This discussion is intended to uncover the mysticism of non-noble rankings. One knows that a noble above the station of Lord is given a parcel of land and its people to keep law and order over. To help him in his task the Kingdom has put forth and edict concerning recognized and sanctified titles that a Lord may bestow upon his people to aid him in carrying out the duties of the Realm. The following discussion is intended to guide the Nobles of the realm in making sound choices the go inline with the intent of the King.
The Vassal is any men or women, noble or commoner, who has sworn an oath of fealty to a higher Noble. By swearing fealty the Vassal is promising services to the Higher Noble. This is generally in the form of military obligation, but may also be agricultural, or artisan services. The Noble in return is promising protection and residence to his Vassal. Protection will range from physical protection in the form of a local Guard to thwart attack to protection in the form of the Noble representing his Vassal in court. By giving residence the noble is providing his vassal with a place of domicile and thusly will hold court for the residence of his lands. Examples of swearing oaths and vasselship include the peasant farmer being a vassal to a Lord as well as a Baron being vassal to the King.
The Guardsmen is the military tool of the Noble. He does not normally receive orders directly from the Noble, but instead through a chain of command extending from the Noble to The Captain of the Guard, to a Sergeant of the Guard to the Guardsman himself. The Noble generally uses a Guard to patrol his lands and defend against attack, deter crime and keep the law.
The Captain Of The Guard is responsible for the military readiness and training of the Noble’s guard. He is seen as the senior member of the Guard and reports directly to the Noble. He is also the military advisor to the Noble. He usually works in conjunction with the Sheriff by acting as a Commander of Troops. Thus he can not personally enact justice, but can enforce warrants and supply manpower as directed by the Sheriff. In the cases of large guards this position may be given to a Knight of the Land.
The Sheriff holds a position of great responsibility in the Noble’s Lands. He has the right to carry out and enforce the law through arrest, detaining, and questioning. And in cases of petty crime is allowed to carry out summary trial. He may or may not have troops as dictated by the Noble. In either case, he works hand in hand with The Captain of the Guard in keeping the peace of the Land. The Sheriff is usually a Knight of the Realm, but this is not always the case.
The Seneschal is the highest-ranking position within the Noble’s court. The Seneschal is not usually a noble, but is in charge of managing administrative matters of the realm. This includes issuing decrees, collecting taxes, and managing trade. In extreme case he might be given a Writ of Proxy by his Lord in order to hold court for Lord in the case of a long absence. However, both the Lord and the Seneschal will be held liable for the Seneschal’s actions during the Lord’s absence.
The Advisor holds no real authority within the Noble’s Court, however some may argue that he his the most power as he has the ear and respect of his Lord. He is used by the Noble to seek council and confide in.
The Ambassador is similar to the Advisor in that no real power his held by this position. However, one would be foolish to think that his influence in the decisions of his noble are insignificant. He is used in negotiating diplomatic issues with other realms.
The Inquisitor is a position that is more often used by the church then the nobility. In times of great plague and pestilence the nobles have called on inquisitors to route out malignance within their territories. Some argue that this type of justice is no where near just and their means and methods are as evil as those they condemn.
The Justicar is a position that only the King can give out. He is a circuit judge that travels the Kingdom enacting summary trial. Most often Justicars are brought in when the King believes a Noble has lost control of his realm. The Justicar carries with him the full weight and authority of the King. His sentence is feared and final; only the King himself can overturn a decision made by a Justicar.
The Guildmaster is a position that a noble can sanctify within his realm. By doing so the Noble gives the Guildmaster deference in matters of justice within the walls of the guild. In other words, by making the Guildmaster an official, the noble has relinquished his authority within the physical bounds of the guild. Thus allowing the Guildmaster to punish his member as he sees fit within the physical confines of the Guild. There may be unofficial Guildmasters within the lands of a noble but they are subject to the laws of the land as any commoner would be, and could be tried for any action they take on guild members.
Amended in June 1212 by command of Count Sebastian Everest
The positions of Captain of the Guard and Sheriff were merged in June 1212.