Saltmarsh Journal

Journals for the Saltmarsh RPG Campaign

Titles and Nobility

The following titles are commonly or uncommonly used in the High Kingdom. Some fit into a strict hierarchy of precedence, while others are additional to this structure.

Territorial Titles

High King – the overall ruler of the High Kingdom.  The High King is normally one of the seven Kings, chosen by divine mandate, after the old High King has died.  Any Lordling can challenge for the position of High King though. The death of a High King is a terrible time for the kingdom, as candidates challenge for the mandate of Helim.  The contest is officiated by the priests of Zalatun, and is held at Silverstone, in the Kingdom of Vertain, where the High Kings have been chosen and crowned since the dawn of the High Kingdom. Only once crowned is the High King taken to the deserted city of Thirakkar to ascend the triple thrones.  Then peace and plenty will fall upon the High Kingdom again.

King –  ruler of one of the seven constituent kingdoms of the High Kingdom.  This is normally a hereditary position, but coups within a ruling family are also common.

Grand Duke – ruler of one of the territories (Duchies) that are part of the High Kingdom, but not part of one of the constituent kingdoms. Originally most of these were border marches or similar under direct military rule by the High King’s armies.  Originally the position of Grand Duke was appointed for life by the High King, but the position is now become hereditary.

Grand Count – a hereditary ruler of a territory that is under the direct control of the High King, like a Grand Duchy, without being part of a Kingdom or Grand Duchy. There are only three Grand Counties in the High Kingdom.

Count – hereditary ruler of part of a Kingdom or Grand Duchy. A Count is responsible for justice and security in his county.

Capitulary – a soldier who serves in return for a fief – a grant of land and peasants. This supports him and he agrees to fight for his Count in return. Some Capitularies have their own Capitularies.

Military Titles

Archduke – the four archdukes controlled the four quarter armies of the High King. These were the reserve armies, reporting directly to the High King and responsible for defending against major invaders and rebellion by Kings or Dukes. With the decline of central authority the size and quality of the quarter armies has declined precipitously. Lack of money means they lack the numbers they formerly have, but many lordling families have a tradition that their sons join in one of the quarter armies. They are thus now effectively armies entirely of knights, and to be respected for that. Archduke was not originally a hereditary title, but has broadly become so now that the High King is no longer able to impose his own appointments.

Duke – originally commander of one of the High King’s armies. The title is now used in the Kingdoms to denote their army generals, where it is an appointment, and also by the remnants of the High King’s armies, where it has become a hereditary title used normally by a lordling who controls an imperial castle, which are the last remnants of the imperial armies. These imperial castles (some of which are also towns or cities) are scattered throughout the High Kingdom.

Knight – referred to as Sir, a knight is a member of one of the many military orders, mostly associated with one of the twelve gods.

Stipendary – a soldier who is permanently employed for money. Unlike a mercenary this is not a short term arrangement although it is not hereditary.

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