The lowest social rank in Northwind are the peasants. The peasant class included Freemen, who have some rights and land, serfs, who have no rights, slaves, who are bought and sold, and beggars.
FreemenFreeman are generally farmers who have control of small portions of land. Freeman usually make just enough money to live on. They sell their crops and or may work with a trade. That said, the majority of Adventurers, Hirelings, and Retainers come from this Social Class. Wives of freeman sometimes do “stay-at-home” trades, such as brewing ale.
SerfsSerfs have no political power and are not allowed having control of property. They live on the property of a noble vassal, and, in order to repay the vassal for letting the serf live on his property, the serf works the land and is at the disposal of the vassal. Serfs are slaves in all but name.
SlavesSlavery, the practice of buying and selling human workers, is legal in nearly all of the human Wilderlands. Elves, Dwarves, and Hobbits do not generally take slaves, but recognize the social practice of other races that do. It is not an uncommon among Adventurers to purchase a number of slaves rather than hire retainers and torch bearers for economic reasons – it's sometimes cheaper in the long run. Slavery is a favored practice among the Norsemen, who take slaves when they invade and raid new territories.
There are laws in The City State of Northwind and other city states that punish slave owners for mistreating their slaves. Outright killing a slave is considered murder nearly everywhere in The Wilderlands.
Manumission - slaves are sometimes paid a meager wage with which they can save up to, in effect, buy themselves and become Freemen. This is most common among skilled slaves rather than laborers.
The utterly destitute and homeless throngs of people who roam The City State living on the generosity of the Nobility, Freemen, and The Church and Temples. Nearly all Beggars belong to the Beggars Guild, which for 20% of their earnings the may sleep in the Guildhall and partake of meals. Local Thieves Guilds, such as the Brotherhood of the Rope and the Golden Sashes often utilize Beggars as Fences, Informants, and/ or Drug Pushers.
The status of Knighthood is the only attainable Noble rank that Fighting Men may attain. This may be done by showing outstanding bravery in military service to the Overlord or the Church. A Knight must be a horseman and a land owning Freeman, if not of Noble birth.Knights of the Church
Sir Hosman – Missing in action: Corpsewatch.
Sir Karolmed IV
Sir Towell the Great
Sir Sifrim Rondel – Leading a Quest to locate Glazya Covens in Meermist Swamp.
Sir Domanid – Leading The Order of the Dragon against the Giants in The Majestic Mountains.
Sir Garbel the Younger
Sir Wismarel – Leading a Quest to route the Force of Evil from Stonehell.
Sir Severn the Blessed - Missing in action: Corpsewatch.
- Chivalric Code of The
Thou shalt believe
all that the Church teaches and thou shalt observe all its
directions (Believe the Church's teachings and observe all the
Thou shalt defend the Church (Defend the Church).
Thou shalt respect all weaknesses, and shalt constitute thyself the defender of them (Respect and defend all weaknesses).
Thou shalt love the country in which thou wast born (Love your country).
Thou shalt not recoil before thine enemy.
Thou shalt make war against the infidel without cessation and without mercy (Show no mercy to the infidel. Do not hesitate to make war with them).
Thou shalt perform scrupulously thy feudal duties, if they be not contrary to the laws of God (Perform all your feudal duties as long as they do not conflict with the laws of God).
Thou shalt never lie, and shalt remain faithful to thy pledged word (Never lie or go back on one's word).
Thou shalt be generous, and give largesse to everyone (Be generous to everyone).
Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil (Always and everywhere be right and good against evil and injustice)
Sir Hangor - Missing in action: Corpsewatch.
Sir Jenpalo of Crake
Sir Zech the Heir
Sir Savon the Griffon – Hunting Dragons along The Cloudwall Mountains.
Sir Sledge – Fighting Norsemen Pirates along the Conqueror River.
Sir Egan the Fonnelling
Sir Tragg the Jaunty - Missing in action: Corpsewatch.
Sir Batan the Stout
“For ten years I have been polishing this sword;
Its frosty edge has never been put to the test.
Now I am holding it and showing it to you, sir:
Is there anyone suffering from injustice?”
The Code of Chivalry
Prowess – To do the best one can do in all things in accordance with one’s ability. It matters not what the task may be. For anything that knights set themselves to doing, must be accomplished with the utmost attention to detail, concern for timeliness, and completed with a high regard for excellence. A knight is not expected to be an expert in all things. However to do less than one is capable of demeans not only one’s self, but also the task at hand. No task is too menial for a knight, for are we not servants? It is not our place to be treated with reverence and deference. Ours is a humble station and we must never forget that once we kneel and accept the accolade of knighthood, we spend the rest of our lives in humility. The knight is ever the first to step forward and accept the task, and ever is he or she the last to withdraw once the task is accomplished.
Justice – The knight must ever be upon the side which is right. The pathway of Right is not always the pathway of that which is popular or easy. In fact it is ever the difficult rock strewn path that causes many to stumble upon its course. A knight must consider, what is right? Most small children know instinctively what is right and wrong. Search your feelings, do not fall prey to convenience, know that which must be done and do it. Justice is often a matter of perspective. I once saw several crows chase a fox. Who was right and who was wrong? Was it the crows defending their nests, or the fox providing a meal for her kits? Mercy must go hand in hand with Justice. Justice can be cold and cruel with no regard for those she judges. Mercy is the warmth and heart that must bring balance to the knight’s duty of defending Right.
Loyalty – The word of a knight must be given wisely, sparingly and unwavering. Fealty and oath are the knight’s stock and trade. Ever must the knight stand before and beside those he or she has sworn allegiance to. The knight that switches sides for the increase of his or her own renown is a knight that cannot be trusted by either friend or foe.
Defense – A knight will ever be the shield of the defenseless, the oppressed and of those in need. For a knight is seen as a beacon of light in the darkness of threat, prejudice, and malice. A knight should give only minor concern to his or her pride or welfare. The safety and well being of their charges takes all priority.
Courage – The knight that says, “I fear nothing” is a knight to be feared. For this knight cares nothing for others and is deceiving not only those he or she serves, but themselves as well. The breadth of a hair separates the ranks of the brave and the foolish. The brave have discovered the secret of Courage. By allowing one’s self to fail, then one shall surely succeed. Many knights feel they are unworthy of the rank of knight because they have made mistakes or failed in their tasks. No one is perfect. It is only when we surrender, that failure and defeat are complete.
Faith – This is the foundation of the knight, the castle walls that defend the knight from despair and disappointment in their fellow man. For as much as we that follow this Way espouse the virtues of the Code. There are those who disdain and revile it as weakness and foolishness. It does not matter what Faith the knight reveres, as long as it is in keeping with the values of the Code. For in the Code can be found the similarities of these Faiths that bind us together as Brothers and Sisters.
Courtesy – A knight must be courteous and use good manners to all. This sets an example for others to emulate. A knight should be fearless in the face of their adversary; however there is no need for one’s manner to be crude. Likewise with women and children be kind and gentle. Show respect and therein shall respect be returned unto you, but be not so foolish to think that respect is your due.
Humility – So often the loud ones, the flashy ones, the braggers and boasters are hailed as Hero, Champion, and Victor! These are the ones the masses throng to, venerate and adore. A knight true in the Way cares not for such foolishness. The actions and deeds of the knight speak for themselves. The real knight is the one behind the scenes, seen yet not seen. Doing that which needs doing and then fades away as if mist. The knight does not seek riches in rewards, unless the relief of a burden or the laughter of children can be considered gold.
Dignity – A knight seeks calmness and composure in word and deed, the self-assurance and confidence that gives one grace. Not arrogance or the false pride of self-importance. The manner of carrying one’s self will often be the difference between conflict and resolution. To be sure, a knight’s conduct and appearance will reassure either their friends or their foes.
Compassion – A knight should not be cold or callous to those in need. Nor should a foe be treated unkindly once defeated. All should be treated as one would wish to be treated in similar circumstances. Not all are as fortunate as others and we must think of the needs and situations of those we serve before our own.
Generosity – A knight should be giving, of one’s wealth, of one’s talents and most of all, of one’s self. There is no need to pauper one’s self. In fact being over generous to some people creates over dependency. While we should all need and rely on one another, we should maintain our self-reliance. Be generous with your funds and talents; yet balance this with taking care of your own needs and responsibilities to family. Through our service to others we serve that which we revere as Divine. There is no greater gift.
Duty - A knight must do these things each and every day until the end of days. There is no separation between our lives as a knight and our more mundane existence. The virtues of the Code are not chosen at the time of their convenience and then ignored when they no longer suit us. The Code is a way of life. It becomes The Way of Life at the very moment we take up this path. Not when we are knighted, but the day we say “I will strive to become a knight”. To be a knight is to take up a most difficult lifestyle. Many have tried, many have failed, and the choice is yours alone. Yet do not despair for you are not alone. There are others who struggle in Valour and swear their Loyalty to you, the Brethren of the Code.Of Clergy & Magic Users
The Church (and nearly all Religious Institutions) have their own hierarchies that have varying degrees of social status depending on ones place within the hierarchy. For instance, Bards have more status among the Celts than Druids. Magic Users are considered outside of social status and are generally regarded as something to be accepted rather than disdained, due their varying power levels. This, of course, varies from practitioner to practitioner – Alignment and Charisma are more deciding factors than Noble or Peasant blood.