Of Waves and Dragons
There are typically four ways in which a Knight will gain a manor, from their Lord, inherited from their family, as a dowry through marriage and through conquest.
The most common way knights gain their lands is from the Lords. After they are knighted the Lord is expected to provide for the new knight and will write out a charter. The charter outlines what the land the Lord is handing out, what he is expecting in return from the land and when if ever the land returns to the Lord.
After naming the land or lands to be handed out the Lord must decide if they are to be Gifted or Granted. Gifted land is land that a knight is to oversee in return for his service, he is paid a wage (usually 4 libra) and is expected to care for the land and see that its income is brought to the lord. Knights with Gifts can improve their land and keep the extra income gained from the improvements (That is the base income of the improvements. See Winter Phase for more details). A Knight will typically not be in control of more than one Gifted land, any lands past their first must be Granted. Granted land is land that a Knight has full reign over. He is not expected to return any money to his lord but also does not receive a wage for overseeing the land. He is also free to build any improvements on the land.
Once it is decided if the land is Gifted or Granted then the service expected is addressed. Typically this entails how many men the Knight must bring in times of war. In the case of Gifts typically one Knights service is expected along with the income from the land. Grants will often demand more from the land holder. This is usually one knight service along with a number of foot soldiers, typically around 10.
After deciding the terms of service from the land the Lord then must decide how long the knight will hold the land. This is always either until the knights death or to remain in his family.
The second way a knight gains lands is through inheritance. If the Knights father possessed land that was either chartered to remain in his family or not under the control of a Lord then he would gain control of the land upon his father’s death or retirement.
The third way is marriage. Particularly wealthy or widowed noble women can often bring lands to a Knight upon their marriage. This is somewhat uncommon as even among nobles owning enough lands to hand out on your daughter’s wedding is rare. The Knight is still bound by any charters that come with the lands but usually these charters are not strictly enforced.
War is the final way in which a Knight can gain land. Land gained in this way are typically clear of any charters and obligations to the Knights lord and so are Knight to do with as they please. These lands will typically be too far away from the Knights home for them to oversee properly and so it may be prudent to Gift or Grant these lands away.
Knights that gain a number of lands within the same country are often named Vassals of their Lord. This brings a Glory bonus depending on the standing of the Lord along with more sway in their Lords court.
Note: Players who have a number of lands may need to write their own charters giving control of land typically to NPC Knights. When doing this they should understand that while Gifting Lands can bring in a fair sum of libra Granting lands will improve the Knights loyalty to the player and their drive to improve the land. This is even more so if the land is to remain in their family. This means that when you require their service the knight will be more skilled, have more soldiers and respond more quickly. They may even be more willing to stay on the campaign past the usual 40 days.