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Thread: How Jaymes Markham's Solamnic Empire Might be Governed

  1. #21
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    I think Solamnia would have Sheriffs. Where in the over all structure they are and how they become sheriff I can't say. I would think a sheriff in Solamnia would have a different kind of importance and level of authority than their counterpart in say Abanasinian.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaemonAngel View Post
    I think Solamnia would have Sheriffs. Where in the over all structure they are and how they become sheriff I can't say. I would think a sheriff in Solamnia would have a different kind of importance and level of authority than their counterpart in say Abanasinian.
    Do you have any sources for that? I have done a text search through my digital novel collection, and searched all of my hardcopy game materials, but I have no mention of sheriff's. Of course, there were no Dukes in Solamnia in the novels until Douglas Niles' work. There is a duke in Kharolis in the War of the Lance 3e sourcebook and the novel "Galen Pathwarden" mentions a duke on the Cracklin Coast (I don't know where that is in Abanasinia) but nothing else. The only mention of earl that I found was in the "Lost Leaves from the Inn of Last Home" book, which I only found out by looking at a Dragonlance Nexus article.

    I might have been inclined to ignore that offhand reference to an earl, but I was struck by what Falconer said, where he always viewed Solamnia as being English/Western European. I on the other hand, given the importance and power of knightly orders, Doug Niles' stem duchies and the declaration of Garnet as a "free city", thought "Holy Roman Empire". Especially with Solamnic names such as "Gunthar" and "Sturm".

    Sheriffs in an English medieval context were officials, loyal to the king, that had elbowed out the Norman earls from power over the counties/shires. Sheriffs administered the shire, while the earl became a title of pre-eminence for important barons that allowed them to collect a revenue from that shire, but gave them no real authority.

    In contrast, Sheriff in Abanasinia is more of a municipal office that conveys a sense of the wild west in America. He doesn't have a keep or stronghold other than the local jail, is based in every small town or city like a Sheriff's office in much of America.

    The most solid source (pre-Rise of Solamnia) on how the local government runs is Bertram's Guide to the 5th Age, which lays out that local government is elected and that knights of good standing are empowered to enforce the law and hold trials. With a little bit of jurisdiction imposed (only certain knights have the authority to enforce laws in certain areas) that matches what I've always assumed as well.

    I can certainly divide Solamnia into Shires and Hundreds (the smallest level of government in medieval England) if everyone's first instinct is to run Solamnia as an England with a powerful knightly order. I just want to know what everyone's first instinct is. Certainly, displacing nobility with Sheriff's would be a valid tactic for Jaymes to solidify his power.

    If your thief PC is arrested in Solamnia, who do you expect to be after you? Sheriff Bayard du Khallas' Deputies with an American system of justice? Or is it city guards or a posse of Knights who drag you to a Knight's/Baron's/Earl's court to stand trial?
    Last edited by ferratus; 01-19-2018 at 01:19 PM.

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