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The Aristocracy represents the nobility of Magnimar, as well as the super rich. Though they are allied with The Law, they don't always necessarily see eye to eye, and sometimes consider themselves to be somewhat above the laws that apply to the common people.
There are several noble houses in Magnimar, and though some may be rivals, for the most part they realise that sticking together against the local classes is important, so try to ensure that any squabbles are kept hidden from society at large.
|1||1||Party time. Get a +10 circumstance bonus when trying to attend an event hosted by a member of the aristocracy.|
Varisia doesn’t have a King, and doesn’t have anyone to confer titles of nobility to anyone. Because of this, there isn’t really the concept of hereditary titles.
Outside the cities there is no official way of bestowing titles, instead those of sufficient power and wealth will claim a courtesy title which tends to be a measure of their military might. Such titles don't really mean anything, but they are generally used and respected often enough to be considered useful.
A knight is anyone who owns land and has the arms and skill to defend it. Generally they will have a manor and maybe a few men-at-arms. They tend to be referred to as 'Sir' or 'Dame'.
Barons are land owners who have at least a small keep, and a permanent army of about two dozen men. Since it is a title claimed by anyone strong enough to do so, the exact definition tends to be flexible.
They tend to be referred to as 'Lord' or 'Lady', or more formally 'Lord Baron' or 'Lady Baroness'.
Viscounts, similarly to Barons, is a claimed title based on military strength. A Viscount will meet all the criteria for a Baron, plus have two or more Barons reporting to them.
They are referred to as 'Viscount' or 'Viscountess', or more informally as 'Lord' or 'Lady'.
Some people in Varisia claim other titles, generally based on those of Chelaxian origin. They don’t really have meaning in Varisia, so the ability to make them stick depends on the reputation of the person in question, and whether others respect them enough to respect their wishes.
For those who are simply of good social standing (i.e. they have sufficient inherited wealth such that they own land and don’t need to work for a living), the title of ‘Baronet’ is generally conferred. It doesn’t really mean anything, but means that the person in question is addressed as ‘Lord’ or ‘Lady and has a coat of arms.
Within the city of Magnimar, noble titles tend to be based on wealth and social standing.
The Lord Mayor is ruler of the city, and is an elected non-hereditary position that is held for life, or at least there is a sufficient vote of no-confidence by the Lord Justices. Even then, there isn’t an official way to dispose of an unwanted Lord Mayor, and so far there’s never been a need to put it to the test.
The form of address is Your Grace.
These are the legal rulers of the city, who interpret the city’s few rules. Again, it is an elected non-hereditary position for life, which could be a long time for the few elven Lord Justices. There are thirteen justices, and it is theoretically possible for a vote by at least nine Justices plus the Lord Mayor to remove one of them.
The form of address is simply Lord Justice, regardless of gender.
The founding families of Magnimar are provided the title of Lord Founder, and the head of the family is formally addressed as Lord Founder or Lady Founder. The current founders are:
Other titles were historically granted by the Lord Mayor and the Lord Founders, though that duty has now fallen to the Council of Ushers. A member of the Council is referred to as Lord/Lady Usher, though isn’t considered a noble title in of itself.
A title guarantees certain privileges within the city, not least of which is certain legal protections. Titles are generally granted for outstanding contribution to the city, acknowledgement of political or financial influence, or simple bribery or favouritism.
A non-hereditary title granted to one who has provided sufficient service to the city. It confers the privilege of being granted free passage in and out of the city (without being stopped or questioned by the watch), and having the right to call on a Lord Justice to directly oversee a legal case.
They are formally referred to as Sir or Dame.
A hereditary title granted to those who have provided significant service to the city, who own permanent property within the city, and are seen to be of sufficient moral character.
They are formally referred to as Lord or Lady. They will have a coat of arms provided by the city.
A hereditary title granted to a few, and is required to be able to own property within the Alabaster District.
They are formally referred to as Lord Patrician or Lady Patrician. Less formally, a simple Lord or Lady can suffice if being addressed by another noble. They will have a coat of arms provided by the city.
The current Patrician families of Magnimar are: