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Thread: Seducing Guinevere

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khanwulf View Post
    Further, it illustrates how the three Rydychan brothers are able to get away with seizing the Countess' lands even when Uther was alive! While the law and custom is presented as plainly as possible in KAP books, for a modern audience, it was not so in-setting and many lords would be unwilling to waste resources on infighting just to push a woman's claim on some legal virtue. Even neighbor Ulfius didn't care to get involved--doing so might set unwelcome precedence and erode his own (male) primacy and ability to manipulate women's estates!
    That is one way of playing it, and sure, the write-up in GPC is explicit that the usurpation happened during Uther's reign. However, in our campaigns, the usurpation happens in the general chaos of St. Albans, during the Anarchy. That makes it much easier to explain why Uther would allow a bunch of ruffians to just take over a county, especially since, assuming that the write-up is also correct that the Countess of Rydychan is also the heiress, he would be her guardian and those lands ought to be his to rule. Those ruffians are not stealing the lands from the heiress, they are stealing it from the King himself! Their argument is especially idiotic, since if there are no valid heirs to Earl Bledri, the lands should escheat to the KING! Thus, they are squatting on Uther's property, by their own confession. I don't know about you, but my Uther would be pissing vinegar at the mere thought of such an insult to his kingly pride.

    Frankly, I think it is another discrepancy between the old GPC view of Logres being more of a loose coalition of regional warlords that need to be cajoled into doing anything for Uther, and who are able to go to war against their King if need be (Gorlois up to 488, and again in 491), and the BotW view of Logres as a very centralized and ordered Normano-French state where the King is very much in control of what is going on.

    Another potential way of rewriting it which comes to mind is that the three are actually UTHER's ruffians. Naturally, they would not be opposing the King's will in that case, but then when the King dies in 495, they refuse to hand back the lands to the Countess (who may have rebuffed Uther's attentions at some point, hence being thrown in disfavor with the King). This would give them an argument of sorts: the king told them to look after the land, and only a king can tell them to give it back, so there. They are just being loyal to Uther's final commands...
    Last edited by Morien; 10-30-2017 at 05:50 PM.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Morien View Post
    Another potential way of rewriting it which comes to mind is that the three are actually UTHER's ruffians. Naturally, they would not be opposing the King's will in that case, but then when the King dies in 495, they refuse to hand back the lands to the Countess (who may have rebuffed Uther's attentions at some point, hence being thrown in disfavor with the King). This would give them an argument of sorts: the king told them to look after the land, and only a king can tell them to give it back, so there. They are just being loyal to Uther's final commands...
    This is the way I would play it if I was starting GPC again. If the players want an entirely different game, have THEM be the knights. Have them meet with the King (before that fateful day) and be ordered to hold those castles at all costs...

    On a different note, I have this scenario to change with the various editions and supplements, so there is plenty of room for a gm to personalize the scenario to their liking.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Morien View Post
    That is one way of playing it, and sure, the write-up in GPC is explicit that the usurpation happened during Uther's reign. However, in our campaigns, the usurpation happens in the general chaos of St. Albans, during the Anarchy. That makes it much easier to explain why Uther would allow a bunch of ruffians to just take over a county, especially since, assuming that the write-up is also correct that the Countess of Rydychan is also the heiress, he would be her guardian and those lands ought to be his to rule. Those ruffians are not stealing the lands from the heiress, they are stealing it from the King himself! Their argument is especially idiotic, since if there are no valid heirs to Earl Bledri, the lands should escheat to the KING! Thus, they are squatting on Uther's property, by their own confession. I don't know about you, but my Uther would be pissing vinegar at the mere thought of such an insult to his kingly pride.

    Frankly, I think it is another discrepancy between the old GPC view of Logres being more of a loose coalition of regional warlords that need to be cajoled into doing anything for Uther, and who are able to go to war against their King if need be (Gorlois up to 488, and again in 491), and the BotW view of Logres as a very centralized and ordered Normano-French state where the King is very much in control of what is going on.

    Another potential way of rewriting it which comes to mind is that the three are actually UTHER's ruffians. Naturally, they would not be opposing the King's will in that case, but then when the King dies in 495, they refuse to hand back the lands to the Countess (who may have rebuffed Uther's attentions at some point, hence being thrown in disfavor with the King). This would give them an argument of sorts: the king told them to look after the land, and only a king can tell them to give it back, so there. They are just being loyal to Uther's final commands...
    Yeah, quick question on the Countess: since she's been married twice, she can pick the next husband. Does she still get accorded a guardian for purposes of managing her land, however? If not, then she's the sole administrator of at least her widow's portion. The remainder of Earl Bledri's land would definitely escheat to the king, and yeah--Uther's not one to let his royal income from the middle of Britain get stolen by ruffians. He has (substantial) gambling and wenching debts to pay off, yaknow.

    My operating assumption was that either the brothers paid of Uther (possible, but unlikely that they'd have the cash), or Uther just stopped paying attention after he married Ygraine and his health deteriorated. The last item seems unlikely. Anyway, I like your suggestion that these guys were favorites of his inner circle already, and when the Earl died were instructed to jack with the Countess because Uther didn't like her--probably because she was pretty at some point and dodged his advances.

    To me, Uther is a "good" king only in the most basic sense of fulfilling the core purposes of keeping the Barons from knifing each other (a challenging task) and stomping on external enemies (Saxons). Those are the reasons the barons surrender significant resources and swear oaths: because without the king to focus attention everything falls apart. The Anarchy demonstrates this, and then Arthur demonstrates what a more virtuous king can accomplish to bring real peace. Virtuous even as he accrues consequences for failures early and late. Uther never had those virtues: of temperance, justice, and mercy that were regarded even among the Romans as signs of a superior leader.

    From this perspective, Britain can be nodded to as a looser confederation of warlords than the centralized Norman presentation provides, by noting and using a kind of "rebellion-lite" prerogative in which legally the barons can respond first to threats to their own lands, before responding to the king. Doing so, of course, risks Royal Ire, but the other barons won't all suddenly jump up and cry foul just because Gorlois had Irish to deal with and didn't want to come back to his castles burnt. All this is not explicit in BotW, but makes sense.

    Now I really am derailing the thread, however. Apologies.

    --Khanwulf

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