The principal organisations of North-western Europe & Scandinavia


Post Number:#1  Postby mark » Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:49 am

GESTIR [Guests]

Gestir are a lords lower-ranked retainers, literally means "guests", and implies they are not oath-sworn men of a lord's household or hearth as are his higher ranked retainers known as Hirðmenn. Gestir are often slightly lower class or lesser skilled and valued of a lord's retainers, or especially those who are not warriors. Gestir are usually rewarded half as well as Hirðmenn.

The majority of Gestir are simply average warriors, although they may have a great many other roles. In peacetime they act as a kind of police force, performing errands for their lord, executing his justice and collecting his taxes. They're often found as guards in steadings and settlements. In time of war they generally form the core of the non-elite infantry or the crew of a ship, the lord's elite infantry, ship captains and body guards being his Hirðmenn. However, some of a lord's Gestir may be excellent warriors, but may simply lack the reputation or trust required to join the ranks of the Hirðmenn.

Most Gestir are bondi and karls, typically they are equipped with shield and spear, if they are lucky they will have some sort of light armour and perhaps a helm, but they can be of any social rank and can be equipped in any manner. A warrior who serves his master exceptionally and is trusted may get promoted to the ranks of the Hirðmenn, although this is generally untrue of non-warrior Gestir who are very unlikely to have that privilege.

Gestir were not usually a popular group in the community, or even always with their lord, and sometimes they are referred to as, "unwelcome guests" in many a house! The ranks of the Gestir are usually full of relatively young and moderately inexperienced warriors from the lower social orders, or sometimes even brigands, thieves and assassins. They are often tasked to undertake the less tasteful or less honourable missions on behalf of their lord, and most are only too happy to try and prove themselves and earn some all important reputation.

Every lord has his own "regiment" of Gestir, who have their own leaders, ranks, assembly and quarters. However, it is the Gestir themselves who determine their own leaders, not their lord, who prefers not to involve himself in their affairs to closely.

Almost anybody can serve a lord as a member of his Gestir, any special skills or talents and a desire to prove oneself always help gain better rewards and faster advancement. Gestir are all freemen, or freedmen, none of whom are required to make an oath of service, and as such they are free to leave their lord's service at any time, although doing so before a battle will mean the character is branded a coward and perhaps even killed for treachery. Even in peace time, just walking out on the Gestir without good reason will do moderate damage to one's reputation. A member of the Jarl's Hirðmenn or a senior member of the Gestir usually do any recruiting, but the Jarl will sometimes recruit personally.

Karlmaðr [Freeman]
Vinr [Friend]
Yfirmaðr [Superior]
Hǫfðingi [Chieftain]
Hilmir [Leader]

It is not possible to join the Hirðmenn while still a Gestir, but the Gestir may join any other cult or brotherhood. Gestir are not permitted to fight with each other, except in a fair duel.

Standard Skills: Athletics, Boating, Brawn, Customs, Endurance, Evade, First Aid, Locale, Perception, Unarmed, Swim; Combat Styles (Skjaldborg [Shield Wall],Langvápn [Long Weapons],Leiðangr [Levy],Lítillvápn [Short Weapon],Veiðimaðr [Huntsman]), Combat Traits(Ranged Marksman, Defensive Minded)
Professional Skills: Gambling, Healing, Oratory, Seamanship, Streetwise, Survival

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