A collective of the various races of the world, occasionally aided by the enigmatic Nimps. The Morund produce the finest material works in the world. Be it clothing, armour, weapons, clockwork, or simply objet d'art. They pride themselves on the quality of their works, and any being from any race may join, having proved themselves of sufficient skill, or committed themselves to an apprenticeship.
The Morund have become so wealthy over the past 150 or so years, that they were able to build Begureu, the single largest city in the world. Sandwiched between Matteland and Athirael, it's a place of learning and science, and home to the famous Begureu University. It's also particularly notable as also being the only place where Nimps come to and go from to wherever they reside.
The collective itself is divided into Courts, each of which specialises in a different area. Morund warehouses and stores can be found in the capital cities of every major nation except Athirael, as the Henagon and Morund are currently on less than friendly terms.
Structurally, a Court is led by a Privumate, under whom will be three Abi (singular: Abess). Under those are the Grand Scholars, Proficients and at the bottom are the Novitiates.
Some examples of Courts include:
Court of Cloth
A Court who spend their lives creating the finest clothing known to anyone anywhere. Whether it's the latest fashions in the realms of Man, to the lightweight silken warrior armour of the Henagon, the Court of Cloth provides.
Court of Metal and Glass
This Court produces the most incredible pieces of worked metal, including watches, heliographs, scientific instruments and medical tools. Widely rumoured to be the wealthiest of the Courts.
Court of War
Manufacturers of the tools of the darkest arts. Armour; swords; firearms; compound bows; and explosives can all be found here, along with the most advanced medical knowledge.
Recently this Court has issued diplomatic advice, stating that it will not under any circumstances manufacture gaseous chemical weapons, after being requested to build something even they weren't willing to create.
Court of Machines
The fastest growing of the Courts, the Court of Machines studies and invents the devices which power the world. From the first steam engine to the most advanced mills and looms, the printing press and the new steam trains, this Court is devoted to the advancement of technology in the service of all peoples.
Court of the Magisterium
The Court devoted to the study Physical Manipulation. They're the current holders of the Ghost of Loru'Therency, although this isn't known outside the very top levels of their own ranks. This Ghost stone amplifies Manipulations.
The Magisterium conduct research and investigation into Manipulations, attempting to understand trigger events, and what causes them to allow the poor creatures who suffer them to be able to break the universe.
Journalism & Publishing
Officially claiming the title of the oldest newspaper in the world, and with the broadest distribution. The Tribune, by way of its wide network of reporters and fleet of fast ships created in conjunction with the Morund Court of Machines and the Nardlor brings the news of all nations to those around the world.
Currently led by a board of directors, headed up by Chairwoman Bulak Murzush.
The oldest publishing house in the world, having existed now for over 350 years, and official printers to the royal family of Matteland. Currently employs new steam-powered machine presses created by the Court of Machines, and employs around three hundred people, over several buildings along Silver Street in Catsborough.
Recently has started producing textbooks for schools, supporting the rise in public education in the various societies around the world.
Also known for its longstanding relationship with 21 Cathedral St, a bookshop known for its collection of rare and first edition books.
Global Mining & Trade Operations
The great advances coming from the Court of Machines today are in the field of controlled petroleum detonation. Petroleum, with its uses for everything from petroleum jelly, paraffin wax, lubricating oils and so on, to say nothing of use for lighting the world's streets is the current miracle substance.
This rise in the need for oil is expected to allow the Lurniage to overtake the rest of the world's nations as the economic superpower of the next century, with their projected reserves.
It's worth noting the effect the new ability to create aluminium is likely to have on the world stage. Whilst far too fragile and soft to effectively make weapons out of, it's quite possible that we'll see hundreds of uses for what is expected to be the new wonder-material of the next century.
If aluminium is expected to be the wonder-material of the next century, then surely electricity is near to magical. With its ability to power light-giving devices, which promises to remove gas-lamps from people's houses, the proof of concept of long distance voice communications devices, and even galvanism changing how we think of life itself, electricity will surely change everything.
Work & Employment
In this new age of industry, we find a new belief emerging - that the dignity of a person is held in the work they do, and in the belief (rarely evidenced it must be said) that through hard work and assiduous judgements, one can rise through the ranks. One may be born a pauper, and die a landed gentleman.
However, the various different peoples of the world are responding to this in different ways. For those resident in the Morund Collective, it's essentially true. There, a person's mind and work are all that matter. Whether that's a positive thing is subject for debate. However, when compared to the caste system of the Henagon, it's certainly got its good points. On the other hand, the Henagon would state that in their world, everyone knows their place, and doesn't have to strive. Whether that is true or not we leave to the reader to discern.
Medical and Social Care
Great strides have been made in the fields of medicine of late. Nursing has come on leaps and bounds within the last twenty years, to the point where it can legitimately be considered beneficial to a person's outcomes. Indeed, whilst it appears that we are now in the process of actually taking strides for the first time into truly understanding the mechanisms of disease and death, it pales in comparison (at this time) to the outcomes achieved through the work of the nursing profession in sanitary reform.
It's widely believed amongst those studying such things that the vectors of disease must lie in different directions to those traditionally believed to be the case, as a result of the lowered rates of mortality in the hospitals run in the modern fashion, with an emphasis on cleanliness and the boiling of instruments. We look forward to seeing where this knowledge takes us over the coming years.
Wealth & Trade
Thanks to the creation of new Nardlor vessels with advanced hull designs and steam engines powering paddle wheels, we've seen a rapid increase in the potential speed of ships. This has been causing a revolution in the sending of materials, including possibly most notably that of foodstuffs. Fresh goods can now be sent across seas, and possibly one day even the oceans themselves.
Thanks to the development of these new hulls (and maybe even the rumoured advanced propulsion method, if gossip is to be believed), it's even possible we may see a navigation to the far side of the world in our lifetimes, finally laying to rest or confirming the legends of a fourth continent.
Forms of Wealth
Whilst currency will always be the main form of trade, thanks to its highly convertible nature, it's worth noting that not all peoples of the world value the same things. The Taurac peoples value knowledge and expression and art more than any other. The Henagon rate personal political power above all other forms of wealth. The wealth of the Lurniage is in the ground under their particularly large feet and the promise of a free future.
The simple fact remains though that with the exponential rise in the growth and power of cities and the factory working class in most cultures, wealth is starting to become something that even the common person understands. Certainly, in societal terms, this growing class of working, salaried peoples will driver larger change than anything else.
Since the invention of the musket, the future of weaponry has clearly been in the realm of firearms. However, such weapons are still prohibitively expensive for the common man.
The recent advances in rifling have however made the modern soldier vastly more effective. The most capable new breech-loading rifles, in the hands of an expert, can fire up to ten rounds a minute at an accurate range of up to around 350 yards.
Combined with the development last year of the autoloading rifled field-gun, one can only wonder what conflicts of the future will look like. Certainly there will be little use for mounted cavalry and massed troop formations walking at each other given the deadly, long-ranged nature of these new tools of war.
Thanks to the advent of cannons, fortifications have become decreasingly relevant, and with the new large field artillery created by the Court of War, the age of the castle is now well and truly over.
Thankfully, the world has been experiencing a period of relative peace for the last 35 years. The consequences of this ending, given the capacity of newer weapons like this truly makes one shudder.
Religions & Sects
The Golden Ones
All across the world, religions are reasonably similar. How far they are believed however is highly changeable. Some believe their origin stories to be simply myths and legends. Others hold them to be entirely true and accurate accounts of an age long since passed.
In almost every culture is a belief in either a being or beings of near omnipotent capability, which existed tens of thousands of years ago. The descriptions of these vary, from humanoid to animistic, to accounts of nothing like anything on this world. However, despite the current trend towards agnosticism and atheism, most peoples still believe in these beings on some level. They are often referred to as "Golden Ones".
The Remin, Kabakuro and Similar
Unlike the Golden Ones for which there is little to no evidence, the Remin and their ilk are established fact. Some say their powers were magical in nature, whilst others maintain their power came simply from advanced technology.
Whichever is the case, little is known about where these peoples went. Some theorise that they exist on the legendary fourth continent, some have posited that they were wiped out by creations they made, and others believe they left to join the Golden Ones in a realm of perfect existence.
Suggested Further Research
- North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell - book and BBC adaptation
- Little Dorrit and Bleak House by Charles Dickens - books and BBC adaptations
- The Last Samurai - film
- The Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell
- Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
- Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray - book and 1998 BBC adaptation
- Victoria TV series by ITV and WGBH
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, book and 2006 BBC adaptation
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, book and 1993 film by Agnieszka Holland
- Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- Topsy-Turvey, film by Mike Leigh
- Desperate Romantics 2009 TV series by the BBC
- The Frankenstein Chronicles TV series by ITV