Zeribian nobility Organization in Salan | World Anvil
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Zeribian nobility

The nobility is the highest social class of the Zeribian society. The nobles are the sole leaders on both the local, as well as the national level.


The nobles distinguish themselves clearly from the common people by wearing the most luxurious items of clothing. Their clothes are typically brightly coloured, and are made of expensive fabrics like sea silk and imported soft linen. The prefered dress is a long skirt and cape for men, and long skirt and shirt, or a long dress for the women and šyrzir.

They wear large jewelery of precious metals, gems and pearls. Noserings are common for all genders, the men wear large earplugs and the women hanging earrings. All genders wear their hair long from the childhood, and the adult men also keep a long beard as a sign of their authority.   By the ritual purity law nobles are supposed to only appear to commoners (except servants) fully dressed, unless swimming is necessary.  


The nobles speak and write in a standardised form of Ngad i zerib (Zeribian language), which is significantly different from the language spoken by the commoners, making the written language and the high culture very hard to access for the commoners. The common standard language makes communication easier with the nobles of other Eastern Islands, and keeps the different Zeribian castes firmly separated.

Forms of adress

A noble person is addressed as Lord or Lady Surname. For example Lord Šiwke. If a distinction must be made, a first name can be added to the end: Lord Šiwke Gwelzuh, not Lord Šiwke Synter. Any relevant titles are added to the beginning of the name.

A full form of address in Ngad i zerib (Zeribian language) would be:
Pal i Ged Fer i Der Fem, Pal Šiwke Gwelzuh
The Vizier of Der Fem, Lord Šiwke Gwelzuh

The respectable form of address also includes using some grammatical politeness forms:
The polite pronouns are used: polite den 'you' instead of casual gem, and polite mesw 'he/se/they' instead of casual dew. The direct imperative commands are replaced by hortative fin-forms  


The organised somewhat unified noble culture seemes to stem from the 300-400s AH, when large areas of the Eastern Islands became more unified under the early city states such as Old Moon and Washleng. Most of the Houses were local land owners and regional ruler families.

The first period of chaos for the early nobility was the Crescent Eruption, which destroyed the Old Moons, and many of the noble families became lost their status because of financial problems and internal conflicts.

The golden age of the traditional nobility continued into the 8th century, when the more open trade relations with the Republic of Free West Island and Southern Continent started to produce a wealthier class of merchants that was no more relying on the nobles. During the Zeribian Revolution of Der Fem many new families managed to gain a noble status in the new State of Der Fem. After the Revolution the center of Zeribian power shifted form the inner islands to Der Fem. In the following centuries the unity of the nobility started to crumble, and the ruling classes on different islands became more separate.  

Social status

Becoming and staying noble

The Zeribian nobility is a hereditary nobility, which means one can usually only become a part of it by being born in a recognised noble family. A family on the other hand may sometimes become noble, if it has continuously shown noble characteristics, and therefore earns the mutual recognition of other noble families. A family can also fall out of nobility, if it ceases to show these characteristics.   Zeribian nobility is not one-minded centrally governed organisation, but a collection of all the most powerfull Zeribians all around the islands. Often one family might recognise another as an equal, but if the family doesn't have a significant presence and influence all around the Zeribian world, others will only view them as allies to a noble family.   And interesting example is the Šiwke. They descend from the members of the House Šamžan, that fell out of nobility when the family were refugeed in the 620 AH Crescent Eruption The remaining descendants were later allowed back, after they became leading figures in the Zeribian Revolution of Der Fem. A competing theory is, that the Šiwke was actually just a merchant family, that used their supposed Šamžan ancestors to solidify their claim to the noble titles.  

Noble characteristics

A family must have a significant amount of wealth to be able to hold a noble standard of living. A noble must be able to distinguish themselves from the common people by their housing, clothing and diet among other things. A family must also be beneficial to the general nobility and society. All the public projects on Zeribian states are almost exclusively funded by the noble families.  

Purity rules

The nobles must follow the ritual purity rules.   Every member of a noble family is expected to live a very controlled and pious life. The nobles must show that they are in control of themselves at all times. They must avoid using drugs and alcohol that could lead to careless decision making. They must be able to control their sexual drive and not indulge themselves in extramarital relationships, that could lead general weakness and making decisions based on love insted of reason. A noble must always be well-behaved and respect any other nobles.  


The leading positions in the state as well as the religious professions are reserved for the nobles.  

Growing up noble

The life of a noble child is filled with rules and expectations, and sometimes loneliness of being separated from all the commoner children and their games. On the other hand they get a broad education, and can pursue success on all the presticious careers that the lower classes are banned from practicing.

Noble education

The noble children start their education in the last month of the year when they turn seven. In the first weeks they become used to the school life and their new responsibilities, and the last week of the month is spend completely at the school. The kids study and meditate and prepare for the New Year's Festival on the first of Usahdeg. During the festival the children get new names and new clothes as the symbol of their new status. After that, they are young nobles, not babies, and are expected to behave respectfully and follow the ritual purity rules more strictly. The life in the school is often harsh, and the teachers give corporeal punishments to any misbehaving children.   The noble education is aimed to provide very broad knowledge to the students. They study writing and literature in Standard Zeribian, rethorics, history, politics, astronomy, natural sciences and traditional arts. Physical education is also major part of the curriculum. All students are expected to be exeptional in general things like running and swimming. The education for boys and šyrzir has more focus on military skills, and learning how to fight with the spear and sword. The girls learn how to use the bow and spear, and the focus is on learning how to defend oneself.  

Life after school

The pupils finish the basic education when they are 15. The family's expectations usually determine what happens next. Many girls get married soon after. The boys are expected to pursue their career first. A usual first job is becomming a low level Censor. The firstborn son is most important for his family, and is more likely to get better governmental positions earlier. The younger sons are more likely to join the army, or get positioned on a town or a ship to supervise some of the father's businesses while he is away.   When they have gained some status and income, the family arranges them to be married with someone from another respectable family. The women almost always get married, either as first or second wives, but the younger sons might not, if they don't prove to be worth it. The šyrzir can marry either a man or a woman, but noble šyrzir are usually encouraged to bring success to their family by focusing on their career instead.
by Tuisku
Zeribian nobles

List of Noble families

Šamper, Šamžan, Šiwke, Tyršan
Court System
Alternative Names
NgZ: Hašmaq Zir 'Honourable people'
Official State Religion
Official Languages
Related Ethnicities


The noble families are by no means always friendly with one another. Despite having a lot in common, some families are still always in a conflict with one another, including open warfare, raiding allied settlements and blackmailing. Some common sources of conflict are territorial and financial disputes, vendetta over past crimes, and general boredom of the nobles that have been trained to be professional soldiers, but haven't seen enough action.


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