Traditions of the Swordlords: Faith and Taxes

Back in the Riverlands

It was difficult getting back into the groove. It has been so very long.

The session itself was solid. We rolled some dice, earned some personna artha and got to see each other’s faces once again – a lovely way to spend any evening.

Red Apple and Silver Bells. A book of verse for children ... Illustrated by A. B. Woodward

Lifestyle and Taxes

The last game was a long, long time ago. So the snow is thawing and it is time to think about the Lifestyle Resources roll and taxes from the various towns.

They made their ob 9 role for a ducal lifestyle with plenty of cash dice from taxes to spare. Drew brought me back to the Riverlands with descriptions of the tax montage scene; it is a good reminder that we have to link these rolls to in-game, in-world descriptions. Especially after long times away from a world, I find that I still forget that.

We talked about wax tablets and the gold vault’s walls being made of slate that the accountants use to keep tally of where various payments come from. They suspect Jiri, the pimp-knight in charge of the prostitution in the Riverlands, is holding out on them.

Red Apple and Silver Bells. A book of verse for children ... Illustrated by A. B. Woodward

River Tolls

A detail that came up was that the rivers were being used by merchants without tax nor tariff going into the High Swordlord’s coffers. Rachel circled up a Swordlord and a knight to deal with the situation. The Swordlord was Lom Godina; I had very little written about him and everyone else’s notes didn’t amount to much. I picked a picture for him from the Swordlords Pinterest page and played him with some swagger – a general who got captured early in the war and who had said the way they were fighting the Brevosi wouldn’t work but did his best to make it work until he was taken.

The knight was the warden of a debtor’s prison named Mihaly Warden; he had a pinterest pic already and was known as a humble knight, having led the debtors into the Riverlands due to a letter written by Ivo way back in the day.

Lom was all about sticking it to Mivon and making war on their soft, merchant-princes. Mihaly suggested setting their tolls at a price point that specifically would not start a war. They were sent off to do their work, to set the prices at a reasonable sum, fortifying a bridge already build on the Thorn River.

Red Apple and Silver Bells. A book of verse for children ... Illustrated by A. B. Woodward

The Priest and the The Bishop

Drew had a belief about unburdening Ivo of a book filled with the names of Drajnov’s dead that needed to be read out loud in a ritual meant to put the dead to rest. He wanted to discharge this list to the Church of 1000 Saints. It was an old summoning debt. The Sorcerer and the Swordlord called on Brother Johd, who was now a priest but in the old days of the uncivilized Riverlands he was a wanderer with faith in the Sword Saints. Now he is a priest, and apparently, a priest who had attempted to become a Bishop of the Riverlands in the recent elections but had fallen short.

Johd seemed out of place. He was comfortable in the old Riverlands, on the fringe of civilization and now civilization had come to him. The church had politics that were outside of his comfort zone. Johd was sad. I didn’t realize he was so until Ivo and Zora tracked him down.

But who was the bishop? I thought about that for a second. The older Sword-Matron had been dismissed by the High Swordlord. The priesthood wasn’t sure of its place in the Riverlands. The High Swordlord was not interested in giving them power or access to ways of making money that they had in Olde Rostland. The priests were scared and so the bishops who had been elected to serve throughout the Charterlands were the priests who had offered solutions, humble solutions.

And there was Bishop Ayub, an older priest who lost his sight late in life, a stone-carver who makes statues of the Sword Saints and sells them out of a barn. After the encounter, Drew said, “I liked your rabbi, Judd.” That was apt. I don’t think Ayub was any rabbi I’ve ever known. Maybe he was the rabbit I’d always wanted.

Ivo suggested that they give the remaining bits of taxes to the church to loan out at fair rates to the Riverlanders. And so the church became a bank.

Interesting times.

Red Apple and Silver Bells. A book of verse for children ... Illustrated by A. B. Woodward

Why the blog post?

The Burning Wheel forum is slowly closing its doors. I thought it was a good idea to start putting all of my Actual Play posts here.

 

British Library. “Red Apple and Silver Bells. A book of verse for children … Illustrated by A. B. Woodward.” British Library Flickr Collections.
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