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Science-Fiction Adventure in the Far Future

One of the most important privileges accorded to a high noble is the authority to raise a unit of household troops, also called huscarles.

In fact, there is no Imperial law against the maintenance of private military forces. Mercenary units are common, and the line between large bodyguard forces and small milltary units is often hard to define.

Many Imperial aristocrats, not just in the high nobility, maintain private armed forces.

Huscarles are different because they have Imperial sanction. They are considered part of the Unified Armies of the Imperium, even though they are maintained and commanded by individual nobles.

They have the right under Imperial law to bear military-grade arms, even in violation of local weapons ordinances, so long as they are in uniform and on duty.

Most importantly, when they are accompanying their commander in the pursuit of his duties, they share in his legal protection against assault. Shooting at a private army may be a legitimate exercise of self-defense. Shooting at huscarles can sometimes be treason.

Ref: GT-Nobles