Torre Succession is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.
County Torre: Lines of Succession
Across the Turamzzyrian Empire, succession politics abound. County Torre is no different, but under normal circumstances, there exists an almost ironclad, clear-cut, and imperial-accepted protocol that is rarely challenged.
Being a County of the Empire, the ruler is the Count or Countess of Torre. Succession falls to the ruler's firstborn and through that firstborn's line. Should the firstborn pre-decease the ruler, their firstborn is now heir. Should there be no progeny, the line of succession moves to the ruler's second born and their progeny. And so on.
Should the ruler have no recognized issue, succession moves to the ruler's oldest sibling and through that sibling's direct descendants. In the rare instances when no siblings or sibling's direct descendants remain alive, the Count or Countess names an heir. This is typically another close blood relative, but it may also be a high noble in the ruling hierarchy.
When an heir must be chosen, the Council of Torre must ratify the choice. If succession is undecided and the Count or Countess dies, the Council of Torre must choose an heir. In these cases, the Sun Throne must ratify the choice.
In all circumstances, the Sun Throne may, of course, choose their own leader for County Torre. However, this would be an exceedingly rare occurrence. It is practically unheard to have an undecided succession, to have the Imperial leader take such a step even more so.
Council of Torre
The Council of Torre is a nine-person body of nobility charged with assisting the Count or Countess in ruling the County. Four positions are elected "by the people," and the remaining five are appointed by the Count or Countess of Torre. Elections are not a strictly democratic process. All nobles and others in high positions across Torre nominate eligible nobility, and the seated Council votes on those names. Majority wins the seat.
Typically, the heir apparent will observe, but not serve upon, the Council of Torre. However, the second-in-line is expected to serve on the Council once they are of age. Appointment or election to the Council is for life, but members are allowed to retire (or be encouraged to do so for a variety of reasons), and when an heir reaches an age of majority, it is expected that an older, appointed, Council member steps aside for them.
Titles of Torre Succession
The heir apparent holds the title Viscount or Viscountess of Fairport. They are expected to oversee the governance of the city of Fairport as part of their training to rule the County. Since the city comprises a great deal of the County's wealth and holdings, this is an important role and one done in collaboration with the Count or Countess.
Obviously, such responsibilities do not fall directly upon a child's head, but from an early age, an heir will be expected to know such things and will be gradually given more responsibilities as they grow older and more experienced.
The second in line holds the title of Castellan of the City. Again, if not of age, this is an honorary title only, with appropriate councilors doing the actual work until such a time as the Castellan can assume duties. The Castellan assists the Viscount and may deal with more granular issues within the city.
Unique to Torre is the position of Margrave of the Trident or Margravine of the Sea Princess. This title is granted to the third in line of succession, and it carries with it very few responsibilities other than an annual pilgrimage to the Tower of the Sea Princess on behalf of the County itself. It is believed this was created to give children of a reigning Count or Countess something to do when they were so close to succession but not quite expected to ever rule. A "just in case" training of sorts without any true diplomatic ramifications.
In addition, it is not unusual for the ruler of Torre to request any one of these three to serve as special emissaries when a situation calls for Torre involvement, but not necessarily that of the Count or Countess.
Beyond these three titles, no formal recognition is given to those in the direct line of succession. Obviously these are nobles who receive the standard training and education to prepare them to rule at least in their households and holdings, and those closest to the current ruler are given even stricter upbringing, since "circumstances" can and do happen.
Addressing the Heirs
Formal Announcements: When formally announcing the presence of an heir, or when referring to them formally in writing, protocol dictates using "The <title>, High Lord/Lady <name>" for the presumptive heir. The Castellan and Margrave/Margravine roles can follow the same pattern or that of High Lord/Lady <name>, <title>.
- The Viscountess of Fairport, High Lady Jeynae Smith
- High Lord Jon Smith, Castellan of the City
- The Margravine of the Sea Princess, High Lady Jeynae Smith
Conversational Options: In conversation, it is most common to refer to an heir by the one-word title, such as Viscount or Castellan. However, it is equally acceptable to append either the first or last name to that. Other, less common options include "My Lord/Lady <title>" or just "My Lord/Lady."
Finally, the use of Lord/Lady <first name> is considered incredibly informal and used only when permission is granted. The use of simply a first name by itself also requires permission and is dependent upon the company and situation. When in doubt, stay more formal.
Current Leadership of Torre
Count of Torre: Clarence Claybourne
Status as of 5123: Alive. He has not healed properly from his wounds during the fall of Fairport in 5114. It is believed he will never walk again, since the injuries were sustained during a battle involving darker magics. He is rumored to suffer bouts of depression, likely due to the loss of his only child. By all appearances, the rule of Torre is not suffering despite this.
Issue: A single child, a son. Deceased.
Viscountess of Fairport: Daelyria Claybourne A'Vatale, the Count's only sibling
- Created by GM Xynwen, February 2023
- Many thanks to GM Kenstrom as human guru for listening to and supporting my babble/idea!