The Kingdom of Vingaard
Vingaard is a feudal kingdom, assembled from a multitude of petty kingdoms - in large part, by the power of St. Cuthbert - in times gone by. The Queen of Vingaard, Queen Madeleine Soleme III, is ruler of the country and sole liege-lord of all of Vingaard. She herself is the Duchess of the Heartland, but the other provinces of Vingaard are granted to her faithful vassals in return for oaths of fealty and undying loyalty. The Queen spends most of her time in the Great Beldorn Palace at Solamnus, along with her court.
The other nobility of Vingaard include:
- The Dukes, of which there are 3, rule duchies and are second to no one but the Crown.
- The Counts represent the standard of Vintish nobility, and between the 15 of them much of Vingaard is divided up. Each count commands a single county.
- The Barons are the lesser of the landed nobility, and the most numerous; they are vassals to a Duke or Count. Each baron has a barony, which is part of an existing duchy or county; in some cases, it may be no more than a single castle and its surroundings.
- The Knights of Vingaard are members of the nobility, sworn in service to the Queen and the Measure - in that order. Their land is granted to them by the Crown, although the majority hold only a few farmsteads in land - manorial estates, rather than provincial demesnes.
- The Gentry, usually referred to as Lords and Ladies, are the largest and lowest class of nobility. They don’t necessarily own land, though many do - but by virtue of their blood, they are granted an equivalent rank to a Knight of Vingaard. For example, a Duke’s second son will likely become a Lord.
Duchies of Vingaard
The Heartland: The Queen’s personal realm. It is home to two of the most sacred sites of the Vintish pantheon: the capitol city of Solamnus itself, and Mount Tyrus, the tallest mountain in Vingaard. Both are strongly tied to the legend of King Eolus and St. Cuthbert.
Stormcrown: One of the oldest and most powerful of Vingaard’s ancient kingdoms, and the city of Erin’s Hold was once its capitol. Even though its significance has shrunk now, the rich silver mines of Stormcrown make it one of the richest provinces.
Tarovus: Although it is the smallest duchy, it is of vital importance, as it holds the land border of both Lorknir and Lurkmoor. A great deal of trade and travel comes through High Tarus from other lands, and it is a vital province in Vintish diplomacy.
Vinmyr: The Duke of Vinmyr is known for having many vassal barons that answer to him, and is the most powerful military leader in the kingdom. The city of Lindon is an important trade hub, though it is overshadowed by Sanction.