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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

LTAW #7: Noble Writ

For this week's LARP Thing-A-Week, I created Writs of Nobility for most of the NERO Elkins PC nobility.

What's a Writ of Nobility? This is a document stating that the character is a member of the peerage of a nation, the feudal hierarchy that governs that nation.

Why is it important? Falsely claiming a noble title is a crime in the Nations of Avalon (and likely everywhere that has a feudal government), so one must have one of these documents in order to claim a noble title and expect to be treated with the respect due to nobility. This is especially important when traveling to other nations where you are less well known.

I couldn't find any examples of this type of writ online, either in LARP or in history. My research, while not exhaustive, makes me think that these documents didn't really exist in history, or that they existed in some other form (grants of land, for instance, could prove a noble's land-holding status, and those do exist). I did find a Writ of Summons, which told a lord that he needed to attend parliament, and I drew some inspiration from that.

So, consider this an example to any of you who run LARPs or who are nobles and need to produce these writs for your underlings.

I used legal size paper to make it a bit fancier, and I printed it in a script style font, but I did not age the paper. I have seen these writs aged, but I don't think that's the way to go, unless you're producing an old document, like maybe the writ proclaiming Drakul to be Count of Transylvania.

The document should probably be written in flowery language (nobles love dressing things up), but don't let that get in the way of the important bits.
1) Who is granting the title. In my case, it's the king of our land, whose title is "Ilio"
2) Who the writ is for
3) What title the person has been granted and in what jurisdiction (also, if the title is an odd one, like ours, include what that title is equivalent to in other places the character may travel to)
4) A date on which the writ or title is granted

At the end, I put a sign (a scripted D for the king's signature) and a wax seal.

Here's what our language sounds like. Feel free to let these words inspire you.

His Royal Majesty
Big D
Ilio and Supreme Leader of Oilios, Dalantia, the Empire of the Sun, and the Lands of the Eight Fires
Defender of the Weak, Protector of Chivalry, Champion of the Right and Good

To Our right trusty and well beloved subject
Jim Bob Jones


Whereas thou hast sworn fealty to Us in the Kingdom of Hoozlefoos and thou hast taken thy sacred oath to uphold Our most beloved and cherished Code of Chivalry and thine actions hath made Us much inclined to favor thee, We make thee
~Title~ of ~This Place~ (or "to ~this person~")
until such time as Our favor turns or We promote thee within Our ranks

Whereas the Kingdom of Hoozlefoos hath entered into agreement with the Accords of Avalon upon the N Day of Sometime in the year Something, thou shalt present this document to the ranking noble at the earliest convenience when visiting another land within the Concordance and the etiquette of the Concordance shall be considered due and proper respect and thou shalt be considered of the title
~Alternate Title Name~
when visiting other lands within the Concordance

Sealed and Presented on this
the X Day of Month in the year Six-Hundred Whatever

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