A generalized and very simplyfied example:
- We've got a "Kingdom A" with a king (obviously, duh
). This kingdom has a realm of some 60 provinces with the king "owning" all the titles connected to those provinces.
- The king can't rule all those provinces by himself so he decides to grant some of his titles and provinces to other rulers who in turn swear allegiance to him (i.e. becoming his vassals).
- Now we have the kingdom divided into 6 blocks at 10 provinces each: The king himself ruling 10 provinces and 5 new vassals that have received 10 provinces each and the according titles, most important among them the title of "Duke of 'X'".
- These 5 dukes in turn can't rule all their 10 provinces, respectively, so they do what the king did before and create some vassals of their own which will get the title of "Count of 'Y'".
One noteworthy general principle:
- A king can have both dukes and counts as vassals.
- A duke can only have counts as vassals.
- A count cannot have any vassals.
- Whenever a faction creates a new vassal that they cannot control themselves, the new vassal automatically is a vassal of the next higher step in the hierarchy.