The Family of the Roaring Raging Bear.
After inheriting the barony, Lorist announced the castle defense unit of the bastide will undergo a reorganization. The current members of the unit were mostly veteran family soldiers who were in their late thirties to forties. Some of them had even returned to service after their retirement as the Norton’s had lost quite a lot of their men during the stormy years that had passed. Lorist wished to recruit around 120 people from the bastide aged between 16 to 25 and promised that he would help them awaken their Battle Force within a time span of three months to six months. Lorist then ordered Patt to oversee the recruitment and training of the new unit.
When Lorist went to attack Wildnorth Town. He had 500 new recruits from the laborers at Firmrock Castle recently which was almost enough to form a company of troops. Coupled with the existing three guard and defense squads which numbered around 600 plus troops with the company of guard troops at Maplewoods Bastide as well as the 150 plus laborers at Poplar Coast who had just joined the family's forces, he had around 1200 soldiers at his disposal. And that figure didn't even include the 80 plus mercenaries stationed at the coast as well as Lorist, Josk, Patt, Reidy and the rest.
After the knighthood competition 29 wandering knights were willing to serve the Norton Family military force in hopes of being promoted to family knights one day after gaining some achievement. If Lorist did not add the criteria for them to be good at archery, they would not have accepted so many of them. There were 17 of them who were still Iron ranked and they had just received their knight badges not long ago. Originally, they just wanted to watch the competitions, but upon discovering that the archery competition didn't have a Battle Force requirement, they joined immediately. They were quite good with the bow and arrow and recruited them right away.
Shyarsia Kingdom Edit
During the 9th month of 1776, Senbaud's Oceanic Legion was deployed against a Shyarsian fleet. But, after only a single volley of cannon fire, the kingdom raised the white flag immediately. They were apparently so terrified by the human-head pyramid that lost all will to fight. Even King Lud III's cousin, the queen regent and heir to the kingdom, was poisoned by her royal uncle. She was decapitated and her head presented to Senbaud as an apology for their misconduct. The group that delivered the head also brought two million gold Fordes' worth of treasures and the king's seven-year-old younger brother from another mother, who was to serve as a political hostage.
There was been no precedent for such a thing, a kingdom swearing fealty to a single independent noble house, a mere count no less. Others might not acknowledge it. However, given that Shyarsia was located on an isolated island, away from the continent, perhaps they had never seemed to be much in the eyes of the continental nobles in the first place. Add that that the Chikdor Merchant Guild had offered up their trade routes to Shyarsia, it was only natural for the kingdom to fall under the Nortons' rule.
The island kingdom was controlled mainly by the young king's royal uncle, Saham. The king was young and likely controlled by his uncle, a mere figurehead.
It would certainly explain why he had such hatred for the man, besides the fact that it had been his uncle who'd murdered his mother.
Lorist had no interest in Shyarsia's internal politics. He cared only for their spices. The Norton people lived a high quality of life, the common man had meat as his staple food. This was true for most of The Northlands as well. If they could obtain their spices, the profits would be immeasurable. Lorist was prepared to form another maritime trading fleet to establish trade routes to Shyarsia as well as make it another market for the dominion's produce. The fleet would ship their products to the kingdom and bring back their spice. As for their internal power struggles, the house would not interfere if the kingdom could continue to supply spice.
Back when he was at the Redlis Kingdom, he introduced Tim to the Peterson Merchant Guild and managed to close a cooperative deal between the two parties. The deal allowed Peterson Merchant Guild to extend their sphere of influence into the southwestern area of the Redlis Kingdom. In exchange, President Peterson gave Charade a medal that could be used to request the guild's aid, or for special treatment and benefits. For example, they could get a 20 percent discount for purchases, and could even buy on credit if they didn't have enough money.
After Lorist was entitled Duke of the Northlands, the house entitled two viscounts and 12 barons in the first round. The two viscount titles were given to grandmasters Sid and Fellin. Lorist's reasoning was that without them the household wouldn't have gotten Sid steel armor, steel ballistae and catapults, all of which were central to the Nortons' successes. The twelve barons included Potterfang, Fiercetiger Loze, Ironface Malek, Divine Marksman Josk, White Belnick and Mercenary Freiyar, the first ones to join Lorist. There were supervisors Hansk, Spiel, and Kedan as well. They were the three household supervisors from Maplewoods. They were finally rewarded for their years of service, service that stretched back to even before Lorist inherited his position as head of the household, and their contribution over those years. The final three caused quite a stir.
The first was Charade. As the chief knight of House Norton, he should've been made a baron without question, however, in comparison to Els, Terman, Yuriy and some others, Charade's promotion seemed a little too fast. The second was Grandmaster Jilian, entitled because of his technical contributions. Due to the nature of his discoveries concerning materials, which were not as eye-catching as those of grandmasters Fellin and Sid, there was much argument about what reward Julian deserved. Camorra was the last one and came with many voices of objection. Baron Camorra had once been an honorary noble entitled by the former Duke of The Northlands, Duke Loggins. After he wronged the duke and was imprisoned in the water dungeon, however, his title was rescinded. Lorist appreciated his talent and had him serve the house after his release. Camorra had started off as the lowest-ranked official. It was not until Kedan noticed his abilities that he began to climb the ladder step by step, eventually becoming an executive official. In the end, he was given the task of overseeing the most secretive arms-producing forges. Not a single problem had come up since Camorra took up the position. He also managed to increase the forges' efficiency greatly, thus lowering the manufacturing costs of anything produced there. It was precisely because these achievements that Lorist insisted on his entitlement despite the opposition of some in the house.
Apart from the 14 noble houses already relocated, the nobles whose domains Lorist had conquered, were enfeoffed land in Delamock. They were demoted by a rank and made Norton vassals. In other words, House Norton was now their liege. One example was Count Spenseid, who was made a viscount and had pledged allegiance to Lorist. In addition, to Baron Jesder, the brother of Baron Camorra's wife. To the 17 nobles, it was both a tragedy and a blessing. Those already barons were no doubt happy with the situation, as The Northlands couldn't compare to the once-prosperous Delamock. Their relocation meant a better life was waiting for them. The other nine, however, were rather troubled. The former counts were demoted to viscounts, while viscounts were made barons. Even with the penalties, House Norton was rather benevolent. It was already rather fortunate to retain a dominion even after having stood on the wrong side of history. It was their fault for siding with the second prince in the first place.
The land to be enfeoffed was in Delamock, but the nobles themselves couldn't stay there as they still had to serve the house. Apart from Josk, who was more than willing to leave his fief to his butler and collect the yearly income it generated, the other nobles let their family or relatives manage their fiefs while they continued to serve the house to stand a chance of getting a promotion to a higher rank and being given a larger fief.
Honorary Titles Edit
After ascertaining the list of relocated nobles and new entitled ones, Lorist also gave out six honorary titles. The first was Governor of Hanayabarta Archipelago, awarded to Hector. The might not come with land, and might not be hereditary, but this didn't mean it was anything to scoff at. An honorary title could be considered a stepping stone; if the awardee didn't make any mistakes, they were on track to receiving a proper, hereditary title at some point in the future.
The second to receive an honorary title was Old Man Balk. Lorist really wanted to make him a proper landed noble, but almost all of his officials and knights objected. They complained that he had only been the manager of a copper mine. He had nowhere near the contributions of the other nobles-in-waiting. To use an analogy, Balk was the one who erected the foundations while the three supervisors built the walls and floors. Everyone praised the beauty of the finished house, but nobody remembered the hidden foundations and the important role they played.
One was given to Grandmaster Ciroba. the genius architect forced by Lorist to serve the house had already taken charge of all of the house's construction projects. He was currently neck deep in projects and had a rather fervent tendency of naming all the projects after himself, for example, Great Ciroba Dam, Ciroba Citadel, Ciroba Highway, and many others. While most of the names were later amended, it didn't change the old architect's habit. Just recently, he had named cannon station and lighthouse at Bullhorn Bay Ciroba Battery and Ciroba Lighthouse. In the end, Lorist changed the Ciroba Battery to Bullhorn Bay Battery, but he allowed the lighthouse to keep its original name.
Lorist's lover Telesti, academy head of Nico Academy, was also on the list for an honorary title. However, she refused to be made baroness. She only wanted to bear the same baronetess title as her mother. It was an honorary title above that of Knight of the Household, but did not actually convey peerage. It was thus the highest title of minor nobility.
The fifth and six titles of honorary baron were given to the house's two rank 1 blademasters, Engelich and Shuss. Shuss had prospects and ambitions of becoming a hereditary noble in the future, Engelich was already satisfied with his life as a rank 1 blademaster. While Shuss still actively served the house, Engelich was only willing to guard Firmrock Castle.