Retinues

Questions, references, and curiosities

Retinues

Postby James » Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:46 pm

The question came up in the Harn forum about knights and their squires.This got me thinking about you guys and Xhost's desire to rally the kaldorians... true, for the most part I have ignored squires to streamline the number of characters to keep track of, but your peers expect you to look the part you claim to be. Essentially, most knights will have a squire, and falling into one of the two broad types: knight trainee and veteran men-at-arms. However, this begs a broader question: what kind of retinue do the rest of these NPCs have? As you have briefly seen, yet not really asked about ... Earl Caldeth has a large retinue befitting his rank. Also nobility is not just about wealth, but visable wealth. If you wish to be taken seriously by nobles in other countries, you must act and look like nobles of your rank. Something to think about.

It should be noted that in tearms of "land held", the Cosele's or I should say Quintus Cosele would be equal to a Baron, with Xhost holding a monor as a Banneret. The Agrippa's would be Knight Bannerets holding from an Earldom (Nordakka's).

As with most aspects of feudal society, a gentle person's retinue is based on rank. Even the seventh son of the seventh son might have a servant, but when knights or better are involved, more is expected. The following are organized by rank and are more or less defined by custom. A wealthy knight might 'top it' trying to imitate the retinue of a baron, but he might also be called out for it by a higher ranking nobleman. If a noblewoman is present, she might ride or travel in a wagon. If the latter, a teamster is added. Most retinues will have either a wagon to transport belongings or appropriate pack animals such as mules. One or two teamster are added per wagon, and one muleskinner per six mules.

Knight Bachelor or Errant

This knight will generally travel with a squire, a servant, and perhaps a man-at-arms. He, his squire, and perhaps the MaA may have horses. The knight will have two - his riding palfrey and his warhorse. The latter will be on a lead, not ridden.

This category also includes bailiffs of manors.

Knight Banneret
(Sir's Albanis & Xhost falls into this category.)

This knight will travel with a squire, possibly a page, one or two servants, and one or two men-at-arms. Horses as above. He might also travel with a knight in service who might attach a retinue as above though without the MaA.

This category also includes constables of castles, sheriffs, Laranian abbots, younger sons of peers, and major royal officers who don't fall into one of the following categories by virtue of higher rank.

Barons
(All barons, eldest sons of barons, younger royal offspring, and Laranian bishops fall into this category.)

Retinues get much larger at this level. Note that eldest sons may travel with this large a retinue, but often elect to travel 'lighter.'

The baron, his squire, a page or two, at least one other knight, possibly two and each with a squire, at least four men-at-arms, and one servant per gentlefolk. The baron may bring along a hunter or falconer, a herald, priest, or other household special retainers. Gentles ride, others walk unless there's a reason for them not to - light horse for example. Each knight will also have a warhorse. General number for the group is 20-30.

Earls
(All earls, eldest sons of earls, Laranian archbishops, and the heir to the throne.)

As a baron, but with a minimum of two knights, two to three pages, a herald, at least ten men-at-arms, and a senior servant like a chamberlain to assist the earl. Retinue will number in total 40-50.

The King
(Minigath of Kaldor falls into this category obviously.)

As an earl, but with the addition of the royal guard, which typically consists of a company of knights and a company of medium foot. There may be other knights present, along with royal officers to assist the king. Among these would be the Lord Privy Seal. Retinue will number 80+.
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James
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