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The Royal Court Vellesca Palace . Court Positions . Council . Guard . Titles .


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Old 11-10-2012, 10:36 PM   #1
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Default (03) The Royal Guard

HISTORY
Originally 10 men drawn from the royal family itself in the ancient days, the Crownsguard was brought back by Kadreth Vellfyre, but its number was expanded to provide guards for himself and his family during the perilous times of the rebellion. To ensure that the 50 knights he chose were worthy of trust, they were all noblemen from the ‘Reach, whose families had suffered under Asseryan rule.

During the Border Wars, King Rothgar allowed knights from any part of Edolon, and expanded the numbers of the royal guard still further, adding beyond the Crownsguard many foot soldiers and archers, who would owe allegiance to no lord but himself after one ignoble vassal refused the king’s summons, and another took his men and fled a battle. To pay for these extra men, Rothgar levied a yearly tax, and decided to retain them even after peace was declared.


CURRENTLY

There are 10 Crownsguard positions at present- these are the elite knights, who serve the king directly, and answer only to him or the King's Hand. They are well paid but are not allowed to wed or inherit lands during their term of service.

As it stands today, the full Royal Guard is comprised of ten companies of 20 men each: 3 companies of knights, 12 companies of foot soldiers, and 1 company of archers. Ten knights remain as the Crownsguard- personal bodyguards to the king, with one of them (usually) standing as the king’s lieutenant, called the King’s Hand, who may command the Royal Guard in his absence or on any mission where the king does not oversee them personally. This tradition was interrupted in the Zakkish War (see below)

For day-to-day matters of administration and discipline among foot soldiers and archers during times of peace, the full royal guard usually answers to the King’s Hand and the Marshal of Vellesca. Nominally the knights of the guard answer only to the king, but in practice they can be reprimanded by the marshal for misbehavior. Only the King or his lieutenant may command any of them in the field.

Just before Edolon's troops marched north for the Zakkish War, King Rothgar named his son Jason the King’s Hand so he was able to send the bulk of the Royal Guard with the prince, retaining 70 men as guards for the royal family (The Crownsguard, and 3 companies of foot). Of the original 130 men who accompanied Jason, only 80 returned safely to Edolon, though he had acquired about 40 new guardsmen in foreign lands.

Members of the general Royal Guard serve for a contract of four years, and may sign up again or leave when their contract is up. It is one of the better paid military positions in the kingdom, and many serve until they are old and wish to retire with their savings- often becoming a village reeve or some may even have enough gold, fame or both to persuade a lord somewhere to make them a landed knight and serve out their final years peacefully ordering around serfs and servants.

Knights of the Crownsguard traditionally served for life in the ancient days, but under Kadreth they served for six years and then could leave or continue another six. Since they could not inherit, marry, or hold land and many would have to give up their lands to begin service or see his brothers inherit while he was serving, most do serve for a long period of time in order to save their earnings or accrue enough fame and celebration that they will be rewarded richly when they do leave the king's service.

One feature of the Crownsguard has carried over from the old days: on a king's death, his heir will allow the Crownsguard warriors the chance to be released from their contracts with rich rewards, or to continue on. It is considered a bad omen of a new king's rule if none of the previous knights remain in his guard. Most of Kadreth's fifty warriors remained with Rothgar, though most became only knights of the guard when Kadreth decided he only needed ten Crownsguard.

Last edited by The Oracles; 11-14-2012 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:38 PM   #2
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RULES OF THE GUARD
-- No man in the Royal Guard may take an oath of fealty to anyone other than the king. A landed knight joining the Royal Guard must lay aside his lands. If he inherits land after joining, he must either give it up or leave the guard.

-- Any commoner joining the guard must swear upon his life that he is a free man and was never a serf. If he is found to have lied, he will have committed treason by lying to his king and will be put to death.

-- Archers joining the guard must be of the highest skill and pass a test of merit with both longbow and dagger before they will be admitted.

-- Minor infractions of a guardsmen may be punished via physical punishment, cuts in pay, or simply being made to eat with the servants (or on occasion, the dogs).

-- If a knight of the guard is caught acting unchivalrously (by cheating , lying, or mistreatment of a lady, or unjustly killing another man's serf), he will be placed by the fools at meals, and the entire court is free to throw bones or food at him. He will sit thusly until the king either declares him innocent, or the offender pays the bloodprice (a set amount of coin to be paid either to the family or lord he offended, or the king). Many a knight has volunteered for a desperate quest in an effort to end his humiliation early.

-- Killing a fellow member of the guard, whatever the rank of either party, may be punished by banishment and outlawry.

-- Treason by a member of the guard is punished exclusively by drawing and quartering.
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