Customs of the Elves of House Vaalor

The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
Jump to: navigation, search
GS4 shield png normal.png

Customs of the Elves of House Vaalor is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.

Customs of the Elves of House Vaalor by Harlen Argeirres Vaalor, Lord Regent

For Honor, Pride, and Glory

While other cultures and races accept that every child born into their families has all the rights and privileges thereof, the same cannot be said of the Vaalor elves. Honor, pride, and glory are not innate qualities. They are values that must be instilled. They are not to be taken lightly; thus, they cannot be imputed based on something as arbitrary as the circumstances of one’s birth. It is a privilege to be called a Vaalor elf, and only those who prove themselves worthy may have the honor bestowed upon them.

Whence springs this proud heritage? It originates from none other than the Prime Sovereign Commander and First Patriarch, Aradhul Vaalor. All Vaalor elves can trace their bloodlines back to the days of the First Patriarch and the founding of the seven elven houses. While it is not the only consideration, the first element of proving worthiness as a Vaalor elf is to be born of these bloodlines. Only those whose lineage is registered in the Ta’Vaalor Hall of Records may become citizens and claim the title of Elf of House Vaalor.

Childhood

At birth, babies are examined by a qualified physician to ensure there is no defect. If none is found, the child is declared healthy and may begin the road to becoming a citizen of the city-state of Ta’Vaalor. If a defect is found, the physician must determine if the defect is one that can be overcome by growth and training, or alternatively, surgery or medical attention. If it can, the child is declared suitable. At one year, each child is examined again; and if found to still be healthy, a ceremony is held to announce the birth and give the child a name. Family members, close friends, and a magistrate from the Hall of Records attend such ceremonies. After the baby is named, the magistrate will register the name in the family’s lineage in the Hall of Records.

While rare, sometimes a child's defect is determined to be incurable. Such a child will be denied active military service and assigned to a military path which can accommodate their inherent flaw, such as quartermaster or bureaucratic functions. Elves born to this fate often carry a personal burden of not completely realizing their duty to the House Vaalor or finding their own place in the legends and songs of Vaalor heroics. Often they may bind themselves to their birth families and become servants or caretakers, thereby indirectly securing for themselves a place of honor in Ta’Vaalor society. Alternatively, they may seek their fortunes in other elven houses, where they are usually found to be quite welcome.

There is no standard in these cases. Some would rather serve in House Vaalor and be thus identified with the greatest house, while others seek higher status and move to other elven nations. It is rumored that some even take themselves off to live among dwarves or humans, though this cannot be confirmed and is considered shameful to even contemplate.

The responsibility of child-rearing is more important than any other, even that of serving in the military. There will be no future military if each generation is not successfully ushered into its responsibilities. As children depend on their mothers for the first few years of their lives for sustenance, mothers are the primary caretakers of their children from birth through the age of 25. It is their responsibility to lay the groundwork for their children’s instruction in social graces, rudimentary military training, and elementary schooling. Though her husband also has responsibility for caring for and instructing the child, the mother has final say on all child-related decisions during this period.

A family with financial security has better means to raise and instruct their children. A wealthy merchant may hire a well-rounded tutor to provide additional instruction, while nobles hire an expert in each subject in which they wish their children to be educated. Many nobles also employ a guardian for each of their children. This guardian is responsible for the child’s physical safety as well as to supplement and reinforce parental instruction.

At the age of 25, the youngling is transferred to his or her father’s care and training. It is the father who begins intensive instruction, evaluating the young elf’s weaknesses and determining the fighting styles best suited to their personality, temperament, and natural abilities. The mother’s advice is often sought and relied upon, but during this period, paternal decisions are final.

Military Service

The age of 50 is when social standing demands a divergence of paths. It is at this age that younglings become Provisional Citizens of Ta’Vaalor and are eligible to enter the military. Those without the financial means to pursue additional instruction usually join the military at this point, becoming Squire Legionnaires. Many of these never advance beyond the Legionnaire status, though some continue and become First Legionnaires, and in very few cases, High Legionnaires. It is almost unheard of for such a recruit to advance to Master Legionnaire, much less Lord Legionnaire.

Those who are more affluent may purchase additional instruction for their children. This instruction ranges from private tutors to full-fledged military academies. Private tutors are usually young elves who have recently finished their military service and offer their skills for hire to those wanting to provide advantage to their child. More experienced, reputable soldiers may take on several young potential recruits at a time. But the most prestigious and decorated warriors wishing to pass their skills along to the next generations either open their own schools or join established academies as instructors. There are two military academies of note in Ta’Vaalor, both of which are attended exclusively by the children of nobility.

Length of instruction at these academies varies based on which legion the potential recruit hopes to enter, the quality of parental instruction, the recruit’s own talent and natural ability, and the amount of money the parents are willing (or able) to spend. The graduates of these two academies will begin their military careers as officers. In addition, nobles have another advantage over other Vaalororians. Each lord regent is given command of a militia to protect his territory from foreign incursion. Elves raised in the Fortress may join the Crimson Legion reserves, but these reserves are so filled with other potential recruits and veterans, that battle experience is negligible and service for neophytes consists primarily of drills; whereas militia in outlying areas are far more likely to encounter enemy forces in the guise of orcs, trolls, and other such hostile creatures.

When Vaalor elves have completed their 100 years of compulsory military service (whether retired or continued active duty), they are fully vested with the rights and privileges of a veteran of the city-state of Ta’Vaalor. Citizenship is granted to all born of Vaalor blood, but respect and honor of one's fellow citizens can only be won through completion of one's service. While the majority of Vaalor elves retire after their 100 years of service, many continue and make the military a lifelong career. Those who retire usually do so to marry, raise a family, and continue in the line of work of their parents.

Discipline and Punishment

The Vaalor are intensely competitive when jockeying for position, but as position is settled, they become so cooperative that they seem to operate in battle as one elf, perfectly coordinated and with few errors. There is no room in the Vaalor military for insubordination. Such behavior is corrected swiftly and severely.

Honor, pride, and glory are valued so highly that any who would damage these are faced with enough humiliation to bring an errant soldier back into line. The purpose of all discipline is to bring the one in error back into correct thinking and behavior. If such methods do not succeed, stronger measures include (in order of severity): demotion, temporary expulsion, temporary banishment, and permanent expulsion. At the extreme, there is death, permanent banishment, and as a last resort, death with permanent banishment.

If an elf is permanently expelled from the Vaalor military before serving his 100 years, he will never be afforded respect or honor by his fellow citizens. In some respects, the elf becomes a second class citizen by the manner and means in which his fellow citizens treat him in day-to-day social interactions. He may find food served cold at inns or doors slammed shut in his face, for example. If his expulsion occurs later in his career, his rank is stripped, but some deference is given for the length of the elf's service by his peers versus those who have never served.

When a Vaalor elf is temporarily banished, he is exiled from the city-state of Ta’Vaalor for a specified period of time. During this period, he is forbidden to enter any part of the Ta’Vaalor environs. Failure to abide by this restriction will result in either additional banishment time or worse, permanent banishment. During this time, he is stripped of all rights and privileges of being a Vaalor elf in the view of other Vaalor elves and restricted from using the appellation in self-description. Banishment in Vaalor society is one of stigmatization and ostracization. The severe impact of this punishment relieves the burden for further law enforcement.

The death sentence is fairly straightforward. The Council of Regents recommends the sentence to the sovereign commander after the aforementioned methods of correction have failed. This recommendation is given heavy weight by the sovereign, but the decision is ultimately his alone. If Lorminstra deigns to refuse admittance to the offender at the Ebon Gate, the sovereign commander gives the offender a chance to redeem himself.

Permanent banishment is considered worse than death. Permanent banishment is similar to temporary banishment, but unending. A Vaalor elf who is permanently banished lives like a ghost amongst her fellow elves. She is never acknowledged, never helped in time of need, nor finds her help accepted by others. Any elf joined in marriage to one who is permanently banished will suffer the same fate, as will their children. Their names are recorded among the names of those who are forbidden to participate in Ta’Vaalor society. Spouses may save themselves and their children by denouncing the marriage and repudiating the offender before the sentence is carried out. Rarely in the history of the House Vaalor has any elf received a punishment as damning as permanent banishment. It is seen as punishment for only the greatest of crimes that run afoul of Vaalor justice and societal ideals.

Death with permanent banishment means the offender’s name is stricken from lineage records and put to death. The spouse and children are unaffected, if they reject the offender’s line and identify themselves by the remaining spouse’s line. In carrying out this sentence, poison is used so that Lorminstra is unable to come to the aid of the offender.

These last two punishments are used only on the most hardened recidivists: those who have shown that they reject all Vaalor culture and are thus rejected by the culture. They have not been used in recent memory. As previously stated, the goal of all discipline is to bring the offender back to correct thinking and behavior. Failing that, punishment acts as a warning to those who would think of repeating the offender’s actions.

Marriage

The Vaalor typically follow a consistent pattern for marriage. Because all Vaalor are required to serve 100 years in the military, this service is the primary consideration from birth until the service is completed. Flirtation and courtship during this period is frowned upon, but not prohibited.

Among the Vaalor, marriage is an entirely civil matter. The wedding is performed by a magistrate either at the town hall or at the bride’s home (except in the case where a nobleman is marrying an untitled woman, where the wedding would take place at the estate of the nobleman’s family). Because of the expense involved and the waiting time required for a private ceremony, most weddings occur at the town hall. Only those of nobility and the very wealthy host private ceremonies. Wedding notices must be publicly posted at least one month in advance.

The courtship and wedding process has several ways in which it may be initiated. Among the young, it may be initiated between the young man and woman themselves, most often because of mutual attraction, mutual admiration, or mutual ambition. If they reach the point at which they view themselves heading toward a matrimonial match, they then seek permission from their parents. If their parents are deceased, they seek affirmation from other close relatives, such as aunts, uncles, grandparents, or guardians.

If parents consent to the pursuit of a union, it is customary for the parents of the higher-ranked party to approach the parents of the lower-ranked to discuss the match. If both parties agree, consent is given to continue the courtship. The relationship may be broken off at any time by either party. If either is in the military, they must also receive permission from their commanding officer(s).

Courtships may also be initiated by a young woman or man who is interested in another elf, whom they have not yet met. The interested elf will approach their parents first and seek their approval of the elf they desire to court. If the parents approve, they will speak with other elf’s parents concerning the initiation of the courtship between their two offspring. If the parents have never been formally introduced, they will seek an intermediary who knows both families. This intermediary will then host an afternoon tea or dinner party to introduce the two families. If all parties agree, both sets of parents will give their consent, and the couple may begin a courtship.

Finally, parents themselves may initiate what is called a courtship agreement, either by way of introduction via an intermediary or by approaching friends with whom they wish to align their family. Many marriages of the nobility take this route, with parents agreeing to the match while their children are still quite young. Despite this, no Vaalor can be forced to marry. This is not to say that coercion is not or hasn't been used, but the magistrate performing the wedding ceremony requires assent from both parties that they are willing participants.

The foregoing suggests that Vaalor elves keep to themselves and do not marry elves of other cultures. While it isn’t an everyday occurrence, Vaalor elves are permitted to marry elves of other cultures. Intermarriage usually occurs because the family offers some strategic advantage, such as a strong breeding line, wealth, or political advantage. Some have even been known to marry for love, though it is rarely the only consideration. While citizenship is restricted to Vaalorians, elves of other houses may earn partial citizenship, which is a prerequisite for marriage to a citizen.

Because of the nature of marriage and family in Ta’Vaalor, courtships that lead to marriage typically last several decades. However, many courtships are broken off at the early stages, never resulting in marriage. The longer the courtship lasts, the more likely the couple will marry. Once a couple has decided to marry, they enter into a betrothal arrangement. A betrothal is a legal agreement between not only the couple but between their two families. At least two members of each family (aside from the couple themselves) must be present and give signed consent to the union.

The Vaalor view marriage as a union between families, not just the union of two lives. As such, a betrothal can only be broken by infidelity, legal or disciplinary action against either party that sullies the family name, or by the agreement of both halves of the couple and a family representative from each side. After marriage, separation is quite rare but will be permitted in cases such as permanent banishment. If parental or familial consent is not given, a magistrate will not perform a wedding ceremony. Furthermore, the city-state of Ta’Vaalor does not recognize weddings performed by other authorities for citizens of Ta’Vaalor. They do recognize marriages of those of other races or elven cultures since they understand that their authority extends only over those who are citizens of the realm.

More devout elves may have two wedding ceremonies: one at the town hall to establish the legality of their alliance and the other before a cleric of their chosen arkati. The cleric-performed wedding usually includes only immediate family members: parents, siblings, and the marrying couple. Sometimes grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and close friends may also attend. The format of this ceremony will follow the dictates of their chosen arkati.

Civil weddings are formal affairs, and even those that take place at the town hall can be quite elaborate. A bride and groom with military involvement will typically wear a ceremonial coat representing their time served. If either party is still active, he or she will wear ceremonial dress, complete with sheathed weapon. Otherwise, the bride will wear a floor-length golden cloak embroidered with special insignia from the Crimson Guard; the groom will wear a matching knee-length coat of crimson. Underneath, they each will wear a garment incorporating familial colors. The groom will wear a piece of jewelry containing the personal symbol of his bride, most often a brooch or a ring. A belt buckle is a comment item of the groom that will be worn by the bride. These gifts are exchanged between the wedding couple.

Wedding gifts are usually only given by family members and close friends. In most cases, these are gifts of service. For example, if the couple is traveling to the countryside after the wedding, friends and family may act as honor guard, both as ceremonial and actual protection along dangerous roads.

Most Vaalor do not marry until they have completed their hundred years of service. Commanding officers will rarely give permission for marriage unless either the bride or groom has committed their life to military service. Even then, it is prevailing opinion that both parties should wait until after the first hundred years of service. Though, it is almost certain that an elf will receive citizenship upon retirement, many think it’s best to wait until citizenship has been conferred so that they may start their lives on the right track.

After the wedding ceremony, the couple will sign a registration book to preserve documentation of lineage. After marriage, bride and groom are given a leave of absence from the military to establish themselves in married life.

In families where the husband and wife, either one or both, are in the military, they usually wait several decades to have children, at which point, many couples decide to retire. If they remain in the military, they will have only one child (if they have any) because of the mandatory 25-year leave of absence necessary to fulfill parental duties.

Couples in the military may also decide to adopt children or have their children fostered by another couple. This arrangement is typically made between two couples who are near relations (usually siblings).

In the case of adoption, the adoptive parents contract with another couple who will give birth to and raise the child to adulthood. At one year old, the child is officially recorded as the child of the adoptive parents, but remains in the custody of his birth parents. When the child earns citizenship, he will be formally transferred to the family of his adoptive parents. When this occurs, the lineage of the child will reflect his birth parents as well as his adoptive parents. During the child’s formative years, the adoptive parents will spend as much time with the child as their careers allow.

In the case of fostering, all parental rights are transferred to the foster parents until the child reaches the age of 50, whereupon the birth parents assume control and responsibility for the child; however, the birth parents remain the parents of record. In this case, the lineage of the child does not change, though it is noted in the official records that the child was fostered, along with the names of the fostering parents.

Childless couples may also choose to adopt. In these cases, the children are transferred to the care of their adoptive parents and will be raised by them, starting at age one. The official record will note the birth parents as well as the adoptive parents in the child’s lineage.

Unmarried men or women may also choose adoption, though the custom here varies. The adoptive parent may choose to raise the child or to let the birth parents raise the child and wait until the age of majority to take custody. Since adoption is primarily used as a means of passing along a family heritage, the adoptive parents may choose to void the adoption contract if a child is deemed ineligible for citizenship.

If both adoptive parents die before the child reaches the age of official transfer, the birth parents will maintain parental responsibility until the child gains citizenship, at which point he will be officially declared a child of those recorded as such. The adoption or fostering contract states the terms of care for the child, including financial arrangements.

Hierarchy and Family Structure

Given the stringent militaristic and legal structure of Vaalor society, it is easy to infer that the society is one of strict hierarchy. This inference would be correct. Citizens of Ta’Vaalor are acutely aware of the rank of everyone around them. The reason is twofold: so as not to give offense and to be sure of one’s own standing and placement in the hierarchy in order to receive due honor.

Within the family, the hierarchy is clear. Parents make decisions regarding their children, but the parent with the higher military rank is the leader within the family. However, nobility rank trumps military rank in civil matters. Thus, an untitled man who marries a noble must give deference to his wife on decisions where there is differing opinion.

While military ranking follows a linear progression and is fixed upon retirement, social and family ranking are fairly fluid. They are based on marital and family connections as well as royal honors. Within the family, ranking is as follows: generation (parents being of higher rank than their children), social standing, royal honors conferred, military ranking, and finally, order of birth. Adopted/foster children have the rank and privileges of their placement within the custodial family.

In informal circumstances, slight breaches of etiquette can be overlooked. However, during formal occasions, attention must be paid to station and ranking. Infractions may result in a social banning of the offender for a period of time determined by the seriousness of the blunder.

Death and Burial

Death within the Vaalor culture is viewed as inevitable, though it is welcomed in the same way that life is lived: with honor, pride, and glory. Thus, the Vaalor seek an honorable death. The Vaalor consider the most honorable death one that comes after a life of service to their brethren. Serving House Vaalor does not merely entail military service. It is the sum of a life well-lived in raising new generations to take the mantle of the old. Thus, a long life is sought, but a shorter one is not overly mourned if lost to a worthy cause, such as in military service or in protecting the lands from foreign incursion.

When a Vaalor elf dies, there is a mourning period that lasts thirty days, but to avoid misinterpretation, the period of mourning is not meant as a time to solely bemoan the loss of the dead. The period of mourning is also a time to celebrate the deceased's life and accomplishments. During this period, a black band is placed across the crest of the deceased's family.

A burial will take place within a week of death. This time allows military family members to travel from distant places. But even in death, the Vaalor do not escape their station. Burial rites will vary from one family to another. Graves of lower-ranked Vaalor elves are marked with simple headstones, while those of higher rank will have more elaborate monuments atop their graves. Nobles enshrine their dead in mausoleums.

Within three days after burial, a celebration is held in honor of the recently departed. During this celebration, the deceased is honored through song and dance, poetry and remembrances. It is a time of laughter as well as the shedding of tears.

Monarchs are exempt from these rituals. The length of mourning for a monarch will vary based on his popularity, as well as the circumstance of his death. When a monarch dies, a black band is placed across the crests of all families of Ta'Vaalor, acknowledging the monarch as the head of all families.

Monarchs are not buried but are burned upon funeral pyres. This is considered an honorable return to Koar, who bestows his wisdom upon the deceased ruler. They are often commemorated with statuary or tapestries depicting high points of their rule, but there is no royal tomb. These works of art are commissioned after the death and are installed during a special ceremony within a year. If his death is during war or a time of unrest, the work of art will be commissioned and installed within one year of declaration of the war's end.

Times of War

During times of war or unrest, the sovereign commander may suspend wedding ceremonies. During this time, all elves of a serviceable age must stand ready to be called to the service of their brethren. Elves may still marry, but they will neither hold any of the normal festivities, nor be given any normal considerations.

In the same vein, rites for the dead will be much less elaborate, and the life celebration will be delayed until peace has been restored to the realm.

Royalty & Nobility of House Vaalor

There is a hierarchy within every aspect of Vaalor culture. While in other cultures, this hierarchy may be unspoken, in Vaalor culture, it is clearly defined. There are two distinct sets of hierarchy, but they are so entwined that is it difficult for an outsider to separate them. Yet, a Vaalor elf knows them well and mistaking one for another is highly unlikely.

The military hierarchy has been discussed previously, so this designation refers only to the ruling hierarchy within House Vaalor.

The official title of the ruler of House Vaalor is "Sovereign Commander," though he may also be addressed as “Patriarch,” “Sovereign,” or simply “King”. Other honorifics such as “Your Excellency” or “Your Honor” are also acceptable. (It must here be noted that while a sovereign may be of either gender, Ta’Vaalor has only been ruled by males throughout history.)

It is the sovereign alone who can make and abrogate law, so he does not involve himself in trivial matters. Therefore, the Council of Regents was created many centuries ago to oversee the administration of criminal justice and preside over low-level civil matters. The Council is also responsible for appointing officials within its jurisdictions to apprehend and detain those accused or suspected of criminal activity. Finally, the Council also acts as an advisor to the sovereign in any matter in which he seeks counsel.

One becomes a member of the Council when they are conferred the title of Lord Regent by the king. Lord Regents may be of either sex and traditionally, those selected by the king for such an honor hold the important and prestigious rank and office of Lord Legionnaire Commander. Thereafter, the title of Lord Regent is passed along by inheritance. To ensure that each family remains worthy of serving in this capacity, the title must be confirmed every five hundred years. After a lord legionnaire commander receives this new honor, the office of Lord Legionnaire Commander is deemed vacated and becomes available to be bestowed upon the next worthy candidate.

Under the old tradition, the monarchy was passed along by inheritance under a system of selection that was not solidified until the ruler's death. The sovereign could elect to choose any one of his children to be his successor, a selection that could have occurred at any time in the child's life. In the tradition since the exile of House Faendryl, it was deemed as a practical matter not to restrict the throne to just the offspring of the current ruler. Instead, while conservative in practice compared to House Illistim and its argent mirrors, the heir to the throne is generally selected by the Council of Regents. The sovereign's children are one of several eligible candidates that may be drawn from, a pool that also contains the children of the noble families who serve on the Council. Thus, a ruler's child may become heir, but it is a coincidence of kinship, not a right of birth when this happens. Military prowess is given the largest consideration by the Council of Regents; traits such as diplomacy, social graces, and an even temperament receive secondary consideration.

If the sovereign dies without an heir or before an heir has completed compulsory military service, the government of Ta’Vaalor falls into the hands of a steward appointed by the Five Noble Houses. The Five Noble Houses are five families whose power goes back to the founding days of House Vaalor. Over the millennia, they have remained in power through military prowess, strong breeding lines, and strategic alliances within House Vaalor and the other four elven houses, often controlling the Council of Regents by composing a majority of its membership.

The steward is selected from one of the Five Noble Houses and oversees the sovereign’s affairs until either the heir completes military service, or a new monarch is chosen all together. When there is no heir, the new sovereign is chosen by the Five Noble Houses at the end of the official mourning period and must be selected from the same pool of candidates from which the Council of Regents would have otherwise selected were the monarch living.

If there are no suitable candidates, politics come to the fore in Ta’Vaalor. It is at this time that deals are made, alliances are formed, and favors are called in. But do not be mistaken. The families recognize that the honor, pride, and glory of Ta’Vaalor are at stake. While the end decision may be political, anyone chosen as sovereign will possess the qualifications necessary to rule House Vaalor. This elf is the personification of House Vaalor, the pinnacle to which all Vaalor elves must strive.

When a new sovereign is crowned, the family name is dropped, and he is referred to by first name and the House Vaalor.

The Great Games

Every hundred years, the city-state of Ta’Vaalor holds its Great Games. While it is a time of great festivity with citizens competing against each other for honor, pride, and glory, it is also a time to celebrate the proud history of Ta’Vaalor and to showcase its newest talent.

The ruling class, particularly the Five Noble Houses, use the games to evaluate the potential of the latest crop of younglings. Nothing escapes their notice, from their fighting acumen to conduct in the ballroom. It is never too early to find fresh blood for the ranks, whether by recommendation to the king or by marriage.

During every fifth Great Games, every lord regent is reevaluated for title retention. Those who are original title holders are exempt from this evaluation unless one-tenth of the Council members votes for reevaluation. This is not a formality. The Council holds many long sessions during this time, and each family must plead their case. Most families are not in danger of losing their status, but to treat the Council in a cavalier manner is to risk falling on the wrong side of the numbers.

In order for a title of Lord Regent to be stripped from a family, three-fourths of the Council must vote for removal. However, if a simple majority votes for removal and the same occurs at the next quincentenary, the family must appeal to the king who will decide if the family can retain its title. If the king decides against the family, it will lose its title for at least the next five hundred years. If a family is removed from the Council, no one in the family is eligible to rejoin until after the next quincentenary.

While lord regents are selected by the sovereign, the Council may present nominations to the king. Nominations must be accompanied by voluminous documentation detailing worth of both the nominee and the associated family.

Honorifics

Role: Ruler of House Vaalor
Title: Sovereign Commander
Approved prefixes (first name only): King, Sovereign, Patriarch
Approved addresses: Your Excellency, Your Honor, Patriarch
Signature: Full name with one of the following titles appended:
The Excellence of Vaalor; The Honor, Pride, and Glory of Vaalor
Role: Heir to the Vaalor throne
Title: Heir of House Vaalor
Introduced as: First name, Title
Approved prefixes: Heir Select
Approved addresses: Your Highness
Signature: First name appended by title or first name preceded by approved prefix
Role: Child of the Sovereign
Title: High Lord of Vaalor or High Lady of Vaalor
Introduced as: Full name, Title
Approved prefixes (by last name only): High Lord, High Lady
Approved addresses: Excellent Lord or Excellent Lady
Signature: Full name with title appended
Role: Leader of one of the Five Noble Houses
Title: High Lord of Vaalor or High Lady of Vaalor
Introduced as: Full name, Title
Approved prefixes (by last name only): High Lord, High Lady
Approved addresses: Excellent Lord or Excellent Lady
Signature: Full name with title appended
Role: Spouse of a leader of one of the Five Noble Houses
Title: High Lord or High Lady
Introduced as: Title followed by full name
Approved prefixes (by first name only): High Lord, High Lady
Approved addresses: High Lord, High Lady
Signature: Full name prefixed by title
Role: Child of a leader of one of the Five Noble Houses
Title: Lord or Lady
Introduced as: Title followed by first name appended by the house
Approved prefixes (first name only or full name): Lord or Lady
Approved Addresses: Lord or Lady
Signature: First name prefixed by title or full name with house appended
Role: Member of the Council of Regents
Title: Lord Regent
Introduced as: Full name, Title
Approved formal prefixes: Lord
Approved informal prefixes: Lord or Lady
Approved addresses: My Lord
Signature: Full name with title appended
Role: Spouse of Regents Council Member
Title: Lord or Lady
Introduced as: Title followed by full name
Approved prefixes (first name only or full name): Lord or Lady
Approved addresses: My Lord or My Lady
Signature: Full name prefixed by title
Role: Child of Regents Council Member
Title: Lord or Lady
Introduced as: Title followed by full name
Approved prefixes (first name only): Lord or Lady
Approved addresses: My Lord or My Lady
Signature: Full name prefixed by title
Note: Children of nobility may keep their titles lifelong but do not pass it along to their own children unless they inherit the family’s title or receive a permanent one of their own from the sovereign.