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Social Classes

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Social Hierarchy[edit | edit source]

Society in Elyria is segregated in a hierarchical order, from lowest to highest:

Citizens[edit | edit source]

  • Gentry (landowners)
  • Village Elders (landowners in villages)
  • Members of the Town Council
  • Members of the City Council

Aristocracy[edit | edit source]

  • Mayors
  • Magistrates
  • Barons/Baronesses

Nobility[edit | edit source]

  • Counts/Countesses (Landowner of County)
  • Dukes/Duchesses (Landowner of Duchy)
  • Kings/Queens (Landowner of Kingdom)
  • Emperor/Empress (Landowner of multiple Kingdoms)

Becoming Aristocracy[edit | edit source]

For information on Aristocracy see Settlements.

Inheritance[edit | edit source]

Mayors and Barons are inherited positions in Elyria.[1]

Becoming Nobility[edit | edit source]

There are four ways to become a noble: Marriage, Inheritance, Claims, and Appointment.

Marriage[edit | edit source]

If you marry someone and the contract grants you a noble title, you become noble. You can now set laws in your regions and have the other privileges of your rank.

Inheritance[edit | edit source]

If you inherit from a PC or NPC (with Favor), you become a Noble.

Claims[edit | edit source]

To claim a Noble Title, you have to have a Casus Belli (or CB) and perform a Coup. There are three ways you can go about getting a CB: Favor, Fame, and Wealth. Note: the last two only apply to non-Nobles. Once you become a noble, only favor can be used.

Favor: Let's say I'm a Mayor of a city in some county. If I can gain enough “favor”, I can either take over as Count of the county, or if I have enough land can claim independence and create my own county. What does “favor” mean? Favor is a willingness by your peers, your noble's peers, or your noble's liege lord to support you. This is actually a written contract that they sign that assures you their support. So if you're a mayor, and you can rally enough other mayors (currently 2/3), you can claim CB and attempt to overthrow your count. As previously stated, instead of getting the favor from the other mayors, you can alternatively curry favor with the other counts in your duchy - your count's peers. If you can get 51% of your count's peers to agree, then you have achieved CB. As with before, that gives you the opportunity to perform a coup. Finally, if you can get 25% of your count's peers and their duke you’ve established a cause for war. For King, there are no nobles above them. So you either need the dukes to rally against the king, or you need to gain favor with the other Kings.

Fame: Each noble title has its own fame. Legendary for Kings, Exalted for Dukes, and Renowned for Counts. If you can reach the level of fame just below a noble title: Famous for Counts, Renowned for Dukes, and Exalted for Kings, you can automatically claim CB on the basis of being famous. Then, the same process repeats as before. Of course, being an Exalted character might give you CB to claim the title of King, but you still need an army to defend your new capital. That's where more politics are involved. And as an Exalted character if you die while challenging the King, you suffer the spirit loss of being a now, Legendary character.

Wealth: If you're able to accumulate some, yet to be defined amount of wealth based on play-testing, you can buy a CB. Of course, you still need the land to claim as your own, and you still need to pay mercenaries in order to invade/defend your new title, but it’s at least possible to get the CB.

Coups: For the sake of this section, you can replace the word Count with Duke or King in most circumstances. The process is mostly the same for each. Once you have the ability to coup, you must either set up a County Seat in your own lands and declare your independence of the former Count, or you need to march in and take the County seat from your predecessor. At this point, it behaves much like Adverse Possession. If you set up a County Seat, the reigning count has 28 days to remove your county seat. If he succeeds, you forfeit your titles, a vacuum ensues, and he can appoint a new Mayor/Baron in your stead. If you succeed, and he/she cannot force you off your/their lands, then congratulations! You have a county!

Coups are divisive. If a Mayor coups and invades the County seat, the other mayors/barons have essentially three options.

  • Join the pretender and become part of his/her new county.
  • Remain neutral, and hope your current liege lord doesn’t win.
  • Join your liege’s call to arms and hope the pretender doesn’t win.

Regardless of which option you choose, there is a potential loss condition for you. If you joined the pretender and he lost, or remained neutral when your liege summoned you, you committed treason. In the event your liege lord wins, you’re at risk of losing your title. If you remained loyal to your old master, and the coup is successful, the new count could sue for peace, or could choose to stretch his/her army further and invade your lands as well. No matter which route you go, coups are dangerous times for everyone. Fortunately, in order to have obtained a Casus Belli in the first place they had to gain significant support from either your peers, your liege's allies, or even their liege lord. That's no small thing, and you should very quickly be able to take the temperature of the situation and get a good idea for who the winner will be.

Defending your Title: Let’s say you're the count who's just been invaded and you fled your lands. You'll keep your title for another 28 days. During that 28 days you have a free CB to counter-attack and reclaim your position. After the 28 days, your title changes to "Deposed Count/Countess..." and you no longer have CB to claim that land as your own. A noble can also forfeit by returning their ring to the usurper. If the usurper gets the rings of the noble, the titles is revoked immediately and given to the new noble.

When an usurper takes over the County Seat you will lose all of the land owned by that settlement, but you will keep any land you own elsewhere which you can flee to and use as a base for your counterattack.

Appointment[edit | edit source]

A noble can remove their subordinates from power and appoint another lesser noble in their stead if and only if there's a vacuum or power struggle. This generally happens during the death of a noble without an heir, or if a title is revoked due to treason. (See previous section on coups) If you, as a count attempt a coup, and fail, your title will likely be revoked, and the Duke can put someone else in your position. But here's the important thing to note.

A title can only be revoked due to a player's choice of actions.

You have to risk losing your title for it to be taken away. Nobles will not be able to toss away their lesser nobles for no reason.

In the event a power struggle does occur and a noble is forced to fill the seat of a lesser noble, they can only do so with the lesser noble’s peers, or one step below. So if a duke is tossed out or dies, the spot can only be filled with another duke or a count. Likewise, a Mayor that is removed from power can only be replaced by another Mayor, or by someone else who owns land within the settlement.

Responsibilities of Nobility[edit | edit source]

Kings/Queens[edit | edit source]

The Kings/Queens are responsible for steering their kingdom and leading them to success. That is, it's they decide whether the kingdom will focus on research & technology, business and commerce, or military endeavors. Through their Kingdom Management UI, they can drive the direction of the kingdom. This uses NPCs or players to communicate to the dukes and counts, so they can drive toward that goal. Also, they set laws and taxes for the kingdom using contracts.

Dukes/Duchesses[edit | edit source]

Dukes/Duchesses set laws/taxes for their duchy, and are responsible for paying dues to the ruler of their kingdom. They're also responsible for law enforcement, military, and the defense of their duchy. They manage the Strongholds / Castles / Outposts, they assign sheriffs to each of the counties, and they appoint judges to the courthouses of the cities. They can use their map to keep track of crime rates and the sizes of their defensive structures, and in war, the dukes raise their armies and lead them into battle.

Counts/Countesses[edit | edit source]

The Counts/Countesses are responsible for resource management, building up settlements within their counties, establishing wealth and power for the kingdom, and encouraging research. Their UI is about creating trade routes, identifying where resources are being gathered, and funneling the money to/from the settlements.

References[edit | edit source]

Walsh, Jeromy "Caspian" Design Journal #18 Kingdom & Land Management
  1. Soulboun Studio developers in Reddit AMA Q&A (27 May 2016)