Two things I want to emphasize:
1. This kinship is not in competition with any other kinship I know of, as it provides gameplay outside of your usual lotro session.
2. Players on Silverlode do not have much of an advantage over players on other servers, as you have to join this kinship at level 10 or lower. While Silverlode players will have higher-levelled characters that can help their lower levels, they also have many fewer character slots to use than you will have if you haven't played there at all.
The Northern House provides a unique roleplaying experience that anyone on any server should feel free to dip into for any length of time. You can have another server and another kinship as your primary focus while still enjoying what we have to offer when you are in the mood for it.
Silverlode is now home to a roleplaying permadeath kinship: The Northern House.
The Northern House is the pvp-permadeath branch of The Four Houses. (All four houses have a kinship house but the Eastern House is the only one that has been used up until now. The others are set up to accommodate future ideas such as this one.)
Breaking It Down
The idea behind this kinship is very different to any other that I have come across. I have seen kinships that have what is presently known as permadeath, but it is a permadeath designed for making gameplay more realistic. The permadeath I am going to describe to you is not about making the game more realistic, but rather about switching the focus from the progress of one character to participation in a grand history.
The rules are as follows:
1. You may only enter the Northern House at level 10 or lower. This is so that a person's power is roughly equivalent to what they have invested in their time with us.
2. As soon as you leave the Northern House, you are dead according to our records.
3. If you die, you are kicked from the Northern House, and are thus dead according to our records.
Of course you may die and keep it a secret so long as there were no witnesses, but you would only be cheating yourself. This kinship exists to accommodate those who want this kind of game.
4. You will be kicked if you deliberately attempt to ruin the roleplaying experience of other members. You will not be forced to roleplay if you do not want to but it is encouraged.
5. If you are invited to spar by a fellow NH member, you must accept.
6. THIS IS THE BIG ONE. If you lose a spar by low health, you are dead according to our records.
You read that correctly. If you are invited to spar with someone, you must accept… and if you lose, you are dead.
You will die and you will die often. You must understand: rather than progressing your character and the epic story of middle-earth, you will be contributing to a player-made history, inevitably forming feuds and friendships with other characters, and ultimately creating an impressive legacy that your great, great, great (etc.) ‘grandchild’ character will inherit.
Of course, when you die, your belongings may be used by future characters.
NOTE: You may run from spars but not log off. If you log off accidentally you should resume the spar as quickly as possible.
7. You may NOT invite Pethala to a spar. Pethala is the leader of the Northern House but is not part of it: she is only there to manage it.
Ghost: Those characters who are not in the Northern House. They are only apparitions to us.
During your time in the Northern House, you and another NH character may choose to wed, and be formally recognized as such. The only rules for this are: 1. you must have either inherited or chosen a surname, which cannot be changed on our records once you have it, 2.you and your partner must be of opposite sex, 3. marriage cannot be undone. There is no divorce. Once you have chosen your partner, that is the person with whom you will create descendants, and that is the person who will be listed as your life partner on our records.
Please don’t make a moral issue out of the above. In my opinion there is nothing moral about rejecting homosexuality or divorce as options but speaking generally this is not a game about morality (or at least I worry about anyone who thinks it is) and speaking specifically the above only serves to provide a neat process of creating genealogies. It is not anything to do with how you choose to roleplay the romantic side of your character.
Once married, you and your spouse must choose to both use either the surname of either partner or a double-barreled version.
Upon death your spouse becomes a widow, a widow who cannot marry or reproduce again, and who may or may not choose to roleplay as a sad widow (likely according to how you treated them).
IF you married during your lifetime, you may have children. You must choose their name together with your spouse. You may have a maximum of one child every year (real-life month) after marriage.
Your children must be characters that are not yet in the Northern House, and they must be characters that will be started within the next month. They do not need to be played by you. You may tell another player in the Northern House the name of your child so that they can create them and play as one of your descendants.
Your children will be born at 16 years of age.
Calendar (for roleplaying purposes and record keeping)
Every month is a year by Northern reckoning. Days are roughly half a month. To be more precise, below you can see which month it is according to the day of the month by modern reckoning:
*Assuming they are days of that real-life month.
You may be thinking that there are just too many ways to abuse this system.
You’d be wrong. There aren’t enough, couldn’t be enough. ‘Abusing’ the system will be precisely what spices up our history.
To make my point I will list an example.
Example: Someone creates a character and joins the Northern House, then gives that character loads of crafting ingredients from a higher-levelled character to level up and then attacks new members of the Northern House. Here’s how that might look in our history:
I 56 (the 56th year of the first age; we begin in the first age of our reckoning)
Rumours spread throughout the Shire and Bree-land of a killer of youths, murdering even in coldest daylight while paralyzed residents looked on helplessly. Among the casualties were 5 of the youngest of the families of Bluestone and Oddfoot. In desperation, surviving relatives of these dead called upon the warriors of the Elventhorn family. Among them was Torluin Elventhorn, and taking up his greataxe he rode out to find some trace of this killer. But he did not return.
Soonafter the killings doubled, and rumour spread that a wielder of a greataxe was now seen committing the deeds. It seemed that Torluin’s mind had become poisoned by the killer, seeing no evil in his crimes. Common were the reports of laughter as the killer or killers rode away from massacres.
The following is the account of Sofie and the Cheese.
It was around this time that the elf Sofie Bluestone came of age, learned in the arts of runes. Not two months later, she was walking with her mother Candace through the quiet of Bindbole Wood when she spotted the glint of steel through the trees. She screamed out to her mother, but it was too late. An arrow had pierced her mother’s neck. As she lay dying, her mother whispered elegant elven words that Sofie had not learned yet. Then she reached into her dress and passed a package to Sofie. Bloodily, her mother choked now in plain words, mired as if by sleep.
‘Safe, Sofie, keep this, you must…’
The footsteps neared. A fire blazed in her mother’s eyes.
Sofie fled. But in such shock and anguish, her legs could only take her so far. She tripped over a gnarly root. Two men approached. Sofie knew neither. She knew only that she was hopelessly outmatched. Tears streamed down her face as she realized she had failed her mother.
The rumors of laughter were true. They laughed heartily as their weapons shredded her dress and skin. Sofie breathed her last and closed her eyes, but still had to experience the men scouring her body for valuables. They found her mother’s package. Then came sleep.
Of a sudden, her mother’s voice seemed to come from all around.
‘Sofie, do not fall this day.’
She felt her body for scars but found none. Had it been a dream? Then she noticed a terrible smell. It was coming from all around. She opened her eyes and gasped. Two rotting bodies were strewn about her. Trying not to vomit she ran to where her mother had fallen, and was much relieved to find her mother’s body cold but unblemished.
After there were no more tears to cry, Sofie searched her mother’s body. Finding an odd wrapper, the realization struck her.
Her mother, in her dying deeds, had ended the horror.
Candace carried always a chunk of Barrow-brie.
You get the idea: all events can be interpreted to contribute to our overall history.
In conclusion, if all that interests you, why don’t you roll a character on Silverlode and send a message to Pethala?
For details of the history that we create, stay tuned.