What character types is Chantris looking for?
Chantris's strengths lie in knowledge, shipping, and music. A concept that fits any combination of those is off to a good start. We are looking for Chantris relatives as well as non-family retainers and servants. We welcome connections at all levels whether they exist in the present or far in the past. We don't currently have any gaps that need to be filled but please check out the following list of concept ideas and think about them for current or former jobs your character might have had:
- Sailor: Chantris sails all available shadowpaths and those with a certain Family Gift don't even need to do that. We are open to any nautical concept from Merchant Captain to Gunner to Deckhand. Whether your character is a Chantris by blood or not, any of these concepts might be in his or her past. Chantris hires a lot of people.
- Shipwright/Designer: The current Master Shipbuilder for the House was hired from outside the family. She's from Minos, in fact, which further muddies the debate about who makes the best ships. If you're interested in working for the people who build a large percentage of the vessels on the seas today (along with most of Amber's navy), look into this area. Also, if you happen to have certain gifts from the REC tree, you might have learned them from Chantris.
- Retrieval Specialist for the Library: Chantris's libraries are gargantuan. They are hungry things with insatiable appetites for recorded knowledge of all kinds. The House pays handsomely for new tomes, scrolls, and other works and they rarely ask questions about how those items were acquired. Especially since Cyrus became the duke.
- Librarian: Somebody has to keep track of the volumes in the House's collection. In this case, it takes a veritable army of somebodies. Chantris is one of the few places that 'library' and 'danger' are spoken of in the same breath and with a straight face.
- Researcher: Not all knowledge is collected in books. Some times you have to go out and get information directly from the primary source. More often than not, those sources don't want to let go of their information. Think you can be the one to get it? Let's talk.
- Political Advisor: Everybody's got their strengths. Cyrus is a hell of a sailor and he knows his way around the business side of the House. Politically, however, he just barely manages to keep his head above water. If you've got the skills to help the House flourish in the political jungle that is Amber, we have a few forms for you to sign.
- Majordomo: As mentioned elsewhere, Chantris Manor is huge and employs an army of servants. The majordomo is in charge of attending to anything that involves the physical house itself and answers directly to the duchess.
- Captain of the House Guard: Chantris is a big place. The House's lands are extensive, the various shipyards are enormous, and the manor itself is huge. This requires a great deal of security to be employed. Somebody has to coordinate all of these men-at-arms. Since Chantris's strengths are generally nautical and mercantile, this usually means hiring from outside the family.
- Knight/Lady: A Duke or Duchess of a Great House may knight someone, as long as the Crown does not object to it. When a Duke knights someone, it's akin to adopting them into the House; the knight is not in the line of inheritance, but is thereafter considered a member of the household. Any non-family member who distinguishes herself in any of the above positions may become a Knight of Chantris.
What is the social structure within House Chantris?
House Chantris is an ancient house of Amber and is set in its ways. It generally has a conservative, Ducal structure with the Duke and Duchess making decisions on behalf of all the members. Though there can sometimes be confusion over which one is actually in charge. Generally, the willpower of the Duke or Duchess determines which one is actually in charge.
Women have no less rank than men.
The other House members may try to sway the Duke or Duchess as to their points of view or make requests of the Duke and Duchess for rulings about House members in general, but have no power to make decisions or give instructions on behalf of the House themselves.
There have been times in the past where relatives of lesser rank have been entrusted with running a section of the House's operations. Cyrus, for example, was in charge of the Chantris merchant fleet before he became duke. If you believe your character should have sway over a particular part of the House's dealings, contact Cyrus OOCly to discuss it.
It is not generally known to be a close-knit house. Members don't sit around the fireplace in their jammies singing. They are more likely to have formal dinners where crisp politeness and social formality is the rule. This is not to say that personal friendships don't bloom between relatives or that everyone always addresses each other by title, but even the most iconoclastic cousin knows which fork to use.
What is the role of Honor in House Chantris?
House Chantris members are not generally known for hot headedness or dueling, nor for taking great offense at others. This does not mean your character cannot have these attributes, but it does mean that the House itself doesn't have a reputation for it. They don't go around taking offense. They are more likely to plot an offender's downfall in secret.
House Chantris does take pride in music of all kinds. From time to time it will hold small, private performances but by and large House Chantris members decide individually if they will perform at public functions.
House Chantris also has pride in its merchant fleet and shipping interests and goes to great lengths to preserve its power. This largely means behind-the-scenes politicking and a combination of above- and below-board tactics.
One other thing that many Chantrises are most proud of is their library. It is not spoken of with any detail outside the House but the fact that a family-only collection of knowledge exists beyond that which outsiders may see is not much of a secret.
What other notes should I keep in mind when creating a Chantris Character?
The family features tend towards blond hair, green eyes and fair skin, though none of these are required. We tend to keep careful track of how the family fits together, and it may be useful to talk to a propco, not just about your personal history, but about where you fit in the tree (which may influence your character conception/immediate plans in small ways as it will add close relatives to your network of contacts.) Another good point to discuss with the propcos is whether or not your character has already been ritually initiated into Family Duty, and if so, what that means.
What is the plural for 'Chantris'?
Chantrises. Not Chantrisses, and not Chantrii. Though we do love using the wrong ones on the channel to torture Cyrus. Ditto Solaris becomes Solarises, and Karanis presumably becomes Karanises. Yes, yes, we are exactly the sort of people who sit around discussing this.
What's this about Family Dinner?
The family Dresses for Dinner. If you are not Dressed for Dinner, do not expect to eat. In this case 'Dinner' is defined as 'gatherings in the formal dining room.' But in general one should not slouch around in reception rooms (where the family might bring guests) if one is not properly dressed. There's an informal upstairs music room for that!
What are Lesser Words and How do I Get One?
Please see the whole page on Lesser Words and Initiation for a complete answer.