The Summer Heroes
The Seven Castes of Hassunai Society
Hassunai society is organized into seven castes. This social structure has endured since -1484 BR, essentially without interruption. Initial resistance to the reorganization was quashed by the mages and the army (though after the execution of the remaining scions of the noble families, resistance was sparse anyway). The seven castes, in order of precedence, are as follows:
- The Caste of Law: This caste is charged with the development and maintenance of the laws and justice of Hassuna and produces the judges and administrators who run the cities and country.
- The Caste of Magic: This caste is charged with the safeguard of Magic. All mages are members of this caste, and this is the only caste to which members of any other caste can aspire, as all elves with a certain degree of magical aptitude are trained and, if they become mages, accepted into this social class. This caste is technically below the Caste of Law in order of precedence, but every Leader of the Elven People has come from the Caste of Magic and it is clear that the real power of Hassuna lies with the mages. See also: Magic in Hassuna.
- The Caste of War: This caste is charged with the non-magical defense of the realm. All soldiers and sailors, as well as rangers, of Hassuna come from this caste, though the upper echelons of command of Hassuna’s army and navy answer to the Arch-Mage, the Council, and the Leader.
- The Caste of Faith: This caste is charged with safeguarding the religions of Hassuna. There is no formal order of precedence among the different faiths, though the office of High Priest of the Elven People oversees the high priests of all the sects of the realm, and considerable political jockeying takes place to secure the office for one religion or another. Members of the caste of faith are usually treated with deference because of their duties, but in matters of formal precedence they are fourth.
- The Caste of Coin: This caste is charged with the maintenance, oversight, and operation of the trade of Hassuna. Tariffs, tolls, and other fees are collected by this caste, and they are also charged with the maintenance of the coinage of the realm. This caste is the smallest of all the castes, is composed largely of merchants, and is the only caste with any regular contact with the realms outside of Hassuna. As a consequence of the contact this caste maintains with non-elven societies, as well as its involvement with matters of money, this caste is frequently considered impure, and the castes of Production and Nature have frequently lobbied for its formal precedence to be lowered. This has never succeeded, as the Caste of Coin generally maintains a disproportionate—albeit informal—influence on the Elven Council because of its relative wealth.
- The Caste of Production: This caste is primarily charged with the construction of new buildings, the maintenance of existing structures, and secondarily charged with the development of goods like textiles and glass. The “production” of “high society” items like art, books, and music, is not considered a part of this caste and is instead usually undertaken by members of the castes of Law, Magic, and Faith.
- The Caste of Nature: This caste is the lowest in elven society and is composed primarily of farmers and fishermen. The performance of minor nature-related magic is not considered to fall under the purview of the Caste of Magic, though druidic and shamanistic rituals generally fall under the Caste of Faith. This caste has consistently lobbied for its elevation, owing to the vital nature of the services it performs- namely, the production of food for the realm, as well as providing scouting services, when necessary, for the Caste of War.