Culture of Mobrin

Cultural Overview

In Mobrin, society is organized as a pyramid of sorts. The nobles and knights are at the top, with a great many peasants at the bottom. Peasants work the land. In the middle are the scientists, merchants, craftsmen and yeoman farmers.

Chivalry

Chivalry, or the chivalric code, is the code of conduct associated with the institution of knighthood. Chivalry arose from an idealized Darfield custom. It was originally conceived of as an aristocratic warrior code involving, gallantry, and individual training and service to others. Over time its meaning has been refined to emphasize more ideals such as the knightly virtues of honour, courtly love, courtesy, and less martial aspects of the tradition.

The Knight's Code of Chivalry is a moral system that states all knights should protect others who can not protect themselves, such as widows, children, and elders. All knights need to have the strength and skills to fight wars; they not only had to be strong but they were also extremely disciplined and were expected to use their power to protect the weak and defenseless.

Knights vow to be loyal, generous, and "of noble bearing." Knights are required to tell the truth at all times and always respect the honour of women. Knights not only vow to protect the weak but also vow to guard the honor of all fellow knights. They always have to obey those who are placed in authority and are never allowed to refuse a challenge from an equal. Knights live by honor and for glory. Knights are to serve the gods. Knights always keep their faith and never turn their back on a foe.

Holidays & Festivals

On Juneday, dancers dance to specially-prepared, high-pitched music. It is believed that by doing so, the hibernating spirits The Light would be awakened and forewarned that summer had arrived. Juneday is celebrated on the first Saturday in June, marking the beginning of Summer.

The Midsummer Festival is held on the weekend closest to June 17 (Longest Day) in June, from Friday to Sunday. Vendors come from all over the land to Darfield Castle. There is also a large variety of contests, from jousting to baking. Music is played in the streets all hours of day and night, and large amounts of alcohol is consumed.

The Harvest Festival is celebrated on the last weekend of October and lasts from Friday to Sunday. There is usually a royal hunt associated with the feast that commemorates the harvest. Once again, there are many contests during the Harvest Festival.

Marriage

Women generally have no say in who they marry, and often have not met their spouse until the day of their ceremony. Marriages were usually arranged by the parents, although the groom is often given several choices for his new bride. At the time of marriage, the age of the bride is usually between 16 and 20 years, while the husband is usually 20 to 25. Noble marriages are often arranged to strengthen family ties or for monetary gain.

After betrothal, the ceremony could take place within hours, or could take as long as sixteen years. Usually, the time of betrothal is determined by several factors including: age of couple, preparations, upcoming holidays, familial obligations, etc.

Commoners

The lifestyle of peasants in Mobrin is extremely hard and harsh. Many work as farmers in fields owned by the lords and their lives are controlled by the farming year. Certain jobs have to be done at certain times of the year. Their lives are harsh but there are few rebellions due to a harsh system of law and order.

The peasants are at the bottom and have to obey their local lord to whom they had sworn an oath of obedience. Because they have sworn an oath to their lord, it is taken for granted that they have also sworn a similar oath to the Duke, Count or Baron who owns that lord’s property.

The one thing the peasant has to do in Mobrin is to pay out money in taxes or rent. He has to pay rent for his land to his lord. This was a tax on all of the farm produce he had produced in that year. A peasant could pay in cash or in kind – seeds, equipment, etc.

Women

In Mobrin, women do not generally carry the same rights as men. Women are expected to obey their man, whether it be husband or father. In common households, women are often viewed as inferior, although women have made great strides in improving their standing over the last century. In spite of their lower status, women are still respected as crafters, healers, midwives and apothecaries. Women are able to be priestesses and are considered to be equal members in the Clergy.

In many noble households, women carry more rights, and in many of the great houses, the wife of the Lord is considered his equal. Women, however, cannot serve as soldiers, knights, or rangers. This is viewed as a man's place. Though, some women have been used as mercenaries in the past.

Noble women are often used in councils, including those of war. The Kings Council in Darfield has had many women serve, in nearly every position on the council.

Favors

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.

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.

Ladies do attend tournaments, watching the exploits of the men during the day and attending the feasts and banquets in the evening. 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 and are presented with favors such as a veil, ribbon, or the detachable sleeve of a ladies dress. These 'favors would be displayed by the Knight attached to his arm, his helm or tied to his lance. The lady thereby shows her favor to the knight, who would then, in turn, dedicate his performance at the tournament to the lady.

It is typically polite for the gentleman to ask the lady for a favor. A lady 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 tourney and to give her favor to a different knight at a later tourney.

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