The Landsmeet and the Witan

To an American, the idea of an elected monarch is pretty strange. Dare I say foreign? An inherited throne (or chiefdom, etc), is pretty common across cultures, but it’s certainly not the only way someone can come to power. Indeed, the idea of primogeniture (lands/titles passing to the oldest son, possible the oldest daughter) is pretty recent in Europe. Before this practice, a man would often divide his lands among his sons, which lead to a lot of infighting (this is what happened to Charlemagne’s empire in the 800s CE).

The 800s was a time of great change for Europe. Alfred the Great united the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England; finally the different tribes and groups were united under one ruler. For the next two hundred years, the nobles came together to elect their king. (Except for a brief period in the early 1000s when the Danes ruled Britain.) Much like we see in Orzammar, the king could make a note that So-and-So would be a worthy successor (sometimes this was a son and sometimes not), but ultimately, it was up to the nobles (at least, a claimant needed their approval). In England, this group was known as the Witan, who acted as advisers to the king.

That said, the nobles did often like to keep the royal line confined to one house – as we see within the Landsmeet, some nobles want Alistair on the throne because of his blood, not because he has any particular qualifications.

In England, in 1066, a similar crisis arose. Edward the Confessor died and it was unclear who he wanted to be his successor. This led to infighting among the possible claimants. The Witan did approve the succession of Harold Godwinson, but this did not end the fighting. One claimant was a French noble, William of Normandy, who invaded and eventually took control of England, ousting the native English nobles.

This kind of battle and infighting is what both Loghain and Arl Eamon fear. They are on opposite ends of the same spectrum: Loghain thinks he and his daughter should rule – Loghain, of course, helped drive out the Orlesians, and Anora has been ruling in some capacity for a while. Eamon sees the monarchy as being so new and flimsy that, in order to continue, a Theirin should be on the throne. Continuity can help hold the people together and keep out foreign invasions.

As the Warden, the player can see larger issues at work (Darkspawn!), but history shows us these were very real concerns for medieval people. Succession wasn’t simple, and the wrong ruler could spell disaster.

A scene from the Bayeaux Tapestry, which depicted the important events of 1066. From Wikipedia.

“Women healers long ago were known as “witches,” a word that came from Old English “witan”, which meant “to know” or “to be wise.” Like my grandmother, witches were the wise women who had a special knack for revealing life’s mysterious truths.” - The Woman in the Shaman’s Body , Barbara Tedlock 🌙 image: Glyn Smith


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An Alpha is Chosen Commentary

I’m not feeling so great so I may just restrict myself to ten points in this commentary… Maybe five.

1. 0:00-1:00 I think something like the Witan would be a better idea for the werewolves.

2. 1:28 Ein, fool, Ein!

3. 2:30 This is not a good idea. An obstacle course might not be the best idea. It is a test of skill rather than of morality.

4. Aaron, it is not how it looks.

5. Ah, yes, the Wiley Coyote Werewolf Girl… What was her name again?

6. Yes, the slide. Wonderful idea.

7. A pack of rabid dogs… Or a trio of silly pups.

8. It was on the cheek! The kiss was on the cheek!

9. Well, Mr. Gavin, frisbee is more fun than an obstacle course… If only I was any good at catching.

10. Succession crisis imminent.

11. Aaron, you don’t even know the guy! Even a Roman Emperor had the wisdom to chose an adopted child rather than passing the mantle to some stranger!

12. I worry for Ein being the new alpha. 


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….Occult Secrets preserved …thinly veiled design …Buried within parallel universes of the divine …Archives of the transcendental …Scoping truth from different realms of existence …Navigating black hole in Omega Centauri

Stargates into the registry 

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Incarcerus: Chapter 3

summary: AU. Vampire and bail bondsperson Emma Swan is drawn into a supernatural murder mystery that entangles her with strange forces, dark secrets, a far-too-charming, handsome, and enigmatic fellow vampire named Killian Jones, and the ultimate questions of how to start a blog on Fangd, get a parking spot in Boston, and avert an immortal war. She is confident love is nowhere in the plan.
rating: T
status: WIP
available: FF.net and AO3
previous: chapter 2

“I did not,” said Emma, “kill that woman.”

“Yes, and I’m sure you didn’t have sexual relations with her either, President Clinton.” Regina was clearly not in any sort of mood to deal with this. “But as you are currently the prime and only suspect, and as I seem to recall you promising me very recently that this wasn’t going to end up as a scandal, explain. Now.”

“It can’t have been me because I’m not even in Boston!” With that, Emma was forced to divulge that she had gone to London, that her investigation into the witan records had unearthed the bizarre incongruity of Killian Jones being reported missing when he wasn’t, and her trying to figure out what to do now, all of which made Regina sigh louder and louder. “So,” she finished. “I know it looks bad, like I killed Lily and fled the country, but they have to see that… ”

At that, she trailed off. If nobody had seen anyone else coming or going from Lily’s apartment after she left (which they wouldn’t have, as a vampire could both move at undetectable speed and use the mesmer to make humans forget, both facts which she herself had just nicely proven) they would conclude that she had killed her then, taken a cab to Logan, and purchased a getaway ticket, staying at the airport overnight rather than risking going back home and being arrested. No way around it, it was a sequence of events which would have set off all her “guilty as shit” instincts if she’d heard it in regards to someone else, and as she worked catching crooks for a living, she did know something about that. “Regina,” she said again. “You know me. You know I’m not a killer. You have to tell them that.”

“Every time anyone ends up in the news for murdering someone, their family always says they don’t know how they could have possibly done it, it’s not who they are. Do you think they’d listen to me even if I did?” Regina sounded half-exasperated, half-sad. “And you’ve made the situation worse by meddling around in the witan records in London. It looks like you’re trying to alter or conceal evidence, that you were the one framing that other vampire for your crimes. What did you say his name was, again?”

“Killian,” Emma said reluctantly. “Killian Jones.”

“What?” Regina drew in her breath in a hiss. “Killian Jones?”

“Why? Do you know him?”

“Yes,” Regina said, even more reluctantly. “He’s my brother.”

“What? What the hell, is this another Zelena situation?” In that case, thank God she’d dodged that bullet. Even if she felt just a tiny prick of regret. “Regina, why didn’t you tell – ”

“Not my biological brother,” Regina snapped. “My blood brother, which I trust even you know means that we were made by the same vampire sire. Frankly, he’s an idiot. He swoops about in his sparkly coat like the Dark Prince of the Night and broods like a champion, but he’s useless when it comes to any fangs-out action. I’d doubt it was him who carried out the Harvard attacks even if we’d got the report back that listed him missing. He’s never even been to America as far as I know, or if he has, it was before I was a vampire. As long as Gold lived in Great Britain, leaving for too long might take away from quality failure at vengeance time.”

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anonymous asked:

Hilary, I just finished chapter 22 of Incacerus and I did not ask to be gutted by Scarlet Hook feelings today. *throws bloody heart at your feet* GO TO YOUR ROOM AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU'VE DONE. And now I really want to read a Scarlet Hook smut fic where they're both stupidly happy and sappy and in love. Or better yet, a fic where Captain Scarlet Swan is a thing. Damn me, and damn you.

well, it’s not exactly fluffy, but this is Will and Killian’s back story in Incarcerus: how they met, some details on Will’s past, and perhaps a few other things as well. @lenfaz, @bisexual-killian-jones, this is for you.

Will Scarlet met Killian Jones more or less exactly where one would expect a drunk werewolf and a heartbroken vampire to cross paths: in a pub in Covent Garden, some place that used to be some historic something or other, but had burned down a long time ago and gone through various iterations, some more embarrassing than others (little Waitrose, just in case you couldn’t get your essential crème brûlées and ostrich eggs at your regular pit of yuppie despair) before finally being bought by new owners determined to turn the site back into the tavern it had been in ye olden days, whenever those were. (History was not Will’s forte.) After doing some research, they determined that the establishment which used to stand here had been called the Hook and Compass, and thus named their painstakingly rebuilt place of business accordingly. It was a bit pretentious, really: all the wood aged to look as if it had been here since the sixteenth century, low ceilings and dim corners, crooked beams, the lot, all in order to sucker in impressionable tourists eager to part with their money in an authentic English pub experience. It was therefore also not a place in which Will would have been caught dead even in the immortal sense of the word, but well, breakups had that effect on a bloke. It was better than sitting in his flat staring at Ana’s stuff and trying to remind himself to call the bin men in the morning. It briefly occurred to him that he should donate the lot to charity, just so some bit of good could come out of this entire sorry situation, but he had not found himself inclined to make abstract altruistic gestures. Or any at all, really. Fuck her, and fuck him, and especially fuck filthy rich investment bankers who drove Bentleys and successfully promised Ana a life of luxury beyond any she had ever known. He should have seen this coming, from the moment he scraped and saved to get them out of bloody Derby.

Therefore, Will stumbled into the Hook and Compass that night simply because he had ridden the Tube from Ealing, got off at Covent Garden because it was the busiest, and did his best to lose himself in the crowd. The other option – going mental and wolfing out – would be severely frowned upon by the head of the London Pack, a self-righteous hipster named Quinn who had not gotten his position by fighting the previous alpha bloodily to the death a la the olden days, but by amassing the most votes in an online contest, involving a lot of pictures of him staring soulfully into the camera like an Abercrombie underwear model. But even with such apparently flimsy credentials, Quinn had proven to be no joke in power. Wolves not getting with his program were issued two warnings before their third and final one ordering them to leave the city, and Will was already skating on massively thin ice what with various other unfortunate incidents (he didn’t mean to steal stuff, he never did, but when people just left it there, what was he supposed to do?) Getting a third strike would just be the crap cherry atop the shit sundae, and he refused to have it happen like this. Might as well drown his sorrows in overpriced craft beer and a whiskey or three. Wasn’t as if he had anyone else to spend money on anymore.

Will had been drinking steadily for a few hours when he became aware of someone watching him from the corner. Not just someone, but a Teeth, which was surprising in light of the fact that the rest of the clientele was definitely human, and not the kind of humans who knew about vampires or were offering themselves up to be fed on. Hence it was highly suspicious to see him here skulking in the shadows (was that something all of them just knew how to do, the skulking?) as if waiting for a sufficiently drunk target to wander past. Indeed Will tensed, having sudden visions of him heroically smashing a beer stein over this interloper’s head to prevent him from noshing on the table of pretty American co-eds nearby, thus proving to Ana what a fool she had been to ever leave him in the first place. Maybe they’d give him a medal.

“Hey,” he said in an undertone, when the bartender had moved off. “I’m watching you, mate.”

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