OOC Seminar Room - <House of Starkhorn> ---
This room has a cool mist lurking about its edges, blurring the walls and ceiling so that whoever comes can shape the space as they require. Tiers of seats ring a central dais, from which any speaker may address those in attendance. The mist hangs thickest along the floor of the dais, to rise up and become whatever the speaker of the moment may require.
Voreyn Zahir claps her hands together to call the seminar to order and stands beside Norran. "Thank you everyone for showing up, and hopefully this seminar won't last /too/ long. I've decided it would be best to divide it into four sections: Greetings, General Conversation, Departures, and Correspondence."
You say, "And if at any time anyone has a question, feel free to interrupt me or jump in front of my laser pointer."
Ifrit says, "(It's secretly a very very strong one)"
Taking Norran by the shoulders, Voreyn turns him about to face her. "When two nobles meet whether it be in private or public, the general form of physical greeting should take the form of the bow and the curtsey." Voreyn curtsies to Norran. "And should - Light forbid - any scandalous female be garbed in men's pants and boots, she gets the privilege of looking ridiculous by bowing."
Norran bows deeply in return. "Too bad there's far too many of those! Nothing fancy required, unless fancy is your area of interest!"
Norran Lomasa says, "Shoot."
Norran Lomasa says, "I think."
"What about those scandalous females in armour?" Ifrit asks curiously. Norran Lomasa says, "Those exist? Well, Voreyn's probably the safer bet here."
"A bow," Voreyn replies with a laugh. "And only enough to offer respect. We don't need ladies in heavy armor toppling over at our feet." Norran Lomasa says, "A personal favorite of mine is a light bow or just a bow of the head, as anything too complicated is likely absurd looking in half-plate."
Oren says, "Oren only inclines his head because I've always assumed he can hardly bow."
Voreyn nods to Norran. "These are acceptable if one is armored, but if one is not, more than a nod of the head is expected. Between nobles of equal stature, one may only need a nod of the head or a slight bow. To one of inferior rank, a nod of the head will also do. To one's superior rank, a deeper bow and curtsey are expected, and this includes between Freelanders and Nobles."
Voreyn smirks as she adds: "And yes, if they are too large to bow without capturing someone in their fat folds, they may simply nod."
Nayla Zahir cackles.
Oren says, "I meant because he's old!"
Norran Lomasa says, "Yep. Between equally-ranked nobles, it's pretty much returning equal respect unless you want to look like a big ol' jerk."
"What about friends of different ranks?" Ifrit queries.
"In public, the proper courtesies must be given, even if you're friends," Voreyn replies. "In private, nobody cares what you do."
Oren says, "What about the Syladris? Are nobles expected to show those ugly beasts respect?"
You say, "This brings us to actually greeting people, and I will toss up a shameless plug for Rar: definitely reference +library forms_of_address if you're in doubt as to what to call someone IF you know their rank."
Norran Lomasa says, "Syladris aren't nobility. As far as I know, they merely have to be respected and handled carefully in their own territory, but merely respected if they happen to be elsewhere. But, in that case, you're more likely to worry about the Knight escorting them."
You say, "Oh yeah, Syladris. I believe because they are to be respected, anything will do depending on the feelings of the noble. If they wish they can bow or curtsey, or they can merely nod their head, but a form of recognition is necessary. And yes, addressing the Knight escort will go as was mentioned above."
Ailith nods. "Ailith always bows; she's either in armor, or in clothes where she could add armor quickly. Scourge."
Voreyn Zahir nods.
You say, "Any more questions before I move onto the verbal greeting?"
Norran Lomasa says, "Syladris hold absolutely no political power, so dealing with them is mostly to keep Tshepsi happy. A diplomatic thing, really."
Voreyn Zahir nods.
Ailith says, "I once saw Aes give Godric orders, in Crown's Refuge. Did that work only because Godric was uncertain of the law, or did it carry legal weight?"
Nayla Zahir says, "Aes did what now? Why do I miss all the good stuff?"
Gefrey Driscol says, "... I'd think that was probably because Godric was uncertain? Not sure, though. But yeah, Aes told Godric to screw off, basically."
Nayla Zahir cackles.
Ailith says, "Godric was being Godric at a wildlander in half-plate. Made said wildlander strip it off, on a cold day, when the wildlander had nothing on underneath. Aes took exception. I believe he made Godric strip?"
Gefrey Driscol says, "Er, no..."
Norran Lomasa says, "If he was acting under the authority of local law enforcement, that's his right. Godric didn't have any obligation to listen to Aeseyri, but etiquette would demand that he was polite."
Gefrey Driscol says, "To the last part at least, but we're getting off topic."
Norran Lomasa says, "He didn't follow etiquette."
Norran Lomasa says, "And now Godric...well, you know."
You say, "Hrm, yeah... Anyway, verbal greetings."
Nayla Zahir cackles.
Norran Lomasa says, "I'd also note that, in my personal opinion, I don't know if anyone even follows this anymore, in public it's particularly odd form for a noble to address a freelander by anything other than 'Master Freelander' or 'Mistress Freelander' in public, at the very least, unless perhaps they're a particularly close retainer. A far weirder thing for a freelander to abandon titles when dealing with a noble in public, no matter how familiar they might be."
You say, "Yes, in /public/ one should always address with titles: nobles to nobles, nobles to Freelanders, and Freelanders to nobles."
Ailith says, "Here's one I don't know. How do the Knight titles fit in? When is it more proper to say 'sir' instead of lord, lady, earl...?"
Norran Lomasa says, "Sir is the title, yep."
Ailith says, "That go for Ordinators too? taking the place of other titles?"
Norran Lomasa says, "And that is /very/ important. The Sir title is very highly respected and Knights can get /very/ mad at someone of lower standing if they choose to forgo it."
You say, "Because Ordinators are of various ranks, they should be called by their appropriate title."
Norran Lomasa says, "Ordinators, to my knowledge, aren't as politically affable or as particular about their membership as Knights, so they're fairly standard."
Leviathan also suggests that in the morass of titles? If in doubt, use the one most appropriate to the action at hand.
You say, "We can have Rar tack that into the forms_of_address, if that's what you're asking, Levi? :)"
Leviathan says, "For instance, if a Duke is also a Knight, Your Grace is /always/ appropriate, but Sir might be fitting in events dealing with Law as well."
Voreyn Zahir nods.
Ailith says, "Ailith, for the record, prefers 'warpriest' to any other title. To use another title implies that you're dealing with her in a political rather than religious manner."
Norran Lomasa says, "Duke trumps Knight."
Norran Lomasa says, "As far as the Warpriest and Grand Master go, I don't even know."
Norran Lomasa says, "They're both Royal, so they could be called something else."
Ailith says, "worth hashing out."
You say, "Yeah... Because they're unique, it may just have to be that they tell people what to call them."
Norran Lomasa says, "That's Bahamut's territory."
Norran Lomasa says, "Should ask him later."
Voreyn Zahir nods. "And because they're all exceptions to the general rules, I think it will stand that they make their own titles, hehe."
Norran Lomasa says, "Until then, however, 'Grand Master' or 'Warpriest' are good stand-ins."
Norran Lomasa says, "Maybe stick with 'Your Grace' for freelanders if they want to be extra careful."
Voreyn Zahir nods.
You say, "That is the highest title one can be afforded without being the Regent or the Prince, after all."
You say, "Anyway, is everyone clear on titles and public forms of address?"
Nayla Zahir is pretty clear.
Gefrey Driscol says, "Yep."
Oren says, "Sure."
Voreyn Zahir nods. "The matter of introductions is one that I've had trouble trying to decide if the complexity is worth it."
You say, "For instance, it's generally considered rude to introduce yourself to someone of higher rank. Rather, propriety would dictate that a mutual acquaintance complete the introduction between the two. However, on Chia, mutual acquaintances are not necessarily always present."
Ailith nods. "I got chided for that once."
Ailith says, "I was looking for RP and norran was *there*, but we hadn't been introduced. I was a baroness at the time - it just didn't seem *proper* to go 'hey hi there'."
You say, "I suppose the one of higher rank could sidestep it by introducing themselves first upon meeting? And being in a situation where you're the only two RPing would force them to do so, lest you spend an hour shuffling about, looking at each other, but not saying anything."
Norran Lomasa says, "Usually the higher-ranked one would introduce themselves first, this facilitate it beginning...Exactly."
Norran Lomasa says, "But that level of awkwardness would only really apply to dealing with a Marquis or a Duke or a Royal. I don't see any harm with a Baron introducing themselves to an Earl or somesuch."
Norran Lomasa says, "However, if you have business with said higher-up, you can't really fidget about. So long as you're /very/ polite, you can get away with trying to safely speak to even the most stiff of Dukes without too much trouble."
Voreyn Zahir nods. "True enough, if it's a necessity, then it'll have to be done. Generally, the mistakes made in introductions are slight enough as to not make you an immediate social outcast or anything, and really do not earn any more rebuke than a blush and a harsh glance, or perhaps a few terse words."
Ailith nods. "It's come up more than once - 'why don't you go talk to duke/duchess so and so?' and my answer's always been the same - "I have no business requiring me to ask for an audience, and they haven't asked for me." It's incumbent on the higher ranking person to instigate at least the initial relationship. Set the tone."
Norran Lomasa says, "So long as you're very polite and you don't act cold or detatched, you can get away from most any 'bad' situation with a light ribbing or a prod. As for Ailith's comment, the higher you go, it depends on the demeanor of said Duke/Duchess. They can be selectively picky very often."
Norran Lomasa says, "But no, you wouldn't really randomly drop in on one for absolutely no reason."
Ifrit says, "(See Zolor)"
Voreyn Zahir randomly drops in on Zolor frequently. "He yells a lot when that happens. Blustery old codger." She fistshakes.
Ailith says, "that's another one really - on what grounds *do* you ask for audience with zolor and how do you go about it?"
Norran Lomasa says, "They can be minefields of etiquette, if such thing is possible."
Ailith says, "I've only ever seen voreyn do it."
You say, "You know what I did? I @mailed, I paged, I posted a bbpost, and I barged in and appeared in his throne room. Sending a letter also works if you have the time to do so, as most would appreciate a warning that you're going to arrive."
Norran Lomasa says, "When it comes to the Regent/Emperor/Kingguy, basic rules tend to get thrown out the window aside from the base of trying to be VERY polite."
Norran Lomasa says, "It comes down to the individual."
Norran Lomasa says, "Talus was a generally nicer guy. Zolor is not."
You say, "Zolor's a pussycat. I don't know what you're talking about. Generally if you send a letter ahead of you - if you have the time to do so - then it's good enough to warn them that you're dropping in."
Norran Lomasa says, "I'm still holding that experiences differ!"
Ailith says, "Advice would be welcome. is it just better not done?"
Ailith says, "I mean - I'm warpriest now, in theory I've got the power and right to seek audience, I think. But damn if I know what circumstances would advise or require it, or how it's done."
Norran Lomasa says, "So long as you take all precautions (Letter ahead of you, make sure what you want to talk to him about is likely worth his time), then you ought to be alright."
You say, "I say that if you deem it something that requires you to approach them in person and not merely through correspondence, then yeah: send a letter and show up."
You say, "And Ailith is of royal rank. Not very many nobles are going to say "get the hell out of here" without hearing what's up."
You say, "One last thing: if a mutual acquaintance IS present, they introduce the lower ranked personage to the higher one first."
Leviathan Raises a fluke?
Leviathan has two questions for ya, Vor, when you have a free second. :)
Voreyn Zahir points to Leviathan with her laser pointer. "Sure, what's up?"
Oren never plays by the rules. Is a rebel!
Leviathan says, "First: In introductions, where do Freelanders fit, and what is expected of them? And Second: Would you be willing to explain the etiquette of visiting socially? Meaning - other than dropping in on a friend, what's custom? Letter or advance notice? Couriers? Visiting another house different or the same?"
You say, "Freelander to Freelander introductions are without any necessary formula. They can introduce themselves to each other as they'd like. Freelanders should, however, refrain from waltzing up to a noble, sticking out their hand, and introducing themself unless they're asked for their name. Mutual acquaintances work well in that situation, and the mutual acquaintance can be noble or Freelander, doesn't matter, so long as they've already been introduced to both parties before."
You say, "Freelanders /can/ introduce themselves to strange nobles if they'd like to, but again it would fall on the noble to inquire after their name first to avoid forcing the Freelander to either make a social misstep or leave without a scene. ;)"
Norran Lomasa says, "What happens between friends is usually immaterial. They can act however they like in private, but in public or in front of other nobles, etiquette is still required all the same."
Oren says, "Norran likes to call people pet names when in private."
You say, "As for visiting socially, general social calls should be occurring among friends - yes? Otherwise, unless it's for business or political purposes, what's the point in stopping by a strange person's home? In that case, it's not unknown for intimate acquaintances to drop in on each other, although advance notice by courier/letter or by paging and saying "I've sent a servant/someone/something to tell you I'm coming over" is generally respectful."
You say, "Was that what you were wanting to know, Levi?"
Leviathan nods! "Indeed - so there's a bit extra on the nobles, there? Especially with freelanders about - they'd be very easy to exclude from a scene, if following etiquette as it stands. But I feel better knowin' that a bit more solidly. :)"
Voreyn Zahir nods. "Etiquette is in place to lend IC flavor. It's in incredibly poor taste to use it to OOCly exclude someone from a scene, so yes, it falls on the noble to help incorporate a Freelander into the scene if necessary."
Voreyn Zahir pushes on. "With general conversation, the rules tend to be more relaxed. The only glaring one that comes to mind is what Norran stated earlier: always use someone's form of address as per their rank in public settings. Failing to do so undermines them in everyone's eyes and is considered an insult."
Voreyn Zahir taps a finger on her chin. "In fact, I'm drawing a complete blank when it comes to general conversation other than that little tidbit. Norran, do you know of anything else? Does anybody -else- have anything to include in the etiquette of general conversation?"
Nayla Zahir notes that dirty humor is probably a bad idea... >.>
Norran Lomasa says, "No, not really. Keep your titles straight and be careful. General conversation isn't all that exciting due to its nature."
Voreyn Zahir grins at Nayla. "Depending on the company, I would imagine."
Leviathan points out only that politics being politics? Rank /matters/. And that is to say - the higher the rank, the more you can get away with.
Leviathan says, "If ZOlor wants to tease? Suck it up, ya know? Peers probably have the /most/ freedom, in the end."
You say, "I would give my right breast to see Zolor /tease/ someone."
Nayla Zahir has half a mind to @mail that line to Zolor.
You say, "If Zolor is a man, he wouldn't want me to give up any of my cleavage."
Nayla Zahir says, "The question, Voreyn, is who would you give said breast /to/?"
You say, "Oren."
Nayla Zahir says, "He's got moobs, what does he need a Vor-breast for?"
Leviathan says, "Lunch?"
Nayla Zahir dude... that is funny an disturbing...
Voreyn Zahir coughs and skips on ahead to departures. "Departures are much like introductions and greetings as one offers the proper physical address - bow, curtsey, nod, what have you - as long with the formal title of the person they are wishing good-bye to. In public, it is generally frowned upon for nobility to be hugging and kissing and all that silliness, although Freelanders tend to have more freedom when it comes to the physicalities of saying goodbye. The only real physical contact between nobles at departure is the kissing of a female's hand which is entirely optional."
You say, "Although guys, if you're courting a girl, freaking kiss her hand after you say something exceptionally gallant and flirtatious. It's so romantic."
Voreyn Zahir fans herself.
Norran Lomasa says, "Woo. I haven't pulled that one in 3 years."
Norran Lomasa says, "They just started flocking naturally at one point."
Vhramis says, "Ew. You don't know where that hand's been."
Nayla Zahir wears gloves.
Vhramis says, "This was the age before soap use was wide spread, keep in mind."
Norran Lomasa says, "Well, a noble girl's hands are the cleanest you'll get, I guess." Nayla Zahir says, "Also, Chia has better hygiene than the medieval times of Earth, methinks."
Gefrey Driscol says, "When in doubt, avoid the left hand."
Voreyn Zahir eyes Gefrey.
Nayla Zahir says, "The one they wipe with, Gef?"
Gefrey Driscol clears his throat. "Carry on."
Voreyn does some disco lighting affects with her laser pointer before continuing. "Alright, that tends to pretty much summarzing all of the necessities when meeting and holding conversation. Does anyone have any questions or anything /serious/ they'd like to add to what we've discussed so far?"
Nayla Zahir would like to know the etiquette of courting. Her IC relationships have been mostly a guessing game.
Norran Lomasa says, "I don't really think we have a system set up for it, in particular. It just sort of happens. No-one's really paid attention to it thus far."
You say, "There's no system set up yet, no, but it doesn't mean we can't -make- one. I suppose anyone who wishes to contribute to that can remain afterward and discuss it?" Leviathan would like to point out that /permission/ is a big deal for noble relationships - and the essays on courtly love you can find around the 'net might make for some seriously fun reading and inspiration. :)
Voreyn Zahir nodnods.
Nayla Zahir nods, but thinks she'll skip out on the reading. RP is enough reading for her.
You say, "I'd also like to say that marriages between nobles, last I checked, are arranged through the Duchy?"
Leviathan nods! "I would think so - you'd need both Ducal permissions. Nobles are, after all, assets."
You say, "So the courting male should approach his Duchy first, who will then approach the Ducal leader of the other House."
Oren says, "Well, before the Duchy they were arranged by the fathers of the two."
Oren says, "With the blessing of the eldest House person just for spice."
You say, "Yes, but now there's Duchy. Screw the dads, they're only figureheads."
Vhramis says, "Now you just kiss their hands and they're ready to marry you."
Oren says, "Yeah, but that doesn't make sense."
Leviathan Suspects, Or? The duchy-blessing in that was often rubberstamped, if that makes sense? I mean - is a Duke really going to risk alienating several nobles out of a fit of 'don't make advantageous matches'?
Oren says, "A marriage furthers a specific family, but for the Duchy to involve itself in every single marriage would be pointless."
Oren says, "A Duke sees no benefits from the marriage of two lesser nobles."
Nayla Zahir says, "Oren's got a point. There are a lot of NPC nobles... the Ducky have to have a hand in every single marriage?"
Oren says, "I think marriages are still handled at a family level, between the parents."
You say, "Every single NPC marriage, sure, but marriage of its prominent members? Duchy has every right to be involved, especially if it comes to arranging treaties and such between Houses with the exchange of members for marriage."
Leviathan nods. "So the fathers sent a letter saying 'my kid's marrying this kid', and the Ducal assistant goes, 'oh who cares' and stamps something on a congratulations letter, and sends it back. But it wouldn't get in the way. (but the Duke's responsibility is to the furthering of the House, and intermarrying houses does constitute house relations.)"
You say, "They would still know about every single marriage in the House, and still have the ability to step in if they wanted to."
Gefrey Driscol says, "I'm pretty much agreeing with Oren. But, yeah, when you get to Earls, Marquis'? And yeah, interhouse marriage."
Leviathan thinks it'd be a formality in just about every instance, regardless.
Gefrey Driscol says, "Probably. ;)"
Oren says, "I dunno. The Duchy is fairly new. You're just assuming that because the system is now in place ICly people would disregard centuries of tradition. I think the Duchy would be made aware of marriages, but they are still arranged by parents with the exception of specific cases such as House treaties of sorts, in which case the parents would still have final say, I'd think."
Norran Lomasa says, "Eh, to my knowledge, it's still a parental thing. A Duke may /choose/ to involve themselves, though, so maybe their blessing is a formal matter."
You say, "That's what I'm saying, Norran. The Duchy will know about every marriage, even if it is still handled by parents, and if they really have the urge or concern to do so, they could step in to field a marriage appropriately."
You say, "I KNOW Duchy has the power, because I've asked Rar about it before. For prominent members, they -do- handle the marriage arrangements."
Oren says, "So if a Baron wants to see his daughter married to an Earl in order to strike an arrangement that makes him wealthier but the Duchy wants her married to someone who will make the House wealthier and not the parent, then the latter takes precedent?"
Oren says, "Nobles are family assets. The House may benefit from them, but they should not hold power over their family dealings."
You say, "That's an impossible situation, because wealth is a paltry matter. It isn't going to cause Duchy to step in."
Gefrey Driscol nods to Voreyn. "I'd imagine Ducal arrangements are more for fixing alliances, etc?"
Norran Lomasa says, "A duke would only step in for major political reasons, I think."
Voreyn Zahir nods. "They're for political reasons, and the prestige it would bring to the family would be enough that the parents would LIKE to see it happen."
Oren says, "It's not impossible. Lomasa A and Driscol B, if wed, will strike a business relation between the two families. However, Zahir C wants to marry Driscol B and that would mean a House-wide treaty."
You say, "Then that's political, not wealth. :)"
Oren says, "It is wealth in the case of the marriage the parents wish to arrange."
Leviathan thinks that becomes a really fun plot. :) "See, the Duke may not have direct say, but if your Duke does (and they do!) have the power to affect your holdings? What do you do? PLOT. Storyline there. :) "
Oren says, "But political for the House."
Oren says, "Dukes only have power over House holdings. Oren could not do anything about Sweetwater, for example, which was owned by Sahna and not House Nillu."
You say, "You'll have to argue it out with Rar, then, Oren, because Duchy -does- have the power to step in and make pawns out of their House members, and that includes arranging marriages if they so see fit."
Norran Lomasa says, "In times where a Duke has to step in due to politics, it's not because they have a /right/ to, it's to cow said parents into submitting."
Leviathan chuckles. "Oren - the Duke has the power to take away a title.. /if the other noble has less influence than the duke/. That's a serious political tangle.. early on? Oren could have done a great deal to sahna, but her political catchet grew. But, at a basic level? The Family Leader has /vast/ powers over an individual noble in the family. (There's a bit of grey-area in RP voucher stuff - Rar likely needs to rule there.)"
Oren says, "To Sahna, sure, but not to Sweetwater was my point."
Leviathan isn't sure. "I'm not sure where the line is drawn on land ownership. I /can/ say that Norran's pronouncement caused Farrel to /have/ to divorce property, too, for a while. It became impossible to hold."
Oren says, "Losing title does not mean you lose property."
Oren refers to Gefrey as Bob.
Gefrey Driscol can deal with Bob.
You say, "Suffice it to say, Oren, that if a Duchy is going to interfere with a PC's life, they're going to do so under the guidance of a staffer."
Oren is not worried about that kind of stuff. Is just creating stirring arguments!
You say, "So anyone afraid of the dominant Duchy epeen need not cower. We all have a leash and Rar holds it. ;)"
You say, "Any other questions?! :D"
Gefrey Driscol says, "Not really, nope."
You say, "Anything someone was interested in adding but hasn't said anything about?"
Nayla Zahir hms. Thinks.
Ailith says, "...Letter writing?"
You say, "Yeah, I knew I was going to cover correspondence, but then realized I didn't have much to say about it. Use formal titles, full names, seal with wax and your signet if you're a noble. And for Light's sake, lock up your private letters."
Voreyn Zahir grins. "If anyone has no other questions, I will call this seminar to an end. If anyone wants to stay with Nayla and I to discuss fun things like noble courtship, they can."