An Estatist is a type of military and political leader in Questers, who forms part of the country’s nobility and the apparatus of government. Estatists are either outright owners of large freeholds, with the right to extract land charges from their residents, or essentially the owners of private militaries, supported by the public, who sign long-term contracts for their services. An Estatist is differentiated from a normal landowner by their oath of allegiance to the Defender of the Faiths and his reciprocal recognition of their noble titles.
In addition to their military purpose, an Estatist often, but not always, offers services typically associated with local government or general infrastructure , such as sewerage, waste disposal, water and energy, telecommunications, insurance, and transport. The land areas to which these, and security services, are provided, are referred to as Estates. The majority of the population stays in the same Estate for most of their life, but Estatists rise and fall, either through bankruptcy, fatal loss of status by scandal, or inability to produce an heir to their estate.
Since an Estatist and their tenants are contractually bound, and the Estatist and Defender of the Faith also bound, the system represents a modern form of feudalism. The main task of the system is to provide a basis to raise troops for external defence, albeit with only a small standing army, and to provide internal security in order to enforce the law. Estatists main tasks are always to raise Yeomanry, to hire sheriffs to hunt outlaws, and to employ bailiffs to ensure civil order.