The Agthorian culture is as close to the once great culture of the Atlan Alliance as one will find on Aetaltis today. It is defined by the noble ideal of equal rights for all citizens and shaped by the never-satisfied drive to improve themselves, their culture, and their world. Its art, music, and architecture harken back to the lost glory of the Alliance, but the dreams of its people are focused firmly on a hopeful future.
If you're unfamiliar with the rules for Aetaltan Cultures, you can read about them here.
- Geographic Origin Agthor
- Dominant Race Atlan
- Secondary Races Any
- Preferred Government Constitutional monarchy
- Language (Dialect) Atlan (Agthorian)
- Patron Enaros Alantra
- Secondary Enaros Phensral
- Values Improvement, education, expansion, land
- Aversions Ignorance
- Favored Races None
- Favored Cultures Dalelander, Maladorian, Selenthean
- Unacceptable Races None
- Unacceptable Cultures Primitive
- Public Opinion Advanced and wealthy but pushy and patronizing
Agthorians are scrupulous and lawful. They follow the edicts of the land out of respect for the local authorities and a sense of moral responsibility to society as a whole. They take great pride in their culture, to the point that they incorrectly assume that anyone would be honored by conversion to the Agthorian way of life. This sometimes leads to troubled relationships between Agthorians and the people of other lands.
Broad flowing lines and bright colors are heavily used in Agthorian clothing. The number of colors used in any one article of clothing is kept small, and patterns are restricted to simple geometric forms. Women wear dresses and men wear tunic and trousers, although on formal occasions men wear dignified robes. Women grow their hair long but keep it pinned up with artful ornaments. Men shave daily, regarding excessive facial hair as a sign of barbarism, and they keep their hair cut short and close to the head.
Agthorians strive to create art that mimics life as closely as possible. Art is judged by its realism; the more realistic the piece, the higher the price it will fetch at market. Art of all kinds receive excellent support from wealthy patrons, but the most popular artistic form is the mural.
Agthorian music makes use of rich harmonies and bold rhythms. Large ensembles are popular and are often accompanied by a full chorus. The oud is the preferred solo instrument, and wealthy Agthorians often hire soloists to perform in their homes as background music.
Food and Drink
Pasta with heavy cream sauces, delicately sautéed meats, and cold soups are popular Agthorian foods. Wines, particularly those of the Dalelands, are the favored beverage, although the light ales of the Agthorian Plains have a strong following as well.
Agthorian homes are open and airy with minimal furniture or ornamentation. Murals are used generously to create the illusion of space in the form of false windows, whimsical nature scenes, and ceilings painted to look like the sky.
Agthorians see their culture's order as the foundation of their success. They also hold education in high regard, and all Agthorian citizens have at least a basic knowledge of letters and math. Land ownership is an important aspect of Agthorian life, and a person’s land holdings are considered a measure of his success.
Barbarian cultures, with their lack of codified laws and passion driven morals, are pitiable in the eyes of Agthorians. This leads many Agthorians to see it as their responsibility to bless these backward people with the gift of their superior civilization.
Labor and birth are a private affair between the woman and her midwife. Men are never allowed in the birthing chamber. The day after a child is born the infant is taken, with great ceremony, to the register’s office where the child’s name is recorded in the public record.
Majority for an Agthorian child is marked by the completion of their professional apprenticeship. This apprenticeship lasts from four to six years.
Agthorian weddings are elaborate affairs that may last up to three days. For the parents of the young couple, the size and extravagance of the celebration are a mark of status.
A ceremonial procession is an important part of Agthorian funerals. Wealthy families will even hire professional mourners for their loved ones’ procession. While burial at sea is the traditional method of internment (a hold over from the Alliance days), cremation is the most common.
Agthorians worship the Enaros with grand ceremonies in large temples. The priesthood is a highly respected profession and having a cleric, priest, or priestess in the family is a great honor.
Magic and spellcasters are highly regarded in Agthorian culture. Nearly every family owns some sort of enchanted object, even if it is a minor trinket. Agthorians who can afford it may even have a mage on retainer.
Unusual Customs, Traditions, and Taboos
When feasting or celebrating, Agthorians always set a place at the table for the dead. It is believed that failure to do so will offend ancestral spirits and may lead to hauntings or curses.
Agthorian families place a high value on the family olive tree. Tradition suggests that these trees were originally brought to Aetaltis from the Atlan homeworld. When a young Agthorian leaves their family home to establish their own home, they receive a cutting from their father's family tree to care for and nurture to maturity.
Agthorian Traits for 5E
Agthorian characters receive the following benefits and disadvantages.
- Language Atlan (Agthorian)
- Social Reaction1 Advantage Agthorian, Calliosan, Dalelander, Deeplander, Maladorian
- Social Reaction1 Disadvantage None
You may also select two of the cultural features described below.
Feature: Law Mastery
You have extensive knowledge of common Agthorian laws. You know what is expected of the typical citizen of Agthor and what the penalties are for breaking the law. With a successful Intelligence check, you may even know more obscure information about the law.
Feature: Fringe Expertise
The latest fashion among urban Agthorians is to demonstrate one's education by cultivating a deep knowledge of an extremely specific, often niche, subject. Whether it's an indepth knowledge of the heraldry of pre-Cataclysm atlan nobility or mastery of Wastelander cooking techniques, you're an undisputable expert in this tiny area of knowledge.
The Agthorian tendency to dig deep into a subject and learn all there is to know about it, often expresses itself in the form of collecting. Some collect for the purpose of demonstrating knowledge of their chosen subject ("I have samples of every spice ever harvested from the Zhamayen Jungle. Let me give you a tour."), while others do so because of the stories attached to the items ("This banner was a carried by Deecat Sternblade at the Battle of Three Steams. You can just picture it flapping against the backdrop of the azure sky!")
- Equipment You own a small collection of items that reflect your interests. The collection has no real value, but it's extremely interesting--at least to you.
You own a small plot of land about half a day's walk from the nearest large town. It's not an especially valuable piece of property, and there are no buildings on it, but it's yours. Someday you hope to buy the adjoining property to expand your holdings.
- Property Two acres of land near a small or medium sized town.
|1||I've made elaborate plans for a traditional burial at sea should I expire, and I love talking about it.|
|2||I'm always looking for land to buy, especially if I can get it at a good price.|
|3||Manners are the defining mark of a civilized person, and it takes an extreme event for me to abandon mine.|
|4||I love to read, and I almost always carry a book with me.|
|5||My apprenticeship was the best time of my life, and I often reflect on it when trying to solve problems.|
|6||I always have suggestions for better ways to do things based on "What we do back home."|
|1||Equality. Every person deserves respect and equal treatment under the law. (Any)|
|2||Discovery. To explore and discover is more than a simple desire--it is our purpose in this universe. (Any)|
|3||Order. Without civilization to order our lives, we are no more than animals. (Lawful)|
|4||Law. The law is not always kind, but it is always fair. (Lawful)|
|5||Generosity. Knowledge is not to be horded, but rather it should be freely given to all. (Good)|
|6||Superiority. Some things are superior to others. This is a simple fact. (Neutral)|
|1||In my eyes, our family olive tree is a priceless treasure.|
|2||If Lord Drakewyn calls, I will answer.|
|3||No matter how far I roam, I always return to New Erinor, the greatest city in the world.|
|4||Agthor is a beacon of hope in a darkening world, and I will defend it to my last breath.|
|5||The plot of land I own may be small, but it is my land.|
|6||I proudly wear the medallion I received for superior achievement during my schooling.|
|1||Sometimes my need to know what lies over the next hill gets me into trouble.|
|2||I'm always certain that the Agthorian way is the best way.|
|3||Too often I forget that books are not the only source of knowledge in this world.|
|4||I see the law as black or white, and I struggle to accept gray areas.|
|5||I try to have empathy for the people of primitive cultures, but secretly they disgust me.|
|6||If someone insults Lord Drakewyn or Agthor, I become extremely angry.|
Particularly as we get started posting new material, there will be topics we haven't covered yet. In most cases you an easily read between the lines to understand the meaning, but we wanted to note some areas where we have expanded material that we'll be sharing.
(1) Expanded Aetaltis rules for social reactions will be shared in an upcoming article.
To learn more about the World of Aetaltis, check out a full index of our past content posts here!