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Resolving the Averland Electoral Crisis


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#1 valvorik

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 08:21 PM

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?

 


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#2 Emirikol

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 11:12 PM

Does sigmar's heirs clarify it?



#3 jackdays

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 11:02 AM

This situations is pretty much solved in the Swords of the Emperor novel (which is actually two books: Sword of Justice and Sword of Vengeance). Well, solved and solved - Not going to spoil anything here... But there is much more information.

 

For example. Marius did have two sons: Leopold and Rufus.

  • Leopold seem to be ideal (warrior-type) heir, but he didn't seem to be around when his father died. And he got himself killed during the SoC. I dont know was he adventurer, or had some other military background. But he didn't seem to be interested about the Elector-position (?!) because he didn't come forward about the matter.
  • Rufus. Well, he is just spoiled prat living (drinking) in Altdorf. Not the most ideal candidate.
  • Probably because of the situation above, it is mentioned in many sources that the Baron Kastor Leitdorf (nephew of Marius) is the potential successor and head of the family.

Considering both von Alptraums and Leitdorfs have equal claim to the rulership, this is very difficult situation and the province is very much divided.

 

So, I would say normally (and in many of the provinces) answere would be #1. But in Averheim more like #3.


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#4 valvorik

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 12:00 PM

yes the Swords Books are fun - I love the explanation they give for "Mad Marius".  The author retcons a great backstory to a bit of bizarre GW fluff.

 

I find Schwarzhelm character a bit unbelievably-set at times (the short story inluded is best example of "really, you couldn't have given 2 more words of warning and saved that guy's life instead of being your gruff almost mute self"), however I really do like the Verstholen character.

 

I had forgotten Rufus was the son of Marius not just a nephew (Enemy Within skips over him and his brother I think).  hmmmmm, the dark horse Rufus re-appears perhaps.



#5 jackdays

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 12:25 PM

I think too, that the Sword-books are pretty good. Very military-oriented, but overall, it fits well considering who the main character are (Schwarzhelm and Helborg). And the characters like Versholen and Block are interesting. But the ending - Well, someone did mentioned word apocalyptic. That description fits well  :unsure: Maybe too apocalyptic... Yet, also Warhammer-style, so I dont really know what to think about it really.

 

But - Rufus is the second son. I think it is because of his reputation and attitude that he is not first-one considered to be the next Elector. I could imagine he might have not even wanted the position until Natassja Hies came and married him.


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#6 jackdays

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 12:32 PM

By the way - Here's little list of family-members from both von Alptraums and Leitdorfs that I have collected/found:

 

Alptraums in 2522:

  • Marlene "The Iron Countess" von Alptraum, daughter of famous and late Elector Count Ludmila Alptraum (RoS2, TEWv2)
  • Ferenc Alptraum, grandson of Elector Count Ludmila Alptraum and son of Marlene Alptraum? (Swords)
  • Gravin Clothilde von Alptraum, minor member of von Alptraum family yet holds political influence outside the scope of what would be expected (TEWv2)
  • Mathias Alptraum, murders one of the Leitdorfs around time of SoC and has to flee Averland (Forges of Nuln)

-----
Leitdorfs in 2522:

  • Elector Count Marius "Mad Count" Leitdorf (dead since 2520) (WFB, TEWv2, Sigmar's Heirs, RoS2)
  • Grandmaster of the Sigmar's Blood Hans Leitdorf; brother of Marius Leitdorf (GW)
  • second brother; Baron Kastor and Ferdinand are both nephews for Marius, yet cousins to each other so there probably is another brother (below)
  • Leopold Leitdorf, first son of Marius who died in Middenheim during the SoC (dead since 2522) (Swords)
  • Rufus Leitdorf, second son of Marius and husband of Natassja Hiess-Leitdorf (Swords)
  • Natassja Hiess-Leitdorf, wife of Rufus Leitdorf (Swords)
  • Baron Kastor Leitdorf; potential successor of Marius, nephew of Marius, son of Hans Leitdorf? (TEWv2, RoS2)
  • Baron Kastor's brother; father of Raimund Leitdorf (below)
  • Ferdinand Leitdorf; nephew of Marius and cousin of Kastor, husband of Claudia (TEWv2)
  • Claudia Leitdorf; cousin of Kastor and Ferdinand, wife of Ferdinand (TEWv2)
  • Reinolt Leitdorf; distant cousin, professor in the university of Streissen (Forges of Nuln)
  • Raimund Leitdorf; nephew of Kastor (RoS2)

Edited by jackdays, 03 February 2014 - 12:36 PM.

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#7 valvorik

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 01:09 PM

Thanks,

 

I've done my own "filling in of some men" to explain the Alptraum lines.  Assuming women in empire take husband's family name (other noblewomen in settting often have husband's name) Marlene as daughter is tricky.

 

A 'consort' tradition, perahps, if a woman actually holds the title (e.g., is the only heir, in this case to Ludmilla), then husband takes her name or at least she does not take his and children continue with hers, as what's the point of moving away from principal title?

 

Clothilde is supposed to be niece of Marlene von Alptraum.  I have just "written in" that her father was Graf Tancred von Alptraum, younger brother of Marlene.  Tancred died in unclear circumstances in 2502 during the uncertainty after Ludmilla passed away while von Alptraum public image was at nadir and his death is one reason Marlene heads family.  Clothilde's mother is Miranda von Alptraum, originally born to a Nuln family and still living - through her mother Chlotilde has some connections to the court of Nuln, part of her political strength.

 

Leopold dying in the Storm of Chaos is tricky for new Enemy Within doesn't mention him and Storm looks to just be starting.

 

In game and slightly in-cheek, I think anyone trying to actually understand all the relevant genealogy should have to make Daunting Int check to avoid 3 Stress and the Perplexed condition.


Edited by valvorik, 04 February 2014 - 08:55 AM.


#8 Grandmartoni

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 11:54 PM

i'd play it as a political struggle between 5 families: 

 

1 alptraum always

1 leitdorf always

1 mostly alptraum (can be swayed other way but very difficult)

1 mostly leitdorf (can be swayed other way but very difficult)

1 on the fence

 

Must have 4 of 5 to get the seat.  All's fair in love and stealing an elector seat!



#9 Keats

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 05:53 AM

I like the whole idea of playing for political dominance and the elector seat in Averland. It seems to me that there is a third possibility beyond the Alptraum and Leitdorf family though.

 

In "The Swords" novels it is actually an outsider with financial and political backing who manages to win the elector seat. His claims to the throne are somewhat dubious and many of his ancestral documents are fake but nevertheless he uses he personal charm and political influence to sway the election. This indicates that one or more of the more powerful characters from TEW could be a candidate for the elector seat. Here I am thinking of Tuchtenhagen or Kaufman. Would they have a shot a the seat or would they potentially only be able to claim the seat by marrying a Leitdorf or an Alptraum?



#10 valvorik

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 08:57 AM

There are plenty of shenanigans and "non-legal precedent" approaches in the Swords novels.  I won't go into them to avoid spoilers but they give some good ideas.



#11 valvorik

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 08:05 PM

So I created a wordle using Sigmar's Heirs data to weight nobles by the populations they control.

 

I gave Alptraums a 50% of Averheim as the last rulers, and penalized Leitdorfs for madness rumours etc.

 

It shows why the Leitdcorfs can't "close the deal" on succession.

 

I haven't added religious institutions as factors.

 

 

http://www.wordle.ne...d_by_Population


Edited by valvorik, 04 February 2014 - 08:07 PM.


#12 valvorik

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 03:47 PM

I working on a background to all of this, family trees, what the factions are etc.

 

I could swear that there was someplace Imperial province's favoured deities were noted but can't find it.  Which would be the most powerful faiths in Averland for swaying opinion.

 

I have references here and there that suggest Taal and Rhya are popular (herding and horse raising people being keen on them), Sigmar has a hold because of Black Fire Pass and his last journey back in that direction.  Verena and other "classical gods" have been brought up from south and Tilea, with Myrmidia having temples as well though less hold on the broader population with her followers being more Tilean mercenaries etc.

 

Of these, Taal and Rhya's temples and clergy are not "political", so the most significant active forces would be Sigmarites and the associated "League of Sigmar" organization - which in the past have been Leitdorf supporters (though moral turpitude by many of recent crop cost their favour).  The Taalists etc. are more passive though if drawn into a political situation powerful, being associated with the vintner-oriented "League of the Vine", as well as many cattle herdsmen and horse wranglers.  The League of the Vine might also conceal some Old Faith sympathies.  The von Alptraums have connections here.

 

Thoughts?



#13 Emirikol

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 03:52 PM

Haven't we talked about this "over-preparation" thing?  ;)

 

You're on the right track.  Lots of avenues of interest matter..I'd also throw in foreign interest (especially the dwarfs monetarily backing certain candidates)

 

jh



#14 ragnar63

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:04 AM

Going on all the "evidence" including the Swords novels, I would say that it would be the person who the Emperor's representative (Schwarzhelm in the Swords novels) thought would be the best candidate (assuming they had some claim on nobility).

 

In order of importance:

 

1. Military capability

2. Ability to run, through the Averheim civil service, the province. (Must have at least ruled a city or run very large estates or commanded an army)

3. Have reasonable connection to Averland.

4. Be of the line of a previous Elector.

 

Number 1 is so important because the crisis comes after or during the Storm of Chaos. Also Schwarzhelm, if you use him as the Emperors representative, is a military man and therefore emphasises 1 above. Somebody else might or would have different priorities. The Emperor just wants somebody who will get the provinces tax take back to where  it should be, will keep the province safe from threats internal or external, and will be loyal to the Emperor.



#15 valvorik

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:21 AM

Thanks for thoughts.

 

Re "line of previous elector", I'm writing up the "perpetually boiling pot that is Averland" as having had electors of 3 families since the Great War Against Chaos - based on various editions - Grunwald, Alptraum and Leitdorf.  Going back through history, every family listed in Sigmar's Heirs as having holdings can trace descent from some elector or other, and then add in a couple of unlanded famlies too and dark horses can come from any quarter.

 

I will be using MadAdlfred's expanded Gazeteer so there will be some landed-non-elector families (and the von Alptraums will thus have at least one hereditary holding).

 

I'm pretty much done creating the missing relations necessary for all the "cousins" to pop up and am now moving on to the "leagues, temples, etc."

 

Not to spoil too much, but in Swords the resolution comes down to "Averland itself offers the Plenipoteniary two choices, and then one is massively disqualified".  There never really is a "judgement" made.  There is a good quote from the book about 'electoral law':  the most fiendishly (should have said daemonically) complicated branch of law.



#16 arscott

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 05:17 PM

So, it makes no sense that there would even be an electoral crisis if Leopold and Rufus are legitimate sons--The title would simply be inherited by The eldest son.  I assume, therefore, that they're both illegitimate children.  Do the Sword novels mention this one way or another?

 

Assuming that Leopold and Rufus are illegitimate, then the crisis is clear.  Under real-world Salic law, titles are inherited by direct, legitimate male descendants of the person by whom the title was originally held.  (Given the women with titles in the Alptraum family and elsewhere, it's clear that the fictional Empire doesn't follow the real Holy Roman Empire in limiting descent to male heirs, or at least not in quite the same way.)

 

So the key question is who counts as "person by whom the title was originally held"?

 

The theory supporting Kastor's claim would then be that "person by whom the title was originally held" became some historical Leitdorf elector Count upon the abdication of Marius's wife.  That is, a legal fiction that the new dynasty of Leitdorf elector counts extends unbroken from the old dynasty of Leitdorf elector counts and let's just forget about the troublesome Alptraums that lived in the elector's palace during the inbetween.  As Marius had no legitimate sons, the title would transfer to his eldest brother and his issue (here, we can assume that Kastor's unnamed father is older than Hans, and therefore Kastor stands to inherit)

 

The theory supporting Marlene's claim would be that the "person by whom the title was originally held" was an Alptraum.  That Marius replaced his wife in the succession, but that absent his legitimate heirs, the title would go to the next most senior heir of Ludmila (that is, Marlene)

 

Of course, the third, and probably most legally valid theory is that Marius himself is the "person by whom the title was originally held", and that his assumption of the Countship is considered a new creation of that title.  In that case, the title would go extinct and revert to the sovereign.  If for this purposes, the sovereign is the emperor, then that means that Karl Franz can give it to whomever he wants.



#17 ragnar63

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 02:57 AM

So, it makes no sense that there would even be an electoral crisis if Leopold and Rufus are legitimate sons--The title would simply be inherited by The eldest son.  I assume, therefore, that they're both illegitimate children.  Do the Sword novels mention this one way or another?

 

Assuming that Leopold and Rufus are illegitimate, then the crisis is clear.  Under real-world Salic law, titles are inherited by direct, legitimate male descendants of the person by whom the title was originally held.  (Given the women with titles in the Alptraum family and elsewhere, it's clear that the fictional Empire doesn't follow the real Holy Roman Empire in limiting descent to male heirs, or at least not in quite the same way.)

 

So the key question is who counts as "person by whom the title was originally held"?

 

The theory supporting Kastor's claim would then be that "person by whom the title was originally held" became some historical Leitdorf elector Count upon the abdication of Marius's wife.  That is, a legal fiction that the new dynasty of Leitdorf elector counts extends unbroken from the old dynasty of Leitdorf elector counts and let's just forget about the troublesome Alptraums that lived in the elector's palace during the inbetween.  As Marius had no legitimate sons, the title would transfer to his eldest brother and his issue (here, we can assume that Kastor's unnamed father is older than Hans, and therefore Kastor stands to inherit)

 

The theory supporting Marlene's claim would be that the "person by whom the title was originally held" was an Alptraum.  That Marius replaced his wife in the succession, but that absent his legitimate heirs, the title would go to the next most senior heir of Ludmila (that is, Marlene)

 

Of course, the third, and probably most legally valid theory is that Marius himself is the "person by whom the title was originally held", and that his assumption of the Countship is considered a new creation of that title.  In that case, the title would go extinct and revert to the sovereign.  If for this purposes, the sovereign is the emperor, then that means that Karl Franz can give it to whomever he wants.

 

In Averland and in fact all the Electorates, the eldest son does not necessarily inherit. Salic law is not paramount in the Empire in terms of the Electors and the Emperor.



#18 valvorik

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 07:30 AM

IMHO, what's important for a "crisis" is that the law + facts on ground must be unclear (no one has clear cut legal claim and no one has clear cut force of arms sufficient to make a claim stick regardless).  All the "fanstasy law" and details of situation must support that - so "imagine and create in that vein" is what I'm doing while trying to work in all the published background tid bits I can.

 

Each province has its own legal traditions of inheritance of titles and the electorship. Originally they were all "kings", tribal leaders, but even that position could have had different means of succession.

 

The Swords books never really clarify the law of succession in Averland.  It's clear Alptraum and Leitdorf factions have claims "with legs" and all sorts of genealogical and legal testimony is being arranged/paid for/fabricated/hidden to argue it out.

 

I imagine that as "I'm the legitimate son of the last Elector Count", "the last Elector Count was not legitimate only de facto  - he was crowned in the Temple of Sigmar not in the Averburg, really the last legitimate Elector Count was a von Alptraum and I am her legitimate heir, but I'm a man more suited to wield the Runefang, but under the traditional doctrine of eagrel I am a man's equal for I ride with my men against rustlers and I am also my mother's officially recognized heir on her deathbed, I have the testimony of a servant present at the time that the dying countess expired and she will swear the countess never said that, actually you're both wrong, my great-great grandfather was the last proper Elector Count, the Emperor had no right to force him from office over that Pudding business and by the taint of heritors decree of 1348, in any event after 3 generations all crimes were expunged and thus the Electorship revers to my house,  and so on and so on".

 

In terms of acts on the ground, Leopold is missing presumed dead (recently), Rufus never expected to hold power and has lived a wastrel's life to the vast disapproval of many including, most importantly, his uncle Hans, Grandmaster of the Order of Sigmar's Blood and head of the League of Sigmar (two bits imported from earlier editions/GW and other sources). 

 

Uncle Hans does not view Rufus as having "the right stuff" and won't "call out the Sigmar bully boys" for anyone he doesn't approve of - undercutting the Leitdorf's position until they have someone he approves leading them.  The Leitdorfs have the largest personal forces by virtue of their holdings, the Alptraums have broader support in the countryside and a good deal of coin for mercenaries, what's more if the Leitdorfs move with too much "naked force", they look like the "bad side of Marius" and the other noble factions come together against them (the Leitdorfs have a "plurality" majority of force, not an "absolute majority", they can't afford to turn too much opinion against themselves).

 

In a week or so I will post a dropbox link to my musings and folks can savage them then.



#19 valvorik

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 09:34 AM

If it's of interest to anyone, I found the provincial regilous preferences listed in the 2nd edition Tome of Salvation.  Yup, was on right track.

 

I've also come up with another reason Clothilde may still be unmarried.  One of the reasons I like doing these things, you can create/see connections etc.  Her brother is Mathias of Forges of Nuln, he was the Graf of their little estate holding but had to flee after his legal trouble, abdicated in favour of her.  It's expected when his trouble is cleared up, he comes back and she steps down in his favour again.

 

If she marries, she/the family can't be sure a husband would do that, if the husband didn't the holding might pass out of the Alptraum family to his family.  That would be bad, so she's putting off marriage for that reason - though perhaps getting a little impatient for Mathias to sort things.



#20 valvorik

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 07:51 PM

This is probably the "most far from canon" idea I'm thinking of including, what do folks think?

 

The Toppenheimer Gambit

Wissenland’s politics are currently dominated by the question of Nuln’s future.  Countess Emmanuelle von Leibwitz wishes to see Nuln become an independent city-state and proposes Wissenland become a province under the von Toppenheimer’s rule.

 

Baroness Etelka von Toppenheimer of Pfeildorf finds this an agreeable plan, as does her named heir Baron Olaf Sektliebe (Etelka has no direct heir, Sektliebe is a distant relation she adopted).  [drawn from Pfieldorf fan supplement].

 

A stumbling block to Nuln’s plan is the question of Electoral votes.  The Countess does not propose to give up her vote but the idea of Wissenland as a province without one is ludicrous and unacceptable to Baroness Toppenheimer.   Creating a new electoral vote is one of the most fundamental things an Emperor can do, requiring the approval by the Prime Estates (the Electors in effect).  Adding electoral votes is strongly opposed by most the existing Elector Counts (and clerical Electors) since it dilutes their votes in power and also in "pork barrel influence".  Karl Franz is also sensitive to views of his undue favouritism and possible past relationship with the Countess von Leibwitz and had let it known that a new vote is not in the cards.

 

[Sigmar's Heirs gives the idea this separation and added electoral vote would go through, in this version it turns out it's not such a done deal]

 

The court of Nuln and Baroness von Toppenheimer have recently been floating a strategy to resolve this issue.  Clearly the gravest danger to the south-eastern Empire is the recurring greenskin threat that comes principally through Black Fire Pass.  This has been the devastation of Solland and wreaked havoc on Wissenland and Averland.  It is in the Empire’s interest that the southeast be strong and Averland has shown more than once it makes a poor lynchpin in that defence (according to Wissenlanders).

 

The von Toppenheimers are now talking up the idea of uniting Wissenland and Averland into the new province of Sudenland.  It would have one electoral vote, under the Toppenheimer name.

 

This would then allow Nuln to become a city state with a single vote and keep the balance of power among the other electoral votes.

 

The new province would be roughly the size of Middenland or Talabecland but filled with open fields of grain and herds of cattle and horses more than woods.  However, the loss of Nuln would take much of the power from Wissenland and the northern attitude that southerners are all “sun-addled weaklings” makes the move seem less dangerous than it would be if Count Todbringer were proposing to annex territory to Middenland.

 

This plan will never come to pass if Averland comes under the rule of its own Elector Count once again, so Wissenland (Nuln and Toppenheimer) are interested in prolonging the success crisis as long as possible.  In addition, the more discredited all candidates become and the incapable of governing itself Averland appears, the better for their cause.


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