Americana (3.5e Campaign Setting)/Notes
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Due to the relative scarcity of gold and plentifulness of the lesser resources, Americ nations' money scales are shunted one step up. The lowest level of coinage is made out of tin rather than copper, whereas copper pieces are equal to silver in other worlds, and silver to gold. Gold coins do exist, but are not typically used in everyday transactions.
Languages in Americana can be sorted into your fairly typical fantasy set--Common, Elven, Draconic, Goblin yadda yadda yadda. Something to note, however, is that in pronunciation and writing these languages are virtually identical to various real languages. Not all the identities have been mapped, but Common collates to English, Draconic to German, Elven to French, and Goblin to Spanish. Others that are somewhat known include Old Yorki, which is Dutch, and Dwarven, which has similarities to the Scandinavian triangle of Danish-Swedish-Norwegian.
Note, however, that language correlation does not equate to cultural correlation. More on that can be found in The Facts sections.
Resurrection in Americana is heard of, but extremely rare. Resurrection spells require diamonds as a component, which can only be found--and then extremely rarely--in one location at the far northern end of New Orleans' territory. Control of this mine is a major portion of what keeps New Orleans on the map, but no diamonds have been found in a few years now, and the family in control of the mine is getting a little anxious. Other diamond mines may exist, but none have been found and mapped thus far. The good news is that their incredible rarity has made diamonds all the more valuable, and fewer are required to power the spells as a result--the bad news is, they're all the more valuable.
Additionally, clerics of sufficient power to perform a resurrection ceremony are extremely rare. Roger Kalland and Ricardo Hernandez both qualified, but both are now dead of old age, and the only ones nowadays likely to be strong enough are the Grand Aide of Presidism and the heads of the Holy Audience's largest temples, all of whom are intensely busy besides and will likely not do such a thing without a favor in return.
Detroit is run theoretically as a meritocracy, but more and more as an oligarchy--a money-equals-power state half a glance removed from monarchy, dominated by a series of industrial conglomerates. These corporations run virtually everything in Detroit, from the street vendors to the factories to the banks, and their reach extends far and wide. In Detroit, they're known as "the Families".
The five most predominant families are the descendents of Alexander O'Hern and his four most trusted lieutenants: Duranti, Packard, Chrysler, and Marshall. Giles Marshall married Penelope Honeywell in 45 A.G., causing the two families to merge and become known as the Mahon Group. These five Families have dominated Detroit's politics since its founding. Detroit is operated officially by a city council, whose Chairman acts as head of state and whose Chief Executive Officer runs the government. Since the founding of Detroit, the office of Chairman has been held by an O'Hern, and it's currently Templeton O'Hern, grandson of Alexander. However, Templeton's position is extremely tenuous--he was only barely reaffirmed to his office after the Twenty Years War and his support among the other families is slipping. Power seems to be gathering behind the current CEO, Charles Packard.
While all the Families have fingers in every pie they can reach, they are individually known for their specialties. O'Hern specializes in industrial machinery, particularly factory machines. They also make 65% of the world's steam-powered machinery (a figure trumpeted very loudly, lately). Packard builds farming equipment, tools, and shipping machinery such as cranes and elevators. Duranti is one of the oldest and most preeminent weapons manufacturers in the world, and have recently licensed Edwin Williams' DC generator. Chrysler is king of the world of magitech, and as such all the other Families usually have good reason to be on good terms with them. However, they have recently fallen hard from grace with the liberation of the warforged and the unwritten prohibition of the creation of any more near-sentient automatons. Mahon Group builds mining equipment and geosurveying gear, and is angling to steal the magitech market out from under Chrysler's feet.
Besides the Five Families, Detroit has many, many corporations of various power and ability, all of whom are jockeying for greater power in the city's operations and all of which are generally referred to as "families". If it was founded in Detroit, the saying goes, it's a Family business. Anyone lacking in inspiration for these is encouraged to pull up a list of American corporations, particularly car brands and manufacturers, and go to town. One of the more prominent is Oldsmobile, who are currently tinkering with an invention that could change the face of warfare.