What happens if a test of mettle becomes impossible due to changing circumstances

For example, go hunt a giant boar and present its head to the earl of the house, but the earl and their nobles are assassinated and the house dissolved before the person on the test completes it.
Would the test just be written off and they remain a yeoman? Would the person become a noble just not attached to a house? Would they be treated as if they failed?

Interestingly the problem there is not that the test is impossible, but the lack the house.

So in that specific case

  • Would the person become a noble just not attached to a house?

Being a noble of Dawn is to be part of a noble House, while a noble can politically seperate or go on a quest, All nobles have a house.

  • Would they be treated as if they failed?

We have had knight errants of destroyed Houses before and no one treated them any differently to any other potential knight errant.

  • Would the test just be written off and they remain a yeoman?

This is one very likely outcome, that being said there are ways for a yeofolk to restore a noble House. Either test into another house with the desire to reform the House, or seek a test of mettle from the Egregore or Earl’s Council explicitly to become earl of the fallen house.

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To splash some light on this question, I want to play a yeoman, but have already written a backstory involving a test of mettle, so I am seeing if there is a way of converting that to have me still be yeoman at the end (So i can play a Seneschal) without just having my character be a laughing stock for failing.

Ooo, interesting. You are enjoying coming up with these, eh, Alice :slight_smile:

I strongly suspect this is handled on a case-by-case basis by whomever arbitrates it (Egregore, Earls Council, Monarch)

Lets go with two variations.

  1. Quest is completed, authority who set it is dead.

  2. Quest is set, but not started yet, authority is dead.

  3. I suspect that if it was a particularly awesome quest, and recounted gloriously, many Earls would be suitably impressed. They might go for the (otherwise rare) option of “You are suitable to be a noble of my house, would you like a position?”, or they might go for “Please complete this token SECOND test of mettle/resolve, and I shall honour it.”

  4. Could vary from “Well go and do it then”, through to “here’s another test more suited to me”, through to “go and find someone else to set you another test.”

Given that every noble is a member of a house (if briefly), you’d need an Earl/Enchanter to approve your completion of the Test. Even if it’s not their test…

EDIT: Note that there are tests that are functionally impossible, and others that are gloriously difficult.

My first character was a Dawnish Yeoman, phsick to his house. His Test: Save 40 different Dawnish on their death counts. His stated Ambition: Never achieve his Test due to careful care of the well trained and durable knights of Dawn, to the point that Dawnish knights barely ever hit their death counts…

In this case, the quest could be more glorious than the prize. A nobility gathered through a prosaic test might be deemed less glorious than a life spent as a knight errant, in pursuit of an awe-inspiring and legendary test.

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If it helps your house could be from Dawnguard which was recently over-run by the Druj and that could account for losing all the nobles of your house.


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Aha, I do realize I am posting a LOT ><
It is just such an interesting world and I really want to get invested in it.

Cool! I am glad to know this is feasible, so I can keep the story I have written but still play a yeoman :slight_smile:


I guessed as much, still a few points

  1. If you were originally taking a test of mettle, it might be worth asking why you aren’t taking one again.

  2. Rather than mass assassination, you could tie the fall of your house to the recent Druj invasion of Dawn (Either Dawnguard or Semmerholm). It gives you a better link with other characters, a reason to CARE about things and seems a little easier to fit with the brief

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My reason for not retaking one was that I was so very baddly injured in t he first one that I decided to settle into the Seneschal role. Also my reason for being a non-combat character.

Don’t forget Wierwater.

How many knights and nobles held the undead horde back for a few more days/hours/minutes, selling their lives to get their yeoman and non-combatants to safety…

I can now see a last quick discussion. “Take the children and our yeoman, and run for Culwich. We’ll hold here and draw them off, or you’ll never make it. I always meant to set you your Test of Mettle. Here, I wrote it down and signed it. Speak to our Senator or the Earls Council. Remember us when victory is won. Now go!”


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Don’t worry, you are posting some interesting topics and it’s pretty much what the forum is there for.

I had completely forgotten about it. Actually thinking about it the Freedom curse on Astolat also could have destroyed a small noble House.

Tests of mettle specifically don’t have to be combat-oriented, depending on the character.

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You should be able to ask for a different test more suited to your current capabilities, I’ve over heard a newer earl ask for a list of every house in anvil “that mattered”, their earls, colours and banner. Yeoman spent 30 minutes in the bar debating how to define “that mattered”, came to the conclusion every house of dawn and three largest houses from other nations.

thing is, ooc I WANT to play a yeoman as I want to be a seneschal or advocate. But I need a reason to not be doing a test of mettle that doesnt make me seem cowardly :stuck_out_tongue:

You can show loyalty and wisdom by recognising that you are of more use to your house in your yeoman position, or even have been commended by your Earl for your value to the house in the role you have now.

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