Arkhosia - The Draconic Isles
All society is broken down into four castes: Commoner, Artisan, Merchant and Noble.
Families are able to purchase access to a higher caste, the cost given covers a combination of bribes, official paperwork, buildings, favours, land etc.
Most families save for generations in the hopes of a better life for their childrens children.
The common caste is composed of the majority of Arkhosia’s citizenry. Commoners rarely have access to schooling or training and are prohibited from joining any military position. They are usually limited to menial roles under the employment of a member of one of the higher castes.
This is the caste of farmers, labourers and shop hands.
Bar staff and shop hands of the cities enjoy slightly more freedom than the effectively indentured farmers however they do not receive the somewhat dubious benefits of protection that the noble landowners provide their workers.
It is forbidden for any member of the common caste to carry arms or own land.
Commoners make up approximately 70% of the total population with only very few(less than 1% of commoners) of dragonborn descent – dragonborn only descend this low in the social food chain due to great misfortune or disgrace.
Artisan/Expert – 10,000 GP
This caste is for those skilled workers who purchase raw material from the nobles and provide finished goods to the merchants. While the majority of craftsmen are only slightly better off than your standard commoners, especially gifted individuals can earn significant wealth.
This is the caste of carpenters, clothiers, blacksmiths, jewellers and the like. Artists are also technically part of this caste though depending on their patron can sometimes even enjoy tiny glimpses of the pleasures of merchants and nobles.
Members of the Artisan caste enjoy basic schooling and have access to some of the minor luxuries on special occasions.
As with those of the Commoner caste, Artistans are prohibited from owning land or carrying arms other than those expressly required for their craft.
For example a day labourer of the Commoner caste working for a blacksmith Artisan is allowed to use hammers and other tools that could be considered as weapons while working. However at the end of the day all of the day labourers tools must remain at the place of employment. The blacksmith however can proudly walk the streets with a blacksmith’s hammer tucked into his belt. If that same blacksmith started walking around with a bastard sword across his back, or even a large warhammer on his side – he would quickly be stopped by the Dragonguard.
Private guards of merchants and nobles generally fall within this caste as well and as such are allowed to bear arms while in service. Outside of work however the carrying of arms is strictly prohibited.
Artisans are also prohibited from selling goods directly to citizens – all goods crafted by a craftsman must be sold to a member of the Merchant caste. The only exception to this is in the rare case when a noble directly commissions an item from an artisan – even then however there is normally a merchant middleman to spare the noble the indignity of dealing directly with a craftsman.
Dragonborn make up approximately 20% of this caste and generally tend to be the most wealthy due to citizens purchasing their good over the “inferior” work of lesser races.
As a caste, Artisans consist of approximately 15% of the population.
Merchant – 20,000GP – 250,000+
The price range reflects the wide variety within the merchant class – a simple grocer or tavern may only cost 20,000 GP while a multi-island trading house may cost upwards of 500,000 GP.
The merchant caste is a broad description which covers all those who are legally allow to sell goods. This includes anyone from small shopkeepers and tavern owners to large merchant concerns that trade a range of goods across multiple islands. This also included merchants who serve directly under the employ of nobles who are responsible for selling the raw goods created on the nobles lands by common people to Artisans.
Members of the merchant caste enjoy adequate schooling and basic healthcare however this varies wildly – with some merchants children learning at the same establishments as the richer Artisans to the rare few even attending the same prestigious schools as nobles.
Merchants are allowed to own buildings but not land – they still must pay rent to nobles for their homes and businesses.
Merchants are also allowed to bear arms and most proudly do – however this is restricted to smaller weapons such as daggers with the wealthiest merchants bearing short swords. These are normally only ceremonial weapons – richly appointed with gems and fine metals – all the better to show the world the high standing of the individual.
Dragonborn only make up about 5% or less of this caste as they generally do not have the affinity for numbers and trading that some of the other races do and even with the privileges of race generally find them on the worst end of the deal.
As a caste, Merchants make up approximately 10% of the population.
Noble – 1,000,000 GP
The peak of society Nobles are the only caste allowed to own land as well as bear arms and armour. Consisting of only dragonborn the nobles own all land and continue to grow wealthier on the efforts of all the lower castes.
Much like Merchants, the nobles vary significantly from family to family in terms of personal wealth, dependent on which island and city they are located in and what lands they own. Nobles have access to the best schooling and healthcare as well as all the luxuries the Draconic Isles can provide.
After schooling those noble children who do not wish to move straight into the family business generally take roles within the Dragonguard or the clergy of Bahamut and Tiamat. While members of all races may take roles within the two Churches the majority of the high ranking positions are the purview of dragonborn.
Dragonborn make up 100% of this caste and nobles are approximately 5% of the total population.