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Ladies’ Primer: In Character

This article is written as an IC document, a companion piece to this OOC document.

The Revelations of the Seven to Septa Brida Regarding the Lives of Women

It is said that, in the early days of the Faith in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, when the reign of Aegon the Conqueror was yet young, that a young septa received three visitations. These visitations occurred on three consecutive nights, and each night was revealed to her the desires of the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone for women of the Faith. She faithfully recorded these revelations onto parchment, and when she had finished her task, went quite mad from the strain.  But the revelations were safeguarded, and here they are set forth as she wrote them.

Revelation the First, regarding Maidens

These are the words of the Maiden: Let it be done as I reveal to you, that all gently-born women who have yet to marry and bear children shall be beloved by Me according to my will.

First, that a young woman shall submit to her father’s rule in all things, and after her father, to her mother’s guidance.  They are set above her by the will of the Seven, and it is unto them she owes all her respect and obeisance, as she owes to the Seven.

Let her learn the ways of the Mother while she is yet a maid.  Let her stitch and sew, spin and weave, that her husband might be well-dressed, her children kept warm, and their home adorned as her husband might will it.

Let her learn, with her own hands, to toil as a servant might toil. Let her know the roughness of her hands from hard work, that she might better guide her servants with knowledge and compassion.

Let her be taught by a Septa of the Faith the ways of humility, charity, compassion, and forgiveness. In this way she will be soft-spoken and womanly, and her virtues will be many.

Let her never fall prey to idleness, which breeds gossip and discontent. Let her know what must be done, and bend her mind to every needful task that she will be made better by them.

Let her learn her letters, though she be but a daughter and less than a son. A woman who can read and factor sums is a precious one, who will serve her husband all the better for having been taught.

Let her be taught the ways of chastity.  Guard her well in her maiden days, and expect no less than obedience and fidelity from her, that she will go unblemished to her husband, and no man might question her virtue or the getting of her sons.

Let her keep company only with the gently-born, that she might be supported in her virtues.  But do not neglect to instruct her in the ways of speaking to those born to a lesser place, for here shall she learn compassion and humility.  Guard her well against those who would influence her from the path of virtue, and keep from her all evil influences.

Watch her well for signs of Faith, O Mothers. If your daughter be inclined toward a life in the Faith, do not chastise her or hold her back for worldly ambitions, but mold her mind toward her calling. A maid who gives her life to the service of the Seven is a treasure and a gift.

Revelation the Second, regarding Wives and Mothers

These are the words of the Mother: Let a woman live as I reveal to you, that she might be beloved by Me and glorify the Seven in all that she does, that she might be an instrument of My will.

Submit to the will of your husband in all things, for his will is your will.

The task is yours to maintain the larder, and use wisely the coin your husband gives you for its provisioning.  Keep a careful accounting, so that he may be blessed by your care and attention, and the household never want.

The task is yours to maintain a store of clothing for all the household.  To this end, maintain a proper schedule of carding, spinning, and weaving, of setting cloth and cutting it.  See that the women of your household work steadfastly to provide the clothing of the house, for the servants and the children.  Set aside the best cloth for your husband, for he is a reflection of your care.

The task is yours to adorn your husband’s house.  Wield your needle skillfully to ornament his walls and his person.  Keep to topics of the Faith in your needlework, which will show your knowledge without pride, and edify all who dwell with you.  Avoid images of lechery or sin!

The task is yours to guide the servants of the household in righteous ways.  Do not let them be sinful in their ignorance, for they must be guided and dealt with kindly. Speak to them with respect, but do not raise them too high from their place if they are lowborn.  Do not allow their disputes to trouble your husband, for his concerns are of higher things.

The task is yours to provide heirs to your husband, and give him such children as the Seven deem you to do.  Do not lock your door to him, or deny him the comfort of your body, for so were you created by the Seven for the care and ease of your husband. 

The task is yours to raise your daughters in the ways of the Seven.  Teach them according to Our revelations, and set above them a septa to school them. 

The task is yours to bear sons, but not to presume too much in their education.  This is the way of the Father, and is not for you.  Love them well, but do not keep them from their father, for he knows the ways of blade and husbandry. Teach your sons compassion by your actions, model for them humility and virtue, but do not lure them to womanish things, lest they grow in cowardice or aberration.

The task is yours to advise your husband, but not to rule him.  It is for him to decide where a son will be fostered, or a daughter marry.  When you advise him, speak without commanding.  It is given to you to be quiet, and by quiet ways might you advise him in the ways of wisdom, so his reputation might rise.

The task is yours to keep high the spirits of the household. Ride out to the hunt, keeping to such womanly methods as the short bow, or a suitable hawk, such as a merlyn, which is small enough for a lady, but fierce at the hunt.

The task is yours to make the evenings pleasant, when the work of the day is laid by and small tasks like needlework might be taken up. Let there be music, and decorous dancing, or singing of hymns or tales from the history of the land. This will nurture the spirit to rest and work when the sun rises again.

Do not keep company with any man but your husband, save he be your brother, or the company kept in full view of the household. Accept no gifts, let no man claim love to you, or allow any man into your chamber who is not your husband. Avoid even the appearance of impropriety that you husband may always be sure of your absolute fidelity.

Do not allow the ladies of your household to practice impiety or to be unvirtuous. Set them an example in all you do. Deal swiftly with any breach of propriety, so that even your household will show your husband in the best way.

Do not presume to know better than your husband, but intervene on others’ behalf with him when you know their cause to be just and true. Do so privately, so he is not shamed before his people, and do not claim credit in his place when his decision agrees with your desire.

Do not be a source of discord in your household. Do not quarrel with your husband, or displease him through deliberate actions. Do not be shrewish or defiant, for his is set above you by the Seven, and his place is not yours.  Live in peace with him and with all your house.

Do not allow idleness to creep into your solar.  It is for you to be sure that all the work of the household is completed in timely manner, and that the next task is always ready when the last is complete. Idleness leads to evil, and must not be nurtured.

Do not be ignorant of your husband’s lands and people. Ride out with him to see it all, know its boundaries and its buildings, know the people by name and by occupation.  In this way might you rule in his absence, should he require it of you.  Let his people know you as well, that they might be inspired to goodness by your example.

Do not be stirred by evil, Wives and Mothers.  Be always chaste and virtuous, speak softly and demurely, so that by your modesty you will be beautiful in your husband’s eyes, and an asset to his household.  Show all who serve you the ways of the Faith by praying daily, even if you should have no sept in which to pray.  Read to them from the Seven Pointed Star, to raise their faith and yours.

Do not keep your sons from service to the Seven. If your son should show a vocation for service in the Faith, rejoice! He is beloved of the Gods and will be a credit to your husband by his sacrifice to virtue and service.

Revelation the Third, regarding Widows

These are the words of the Crone: Let a woman end her days thus, that she might be taken to the arms of the Seven on her death, and be blessed in My sight as a good and virtuous woman.

For the woman whose husband has died after a long and useful life, these are the days of her reward.

Let the widow whose husband has died be virtuous. She must continue to exemplify her husband’s rule and submit to her son, who is master of the household now.

Let the widow not quarrel with her good-daughter, for hers is the running of the household now.  The widow is relieved now of such cares, and can spend her days in contemplation of the Seven, and in good works.

Let the widow continue in the provision of the household, as her good-daughter requires, that her hands be never idle.

Let the widow avoid envy and self-pity.  She must turn to the Faith when she feels frustration with her own failing body.

Let the widow avoid the company of men. She must not abandon her virtue.

Let the widow take joy in her grandchildren, but avoid meddling in their raising. She must defer to her son in all things, for he is her lord now. 

Let her not undermine her son’s rule, or seek to discredit her good-daughter to the household. She must avoid this at all costs, for it creates discontent and disrupts the well-being of all who dwell there.

The best path for a widow is to serve the Seven. If she cannot reconcile herself to her widowhood and finds herself quarrelling and sowing discord in her son’s house, let her consider a motherhouse. Here she might end her days in good deeds, serving the will of the Seven and earning her place at their feet after her death.  If she is yet young when she is widowed, she might become a septa to make a gift of her knowledge and experience to young girls in need of guidance.