Part 42: Rearranging The Clan Ring
The votes were all over the board with most things, but what we did agree on is that we wanted as much magic in herds and crops as possible. There was also a trend towards putting one or more points in wars, with a point in mysteries. This leaves us 2 magic in reserves. Overall, a pretty good setup for the first year.
This is the first of many screens that let us control the inner workings of our clan. Here you can see the demographics of the clan, including how many people are sick or wounded. You can also throw a feast, distribute gifts to the farmers and weaponthanes, and see the mood of the clan. But what we're really here to do is replace the clan ring with a better one!
The Reorganize screen lets sort our nobles by skill level and in alphabetical order. As you can see, the default clan leader the game picked not only isn't an Elmali, but isn't anywhere near being the best in Leadership either. There's no apparent reason why Jorator wasn't the default leader! Oh sure, he doesn't really have any other skills, but details.
As for the actual skill rankings: The absolute worst skill ranking is Fair. You won't see many nobles with a skill listed as this; if their skill is worse than Fair, it won't be listed. The other rankings, from worst to best, are Good, Very Good, Excellent, Renowned, and Heroic. Even a noble who is Very Good at a skill is far better at it than most people. A Heroic skill ranking is the stuff of legends.
Harvar happens to be the best at combat, and he's a Humakt worshipper to boot. Humakt is the god of death; Humakti are rare finds, so it's always fun to be able to have one on the ring.
Vandarl is both the best at Custom and a worshipper of Lhankor Mhy, the Knowing God. Either one of those would make him likely to be clan Lawspeaker, but having both makes him ideal for the position.
Jarolor is the best at Bargaining and a worshipper of Issaries, both of which make him the clan's best trader.
As for the other slots, there's a bit of a dilemma. See, most of the strictly best candidates are men, but our clan will get a fertility penality if there are fewer than three women(or men, for that matter) on the ring. This means we have to make a tradeoff between having the most skilled ringmembers and having good clan fertility.
So without further delay, let's see what our best options are in each remaining area!
Gordangar is currently on the ring, and excels in many areas. Most notably, he has the highest Animals skill out of all our nobles. He is also highly skilled in Plants, allowing him to act as the Hunter on the ring. This makes sense, as he worships Odayla, god of the hunt.
Dorasa is less skilled overall, and has a lower Animals skill, but has the highest Animals skill out of all the woman nobles. She worships Ernalda, the earth goddess. She's also younger than Gordangar. Nobles gain skill through various means(most notably heroquesting), so she has plenty of time to get her Animals skill as good or better than Gordangar. And like everyone else, our nobles are mortal, so she would be around longer before kicking the bucket.
Randella has the highest Plants skill on the ring, meaning that she'll be able to best advise us on crop-related manners. However, she also worships Ernalda, so if we decide to gender-balance our ring, this would create a situation where we have duplicate gods represented. This penalizes us in heroquesting(where chances for success are lower) and at sacred time(each god represented gives a bonus in terms of where you can allocate your magic, but you don't receive the bonus twice if you have two worshippers of the same god.). If we decide to put Dorasa on the ring, it may be wise for us to consider...
Beneva. She has lower Plants skill than Randella, but worships Odayla instead. She's also younger than Randella, which has the benefits mentioned earlier.
Elmalandti is currently on the ring and has the highest Magic skill in the clan. He worships the storm god Orlanth, and it's a small blessing that he doesn't have the highest Leadership in the clan(Orlanth worshippers get a bonus to Leadership).
Harvar actually has the second-highest magic stat in the clan, so if we decide to gender-balance our ring, we could put any of the other woman nobles here without losing much. I don't think anyone wants a full list of female nobles, but there's only one left who isn't an Ernalda worshipper:
Ernaldesta is pretty much completely non-notable, other than her Plants skill. She does worship the pacifist healing god Chalana Arroy, which will allow us to put an extra point of magic into Health each sacred time.
To sum it up, Gordangar, Elmalandti, and Randella would be the most skilled candidates, while Dorasa, Ernaldesta, and Beneva would be the best choices if we're attempting to maintain a balance in the sexes represented on the ring.
What direction shall our clan ring take? Shall we put in the strictly best candidates for each category, try to achieve an ideal gender balance, or do something in-between? (feel free to vote for individual candidates if you're going for the in-between option) Bear in mind that skill in Animals and Plants doesn't matter quite as much as skill in the other categories, although they're still important.
Thankfully, once we've chosen our initial ring, we should only have to rearrange it if one of the nobles dies or is otherwise forced to leave.
And it saddens me to say this, but we have no Tricksters among our nobles. It's incredibly rare for a new tricksters to pop up, so if you don't get a Trickster in your initial nobles, don't count on ever getting one. Why are Tricksters so rare? Simple: They're assholes. They worship the trickster god Eurmal, and take glee in fucking up everything around them. Very few clans will put up with them for long. Of course, if you get one on the ring, then you have an asshole who tends to be slightly more focused on fucking up other clans than on you. They also let you put an extra point of magic into Quests at sacred time, which is incredibly powerful - Heroquests are dangerous, so you want all the help you can get.