Culture Book: Neuonians - Humans in the City States of Neuon Paperback – 1997
Neuon is a congregation of seven city-states (Calcasse, Cortez, Jondric, Harndin, LeGlasse, LeGonne, and Per-Saal) separated by distance and climate but connected by the jurisdiction of the High Council. The Council's main members include the Duke of each city-state, who receives his power via bloodline. Neuon encompasses a three-tiered class system represented by common workers, businessmen, and aristocracy.
The primary Neuon religious influence is the Church of Morning Light, which promotes perfection through innocence. (Knowledge must be avoided, for it possesses inherent danger, leads people from higher truth into self-serving intellectualism, and breeds a lack of sensitivity to human plight.) However, the Church is generally sincere in its beliefs and spends much time serving the common folk. Set directly against the Church is the Cult of Deridimos, whose members worship a dark quadra of otherworld beings in order to achieve personal power and financial gain.
Neuonian magic -- Wizardry -- allows for abstract manipulation of magical energy on the fly. If a spell can be imagined, it can be cast -- although only crafted and practiced spells can achieve truly devastating effect. Although powerful enough to be a political force of their own, most Neuonian wizards are more interested in improving their own abilities, uncovering forgotten lore, or marketing their abilities for coin. Still, secret sodalities (wizard castes) exist -- with their own specific agendas -- for wizards interested in political application of power. And various warrior leagues enforce their own discrete purposes by strength of arms.
To make matters more complicated, Neuonians co-exist (sometimes unknowingly) with the shape-changing Hourani culture. In fact, two city-states are openly governed by Hourani leaders. Those who know of Hourani -- mostly the experienced Neuonian leaders, soliders, and wizards -- treat them with caution and respect, while lower social