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"I promise that I, Bann Esmerelle, will be faithful to the Arl in matters of life, limb, and earthly honor. Never will I bear arms against him or his heirs. So I say in the sight of the Maker."
―Bann Esmerelle

An oath of fealty―also referred to as "bending the knee"―is a formal act of submission to a King, Queen, Emperor, Empress, Teryn, Arl or Lord, a recognition of authority and a demonstration of loyalty. It is common for surrendering parties to bend the knee after being defeated in a war or rebellion; in return, the ruling king or lord will usually treat those that bend the knee with leniency - e.g. Elethea Cousland, the Teyrna of Highever, swore an oath of fealty to Calenhad the Great after being defeated in battle, and was allowed to keep her titles and land by Calenhad in return.