Society/ Organizations
Country/ State
6 Votes


Hits: 1589
Comments: 9
Ideas: 0
Rating: 4.0833
Condition: Normal
ID: 7467


July 26, 2013, 2:54 pm

Vote Hall of Honour

You must be a member to use HoH votes.
Author Status


Vartanadel Royalty and Nobles


The Nobles of Vartanadel play a yearly game of politics that climaxes at the yearly Naming ceremony that changes everything. It is then that the King names his favorite and they all find out if they are still labeled as a King's favorite or if their lives will be forfiet.

The King and His Heir

This is a land in which history is constantly rewritten, powerful families of a thousand years can be Ghosted and removed from knowledge. This removal, and new truth, is instantly pushed out and accepted in the world through the whim of their King. Those with the ring of Vartanadel have the power to destroy, build or change life as they know it with only a word. There are only two royal rings known, one is worn by the King and the other is given to the head of the top royal family in the land, and the heir to the throne, one of the true bloodline.

Vartanadel has a single King of a single royal bloodline. This “single bloodline” is another very loose term as it is determined by the King’s word. So, while any Vartanadel will fight you to the death if you say that the current king is not of the original ruling blood, in every circumstance you would be correct. Nobody cares about science or true bloodlines, if the King chooses a heir then that heir is of his bloodline. This word is irrefutable and history is rewritten to make it so.

When it comes down to it, the King is as much a pawn of the politics of Vartanadel as are the Noble Houses. Since it is an unacknowledged fact that the King is simply made King, then all Houses have the chance that one of their own may be chosen as the next King. And since the King is made, if a powerful House has enough backing, the current King could be Ghosted by the heir. Once again, history has been rewritten. That is a delicate thing but is not unknown. Actually, it is unknown because nobody would ever speak of it and there are no written records of it ever happening. That small risk forces the King to continuously work the Houses and play them against each other to maintain his fragile position. In this way the politics play out year after year.

The Naming Ceremony

Every year, the king holds a grand Naming ceremony when he thanks the houses for the year of patronage in direct order of precedence. It is this main two-day holiday that is celebrated (or feared) in all of Vartanadel as it is the day that the future of the royal families and Houses are released. The king constantly tracks the noble families (and other families of rising wealth and persuasion) and ranks them all in their loyalty to the crown. Their ranking during the Naming determines their rank and power for the rest of that year. To be Named at any level is a great honor. The day difference in the announcements separates the two Named sets of houses into distinct castes. The first day of announced Houses are “Noble Houses” and the second day are simply “Houses.” All other families remain unnamed and don’t get the title of House.

It is an intricate game of favors, authority and benefits depending on where each family falls in the Naming. Those nearer the top get more privilege and responsibility and wealth. To be near the top gives them unimaginable and unquestionable authority of most things. The higher they go the more absolute it is. However, these are also the ones that are tasked to do the king’s bidding…and have the very real possibility of failure.

The first day are the main Noble Houses that hold the most power. There are 50 openings for Noble Houses who are called out in thanks by the King. The first Noble House called is normally the one that holds the heir to the throne. Then, in decreasing order of precedence, the rest of the Noble Houses are called and that is their ranking of importance and power.

The second day the rest of the Named Houses are called. There are 25 ranks available. Unlike the Noble Houses with only one family per rank, these Houses have no limit to the number of Houses that can be put in each rank. There is also a lot more movement up and down between the ranks. In some of the low to mid ones there can be ten or more different Houses at the same rank, all of equal standing jockeying to get noticed and move up. As the rank gets higher, the number of houses that share that rank decreases. The more houses in a rank, the more diluted the power so it can be a strategy of the King to put many houses together forcing them to maneuver and, in many cases, destroy the weaker houses.

Prior to The Naming there is general knowledge of who has lost the king’s favor and those that have gained it. For the highest of families that fall only a few spots to their rivals, it may only be a small change in station and a great embarrassment. For others that fall fully from the graces, and in the rare case are taken out of the Naming completely, it spells their doom and they may lose all, to include their lives. If they have enough allies, they can bide their time and attempt to rise up the ranks again or, if they had many enemies their house may simply fall or be Ghosted. The higher Houses rarely play a obvious hand in the ruining of a fallen house, but they often are the architects of the pillaging and destruction that comes with it. Lower Houses won’t normally act without approval of a patron Noble House..

Lord Froth of the 13th Noble House Ryast looked on with the fingers of his left hand resting inside the golden buckled jacket. His chin was slightly raised as he looked over the other Nobles gathered for the Naming. The Noble House Lorintand was left unnamed as predicted. Lady Lorintand’s knees nearly buckled when the last House was called and it wasn't hers. That weakness is exactly why they have fallen.

Lord Froth nodded to one of his Guarshan who quickly moved to escort Lady Lorintand out of the hall. The poor noble had no idea what was going to happen to her house. Their House’s latest failures have been too much and the other Houses are tired of dealing with her incompetence. A large donation to the king gave them them the approval to enact the Ghost. A true Noble House hadn't been Ghosted in over 40 Namings, this is a big day. Lady Lorintand looked around absently as she was escorted out. Must be in shock still or she would have noticed that it wasn't her Guarshan that grabbed her.

Lord Froth followed them out into the hallway just in time to see Lady Lorintand slump into his Guarshan’s arms. The Guarsham looked up and quickly widened his eyes while he swept his hand to the side to express his lack of choice in what happened. She must of soon realized what was happening. Her House may be weak but she never was a stupid woman. Too late for her now, two more of Lord Froth’s Guarsham appeared and they quickly carried the once powerful lady away.

At the same time, at Lady Lorintand’s palace, three other Houses raided her home and killed off those that were not forewarned. Lorintand’s Guarshan posed no threat, they were above the petty disputes of the Noble Houses so their allegiance and honor remained intact as long as they served faithfully till the end. This was the end of the Noble House Lorintand and their oath would move to the best offer.

The fallen Houses that have been chosen to be Ghosted have their name is stricken and nobody is allowed to mention them again. The House’s palace can either be remade for another or it could be completely destroyed. Much depends on the orchestration, agreements and donations for approval that were made. Because of this yearly change of fates, the city of Tanand is a confusing maze of beautiful palaces and destroyed estates.

The Houses of Vartanadel are rich and powerful but they shoulder great risks. Sometimes it is safer to remain a wealthy merchant whom the Houses can depend and owe favors. But often it is not a choice to be Named as the tides of politics and the maneuvering of the Houses envelop all in Vartanadel.

Additional Ideas (0)

Please register to add an idea. It only takes a moment.

Suggested Submissions

Join Now!!

Gain the ability to:
Vote and add your ideas to submissions.
Upvote and give XP to useful comments.
Work on submissions in private or flag them for assistance.
Earn XP and gain levels that give you more site abilities.
Join a Guild in the forums or complete a Quest and level-up your experience.
Comments ( 9 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Scrasamax
July 26, 2013, 21:27
Game of Thrones brutal, the ghosting is interesting and I would like to see if any noble has survived being ghosted to come back and enact vengeance against his foes.
Voted Gossamer
July 27, 2013, 9:04
Drow-like and chaotic. There's an added bonus in that any history records are expected to be flawed, so if you make a mistake, you can just play it off.

This part though;

Lorintand’s Guarshan posed no threat, they were above the petty disputes of the Noble Houses so their allegiance and honor remained intact as long as they served faithfully till the end. This was the end of the Noble House Lorintand and their oath would move to the best offer.

I don't get it, how are they supposed to serve faithfully till the end if they don't lift a finger to protect her? Serve the city then?
July 11, 2018, 22:23
Any Shan or subset thereof are used to their loyalties shifting to whomever they are assigned. I think I wrote in another one that they are redistributed like coin to the other houses once their house (that never existed now) was ghosted.

So they would go to where they were pointed and now they are loyal to that house. Just the way it is. Like getting a new job.
July 29, 2013, 19:33
I think the Guarshan serve Vartanadel and the emperor faithfully to the end, Goss, as opposed to any specific house.

I find ghosting and this game of houses great fun! It also has a slight feel of the Wheel of Time's 'Great Game', where everything you may or may not do is being watched and judged. I think its fitting and good that the emperor is as much a pawn of the game as the nobles and he must be wary about empowering one house too much.
Voted Shadoweagle
July 29, 2013, 19:34
Forgot to vote!
Voted valadaar
August 2, 2013, 10:24
Such a nice game to distract the nobles from something else...
July 11, 2018, 22:20
I honestly haven't thought of that angle and it is awesome. Axe got me back to reading these. I may have to revisit it. I still have a lot of notes that haven't made it to writing yet....and this idea is fantastic!
Voted caesar193
August 4, 2013, 18:49
Maybe being a simple, law-abiding peasant isn't such a bad thing in Vartanadel.
Voted axlerowes
April 1, 2014, 21:13
I like the little story in it, and the ghosting is such a big part of the Saulkement culture, that I love every bit I can synergize with.

Link Backs



Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Castoria, Land of Shattered Stars

       By: Veretrix

Castoria was once a thriving and prosperous nation, a rich trade center for the surrounding lands. This all changed when, on one fateful night nearly a century ago, the Mist of Eternity rolled in and surrounded the land, obscuring more of the outside world as days and nights passed.

By the time the Mist blocked out the sun, a new light shone during what was assumed to be daytime: The Starpoint Spire, a mysterious place atop Castoria's highest peak in the northern-central region. Some say that there is some sort of building atop the mountain shining the dim "sunlight" onto the land, but it is only ever too bright or too dark to fully make out any structure, not to mention the mountain's immense height.

Not a month after the Spire's light lit up, the stars fell. Flaming rocks and debris from far-flung edges of space plummeted downward onto the eastern region of Castoria. Once the shower subsided, a strange energy from within the fallen stars transformed the eastern lands in what are now known as The Voidwastes, a barren gray land littered with craters and strange alien creatures (these can vary, but I had Pathfinder's Akatas in mind).

To the south, strange mechanism of eldritch origin are again at work after aeons of rest in the Ruins of Kchuthngnl, an ancient city of non-human creation that is estimated by scholars to be no less that five millennia old.

To the west, the once peaceful and serene forest, now known as The Plagued Woods, has been experiencing corruptions of the wildlife and humanoids living there. Some humans have reported creatures that appear not unlike a halfling, except that they can open their mouths to massive proportions to swallow creatures the size of an ogre.

When adventurers and citizens alike try to make an escape from Castoria, they are never seen again, and it is utterly unknown whether they found hopeful sanctuary or agonizing death withing the Mist's depths.

What is unknown to all residents of Castoria is that all of these events occurred because of the actions of a secret but powerful cult loyal to the Elder Gods who call the space between the planes their abhorrent home. The cult still lives on, larger than ever, and their plan is for the alien horrors to incubate and thrive within the dome of mist that now envelops Castoria, so that when the Elder Gods return as the cult's prophecy foretells, they will have an army of blasphemous creation at their disposal that they will use to make war with and enslave the denizens of the Material Plane.

Ideas  ( Locations ) | August 4, 2015 | View | UpVote 4xp

Creative Commons License
Individual submissions, unless otherwise noted by the author, are licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
and requires a link back to the original.

We would love it if you left a comment when you use an idea!
Powered by Lockmor 4.1 with Codeigniter | Copyright © 2013 Strolen's Citadel
A Role Player's Creative Workshop.
Read. Post. Play.
Optimized for anything except IE.