A Noble is a member of a social class in the Esmeraldan Empire that possesses more acknowledged privileges or eminence than Commoners, membership thereof typically being hereditary or obtained through marriage. However, many houses extend membership to wards and allies. Ultimate power derives from the Emperor of the Esmeraldan Empire and descends through the 31 Great Houses that rule the constituent regions of the empire.
Nobility is a state-privileged status which is generally hereditary and regulated by the Empire. The privileges associated with nobility constitutes substantial advantages over commoners. Noble status is officially acknowledged by imperial law and government. Acquired membership into a noble house can only occur through birth, marriage and in some special cases individuals can be conferred into the house with a sponsor from a senior member of the house.
Members of the nobility are required by law to wear a custom ring or pendant (and often a baldric as well) identifying their house sigil and colours.
Originally, there were nine noble houses in Esmeralda Prime. With the addition of other provinces following imperial expansion, each province was granted a number of noble houses of their own specific to their realm. While all provinces are required to maintain noble houses some societies, particularly the Berrans, have all but abandoned the practice.
The nobility is the centre of all power and influence within Northern and Southern cultures, and advancement is only possible for an individual if they are either a member of a House or connected to one. The patronage of a noble is the easiest and often only way for a commoner to achieve success, and the trading of favours for mutual profit is par for the course. The more influence a noble is seen to have, the more sought-after and consequently the more expensive are his or her favours.
The Houses themselves constitute the province's chief societal unit and are formed from old families of varying power, wealth and influence. Most North and South Folk are allied to one House or another by way of blood relation, arranged marriages or in service as retainers. The few families that have no such alliances - known as Houseless families - are considered beneath contempt. Such unfortunates often end up in such predicaments when they refuse to play the game of inter-House politics—gathering secrets, gaining leverage and trading in favours to form alliances.
Noble Privileges Edit
- Eligibility for the imperial throne
- Inherited wealth & estate
- The right to own land
- Preferred enrollment into Imperial Legion officer training
- Preferred enrollment at post-secondary institutions
- Eligibility to join The Curiate
- Higher degree of personal freedom when compared to commoner
Children born into the house inherit the caste of their high-ranking parent and are trained by the house to follow that path. However, any member can petition to be reassigned to another class when they come of age but this is left to the discretion of the lord. If they do not wish to follow their assigned caste, they can choose to forfeit their membership but this is very rare as noble status even of the lowest caste comes with significant advantage.
All adult members of the house are required to swear allegiance to their lord and take a solemn oath to fulfill their prescribed role as set by their caste. A member can be expelled by the head of household for not following their oath.
Most houses have four castes:
- Masters: Leaders of the house. Reserved for the head of the household and his or her immediate family. The leader of the house and this caste is known as "Lord" or "Lady", depending on gender.
- Specialists: Officers of the house charged with supporting the head of household in their noble role. Sheriffs for the Baron of Laws, Healers for the Baron of Health, etc. This caste typically has several "captains" who hold prominent positions within the organization.
- Stewards: Advisers who manage the house's estate and domestic affairs. They are also responsible for tracking the activities of house members and for the training of younger members to prepare for their respective duties within the house. The leader of this caste is known as the "High Steward".
- Guardians: Trained warriors sworn to protect their house and it's interests with their own lives, to obey the commands of the masters and to keep their secrets. The leader of this caste is known as the "First Sword".
The North Edit
The nine noble houses of the Principality of Esmeralda are:
- Carpentier (Esmeralda Prime)
- Conteville (Esmeralda Prime)
- Labelle (Labelle City)
- Garbháin (Garbháin City)
- Reinhardt (Esmeralda Minor)
- Seko (Seko City)
- Titus (Titus)
- Troy (Esmeralda Minor)
- Tull (Sodraas)
The South Edit
The five noble houses of Reino del Sur are:
- Chelli (Tora)
- Peacock (D`jalnas)
- Retneew (Anhangabaú Prime)
- Ross (Brindzan)
- Strong (Anhangabaú Minor)
The Datu Edit
The five noble houses of Datu are:
The Boar Edit
The seven noble houses of the Boar Republic are:
- Jul (Isalo)
- licit Ne'rua (Pretoria)
- Parshus (Rattus)
- licit R'apa (Pretoria)
- Regdor (Isalo)
- licit Tra'ta (Pretoria Minor)
- Willard (Hokshee)
The Berrans Edit
The five noble houses of the Berran Meritocracy are: