This will be a rather complicated issue, I think, so I will try to give some background on why I'm asking to help you understand the question I am trying to ask.
I am a coder for a Medieval MMORPG that is a text-based, largely dependent on interaction game. In other words, the relationships are what is important in the game, not on-screen fighting, etc.
The land and time are fictitious, but based roughly on England, 12th-13th century. Because it is a game, we make certain allowances to allow the participants to have fun, so there are known historical inaccuracies. However, we do our best to be "correct", or at least realistic, where we can.
Because of the nature of the game, a player is either a King/Duke/Lord (of a region)/Common Noble sworn to a Lord. All of these levels may recruit a unit of soldiers and join an army to do battle.
So finally, here's the question:
There is currently a conflict between Marshals - anyone chosen to lead a collection of knights into war - and the Lords and Dukes, over who has the "authority" over the knights during war time. Part of my problem in solving this is, I can't really seem to find any precedence for a Marshal position in history - it seems to be a game mechanics position only.
There is no right answer to this, of course, but can anyone give examples of this type of organization, or how armies in say, The Hundred Years War, were organized from the top. When the King and his advisers settled on a plan, how did the orders get passed out? If a Duke decided to withdraw his contributions (in knights) to the army, what happened?
This is very long, so I'll stop now. Ask me anything I've left out that will help you understand my question. Thanks!