Duke Loggins's trusted aide, Baron Camorra.
If the Second Prince was a hungry wolf, then the baron could be said to be a jackal. While wolves were ferocious and savage, jackals were cunning and suspicious. Even though almost everybody knew about the duke's desire to form his own Loggins Duchy, the real reason the duke wasn't able to accomplish it was due to his untrusting and indecisive personality.
A light blonde-haired wig wearing, skinny middle-aged man dressed in formal robes.
To most other people, Baron Camorra was merely someone who had lucked out to gain his position today. Looking like a monkey-faced clown, most people felt that he had managed to gain the duke's favor by mere coincidence. What they didn't take into account was that while the duke had many weaknesses and shortcomings, he wasn't a ruler that could easily be swayed around like that. The reason he trusted Camorra and even granted him the title of a baron was because of the achievements he had gained by his own ability.
Baron Camorra was originally a commoner born in Gildusk City and he had spent most of his life in the slums among the lowest dredges of society. He did everything he could to survive including being a liar, a thief and a gangster. However, he was finally caught for stealing at the age of 16 and just as he was about to have his hand amputated as punishment, the local dominion lord intervened out of nowhere and forgave Camorra of his crimes and even gave him a small fortune and some clothes.
That benevolent dominion lord said to him, "I can't have a young boy like you dying from having your hands cut off on the day my son is born. That will forever taint this auspicious day of mine. That's why I forgave you and even graced you with this little gift. You don't have to thank me, this is the fortune that my little angel has brought to you. I can only advise you to change your way of life and find a proper job so that you can secure your own happiness and livelihood with your own efforts. If you don't listen to what I have to say, you will definitely be captured again and die a dog's death from having your hands amputated. However, at that moment, your death will no longer have anything to do with my precious son."
As if he had gained a sudden revelation, Camorra went to the Shrine of Singwa and carried out all sorts of chores there during the day to earn his share of two pieces of black bread. During his free time, he also spent his time learning as much as he could from the priests of the shrine and after three years, he had gained the trust and admiration of the priests of the shrine and one of the senior priests promoted him to become a warden. From a position at the jail, Camorra spent 10 short years to be promoted to the level of a security captain and spent another 10 years to become the chief tax officer of Gildusk City and caught Duke Loggins's eye.
If one were to pick the poorest duke out within those of the Krissen Empire, the Duke of the Northlands would definitely fit the bill. One of the duke's ancestors had once took the post as the prime minister during the time of Krissen III and had a reputation in the history books as the virtuous prime minister. Back then, the Krissen Empire was fraught with natural disasters as well as internal and external conflict and it was the leader of the Loggins family at that time that had used every method at his disposal to unify the empire and grant it peace and stability. In the end, he died from overwork at his work desk and that prompted the emperor of that time to elevate the title of the Loggins Family from a viscount to a duke and grant the southern part of the Northlands to their family as a hereditary dominion.
However, the Loggins Family could not have hated Krissen III more. Even though their dukedom was 10 times larger than their previous viscounty, the profit the family made had decreased more than 10 times. Krissen III had actually claimed the profitable viscounty for himself and ceded the desolate northern lands to their family as their dominion instead. To the Loggins Family, that was a stab in the back that they didn't deserve considering the contributions the family had made to the empire. Perhaps it was the emperor's way of punishing the family for hogging so much power within the empire for so long and making the emperor feel like he's nothing more than a figurehead.
During the reign of the former Krissen Empire, the revenue of the Duke of the Northlands was merely around 100000 imperial gold coins. That amount was akin to the profit that a common baron earned in the most prosperous areas of the empire. The previous leaders of the Loggins Family had tried to develop their lands before, but none of the leaders were as talented as the former viscount and they were mostly plagued by their limited funds and the natural hazards of the Northlands. Surprisingly, the Loggins Family had produced a number of family leaders that excelled in the military, causing them to be known by some as the family that had relinquished their scholarly brilliance to become military brutes.
When compared to many of his predecessors, the current Duke Loggins was not accomplished in both academic and martial prowess and was only average at whatever he did. He also had lots of shortcomings like lust, greed, indecisiveness and a fond liking for spending on unnecessary luxuries. However, one redeeming factor that he had was his ability to judge people. He had picked Camorra to manage the taxes of his dukedom and organize the formation of the Northland Army as well as manage the logistics and supply of the army.
Camorra, not letting the duke's expectations down, had spent three whole years revamping the taxation system of the dukedom and helped the chaotic dominion recover its revenue by up to six times like it used to be in the old days, thus allowing the duke to no longer have to save up just to make ends meet as well as allowing for the original 3000-strong garrison of the dukedom to be expanded into a staggering 20000-strong Northland Army. The income of the dukedom also ensured that the army would be able to sustain itself in terms of equipment and supplies.
After merely three years, the duke was extremely satisfied with Camorra's performance and fulfilled his promise to make him a baron. Naturally, it was merely an honorary title that didn't come with a dominion. That meant that Baron Camorra was only an honorary noble.
The night he was given the title, Camorra locked himself in his room and cried himself to sleep. He knew that most of the people around him treated him like a joke and didn't know how much effort he had put in to get to where he was. Even though he wasn't even 45 years old, he had lost half of the original volume of his hair over the years of stressful toiling. He was extremely thankful for the duke's favor towards him and he continued to believe that as long as he served the duke well, he would one day gain a dominion for himself and become a proper landed noble.
On the other hand, it would be easy to come out with an excuse to pester the Norton Family: ever since the Second Prince's Iblia Kingdom had decreed for all landed nobles of the Northlands to be under the jurisdiction of the Duke of the Northlands, the Norton Family had not made a visit to the duke himself for a single time even though they paid their taxes regularly. They could also argue that the Norton Family's lack of notification to the duke when they selected a new family leader was a disrespectful act to the duke as he was their senior noble and not reporting the fact meant that they were treating him as if he didn't exist. It could also be said that among the old noble families of the Northlands, the Norton Family had become a rogue family that did not have any associations to a senior noble.
After deciding on the excuse with his trusted subordinate, the duke decided to send none other than Baron Camorra himself to the Norton Family as his ambassador. To pressure the Nortons to submit, the duke had also sent one of the five Gold ranked knights he had to accompany the baron on his journey as well as an escort of 20 Silver ranked knights and two small squads of elite soldiers of the Northland Army.
The duke also instructed Baron Camorra that if the Norton Family knew what was good for them, not only did they have to hand over the 100000 gold Fordes, they also had to give two thirds of the resources they had plundered to the duke to gain his forgiveness for the Norton Family leader's disregard. And if the Norton Family refuses to abide to those conditions, the escort that the baron brought with him would be more than enough to wipe the family out.