Aisha Norell - Myth-Weavers


Aisha Norell

Aisha Norell

Still a work in progress, but just for the sake of having somewhere to write stuff down...

Name: Aisha Norell

Race: Human

Class: Cavalier (Gallant/Daring Champion/Courtly Knight) [Order of the Blue Rose?]

Traits: Civilised (Social), Artistic Dilletante [Painting] (Race), Sheltered (Drawback), Duelling Cloak Adept (Combat)

Weapon of Choice: Duelling Sword

Social Background: Minor noble.

Social Caste: Minor Nobility.

Weapon of Choice: Aldori Duelling Sword


Out of interest, are formal duels a thing that exist in the setting? (Actually for that matter, how militaristic are people in general? Even 1st-level PCs like us are more powerful than the average 1st-level commoner, after all.)

Formal duels have been illegal for a long time, but that has never stopped nobles with scores to settle
And Erebonia owes much of its importance on the international scene to the might of its army, and well, you guys are enrolling at a military academy. You should assume every single person you run into during your academic life is willing and able to engage in live combat... Although unauthorized combat within the campus (and by "unauthorized" I mean, any fight or duel or whatever that is not part of activities sanctioned by the academy, like drills or practical exams) can and will be grounds for an expulsion, so yeah, you should probably be careful about that.

Aisha herself isn't likely to be getting involved in random duels, but I was kinda toying with the idea of making her family fairly renowned for being duelists or the like (so Aisha would kinda be the odd one out). Maybe I could change it to making them various decorated officers...

Has the Empire actually been in any wars lately?

The most recent was 10 years before the start of the campaign... Although in general it's more of a "cold war" like of deal. Like, "we're the biggest country with the biggest and most modern army, so other countries are scared that we MIGHT start a war, and so we get what we want".
That being said, this setting is full of war heroes, but a family renowned for being fierce duelists is unique: I like it a lot, to be honest. Again, duels are officially illegal, but that has never stopped anybody: remember counts and viscounts are in charge of law enforcement, so if they themselves break the law, as long it's not something big enough to justify the direct intervention of the Archduke of their province, chances are they'll get away with it. It's an angle I could get behind.

I'll go with that angle then. Thanks!

I've also got my character sheet mostly done, so now there's just the fluff left to do.

Just expand on this idea we had and write an extensive description of this character's personality and mindset. From there, I'll see what are the most fitting additional setting info that it would make sense for you to be aware of, in order to flesh out your backstory. The main question here is, how minor do you want the family to be? Do they rule over a very small area, or perhaps even a single city or trading town? Or are they a bit bigger than that? Knowing this would help me a lot.

I'm figuring they're relatively minor in terms of the power their family actually holds - maybe a little more than just one city, but not much more - but they've married into various other noble families (maybe even one of the Great Houses) over the years, so as a whole the family has more influence than their holdings suggest.

An alternative thought I was toying with was...basically the same as the above, except rather than them always having been a relatively small house, at some point they somehow lost a lot of their holdings to a rival family under the same count. Maybe they wagered them on a duel and the opponent cheated to win, and then obviously because the duel officially never happened on account of it being illegal, it's not like they could complain to their count about it. I guess that kinda depends on how much autonomy barons and such have over increasing or decreasing their own holdings.

Also, how does the selection/application process for the Academy work? One idea I had was that Aisha herself would rather have gone to a more bureaucratic sort of academy, but her family pretty much insisted that she went to Thors because it's the 'done thing' or whatever, and she didn't want to disappoint them.

Increasing or decreasing the area of influence of a vassal is the exclusive prerogative of his direct superior in the feudal scale, one cannot simply buy a fief or win it at poker. The only way to expand a family's area of influence is to fuse two fiefs via arranged marriage, but even then the direct superior in the feudal scale gets a saying in the matter: if a viscount thinks that two families of barons, by fusing their territories with an arranged marriage, would end up being too powerful, he might very well decide to strip them of part of their territories, rearrange this part into a new fief, and give it to somebody else. And before you point out that this kind of behavior is bound to cause conflicts and power struggles... Well, that's exactly why we have Provincial Armies

As far as joining the Academy works, well, it's similar to how joining universities works in real life: you submit a formal request to be allowed into the school, making sure to play up your credentials (which may range from knowing the right people to having outstanding martial prowess. Having someone with ties in the army write a letter of recommendation for you also helps). A commission evaluates your credentials and, if they're found to be good enough, you're inserted in the national entry exam, a massive exam on the most diverse subjects held all over the country: the top 120 scorers of this exam are officially allowed to enroll at Thors. It's the largest, richest, most famous and most prestigious school in the country, so of course they get hundreds of requests every year: realistically, the reason why your parents would push you to enroll at Thors is that, well, it's Thors: in real life, there are names like Harvard, or Cambridge, or The Sorbonne, which are famous all around the world, even among people who know nothing about universities and have never attended one. Thors is the same thing in our setting.

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