An Armsman was a Barrayaran term for an armed liveried guard.
Each District Count was allowed twenty according to the provisions in Vorloupulous's Law, meaning that there were a maximum of 1200 at any time (although some Counts, like the impoverished Vorfolse, employed less than the twenty allowed).
An Armsman was (supposed to be) always a citizen of his Count's District, and his word was legally his Count's. Armsmen came from a variety of backgrounds, though they all usually had some military or law enforcement skill: Bothari had served as a Sergeant in the Imperial Service, Pym was in Imperial Security, and Roic was a member of the Hassadar Municipal Guard.
All Armsmen contingents had an Armsman-Commander who led the men. It is unknown how an armsman became a Commander, but some combination of seniority and choice on behalf of the Count or his family seems to be likely.
- "After a dozen off-world trips in m’lord’s wake, Roic was getting practiced at the scramble to arrange m’lord’s luggage, in his role of sometime-batman, m’lord’s and his own travel documents, in his role as personal assistant—the job title Roic traveled under, as explaining the ancient and honorable rank of Armsman to galactics was always a losing game—and m’lord’s security."
- ―Roic's job description[src]
- Konstantine Bothari
- Elena Bothari-Jesek (sworn to Lord Mark briefly as "armswoman")
- Zai (it is unknown if this was a first name or a last name)
- Vogti - Piotr's armsman with wife and aged mother in Vorkosigan Surleau
- Arde Mayhew - sworn to Miles Vorkosigan and an exception to the rule of having to be a citizen of his Count's District
- Bazil Jesek - also sworn to Miles Vorkosigan and an exception to that rule
- Kevi (possible, but not likely - his only appearance did not have him dressed in Vorbarra livery)
Oaths Associated with ArmsmenEdit
- I, X, do testify I am [an unsworn freeman | a freeman/freewoman of the District W | a forsworn military vassal of Z], and take service under Y as an Armsman simple, and will hold him as my liege commander until my death or his releases me.
The lord being sworn to responded as follows:
- I, Y, vassal secondus to Z, do accept your oath, and pledge you the protection of a liege commander; this by my word as Y.
When an armsman wished to marry, the formula went like this (X is person to marry):
- My lord, I ask your permission and aid to marry X that my sons may serve you.
A favorable response took the form:
- Yes, may they all serve me as well as you do.
An Armsman's Shout was performed at a Count's or Count's heir's wedding. The armsmen shouted together when the wedding was completed and the couple stepped out of their circle.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ The Warrior's Apprentice chapter 6
- ↑ A Civil Campaign chapter 17
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Shards of Honor
- ↑ A Civil Campaign chapter 1
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 "Winterfair Gifts"
- ↑ Cryoburn chapters 2,12
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Mirror Dance chapter 18
- ↑ "The Mountains of Mourning"
- ↑ A Civil Campaign
- ↑ Barrayar
- ↑ Diplomatic Immunity chapters 2,16
- ↑ Barrayar chapter 11
- ↑ Barrayar chapter 13
- ↑ The Warrior's Apprentice chapter 5
- ↑ The Warrior's Apprentice chapter 9
- ↑ Mirror Dance chapter 13
- ↑ A Civil Campaign chapters 15,19
- ↑ A Civil Campaign chapters 7,8,14,17
- ↑ A Civil Campaign chapters 7,17
- ↑ A Civil Campaign chapter 6
- ↑ The Warrior's Apprentice chapters 5,9
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 The Warrior's Apprentice chapter 19