James Steller

Noble House Scenario - Dorne

14 posts in this topic

Imagine you're the head of a noble house in Dorne (assume that it's been around for as long as the others). You are a 19 year old woman who is the last survivor of your direct family due to a terrible plague which decimated the people who live on your lands (your betrothed was also killed by the plague). Thankfully the plague is finally over, and you can begin to rebuild.

There are a few positions which need to be filled:
-Captain of the guard
-Two new guardsmen
-Steward
-Master-at-Arms

There are a number of people seeking positions in your household:

Your second cousin's bastard son, Edgar Sand. He is 17 years old, charismatic, and already a skilled swordsman. He urges you to keep your relatives close, which is why he would be a worthy guardsman. That said, you've noticed the way he glances at you when he thinks you're not looking.

Willim Fowler. The younger brother of Lord Fowler, he is seeking employment as a master-at-arms in his middle age. He was raised outside of your community, and is a stranger, though he has lots of experience as a warrior during raids against the Reach. The only problem is he will refuse to live and work alongside an Yronwood.

Curol. Curol is the most experienced member of your surviving guards, seeking the rank of captain. However, he is getting old, and is no longer as fit as he used to be.

Gallus. Gallus's father served House Dalt, but was exiled after he lost his hand for theft. Gallus himself has never been found guilty of a crime, though he has a very soiled reputation due to association and rumours. Now, he approaches you on bent knee, begging for the chance to serve as a guardsman, insisting that he is guilty of no crime and wants only to look after his aging parents with honest work. You do not know if he can be trusted, though you do know that he is a capable fighter, based on his demonstration.

Kerris Malaine. A mature man related to your father's former steward. He is very knowledgeable about your lands with a mind for numbers, but he is also poor company. Before the plague, he was always very condescending towards you, preferring to talk with your elder and younger brothers. Even now, it irks him to have to work under a woman, but he wants the position so badly that he tries to force down his prejudices.

Timolan. Timolan is an old merchant who has lived on your territory all his life. He is familiar with the smallfolk, and he spent his life building up a successful business amongst them. The problem is that his family is continuing the business he started, and you worry that his taking the position of steward will not necessarily be impartial.

Dedric. Dedric is a large but slow-witted boy of 16. His parents were killed during the plague, and his lands have been taken by his elder brothers, who have no patience for their brother. Dedric is very strong, capable of wearing armour and holding weapons, but clumsy in every action and slow to react to surprises. The man who left him at your hold suggested he might find work here, or else a passage to the Wall.

Esole Gargalen. She is the fourth daughter of Lord Gargalen. Your elder brother was engaged to her elder sister before they both died of the plague, and you and she became friends. Now she has arrived at your home to take her sister's bones back home, but also remarks that she always liked you, and as a clever woman with education and some weapons training, she takes pride in seeing women rule in Dorne. While she is intelligent, active, and eager to improve, she is still young, and not experienced in weaponry or politics. Her main assets are her enthusiasm and her loyalty to you.

Rhuarc Yronwood. Rhuarc is 21 years old, and a very distant second cousin of Lord Yronwood. He was warded to your father until he came of age, and served with a mercenary group in Essos for two years. He also took your virginity when you were 16, and even wrote you affectionate letters while he was away. Now he is back, and it's clear that he wants to be your paramour, while taking the job of master-at-arms as a pretence. He also despises House Fowler, in keeping with their feud.

In the meantime, there has been talk of you marrying to continue your family line. Ever since your betrothed and your brothers died last year, and you became the heir, a couple of men began courting you, offering their hands in marriage and also offering to take on your family name. You have had both men around, One of them is Duram Sand, the illegitimate son of Prince Joar Martell. He is a courteous man who is unopposed to you taking on other lovers, though his half-sister, the heir to Sunspear, despises him and has made it clear that when she becomes Princess, he will not be welcome at court. The other suitor is Alix Dayne, the youngest son of Lord Agrill Dayne, and nephew to Martin Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. Alix is a rugged giant of a man, and already a warrior of such skill that some say that Alix will inherit the sword Dawn when his uncle dies. However, he is also a jealous man, and is possessive of you. He will not tolerate a paramour of any kind should he marry you.

What do you do?
 

Note to administrators: This is purely a hypothetical scenario, not a game. It's meant to illicit thought and discussion rather than awarding a win or loss.

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Working from the bottom up:

1 - suitors. Here I feel I am lacking info about the lady in question. Is she interested in sleeping around or not? Does she want to be Lady Regnant or is the "traditional division of labour" OK with her? Also, HOW prestigeous is her House?

Duram - could be a blow to House's prestige as he is a bastard. Also the House's standing at Court probably could suffer. However, he would let me do my thing, due to lower status and outlook. And by my thing I am more concerned about being Lady Regnant than I am about flings.

Alix - oh, that hawt!hunk! Just thinking of him gets my knickers moist! And knees wobbly!

A  Dayne, which I understand is one of the more powerful and respected (something which not always goes together, see Houses Bolton or Frey) Houses, as consort would be good for the House's standing. Besides a tie with House Dayne it also gives a tie-in with all the Houses it is allied/friendly with.

And have I mentioned his abs? And rock hard bum? I simply MUST have his babies! [fans herself]

Note to self: take cold bath, change undies.

However, the problem is will he be content with being the Consort? His nature hints that he is very likely to shunt me out of my position as Lady Regnant.

So, I'd go with Duram as Consort - and maybe bed Alix occasionally - last thought makes me run off to attend to the Little Man in the Boat ...

 

 

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2 hours ago, James Steller said:

Kerris Malaine. A mature man related to your father's former steward. He is very knowledgeable about your lands with a mind for numbers, but he is also poor company. Before the plague, he was always very condescending towards you, preferring to talk with your elder and younger brothers. Even now, it irks him to have to work under a woman, but he wants the position so badly that he tries to force down his prejudices.

Timolan. Timolan is an old merchant who has lived on your territory all his life. He is familiar with the smallfolk, and he spent his life building up a successful business amongst them. The problem is that his family is continuing the business he started, and you worry that his taking the position of steward will not necessarily be impartial.

Esole Gargalen. She is the fourth daughter of Lord Gargalen. Your elder brother was engaged to her elder sister before they both died of the plague, and you and she became friends. Now she has arrived at your home to take her sister's bones back home, but also remarks that she always liked you, and as a clever woman with education and some weapons training, she takes pride in seeing women rule in Dorne. While she is intelligent, active, and eager to improve, she is still young, and not experienced in weaponry or politics. Her main assets are her enthusiasm and her loyalty to you.

2 - Steward.

Interesting choice - capable manager with poor social skills and misogyn, a proven manager who might favour his family, and a girl green as grass.

This is the easiest choice for me to make - I bear a grudge and write off Kerris.

I go with Timolan but with Esole as understudy. Two birds with one stone - Esole hopefully is bright enough to keep him honest and will take over as Stewardess in when Timolan either drops dead or becomes gaga in a few years time (he is OLD!).

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, James Steller said:

Your second cousin's bastard son, Edgar Sand. He is 17 years old, charismatic, and already a skilled swordsman. He urges you to keep your relatives close, which is why he would be a worthy guardsman. That said, you've noticed the way he glances at you when he thinks you're not looking.


Gallus. Gallus's father served House Dalt, but was exiled after he lost his hand for theft. Gallus himself has never been found guilty of a crime, though he has a very soiled reputation due to association and rumours. Now, he approaches you on bent knee, begging for the chance to serve as a guardsman, insisting that he is guilty of no crime and wants only to look after his aging parents with honest work. You do not know if he can be trusted, though you do know that he is a capable fighter, based on his demonstration.


Dedric. Dedric is a large but slow-witted boy of 16. His parents were killed during the plague, and his lands have been taken by his elder brothers, who have no patience for their brother. Dedric is very strong, capable of wearing armour and holding weapons, but clumsy in every action and slow to react to surprises. The man who left him at your hold suggested he might find work here, or else a passage to the Wall.

3 -  men at arms:

Edgar eyeing me up is absolutely natural - I'm THAT hawt! - besides man-at-arms could double as paramour.

Gallus - already skilled, should be grateful and loyal, and I get his parents as collateral.

Dedric - needs training but is too stupid to turn on you. Would be absolutely loyal but could be duped, though.

However, Dornish Inheritance Law or not, I know that as a woman I have it uphill to keep my independence. I go with loyalty over (current) skill. Edgar is out - all his talk about "keeping family together" is just blowing smoke in my eyes - he lusts for me and - more importantly - my inheritance. That's what bastards do, don't they?

So Gallus and Dedric it is.

However, I could show my appreciatation for Edric's his "kind thoughts about family" and invest in possible future goodwill by paying for his state-of-the-art kit. I also bat my eyelashes and lean over to flash more cleavage than is proper at however it takes to set him up with a good knight. The kit he is what is expected of a knight, so gaining knighted is now purely in his hands. I get rid of him and maybe this will pay off one day. It it does not - shrugs - you sow and hope for the best  ...

At my wealth level buying one knight's kit will not ruin me. Regardless of Edric's reaction this should be good PR nonetheless - "I care for family" etc., even if it ultimately only makes an impression on bastard/hedge knight/man-at-arms circles.

Still, a girl needs all the support she can get ....

 

Edited by TMIFairy

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2 hours ago, James Steller said:

Willim Fowler. The younger brother of Lord Fowler, he is seeking employment as a master-at-arms in his middle age. He was raised outside of your community, and is a stranger, though he has lots of experience as a warrior during raids against the Reach. The only problem is he will refuse to live and work alongside an Yronwood.

Curol. Curol is the most experienced member of your surviving guards, seeking the rank of captain. However, he is getting old, and is no longer as fit as he used to be.

Rhuarc Yronwood. Rhuarc is 21 years old, and a very distant second cousin of Lord Yronwood. He was warded to your father until he came of age, and served with a mercenary group in Essos for two years. He also took your virginity when you were 16, and even wrote you affectionate letters while he was away. Now he is back, and it's clear that he wants to be your paramour, while taking the job of master-at-arms as a pretence. He also despises House Fowler, in keeping with their feud.

4 and 5 - captain and master at arms. I will conflate those two categories as there is some overlap.

I select Curol as Captain. That post is more about command then waving a sharp object about. I perceive him as the "loyal retainer". When having to chose between skill and (hopefully) loyalty I always pick the latter. As an unwed Lady Regnant I'm paranoid ...

A pity that I cannot have both Willim and Rhuarc. I'd take the latter as understudy to Curol. Or take Willim as captain, Curol as master-at-arms with Rhuarc as understudy to one of them.

I go with Willim as master-at-arms. He is an outsider but having Curol as his superior ensures the men are loyal. Also, as SNCO he does not have that much power. Once he has proven himself he might be the next captain.

Rhuarc comes with the same baggage as Alix or ... that bastard, you know, my cousin's bastard. They might expect to be given more than I may wish to give them.

Have I mentioned being paranoid?

I can always dress my refusal in "you are too young for either post" terms. And that "I must marry and having such a hottie like him around would make it impossible for me to even pretend to be a good wife". The male of the species is a simple creatures and stroking its ego works all the time.

I can give him a fuck and send him on his way with a promise that in fifteen years time he will be front runner for either post.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Damn. This is complex, even for you. I like it.

Alright, well, first thing's first. Alix won't be able to be the sword of the morning if he takes my name. Unless he won't get that title after all, or he'll just take a backseat. His jealousy is concerning, but what worries me more is the fact that the next Princess of Dorne has such a grudge against her bastard brother. I can't let that grudge taint my family. I marry Alix Dayne.

This means I also tell Rhuarc Yronwood that our past happiness will have to suffice. If that means not having him around, then so be it. Willim Fowler becomes my new master-at-arms.

The captain of the guards should go to a man that's earned it. Curol is that man. If Fat Tom can lead Ned's guards, then so can Curol lead mine.

In the meantime, the two guard positions will be filled by Esole Gargalen (skills can be learned, loyalty is far more valuable), and Gallus, due to his skills and desperation. If he's so grateful for honest work, he'll try hard not to screw it up. I'll keep an eye on him though until he truly proves his loyalty.

As for the Steward, I'll go with Kerris Malaine. I need his skills, not his charisma. In fact, the less likeable he is, the better, since he'll never be able to mount a coup against me. He can learn to stop being such a sexist douche when he's constantly working for me.

Edited by Canon Claude

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First things first. Alix could be the next Sword of the Morning, but he'd have to keep his name. Plus I'm not interested in a jealous alpha male. I want to rule my house as the Lady, so I'll take the Martell bastard. His half sister has no quarrel with me, I'll just make sure he stays home when I go to Sunspear.

This means I also welcome Rhuarc Yronwood into my employ, as well as my bed.

As for the guards, one thing I have to consider is the plague which has caused many of my family to die. But it's also caused my smallfolk to die by the hundreds as well. Therefore, I'm not going to have much income at first. Meanwhile, Dedric is a simpleton who will be content with room and board, plus he only needs to look intimidating as he guards one of the less important parts of my home. Alongside him I'll also take Gallus, as that's another good example of PR concerning my smallfolk. My new master at arms and my new captain Curol to train both as best they can.

In the meantime, I'll need a steward who's in touch with the smallfolk and their plight. I'll take Timolan and just make sure I'm directly involved whenever his family comes up. I can be impartial even if he can't.

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, Floki of the Ironborn said:

I'll take the Martell bastard. His half sister has no quarrel with me, I'll just make sure he stays home when I go to Sunspear.

In an absolutist monarchy - think XVIIth-early XIXth century Europe, for instance - Royal Patronage was EVERYTHING. It was the "make or break" for an aristocratic House. In a more Medieval, decentralised setting which Westeros seems to follow the lack of favour at the local Great Lord's court  could mean diddly squat.

When the protagonist shows up to bend the knee (do a deep courtsy?) when the Princess Regnant takes her throne all the negativity she will get is a glare or two from the Princess and not being invited over for tea and the swapping of pregnancy stories and hubby-bashing.

I suggest looking at France pre- and post Louis XIVth for an OTL example on how the replacement of all regional centres of patronage pulled the carpet from under all aristocratic revolts. There is a reason why the Fronde was the last militant example of aristocratic discontent.

Edited by TMIFairy

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I must apologize, that's a good point about House Dayne. If Alix marries you, he will keep his name, but you will still be the Lady of your house.

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8 hours ago, Universal Sword Donor said:

Burn it all down, move to KL and open a whore house.

Haha, about time you showed up again.

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Interesting. Well, the Steward is the post I need someone for most badly. Warriors are only needed in war whereas I need a Steward for every day of every year as my lands won’t manage themselves. While Timolan is more amiable than Kerris Malaine, he’s going to work in his own interests rather than mine as well as the fact that while he may be an experienced merchant, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be good at managing my lands. So, Kerris gets the job of Steward as his qualifications are better and, seeing as I’m his employer and only source of income, he can be relied upon to act in my interests as they are also his interests for the time being.

 

Now, for my Master-at-Arms, I need someone who is not just a proven warrior but also an experienced campaigner who will be able to command my guard effectively in war, as well as lead my levies in my stead. That narrows it down to Willim Fowler and Rhuarc Yronwood as they’re the only two with campaign experience. However, Willim Fowler is the older of the two and so more likely to command respect from my guard on campaign and probably more experienced of the two so he can be my Master-at-Arms.

 

For my Captain of the Guard I need someone I can trust completely but who is also good with a sword. For that reason, I give the role to Curol. He’s got the experience to make the rest of my guard fall into line and he has very little to gain by betraying me at this stage. While he’s not as fit as he used to be, he’s my Captain of the Guard rather than an ordinary guardsman so his fitness isn’t as important as it would be in a lower down member of my guard.

 

Now, for the two new guardsmen, loyalty and trustworthiness is of paramount importance. So I give the post to Edgard Sand and Esole Gargalan. Both have reason to be loyal to me and little reason to betray me and while Esole Gargalan may not be a brilliant fighter yet, she has time to improve and as a female guard can be kept with my at all times without any of the political awkwardness that would come from having a male bodyguard.

 

For my marriage, I’ll go with Alix Dayne. A link to House Dayne would be good and if my husband was Sword of the Morning, then all the better.

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On 8/13/2017 at 1:14 PM, James Steller said:

Your second cousin's bastard son, Edgar Sand. He is 17 years old, charismatic, and already a skilled swordsman. He urges you to keep your relatives close, which is why he would be a worthy guardsman. That said, you've noticed the way he glances at you when he thinks you're not looking. -Guardsman

Willim Fowler. The younger brother of Lord Fowler, he is seeking employment as a master-at-arms in his middle age. He was raised outside of your community, and is a stranger, though he has lots of experience as a warrior during raids against the Reach. The only problem is he will refuse to live and work alongside an Yronwood. - Master At Arms

Curol. Curol is the most experienced member of your surviving guards, seeking the rank of captain. However, he is getting old, and is no longer as fit as he used to be. - Captain

Gallus. Gallus's father served House Dalt, but was exiled after he lost his hand for theft. Gallus himself has never been found guilty of a crime, though he has a very soiled reputation due to association and rumours. Now, he approaches you on bent knee, begging for the chance to serve as a guardsman, insisting that he is guilty of no crime and wants only to look after his aging parents with honest work. You do not know if he can be trusted, though you do know that he is a capable fighter, based on his demonstration. -Guardsman

Kerris Malaine. A mature man related to your father's former steward. He is very knowledgeable about your lands with a mind for numbers, but he is also poor company. Before the plague, he was always very condescending towards you, preferring to talk with your elder and younger brothers. Even now, it irks him to have to work under a woman, but he wants the position so badly that he tries to force down his prejudices. Steward

I pick the man fighting his prejudices for my Steward. I can always keep him in line, and I am a ruling Lady, so I can always kill him or dismiss him if needs be. Between Curol and Edgar, they should keep an eye on Gallus. And a Fowler as Man at arms.

For the suitor, I go with Duram Sand. A connection to the Martells is good, even though his sister hates him, and he will let me take the Ersole Gargarlan girl as a paramour.

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On 8/12/2017 at 10:14 PM, James Steller said:

Imagine you're the head of a noble house in Dorne (assume that it's been around for as long as the others). You are a 19 year old woman who is the last survivor of your direct family due to a terrible plague which decimated the people who live on your lands (your betrothed was also killed by the plague). Thankfully the plague is finally over, and you can begin to rebuild.

There are a few positions which need to be filled:
-Captain of the guard
-Two new guardsmen
-Steward
-Master-at-Arms

There are a number of people seeking positions in your household:

Your second cousin's bastard son, Edgar Sand. He is 17 years old, charismatic, and already a skilled swordsman. He urges you to keep your relatives close, which is why he would be a worthy guardsman. That said, you've noticed the way he glances at you when he thinks you're not looking.

Willim Fowler. The younger brother of Lord Fowler, he is seeking employment as a master-at-arms in his middle age. He was raised outside of your community, and is a stranger, though he has lots of experience as a warrior during raids against the Reach. The only problem is he will refuse to live and work alongside an Yronwood.

Curol. Curol is the most experienced member of your surviving guards, seeking the rank of captain. However, he is getting old, and is no longer as fit as he used to be.

Gallus. Gallus's father served House Dalt, but was exiled after he lost his hand for theft. Gallus himself has never been found guilty of a crime, though he has a very soiled reputation due to association and rumours. Now, he approaches you on bent knee, begging for the chance to serve as a guardsman, insisting that he is guilty of no crime and wants only to look after his aging parents with honest work. You do not know if he can be trusted, though you do know that he is a capable fighter, based on his demonstration.

Kerris Malaine. A mature man related to your father's former steward. He is very knowledgeable about your lands with a mind for numbers, but he is also poor company. Before the plague, he was always very condescending towards you, preferring to talk with your elder and younger brothers. Even now, it irks him to have to work under a woman, but he wants the position so badly that he tries to force down his prejudices.

Timolan. Timolan is an old merchant who has lived on your territory all his life. He is familiar with the smallfolk, and he spent his life building up a successful business amongst them. The problem is that his family is continuing the business he started, and you worry that his taking the position of steward will not necessarily be impartial.

Dedric. Dedric is a large but slow-witted boy of 16. His parents were killed during the plague, and his lands have been taken by his elder brothers, who have no patience for their brother. Dedric is very strong, capable of wearing armour and holding weapons, but clumsy in every action and slow to react to surprises. The man who left him at your hold suggested he might find work here, or else a passage to the Wall.

Esole Gargalen. She is the fourth daughter of Lord Gargalen. Your elder brother was engaged to her elder sister before they both died of the plague, and you and she became friends. Now she has arrived at your home to take her sister's bones back home, but also remarks that she always liked you, and as a clever woman with education and some weapons training, she takes pride in seeing women rule in Dorne. While she is intelligent, active, and eager to improve, she is still young, and not experienced in weaponry or politics. Her main assets are her enthusiasm and her loyalty to you.

Rhuarc Yronwood. Rhuarc is 21 years old, and a very distant second cousin of Lord Yronwood. He was warded to your father until he came of age, and served with a mercenary group in Essos for two years. He also took your virginity when you were 16, and even wrote you affectionate letters while he was away. Now he is back, and it's clear that he wants to be your paramour, while taking the job of master-at-arms as a pretence. He also despises House Fowler, in keeping with their feud.

In the meantime, there has been talk of you marrying to continue your family line. Ever since your betrothed and your brothers died last year, and you became the heir, a couple of men began courting you, offering their hands in marriage and also offering to take on your family name. You have had both men around, One of them is Duram Sand, the illegitimate son of Prince Joar Martell. He is a courteous man who is unopposed to you taking on other lovers, though his half-sister, the heir to Sunspear, despises him and has made it clear that when she becomes Princess, he will not be welcome at court. The other suitor is Alix Dayne, the youngest son of Lord Agrill Dayne, and nephew to Martin Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. Alix is a rugged giant of a man, and already a warrior of such skill that some say that Alix will inherit the sword Dawn when his uncle dies. However, he is also a jealous man, and is possessive of you. He will not tolerate a paramour of any kind should he marry you.

What do you do?
 

Note to administrators: This is purely a hypothetical scenario, not a game. It's meant to illicit thought and discussion rather than awarding a win or loss.

William Fowler gets master at arms

Curol is made Captain of the guard due to his experience an loyalty. His age will might gain him respect among the younger guards and since he is in a command posititon he will be doing more commanding than fighting anyway. 

Kerris Malaine is made steward. I may not like the man but he knows what he is doing and he'll be loyal to me due to the fact I'm his only source of income. 

I made Edgar and Dedric guards. I want to keep what is left of my family close and Edgar would make a decent captain of guards in a few years when Curol can't do it anymore. Dedric should make a capable guard in time and is too slow-witted to betray me. 

I keep looking for a husband. I don't want to marry someone who will put me at odds with my leigelord, but Alix Dayne sounds like too much of a brute who I'd be worried would try to overrule me. 

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