The Elvish Aristocracy or Matricians were originally a group of ruling class families in the realm of Vael'Aser.
According to records, the first 100 elvish women appointed as lawmakers by the first Queen were referred to as "Mothers" , and the descendants of those women became the matrician class. The matricians were distinct from the plebeians because they had wider political influence, at least in the times of the early Empire.
Matricians were better represented in the assemblies, only them could hold political offices, and all priesthoods were closed to non-matricians. There was a belief that matricians communicated better with the gods, so they alone could perform the sacred rites and take the auspices. This view had political consequences, since in the beginning of the year or before a military campaign, magistrates used to consult the gods.
Active recruitment of rich new blood was also a character of some more flexible matriciates who tried to avoid losing their magical powers, which drew in members of the mercantile elite, through ad hoc partnerships in ventures, which became more permanently cemented by marriage alliances which after being discovered by the rulers their privileges were abolished and the social system was reformed into one based in castes.
The number of atrician houses was reduced to ten after the reform, which as time passed represented a smaller and smaller percentage of the populace, continued to hold on to as much power as possible, resulting in frequent conflict between the orders over the next centuries. Certain matrician families regularly opposed the sharing of power with the lower castes, while others favored it, and some were divided.
The caste system foundational belief system of the aristocracy as per their own foundational texts is unapologetically supremacist and traditionally had significant influence over people’s access to power. The privileged upper caste groups benefit more by gaining substantially more economic and political power, while the lower caste groups have limited access to those powers.
The caste system distributes to different castes different economic strengths. The upper caste groups can then manipulate the economic and political system to transfer economic strength into political power.
The smallfolk led the campaign against the upper and middle-ranking castes who dominate the ownership of land in rural areas. This period saw nobles losing their landholding and their migration to urban centers before the army intervened and the nobles were able to transfer this control over wealth into political dominance over the region, howevers that didn't stop the rioters from burning homes and properties owned by nobles. The violent riots exposed the social tensions between the nobles and the lower castes. They also followed the practice of segregation from other castes considered lower in the social hierarchy. A large number of temples, barred entry to the lower castes.
Access to security forces and judicial assistance also depends on which caste one belongs to. By bribing, influencing and intimidating the police and judicial officials, the rural middle and upper castes tend to manipulate the local police and judicial power more successfully.
The Five Ladies of Vael'Aser Edit
The five ladies are the highest-ranked individuals within the entire Queendom of Vael'Aser, only answerable to the Queen herself. As such, they compose and rule assembly, which also include its different magisters and secretaries. Though the magisters manage their own divisions of government as well as their assigned territories, it is the Five Ladies that have the final say over national executive decisions, with their political influence carrying more weight than almost anyone else in the government.
One of their most important duties is the management and defense of their five respective Towers, of which they are the absolute masters. The five towers surround the Vael'Aser and are some of the strongest fortresses of the entire country, with each providing protection both in military forces and magical apparatus that protect the capital from harm.
The five Ladies would usually be members of the most powerful and oldest Mage families from Vael'Aser ten noble families. However this changed when Queen Nualia took the throne, as one of her first decisions was to have the five Ladies chosen upon merit to weak their ambitions. As such any who would wish to be part of the group has to prove themselves as one of the most talented mages in all of the empire after passing a special exam.
Each family has existed since the birth of magic in our world and were all originally taught by the First Watcher. Each one established itself in its own area of the realm and each family specializes in a specific magic art. Each family also has a specific family crest, sigil or coat of arms that each member carries on them in some way.
Noble Houses Edit
House Raju is one of the five ancient dark elven families of mages, famous for their sense of nobility, honor, and their skill in the martial Arts. During the times of the Monarchy, House Raju was a noble house known for its loyalty to the people over the crown. As such, House Raju was often at odds with the other noble families, but yet no noble family dared to mess with them. House Raju is known to hold close friendly relationships with the Dabbu Family, the current Queen, Mujeri, came a collateral branch of the family. All the members of House Raju wear magic unity rings with the family's coat of arms on it.
Grand general Lexis Raju is the current head of the family.
The Dabbu Family is the most respected of the ten ancient families. They are well known for their sense of justice, nobility, honor and skill in the divination Arts. They are known to be very traditional and hoarders of knowledge. The Dabbu Family has claimed to have been not only followers of the Queens but also advisers to said rulers. The Dabbu Family is very picky about who they build relationships with but they are on friendly terms with House Raju. They are not outright hostile towards any other families, but have plotted against the crown many times in the past to increase their influence.
Queen Mujeri the usurper Dabbu is the scion of the family, though she came from a secondary branch at the beginning.
The Malan Clan is one of the ancient families of mages, known for their rather isolationist existence, and skill in magic related on nature. The Malan Clan is the first naturist family, as well as the most zealous in vegetarian habits. Due to their isolationist existence, they haven’t made much of a impact of history. Their estate is small, as they remain as connected to nature as they possibly can be, as such, their estate is just a few small houses. They are only enemies of the other families if they are attacked, or provoked. They have no working relationships with any of the other families.
House Dexi is by far the richest and appear to be the largest of the noble families. However, appearance can be deceiving. In actuality, House Dexi is fairly average in size, that is if you don't count all their homunculi. Only when the homunculi are counted as well do they become the largest. House Dexi has spent all of history on secret conceerns, no matter who occupied it, and through all those years they have done whatever they could to make money. Creating homunculi for the purpose of being sold as slaves or even as sacrifices.
They sold magic weapons and golems to both the humans and the polaini in order to keep the conflict active, so that they could create more and sell more. House Dexi rarely chooses a side during a conflict, given them a reputation in the ten families as the people who’d shake your hand while stabbing you in the back. Today, House Dexi is in the public eye after the dethronement of Queen Nualia Dexi who was later exiled. Under their command, through specially designed homunculi, are many of the big companies of the world.
House Luba was a noble family, which rose to prominence during the purge agaisnt the non magical clans. The Luba became prominent in ecclesiastical and political affairs. Especially during the reign of Queen Mujeri, they were suspected of many crimes, including incest, simony, theft, bribery, and murder (especially murder by arsenic poisoning). Because of their grasping for power, they made enemies of the Dexi, the Raju, among others. They were also patrons of the arts who contributed to the Renaissance of elven culture.