Under The Yoke Devlog 23: Out, out brief candle
Happy Halloween ghouls and girls.
Though there is plenty of interesting history surrounding Halloween that we could dive into, this spooky occasion happens to also land on a recent field of Under The Yoke development, that being death.
Death in a medieval life-sim, I hear you ask, don't you mean the end of the game? No! I respond, merely the beginning.
Death was a big factor in medieval life, not only was there a lot more of it around, due in part to a lack of medical knowledge, but the religiosity of the period meant that people were often thinking about the afterlife, with their lives serving as something of a preamble.
The church obviously played a significant role in how people prepared themselves for death, cleaning oneself of sin by prayer, confession, contrition and a tasty indulgence or two if one could afford it was intended to help a soul enter heaven after death. Otherwise the person may be stuck in purgatory or worse still, get sent down below.
Medieval peasants could expect rather rustic funerals, most could not afford a coffin and would instead be buried in a shroud, their bodies would be symbolically cleaned before burial and a mass would be held. If one was fortunate enough to see their death coming they could take confession before death in order to rid themselves of any left over sins before passing over.
In the event of surviving heirs, the eldest son was entitled to all of their Father's property, with any other sons and daughters being left rather high and dry. Upon coming into their inheritance a serf was expected to pay their best animal to their Lord as a tax.
In Under The Yoke
Avid readers of this blog will know how this goes by now but for new readers, in Under The Yoke we are attempting to stay as true to the history as possible.
Let's have a look at funerals. In Under The Yoke funerals are a customisable affair. You can arrange for a coffin if you should so choose, a donation to the church (prayers for your dead relatives soul may help their heaven entry process), the location of the grave (better spots require more cash) and any remaining celebration of life. These fees may be costly, especially to a new heir, but can go a long way in making a reputation for yourself in the village as a new master of a household. Of course, if you are a serf coming into land, you will be paying your best beast tax.
As for inheritance, this was rather easy to model as you can imagine, giving all your stuff to your son does simplify things. But what about your siblings? Sisters can be married off to other families, granting you a boost to your intra-family relations as long as you're willing to pay an appropriate dowry.
Your brothers on the other hand will no longer be willing to work for food and a roof of their head, they'll expect a monthly payment in return for their labour, as they prepare to strike out on their own. You can always ask them to leave instead, it might get a bit crowded now that you're on the hunt for a wife of your own.
Have a happy halloween! We'll see you in another fortnight after you've (hopefully) celebrated Guy Fawkes Night. To make sure you don't miss the next Under The Yoke article you can get it straight to your inbox using the subscription form below.