The Wheel Turns...
Unlike most nations, Tear is not ruled by a king or queen, but rather a council of High Lords . The number of High Lords (and Ladies) has varied over time from six to twenty, as they are chosen by societal rank.
Tear’s distribution of wealth is highly top-heavy; the vast majority of it resides with the Tairen nobility. Tairen lords believe that commoners are actually lesser beings, and the societal rift between haves and have-nots is intense, to the point where they even dress differently. Furthermore, the inner city of the capital is surrounded by a high wall of gray stone, which protects the finer houses and palaces of the nobles, which line streets paved with stone. Outside the wall, commoners trudge through unpaved, muddy streets. Until the coming of the Dragon Reborn, it was not possible for a commoner to call a noble before a magistrate.
Tairens of all classes have an avowed fear of anything to do with the One Power. This is due partly to the fact that it is prophesied that the Stone of Tear will never fall until the Dragon has been Reborn. The High Lords like to think that by protecting Callandor, the ‘sword that is not a sword’ that resides within an inner chamber of the city’s ancient fortress, they are protecting the world from the Dragon Reborn.
Tear’s importance stretches back to antiquity, as is evidenced by the surprisingly large number of portal stones dating from before the Age of Legends – four within its present boundaries.
Tairen noblemen tend to wear short beards, oiled and drawn to a point.Men and women both of noble birth tend to wear a lot of embroidery and silks, while commoners dress in loose pants and wear flat-topped hats to keep the rain off of their heads. Due to the unpaved, muddy streets in the common areas, wooden clogs are worn on the feet when out of doors, and frequently are left outside the door when coming inside, to keep the floors from getting too dirty. Upon leaving a common building such as an inn, it is not unusual to grab a different set of clogs, provided they still fit over one’s shoes.
- Tear (Capital)