This article will cover the basic information on both Eyr Lore and Roleplay, specifically Medieval roleplay. This differs from the our other roleplay articles because we will not be discussing gameplay mechanics, terminology, or etiquette. Instead this article is a primer on the setting the world and time period that Eyr exists in. It will walk you through various career options, how money and trade worked, what was worn by people, and other aspects of what makes roleplay “Medieval”, which is what is used here in Eyr.
Medieval life is very different from modern life. Many of the trappings, complications, and conveniences we know in modern life are drastically different in medieval times. Communication was not instant and it was painfully slow in most cases. In place of email and cell phones, characters use messengers, scrolls, and carrier pigeon. Food was not global or fancy. It was local, in-season or preserved and often times crude or simple. Most people who were common class or lower could not read or write well, if at all. Illiteracy was a given, and only a select few royals, nobles, priests and scholars could read and write at a competent level.
Paper money, credit, and banks were unheard of. A person’s wealth was his possessions, including wife and children, plus any “coin” he had. Coin would be hammered out pieces of copper, silver, or gold, stamped with the face of the reigning monarch. However, coin was not the only thing accepted as currency (And in Eyr, very little of it is circulated). Trade was extremely common, and a nice brooch or a handsome dagger will do just fine in a pinch.
Careers in medieval times were more often than not what one’s father did. Common trades were smithing, mining, butchering, farming, baking, weapons crafting, fishing, trading, entertaining, whoring, brewing, or working under the employ of a business owner. Characters not born free, but rather born into servitude, or born into the peasant class would rarely get the opportunity for apprenticeship. More often than not, their lot would be to perform the most vile or laborious jobs such as farming, cleaning, laundry, tending livestock, and taking orders from anyone of higher status.
Medicine, with the exception of magic healing, was crude, misinformed, and often times experimental. It was common for people to die of a blood infection from a bad tooth in their 30’s. There were no such things as syringes, electricity, sterilization, or even stethoscopes. Taking this into account in your roleplay will greatly increase the realism factor for your character, and will provide more opportunity for challenges.
Spiritually, people in medieval times were almost all devout followers of religion, most commonly in Eyr are polytheistic religions though some follow monotheistic beliefs. In addition to that, many are often superstitious. In a world where fae and demons intermingle with mortal life, how could you not? They take special measures to protect themselves from the unknown through rituals using herbs, salt, blessings, wards, etc., and the telling of folklore from generation to generation.
One’s social status dictated much of their behavior and pecking orders were strongly acknowledged in medieval times. Were the proper respect not shown to one of higher social status -- the punishment would be severe. The behavior of a lord or lady was very different from that of a craftsman or even a peasant. Any one of higher social class had the power give orders to those of low class status. While this isn’t often reflected in roleplay -- the point is that your character’s social class will play an important role in how he or she behaves.
Love in medieval times was more conservative than now. The common practice of marrying off daughters was typically chosen by her parents, and done in such a way to politically strengthen the family. Families were built on the premise that more children equalled better survival, and children began working for the family at a very young age. Upper class men and women usually entered arranged marriages for political maneuvering, but unions based on true love were not unheard of.
Courtship in medieval times was a long and elaborate process, and those of middle and higher class revered the art of chivalry to woo their loved one. However, the middle to upper class men of that time often freely took whores for their pleasure, and wives were reserved for making children only. Such behavior still did come with plenty of jealousy and scorned women, just like in modern days -- but divorce was almost never an option. While this doesn’t necessarily have to be how you structure your love roleplay, certain aspects are often adopted such as chivalry, courtship, and political marriages.
In medieval roleplay, the natural conclusion most new players arrive to is that Eyr roleplayers will use “olde english” when they speak. That isn’t the case here. Instead, most players speak with a cordial or slightly more formal tone, while interjecting the occasional phrase or word from medieval speech. Typically, the focus in roleplay is more on the storytelling rather than the accuracy of the speech. However, a healthy blend of cordial english and a few medieval terms will help you blend into the medieval setting.
Common terms used are titles, such as Lord, Lady, Madam, Sir, Lassie, Lad, Ye, Thee. Others used are various greetings and other sayings such as “Fare thee well!” instead of goodbye, “Forgive me” instead of sorry, “Greetings!” instead of hello, “By the Gods!” instead of Oh my God, “May the gods damn your soul!” instead of screw you. Be careful of overusing modern terms such as “totally”, “really”, “whatever”, “nevermind”, “sure”, and “what-the-____”.
“Oh my god, bro, what the f*ck happened to you? My boss totally told me that you disappeared.”
“By the Gods, m’lord, what has happened? Forgive my intrusion but my madam sent word that you had disappeared!”
Mysts of Eyr is a fantasy medieval roleplay sim based off the former Realm of Mystara by Annie Ibanez. During the latter’s run, it was one of Second Life’s top choices for fantasy and medieval roleplay. We offer our player base over 100+ different pre-approved races and we try our best to keep the sim environment warm and welcoming to any who may stumble upon it.
The island of Eyr that our sim encompasses is part of a larger archipelago in the game’s lore. Mystara was another isle among them as well as Aradia. This cluster of islands is considered its own rift world, sitting on its own dimensional plane, and cut off from the rest of the universe by a barrier of Myst, one of the realm’s five elements of magic. This barrier isn’t impenetrable, but completely serendipitous in nature. Folk often find themselves in this realm seemingly at random and at the mercy of the Myst magic. You can read up on the various ways a character can arrive in Eyr from this article.
Unlike Mystara, Eyr’s setting is not European Medieval Fantasy. This sim emulates a fantastical Southeast Asian environment which include thick dark jungles, river villages and ancient ruins. We feel this offers roleplayers a very unique experience in Second Life.
Eyr runs on SLT! if it’s morning in SL, it’s morning in Eyr. Also, the current year is 1365. There is a ten year break in our lore between the closure of Mystara’s sim and the opening of Eyr. You can read the timeline of events here.
Medieval clothes are an important aspect of making a believable character that fits the scene in Eyr. Medieval clothes on the whole are rugged, made of natural fibers such as cotton, linen, silk, leather and fur. Try to avoid heavily ornate or fabricated outfits -- think rugged, simplistic, and barbaric. Instead of jackets -- choose cloaks. Instead of hard shoes, choose soft leather moccasins or sandals. Instead of brimmed hats, choose hoods & headdresses. Instead of jeans or pants, choose leggings, tunics, and sarongs.
Remember that clothing in medieval times is directly related to one’s status and wealth. A wealthy noble woman would wear a flowing, impeccably embroidered and dyed batik silk dress, whereas a peasant or slave girl might show a lot of skin, and wear scrappy low-quality fabric like linen or burlap.
Eyr’s environment is based upon Southeast Asia influence similar to that of ancient Borneo. The jungles are thick, humid and at the whims of violent monsoons. Attire of Eyr’s citizens varies from light-weight cloth, plantlife, feathers, fur and leather. Clothing style swings between wildly mix-and-match barbaric garb to Asian inspired garments. The latter would originate from the civilisation of Shalan’ti, which can be reached by taking a boat to lap around to the opposite side of the island (In lore only. Location is not featured on sim). Limited in variety of breathable cloth and garment designs for such hot weather, people expressed themselves through color. This was achieved either by the feathers and fur pelts available from the natural wildlife or from the readily available plant-based dyes. Artisans trained in the art of batik dying were prized among the nobility.
An example of batik; its creation is similar to modern silk painting techniques that use wax resists.
Plate mail and chain wasn’t very conducive for jungle life. Mainly because metal was a rare resource in the jungle and susceptible to rust in the climate. Even in Medieval Europe, only nobles could afford a full suit of plate mail, which would be akin to purchasing your own private jet by today’s standards of expense. Combat in the jungle required a fleetness of foot to navigate through the thickly placed trees and underbrush and armor of any significant weight would make you a sitting target for your opponent. Leather, bone and rattan woven armor likely would serve you far better than metal armor even if you could afford it.
This doesn’t stop you from wearing traditional medieval attire of other cultures as there are other islands in this realm’s archipelago that follow different themes (like Aradia and its Arabesque setting for example) Just keep in mind that a character who travels to Eyr wearing a full suit of plate mail may likely suffer heat stroke shortly after arrival and leather garb doesn't hold up well to the common rainstorms and humidity unless rigorously maintained. Use your best judgement on what medieval fashion makes sense here.
Fashion Faux-pas in Medieval settings are common, especially in Second Life. While Eyr has rules regarding medieval clothing, there are exceptions made to account for the “fantasy” aspect of our sim. Common items to avoid however, are: Handbags/purses, combat boots, zippers, fishnets, high heels, anything with ‘bling’, watches, goggles, cigarettes & cigarette holders, tank top straps, jackets with lapels, jeans, print fabrics (except woven designs or batik dye patterns), ruffles and lace, top hats, bow ties, vests, and other fashion accessories from the 19th century, lingerie like bras and gartered hosiery, modern/urban jewelry/piercings/tattoos, and victorian, steampunk, or fetish clothing.
Need some more ideas on costuming? Check out our “Eyrspiration” Page.