Shadows of Esteren: The Gaes of Tulg
Crafts and the Economy
Tri-Kazelians give craftsmen a lot of respect. Items tend to be designed for utility rather than ornamentation, but the work of masters of their craft is very highly valued. Given the dangers inherent in travel, most communities try to be as self-sufficient as possible, so people try to make do with what they have and buy what they can’t make from local resources from travelling traders, frequently of Tarish origin. In cities, guilds are gaining power and guard their monopoly over their given craft jealously. It is not unknown for them to resort to the use of force to enforce their station in the cities and the nearest villages, either. On the plus side, buying from guild craftsmen usually guarantees a product of acceptable quality. Metalworking and architecture are particularly respected professions. Bridges are especially valued, since in mountain regions they frequently form extremely important ways from place to place. Clothes are usually dyed in a variety of earth colours like green, brown and ochre.
Food is bland, since the variety of raw materials is quite limited by the geography of the region, the only real spice used being salt, and that in moderation. Mostly, cereals and roots form the staples of the cuisine, with meat and fish being considerably more expensive and rare. Desserts are usually based around berries and honey. Usually, however, the overriding consideration with food is not its taste but making sure there’s enough to keep over the often long winters and keeping it safe from pests.
Habitations are almost always fortified and usually contain one or more wells within to safeguard a water supply in case of external danger. For this same reason, they usually also incorporate at least some internal food souces as well in the form of gardens in villages. Cities tend to have parks within, patches of land left to grow wild to give the inhabitants a place to quiet down and relax in and appreciate nature. Speaking of nature, there’s an animal that is widely considered sacred in the three kingdoms: the caernide. It’s a deer-like creature that can be tamed and used as a mount. More nimble and at home in the mountains than the horse, it is more useful in much of the lands. On the other hand, it is both smaller and weaker than a horse so cannot bear heavy burdens and cannot be used as a cavalry mount.