Landed Noble or Knight?

I'm working on my companion for my new saga and I am seeking opinions for the correct social status virtue to give the fellow.

Here's our situation: Near the covenant is a manor, complete with village and castle, held by the local Bishop (though the Bishop's cathedral is some days away and the Bishop himself is largely absent, spending his time at the royal court). My companion, Sir Giles, would be the knight commanding the garrison of the castle and overseeing the manor on behalf of the Bishop.

So, shoud Sir Giles take the Knight virtue or the Landed Noble virtue? What, in your saga, would be different for the character depending on which virtue he took?

Landed noble. If he also is a knight, he must also take the night minor virtue. Being a landed knight is an expensive package, but comes at a great benefit as well, since you have legal rights, income, a safe haven, an armed force (up to 20 infantry and a squire if acting in your home ground) and prestige as well as all the game you can hunt in your dominions.


Knight and Landed Noble. It comes with an Oath of Fealty to the Bishop, which balances the Landed Noble virtue.

Knight and Oath of Fealty (to the Bishop), certainly.

Landed Noble probably, depending a bit on exactly how much freedom he has with the land and troops, but if it's anywhere near normal feudal freedoms, Landed Noble is necessary too.

From your description, Sir Giles is a Knight (if this is in England, or English-dominated regions of Britain). The Bishop is the Landed Noble, and he can sack Sir Giles at will. As the 'Knight commanding the garrison', Sir Giles' title is 'Constable of {name of castle}'. The Bishop cannot revoke Sir Giles' knighthood.

If the Bishop cannot dismiss Sir Giles because Sir Giles holds the land himself, then Sir Giles is a Landed Noble. He still needs the Knight virtue to be called 'Sir' and have that status, otherwise he would be a Gentleman eg a Franklin. A Landed Noble can still hold land deemed to be part of the Bishopric, and owe feudal duty towards the Bishop, but once the land was granted the Bishop could not dismiss him or his heirs (the King can only do so if Sir Giles is proven guilty of treason - called 'attainted' and then the lands belong to the King not the Bishop). The Bishop can take possession of the land if Sir Giles fails in his feudal duties, but Sir Giles can reclaim it if he fulfils those duties, often with punishing interest rates!

If this is not in England, then other rules might apply.

The key difference lies with how much autonomy you want Sir Giles to have: is he a servant of the Bishop or is he an independant noble?


It depends -- from your description it could be either.

If Sir Giles is simply the castellan/sheriff; if he is tasked with leading the bishop's men-at-arms, and with enforcing the bishop's laws; if he is paid in coin or kind directly by the bishop, rather then by the land's serfs/tenants/villagers; if he is unlikely to pass on his position to his son ... then Knight is all you need.

If, on the other hand, Sir Giles has been given the land as a means of supporting himself and his armed retinue (in service of the Bishop, but owing primary fealty to him); if he dispenses justice as he sees fit; if the serfs/tenants/villagers pay their tithes directly to him rather than to him for the bishop (though the bishop may receive a share); if he can expect that his son will inherit the position after his demise ... then congratulations, Sir Giles is a Landed Noble (AND most likely a knight as well).