LIFE IN VANGAARD
Everything that a person living in Vangaard needs to know!
In Vangaard, languages reflect culture and geography; a dwarf raised in Shinsenlin might not know Dwarvish, but a halfling raised in Schrittwolke might. The historical development of languages and cultures also explains the scripts used to write various languages. For example, the Orc language is written using the Goblin script (rather than Dwarvish, as stated in the Player’s Handbook), because the orcs of Vangaard learned to write from the Hobgoblins.
Common is the language of the Tri-Human Nations and the language of trade in Vangaard, known by most of its people. Goblin was the trade language of the hobgoblin empire of Kabal'Ara and survives as the primary language there, and for many parts of The Packlands. Goblin displaced the Orc language; and Orcish people typically speak Goblin, and Orc is an exotic language, and. Members of all races in Himinskross speak Giant and use it as their trade language. Undercommon is a dialect made up of a variety of phrases from Elvish, Halfling and Dwarvish, and put together in a structure different from its root languages. Someone who speaks one of these languages can likely decipher bits and pieces, but could never understand the whole language. Someone who speaks all three, would likely comprehend all of the words, but would have to spend some time deciphering the structure to understand.
With the DM’s approval, you can exchange a language granted by your race for a different language from this language table. If your halfling was raised in the Schrittwolke, rather than Val Gideau, you might replace Halfling with Dwarvish to reflect that background. The DM may change the languages assigned to a monster or NPC. An ogre from Kabal'Ara likely speaks Goblin instead of Giant.
NAMES AND SURNAMES
The naming conventions among the people of Vangaard tend to follow language, rather than being linked to race. A Shinsenlin dwarf who doesn’t speak Dwarvish might also carry a name with an Elvish origin rather than a traditional Dwarvish name.
Most citizens of Vangaard have a given name followed by a surname. A surname associated with the Common language is usually either a family name or related to an occupation or region of origin. So Orlaith Ní Ceallaigh, Rodrigo of Stoneshire, and Aethelwulf Cooper are all names you might find among the common folk.
These conventions often carry through to many other languages, however, many people who uproot their life to move somewhere as else, not something uncommon in Vangaard, often create new names for themselves in order to start a new life. Other more specific groups, such as the anthrofolk of The Packlands, take names that reflect their personality as they reach adulthood, or Goliaths of Himinskross, who are given names at birth by parents, a nickname by their village elder and keep a family name, introducing themselves with all three names in that order, but keeping it to just the nickname in more casual conversation.
An excellent system of roads connects the central nations of Vangaard. Travellers can always make their way by horse or coach, which might employ draft animals bred purely for this purpose. There are more expensive versions of standard wagon travel, when travelling with among Kalashtar Caravans, you may be able to take transport, for a fee of course, and their beasts of burden are stronger, and faster, due to carefully cultivated relationships with areas where the veil between planes is thinnest. This also comes with the added benefit of the safety that comes with travelling as part of a caravan.
In the humanoid nations, horses are standard fare for transportation, however, in certain colder regions, you are also likely to see Bison as mounts. In the Goblinoid and Anthrofolk nations, you are more likely to see Wargs, and occasionally more exotic animals, such as elephants or rhinoceroses. In cases of the extremely wealthy, some may be in possession of wagons that are automatically drawn through a complex system of cranks and pulleys integrated with the body of a warforged.
Two main options provide long-distance travel across land. Major cities in Vangaard are linked by the national railways, which allows you to avoid the perils—and tedium—of the roads. Trains are more expensive than wagons, however, the trip is much faster, and (usually) much safer.
If speed is an issue, you can book passage on an airship, of which there are public usage varieties, and military transports. Civilian transport airship are of an older design, whereby they are structurally identical to a traditional sea ship, or a galleon, where the sails have been replaced by a specially designed hot air balloon. The military variety, however, are massive iron dreadnoughts, kept aloft by state-of-the-art propulsion engines. This is almost the fastest way to travel, but also the most expensive. Despite the older designs being more readily available and usable by the wider populace, the expense associated with the travel means that these airships only travel routes between each nation's capitol city, but some may occasionally be chartered in the case of an event of great significance.
For those with no time to spare and plenty of money to spend, some mages college and government building have access to teleportation circles in Vangaard's major cities. At significant cost, an attendant will transport passengers instantaneously from one circle to another.
The Travel Services table summarizes the cost of travelling by these extraordinary means.
There are many ways to obtain medical aid across Vangaard. For some non-magical care, treatment of non-life threatening wounds, removal of poisons, treatments for disease, etc, one can visit a doctor. These are likely found in the major cities, but some can be found in smaller towns and villages. If you're caught out in the wilds, you might even be fortunate - or unfortunate - enough, depending on who you ask, to run into a combat medic. The simplest service is the expert application of the Medicine skill.
For those with desperate need and gold to pay, most temples of Israfil can provide lesser restoration; the best healers can also provide greater restoration. In the larger Temples, it’s even possible to raise the dead. Should you need any service beyond this, I'd recommend getting in contact with a funeral director.
The Healing Services' table summarizes typical prices for the services provided by temples
The Courier’s Guild operates a mail service, carrying messages and packages across Vangaard by horse and by rail. Sending a letter by mail is inexpensive; sending a package or a message by way of a courier is more secure but more expensive.
If security is particularly important, one can enlist the assistance of a magescribe, who can protect written messages using magic, such as the illusory script spell, or secure packages with the glyph of warding spell.
Mercen's Farspeakers Guild also maintain a network of speaking stones to facilitate instantaneous communication across long distances. Short messages pass from one stone to another one within a network of message stations.
A relatively recent development in Vangaard is also radio communication. Used by the military for the past decade or so, this technology has finally made its way into the hands of the public. There are now many businesses in which one can enlist the assistance of a radio operator in order to communicate messages long distance, provided someone has a radio. Two-way radios are owned by the wealthy in order to achieve quick and instant communication, whereas as a small village might save up enough gold to purchase a receiver radio, and listen to the sounds of Radio Vangaard
The Communication and Security Services table shows typical prices.
Theatres employ cantrips to amplify sound and focus lighting. Grander performances incorporate illusions, creating special effects to thrill audiences, and other spells allow actors to perform amazing stunts.
Musicians making live performance often make use of similar audio based magics to amplify and distort their sounds in order to draw in audiences.
High-end cocktail bars serve magically enhanced drinks boasting strange and wonderful effects to delight and intrigue, and who knows what you might get if you ask what they keep under the counter.
Dream parlours, establishments designed and developed to employ magic for people to experience magically tailored dreams and entertainment.
Go see a Roller-Jousting Tournament... not quite rollerblading, not quite jousting. The sport that's sweeping the nation, marvel as you watch two heavily armoured combatants launched at one another at high speeds using rear mounted thrusters and wince as they collide, likely killing one or more of the participants!
Additionally, the sounds of Radio Vangaard are broadcast throughout the continent for all to hear, whether it be music, a poetry reading, an audio play, or an update on recent news. Get hold of a radio, sit back, relax, and listen to the sounds of The Vangaard's Vanguard, bringing everything in Vangaard, right to the front.
Merchants and nobles use letters of credit to handle large transactions, drawing on the reserves of the dwarven banks of the mountains of Schrittwolke. But most day-to-day transactions use coins of precious metal, with each nation having agreed on a common currency to ensure that trade is kept as simple and straightforward as possible. The designs imprinted on these coins are universal on the front, but they bear a national simple on the bank to identify where hey have been minted. They all use the same metals, weights, and denominations, maintaining a simple standard for commerce across Vangaard.
The copper cog (cp) traditionally depicts a cog from a sprocket on the face. The cog is the lowest denomination of coin minted in Vangaard. When 10 cog are aligned in a circle, they form a full sprocket.
The silver sprocket (sp) bears a sprocket on the face. An unskilled labourer can expect to earn a sovereign for a day’s work.
The gold gear (gp) bears the image of a gear, because money keeps gears moving.
The platinum piston (pp) bears the image of a piston. With a value of one hundred sprockets, these coins are used only by the wealthiest citizens of Vangaard, and the average peasant might never see such a coin.
A number of other coins remain in circulation. In Kabal'Ara, where copper is a more abundant resource, a copper crank exists, which is worth 2 cp. In Mercen, which is littered with Silver mines, Silver spark plugs are worth 2sp. In Val Gideau, a nation known for its extravagant displays of wealth, Electrum Exhausts exist. These pieces are created by smelting gold and platinum together, and a single piece is worth that of 5 gold. (1ep=5gp) Many people often won't spend electrum coins, as their value is typically higher than that of the coin's face value, however because of the strange and unusual nature, these are often used in black market and shady dealings.