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Thread: Loans and degradation consequences?

  1. #1

    Loans and degradation consequences?

    GPC p.311 discusses in brief the idea of loans (expanded in the other economic books), and points out the repercussions on knights who stoop to such measures in order to paper over their tournament losses.

    In short, the lenders will eventually show up to the liege and demand (financial) satisfaction, at which time the liege is likely to pay since failure to keep the moneyed folk happy means they won't be available to loan to you (or, the king). No one wants such scandalous affairs kicked upward. The entry concludes by pointing out that making the liege settle is a degradation-level offense against both him and knighthood--serious business!

    So. A knight that's gotten himself in hock voluntarily receives no sympathy. It also means that he doesn't have enough friends with means to bail him out (another problem). But! I'd love to hear input on some of the edge cases!

    1. What if the knight is an estate-holder? I think we're just talking about what would be a bigger bill to settle (and more likely to anger your liege severely)!

    2. What you're a Round Table knight? Would your liege be Arthur despite holding land in fealty from a lesser lord? Who could degrade a RT knight? Only Arthur?

    3. What if the documents are actually forgeries and the loans are a lie? How would this proceed?

    4. If the knight is a baron, his direct liege is Arthur. What about if he holds parcels granted by other lords? I assume that Arthur as the senior relationship would be the one to both handle the moneylenders and deal with his vassal.

    5. Given that the higher in society you rise, the more insulated you become from consequences yet more you are expected to uphold your station--how much of a default on loans would be needed to result in degradation of a baron (see #4)?

    Edge cases, yeah. Thanks!

    --Khanwulf

  2. #2
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    Everything that follows is IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Khanwulf View Post
    1. What if the knight is an estate-holder? I think we're just talking about what would be a bigger bill to settle (and more likely to anger your liege severely)!
    I'd imagine so. Also, note that the estate holder's liege is the KING, since only the King can grant estates. (Assuming I remember it correctly from BotW. In our campaign, estates exist also at the vavasour level.)

    2. What you're a Round Table knight? Would your liege be Arthur despite holding land in fealty from a lesser lord? Who could degrade a RT knight? Only Arthur?
    I'd go by the holdings, still. However, a RTK would have to be in very dire straits to come to such an end. Chances are that they would have other high level friends and allies, and given Arthur's generosity, he might even slip the knight a purse of gold, if the RTK deserves it.

    3. What if the documents are actually forgeries and the loans are a lie? How would this proceed?
    The knight declares his innocence and then things follow from that. If he is of high repute and rank, chances are that the forgers get jailed up and hanged in due time.

    4. If the knight is a baron, his direct liege is Arthur. What about if he holds parcels granted by other lords? I assume that Arthur as the senior relationship would be the one to both handle the moneylenders and deal with his vassal.
    Homage liege, i.e. Arthur, would be the liege in question.

    5. Given that the higher in society you rise, the more insulated you become from consequences yet more you are expected to uphold your station--how much of a default on loans would be needed to result in degradation of a baron (see #4)?
    Thing with the barons is that they are, on average, a good investment, and have quite a lot of resources to squeeze more money to keep the moneylenders happy enough. A golden goose type of situation. In the end, it is up to the King.

    By the way, the same would apply to a knight, too. His liege might be inclined to help a worthy, glorious knight out by paying the debts off, although the knight would be smarter to come to the liege FIRST for help, rather than allowing the debt to default in the first place.

  3. #3
    Thanks Morien. As you can probably tell I'm noodling around the edges of this social mechanic, for potential use later.

    It seems as though degradation for indulging in loans is probable if you are A- a less glorious, wealthy knight; B- further removed from Arthur, and C- in good relations with various other characters (up to and including the king).

    The further you get from this ideal set-up, the less likely it is that degradation would be applied and the more likely that even very significant sums would be floated by others.

    I rather doubt my PKs will get embroiled in borrowing, but one really likes tournaments in principle and a forged debt called in while he is unavailable (lost in Faerie/on the Continent for several years), combined with the machinations of his enemies could be an interesting, late, curve ball. Any reconciliation would take place during the Grail Quest/Twilight periods. While I don't know if this will end up being used, I do want to ensure it's plausible ahead of time, before rocking anyone's world.

    --Khanwulf

  4. #4
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    Remember that Loyalty is a commodity in this world. A knights word is his bond and all such, and that makes these things complicated. A liege that helps out his vassal will ensure loyalty from that vassal. Also a liege is probably more inclined to help a vassal who has shown his loyalty. He is after all a valued commodity and you wish to keep him at your side to prevent rivals getting hold of them.

    As for accusations. In these cases it is more the question WHO says it than WHAT is said. Evidence as we now use in our CSI rich investigations is far less important. You are a knight and you say the documents are false, then they are false. So the moneylenders will probably get help from another (preferably more renowned) knight, so as to give vredit to their statement. And then it all boils down again on Loyalty.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Cornelius View Post
    Remember that Loyalty is a commodity in this world. A knights word is his bond and all such, and that makes these things complicated. A liege that helps out his vassal will ensure loyalty from that vassal. Also a liege is probably more inclined to help a vassal who has shown his loyalty. He is after all a valued commodity and you wish to keep him at your side to prevent rivals getting hold of them.

    As for accusations. In these cases it is more the question WHO says it than WHAT is said. Evidence as we now use in our CSI rich investigations is far less important. You are a knight and you say the documents are false, then they are false. So the moneylenders will probably get help from another (preferably more renowned) knight, so as to give vredit to their statement. And then it all boils down again on Loyalty.
    Thanks Cornelius--you're right, I tend to think like a modern legal mind instead of a medieval tribesman (or, a Roman). So the main way to make a ploy work is to degrade trust over time and lower the value of a vassal to his liege.

    This is also why, for example, Uther prizes the Homage rating of his vassals: it's a shorthand for how strong their loyalty and relationship is to him.

    In this scenario the moneylenders would need the backing of several powerful people (barons, dukes, Arthur's vassal King Mark) in order to make a dent in presumably glorious PKs.

    --Khanwulf

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