Retinues

Questions, reference, and curiosities

Retinues

Postby Matt » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:38 am

The question came up in session about knights and their squires. True, for the most part I have ignored squires where not part of the story to streamline the number of characters to keep track of. Essentially, most knights will have a squire, and falling into one of the two broad types we've talked about: knight trainee and veteran men-at-arms. However, this begs a broader question: what kind of retinue do these NPCs have?

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
(Sir Baris falls into this category.)

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 Ewen 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.' Sir Prehil has done so for the trip to Minarsas.

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
(Haldan III 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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Postby Lord Ewen » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:51 am

This is a helpful summary, as I for one had only the vaguest notion of these delineations. In the present circumstance, obviously, Sir Ewen is travelling with a rather large retinue, including a tentful of men at arms and his own herald, but I suppose this is congruent with his anomalous status during the occasion.
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Postby Matt » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:08 pm

Sir Ewen's retinue is a touch large for his station, but not overly so. The only real anomaly is Filen if one considers Cekiya and Kaelyn to be 'servants' and Imarë as a hunter/squire. Four men-at-arms may be showy, but they have kept out of sight. The numbers are not too far off, and that's the real crux - how many in the retinue. Scale is a measure of wealth, standing, and to some extent, largess. If one takes Sir Andro's view that those with four or more manors are 'mini-barons' (an odd notion to be sure), then Ewen's retinue seems right in line.
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Postby Lord Ewen » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:50 pm

Indeed. And yet Sir Ewen's strategy is to ever push the envelope, nudge himself toward the forward edge of propriety, involve himself in matters above his ostensible pay grade, if you will. Which is how, come to think of it, he got himself into the present mess. :twisted:
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