Lower Noble Houses & Bastards

Member: 4
Joined: Sep 2 2008

I've been asked several times (and hope to get many more questions like it) how lower noble houses are created and what's up with acknowledged bastards?

In a nutshell, lower noble houses are created when someone claiming noble descent, or exhibiting magical abilities, gathers enough cash, followers, or social status (usually a mix of the three) to declare themselves a lower noble house - complete with a fun new surname - and be recognized as such by society. This is rarely a peaceful, harmonious process.

Acknowledged bastards: Typically noted with the use of "ab" between their first name and surname. Mommy or Daddy was fond enough of the child to publicly acknowledge the relationship and allow the child to use their surname. It does not include any real privileges or hereditary rights.

The background of Julian ab Teodur, one such acknowledged bastard, can be found in the Wiki.

Member: 109
Joined: Mar 23 2009
What happens if

What happens if a member of the Greater Noble House decides to marry a commoner instead of the arranged marriage with another noble?

Would they basically demote him/her to a Lesser Noble family status and send him/her off without hereditary rights/privileges granted to Greater Nobles?

Would that person qualify to start a new Lesser Noble family?

And does starting a new Lesser Noble House require approval from the House Lord (master of the primary Greater House) or King (in today's kingdoms)?

Member: 4
Joined: Sep 2 2008
Inheritance

There are few hard and fast rules on a scion of a Greater Noble House marrying a commoner. There are many possible outcomes from different houses and situations depending on the people involved. The rogue-noble might be outcast from the family, or they might retain all rights and privileges but their spouse is completely ignored, etc. However, any sort of significant inheritance is rarely passed on to their offspring.

Traditionally, the offspring of the union between a Greater Noble and a commoner would be considered the founder of a Lower Noble House if they attain the money, influence or power needed for society to accept their claim.

There is no hard and fast rule across the remains of the Empire as to how one attains Lower Noble House status. As with most of society's traditions, all things are possible with enough grease applied to the gears.