BRCS:Chapter two/Blood and regency/Usurpation » Blood inheritance
Although the children of a scion are normally scions themselves, with the bloodline derivation of the parent of the stronger bloodline and a bloodline score between that of their parents, this is not what is meant by the term bloodline inheritance.
Instead the term refers to the passing of a bloodline from one scion (the donor) to another (the heir). This can be by conscious choice of the donor, generally aided by an investiture realm spell, or by the land’s choice.
Sometimes the regency reserve of the donor is also transferred; however this requires the donor to consider the recipient their true heir, not simply the use of an investiture spell to ensure transfer to the ‘correct’ person. I.e. Agelmore has two sons, Landen and Vaesil. Landen is the elder and has been subject to an investiture realm spell to ensure that on Agelmore’s death the bloodline passes to him, Agelmore secretly believes that Vaesil would be the better heir but does not wish to cause civil conflict by naming the younger brother the heir (in Cerilia it is normal for the eldest child to inherit, although the Vos for example often ignore females in terms of inheritance) as a result when Agelmore dies Landen gets the bloodline, but not Agelmore’s regency reserve, Landen would only get the regency reserve if he was Agelmore’s heir in both fact and spirit.
When the heir inherits the bloodline of the donor, generally on the death of the donor, then the combined bloodline strength is that which would occur if the scion with the higher score had committed bloodtheft on the scion with the lower score. If the two have different bloodline derivations (for example if both parents were blooded, but of different derivation and both made their child their heir) then there is a chance that the heir’s bloodline will suffer Bloodline domination. This can happen if the donor had a stronger bloodline (unlikely for inheritance from parent to child unless the donor increased their bloodline after engendering the child or the child had suffered a substantial reduction in bloodline strength).
Bloodline inheritance has the effect of maintaining the strength of bloodlines, without bloodline inheritance a child of a scion would almost invariably have a lower bloodline than that of the stronger parent, in time, particularly given the potential for random events to reduce bloodline score, most bloodlines would weaken to nothing. Bloodline inheritance however means that the strength of each generation is passed onto the next, albeit only the chosen heir amongst the scions of the next generation. This has the side effect of ensuring that the 'true heir' of the family tends to have a substantial advantage over their siblings if the legal inheritance is challenged - a regent with a stronger bloodline has advantages in domain play.
The investiture realm spell is used by wealthier scions to ensure that the ‘correct’ heir receives the bloodline of the donor scion. Without the use of the investiture spell the bloodline passes to the child who most closely follows the beliefs of the donor (or sometimes of the ancient god from whom the bloodline ultimately descends) rather than the legal heir. In cases where the ‘lawful heir’ does not receive the bloodline it is not unknown for the ‘lawful heir’ to be dispossessed by the ‘blood heir’ by means legal or otherwise.
It should be noted that a direct genetic link is not required for bloodline inheritance – it’s simply the most common example. A scion with no children may well have an heir amongst unblooded people that they know (whether they realize it or not), and even amongst people that they know only slightly but admire greatly. A bloodline is a powerful thing and rarely simply vanishes on the death of its bearer.
Occasionally bloodline inheritance is forced. In this case the donor is forced to make the recipient their heir via the investiture realm spell. This is generally done when murder (and therefore bloodtheft) is considered unwise, or the recipient wants the aid of the donor. For example if one regent captures another they may require the captive to invest the captor as the captive’s heir in order to ‘inherit’ the realm of the captive without having to undertake continual contest, build and rule domain actions.