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 Titles of the Lords of the Dales
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Khaelieth
Learned Scribe

103 Posts

Posted - 29 Mar 2021 :  23:53:21  Show Profile  Visit Khaelieth's Homepage Send Khaelieth a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I'm considering handing out some minor titles to my PCs in a while, but I was wondering if there are any titles mentioned in the Dales? Like, Randall Morn is "Lord Morn," but that's an appellation, not a title. He's noble, but is he a Duke, Count, Baron, Viscount, Archduke, Grand Vizier etc.?

I'm guessing I'm asking whether the Dales are effectively Duchies, Counties, Baronies etc. I know it can all get pretty messy, but do we have anything tangible before I make a lot of Dukes and Duchesses?

Also known on other forums as ChazSexington, Kusghuul, and Claudius.

Kentinal
Great Reader

4686 Posts

Posted - 30 Mar 2021 :  00:18:47  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not good on the Dales Lore, basic D&D indicated titles where based on how many territories one controlled. A Baron had one, the higher ranks controlled two or more often ruling the lessor holders sometimes even making a or ruling a Baron. That titles could be claimed by any, however a near by Duke of large areas of control would take extreme upset with some farm lad with 30 acres calling himself a Duke. Basically was you can claim (or earn) a title if you can defend it. The farm lad would lose in almost all possible cases (Never say never *wink* ).

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon

Edited by - Kentinal on 30 Mar 2021 00:19:53
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6653 Posts

Posted - 30 Mar 2021 :  08:14:58  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Dales are independent holdings and over the years the various rulers of the places have had a range of titles - most these days don't have a single ruler. "Lord" however seems to be the most common (Shadowdale, Scardale (when it had a ruler), Daggerdale) single ruler title.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Ayrik
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Canada
7981 Posts

Posted - 30 Mar 2021 :  09:15:52  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
1) "Lord" doesn't have to strictly indicate a feudal vassal. It could indicate a "landlord", a "master of the house", etc, much like Scots still use the term "Laird", a sort of semi-hereditary, semi-official, and traditional label of office. The internet says etymology of the word "Lord" traces back to Old English hlafweard ("bread-keeper"), which itself traces back to Norse/Germanic eorl or jarl ("leader", "chief/chieftain", "king") - positions which are basically elected or voluntary, possibly temporary, and never appointed by higher peerage.

2) It's quite plausible for the local Mayor/Chief/Leader/Boss to proclaim himself a "Lord" to promote the status, privilege, and legitimacy of his position - or the status, privilege, and legitimacy of his community, nation, or "holdings" when dealing with foreign counterparts.

3) "appellation" is defined as "a name, a title, or a designation".

If the leader of the Dale calls himself a "Lord" - and all of his followers call him a "Lord" - and heralds, diplomats, etc all treat him as a "Lord" - and he is indeed functioning as a de-facto "Lord" in the absence of any other government - then who cares if the haughty nobilities from other kingdoms turn their snoots upward and indignantly sniff because this "Lord" is not entitled to the title. The leaders of nations may often believe otherwise, but they can't actually invent and enforce rules to apply outside their proper borders of influence.

[/Ayrik]
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Khaelieth
Learned Scribe

103 Posts

Posted - 30 Mar 2021 :  11:12:42  Show Profile  Visit Khaelieth's Homepage Send Khaelieth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kentinal

Not good on the Dales Lore, basic D&D indicated titles where based on how many territories one controlled. A Baron had one, the higher ranks controlled two or more often ruling the lessor holders sometimes even making a or ruling a Baron. That titles could be claimed by any, however a near by Duke of large areas of control would take extreme upset with some farm lad with 30 acres calling himself a Duke. Basically was you can claim (or earn) a title if you can defend it. The farm lad would lose in almost all possible cases (Never say never *wink* ).



Aye, that's pretty standard :) Raising people to the nobility tends to require the explicit consent of a ruler (such as a king, or in this case, a lord). The power levels between each noble isn't necessarily tied to their rank and they are messy. E.g. England used to be a heptarchy, Norway had plenty of petty kings etc. It's more along the lines of who outranks who internally in a given Dale. A count outranks a baron, who is outranked by a duke, who is outranked by a king, who is outranked by an emperor. This is of course within a single realm; a king of England can be weaker than a Norman duke!

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

The Dales are independent holdings and over the years the various rulers of the places have had a range of titles - most these days don't have a single ruler. "Lord" however seems to be the most common (Shadowdale, Scardale (when it had a ruler), Daggerdale) single ruler title.

-- George Krashos



I think I should rephrase the question; would Randall Morn hand out a barony, county etc., or would he be more keen on just having someone (without necessarily hereditary titles and lands) rule the Dagger Hills in his name in exchange for taxes/levies and ridding it of orcs?

I definitely see the lord title as more akin to the Lord of the Isles and similar titles; the mean "ruler" rather than any formalised system of nobility. That's what makes it tricky.

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

1) "Lord" doesn't have to strictly indicate a feudal vassal. It could indicate a "landlord", a "master of the house", etc, much like Scots still use the term "Laird", a sort of semi-hereditary, semi-official, and traditional label of office. The internet says etymology of the word "Lord" traces back to Old English hlafweard ("bread-keeper"), which itself traces back to Norse/Germanic eorl or jarl ("leader", "chief/chieftain", "king") - positions which are basically elected or voluntary, possibly temporary, and never appointed by higher peerage.

2) It's quite plausible for the local Mayor/Chief/Leader/Boss to proclaim himself a "Lord" to promote the status, privilege, and legitimacy of his position - or the status, privilege, and legitimacy of his community, nation, or "holdings" when dealing with foreign counterparts.

3) "appellation" is defined as "a name, a title, or a designation".

If the leader of the Dale calls himself a "Lord" - and all of his followers call him a "Lord" - and heralds, diplomats, etc all treat him as a "Lord" - and he is indeed functioning as a de-facto "Lord" in the absence of any other government - then who cares if the haughty nobilities from other kingdoms turn their snoots upward and indignantly sniff because this "Lord" is not entitled to the title. The leaders of nations may often believe otherwise, but they can't actually invent and enforce rules to apply outside their proper borders of influence.



Yep, I double checked Wikipedia too in case I'd missed something. A lord isn't used in the same way as baron, duke etc. My question is if a lord of Scardale/Daggerdale etc. would raise someone to the rank of baron/count/duke under them.

Also known on other forums as ChazSexington, Kusghuul, and Claudius.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7981 Posts

Posted - 30 Mar 2021 :  12:51:48  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How big is a dale? How much population?

Maybe just a township or village plus a few surrounding farmsteads? Maybe a few hundreds, perhaps a few thousands?

Does such a small "city-state" need to install an upper class of high-living minor nobility?
Would the stubbornly independent, self-reliant, and hardworking simple folk of the Dales even put up with much top-heavy soft-knuckled deadweight?
Why would lordlings want to attend a backwards Dale when gloriously civilized Cormyr and gloriously wealthy Sembia are within riding distance?

[/Ayrik]
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Khaelieth
Learned Scribe

103 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2021 :  10:24:31  Show Profile  Visit Khaelieth's Homepage Send Khaelieth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

How big is a dale? How much population?

Maybe just a township or village plus a few surrounding farmsteads? Maybe a few hundreds, perhaps a few thousands?

Does such a small "city-state" need to install an upper class of high-living minor nobility?
Would the stubbornly independent, self-reliant, and hardworking simple folk of the Dales even put up with much top-heavy soft-knuckled deadweight?
Why would lordlings want to attend a backwards Dale when gloriously civilized Cormyr and gloriously wealthy Sembia are within riding distance?



It's more about the ones already described as having a lord. While it doesn't necessarily mean said lord (or lady) is of noble birth, the Morns have ruled Daggerdale as a hereditary right and duty for centuries. They've put up with this noble fighting the Zhentarim for the Dale's freedom.

I'm not sure I follow the last point - nobility are tied to the land. A duke of Cormyr is a duke of Cormyr, not a duke of any given Dale.

Also known on other forums as ChazSexington, Kusghuul, and Claudius.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6653 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2021 :  13:41:23  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not aware of any Dales rulers through the ages creating nobility beneath them. Most of the Dales are small and the nature of the Dales - "free folk" - means that there likely wasn't any land to give out to go with the title. It's a common misconception in the Realms that places like Cormyr are feudal monarchies with all land owned by the crown and doled out as desired to the nobility or those elevated to that status. The rulers of the Dales are exactly that: rulers; but they don't own the land - they only have the authority to rule. So, I think your answer is that rulers of Dales can do what they like, but don't do the thing that you are asking about because it gains them nothing. What's the point of Randal Morn creating 5 dukes or barons? None whatsoever.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Kylia Quilor
Acolyte

USA
17 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2021 :  14:57:04  Show Profile Send Kylia Quilor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The closest I can think off is a mention in Daggerdale's Plots and Rumors section of the 3e FRCS, where it's mentioned that Randall Morn has offered 'land and titles' for the PCs to clear out this strategically placed (and full of haywire magic) tower that Randall wants to make use of. But there's no clarification as to what 'titles' mean.

I imagine there's various people running around calling themselves 'lords' in some of the dales, or otherwise claiming some level of nobility, but the Dalelands certainly don't come off as a feudal region with a regimented or complex nobility.

EDIT: Correction, it's not under plots and rumors, it's under the description of the location itself (Constables tower) in 'Important Sites' for Daggerdale

Halisstra Melarn Deserved Better

Edited by - Kylia Quilor on 31 Mar 2021 14:59:50
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
6356 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2021 :  15:14:47  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The land would likely be enough for a farm. In the medieval analogous timeline land would be incredibly valuable, especially in the dalelands with its nearby urban neighbours.

The titles could be honorific and not hereditary, something like Master of Horse, or Protector of Daggerdale, such a title would come with a monthly or annual stipend. The holder of the title might even be granted permission to attend Randal Morns court without invitation.

Together such rewards would provide much prestige to the individual, and provide a regular income (farms can be rented out to tenant farmers) a life outside of adventuring and a permanent base of operations.

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Khaelieth
Learned Scribe

103 Posts

Posted - 03 Apr 2021 :  19:28:45  Show Profile  Visit Khaelieth's Homepage Send Khaelieth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

I'm not aware of any Dales rulers through the ages creating nobility beneath them. Most of the Dales are small and the nature of the Dales - "free folk" - means that there likely wasn't any land to give out to go with the title. It's a common misconception in the Realms that places like Cormyr are feudal monarchies with all land owned by the crown and doled out as desired to the nobility or those elevated to that status. The rulers of the Dales are exactly that: rulers; but they don't own the land - they only have the authority to rule. So, I think your answer is that rulers of Dales can do what they like, but don't do the thing that you are asking about because it gains them nothing. What's the point of Randal Morn creating 5 dukes or barons? None whatsoever.

-- George Krashos



I'm aware Cormyr et al. are more like constitutional monarchies (though with no constitution I'm aware of), but thanks for your input :)

quote:
Originally posted by Kylia Quilor

The closest I can think off is a mention in Daggerdale's Plots and Rumors section of the 3e FRCS, where it's mentioned that Randall Morn has offered 'land and titles' for the PCs to clear out this strategically placed (and full of haywire magic) tower that Randall wants to make use of. But there's no clarification as to what 'titles' mean.

I imagine there's various people running around calling themselves 'lords' in some of the dales, or otherwise claiming some level of nobility, but the Dalelands certainly don't come off as a feudal region with a regimented or complex nobility.

EDIT: Correction, it's not under plots and rumors, it's under the description of the location itself (Constables tower) in 'Important Sites' for Daggerdale



Aye, that's what gave me part of the idea. They did the whole Return of Randall Morn arch, and I'm now gonna have Gothyl sit up in the tower, Xvimlar in the Flaming Tower, and the Doom of Daggerdale for the PCs to solve - in return they get some land in the Dagger Hills bordering Shadowdale.

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

The land would likely be enough for a farm. In the medieval analogous timeline land would be incredibly valuable, especially in the dalelands with its nearby urban neighbours.

The titles could be honorific and not hereditary, something like Master of Horse, or Protector of Daggerdale, such a title would come with a monthly or annual stipend. The holder of the title might even be granted permission to attend Randal Morns court without invitation.

Together such rewards would provide much prestige to the individual, and provide a regular income (farms can be rented out to tenant farmers) a life outside of adventuring and a permanent base of operations.



Aye, those are good ideas. It's along the lines of what I've come to as well. Warden(s) of the Dagger Hills sounds like something that could work!

Problem solved, thanks CK :)

Also known on other forums as ChazSexington, Kusghuul, and Claudius.
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