Monday, February 4, 2019

Guilds of Alnwich: The Nobility

The Nobility

Rank: Status 0 to 4.
In Charge: Earl Borg (Knight), and sometimes Baron van Freek (Knight).
In the Ranks: Virtually anyone except assassins and thieves.
On the Payroll: Anyone.
Influencing the AR: Diplomacy or Savoir-Faire (High Society).

Alnwich is a subjugated territory of Usk, and as such, falls under the jurisdiction of the Usking king, whose authority flows through Earl Borg. The Earl also governs the entirety of Northmarch, so while his seat of power is in Alnwich, his duties often carry him away to other parts of the realm.
In his absence, the Council of Elders, an assembly of aldermen consisting of the heads of the most powerful families in Alnwich and other prominent interests and chaired by the Baron of Alnwich, Staffan van Freek, attend to the administration and governance of the town. Current members include Hella Winter, Kari Eklund, Morten Ververs – the current RMS adjunct –, Old Man Fisker, Sir Linqvist, Thyra Hakonson – the head priest of the Pantheon –, and Veli Holt among others.

Within this assembly, a great deal of tension exists. While those of Alnwich are growing wealthy off of the new fur trade, the pride of the Skidafolk runs deep, and just as deep runs their resentment of subjugation. This is only exacerbated by the fact thatMorten Ververs and Sir Lindqvist always back Baron van Freek against the locals. This is regularly used as justification to move against the wishes of the locals. As a result, the town council is often considered by those of Alnwich to be at best an empty symbol and at worst a mouthpiece for Usk.
For those locals on the council, it serves as a means to make their people’s voice heard by the nobility in Dunmore. It may not ultimately matter in the decision-making process, but making no attempt is seen as forfeiting any hope of self-governance they might ever have. Fortunately for Alnwich, the Earl prefers to keep the peace and doesn’t demand too much of the locals.

Ranks within the nobility depend on heredity. Those of Usk include Freeman or Esquire (Rank 0), Knight (Rank 1), Baronet (Rank 2), Baron (Rank 3), and Earl (Rank 4). There is one Baron, one Earl, and no Baronet in Alnwich. For locals, noble ranks are limited to Freeman (Rank 0), Alderman (Rank 1), and Hetman (Rank 2), but no Hetman has existed since the subjugation by Usk, nor is one permitted to be chosen.

What the Nobility Wants

First and foremost, the nobility wants power. The Sir Lindqvist wants the barony, the Baron wants the earldom, and the Earl wants to keep his power against potential usurpers in Alnwich and in the court at Dunmore. The aldermen of Alnwich desperately want to take the reins of power back from the Usking nobility. While they lack the military force to stand in direct conflict with the crown, they try subtler methods to grab power – usually in the form of taking on tasks the Earl or Baron do not themselves want to deal with. The aldermen have also been known to secretly back the Fellowship and promote a level of banditry against Usking interests, although such extreme measures are rare. The threat of losing what little power they have usually keeps them under heal. This makes for chaotic internal dynamics and unlikely allies at the best of times and Machiavellian chicanery at the worst of times.

But the one thing all of the nobility can agree on is that one of them should be in power. To this end, the nobility wants to maintain peace in Alnwich and win the praise of the people. This often leads them to place bounties on the heads of bandits who threaten the town and to hire adventurers to dispose of monstrous threats from the wilds. Other potential jobs may include exploration, mapping, adventuring for the glory of the town – the people love heroes. In fact, the aldermen will gladly back local adventurers in hopes of one-upping Usk, and similarly, the Usking nobility will back Usking adventurers to prove their superiority over the locals.

What the Nobility Can Provide

While the nobility can provide training in military skills, they generally do not. Individuals must track down an instructor themselves; threat this as a standard AR roll. What they do teach are social skills – Dancing, Diplomacy, Heraldry, Leadership, Propaganda, Public Speaking, Savoir-Faire (High Society), etc.

Professional goods include luxuries (spices, fine wines, ornate personal items, and other extravagances), weapons, and armor.
  • Accommodations. Even if, for some unthinkable reason, the lordly residence and those households kept by the aldermen have no space, the Earl and Baron can always order a local to quarter the adventurers.
  • Favor. Nobles are politicians; they promise much but deliver poorly. Favors are at +2 to ARs, but effective frequency of appearance is Status + 6.
  • Immunity. Nobles are in charge of enforcing the laws and can grant carte blanche at will. +3 to ARs, and treat a successful result as if the requestor were two levels of Status higher.
  • Lore. The full benefit applies only to uses of Current Affairs, Geography (Political or Regional), Heraldry, and History in the region under the nobility’s authority. Otherwise, treat requests as those the court is not usually equipped to fill.
  • Map. As with lore, the full benefit only applies to the civilized lands and surrounding wilderness.
  • Mounts & Vehicles. In addition to having power, the nobility has money. On a successful AR, treat the results as though the requestor were two levels of Status higher.
  • Provisions. As with mounts and vehicles, treat the results as though the requestor were two levels of Status higher.
  • Replacement.
  • Special Orders. The Nobility has access to the best. +2 to ARs.
What they can’t provide, they can usually order someone else to do. Other ARs are at a penalty of -1 or worse.

No comments :

Post a Comment