An excerpt from Communities Governments: A Primer on the Many Ways Sentient Races Organize Themselves by famed historian, Arkko Vrunn, High Tomekeeper of Biirocrittis- Orcan God of Ministry and Government
On The Class Structure of Old Erevor
The feudal system of Old Erevor is still practiced in several of the Marches, most prevalently in the northern Marches where the incursion of Neuran technocratic magocracy has had less influence. In several of the southern Marches (especially the heavily Nueran-influenced Inlet-sim-Cthal, Merschelmerre, and Marque-sim-Monte) the barriers between these classes have blurred in various places.
It is interesting to note, however, that all of the Marches have kept some form of Marchion and Viscouncil as their governing bodies- although each body, over the course of time, has been allocated different amounts of power in March society.
Citizen- These are the common folk, they do not own land or a business and hold little political power in most areas. Some of the Marchions have implemented a more democratic system by which to grant political power to all citizens regardless of economic power.
Tradesperson- A Tradesperson owns land or a business, sometimes purchased through savings, other times gifted by a noble. In some parts of Renser there is little distinction between Citizen and Tradesperson, in others the distinction imparts more political power to the elevated Tradesperson, offering them a say in local politics or increased access to government officials and services.
Knight/Baron- The lowest levels of noble Knight and Baron are equivalent classes distinguished by the nature of the noble’s service to the March. A Knight, obviously, is most often a military title while a Baron is a for civilian functionaries. Both titles confer the same level of nobility, although being a Knight is often seen as the more honorable moniker.
Warden- A Knight or Baron who can provide at least 3 Realmsworn [see below] to the defense of Renser gains the title of Warden and is eligible for Viscountcy. This restricts the number of Wardens, and the type of people who can ascend to this level of nobility as it is a person of unique ardor that can convince nobles to forfeit their titles, lands, and inheritances. Again, in the southern marches Wardens often have no additional political power assigned to them and are given the title as a matter of tradition.
Viscount- A Warden can be elected or appointed Viscount, depending on local custom, to obtain a seat in the Viscouncil and the Keep associated with the position. Viscounts, in addition to their seat on the Viscouncil of the March, are responsible for governing a region of their March, though most delegate this responsibility down to the lower noble classes.
Marchion- Once the title for the regional lord in the different Marches of Old Erevor, Marchions are now essentially kings in their own right. Marchions in the Northern Marches hold absolutel power, while the three former Rebel Marches treat their Marchion as more of a figurehead, meant to represent the people of the March in negotiations with other realms.
On The Realmsworn and the Oath of Old Erevor
After the fall of the Nueran Magocracy to the Horror of Simthal as the survivors and refugees poured onto the coast in droves, new coasts created by the sudden water rise- the result of an entire continent being dragged into the Southern Sea. Countless hamlets and fishing villages had been destroyed, two major cities lie in ruins, castles crumbling into memories far off the shoreline.
In the wake of this great tragedy Queen Elviir II called the 8 Marchions together to decide how they were to proceed. It was at this Great March Council that the Order of the Realmsworn was created. Donning the sky-colored tabard, adorned with a black gauntlet, Captain Grenwald Elviir (nephew of the Queen) was the first to take the Oath of Old Erevor:
Captain Elviir gathered the Houses with the largest stores of magical armaments and saw to outfitting the first Realmsworn regiment. It was decided shortly before the First March War, as internecine conflicts began to reach a boiling point, that each House should have their Realmsworn close at hand, a tradition that persists to this day in most places. This tradition, that each Realmsworn be pledged to a local Warden rather than to a centralized structure of officers, is seen by many to have set the conditions for the March Wars and the eventual dissolution of the Kingdom of Erevor and the beginning of individual March governance.
However, it is this author’s contention that (despite leading to a pair of brutal civil wars, irreparable infrastructural damage, and total political upheaval) the tradition of swearing Realmsworn to the Wardens that outfit them is a concept that has led to a net gain for Elvish culture of the last two thousand years. Since the Realmsworn must sacrifice their own inheritances and titles (even taking the last name Realmsworn) a sort of benevolent feudalism has emerged, as those who nakedly seek for their own gain and power seldom inspire loyal followers. In addition, the “buy-in” of magical items, though high when counted in terrium bars, is attainable for even the lowest commoner in any number of ways- from pure luck to arduous adventuring…
[The bottom of the page has begun to smudge slightly as the young bard-in-training begins to drool in his sleep, the light of a rising sun just beginning to catch his golden hair]