Nobility of Galasthin Organization in Istralar | World Anvil

Nobility of Galasthin

Galasthin's stewardship is not handled by the monarch alone - we are all responsible for maintaining the legacy our forebears left us.
— noble of Galasthin
  The ancient elven kingdom of Galasthin may have taken a step back from its former dominance across Istralar's shores, but it is nonetheless one of the eldest nations of Istralar, particularly as its history stretches far beyond the history of its people landing upon this world. The structure of Galasthin's nobility has changed little since they arrived, even as their culture has gradually shifted in reaction and adaption to the events of their broken world.   The ruling couple, He of Sky and She of Forest, and their families are somewhat unique. Their names are not wholly a secret - indeed, their families and friends still address them as such - but are largely considered irrelevant in official duties, and the separation serves as an excellent way to keep private and public lives separate. The ruling bloodline passes down the title of She of Forest to the intended heir, as decided by their parents in counsel with the noble houses, and the title of He of Sky is thus bestown to the monarch's partner. The ruling family's line remains unbroken throughout their entire time on Istralar, and for many millennia in the past upon other worlds.   The current reigning queen has held her position for three centuries. Her wit, knowledge, and wisdom is prized through Galasthin, and her partner's, too, alongside her.  

The Noble Houses

The grandest of us are not those born with titles, but those born titled must bear responsibility for their privilege nonetheless. Their privilege - and our legacy.
— scholar
  Galasthin's greater noble houses are nine in number, across two categories: the five bound to the elements, and the four bound to their duties. Though each House has many areas to guide, their members are plentiful, and the Houses work together with one another, lesser nobles, and commoners to see their nation flourish.   Indeed, relations between Houses and promising lesser individuals are encouraged to see bloodlines expand and new talent welcomed to old families. Only the Head and Scion are strictly expected to wed approximately equal to their own rank, though their immediate families are often subject to similar requirements. More distant members of each House must still seek permission from their Head to wed, but it is incredibly rare for these requests to be denied.   Lesser noble houses are largely created by great deeds deserving of recognition. They are created by titles granted to a particular individual by the royal family, and may only be continued in subsequent generations if the title granted was allowed to be passed on.  

Naming Traditions

  Members of the nobility can be recognised as primary line nobility if their full surname is identical to the name of the House, and as more distant relatives if they retain only the letters preceding the apostrophe. For instance, Talindë Ae'tharis is a member of the primary line of House Ae'tharis, and Lyadrí An'thimael is a more distant member of House An'darae.   Members of these noble houses without such indicators are often considered to be adopted into these houses, and are thus provided with a secondary surname derived from their primary name that includes this indicator. For instance, Endirissë Ral'misthir was sponsored by House To'ranidion, and thus became known as Endirissë To'misthir.
A Sigil of Galasthin by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
Court, Noble
Leader Title
Parent Organization

Half-Elves in Nobility

Galasthin's lengthy bloodlines and strong traditions have never strictly forbidden half-elves from a presence in noble families. The only hard law is that they may not influence the main line of a House; indeed, if a Scion or Head wishes to marry a human, they must step down from their position. For royalty, it is much the same.   However, each House holds a different tradition. Some of the nine major houses automatically expel their members if non-elven marriage is sought, and others simply forbid it entirely - though not always openly. The precise rules on marriage and romance for each House is kept quiet in the general populace.   Lesser noble houses are somewhat more accepting - and royalty, the complete opposite.
Some of the other nations think it's weird that our nobles serve our nation so specifically. As if we'd let them laze around all day!
— cheery bureaucrat

Elemental Houses

Sigil of House Su'namae by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
Falmariel Su'namae
Eäreniel Su'namae

House Su'namae

Bound to elemental water, House Su'namae is typically in charge of naval matters, whether that be in matters of trade, travel, and war. They typically work with both elves and their sea-dwelling kin along the coasts, and their House has formed close ties to some of the nearby aerospheres of Laminaeles in the Luari Ocean. They have a long-standing dislike of pirates, as Galasthin's primary defence against them.   They also have a duty to maintaining Galasthin's many riverways and the nation's overall water supplies. This was once a far more challenging task, when Galasthin's reach swept the globe and included drought-prone regions; as their nation has retreated behind more reasonable borders, House Su'namae has been able to employ more expensive and intricate methods of taking care of their homeland.  
Boundless as the ocean's depths and meandering as do the rivers, we guide our people as the currents guide our boats. We are the currents of trade and the lashing waves of war, the quenching drink and the relentless downpour.
— Falmariel Su'namae, Head of House Su'namae
Sigil of House To'ranidion by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
Suruth To'ranidion
Miridel To'ranidion

House To'ranidion

Bound to elemental air, House To'ranidion is ever looking to harness light, energy, and air to improve the nation. They are a noble house of innovation and change, and see some of the fastest advances in technology. The first airships Galasthin launched were proud collaborations with some of the House's finest engineers, and they subsequently sponsored many rising stars in risk management to protect against the inevitable.   They also lead efforts to watch weather patterns and manage storm defences, especially in Galasthin's snowy northern reaches and storm-prone coastal regions. Though it is rare for the House to need to call in powerful spellcasters to outright divert foul weather, they do nonetheless have the option, and their members are often first to handle crises when nature turns particularly foul. They are also known for their traditional dances that flow as easily as the wind itself.  
We are not just the air, but also the sparks that fly through it. We are progress, speed, and grace - though not necessarily all at the same time.
— Suruth To'ranidion, Head of House To'ranidion
Sigil of House In'tharon by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
Laucaril In'tharon

House In'tharon

Bound to elemental fire, House In'tharon has a strong reputation both in and outside of Galasthin for their strong presence in the nation's military and trade industries. They are dedicated to seeing their country flourish in the greater world, whether that means by investing in weapons development and training or by assisting in expanding and organising supply chains. They frequently involve themselves in Galasthin's bureaucracy and in legal matters, serving as providers of diverse opinion and influence, and are usually responsible for managing and maintaining national signal systems as well.   Many of House In'tharon also go into the clergy, where their fiery passions are funnelled into powerful dedication to the Elven Pantheon, and rarely to other deities as well. They have produced some incredibly strong divine spellcasters, empowered with both their house's training and that provided by their chosen church; these clerics, paladins, and warpriests have many tales in their family's books.  
We are the light that guides and the sear that blinds, the comfort of the hearth and the scorch of an explosion. We walk a fine line, and we walk it well. We are passion, and we are flame.
— Laucaril In'tharon, Head of House In'tharon
Sigil of House Qu'athari by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
Kemenwë Qu'athari
Prasion Qu'athari

House Qu'athari

Bound to elemental earth, House Qu'athari is naturally prominent for their steady watch over the nation's agricultural development. Over time, as society upon Istralar has developed, this has led to their prominence in architectural engineering as well. When a private project is proposed, it is often proposed to the House first - and if not taken on as contract within the House, they instead serve as intermediaries for construction firms and their clients.   Their dedication to agricultural development is fundamental to Galasthin's historical success, and still maintains high standards today. They have also been responsible for many of Galasthin's industry standards around both agriculture and construction - notably, they have successfully integrated earthquake warning systems into one of the nation's most earthquake-prone areas, and have made strong strides into crafting houses that can withstand most of the tumultuous shakes.  
In stability and understanding, we find our way forward, and in nature's beauty, we find the drive to take that step.
— Kemenwë Qu'athari, Head of House Qu'athari
Sigil of House Ae'tharis by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
Anóriath Ae'tharis

House Ae'tharis

Bound to elemental aether, House Ae'tharis is perhaps unique in its position in Galasthin's elemental houses. As aether is recognised as especially plane-touched magic, House Ae'tharis has long been the noble house specialising in the study, understanding, and conservation of all magic. The House's members are prominent within the the Alu'thaniel and the clergy, and they are the nation's strongest line of defence against extraplanar threats.   As their purpose is far broader than most others, House Ae'tharis commonly serves in conjunction with the other Houses, often lending talented members to projects they feel need additional oversight. They are also sworn to the protection of some of Galasthin's most secret knowledge, to the point of locking a number of their own memories away. Only She of Forest and the House's Head know the full weight of these secrets.  
In curious exploration, we seek the stars and the light that binds them. We are scholars and protectors, diplomats and secret-keepers - and we shall endeavour to ever share magic's touch with our home.
— Anóriath Ae'tharis

Dutybound Houses


House Al'turia

Bound to pure good, House Al'turia is sworn to ensure equality and freedom for all people of Galasthin and beyond. They are proud diplomats and charityworkers, living their lives in utter service to the nation's disadvantaged. They expect the least of their members, freely granting their kin release from their oaths to seek other paths if they so wish, but are generally in lines of fulfilling work. They also serve as the default nobility to step into any situation that calls for noble intervention.   Their members do not always reflect the good to which their house is bound. Indeed, no small number of the House's finest have made names for them as obstinate, argumentative, and downright unhelpful members of society, though usually due to the goals they seek to accomplish clashing with the views or sensibilities of others. Some, too, decide that the best way to achieve their House's purpose is through more direct measures - with often questionable legality.  
What is right and what is fair? We are those who see the questions on the streets, the suffering in our society, and the wars that brew. We are those that speak up.
— Almari Al'turia, Head of House Al'turia
Sigil of House Al'turia by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
Almari Al'turia
Cadéaran Al'turia

House Ce'nessil

Bound to necessary evils, House Ce'nessil is the direct opposite of House Al'turia. They are the prosecutors, the assassins, and those that watch over the black markets. They are the necromancers, the spies, the covert operatives and saboteurs. They steep themselves in dark arts well enough that the blackness of corruption clings to them, and yet even through blackest night, their purposeful light guides them forward. Though their inventions often border on what is legal, and their members prefer to remain disinterested in the general populace, the House has enough of a reputation that they are recognised as one of the most powerful.   To ensure that none of their House go too far, House Ce'nessil has long maintained a series of formal contracts and understandings with the other Houses, and with external maintainers of balance. These assessors are powerful individuals who hold many of the secretive House's knowledge, and who may intercede if what is being done no longer falls within the bounds of necessary.  
We are the steady hand and the tempered blade. We watch, we listen, we wait - and when no one else will, we act. We do what must be done. We must always do what must be done.
— Ircil Ce'nessil, Head of House Ce'nessil
Sigil of House Ce'nessil by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
Ircil Ce'nessil
Vahal Ce'nessil

House An'darae

Bound to rigid law, House An'darae is perhaps the most straightforward House in regards to its aims and goals. For milennia, they have stood as stalwart protectors of law in elven lands, seeking to uphold fair and practical justice. They serve as diplomats, bureaucrats, lawyers, police, and soldiers as necessary, often finding their way through various positions as they grow, and their formal training as members of House An'darae also gives them great advantage and welcome in less vital areas of society - such as treasurers, traders, and other crucial business positions.   Though their role is strict and the rules clearly written, House An'darae are not as inflexible as many believe. As society changes, so too must law change. They are often exploring the boundaries of new technology and understanding to be sure that current systems are kept up to date with modern advances; for instance, the ethical dilemma of android employment is one still being debated to this day.  
We are the scales of justice, and the unbiased word. We are those who keep our society operational without overstating our intervention.
— Peluvien An'darae, Head of House An'darae
Sigil of House An'dare by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
Peluvien An'darae
Aurelie An'darae

House Tu'rainen

Bound to boundless chaos, House Tu'rainen rejects the idea that they as a noble house must maintain consistent, relevant, or useful goals based on their birth alone. They support their members in endeavours across the spectrum, often leveraging their position in the nobility to involve themselves in matters they would otherwise not be allowed to do so. Through this, they manage to hold onto the position as the noble house known best for its outreach across communities, for celebrations and the upkeep and invention of traditions, and for travel throughout the world.   Despite their position, however, some responsibilities are still theirs to maintain. Most vital of these is their responsibility to manage relations to the First World, as fey are widely known to be as capricious as they are. It is a deceptively simple task in nature, for the fey are wild and with entirely different sets of rules. They are also entrusted with overseeing certain eldritch forces - for only chaos can hold back chaos, in some cases.  
We are the burning earth and the frozen winds. We are freedom and laughter, we are law and law's own enemy. By our guidance, our kin will never stagnate.
— Feranour Tu'rainen, Head of House Tu'rainen
Sigil of House Tu'rainen by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
Feranour Tu'rainen

Cover image: Nobility of Galasthin cover by Hanhula (via Midjourney)


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Nov 28, 2023 10:41 by Annie Stein

I think this is probably one of my favourite uses of 's in names!

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Nov 28, 2023 11:19 by Han

thank you! :D it actually extends a little further too, and I need to rework the Galasthin article sometime to cover that - married couples don't always share the same name (sometimes they'll trade halves! Anaríë So'laris and Eleswen Val'tena might marry and keep their surnames, might decide to both change to So'tena or Val'laris, might change to one of the original surnames, or might swap with halvesies - Anaríë So'tena and Eleswen Val'laris), and half-elves or those who move away from Galasthin might drop the ' altogether and just go by the name without any ' split   there's a bunch of cultural stuff that goes into all those choices and I really gotta figure out how to write it all out properly hahaha

welcome to my signature! check out istralar!
Nov 28, 2023 11:22 by Annie Stein

Ooh that's so neat!

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Nov 28, 2023 22:01

Your sigils are simply stunning. Well done, as always.

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Dec 1, 2023 20:00 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

House Ce'nessil is really intriguing - I love the idea of long discussions about what is *necessary*. House Tu'rainen is probably the second most intriguing for me, probably because there's so much scope for drama there.   I love the explanation of what apostrophes mean and how noble surnames work. That's so interesting. You put so much work into your stuff <3

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