Tornestias culture is based on knighthood. Each city is run by a knights chapter and its grandmaster. The nation itself is ruled by the Monarch (which can be of either sex), who resides in a region inside the city of Temper. The Monarch is thus not directly affiliated with any one knights chapter, as Temper itself is run by a knights chapter.
There is generally no distinction between sexes, neither in law nor culture.
Government & Economics
The Monarch will tax the cities, but leave them to govern and tax the locals (mostly) a they see fit. The taxes that the king exerts on the cities are
|Population tax||Based on head count of able-bodied adults.|
|Land tax||Based on urbanized and otherwise utilized acres of land.|
|Resource tax||Based on an assessment of the potential output of the land within the city’s domain.|
|Port tax||Based on capacity, including both number and size of ships.|
|Market tax||Based on size and capacity of marketplace.|
|Academy tax||Newly educated individuals from academic institutions must spend 1-5 years serving the Monarch, depending on the Monarch’s current needs|
|Behavioral tax||If the Monarch has to spend resources on maintaining stability (ie. putting down a rebellion), or in any other way interfere, he will tax the city according to the expenses of the operation, plus 10 %.|
The Monarch is generally responsible for maintaining infrastructure throughout the kingdom. It is common practice, though, that the cities can assume the responsibility of maintaining infrastructure within their domain, and be compensated by the Monarch, corresponding to the estimated cost + 5 %.
The Monarch will require a road tax at key points along the major routes in the kingdom. This is mostly handled by castles or at small tax houses at major crossroads.
The castles are all property of the Monarch. However, instead of manning the castles with the Monarch’s own men, the knights chapters are offered to to supply troops in return of payment.
Castle Lords are appointed for 10 year periods, and are selected based on motivated applications detailing their plans for improvements of the castle and the surrounding land, including assessed cost, benefit and timespan.
The Monarch will not tolerate any unauthorized aggression between cities/chapters or into foreign territory. Breaking this law typically brings the most severe behavioral repercussions, which may extend beyond a mere increase in taxation.
Each city is expected to be able to conscript 10 % of its ablebodied population in times of need. This is in addition to full-time knights and soldiers. Each city is responsible for ensuring that every adult has received basic combat training.
You may only make a new settlement if you have a decree from a city or castle, to whom you will answer. This decree ensures that the new settlement is under protection of an able authority. Normally, you must obtain this decree from the city or castle inside whose jurisdiction you wish to create the settlement. However, if you want to settle outside, there is no restriction on which castle or city that will make the decree. City and Castle lords are free to reject making the decree if they so desire.
If at some point the settlement fulfills the criteria for becoming a city, they will be allowed to establish a knights chapter. The settlement will then be given 10 years to get into place and establish its domain, after which they will be acknowledged as a full fledged city – provided they have proven able to live up to the responsibility. If they fail, it is up to the Monarch to decide what will happen. Mostly, the city will either be disbanded, or the Monarch will appoint people to govern the city until it reaches a stable point, after which the city must endure the inevitable behavioral tax to compensate.
Each knights chapter is in charge of a city, and there is only one knights chapter associated with any given city. The knights chapter is required to have a grandmaster, who will be the one to attend the king at the annual court meetings, and the one to be in charge, and generally responsible of, major decisions in the city.
Knights chapters are otherwise free to decide on their own internal structure. They decide local laws and taxes, and largely govern as they see fit. If they go too far out of line, the Monarch will interfere, especially if there is civil unrest as a result of the ruling style.
By law, each knights chapter must accept only knights into it. Knights may take squires. The grandmaster has to be chosen from among the knights. The details of how this is done is up to the chapter itself. The knighting can only be performed by the Monarch, and this is done in conjunction with the annual court meeting and associated festival in Temper.
Typically, a knights chapter will also have a somewhat permanent standing army, varying greatly in size with resources and priorities. Mostly this army will be at duty in castles around the kingdom, and quite often the training of new recruits are handled there as well.