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jeffjerwin

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jeffjerwin last won the day on January 22

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About jeffjerwin

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  • RPG Biography
    Once upon a time wrote for Enclosure #2. Semi-professional game writer for Paizo and a few other companies. Copyeditor for Goodman Games. Started gaming with my dad in the early 80s.
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    HeroQuest, Pathfinder
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    Monterey, CA
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    Single father, librarian, Elizabethan historian

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  1. Keep in mind that Malory accidentally resurrected quite a few people... But _at some point_ they must have all been RTKs.
  2. Gronosis in my game has a high intrigue and has some unpleasant Personality Traits (high Deceitful, high Suspicious). Kay is a demanding and sarcastic father, but is capable of love: he does love Arthur and loves Guinevere. It's a difficult but not hostile relationship.
  3. I have a feeling the title Prince as an innovation comes not from Belintar but from Sartar the Larnsting and it may represent a Heortling word that means 'First', rather than a Western borrowing.
  4. Prince or princeps more or less corresponds to 'head, chief', 'numero uno'. It tends to imply less rigid systems of authority than king, lord, emperor, etc., and can, as in Machiavelli, mean the head of a republic. I think this means that Sartar did not adopt a title indicating tribal kingship (he belonged to no tribe), but one implying he was the 'first among the Quivini', the spokesman. So the 'king' implicit in Orlanth rex may be a little different from the word used for prince, or even King of Kerofinela. Interestingly, in Welsh, we use brenin for king, which means 'consort of Brigantia', the goddess of sovereignty. This seems awfully similar to the ritual status of the consort of the Feathered Horse Queen.
  5. In all seriousness, even aside from Tristram, who had complex reasons for foreswearing his allegiance, the trouble with being Mark's knight, is, like Sir Dinas and others, they will be forced to make a choice between being a good man (or woman) and being a loyal knight. It's probably for the best that these choices aren't part of the standard campaign. Of course, in the verse Tristan romances, Mark is never an evil king. A weak or human king, yes. His malignancy in Malory and the Prose Tristan is a deliberate contrast to King Arthur's goodness; Mark as a complex and sometimes good king feels more modern to us but it was the older model, rejected by nearly every storyteller after c.1230, though perhaps influenced by.a hostile presentation of Mark that was even older in Cornish and Breton folklore and saints lives. (It should be noted that the whole plot of the Downfall in the Vulgate relies on tropes and moral problems that were raised first in the Tristan verse romances).
  6. Pretty much. Duke Hoel isn't exactly passive, however (he's the heir of Budec), and Mark also becomes progressively worse as an over-king. In Cornwall and Brittany you have the example of 'what happens when your liege is basically King John'.
  7. There'll be a lot more on Cornwall and Brittany in a few years. (I'm the author) The situation in Brittany is simplified in the GPC and is explored in depth. It's got serious problems, I'll just say. If you want a war during the Pax Arthuriana, that's the place to go...
  8. There will be more on Brittany eventually. It did have a high kingship, at least in Geoffrey of Monmouth, with King Budic (Budec in the BoS). Earlier there are others, quite significant in Breton folklore. Lyonesse is a form of the Irish Ui Liathain, a sea-going and mercenary tribe that colonized western Cornwall according to Irish legend. The name Liathain was Anglicized as Lyons in Ireland. But by the time of the BoS they have been conquered by the Cornovii. Leon would logically be another Irish colony (also absorbed into the Bretons), these dating probably to the time of the Barbarian Conspiracy.
  9. Maris and Roestoc are represented as enemies of the Fisher King in the Adventure of the Castle of Joy (c.517). I suspect they're neutral before Badon.
  10. Yder - like Brian of the Isles - appears on both sides, as an enemy and as an ally. Since he's the brother of Gwyn ap Nudd, perhaps we should not be surprised. Strike that about Agravadain. Gornevain is Gorvain Cadrus (spelling varies). Gronosis is a PC in my game. The names have a superficial resemblance, but I think it's more likely Gronosis is derived from the Welsh name Gronwy, (variants: Grono, Goronwy). Kay is related in some Welsh pedigrees to Gronwy Pebr, that is the ruler of Penllyn in the Mabinogi - the seducer/-ed of Blodeuwedd - and of course Cei Hir and his father were also rulers of Penllyn in Arthurian legend.
  11. The Ugly Brave is Acanor, a secondary but frequently mentioned Moorish RTK. He is also the nephew of Kay. Carahes is a variant of Gaheris. Yder de Mount Doloreus is not the same as Idres. He is probably a double of Yder filz Nut, a different character, with his own romance. Malduit the Wise is a wizard knight (Malduc) in the German Lanzelet. He becomes hostile to Arthur and is slain. Gornevain is Agravadain the Brown most likely
  12. Note that rich widows can buy their own marriage rights from the Lord so they don't have to marry his choice or marry at all... https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=2ahUKEwi-xevrzsbkAhVIY6wKHfuLAZ4QFjAAegQIBBAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fjournals.lib.unb.ca%2Findex.php%2Fflor%2Farticle%2FviewFile%2F12530%2F20155&usg=AOvVaw3y6dw3ywqzHSqXwmfkvGi3
  13. You should read up on Jeanne de Flandres, duchess of Brittany: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joanna_of_Flanders
  14. I haven't had it happen in my own campaign yet. However, when it happened years ago in the campaign my father ran there was a funeral and feast, and my character was too heartbroken to move on for at least several years (Love (wife) 18) (and note this wife (who was an heiress and beautiful and all that) was won by an arduous series of adventures, not by rolling on a table). By that point, however, his sons were looking for wives, so that was the focus. If the campaign had continued (it didn't get to the end of the story) perhaps he would have eventually married a widow? I'm sure that any major character deserves a send-off (in a dynastic game) at least as interesting as the way they were introduced.
  15. I think the main question is, 'does Merlin have some sort of goal in mind involving Arthur and the Grail?' It may be irrelevant, given that he vanishes before the Grail Quest or its prologues begin, but the romances do specify that he had some definite interest in the Grail. In the Didot Perceval he comes back (or his ghost does) and advices Percivale on his quest. The other main clues that indicate that the Round Table and the Grail are closely linked are the prophecy that the Quest can only begin when every seat is filled, and the obvious connection between the Perilous Seat and the Grail - it designates the Grail hero's place, as well as the utter unraveling of Arthur's kingdom after the Quest, as if it had served its purpose. Merlin was a collector of magical objects, and perhaps he simply intended to fuse the Grail kingdom with the Round Table, bringing it to Camelot. If you see him as malevolent, perhaps he created the Round Table in order to secure the Grail for his private collection. He is, after all, the Son of the Devil. Or perhaps he simply foresaw that the Wasteland and the Quest would be the gravest challenge for Britain and Arthur and wished to make the king and his followers ready for it. There are indications that some sort of plan or process was repaired by the appearance of Galahad; the Vulgate makes reference to Lancelot's former destiny to achieve the Grail, which he fails by his love affair (curiously, Vivianne and Nimue seem to encourage the affair). There are also versions of the story where Percivale and Gawaine are the Grail hero. Gawaine would represent the archetype of a dauntless hero rather than a pious Templar, but the Post-Vulgate makes his fall even more dramatic than Lancelot's. It may be noteworthy that Arthur's kingdom is the very model of a Celtic hero-band but is not very good at being a Christian state. Since it is 'designed' by Merlin, perhaps he wanted the heroic 'fight your way to the artifact' and 'bring it back gloriously' route all along. This might actually put him at odds with the Grail kingdom, and suggests the Table was an imitation, rather than a relic of the Grail realm itself. But Providence intervened...
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