For Enemy Within follow-up, suppose a Plenipotentiary is appointed to get an Elector Count into place in Averland. This is General Schwarzhelm (as in the Swords novels).
Internally, claims can be settled by any means legal or forceful, might makes right can work just fine. However, the Emperor's representative must have a legal basis to act. All the Elector Counts would be in an uproar in an Emperor was seen as "cherry picking".
So this would be an "arbitration" among claimants, the control of succession within each province lies with that province's nobility and ruling families etc - going back, to Sigmar's formation of the Empire by respecting each former King's internal autonomy.
My question, unless folks have different views of the above views, is what would be the criteria an arbitrator would go by?
#1 the customs of the province decide, usually the genealogical claim (e.g., legitimate first-born son of the last Elector Count, congrats kid).
#2 modified by capacity to fulfill the oaths to the Emperor (e.g., unfit mentally to rule, thumbs down; for some reason would be unable to rule the province to the degree necessary to field an army to support the Empire, also thumbs down, it is the duty of the Elector Count to support the Empire).
#3 if things are gray, such as competing heirs of unclear genealogical precedence, then in addition to the parsing of genealogy, the views of the Estates - who do the noble families and official cults support (this feeds back into fulfilling oaths to the Empire, someone opposed by all those would have difficulty). Legally this comes back to citing #2.
- last and least, what is popular opinion, if all the above still gray and it's clear one choice provokes riots and desertions weakening the province then that can decide (back to #2).
In Averland the von Alptraum family was ruling until recently. Its rule was so unpopular that it was forced out by the Leitdorf family, who were lead by a powerful warrior Marius. The Elector Count Marius had no direct blood heir. The von Alptraums claim the Leitdorf's overall have a weaker genealogical claim and that their claim is better - and that they have less hereditary chance of madness.
Are there any other ideas about the legal grounds for the decision and/or the basis of the rival houses' claims?