Friday, April 10, 2015

Of Overlords, Kings and Barons, Building a Feudal Setting Part 11

The continuing a series of posts detailing how I developed the feudal system of the City-State in my Majestic Wilderlands campaign.

To recap I laid out the background how the feudal realm ruled by the Invincible Overlord of City-State is two parallel hierarchies. The first is the Confederation of Tharian Clans along with Ghinorian and Elessarian noble houses, the second hierarchy governs the personal territories owned by the Overlord. That as of the present of the Majestic Wilderlands Supplement, 4436 BCCC, the personal power of the Overlord equals the combined might of the clans and noble houses.

Earlier in this series, I explained the various feudal offices, Chamberlain, Chancellor, Exchequer, etc. Why they existed and what function they served. That explanation was a general one, the reality is that each feudal sovereign adapted it to their circumstance and to accommodate their personal quirks. And this is what I did for the goverment of the Invincible Overlord. Some of it was to continue the original elements of Judges Guild's version of the City-State, other were my own creation. Mostly largely derived from Harn, Ars Magica, along with the Life in a Medieval X series of books.

To stress the ultimate goal of laying this out is to generate NPCs for the PCs to interact with and to come up with goals and movitations for the NPC's actions. It is elaborate partly because of personal perferences but also due to the fact that I been running the Majestic Wilderlands for 30 years. The only way to keep a campaign fresh for that long of a time is to come up with details on the various nooks and corners of the setting. This allows me to come up with novel situations for the next campaign.

What are the goals of the Overlord's government?

  • To maintain his personal household
  • To maintain the judicial system to adjudicate between clans and their members. 
  • To maintain an army to defend the Confederation and to protect the Overlord's peace.
  • To collect the dues, men, and supplies owed to the Overlord.
  • To administer the marches which are the personal territories of the Overlord
  • To administer the City-State 

Bureau of the Archives
The MINISTER OF THE ARCHIVES heads the Bureau of the Archives. The purpose of the Archives is to store all of the records complied by the Overlord. Normally this would be a subordinate minister to the Chancellor or sometimes the Chamberlain. However Lucius III understood the need for good record keeper so made it separate office answerable only to him. The Bureau also serves a watchdog function to make sure everybody is dotting their i's and crossing their t's. The Archive is meant to be very visible and noisy in acting as watchdogs. This covers the covert activities of the Black Lotus and the Regulators.

Under the Minister of the Archives are:
    Chief Clerk of the Clans; All records of people and their clans are kept here
        Chief Clerk of Revenue; All records of the Exchequer are here
   Clerks of Revenue
        Chief Clerk of the Record; All records of the Overlord personal library and misc. docs.
   Clerks of the Record
        Chief Clerk of the Edicts; All records of the Overlord's Edicts
   Clerks of the Edicts
        Chief Clerk of the Senate; All records of the proceedings of the Senate
   Clerks of the Senate
        Chief Clerk of Chancery; All records of the Chancery.
   Clerks of the Chancery

Bureau of the Census
The MINISTER OF THE CENSUS heads the Bureau of the Census. The purpose of the Census is to enumerate all the inhabitants of the Overlord's lands, their property, and their clan. Typically the Census is taken every 20 years. Again this would normally be under the one of the major officers (Chancellor, Exchequer, or Chamberlain) if it was done at all. However because the various taxes, aids, and levieis need to apportioned among the clans and nobles. And because those apportions are determined on the basis of the census, Lucius the Great setup a separate bureau. And it is one of the few bureaus of the Overlord's government that reports to the Senate as well as to the Overlord.

Under the Minister of the Census are:
    Chief Clerk of the Provinces
        Clerks of the Provinces
           Royal Census Gatherers
    Chief Clerk of the Marches
        Clerks of the Marches
           Royal Census Gatherers
    Chief Clerk of Administration
        Clerks of Census Administration

Bureau of the Provinces and Marches
The OVERLORD heads the Bureau of the Provinces. This is the hierarchy of officials that execute the law, decrees, and writs that the Overlord and the bureaus enact. It is not a formal bureau like the others it each Province, March, and the City-State has it own their own hierarchy. And the head of each, the Sheriffs, answers directly to the Overlord.

For +Tim Shorts+Chris C.+Joshua Macy+Douglas Cole+Rhandom A+Ken H, and +Daniel McEntee This is the section that explains the importance of the guy you just killed.

The role of the Sheriffs in the Provinces is mostly administrative as the territory of a province is dominated by sovereign clans and nobles houses who are members of the Confederation. The Provincial Sheriffs have strict limits to their authority. In contrast the Sheriffs of the Marches rule as if the Overlord was personally there. The Barons and Knights of the Marches are expected to treat the Sheriff as if he was the Overlord himself They do retain the right to petition the Overlord directly if they are unhappy or unwilling to go along with a Sheriff's decision. Note that Overlord has deliberately not appointed any nobles of higher rank than Baron. Instead reserves that authority to appointed positions like the Sheriff and High Bailiffs.

As the largest urban settlement by far, the City-State has it own administration based on its pre-conquest bureaucracy. Instead of a sheriff the Overlord appoints a Warden. The Lords of the City-State are basically a town council with the merchants, and temples dominating the membership.

As of the time of the MW supplement, 4436 BCCC, there are five provinces, Laknost, Bernost, Gaenost, Halnar, and Dearthmead. There are five Marches, the Northern March, the Eastern March, the Southern March, the Prydon March, and the Dearthmead March. At the time of my campaign present day, 4460 BCCC, two provinces has been added, New Caelam and Halkmenan. New Caelam is dominated by Duke Draco-lindus, and Halkmenan is dominated by Duke Divolic. A new march has been added the Southern Reaches March just south of the Pyrdon March.

In addition Duke Draco-lindus allied with several of the clan and nobles houses of the City-State and they independently conquered Tiethior on the other side of the Trident Gulf around 4450 BCCC. Working together they created the Tiethoir march independent of the Overlord and the Confederation. This group includes Duke Draco-lindus, the Elessarian Duke of Halnar, and the Tharian Duke of Laknost and various minor clans and noble houses. In the civil war currently being fought they form the core of Draco-lindus' faction.

Tiethoir hierarchy is setup similarly to the Overlord's hierarchy for the Provinces and Marches. Except appointments of high offices (the Sheriff, Treasurer, etc) are made by a collective decision of the council of the nobles originally involved in the conquest. The various districts are dominated by a single clan or noble house and it has become custom to let the dominate clan or noble house appoint the High Bailiff and other officials of that district.

Under the Overlord are:
    Sheriffs of the Province or March (Castle)
        High Bailiffs of the District (Keeps)
            Tax Collectors
            Toll Collectors
            District Justice
            Clerk of the Districts
            Bailiffs of the Manors
        Treasurer of the Province
        Inspector of Public Works
        Inspector of Markets
        Constables of the Castle/Keep
            Garrison Troops
        Lord Magistrates (3)
        Steward of the Sheriff
            Clerks of the Sheriff
    Warden of the City-State
        Lords of the City-State
        Captain of the City Guards
            City Guards
        Harbormaster of the City-State
        Treasurer of the City-State
        Inspector of Public Works
        Inspector of Markets
        Lord Magistrates (3)
            City Justices
        High Clerk of the City-State

Next Post will continue the detailing of the hierarchy.

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