First time player - Test of mettle

Hello empire-goers. Me and a few friends are planning to join Dawn this coming event after preparing steadily since this time last year. We have created a Noble house and one of us has asked a few questions on here before which have been answered really well, so thanks!
I’ve been stalking the forums for about a year now and have read through countless ‘new player’ posts so have got the basics down at least. Finally created a post now :slight_smile:

One thing I was curious about is what kinds of tests of mettle have been made for the noblemen of Dawn. If its not too IC, I was wondering if people could share either their test of mettle stories of ideas of what suitable ones are. My character is likely to go down the healing route, as I thoroughly enjoy that in many games and systems, but am not sure how to create her backstory properly to include her test of mettle.

Thanks in advance and sorry for the essay. Also any other tips and such for a new member of Dawn are greatly appreciated.

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Not Dawnish, but the tests of Mettle I have heard of include:

  • Challenge the Archmage of Spring for candidacy (not win, just challenge)

  • Challenge a member of every other nation to a competition of their choosing

  • Kill a number of barbarian orcs in battle (can’t remember the exact number)

These are just stories I’ve heard in play, so I can’t be sure of accuracy.


Examples I have heard of are:
To sing to the Empress or Emperor (This was set before one was elected). They ended up running around trying to help someone get elected.

Organise and Cast a big ritual for the army.

The common Request a Challenge from the Iron Duke and complete it.
The more uncommon request a challenge from Sorin.


Man, I would pay to watch that one

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I am tempted myself, but I’m not Dawnish (Read-Stupid :-p)

A quote from Sorin’s page from the wiki:
“He is fascinated by terrible choices and no-win situations. Deep moral and ethical dilemmas, and their resolution, are as interesting to him as more straightforward challenges. He constantly asks whether the ends justify the means, probing those he deals with to expose any hypocrisy. He never judges, however; he simply forces people to confront their own failings and weakness whenever he can. Sorin is not above manufacturing situations where individuals or groups will be forced to make difficult decisions. He is sometimes seen as a dark mirror of the Summer eternal Barien, an idea that he finds amusing (up to a point).”

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Oh I know! Winter mage here; I know the kind of challenges Sorin likes to hand out.

oh, I’m curious now…

A story for an IC discussion I think…

Ill find you and pay a beer for the story.


Thanks for all the replies everyone. I should be able to create a scenario for my test of mettle now. If you have any other tips to share, then please go ahead, otherwise, i look forward to meeting you all at this upcoming event

So I play in Dawn and have been involved in setting a few tests, good ToM seem to fall into 2 categories

  1. A test which sounds impressive, designed to make a good story.
  2. A test which is designed to improve your character to make them into someone worth being a knight of the House.

The first type will tend to appeal to your strengths, think of a way your character could be the hero of a small story and work backwards from that.
The second type often appeal to weaknesses, they will still often be in the right area but it’s designed to address things that are holding you back. Think of an improvement that your character has made and come up with a test that could have caused it.

Two examples from my House:
Complete a challenge from an Egregore of every nation (This was given to a myself in my 3rd year of play and was designed to be hard and create a real challenge, and express the Earls annoyance at another Earl trying to poach me.)

The second is for a newer player and was basically built to help him improve.
Test of the Chimera
There are three parts to this test
Trial of the Lion. (Courage)
We do not expect a knight of our house to have no fear, but we expect a knight to face them. Find a priest capable of anointing you with the trial of courage, and complete it.
Trial of the Serpent (Wisdom)
Wisdom teaches all knowledge is incomplete, discover three worthy aspects of medical lore that you did not know before. Choose carefully, the other physiks of the house must also consider these discoveries worthy.
Trial of the Goat (Ambition)
The final trial is the hardest, you are to complete a glorious act. One that pushes you past your limits, an act worthy of the glory of the house, an act worthy of song. An act you can look back on as a noble and be proud of.

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Thank you so much for all the info and explanation! I’ll make sure the others in my group see it as well so they aren’t left behind

The other thing to discuss is does you House have any themes/ unifying features of the ToM. For instance all of House Novarion’s are cross nation tests, Dromond typically involve the ocean, House Carsenere are overly complicated and have multiple parts.

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Hi there Zardua, welcome to the game, the forums, and Dawn!

(House Tallstag by any chance?)

Given that Tests of Mettle are important and a rite of passage to the nobility, bear in mind that they range from hard to functionally impossible.
Even “Kill 50 barbarian orcs in battle” may take you years and immense personal risk to complete…

Tests that I have encountered, in backstory and otherwise:
Recapture that tower, currently held by the Druj, by yourself.
Raid a Grendel port, by yourself.
Bring back the head of a dire boar.
Kill a drake (one of those big suited monsters, this was to House Cordraco, and was reduced from “Kill a dragon”)
Restore the Towers of the Dawn to their former glory (This was given to Empress Lisabetta. First step, conquer the Barrens…).
Jump that chasm there, in full armour (the test of the First Empress. Meant to be impossible. She went and got her horse…)
Bind the dusk to the dawn (Empress Richilde. Succeeded due to very good storytelling holding an audience unknowing of the time or the light)

My first character was a healer. His was “Save two score different Dawnish warriors from death, after they have fallen in pursuit of glory”. This meant catching 40 DIFFERENT knights on their deathcounts, and healing them. It was fracking difficult, his Ambition (religeous motive) was to never finish it due to a lack of Dawnish casulties. After 2 years, when he died, he’d done about 28.

A Test should have a story behind it. Why was it set? What did you expect relative to what you got? Has this exact one been set before? Do you expect to finish it?

There is also the very rare circumstance where the Test is judged to be un-needed. If a Dawnish Knight walked out of the Thule lands carrying the heads of one of their Dragons (which in this case are powerful sorcerer kings), she’d likely be offered a place in a noble house, no Test needed… Shame about the peace treaty…

anyway, healing Tests…

Cure a plague ravaging an area?
Organise and run a healing lance (small battlefield formation) to the extent that multiple nations credit you with their survival?
Heal 5 warriors from each nation?
Successfully find the cure for an apparently fatal disease and save seven sufferers therof? (One for each virtue)
Bring new and decisive methods of healing to the Empire? (May mean foriegn travel, pestering Eternals, upgrading the knowledge and tech of the setting…)

Just some thoughts.

He isn’t one of ours. But it’s good to see we won’t be the only new house.

@Zardua feel free to come find house tallstag if you want to chat and drink with another new house.

Also something to we were told to consider when we thought about tests was who gave it to you (which would change dependent on if you are an IC new house. Or an old house that is first time at anvil)

Hi, Thanks for the offer. Yeah, our house is House Myriad, and we’ll be newbies too. Thanks, I’ll probably see you there!

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