"Ah, Launcen! There you are!" Earl Aurelie deCavall swept into the counting house, bringing her usual frenetic energy. Her pages hurried to keep up. Launcen put down his pen, stood up, bowed his head in respectful acknowledgement.

"Ser Comian and Ser Elayane have returned from Brocéliande, and they've brought some of those Wisdom pilgrims with them. Oh and a couple of Orzels as well. I think we should throw a suitably extravagant feast, show our appreciation and so on."

"Do we know how many guests, m'lady?" asked Launcen mildly.

"I'm not sure. Not too many I don't think. Maybe a half dozen knights and maybe the same again in pilgrims. Mostly troubadours, and a couple of Highborn and Varushkans I think Comian said."

Launcen nodded thoughtfully, absorbing this information. Prestigious guests indeed. The Orzels were significantly more influential than the deCavallis - regular attendants at the Anvil summits - and the pilgrims were here in Astolat as representatives of the Wisdom assembly. It was clear why his mistress would want to impress both groups. But a dozen guests? He mentally mapped out the preparations he'd need to make over the coming week.

"Did you have anything particular in mind, m'lady?"

"Oh, nothing too extravagant," said the earl breezily. "A hunt in the morning, a little tourney of course in the afternoon, and maybe a small nine course banquet themed around the virtues in the evening. A large breakfast before they set off of course."

"Of course m'lady," said the seneschal calmly. "When are our guests due to arrive?"

"Tomorrow, around noon."

Launcen nodded again, a thoughtful expression on his face. "Of course m'lady. Will there be anything else?"

"No, no." She was already turning to leave, then remembered something. "Oh wait yes. I thought it might be amusing to get those guisers in to tell some vallorn tales and make up funny songs. You know the ones I mean."

"I do indeed, m'lady," said Launcen evenly. He casually rested one hand on the back of his chair. The earl, of course, did not notice how white his knuckles were. "I shall attend to it immediately."

"Excellent." The earl swept out. As soon as he was sure she was gone, Launcen practically collapsed over his desk.

"Paragons and exemplars of virtue preserve us," he gasped, eyes wide. He glared down at the ledger he had been working through, the amount of red ink threatening to overwhelm him as his vision blurred. He took a deep, shuddering breath, stood up straight, and composed himself. The only sign of the panic raging in his breast was a certain paleness around his nostrils. With a tiny dull metal key on a chain around his neck, he unlocked a nondescript little drawer on his desk and began to withdraw dusty ingots of orichalcum. More than two thirds of the bars set aside by his predecessor against a "rainy day" had already been spent and at the back of his mind was the vague worry that he had no easy means to replace any of them. He pushed the thought of his legacy aside, locked the door, pulled on his long coat, and walked calmly down to the kitchen.

He stood at the top of the stairs for a moment, scanning the room. Most of the staff were here, either preparing for the evening meal or lounging around making a nuisance of themselves.

"RIGHT!" he bellowed at the top of his lungs, bringing all activity to a crashing halt. "Everyone listen to me right now! The earl is expecting company and we have to make sure the manor is ready for it! Peter Batter! I need a table for a tourney and a virtue feast by tomorrow afternoon! Marrik Beater! Everything needs to be spotless, and we need all the guest rooms opened up and aired and the fireplaces piled high! Gavrin Dogboy! We're holding a hunt tomorrow morning; see to the hounds and the beaters! Logal and Angra! I see you both under that table, don't think I don't. Wash your faces and run down to the village and let people know that Launcen Steward is offering a shiny crown to the first six - make that ten - people who turn up to the kitchen door to help out over the weekend! Yes I am aware it is raining, it has been raining all month, so less of your backchat and get your backsides moving you wee whippersnappers! And Deanna Strings! I need you to track down that reprobate cousin of yours, rouse her and her cohort out of whatever stinking pigsty they made their bed in last night, and get them sobered up and washed so they can perform for company! The earl is depending on us not to let the House down, and we need every single hand on the wheel to make sure that doesn't happen!"

Nobody questioned the seneschal - people exploded into action, a mad clamour filling the kitchen as people raced to begin their preparations. Launcen grabbed one of the yeofolk by the arm, pulled them aside.

"Agravar, my old friend," he said quietly. "I need you to take these ingots and get the best price possible for them. No questions asked, obviously. Then I need you to go across to the Valinar estates and talk to the seneschal there. Remind her about that time half the Rondell nobles unexpectedly turned up for a feast. She owes us a favour, and I think it's time we called it due.."
The yeofolk of Dawn deal with matters of money and commerce so that the nobles can concentrate on the pursuit of glory.
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Dawn Economy

During the Summer Solstice, the eyes of the Prosperity assembly were directed to the territory of Astolat, in Dawn. For the penultimate time the Cardinal of Prosperity, Darian Numbers, urged that the prosperous recognise and offer support to the glorious work of the seneschals of Dawn. That work has already made Astolat wealthy, cementing its status as perhaps the richest and most peaceful territory in the nation.

Part of that prosperity has also come from the Blood Red Roads - a great work that spans some of the wealthiest territories in the Empire and allows Imperial merchants to come from the four corners of the Empire to purchase Dawnish goods - and allows yeofolk traders to in turn visit the prosperous centres of other nations. For the Prosperous, the question is how best to further improve the wealth of Astolat - and perhaps even the Dawnish nation as a whole.

Seneschals, Reeves, and Yeofolk

  • The options shown for all the ministries listed on this page assume the title holder is a yeofolk, some of these benefits are lost when held by a noble
  • You must email plot@profounddecisions.co.uk if you hold the title and are a noble or become one so that we can adjust the options accordingly

There are a couple of terms used here that merit a little definition. A seneschal fills an important role in Dawnish society; a trusted yeofolk who oversees the financial affairs of a Dawnish noble house. A reeve is a term for a more specialised role - a yeofolk who oversees a fayre or market. They often don't support a specific noble house; rather than have a degree of independence to organise trade and merchant affairs, working with other yeofolk and rarely coming into direct contact with nobles. A fayre is a gathering of Dawnishfolk (and sometimes members of other nations) that comes together to trade, socialise, and enjoy a variety of entertainments. They are often held at regular intervals - monthly or annually - and they are marked out by the pageantry and diversions as much as the opportunity to trade. Nobles and yeofolk alike attend fayres, and the largest and most prestigious draw visitors from across the territory or nation. A market-fayre by contrast lacks pageantry, and focuses much more on matters of trade. As such it is very rare for a noble to attend a market-fayre; these are gatherings for yeofolk and much more focused on matters of trade.

These opportunities deal with the establishment of fayres and market-fayres in Astolat, and the titles they create are all intended for yeofolk characters. Among the Dawnish, matters of money and commerce are commonly left to the yeofolk to oversee. Dealing with money is not a glorious pursuit and nobles who are overly concerned about it risk losing the respect of their peers. In each case, the benefits provided by these titles are reduced or removed if they are held by a noble character. If you are a noble appointed to one of these titles, or pass a Test of Mettle after being appointed, you must email plot@profounddecisions.co.uk so that we can adjust the options available via the title.

This isn't done to punish the players of noble characters. Rather, it reflects the stratified nature of life in Dawn, and supports the existence of important roles in the setting that are explicitly for people choosing to play the less prestigious, lower status role of yeofolk characters.

Boar's Market

Boar's Hollow Market-fayre
Commission Type:Ministry
Location:Winterbourne, in Astolat
Cost: 12 wains of weirwood, 24 Crowns, three months
Effect: Creates Reeve of Boar's Hollow title
Reeve of Boar's Hollow
Title: Dawn national title
Appointment: Annual; Tally of the Votes
Powers:Trade Opportunities (Ministry)
Responsibilities: Help the seneschals and retainers of Dawn secure the materials the Noble Houses need
White Granite
45 crowns2 wains of white granite
100 crowns4 wains of white granite
165 crowns6 wains of white granite
46 crowns2 wains of mithril
102 crowns4 wains of mithril
170 crowns6 wains of mithril
40 crowns2 wains of weirwood
90 crowns4 wains of weirwood
150 crowns6 wains of weirwood
220 crowns8 wains of weirwood
300 crowns10 wains of weirwood
  • A monthly market-fayre at Boar's Hollow could be established to attract merchants with surplus Bourse resources to sell
  • The Market-fayre would require 12 wains of weirwood, 24 crowns, and take three months to construct
  • Once complete it would create the title Reeve of Boar's Hollow which would be appointed annually by Tally of the Votes
  • The options available assume the title is held by a yeofolk; if a noble holds it the ministries it oversees will provide significantly less material

Given Dawn's emphasis on the pursuit of glory, it has never had easy access to the valuable materials traded via the Imperial Bourse. Last year, the yeofolk of Semmerholm and Weirwater put forward proposals to partially address this by building market-fayres at Applefell or Lacre dedicated to gathering weirwood or mithril. The Dawnish Assembly attempted to raise support for the Applefel Market-fayre, but were unfortunately unable to achieve a greater majority. Now, the Prosperous people of the Empire turn their attention to Astolat and they have a new proposal to address this disparity. Rather than focus solely on what can be produced within the borders of Dawn, it should be possible to take advantage of Astolat's position near the centre of the Empire, with the Blood Red Roads providing easy access to the prosperity of Temeschwar, Varushka, Highguard, and Navarr. They suggest that a monthly market-fayre is established near Boar's Hollow where merchants can trade with representatives of the Northern trade network, specifically to purchase Bourse materials.

The Boar's Hollow Market-fayre would be held four times a year, and create a gathering point for traders from outside Dawn eager to purchase the luxury goods, fine cloth, armour, and weapons for which the nation is rightly famous. A suitable yeofolk would be chosen by the Tally of the Votes and named the Reeve of Boar's Hollow. They would be charged with not only overseeing the market-fayre but also securing Bourse materials for use by the noble Houses of Dawn. Specifically, they would be responsible for working with the seneschals and retainers of Dawn's noble houses, and working to ensure the prosperity of the nation by helping them to get their hands on weirwood, white granite, mithril, and even ilium. Even if they were affiliated with a Noble House as a retainer or seneschal, they would be expected to maintain as impartial as possible in their dealings.

If One Market is Good...

The Three Fayres
Commission Type: Ministry
Location: Castle of Thorns, Astolat (offices)
Cost:30 wains of weirwood, 60 Crowns, three months
Effect: Creates Reeve of Three Fayres title
Reeve of the Three Fayres
Title: Dawn national title
Appointment: Annual; Tally of the Votes
Powers: Trading Opportunities (Ministry)
Responsibilities: Protect and support the Three Fayres in Astolat; look after safety of merchants traveling in Astolat
Oldheart Fayre (Rods)
140 rings1 Neophyte's Aid - 14
187 rings1 Witches' Hammer 16
210 rings1 Roaring Chimera Rod - 18
392 rings2 Neophyte's Aid - 14
448 rings1 Witches' Hammer 16
504 rings1 Roaring Chimera Rod - 18
Oldheart Fayre (Mage Armour)
80 rings1 Hero's Girdle
121 rings1 Warmage's Belt
160 rings2 Hero's Girdle
176 rings1 Sunfire Pectoral
308 rings2 Warmage's Belt
448 rings2 Sunfire Pectoral
Brightway Fayre
7 Crowns2 Philtre of Strength, 2 Elixir Vitae, 6 random herbs
17 Crowns3 Philtre of Strength, 3 Elixir Vitae, 1 Sovereign Specific, 11 random herbs
30 Crowns4 Philtre of Strength, 4 Elixir Vitae, 1 Sovereign Specific, 1 Skop's Mead, 15 random herbs
46 Crowns5 Philtre of Strength, 5 Elixir Vitae, 1 Sovereign Specific, 2 Skop's Mead, 19 random herbs
Weaving Fayre
7 Crowns6 random ingots, 6 random measures
17 Crowns12 random ingots, 12 random measures
30 Crowns18 random ingots, 18 random measures
46 Crowns24 random ingots, 24 random measures
  • Fayres could be established at Oldheart, Brightway, and Weaving
  • The commission would require 30 wains of weirwood, 60 crowns, and take three months
  • When completed it would create the title Reeve of the Three Fayres, able to purchase valuable goods and materials from Dawnish traders

Since the completion of the Blood Red Roads, Astolat has seen a significant increase in prosperity. One branch passes through the Castle of Thorns and connects the territory to Temeschwar and Casinea. The other crosses through northern Astolat, through the crossroads at the heart of Weaving, via Semmerholm to Holberg city. With the old road that connects the Castle of Thorns and Weaving, the new roads allow a steady flow of merchants and traders both into and out of the Dawnish heartlands. Businesses and farms alike have benefitted from this great work, but sometimes struggle to find things to spend money on..

One of the proposals put forward by the seneschals of Astolat is to take advantage of this increased mercantile activity by establishing permanent fayregrounds across the territory. They've identified three locations where such fayres could be established to have the most impact; at Brightway in Grovesyard, at Oldheart in Withy, and at Weaving in Winterbourne. By themselves, each of these fayres would create monthly markets, attracting traveling merchants from the League, Highguard, and Navarr, as well as traders, peddlers, guisers, and representatives of weaver cabals and noble houses from across Dawn. Of course, with more travellers and merchants come more problems. Guisers in particular have a reputation for causing trouble; even a prosperous and civilised territory like Astolat might be troubled by bandits. As such the seneschals propose that a new Imperial title - the Reeve of Three Fayres - be created to oversee and look after the new fayres.

The Reeve would be responsible for maintaining the safety of travellers in Astolat, especially those merchants and traders drawn to the new fayres. Most of the work would fall to knightly orders, but from time to time the Reeve would need to step in to work with those knights to deal with more serious threats than the occasional pickpocket or outlaw. In return, they would be able to purchase valuables from the three Fayres - enchanted items from Oldheart Fayre, herbs and potions from Brightway Fayre, and raw materials from Weaving Fayre. The Reeve would be appointed annually by the Tally of the Votes - the well worn path is clear given the combination of economic focus and the need to deal with military unit owners to keep the roads clear and safe.

Comparisons to the Bailiff of the Grand Market have been made in a few quarters but most of the Dawnish scoff at the suggestion a bailiff is anything like a reeve. Reeves, after all, have been doing their jobs in Dawn for longer than there has even been a Marches.

Field of Silver Fishes

Field of Silver Fishes
Commission Type: Folly (must be ceded)
Location: Laroc (The Chase, Astolat)
Cost: 20 wains of mithril, 20 wains of weirwood, 80 Crowns, three months, must be ceded
Effect: Creates Summer Quest option for Dawn military units
  • The Field of Silver Fishes could be built at Laroc in Astolat allowing Dawnish military unit and fleet captains to go on adventures in downtime
  • These adventures would provide small amounts of Summer vis
  • The Field requires 20 wains of mithril, 20 wains of weirwood, 80 crowns, and three months to construct, and it must be ceded to Rhianos
  • The benefits of the Field of Silver Fishes would be lost if Rhianos were under the enmity of the Conclave

The tourney grounds at Laroc are some of the most prestigious in Dawn, even if they have perhaps seen better days (of which more later). With the inspiration of the Cardinal of Prosperity, a large number of pilgrims dedicated to that virtue have come to Astolat, and many of them have visited Laroc, marvelling at the glorious competitions there. Following a discussion with some of these pilgrims, the enchanter Tregea de Rochemont has spent some time speaking with some of the more magical visitors to the tourney. After several long evenings of entertainment and several contests of wit and arms, Enchanter Tregea has come to an accord with the representatives of one of the eternals - Rhianos, the Regent of the Eternal Sea.

Enchanter Tregea proposes setting aside a copse south-east of Laroc, and inviting the heralds of Rhianos to take up residence. The trees would be hung with mithril silhouettes of assorted sea life, a nearby stream diverted to create a restful lake full of water lilies and golden carp, and several pavilions of the finest Dawnish silks erected. Any Dawnish adventurer who spent a single night in the Field of Silver Fishes would receive inspiration for an adventure that would bring them wealth and glory. These visions would not be of earth-shattering significance - for that Dawnish heroes would still need to pursue more appropriate magic - but they would take the one who dreamt them across the Empire and beyond. In addition to whatever other treasure were accrued during the quest, the adventurers would receive rewards of golden apples from the heralds who would oversee the Field.

If the Field of Silver Fishes were commissioned - and ceded to the care of the eternal Rhianos - then it would allow any Dawnish character with a military unit or fleet to take the Summer Quest action in downtime, found on the appropriate independent action dropdown. This would represent the character going on a dangerous quest or adventure rather than undertaking paid work. Instead of the normal production, a character with a standard military unit or fleet would receive 2 measures of Summer vis and valuable goods representing 50 rings. Upgraded or enchanted military units or fleets would receive proportionally more rewards, with an emphasis on Summer vis.

The benefits would continue as long as Rhianos was not placed under enmity by the Imperial Conclave. If the eternal were subject to enmity, the Field would cease to provide any benefit until the Regent of the Eternal Sea were restored to at least neutrality.

Renewing the Tourney Grounds

Refurbish the Laroc Tourney Grounds
Commission Type: Great Work
Location: Laroc (The Chase, Astolat)
Cost: 40 wains of weirwood, 80 Crowns, three months
Effect: Refurbishes tourney grounds at Laroc; Provides wealth to businesses as a great work; provides one-time reduction to cost to upgrade some military units; provides benefits to upgrade any Dawnish military unit for the rest of the year
Special: The opportunity allows for the colour scheme and decorations for the tourney grounds to be specified as a neccessary detail
  • The opportunity to renew the tourney grounds of Laroc has once again been discussed
  • 40 wains of weirwood, 80 crowns, and three months of work would be needed to refurbish the tourney grounds
  • As a great work it would work with the Blood Red Roads and provide an additional share of 743 rings to every business in Astolat
  • The grand commencement tourney when the grounds were complete would provide an opportunity to improve military units
  • A further opportunity would be available to any military unit owner in Dawn for the rest of the year

And, finally, on the subject to the Laroc tourney grounds... In Spring 382YE, the passionate artist and architect Lady Larille de Rochemont proposed a refurbishment of the tourney grounds at Astolat. With the assistance of the Prosperous, the Lady has revised her plans significantly, but is still keen to see the dilapidated fields restored to their earlier splendour. Previously she suggested specific colour schemes and decorations designed to appeal to the Pride of specific houses; at the advice of her collaborators she has dropped that requirement but suggests that the neccessary details could still be used to subtly celebrate the heraldry of a specific noble house if they wished to mark themselves "subtly" as the patrons of the tourney grounds. The new plans rely less on "piling up great heaps of stone" than the earlier ones - or so one of Lady Rochemont's collaborators puts it. The new edifice would still be truly impressive, but the costs are significantly lower and rely as much on persuading the yeofolk and nobles of Astolat to donate their time and resources as anything else.

Once the great work were completed, however, it would provide opportunities to businesses all over Astolat. Each business would gain a share of 743 rings each season, on top of that provided by the Blood Red Roads.

In addition, in the season following the completion of the tourney ground, there would be a series of celebrations, tourneys, and competitions such as has not been seen in Dawn in a generation. Noble houses from across the nation would be invited to sponsor and host events, and champions from all over the nation would come to compete in the lists, take part in the melee, and forge names for themselves. One noble house has already been approached by Lady Larille. The de Cassilons of Spiral Castle in Weirwater have declared their intent to serve as patrons for a grand tourney inviting not only Dawnishfolk but representatives of several of the Summer eternals to celebrate the new tourney grounds. Furthermore, they are prepared to break open their allegedly quite impressive vaults, to honour the most glorious new competitors. During the season after the tourney grounds are completed, the Castellan of Spiral Castle will be able to select up to a dozen standard military units owned by Dawnish folk to be upgraded to rank 2.

Furthermore, for the next year any Dawn military unit can be upgraded for one mithril less than the normal costs. A military unit can only be upgraded once each season, but they could, potentially, be upgraded every season, saving one mithril each time.

Limited Opportunities

These opportunities are available for the next year; once the Summer Solstice 385YE comes to a close any project that has not been commissioned by that time will be lost. It is also worth noting that the coming summit represents the last time for the Cardinal to focus the eyes of Prosperity - there is a great deal of interest in which territory will be chosen.

Further Reading