In the Ancient lands of Aldraska lives the Blackwood family housed in the Grand city of Wardenfall, a historical site that houses the Great tree that survived the burning. The first thing that you should know is that Aldraska and the houses that reside there are not like most. While they have their tradesmen, their researchers and their merchants, they also have something else, they have the will to fight in every capacity. While the people of Aldraska have their jobs, each Citizen has one thing in common are all warriors, trained in the basics of combat so that they can defend their home and family from bandits and armies alike. This stems from the lands dark history, a history of endless war, because Aldraska has always stood in defense of its neighbors, before Vornair, before EOX, and even as far back as the Burning, or at least that's what the Blackwoods say.
Land Selection and Kingdom
During the land selection phase, in which we will be with the Kingdom of Vornair:
The land I will be looking to place the Duchy in will be one of these biomes, I will be looking from mid-north area, steep, grasslands, mountains, alpine forest, coastline or Ocean access. There is no true order of need, but my main focus will be some form of water access while in the midlands to the north. I will not be setting up in wetlands, the south, swamps, the desert, or the far frozen north.
The Duchies main focus and Idea
The Main goal and focus are to provide a military force for the Kingdom, and the Niflheim state. This will be done by creating a system of production that will supply the duchy and general market with all the gold and finances it needs to move. We will also be creating a fair tax system that relies on this production machine to provide a steady income to the Duke so that I can distribute it out to the Thanes and workforce to build up our roads, Shipyards, health systems, and research into new and useful items. Our two main focuses on income will be from both ocean access and resource exports. This will include the production of some of the best naval and transport ships in the world. Another goal will be to focus on armor, weapon and general forging advancements in order to produce some of the best equipment in the lands. Lastly, I would like to have large areas of our land devoted to animal breeding for both food production and mount. We will also have a heavy focus on R&D in every area to try and stay ahead of the general world. This will be done in a few ways Firstly, unless it provides a large financial boost we will be keeping most research to the duchy We will also be looking to trade information within the kingdom and the world to improve on what we do not have Lastly, we will be using our network of agents to gain any information we can for free.
Plans for early game
Goal one will be to establish roads and supply lines leading to each city in the duchy, as well as making a major highway of sorts that will connect the capital of Aldraska to the capitals of the other two duchies. Task two will be to create supply points and garrisons along major roads leading to the duchy borders. These will act as both guard posts and areas that the military can resupply before moving out of the duchy. Stage three will be to improve the general welfare and readiness of all settlements of the Duchy: everything from mapping major resources to building up defenses and increasing trade within the duchy. The last phase will be setting up the border defenses. This defense will not surround the duchy on all sides, but will rather be focused on the side or sides where the other two duchies are not located. This is because we are a part of a wall so to speak designed to defend the king’s lands. These defenses are also designed to point out to other kingdoms as opposed to internally. With that stated there will be portions that ride to the border of friendly duchy's to prevent possible enemies from cutting through another duchy to his us on an exposed side.
Unlike other Duchies of the kingdom, we will have a special trade relation with a few of the duchies, including those of the Niflheim state. These relations create an open door for us, it means that our trade within the Duchies will flow like water with little to no tariffs and regulation. This means increased profit for our merchants and city leaders. The other side of the coin though is that due to the fact we are a militarily focused duchy we will have very secure borders when it does not come to the Niflheim state and or the kingdom. This means that while trade within the kingdom should see little to no interference, there will be increased security at the borders and inspections should be expected. Any external Kingdom trade will also need to be cleared with the duke. Now I am not stating that every merchant needs to talk to me before they sell their goods to the next kingdom or merchant from the next kingdom over will be removed on sight. What I am stating is that there will be heavy tariffs on these traders; and any town leader or noble who wishes to establish said trade route will need to clear it with the council. Failure to do so can and will result in criminal punishment. This is not to scare or cause harm to nobles of Aldraska, but rather to protect the military secrets and technological advancements we make. Also note that in most cases, the trade will only be refused if the other lands have caused issues for us.
Duchy Tax and income
As posted in the past section, the Duchy will use both Taxation and trade tariffs to generate income, with that said the Main job of my Treasure will be to generate extra income and we will have tax breaks for certain situations. The first and most important thing to state is that while it is my Job as the Duke to maintain and balance the economy of the Duchy, it is not my job to make all the tax laws. This is the job of the Mayors and Barons. With that stated, I will be making tax regulations to balance the Duchy as a whole and for my own County and City. The next thing I will be doing to generate income will be on trade tariffs. I am not talking about trades made in town, instead, I speak of items that are moving from duchies and other kingdoms. These tariffs will change based on everything from general wealth of the duchy/kingdom it is going to or coming from, to the item that is being moved. This means the tariff on an item the duchy has a surplus on will be small, but on an item that is rare for us and or abundant in another land will have a higher tariff. The last point I will hit on is tax Breaks. As of right now, I am limiting this to deployed soldiers and their war spoils, but more will be added based on the council and information gained later in the game. See this link for full doc: Here
Duchy Structure and expectations.
The Duchy will be organized in a way that is different from any others not in the Niflheim State. This will include ranks for both the Civilian side of things as well as the Noble. Every Citizen will hold one of the Military ranks without exception; to not hold a rank marks you as Barbarian. Just because everyone will have to hold one of these ranks does not mean you will need to be in the army. These ranks are there to ensure that each person in the Duchy has a basic understanding of how to defend themselves in case a battle breaks out and the militia is needed to defend its town or county. Again, this does not mark you as a member of the military, guard of anything outside of that of a citizen. It will be broken down by a new set of ranks and requirements. They are as follows: The Ranks will also be used to Determine one's standing within their Civilian lives. For example, a low-class citizen must show respect to a higher class, but a higher class must still show respect to their count, even if the count holds a low rank.
The High Jarl is the Duke and the leader of the Lands. They are responsible for overseeing and maintaining all the operational functions of the Duchy and its people on both the military and financial side. This will be done through a council of his choosing. He is also required to run his own thanedom and Barony.
High Thanes (subject to change)
The Jarl is the first non-game rank The Jarl oversees several counties and acts as section leader for them He does not run each county, but rather keeps them working together and acts as a judicator for them. This position is not gained by lands; it is appointed by the Duke and the council. However, it’s best for this position to be held by a baron or a count so they have a seat of power and do not need to live in one of the counties they are overseeing.
Sturaesman is the second non-game rank A Sturaesman controls several counties that are assigned to him The Sturaesman is a military leader, someone who keeps the countries military in line, equipped and trained. This position is not gained by lands, it is appointed by the Duke and the general. However, it’s best for this position to be held by a baron or a count so they have a seat of power and do not need to live in one of the counties they are overseeing.
Thanes are counts, they run their counties as the game expects They are, however, not responsible for the Barbarian settlements in their county.
They do not manage a Barony. That is the role of the Sturaesman This does not mean that they can not tax, fine, or enforce their laws on Barbarian settlements but rather they are not required to protect, supply or count them in their financial report.
The Thegn is, like the Sturaesman, a military position Their job is that of the military leader for a county, much like a sheriff. They are appointed by the Thane or the Jarl. Their main focus is to ensure the county is military ready and that its forces are ready to go at the blow of a horn. They are not a guard captain but they can, and most times will lead the guard. This position can be held by anyone.
The Freya is a Mayor. They are not a Baron.
Drengr are people who sit on councils Depending on the council position they have, their rank can change This means a Drengr under a Thane has a Thane’s authority in matters related to the Thane, whereas one under the High Jarl has the authority or the High Jarl, at any other times however a Drengr is just a citizen.
A Skald is a leader of a group, family, or guild These are citizens who speak for others at meetings of the clans and council meetings. They are the ones to bring issues up the noble chain of the duchy.
A citizen is exactly how it sounds; it is a person who is under a Skald and a member of the Duchy. They are broken down based off of a rank given on their Warrior status given by military training
These are people who are not citizens of Aldraska who live in the Duchy. They have no protection from the duchy’s forces. You can freely hang out and work with a Barbarian, but they are second class as far as the duchy is concerned and are not protected in any way.
Citizen separation based on militia Rank
Citizens will all hold on of several classes based off of their training and skill. As stated in the last section, these military ranks do not put you in the army or guard, but if we are in a last stand situation these ranks are used to determine where you fall in the defense of the area. These ranks are
High Ranking, Upper-class Citizen ( not to be confused with Noble titles)
These people are the most often full-time soldiers and will rarely be seen doing anything other than supporting the military as a whole.
These are either full-time soldiers or citizens who have finished their training and have shown a lot of skill Guards will often be in the area as well.
These are citizens who have pledged to the duchy and kingdom. They may or may not have gone through basic training to teach them how to defend themselves, but they have shown the intent that they are willing to help. Elderly people and people who have shown their value but are unable to help in the militia will also hold this rank. Regardless of family, all children hold this rank till they come of age. This is also the rank every person in the duchy will hold till they prove that are willing to support their community. For the full military ranks see: Here
The last class level is the Classless. These are people who choose not to work with the duchy. This rank is given because they harm the duchy and kingdom in some way and some are considered worse than others. In a general stance, they are just called Barbarians, but they break into both settlements and individual people, They include:
These are settlements whose leaders have chosen to reject the duchy. All hamlets start at this rank as well because they can not pledge to a count till they are town. Just because you are in a Barbarian state does not make you a classless. All the people in a hamlet can be full citizens and the hamlet will still be a barbarian state.
These are settlements whose leader or majority of its people are criminals or are actively looking to harm the duchy Just as like in a Barbarian state just because you are in a Bandit state does not label you as a Bandit, but you are more likely to come to harm in these areas.
This is a single person who refuses to pay taxes, support the duchy, or get basic training. You can easily move from a Barbarian to a Citizen by simply fixing these said issues.
This is a person or group of people who are actively committing crimes. Once a bandit faces judgment they will move to Barbarian status.
This is a former citizen who is helping or harboring Bandits, or committing crimes on their own. Once your crimes have been fixed your citizenship will be restored.
This is simply a citizen who obey all laws but does not have any form of personal support. This can be anything from a beggar to a hermit in the woods.
This is a person who has been Exiled from the Duchy. They will be thrown in jail or punished if seen in the duchy.
Separation of Laws
In the Duchy, there will be very different sets of laws for citizens, Nobles, The Military and Barbarians.
These laws will cover all personnel, not in the active military. These laws will be very similar to other laws passed in the kingdom, duchies, and counties of Vornair. They will also have punishments relevant to them.
These laws will cover only those people in the active military and the nobles of the lands. These Laws will not be based of off other powers in the kingdom but will reflect military readiness and be punished based off of damage done to said readiness. In some cases, citizens can be held for both civil and military law based on the crime, but punishment will often be carried out less so to punish the person who committed the crime and more so to repair the military's readiness.
These will be the same as Civil law, but the punishments will be much direr due to the fact that they refuse to support the duchy and the kingdom. See this doc for crimes pertaining to Civil and Classless: Here
Mass roleplaying occasion in which the whole Duchy and Kingdom are invited to partake in various events The tournament itself will feature warriors skilled to be the champion of their own town, city or even county. These bouts will be for everything from melees to jousting, if it happens on the battlefield we will have a contest for it. Winners in each category will win something of value and will gain honor and glory from their peers and people of the realm.
The tournament will also be an occasion on which various merchants, vendors, and performers may practice their trade for all to see for the monetary and word-of-mouth benefit that comes from the publicity that the tournament allows. Merchants will come to present their wares for purchase and to seek new business opportunities. This will benefit not only the merchants themselves but also the County who hosts it and the Duchy itself respectively. I suggest a tax or a rental fee on all stall rentals or on the goods sold at such events with our own people policing it. This will likely be something that the master of coin will need to be involved in. The types of merchants will likely be as follows:
Scholars, mapmakers, booksellers?
Cooks (possibly have a ‘cook-off’ so to speak?)
Within the tournament, the entertainment will not be only the sporting events. It will also be a hub for a myriad of performers to come and showcase their skill. Evening events will likely include concerts for singers and instrumentalists as well as shows for actors, jugglers, fools, acrobats, fire-breathers, etc. The sky is literally the limit here. It is important to keep those who have journeyed from near and far to see the tournament happy and to circulate more coin into the kingdom in the process. If the tournament lasts for more than just a day, as it’s likely to, morning and evening events will help keep morale high as well as showcasing the performers to the tournament-goers for possible hire within their own kingdoms/duchies/counties etc. Animal events? Rodeo-esque? Riding/catching/roping/braving dangerous beasts. More to come when we know more about the animals of Elyria.
Steward - helps run the Duchy as a whole and the Duke’s County
Treasurer - manages the taxes and financial system of the Duchy
Chief of Research - in charge of all duchy related research projects and storing all information.
Diplomat - in charge of maintaining all internal and external relations
Master of Law - in charge of making and enforcing all laws
Master of Intel - the person who controls the spy network and gathers intel on other powers of the lands
Captain of the Ravens Guard - this is the commander of the duchy's main guard unit, as well as the personal guards of the Duke and his council.
Councils Of Aldraska
There are Three main Councils that will govern the Duchy, they are:
The High Council of Vornair
The King - Evelake Ryne
The Jarls of the round
The High Council
The Council of Niflheim
The King - Evelake Ryne
The two High Jarls of Niflheim - Blackwood, Rabid
The King’s Council
The Duke’s Councils
The Council of Aldraska
Duke - Blackwood
Duchess - Briia
Stewart - Rutaq
Treasurer - ARCHiTEKK
Chief of Research - Stabby
Diplomat - Alex Daelira
Master of Law - Najanhoth
Master of Intel - TBD
Captain of the Ravens Guard - TBD
Counts - TBD
Generals - TBD