Over on my DA journal I keep an archive of TL;DR "Author's Notes," but I literally do not have time for this at present so I'll just natter a bit instead. "Homecomings" is probably my favorite story to date, and if it had come out in 2009 I might have earmarked it as "most satisfying thing to have bashed out" for the year. Having it complete also IMO justifies the whole "Unified Kingdom
" project, since it is the genesis of the whole project as well as one of the cornerstone episodes.
Anyway, "Homecomings" is set in 647-648, or exactly forty years after the "War of Heroes" in FE3. An entire postwar generation has come of age and started their own families, and the events of the Great Wars have already taken on a mythical quality for the citizens of Archanea. The surviving war heroes (and there don't seem to be many) are all around the age of retirement-- the young blood of FE3 has reached the Jagen-Lorenz-Wendell tier of decrepitude (except for Tiki, duh). Some are still active in public life, but their age is nearly over.
[I use the "novelization" ages posted on Serenes Forest as my guidebook when it comes to character ages, so year 647 would place Abel as 64, and Catria at 58. That is essentially the upper limit for playable characters in the Archanea-verse. Sixty is not the "new forty" in Archanea (unless you're a Light Mage). These people are old
The 'fic itself relays plenty of details about everyday life and the economy of Altea, which is the primary setting for "Homecomings," but I'd like to mention a few points wrt the "big picture" backdrop of the Unified Kingdom.
1) The place of women. Sorry, it's still not a gender-neutral society. If anything, the disastrous reigns of Nyna and Minerva likely convinced a good chunk of the populace that there are some things women can't do. This ties into the public opinion of Catria, one of the most visible women in the government. That said, the role of Elice and Linde in higher education has created an "upper middle class" of educated and cultured ladies, and some other signposts say that gender perceptions are changing for the better.
2) Culture-mixing. War and upheaval has led to some areas becoming a real "melting pot," and contact with the neighboring continent of Valencia has mixed it up further.
3) Technology. With the Orbs restored, and Gotoh granting humans access to the fabulous "dragon technology" described in the FE3 designers' notes, life in Archanea is easier than ever. "Homecomings" shows the beginnings of a system of mass-transit via warp magic, and other 'fics will show more innovations. Life in 647 is perhaps as far removed from life in 607 as our 1947 was from 1907. OK, they don't have nuclear weapons yet, but still....
Also, one last thing about Abel. I realize that in our world, knights did not come from the bourgeoisie unless a wealthy merchant was knighted for his services to the economy (or bought himself a knighthood). I can't see Abel as anything but bourgeois, frankly. In between his stint as a shop proprietor and his apparent loyalty to Altea as a nation rather than to the royal dynasty (x-ref FEDS script), he seems to be coming from a different place entirely than Cain and the rest of the Temple Knights. That's how I see him, and that's how I write him.
That's it for now. More later.
ETA: Oh, yeah. I started writing this back in my original Altea-as-England phase and switched to the current Altea-as-Spain phase partway through writing it. I think there's some traces of the Netherlands in there as well.