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    Orc in the Playground
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    Oct 2006

    Default Re: Bringing in new blood to a magical aristocracy

    Your thoughtful reply is very excellent thank you. I meant to reply earlier but I wasn't sure how to start because you included so much.

    It certainly got my

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    hmmm...firstly I'm still trying to figure out the systems you describe and actions you want to happen and the structures of a classic western noble families. I really think you may want to the houses be more like clans...in part because with the original 4 dragons each having multiple half dragon children....so if it was more classically western nobility structure you'd get a bunch of noble lines...but it would make sense if the all the various lines decedent from a single dragon would be likely to intermarry and bond as an alliance, creating a single political unit...a house. House members being as likely to marry another member of the house (if a different line) as they are likely to marry outside of it. This would help form the family cultures you've mentioned and would also be a logical response to try and keep bloodlines strong which would be a major thing in the nation. This would also back things up for when a house looses many members in war...they have to have lots of members to start with...plus when a line is kicked off the throne and is eliminated by the new holder (in line with that Byzantine politics you mentioned, or imperial China,) there are other lines and families of the same house that can take over and keep the house alive which would prevent those names dying out over the last 900 years.
    I did create a family tree for the original houses and it includes the multiple human spouses/lovers of the dragon, so I suppose someone descended from Fremiss and Human A could marry someone descended from Fremiss and Human B and not have as much of an inbreeding issue as double dipping on Fremiss blood and human A.

    Fremiss the Vibrant happened to have children with six different human women.

    Numaness the Mystic was monogamous and had all of her children with one human man whom she formally married.

    Goirsonad the Wise and Kovenoth the Builder fell in between these two extremes.

    It just so happens that House Fremiss is the one that splits into smaller houses. Even 900 years later, the Fremiss bloodlines more than not live up to their reputation for being promiscuous.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    Also I'm just going to toss out a bunch of House ideas...also in several editions of D&D draconic sorcerers are linked to certain dragon types so I'll include them
    A long time ago, I ran an entirely different D&D campaign and I homebrewed 3.5 rules for making my own dragons that roughly on par with the official dragons of Monstrous Manual. The main thing I did is I threw out dragon types. I figured that a single dragon needs a lot of territory to survive and that each dragon subspecies needs at least a few hundred members to have a viable breeding population. I thought if my world had ten separate stable populations of dragons there would not be much room for humans and demihumans much less other large monsters.

    So I went with one race called "dragons." Dragons can come in all variety of shapes and they can have any sort of breath weapons and you cannot tell by just looking at a dragon's color if it's Good or Evil (or Neutral). Dragons usually have the same general coloration and breath weapon as one or both parents and dragons usually try to mate with a dragon that is physically similar and shares a similar moral outlook but there are many exceptions. A lot of young dragons go through a wild adolescence/young adult phase where they fool around with the bad boy/girl whoever that dragon defines "bad" and some dragons rebel and try to radically differentiate themselves from their parents.

    I kept the same system for this new game, but I don't reinvent the wheel. If I need to make a dragon NPC, I will use one of the stereotypical dragon archetypes of classical D&D and change a few traits here and there. I really am a fan of the 3.5 book the Draconomicon where it has 100+ short biographies of various dragons young and old. They make great starting points. Fremiss the Vibrant was red and breathed fire, but his personality was closer to a stereotypical Bronze Dragon.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    (maybe)...also I'd consider most of these houses both minor and up-and-coming....and several are examples of "new blood" or have strategies for getting "new blood" that can then be used to gain status ... and overall this are as much to get ideas working as anything else.
    You certainly helped me generate some ideas.

    Based on your reply and the other replies on this thread, after my last RPG session was over (I'm running a solo adventure for a inquisitor type rooting out Swynfaredian spies in his homeland) we talked about how to combine this fantasy nation's history with aspect of real historical nobles, especially the Byzantines (which is being a history buff is well versed in).

    In broad strokes, my original is this.

    -House Numaness and House Goirsonad are the two main rival houses that have always pretty much always fiercely contested the royal throne.

    -House Fremiss made an early bid for power, fell flat on their faces and never were able to make a serious bid for the throne again, because internal divisions divided their power base. Fremiss the Vibrant's main value he tried to push on his descendants were "be brave in battle," "live life to the fullest." and "be kind to those who are beneath you." Now the three split houses each take one of those three precepts and elevate it above the other two.

    -House Kovenoth had the idea of playing kingmaker so they can have a hand in the shape of the realm no matter who had the throne. It worked for a while, but the bulk of the house backed the losing side in the first two civil wars. Then one of their leaders tried to hide the fact that he was a lich. Then during the third civil war they were distrusted by both sides and took disproportionately heavy losses. Now they are a house of has-beens.

    Originally, Numaness the Mystic pushed her descendants to focus on the acquisition of magical power above all else. This developed into a house stereotype where they can move mountains with their magic, but they cannot tie their own shoes without casting a spell, and a lot of their princes and potentates got manipulated by their advisors they learned to play politics. They still value magical power. But now their motto isn't excellence in magic, it's excellence in everything. Either they end up churning young lords and ladies who are very potent in statecraft, war, academia, and magic or they or they end up churning out psychological wrecks who burn out.

    Originally, Goirsonad the Wise pushed for the acquisition. Their house motto was "Knowledge is power." The House still has the world's largest library collecting dust, but now the knowledge they seek is about different things. They have a lot of spies and criminal contacts.

    Combining everything together, this is what I came up with for broad strokes history.

    I had the idea that the first king was chosen by contest. Each bloodline chose one male champion (at the time, they were patriarchal). Each champion went through a series of trials set by the dragons and the winner was crowned king. Because the trials were heavily tilted towards magical power, House Numaness' champion won.

    The First Numaness King married a Goirsonad half-dragon. By dumb luck, the Goirsonad Queen still holds the world record for the longest natural lifespan of a half-dragon/half-human. When the first king died, the nation had a new contest to determine who won. The queen manipulated the contest to greatly favor her handpicked successor. When he died, the queen manipulated the contest again.

    After the first queen finally died, House Goirsonad still tried to tilt the trials, but they lacked her subtlety and were found out, at least by House Numaness. At this point, Numaness and Goirsonad stopped being staunch allies and their rivalry began in earnest.

    A champion for Fremiss won legitimately to become the next king, but Goirsonad, deflecting blame for their past contest rigging, accused the Fremiss champion of cheating with a smear campaign and this narrative won out. Even most of House Fremiss believed the lie.

    At which point, the leaders of Goirosnad, backed by Kovenoth, suggested hey, this challenge system is too rife with cheating. Perhaps we should just switch to primogeniture like most of the other human nations are doing.

    Then not too long after that, the first born male son of the king was a squib and a civil war was fought to establish that squibs cannot inherit.

    Then not too long after that, the royal family had a relative dearth of male sorcerers and a civil war was fought to establish that titles passed to the eldest sorcery wielding heir regardless of sex.

    Then not too long after that, a non-draconic sorcerer tried to create a new meritocratic system and he got beaten...eventually. The non-draconic sorcerer and his wife killed a lot of dragon blooded nobles before they themselves were slain.

    Now that things are calmed down, the various noble houses have started fighting again. The current queen faced more assassination attempts than she preferred to deal with, so she had the brilliant idea to start a war with a foreign power to unify the feuding houses against an outsider and prevent a new civil war (and to prevent an assassination attempt against the queen). Also, 9 is a sacred number in my world. The nation of Swynfaredia is 898 years old. The queen wants to usher her nation's 900th year anniversary with a military victory followed by a period of peace and prosperity to cement her place in the history books as the greatest monarch the nation had ever known.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    House Reothadh (White)
    This quite small family was largely raised for the military gumption. They are not known for being wise, strategic, or sly but are strong from the front type military leaders and the families constant intrafamily war-games means that most have a solid grasp of small and mid-level unit tactics before they are even tested for sorcerous ability. In part due to the fact that they are not respected on a political basis they are quite neutral which has led to their large, boisterous, only semicultured parties being acceptable places for members of all houses to let their hair down and enjoy...which is quietly treasured by many of the more stuffy houses.
    The underlined portion is already true of House Fremiss B, something I had more or less thought up with already, but I do like the stuff you have that follows. I could make them less cultured and be fun at parties. That adds a bit of character to distinguish them from the other military houses.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    House Salsura (Black)
    This house has many small holdings throughout the nation and is a quite significant part of the economy. They started as makers of wine, vinegar, garum, and cheese but over time took these salt heavy foods and expanded into both direct saltworks, many vegetable pickling operations, salted meats, hams etc. From there various works of alchemy and embalming helped the family become valued within the nobility. The family now is key to many of the nation's military pushes..not in the vanguard but they are the cornerstone of supply lines. Salsura salted meats and pickles are the assumed rations for most of the military when away from base.
    House Manasch and House Ceffnor are both merchant based house that bought their way into power. I didn't figure out how they bought their way into power exactly except the vague notion that Manasch control potion ingredients and Ceffnor dominates sea trade. Given that potioneering uses a lot of alchemy I like the idea of adding food processing and pickling into their repertoire.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    House Bàiscẹ (Green)
    Another significant martial house well known for bringing hard highly disciplined troops to the front with them. Several battles have turned on the rocklike grit of Basceo raised and led shieldwall. The regions that they hold domain over are generally considered prosperous but deeply uncultured. Almost nothing from this house and most of the craftsmen from the lands they control show signs of ornamentation. The house is deeply efficient even if this means moral questionable things...like the slaughter of their enemies, war crime massacres, and some of the most strict and harsh punishments being doled out to criminals within their lands. This same dark willingness to do whatever it takes to reach their goals also applies to some of the families darkest secrets...including the fact that they have secretly captured a handful of halfdragons from distant lands and no hold them as slaves under one of their holdings...they have been repeated forced to bear Basceo children who are then slipped into the family line as "twins" of other births.
    The idea of kidnapping half-dragons as breeding stock is intriguing. House Selwyth is a small very villainous house that is trying experimental magics to create sorcerer children via magical eugenics (via experimentation with unwilling human test subject). Mostly I had them trying to develop magical rituals to enact during conception to let ordinary humans conceive sorcerer babies, but I could throw some enslaved half-dragons into the mix.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    House Sradag (Blue)
    Founded 250 years ago by a halfdragon from outside the nation as a puppet of their mother. And today the family plays a a dangerous game...over time the new members of the family grew to be actually loyal to the Swynfaredain nation but play at loyalty to their distant matriarch to keep her happy. For she provides them with many advantages. She has let them breed with other of her halfdragon prodigy in order to keep their bloodline strong, the sorcerous blood vital, and thus the status and even marriages that such things can buy, she also brings outside information and her own long political minded counsel.
    Of all the ideas you came up with, a dragon infiltrating the nation with his/her half-dragon offspring is my favorite one. I definitely want to try something like this.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    House Callabefio (Red)
    A house that rose to some prominence on a mix of the money they have gained from controlling several mineworks and the magical artifice that they have spent much of that wealth creating. The family has also used several well times "gifts" of such magical items to gain political benefit. While the house is well liked and well tolerated within Swynfaredia outside the nation they have spies (normally covered scholars or magical items) who keep an eye out for young dragonblooded sorcerers or halfdragons which have then been abducted, flat out bought from parents, and then mentally abused, charmed, or charmed until they accept marriage into the family.
    This is well thought out, but this concept isn't really doing it for me. I'm not sure why.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    House Chalceus (Brass)
    For many generations this small family has been dominated by councilors, lawyers, and tutors but since the rise of the current patriarch the families fortuned have waxed both politically and even within the magical blood they hold in the veins. Some of the later may have to do with the young adult Brass dragon that is captured in the basement of the one of their manners having been held their since a hatchling (by the curent patriarch when they themselves were young) and knowing no other life adding more draconic blood into the family since reaching the young adult stage...How much longer the aged patriarch or the conditioning on the dragon can hold is anyone's guess.
    A captured dragon raised from birth to be a pawn is an intriguing idea though I need to flesh out more details.

    House Chuarten (Copper)
    Noble masters of building. They have deep ties to the creation of many of roads, castles, earthworks (especially irrigation) and the like. They use a powerful combination of engineering knowledge and powerful magic to help them build these often wondrous creations. This is helped by that many elder family members spend their later year pouring their magical power into magical staves for the future generations to use. These staves often have a higher caster level than the wielder and usually allow them to cast spells such as move earth, mud-to-stone, wall of stone, stone shape, and similar spells. The manner by which the family is able to create so many of these staves is not quite understood but seem to be only limited flexibility. Within the nobility the family is also well known for their lover of puzzles, riddles, and games of strategy. What is little known is that much of this search is because they have a more than cordial relationship with a copper dragon hundreds of miles away who very much likes riddles that he has never heard before and bonding over such things can at times get friendly...friendly enough that a smattering of halfdragons have been born into the house and largely kept secret in the more distant holding of the house all while strengthening the bloodline.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    House Aeratus (Bronze)
    Raised for their military minded support of the great houses House Aeratus is a regular pillar of the nations strategic power. The family is mostly based around a large river systems and fund much of their military from the trade and fishing along the shores. While deeply respected in some ways the family often lacks sorcerous potential within their blood (these said children often form the core of the House's military officers) and is thus not much of a player in national politics...however some in the family are looking to change that but just don't know how.
    This is kind of what my House Gareth is based on. Gareth was a bastard son of a dragon blood noble that was a great military strategists. His sons went on to have strong military careers as did their sons. Gareth was legitimized posthumously and House Gareth became the first "new" house formed.

    They are a military power without a lot of political clout. They want to gain political clout. Recently, their patriarch or matriarch (not sure which one they have yet) tried a risky political gambit. They have formally allied with House Numaness whereas before they were official neutral in the Nuamness-Goirsonad rivalry. They are gambling that has long as House Numaness is the ruling house, they can use Numaness' largesse to make themselves stronger.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    House Airgeaol (Silver)
    This house is nearly as ancient as the great four houses but far smaller due to the fact they were founded by a single halfdragon and his children when the main families were the various clutches of each of the founders. Quite wealthy this family has a very long term view of investment. They buy or trade for land next to settlements that they think have a good basis for future growth and have been quite successful over the centuries. Thus as those villages or towns expand to cover the lands that the house had purchased the younger generations can start charging quite high urban rents. Which are often used to develop the land further (so they can charge yet more) or to help those towns who need a bit of a push to turn into a centre of commerce or industry so that nearby holdings become profitable. Highly urban in nature this family generally avoids military service as much they can. They buy their respect or influence the cultural power that the cities hold. And what magic they have is often aimed in more "civilized" manners with illusions, charms, and divination being more common than fireballs or wall of force.
    I like the idea of a less numerous house formed by a single long dead half-dragon, but I'm not sure I like the urban slum lord angle.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    House Achadh (Gold)
    Coming from part of the rural heartland of the nation House Achadh hold a somewhat interesting position within the nation. They are noted as highly adept managers of their holdings which grow large amounts of surplus foodstuffs that feed the cities of the Empire, hold deeply to grand culture of the nation if in a somewhat conservative way, and produce deeply loyal and strong military units that are a shining example to many of the other levies. And this house is deeply tied to their lands and rarely leave them. Their fair, honest judgment is largely why the seeming picture perfect regions exist. The While some people do leave these regions for the wider empire and world, these are the often idealistic exceptions. Besides the Paladins and Bards the region is known for most people from here, including the vast majority of the House Achadh members are homebodies. Which has led to a lovely, well managed, quite well off, and for many deeply boring region and house. This lack of focus on the larger picture has had negative effects for the house over the years, blindsided by political events in the capitol and lacking the close ties needed in order to make their often idealistic vision actually take root anywhere beyond their own holdings. That said their lands are popular places for outsiders to visit and are used as a form of political propaganda by the leaders in the nations capitol even as the leaders who made it that way are quietly shuns=ed and laughed at in the halls of power.
    I kind of like this idea, but for a province or region of land, not a family line.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    House Operibus (Copper)
    Deeply linked to the Dragoneyes (or whatever you name the national intelligence service) the house was largely founded by a couple who were effective spyhunters and to this day hold to that. Mostly with a rather domestic focus they have traded access to power (and the lands, good marriages, and titles that come with that) for the trust and social acceptance of the other noble families and foreign dignitaries living in the Swynfaredain lands that they keep an eye on. One of the side effects of this constantly looking for disloyalty has been that the family has tended to co opt loyal sorcerers from odd places when they have found them and they have been useful. This has included foreign draconic blooded sorcerers, highly loyal members of families that have been otherwise exiled or imprisoned and even those willing to be agents for the crown elsewhere who have served well. Strangely enough this seems to have had a positive effect on the bloodline and they have a higher than average rate of magic in their children even if it tends to being quite hard to detect as quieter divination and enchantment spells seem more common that the loud attention grabbing ones.
    I really like this concept, but I already have a bunch of houses that use "we are spymasters" as part of thier identity. I need to figure a way to incorporate into an existing house or create a spy agency that transcends house lines.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    House Decoco (Red)
    A young house born from their leadership in the suppression a relatively recent (in the history of a 900 year old empire) uprising by a region that been brought into the Empire only a generation or so before. The formerly small house that had been vassals of another, descendant from a sorcerer exiled from his own homeland and happy to accept lands in the then newly taken region as reward for their military and magical service. They came to power truly when they ended up being some of the only survivors of a mass attack of assassination and targeted killings of nobles in these lands and further rallied the throne's forces to put down the rebels. It was not a pleasant or honorable war with several towns burnt to the ground to make examples of them but the Decoco were victorious at a time when the central government could ill afford to support actions in the region due to other crises and wars somewhere else. As a reward the family was granted much of the lands of those nobles who had been wiped out. Becoming land rich the house has been building power ever since but spend most of what they gain trying to redevelop their lands and hold onto the still resentful population. However only fools would not see that they are building a strong foundation for national prominence. . . and how to use that, or block it is starting to be mulled in the secret salons of the ancient houses.
    I'm on the fence with this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    House Innisbàis(Black)
    If a house was ever born in a reflection of the memory of its founder it is house Innisbais. Not long after the dragons departed Swynfaredain and the elder generation of half dragon sorcerers had died of old age a quite powerful sorcerer arrived at the capital. She was obviously of strong draconic blood and claimed her father was half dragon...this led to her being taken as a retainer by one of the early throneholder because the magic in her blood was both strong and at the time rare within the kingdom...for she was a necromancer...how much was sorcery and how much divine magic has been lost to legend but it is implied both by the wise. While most feared she would summon skeletons and otherwise degrade the founding generations that were all but worshiped by the nobility she instead played into that hero worship. She played upon her ability to speak with the dead in order to "offer guidance" from their founders to current holders of power...subject to what she wanted to say and would be useful to her of course. This eventual semi-acceptance of her place in the early state led to a highly placed marriage (and taking her husbands name which is what is now preserved...her maiden name is subject to debate) and gifts of land and title. Today this small house still does this but has expanded its role if only in a few ways. They are now keepers of history, often the last word on who is decedent from who within the nobility, many of the functions around births and deaths (and the consumables therein), close ties with some church figures, and hold a near monopoly on the right to work the corpses of dragons...dragonbone, dragonscale armour and basically can not be worked without at least the blessing (and title to) this house...which while economically of little import is a goldmine of cultural influence and favor trading. The family interest in bloodlines and where they may find outsider sorcerers as well as awareness of about the lives of dragons in foreign lands (looking for bodies of dragons to both properly lay to rest/revere/turn into magical items has given the house several opportunities to bring in newer blood or cast of bastard children from other noble lines..or at least that is what is the semi-open secret that the house would have you believe...any possible rumours of them having a connection to their founders grandfather offspring is just that...rumour.
    This is my second favorite idea you suggested. I might try to incorporate my own fantasy mechanic on spirit loas loosely based on real world folklore.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    House Eildearglic (wild or Fey magic)
    This house is a rare exception with the lands of Swynfaredain...it is a house of elves. They have sorcery in their blood and have earned themselves a niche in the noble games....Their elven blood and the fact that most are not even draconic sorcerers means that it is widely known that they could never truly make a play for true power in these lands. They have power because they can't hold power. Their "disability" in the great game of houses means that they are often considered "safe". They have been handed titles when a side loosing a political contest cared more about denying it to a rival than holding it themselves several times. They have also become trusted arbiters between draconic houses in conflict...as, in theory, they can hold no scales in the game and so will be fair. This has led to a surprising amount of soft power for the family and the elder members of line are some the most crafty and cagey political fighters in the nation. The house also almost never marries into other houses due to the racial difference and either draws from the tiny elven minority who develop sorcery, other house members, or foreign elves who they find useful and willing to accept the same overall deal the house has made...mostly sorcerers of course especially those resentful about the positions of wizard in most elven culture but there are examples of all kinds if it helps the house.
    Before I read this blurb you wrote, I assumed if an elven sorcerer or sorceress decided to join Swynfaredia than said elf was a pariah to his/her own people. The pariah sorcerer/ess would probably go on to marry a human and have half-elf children. Any half-elf sorcerer would probably marry a human sorcerer and thus breed out the point ear, so a lot of Swynfaredians would have elf ancestors but very few would have noticeably pointy ears.

    Now, I'm considering that maybe Swynfaredian would have an all elf house, or maybe an all gnome or all kobold house.

    My main misgiving is that only a small percentage of elves are sorcerers and only a small percentage of elves would be willing to uproot from their own societies to be willingly subordinate to a bunch of uppity humans.

    You made the point, that I could create very small houses, so I would only need a few a tiny number of elf sorcerers to migrate to Swynfaredia to make an all-elf house viable.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    House Rogadskiy (shadow/infernal/fire magics)
    This house wishes its sorcerous power was draconic, but everyone knows it is not. The hints of horns, warm skin, and small scale patches are often made to look as though the family is as draconic as any other...but it is a lie. And so the Rogadskiy have become culturally draconic even if their blood has not and has never been. IN many ways they are too perfect in their holding to the draconic ideals in order to compensate for the fact that everyone knows and politely ignores in public. The Rodaskiy are touched by the infernal. Founded by a foreign sorcerous tiefling that most outsiders could not tell from a child of a halfdragon and turned out to be deeply loyal to nation in return for accepting his odd appearance and family history. To this day some children are born teiflings in this house but most are functionally human. Their magic may have slightly different flavor to it..but again the family sells the image and national focus on dragons better then most who have thick dragonblood in the veins and so are forgiven...until it really counts. The family has long had to take roles that the rest of the nobility doesn't want and is regularly jealous of the fact that their blood tends to run quite pure with magic...which has led to charges of them dealing with extraplanar beings in return for that on a couple of occasions in history...and they may even have been true it is heard to say. The family has a bit of a history of taking in (and sometimes adopting or marrying) teiflings children abandoned by their parents both from within the human population of Swynfaredain and nearby nations. And interestingly the family has a long history of quiet success with many roles but especial in serving the intelligence services or internal police on behalf of the crown...which is part why they have managed to survive 300 years under the winged shadows of their draconic neighbors.
    My world doesn't have tieflings per se, but I do have extraplanar creatures that sometimes breed with mortals and sometimes carry sorcerous ability so I can work with this concept with some tinkering.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    House Coigreach (Wild Magic)
    House Coigreach is an odd duck. Born from a a pair notable peasant sorcerers one native and one from a nation now incorporated into the Empire but then independent house Coigreach as no known draconic blood in them. They are a family of noted purely human sorcerers. Which puts them at a strong disadvantage in the political games of the capitol and other high position...but respect for their sorcerous blood does remain and so they are tolerated...even though they are as native to the nation as any of the great four houses and can make some claim of being even older than them. And over time the family has found a niche. They are deeply tied to foreign trade on behalf of their homeland and similarly as diplomatic representatives in behalf of the Dragon Throne...because over the centuries of often aggressive actions not all of the nearby lands are very trusting of those who show signs of Draconic blood...And this is where the Coigreach shine. Wherever draconic blood (and especially where stronger blood that show signs on the body) would be a disadvantage this house sees opportunity. So while deeply loyal to the nation this house very often doesn't look like a classic noble and for good reason. The house is more than any highly aware that their sorcererous ability is the key to their own acceptance and thus existence within the nation (with no dragonblood to fall back on) and they can be quite aggressive in trying to get any small bloodline that appears to pass down magical ability within the human population to become incorporated into their own house to strengthen it while the constant side-eyes of the more prominent houses makes acceptance of foreign born sorcerers appears to be rare event (in order to keep questions of loyalty at bay) but their many contacts with foreign nations provides ample opportunity to make such connections and rumours always swirl around the issue.
    Hmmm, the concept of a completely dragon-less house is intriguing.

    You mentioned that they would make their mark in diplomacy.

    I had a similar thought with a different implementation.

    1) Dragon blood sorcerers often find diplomacy boring
    2) Not all dragon bloods want to disown and throwaway their squib children
    3) Foreign dignitaries are paranoid that sorcerers are going to cheat them with Enchantment or Illusion. Non-magic users are less threatening.

    Putting these things together, I figured a lot of squibs would be used as chancellors and ambassadors.
    Last edited by Scalenex; 2021-03-06 at 08:46 AM.