Domain and Regency » Government » Dynasties » Cadet
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Dynasties · Bloodline · Investiture
Heir · Ceremony · Cadet
If an ambitious regent plans well and achieves success during his lifetime, he may be able to reward his heirs better than they expect. The head of a dynasty might rule only one type of holding or one realm, but he might have enough power to influence succession within other domains in the same region. As a result, he could, conceivably, nurture heir candidates for several different types of realms.

[top]Extending the Branches

Consider the Count of Müden and his chief adviser, Theofold Segwardes, as an example. The count inherited rulership of the provinces of Müden. He did not have any guild holdings, but he became the most powerful man in the realm. As a result, he could help Theofold, his main henchman and lieutenant, become regent of several successful guild holdings, thereby increasing his influence and rewarding a loyal retainer. Player character regents should do the same sort of thing. When they get ready to pass on their regency to an heir, they might choose to split up their realm into parts, awarding the chief rulership to one heir and minor parts to other heirs who become his vassals. Or, if he has enough influence, the regent might decide to create new holdings for the other heirs with the proviso that they serve the new heir loyally. This way, all the heirs who proved themselves true through their service gain reward, and the dynasty expands outward, encompassing more than it once did. In Müden, the count actually gave up a small part of his realm (to the Captain of Müden), but gained more through his vassal, the guildmaster.

[top]Marriage of Cadets

Other regents can be brought into the family by marriage. This can be done for a regent's siblings as well as their children. Such a marriage alliance creates bonds of obligations on both sides, but the potential advantages are great indeed.

[top]Building an Empire

Throughout history, wise regents have found the ties of blood more binding than oaths of vassalage. While it is true that familial betrayals have been a part of Cerilian history ever since Prince Raesene became the Gorgon, those famous betrayals are the exception, not the rule. Seldom do stories of quiet ascension and faithful service to family find their way into the legends surrounding the greatest dynasties. Only the exceptions cause bards to compose their tales of tragedy and woe.
Ever since the dissolution of the Anuirean Empire, each region has had its own problems with centralized governance. The nomadic Rjurik, a significant portion of that region?s population, seldom inhabit the same territory for more than a few months at a time. Though they don?t change overlords as often, they do not trust a permanent power structure.
The Anuireans, who once ruled half the continent from a central, imperial base, look back with pride and fondness on their heritage ? but cannot go back to it. Too many candidates for emperor exist, and the nobles have too much pride to bow to an overlord not of unanimous choosing.
A loss of face would result if the Khinasi emirs and sultans gave up control of their realms to one regent. They rebelled against the Anuirean Occupation of their territory and hold el-Arrasi, the organizer of the Basarji Federation, among their greatest heroes. He did not espouse one government for all Khinasi states.
The independent Brechts would see centralized government as a hinderance and restriction to their trade. They respect powerful, independent states, but grow wary of counts and princes who look too far across the waters.
And the Vos have established such a long tradition of battling each other that the idea of uniting would occur to them only if they faced an outside threat.
As for the nonhumans of Cerilia, the elves desire no rulership over all ? though many would like to see the humans gone from a continent that has grown too small.
The dwarves concern themselves only a little with outside governments, and prefer to keep their own governance to themselves.
Halflings have little interest in rulership at all ? they have only one known realm on Cerilia.
The orogs, gnolls, and goblin realms can hardly govern themselves, let alone an empire.
So, how can a king become an emperor on Cerilia? Dynasty is the only answer. While one individual
cannot hope to rally all of his or her own people to the banner of empire, a talented regent can aspire to create an empirical dynasty. Many rulers, all sprung from the same dynasty, might forge a strong
enough alliance to unite enough realms to take over a region ? or perhaps, the entire continent.


On occasion, Cerilian lords have found the most destructive forces to a dynasty not in enemy armies or even friendly meddlers, but in the desires of their own ambitious family members. A regent should cultivate or produce several potential heirs to ensure one survives to succeed him. But when the regent finally designates one heir and steps down, what does he do with the other candidates? Trained and even primed for rulership, are they left out in the cold ? or possibly worse, to their own devices?
Short-sighted and evil rulers take the ?easy? approach. They eliminate the competition for their heirs. Killing family and friends for the sake of the dynasty is not a completely strange concept on Cerilia. The grandfather of Emperor Alándalae of Anuire is said to have done it ? certainly his third daughter met no resistance from anyone upon assuming the Iron Throne. For over a century, the el-Arrasi dynasty in Ariya engaged in the public execution of each new heir?s siblings, and to this day confines them to house arrest for their entire lives. Many Vos tribes hold the practice to be the final test of a regent ?s right to rule ? the elimination of his own family proves he puts the realm first and above all else. Poisoners, professional duellists and assassins all have practised their trade on royal blood ? and still do. All in the name of peaceful ascension to the throne. But this method never truly works, not for long. Sooner or later, an heir candidate, fearing for his life, eliminates his predecessor, or his competition, or both, before he can be properly trained in the arts of rulership. Other nobles get into the act, and soon anarchy reigns. Realms and domains divide and ? in the case of Rohrmarch and other such lands ? waste their energies on civil war while their enemies wait for an opportunity to spring.
Less wise but well-meaning regents leave disappointed candidates alive with token rulerships or pensions when they declare an heir. Some domains become burdened with whole cadres of Baronets of the Realm, all dedicated to holding the same office, all drawing the same huge sums out of the treasury every month. Other realms have been destroyed by this method: Granting a would- be regent only a little power makes him hunger for more, and gives him a seed with which to sow rebellion. The true heir never knows peace until he makes it himself.
The wisest regents tend to be very selective when picking their heirs ? even among their own children. They make certain, right from the start, that their heirs want what?s best for the realm first, the family second, and themselves third. This isn?t an easy task, but true regency shouldn?t be. If the regent can train his potential heirs in the arts of rulership without ever discussing ascension to the throne itself with any of them, he can keep their minds focused on the tasks at hand. If an heir thinks he will be awarded with the rulership of a particular province, or a lieutenancy, or an advisership, then he won?t be disappointed when that is all he gets. However, if the regent dangles rulership of an entire realm in front of a cabaret of possible heirs, eventually, one will seize it ? and the others won?t support him because they will want it for themselves. The surprise of ascension should surprise only the one who ascends, not the entire realm.

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