.18635171 feet, 3.06211724 yards)
pace: 1 pace = ca 64 centimeters (2.09974 feet)
Nautical distance and speed units
horizon: 1 horizon = ca 4.25 kilometers (2.29482 nautical miles)
mast-length: 1 mast-length = ca 44 meters (144.357 feet, 48.1189851 yards)
oarstroke: 1 oarstroke = ca 10 knots (5.14 m/s, 16.8781 f/s)
fullsail: 1 fullsail = ca 58 knots (92.6 km/h, 57.539 m/h)
Time measurement units
thanker: 1 thanker = roughly 37 seconds (1)
blesser: 1 blesser = roughly 53 seconds (1)
rinclang: 1 rinclang = roughly 48 minutes (2)
most: 1 most = roughly 16 hours or 16 and a quarter hours (3)
least: 1 least = roughly 8 hours or 8 and a quarter hours (3)
shibell: 1 shibell = roughly half an hour, i.e. 30 minutes (4)
deckvig: 1 deckvig = 4 shibells (4)
shorvig: 1 shorvig = 2 shibells (4)
(1) - folk measurements. The names are derived from thankmaker and blessedbe, which are folk abbreviations of the commonest prayers of the Aporuean churches, Thank the Maker and Blessed Be Thine Craft and Thine Children. The “thanker” and “blesser” roughly denotes the average length of time one needs to say the entire prayer at a steady, regular pace.
(2) - Melzan folk measurement. Its length is closely related to the length of time between the opening and closing traditional bell ringings on Bellday (Friday) evenings. These are sounded roughly 48 minutes of each other, hence the popularity of this measurement among Cittans/Melzans and other locals.
(3) - the “most” and the “least” are popular units in many countries of central Aporue, including Melza and the neighbouring polities. The names and lengths of the units are based on the rough lengths of daylight during the summer and winter solstice. A most's length of roughly 16 hours reflects the rough day length on the summer solstice, while a least's length of roughly 8 hours reflects the rough day length on the winter solstice. The plurals of “most” and “least” are “mosts” and “leasts” (e.g. 2 leasts, 7 mosts, etc.).
(4) - nautical timekeeping units, generally similar to “ship bells” of our world, averaging at a length of around half an hour (often measured by half-hour lasting hourglasses). As in the real world, watches aboard a ship's deck - known here as vigils - are composed of “bells”. In this case, the term is shibell, a jargon corruption of “ship's bell”. Four Aporuean shibells constitute a vigil on deck, i.e. a “deckvig” in the same abrreviated sailor parlance. Two shibells denote a shorter watch, a shorter vigil, hence a “shorvig”. (The “-g” at the end is pronounced like “j”, just like in the full world “vigil”.)
Other measurement units
snow-range: roughly -2 to 4 °C (not so much a unit, as a folk measurement)
melt-range: roughly anything above 5 °C (again, more of a folk measurement)
waterboil: 1 waterboil = roughly 100 °C (212 °F, 373.15 °K, 60 °Rø, 80 °Ré, 0 °D, 33 °N)
leadboil: 1 leadboil = roughly 1749 °C (3180 °F, 2022.15 °K, 925.725 °Rø, 1399.2 °Ré, -2473.5 °D, 577.17 °N)
field: 1 field = 1 square trunk (see Length and size units)
field-bough: 1 field-bough = 1 square bough (see Length and size units)
field-limb: 1 field-limb = 1 square limb (see Length and size units)
pond: 1 pond = 1 cubic trunk (see Length and size units)
pond-bough: 1 pond-bough = 1 cubic bough (see Length and size units)
pond-limb: 1 pond-limb = 1 cubic limb (see Length and size units)
beedheft: 1 beedheft = roughly 2,5 grams (0.08818491 ounces)
bagheft: 1 bagheft = roughly 0,7 kilograms (1 pound 8.691775 ounces)
sack: 1 sack = roughly 62 kilograms (136 pounds 10.98582 ounces)
boulder: 1 boulder = roughly 854 kilograms (1882 pounds 11.96594 ounces)
There are many forms of calendars worldwide, and several types of calendars exist in Aporue. With the arrival of the industrial and scientific revolution to the continent, formerly disparate calendars have been increasingly growing closer in form and content, becoming more standardised. The following notes show one such more modern, internationally accepted calendar.
A year is the approximate time it takes the world to conclude a single orbit around its mother star. (Strictly speaking, this is the “astronomical year”.) Years have 365 days, as in many calendars from the real world. Leap years exist as well, just as much as in real world calendars. Leap years raise the day count of a year temporarily by a single day, making for a 366 days long calendar year.
There are 13 months, ranging in lenghth from 27 days to 30 days. There are four 27 day months, six 28 day months, two 29 day months and a single 30 day month. The names of the months are based on connotations to seasonal weather conditions (“Snowen”, “Sweltren”, “Rainen” etc.), seasonal nature cycles (“Greenen”, “Bloomen”, “Rutten”, etc.) and seasonal agricultural work (“Sowen”, “Cropen”, “Ripen”). Though the names of the months differ slightly depending on the nation and language, the root meanings of the months are pretty much universal throughout the whole continent of Aporue.
There is one particular day of the year that is considered outside of any particular month, and is therefore commonly referred to as “The Monthless Day”. This day is New Year's. In the astronomical and calendar systems of Aporuean cultures, it is considered something of a transitional day from the old, outgoing year, to the new, upcoming year. Thus, it forms a day-long “border between years”. Due to this, it is often also referred to as “The Day of Transition”.
The Aporuean Calendar
|No.||Month name||Duration of month||Month starting date equivalent *|
|0|| New Year's Day|
|1 day **||NYD (AC) = 1st January (GC) ***|
|1.||Snowen||28 days||1st Sn (AC) = 2nd January (GC)|
|2.||Thawen||27 days||1st Th (AC) = 30th January (GC)|
|3.||Sowen (also “Seeden”)||28 days||1st So/Sd (AC) = 26th February (GC)|
|4.||Greenen||29 days||1st Gr (AC) = 26th March (GC)|
|5.||Bloomen||28 days||1st Bl (AC) = 24th April (GC)|
|6.||Sweltren||30 days||1st Sw (AC) = 22nd May (GC)|
|7.||Stormen||29 days||1st St (AC) = 21st June (GC)|
|8.||Cropen||28 days||1st Cr (AC) = 20th July (GC)|
|9.||Ripen||27 days||1st Rp (AC) = 18th August (GC)|
|10.||Rutten||28 days||1st Ru/Rt (AC) = 14th September (GC)|
|11.||Rainen||27 days||1st Ra (AC) = 12th October (GC)|
|12.||Leafen (also “Leaffall”)||28 days||1st Le/Lf (AC) = 8th November (GC)|
|13.||Frosten||27 days||1st Fr (AC) = 6th December (GC)|
* - based on the months of the real world's Gregorian calendar
** - New Year's Day is not part of a month, of any month
*** - AC = Aporuean Calendar, GC = Gregorian Calendar
When leap years occur, the calendar has 366 days. A single day is added to the month of Ripen, making it a 28 day month for the duration of that particular leap year. The leap year day is commonly referred to as “The Additional Day” or, more grandly, “Rare Day” (referring to the regular but rarer frequency of leap years).
Folklore and Weather Lore
The folk expression “On the 30th of Frosten” is a popular jocular idiom in much of Aporue. The symbolic meaning of the phrase denotes “something impossible” or “something absurd”, as the only month in the calendar to have 30 days is Sweltren, a month denoting the early phases of summer. Frosten is the first month of the Aporuean winter, pointing to a deliberate contrast in the idiom.
Days & Weeks
While many calendars distinguish months (often the thirteen we've listed), the number of weeks and week days recognised by various calendars can differ greatly. For the purposes of this RP, we'll simply be using the 7-day weeks and days of the week names present in the Melzan calendar. The names of the days are traditional, and reflect the history and certain social traditions of the polity.
|No.||Day name||Equivalent||Etymology / Notes|
|1.||Dawnday||Monday||Denoting the “dawning of a new week”.|
|2.||Harday||Tuesday||Contraction of “hard day”, as a good chunk of the hardest weekly work was done on the first few days of the week, especially Mondays and Tuesdays.|
|3.||Grinday||Wednesday||Contraction of “grind day”, as people would take their corn for grinding at mills on Wednesdays.|
|4.||Markday||Thursday||Contraction of “market day”, Thursday being the traditional time for markets in The City.|
|5.||Bellday||Friday||Named after bells being sounded in the evening throughout The City.|
|6.||Restday||Saturday||The main day of rest during the week, based on both religious and secular tradition.|
|7.||Setday||Sunday||Denoting the “sunset of the week”.|
Like with all manner of cultural things, there are many different types of scripts throughout the world. On the continent of Aporue though, there are just a few dominant systems nowadays. The one that is most widespread in terms of geography and usage is a script derived from a heavily modified form of the writing system used already back in The Old Empire. As the Empire is popularly referred to as “Archontia” said defunct writing system is often called “Archontian script”, accordingly.
For more detailed notes, please see this, for now.
There are few things that are as varied both artistically and practically as the clothing worn by individuals of the sapient species throughout Aporue. The first concern about anyone's clothing is whether it's well suited to the local climate and weather, with the concern for practicality of clothing while performing labour or other work coming it a close second. Much of what the people wear also depends on the locally available materials (either local products or imports from abroad) and the demands and preferences each species places in particular types of clothing for leisure, work, travel, and so on.
Hairstyle is something that is rather unique to the human race and its two subspecies. While other sapient species also take care of their natural hair or fur, the humans of Aporue are the only one of these species to have pronounced head hair, contrasting with their otherwise mostly furless bodies.
Like in the real world, the hairstyles of men and women worldwide depend as much on the context of their native cultures as they depend on the personal preferences and choices of an individual. Some cultures associate different styles of head hair with particular gender roles or social roles. A culture can consider certain styles of hair to be primarily masculine or primarily feminine, though there are also exceptions to this (as sensibilities of the public or any group can vary based on the context they live or work in).
In the Aporuean continent, at least, human inhabitants share many sensibilities about hair with real world Europeans, especially those of a 15th-19th century timeframe. However, while some broad similarities between the attitudes are certainly visible, the details tend to differ, often surprisingly. One of the most noticeable differences occur among female hairstyles. Unlike in the real world, even the most ascetically minded Aporuean religions and churches tend to stress the importance of “chasteness” in female hair quite a bit less. You will still see plenty of women wearing headscarfs or bonnets of manifold types. But in Aporue, unveiled long hair isn't associated as much with “feminine seductiveness and indecency” (as it would be for much of medieval and early modern European history). Straight, pushed back, braided or puffier feminine hairstyles all exist in Aporue, but not all of them tend to be equally popular in every country and every culture.
The attitudes of people towards the lenghth and amount of head hair (for both sexes) and facial hair (for males) are generally quite European. Men usually go with short hair, women with longer hair. Nevertheless, depending on the specific nation, current fashion or even just local habit, you can also see men with longer (and occassionally long) hair, or women with varyingly shorter hair (male-like short haircuts are rare, though). Wearing a ponytail is one style that is equally common among long-haired women and long-haired men, though it isn't the most popular hairstyle among longer-haired individuals.
Something of a cyclical recurrence throghout Aporuean fashion history are the connotations of certain hair lenghths and stylings with being a member of the nobility, or some other class of society. This is very dependent on specific national fashions, though - if its considered popular for men in one country to grow extravagant moustaches and have long hair, the very neighbouring country might go for something completely opposite, such as delicately short-cut hair and beards (or no facial hair at all).
Aporueans have certain stereotypes about certain hair colours (especially those of head hair), though how much any individual follows these jokes or outright prejudices is up to him (or her). Unlike in the real world, most of the stereotypes or clichés associated with hair colours aren't the same. This applies regardless of whether we're talking about European-like cultures or not.
(Last modified on September 24th, 2014, 04:00 PM.)
(Last modified on September 14th, 2014, 03:11 PM.)