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Freeholder

A Freeholder

Norscan Freeholders are typically Bondsmen whom have been gifted with property as a means of rewarding his most able-bodied warriors, since one of the greatest rewards a Jarl may grant to his Bondsmen and loyal Peasants is land. Upon gaining property, these men and women are accorded a special status. For those who were not warriors, they have the same status as Bondsmen. For those who were once warriors, land is usually a gift given in exchange for lengthy and valued service. Many Freeholders eventually become Jarls if selected by their King. Otherwise, they gain a piece of land and a number of Thralls to work it.[1a]

Little Known Facts

In the cold lands of Norsca, community bonds are essential for survival. Those who serve their lord faithfully and at length are rewarded with property of their own. Freeholders are men and women who have been rewarded for years of loyal service with land, and thralls to work it for them. Farming land that is frozen for six months out of the year is difficult; much of the meagre wealth produced in Norsca comes from its timber and its mines, some of which produces amber, a rare substance used in making handsome jewellery.[2a]

A freeholder whose land includes the entrance to a mine could become relatively rich. Freeholders are rarely farmers or miners themselves, preferring to get the thralls to do all the hard work. They may aspire to be one day; the reward for faithful service to their lord.[2a]

Warriors are favoured above all others for promotion to the position of jarl, and the majority of Norscans can wield a sword or axe with a fair amount of proficiency. Those who cannot are relegated to the lower class, and are disdained if not openly held in contempt.[2a]

A Day in the Life

Freeholders must spend a fair amount of time looking after their holdings, making sure things are running smoothly, that no thralls have escaped, and that a satisfactory level of production is maintained.[2a]

The call goes out every autumn for raiders to plunder foreign shores, and some freeholders – those whose lands are secure and who have family to help tend them – may answer the call and go raiding. When war comes – which is often in these harsh lands – the majority of able-bodied warriors are expected to rally around the king's banner and support him against his enemies. Those who fail to answer a summons can expect harsh treatment when the king returns.[2a]

Affiliations

Because of their status as travellers and traders, many Norscan freeholders have regular contact with Empire or Kislevite merchants. Norscans sometimes hire themselves out as mercenaries, and as such are highly respected and feared warriors. These will often have contacts with mercenary captains, minor nobles and officers within the standing armed forces of areas in which they serve.[2a]

Source

  • 1 Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Tome of Corruption
    • 1a: pg. 146
  • 2: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Career Compendium
    • 2a: pg. 83

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