The Untamed Wilds
Cohorts are loyal servants who follow a particular character hoping to rise along with their patron to better things.
Lieutenants and cohorts are very similar and a character can be both. The difference is that lieutenant is loyal to the realm while a cohort is loyal to the person. When a cohort is also a lieutenant, they are loyal to both. A cohort can be loyal to the ruler but not the realm, but given the personal nature of rule there will only be a few cases where a cohort harms the realm while being loyal to the ruler. The most notable case is where the ruler himself orders part of his realm occupied or declares an inquisition. Personal loyalty can be very useful in these circumstances.
Cohorts are acquired through the Leadership feat. Generally, a character does not look for a cohort, a cohort looks for a leader to follow. Unless a character is constantly on the move, or laying low, there will be a steady stream of potential cohorts recommended to the character by family, friends, and associates.
Powers of Cohorts
Cohorts have not been invested with any authority in the realm and cannot perform any realm actions. But a cohort can perform any personal action that a regent could, even standing in personally in stead of the regent in domain events. A cohort can oversee matters of the domain, indicating a general direction for actions to be taken by the court, but they cannot spend Regency (RP) or Gold Bars (GB) for the regent. A regent can invested a cohort with the lieutenancy for the realm through use of the Great Lieutenant feat.
Cohorts may also be personal servants such as champions, bodyguards, or advisors. Cohorts are friends and personal admirers of the PC, granting small bonuses against particular domain events such as Assassination or Heresy events (per the DM’s discretion). They are under the control of the player, within the limits set by the DM. Unlike NPC lieutenants, cohorts, whether lieutenants or not, can always use their skills and abilities at the behest of the player, but don’t take a leadership role on their own.