Second post about this, covering the next 5 days’ worth of prompts.
Day 6: Civilization & Architecture
Today’s prompt is about…well, read the line above. There isn’t too much to say here, partly because I haven’t thought much about what kinds of dwellings Larezzians live in and partly because there aren’t many details to tell. One thing worth noting, though, is that in quite a few places of Larezzia, houses are designed to seamlessly combine elements of the natural world with modern technology. A particularly noteworthy example of this is in the fairy dwellings of the Enchanted Forest, where entire villages are built in and around large trees and yet manage to have conveniences such as electricity, running water, and even the Larezzian equivalent of the Internet. In province 23, which I discussed in the previous prompt, the houses tend to be very metallic and mechanical in nature, often in the form of geometric shapes and patterns. There are also people living underground in some parts of Larezzia, particularly province 21 (as mentioned), and these person-made caves are often lined with stones and wood and furnished as a normal town and houses would be.
There are also large cities in Larezzia, such as the city of Ytsetyssa (pronounced /ˌɪts.ɛˈtɪʃ.a/, i.e., “its-eh-tish-ah”) in the northeast of province 2. Of course, there are as many different designs for cities as there are cities. Large to medium-sized cities and towns usually have many multi-story buildings and at least one public transport system, and occasionally some unorthodoxly-designed buildings (for instance, Ytsetyssa has a large crystal pyramid in one area). It is also worth noting that cities in Larezzia are designed more with aesthetics in mind than Earth cities tend to be.
Finally, the sky cities of Larezzia are noteworthy. There are some places in Larezzia where there are cities built in the clouds, far above the land and help up by magic. Most of these are quite new, because the technology for building and maintaining them was only developed fairly recently, as well as the airships commonly used for transport within and away from them. They can be built at varying altitudes, but the most well-known one, and the only known one to have been built before the unification, is above the clouds. In the modern sky cities that are built above the clouds, solar power is easy to obtain, but because of the thinner atmosphere, systems must be put in place to allow for the people to have enough oxygen and heat. For that reason, these tend to be built at lower altitudes in modern times. Even today, it is not known how the ancient sky city was made.
Day 7: Economy
Larezzia’s economy is relatively simple to describe. There is a common currency accepted throughout the country called the raizen (plural raizina), which comes in units of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, and 10,000 (they do not need a larger denomination). Based on purchasing power parity, one raizen would be worth around 3 to 4 U.S. cents (close to 3.5 at the time of the first story), so, for instance, if an item cost $3.50 in modern America, an item of the same value in Larezzia would cost around 100 raizina. However, in small towns, it is not uncommon to pay for things by bartering. The units of 100 and below come in coins, and the ones for 200 and above come in bills, though the “bills” in question are made of a stiffer material and are more like cards. (They cost more to mint, but they last longer.) There is also an electronic money system in place, though it’s moot in some of the more remote places.
Day 8: Hierarchy, Power, & Governance
For this eighth prompt, let us discuss the government of Larezzia. One thing to note first off is that each province has its own small government, and while federal law supersedes provincial law, the provincial governments tend to have more power than, for instance, state governing bodies in the United States would have. The main government used to be a sort of parliamentary system, but just before the invasion, it had been reduced to the emperor and empress plus a small group of their compatriots. (The royalty of Larezzia used to have ceremonial duties only.) Now, after the invasion, the country is more or less ruled by a combination of dictatorship and anarchy, and every indication is that it will continue to be so until the missing heirs are found.
Within the provincial governments, there are differences between provinces. Some of them merely have a single elected governor, particularly the less populous ones. Province 13 has a council usually elected from respected elders. Province 19, on the other hand, has an entire large organization based around two groups, the Light Court and the Dark Court, which work in tandem. There is royalty here, usually a queen and possibly her husband and immediate family. (Or a king depending on birth order and abdication, but the fairy royalty has historically been matriarchal.) The queen is not expected to rule the territory by herself, but she is generally considered (and expected to be) a role model and leader figure for the entire province, despite not having all that much in the way of actual governmental power. An unlikable queen does not usually get far. The courts, meanwhile, are prestigious and elite, and the leaders of those are considered the ones truly in charge, but both courts are also considered public servants; a self-centered person cannot make it into the Light or Dark Court nor stay in them.
Day 9: Religion & Cosmology
There are quite a few different religions in Larezzia that are practiced and (more or less) accepted, as well as atheism. Ancient Larezzians followed a polytheistic belief system involving gods tied to specific concepts (god of the sun, of trees and forests, of families, or of combat, for instance), but this is very rare as a religion in modern Larezzia, though there are still festivals in some places that are based on it, often involving actors playing the parts of various gods. In modern Larezzia, there is a strictly monotheistic religion that is commonly followed, but the most common religion, actually, is a sort of agnostic animism. It can be concisely described as the belief there may be a being who created the universe and watches over it, possibly even more than one, or there may not be any such beings at all, but we do know that there are many other beings, creatures, and things that are very real (at least, relative to our own perspective), and we can do as this divine being would, even if there is none, by treating all of his/her/its creations with respect.
Overall, though, religion—or the lack thereof—is not seen as being as important to most Larezzians as it is in our world. In Larezzia, people tend more toward the ideas of spirituality and community than following a specific system of beliefs and dogma.
Day 10: Language
Well, it’s time for the extra-fun one…and for once, I’m actually not being sarcastic. There are many different languages in Larezzia originating from before the unification (and even a few from foreign immigrants), but there is also one language considered to be the standard, the more or less universal language of Larezzia, which is called Nimesilai (pronounced basically how it’s spelled, which in English would be something like “nee-mess-ee-lie”). The alphabet of Nimesilai actually comes from an ancient empire that was around during the Larezzian years 2591-2933 (for comparison, the story takes place in the year 5144 by their calendar system, which would be somewhere in the 2010s in our own), but it has remained in use—with some minor modifications—and is commonly used in modern languages. It has 37 letters, which in Nimesilai comprise 28 consonants, 7 pure vowels, and 2 diphthongs; the language is almost entirely phonetic. This is the Nimesilai alphabet, with descriptions for each letter’s pronunciation and notes on them:
A zoomable version of the chart can be found here.