liege-lord

my problem with the ‘harry becomes lord of 2/¾/5 ancient noble houses’ trope is so unbelievably petty because its that fic writers don’t take it to the potential extreme. like, okay, you wanna make harry the bossest of bitches i get that, i understand, i have that urge too from time to time, but c’mon, be a little more creative about it please

so how about a fic where harry goes to gringotts after the fighting is all over to try to make peace with the goblin nation because this boy does not need more problems and after much hostility and some groveling and promises of future payments for damages caused a plucky goblin lass comes and shuffles harry into her tiny cube office to discuss the nature of his financial situation

(this is a grave insult among goblins. getting handled by a female, first of all, because they are supposedly less capable bankers, hello misogyny among other species, and because they consider anyone who needs help with his money to be lower than cave scum. harry doesn’t know about his. and if he did, he wouldn’t care because he does, desperately, need help)

and plucky goblin lass (who we will call PGL for short) brings out this MASSIVE tome of parchment and slams it down on her desk. a cloud of dust rises. harry sneezes and gets a terrible feeling. some of the parchment is mildewing. the stack is taller than his hand is wide. this can only end badly

PGL tells him that he’ll need to read the entire book to fully comprehend the new scope of his property and harry kind of weakly says “what??”

and it turns out that heyo, when the death eaters swore to follow voldemort with all their lives and souls and magic in their little racist hearts they actually swore a modified liege lord oath which also has the coincidental side effect of ceding all titles (and property connected to said titles) held to the lord in question too. haha how funny who knew

and that’s an ongoing thing. so voldemort was the de facto head of two dozen magical houses at the beginning of the war and he just picked up more as he gained more followers and he probably could have just voted himself and his crew into every position of the government and run the country like that if he cared to do it but voldemort was not about dat political life. he wanted change and he wanted it now. he wanted to MAKE AMERICA MAGICAL BRITAIN GREAT AGAIN. so he started a civil war and just never informed his loyal death eaters of that little fact because they didn’t need to know.

and you might think that gringotts vaults are tied into bloodlines but they’re really not. the malfoy family vault belongs to whoever is the current head of the malfoy family. normally, that’s a malfoy and his malfoy spawn becomes the next head and so it passes through the family, accumulating inherited wealth. it was a working system until voldemort got involved and exploited the ever-living hell out of it.

now this all becomes harry’s problem because it turns out that Right of Conquest is an actual thing. what was voldemort’s is now his and voldemort has has the time to accumulate A Metric Fuck Ton of stuff.

also connected to titles are votes in the wizengamot. and whoo boy, this is where harry’s problem becomes really really really problematic. because the noble families squabble over those votes like children, hoarding them and passing them down, occasionally trading them for advantageous marriages and such, but mostly jealously guarding them like the politcal gold they are. it’s such a bitterly tight-fisted market that any one family has ~maybe~ three or  four votes.

and now harry bloody potter has a hundred of the things and a completely unintentional stranglehold on the government. whoops

and then hermione would shotput harry straight into the wizengamot against his protests and things would become so hilarious i just

some jerkass attempts to increase his own salary for doing basically nothing

“how about no,” harry and his hundred votes say.

somebody attempts to tighten restrictions on where magical creatures like vampires and werewolves can work

“how about no.” harry crosses his arms. “actually, how about we repeal those bullshit laws already in place that make it almost impossible for werewolves to get a job right now, hmmmm? and how about we put something in place to catch abusive owners of house elves? and make sure they get paid? and vacation days? and healthcare? actually how about we get healthcare for EVERYBODY HOW ABOUT T H A T?”

ten generations of purebloods cry out in horror. look upon him ye mighty and despair.

the years after voldemort’s defeat don’t go down in history as The Golden Era. in fact, thanks to harry bloody potter (and some incessant nudging by hermione granger), they go down as The Decade of Frankly Astonishing Strides Toward Equality *cough* enforced by a semi-plutocracy.

(all thanks to a third tier plot never really explored by a would-be dictator YOU’RE ALL WELCOME)

2

1988. Master Control

is the third album by band Liege Lord.

Liege Lord’s music is fast, energetic, heavy, and catchy as hell - all the qualities of a top-notch power metal band. Their previous two albums are both very good 80s USPM, but they lacked the sheer perfection found in Master Control. If you’ve heard the first two albums, the first thing that you will immediately notice from the opening chord of Fear Itself is the production, The previous two albums suffered from very lacking production, which always detracted from the enjoyment of the music, but fortunately this is not the case on Master Control. The guitars are crunchy and heavy, the drums are hard-hitting, and the vocals are clearly audible but not overpowering. The bass perhaps could have been slightly louder, but that’s nitpicking - the production is damn near flawless.

this album is a shining example of the best the genre has to offer. From start to finish, Master Control never once disappoints. This is an absolutely essential album for any fan of ( “‘speed/power metal”“). In fact, even if you’re not a power metal fan, give this a listen - if you enjoy good music, you won’t be disappointed.

Joseph Comeau   Frank Cortese   Matt Vinci   Tony Truglio   Paul Nelson

Robb Imagine...

IMAGINE…being the granddaughter to Walder Frey and being chosen as Lady Catelyn’s ward and Robb Stark’s betrothed.

((Just a little something short that came to mind as I try to get back into the swing of writing for this fandom!))

Word Count: 1,285

Warning: None

You were in the hall when Lady Catelyn was brought in to speak to your grandfather. You watched her closely. Wondering why the Lady of Winterfell, the wife to the Hand of the King, and the daughter to your grandfather’s liege lord was standing there begging something from the “Late” Walder Frey. You were given your answer just moments after. You weren’t too surprised. You did your best to remain away from everyone else at the Twins, meaning you missed out on all the gossip of the Seven Kingdoms.

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Knights and Rogues – How to design a knight using a Rogue oriented build

Originally posted by monthofloveart

So you want to play a Knight, but you don’t feel like being super Lawful Good or sacrificing reason over honour? Maybe you like the way you play an assassin/ninja over a clunking plate armoured god of war?

Well, not to worry – far from being purely locked into a fighter/paladin figure, a knight can be a bit free in the way they are played, and contrary to more popular culture of being utterly locked into a rigid code of conduct, knights can be fairly free in the way you play them. Here’s a few ideas on knights and rogues, and how you can do them.

Originally posted by zechs

What Makes a Knight?

We can call a lot of things as making a knight; a code of chivalry, a plate armoured warrior following a cause, following a liege lord, heavy cavalry, some noble figure, etc. But to make it more simple, it’s worth remembering that a Knight is a social class, not a profession. A warrior knight is actually what is termed “man-at-arms”, and this term is used by Knights themselves to refer to both Knights as a class, and the commoners that have training and equipment like a knight (basically being knights in all but social standing). Geoffroi de Charny saw no distinction between Knights as a class and men-at-arms, referring to them in the same fashion, and holding them to the same standard of chivalric ideal as he held himself to, and his book on Chivalry constantly refers to ‘knights’ purely as “men-at-arms”. So, in this regard, we have two forms of ‘knight’, the actual social class of noble that is inclined toward warfare, and the men-at-arms that lack social status but are otherwise equipped and trained. And here we have some space to play:

-        Knight as a social Class are nobles, and the Elite of society, particularly in warfare. If you are playing a rogue or stealth based Knight that fits this base, there is space for the ‘gentleman thief’ archetype, the noble-assassin whom uses his status to procure contracts and execute his marks by duel of by waylaying, the special forces stealth type that might be more stealth oriented through means of combat, than outright facing their foes in open battle. Equally, they may well challenge their opponents to fixed duels to maintain honour and appearances while clearly ensuring they cannot lose.

-        Another part of being a rogue can be the use of subtly and guile. A Knight as a noble does not by any means have to be an armour-clad warrior, but can be a courtly figure with good connections, that uses their status to maintain both royal and baronial ties in court, and equally employing underworld bandits, assassins, and spies. The game of politics runs deep in any court, and a knight that favours words over blades may well be a master tactician, as well as a cunning schemer.

-        A well-trained special forces tends to have elite soldiers that are, simply put, skilled at whatever they are needed for. If a Monarch commands their finest knights to learn the arts of secret killing, espionage, spying, theft, or stealth, then it is the place of the knights to learn. Perhaps the knight already possessed these skills, as part of their House’s creed; a line of warrior nobility dedicated to conflict through less open tactics. While many knights take the arts of war to perfection, some knights may choose the methods by which wars are halted before they begin…or by paralyzing the methods by which to wage war, once it begins.

Background-wise, there is a lot to play with here. Knights by class and skills can easily work as bandits and assassins in all manner of ways, from the armoured horseman that runs down a mark, to the courtly type that fixes a duel between peers, to the more secretive shadow-knight that retains skills subversive to a common man-at-arms (possibly under orders from their liege), there is freedom in how one manages things here.

Originally posted by kelgrid

Build Ideas

Do we play a straight Knight (armoured warrior) that works as an assassin or bandit?
A more courtier-type Knight that uses diplomacy and bluff, sleight of hand and outright lies, in conjunction with their Noble status to make them more trustworthy, or more intimidating, more legally entitled, etc?
Do we play a Rogue, with more emphasis upon skills in combat, to become a flurry of weapons and agility to overcome towering men of steel, an unorthodox but highly talented warrior that stands with their more stalwart friends, while acting more as a skirmisher?
Perhaps a Rogue that is socially a Knight, yet has for some reason has learned arts far different from their fellows. They may wear armour on parade, joust in a tourney, but all other knights know and quietly whisper that the lady of that particular House is far better at unlocking doors in dark places where treacherous nobles gather, who seems to have the ear of the Monarch and knows the darkest secrets of their peers, as if they had spied upon them all this time…
Even more strange, perhaps a Rogue that has employed their talents while adopting a looser form of the code of Chivalry – defending others even through misdirection, never actually LYING, demonstrating enormous courage and loyalty to their fellows, and maintaining humility despite their talents and guile?

Ultimately, the choice as to how the Knight-Rogue is played is down to the player…however…


Originally posted by degrassi

ALIGNMENT

A knight is bound by a code, Chivalry being the most common. Even a bandit or assassin knight must have some rule by which they are bound. A rogue that is a Knight might well break into a house to steal an item or information from another Noble, but they will generally be doing so for some greater purpose than simply for their own vanity and greed. Perhaps the Monarch ordered them to discreetly conduct a search? Perhaps the bandit knight will not kill innocents? Maybe the assassin will not slay any but their mark? Maybe the Courtier will not act directly outside the rules of law or Chivalry?

Regardless of how the Knight-Rogue operates, they will never be outright Chaotic, and more normally will be Lawful, following a personal code of ethics, or adhering closely to the Law or rule of their liege. A code of conduct is a major marker between a knight and a common thug in armour, and even a base-born ‘knight’ will keep closely to it, perhaps even more zealously than a noble.

Adherence to Chivalry will likely be key here. You should agree with your DM what your Rogue-Knight can and cannot do within their code of conduct, before building one in their game.

Originally posted by i-am-roadrunner

Final Notes

As @we-are-rogue herself has mentioned before, knights and rogues have a lot in common, more often than not, and I agree. I also feel it worth mentioning that, both in Europe and Japan, knights and samurai would often fill the roles of spies and assassins (most ninja retained by the Shogun were of Samurai class, and in Europe many knights would be hitmen for hire), making it not uncommon for figures of war to become killers for pay, information gatherers, and perhaps because of their educated background would often end up being ‘skill-monkeys’ of their time.

Do not be fooled. Honour among thieves and assassins may very well exist.
And they that know are in a far better position than those that do not.

Originally posted by samurai-spirit

Catelyn, Smart

Much like her elder daughter, Catelyn Stark is a character whose intelligence is seriously underrated. There’s less of an intellectual arc apparent in her story as compared to Sansa’s, as Catelyn is a grown woman, but that doesn’t mean her thinking is static. It must be said that she is one of the series’ most staggeringly unfortunate characters, as the tragic structure of her arc demands that her decisions and risks to protect her family fail and rebound upon them.

Yet lack of success does not equal lack of intelligence. Even in her mistakes and failures, it is more than possible to see that this is not a woman who didn’t think before she acted.

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anonymous asked:

Why don't you condemn Aegon The Conqueror like you do Renly Baratheon? After all, they both ultimately based their claim on the strength of their arms, rather than the will of the people or rights of succession. I'm not defending either of them, just wondering what you see as the difference.

I think that’s a misinterpreation of Aegon the Conqueror. As I discuss in my essay on him, far from being based solely through strength of arms, Aegon and his sisters were careful to establish consent from and establish legitimacy with his subjects:

“Having taken a dozen castles and secured the mouth of the Blackwater Rush on both sides of the river, he commanded the lords he had defeated to attend him. There they laid their swords at his feet, and Aegon raised them up and confirmed them in their lands and titles. To his oldest supporters he gave new honors…Heraldic banners had long been a tradition amongst the lords of Westeros, but such had never been used by the dragonlords of old Valyria. When Aegon’s knights unfurled his great silken battle standard, with a red three-headed dragon breathing fire upon a black field, the lords took it for a sign that he was now truly one of them, a worthy high king for Westeros. When Queen Visenya placed a Valyrian steel circlet, studded with rubies, on her brother’s head and Queen Rhaenys hailed him as, “Aegon, First of His Name, King of All Westeros, and Shield of His People,” the dragons roared and the lords and knights sent up a cheer … but the smallfolk, the fisherman and field hands and goodwives, shouted loudest of all.”

“the men of the Trident had no love for their ironborn overlords…so now the riverlands rose against him, led by Lord Edmyn Tully of Riverrun. Summoned to the defense of Harrenhal, Tully declared for House Targaryen instead, raised the dragon banner over his castle, and rode forth with his knights and archers to join his strength to Aegon’s. His defiance gave heart to the other riverlords. One by one, the lords of the Trident renounced Harren and declared for Aegon the Dragon. Blackwoods, Mallisters, Vances,
Brackens, Pipers, Freys, Strongs… summoning their levies, they descended on Harrenhal…The next day, outside the smoking ruins of Harrenhal, King Aegon accepted an oath of fealty from Edmyn Tully, Lord of Riverrun, and named him Lord Paramount of the Trident. The other riverlords did homage as well —to Aegon as king and to Edmyn Tully as their liege lord.”

And this went on and on - the homage of the Westermen and the Reachermen ater the Field of Fire, the submission of Highgarden, Torrhen kneeling at the Trident, and Aegon’s anointment and coronation at Oldtown. At every step of the way, Aegon spends as much time establishing the reciprocal bonds of feudal obligation and enacting the symbolism of monarchy as he does fighting. And he continued this policy as King:

“he worked to knit the realm together with his presence—to awe his subjects and (when needed) frighten them…the other half of the year he dedicated to the royal progress. He traveled throughout the realm for the rest of his life,
until his final progress in 33 AC—making a point of paying his respects to the High Septon in the Starry Sept each time he visited Oldtown, guesting beneath the roofs of the lords of the great houses (even Winterfell, on that last progress), and beneath the roofs of many lesser lords, knights, and common innkeepers… In these progresses, the king was accompanied not only by his courtiers but by maesters and septons as well. Six maesters were often in his company to advise him upon the local laws and traditions of the former realms, so that he might rule in judgment at the courts he held. Rather than attempting to unify the realm under one set of laws, he respected the differing customs of each region and sought to judge as their past kings might have.”

Alternate Rewards – Relationships

Nothing makes me happier in my campaign as when my players seize on some NPC I’ve created and tell me how much they like or loathe that person. When I hear that, it tells me that my players are buying into that NPC’s reality – that I’ve made that NPC live for them. The same thing goes for a location. If my players get to love a town they’re helping, or to hate a place they’re exploring, then I feel like that place has become a character in and of itself – one that my players have developed an attachment to, either positive or negative.

When you’re looking for ways to reward your players for good roleplaying or successful adventuring, one way to do so without involving any real treasure is by developing their relationships to certain NPCs or locations. Have your players rescued a minor noble? Maybe that noble now becomes a patron, offering them quests or sponsoring them to meet that noble’s liege lord. My players rescued a minor Baron and his family from slavery in the Underdark, and now they have an invitation to stay at the Baron’s manse in the capital city of Estwald during the New Year’s celebrations. Not only that, but, between their exploits against the orcs in the military and this Baron’s contacts, they will be dining will the King of Summerlund on New Year’s Eve! No doubt this will lead to all manner of social activities and possible adventures.

It doesn’t need to be a noble family to be a worthy reward. In my last session, four of the sailors the PCs are traveling with were killed by wyverns. Eustace, the minotaur cleric, is insisting on casting Raise Dead on them all, despite the fact that it will cost 500 gold pieces for each one. “Don’t even try to tell me these men’s lives aren’t worth that,” he said, firmly. “We attract danger to ourselves; we are responsible for these deaths.”

In the coming sessions, I intend to bring these four sailors (and the fifth, whom the PCs rescued) into more detail. By raising them from the dead, Eustace has clearly changed the nature of the relationship between them, and I want to reward his player (beyond the Inspiration I’ve already given him for such a magnanimous act) by letting him see the positive results his actions have.

A relationship with a place can be really valuable to cultivate as well. If the PCs are protecting a town or developing relationships with the locals, there are good ways to get them invested. Anything from a local flower girl smiling and shyly pressing a flower into her hero’s hand to a tavern holding a feast in their honor can make the PCs start to feel invested in a place. Then, when that place becomes threatened, you can bet the PCs will feel motivated to step up and take action.

Sometimes it can be very enjoyable to foster a positive relationship with people or places that a player’s character does not like. Ghost, the shifter ranger, does not care for goblins. Understandable since goblins (and their barghest leader) wiped out her village when she was small. Recently, however, the PCs have traveled in the goblin kingdom of Gristamere. Not only that, but, in honor of services rendered, he has given them honorary membership in the Redwing Regiment – a most prestigious order that non-goblinoids are rarely ever considered for. Ghost’s distaste for the whole affair is palpable, but she’s been forced to (grudgingly) admit that not all goblins are bad.

Getting your players to feel invested in people, places, and even things in your campaign can really develop their relationship to your campaign. It promotes a buy-in to that world’s reality. After all, it’s hard to think of a world as make-believe when you actively care about its inhabitants. Relationships between your player’s characters and elements of your campaign world can be very rewarding to cultivate.

crustyfun  asked:

How you like that Hyle Hunt? I had thought he was a jerk, but upon a reread he might be me if I had been born in the reach: kinda funny, kinda good, kinda bad, kinda gets it.

Eh. I’m not a fan. His glib snarky self-centered cynicism gets under my skin, and not only did he come up with that heinous “game,” he responds to Brienne’s resentment of it with entitled annoyance and an attempt to make her feel bad about said resentment:

“You spoke of the Stinking Goose, my lady,” said Ser Hyle. “If you want me to show you—”

“Go back to your gate.”

A look of annoyance flashed across his face. A plain face, not an honest one. “If that’s your wish.”

“It is.”

“It was only a game to pass the time. We meant no harm.” He hesitated. “Ben died, you know. Cut down on the Blackwater. Farrow too, and Will the Stork. And Mark Mullendore took a wound that cost him half his arm.”

I don’t see anything resembling “kinda gets it” in there. And you can’t put all the blame on the culture of the Reach, because the culture of the Reach also produced this guy:

“Lady Sansa.” Ser Garlan Tyrell stood beside the dais. “Would you honor me? If your lord consents?”

The Imp’s mismatched eyes narrowed. “My lady can dance with whomever she pleases.”

Perhaps she ought to have remained beside her husband, but she wanted to dance so badly… and Ser Garlan was brother to Margaery, to Willas, to her Knight of Flowers. “I see why they name you Garlan the Gallant, ser,” she said, as she took his hand.

“My lady is gracious to say so. My brother Willas gave me that name, as it happens. To protect me.”

“To protect you?” She gave him a puzzled look.

Ser Garlan laughed. “I was a plump little boy, I fear, and we do have an uncle called Garth the Gross. So Willas struck first, though not before threatening me with Garlan the Greensick, Garlan the Galling, and Garlan the Gargoyle.”

It was so sweet and silly that Sansa had to laugh, despite everything. Afterward she was absurdly grateful. Somehow the laughter made her hopeful again, if only for a little while. Smiling, she let the music take her, losing herself in the steps, in the sound of flute and pipes and harp, in the rhythm of the drum… and from time to time in Ser Garlan’s arms, when the dance brought them together. “My lady wife is most concerned for you,” he said quietly, one such time.

“Lady Leonette is too sweet. Tell her I am well.”

“A bride at her wedding should be more than well.” His voice was not unkind. “You seemed close to tears.”

“Tears of joy, ser.”

“Your eyes give the lie to your tongue.” Ser Garlan turned her, drew her close to his side. “My lady, I have seen how you look at my brother. Loras is valiant and handsome, and we all love him dearly… but your Imp will make a better husband. He is a bigger man than he seems, I think.”

Lady Leonette giggled. “Perhaps you should be a singer, my lord. You rhyme as well as this Galyeon.” 

“No, my lady,” Ser Garlan said. “My lord of Lannister was made to do great deeds, not to sing of them. But for his chain and his wildfire, the foe would have been across the river. And if Tyrion’s wildlings had not slain most of Lord Stannis’s scouts, we would never have been able to take him unawares.”

His words made Tyrion feel absurdly grateful, and helped to mollify him as Galyeon sang endless verses about the valor of the boy king and his mother, the golden queen.

Anyone think Ser Hyle would comfort Sansa or give Tyrion his rightful credit? I guarantee he’d mock the latter’s disability, just as he keeps mocking Brienne. To me, the only way Hyle Hunt comes off well is if you compare him to his liege lord, and “better person than Randyll Tarly” is such a low bar that it’s basically resting on the ground. We’ll see what he gets up to in TWOW, but as it stands, I’m not impressed. As far as sleazy fuckboys go, I’ll take Justin Massey any day. 

anonymous asked:

Do you think the reason Martin made Brienne so devoted almost pathetically to Renly was due to him wanting her to not seem perfect?

No, I don’t think that’s it. In chivalry, devotion to your liege lord is a sign of virtue; in chivalric romance, devotion to your love is likewise. Brienne’s case is rather efficient in that the two are one.

I think GRRM made Brienne devoted to Renly was to set up the idea that Brienne’s purpose in life is to protect others to the point of laying down her life in the approved fashion (”all his other knights wanted things of him, castles or honors or riches, but all that Brienne wanted was to die for him”), but that Renly wasn’t actually worthy of her service. Hence why Brienne spends all of AFFC looking for a maiden in need of defending, while slowly forgetting Renly and developing a deeper connection to Jaime. 

Now, I have a darker guess about what Brienne’s endgame is than some people would like, but I think it’s definitely grounded in the rules and forms of chivalric romance and thus in Brienne’s character…