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KismetRose
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USA
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Posted - 24 Apr 2018 :  21:12:38  Show Profile  Visit KismetRose's Homepage Send KismetRose a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I've been thinking about taking one of Thay's noble houses at a time and doing a detailed write-up for it. I've already generated noble houses in an organized way, but I haven't had the time to write more about them, even though I think it would be great fun. What kinds of information would you most want/need to see, as a player and/or GM? Would you be interested in information on Thayan nobles in the late 1300s? Thanks in advance for your thoughts!


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sleyvas
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USA
7244 Posts

Posted - 25 Apr 2018 :  01:20:59  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd recommend taking a look at the noble houses as presented in the second edition city of splendors for Waterdeep for inspiration on how to lay it out.

That Standard goes like

Family Name: AMCATHRA (Am-CATH-ra)
Prominent Members:

Patriarch: Challas Amcathra NOTE: Change this from Patriarch to Daeron
Consort: Miri Amcathra NOTE: Change this from Consort to Daeroness
Heir: Arilos Amcathra (eldest son) NOTE: I'd get rid of the Heir concept entirely. I also wouldn't limit the numbers of daerons and daeronesses. Thayan noble families don't necessarily follow this structure. In addition to the concept of Daerons and Daeronesses, I'd also list Master: as an option for those who are red wizards... i.e. those who are high enough in level to have become actual red wizards, not just apprentices

Trade & Interests: wine, sword-forging, horse-breeding and training
Arms: field: red
crescents: silver
flame: blue

Then give a summary of the house as a whole. Who are its traditional allies (if any). Who are its traditional enemies (if any). It should also note any particular school, religious, or guild affiliations that the noble family may have. Also, since these nobles will be spread throughout Thay, it might be worth listing the traditional home city of the family and any secondary cities where they are prominent. It should also note the size of the family as a whole (some noble families may be limited to say 4 members... others may number in the hundreds).

Then give a summary on some of the family members that PC's may interact with, including race/sex class(es) and level(s) and any other relevant details that may apply like them having a certain ability score, magic items, etc... It should also list what city they live in and if they have a particular title (say an autharch in some governmental position).

I'd also add a field for "Known Servants", and thus some families may have specific servants who have elevated themselves by being an effective servant of the house who may actually be a former powerful adventurer, sophisticated information gatherer, powerful merchant, etc...






Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 25 Apr 2018 02:55:49
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KismetRose
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Posted - 25 Apr 2018 :  05:56:31  Show Profile  Visit KismetRose's Homepage Send KismetRose a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I looked at the write-ups for Waterdeep some time ago, but found them only so useful for my purposes.
I can always count on you, sleyvas, for more ideas. Thank you!

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sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 25 Apr 2018 :  14:01:16  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
literally glad to help. I'd love to make use of your effort as its an interest I've wanted to delve in the past as well, but life gets in the way.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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KismetRose
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38 Posts

Posted - 25 Apr 2018 :  17:23:05  Show Profile  Visit KismetRose's Homepage Send KismetRose a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So far, I'm thinking of a format like this:

Family Name:
Ennobled:
Trade and Interests:
Allies and Enemies:
Favored Alignments and Religions:
Major Locations:
History:
Rumors:
Symbols and Colors:
Prominent Members:

I've already established that there is no one centralized house for each family; a noble house has family members in various cities, each with their own head of house. I'm also not keen on making this a long list of characters but more of a way to create more fleshed out characters. I'm also thinking of doing a sample house per family.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7244 Posts

Posted - 26 Apr 2018 :  00:13:01  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The idea of a noble house in various cities each with their own head of house makes sense. Thus, there may be the Agnehs of Bezantur and the Agnehs of Tyraturos. I would recommend a general descriptor for "family size", and making it small, average, large. Then maybe give some basic ranges of 8 or less for small, 9 -20 for average, 20+ for large. Using Game of Thrones for comparison, That might make people realize the difference between say House Stark and House Frey at a glance.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5158 Posts

Posted - 26 Apr 2018 :  06:12:57  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like all this. Given that Thay doesn't have a monarch, I would think that becoming "ennobled" entails having a member of your family appointed Tharchion at some stage of Thay's history. That would mean that there might be some "noble" families who are of that status due to some august ancestor but are now poor, commoner-equivalents - notwithstanding their former status. I wouldn't think that works in terms of being a zulkir in that those individuals are elected due to their Red Wizard status, not their family. Of course you can have a zulkir and tharchion come from the same family, and as with Aznar Thrul you can actually be both at the same time. Which makes me wonder ... just how do you get elected Zulkir of your school and by whom ... ?

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 26 Apr 2018 :  06:24:31  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think that may have been touched upon in Rich Bryer's novels - Tam murdered one Zulkir and another was 'appointed' (I think this is done by a council of the highest ranking members of that particular magic school). Supposedly, 'outsiders' are not allowed to influence these decisions, but when it comes to a guy like Szass Tam, he usually got his way (or he'd just keep killing them until they selected the one he wanted LOL).

I never imagined Thay with any sort of nobility - I just assumed the Red Wizards took the place of nobility (like how it was with the 'mage Lords' of Athalantar). Tharchions are more like governors than nobility - the Red Wizards looked their noses down at them (but felt they were necessary, since none of them wanted to be bothered with actually running the country).

EDIT:
I think the Zulkirs appointed the Tharchions, but I'm not positive. Thus, they could be taken out of power if they annoyed the Red Wizards over-much.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 26 Apr 2018 06:25:56
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KismetRose
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USA
38 Posts

Posted - 26 Apr 2018 :  18:07:40  Show Profile  Visit KismetRose's Homepage Send KismetRose a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the family size idea, sleyvas. I can definitely use that!

George, I've established that since they separated from Mulhorand, the Mulan (which are the nobility in Mulhorand and racially based as such) rose to prominence in Thay. They had many reasons to want to be free of the theocracy. Although they intermixed with the local Rashemi on the plateau at first, many have tried to intermix with other of mostly Mulan heritage, as well as nobles from other places and particularly with outsiders.
http://www.dnd.kismetrose.com/ThayNobleHouses.html

Many of the oldest Thayan noble families actually reformed from their Mulhorandi roots, with newer noble families earning their titles from the zulkirs. Noble families have come to have a lot of sway in the testing and training of magical aptitude, so wizards of commoner birth have a hard road ahead of them. The Red Wizards want more than just the ability to work magic; they want the "best," and part of that estimation is based on caste.

As for electing Red Wizards and zulkirs, I addressed that here: https://kismetsthay.blogspot.com/2016/09/ranks-of-red-wizards.html
The zulkirs do appoint tharchions and khazarks, since those positions are so important.

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Mournblade
Master of Realmslore

USA
1279 Posts

Posted - 03 May 2018 :  20:11:22  Show Profile  Visit Mournblade's Homepage  Send Mournblade an AOL message  Click to see Mournblade's MSN Messenger address  Send Mournblade a Yahoo! Message Send Mournblade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KismetRose

Thanks for the family size idea, sleyvas. I can definitely use that!

George, I've established that since they separated from Mulhorand, the Mulan (which are the nobility in Mulhorand and racially based as such) rose to prominence in Thay. They had many reasons to want to be free of the theocracy. Although they intermixed with the local Rashemi on the plateau at first, many have tried to intermix with other of mostly Mulan heritage, as well as nobles from other places and particularly with outsiders.
http://www.dnd.kismetrose.com/ThayNobleHouses.html

Many of the oldest Thayan noble families actually reformed from their Mulhorandi roots, with newer noble families earning their titles from the zulkirs. Noble families have come to have a lot of sway in the testing and training of magical aptitude, so wizards of commoner birth have a hard road ahead of them. The Red Wizards want more than just the ability to work magic; they want the "best," and part of that estimation is based on caste.

As for electing Red Wizards and zulkirs, I addressed that here: https://kismetsthay.blogspot.com/2016/09/ranks-of-red-wizards.html
The zulkirs do appoint tharchions and khazarks, since those positions are so important.



Great Work Kismet! Do you do anything for 5th edition or are you sticking with 3rd edition? I switched to fifth edition because game prep for 3rd was just becoming to time consuming.

A wizard is Never late Frodo Baggins. Nor is he Early. A wizard arrives precisely when he means to...
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KismetRose
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USA
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Posted - 03 May 2018 :  22:34:02  Show Profile  Visit KismetRose's Homepage Send KismetRose a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Mournblade! I have been keeping most of my work on Thay system agnostic, especially recently, so that it can be useful across editions.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7244 Posts

Posted - 03 May 2018 :  22:51:24  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

I like all this. Given that Thay doesn't have a monarch, I would think that becoming "ennobled" entails having a member of your family appointed Tharchion at some stage of Thay's history. That would mean that there might be some "noble" families who are of that status due to some august ancestor but are now poor, commoner-equivalents - notwithstanding their former status. I wouldn't think that works in terms of being a zulkir in that those individuals are elected due to their Red Wizard status, not their family. Of course you can have a zulkir and tharchion come from the same family, and as with Aznar Thrul you can actually be both at the same time. Which makes me wonder ... just how do you get elected Zulkir of your school and by whom ... ?

-- George Krashos



Its KIND of like that. But it doesn't carry down. For instance, I become Tharchion. My children become ennobled. When I'm no longer Tharchion, I'm still ennobled, as are my children. My children give me grandchildren. Those grandchildren are NOT ennobled, but their parents still are. Until their parents take on a role befitting nobility, their children will remain non-noble. Also, ALL red wizards are ennobled (that doesn't mean apprentices, but rather those high enough in level to become true red wizards... in 1st and 2nd edition, that was 9th level... and in 3rd edition, I'd probably state that you have to be able to form a circle (so at least 10th level).

I'd probably throw in another path to becoming ennobled. If you become a Khazark of a red wizard enclave, I'd recommend saying you and your family are ennobled. I state this because you basically are running an embassy for Thay.

On the becoming a Zulkir, that is indeed a good question, and one which is not clear. My take is that one is elected by votes from the existing red wizards. Now HOW that voting takes place, THAT is an interesting idea to ponder... especially when one considers the amount of backstabbing, mind control, and scrying that this culture has. However, one must also consider one thing... the Zulkirship is not for everyone. While it has power, it is also a leadership position and carries certain burdens as well. In theory everyone in a school of magic should obey their Zulkir... in practice, the more powerful you are, the more you can snub your "superior"... especially if you are in the pocket of another Zulkir. It doesn't happen often, but I'd bet it does happen. The schools are not nearly as "aligned" as people picture in my book.

From the Dreams of the Red Wizards 1st edition source
There are several noble families in Thay and, as a sign of the possible upward mobility in Thayvian society, new noble families are being started all the time.

In general, anyone appointed to the position of Tharchion (see Politics) or Autharch is automatically noble, and his immediate family (spouse[s], children) is also ennobled. Any other family members including siblings are not ennobled, but, since nepotism is standard in Thay, can expect to become nobility soon.

Red Wizards are also automatically nobles, and they ennoble their immediate families as well.

If the children of a Tharchion do not become Tharchions or Autharches themselves, or children of Red Wizards do not become wizards, they are still nobility. Once a Thayvian becomes a noble, it is almost impossible to take that status away from his family. Only the unanimous decision of the Zulkirs can remove the status of nobility; this is usually done by outlawing the family, arresting all accessible members, and turning the survivors of the arresting process into slaves.


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7244 Posts

Posted - 03 May 2018 :  23:12:07  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KismetRose

Thanks for the family size idea, sleyvas. I can definitely use that!

George, I've established that since they separated from Mulhorand, the Mulan (which are the nobility in Mulhorand and racially based as such) rose to prominence in Thay. They had many reasons to want to be free of the theocracy. Although they intermixed with the local Rashemi on the plateau at first, many have tried to intermix with other of mostly Mulan heritage, as well as nobles from other places and particularly with outsiders.
http://www.dnd.kismetrose.com/ThayNobleHouses.html

Many of the oldest Thayan noble families actually reformed from their Mulhorandi roots, with newer noble families earning their titles from the zulkirs. Noble families have come to have a lot of sway in the testing and training of magical aptitude, so wizards of commoner birth have a hard road ahead of them. The Red Wizards want more than just the ability to work magic; they want the "best," and part of that estimation is based on caste.

As for electing Red Wizards and zulkirs, I addressed that here: https://kismetsthay.blogspot.com/2016/09/ranks-of-red-wizards.html
The zulkirs do appoint tharchions and khazarks, since those positions are so important.



I had at one point started doing exactly what you're doing kind of. Definitely let me know when you've got it laid out in the format we were discussing. BTW, I really like your write up about the nobility on your web page. Nicely done. Just a few notes because I had found a few entries for Tharchions

Hargrid Tenslayer was tharchion of Lapendrar (perished in salamander war though, and I wouldn't be surprised if his family were punished)

Milsantos Daramos was tharchion of Thazalhar until he died of old age in 1382 DR. He sides with the rest of the Zulkirs against Tam.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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