The people of Insul make their livings in a variety of ways. While mechanically, any given person may have a variety of skills and abilities depending on how they’ve lived their lives, we do encourage players to select a career or calling that will inform their choices and shape the expectations other characters may have of them.
More information about the various callings will be available soon, but for now here is a basic overview:
Traders in this world have the opportunity to gain great wealth – if they can obtain a license from the Merchant’s Guild. Some choose the life of a traveling trader: moving from place to place, alone or with Rambler caravans, peddling their goods to the far reaches of the continent.
Other merchants stick mostly to their own cities, concentrating their efforts on the titles and influence that can come from working one’s way up in the ranks of local government – though even this lifestyle may occasionally require traveling for business or pleasure. Those who garner real power through their trading are sometimes referred to by the common folk as Merchant-Nobles.
Merchants frequently wear fine clothes and carry many bags and pouches to carry their money and goods and to show off their status. Traveling merchants may dress down slightly and add a cloak for the road.
Pilgrim of the Bell Priests
The Bell Priests are an ancient order dedicated to maintaining harmony in the world, and do so with bells and music magic. They are largely secluded from the world and closely guard the secrets of their order. Their duties include battling Unwritten, and maintaining musical and magical harmony, as well as certain important funereal rituals.
To prove their devotion and commitment to the way of the order, and show themselves worthy to be inducted into the secluded group, fledgling priests must go on a pilgrimage to the major temples scattered across the land. They travel from temple to temple until they have visited at least nine major ones, and then finally travel to The First Temple, deep in the mountains, to truly begin their training.
(Player characters wanting to play as a Bell Priest must currently begin the game as a fledgling Pilgrim.)
Pilgrims generally travel alone, and as such wear hardy traveling clothes, especially loose clothes that can be layered, and a cloak or poncho that can be used as a blanket on nights outside, etc. Many pilgrims wear large scarves that can be wrapped around their heads to protect from sun and wind.
All pilgrims carry or wear a small round bell, which they receive at their first temple visit. This bell has no magic to it, but its soft chime can still open doors: while some common folk are wary of the bell priests, most agree that it is bad luck to turn away a pilgrim looking for shelter, even if that shelter turns out to be little more than a patch of hay in the barn.
Hunter of the Unwritten
Unwritten plague many human settlements, especially in the Between. While the order of the Bell Priests have been tasked since long ago with dealing with this threat, more often the common folks’ pleas for help go unanswered. A few centuries ago, strong fighters among the common folk took up arms against the creatures themselves. While some take pride in helping to protect humanity, most are little more than mercenaries, attacking the offending Unwritten with unrelenting vengeance. Being inherently magical, many parts of Unwritten bodies have magical properties, and any Hunter worth their mettle can make a cozy side business out of selling Unwritten parts to Alchemists in the cities.
Hunters tend to be known as fighters immediately on sight, as they never go anywhere completely unarmored or unarmed. They also frequently wear tokens of their kills as a part of their daily attire: perhaps a collar of Chimera fur, bracers of Minotaur hide, or a few Dracling claws strung on a necklace.
An enchanter learns magic from years of study, typically under a Master in one of the dozens of schools available in most cities; they study the runes in their purest form, and spend years understanding the nuance that combining certain runes brings about. There are also a few larger schools where multiple masters give coordinated lessons, and these have libraries that are highly sought after.
After training, those who do not become teachers themselves typically go on to make a living at enchanting items – frequently weapons – and creating writpaper. Some merchant-noble families even employ personal enchanters to maintain wards in their homes against disease, thieves, or pests.
Most enchanters wear scholarly robes, though the attire of a student is more relaxed than that of a fully fledged and practicing enchanter. Spelled items are not uncommon – though most generally cannot afford to purchase such things outside their own skill ranges. While most practice solely passive casting, some do choose to learn active casting, and these will typically carry a wand for sketching runes in the air.
Witches are most often found in the Between, living alone or in small groups. Many are skilled potion-makers, and can channel their magic through non-magical plants and animal components to create powerful concoctions. Their primary calling, however, is to Sound Magic – a witch is one who is skilled in using their voice to change the vibrations of the Strands, whether through chanting or singing.
Witches are typically trained one-on-one, each by a witch from the previous generation. There are also many who simply pick it up and teach themselves, sometimes with disastrous results when a thoughtless note is sung or careless potion brewed.
Witches tend toward darker colors – black, dark purples, burgundies – but often with a single flash of bright color somewhere on their person. Many wear pointed hats and carry crystals, stones, or other items they feel tether them to the Strands around them.
The daily activities of an Alchemist vary greatly from person to person, as the practice has many applications. Some mostly spend their time cooped up in their labs working on complicated chemical solutions for sale or personal use. Others live on the road as adventurers, seeking out rare and valuable components that only they can recognize. Still others work as teachers, consultants, or healers. Most tend not to be fighters, but there are always exceptions.
The potions and concoctions made from the practice of alchemy are as varied as a recipe book, but generally they include potions, poisons, and medicines for healing or to help with resistance against magic. As the Unwritten components they use are inherently magical, the practice is far more scientific than the more instinctive and seemingly slap-dash approach favored by witches.
While some practicing Alchemists have their own private businesses, many – especially those new to the trade – will take up residence in a local Alchemist House, located in most cities. These places provide food, lodging, and work space in exchange for a percentage of one’s earnings. Working out of an Alchemist House is also a good way to find a Master to study under, which is a quick way to gain clout.
Alchemists wear utilitarian garments; nothing that will get in the way of their work. They often carry their tools on their person and within easy reach, and many wear goggles or glasses, especially when working with volatile components.