- 1 What is a Noble?
- 2 Sweetwater
- 3 Cliffside
- 4 Shralesta
- 5 Thera'Dor
What is a Noble?
Nobles are, relatively, new things. They are not written about in the First Text, and were generally not part of the plan of things when beings first arrived on Promise. As time progressed, beings in power decided they wanted to reward and hold close those they felt were loyal and useful. As a result, nobility evolved on its own, as those who perform great deeds, or at least earn great positive notice, of those in power are rewarded.
Once someone is named nobility, their children, male and female, are often considered nobility as well, unless some terrible act causes it to be formally renounced. For some, unambitious, souls, this becomes little more than a mark of honor passed from parent to child. For others, it becomes a noble house.
Noble houses are nobles that make nobility their business. They live well, and exert their influence over their city/nation. They actively participate in the local politics and mind their public image. They become like guilds, with a focus, leaders, hierarchy and rules to govern themselves. Some noble houses become successful enough to become rulers of their nation, though this is rare. More commonly, they become a potent politic force, for good or ill.
The Good Kings and Queens have named several noble lines for their kingdom. Creators be praised, they've only had to renounce one.
The Longtails are an up-until-recently defunct noble family of felines, stripped of their nobility when they became too big for their britches and made a move on the Good Queen of the time. A short civil war in 428 SA resulted in their defeat. The leader of the Longtails, Reginald Longtail was executed for his crimes against the throne, and several of his highest ranking subordinates jailed, but many others were very mildly treated.
Longtails do not advertise their name, due to the dishonor thrown on it, but they still exist. They continue to have some influence in the underworld, dealing primarily with arms trading and drug smuggling. On April 3rd, in the year 477 Since Arrival, the younglady Flora has revealed a new invention of her own make, under the name of 'Camera', to the King himself. The latter subsequently revealed Flora's lineage and awarded her the title of High Lady Flora Longtail. The young Lady holds a difficult position, leading a fractured house where one part wants her to fail in reforming the family, another would see her succeed... And then there are those that could swing either way. But one thing's for sure, the Longtails will never quite be the same.
It is advisable to speak with Flora before playing a Longtail, since she holds executive power over the house and has the King's (and Nuku's) permission to strip the family-name from you, if she finds reason to do so.
The Stronghearts are a family of bovines that are known for stubbornness and tenaciousness...and the agrarian estates. Grains and fruits (as well as their alcoholic byproducts) come from their estates, and they are currently looking to expand to mines and gaining smithies as well.
A relatively new House (only third generation), their head, Markgraf Tuor is working to raise the House's prestige, which took a blow when his son and heir, Erbmarkgraf Tarvek, turned out to be soulless! The Erbmarkgraf is working to overcome that taint in the eyes of the Nobility and Society at large.
A family of foxes, they earned their nobility in 190 SA on the field of battle. Returning home as heroes, they decided to continue working for the crown, and became a potent noble family in the process.
The solacious family is considered the first word when it comes to the military. All members of the house are expected to serve five years, much longer than the average citizen, in the militia. Trained strategists and front line warriors, the Good King holds them in high regard. The fact that younger members of the house turn up drunk around the city frequently is a small price to pay.
A family so new it only has one member, Kilsa, who was awarded the title for her discovery and reproduction of a unique soulgem. It remains to see if she will expand her title to a full and proper noble house. The orphanage is the only landmark that has ties to the newly forged house.
Not much is known about the state of the new house but Lady Ironsoul has been seen working at the church and smith as if nothing has changed from her recent shift in nobility. Word has been spread that she is gathering some soulless for something but evidence of this is few and far in between.
A family of skunks that rose to recent power and fame when they discovered the original soul pendant, a method of tethering a soulgem to a soulless, allowing them to function properly. Rewarded for their efforts with nobility, the Blackbacks went on to help refine soulgems, shaping the field and solidfying the designs of the basic first six (fighter, rogue, mage adept, priest, journeyman, and scholar), as well as the imprinting gems that allowed parents to imprint their souls to create a parent gem over the year of a child's gestation.
Avid scholars, most of their influence is in the academy, but it would be unwise to consider them isolated there. Their wares are sold constantly through the Freeswords, which extends their reach to the soulless, and through them, the nation as a whole. No other noble group is as involved in soulless politics as the Blackbacks. The blackbacks are the only noble family known to adopt non blackbacks into their family outside of marriage lifebonding.
Soulless can join the Blackbacks by swearing life long fealty and becoming servants of the house. This induction is not hereditary, however, and only soulless willing to help advance the field of soulless knowledge, at any cost, are welcomed within the family.
The Wirefur clan is a minor noble family located in Cliffside. A clan of Canines founded by Burhand Griffinhound that has been the Cliffside guardians of knowledge as long as anyone can remember. Initally appointed to establish an elite guard unit to ward the Libraries and Colleges of the city, the Wirefur family sided with the sages and educators during the times of trouble.
The Wirefur were allowed to keep their noble title once the situation in Cliffside had resolved. The Family has some small roles in the ruling council and still provides both the training and the majority of staff to guard the universities and libraries of the city.
After the more recent conspiracies of Edric Wirefur to incite war between Cliffside and Sweetwater again and sabotage the country's food supply with attacks on several major granaries, the family was taken to the courts of both Cliffside and Sweetwater where Edric was found guilty.
While the family retains its claims to nobility, there is some unease surrounding their motives as a result.
The Duskcaller house isn't a true noble house, but they're the closest you'll find in Shralesta. A family of bats full of renown explorers, this family is responsible for uncovering many of the Creator artifacts and sacred family rituals in the grasp of the desert city. The members of this family are often sent out on journeys to find an artifact as a rite of passage, and the unspoken tradition of trying to outdo those of the previous generation in quality of artifacts brought back has led to some incredible finds. Why the family donates all these artifacts to the city is unknown. Some claim it is simple peity. Others whisper that perhaps they are trying to repent for some horrendous crime whose details are lost to time.
Recently the Duskcallers, while still respected, are starting to lose a bit of their fame, as the areas near Shralesta have been scoured so completely that only the most exceptional of searchers can find something new. This has led to these bats wandering farther, traveling to other lands, to try and find exceptional finds to return to their city.
Much like House Duskcaller, the skunks of House Dunepaw are not truly nobility in the strictest sense, given Shralesta's political landscape. However, the house is treated much the same, and for good reason. Historically, House Dunepaw has had strong connections with most of the prominent merchants in the desert-city, along with controlling a large part of the city's ports.
House Dunepaw remains in control of much of the merchantilism that takes place within Shralesta, although politically, they are generally considered to be a sleeping power.
A family of Mountain Lions who have been explorers and seafaring merchants since time out of mind. Some of their detractors say they come from pirate stock, but that has never bothered the adventurous, easygoing Snowmarks. The family name comes from a trait that manifests once or twice in every generation. Some Snowmark children are born with a fractal snowflake pattern in their fur. These children are considered very lucky and great things are expected of them. Most of their holdings are coastal, with some lands stretching inland along the Negila river
A line of snowy foxes, distantly related to the Solacious family of Firmament. They, like their Solacious cousins, are a military bunch, known for their work in maintaining the peace in Thera’Doran cities. Though in Hilrock itself, they are better known as cloth merchants and fashion moguls. They like to look good in uniform
The Aldermann family are the great priests of the north. These regal caribou are, almost without exception, dedicates of the Church of the Creators. No Aldermann has ever sat upon the throne of Thera’Dor, and they are quite proud of that. They seek instead to keep their people strict in the ways of the first writings. The moon’s destruction was seen as a terrible omen and they have since redoubled their efforts to keep the people of Hilrock on the strait and narrow way. They have no holdings of their own, but no noble house may turn a member of the Aldermann clan away without suffering the consequences. Aldermann clan members, male and female, take great pride in their antlers, never polluting what the creators gave them with anything so base as decoration, but maintaining them very carefully. An Aldermann who has shamed the clan is often condemned to go “bareheaded” or antler-less for a season before they can seek reinstatement as active priests.
This family of moles keeps the coffers of the kingdom overflowing with fine ores and metals. Hence their long stay on the throne. These industrious nobles own and manage most of the lucrative mining operations in Thera’Dor. They are known for their expensive tastes, shrewd business sense, and love of court intrigue.
A tribe of warm-blooded saurians that have many of their holdings in the volcanic regions of the country. Not for the heat, of course, but for the fertile lands that surround the volcanoes that mark the western border of the vast Thera’Dor. The Caldera tribe provides the majority of the produce and plant products that support the infrastructure of the country. They are a people of pacifists and homebodies. It is rare to see them away from their holdings without specific orders. Calderas believe that it is dishonorable to subject another beneath themselves and despite their great wealth, every adult Caldera is expected to work their time each day in the fields alongside their subjects and hired workers unless they are on specific assignment elsewhere. They follow the Church of the creators, but are known to have an additional religion of their own, worshiping the fires of the earth that sustain their crops and lands. All Caldera marriages are very carefully arranged, as any crossbreeding into the family is nearly impossible and they strive to keep their family lines as varied as they can.
The Dacha are a clan of semi-nomadic maned wolves. Their holdings are a loosely defined territory of grazing lands for the enormous herds they maintain. The clan is divided into many branches, each branch tending to a chosen herd of animals ranging from cows to horses to reindeer. The Dacha are very proud of their animals. It is said that a Dacha warhorse is the only horse a king may ride to battle if he wishes to be victorious.
Not a house so much as a collection of like minded individuals. This noble house welcomes all into their ranks who possess the qualities they value. Which mainly includes Strength, Willpower, a certain amount of Bloody-Mindedness and the ability to crush rocks with your skull. They maintain a strange society of outsiders on the southern borders of Thera’Dor. This is the only reason that they have a seat on the Council of Houses, allowing the council SOME control over trade routes to the south. Anyone may join the ranks of their elite, if they are willing to crack a few skulls to get there.