Realms of Myth
One of the most powerful nobles in the realm, Lucinda of the Low Marches dwells in Castle Lamneth in North March. Her family originally held the South March, but over the years through a series of marriages, the three families ruling North March, West March and South March all came together and, as noble bloodlines will after a time, eventually dwindled until she was left as the single heiress inheriting all of the Marches. She is allowed to hold her foef in her own name as sole heiress because she is assiduous in fielding an even greater force of chivalry than might otherwise be expected of her whenever unrest threatens or aliens at the borders, and keeping in her employ the famed commander Falister Hawkwood to command her troops in the field. She knows her position and good relations with the crown hinge on her maintaining the peace in the Marches, and she will not brook any internecine warfare among her vassals, who sometimes take it on themselves to settle their own disputes by the sword in the field, knowing the king cannot punish them for it. Those who violate the Peace of the Marches pay for their trespasses in Lucinda’s court.
Lucinda has the regalian rights of any marcher lord. The king’s writ cannot be served in her lands without her permission. She provides the crown with substantial income and rules at her own pleasure, according the laws she and her forebears have hammered out with the locals in accordance with ancient practice over the last 5 centuries.
The king stands by the law and acquiesces to her rule as her ancient charters allow, pleased that she has taken no husband and produced no heirs, not even bastards. She is at least as wealthy as the queen and one of the most ostentatiously available noble women in all the Eastern Kingdoms. BUT, if she dies without issue, all the marcher lordships she now holds will finally escheat back to the Crown. The fealty of all her vassals across all three marches would then fall to Owain, who would move heaven and earth to get there to take their oaths. The king’s revenues would nearly double and he would have a great resource to dispose of in rewarding loyal service, of which there was always a backlog to be satisfied, and the ancient and highly inconvenient charters granted the marcher lords on the final unification of the realm would at last be broken. All those invested in the marcher lordships would be beholden to the king, as any other in the realm. His hold on and right governance of —that part of the realm would be restored.
To the kingdom at large, Lucinda is taking her time in returning from the Great Faire of Fallond (which ended a month past) to her castle at Lamneth.
By Lucien’s mindful journey to Lamneth to see her, and speak with her Steward when he found he could not speak with her, he discovered that her Grace had in fact disappeared, and it had been weeks since she was heard from. The steady stream of correspondence which usually marks her absences from the center of administration of the Marches has ceased. The Steward toils on and accomplishes her business in her name as best he can, knowing that if he incur her wrath in usurping her prerogatives it will be his head. But the truth must be concealed. The vassal lords of the marches are proud men and bicker at the slightest provocation. Lord Maralad has already put Dacre to fire and sword. How long before the rest of them take his cue when they realize neither she nor Hawkwood have come to set the matter to rights? The whole of the marches will be ablaze. It will be the Wars of the Hundred Kingdoms all over again.