The Dangerous Book for Albione Ladies, Edited by Lady Caroline Bathroy
Editorial note: The full text of this publication is recreated here, but ladies with a particularly great interest in these writings may prefer to peruse an original copy wherein much attention has been given to typesetting and illustration. A copy for those of a more discerning nature may be found here.
It has been my great privilege over the years to have been taught and advised by some seriously clever women. I do not necessarily mean well-educated Ladies, nor women of Great Breeding, no, no. What I refer to is women who have learned the pits and falls of this world that we live in, who have struggled against apathy, treachery and prejudice. Far from concluding amongst themselves that life is Nasty, Brutish and Short, they have faced each trial as a lesson to be learned, and, as students of life, they chose to pass on their acumen to myself – who now passes it on to you.
There will be plenty in here, Dear Lady of Albion, that you already know. There may be words and sentiments with which you do not agree. Do not, however, cast it aside in arrogance. Instead, congratulate yourself that you are truly an Albione Lady if you follow its wisdoms. May your life be enriched by the insight gathered here from a hundred women’s lives, including my own.
Lady Caroline Bathroy
To the Male Reader
If you are an Albione Gentleman, it is unlikely that you will have read this far, knowing that it is the property of an Albione Lady. If you are neither Gentleman nor Albione, it is advised that you close the book and hand it to someone suitable in order to return it to its owner. It is not becoming for a Gentleman, or male of any kind, to be perusing these pages. Rather than suffer scorn, you are recommended to dispatch the book to its rightful owner forthwith.
The Dangerous Book for Albione Ladies
Edited by Lady Caroline Bathroy
Essential Kit p.4
The Seven Wonders of Albion p.6
Dressing for Jugger p.7
Sidesaddle or Not Sidesaddle? p.8
Going Out: Essentials Part One p.9
Spotting an Albione Gentleman p.11
Hospitality and Manners p.13
When Facing Something Nasty p.15
Organising One’s Kitchen p.17
How to Cook a Goose p.19
Common Usages for Salt p.20
Five Simple Ways to Avert Unwanted Males p.21
Attending Court and Other Matters p.23
Five Songs Every Albione Lady Should Know p.26
Going Out: Essentials Part Two p.31
The Roles of Your Servants p.33
Beastkin and Other Marvels p.38
Dealing With Folk Abroad and Other Wisdoms
When Going On Safari p.41
Ladies and Alcohol p.43
Apprehending a Thief p.44
How to Stop a Baby Crying p. 45
The Bathroy Family Anthem p.46
It should be every Albione Lady’s daily routine to attend to her Essentials, despite her many other responsibilities. Who knows what may greet you each day and what challenges may present themselves? If you were to have each of these items about your person or within easy reach, then you are most likely to survive the unexpected with grace, good humour and decorum.
1. A Dagger Or Other Small Item That Inflicts a Mortal Wound
It was once said by a very wise Albione Gentleman that it is imprudent to leave one’s abode without a dagger on one’s person. Naturally, such an Essential aids one in a multitude of tasks, such as trimming a loose thread, removing a splinter, gutting a rabbit or describing the route to the nearest Transport Circle in the dirt. However, the dagger’s most constructive use is in the dispatching of unwanted individuals threatening one’s mortality. Always remember to clean one’s dagger after use. If one is skilled in the employment of certain unctions that inflict ill health, it is good to remember to wear gloves before applying it to the dagger. Additionally, if one is able to write with both hands, then it is likely that you will be able to use two daggers simultaneously.
The uses of a Handkerchief are so plentiful that they cannot all be listed here. Suffice to say that it offers the greatest service in the following ways: Preventing smoke inhalation; Stemming a nosebleed; Suggesting to others that you find a particular story very moving (by dabbing one’s eyes); Cleaning the grubby face of a child (application of spit is usually beneficial); Disguise; During a game of Jugger (see Dressing for Jugger); Dabbing with perfume and applying over one’s face when faced with unpleasant odours (see Dealing With Folk Abroad and Other Wisdoms When Going On Safari); Alerting others to danger or distress; Dropping to the floor when assessing a male for his Gentlemanly qualities (see Spotting an Albione Gentleman).
3. Pen or Pencil and Paper
On meeting a new acquaintance, one may find their name difficult to recall, thus it is wise to record their name on paper. This should, however, be executed with care, so that the new acquaintance does not notice – such a faux pas is not expected of an Albione Lady. These items are also very useful in describing directions if one does not wish to rouse suspicion by using a dagger in the dirt (see above). If one is writing a letter, it should be noted that missives may fall into the wrong hands, so it is useful to use a code of some kind or a nom de plume, as long as the recipient is in full knowledge of their meaning.
4. Needle and Thread
Essential in many ways, from patching ripped clothing to sewing up wounds (if one is skilled in such things) and much more besides. A full sewing kit is not at all necessary and often hampers one’s efforts when engaging in combat (see When Facing Something Nasty).
5. Something Sparkly Or Something Sweet
Things Sparkly and Sweet often go a long way in public relations, particularly when one meets a person of the Fae persuasion (see Beastkin and Other Marvels). Sparkly things, if they are sparkly enough, may even help in a bartering situation, and Sweet things help to stave off both nerves and sudden hunger.
6. A Little Nip Of Something You Fancy
This should not be muddled with Matters of Beastkin, Vampires or other such bitey creatures (for this, see Beastkin and Other Marvels). Instead, this refers to carrying about your person a small vial of a warming liquor or liqueur. It is particularly appropriate for the following situations: calming one’s nerves (see When Facing Something Nasty); warming oneself on a cold day; sealing an agreement with an acquaintance; congratulating an acquaintance on their good fortune; cleaning a wound (but this should of course be referred to a skilled surgeon or healer at the soonest opportunity).
The Seven Wonders of Albion
There are, as many of us were taught by our Governesses, seven Wonders of Albion. They are listed here for the benefit of the poorly educated or those of inadequate memory. You may need the information one day, if only to educate your own children. Please know that, since the Cataclysm of 1106, some of these splendid places, sadly, no longer exist. Let us then commit them to memory, that they do not fade from our stories.
An artist’s impression of the White Tower at Lundy
The Great Wall
The White Tower of Lundy
The Wellspring of Life
The Jugger Stadium at Wemberley, Londinium
The Great Library at Norhault
Dressing For Jugger
The Rules for Jugger differ slightly depending upon the County or Shire in which you play. That is not of great concern, but Dressing Properly for Jugger is of the utmost importance for an Albione Lady.
It should never be supposed that an Albione Lady cannot partake of a little Jugger. There have been many expert female Jugger players over the years, some of very high standing, so when a Gentleman suggests that the Lady might wish to watch instead, it is worth being Dressed appropriately in the first place to indicate to the Gentleman that one is perfectly capable of partaking of the sport.
Firstly, a Lady’s skirts should not be so ample as to interfere with play. A certain Lady of Winchester once found herself entangled with the legs of a Goblin during a match, and suffered from the vapours for several hours. However, a skirt of some substance may be of great use in hiding the ball* and preventing a Gentleman from retrieving it. This of course is dependent upon the opposing team constituting Gentlemen.
Secondly, a Lady is advised to remove all restricting corsetry for the benefit of breathing. A game is likely to be lost if one asphyxiates.
Thirdly, a Lady should carry a Handkerchief upon her person during the match. It is of use when one is glowing with perspiration.
Fourthly, a pair of gloves is advisable if the Lady does not wish her hands to come into direct contact with the ball*. Gloves are also valuable in the slapping of an opponent’s face if caught cheating.
*For the benefit of clarity, Jugger does not strictly use a ‘ball’.
More a head, really.
Sidesaddle Or Not Sidesaddle?
Some Albione Gentlemen consider it most unLadylike for an Albione Lady to ride a horse at all, let alone ride it astride. But it is an old-fashioned perspective, akin to believing that a ruling monarch may only be male. Riding, for a Lady as much as a Gentleman, is excellent as a form of exercise, it encourages a healthy circulation of the blood, and enables one to get somewhere quite quickly.
The benefits of riding sidesaddle include the establishment of Decorum when Hunting, the ability to dismount in less time than a Gentleman astride, and the availability of extra space on the horse’s right flank for packages, weapons, bodies and so forth. One must keep one’s balance in this style of riding, keeping the right knee correctly placed over the pommel, as slipping off one’s horse is not becoming for a Lady. One must arrange one’s riding habit so as to prevent onlookers from catching sight of one’s undergarments. Long periods of riding sidesaddle may cause cramps.
It is perfectly acceptable for a Lady to ride astride, although when challenged she may reply that she was doing so for any of the following reasons: I was checking that the other stirrup was working properly; I had to get to the Guild House rather quickly; My mount is used to being ridden by Gentlemen; Mind your own business. It is less likely that one will get cramps when astride, but soreness of one’s buttocks after a long period is likely. Riding astride is particularly appropriate when wishing to get somewhere extremely quickly and a Transport Circle is not available.
Going Out: Essentials Part One
Going Out refers to a range of practices, each of which should be executed with great care and self-composure. A Lady is well advised to take note of the following most common forms of Going Out.
Going Out to the Shops
When Going Out to the Shops, a Lady must remember to dress well. If Maid is not available for your dressing, choose a colourful, well-tailored dress that will attract admiration and which is of the latest fashion. Be sure to check that no part of your dress is tucked into your undergarments (Maid would always check this for you of course).
Do not, when Going Out to the Shops, ever forget your Coin. A Lady who must ask a shopkeeper to hang on while she pops home for some money is a laughing stock. Similarly, have in mind what you wish to purchase rather than appear foolish. Such a person is easy prey for the fraudulent shopkeeper who will press upon her goods that she does not need.
It is not recommended that a Lady asks a companion if her rear ‘looks big in this’, as the answer is likely to be counterfeit.
Beware of goods that appear to be of great worth, yet on closer inspection are quite clearly cheap imports from Nihon. Caledonian and Teutonian goods tend to be most sturdy in make, although not always beautiful to the eye. Lyonesse gifts are regarded by many Ladies as the most romantic, but are often expensive. It is always best, in matters of fresh produce, to buy Albione, or Cymrian at a stretch. Never buy fresh produce that claims to have come from hotter climes, such as Arabia, as one cannot guarantee the legitimacy of their bloom.
Going Out to Dinner
When one is invited out to dinner, one should always bear in mind that it is not simply an opportunity to gauge the ability of your Host’s cook, but also to forge alliances and create an excellent impression, not to mention endowing others with one’s superb company. As such, a Lady must ask Maid to dress her in the most expensive and splendid of outfits.
It is advisable to arrive approximately 15 minutes late to a dinner engagement.
A Lady must not over-indulge herself when Out to Dinner, to prevent unpleasant redness of the face and swelling of the abdomen. She should engage her Host with witty conversation and memorable tales to ensure a second invitation, should it be desired.
If a Lady wishes to leave a Dinner engagement early if, for example, she finds herself bored by the company, she should excuse herself politely, saying that there is trouble at home to deal with. It is useful to have a Footservant in readiness with a message in advance, who will call you away on witnessing your code to do so (this may take the form of a wink, an extended bout of coughing, or an unusual phrase, such as ‘I hear the geese of Lyonesse fly South in the Winter’).
A Lady who wishes to laugh at the jokes of her Host should do so with decorum, although she must keep her wits about her at times of great hilarity when she is at her most vulnerable. Many a Lady has found herself plied with fine wines, succulent foods, and amusing comic stories, only to discover that she has been either wooed into an unfortunate agreement (such as an unwanted marriage proposal) or has been Beguiled. Retribution to the Host for such behaviour can be a messy business, and should be avoided by employing alertness at all times.
Going Out For a Walk
This term, of course, is a euphemism for a variety of pastimes and duties. It is interchangeable with the term ‘Going Out for a Breath Of Fresh Air’ and serves the same purpose. It is to be employed so as to not cause offence to those in the room who, naturally, do not need to know that you are any of the following: bored sick of their company; intent on passing on to relevant persons the thing you just heard them say; aware that you are in danger; attending a Call of Nature.
It should be said that you may actually wish to Go Out For a Walk, in which case it is not necessary to provide the addendum: ‘No, really.’
In all cases, one should be well prepared with Essential Kit (see page 3).Spotting an Albione Gentleman
There are many ways to spot an Albione Gentleman. Such a person is, contrary to the belief of some, not a dying breed. The following tests can be observed discreetly, or can be applied in the form of questions. Simple politeness is something that should be expected of all Albiones, but the manners of a Gentleman are particular and indicate either good breeding or excellent education. It should be remembered that good manners will take one almost anywhere, so a Gentleman might be found in the most unexpected of places.
- An Albione Gentleman should never wear his hat indoors – an Albione Lady, however, may do so.
- He does not eat with his fingers unless partaking of oysters, finger foods or fruit. Eating in the field does not conform to this rule, but a Gentleman eating with knife and fork under the most foul of circumstances is to be admired.
- He does not eat with his mouth open.
- He will say ‘sorry’ when a collision is the fault of a Lady.
- He does not burp loudly in public.
- On entering a room, he will pay respect to the Ladies present, usually by some token such as ‘M’lady’.
- He is not surly, rude or contemptuous in his manner.
- He will retrieve a Handkerchief dropped by a Lady and return it to her. This is sometimes taken as a sign of a Lady’s romantic intentions, and the well-bred Gentleman will realise this.
- He always uses the words ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ when appropriate.
- He is punctual.
- He does not talk noisily on the stairs.
- He never borrows money from those beneath him.
- He rarely brags, but if he does so, must be prepared to question others about their good qualities and achievements.
- He offers to provide the tip when dining out.
- He does not ask a Lady her age, nor which Ancestor she follows, unless the knowledge serves great importance.
- At dinner engagements, you will not hear him say ‘Can I have seconds?’ or ‘Where’s the Khazi?’
- When offering to help a Lady with a task, he does not by any means imply that he is more capable than she.
- Contrary to some opinion, an Albione Gentleman may partake of the following: gambling; bawdy humour (providing the majority of Ladies present do not object); visiting Londinium in the heat of summer; wearing his top button undone after an exertion; riding sidesaddle.
- Most men will feel uncomfortable when finding themselves in the midst of a large gathering of Ladies. This is therefore not a means of spotting an Albione Gentleman.
Hospitality and Manners
In all situations an Albione Lady should display good humour and appropriate etiquette. It is the sign of an Albione Lady that she is prepared to face any circumstance with grace and propriety. There are, however, certain expectations that she should strive to fulfil in her behaviour.
- At dinner time, sufficient light should be provided for oneself and one’s guests. It is bad manners to expect one’s guest to find, unaided, the appropriate destination for his or her fork in an unnecessarily dark room.
- The staff should not show disrespect to those above them in station. A Lady will firmly and politely remind them of their place.
- A Lady with a good education should not cause others to feel inadequate by their lack of learning. Instead, she should guide and advise with humility, but with firmness. She should remember that there are those that are offended by the presence of an educated Lady, and should in such circumstances politely educate the individual as to her excellent abilities.
- A Lady should welcome all to her home and her table. She is, however, in a place to eject company when it is considered hazardous to the digestion or displays treacherous inclinations.
- A Lady is within her rights to request that Guests surrender their weapons at the dinner table.
- A bottle of Port, when shared, should always be passed to the left.
- A Lady’s dress should not be arranged so as to allow the appearance of her bloomers.
- A Lady may raise her voice in the following circumstances: calling Maid, Cook or Butler to a chore; attracting attention in a noisy room; commanding Something Nasty to do something (see When Facing Something Nasty); commanding troops (many Ladies have served admirable positions in the military forces); to be heard above the sound of inclement weather.
- A Lady should not lounge or slouch in company. Neither should she bite her nails, place her elbows on the dinner table, nor talk about herself incessantly in the manner of a fool.
- A Lady may marry someone beneath her station, but should strive to raise his standards to her own.
- An Albione Lady should regard Dryads with respect, despite their propensity for easy virtue. She should also remember to respond to a gift from a Fae with an item of propitious value.
- A Lady should consistently strive to improve her knowledge and abilities.
- An Albione Lady should, when necessary, confer to the word of the Throne of Pendragon.
When Facing Something Nasty
There are many persons and circumstances that might be regarded as Nasty across Erdreja. Most can be avoided by Going Out for a Walk (see Going Out: Essentials Part One). There are some, however, that are difficult to avoid, particularly when one finds oneself in a combat situation or down a dark alley. In such circumstances, there are several ways in which one can comport oneself.
Do You Know Who I Am?
This retort is only useful when faced with Something Nasty that is impressed with who you are. Most Nasty Things will not give a blind Goblin’s ball-sack* who you are, and so the comment will be of little worth. It benefits you to be a person of high standing already if you wish to use this tactic, but in certain circumstances one might imply a higher standing in order to Retreat safely. It should be noted, however, that some Nasty Things rather like to attack persons of high standing, so this approach is to be used with caution.
* It is best that most Gentlemen are left unaware that an
Albione Lady knows such terms as this, but it is left to your discretion.
One should always assess a situation calmly when faced with Something Nasty. A Lady will always be aware of her strengths, and so should act accordingly. If she decides that pursuing conflict is not perspicacious at the time, she should gently lift her skirts to above her ankles and run in the opposite direction of the Nasty Thing at a considerable pace. If the Lady believes that she has not caused suspicion, she may Retreat at a more Ladylike speed.
Confuse Your Enemy
Confusing a Nasty Thing is sometimes quite effortless, particularly when faced with a being of poor mental ability, say, a Troll or Golem, but one should always be sure beforehand of its intelligence if at all possible. There is a story of an Albione Fae that managed to persuade a Troll that its fellows were laughing at it, and it should therefore attack them instead. Various stratagems may be employed if the opponent is stupid enough, such as: Exclaim ‘Oh, look over there, what in the name of Erdreja is that?’; Pretend that you are insane; Feign an immediate death (not recommended); Run wildly towards the Nasty Thing screaming like an Erin Warlord, it may be stunned into inactivity; Say ‘Ah, yes, I was expecting you, I have come to marry your nephew’; If you have an imp-in-the-box handy, flash the Nasty Thing in order to blind it. None of the above methods are recommended when a more suitable form of retreat makes itself available.
Stand and Fight
The choice to stand and fight belongs to all Albiones, and is the stuff of much storytelling and celebration. An Albione Lady, being in possession of good standing, excellent learning and stoutness of heart, should weigh up all situations with clarity of mind and expediency. If she is skilled in the arts of warfare, weaponry, mage-craft, invocation, incantation, alchemy or healing, she will be the equal of any Albione in a conflict or on the battlefield.
It is not advisable to carry about one’s person the following items when engaged in combat: your sewing basket; children; your teacup; frisky animals; your parasol. If one needs to calm one’s nerves, it is acceptable to take a Little Nip of Something You Fancy (see Essential Kit), as long as one doesn’t overdo it. A drunken Maiden on the battlefield is more of a hindrance than a service. Participation in combat is one of the circumstances in which a Lady may raise her voice (see Hospitality and Manners).
There are some Albione Gentlemen, and otherwise, who feel that the battlefield is not the place for an Albione Lady – such an individual tends to learn the error of his pre-judgement when an Albione Lady saves his life. In all cases, a Lady should remember her training from scholars and keep her wits about her. She is advised to work with another companion if at all possible in a combat situation. She should obey the command of the senior military officer, unless he or she makes a treacherous order. She should not rise to the taunts of the enemy, which might encourage rash behaviour and indecorous actions. On discovering the weaknesses of the enemy, she should communicate this information freely. One should take the opportunity of a cessation in combat to repair one’s armour and fortitude. When pushed by time and circumstance, a Lady should only seek a Healer when presented with a mortal wound.
Organising One’s Kitchen
It is of great benefit to a Lady to have an organised Kitchen. Although the Kitchen is not the place for a Lady to spend all of her time, she must supervise its management and the Staff who labour there so that it works efficiently and produces the most splendid of fare.
Things to Keep in Your Kitchen
It is wise to keep the following in ready supply within your Kitchen:
- Fresh foodstuffs, including vegetables, meats and fruits
- Dried foodstuffs, including dried meats, dried fruits, nuts, pulses and grains
- Salt, Pepper, Herbs and Spices (most desired are spices from Arabia)
- Appropriately sized cooking pots and utensils to provide sufficient victuals for any meal, from the intimate tea to the Banquet
- A fresh supply of water if possible
- A constantly stoked, contained fire or oven
- A cool larder for the storage of spoilables, such as dairy, eggs, and so forth
- Mouse-traps in varying sizes, dependent upon the local infestations
- An Emergency Box containing your Essential Kit, should you ever be restricted to the Kitchen by an unpleasant guest or Something Nasty.
Your Kitchen Staff are likely to include two servants at the least, both of whom may have assistants:
- Cook, who is in charge of the Kitchen in your absence. You must develop a relationship of great trust with your Cook, even to the point of friendship.
- Scullery Maid (it is advisable not to employ a Maid who claims once to have been Wenching in a Bar or Brothel. She will be more trouble than aid). On no account allow Scullery Maids to take a role of great responsibility in the Kitchen, unless they have been trained sufficiently
- Staff should be encouraged not to practice Sword-play or Mage-craft in the Kitchen, and the brewing of Alchemical products should be frowned upon, lest something slip into the dinner in error
- Pay your Staff sufficient for their needs and reward them with occasional Holidays. It does not do well to over-work them. Equally, they should be discouraged from laziness, brawling and intimate relations within the Kitchen.
An Albione Lady should know that she can trust her Staff, and so is in a much more secure position if the Staff have worked for the Family since birth. However, if new Staff are employed, one should keep an eye on them. One noble Lady used to check the Kitchen’s inventory nightly, and was able to identify a pilferer in her Kitchen. This is a lesson to us all that we should be aware of the goings-on in our Kitchen at all times. Through your close relationship with Cook you will find this possible.
How to Cook a Goose
Ask Cook to prepare Goose.
Ask Cook to Cook Goose.
Common Usages For Salt
Salt is often underestimated for its most valuable applications. Quotidian life puts it to many uses, but it also serves well in many unusual or unexpected circumstances.
Everyday Usages For Salt
- Flavouring food
- Preserving meats
- Cleansing cuts and other wounds
- Melting ice
Occasional Usages for Salt
- Describing a route to the Shops on the earth
- Mixed with honey as a paste to rid the hands of remarkable dirt
- Reviving a victim of great heat exhaustion (after water, and never in great quantities)
- Forcing a poor fellow to vomit after swallowing a mild toxin (to be drunk in a water solution)
- Warding off Something Nasty from the home and hearth (to be dropped in a consistent line as a ‘barricade’)
- Throwing in the face of Something Nasty or an Unwanted Male (the two, for some, are interchangeable.
Five Simple Ways to Avert Unwanted Males
Not all of us are blessed with the ability to Beguile, Distract or otherwise avert the attentions of an unwanted person. Even if one does have such skills, one may not wish to disclose them publicly. Thus it is useful to have at one’s disposal a range of tactics to rid oneself of such an irritation. This does not refer to Something Nasty (see When Facing Something Nasty), although it is true that, at times, an Unwanted Male can actually be pretty unpleasant too. The following are tried and tested stratagems for a Lady to avert the Unwanted Male. Do note that they work equally well for an Unwanted Female also:
‘I am just going out for a walk’
This comment may enable you to extract yourself from the Unwanted Male’s company. It is quite open to failure, however, if the Unwanted Male is persistent and offers to join you. In such a case you may have to append the addendum: ‘and I need to be alone.’ If you are successful, it is recommended that you consult a friend to aid you in keeping the undesirable person away. This, of course, is the best tactic: avoidance of the Unwanted Male. But as we all know, it is not likely that you will be able to do so indefinitely. Another difficulty with this strategy is that the Unwanted Male simply desires your company further, and he may even develop a fantasy in his mind that you are flirting with him by resisting contact. He may admire you for controlling your desires for him. If these problems arise, you are well advised to try other tactics.
‘I’m sure I heard your mother/brother/Captain/Lord Regent* calling for you!’
* Insert appropriate name or title here.
This is a temporary measure. It will give you immediate relief from the Unwanted Male who, hopefully, will rush off to find the person allegedly calling for him. However, he is likely to discover that the person named did not call, and thus he will come back to you. It is therefore advised that you remove your person, so that you are not there upon his return. It is possible, unfortunately, that he will decide to ignore the alarm and remain in your company. A rebellious or lazy man is quite likely to choose this inaction. A very stupid man may provide several hours of entertainment if you repeat the tactic with different names each time, although such a game is rather below an Albione Lady.
‘Have you noticed the most admirable Lord/Lady X of <Such and such a County>?’
This tactic is often quite successful. It communicates to the Unwanted Male that you are enraptured with another man (or woman if one so wishes). The person may thus give up all hope of winning you, and retire in despair. It may also avert the person’s attentions to the most admirable Lord or Lady and thus cause him to fall in love with them instead. Be sure to employ effusive vocabulary and gestures in your description of the other person, but do not ‘over-egg the pudding’ lest your ruse be discovered.
‘I have the most awful habits.’
One means of ridding yourself of an Unwanted Male is to guide his attention to your worst defects, whether real or imaginary. Perhaps you have a tendency to bite your toenails, or you have a book of unsavoury humour not expected of a Lady. Maybe you could warn him of a terrible curse on your family. Whatever you choose, it should be the consequence of research into the Unwanted Male, if possible, to find something that he will detest. Be wary, however. Some individuals have been known to overthrow all disgust for the sake of love or lust.
This is a last resort tactic. If the Unwanted Male simply will not take a hint, and you have tried everything you can think of, you may have to resort to violence. This does not necessarily mean that the individual gets hurt; you may have some measure of success by simply threatening the man with a weapon or a mage bolt. You could also raise the point with his family or friends, suggesting that if he does not desist with his attentions you may be forced to use violence upon him. Ultimately, it is your decision whether to use actual force or not, but if you choose to do so, be sure to have a trustworthy companion with you for aid should you need it. It should be noted that you are not to use such violence as to kill the man, simply to cause him to leave you alone. An Albione Lady always keeps to the Law of the Land, and murder – even of a very irritating person – is a punishable offence.
Attending Court and Other Matters
Not all Albione Ladies have the privilege of being brought up in Court. Some will attend Court once they reach their majority (sixteen years of age for most households), others never do so, their duties and responsibilities requiring them to remain at their family home for their life’s duration. However, even such a person may be called to Court to respond to a request from, say, the King, or the Lord Regent. Thus it is important for all Albione Ladies to know how to behave when in Court.
The Lady who curtsies tells all on-lookers that she has manners. To curtsy is a form of obeisance and if employed properly causes the Lady to lose eye contact with the object of her action. Once upon a time, the curtsy and the bow made the actant vulnerable, and they were employed as rituals of submissiveness. Today both merely suggest good manners.
A Lady is advised to adopt the following advice when curtsying:
- Gently grasp one’s skirts at hip-height and lift approximately two inches
- Move one’s weight to the left foot and draw the right foot behind the left foot some six or seven inches distant
- Allow one’s weight to become equal between the left foot and the toes of the right foot
- Bow one’s head downwards. It may be helpful to secure one’s gaze at the feet of the person in front
- Carefully bend the knees of both legs and dip approximately four inches from your normal height
- Stand up, raise one’s head and return the right leg to its usual place
- Release grasp on skirts.
Practice is recommended. A young Lady of Londinium once curtsied to the Late Queen Elspeth, slipped, did the splits and foot-swiped the Monarch, causing both to expose their bloomers in Court, a quite unforgivable accident and entirely avoidable had the young Lady bothered to practice beforehand.
It is best to learn the appropriate forms of address for various dignitaries in order to suggest one’s good upbringing and manners. The following is a useful aide-mémoire:
A King is addressed as ‘Your Majesty’, and thenceforward as ‘Sir’.
A Queen is addressed as ‘Your Majesty’, and thenceforward as ‘Ma’am’.
A Prince or Princess is addressed as ‘Your Royal Highness’, and thenceforward as ‘Sir’ or ‘Ma’am’.
A Duke or Duchess is addressed as ‘Your Grace’ in all cases.
A Lord or Lady Regent, an Earl, Countess, Baron or Baroness is addressed as ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady’ in all cases.
All other Gentry are addressed as ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’, but it has become customary to address all males as ‘Lord’ and all women as ‘Lady’, if the person does not object.
Certain individuals are raised with rather poor standards of address, being more familiar with terms such as ‘Oi!’ rather than ‘My Dear Lady’. Such a person must restrain themselves when in Court, as such behaviour is not celebrated in good company and is likely to have one ejected from Court.
Dinner at Court
Never rush to the dining table or dining hall when taking Dinner at Court. Remember that Court etiquette dictates that the Host enters first with the female Guest of Honour, followed by the other Guests, and finally the Hostess enters with the male Guest of Honour. You will be served from the right by the Servants, and your courtesy towards them need go no further than a discreet ‘thank you’. Begin each new course with the silver cutlery the furthest from your dish and work towards the dish in that order. Do not be alarmed if a fork sits to the right of your plate. It simply means that your Host or Hostess has chosen oysters and this item will be an oyster fork.
List of Do Nots at a Court Dinner:
- Do not place your napkin on your lap until the Host or Hostess has done so
- Do not begin eating until after the last person at the table has been served. This is unless one is attending a very large banquet at which all are permitted to eat once served
- Do not place your elbows on the table
- Do not speak whilst you have food in your mouth
- Do not chew with your mouth open
- Do not drink the contents of the finger bowl
- Do not imbibe too much liquor lest you embarrass yourself
- Do not continue to use cutlery if dropped upon the floor
- Do not appear to be in a hurry either to eat or depart
Most dinner etiquette is common sense, such as the placing of the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right hand, or expressing thanks to the Host or compliments to the Cook. At a Court dinner, it should be noted, you are likely to be asked to remove your weapons unless they are ‘dress’ weapons.
A duel is permissible under Albione Law, as outlined below as a ‘test of arms’ in the document scribed by Justinian, Quaesitor of Albion, 1098:
Disputes in Albion may be resolved by mediation, test of arms or trial. Both parties must be agreeable to any mediation and will swear to abide by and act upon the result. Both parties must be similarly agreeable to a test of arms, either may refuse without loss of honour. Either party may call upon a champion but once a test of arms is agreed upon neither party may withdraw. A test of arms is considered to be a combat of honour and is not necessarily to the death.
Duels can be a very messy business, and one is always well advised to avoid them if possible. Consequences are sometimes very dangerous, even fatal, and might include vengeance killings even if one is successful. A Lady is not advised to encourage this sort of thing, unless the matter concerns her honour, in which case she is a free agent and may include a duel in her list of possible responses to a besmirchment of her reputation. Other choices include:
- Placing a letter in the local press stating her integrity or innocence
- Pleading the throne / local noble for help in publicly assuring her good name
- Causing (by legal means) the offender to publicly announce her virtue.
Five Songs Every Albione Lady Should Know
We’ll drink to the stupid, we’ll drink to the wise
We’ll drink to the drunk on the floor
We’ll drink until we can no longer stand up
And then we’ll sit down and drink more
The road it is long, the day it is warm
Will you come join us now in a jar
And we’ll all sit together and join in a song
And drink to what we’ve seen so far
We’ll drink to the soldiers brave young men all
Fighting to keep us all free
We’ll drink to the farmers lusty and strong
Working to bring us our tea
We’ll drink to the brewers a selfless bunch
Who keep us in ale all day long
We’ll drink to the barkeep who serves us our ale
And lift up our voices in song
We’ll drink to our families and to our friends
We wish them all long life and health
And if they should die we’d like them to know
We wouldn’t mind drinking their wealth
We’ll drink to the wenches friendly and fair
Pleasing to eye and to hand
We’ll drink to their virtues and to their skills
And to their huge tracts of land
We’ll drink to anything, we’ll drink to now’t
We don’t really need a good reason
Hair of the dog is our favourite cry
Should same again go out of season
Hearts Of Oak
Come, cheer up, my lads, ’tis to glory we steer,
To add something more to this wonderful year;
To honour we call you, as freemen not slaves,
For who are as free as the sons of the waves?
Hearts of oak are our ships, jolly tars are our men,
we always are ready; Steady, boys, steady!
We’ll fight and we’ll conquer again and again.
We ne’er see our foes but we wish them to stay,
They never see us but they wish us away;
If they run, why we follow, and run them ashore,
And if they won’t fight us, we cannot do more.
They swear they’ll invade us, these terrible foes,
They frighten our women, our children and beaus,
But should their flat bottoms in darkness get o’er,
Still Harts they will find to receive them on shore.
O Albion triumphant, her ships sweep the sea,
Her standard is Justice — her watchword, ‘be free.’
Then cheer up, my lads, with one heart let us sing,
Our soldiers, our sailors, our statesmen, and king.
The Lusty Young Smith
A lusty young smith at his vice stood a-filing.
His hammer laid by but his forge still aglow.
When to him a buxom young damsel came smiling,
And asked if to work in her forge he would go.
Rum, rum, rum. Rum, rum, rum.
In and out. In and out. Ho!
“I will,” said the smith, and they went off together,
Along to the young damsel’s forge they did go.
They stripped to go to it, ’twas hot work and hot weather.
They kindled a fire and she soon made him blow.
Her husband, she said, no good work could afford her.
His strength and his tools were worn out long ago.
The smith said “Well mine are in very good order,
And I am now ready my skill for to show.”
Red hot grew his iron, as both did desire,
And he was too wise not to strike while ’twas so.
Said she, “What I get I get out of the fire,
So prithee, strike home and redouble the blow.”
Six times did his iron, by vigorous heating,
Grow soft in her forge in a minute or so,
But as often was hardened, still beating and beating,
But the more it was softened, it hardened more slow.
When the smith rose to go, quoth the dame full of sorrow:
“Oh, what would I give could my husband do so.
Good lad with your hammer come hither tomorrow,
But pray could you use it once more ere you go!”
Harts of Olden Glory
There’re thunderclouds ’round the hometown bay
As I stand out in the rain
I mourn those poor soldiers
Who fought and died this day
I caught a fleeting glimpse of life
In the banners raised so high
The colours of Albion
Leave you young inside
There must be a place
Under the sun
Where Harts of olden glory grow young
There’s a vision coming soon
Through the faith that cleans your wounds
Harts of olden glory
Will be renewed
Down the road where the headstones stand
I feel a healing through this land
A cross for a people
Like wind through your hands
Come one and all and hear our call of “Albion Forever!”
Come put away your troubles all and let us stand together.
Though times are hard and some may fall, Albion will yet prevail
Come make a stand: defend the land of Albion forever!
The Greenwood forest deep and dark
It beats strong with the Hunter’s heart
And through the glades the wild hunt runs
While Puck cavorts and has his fun
In Albion’s north, in Eaton’s Vale
A keep is held by men in mail
It guards the path to our land’s heart
Like beaten dogs our foes depart
Marchwood keep, the mouth of hell
From whence come evils foul and fell
At your peril travel here
Where fools alone are free from fear
Off Cornwall’s cliffs the raging sea
Breeds fisher-folk and farmers free
They ne’er shall be another’s slave:
Aggressors find a watery grave.
Oh, Albion, mother of us all
In our hearts we hear her call!
Free, unfettered folk are we;
Before us all our enemies flee
Going Out: Essentials Part Two
As outlined in Going Out: Essentials Part One, Going Out refers to more than simply leaving one’s abode. The following is a list of three more common forms of Going Out, with which an Albione Lady should be familiar:
Going Out of Fashion
A dreaded cry to reach the ears of any Lady is that her dress, or taste or the architecture of her house is Going Out of Fashion, since this simply means in other words that she must invest in something new. Most Ladies fall into two camps in this regard: those who care and those who don’t. For she who does not care, it is a simple business of buying one wardrobe of clothes, keeping to one lifestyle and paying one architect just the once. Hers is an uncomplicated life, and in many ways an enviable one.
Another Lady, cursed as she may be, cares deeply about her appearance, her knowledge of popular tastes and new trends, and thus finds herself forced to revise her lifestyle regularly. The consequence of this is that the Lady must find herself an effective means of raising funds to satisfy her pocket. Various options are open to the Lady, some being the following:
- Setting up a popular business that guarantees a profit. Whoring is not recommended, although it is widely known that the Ladies of the Harts Brothel were of the most respected and wealthy of women in Erdreja, and rarely ever suffered the accusation of Going Out of Fashion.
- Investing your capital in another person’s business, or in the bank, although the latter is a rather slow means of gaining interest, particularly if you keep using the money.
- Marrying into wealth.
- Begging is below a Lady and should never be an option. Loans, however, are permissible. An Albione Gentleman never borrows from those beneath him in station, but an Albione Lady may do so. Be sure to return the loan swiftly and in full.
Going Out to Play
Many a Mother has blanched at this cry from their child, knowing that it may entail many disasters. Deep wells, nasty diseases and untrained Beastkin await your little one at every corner. The best recommendation is that you send Nanny or the Valet to supervise the child.
‘Going Out to Play’ is also the refrain heard from mischievous individuals who actually mean that they are up to no good. It is often accompanied by a wink and the flash of a dagger. In such a situation, it is not necessary to send Nanny or the Valet with the individual.
Going Out of Your Mind
Bla blaa blaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Cheese. Stuff. It was never me, no never, Guv. Did you see that? I swear I saw the Lord Regent flying over Lundy Tower. But then, he was always a bit like that. I do apologise, I’m a little drunk. Cheese.
The Roles of Your Servants
- Many believe that servants are to be seen and not heard. This is a guideline only, since many servants are most entertaining when in company. Others are quite excellent in a battle situation.
- Footmen, while serving dinner, are supposed to be completely oblivious to any conversations taking place at the table.
- The roles of your servants depend upon the size of your household. In a small household, employing only two or three servants, one servant might perform the tasks that would normally be split between a Butler and a Footman in a larger household employing many servants.
The Butler is responsible for the maintenance of, and accounting for, the family silver, china, glassware and table linens. He holds the keys to the wine cellar, as decanting wines and choosing the correct wines to accompany meals fall into his purview. In some households he is also required to brew beer. The Butler is responsible for answering the door to callers (in larger households that responsibility may be delegated to a Footman). The Butler also assists at meals: pouring coffee or tea at breakfast, serving dishes and pouring wine during dinner. During meals, when he is not serving or pouring, the Butler stands behind the chair of the Master of the house. In all things, except for cooking, Butler is the most senior of your servants.
The Butler is permitted to marry, and his eldest male child is likely to be trained from birth to continue in his father’s career. Consequently, some families find that their Butler comes from several generations of Butlers, retained by the same household. Some Butlers have been known to have excellent skills at managing children, and have thus shared responsibility for the family’s young ones together with Nanny.
The Housekeeper is responsible for maintaining order and cleanliness in the house. While many servants would follow the Lord and Lady on their travels, the housekeeper stays with the house, keeping all in order while the Lord and Lady are away, making sure that the house is ready for their return. The housekeeper is responsible for the linens and stores such as candles, sugar, flour, soap and spices – not only making sure that the household has an adequate supply, but also ensuring that everything is in good condition and free from vermin or rot. Spring cleaning, where the house is thoroughly scrubbed from top to bottom, is performed under her supervision. The Housekeeper also makes distilled waters (such as rose water or lavender water), soap, and simple medicines for the use of the household.
It is common for the Housekeeper to be the wife of the Butler.
Nanny is usually upwards of fifty years of age, and ordinarily has been promoted to this role from being Lady’s Maid in her earlier life. It is not advised to have a youthful Nanny; she is more prone to love affairs and moods. Nanny is responsible for the raising of the Family’s children, for their learning (unless you are wealthy enough to also employ a Governess), their dress, their play and their toilettes. Through extended exposure to children, Nanny is likely to become childish of mind and temperament, but this is not to be seen as a setback, and is in fact quite charming.
The Lady’s Maid
The role of the Lady’s Maid is to assist the Lady of the Household with her garments, her toilette, and her hair. Most of her time is taken up with the Lady’s wardrobe: assisting in choosing it, maintaining it in good condition, refurbishing it as fashions change, and cleaning stains from delicate fabrics. Her interest in performing her tasks assiduously is often that cast-off clothing is given to her, and upon the death of her Mistress, the Lady’s Maid often expects to receive her entire wardrobe. The Lady’s Maid also creates and distils lotions and cosmetics for her Mistress.
She should be watched carefully if she is not employed from a family of servants retained to the Household over several generations. There are countless stories of thefts, poisonings and debauchery behind the Lady’s back (sometimes in her best Frocks), and so the Lady’s Maid should be observed for greed, spite and lustiness.
The Valet assists the Master with his clothing, cleaning stains from garments (such as removing grease from leather breeches), polishing boots, polishing buttons on coats, brushing clothes, and taking care of hats. The Valet might also shave his master. He prepares such concoctions as Eau de Cologne (to keep the Master smelling nice after, say, a night of bawdy entertainment and close proximity to Ladies of Loose Virtue), tooth powder, and blacking (for polishing boots, but also sometimes for disguise as a Dark Elf). The Valet has some secretarial responsibilities, and takes care of all travelling arrangements when the Master decides to venture abroad. In smaller households, the duties of a Valet are performed by the Butler or Footman.
The footman is responsible for cleaning and refilling oil lamps, cleaning cutlery, polishing silver and copper plate, setting the dining table for dinner, assisting the Butler in serving dinner, setting up the tea tray for the Lady of the House, removing the tea things when tea is over, accompanying the Lady or the Master of the House as they pay calls or go shopping, and (in some cases) answering the front door. During dinner, if the Butler already stands behind the Master of the House, the Head Footman will stand behind the Lady of the House.
Note by Editor: In my own Household, the Butler will stand near to the Head of the House, not necessarily the Master, since my Household is traditionally led by the eldest pure Bathroy, and this may be the Lady of the House, not the Master.
The Housemaid is responsible for a number of the gritty, grimy and gruelling tasks which keep your Household running. In the mornings, she sweeps the downstairs rooms, cleans the grates in the fireplaces, removes the ashes from the night before, polishes the grate, then lays the fire in preparation for the day. In the summer, an ornament of some sort is placed in front of the fireplace instead of preparing for a fire. The Housemaid carries buckets of water upstairs for the bath. She makes the beds, and searches for and exterminates any unwanted inhabitants of the beds (fleas, lice, bedbugs, Beastkin, Unwanted Males, etc.). The Housemaid mends household linens. In some households, the Housemaid also assists with washing dishes and clothes.
Like the Lady’s Maid, she should be observed carefully for her behaviour, since she is likely to be even less self-controlled.
The main role of Cook is in determining and preparing the dishes for each day’s meals. Cook is responsible for overseeing the Larder, ensuring that there are enough provisions, that they are well kept and not in danger of rotting or being wasted. Cook is assisted in meal preparations by the Scullery Maid. Your relationship with Cook is one of the most important in your Household (see Organising One’s Kitchen).
The Scullery Maid is responsible for washing dishes, pots, and pans; blacking and lighting the stove in the mornings, and cleaning the scullery, larders, kitchen and servants’ hall. She should be taught not to swear loudly in company or spit within earshot or sight of the family, especially the children.
A Final Note
It is the unusual Lady or Master who never journeys from the Household to faraway climes, or even to an Acquaintance in Londinium or such. Naturally, one must be accompanied by whichever servants make the visit a comfortable one. The following is a list of suitable servants to escort you on a range of possible excursions:
- Butler and /or Valet, Nanny, Lady’s Maid, Governess: Long visits with acquaintances over a period of more than three days; Spending Summer at your Summer Residence; Going on Safari (see Dealing With Folk Abroad and Other Wisdoms When Going On Safari); Spending Yuletide with elderly relatives.
- Valet or Lady’s Maid: Shopping; short visits to acquaintances for a period of less than three days (in which case your children may be left at home with Nanny)
- Cook, the Housekeeper, the Housemaids (including the Scullery Maid) are all rarely, if ever, required to leave the Household.
Beastkin and Other Marvels
Note from the Editor: Dear Lady. You should be aware that the words in this chapter came from a very elderly relative of mine, no longer living, who was rather old-fashioned and prone to a little prejudice. I recount her words here for your interest, but I ask that those Ladies who are themselves one of the Races below listed, to not take offence.
There are many Marvels to be discovered in Albion and further afield, some of which are living, breathing things, and it is perspicacious for a Lady to be prepared should she ever meet a marvellous Creature, such as those listed below. One should never treat them as lesser creatures, since that is likely to anger them. They should instead be regarded with fairness, manners and generosity of spirit. You should remember that certain Races have sat on thrones, led nations to victory over evil and sacrificed themselves for the good of Edreja. Only when one has accomplished these (except perhaps that last one) may one scoff at a feral or Elder Creature. Well, not unless one wants to die very quickly, eh, what!
A Race of many kinds, appearing to be partly Human and partly Beast of a variety of sorts such as Cat, Bird, Fox, Badger, Dog, Bear and so forth. I have never witnessed a Fish Beastkin, but I am assured by my Safari friends that they exist. A large number of them seem to hail from Siberja, but they live and thrive throughout Erdreja. They are often solitary, but some live and die in a tribe-like, pack-like existence, and in fact their feral side causes them to act in a pack-like manner, even when taught proper manners.
It is not appropriate to keep Beastkin as pets. Beastkin should not be permitted to parade themselves naked in civilised company. Untrained Beastkin should not be allowed on the furniture. It is not wise to anger Beastkin unless one is familiar with their ways, since they are swift to attack. They are also, however, swift to forge unbreakable comradeship. Many tales recount the sacrifices of Beastkin for the sake of their loved ones.
When wishing to placate a Beastkin, observe their Beast nature, and attempt to offer suitable foodstuff, unless of course it merit providing human flesh, which simply isn’t nice. A little trick I learned for a naughty Beastkin was to roll up a Testament, or preferably a paper with Silver Leaf upon it, and smack it on the bad animal’s nose. However, some Beastkin are so civilised that they can be reasoned with in an entirely logical manner and no nose-smacking will be necessary. It is now quite common to find Beastkin in public roles such as tracker, scout, or even sheriff I’ve heard. It is less suitable to my mind to employ a Beastkin in a caring role unless you know it well. The role of Nanny, for example, might not be apposite.
By their own account, Fae are the Eldest Race to be found on Erdreja, descended, they say, from the Shining Ones, although different Fae explain their heritage as a variety of things. They seem to be divided into two common identities, either Seelie or Unseelie. Sadly, this does not translate into a logical meaning, such as Good or Evil, or More Well Mannered versus Less Well Mannered. There are many that simply observe both identities as the same. Similarly, there is never any knowing whether a Fae Creature is male or female, their appearance being what they call ‘Glamour’, generated to create a particular impression upon onlookers. Consequently, it is sometimes necessary to address them as ‘it’, although this may seem quite impolite, it is in fact far more accurate.
Fae seem to live long years, upwards of many hundreds, although it would appear that some do not measure the years in the same manner as Humans. They are often rather childlike in demeanour and get rather excited about Shiny Things (Editor’s Note: one should carry something Shiny at all times, see Essential Kit). However, Fae sometimes give no credit to quite dire conditions, claiming that if all turns to rot, they will simply come back in the Spring.
It is best not to allow oneself to be angered by the inconsistencies, riddles and manners of Fae. They can’t really help it. One is well advised never to accept a gift or fancy from a Fae unless one can bestow upon it a gift of equivalent value. If one does not do so, the Fae feels that it is within its rights to extract some thing from you of equivalent value. Be warned, a Wild Fae of Erin once extracted several toes from a foolish Lady who accepted the gift of a pine cone and had nothing to return. Your Shiny Thing in your Essential Kit may be just what you need in such a circumstance.
I would advise against employing Fae in your Household, unless you know them well. They are not governed by the same integrity as Humans, and a contract of employment may be interpreted creatively by them. I’ve been told that some actually eat babies, so perhaps Nannying is not a recommended career.
Like Fae, Elves are an Elder Race, and often live for some hundreds of years. They are less unpredictable than Fae and, some would say, are able to behave in a more civilised manner. Shiny Things do not particularly interest them, although Coin may do. Some are extremely able in the Magical Arts, which is their ancient heritage. Others are remarkably effective in combat, such as those found in the Greenwood, for example. Contrary to common opinion, they are not necessarily lithe, trim and light of foot. The rumoured existence of a Fat Elf’s Camp somewhere to the North of the Greenwood is proof of this fact.
What I’m talking about here is Drow, but I am aware that there are other kinds of Dark Elves around. The Drow were separated politically from the Elves a terribly long time ago and were forced to be outcasts, living in what they call the Underdark. Their Ancestor is a female by the name of Lloth, sometimes called the Spider Queen, and thus the Drow tend to be rather Matriarchal in their organisation (not a bad thing of course) and very respectful of spiders and arachnid imagery in their dress. The High Matron Mother, I am told, is the manifestation of Lloth.
The Drow civilisation is a most despotic, feudal system to all appearances, with Matron Mothers governing each Household (again, not a bad thing). Males have a rather high mortality rate. Females from other Races, including Humans, are regarded more favourably than males. I wouldn’t really recommend employing a Drow in your Household, but I understand that they are really quite efficient in Battle.
Contrary to common belief, Dryads are not only female, they are male also, but the males tend to love the Moon and so gaze at it all night, then sleep all day. Dryads have a most awful reputation for lustiness and are often accused of seducing weary travellers who pass through the wood or forest where they reside. The term ‘Knock on Wood’ comes from a belief that one should leave a gift at the foot of a dryad’s tree, lest she be angered.
Some Dryads believe themselves to be Fae, others do not. They are therefore not a Race with a coherent philosophy. Some believe that a month away from their tree will kill them, others do not. Some believe that their tree can be transported to another place, others do not. Some believe that their destiny is to marry an Ent (an entirely different Creature), others are satisfied with male Dryads, Humans, Fae, et cetera, et cetera.
Socialised Dryads are often found working in whorehouses, but are able to learn proper manners and be of great value to society, thus they may be employed in almost any role. I heard of one that was a Queen! What Ho!
Dealing With Folk Abroad and Other Wisdoms When Going On Safari
Here are some useful tips for Dealing with Foreigners and Travelling to Other Climes.
- Speak slowly, enunciating very carefully, when dialoguing with a native of another nation.
- Speak loudly to them, it seems to aid your purpose.
- Gesticulate also.
- In Arabia, avoid too much eye contact with the natives.
- Do your homework. If the nation you are visiting states that such-and-such a thing is against the law, or your sword must be so-and-so inches long, then make sure you observe these rules. It’s just lazy not to.
- Always participate in foreign customs when invited to do so, unless they are traitorous towards the King, break Albione law, or involve eating Dog.
- Get your Butler, Valet or Maid to eat all foodstuffs before you and wait approximately one minute before commencing. If the servant appears to become suddenly ill, you know not to consume the food.
- Smile and nod if you cannot understand a native and you have no interpreter.
- Invest in much linen clothing and sandaled footwear if travelling to hot climes, lest you perspire profusely or break out in an ugly heat rash.
- A parasol aids coolness for a Lady.
- Secure the services of a well-recommended guide when Going On Safari. Cheap guides are a false economy, having as they do a reputation for corruption. They will take your Coin and deliver you to a region with no Sport, leaving you there to perish.
- If a wild creature snarls, growls, puffs out its chest or is suckling offspring, be wary. If it backs away from you, it considers you to be dominant.
- If a wild creature runs to you, wagging its tail, its tongue lolling, it is probably not dangerous, and is likely only to want to lick your face and sniff your down-belows.
- Do not run from a snarling, bristling creature (good advice when facing Were Creatures also), as it will simply give chase and probably catch you. Do not show fear. If you are equipped to attack a dumb, feral creature for Sport, then do so. If not, you are advised to back away slowly and call for the Safari guide to dispose of the wild thing.
- It is perfectly acceptable not to hunt on a Safari. You are quite right to simply appreciate the locale and its strange animals without collecting even more heads to arrange in the drawing room at home.
- Remember that hot weather can cause the blood to rise, so beware of sudden fancies and lusts.
- Do not enter into a professional agreement with a man who has an eye-patch and a wooden leg. (Editor’s Note: this actually fits the known descriptions of my alleged father. The warning still stands.)
- If taken ill when abroad, one should retire to a dark room with one’s Maid or Valet, therein to recover. One should continue to exercise one’s manners, however, so regular apologies for one’s absence at dinner should be made.
Ladies and Alcohol
A Lady must be able to control herself at all times, in all circumstances, unless Possessed, Poisoned or very, very Poorly. Alcohol, unfortunately, has an awful reputation for causing a Lady to lose self-control. We’ve all had the occasional snifter, and are positively encouraged to stock excellent wines in our cellars, so we must be on our guard with the seductive qualities of Drink. Here is some useful advice and information for the Lady who wishes to retain composure at parties and dinners where the Booze flows freely:
- Try to drink one glass of your chosen Drink followed by one glass of water. It shoos the alcohol out of your system more quickly, but it does require that you visit the lavatory quite often.
- Very dark alcohols contain what are called ‘toque-sins’, a Lyonesse term roughly translated as ‘mild poisons’. Be warned therefore from these dark liquors unless you are familiar with them.
- Eat. Apparently it soaks up the alcohol. Peculiar but true.
- If you feel yourself becoming a little tiddly, and thus vulnerable to Cads and Unwanted Males, stop drinking.
- If you risk offence by stopping drinking, find a nearby houseplant or spittoon and dispose of the liquor therein.
- If you are spotted disposing of a drink, explain that you tripped and accidentally spilled it.
- Those who wish to become inebriated are strongly advised to take Butler, Maid or Valet along to the party. They should be directed to escort you home when you start singing bawdy songs and dancing on the furniture. You should know that a Lady is really not supposed to do that kind of thing.
- If forced to join in with a drinking game, i.e. a bottle is passed around the room and irrelevant words are spoken as you drink, such as “Bloomers”, then you should open your lips as you raise the bottle, but close them as it is tipped to your mouth, thus preventing you from consuming the liquor. Drunken fools rarely notice.
- A Little Bit of Something You Fancy (see Essential Kit) can be carried with you in a flask. A large barrel, however, is not seemly for a Lady.
- Hangover cures include the following: Sleep; Water; Ginger; Chocolate; Burnt Toast; Bananas; Teutonian Sauerkraut; Appeals to One’s Ancestor; Vomiting; Death.
Apprehending a Thief
Call “Hey there! Thief!”
Chase the blaggard, all the time calling out “Thief! Thief!”
Raise the Alarm, as above, and request that a Sheriff be summoned.
Make note of details such as accent, clothing, complexion and behaviour, in case you are called as a witness.
Get Butler to sort the Thief out.
Run towards the Thief, throwing your shoulder at his / her upper stomach, thus winding him / her and securing him / her to the ground. Alternatively, approach from the rear and grasp Thief’s lower legs, forcing a fall.
How to Stop a Baby Crying
Change the Infant’s Nappy.
Rock it in its cradle.
Feed the Baby.
Jiggle the Baby on your knee.
Sing to it.
Give the Child a comforter, a doll, teddy or something innocuous to suck or chew.
Gurgle idiotically at the Baby’s face.
Feed the Infant a concoction of warmed water and a very little Brandy.
Put the Baby in a carriage and ask the Footman to drive around town aimlessly.
Give the Baby to Nanny.
Give the Baby to Nanny and Go Out to the Shoppes for the day.
The Bathroy Family Anthem
The Sun on the Meadow is summery warm,
The Stag in the Greenwood runs free,
But gather together to greet the storm,
Tomorrow belongs to me!
The branch of the Bloodwood is leafy and green,
And Trell gives its gold to the sea,
But somewhere a glory awaits unseen,
Tomorrow belongs to me!
Now Albion our Mother, come show us a sign!
Your children have waited to see!
The morning will come
When the Erdreja’s mine!
Tomorrow belongs to me!
Tomorrow belongs to me!
The babe in his cradle is closing his eyes,
The blossom embraces the bee,
But soon says a whisper, arise, arise!
Tomorrow belongs to me!
Now Albion our Mother, come show us a sign!
Your children have waited to see!
The morning will come
When the Erdreja’s mine!
Tomorrow belongs to me!
Tomorrow belongs to me!