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Ran

DISCUSS: Expanding the Court

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Behind the scenes, we've been working on getting the court structure clarified and expanded. We'll be using this forum to post the results of that, and look for feedback. :) First up, we think we've got a nice structure for the legal side of things, as they affect King's Landing.

Naturally, the King and the Hand at the top.

The Master of Laws is delegated a lot of the oversight of legal matters and providing such advice as falls within his purview.

The Master of Law works with the King's Justice for punishing crime, and with the Commander of the City Watch and the High Reeve (more on him later) for catching criminals. The King's Justice is the titular head of the gaol in the Red Keep, and under him is the Chief Gaoler and his deputy the Gaoler. Under them are the six Undergaolers, with one of them appointed Chief Undergaoler, who would mostly be drawn from the minor nobility or even commoners. And then the turnkeys, but they don't matter.

Now, the High Reeve and etc. Note, first, this is all largely our invention -- it's fan cruft, or fanon, as the saying goes, and not official. But it's an idea we like. :) The High Reeve is the chief magistrate of King's Landing, and under him are reeves who are also magistrates -- King's Landing is a big city, there's a need for courts and judges, because the king can't judge everything. The reeves primarily judge matters of low justice -- disputes concerning property and money, petty wrongdoing, etc. Under the reeves are the bailiffs, led by the High Bailiff. The bailiffs are sort of the police arm of the courts, and for various complex reasons having to do with past conflicts between the Commanders of the City Watch and the Masters of Laws, the bailiffs are kind of like federal marshals. Which means they occasionally butt their noses into cases that the City Watch is looking into, and naturally the gold cloaks don't like it, and so the bailiffs don't like them in turn. Instant potential conflict there. ;)

Finally, the City Watch we all know and love, with its Commander and his officers of the gates, his junior officers, his sergeants and plain old watchmen. They carry out the bulk of day to day policing in King's Landing.

So, that's basically the legal apparatus of the royal city of King's Landing, from the king on down to the lowliest watchman.

Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions?

Next up, we're thinking of going into some detail on the financial side of things, with the bureaucracy under the Master of Coins under consideration. We've a bit more from the books concerning the bureaucracy there.

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Primarily us, yes, but there's a job with several players included that are contributing ideas on the game itself. :) Obviously, ideas are welcome from anywhere!

I'll soon be posting the financial side of things. The final step in sorting out the court to a satisfactory level, we think, will be expanding the royal household -- we've got a steward in place, but we need more people of that kind. Master Huntsman, Master Falconer, Master of Games, etc.

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Ran,

How would the Warden of the Kingswood work into the system? The Kingswood is not part of King's Landing itself, but since it is still part of the King's holdings, I was just wondering.

You may have already thought of this or the books may already make mention of it, but how are any holdings of the King and his family dealt with in relation to King's Landing and the reast of the holding of the realm? What I mean is, even though the King and his family technically "own" King's Landing and the reast of the realms, they are still the property of their respective lords under the King's guidance. But who or what looks after the Targaryen Holdings (i.e. personal possessions and properties of the Targaryens)?

(edited for spelling)

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Good questions. I see the Warden of the Kingswood (and any other, similar wardenships we may create down the road) as essentially being the equivalent of a castellan -- which means he's basically directly under the king (and, by extension, the Hand), although of course matters of funding and jurisdiction sometimes cross paths with the masters of coin and laws.

The books really don't deal with the question very well of how various properties are dealt with. We suppose that there is a castellan on Dragonstone, for example, managing matters for the Targaryens. Summerhall doesn't exist at present. The Warden of the Kingswood is one role we've created who helps to manage a part of the royal demense, and we've put into consideration creating a Warden of Crackclaw Point down the road.

Perhaps the Keepers of the Keys (there's four of them) have some personal role in cataloging, maintaining, and protecting the royal treasury, armory, wardrobe, and so on? Haven't yet thought their role through.

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Okay, the bureaucracy under the master of coins:

The King's Counter: Subordinate most directly involved in managing the taxation of the realm, making sure that all that ought to be coming in in tax revenue comes in as intended. Royal tax assessors, tax farmers (men who pay to "farm" the royal tax for a lump sum, on the expectation that they'll be able to turn a profit), and so on are in their employment.

The King's Scales: Official keeper of the royal weights and measures, and enforcing them as the standard throughout the realm. Various kinds of factors -- wool, wine, spice factors -- are in his employment, and they play a more direct role in assessing tariffs and duties.

He also holds the job (with his subordinates, assessors and surveyors ) of surveying the domains of the realm and assessing their property value for the purpose of taxation, which the King's Counter then executes.

The Keepers of the Keys: There are four of them, we know. I am not absolutely certain of what keys they control, but I was thinking that they were in origin close companions of the kings who were given the privilege/duty of seeing to various aspects of the personal finances of the king. With the royal income being so very large, even that subset which is "just" spent on the royal household is substantial. Perhaps one Keeper of the Keys oversees the royal armory, another might oversee the royal wardrobe, another the king's treasury... Any ideas for what area of responsibility each Keeper of the Key might have? I've got ideas for three, but not sure about that last.

Officers of the royal mints -- There are three such mints, and their job is pretty straightforward.

And then various more minor officers under these, that aren't too important -- customs sergeants, harbormasters, etc. -- for our purposes. We're mostly interested in the "named" offices of note.

Thoughts, ideas, suggestions, etc. welcome!

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It seems that the Keys oversee the King's personal affairs, but the question is how to divvy up the responsibility. You could possibly break it down like this:

One Key deals with matters of food, clothing and immediate consumables. Duties might include procuring and supervising cooks, maids, tailors, etc., purchasing food and clothing items as well as storing and keeping items in prime condition. This Key might also help plan and arrange feasts and festivals, though this duty was delegated to the Hand in AGoT.

One Key oversees the more permanent details of the King's holdings, such as construction and maintenance of fortifications, holdfasts, houses and castles. Duties might include procuring and supervising stonemasons, carpenters, gardeners, etc.

One Key supervises the material necessities of war, namely armor and weapons. Duties would include supervising the armory and supplying the King's armies with everything they need.

One Key oversees any profitable matters under the purview of the King. If the King owns personal property that makes money, such as cropland or herds of cattle or forests or fishing ships or whatever, it is this Key's responsibility to ensure that those endeavors remain profitable. This Key might also oversee the King's stables, kennels, rookeries and eyries and ensure that the animals needed by the King and his family are available, healthy and trained as need be.

So those are some possible suggestions. I'm sure I've missed some things, but perhaps I mentioned something you hadn't thought of. I know that a few of those jobs were often delegated to others in the book (like the tourney being delegated to the Hand and much of the work in the rookeries being done by the maesters), but perhaps the Keys have a hand in those matters as well.

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