The Five Hundred Kingdoms
The Tradition (always capitalized) is a semi-conscious force that influences people and events in the 500 Kingdoms. It is the power of folk tales essentially. It uses it’s power to ensure that people’s lives go down a traditional path. For example, if a little girl’s mother dies, the Tradition will use it’s power to try to get her father to remarry a woman with daughters of her own, who will dislike the little girl, and force her to work like a servant. Sound familiar? The more traditional the story, the more power the Tradition has to make it happen. Unfortunately since the Tradition isn’t really intelligent, it will still try to do this even if the prince that comes in later in the story is 80, or abusive, or a baby. So happy endings are not always happy. And there are traditional unhappy endings as well. Those stories of evil men usurping the throne from their good brothers, and evil witches with houses of gingerbread that eat children are just as traditional as the happy ones. The Godmothers are the ones tasked with trying to ensure that there are more happy endings than sad ones and that there is as little loss of life as possible. The Tradition is different from kingdom to kingdom, depending on the stories and tales told there. It can also be shaped and changed by those who know how, by writing tales and songs and spreading them, thus changing the foundation that the Tradition is built on, or adventurers who inspire new tales and songs with their deeds.