Children

Updated Jan 2012 - Klindhh

Overview

Children are of vital importance within the Su'ndari culture. They are the future of the House. A source of marriage alliances, income and social gain.

Marriages are arranged with the sole intention of legitimate child production by the patriarchs and matriarchs of each House and when the children have been produced the couple may choose to divorce without any social stigma.

Due to the importance of marriages and dowries to Su'ndari Houses adultery and illegitimacy is taken very seriously. Girls that sleep around can be disowned and cast out on the street and children born outside of wedlock will never be treated equally with those who have known parents. Adultery by a married woman is one of the greatest sins known to the Su'ndari people. To be an adulterous woman will result in the woman being thrown out of her marital house, potential disownment from her birth house and every child ever born to that woman being declared illegitimate.

Childhood

Childhood varies drastically according to the wealth of a childs House.

The children of a wealthy family will spend their tender years under the watchful eyes of a dedicated child carer. They will have a nursery full of toys, pets, servants and teachers. In many way the children of Su'ndari children are better provided for than the children of a medieval noble. Once a wealthy child reaches twelve they will head off to a sheltered boarding school or an apprenticeship in one of the military services.

The children of the moderately wealthy are fortunate indeed. They will spend their tender years being watched over by at least one dedicated member of their house. They will have toys and access to education right from the start. Once they reach twelve they will head off into a sheltered boarding school, an apprentice in a military service or an apprentice in a skilled vocation.

The children of the labouring family are not treated badly either. They will spend their tender years helping their parents to do simple tasks such as washing clothes or herding the sheep but they will not be worked hard. Education is unlikely but they will have clothing, shoes and a few precious toys.

The children of the poor find life harder. They will spend their tender years mostly unwatched as all House members seek out work. They may encounter things considered unfit for the wealthier children and they are unlikely to have more than the minimum essentials. They will work, beg or steal and sometimes they will go hungry. Once they reach twelve they will go to work and hopefully learn a trade in the process.

The children of the House-less and the House-less orphans will go without on a regular basis. They have no legal protection and punishment for any crimes will be swift and harsh. They will work whenever the opportunity presents itself and they will beg and steal the rest of the time. They have no access to education even if they could somehow afford it. It is a miserable and often short life.

Pregnancy and Children

It is possible for characters to have and raise children.

Pregnancy will occur after a successful pregnancy check is made by a member of staff and it will last for 9 ic months. During this period the mother will progress through her pregnancy. It is intended that her description will change over time and also that she will suffer penalties to certain attributes as the pregnancy progresses. At the end of the pregnancy a staff member will come and advise the player on the events of the birth and present the character with an npc object to represent her baby. The npc object will be a rp tool and representation of the childs existence and will not have any coded responses to the world… although it will probably be able to defend itself and suffer damage. At a certain point in the childs growth he or she may be converted into a concept or roster character and played by a different player on grid. The resources provided to a child npc whilst it grows up will influence the childhood and education options chosen during his/her chargen.

Orphans and Adoption

The term orphan does not mean the loss of the parents for a su'ndari child. Should a child's parents die then the remaining members of the House raise the child in the same way that they would have should the parents have been alive. Thus despite having lost his/her parents his life will proceed much as it would have originally. Having no surviving parents carries no stigma of it's own. If the child was illegitimate the situation changes and no debt is owed to the child at all.

A child that has lost his entire House is in a dire situation indeed. Neither the state nor any individual or family is required to see to that childs upbringing or safety. Since any individual without membership in a House does not hold the status of citizen these youths and children are essentially outside the law. Many of these children end up as debt slavery or criminals. Child orphans are treated as harshly as any other House-less criminal. There is no provision for orphanages as debt slavery is considered to cover this social need.

Adopting a House-less child is a pretty easy process. All it requires is that the adopting House make their intention known and that no other House contests the adoption.