Saturday, August 29, 2015

Ripples in the Pond

The destruction of the Imperial Schola ushers in a new day for the Third Empire of Miles. One of the chiefest and foremost branches of the imperial civil service, the absence of the Schola has forced the Emperor to fall back on feudal obligation. This means a great transformation for the empire is underway, and the continued resistance of the Temple of Miles to the imperial project as a whole spells a slow winding down of the civil service.

The effect of the sudden removal of a number of imperial scribes and functionaries foremost has had an effect on the sustainability of the standing guard known as the tagmata. Their numbers have been greatly reduced, lessening their burden on the administration. The same goes for the escurae varani, who have now been cut back to a force of 800.

The Knight's Watch, long a semi-autonomous force in the city, is in the throws of major crisis. The Emperor will no longer allocate funding for its operation... but the Watch has historically drawn its money from the coffers of the city itself. Whether or not Ogus Ledirke will weather the storm facing his knightly order remains to be seen. He has appealed to Delenda Saxa and other imperial functionaries with little success so far.

Further, the haven of second sons and rebellious children from the entire nobility, the Knights of Miles, have seen a sudden and immediate reform. Their ancient immunities and powers are still extended, but the Emperor has made clear that a shift in policy will continue henceforth: they are capable of holding property in their own name and passing that property to their children. Indeed, Knights of Miles may now be raised to the status of Magnas if the Emperor so desires, making them lords.

These lordships are to come with attendant lands. Of particular interest to the Emperor are the vast unsettled wastes of the Lonely Lands and the Byrnish March. Of course, Knights are still subject to instant revocation of all territories, gifts, and bounties by the Emperor at his whim, as are their children. Further, Knights of Miles granted lands must now pay a poll-tax to the Emperor based on their assessed value once yearly, nor may they keep in their possession or the possessions of their retainers any of the ancient relics of the Empire.

Central authority fades. Within five years both the Conclave and the Schola were destroyed. Perhaps the Shield Age is not so safe a time after all.

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