7 Royal Courts
Whilst royal courts tend to be like each other in some ways, they can also be very different in other ways. Some may be places of fun where banquets and masked balls are common, whilst others are unpleasant or even dangerous and the nobility only attend because they have to.
This court is a happy, merry place of banquets, masked balls and other such amusements where the wine always seems to be flowing and the jesters are always busy. Every noble from the King or Queen on down is or at least seems to be in a happy mood, and are likely to grant requests provided that they are requests and not demands and are not too frequent or too expensive.
Something terrible has recently happened here. Perhaps a royal prince or princess has died, as happened recently at the court of Queen Yocasta Or a battle has been recently lost, the flower of the country's nobility now lies dead upon the battlefield and the royal capital is threatened by an internal rebellion or a foreign foe. There is no jollity, the royal jesters are silent, and the monarch is either weeping or trying not to cry. Requests here have to be handled with great tact for fear of angering the unhappy monarch.
If the PCs do not know the basics of the Court Etiquette:Do's And Don'ts they would be well advised to learn it before even trying to ask for anything here. The monarch is a stickler for proper protocol and so are his nobles, demanding proper respect. There is no going up and slapping a noble on the back here, even if you know him or her well, unless you want to be at the very least banished from court. Proper behavior is everything. Only one person is to some extent exempt from this-the court jester.
There is no debauchery here and not all that much entertainment. Either there is not much money coming in or the king is very strict and mean with his money. It is very much a place of buisness rather then pleasure and many of the nobles would probebly rather be elsewhere. Making requests of such a king will be difficult to say the least.
You name it, it's on show in this royal court which is frankly pornographic, with PDA's and more going on in plain sight and little attempt at the normal royal dignity. PCs here might be approached by an influential noble who wants to sleep with one of them in exchange for using his/her influence with the monarch to help the PCs. A refusal will deeply offend.
In this court there is very little cleanliness; even the king stinks although it would be a huge breach of courtly etiquette to openly mention such a thing. Perhaps the religion of the court is against bathing; or a flood has recently swept through the court and covered the monarch and nobles in sewage; or as in many real life royal courts in the distant past, there are very few ways to get clean or the water nearby is polluted or too fast flowing to swim in. Maybe the PCs need to get dirty deliberately to visit this court rather then get clean.
The king here sits like a spider at the centre of his web, just waiting for a luckless courtier to do, say or even lightly suggest something wrong. The court is full of spies, and several courtiers and nobles have been at best summarily banished from court, and at worst arrested by the guards and hauled away to a speedy execution after a trial that was grossly unfair or even no trial at all. Everyone there no matter what their rank fears the monarch and his bad temper, with good reason.
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? Responses (3)
I was wondering how you could do seven of these. I figured either you'd have too much detail, something that would need to be in a 30, or too little diversity. But you hit just the right mark. It's a good variety, broad enough to drop into any aristocracy but varied enough to provide very different flavors for the various monarchies a setting might have.
The only typo I see is in #5, which I believe is spelled 'Debauched.'
This is a great 7: it sates the palette, neither overstuffed nor unsatisfied, but the perfect amount. Well done.
Really nice and most of all very usable.
It seem the link for the Court Etiquette:Do's And Don'ts is broken.
But I did really like it and plan on keeping this list handy. Thanks.