- King: The hereditary ruler of the kingdom
- Lords & Ladies: The landed nobility who functionally own the land and all those who live or work within it.
- Knights & Dames: The commanders and war heroes of the nation
- Goodman & Goodwoman: The most common class of free people. Front line soldiers, traders, crafters, and merchants.
- Serfs: People who have willingly sold themselves into servitude in order to pay off a debt. Children of Serfs are placed into fosterage with a Tradesman of some kind so that they are raised as a Goodman or Goodwoman. No child is born as a Serf.
The individual families of Altera take their lead from the royal family. As the king is the head of the country, so the husband is the head of his family. There are certainly those who disagree and would seek to insight some sort of social revolution but in the end, the Crown of Altera is absolute and the Crown has always been worn by a man. This simple fact is as old as recorded history and tends to end any reform debate before it gets started.
Belief & Views
Some may embrace the ancient heathen ways while others deny their existence all together. Alterans however, know the truth. Once there were monsters of great and terrible power. These monsters feared humanity. They feared humanity’s ingenuity and power and so sought to enslave humanity to their own ends. Humanity rose up against their oppressors and cast out these ancient would-be deities in the Great Exile. Free of outside intervention, humanity has flourished and under the leadership of Altera they will continue to do so. There are gods. The Alterans evicted them with extreme prejudice.
The villainy of Witches and Warlocks figure heavily in Alteran mythology so anyone who claims such a lineage or is even suspected of such congress is at best shunned and may be publicly executed.
Altera claimed the center of the known world and, in many ways, the best of each country. They have many of the economic resources available to them without having to tolerate the harsher climates found in the distant reaches of the world. Farmers, merchants, and craftsmen of every stripe keep the nation flush with all the basic resources that are needed. The Crown of Altera itself finances a wide range of national programs with steep tariffs on all traveling merchants that cross their borders. As none of the other four nations can reach another directly, the Crown effectively taxes every merchant in the world.
The merchants of the world all have to pass through Altera so they have a collection of the finest ingredients however, their palate tends to be less adventurous than their neighbors, so what is potentially exotic often becomes some form of porridge or stew with vegetables and fresh bread.
Alterans enjoy a wide range of wardrobes from simple day work pants, shirts, and dresses to elegant gowns fit for dinner with the King. Most Alterans do not enjoy high courtly fashion on a daily basis and instead settle for simple tunics and tabards however, every Alteran has at least one set of finery ready to be put into use should the need arise.
Until recently, magic, discussion of magic, and magic theory are all strictly forbidden by the Alteran Crown. When they do come up in village folklore, the terms Warlock, Witch, and Wizard are used interchangeably and they are always the villain of the story.
Groups & Organizations
Noble Paladins and cunning Bards are the traditional heroes of all Alteran legends.
Real World Cognates
Classical Feudal England and Wales including William the Conqueror and King Arthur.