Lyran Tal is a fantasy-medieval world; there is no modern technology of any kind. Water is generally hauled from a well, or pump. Horses, wagons, carriages and just plain walking are the most common modes of transportation. Cooking is done on wood-burning stoves and ovens, and the food is simple fare in most places. For further details, see: Lyran Tal and Technology.
Magic in the Silver Moon Empire is divided into seven "Gifts," and is based on the elements: Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Life, Death, and Spirit. Most practitioners of each Gift are overseen by an Arch-Mage who holds the highest level of power for that Gift.
Non-Lyran Talian characters are referred to as Outlanders. For Lyran Talians who live in the Silver Moon Empire, the term "Outlander" encompasses both offworld folk who once traveled to Lyran Tal via the Nexus Portal (before it ceased connecting to other worlds), and those folk not from the seven regions of the Silver Moon Empire (i.e. the Badlands). In fact, the term 'off-world' is a concept known to exceptionally few people and would likely confuse or upset the common resident. Some native characters are very prejudiced against Outlanders, especially Outlander mages. Don't take it personally, it's just an In-Character plot device. We don't discourage playing Outlander characters in the Crosswinds, but you should expect your character to get come criticism and sometimes outright hostility if it's obvious they're not native. Most natives are wary or downright frightened of anyone who looks different. For more information on how Outlander magicks work, please read Outlander Magic.
The Northern Portal (Nexus Gate) is a large (10' x 10') columned doorway that shimmers and sparks when in use. The light and magic display varies depending on the user and their departure/destination point. The portal no longer connects to other worlds; it is used to get to other locations in Lyran Tal quickly. If a creature or an object can't fit through the doorway, it can't use the portal. While the Portal can theoretically take one to anywhere in Lyran Tal, some areas are warded against its power, and some regions are simply too dangerous to just "gate" into them.
You may see other folks actually playing these characters, but they are fair game if you want to have your character order a drink and no one seems to be playing the part of bartender. Our hosts frequently sling drinks, too, in addition to being available to facilitate play. They can be distinguished by the "CWT" prefix on their names, and their schedule is available here: Host Schedule. Want to know what's available fare in the tavern? Check out the Menu and the Drink List.
Please respect your fellow players and the illusion being created here. Cooperate. Dice rolling is not allowed in the Crosswinds chat room itself. "Godmoding" and "Powergaming" will likely get your character ignored. Don't use Out-of-Character chat in the room; keep it to IMs and e-mail. Be kind to our eyes and do not use red fonts or fonts that are smaller than 12 points.
For more detailed information on any of these subjects, click on the links in the text and in the menu! If you're in the chat room and a Host is on duty, they'll be happy to answer any questions you have, too.