Blood of Dragons

The 'A Song of Ice and Fire' MUSH


OOC Meeting #1

Topics discussed include Baelor’s return to court, upcoming plots in Dorne and various questions relating to wealth and marriages.

You say, “We thought we’d start with a quick look at what’s current and upcoming for both areas. Starting with King’s Landing, Baelor will be returning within about a month. So there will be some news soon about a wheelhouse being prepared to fetch him.”

Balerion says, “On Baelor’s arrival in King’s Landing, there’s obviously going to be some… changes. Those of you who’ve read the books or have done some research at the Citadel or Wiki of Ice and Fire probably know what that means. ;) It’ll be an interesting time, and we hope that the turmoil that spills from that will engage everyone for a bit before things settle down again.”

Balerion says, “Turning our attention to Dorne, we have a bazaar and tournament that has been proposed by Lilah and Liane OOCly, which we’ll be pushing forward to mark the new year in Westeros. Then, following that, events in King’s Landing will have an effect on the status quo regarding the troublesome issues in the Bonewy. We don’t think it will heat up in September, because for one thing Nym and I expect to be rather busy with the World of Ice and Fire, but certainly that should pick up in October and we’ve some ideas for that”

Balerion says, “Beyond that, we’ve a few player-submitted plots on the table, and I know our fellow staff members are thinking ahead as well.”

Balerion says, “As to non-plot matter, we’ll discuss the status of code bits for a little bit. As you all know, there’s quite a bit of code at a half-done level. We have some significant adjustments we want to make to CG, which is going to take time—nothing really radical from the perspective of players yet, but some of the ideas could well require players to re-CG to fully take benefit of the changes. We’ll see how that goes.”

Damphair says, “A belated note about Baelor’s return: This would actually be a great time for characters to show their political chops. Right now, it’s much easier at court, in a sense when it comes to King’s Landing. When Baelor gets back, there will be a lot of scope for subtlety at court. Winning his favour by appearing religious/ethical, but indulging in manoeuvering underneath that for those who are so inclined.”

Josmyn says, “May we ask questions yet, or should that come later?”“

You say, “We can take a few questions after the update, but save general questions for the end :)”

Balerion says, “In terms of a combat system, we are going to look into having a +melee/foot system, to compliment the mounted melee. IT will remain as basic as the current melee system, but will hopefully address concerns for those who do not find their abilities sufficiently represented because of a poor riding skill. Basically, same system withou riding factored in.”

Balerion says, “Obviously, the ultimate goal is to create fully-fleshed out combat system that can handle both mounted combat and foot combat, which can represent a skilled waterdancer against a knight in a way that feels realistic and reasonable, but that’s somewhere in the future when I have more time to actually dig it into. It’s a big project.”

You say, “Alright, any questions on the plot or code updates? :)”

Josmyn says, “Well, I have one little concern on Baelor’s return…”

Balerion says, “Go ahead, Josmyn. :)”

Josmyn says, “I have read all the books and gathered here and there that Baelor is extremely pious and that thus everyone should be on their best/modest/most religious behaviour (at least in public) and I know there’s been a little issue recently that too many of us newbies came in here thinking that KL was like it was shown in the HBO Show, with everyone whoring and being drunk, etc. when Robert was king and we were also reminded that KL would have been different 150 years ago. I’m just wondering, if we get at least 1-2 OOC warnings if we’re “out of line” in terms of behaviour when Baelor is around or should rather tiptoe cautiously as soon as he’s back”

You say, “OOCly, we’ll obviously take what we know about individual players in terms of theme knowledge into account. ICly, I think a lot of people aren’t expecting Baelor to go quite as religious as he will. I think it makes sense for PCs to not yet realize precisely what his reign will mean. However, everyone should obviously be aware that he is well known to be extremely pious.”

Alyce says, “It is known that he still has not consummated his marriage, right?”

You say, “Yes, it is. Daena is still wearing white.”

Josmyn says, “Okay… I personally rather err on the side of caution but I wouldn’t want RP to grind to a halt because people are scared to move and make mistakes”

Kendros says, “It’s gonna be like Savonarola on steroids is my understanding.”

Josmyn laughs

Nymeria nods to Josmyn. “I think it would be very IC for mistakes to happen. Also, remember that Baelor isn’t going to have your head off. He’s pious but not an inquisitor.” ;)

Josmyn says, “good :)”

Not entirely important for Albyn but perhaps in name of those who have chars who do not worship the Seven… I assume their environment will change drasticaly, being a ‘heathen’ at court.

You say, “We don’t actually get the sense that Baelor himself was a crusader in any way. But he may take personal interest in trying to get people to see the light.”

Ammon says, “I have a quick question regarding the Dornish plot, once this is settled.”

Katla says, “If we stuck true to theme, stuff would be a bit crazy… I think Bal and Nym noted that certain things will be finessed so characters are still playable - like unmarried ladies!”

You say, “Yes, we’ll moderate some of the aspects of Baelor’s reign a touch. But I think we might see some fashion changes.”

You say, “Unless there’s anything else, lets move on to Ammon’s questions?”

Ammon says, “Regarding matters in the Boneway, Coran would probably be pretty central to this, and it’s something I’ve been thinking of myself. So, I’ve got some ideas. Basically, should I just submit a +job outlining everything I’ve got so far and we’ll see if any of it works?”

You say, “Yeah, it would be good to have all of it collected in one place.”

Alyce says, “Where can we see more about these troubles in the Boneway? Are there already posts about it? Where is that, exactly?”

Ammon says, “Ok, cool. That’s all. :)”

Balerion says, “Alyce, there have been tidings posts in the archives that you can look at. But in very brief, Lord Wyl, Lady Yronwood, and their vassals in the Boneway have a bone to pick (hah) with Prince Marence due to his handling of certain matters related to the war and the peace—the Yronwoods in particular were devastated. Marence has marriage ties, and another oddity is that his son technically ought to have inherited Yronwood but King Daeron named Lady Yronwood to the seat, and she may be motivated by concern that Marence may assert his son’s claim. It’s complicated. We have Red Rhys of the Scourge and Alyx Sand as bandits, possibly aided and abetted by the Wyls and Yronwoods, Marence has been hesitant to do anything about it directly, this is why Coran and Daven Wyl are in Sunspear because it seems Marence is considering marrying his young sister Ariana to Coran (who is heir to Wyl), there are people who are of course angry about this idea that semi-traitorous lords are being rewarded…”

Balerion says, “Well, not so brief, but that shows how complicated it is! The upshot is, if things go badly in the Boneway, it will threaten the peace with the Seven Kingdoms.”

You say, “Of course, for those in King’s Landing, they have the Wyl’s to thank for Baelor’s long absence. ;)”

Alyce nods. “So it affects KL, but only tangentially at the moment?”

You say, “Right. :)”

Alyce says, “Then, if things go badly, there may be troops and knights called toward that border to secure it?”

Melene says, “So, hopefully there will be a chancefor Liane to go see Lady Yronwood at some point in this plot.”

Balerion says, “Possibly, yes. Of course, it’s difficult for us to constantly have people travelling around. That said, yes, we have the intention of a travel plot in Dorne going up to the Boneway for a period of time. Again, probably not until October or later.”

Balerion says, “Not so much a plot for KL people, though, to do the same. We’ve had a lot of travelling, and it’s a big distance again.”

Damphair says, “Various sections of KL people have been on the road for the past 4 months or more, in any case. With Baelor returning now, it’ll be good to have a period of consolidation at court.”

You say, “Next up on the agenda, we’ll briefly discuss two suggested topics: the first being money and wealth and the second being marriages.”

Balerion says, “All right, wealth. Money makes the world go round…. although in Westeros, I suppose it’s fair to say that land rather than money is how wealth is truly measured. One of the things about the setting is that there’s stratification—not all houses are equal, in social rank, in prestige, or in wealth. Money doesn’t literally grow on trees, and some houses are poorer than others.”

Balerion says, “The main goal I have with this little presentation is to give people a better sense of who can afford what, and at what cost. Broadly speaking, there’s the sense that basically if a player wants something, they can eventually afford it. Unfortunately, the picture is more complicated than this, and in fact I’d say many players should probably think of RPing more about the difficult choice of what to spend their wealth on because they simply do not have unlimited budgets.”

Balerion says, “First, lets start at the top: members of the Great Houses are, generally speaking, very affluent. But… it depends on how closely related they are to the lord, and how they get a long. The Blackfish didn’t get much money from Lord Hoster after their falling out, I expect, but he had the patronage of his good-nephew Lord Arryn.”

Balerion says, “A son or daughter of a great lord can probably assume that when at court, there’s a significant stipend—they are there to show the wealth and prestige of their family, and aren’t necessarily going to be wearing hand-me-downs. OTOH, you have to remember that Westeros is a society where a certain frugality exists even in the highest of houses. Medieval tunics and dresses often had extravagantly long sleeves because as the ends wore out—the dye faded and the cloth became worn—they could basically just do some sewing work and freshen up the sleeve with the extra material. I have to imagine you’ll see this with many noble families, even very wealthy ones. Clothing isn’t treated as disposable, not when it takes tens of man hours to make it.”

Balerion says, “But once you start going further away—say you’re a a cousin twice removed of a lord—the picture changes. You have your name and its prestige, maybe your father holds a holdfast or two on behalf of his lordly cousin, but that’s it.”

Balerion says, “Lets look a step down. There are some lordly houses which are, for all intents and purposes, as wealthy as a Great House—the Reynes and Tarbecks in the west, the Redwyns and Hightowers in the Reach, probably the Freys, Blackwoods, and Brackens in the riverlands, the Royces of Runestone in the Vale, and so on and so forth. But again, if you’re not the lord’s eldest son or possibly brother, you’re going to be in the occasional situation where you can’t just afford something.”

Balerion says, “Houses like the Reynes and Hightowers are definitely outliers, though. Other lordly families are probably going to have to be a lot more frugal—the cost of setting up a household in King’s Landing is going to be high if you want to show off (and all the families _do_ want to show off), so they probably budget things very deliberately. Got an unexpected cost all th sudden? Hit with some sort of judicial fine? You may have to borrow to cover it.”

Kendros has a query when you’re ready for them, Bal.

Balerion says, “And the picture grows grimmer the further down you go. Let me add that we have certain assets that affect wealth—poor and wealthy, for example.”

Alyce has a question as well, after Kendros.

Balerion says, “These are _relative_ to your normally-expected wealth. That is, if you’re the second son of Lord Bracken, you might be expected to have, say, a stipend of 200 dragons in a year… and if you’ve some private holdings, maybe that makes you wealthy because now you’re at 400 dragons. But lets say that Lord Hightower’s heir could have Expenses… and he’s still got an income of 1,000 dragons or more that he can draw on. (Note these numbers are purely random examples, and not definitive).”

Balerion says, “We can’t really give a definitive list of prices and such. But things like 100 dragon wagers are the province of great lords or otherwise exceptionally wealthy individuals. Laying out thousands of dragons is something that even a lord might blanche at, and would certainly demand an accouting for. So… bear that stuff in mind.”

Balerion says, “All right. Any questions? Kendros?”

Kendros says, “Thanks. This may not have a direct bearing on play, but is more of a theme question. With respect to borrowing and debts: I’m wondering how, thematically, that would work here. Debtor’s prisons aren’t ever really mentioned, and most high nobles seem like they would be immune from such punishments. So with no way of ensuring a noble isn’t just going to default on his debts, what way would creditors have of ensuring a reasonable form of repayment? I assume collateral, but that doesn’t seem like it would entirely cover the problem.”

Balerion says, “We would draw from medieval history to look at it. Collateral would certainly be a big part of deciding things. Ruinous rates on offer if you’ve previously defaulted because you think you can ignore the common moneylenders. That sort of thing. It’s absolutely true that at the highest levels, the lenders are so deep into you that they can end up hostage—they’ll have to keep forking over money in hopes you will eventually dig yourself out of a hole to repay them. But… IMO, historically that generally happened when it looked like you were aiming for some big prize. If you were a baron who was likely to win an inheritance struggle that would make you a duke, sure, some lenders would gamble, and gamble big. But things being more settled in Westeros, there’s not likely going to be many situations like that among the nobility where they can just assume there’s some willing lender who’ll cover vast sums for you.”

Balerion says, “(Or, as another example, if you were a king. Kings could be very, very troublesome for lenders.)”

Balerion says, “Of course, in the setting, the biggest lender of all is the Iron Bank… and the Iron Bank always collects what’s due to them, so. Be careful if you decide to borrow from ‘em. ;)”

Balerion says, “All right, Alyce?”

Damphair says, “One other thing to remember here is tourneys. Those who have read the Dunk and Egg stories—particularly the last one—would have seen just how much winning or losing at a tourney can impact a knight’s economic status. You don’t even have to win the prize; simply defeating a few knights would give you their armour and horse, which would enable you to turn a handsome profit. By the same token, losing could land you real trouble financially. Something to keep in mind for tourneys in the future. As an example, Kendros has it written into his history that he made a comfortable living through his tourney victories and that one of the main reasons he’s peeved about being exiled from the Reach is that it cuts down a great deal on his earning opportunities.”

Kendros says, “Yes. I am upset!”

Damphair says, “Silence, cur.”

Kendros mutters.

Alyce says, “Can we have an idea of dragons and silver in terms of real world money? That might be simpler than a money list. That is to say, a dragon is worth $1,000 (or whatever). Also, it might help if we had a page on the website that outlined some basic amounts for various positions within a House. Something like: the heir (while in KL) would like get X dragons per year. Second son gets Y percent of that amount, third gets Z percent, etc. Just as a guideline. And maybe a bit about the ladies at court as well.”

Alyce says, “Then “wealthy” makes the amount double that and “poor” makes it half. Or something.”

Josmyn says, “Yea some guidelines would be helpful, I often don’t know what to pose in terms of payment or something. I might have paid the equivalent of $1000 for a beer”

Balerion says, “It’s not possible to do that. Maybe if we had four or five playable houses we could do something like that. WE can put together some examples of costs easily enough, as there are a number you can look at in the books.”

Alyce says, “What do you mean by ‘playable Houses’?”

Nymeria nods. “Trying to provide a “wealth score” for each house is too complex. We had it in mind at first, just like status, but we felt it needed much more detail and that made it unwieldy.”

You say, “Well, we have family trees for quite a lot of houses. Trying to put each of those onto a wealth scale is too complex.”

Alyce says, “Oh, I didn’t mean every House. Just really general guidelines. Great Houses (and those two who you mentioned have that level of wealth), lordly, lesser lordly, knightly..”

Alyce says, “With the understanding that these are merely guidelines. I just feel very lost with regards to money here.”

You say, “But wealth and status doesn’t match up entirely. As it is, status is incredibly lacking in structure since there’s definitely a big status difference between the lord of a house and his second-cousin.”

:thinks that they all have much different amounts to categorize vaguely, “But is there any way we could simply ask in either a page or a +job, how much stipend or round abouts that a Char would or should have in general?”- Jannia

Aryard has disconnected.

Katla says, “House Greyjoy, as an example, would be much less wealthy than House Lannister or House Baratheon. It wouldn’t be an appropriate balance, in my opinion. I think coming up with an item-cost list out of the info in the books would be a good start, and… just remember that stuff like Myrish lace is very costly, compared to roughspun wool, or even lambswool. I think in the books, it’s described as just accessories, like sleeves or bodice insets. So ladies going around in full lace gowns would have a simple demonstration of _huge_ economic sway.”

Balerion says, “If you want to know on an individual basis, we’re certainly happy to field jobs with specific requests. I believe I can at least work that out.”

Alyce watches the flood of +jobs. ;)

Kendros says, “If I saw someone walking around in a gown made entirely of lace I’d rob her and take the gown.”

Aryard has connected.

Katla says, “Same with someone who consistently rides sandsteeds - not only do they have the funds to import them from Dorne, but also the money for the horses themselves.”

Jarianne well I would assume myself and sister Andrya’s funds would be about the same, so one +job can suffice for the both of us. -Jannia

Melene says, “Perhaps we’re thinking too much about money anyway? Admittedly, these are nobles we are speaking of, but we’re also talking about ‘economies’ (such as they are) where people get paid for their service with new clothes once in a while, or where ‘wealthy’ means you get to eat well. That may be a bit of an exaggeration for the nobles, but surely noone has a lot of cash to go shopping with.”

Balerion says, “True. Having vast amounts of coin on hand is not all that usual.”

You say, “In part since nobles wouldn’t, well, go “shopping” that often. No stores with off-the-rack clothing. ;)”

You say, “We’ll be looking at turning these topics into articles, so the money article would at least incorporate price examples. In the meantime, there are prices mentioned in the Concordance as well.”

You say, “Next up, marriages.”

Melene says, “SO, it seems like we should be thinking more about making do with what we have, being noble means that there are new things once in a while, rather than satisfying every whim. Sorry. I’ll stop. :)”

You say, “Arranging marriages is of course a big part of the game, but it is a complex issue both ICly and OOCly. OOCly, one generally wants the player of one’s spouse to be a player one gets along with and is actually able to match up with time-wise. So, that has to be a consideration. ICly, far from every match is possible within the theme. Furthermore, marriages—and, to an only slightly lesser degree, betrothals—are pretty much final in the setting. Divorce does not exist. Annulments can happen, but they are not something one can count on.”

Kendros says, “Murder always spends, though.”

Kendros ducks.

Balerion says, “First, from an OOC policy perspective, we really think new players to the game should not be thinking about betrothal. This is because of divorces not being an option, and so on. So, we would never approve a betrothal involving a player who has been on the game less than 3 months. Obviously, someone who’s come in to play characters already paired, that’s one thing, but brand new ones are the issue that concern us.”

Balerion says, “You may well get along famously with someone, but if they’ve only been around a couple of months, you’ve no idea whether they’ll just disappear in a week or two when they grow tired of the game or what have you. Waiting to see that a person is in the game “for good” (relatively speaking) is just a good idea.”

Balerion says, “As far as the length of betrothals, they can run many years, but for our purposes the _minimum_ length of time between betrothal and marriage is 6 months.”

Balerion says, “Also, keep in mind that in this setting, you don’t decide a marriage for yourself, unless you’re a lord. You have to go through the lord in your family, generally, and so on. Your hand in marriage is not for you to choose. Since most lords are not in play, this means that you need to +job with us and we’ll provide feedback regarding what the family thinks, how negotations go, etc. And if a marriage simply doesn’t make realistic, IC sense, yes, we’ll say the family isn’t for it.”

Alyce has a question, when you’re ready.

Balerion says, “Let me discuss the ways that a marriage can be undone and then we’ll open the floor to questions. Basically, in the case of a _lawful_ marriage, George has said that an anullment would be granted only with consent from both parties (the husband and the wife). Only the High Septon can actually anull a marriage (a king cannot). Now, you may have noticed the stress of “lawful”. Fact is, marriage is a contractual thing, and our medieval ancestors found a lot of ways to contest the legality of a contract. If a marriage is found to have been unlawful—say, you already had a betrothal to someone else when you got married, which your marriage violated—then an anullment could very well happen under those circumstances. So it pays to dot yours i’s and cross your t’s when it comes to the contracts, ICly. So ... if it’s a lawful marriage, there would have to be serious ground (and consent of both parties) to anull the marriage. And if it’s a marriage found to be unlawful, then the High Septon may choose to anull it (consent or not) because the Seven couldn’t possibly bless an unlawful marriage.”

Balerion says, “Ah, also, the topic of consummation: an unconsummated marriage is easier to anull than a consummated one. And, as far as the actual marriage, it should be noted that just as a lawful marriage needs both parties to consent before it can be considered for anullment, a lawful marriage doesn’t _exist_ if both parties do not consent. The man and the woman must both agree to the marriage.”

Balerion says, “Historically, of course, families could bring great pressure to bear… and for various reasons, the church may be unwilling to mess around with such dynastic marriages. But, it’s a point to bear in mind. You may be “forced” to marry, but you must say “yes” for it to have legal force.”

You say, “Alright, questions? Alyce had one, right?”

Alyce has a slew, but will start with one

Alyce says, “In regards to marriages and women’s ages: since this theme makes first flowering marriageable and nearly every woman in the books seems to be married by about 18, what is the appropriate reaction toward 20-somethings who have never wed? Are the lords more eager to get them off their hands? Are other lords less willing to take them because they think something must be wrong with the girl? This might also be part of why players of such chars push harder for betrothals quicker, to try to get out of the ‘old maid’ tag

Justyn has one as well

Alyce says, “Sorry, that was more than one

Fiona has disconnected

Balerion says, “We have been a little flexible on this point, given the reality of a game and so on

You say, “We wouldn’t, in general, make age something that matters too much as part of betrothal negotiations, for example

You say, “Okay, Justyn?”

Justyn says, “‘How does Dorne’s independence and culture play into marriages, if I may ask? Do they still have only the High Septon to annul marriages, for instance?”

Balerion says, “Yep, the same High Septon

Balerion says, “We have no example of things such as excommunication, BTW, so that may be part of it—the Faith, outside matters of marriage and some other things, is relatively toothless on a kingdom-wide scale

Justyn nods

You say, “The main points would be that women have more say (though that is not to say marriages are not arranged, they still are) and, of course, that its quite possible to have both a spouse and a paramour

Ammon says, “has a question now, too

You say, “Alright :)”

Alyce has more questions after everyone else gets a turn

Aryard says, “We’re still in the topic discussion yes?”

Justyn says, “‘K, thanks Nym and Bal =)”

Ardon says, “I have a question too

Ammon says, “So, in Dorne, both a spouse and paramour are accepted

You say, “We don’t know

You say, “It seems unlikely that there is a formal, legal process

Ammon nods

You say, “Ardon?”

Ardon says, “At what age is it appropriate to have children betrothed? House Tyrell, for example, has a number of youngsters already matched up

You say, “The more prominent the house, the earlier its likely to happen

Ardon says, “Thanks

You say, “Alright, back to Alyce?”

Alyce says, “For my question, let’s assumed we’re talking about a consummated marriage

Katla has to go sleeeeep, but leaves this open for logging

Balerion says, “We’ve dealt with an elopement once on the game

Balerion says, “As to consent, yes, they actually have to verbally give their consent

Alyce says, “And the existance of children (or children-to-be) is irrelevant in the case of the Houses wanting annullment, even if the individuals don’t?”

Fiona has connected

Melene says, “Wouldn’t they become bastards, then?”

You say, “They would just become bastards, as with any annulment, yes

You say, “Okay

Josmyn has one more on the marriage front

Josmyn says, “Well, the elopement thing - I wonder if it makes chars unplayable if they did this, or if they would be ICly beaten up but could stay in KL?”

You say, “It could very well make the chars unplayable, yes

You say, “Basically, anything marriage related in a plot should be cleared with staff first, whether its going forward with a betrothal and wanting to elope with someone, since in some instances it could lead to a retcon being needed and in some instances it could make characters unaplayable

Josmyn nod

Aryard says, “Got one on politics if that’s possible?”

You say, “Alright

Aryard says, “The relation rp politics and politics skills

Balerion says, “Presently, the politics skill has a role in the rumors system

Aryard says, “Ah

Soranna heads to: Nexus

You say, “Anything else? :)”

You say, “I think we’ll wrap here then and we’ll try to get the log up during the week

Kendros says, “Thanks, Nym

Jannia says, “Thanks Bal & Nym

Josmyn says, “Yes, thanks”

Ammon says, “Thanks, Fearless Leaders

Luthor says, “Thanks guys, that was exellent

Andrya says, “yeh, Thanks guys!” :)”

You say, “Thank you all for showing up

Alyce says, “Thanks a bunch!”

Justyn says, “‘Thanks, Bal and Nym!”