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  1. #1
    Senior Member Delazar's Avatar
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    Like Father, Like Son

    Need some help with a delicate issue arisen in our weekly game:

    Sasha Gunnarson was a Rjurik, who swore loyalty to the Emperor of Anuire (in our campaign Anuire is a unified Empire). He became the Regent of 3 regions of Alamie, renamed Cuirenie.

    He had a son, Hrothwulf, and died shortly after. Hrothwulf's mother, also a rjurik woman, died too not long after. Sasha's sister, a priestess of Kirken named Rowena, decided to abandon the Anuirean ways, and travelled to the Giantdowns to take care of little Hrothwulf in the Rjurik way.

    She left the rule of Cuirenie to a nearby regent (a trusted adventuring companion of Sasha).

    Now, 25 years later, Rowena is dead, and Hrothwulf is carving a realm out of the Giantdowns. He's already unified 7 out of 12 provinces, and he's confident he'll be king in a year or two. He has never returned to Anuire, and has no interest in ruling Cuirenie.

    Now the issue: the Emperor of Anuire, seeing how good Hrothwulf is doing, reminded Hrothwulf that, since his father was his vassal, he is too. And consequently, he wants to annex the Giantdowns to his Empire.

    Hrothwulf has already stated that he's willing to "give up" the lands of Cuirenie, to be free of the Emperor's claim, but the Emperor has refused. Would the Emperor be right? Is Hrothwulf a vassal, just because his father was?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jaleela's Avatar
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    Vassalage is a feudal contract between a Lord and the vassal typically for a grant of land, military service, mutual protection, etc..., such as the one that the character's father entered into an obligation for the land. If his son decided to continue as ruler of the lands in the Empire, then he would enter into a state of vassalage by swearing fealty to the Emperor (like every other regent) for continued ruler-ship of those lands granted to his family by the Emperor.

    It is assumed that these grants are hereditary, provided the vassal's heir was satisfactory to the lord, and provided he paid an inheritance tax called a relief and took the oath of fealty.

    If the son decides that he does not want the lands in Alamie, then I believe it forfeits to the crown and the Emperor can do what he wants with it.

    I think that unless the Giant Downs were claimed and held by the Empire, then he might have to strike a deal with the Emperor. However, does not seem to be the case and that the Empire would have no legitimate "claim" to the character's lands; and that the character had not entered into an agreement of vassalage with the Emperor for the Giant Down lands and therefore does not owe vassalage for those lands; unless, like Richard Endier or Daene Roesone, who carved out land for their lord's and wanted to be recognized and elevated to positions of power for their efforts.

    Short answer would be "no".
    Last edited by Jaleela; 02-13-2012 at 05:01 PM.
    d'estre bons et leaulx amis et vrais ensemble et de servir l'un 'autre envers et contre tous

  3. #3
    Junior Member severian's Avatar
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    There are some historical precedents for this: for instance - during 100 y war king of England was a vassal of king of France because he was a duke of Normandy (because of duke William the conqueror who took England embarking from Normandy). That was quite awkward and was one of the legal reasons for the war. So king of England was sole ruler of England all the while he was a duke of Normandy that had to have French king as senior.
    In holy roman empire the KING of bohemia was a vassal of the holy roman EMPEROR...

    So if the new king stops being a vassal to the emperor and relinquish anuirean lands he might be off the hook, but it is highly unlikely
    How can you capture a beautiful bird without breaking it's spirit?!

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    The answer is "might makes right", the issue is what are really the questions.

    Bluntly Hrothwulf has made good, by unifying the provinces, clearing them of monsters, etc, he has turned monster-infested wilderness into potential real estate. The emperor inevitably has nobles wanted to win glory and lands, merchants looking for trade routes, missionaries wanting to spread the word, etc, etc so any new lands are tempting.

    The emperor could of course send in troops now that the land had been cleared, but the Giantdowns has historically been a sucking quagmire for foreign invaders - far better to try diplomacy. Also of course the emperor is hardly coming empty handed, investments for roads, settlers, nobles to lead settlements, defend the land, uphold laws etc - all that the new regent needs to do is agree terms so it is entirely natural to ask, and how else to do so than by first reminding Hrothwulf of his father's rewards for loyal service, etc.

    Of course, just because the message bears the imperial seal, it doesn't necessarily mean that it has received much imperial attention - or perhaps even any. Perhaps an adviser wrote and sealed it, or perhaps Dhoesone or Tuarheviel has some plan in motion and requested aid from the empire - or possibly it was the regent of Cuirene who plans to use the refusal to become regent in their own right -or one of their rivals, in either case expect some 'encouragement' for diplomatic misunderstanding to occur.

    The questions I would expect include:
    * what happens if Hrothwulf offends the emperor with his response? Or if a noble could claim to be enraged on the emperor's behalf?
    * how many impoverished nobles, would-be counts, etc will seize on this request as an excuse to head north and stake a claim, offering vassalage of their own in exchange for land rights?
    * how beneficial could imperial aid be? Perhaps this is opportunity not threat...
    * what vassalage ties are actually requested? Is this request mere vanity or is it serious?
    * what will the Rjurik realms say when they hear? What will they counter-offer?
    * what do the locals think, are they pleased, enraged? Where else could settlers come from?
    * will rivals of Hrothwulf consider this request "proof" that Hrothwulf is really Anuirean at heart?
    * what does the regent/rival thereto of Cuiriene think about their 'rightful' lord abruptly coming back on the radar and inevitably casting doubt on the regent's position.
    * who inherits Cuiriene if Hrothwulf defaults - who actually granted the title, who could claim, etc, etc
    * what does the Gorgon think of the new realm on his doorstep?
    * what do the goblin/etc raiders from the crown think of the new realm?
    * both father and son have now founded a significant domain from nothing - clearly the bloodline is strong - is Hrothwulf married? Could he trade up if so / be snaffled if not?

    In practice "facts on the ground" will be determinant, but certainly interesting times are ahead - and the imperial heralds can be almost guaranteed to come up with whatever answer on the legal issue of vassalage that the emperor wants...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Delazar's Avatar
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    Ok, one thing I'm already happy about is that there does not seem to be just ONE right answer... I wouldn't want the players coming to me and say "the Emperor is just a jerk, making up rules". Of course, he's the Emperor, so he could if he would .

    I'm going to answer's Andrew's questions, it seems they can help me clarify my thoughts on the matter, and let me see where the campaign might go from here on.

    * what happens if Hrothwulf offends the emperor with his response? Or if a noble could claim to be enraged on the emperor's behalf?
    The Emperor is already a bit offended, since he sent a messenger to Hrothwulf in the Giantdowns, inviting him to the capital to renew his father's oaths. Hrothwulf has never replied to the invitation. Through unofficial channels, he has already "warned" that an Anuirean army (led by one of Hrotwulf's childhood friends) may be necessary to "settle the issue".

    * how many impoverished nobles, would-be counts, etc will seize on this request as an excuse to head north and stake a claim, offering vassalage of their own in exchange for land rights?
    I didn't really think about this. I have my hands pretty full with all that is going on, so I'm not sure I want to introduce even more personalities in the campaign.

    * how beneficial could imperial aid be? Perhaps this is opportunity not threat...
    Hrothwulf would accept "help", but he does not mant to be a vassal. At the same time, the Emperor's court knows that the Emperor considers Hrothwulf a vassal, and he would lose his face if he left the matter unsolved.

    * what vassalage ties are actually requested? Is this request mere vanity or is it serious?
    It is sserious. The Emperor wants to use the Giantdowns as a buffer state to stage his future attacks to the Gorgon. And since Hrothwulf (and the other PCs) have been doing very well in the Giantdowns, he also expects the regents of the Giantdowns to be paying the salary of a lot of troops.

    * what will the Rjurik realms say when they hear? What will they counter-offer?
    The Giantdowns are a bit isolated from the other Rjurik reamls. The only "human" realm is the Realm o the White Witch, and Hrothwulf already has a few troubles with them (border skirmishes).

    * what do the locals think, are they pleased, enraged? Where else could settlers come from?
    The locals are mostly Rjurik, with a strong influence from the Emeral Spiral and the "rjurik way". So, they do NOT want to be annexed to the Anuirean Empire.

    * will rivals of Hrothwulf consider this request "proof" that Hrothwulf is really Anuirean at heart?Definitely. And he knows that, and wants to avoid it.

    * what does the regent/rival thereto of Cuiriene think about their 'rightful' lord abruptly coming back on the radar and inevitably casting doubt on the regent's position.
    The present regent of Cuiriene will actually be more than happy to have Hrothwulf back. He was a good friend of Hrothwulf's father, and only wants the best for him.

    * who inherits Cuiriene if Hrothwulf defaults - who actually granted the title, who could claim, etc, etc
    I suppose it would stay with the present regent, but Hrothwulf doesn't really care one way or another.

    * what does the Gorgon think of the new realm on his doorstep?
    At the moment, the regions between Hrothwulf's realm and Gorgon are under the rule of the Warlock (from Warlock of the Stonecrowns). He will be the "end-game" boss that Hrothwulf and his companions will have to defeat to unite the Giantdowns. The Gorgon and the Warlock are now fighting each other over "family matters". Rest assured, the PCs have already made an enemy of the Gorgon.

    * what do the goblin/etc raiders from the crown think of the new realm?
    The heroes are exterminating goblins left and right. Of course the humanoids do not like the fact that civilization is coming their way.

    * both father and son have now founded a significant domain from nothing - clearly the bloodline is strong - is Hrothwulf married? Could he trade up if so / be snaffled if not?
    How do you mean "trade up/be snaffled"? (english is not my mother-tongue). Hrothwulf is not married. The Emperor had sent a noblewoman from Dhoesone to be married to him, but he refused. He does not believe in marriage for profit, and he's actually fallen in love with the daughter of the White Witch (a recurring villain in our campaign).

    woah, this was fun to write... sometimes putting stuff in writing really helps ordering your thoughts!

  6. #6
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delazar View Post
    Ok, one thing I'm already happy about is that there does not seem to be just ONE right answer... I wouldn't want the players coming to me and say "the Emperor is just a jerk, making up rules". Of course, he's the Emperor, so he could if he would .

    I'm going to answer's Andrew's questions, it seems they can help me clarify my thoughts on the matter, and let me see where the campaign might go from here on.
    Glad I could help

    Quote Originally Posted by Delazar View Post
    * what happens if Hrothwulf offends the emperor with his response? Or if a noble could claim to be enraged on the emperor's behalf?
    The Emperor is already a bit offended, since he sent a messenger to Hrothwulf in the Giantdowns, inviting him to the capital to renew his father's oaths. Hrothwulf has never replied to the invitation. Through unofficial channels, he has already "warned" that an Anuirean army (led by one of Hrotwulf's childhood friends) may be necessary to "settle the issue".
    Well, here is offended officially and offended personally - and there are degrees of offence. Offering vassalage to an independent is almost automatic for a noble if the independent looks weak or faced by serious foes. Simply failing to respond could be taken as offence if the emperor so wished (of course), or merely proof of rustic nature, or simply put down to the loss of the messenger (the roads are hazardous, particularly in barbaric areas such as Rjurik.

    At the other extreme sending back the mutilated head of the messenger with insults would likely lead to personal offence and the political need to make an example of Hrothwulf - it is all down to the end political agreement and pride.

    Alternatively if the request was by a lackey rather than the emperor themself then the emperor may not even know, much less care - although the lackey may be very unhappy at the failure of their attempt to gain prestige.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delazar View Post
    * how many impoverished nobles, would-be counts, etc will seize on this request as an excuse to head north and stake a claim, offering vassalage of their own in exchange for land rights?
    I didn't really think about this. I have my hands pretty full with all that is going on, so I'm not sure I want to introduce even more personalities in the campaign.
    This could happen off-stage easily - Hrothwulf's people complain of Anuireans "measuring up the land", or building a toll bridge, etc and what is Hrothwulf going to do about these invaders claiming our land? Or the emperor / a duke, etc complains that one of their young nobles was attacked by the barbarians and "what is Hrothwulf going to do about this banditry?"

    Issues like this could add a veneer of 'legality' to various claims of offence/rights, causes matter of justice events, etc - or just be some colour, whatever works for you, but it is likely that whatever 'the big boys' say to each other is going to be reflected in the interactions of their people.

    As a 'wild card' to throw into the mix it could be fun too - what does proud independent Hrothwulf do when faced by a much larger warlock army and young Sir Thorrin turns up with a unit of veteran knights and whatnot saying 'I'm willing to offer you vassalage in return for a title and some land'? What if Sir Thorrin outright pacifies a wild province and then offers fealty to merge with the new realm? And once one Anuirean noble has been granted a few manors, or even a province, won't that encourage others? And won't such acceptance by Hrothwulf confirm to the Emperor that Hrothwulf does accept that the Downs are truly Anuirean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Delazar View Post
    * how beneficial could imperial aid be? Perhaps this is opportunity not threat...
    Hrothwulf would accept "help", but he does not mant to be a vassal. At the same time, the Emperor's court knows that the Emperor considers Hrothwulf a vassal, and he would lose his face if he left the matter unsolved.
    Vassalage comes in many forms and is the norm for this sort of position, every realm runs on vassalage and Hrothwulf's is likely no exception - who runs his legal system, army and court if not those that answer to him through some form of vassalage? And likely his courtiers will likely expect to hand their position and titles down to their heirs if the nascent kingdom survives. If Hrothwulf denies vassalage then he is undermining his own throne because vassalage is the tool he would normally use to rule, further he effectively accepts that whatever he grants his followers is then their heirs outright, since he rejected his father's duty but retains his fathers lands (officially) risking the fragmentation of his realm in later years. Also if Hrothwulf simply refuses to bend his knee to another then he both insults every man who kneels to him and puts his pride ahead of the well-being of his people...

    Unless Hrothwulf can face down his local monsters, the warlock, and the empire simultaneously then the question for him is surely not "shall I be a vassal" but "what terms can I get to protect my independence but give me the extra troops that I need?" In practice his realm is new, likely weak, and probably needs help to survive and grow so some form of alliance is required - and that means either marriage or vassalage with Hrothwulf is likely to be the junior partner either way. That said, he is the man who made the nation, so clearly he can call much of the tune - as long as he is smart about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delazar View Post
    * what vassalage ties are actually requested? Is this request mere vanity or is it serious?
    It is sserious. The Emperor wants to use the Giantdowns as a buffer state to stage his future attacks to the Gorgon. And since Hrothwulf (and the other PCs) have been doing very well in the Giantdowns, he also expects the regents of the Giantdowns to be paying the salary of a lot of troops.
    That gives Hrothwulf some leverage but also represents a serious threat.

    On the leverage side the emperor is after a military tie, he recognises that Hrothwulf can't afford to build castles, doesn't have the population, etc to raise troops. Hrothwulf for his part knows this, and probably wants to have as strong an army as possible anyway - so by raising local troops/paying for foreign ones Hrothwulf is only doing what he would do already, but gains influence and an ally through vassalage. The question is then 'who commands the troops', 'how much support does Anuire provide', "what else does the emperor want", "who does the emperor send to protect his interests?" etc.

    On the threat side, if Anuire is thinking "fight in their lands with their aid, or if they refuse our alliance, fight the enemy strengthened by them as zombie slaves" then the emperor is coming north regardless of the answer Hrothwulf gives. In that case if Hrothwulf says "no" then the emperor will ensure the land is properly protected over Hrothwulf's dead body - or if Hrothwulf is very lucky the Emperor might simply fortify Dhoesone to the point that Hrothwulf's people see no trade , aid, settlers, etc from the south or west which would in turn likely starve the new realm into defeat at the hands of an active foe in short order.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delazar View Post
    * what will the Rjurik realms say when they hear? What will they counter-offer?
    The Giantdowns are a bit isolated from the other Rjurik reamls. The only "human" realm is the Realm o the White Witch, and Hrothwulf already has a few troubles with them (border skirmishes).
    The taelshore has only a single near-empty Dhoesone province between them and the Downs making passage easy and the Rjurik are famously clannish and protective of one another when faced by outsiders. On the other hand the Rjurik are poorer than Anuire and may have little to offer beyond moral support - and have little to show if angered than condemnations. The druids are the key, they can readily convince jarls and kings to send troops, aid, etc or simply do so themselves - both churches are vast and have accordingly deep pockets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delazar View Post
    * what do the locals think, are they pleased, enraged? Where else could settlers come from?
    The locals are mostly Rjurik, with a strong influence from the Emeral Spiral and the "rjurik way". So, they do NOT want to be annexed to the Anuirean Empire.
    Annexed or merely beholden to a lord recognising some form of vassalge? These are two very different things. The kings of Rjurik of old agreed to vassalage to avoid conquest and the Rjurik retained their ways, etc - why would this necessarily be different? A vassalage oath that was in the main a military alliance might offend few and protect many. After-all, the various dukes all have a fair measure of independence and feel no apparent shame in offering fealty - and their realms keep their character - are the Rjurik of the Downs so despondent of their culture that they think it will vanish the moment that Anuire calls? Of course the Spire might claim "yes" and point to Dhoesone/Hjalsone as proof. But the downs can't grow without settlers from more populous lands and those have to come from somewhere.

    Their reactions could depend on their perception of security - if the people are thinking "we die without aid - this is all that is on the table" then if Hrothwulf says "no, I'd rather we all died free than I bent my neck - as all other men in this realm do to me without shame" the locals might be more unhappy than if he said yes - the rest of the Rjurik endured centuries of Imperial rule afterall - and came out the richer for it compared to their northern cousins who did not kneel (climate of course also playing a factor here).

    If Hrothwulf agrees a very good deal (southern troops, castles, but minimal taxes and interference in local matters) then the locals may be quite proud of how Hrothwulf has made the emperor dance to the Rjurik jig.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delazar View Post
    * will rivals of Hrothwulf consider this request "proof" that Hrothwulf is really Anuirean at heart?Definitely. And he knows that, and wants to avoid it.
    So how would he prove himself Rjurik? He could require that the vassalage agreement meant no southern priests perhaps avoiding the core offence and currying favour with the druids? Hrothwulf could demand that he commands the armies and that all troops have a local leader/aide? Or Hrothwulf could risk a war with Anuire for refusing any terms at all - a ruler's job is a delicate balance. Of course some of his people will be offended regardless, and possibly an influx of urban settlers might result in far greater strength in the realm than anything lost by departing nomads and traditionalists...

    Quote Originally Posted by Delazar View Post
    * what does the regent/rival thereto of Cuiriene think about their 'rightful' lord abruptly coming back on the radar and inevitably casting doubt on the regent's position.
    The present regent of Cuiriene will actually be more than happy to have Hrothwulf back. He was a good friend of Hrothwulf's father, and only wants the best for him.
    My thought was more what do they think when the emperor says "Hrothwulf has forsaken his rights through failure to acknowledge vassalage, I appoint the leadership of Cuiriene to my faithful and loyal servant Count Adaere Boeruine..." and could a would-be new count seek to take advantage of the chance to unseat the current regent by working mischief? If the current regent wants to help Hrothwulf then they might exercise influence at court to encourage tolerable vassalage terms, ask to be the negotiating envoy, offer advice, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delazar View Post
    * who inherits Cuiriene if Hrothwulf defaults - who actually granted the title, who could claim, etc, etc
    I suppose it would stay with the present regent, but Hrothwulf doesn't really care one way or another.
    This issue here is, does the incumbent or a potential new count of Cuirene care?

    If you want to keep it simple then clearly they do nothing, otherwise the would-be new count might murder a peace envoy and lay the blame on the northern savages (brutally killing a priest is generally good for starting a fight in this regard) or perhaps the regent of Cuiriene accepts the vassalage offer from Anuire on Hrothwulf's behalf since, afterall, they are running Hrothwulf's realm so why would some minor northern estates be treated differently to his 'true' lands? You can use this option to bring in plenty of Anuirean intrigue or ignore it, whatever works, but someone, somewhere has an agenda in respect of Cuiriene that will be impacted by Hrothwulf's decision - and that means consequences Hrothwulf may not have considered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delazar View Post
    * what does the Gorgon think of the new realm on his doorstep?
    At the moment, the regions between Hrothwulf's realm and Gorgon are under the rule of the Warlock (from Warlock of the Stonecrowns). He will be the "end-game" boss that Hrothwulf and his companions will have to defeat to unite the Giantdowns. The Gorgon and the Warlock are now fighting each other over "family matters". Rest assured, the PCs have already made an enemy of the Gorgon.
    Ah, so add intrigue from the east... I wonder if the vassalage offer was encouraged by an agent of the Gorgon in the imperial court with a view to bleeding Anuire dry fighting in the downs against Hrothwulf and the Warlock? Perhaps Hrothwulf's lieutenants might be encouraged to despise Anuireans and cause offence to the empire if the Gorgon's agents assassinated someone the lieutenant cared for leaving the right "evidence" or made some other offer that they can't refuse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Delazar View Post
    * what do the goblin/etc raiders from the crown think of the new realm?
    The heroes are exterminating goblins left and right. Of course the humanoids do not like the fact that civilization is coming their way.
    So what are the goblins doing about it? Anuireans goblins are both intelligent and often lawful - and numerous. I was actually thinking about sub-commanders in the Gorgon's army wreaking havoc without their master's knowledge (much more playable than el-stony taking an interest), but equally I'd expect mass migration into the mountains (from cleared southern provinces) to result in a goblin realm - or expansion of the Barony as the notoriously pragmatic goblins decide to live rather than die independently. The Downs have absorbed would-be realms for centuries through attrition and the like, the barrows run deep and the caves are yet deeper - and in the true depths lie terrors that are better left undisturbed, etc, etc.

    It is probably 'too busy' to have the goblins running intrigue in Hrothwulf's realm but them coalescing, releasing ancient evils, etc is a way to slow down reckless expansion and remind Hrothwulf that in the end, the land will revert to wilderness unless he truly tames it by founding towns and cities, laying down roads and building castles, etc - the downs are full of ruins of those who failed to fully pacify the land.

    To add some fun, what does Hrothwulf do when organised goblins ask him for protection and offer fealty? Some goblins are traders not raiders after all and the enemy of my enemey is my ally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delazar View Post
    * both father and son have now founded a significant domain from nothing - clearly the bloodline is strong - is Hrothwulf married? Could he trade up if so / be snaffled if not?
    How do you mean "trade up/be snaffled"? (english is not my mother-tongue). Hrothwulf is not married. The Emperor had sent a noblewoman from Dhoesone to be married to him, but he refused. He does not believe in marriage for profit, and he's actually fallen in love with the daughter of the White Witch (a recurring villain in our campaign).
    Snaffled = what happens to chocolates in an office full of young women - the sweets vanish quickly but without anyone being seen taking an interest. An unmarried noble is a significant prize to a would-be bride - and a threat to a married lord jealous of a young, successful noble who might be made cuckold. Everyone wants Hrothwulf safely married off - and has a preference for the 'lucky' girl.

    Trade-up = what happens when plain jane wife, who has dutifully supported hubby while he grows the realm, gets dumped in favour of a younger/prettier model with a rich dowry.

    OK, Hrothwulf isn't married. So from his court's perspective his realm is in dire peril and will swiftly collapse if he dies. Therefore the number one priority of his court is to marry him off to a suitable bride who will strengthen the country and given them an assured progression - whether Hrothwulf likes it or not. His courtiers want to know who will rule if he dies (battle, sickness, winter, godlessness being constant threats) so that they can make their alliances, sway opinion, prepare to grab loot and flee, etc. Since these are the people that Hrothwulf relies updon to run his kingdom and rule they have strong influence and failing to heed their concerns will inevitably lead to poor morale, desertion and corruption, etc.

    Hrothwulf personally intends to betray his people into slavery and cast out Erik from his lands in favour of the worship of ice-fiends - a slightly harsh interpretation of his love for the daughter of the White Witch perhaps but a natural view for his people to take (particularly the druids) when they find that he prefers to dally with their enemies strumpet daughter than marry a woman (properly sanctioned by Erik) who will strengthen the realm - expect trouble on that account lad!

    It is a sad but true fact that generally a noble - and particularly a would-be king - does not marry for love. That is what a mistress or page-boy is for. How loyal will his followers be when the White Witch starts making Hrothwulf dance to her tune? His selfishness and inability to put his people first or control his lusts is a classic 'fatal flaw' in the hero and sounds like it will cause much fun. The Dhoesone offer was a great one from his courts perspective - it would have secured his border, allowed him an ally to soften any ire of the empire over the vassalage, etc - I'd expect plenty of unhappiness in both realms over Horthwulf turning it down and a cold reception from Dhoesone if Hrothwulf comes begging for aid against the Warlock, Ghuralli, The Baron, The Witch, etc, etc - unless he accepts vassalage or marriage to Dhoesone of course!

    Quote Originally Posted by Delazar View Post
    woah, this was fun to write... sometimes putting stuff in writing really helps ordering your thoughts!
    It sounds like fun times lie ahead for poor Hrothwulf. His 'me first, my will alone, I count no man my master' creed may work well in a small nation where he rules by the sword, but if he wants his empire to grow then he may hit stiff resistance from those who need more formality and opportunity for advancement - or see his example crippling his realm. What will Hrothwulf do when those in his service follow his example and put personal pride or lusts ahead of Hrothwulf's orders and the realm's wellbeing?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Delazar's Avatar
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    Woah, a lot of food for thoughts!

    There are a few angles I didn't think about before reading this. Lots of opportunities for great sessions.

    Thanks for the help!

  8. #8
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delazar View Post
    Woah, a lot of food for thoughts!

    There are a few angles I didn't think about before reading this. Lots of opportunities for great sessions.

    Thanks for the help!
    Glad to be of help, I posted tired and was worried that I'd sounded prescriptive.

    With BR one thing I've tried to do is see how the Louis the Sun-king syndrome can be opposed without being seen as a jerk by a player.

    Working on factionalism, remembering the desires of the 'small fish in the pond' and that although the player is the focus of the game (well, one of them) from an NPC perspective the player is just one other person to befriend, fear, ignore, etc.

    NPCs that have plans, etc which can be detected (to prevent their actions seeming random) but which don't focus on the player as their target (unless it's more fun that way) show that the world is 'alive' really make a difference in the world and can give a nudge to a player who is struggling or storming to get a game back on track.

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