March 31, 2020, 04:12:14 PM

Author Topic: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding  (Read 30045 times)

Offline Yora

Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #135 on: February 10, 2016, 09:41:47 PM »
Maybe marrying royal children is a more ritualized and positiv looking version of exchanging hostages. But demanding hostages from your former enemy might look a bit rude, so instead you say that your son wishes to marry his daughter. You still get your hostage, but it doesn't look as much like you're not trusting the other guy to keep his word.
Or alternatively, you could use it as a vehicle to send a big load of tribute but not calling it tribute but a dowry.

That the children are now legally married might not mean much to the kings, but the providing of hostages and treasure payments might.
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Offline Mr.J

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #136 on: February 10, 2016, 10:04:16 PM »
Maybe marrying royal children is a more ritualized and positiv looking version of exchanging hostages. But demanding hostages from your former enemy might look a bit rude, so instead you say that your son wishes to marry his daughter. You still get your hostage, but it doesn't look as much like you're not trusting the other guy to keep his word.
Or alternatively, you could use it as a vehicle to send a big load of tribute but not calling it tribute but a dowry.

That the children are now legally married might not mean much to the kings, but the providing of hostages and treasure payments might.
Pretty much was a form of hostage wasn't it, especially for the women (or basically girls as they were).

Also a nice way of extending your power, if enough people end up dying or not producing any heirs your son/daughter might inherit an entire piece of new land.

Look at Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Fucking Everywhere (seriously, he was impressive) - he inherited all sorts of places via the intertwining of marriages and short life span back then. The many invasions he did helped as well of course, but a lot of inheriting. :D

Offline Lady Ty

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #137 on: February 10, 2016, 10:11:06 PM »
Yora just for interest in this respect, check out how Queen Victoria married her children off into the royal families of Europe in order to have close allies and influence but this spread haemophilia throughout, which had serious consequences. Particularly in the case of Russia, where Rasputin gained influence over the Royal family because he could ease the pain of the young Tsarevitch. If it was a plot in a fantasy it would seem far fetched.

http://www.englishmonarchs.co.uk/haemophilia.html
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Offline Mr.J

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #138 on: February 10, 2016, 10:16:48 PM »
Yora just for interest in this respect, check out how Queen Victoria married her children off into the royal families of Europe in order to have close allies and influence but this spread haemophilia throughout, which had serious consequences. Particularly in the case of Russia, where Rasputin gained influence over the Royal family because he could ease the pain of the young Tsarevitch. If it was a plot in a fantasy it would seem far fetched.

http://www.englishmonarchs.co.uk/haemophilia.html
Or as we know from Doctor Who...they're actually all werewolves ;)

Offline Yora

Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #139 on: February 10, 2016, 10:49:13 PM »
Since we're on that topic, some related and complicated terminology:

Dowry: Wealth given to a bride by her parents, to help the groom support the now larger family and to serve as her wealth if her husband dies. (Like inheritance, but given at leaving the household of her parents and not at their death.)
Dower: Wealth given to a bride by the groom's family, to be her retirement money if her husband dies. It's a guarantee that they won't kick her out on the street with nothing if the groom dies or wants a different wife. (Basically severance pay.)
Bride Price: Wealth given to the family of the bride by the family of the groom, as compensation for the loss of the bride's labor power. Or it can be seen as a gift and gesture of goodwill by the groom to show how serious he is about the bride. (Replacing her if he wants a new one would be expensive.)

If the dowry or dower includes land or livestock, it's a resource that the husband and his family can use to make profit (but not sell). So a dowry can make their household more wealthy, and a dower is an incentive to not make the wife leave.

Much of marriage law is about what happens with that wealth in case of divorce. If the wife caused the divorce because of her misbehavior, the money stays/goes to the husband's family. If the husband commited an offense against his wife, it all goes to the wife and her family. If any wealth is transfered before the marriage happens and it's then called off, or if part of it is to be transfered after the wedding and keeps getting delayed, things can get pretty ugly. The groom's family might refuse to return any advance payments if they think canceling the marriage should be treated as unjustified divorce. And if the groom's family doesn't really care for the wife and they don't get their promised payments, things can become very rough for the bride.
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Offline Nora

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #140 on: February 10, 2016, 10:56:18 PM »
However true these comments are, let's not deceive ourselves : Europe was pretty good at going to war with countries ruled by their own relations or descendants. Marrying off is never a complete safety against war.
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Offline Yora

Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #141 on: February 10, 2016, 11:03:02 PM »
At the end there were really only two royal families in all of Europe who held all the thrones.
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Offline Nora

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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #142 on: February 11, 2016, 12:29:32 AM »
Out of subject, but a good thing to know for people who want flames of funky colours to feature in their stories ... Alchemy and the like... Cool looking as well.

http://img-9gag-fun.9cache.com/photo/aDo4947_460sv.mp4
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline Francis Knight

Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #143 on: February 11, 2016, 12:39:01 AM »
Maybe marrying royal children is a more ritualized and positiv looking version of exchanging hostages. But demanding hostages from your former enemy might look a bit rude, so instead you say that your son wishes to marry his daughter. You still get your hostage, but it doesn't look as much like you're not trusting the other guy to keep his word.
Or alternatively, you could use it as a vehicle to send a big load of tribute but not calling it tribute but a dowry.

That the children are now legally married might not mean much to the kings, but the providing of hostages and treasure payments might.

In some cultures you "fostered" your son or daughter out to other families (same result -- see Theon Greyjoy)

In Saxon times a woman married to man who was an enemy of her father was called a Peaceweaver -- she might have some influence over her husband when/if it came to war (or might bring extra allies prepared to protect her from a mutual enemy),especially once children enter the equation

Also never underestimate the power of a mother-in-law :D
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Offline Rostum

Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #144 on: February 11, 2016, 10:13:55 AM »
In the medieval UK a dowery was money given by the brides family to support their daughter in the event of her husbands death so she was not a burdan to his family. It was the responsibility of the husband to invest this money wisely to give a yearly return. This paid for her dress allowence and other personal income.
This obviously was not always done. However if done well it would be the source of future dowries often for grandchildren.

Dower houses where often hived off from the estate of a rich family or bought from a widows dowry and the impression I get was it was to get the mother in law out the way so the wife of the current heir got a free run at managing her household.

If you look at the Welsh they used to foster out their spare kids this means if you are raided your family is not all in one place and was used to ensure that those friendly to your family stayed that way.

Offline shadowkat678

Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding
« Reply #145 on: March 26, 2016, 03:16:09 AM »
But I should probably make this clear before discussion takes a left turn (just a precaution people), but try not to sway too far into this territory. Keep things sane please.

WTF

I'm probably going to sound insane, but having read the entire thread, if they'd warned upfront instead of after, I'd think that would have been kinda cool. Do it all in a safe, controlled environment to understand what characters go through. Not as crazy as some thing's I've heard of people doing. Some are just...way crazier. And less controlled. And just nasty. I do a lot of mental method acting, but nothing physical, so no one jump on me here. I'm very good at slipping into character skin, so no need to put myself in a situation where I'm being chased by a monster to feel the fright.  :D

Anyways...before I get this all awkward.

I always find it great to look up the different civilizations. For instance, I'd looked at a bunch of tribal and hunter and gathering societies for my Wood Elves. Took a bit from each. For example, one I looked at had all the members of a generation refer to each other as siblings. Of course, they weren't biologically, but that's what they called themselves. No cousins. Just brothers and sisters. Same with there being no aunts or uncles. I think this might actually have been Hawaii where they were all mother and father. I took from another, and you'll see this with a few native american tribes, where there's a law that you're not allowed to waste any part of a kill, and for the wood elves, this includes in battle, which gives them...a none too favorable reputation, despite not going out to murder another elf, human, so on for this, you know.

I also use a lot of historic events to shape things, taking from here and there, that strategy works well on this terrain, etc. 
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Online ScarletBea

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I'm not going to use this for writing, but I wasn't sure where to post.

Today I learnt a lot about medieval armour, how the right arm had much less protection to keep flexibility, and that's why it was really bad to be left-handed then, how there were 2 main schools of armour: italian (lighter, airer) and german (all over protection, quite stiffling), how the hip straps help bear the armour weight so that it's not all on the shoulders.

I tried on a helmet, quite heavy: I can't imagine fighting with that weight, although it you're getting banged on the head all the time, it *is* quite useful, hehe

And I held a long sword, did some movements and stuff :D it felt great, and this was much lighter than one I had tried some years ago. I thought swords would have a very sharp blade, but not this one, you were even supposed to hold the blade with your hand.
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(Oh I hadn't realised I'd been the last to post here...
Anyway.)

Please be aware: bruised ribs hurt. Not A LOT, but a lot. Not when you do anything specific, you can still move your arm and stuff, but there's this constant ache that pervades your thoughts.
So when you're writing fights, think that they don't have to break ribs to be out of sorts, a simple bruising can have the same effect ::)
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Offline Peat

(Oh I hadn't realised I'd been the last to post here...
Anyway.)

Please be aware: bruised ribs hurt. Not A LOT, but a lot. Not when you do anything specific, you can still move your arm and stuff, but there's this constant ache that pervades your thoughts.
So when you're writing fights, think that they don't have to break ribs to be out of sorts, a simple bruising can have the same effect ::)

Bruised ribs + sneezing = fun.
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Offline Nora

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Yes, I got a bone bruise under my kneecap, and it took over 6 months for simple contact to stop hurting, and I still have a big lump jutting out, that is sensitive to shocks and prevents me from kneeling on hard floors, 8 months later.
That from a simple bike fall on concrete.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty