Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Of Overlords, Kings and Barons, Building a Feudal Setting Part 13

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

Ministry of War
The GRAND MARSHAL OF THE CITY-STATE heads the Ministry of War. The Grand Marshal is responsible for the high level command and maintenance of the Overlord's Troops. Usually the Grand Marshal position is unfilled except in war time due to the powerful nature of the office.

The Legion is main standing army of the Overlord. It is comprised of 5000 men divided into 8 VastThrongs (infantry) and 2 EquiThrongs (cavalry).  The individual VastThrongs and EquiThrongs are distributed across the various provinces and marches ruled by the Overlords and only brought together in times of war. The Legion is augmented by the noble levies who owe service to the Overlord as part of their obligations as members of the Confederation. In all out out war the Overlord can muster anywhere between 10,000 to 20,000 troops depending on how much of the peasant militia he wishes to call out.

The core Legion is a standing army and serves year around. The remaining forces can serve only one or two season before they have to be dismissed in order attend to planting or the harvest. Typically the Overlord staggers the levies over the years so to have additional troops ready all year long. Fifty percent of the levies serve during the summer season, twenty percent during the spring and fall, and remaining ten percent during the winter season. In times of invasion or all-out war everybody is called up. When this happens the Overlord has at best a season or maybe two to win the campaign before famine is certain.

Wars and conflicts are normally fought with hired troops, either a standing army or mercenaries. Exhaustion in these wars results usually from being unable to borrow any more money to pay troops. In our own history, the expense of fighting wars is what led to the centralization of power by the European Kings and their government. This same process is at work in the City-State and is one of the main source of political tension between the clans/noble houses and the Overlord.

Under the Grand Marshal are:
Lord Marshal of the Legion
(in peacetime only 1 is active)
(see Military)
Lord Marshal of the Troops
Marshal of the Provincial/Marcher Troops
Chief Ostler
Royal Ostlers
Chief Weaponcrafter
Royal Weaponcrafters
Chief Provisioners
Royal Provisioners.
Marshal of the Overlord's Stores
Lord Marshal of the Castles
Marshal of the Province/March Castles
Royal Masons
Inspector General of the Overlord
Inspector General of the Province/March
Royal Inspectors
Lord Marshals commanding the VastThrongs(8)
Lord Marshals commanding the EquiThrongs(2)

The Exchequer
The head of the Exchequer is EXCHEQUER ROYAL OF THE CITY-STATE. The Exchequer Royal is responsible for collecting and accounting for all the revenues of the Overlord. The Overlord has two main sources of revenue. Income from the Shield Dues, and income from his personal holdings.

The Shield Dues are a fee levied against each noble house and clan that are members of the Confederation. It is a result of an agreement between the Senate and the Overlord every five years. The levy is traditionally called a Shield Due and it is apportioned on the basis of the census. This is why there is a separate Ministry of the Census and why reports both to the Overlord and the Senate.

The personal income of the Overlord consists of revenue generated by the estates he personally owns, the feudal dues owned by the subordinated barons and knights for the fiefs they have been granted, and the traditional incomes granted to a Tharian Clan Chief as the Overlord is also the High Chief of Clan Bulwark.

Lucius the Great always made sure that the Shield Dues were set to be little less than the cost of running his government. He would make it publicly known that he would cover the deficit from his own personal income. In the reign of Lucius' successors this continued. However the revenus generated from the City-State itself and later the Marches proved so lucrative that the Senate never had the leverage to use their power over the Shield Dues to keep the Overlord in check. In this respect the political development of the City-State and the Confederation is more like medieval France than medieval England.

The Exchequer Royal is also in charge of minting of the Overlord coins. The Overlord mints a silver penny at 250 coins to a pound of silver. Nominally a pound of pure silver would yield 240 pure silver pennies however the need to improve wear and to stretch the supply of silver, the Overlord has traditionally added enough impurities to strike 250 coins out of a pound of silver. The Overlord also mints a gold crown at 16 coins to a pound of gold. As silver trades 20 to 1 to gold this makes each gold crown worth 320 silver pennies. Since gold needs very little impurities to use it as a coin, a pound of gold yields 16 coins. It is also used as a unit of accounting for large sums.

The Royal Mason under the Lord Architect are the responsibility of teh Exchequer Royal. Since castles, keeps, and public works are among the most expensive projects undertaken by the Overlord it was felt that direct supervision by the Exchequer was necessary.

Last is the Inspector General of the Tolls. There are several important roads in the Overlord's territory, the Rorystone Road northward to Thunderhold, and the South Road to Zothay and Halkmenan. Both are maintained by tolls paid by the people using the roads.

Under the Exchequer Royal are:
Treasurer of the Exchequer
Governor of the Royal Mint
Royal Engravers
Royal Assayists
Collector General of the Exchequer
Collectors of the Exchequer
Chief Clerk of the Exchequer
Clerks of the Exchequer
Lord Architect
Royal Masons
Inspector General of the Tolls
Tolls Clerks

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