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Henry Grey's Scratchpad

Henry Grey

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  • 3 years later...

Pet: cat. Khorasan, gray, double-coated, long hair. Its name is Richelieu, but everyone calls it Rich or the Cardinal. Can be feisty with its master, although they adore each other.

Riding horse: none. Henry is disliked by most horses. As much as he has tried in the past, he has not been able to find an animal that will not try to get rid of the man as soon as he is on the saddle. So, Henry either rides his carriage, or walks. Even carriage rides have been known to be accident prone.

Carriage horses: six blue roans of even temperament, plus two spares at Codnor.

Coach: spacious berline made of English walnut and painted black. It’s only decoration is the Grey coat of arms carved on the doors. Can be pulled by four or six horses, depending on space and cargo.

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Valet: Reginald Jackson. The man was Henry’s brother’s valet, and his father’s before that. In his early fifties, nondescript, and energetic. Reginald finds Henry’s varied interests and schemes amusing.

First Coachman: Seamus McCarthy. A man in his early thirties born in Leinster, Ireland. As good with horses as Henry is bad. Served in the Irish cavalry when younger. He doubles as a bodyguard due to his lord’s lack of ability with blades and firearms. Speaks with a heavy Irish accent. When driving his lord’s coach, he keeps a brace of dragons (blunderbuss pistols) at hand.

Second Coachman: Liam McCarthy. A man in his late twenties born in Leinster, Ireland. Good with weapons. Served in the Irish cavalry when younger. Speaks with a heavy Irish accent. When driving his lord’s coach, he also keeps a brace of dragons at hand.

Edited by Henry Grey
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Buckingham's Lessons

Lesson one: when someone requests an audience, make sure you know more about them than they know you know.

Lesson two: politics is politics, wherever you are.

Lesson three: there are plenty of fools at court. Make sure you are not one of them.

Lesson four: seize the day, or someone else will seize it before you do.

Lesson five: one is responsible to advance others who are worthy of it.

Lesson six: when organizing an event, make sure the guest list is appropriate to your goals.


<will add more as Henry has more opportunities to interact with His Grace Buckingham>

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Codnor Castle

The castle was built in two phases, the first under Henry de Grey, first Baron Grey, who acquired the estate at the end of the 12th century and constructed the northern end of the structure. Around 1320, his descendants developed the southern part of the castle, doubling its size. A residential block and other buildings were added along the inside curtain wall of the original upper court and new gardens were built north of the castle, outside the moat, overlooked by the new apartments. The gatehouse was strengthened with a drawbridge and a walled lower court was added to the castle, separated by the moat. The castle was surrounded by parkland, which was used for hunting.

Codnor Castle has been owned by the Greys throughout the centuries, with a brief exception in the early 1440s. Henry, the 6th Lord Grey, found himself in trouble with the Crown for fighting with his rival Richard Vernon, and leased Codnor and various other manors to the Duke of Gloucester and a group of other nobles for five years. Henry’s son, another Henry, began mining and ironworking around Codnor in 1496 and modernised the residence in a Tudor style, installing larger windows and bigger fireplaces. A new set of gardens were built on the east side of the moat, again in a contemporary Tudor style.

The upper court was approximately 50 by 30 metres in size, bounded by a sandstone curtain wall. The entrance was flanked by two bastions, with two round towers on either corner. There were bastions on the west and east walls, and two more towers along the north side. The two-storey high 14th-century accommodation block was located in the north-east corner and there was a natural spring in the north-west corner of the castle moat.

The lower court was approximately 50 by 40 metres in size, bounded by a 14th-century curtain wall. The wall on the eastern side was of a later date, when the lower court was extended in width on that side by an additional 5 to 10 metres. There was a gatehouse on the southern side of the court that formed the main entrance to the later part of the castle. A farmhouse, a smithy, and other buildings occupied the south-eastern corner of the lower court, with the smithy leaning on the inside of the wall, and the resto of the buildings on the outside. Various gardens and orchards were planted to the west, north and east of the castle.

There was a medieval dovecote 50 metres southwest of the entrance. The building was conical in shape and rose to a height of about 7 metres, capped with a slated roof and wooden lantern to allow access for the birds. Its walls were made of quarried sandstone like the castle, and approximately 2 metres thick at the base. Inside were twenty rows of nesting holes built in to the wall, approximately 400 in total, each with a stone ledge for the birds to land on. A small 1 meter door in the north side allowed access to the interior, which was lit by one small window in the south side.

There was also a large pond next to the dovecote, and two nearby mills were associated with the castle. The dovecote, fishpond, and mills were key parts of the landscape for any visitors to the castle to appreciate.


Edited by Henry Grey
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  • 4 weeks later...


There is no one-to-one correspondence between English and Russian courts and governments in our time, so I have made the best approximations I can.

1.     Nobiliary titles as they existed in the West were not instituted in Russia until the reforms of Peter the Great in the next century. Before then, there were large noble clans (Boyar families) which descended from a small number of individuals. It was from these that the following five ranks (for simplicity) of court officials were appointed:

a.     Stolnik – palace page (could be officer or diplomat simultaneously). Lowest rung.

b.     Dyak – chief clerk / department chief (Prikaz* division head).

c.     Duma Noble – mid-level administrator (Prikaz* head).

d.     Okolnichy – high-level administrator (could be regimental commander or ambassador simultaneously).

e.     Boyar – member of the Boyar Council (any appointment possible, including multiple ones). Highest rung.

* A Prikaz is a government department. They varied in number, power, and sphere of influence, and an individual could be in charge of more than one.

Beside those, which can be thought of as ascending levels of nobility, other appointments were also considered of great importance:

a.      Voivode – general (army commander or military governor).

b.     Namestnik – viceroy (high-level provincial civil governor).

2.     Education of noble persons was necessarily different. These are my assumptions (in italics you will find the AoI rules for English PCs):

In England, a member of the aristocracy should learn at least one or more of the classic languages, such as Latin or Greek. It is absolutely necessary that he know French. In addition, he should study at least one other language, this commonly being Italian. Since most operas are written and performed in Italian, knowledge and understanding of the language will enlighten and enhance his experiences at the opera.

In Russia, a member of a noble family would learn Greek and, to give the Orthodox Church its due, Church Slavonic, as all devotional books and church services were in that language. Due to Russia’s geographical position, additional languages should be chosen among Polish, Swedish, Ottoman Turkish or, if a military officer, German (or even English) to be able to communicate with foreign officers in Russian service. There is no opera in Russia.

It is also essential that a nobleman learn philosophy; mathematics; the laws of the country; the customs, laws and manners of other nations; literature; poetry; painting; music; dancing; fencing; riding, and architecture.

Before Peter the Great, Russian nobles were not steeped in the arts as much as their Western counterparts were. Russian Poetry was in its infancy, painting tended to be limited to religious icons, architecture had not developed yet (at this time Moscow was made of wood with hardly any stone), and fencing would be almost nonexistent (the concept of a duel was foreign to Russians). Courtly dancing as we know it in AoI did not exist yet. On the other hand, Theology would be a more common field of study.

3. Benefits and challenges (in bold the assumptions I am making):


Widow (you must take points for her rank too) +1 NO CHANGE.

Housing above wealth level +1 NO CHANGE.

Fashionable +1NO CHANGE.

Above average wealth +2 NO CHANGE.

Owns business +1 (not generally allowed on sheets for peers or women) NO CHANGE.

Heiress OR baroness suo jure +2 Baroness equivalent not possible as far as I know.

Baronet 0 no Russian equivalent.

Baron/Child +1 change to Stolnik.

Viscount/Viscountess/Child +2 change to Dyak.

Earl/Countess/Child +3 change to Duma Noble.

Note that children do not automatically inherit the position in government, so Child of X players perhaps should cost one less point.

We do not allow higher ranking characters on character sheets!

Special Ability in Science or Arts +1 to +2 NO CHANGE, although science would be uncommon at best.


Connected to Played NPC  +1  Can be more than +1 depending on the advantage NO CHANGE.

(You come into the game with a connection to an NPC. )

Famous Family +1 or more NO CHANGE, although it could be lower, as being a Stroganov, for example, would not mean much to the English Court.

(Your have an actual historical surname, but you still cannot be an actual historical character.)

Royal Connections NO CHANGE.

(case by case)


For challenges to count, they have to be things which could harm you in roleplay. A dark secret needs the potential to come out and do you social harm. Beholden means someone powerful is threatening you to act a certain way or they will ruin you - it can't be a happy relationship. 

Poverty Wealth Level -2 NO CHANGE.

Unfashionable -1 NO CHANGE and probably required for diplomats, as they might HAVE to use their country's clothing.

Son with a Living Father -1 NO CHANGE.

(only if the father can impose rules OOC for the son that are followed IC)

NPC enemy -1 NO CHANGE.

(do NOT pick a super powerful NPC, pick a meaningful enemy but one that you can overcome in seasons of RP!)

Out of Favor -2 I am not sure about this one. Can one be out of favour in a foreign court? It would be an almost unplayable combination.

(you will need to seasons worth of work making friends and schmoozing to gain important notice)

Not a Royalist (Men only) -1 Is a foreign diplomat automatically not a Royalist? Can a foreigner ever be seen as a Royalist?

Bad Reputation -1 NO CHANGE.

Disreputable Family -1 NO CHANGE.

Dark Secret -1 to -2 (like you murdered someone or aren't who you say you really are) NO CHANGE.

Gentry/Gentleman/Daughter (landed but no title) -2 NO CHANGE. This would be the base state for a member of the (extended) Boyar families.

Knight/Daughter -1 There is no Russian equivalent at this point in time... unless the PC was knighted elsewhere?

Scars on face -1 NO CHANGE.

Accent -1 to -2  NO CHANGE.

Foreign (only European/Colonies NOT Irish/Scottish/Welsh) -2  NO CHANGE.

(you cannot combine foreign & accent together, you're assumed to have one & other cultural weirdness)

Other disfigurements/disabilities -1 to -2  NO CHANGE.

Disturbing mannerism -0.5 to -1  NO CHANGE.

Gender Stereotypes -0.5 to -1 NO CHANGE.

(you have mannerisms of opposite sex, are a manly-looking woman or a feminine-looking man, fop-ish doesn't count)

Homosexuality -0.5 to -1 NO CHANGE.

Naive about (observably, in some expected aspect of life: sex, court, politics, etc)  -0.5 to -1 NO CHANGE, and probably at least one would be appropriate.

Bad at (observably, in some skill you're expected to know) -0.5 NO CHANGE and at least one may be appropriate.

Horrible at (observably, in some skill you're expected to know) -1 NO CHANGE.

Catholic & Proud (dangerous & cannot hold any office or position) -2 almost impossible, as there are no Catholic churches in Moscow at this point.

Catholic & Secret (you have to be careful) -1 Almost impossible, as there are no Catholic churches in Moscow at this point.

Other Protestant -0.5 NO CHANGE.

Other Time-period consistent faith that isn't Anglican -0.5 NO CHANGE.

Atheist - THIS WAS NOT A THING IN THIS ERA! Pick a religion. You can be sacrilegious and merry, but God wasn't optional.  

Engaging in something illegal -0.5 to -1 NO CHANGE.

In debt -1 NO CHANGE.

Due to the great influence exerted by the Eastern Orthodox Church over the Russian Tsardom, natural children could never be legitimized, nor could they inherit anything from their parents. Thus, being an illegitimate child, unless they have made their own fortune, should probably be paired with the Poverty Wealth Level. The Child of X nobility benefits should be impossible for illegitimate offspring.

Edited by Henry Grey
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Soil Gun: invented by Hans Timson, who was an assistant to Friedrich Getkant when under Polish employ. He then served under Colonel Bauman in Moscow. A pit is dug in the ground, with a powder chamber in the bottom. The sides are reinforced with wooden planks. It could throw 30-70 pounds of rocks or grenades into the air which would then fall down.

Wooden Rockets: 20-foot long logs hollowed out and filled with gunpowder. They were thrown into towns (catapults?), where roofs would catch fire and smoke would impede fires being put out.

Siege Towers: wheeled 3-story towers with cannon on all levels. Used to take heavily-fortified cities.

Wandering Towns: heavy shields built from heavy oak planks, transported by their own wagon train, and setup on carts or sleds depending on terrain. Chains would link the shields, to stop cavalry from getting through, and loopholes for musket and cannon fire were cut in the shields. Wandering Towns could be up to 7 miles wide.

Soroka (organ gun): multi-barreled artillery piece that fired musket-sized or larger bullets. Built by Andrey Chokov. Largest had seven levels with 15 barrels per level, and bullets were the size of goose eggs. Intended for city defense.

Siege Mortar: made from six tons of iron, launching a 5-foot grenade using 175 pounds of gunpowder. It did not go beyond the design stage.

Tsar Cannon: a direct-fire artillery piece made in 1586. It was a 35-inch caliber, 16-foot long cannon weighing about 40 tons.

Edited by Henry Grey
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Russian clothing evolved to fulfill two main functions: to protect the body from extreme cold, and to convey the right social message. That social message had two parts. When attending church functions, people should see magnificence, pomp, and great solemnity. Outside of church, they should see grandiosity and magnificent manner of walking.

For the weather, a layered approach appeared. For the social message, fabrics from the East and from Europe were used along local furs.

Persian and Chinese silks were much sought after, along Italian bobbin lace, and French tapestry weave for collars, cuffs, and hems. Metal thread brocades, patterned velvets, silks, and wools from Byzantium, the Ottoman Empire, Italy, France, and England were also used. Buttons were made of coral, silver, bone, ivory, and decorated braided fabric. Other fabrics used for inner garments included cotton and linen.

The Rubakha was a long shirt that hung lose over the trousers. It was made of cotton, linen, or silk.

The Kaftan, although initially based on the mid eastern pattern, evolved into its own Russian form. It was long, open in front, cut on straight lines with wedge-shaped side inserts to give it a flared look. It had very wide short sleeves and a fitted back. It was often decorated with metal-thread bobbin lace, silk thread, river pearls, and stone-studded collars. It was worn wrapped over on either side.

The Kushak was a sash used instead of a belt and worn low over the Rubakha. It was made of colorful fabrics.

The Gorlatnyi was a tall, cylindrical hat made of the neck furs of black foxes.

The Okhaben was a long summer cloak, open in front, wide at bottom, with long sleeves. It was cut of straight lengths of cloth with triangular side inserts and side slits. Borders were usually trimmed with gold or silver galloon.

The Shuba was a heavy winter coat. The fur was on the inside, just like in English fashion. It was usually made from sable, mink, fox, or bear, although other, more exotic, furs could be used.

Chest crosses are worn by no one except clergy.

Edited by Henry Grey
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Old Rus Cuisine:

- Bread, pancakes, pies (mushrooms & berries) made of rye, wheat, barley, or millet.

- Gingerbread (honey & berries).

- Fish, pork, and poultry soups and stews.

- Caviar.

- Beer.

- Vodka (about 18% alcohol and often flavoured).

— Vodka flavours: honey & pepper, ginger, cinnamon, bison grass, black currant, cherry, green apple, lemon, watermelon.

— Vodka was used instead of water for pasta sauces and pie crusts.

Old Moscow Cuisine:

- Smoked meats & fish.

- Pastries.

- Salads & green vegetables.

- Wines & juices.

Edited by Henry Grey
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Without inheritable nobiliary titles, forms of address are, of course different. To begin with, Russians have three name forms:

- Official and formal speech and writing: <given name> <patronymic> <family name>. Example: Fyodor Petrov Shemeretev (Fyodor, son of Pyotr, of the Sheremetev family).

- Coleagues, friends, and relatives: <diminutive>. Example: Fedya (diminutive of Fyodor).

- Good friends and close relatives: <endearment form>. Example: Fedyska (a term of endearment derived from Fyodor).

If a government official, a style was used: The Honourable* <given name> <patronymic> < family name> (if being referred to), or Your Honour (if spoken to). Example: The Honourable Fyodor Petrovich Sheremetev.

If a prince, the style His Highness / Your Highness was used, using similar forms.

* Some sources translate the Russian forms to The Well Born and The High Born, as used in the German Empire. They would be the functional equivalent. I used a translator for the Russian original and decided to use that, but it is a Mod call.


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