Feudalism of Laplana (I)

In this post we will explain the feudal system in the early kingdom of Laplana, focusing on the division of the territory. In later entries we will explain the evolution of this system over the centuries and each of the sectors of the society of Laplana. We will also explain the main differences with the “classic” feudalism.

We will not explain the feudal society in detail, but only those aspects that affect the game. Whoever wants to know the details of the feudal society, can explore the abundant literature on the subject. What we explain here is based on this literature, although making concessions to play and fantasy.

The images below had been generated using google slides. You can access to the original presentation through this link: MONTORCAN – RL02 Territory on Laplana – en.

Territory division

Due to the limitations of the time, a feudal Lord could not control a very large territory. Therefore, the Lord divided the territory among their vassals, who controlled it on his behalf.

In the chart below you can see how the Lords divided the territory. The largest territorial unit was the county.

Territori of Laplana

Territori of Laplana – Slide 1

Each Lord reserved part of the territory as a personal domain for his own maintenance, and gave the rest of the territory to other subjects. In the chart below you can see the names of the subjects according to the territory they ruled.

Territori of Laplana

Territori of Laplana – Slide 2

The larger the territory, the highest position in the occupied his Lord on the feudal hierarchy.

Note that the hierarchy was not strict in the sense that a step had only vassals of the step immediately below. Instead, a Count had vassals of all levels, from Vavasours to the servants of his own domain, to Knights and peasants who paid tribute directly to the Count. Similarly, the Vavasours had peasants directly as vassals in part of its territory, without having a Knight as an intermediary.

The Counts, Vavasours and Knights were part of the nobility, receiving treatment of Lords, while peasants and serfs were part of the third state.

The difference between peasants and serfs worked was that peasants worked on a field, their own or rented, and paid a tax, while the serfs worked the lands of others in exchange for a salary.

Vassals

To take a vassal consisted on an oath made by the vassal ​​to his Lord by which it undertook to govern the territory allotted in his name; the Lord, in turn, undertook to protect his vassal.

Jurisdiction

The Counts had complete jurisdiction over the county, while the Vavasour and the Knight had lower jurisdiction. Each consisted of the following functions:

Complete jurisdiction:

  • Diplomatic: having diplomatic relations with other counties.
  • Economics: direct or authorize coinage.

Low jurisdiction:

  • Representation: take vassals and give territories to them.
  • Fiscality: receive taxes of their own vassals.
  • Military: have permanent military contingents in the territory.
  • Police: maintain law and order in their territory.

The King

The title was held by the Count of Antuerpia. He was not hierarchically above the other counts, but he had the power to:

  • Declare war on an enemy from inside or outside the kingdom.
  • Authorize the conquest and population of a foreign territory.
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About trobanoms@gmail.com

Roleplaying Master, playing GURPS in a Medieval fantasy setting of his own creation.
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