Ah, I thought you'd gone away! Nice rant, as always.
I'm in the planning stages of a character clash-ish story involving a recently ennobled (well, thirteen years ago) man who fought on the right side of a revolt, living on lands that were granted to him after someone who fought on the wrong side was exiled from them. Actually, it centers more on his wife and his daughter, who he leaves behind when called to sit on the council of his lord. Unfortunately, the man who would have been heir to the land, had his father not been on Ye Olde Wrong Side, comes back to claim it and brings a rather large group of mercenaries with him. Fortunately, he's kind of a little crazy, but in a way that leads him to let Signy (the lady) live and apply some sort of justice to her people.
Lya, the daughter, ends up for somewhat complicated reasons hiding as a kennel girl and, later, escaping to bring word to her father. She gets a mole's eye view of what's happening, as opposed to Signy, who only sees what her people bring to her.
The fun part is, the guy who comes back to claim his land isn't anywhere close to BAD. He wants what should have been his and, once he has it, he tries to be just to the people who live there. The large number of soldiers he has on hand makes that a little difficult, but he does try.
Course, that doesn't stop Signy from gutting him in the end, but eh.