Summer has arrived, and with it, the Brothers Waltz draws close. The invited families have another reason to prepare well for this year, because the rumor is that the Queen-mothers have announced the princesses are also going to seek a husband this year. Being tied to the royal family as sister-in-laws affords a great increase in status after all, and even if they might not manage to succeed this time around its still a place to present brothers to the finest society, and a chance for families to compete.
Great number of knights ride to town, and the landed gentry show off their sophistication and manners, wagers are set on a great deal of games and the people eat well as the celebrations extend from the royal hall to the common folk. Beginning a month before the actual Waltz, the families are all on the move to prepare and to get a good idea of their competition. Many of the older families likewise consider the possibilities of having their daughters marry and take over the family so they could retire from their duties with their husband, but some gaze upon the whole game with other ideas in mind.
To the riverfolk, its an opportunity like no other, with all the gold-egg laying goose at one place, there's a fortune to be made in capturing a clean male of noble blood for the right family, and some even entertain the idea of stealing away one for themselves only to return a generation later with a claim to the noble lineage, something that might theoretically let their status rise as well, if they can pull it off successfully.
The common people tinker and toil, with tailors working tirelessly to prepare separate outfits for each occasion for the gentry and landed gentry alike, and spies are hired to find out about other families and what manner of a man they might be hiding behind their locked doors. Some whisper that its also a good time to hold a market for the common folk, presenting their brothers to trade with another family for a husband. As above, so below, the society prepares for a midsummer celebration even as some plot in the shadows.
This world is based on the book Brothers Price
by Wen Spencer, though intended to occur in another world
This is a story of another world, with a few clear differences. I will note the main points below, but questions about more are open. I haven't run a game in a while, but considered this concept interesting enough that I want to share it with others.
- First of all, women make the rules in this world. Men are considered property, though their treatment ranges from pampering care to brutal slavery.
- The gender-ratios in this world are noteworthy: 90% of the population is women. Though boys are born more often than one out of ten not all of them make it alive to adulthood, leaving that the final figure.
- Polygamy is not only legal, its expected even among the nobility. Sisters tend to share 1 husband, the oldest sister usually ruling over the family. In case of particularily large families however one of the middle sisters may be chosen to start a new family and become its Eldest, with the priviledges and duties it involves, but also needing to find their own husband.
- Addendum to the above: Underage sisters are also married to their elder sisters' husband, but are to be treated as children until they are of age, at which point they have the wife's priviledge of demanding service if they so choose. Records exist of some families having split when younger sisters refused a husband their elders had chosen before they came of age. While this is considered 'childish', its permited by law.
- Actions commited by 1 person affect on their entire family. 1 person committing treason leads to the execution of the entire family if caught, but similarily 1 person's personal heroics may lead to knighting of an entire family.
- Men are expected to take care of the household, raising their little sisters, cooking meals and keeping pure for marriage. Men that are known to sleep around with women other than their wives are considered a risk to marry, as a diseased husband could spread a disease to all the wives. As such, such 'dishonored men' are often sold in shame to a crib (male 'brothel'), to live a usually short life of drugged haze providing service to women until their dying breath.
- Women are expected to learn a trade, protect their younger sisters, and obey their Mothers until they have a husband of their own. Many families also focus on a particular craft, from a family of warriors to a family of merchants, or fine craftsmen.
- Given how rare men are, and thus how valuable their worth can be while they are considered clean, many customs are in place to protect them. Most men don't travel much, and hobbies such as riding are considered too dangerous due to the fear of husband-thieving. Men are expected to wear a veil in public to not taunt women into raping them. Seduced man loses a fair bit of their value, and the fear of them being 'unclean' may lower their standing. Thus, its not uncommon for families to keep their men in another room whenever they have guests. Exceptions are rare, but do occur from time to time. For lower-born, the markets may be a place to 'advertise' a brother coming of age, and for nobility, the royal balls may be a time to meet other high-born men as well as show off.
- Folks that don't belong to families are considered trash, generally called riverfolk for their tendency to move around along the rivers to where work is plentiful. They are distrusted and disliked, though some riverfolk have been known to form a new family of their own and step up as a respectable lineage over a few generations of time.
- Humans are the only race in this world and Magic does not exist. However, technology has developed to the point that many warrior women own their own musket or two, and flintlock pistols are commonplace. Riverboats run by steam connecting the cities, and cities rise to show their reign over the surrounding lands.
::: Character Creation ::: As this is to be a free-form game, the character creation is more to show what kind of a character might be planned. Better character sheets can be offered freely, this is just to get started somewhere.Name:
(First name and Family name, daughters from different mothers in a family still share the family name unless the family splits)Age:
(Minimum of 18 for player characters, please. Most brothers -usually- marry at 18 or few years after, but not always.)Gender:
(Male or Female only, please)Profession:
(Soldier, General, Tactician, Merchant, Moneylender, Artesan, Scholar... General idea of what the character has learned)Family Status:
(Riverfolk, --, Black-marked Family, Unknown Family, Respected Family, -- , Gentry, Landed Gentry, Royalty)Strength:
(Name something the character excels in)Weakness:
(Name something the character stumbles in)Appearance:
(Image or at least 2-3 sentences, please)Personality:
(Please type at least 2-3 sentences)
I'd like to keep the game to the 'nobility' of Gentry, Landed Gentry, and Royalty. However, the other social classes are present in case someone would rather choose to play something else, from Riverfolk pirate masquerading as Gentry to try and steal a high-blood husband or to capture someone for ransom, to talented servants of someone more powerful that are involved in the plots and plans perhaps.
This is presently a check of interest, I am curious if there would be takers. The setting seems like it holds a fair bit of promise but it takes good roleplayers to breathe life into it. I find myself usually preferring one-on-one games but I feel I could take a chance with this, and see how things flow.
The roles of royalty though, whether or not there is male royalty present at all, well, those should be worth a talk, not on first-come first-served basis if that happens.