Thuria and Beyond
In Brythunia, the king can only maintain power by maintaining the support of thirteen powerful land-owning families the heads of which are known as Boyars.
Each Boyar rules over a significant area of land known as a Boyarstwo. Over the centuries since the founding of Brythunia, the Boyars have ennobled their supporters and protectors, thereby creating further tiers of the Brythunian feudal system. In the case of the more tyrannical Boyars, the lesser nobles owning land and castles understand that acts of defiance could lead to their possessions and titles being taken from them at a whim. Avoiding such unfavourable outcomes can involve lesser nobles feeling obliged to pay overly generous tribute to their masters. Less autocratic Boyars, on the other hand, may happily watch the power and wealth of lesser nobles grow unchecked.
The 13 Boyar families include: