Ejmàla sat like a beautiful statue, her robes draped elegantly over the arms and stairs of the Sleeping Throne. She had waited for this moment all her life and it was finally here. The Gorpryn Sūdul held the great crown aloft above her flowered curls, quietly chanting the Dreamer’s Benediction. No one gathered saw the priest’s trembling hands. If Ejmàla heard the quaver in his voice, she gave no indication. The priest took a deep and ragged breath before beginning the last of twelve verses. Her lips moved, following his every word. Ejmàla had studied the prayer and knew that the moment was upon her. Just then, the words stopped. The Gorpryn Sūdul staggered back and collapsed, dropping the Sleeping Crown. Hundreds of tiny gems tinkled across the polished floor. A collective gasp rose from the audience but Ejmàla rose first. Gathering her perfectly draped robes about her, she stood from the throne and walked over to the gasping priest. Bending down, she retrieved the crown from where it lay. Attendants, advisers, priests, and soldiers rushed forward but were stopped with a slight gesture. Turning to face the assembled, Ejmàla raised the damaged crown above her head and finished the benediction herself. As she chanted with unhurried measure, the priest’s gasps grew weaker. After lowering the crown onto her flowered head, the crowd offered polite applause and the priest’s last breaths went unheard.

Acèntyri Peerage

Dekàli Peerage

Merit was the only chance commoners had of earning titles and land. Most commonly, merit could be earned on the battlefield, a place where many commoners participated but very few excelled. Those that distinguished themselves were sometimes granted yeoman status, earning land and some liberties by serving in the lord’s military one season each year. Yeomen might also be chosen by their lord to serve the High Lord, thus fulfilling some of the lord’s obligation to the local throne. Once a member of the High Lord’s military, there was more opportunity to be noticed and distinguished. In over a thousand years of Dekàli rule, only a handful of people climbed the ladder from serf to ðard. In most instances, the climb took place within a family over the course of several generations.

The most common means of gaining power in Dekàlas was through lineage (right of birth). A High Lord’s children, barring serious religious or political upheaval, had good chances of becoming the next high rulers of their city-state. All children of a lord (high or common) were groomed for rulership in the Dekàli system.

Dekàli royalty traced their heritage through their eldest children, whether male or female. The eldest living child of the predecessor’s generation was the inheritor of the throne. If the heir-apparent died before coronation, the crown was passed to the next eldest sibling of the heir-apparent, before descending to the next generation.

Dekàli Subinfuedation

Dekàli Subinfuedation

Example One: A High Lord has 2 children, Child A and Child B. Child A is heir apparent. Child A has a child, Child A1. As long as Child A lives (and the High Lord has no surviving siblings), Child A1 is next in line to the throne. If Child A dies before the High Lord, his family is stripped of immediate rights to the throne. In this instance, should the High Lord die, the crown would descend to Child B (and her family). If Child B were also to die before the High Lord, the heir apparency would revert to Child A1, before continuing to the children of Child B. If Child B were crowned and then died, the crown would be given to Child B’s descendants. If Child B has no living descendants, the crown reverts backward to the High Lord’s next sibling. If the High Lord has no remaining siblings, the next first cousin is chosen. If no first cousins are available, the crown slips from the grasp of the family.

Example Two: A High Lord has one child, Child A. Child A is heir apparent. Child A has a child, Child A1. Child A1 is heir presumptive because if the High Lord has a second child, Child B, then Child A1 is no longer in immediate contention for the crown.

The throne could only be granted to those that shared the preceding monarch’s surname. In the royal class, the higher ranking person’s surname (determination of which could require research across several generations) was given to children of the marriage regardless of the ranking parent’s gender. The daughter of a High Lord therefore would retain her surname and pass it on to her children. The only exception to this would be if the High Lord’s daughter married the child of the High King. The royal surname passed from the family line once it became impossible for that line to be crowned (first cousin of “controlling family”), children of said persons typical were given the surname of the next highest ranking surname from preceding generations, usually the maiden name of a mother or grandmother. In some locations, the prefix “Sur” (sur = previously) was added to the royal surname indicating the passage of eligibility (i.e., Zyan became Surzyan). The “Sur” prefix was applied in lieu of the adoption of a maternal name. Usage of the “Sur” prefix was more common in Dekàli times.


There were many layers within Dekàlan system of nobility. The lowest tier of the peerage were Barons. A Baron was a low-common lord that held land for a High Baron or Lord. High Barons held baronies for a Lord, which in turn held high baronies for the High Lord, who was the ultimate landholder within a city-state. With regard to land, the High King acted as a High Lord of Lanàdus and was not considered to control the lands of city-states. City-states owed taxes and sent soldiers for the High King when required.

Ðardram were not necessarily land holders. Knighthood was a military position that existed outside the ranks of nobility. Many barons and lords are knighted, but this has little direct impact on their holdings. Knighthood sometimes offered a lord the chance to serve his or her lord in lieu of a year’s monetary obligation, much like a yeoman except that service was measured in half-years. A ðard’s lord might request one or the other, but not both without some sincere promise of commensurate restitution to the ðard and his household. Landless ðardram were therefore often employed as soldiers.

Zalū Peerage