This Wicked Waltz Intro Welcome! This Wicked Waltz is a slice-of-life set in the Regency England and the works of Jane Austen. Here gossip is our weapon of choice. And living it's not about kill or be killed but invite or be invited, to the grand balls and dinner parties of the ton. I encourage you to come up with a background story for your character, and create your own adventure, developing your story as you interact in other players' stories. Other than the confines of the Regency-era culture and etiquette, there is no limit to the possibilities except your own imagination. The Regency Era The Regency era in the United Kingdom is the period between 1811 -- when King George III was deemed unfit to rule and his son, the Prince of Wales, ruled as his proxy as Prince Regent -- and 1820, when the Prince Regent became George IV on the death of his father. For all its excess the Regency upper-class lived and died by rules, habitually fixed and inflexible rules -- enhance the family's wealth, power and prestige. Keep the family name respectable. In short honor and duty before love -- such unions would not have been completely accepted by the elite ton. Members of the ton came from the aristocracy, the gentry, and of course, royalty and monarch(s). Though some wealthier members of the middle classes might possibly have married into the lower ranks of the gentry, such unions would not have been completely accepted by the elite ton. Social positions could be altered or determined by income, houses, speech, clothing, or even manners. Climbing the social ladder could take generations, particularly into the aristocracy who did not readily accept those of inferior birth into their ranks. The social ladder in the Regency was fixed and inflexible -- and the poor enforced it with almost as much vigor as the nobility. Defined by birth, title, wealth, property and occupation, with the aristocracy and gentry comprising the ruling class. This era encompassed a time of great social, political, and even economic change. Despite the bloodshed and warfare the Regency was also a period of great refinement and cultural achievement, shaping and altering the social structure of Britain as a whole. America had just won independence. The industrial Revolution was bringing about change to everything from the aristocracy to travel to clothing and textiles. Prior to this period, the landed gentry (aristocracy) controlled most of the land, wealth, and political power but due to societal norms that the aristocracy had followed so faithfully were changing as more and more of the gentry were forced to either sell off their land or have aristocrats marry into the new class of wealthy class to maintain their status. The Summer that Never Was The year is 1816! The Prince Regent continues to be the "Pied Piper" of his generation -- flamboyantly leading the way for the arts and fondness of earthly pleasures. The waltz was still the rage, Emma by Jane Austen was the popular literature, gas lighting was a common feature, America had won independence, Napoleon was exiled to St Helena, the English Corn Laws restricted corn imports, income tax was abolished, and Beau Brummell is on everyone's tongue for fleeting to France to escape his creditors. The summer of 1816 was becoming the "Summer that Never Was". Severe summer climate abnormalities caused average global temperatures to decrease, resulting in major food shortages across Western Europe. Cool temperatures and heavy rains resulted in failed harvest in Britain. Food prices rose sharply. Refugees from Ireland, Germany, and Wales traveled long distances begging for food. It was not uncommon for the elite to be heckled outside theater houses, muggings were widespread throughout London, demonstrations in front of grain markets and bakeries, followed by riots, arson, and looting, were a common occurrence. As the gentle sex, women were to be without vices and opinion. They were to be modest, dutiful and the prettier the better (reputation, breeding and fortune also came into play when calculating their worth). Spirited girls who spoke their minds, showed too much temper or wit or appeared too familiar with manly interests -- gambling, boxing, profanity -- were quickly labeled: Hoydens. Meanwhile, society happily embraced young women prone to hysterics, fainting first and swooning. The wise young Regency woman learned just enough math to be able to safeguard the household budget. Ironically, it would be during the Regency -- as arranged marriages gave way to unions of love -- that women with good conversational skills finally came into favor. After all, who wants a dull companion for life? If you were a man, especially a man who lusted and drank, the Regency rocked. Men could marry for love, convenience, money or power -- and were not expected to be faithful. Discreet, yes -- but manly indiscretion need not bar one from the ton. The Prince Regent was this generation's Pied Piper - leading the way in almost every form of vice. The end result was textbook. (When no on finds anything too extreme or opulent or expensive, how can you criticize anyone?) And so excesses flourished. The typical day for a London bachelor - rise after noon, have a leisure breakfast, dress, go to the club at 3, practice boxing at 4, promenade in Hyde Park at 5, and spend an evening with friends at the theater or opera, fashionable parties or masquerade balls, men's club or gaming hall. For upper-class men during the Regency the responsibilities were few but universal -- enhance the family's wealth, power and prestige. Keep the family name respectable. Be elegant in dress and manner in public. If you were the oldest, marry and produce heir. And, oh yes; keep those extramarital affairs on the down low. The Gossip The summer season had just begun in London. Against the background of depressing weather, the ton slowly made their way to London, and soon lights on the windows of the fashionable addresses of Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, St James Square, and Piccadilly were lit. Galas were planned, invitations were sent, and the gossip begun. Beau Brummell's fleeting to France to escape his creditors was a scandal still referred with comical tinged. But the next scandal to be targeted by the gutter press was Cressica Coutts, the widow of Jasper Coutts, of Coutts & Co, of the royal bank. He had married Cressica Kingsly, his former mistress, an actress of the London theater, and had bequeathed his entire fortune to her, including his interest in the family bank - rumored to be over one million pounds. The gutter press cartooned Cressica as the fabulously rich mistress, with the headline, "From Strolling Player to Banker". Another topic of gossip among the card-playing Ladies of the Ton, was the young debutante Brenda Mesons, daughter of the recent Knighted, Sir Edward Mesons, one of the wealthiest man in London. Though new money, the Mesons' beauty had been presented at court by Lady Guildford, at Jasper Palace. And surprisingly her dance card filled rather quickly, even the Duke of St Albans had swept the fair girl off her feet. It was predicted by the elderly ladies of the ton, that Miss. Brenda Mesons will be one of the belles - if not the Belle - of the season. Everyone knew the dashing Duke of St Albans as the most notorious bachelor of the ton, a privilege man who lusted after beautiful woman and drank the nights away in the most exclusive gambling houses of London. It came of no surprise to the ladies of the ton the scandalous whisper, that his bachelor lifestyle was crippling the family funds. The Dowager Duchess of St Albans, vexed by the rumors, quickly put a stop to her son's blatant disregards to family obligations. He is to find a rich bride by the end of the season, in order to service current debts, or have one picked for him by the Dowager herself. Rules Romance is allowed, but please keep sex scenes fade to black, anything else take it to PM. Advance writing; detail descriptions; minimum of 3-5 paragraphs - 3-5 sentences each. Please write in third person perspective. Real life images only. Posting minimum is once a week. Multiple characters allowed. No Emperors & Empress, Kings & Queens, Prince & Princesses, allowed. Respect each other. Do not disappear without warning me. Follow site rules. Have fun! Roles to Fill You are welcome to introduce your own character(s), family, members of the ton, or other characters to fill the following ranks. Aristocracy: Aristocrats are a class of people who either possess hereditary tittles granted by a monarch or are related to such people. Gentry: The term refers to the social class of the landed aristocracy or to the minor aristocracy whose income derives from their large landholdings. Middle Classes: Wealthy but hold no titles, though may have some influence in commerce. Artisans, Tradespeople: Those who own their business enjoy a higher social status in the community. Servants: Basically domestic workers (think downtown abbey house staff). I'm not accepting any more female characters for a while. Character Skeleton Before you start your character skeleton I would like for you to answer these questions separately first. I don't need you post them, I don't need to read them, but they will help you create a backstory for your character: Where are you from and who is your family (parents, siblings, cousins)? Are you single, married, betrothed, or widowed? Why are you here in London -- are you looking for the love of your life, or at least the stability of a sensible marriage? Are you traveling and just passing through, or are you looking for a new place to settle down? Are you on a particular mission, or are you a wandering soul? Are you rich or poor, young or old, good or not-so-good? Your character's personality and traits are very important: Do you prefer happiness over duty? Do you deem status more important than kindness? Character Skeleton (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Character Skeleton (open) Character Skeleton (close) Face Claim: (real life images only) Full Name: Social Status: (Aristocrat, Gentry, Middle Class, Artisan, Servant) Title: (write here your peerage title or occupation title) Civil Status: (widow, divorced, married, etc…) Occupation: (if you've chosen aristocrat, gentry you may delete | if you've chosen artisan, servant here goes what you do.) Country of Origin: (England, France, America, Irish, Spain, etc…) Age: Family Members: (important dead or alive family members) Home(s): (locations and names of your homes, can link pictures) Personality: (self explanatory) Background : (If you've answered the backstory line of questions it should be easy for you to write a good detailed background for your character. Please talk a little about your characters childhood, your parents and siblings, and of important events that shaped your character’s personality and traits today.) Resources Here are a few pins of interest with information about the time period for you to read. It isn't mandatory, but if you are not familiar with the Regency era, British nobility, and the 1800s, you will find these links very informative. And if you have other information that you think should be here, let me know and I'll be happy to add it. Forms of address in UK - This page will give you a good idea of how to address royalty. Courtesy titles in the UK - This page will help you figure out a courtesy title for your character(s). Trade & the British Empire 1800s - This was a good read for me, it gave me a good understanding of the type of trade that was done in the 1800s.