A question of Duty


Ever since I was executed at the hands of the Corrupt and stripped of my posessions in front of Sir Krieger and Lady Slice along with a few other members of the adventuring community I have been left pondering a question of duty. What it is that keeps me loyal to these people of title? And why do I lay my life down time and time again knowing that I will receive no recognition from those whose battles I fight? My answer to this was of course simple, those of title provide something very important for the people. As I thought about this I realized that I really have no idea what the duties of knights and nobles are and without knowing what they do to benefit the people, it is very difficult not to become unfairly jaded towards them. So I am hoping that someone could help me to understand what differentiates a person of title from other adventures who lay their lifes on the line beside them in battle. This will help me in my maintaining my maintaining a high morale while facing the trials ahead in this difficult land.

- Yames Nelson


Greetings, goodman Yames!

I will preface my comments by pointing out that our situation in Tarndale is an unusual one, to say the least. The exact boundaries of Andarean authority are still being fleshed out, so I will confine my description to the situation within the borders of Andar - which is where many of us spent a great deal of our adventuring lives.

For about half a decade, I served as Baron of Keystone Village. My duties during this time involved (in the main) ensuring that my people were safe and prosperous, as well as collecting taxes and enforcing the laws of the Kingdom of Andar. This is not a simple charter. I am happy to state that my Barony remained well-fed and provided food and supplies to other areas of the Kingdom during my tenure, but this required constant work and vigilance. My usual schedule involved seven days a week of ten to twelve hour days. The times I visited Westgate and Iron Falls were about the only times I had away from my duties - I do not know many non-nobles who would consider their time in those places as a "vacation". I would refer you to Kasuni and Sir Avaran as those who know my work well, if you have other questions about the amount of time, diligence, and sheer effort that is involved in managing and leading several thousand people.

This is the primary duty of most landed Andarean nobility - doing their best to keep their people secure and well provided for. Whether a landed Lady, a Baron, a Count, or a Duchess, the huge majority of their time and effort is spent thus. Some are more visible than others to the common folk or adventurers, but be sure that the mainstay of their lives is working on behalf of the people they rule over.

The duties of non-landed nobles are somewhat different. Pages, Squires, Knights, and unlanded Lords are to look out for Andar and its people in a more general sense, along with exact duties based on their particular assignment. Knights and Lords help enforce the laws of the Kingdom. Knights specifically are to seek out and punish those who would do ill upon Andar's people or lands. Pages and Squires are in training, and thus have very specific duties based on what they are learning.

I do not know that you appreciate the responsibilities inherent in enforcing the laws. Let us take Sir Avaran as an example. Perhaps we encounter a necromancer and Sir Avaran's duty is to sentence and execute the villian. While the efforts of all adventurers are appreciated in helping apprehend the foul chaos user, Sir Avaran will inevitably be the one after whom the creature sends its diseased minions if it resurrects. During my time in Andar, I had multiple assassination attempts upon my person by no less than Llantry's elite units - simply because I was a noble, assigned to protect the people and the land. Even in situations like this, though, our duty is served precisely by being targets for the enemies of Andar. We defend against the foes of the Kingdom so that they focus on the nobility instead of the commoners, a duty which is often not understood by those who have not been in this position.

Many people see the advantages of being a noble without understanding the responsibilities and penalties that come with it. True, there are nobles who misuse their positions - and justice eventually finds them, like the elder Duke duClermont who thought to use his position to mask his necromancy. But by and large, the great majority of nobles serve tirelessly to keep the rest of Andar safe in ways that they never even know about. Would you really look upon us any better if we were to brag about the invasions defeated before you ever saw them? What if I talked about the forays I've made on Andar's behalf behind enemy lines to forestall a new attack? Or the months of unending agony I endured to close a portal to the Plane of Pain years ago? There are countless ways in which all adventuring nobles have paid in blood, treasure, and effort which non-nobles never hear about.

I don't say this to gain sympathy or recognition - if that's all I wanted, I would be trumpeting my deeds constantly to all around - but to help answer your questions. I know it is unsatisfying to hear that nobles are working "behind the scenes", especially from my own time as an adventurer before I was granted title - but there is truth to it. The ways in which our deeds are seen is nothing compared to the daily effort exhibited by all of our nobility. Years of our lives are given to keep Andar safe, and at the end of the day that is the truest distillation of our duty.

-Lord Polare Lissenstine


Beyond what Lord Polare has said, the nobles of any land hold a burden that is incredibly hard to empathize with for many who have never experienced it, nor seen it experienced by a friend. I am no nobility, but I have seen nobility and their burdens.

When there is hunger, the nobles are blamed. When there is invasion, starvation, or a battle that didn't go well, the nobles are blamed.

The nobles are the ones who hold the blame from the many, whether or not what they are being blamed for is truly their fault.

Many call all nobles corrupt, because they have encountered one or several who are.

Nobles work longer days than any non-noble adventurer I've seen. For many, every hour that you see them in battle, they have spent hundreds of hours dedicated to maintaining food, shelter, and security for their people.

I know the encounter of which you speak Yames, and there was a noble who ran through and around the corrupt in an attempt to save you. At the time, with what we knew of the corrupt, it seemed nothing short of suicidal. However, as you know, the attempt was unsuccessful.

There is no way that any person, noble or otherwise, can succeed in everything. However, Yames,I can say with a certainty, that I wish that we had all done something differently that evening. I wish that we had understood that the corrupt were not nearly so impossible to fight as we had thought. I wish that we had somehow gotten to you, prevented your resurrection, and kept your person and everyone else safe. That wasn't necessarily a situation of nobility neglecting to live up to their duties. That was a situation in which I feel like I should have done more. I think others may feel the same.

However, I think part of the job of nobility, is that they are given the burden. That burden wears on them through the years. They smile less, yet they work harder. They don't talk about their burdens. They just carry them.

Here's to hoping that nothing so awful faces you again. Here's to staying safe.

All the best,


Lord Polare and Kasuni,

Thank you both for your words, I hold you both in high esteem and your words hold much weight with me. Your explanations of the day to day duties of the nobility of differing ranks have gone a long way in answering the majority of my questions.

As for the situation revolving around my execution I wish to make it clear that I do not feel ill will toward anyone who was there and chose not to act on my behalf because like you said, at the time we did not know the abilities of the Corrupt and it would have ill advisable to risk more resurrections in order to save one person. I am fully aware of Sir Gregor's actions on my behalf and have shared kind words with him since. What has left me jaded since that those in charge are responsible for the repercussions of their actions and in this case their aggressive actions against the Corrupt directly led to my execution. After which, they not only failed to admit responsibility for inciting a war with the Corrupt but did not a single person of noble title, with exception to sir Gregor with home I have the least connection, bothered to even acknowledge that I had sacrificed my life in service to their cause.

As for the Authority of Andarean Law in Tarndale, I believe that the voices of those without title should hold equal weight to those with title because as Lord Polare said, the responsibilites to the nobles do not extend to these lands, unless these lands are to be considered property of Andar, and thus everybody here should be treated with equal weight.