Editor's nook...

Castle Occupations

  Itís back to book-learning this week. (Cuz everyoneís so goshdarn busy ;)

  Believe me, this might be useful info for an upcoming contest (hint, hint).  I havenít played the game yet (that may change tomorrow!), so I canít say definitively whoís in the castle in Siege, but here are some possibilities.

  Besides your hero-types and wandering magicians, a lord and lady (and any number of children) lived in the castle. The lord governed and the lady sometimes took to charity work, making ointments and medicines or giving alms to the poor. Ladies-in-waiting and other servants tended to the royal household. A chamberlain supervised.

  Depending on the situation, there could be anywhere from a couple dozen to two hundred more people living in the castle.  After all, a castle was also a home as well as a fortification.

  For the kitchen, there was a cook and a baker. Scullions got the non-glamorous job of cleaning pots and preparing the food. A pantler took care of the dry-food area, or pantry. A trencherman served the meal.  A trencher was a slab was stale bread that was used as a plate. It soaked up gravy or liquids and was given to the poor afterwards.

  Since water was often suspect, a brewer made beer for daily drink. A vintner supplied the wine and the butler took care of the wine cellar.

  Laundresses washed the clothes (which were pretty stinky since hardly anyone bathed). Seamstresses made and mended clothes.  Using a spinning wheel, a spinster turned sheepís wool into thread and then, the weaver, using a loom, made cloth.  These were considered lowly womanly jobs, but there was a man in charge, the keeper of the wardrobe.

  For schooling, the lordís children went to the chaplain, who also led the chapel services. The chaplain taught the children reading, writing, and prayers from the Bible. Pages, sons of noblemen sent to the castle, also studied with the chaplain. In addition, girls learned sewing and embroidery and the boys, archery and horse riding.

  For business affairs and day-to-day management, the steward was in charge. He was usually a relative. The lord, along with the stewart and treasurer, would hold court, collect taxes, and punish wrongdoers.

  The lord also relied on his constable, who was in charge of the garrison. Men-at-arms, archers, and knights lived at the castle to defend it if needed. Each knight had a squire and sometimes, heralds were used to carry the lordís messages.

  To equip the garrison, blacksmiths made horseshoes and other metal objects. Armorers prepared the armor and weaponry.  Carpenters made everything from siege engines to bowls and masons repaired the roofs and walls.

  For sport, the lord liked to hunt so there were hunstmen and falconers. Women usually had smaller birds like merlins.  Grooms took care of the horses and the kennel boys took care of the hounds.

  Lastly, there was the gong farmer, who cleaned out the pit under the garderobes, or toilets.

  As always, if you want to see something covered in the zine, just send me an e-mail.

  Til next time,

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Siege Life

Heart of Avalon

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Castle Occupations

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A Taste of Chapter 4

Fan Fiction by Rithe