What was your Test of Mettle?

As a newbie Earl I have the honour of giving some tests of Mettle and I wanted to ask what interesying/exciting tests have gone before.

I’m interested to read your tests, both in background and in play. (And I would hope you’re excited to share your tale)

Mine was to remove a coven of rogue witches from our lands, which I did by going undercover and convincing them an area was dangerous and haunted. (Written in my background)

Fab question. :slight_smile:

Mine wasn’t that exciting, but I came up with it on the fly as someone asked and I realised I hadn’t written it yet. She wrote music for, performed, organised musicians for and delivered a celebration of music and song for the inauguration of her new Earl.

You might try this on the Facebook group as well (you will probably get more replies.) Also if you are stuck ask other Earls or the Egregore for help. (Also generally speaking talk to the knight errant and find out what bits of the game they would enjoy and how difficult they are looking for.)

Still as the secret half of the de Carsenere test setting team, the House Carsenere tests have been:

Slay a Chimera (A background test)
Kill X Orcs (which were some of the Early ones in play but we have since given up on as a bit boring)

Test of the Duelist
Defeat in single combat:
5 Knights of Dawn, A warrior from every nation, A warrior of every lineage and an egregore
We have set this a few times, yet to be completed but that is due to RL issues not it being hard. At one point the other nations were getting a little annoyed at how often Dawn was sending Knight errants around to duel people, although I think it’s fallen in popularity since then.

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.
Complete such an act, announcing it before all of Dawn as the final stage of your test.
This was a test set to a new physik in the group. it took around a year and was fairly good at getting them involved in different bits of the game. I think it’s one of the better written tests we have given so far

Test of Renown
You are to seek out opportunities to prove yourself to others, when you believe you have been on worthy of knighthood, stand in the Glory square and bring those you have fought alongside to speak on your behalf. If the Nobles of Dawn find their tales of your deeds worthy, you will have completed your test.
I have no idea how this will turn out since it was given last event.

Test of your beloved’s admiration
Seek out a list of every Dawnish knight your love respects, you must complete a challenge set by everyone on that list.
This actually could have been really difficult, but wasn’t as bad as it could have been (or was intended to be) just due to the challenges set, although there were some interesting ones

Test of the Pilgrim
Seek and complete a challenge from a Cardinal of every virtue.
This one was for a player who hasn’t returned but it would probably have been a difficult one in hindsight it might have been too tricky for a new player.

Test of the Egregore’s Favour
Seek a test from every Egregore, that is worthy of a favour.
This is presently my test, although Danitza Vandale did a test which was almost identical aside from the minor fact of every test being completely different. It’s not something I would suggest for a new player, it’s easily a two year test although I have some really impressive stories from it.

Absolutely adore those!
Particularly like the duelist one, would’ve really suited my friend (if he hadnt died at E1)

My character’s was the traditional test for her house (House Rylas, whose founder was nicked wholesale from the song ‘Bold Sir Rylas’): Go forth, and through your own efforts, return with the head of a dire boar.

She did it the slightly boring and conventional way, learning how to craft useful and relevant items (Boarskin vest, Apprentice’s blade), arming herself, tracking one down and killing it.

But because I like fluff and backstory I came up with several rather more interesting variations out of the house history, with a focus on non-combatants:

Vincent Rylas, called the Moth. A weaver (both in the magic use and the artisan sense). Set the traditional test, he wove a net of rainbow silk so fine, so soft, it could barely be seen. He wove it among the trees near the dire boar’s lair, and waited for the beast to emerge. It charged him, but before it had run but a few steps, it found itself tangled in mist, bound by cloud, and with every thrash and roar it was held tighter and tighter. Finally, when it could do naught but bellow its outrage, Vincent approached, and with his spindle and a rock, ended it - the first and only mortal blow he ever struck in his life

He went on to win renown for the mage armour he crafted; always after the form of plate, but woven from fine silk, cut and quilted and embroidered with gems. The net with which he completed his test still hangs in Castle Rylas. And just as the retrieval of a dire boar’s head is the traditional test for those who are welcomed to the house, the test given to those who are not wanted, is to unravel Vincent’s net without breaking a thread.

Alayne Rylas, a musician of great skill, chose to take her test when one of the outlying villages was being harassed by a particularly large and bad-tempered (and for dire boars that’s saying something) boar, which had already wounded several knights. Rather than face it in combat, she settled herself and her lyre in a large oak tree near the forest’s edge, and began to sing.

Soon enough, the beast emerged and taking umbrage at this interloping human, began doing its very best to butt the tree down. With every blow of its head and shoulders against the bark, Alayne simply smiled among the quavering leaves, adjusted her seat more firmly and continued to sing - lullabies, sweet ballads, achingly mournful songs for lost loves - never once repeating herself. So sweet was her singing that even the villagers crept out of their homes to listen (wincing every time the boar crashed into the oak).

By twilight, the oak was leaning at a 45 degree angle and the boar was standing panting in the midst of the field, blood streaming down its head and shoulders. Alayne slung her lyre over her shoulder and, still singing, clambered down to the ground. She crossed to the boar, who stood as if mesmerised, giving only a confused whine as she patted it gently on the snout, took off her belt, buckled it around the beast’s neck, and led it home to the castle.

The boar was dubbed Cuthbert; the Earl had a specially large sty built for it at the end of the kitchen yard. Cynics might claim that its newly gentle temperament had more to do with the multiple head injuries than Alayne’s singing, but such a level of cynicism would be most unDawnish. Besides, it is true that if ever Cuthbert did seem disposed to bad temper, singing any gentle tune would cause him to relax and rock gently upon his trotters, crooning a off-key accompaniment.

That was Cuthbert I. The sty housed several more over the decades, and Cuthbert IV is relevant here.

Cuthbert IV was Edwin Rylas’ fault. Edwin suffered from two disadvantages, the first being from the Marches, the second being an extremely cheerful and energetic young lad that might lead people to make certain assumptions about his lineage. So the odds were somewhat stacked against him when he asked for a Test. But the Earl, for whatever reason, did not point him at Vincent’s net, so dire boar it was.

Edwin, being, as I said, from the Marches, was lacking in the sort of equipment one would usually have when hunting dire beasts. But he shrugged and strode cheerfully off into the forest looking for trouble. He found it in a boar’s lair, occupied, in this case, by a suckling sow and her litter (and if you thought an angry old boar was bad, Virtues help you if you ever meet a mamma sow who thinks you’re after her babies), all sleeping in the shade out of the hot summer sun.

So Edwin, cool as can be, sneaks in and lifts one of said sucklers, stuffs it in his jerkin, and sneaks out again. Once he’d got a good distance away, he gives the piglet a pinch to make it squeal. At which mamma boar comes running.

Back to the knights of House Rylas, all happily sparring in the yard and wondering if the grubby Marcher is ever going to come back, are soon treated to the sight of said Marcher, whooping at the top of his lungs, come racing down the hill and through the castle gate with several hundredweight of angry sow in hot pursuit.

There is a melee.
There is a mess .
There are a lot of angry knights.

And once everything has settled down and the kitchen staff are contemplating what to do with all this pork, young Edwin presents himself to the Earl and inquires if she is pleased with her boar’s head.
She points out that while, yes, it could be argued that he returned with it through his own efforts, there are a number of knights over there who would be minded to dispute the matter.
‘What, that old sow, your Grace? Collateral. I was meaning little Cuthbert here’. And cheerfully plops the piglet in her arms.

In later life Lord Edwin acquired the sobriquet of ‘Grasshopper’, for his habit of bouncing up all over the place.
He never quite got the hang of proper Dawnish line fighting, but did a wonderful job in leading his spear to sneak up on enemy battle lines, charging in whooping at the top of his lungs and causing a great amount of disarray and distraction.

His family commissioned a set of light green tooled leather plate as a gift and he wore it in battle as long as he lived - which alas was not as long as it should have been. He disappeared in the forests while on campaign in the Barrens, believed dead. There is a long bittersweet poem/song on the subject, comparing his young body mouldering away in green armour under a blanket of leaves, with his shining soul leaping happily on its way through the labyrinth, whooping and singing all the while.

(Before anyone asks - no, I don’t have a copy of the poem because I suck at poetry. If anyone else wants to write it, please please do, I would love to hear it!)