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wendelsnatch

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  1. wendelsnatch

    New little legal details

    Let me put it this way. The Lords and the Knights of the 7 kingdoms for the most part can be stereotyped as greedy, power hungry, and glory seeking. We see this in the constant wars between Kings pre conquest, and in individual kings even when strong not being able to have the power consolidated from one generation to the next, as others challenge it in their pursuit of more power. These attitudes will not change rapidly and at the very least will need an outlet. These Lords and Knight still need some way to sate their desire for greed, power and glory. Tourneys can only go so far and without other martial diversions the Lords and Knights will get restless. The King Peace is great in principle, but bad in practice. In all honesty, Wildling, Ironborn, Dornish, and Mountain Clan raiding serve as and additional method to sate the martial need of the Lords and Knights. Regarding the situation on the roads and the level of banditry, I do not feel I am playing it up. There are multiple examples of "robber knights", bands of poor fellows, outlaws, etc. This was the case pre-conquest and it continued through the reign of Jaehaerys. The only difference was who was more likely to rape/rob/or kill you. F&B states that even Lords traveled the roads with heavy escort for this reason. I would have no trouble believing that some part of this banditry was actually sponsored by one Lord targeting another. Turning overt conflict into covert conflict. Another point cementing that there was still a fair amount of warfare going on despite the Kings Peace (granted far less warfare then pre-conquest) is that there is plenty of instances in F&B describing people as a "seasoned commander", "daring and bloodthirsty", "proven in battle", etc. Then we have Rodrick Dustin and his Winter Wolves, "every man a seasoned warrior". I would question where all this experience comes from if the Kings Peace was followed. If the Kings Peace were followed as it should have been, we should have seen a decrease in the martial traditions of the Nobility and Gentry, a turning of swords into plowshares if you will. Yes the population boom shows this to a certain degree but Westeros is still a highly militarized and violent society.
  2. wendelsnatch

    New little legal details

    So, I have read F&B up to the point of the Dance, and I certainly feel Westeros was by no means a peaceful place. In comparison to pre-conquest Westeros, it was more peaceful, but far from peaceful. There is no longer multiple warring kings, and the kings peace did seem to have some effect on military action between quarreling lords. That being said, there seems to have been numerous Dornish raids, and 4 actual "wars". In fact Dornish raid only seem to diminish to a degree and for a short time only after a major Dornish defeat. In effect pre-Dance we have 129 years of essentially un-inturupted conflict with Dorne. We also have a couple instances where Mountain Clan actions are specifically mentioned in the Vale. These only bear mention in the text due to the involvement of notable people. I firmly believe that there is more low level conflict in the Vale with the Mountain Clans that is just not text worthy. Similarly, I would expect low level conflict with raiders from the Iron Islands. Nothing "sanctioned" by the sea stone chair, but something that seaside villages from the North to the Reach would be concerned about. The North would also have to contend with Wildling raiders. We also know that the roads are dangerous places be it from robber knights, to poor fellows, to run of the mill brigands and outlaws. This was an overriding reason Jaehaerys began building real roads, and even this did not completely solve the problem. Overt war was rare and for good reason, they had Dragons! It does seem that there is low level warfare on a nearly consistent basis.
  3. wendelsnatch

    New little legal details

    I am not really sold on how "peaceful" the Targaryen rule was as I am still making my way through F&B. There very well could be little challenge to the Kings Peace and their rule may well has been a time of unparalleled peace. There may also be numerous small feuds and battles between Lords that may not warrant mention because on average it was a more peaceful period relatively... but not "peaceful". These little feuds while technically breaking the kings peace may be dealt with in wildly different ways possibly depending on the "strength" of the ruling king. Fines may be the preferred punishment, loss of "status", ban from court, etc. Again, I am just spitballing here and will hone or modify or flat out change what I think as I read through the remainder of F&B.
  4. wendelsnatch

    New little legal details

    I could see Lords feuding against others despite the Kings Peace like this guy Götz von Berlichingen. Not that there is any proof, but it kind of works in my head canon
  5. wendelsnatch

    New little legal details

    Just a point about the "primitive communications", but Westeros actually has quite sophisticated communication. The closest real world analogy to to Ravens are homing pigeons, which were not even observed by Europeans until the 15th century even if their first use by Muslims was 12th century. Even in comparison, Ravens were vastly superior as homing pigeons could only carry messages one way (to home) or very limited "round trip" routes of at best 100 miles and at speeds of about 60 miles per hour. The next best analogy would be an efficiently set up pony express system would average about 75 miles per day, and best case 200. So as an example, sending a missive to the Wal from Kings Landingl via pigeon or Raven would be comparable in speed (figure 2-3 days providing for time for a raven/pigeon to rest) but with the advantage of a Raven being omni-directional. Alternatively, a pony express system would take between 10-25 days to send a one way message. Westeros is actually quite ahead of 18th century American and European communication, despite being a medieval society.
  6. wendelsnatch

    The North does not need the Other Regions

    Ignoring the WW the North can and has been able to survive winters on its own but at serious cost. Demographically it is likely (almost certainly) the least densely populated region. It is also socially retarded compared to the other regions (ignoring the Iron Islands), being more akin to pre-Norman conquest England while the others are more Continental Late Middle Ages.
  7. wendelsnatch

    Worldbuilding Question: North Animal Husbandry

    It would not be a large leap to think that there is hardier stock/breeds of animals in the North. In areas there could be semi-domesticated animals that are more self sufficient in adverse conditions (Elk, Moose, Reindeer, Muskox, Buffalo, etc.). There could be hardier breeds similar to highland cattle. Heck, their "cattle" may be a different species all together more similar to Yaks who only need to consume 1% body mass/day then Cattle or Aurochs which require about 3%.
  8. wendelsnatch

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    For whatever reason, yes it seems like Martin has deviated from men-at-arms being cavalry to instead being foot soldiers. This is routinely done in novels and film in error and through ignorance. What Martins reasons were, I have no clue. In Westerose, Men-at=arms are foot soldiers, in Europe they were Cavalry. In Westerose there are Turkeys, in Europe that animal was not present. Obviously there are differences between his world and ours, however he has stated pretty clearly that Westeros is a feudal society. Regarding DS, if you are having a hard time picturing DS with dozens of small villages that could support Landed Knights then I think you are having a hard time picturing what 400 square miles looks like. Dragonstone is about 2/3 the area of Oahu, about 3/4 the size of Rhodes. Having visited these places and looked over the countryside from the side of a mountain or volcano you can get an appreciation about just how much land there really is. Regarding the % of knights to men-at-arms that number kept going down because the Knights in England preferred to stay on their manors instead of going to war. Their lord didn't particularly care if the Knight showed up himself, just so long as the prescribed amount of heavy cavalry showed up.
  9. wendelsnatch

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    I honestly feel that the landed knights having household knights would be rare. Osgrey being the exception rather than the rule having 2 hedge knights as sworn swords. Petty Lords may have 6 household knights but 2-3 may be more reasonable. A great lord having 20 household knights is not out of the realm of possibility. To throw in some real feudal realism, your example above is too pretty. Lets say a Great Lord> Lord> petty Lord > Major Landed Knight> Landed Knight Said Great Lord has sworn directly to him 3 Lords (A,B,C), 3 petty Lords(D,E,F), 1 Major Landed Knight (G), and 50 Landed Knights Lord A Has 2 petty lords sworn to him as well as a dozen Landed Knights, one Major. His petty lords have 6 and 8 Landed Knights respectively. His Major landed knight has 12 knights under him Lord B has 3 petty lords and 20 landed knights, Petty lords with 6,6,9 Lord C has no petty lords, but a large body of 50 landed knights petty lord D has a dozen Landed Knights, Petty lord E and F each have 9 Major landed Knight G has 20 landed knights under him -all told you have a Great Lord, 3 Lords, 8 Petty Lords, 2 Major Landed Knights and 229 Landed Knights. There probably are another 30-40 household knights sprinkled about. Call it 280 Lordly/Knighted cavalry. Granted only about half this number would go to war, the other half staying back to guard and manage the land. This doesn't even get into the problem that some lords may owe feudal obligations to multiple greater lords who may be at war with one another. Imagine a petty lord who was was a vassal to bolt the Blackwoods and the Brackens. He may have to serve in person with the Blackwood host with a dozen of his Kinghts but would also send half a dozen to fight with the Bracken host. There is historical precedent. To your second question, a Knights obligation was generally to include a second mounted non-knight warrior as part of his "lance". This second warrior was either his squire, or a mounted "dagger man". In the cavalry charge, the Knights would lead with lances, and the other soldier essentially had their back and would generally fight wit axe or mace. Later in the middle ages the second man became incrementally better equipped behaved more like a Knight in practice but not principal. Would the squires be counted as heavy cavalry... its possible.
  10. wendelsnatch

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    It's a challenge really, but when given incomplete data in a fantasy setting I feel that the best solution is to fall back on the most relevant real world analogy and go from there. To me vast numbers of non-landed knights does not fit the feudal mold. There is enough ambiguity in the text that Martin has put to paper that it can work with classical European feudalism as I have argued. Believe me, I do see where you are coming from and that it is entirely possible to read about the number of knights marching under a lords banner and assume they are personal household forces. Hell, if asked Martin may say "of course they are household knights, household knights are more common then landed knights" if that's what he want his world to be like. If that were the case, it would seriously scratch my head and would have to think why would this be? Perhaps the Faith of the 7 doesn't take young highborn men into its ranks with the prevalence of the Catholic Church in Europe, and without the "pressure relief valve" of men going away on crusade in Westeros there is an overabundance of young highborn 2nd and 3rd sons and Westerose developed a culture of having abnormily large numbers of household knights. Plausible, but unlikely. I just go for the most plausible of possible solutions
  11. wendelsnatch

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    tourney knights are an interesting case. If I had to guess a tourney knight would not be a specific class of knight. In my opinion a tourney is a game for those rich enough to afford to loose, or desperate enough that a win is their only hope. For most common landed Knights riding in tourney would be a poor financial decision and likely avoided. If anyone deserves the term tourney knight, it would probably be lordlings with dad's money and nothing better to do while waiting to inherit their lordship, or the younger siblings that will not inherit (Loras Tyrell). For a near destitute hedge knight, loosing in round one basically strips you of everything you need to be a knight, but on the other hand as long as you make it successfully past round one you have atleast broken even. Quite the gamble, but for many it may seem to be the only option. As far as actual hedge knights, if they actually outnumbered landed knights Westeros would be swimming in nomadic homeless knights. If present in that number, the likely hood of groups banding together and forming free companies that would turn to outright brigandry when not actively employed (like in 1500s continental europe) would be too great. A hedge knight already doesn't have a good reputation, and are often called "robber knights". If they outnumbered the landed knights they could upset the whole feudal balance. Now to the average peasant, it would likely appear that there were more hedge knights than landed knights. An average peasant would see the landed knight who held the land and would likely see the knights children grow and become knights themselves. He may see a neighboring landed knight or two, and the Knights overlord. That peasant may only see a couple Lords and a half dozen real knights in his entire life, but because of the hedge knights itinerant nature the peasant may see a different hedge knight pass through every few turns of the moon. As an ignorant peasant, I would think that these damn guys must be everywhere.
  12. wendelsnatch

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    Yes, knights of a certain level of prestige can be given a banner and have knights under them, that was never questioned. I dispute that every landed knight would have a banner. A pennon or pennant certainly, but not a banner. When dealing with then numbers of Lords to Knight and other Cavalry, the North is a bad example. It was clearly stated in the first book that the North had a tiny number of Knights in relation to the southern kingdoms, but had heavy cavalry that were every bit as competent as a southern knight (or in their words 10x better). Manderly would have more knights than other Northern Lords without a doubt, and he would likely have landed non-knightly vassals trained in arms in an analogy to a knight. Manderly is quoted as saying he has More heavy cavalry than any Lord north of the Neck, has a dozen petty lords, and 100 landed knights. Lets break this down. -First remember that any number of Knights, landed or otherwise, as well as any other Heavy Horse he could have raised have been diminished by the WoT5K, to what degree is anyones guess -He says he has more heavy horse than any other Northern Lord, but no figure is provided. Remember that heavy horse that are not Knights are more common in the North. In the first book, the ratio for the North was about 1 Knight to 10 heavy horse. This ratio would obviously be smaller in Manderly lands. To what degree we are not certain. -He has 12 petty lords sworn to him. These petty lords would also have their own landed and possibly household Knights and heavy horse sworn to them. This is a feudal system, and thats how feudalism works. -He has 100 landed knights. These are the knights that are sworn personally to him and have no intervening petty lord between their feudal relationship. It is possible that some of these landed knights may even have landed knights under them, however this should be the exception instead of the rule. -No mention is given as to how many household knights he may have, however by now, my belief should be painfully clear that it would not be many. So how many Knights and heavy horse can Manderly actually put to field, I don't have a blessed idea. I can Guess, but it would be just that. The insistence on landed knights outnumbering non-landed knights is based out of historic precedent and common sense. Westeros is tremendously huge. Like the 7 kingdoms are 3 million square miles huge. You don't have a Lord managed a 1000 square mile tract of land by himself with thousands of serfs and peasants. He had Knights under him to supervise a much smaller and manageable chunk of land. This created the relationship between vassal and lord that defines feudalism. If the Lords have huge bodies of household knights that are in a state of permanent retainer then we are post-feudalism and we have the beginnings of standing armies. The author has said this is a feudal setting. To believe the majority of Knights are not of the landed variety would be anachronistic to the setting. To the evidence presented by DS and Coldmoat, I ask what evidence exactly are you referring to? Longinch appears to be a household knight, however what grounds do you have for claiming that every other soldier that Lady Webber brought to the field was a household knight? Consider this, Osgrey is a landed Knight who holds Standfast. Coldmoat is described as supporting 20 times as many small folk as Standfast. Wouldn't it then stand to reason Coldmoat could have up to 20 Landed Knights as vassals of its own? Dragonstone: again where is it explicitly stated that the 30 Knights at Dragonstone are Household Knights? Maybe all 30 are household knights based on the size of the castle of Dragonstone, the history, the status afforded Stannis, etc. That would not be entirely unreasonable for one of the preeminent Castles of the 7 kingdoms. Speaking of the island of Dragonstone, you do realize it is an island of about 400 square miles. Historical comparison would suggest that Dragonstone could support about 50 knights fees even considering its marginal land.
  13. wendelsnatch

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    It has been stated numerous times that Westeros is a feudal system. Lords like the Swann's or Tarly's, etc. do not have the time or the inclination to directly manage every village, every farm, every acre. The areas are huge. There has to be Lords under the Lords and so on. At the lowest level of nobility you need someone who can manage a relatively small parcel of land for their Lord. This would be the Landed Knight. Historically a Landed Knight would hold 3-12 square miles of land, much of which was wilderness. Several hundred serfs or peasants would live on this land. For this privilege of holding this land for their Lord and collecting the incomes from it, they owed their lord a knights fee; one Knight and accompanying soldiers. Richer Knights may hold more land and correspondingly would owe more knights fees. In a feudal system there should be thousands of these landed knights in each of the 7 kingdoms or the feudal system would not work. To answer some questions from above. Are Landed Knights rare or Commonplace. Well they would be rare in comparison to everybody else in Westeros. The nobility (the knight and family being the absolute lowest level of nobility) is likely somewhere between 1-5% of the population, so an actual knight might be somewhere between 1:100 to 1:1000. In comparison to all the other types of knights, Lords, etc. this landed knight should be the most common. Are they the majority or minority of a lords heavy cavalry? That could depend. I would say they are certainly more prevalent than any bonified household knights. If you took all the heavy cavalry that a Lord took to war, Landed Knights, Hedge Knights, Household Knights as well as Mounted Sellswords, Free Riders, and Mounted Men-at-Arms (the later 3 not being knights), then the Landed Knights may or may not be the minority. They would certainly be the minority in the North. Household Knights and Hedge Knights should be uncommon compared to Landed Knights. Household knights would be common enough that most Lords would have a few kicking around. Hedge knights should be common enough to warrant their bad reputation among the small folk as thiefs and a danger. Both should be significantly outnumbered by knights who hold modest lands for their Lords.
  14. wendelsnatch

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    Speaking frankly, bringing up that a banner =25 men while also speaking of Banners as the personal standard flown by a Lord in the sense that there is 600 Banners for 600 lords muddies what you are trying to talk about. In the passage talking about 600 Banners, and 600 Lords great and small, it is clear that the 600 Banners correspond to the individual Lords. I acknowledge that. From a practical perspective it also makes sense to organize men into manageable sized groups (25, or 30, or 40, whatever) for command and control on the battlefield. Ex. Under Lord Cerwyn's Banner (Lordly) you may have a detachment with a banner (organizational) that is smaller and has the Cewyn sigil but with a red border, and the next detachment may have a blue border, and so on and so forth. When you were talking about these two distinctly different banners, I did not find that you clearly articulated talking about two different things. Now that we got that out of the way... The problem we are faced with is trying to figure out how many troops a Lord or Lords can bring to battle. The trap I believe you are falling into is thinking that from a few textual examples we can backwards compute what other Lords in other times and places should be able to field. The example above of 600 Lords, 5000 knights, and 50000 other soldiers only definitively proves that in this specific circumstance a Lord on average has about 90 men under him with 8 or 9 being knights. This could be entirely different in the North, or Vale or Dorne, and could be entirely different even in the Reach and Westerlands +/- 10, 20, 30 years from then. Furthermore, the figure only gives us what the average # of troops per Lord is, but tells us nothing about the number of troops an average Lord has. Regarding the link, it states "If one counts 25 men-at-arms per banner, which seems to be a minimum for the period...". The language used does not indicate a high degree of certainty or consistency. By using IF, the author is making an assumption. SEEMS is not definitive. THE PERIOD is indicative on one certain period of time with implications that the figure could be different in other periods. This is backed up by the fact that the entirety of the paragraph that this sentence is present in is talking about how difficult it is to come up with figures of military strength.
  15. wendelsnatch

    Military Strengths-2 and More!

    Historically, proper household knights often came into service with their own kit and with durable items like swords and armor there was little need for their Lord to provide. Lances were an item that being limited use and necessary items were often furnished by their lord. Horses I would honestly have to do more research on. Household knights I agree are likely recruited from younger sons, but I would say generally the younger sons of minor poorer houses. Richer houses would find ways to support their children in a more lasting fashion. Kevan may essentially be a Lannister household knight by not being the first born but I would be surprised if he didn't have a modest estate that was managed by a steward that he could retire to had he made it to old age (essentially being landed). I am sure lots of other younger sons become Septons, Maesters, Sail to Essos to be sell swords, or even become tradesmen and merchants.
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