Friday, March 11, 2016

City of Curses: Class (Maralda's Notes)

Classes.  Essay By Maralda Inculti Tyranus, Bard.  

Dated Newrose 12th, 1784 AO

Classes are weird.  Class itself is a strange term.  I've never been able to find who first coined it.  Ursyklon has the word Klon they use for it.  I'm going to try to explain this, even if it is something everyone I know takes for granted.  Here we go.

Even as a Bard, a story collecting member of that class, I can't quite fully explain it.  Anyone can learn a Class.  Well, technically not everyone.  Classes are weird.  Some require a certain aptitude, something in the student that some can't match.  Some can be wizards, but others can never learn a single cantrip, no matter how hard they work at it.

Ok.  I'm going to try to explain this.  As a young girl, no one could ever explain it to my satisfaction.  Almost everyone learns a Class at some point in their lives.  Children don't have Classes.  I didn't know what it meant.

Now I can use the word Class, but it still doesn't get the idea across.  Yes, everyone with a Class knows what it's like to have it.  It's this sort of ever-present part of you.  Like your name or sexual orientation.  It's just there.  You can access it and whatever things others before you have discovered about it.

It's this reservoir of information and power.  Fighters and Rogues don't use magic, but they access techniques only they can tap into.  Bards like me know things about performing stories and music. Yet there are things that those without our Class can't duplicate.  It's not just a skill.  It's something more.  Something you can't just use words to describe.

Ugh.  This is frustrating.

As a little dhampr girl, no one could answer the questions I still have about Classes.  Why did they vary so much?  Why could some not learn certain classes?  How many classes could a single person learn?  Is it some sort of mystical reservoir, or are Classes real things somewhere?

I know the stories of how some created new Classes.  There's an entire branch of philosophy obsessed with trying to explain how to create a new Class.  They are great stories.  But they contribute to this... well, to the old notion of Great People defining things.  I'm not sure I like the idea that a few individuals alter the universe.

Yes, it would be great to imagine history and the world as malleable.  Malleable enough that heroes or villains could be the center of it all.  But it always refers to the Few.  A handful of collected individuals.  Those who can change things for the majority without asking their consent.

It's weird.  The idea that you could just "create" an invisible archive that others can share, baffles me.  How does that feel?  How do you do that at all?  I have trouble articulating the notion of Classes in words.  Most just know their Class intuitively, years of experience making them feel ubiquitous.

I'm uncertain it's always been this way.  People today on Orphos all seem to be literate and possessing of Classes.  Yet there are records for centuries of time where only a privileged few had access.  During Othebea's crusades, only their generals possessed Classes of any note.  Most of their common soldiery had no class of their own.

Even Ith's Sorcerous populace is a recent thing.  My father explained to me once how the Tomasi Empire worked.  Ancient Tomasi centered their lives around Summoners, Wizards and those other spellcasters.  They were the few who controlled the rest of Tomasi civilization.  Even though the Tomasi Empre never had more a than a hundred Wizards at a time, thousands more knelt to them.  Those without Class worshipped those with spellcasting as if they were a divine appointment.

My father taught me that a Class is form of power.  He tried to tie it into his complicated moral system he'd created for himself centuries ago.  To have a Class is to owe a form of responsibility.  Even then, I still am uncertain about his motives.  Even in my father's brightest moments there was a tinge of dark.  He seemed willing to do anything his beliefs demanded of him.

"A conviction that would slay a king."  As my father would say.

There is a division in Ith between those with Sorcerous Classes and Unsorcerous ones.  In Ainesia, Classes have a similar division.  But there, it is between those Classes tied to the Revolution and those against it.  Again, Othebea has a division too.  Between those Classes tied to the Faith of the Twins and those outside it.  Maliph is worse, each Khanate dividing its Classes based on each Khan's personal tastes.

I point this out because we are on the cusp of a new period I think.  Classes are becoming more common.  More so than the past.  Power is becoming commonplace.

So I wonder, what classes will emerge with the new technologies we've divised?  Or are there ways for us to learn to share that power?  Maybe there is a chance for greater things with them.  Or maybe there is a war coming we can't control, a war where Class is the central battlefield.

Again, I just find them weird.