Your characters are your window into the world of Might & Fealty. You can play more than one character, and they can be related in any way you want. So you could play one family or clan, Game of Thrones style, or you could play a collection of unrelated individuals, or anything inbetween.
Like some games, your character does have and gain skills as they use them. Unlike some of those games, they can also lose those skills if they don't use them.
They are whatever you want them to be and whatever you play them as. In battle, all player characters are equally skilled (and much better than mortal soldiers). In diplomacy, intrigue and politics, they are as capable as you are. In formal tournaments (coming with the Activites Update), your character is as skilled as you trained them to be within the game's mechanics.
Mostly as the result of combat, characters can be wounded, imprisoned or killed.
Being dead is very easy. Dead characters cannot do anything at all anymore, and all you as their player can do with them is read their personal history log, mostly to find out how they died.
Wounded characters have reduced options and travel slower, they will also be less effective in combat, and much more likely to die should they be wounded again.
When a First One yields in combat to another, they are taken as a prisoner. As a First One, these prisoners are valuable and will move around with whoever captured them. They cannot travel on their own, and most actions are blocked, but they can talk and interact with other First Ones encountered.
Prisoners can be executed or set free at any time.
At the bottom of every character details page is a character's reputation. These values are set by other players, meaning real-life flesh-and-blood humans. That's right, the only number on a character page is determined by the people you play with. Reputation can be vitally important for diplomacy, but it is only as powerful as its use. To make the most of it, you should give reputation as much as possible. Whenever you interact with another character for more than a few messages, you should leave your thoughts on him or her so others know what they are dealing with.
You cannot influence your own reputation in any way, except by changing your behaviour. Truth or lies, in the courts and halls of a medieval world, what others think and speak of you is as real as any currency.
Every character in the game has exactly two traits that govern their individual talents and abilities. Some of these traits are for roleplaying and some have actual game-mechanics effects. They all have one thing in common: You cannot choose them.
Instead, they are decided by breeding, or as we would say today: Genes.
Traits are inherited from a character's parents and grandparents. When a new character is created, they will inherit one trait from their father or his father's parents, and one trait from their mother or their mother's parents. If a character does not have a father or a mother, that trait is instead selected at random. However, from the 25 total traits available, your user account only has a smaller subset of 15 traits available. This set is secretly and randomly selected when your account is created. The purpose of this is to encourage players to actively seek out marriages to characters from other players, to get access to additional traits.
Traits are public knowledge, as gossip among nobility will ensure any particular qualities are quickly spotted and talked about.
If you want to know the details and effects of traits, hover over them with the mouse and a description will be shown.
At this time, character traits are purely descriptive and the various bonuses and advantages are not yet implemented.