Below I have outlined the Revised DRAFT of classes in the Gran March. Feedback would be appreciated.
Institutions - The General Ranking of Class in the March, by institution
Knights of the Watch
Non-Petitioners and Foreigners.
Nobility - The number of Noble titles in the March are limited in variety. This is basically due to the decent from the Keoish Duchy and the lack of anything in the March higher than a Baron (other than the Commandant)
Grand Baron - Noble holder of the 10 baronies of the March, all ten of these baronies were granted by either the Duke of Dorlain of the King of Keoland. Technically they all owe fealty to the Duke, but that is forgotten or ignored by nearly all, except during the raising of a new Commandant. I
Barons/Baroness - These are all nobles of various pedigrees, who were raised at different times during the history of the March. None of these were raised by the Keoish Crown or the Duke, and it is this that sets them apart by tradition. The Barons were raised either by a Grand Baron or other Noble from outside, or predating the March.
Note that some of these houses are actually older than those of the Grand Barons, but they were raised by others. There is a Baronial family in Hethiye that was raised to it's station by the Count of Hochoch before the formation of Geoff.
Knight Baron, or Baron's Knight - A Knight Barom is a noble and can be raised to the nobility by a Grand Baron, a Baron or another Knight. Their title is accompanied by lands or manors. Such a Knight has feudal responsibilities as well as rights. They may actually be four or five steps removed from the Baron in their pledges and feudal obligations as a Knight can another Knight raise to the Nobility. This is not common, however, as they must give up some of their land in order to create a Knight Baron. It is far more common for a Knight Baron to raise another to Knighthood, without lands. This is a hereditary title.
Knight -A Knight is a noble and can be raised to the nobility by a Grand Baron, a Baron or another Knight. Their title is not accompanied by lands or manors. Such a Knight has feudal responsibilities as well as rights, but the title is not hereditary.
Queen's Knight (Free Lance) - An odd term of the March, a Queen's Knight is a knight with no lands and no direct feudal responsibilities. The Knight may have lost their lord in combat, or for various other reasons have lost their feudal obligations. They still have the general respect awarded to a noble. However if they are found to have behaved poorly, they can be denounced by a Baron or Knight Baron and their title effectively striped as they are considered outlaws. By tradition other nobles cannot declare them outlaw. However, the word of a Knight Baron, or a Knight is superior to that of a Free Lance. The constant warfare of the last 100 years has made the Queens Knights more common.
Noble Officials -while technically not noble, the servants of the Barons often have some vestige of the prestige attributed to the Barons. This is often because they are landholders with feudal obligations to the Baron. Their titles are often Steward, Superintendent, Major Domo, Nuncio, Director, Factor, or Seneschal.
The Knights of the Watch
The Knights from an entity similar to an Allod, in that they do not come under the general restraints of Gran March society. However, tradition and political survival depend upon cooperation and acceptance by the Nobility and the Army. All knights are generally considered to be the equal of a Baron's Knight or a
Udal- Lord of an Allod... A freehold not beholden to any baron, answering only to the Commandant. There are several dozen of these small demesnes in the March, most of which predate the Knights of the Watch, and some of which predate the March. Generally these are Demi Human holdings. There are, however, a few in Flan Allods in Barony Hethiye and several in Holiford Barony, which was annexed more than conquered. There is also the Horselords of the Northern Plains which form an Allod with indistinct boundaries.
Churches vary dramatically in their hierarchy and the delineation's between them.
However, there are generally three distinct groups of the clergy.
The Anointed (or various other terms) - Those who draw spells from their patron god. These are almost always Clerics or Druids
The Dedicated (again this varies) - those who have dedicated their lives to the church, but for some reason never gain the gift of spells. In some churches these members significantly outnumber the Anointed.
The Laity - those who are devout and may tend shrines and preach, but only on an occasional basis.
Some Churches, particularly the Oerdian accept Adepts and other divine spell casters as brothers or sisters and welcome them into the church hierarchy.
See the Military Section of the Web site.
- *Field Marshal
The Guilds - The Guilds vary dramatically, but generally a guild member is considered somewhere between the Military and the Commons. Certain tradesmen, generally those in the service of a noble at their manse, are not members of the guild. However, they can be associated with a guild, and are often accorded status dependent upon the status of the particular guild in society. Guilds are heavily taxed in the March, though their near monopolistic nature makes this bearable.
Guild Masters - Generally one per Guild, though some, such as the various cloth weaver guilds have one per town. They owe a personal tax, which must be presented to the Commandant each year on XXXXXX.
Master Tradesmen - someone who is considered a master and able to train apprentices. These guild members are responsible for dues and taxes for themselves and all apprentices.
Tradesmen - These are skilled members of the trade, but they are allowed only one apprentice at a time. They are responsible for the taxes on their work and the work of their apprentice.
Non Member Tradesmen - They are generally not responsible for taxes as the fruit of their labor is owned by the noble who pays their wages.
Boc Holder or Bocman - A land holder with recorded charter, almost always a cottage or dwelling and lands. This charter is held at the Baronial seat or in the main town within the barony, generally in a library. These holders owe the baron tax only. Their Charter cannot be revoked except for non-payment of taxes, failure to serve in the army, or certain crimes. All are expected to participate in the defense of the Demesnes.
Sokeman- landholder or herder with only the baron's agreement as charter. Generally this includes a cottage and land, but the holder owes tax and descendants will owe rent. All are expected to participate in the defense of the Demesnes. Right of ownership does not transfer generations. Barons are generally loathe to cancel such agreements, verbal or otherwise, as it might cause many Sokeman to leave. However, a Baron can cancel such ownership.
Tofter - a farmer or herder who holds their land at the barons will, owing both tax and rent. There is no right of ownership. Often these commoners owe a certain amount of time working the Baron's lands, serving in his home guard, or working on a public works project. All are expected to participate in the defense of the Demesnes.
Ceorl - a farmer or herder who holds no land but works for the baron, receiving food and shelter in exchange for labor. They pay relatively little in the way of tax as they are of limited means. These are more common in the southern areas where farming is more common. However, the vast amount of land in the March limits the number of Ceorls, as the Nobles have a hard time keeping the Ceorls returning after their stint in the Army, and it is simply easier to offer land (which would otherwise go uncultivated). All are expected to participate in the defense of the Demesnes.
Last edited by Anced_Math on Sat Mar 04, 2006 12:58 pm; edited 2 times in total
I was just rereading the LGG entry on the March and realized that the Ten Barons of Gran March are all Grand Barons. This is fortuitous in that it allows more depth and complexity to the nobility. I have modified the class list above. As I have no comments from anyone, I assume there are no complaints : -) Or maybe just no one listening.
I'm listening, Anced, so keep up the good work. If I ever get caught up with my own projects I might even help out. I've long had a fondness for Gran March and Keoland, and usually begin my campaigns there.
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