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Breton Society Part III, Through the Realms of Tamriel


Started by Harlwystyr
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Chapter I: Introduction
Chapter II: Wayrest
Chapter III: Daggerfall
Chapter IV: Shornhelm
Chapter V: Evermore
Chapter VI: Farrun
Chapter VII: Jehenna
Chapter XII: Breton Society Part III

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The citizens of Daggerfall hold something of a reputation amongst other kingdoms as being a rather snobbish and obsessed about their past. Many believe that the citizens of the realm feel that their kingdom is better than other nations because of their system of government. Nowhere is the national pride of the kingdom more pronounced than in the class structure, and a brief explanation shall here follow of how each class generally views the others.


The Nobility

The nobility of Daggerfall usually feel that they are better than those "below" them, but this has proven to be less about birth and divine right, and is more seen as a responsibility to the continued stability of their kingdom and society. More than one noble I've met has said something along the lines of: "Sure, I was born into inheritance and power, but my flesh is no different than that of the farmer's. I am more important than the farmer due to my responsibilities to my kingdom."

In Daggerfall, nobles serve a variety of functions, especially the local lords. Universally amongst their tasks is that they must realise the king's visions and goals, which extends to daily functions and therefore places nobles at the head of virtually every endeavour in the kingdom. As such, nobles hold more or less all leadership positions.

Many administrative duties are handled from within government buildings, and so many nobles rarely see firsthand the people they govern. Exceptions to this are of course the young nobles who enjoy hunting in and exploring their fiefdoms. However, this lack of contact has created a rift in Daggerfall society, in which the nobles generally look upon commoners as people who won't amount to much. This has led to the case where the concerns of commoners generally aren't heard as often as that of nobles' plights.

Many of the nobles of Daggerfall, especially the seniors and the women, rarely venture from the capital city, where every noble family has a grand abode as close to the castle as possible. As such, many of the events that occur in the countryside are generally brought to them through information provided by the local lords. These are seen as the most reliable when testifying to the conditions of the realm, and so their importance in society is great indeed.


The Local Lords

As mentioned in the precious chapter, the local lords are those who govern towns, villages, and other communities in the name of the king, and as such have daily contact with their subjects. Many are connected with them through friendships, and even if some prefer to live in small castles separated from their subjects with walls or hedges, many also live in estates at the town centre.

The local lord's responsibilities extend into the maintenance of roads, intelligence on hostile forces such as bandits, and generally keeping the peace of their appointed community. Nevertheless, their most important task lies in collecting taxes for the king, to which some are more enthusiastic than others. Thankfully, many lords realise they must govern their communities wisely for the citizens to remain happy and productive. I shall not go into great detail about the extent of tax rates and their collection here, but generally, the king allows a local lord to keep thirty men-at-arms and four captains to help them in their duties.

A lesser unknown responsibility of the local lord is to keep ready and fresh horses for the king's messengers in their appointed community. Except for the king, of course, these beasts are never used by anyone who is not a king's messenger. Needless to say, any local lord who would keep his power needs to be popular among his subjects, and in some cases, a negligent individual has forcibly been removed from his position.

It should be noted that the relationship between the higher nobility and the local lords is not always the best one, as many of the senior nobility see their local counterparts as getting "involved in the petty affairs of the common folk."


The Commoners

By definition and fact, anyone who does not belong to the local lords of the higher nobility are considered commoners, from the humble farmer to the busy blacksmith. Just as the nobles advise the king, and the local lords implement the monarch's decisions and protect the people, so do the common folk play a part of strength in the kingdom. They form part of the illustrious Knights of the Dragon, the army, and naturally the farmers who feed the kingdom.

A tradition that has long existed in the realm - and which is currently endorsed and favoured by the current monarch - all commoners may speak freely to any noble, or to the king himself during audiences, on any topic of concern and expect to be heard and answered as if they were courtiers. This has on several occasions kept the country from erupting into civil war.


- From the Journals of Harlwystyr the Wanderer, Through the Realms of Tamriel, published in 2E 188.
This post was last modified: February 9th 2014, 07:51 AM by Harlwystyr
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Theodore
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A very interesting entry, this one. I like how the breton feudal system is actually quite different from that we know from our middle ages...
Keep up the excellent work!


Mercy. Mastery. Mistery.
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Post #144736
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Thank you - and trust me, I will!
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