The Greater Noble Houses

There were seventeen Greater Nobles who, like Gallidon, possessed strong magical powers having been somehow imbued with divine aid by Na'naat's brothers and sisters. These Greater Nobles had three times the life-span of a common man. Each founded a House.

Being a descendant of one of the seventeen Greater Nobles came with the gift of long life, but was regarded to have little bearing on magical potential. Descendants often had a sorcerous Gift, but what truly set them above others was the training they received for their Gift. Knowledge of and training for the most powerful sorcery was tightly held by the Greater Noble Houses, each according to their Discipline.

Beginning sometime in the second millennia, a growing tradition dictated members of these Houses marry and have children with members of other Greater Noble Houses to maintain their “magical” Bloodlines. Most marriages among the Noble Houses were arranged. Official succession generally followed the line of the first-born child, regardless of gender.

Members of Noble Houses sometimes had children with commoners. The children of these unions often had the potential for magical abilities. These children, acknowledged or not, typically became the founders of Lower Noble Houses.

It was not uncommon for members of the Greater Noble Houses to never have children, losing themselves instead in intellectual interests rather than matters of the flesh. Madness was not uncommon among the members of the Greater Noble Houses.

Some Greater Noble Houses ruled over vast provinces (now kingdoms). They and their families were required to spend alternating periods each year at the Imperial City (usually with the head of the house coming to the city while their family stayed home, then reversing the arrangement). The Emperor did not use a large military force to keep the provinces in line, though it kept an Imperial presence in all regions. Authority over the Nobles Houses was sufficient to ensure that the Houses used their own military might to enforce the Emperor’s will.

While loyal to Gallidon, the Greater Noble Houses were not always loyal to each other. Jealousies, grudges, and past grievances frequently surfaced. Rival houses tested each others’ weaknesses. Over time, the solidarity among the Noble Houses, that allowed them to manage such a far-flung empire, crumbled.

Some Greater Noble Houses have their own military to oversee their protection and lands, often with their own family members in positions of leadership as well as in the ranks. This gave their military forces the possibility of employing magic.

The Original Seventeen Greater Nobles and their Mastered Discipline