Citadel Lecheni, Explorer’s Guide


Some Useful Facts and Figures

A Roots of Rookeri Supplement


  1. Introduction
  2. Citadel Houses
    1. Rothi & Citadel Economy
    2. Town, Manse And Hamlets
    3. Some Figures
  3. Wood Tower
  4. Profiling The Houses
  5. The War Games
    1. Rules of the Game
    2. The Folkhere
    3. Lecheni’s Contesting Citadels


Perched on a limestone headland, overlooking the Yemure Sea, Lecheni, the most southerly of the Rothi citadels, oozes an air of ancient tradition, wealth, and pleasure. But do not be deceived for, beneath the surface rumours, espionage and intrigue weave a tight web through this small wall-bound society.

Citadel Lecheni, a place of startling contrasts where the medieval citadel is lit by battery-powered street lights. Even a few of the houses now have them. Though, it is said, not the youngest building, Wood Tower. None but runmen feet tread there; it is death to enter. So, Explorers, beware. Yet a knock at Greystone House and a polite enquiry might gain you access to the Tower Gardens. The Gardens attract many visitors each year. The Woolpack Gardens, too, attract active traffic, although there the interest is of a different nature. Advice to Explorers: Unless you seek the ladies’ lusty pleasures, you would do well to seek accommodation in the encircling town. For those not backpacking, most of inns have admirable stables.


Citadel Lecheni

Today, only four of the Houses are held by the descendants of the original Twelve Founders. These are Rams House (with the adjacent Woolpack Gardens), Two Boars’ House, Shore House, and House Eland, each easily identified by their external decoration. Of the others:

  • Treasury, formerly Bull House, is now held by Shore House
  • Greystone House, formerly Wort House, is held by House Eland
  • Runman House, formerly Bell House, is another Shore House holding
  • Mathon’s Manufactory, formerly Skorp House, now is held by House Eland, their most recent acquisition.
  • Witan House, formerly House Cornucap, is held by House Eland. Previous to this the Witan was held in the Hall of whoever the ruling lafard-legere.
  • Law Courts, formerly Hunters’ House, now is held by Two Boars.
  • Dormir House, formerly Well House, is another held by Shore House
  • House of Healing, formerly House Quisk, also a Shore House holding

The barracks are a recent addition, not part of the original Twelve.

The perceptive Explorer might enquire of how the descendants of eight of the Twelve Founding Families came to lose their Houses, and with them their manses and hamlets. To answer, we need to understand the Rothi/Citadel economy.

 Rothi & Citadel Economy

As in Luban, the Rothi culture began with a simple declaration of equality. Thus at Foundation, each group of twelve divided their land equally between them, the same in Rothi as in Luban. But Rothi, while suited to cattle rearing, lacks the fertile flood plains that characterise the southerly Luban, and Man’s nature will out.

In response to the subsequent violent harrying by dissatisfied neighbours, some families sought the protection of the strongest amongst them and, by this desperate measure, tied their descendants to the rule of the Legere-Chair, and its supporting system of taxes. (See section, Foundation History.) It is not known at which of the Rothi citadels this first arose, so quickly did the custom spread across the Plain. Nor is it known how long ago it began.

In the course of the passing years, with changing fortunes, with plagues and environmental disasters, the inevitable happened: Amongst the Founders’ descendants some failed to meet the tax demands. These at first were set at so much grain, so much wool, so much hide, and an annual levy of men for the folkhere.

It’s not known which Lafard-Legere of which citadel first waived aside the problem of payments and said he would take their land instead. It wasn’t theft, he allowed them still to live there and to work it. They were to deliver to him all their produce. He then would return sufficient to cover their needs. It seemed a satisfactory solution. In the ensuing decades it was adopted by the other citadels.

By such means, while the Legere-Chair was held by Shore House, the Lafard-Legere there acquired 4 additional Houses along with their gord-lands. When the Chair passed to House Eland, House Eland acquired a further 3 Houses and their accompanying gord-lands. Now the Legere-Chair resides with the Two Boars House and in their first year they acquired Hunters’ House which long had been ailing; it is now the Law Courts which had previously formed part of Rams House and Gardens.

 Town, Manse And Hamlets

Lecheni and Environs

Only the lafard, his immediate family and their servants are citadel residents. The surrounding town houses the artisans and their families.

The original rôle of the artisans was in to make arms and artillery. Now their numbers are greater some specialise in the crafting of elegant clothing and precious jewellery. Their work is destined for their holding Houses. Besides the provision of appropriate housing, workshops and food, those Houses also supply the required raw materials. They make payment by gifts selected according to how pleased they are with the wares. Such gifts encourage competition between the craftsmen, and help to perfect and progress the crafts.

While the artisan families are the first source of apprentices, additional are sometimes found amongst the agricultural workers. There it’s not forbidden to practice a craft, materials allowing. A young boy with an interest in handicrafts might find himself apprenticed to a town-smith. Apprentices’ are allowed to sell their wares in the local Winwon market, otherwise the Houses employ traders to sell their artisans’ wares.

The artisans are arranged into guilds known as ‘mysteries’. They are not exempt the folkhere levy.

Beyond the town lie the fields and pastures. Workers here live in clustered hamlets, beneath the watchful eye of the manse-manager. The manse-manager, also known as the bachelor, is responsible for the collection and accounting of the agricultural produce. In this he acts as a sub-begator. He doles to the workers their portions, and delivers, as tax, to the Lafard-Legere and, as upkeep, to his citadel lafard. He is usually a male relative of the holding House.

 Shore House

  • Manse: Henet
  • The manses of the four acquired Houses have long since been demolished.
  • Hamlets: Henethen, Juren, Churenth and Omelt

House Eland

  • Manses: Tonem and Fershtek.
  • Hemlets: Fengoth, Doeb, Soosnen, and Fershen.

Two Boar’s House

  • Manse: Churen
  • Hamlets: Churent and Cherfen

Rams House

  • Manse: Egone
  • Hamlets: Egoneth

Some Figures

The original total (arable) holding of Lecheni’s Twelve Founders was 24 square miles. This represents 1,280 acres per House. Arable land is at a premium in Rothi.

Yields accountable for tax

Shore House with its 5 holdings

  • Acres: 6,400, but gained from 5 holdings, this is not in one block.
  • 424 tons wheat
  • 168 tons barley
  • 2,700 sheep/goats
  • 15 herds of jasckte
  • Animals in addition: 320 oxen to plough

Shore House also has the sole fishing and shipping rights.

House Eland

  • Acres: 5,120 acres
  • 209 tons wheat
  • 130 tons barley
  • 130 tons oats
  • 1,860 sheep/goats
  • 10 herds of jasckte
  • Animals in addition: 248 oxen to plough

Two Boars House

  • Acres: 2,560
  • 110 tons wheat
  • 67 tons barley
  • 60 tons oats
  • 960 sheep/goats
  • 14 herds of jasckte
  • Animals in addition: 130 oxen to plough

Rams House

  • Acres: 1,280
  • 25 tons wheat
  • 34 tons barley
  • 60 tons oats
  • 500 sheep/goats
  • 9 herds of jasckte
  • Animals in addition: 64 oxen to plough

How many cattle to a herd of jasckte? This varies across the Plains. In the southeast corner where Lecheni is situated, 1 herd comprises 50 head.

In addition, most of the holdings have orchards of apples, pears, plums and cherries, keep bees, chicken and pigs, have access to river or sea fisheries, grow additional rye, used mostly for bread, and various vegetables, mostly the hardier brassicas. Horses are rare. While none of this produce is subject to tax it can be taken in lieu.

Agricultural workers are permitted:

  • To keep 1 sow per family with loan of a boar
  • To keep 6 hens and 1 cock. A tenth of the eggs to go to the citadel holder
  • To hunt – amphibs only; they are vermin and poisonous at death.
  • To gather wild foods but not from the holder’s land
  • To fish the river, but only with rod and line (the building of weirs is strictly forbidden) At Citadel Lecheni the produce of weirs belong to Shore House


Wood Tower is a misnomer though its internal structure might be of wood (none but runmen have seen it). It is not one tower but a complex of five, each with ceramic tiled walls. The tiles are covered with a profusion of vines and flowers in the pattern known as ‘The Tree of Life’. Twelve Trees entwine around the curtain wall which rises above the Houses around it broken only by the four outer towers. Animals both indigenous and domesticates hide amongst the branches. Glazed, the tiles reflect the sun and bring light to an otherwise shaded the citadel close.

The four towers are presumably named for the Houses nearest: Water Tower (SE), Leaden Tower (SW), Eland Tower (NW), and Bull Tower (NE).

Separated from the curtain wall by the much visited Tower Gardens, is Wood Tower itself. Accessed via the outer towers, across arching walkways that masquerade as flying buttresses high above the citadel Houses, Wood Tower itself is lit internally by a spiral of long slit windows. Of coloured glass, nothing can be seen through them. Rumour claims the outer towers are climbed by a flight of nine ladders, and Wood Tower internally descended by spiral staircase 12 flights deep.

Nothing more is known of the mysterious tower that dominates this citadel.


Data taken from Witan Census.

‘Noble’ house servants are those taken from the Houses of other citadels. They include seleman, geref, cook (usually), dulcinde, napmaid, lafdi-lai and eskuri. Those listed as pagini are ‘out-of-towners’ employed as chars and carriers and generally for any odd dirty job.

 Rams House and Woolpack Gardens

The hostelry and pleasure gardens, originally an integral part of the House, were developed as a source of additional income in order to meet Rams’ tax commitments.

  • Mikel Lafard-Awis. A genial host and reputed libertine.
  • Evand-Had, brother to the awis.
  • Idolat-Hade, wife of Evand
  • 12 stews
  • 3 beefmen (security servants)
  • 5 noble house servants
  • 3 pagini

Total inhabitants: 26


Non residential

 Two Boars House

  • Breken Lafard-Legere
  • Affalind Lafdi-Legara of House Eland, his wife. This is as yet a barren marriage.
    • The Legere-Chair belongs to Affalind.
  • Trefan Lafard-Ledhere, younger brother, and leader of the folkhere.
  • Kervalet Had-Begator, uncle (See ‘Treasury’ above)
  • Iffig-Had, Kervalet’s son; Kervalet’s wife is deceased
  • Ellorne-Hade, a widowed aunt
  • Garawen-Had, her son by Rhillin, deceased younger brother of Kervalet
  • Otian, chiparin, illegitimate son of Breken’s deceased sister.
  • 7 noble house servants
  • 5 pagini

Total inhabitants: 20

Old Shore House

A former ruling House, Shore still is home of the citadel library. Shore and Rams are the only Houses still with a garden.

  • Sifadis Lafdi, citadel’s librarian and record-keeper
  • 6 noble house servants
  • 4 pagini

Total inhabitants: 11

 House Eland

  • Mathon Lafard, former Lafard-Legere, abdicated in favour of his daughter in order to pursue his crafts. Mathon is an inventor.
  • Helen Lafdi, sister of Kervalet Had-Begator of Two Boars House, aunt to Breken Lafard-Legere; Helen is a master embroidress-tapestress.
  • Affalind Lafdi-Legara, non-resident, married to Breken Lafard-Legere of Two Boars House
  • Ilud Marsled Hadd, son of Mathon’s eldest uncle, Master of Horse to Breken Lafard-Leger.
  • Emhele, wife of Ilud
  • Maggat, Ymtan and Hinthan, sons of Ilud
  • Mengelen Hadd, son of Mathon’s youngest uncle
  • Notzen Hadd, brother of Mengelen
  • 10 noble house servants
  • 3 pagini

Total inhabitants: 22

Greystone House

Listed separately in the Census, the tax due on this House and its inhabitants is accounted by its holding house.

  • Gowen Lafard-Sivator. Of unknown origins, Gowen was promoted to Sivator by Mathon when he was Lafard-Legere.
  • 4 noble house servants
  • 3 pagini

Total inhabitants: 11

 Runmen House

Runmen House is best treated as a monastery, its inhabitants unrelated. As with Greystone House, the tax due here is accounted by its holding house.

  • Kalamite-Had, Papa-Keefer, born within the warison, son of a stew who died at the House of Healing, no living relatives are known
  • Ffika Runman
  • Honning Runman
  • Scheren Runman
  • Sparra Runman (now deceased)
  • Glonon Runman
  • Corbegh Runman
  • 5 noble house servants
  • 4 pagini

Total inhabitants: 16

Mathon’s Manufactory, Law Courts and Witan House are non-residential. Mikel Lafard-Awis presides at the Law Courts; the Witan meets daily to discuss matters arising; the Manufactory serves as Mathon’s workshop. It is here that he makes the Mathon-lamps.

 Dormir or Schlepan House

Held by Shore House and given over to accommodation for retired holden and seamen. It is non-residential functioning as a night shelter only with provision of beds for the otherwise homeless. Its dual name reflects the origins of its users, Schlepan being eastern Rothi and Dormir western. An act passed while the Legere-Chair was still with Shore House exempts it from tax. There is, therefore, no record of its ‘inhabitants,’ past or present, other than its essential employees.

  • 3 noble house servants
  • 5 pagini

Total inhabitants: 8

 House of Healing

Residents of the House of Healing are transitory, of varying duration, remaining only until healed, cured or deceased. No names appear on the Census, instead is an estimate based on the number of beds available and the number of servants.

  • 12 Beds
  • 7 noble house servants
  • 7 pagini

Total inhabitants: 26

 East Gate Garrison

Under the command of Dryastil Hold-Ledhere, in any given year the citadel holden number between 20 and 30. Their names are not recorded; the barracks not being one of the Twelve Founding Houses is not subject to tax.

 Population Figures

  • Total Population of Citadel Lecheni, as given: 140.
  • Total Population of Lecheni town, as given: 747
  • Shore manse and hamlets: 300
  • Eland manse and hamlets: 230
  • 2 Boars manse and hamlet: 120
  • Rams manse and hamlet: 70
  • Population overall for Lecheni: 1610.

Approximately one third of these (530-550) will be required at some time to perform in the War Games i.e. men aged 14 to 40.


To lessen the devastation of war, yet to allow Man his natural drive for dominance, battle in Rothi has become ritualised in the form of The War Games. The Lafard-Legere must have the loyalty of his folkhere and the financial backing of his Houses in order to win. But the War Games are more than just a test of strength and loyalty, more than a test of the new Lafard-Legere’s ability to protect his citadel, lands and Houses. Upon their outcome hangs the patterns of tribute, and ultimately a citadel’s wealth.

The Games begin upon the death of the Lafard-Legere. All previous agreements of tribute now are dissolved. New treaties must be agreed, new alliances cemented.

As soon as the Witan accepts the successor each of the neighbouring citadels will issue a challenge. Lecheni is fortunate in having only four neighbours. Yet this limits its ability to accumulate wealth.

 Rules of the Game

  1. Only neighbours compete. In order not be caught unaware of developments, every citadel has its spies. These are permitted.
  2. The Games take place on the campus nearest to both opponents, i.e. land set aside for battle, usually close to a border.
  3. On the first day the Legeren do not fight. They watch.
  4. At the close of the first day’s battle the winner is calculated by a ‘poll’, i.e. by a head count of those still standing, thus able to fight.
  5. The Legere with the lower ‘poll’ count may withdraw and submit to this neighbour. This automatically entails payment of annual tribute.
  6. If the losing Legere opts to continue then the next day he will fight, one-to-one, with his opposing Legere. This does not often happen. Champions may be substituted with the agreement of both Legeren.

The existence of the War Games does not obviate border attacks by bandits and renegade bands. A bandit is one who is banished. A renegade is one who will not accept society’s rules. There are more of the latter than of the former.

To guard against such attack watchtowers known as veletten are erected along the borders of the citadel lands and manned by the markhere, its members drawn from the folkere.


A part-time force, raised as required to compete in the War Games. To ensure their peak performance at all times, they receive regular training. In addition, twice a year they take part in mock battles. The Lafard-Legere provides uniforms and weapons both of which must be kept in good order.

Their motto: Eat together, fight together, die alone.

The Ledhere (commander) of Citadel Lecheni’s folkhere is currently Trefan Lafard. Tradition insists the ledhere is the Lafard-Legere’s brother. Where no brother exists, or is unsuitable, adoption answers.

 Lecheni’s Contesting Citadels

Citadel Bokene, situate NW of Lecheni

  • Argutil Lafard-Legere
  • Gladkie Lafard-Ledhere
  • Lecheni pays tribute

Citadel Cordoen, situate SW of Lecheni

  • Aithis Lafard-Legere
  • Deluen Lafard-Ledhere
  • Pays tribute to Lecheni

Citadel Kordahen, situate NNW of Lecheni

  • Cates Lafard-Legere
  • Pedit Lafard-Ledhere
  • Lecheni pays tribute

Citadel Tesecret, situate NNE of Lecheni, separated by Teskret Marshes

  • Ramarik Lafard-Legere
  • Ursel Lafard-Ledhere
  • Pays tribute to Lecheni

In addition, and outside of the Games,

  •  Citadel Kefski, situate to the north, beyond Teskret Marshes, pays tribute to Lecheni.
  • Citadel Endizi, situate immediately west of Chendani Pass, pays to Lecheni

  •  Total tribute from Cordoen, Tesecret, Kefski and Endizi: 600,000 bezants.
  • Total tribute paid to Bokene and Kordahen: 200,000 bezants.

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
This entry was posted in Fantasy Fiction and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Citadel Lecheni, Explorer’s Guide

  1. Brian Bixby says:

    Now we need to know what a bezant will buy.


    • crimsonprose says:

      That’s difficult to answer, but some indication of buying power can be had from the following notes on personal wealth, especially when Servant is compared with Artisan, the one being single and ‘kept’ by their employer, thus with low needs, the other having a family and household possibly with servants to pay and free housing and food doesn’t cover everything in a society that puts much store in fancy prinking and trimming.
      Noble house servants up to 100 bezants, in the form of gifts
      Artisans 100-300 bezants (jewellers, goldsmiths, silversmiths, embroiderers and tailors are obviously the wealthiest)
      Kin of lafarden 500-5000 bezants, as coins
      Lafarden up to 10,000 bezants as coins
      House total assets, generally up to 1,000,000 bezants. Citadel assets with 12 active Houses 12,000,000 bezants.
      Taxes take 1 rix for 1 bezant asset, therefore a House of 1,000,000 bezants pays 1,000,000 rix = 10,000 bezants.
      A citadel would be expected to pay as a minimum tribute as if they had 12 active houses = 120,000 bezants p.a.
      Further, 12 nickels (lit. made of nickel) = 1 Mark (of silver/nickel mix); 100 marks = 1 rix sterling (100% silver); 100 rix sterling = 1 bezant (100% gold). Of course, that says nothing of the coins’ size and weight.
      Also, remember Eshe paid for the stabling of her horse with gold coins, probably bezants, at which the ostler’s eyes popped wide, i.e. she was paying far in excess.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.