Throne of Twilight
The Caste System
While the world of Aeran-azur is home to a wide variety of humanoid species, including lizardfolk, dark elves, orcs, giants, and many more, these races are all thinly spread and largely uncivilized and most certainly never found within the confines of the Citadels (except possibly as prisoners or experiments).
Instead of a variety of races, therefore, the Everstar System defines player characters by their role and privilege in human society: their caste. Citadel society is rather clearly divided between the five castes, though the lowest castes often intermingle somewhat in the undercities. The castes are as follows:
- The Architects — this caste is reserved for the Architects themselves and their most trusted associates. Architects enjoy virtually unlimited access to all of a Citadel’s resources and are treated with awe and respect by most citizens. (This caste is not suitable for player characters.)
- The Shepherds — the Shepherd caste consists of persons of great wealth and influence, often closely tied with the Church of Man and the Architects. The Shepherds own the guildhouses where the bulk of a Citadel’s population works and are largely responsible for determining the avenues of progress made by the Guilded in any given Citadel. They also make for wealthy and connected patrons for enterprising individuals. While rare, it is not unknown for members of the Shepherd caste to assemble an expedition into the wastes in search of knowledge, profit, or both. Most, however, are far too interested in maintaining their charmed lives to risk life and limb on such endeavors.
- The Guilded — the Guilded caste represents the bulk of society within the Citadels. Amongst the ranks of the Guilded you will find steamsmiths, engineers, tailors, carpenters, blacksmiths, chemists, and any one of a thousand other professions. Anyone who practices a trade and works in one of the innumerable guild houses throughout the Citadels counts themselves as members of this caste. The Guilded are fully recognized by the Church of Man and the Architects as Citadel citizens and afforded all the rights that status entails.
- The Unsigned — the Unsigned caste is comprised of individuals who make their living outside of the Shepherds’ guildhouses, either by choice or by circumstance. Members of the Unsigned caste are ineligible for many social services within the Citadels, nor are they able to own a permanent residence. Indeed, they are not even considered formal citizens of the Citadel, but are still afforded the most basic social graces since some of the Unsigned are accomplished nomads who bring news and valuable materials from beyond the Citadel walls. Some Unsigned rival even the Shepards in personal wealth thanks to their enterprising natures and access to foreign goods in high demand.
- The Forgotten — the Forgotten caste represents all non-citizens of the Citadels who do not enjoy the Unsigned’s prestige. The luckiest of the Forgotten live beneath the steam tunnels and roadways of the Citadels, feeding on whatever vermin and food scraps they can acquire or stealing food and valuables from the more fortunate. Many of the Forgotten do not enjoy the luxuries of Citadel life at all and instead spend their existences in the wastelands where daily existence is a life-or-death struggle for resources. While members of the Unsigned caste often begin as the children of Guilded parents or particularly remarkable Unsigned, the Forgotten are completely unrecognized by the Citadel authorities and are viewed with xenophobic suspicion at all times.