Greetings and Obeisances

In feudal societies like Rhaedan and Taniford, providing the proper courtesies to those of rank is an important part of the social contract. In exchange for defending and sheltering those beneath them, royalty and nobility is afforded proper respect. Upon greeting a personage higher on the social ladder than oneself, there are certain courtesies that must be provided.

Rank Greeter Public Courtesies
Ruling King or Queen Anyone but royalty Kneel and bow head until given permission to rise.
Ruling King or Queen Fellow royalty Bow from the waist.
Royalty Duke or Duchess Bow head politely.
Royalty Count, Countess, Baron, Baroness, Knight Bow from the waist.
Duke or Duchess Count or Countess Bow head politely.
Duke or Duchess Baron, Baroness, Knight Bow from the waist.
Count or Countess Baron or Baroness Bow head politely.
Count, Countess, Baron, Baroness Knight Bow from the waist.
Any noble Commoner Bow from the waist.
Knight Man-at-arms Salute with one arm across the chest.
Knight Other Commoner Bow head politely.

While the guilds don't have the same compact that the nobility does with the populace, they still have very strict rules about public courtesies and forms of address between members.

Rank Greeter Public Courtesies
Guildmaster Journeyman or Apprentice Knuckle one's forehead.
Journeyman Apprentice Knuckle one's forehead.

Terms of Address

Each rank and position in Eikeren has a very specific method of address. While some may not know the proper term of address for a highborn noble, intentionally using the wrong term of address can be an insult that starts a feud. The proper terms of address for each position are as follows:

Position Formal Address Informal Address
Sitting King or Queen Your Majesty King or Queen <first name>
Son or Daughter of Sitting King or Queen Your Highness Prince or Princess <first name>
Cousin or Sibling of Sitting King or Queen My Lord, My Lady, Milord, or Milady Lord or Lady <first name>
Duke or Duchess Your Grace Duke or Duchess <last name>
Count or Countess My Lord, My Lady, Milord, or Milady Count or Countess <last name>
Baron or Baroness My Lord, My Lady, Milord, or Milady Baron or Baroness <last name>
Other noble My Lord, My Lady, Milord, or Milady Lord or Lady <first name>
Any Knight (including nobles) Sir Sir <first name>
Squire Young Master or Young Mistress Squire <first name>
Guildmaster Master or Mistress <guild name> Master or Mistress <last name>
Journeyman Craftsman or Craftswoman Mister or Ma'am <last name>
Apprentice Apprentice <first name>
High Priest or High Priestess Your Holiness High Priest or High Priestess <first name>
Temple Priest or Temple Priestess Father Superior or Mother Superior Priest or Priestess <first name>
Priest or Priestess Father or Mother Priest or Priestess <first name>
Chosen Commander Brother Commander or Sister Commander Brother or Sister <first name>
Chosen Captain Brother Captain or Sister Captain Brother or Sister <first name>
Chosen Lieutenant Brother Lieutenant or Sister Lieutenant Brother or Sister <first name>
Chosen Brother or Sister Brother or Sister <first name>
Acolyte Son or Daughter Acolyte <first name>

Any Head of House may also be called Lord or Lady <house name>. No other nobles should be addressed this way, as it is a specific term of address for the leader of a given house.

Knights are addressed as "Sir" no matter their gender.

"Informal Address" is used by acquaintances. Friends can — of course — use whatever name or nickname they want in private.


Within the guilds, justice is dispensed by the Guildmaster and there is no recourse save a demand that the Guildmaster be replaced — which is rarely granted.

Outside of the guilds, justice is the domain of the nobility. Criminals are brought in by Sheriffs and their deputies, and judged by the head of the area's house. In the absence of the Head of House, their Heir or Steward may dispense justice in their name. If the accused is a commoner, they must accept the outcome of the trial. If the accused is a knight or a member of the nobility and the charge would result in their death or banishment, they may demand Trial by Combat rather than trial by justice.

Trial by Combat

Trial by combat is the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong in both Rhaedan and Taniford. It can be used to resolve an issue of insult between two knights or nobles, it can be used to resolve a situation where a crime hangs on a 'he said, she said' situation, and it can be used when a knight or noble refutes a capital charge against them (banishment, stripping of rank, or death).

Trial by combat can be as simple as two knights meeting on a road and challenging one another over an insult, or it can be as complex as a noble from one Kingdom accusing a noble from the other Kingdom of a capital crime on their word alone — in which case special care must be taken to not harm the fragile peace.

Trial by combat can be fought to the death, to first blood, to the yielding of one participant, or to the point where an appointed adjudicator declares one side victorious. The insulted or accused (of a crime) party chooses both the end-point of the trial and the weapons used (lances, mounted hand weapons, foot hand weapons, daggers, or unarmed). The other party chooses the armor to be used.

If either the accused or the accuser is not a warrior, they may request a champion. Any knight or noble may offer themselves as a champion, and the person requesting the champion then chooses one of the volunteers to be their champion. The champion and person being championed will share the same fate should the champion lose. If no one volunteers to serve as champion, the person who requested a champion may either fight them self or be assumed guilty. A time limit is usually put on the request for a champion, which is set by a third party (usually the Head of House of the area, or a member of the Royal family if a Head of House is involved). This can be as short as "immediately" or as long as "a week, for word to get to your home territory and a Champion to be fetched."

The decision of a trial by combat is considered final, and may never be challenged again.

A less formal method to resolve a dispute would be for two parties at a tournament to directly challenge one another to any event being held.


There are some proprieties which should be obeyed before any marriage — noble or commoner. Both arranged marriages and love matches are preceded by a betrothal period of at least a month. For royal matches, a betrothal may stretch for years, but most betrothals are closer to the minimum length.

During the betrothal, the future couple is expected to spend time (properly chaperoned) in one another's company so that they can get to know one another. The betrothal time also gives noble families time to plan and finance a proper wedding.

Betrothals should be approved by the head of each noble House, or the head of family for commoners. While commoners occasionally just run off together, nobles rarely ever do, as doing so would shame their families. Exactly what that shame brings depends on the family and the difference in rank between those who eloped. In addition to family approval, those in military service such as members of the Blue Guard, Royal Guard or ranking House Guards are often required to seek permission of their commanding officer.

OOC Note : All characters are required to have existed and played by the current player for at least two weeks prior to applying for a betrothal or courting rights to the head of house.


Marriage depends on the religion or religions followed by those being married, but for nobles, a marriage is always celebrated by feasting, dancing, revelry, and sometimes by a tournament.

Upon the marriage of two nobles, one will join the House of the other and take on the name of their new House. Usually, the member of the lesser House joins the greater House, but if the member of the lesser House is the head of the House or the heir, the member of the greater House will marry into the lesser.

For example: Anna Rhaedan marries Jon Riedel. Usually, Jon would join House Rhaedan, and he would become Jon Rhaedan. If, however, Jon is Duke Riedel or the acknowledged heir to the Duchy, Anna would instead join House Riedel — and she would become Anna Riedel.


If two people are simply incompatible, or if one is unfaithful, they may request a divorce of the High Priest and High Priestess of their kingdom. Both parties must request the divorce, or there must be proof of infidelity. If the High Priest and High Priestess believe that the divorce is merited, they will nullify the marriage. Any children will remain members of the house both parents joined upon their marriage. It should be noted that for Noble/Royal marriages obtaining a divorce can be far more complicated due to the politics often involved in these marriages.


As mentioned in the Marriage section, nobles take the name of they house they are born into as their surname, and it changes only if they marry into another House. Commoners all have surnames as well, although as they do not change Houses typically the woman will take the man's name when they marry. There are cases though when the man will take the woman's name, typically when the woman has higher standings, or simply by the mutual decision of them both.

Commoner surnames come from a variety of sources. A commoner's surname can come from their profession (Smith, Tinker, Miller, Cobbler, etc), their place of birth (of Wolveshire, of Flea Alley, of Laketown, of the Docks, etc), or a particular feature or trait (the Red, Bold, the Nose, Bigger, etc). It could also be descended from one of these types (Koronel from Kernel for a corn farmer) or simply a collection of syllables that pleased the character or one of their ancestors. So long as it cannot be confused for a noble House's name, pretty much anything goes.


Persons of great renown are sometimes known by a Byname. These are nicknames given to them by their fellows, and while they can be quite complementary (Percival the Pure for a Chosen who has elected to remain chaste), they can also be insulting or teasing (Percival the Pure for a knight who was told he was 'too pure' for a courtesan to sleep with him). Some people relish their bynames, while others do their best to downplay them. Whatever the case, one never gives themself a byname — trying to do so is a good way for others to give them an embarrassing byname.

Tournament Favors

Ladies do attend tournaments, and even participate. The ideals of courtly love are dominated by the concept that honor should be done to a lady by her champion. The Rules of Courtly Love allow a Knight to express his admiration even for married ladies. Knights beg "tokens" from ladies or lords and are presented with "favours" such as a veil, ribbon, or the detachable sleeve of a ladies dress. These 'favours' would be displayed by the Knight attached to his/her arm, helm or tied to the lance. The favour is given to the participating knight, who would then, in turn, dedicate his performance at the tournament to the one lord or lady.

Favors are gifts from ladies to a gentleman to inspire them, and vary from the intimate, like a glove or something else that has been against the lady's skin, to more mundane things like ribbons, kerchiefs or other things in the lady's colors or that she has embroidered.

Since ladies can also be knights and participate, they may also like to ask a favor of a lord, though it is far less common.

While provocative, it is not uncommon for ladies to give favors to knights other than their husbands, betrotheds or family. Especially to vassal knights. A wife giving her favor to another knight (in the case of the Lady of the House, giving her favor to a vassal knight) would not be seen as shameful, or embarrassing to her husband.

It is typically polite for the participant to ask for a favor. Volunteering one would be seen as rather forward. A knight carrying more than one favor at the same tournament would be seen as disrespectful, but it is not uncommon for a lady to give a favor to one knight at one event and to give her favor to a different knight at a later event.

General Etiquette

The following are guidelines and general expectations of the IC behavior for the different classes and sexes. While it is not a requirement for characters to follow these guidelines, players should be aware that IC behavior that is not in line with these guidelines can lead to negative consequences from something as 'simple' as negative rumors to various punishments doled out by the character's family/House. The character's House and status may be the very thing that allows them to get away with crossing the line, or under greater watch to catch them at anything seemingly improper. Any IC results that arise from a characters IC behavior is expected to be resolved ICly though RP, though one should keep in mind that once a reputation has been tarnished is can be difficult, if not impossible, to restore. As always, please keep in mind ICA=ICC.

For Noble Ladies

In general, a young noble woman is expected to submit to and obey her parent's and sitting Head of House's rule in all things. And once married, to accept and listen to the guidance of her husband. They are set above her by the Guardians, and it is to them she owes her respect and obedience. This includes those whom the deem acceptable company and acquaintances.

Note: On the matter of husbands, the extent she will listen does depend on the nature of her House and whether it adheres to a more matriarchal or patriarchal bent.

Ladies of noble birth are expected to guard their purity and reputation at all costs. To have any hint of a tarnished reputation or rumor that they are impure before they have been married can bring dishonor not only upon them, but also upon their House. And in turn ruin chances for a good match to be made for them. To that end, a noble lady will not willingly be alone with a male that is not of their family nor approved by their family and will often ensure that their handmaiden, lady-in-waiting or assigned protector are with them at all times to help safe guard their reputation. This is a standard for single noble women and for younger married ladies. Should an impropriety occur with a commoner, it is often seen as far worse and the repercussions can be harsher accordingly.

Some examples for consideration : Going alone with a man on any trip (hunting, shopping, fishing, gambling, etc), being alone with a man in private room or situation, seemingly chasing after a man (socially, romantically, etc), giving a favor without being asked for it, not keeping a proper distance from or acting overly familiar with a man, public displays of affection (kissing, fondling, petting, etc) and so forth are all examples of things that could cause rumors and a tarnished reputation to happen.

A noble Lady is first and foremost the property of her House, her marriage is their's to decide. And as a noble, rarely is a marriage going to be arranged based on the concept of love. Noble marriages are arranged based on politics and what the House can gain through the match - a strengthening of an existing alliance, forging a new ally, receiving better trade, etc. The Lady may end up lucky and find love in her marriage, or even have parents who listen to her thoughts when arranging her match but this not common and should not be expected.

For Common Women

A common woman, much like a noble woman, in most cases is expected to guard their purity and reputation. Depending on her station and family, she may be held to a similarly strict standard or a more lax version since most commoners will not have the luxury of hand-maidens or guards. Rarely will she be allowed to go about as she pleases, even if a common woman is likely to have a bit more say in the path her life is to take.

A common woman is expected to also expected to submit to her parent's rules and guidance in life. Though often her marriage is arranged more as a matter of practicality then for the purpose of politics. As it is practical to have her married and producing children to aid in having more hands to help around the farm or forge. A marriage arranged because of love does occur more often amongst commoners. Though is is just as frequently done for the matter of practicality, to pay of a debt or seal a wound with another family, and so forth.

Some examples for consideration : A daughter of a Guildmaster or wealthy merchant is likely to be held to a stricter standard especially if the family has hopes of marrying her into a noble House to gain more power and influence. A young common girl who has ended up 'blessed' with child is most likely to simply be married off quietly and quickly, and depending on her parents mood it might be to the first sod who agrees or to the kindly son of a family friend. It is also entirely possible that her parents may cast her out into the streets. A young girl working in a brothel is certainly not expected to be pure but outside her establishment a certain level of discretion and propriety would be expected of her.

For Noble Lords

A noble Lord, like a noble lady, is considered the property of his House. His marriage is their's to decide for the greater good of the House itself. However, a Lord has is given a lot more leeway in his behavior and his purity is rarely, if ever a matter considered during negotiations of the marriage contract.

This is not to say that a Lord is free to go tramping about and having a good old time with whomever he wishes. While they are not expected to be chaste creatures, Lords are expected to be discreet about their dalliances whether it be by sticking to proper brothel establishments or having a discreet mistress on the side. If they flaunt their many partners or become known for not only knocking up young commoners but also leaving them with absolutely no support, no attempt to see them properly married nor seeing the unwanted blessing given over to the Temple of Four's care, their reputations can suffer and the House may seek to punish or reprimand them.

Some examples for consideration : A young Lord who continually disrespects the space and station of noble women in public could find himself confined or sent off to the current war front or patrol. A Lord who thinks to marry for love without the permission of his House may find himself disowned, or soon married to someone of their choosing.

For Common Men

The common man has perhaps the most leeway when it comes to his day to day behaviors. It does vary depending on his family and profession as a dock hand and a wealthy merchants son would not be expected to behave in the same fashion. While a common man's marriage is arranged by his parents, if he is in a trade that has him apprenticed his Master may also have some say if it becomes a matter of Guild politics.

While the common man does not have to act quite as proper in most cases, unlike a noble Lord, there are certain types of behavior he is not as likely to get away with either. Improper behavior with a noble woman may see him tossed in a dungeon or worse, and making his way through the many young women of a give village may see him soon married after some firm guidance from one of the girl's fathers.

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