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Unexpected Canon

Arx is an original theme based in a feudal fantasy world. Because of the nature of the theme, players tend to have a fair amount of expectations or assumptions based on other popular works in the fantasy genre. A lot of those assumptions might be generally correct, but there are some parts of the setting that may feel a bit counterintuitive or contrary to assumption. For the sake of clarity, this file has a few common misconceptions.

* PREJUDICE: There is no prejudice or bias based on gender identity, skin color, or sexuality. Outside of the Mourning Isles, where women have historically focused on areas of law and administration and been barred from noble leadership and combat, there are no traditional gender roles. Please see: help gender ( ). There is, however, considerable prejudice against Abandoned and Prodigals. Please see: help abandoned ( ) and help prodigal ( ). Classism is also alive and well.

* DIVERSITY: Arvum is a racially diverse continent, and you'll see a large variety of skin tones and features. Additionally, with the intermarrying across all the fealties, there isn't a strong correlation between skin tone and region of Arvum. However, for specific story reasons, you won't see features we'd associate with East Asia as native to Arvum.

* SKEPTICISM: For story reasons, citizens of the Compact trend very strongly towards skepticism. Magic and supernatural creatures don't exist as far as the larger NPC populace is concerned. (The one major exception to this is the superstition surrounding mirrors. See: help tehom ( ).

* RELIGION: The Faith drifted away some centuries past from thinking of gods and demons as literal beings to treating them more as metaphor: virtues to aspire to, vices to avoid. This point is currently beginning to shift. The Faith is also a syncretic polytheistic, which means that there is a Pantheon of multiple gods, but they are all worshipped and given equal reverence. Disciples are volunteers helping with the worship of a specific god, but it is heretical to worship only a specific god or gods and not the others. See: help disciples ( ). Godsworn are priests of the Faith, and their vows do include no marriage, inheritance, or having children, but their vows do not include chastity. See: .

* BOOKS: There is no printing press in Arvum, but books are surprisingly plentiful. They are much more accessible to commoners than would be expected from a real-life medieval analogue. This is due in large part to the worship of Vellichor in the Pantheon, who calls for the spread of knowledge. Part of the work of the Scholars of Vellichor is the reproduction of important knowledge. See: help vellichor ( ).

* MEDICINE: Arvani medicine is strangely good for no reason anyone can really identify or think to question! Infant mortality rates are surprisingly low. Contraception is readily available and 100% effective when taken by either the man or woman. See: .

* SEX: Sexual purity mores are not a thing in Arx. There is no value placed on virginity, and people are free to sleep with who they like. The exception to this is if one or more parties had taken an oath not to engage in sexual relations with someone. For example, some (but not all) marriage contracts stipulate that there will be no sexual activity outside of the marriage. In this case, a person would be judged not for sexual immorality, but for breaking their word of honor. However, there are still taboos against public nudity, wanton public orgies, incest, bestiality, etc.

* MARRIAGE: Marriage between nobles fall under the approval of the Faith as well as their house. Marriage between commoners, however, are largely just declared by the commoners in question saying that they're married, and divorce among commoners is as simple as them saying they're no longer married. See: help limerance ( ) and . There is no prejudicial stigma against same-sex marriage, but nobles rarely enter into them just because of issues of breeding and inheritance. See: .

* BASTARDS: A noble having a bastard child is largely considered to be irresponsible due to the presence of such effective contraception, which generally means that the noble in question conceived the child purposefully, and a child born out of wedlock is a potential succession crisis down the road. However, it is only considered a matter of true dishonor if a noble refuses to acknowledge and support the child. See: help bastard children ( ).

* NOBLES AND COMMONERS: Classism most definitely exists in Arvani culture, but it doesn't generally expectations of over-excessive deference, groveling, etc., on the part of commoners. It's considered poor etiquette to censure someone for an accidental slip of a noble's title, and nobles have no rights to physically abuse commoners on a whim, and blatant verbal abuse would not . There are also no sumptuary laws: if a person can afford something, they can buy it.

* IMPRISONMENT: This actually follows what would be historically accurate for a similar period in the real world, but sometimes causes misconception in Arx's setting: there is not a prison system in the Compact, as it would be prohibitively expensive. Imprisonment is for the most part be short-term before some sort of sentencing and/or trial. Instances of long-term imprisonment are very rare.

* SETTLEMENTS: Villages and settlements are largely found close to the main holdings of the noble houses, as the majority of the land in between the major cities tends to be populated by Abandoned and quite dangerous. It's not generally likely to find a village on the road in between holdings. (This is also a major reason for the existence of the Knights of Solace, the knightly order of the goddess Gild. See: help disciples ( ), help gild ( ), and the Knights of Solace org ( ).)

* BATS: They're extinct. Aw! Arvani do know they existed once upon a time, but they have not been seen in living history.