Life in the Archipelago

The nature of the Archipelago of Albion means that life in it is rather different to that in historical 17th Century England. That your character attends Court means they will not have any problem acquiring the necessities of life, and are far more likely to be choosing an expensive option to show their status.


Fish has become a staple, with seal and whale meat eaten rarely as the taste is an acquired one. Similarly seaweed is recommended to the poor as a valuable food-source, though only those with no alternative eat it.

Grains and potatoes have survived the land shortage well, if only due to the efforts of magicians being focused on keeping these crops affordable. The corn-riots of 1618 ensured that nobles did not make the mistake of thinking that the poor could fend for themselves. Well, they did not make the mistake twice at any rate.

For the rich, food is much as it always was, and generally less fish is eaten because it has become such a staple.


Despite the abundance of water in general, fresh water has become rare. Those islands with springs of their own have become correspondingly valuable, with lively academic debate (sometimes requiring the arrival of the Dragoons to quieten) ensuing about precisely whose land they are on. Many breweries now have a resident alchemist, not only for improving the brew, but also to make the sea-water they must use potable.


With few woods, and a high demand for timer for boats, wood fires are no longer a viable option for most people. Coal and peat heat many homes, and bottled-fire is becoming increasingly popular with tradesmen and merchants. Bottled-fire ranges from imps confined to a bottle to the alchemically produced, and there has been much work on innovations to stop the sudden combustion and sin-filled dreams that often accompanied the more experimental versions.

For the rich, nothing but wood fires will do. However, this does not stop some cunning measures to reduce the need for visible fires. Under-floor heating, in a manner similar to the roman hypocaust, has become increasingly popular – with the heat often supplied by imps running around in a carefully blocked-off space below the floor. Some houses have been built into the hills, particularly in York and the Pennine Strip, to regulate the temperature all year round and reduce the need for heating.

albion_life.txt · Last modified: 2007/09/30 13:27 by cara