The political structure in Elland is feudal, comprised of a series of noble houses that owe fealty to King Edric Shadowbane. The seat of government is the royal capital of Ironmark, the largest city in the land. Ironmark is positioned roughly in the centre of Elland, surrounded by lands held by the King personally. The dukes each have a connection by blood to the throne, while the counts have a more remote link or even no direct bloodline. Each duke or count holds a hereditary region for the crown where they have the power of high and low justice over their subjects. These lords are technically appointed by the King in each generation, although it is extremely unusual for the position to pass to any other than the eldest child of the previous holder. Dukes and counts enjoy great autonomy in the management of their land but they are required to produce taxes, to supply a sufficient army upon demand and to protect their fief in the name of the King. Duke’s and count’s holdings are both referred to as ‘Counties’.
In turn the counties are separated into smaller holdings held by lesser nobles with various titles, such as viscount, baron, Baronet or simply knight. The senior nobility are responsible for the lesser nobles within their land. They collect the taxes from them for delivery to the Kings Treasury as well as marshaling their forces within their own armies. Each great noble’s army consists of soldiers from each of the houses under their command and these armies then go to make up the Kingdom army commanded by the knight general of the Realm. This has historically been a political appointment based upon who holds the most status at a given time and who has had the most success at court. It is sometimes skill in politics rather than their skill at arms or tactical prowess that wins the appointment for these commanders.