Classes of Sorcerers in Swynfaredia Tradition / Ritual in Scarterra | World Anvil

Classes of Sorcerers in Swynfaredia

Originally, Swynfaredia was founded with four recognized dragon blood noble houses based on the half-dragon children of only four dragons.   In broad terms, the basic political ideology in the Kingdom of Swynfaredia is that sorcerers are superior to non-sorcerers and sorcerers descended from the four founding houses are superior to other sorcerers, but it is not always that clear cut.   Swynfaredia would not have survived as long as they did or have been able to expand as much as they have if they didn't bring in new sorcerers both to augment their magical power and to reinfuse fresh magic blood into their "Leaky Buckets".  

True born Sorcerers

  Sorcerers and sorceresses born in wedlock to dragon blood couples are considered true born.   Since hereditary titles in Swynfaredia are unisex, a sorcerous child can inherit titles from either the mother or father or in sometimes both.   Usually, noble marriages in Swynfaredia are arranged so that a child is unlikely to inherit titles from both parents and if such a union does happen and a marriages produces two trueborn sorcerers or sorceresses, then the titles will be split between the two children.   A child will usually take the family surname of the parent they are more likely to inherit a title from. If this is unclear, they will normally take the surname from the parent from the more prestigious house.   The normal way to present a true born sorcerer   First: "Lord" or "Lady", unless they have a landed title in which case they are addressed as Count or Countess or whatever the title is.   Second: the persons given name.   Third: "ap"   Fourth: comes the family surname   Count Rohdri ap Gruffyl married Lady Aerona ap Fremiss-Angherad.   Their eldest daughter, a confirmed sorceress, so she is addresses as Lady Rhoswen ap Gruffyl. Presumably, she will some day become Countess Rohswen ap Gruffyl.   If Lady Aerona mother's died and Aerona's older sister died and all her children died or "squibbed out" than Lady Aerona ap Fremiss-Angherad would become Duchess Aerona ap Fremiss-Angherad and her eldest daughter would become Lady Rhoswen ap Fremiss-Angherad because she is next in line to inherit her mother's title and being a Duchess outranks Countess.   She would then fall out of line to inherit her father's titles in which case the claim would pass to her younger sister would still go Lady Amelia Gruffyl.   Hypothetically, if all of Rhoswen's younger sorcerer siblings died, she would inherit both parent's titles but retain her mother's surname. This would also demote House Gruffyl from a minor dragon blood house into a bloodline since Rohdri holds all of Gruffyl's titles above the baronial level.      

True born Squibs

  A trueborn squib or trueborn a sorcerer or sorceress that has yet to manifest still gets to be part of the family.   Rohdri's eldest son is called "Myrdinn ap Gruffyl". He is not a "Lord" but he is still a true born Gruffyl. If he turns out to be a late bloomer sorcerer as his father hopes, he will then get to be called Lord Myrdinn ap Gruffyl though his odds of inheriting a title are very low.   True born squibs still have a degree of status above normal commoners. They usually get to the front of the line for apprenticeship waiting lists or for minor court positions, and army officer positions.  

Squib born sorcerers

  Lets fast forward the clock and say that Myrdinn is confirmed a squib. He becomes a fairly successful alchemists, marries a pretty common born girl and has a bunch of kids.   Myrdinn gets to keep "ap Gruffyl" as part of his name, but his children will not get this privilege, unless one of his daughters, Delwyth turned out to be a sorceress in which case that child would get to be called "Delwyth ap Gruffyl". Even better, she gets to be called "Lady Delwyth ap Gruffyl" and enjoy all the rights and privileges of any other trueborn Gruffyl.   She could even theoretically inherit her grandfather Rohdri's titles if lots of her relatives died.   Long ago, Swynfaredia codified succession laws to reinforce this, and most dragon blood lords and ladies are over the moon if one of their squib children gives them a sorcerous grandchild that few would tolerate harsh words against sorcerers like this.   Sorcerers and sorcerers are commonly nicknamed "Awakened Sleepers" or simply "Sleepers".   A few hardline blood purists shun these sorts of sorcerers. They sometimes sometimes derogatorily call them "Throwback sorcerers" or "Throwbacks".   If both the sorcerer's parents are squibs, they might be called "Melded sorcerers" based on the practice of coin minters collecting half-coins, melting them down reminting them as full coins. Only the most reactionary blood purists shun melded sorcerers since their blood is technically pure, it just manifested more slowly than usual.  

Bastard Sorcerers

  Throughout Scarterra, "bastard" is a somewhat derogatory term even if it's a factual one. The polite way to refer them is "natural born children" as opposed to "true born children" which are born in wedlock.   People in power, especially men in power, will often use their power to sleep around outside their marriages. Throughout all times and eras of Scarterra, some highborn noblemen leave a trail of bastard children with their lowborn mistresses.   In Swynfaredia, most such bastards are swept under the rug though their noble parents may under the table provide them some monetary support or institutional support.   But if a bastard happens to be a sorcerer or sorceress than the parents or at least their extended family want to claim them as "natural born children" rather than as "bastards".   Rohdri ap Gruffyl made a lot of bastard children and he puts forth great effort to recruit all his children that happen to be sorcerers and sorceresses. His favorite bastard is technically addressed in formal settings as "Lady Inara par Gruffyl" although it is really common for the "Lady" to be dropped, particularly among conservative or blood purist enclaves.   A lot of bastard dragon bloods deliberately insist on dropping the "Lord" or "Lady" in front of their names just to not make waves.   If a bastard sorcerer or sorceress is not claimed by his or her family, either because the family doesn't know about them or doesn't want them, the bastard is treated like a wild sorcerer.  

Wild Sorcerers

  "Wild sorcerer" is the common parlance for a sorcerer or sorceress of unknown lineage. Sometimes they are called "non-draconic sorcerers" or "exogenic sorcerers" by those being polite. "Witch-touched sorcerers" and "orphan sorcerers" are two less polite labels.   Greymoria worshipers really hate the term "Witch-Touched" because it implies the intervention of the Dark Mother is a dirty or malevolent event.   A so-called "True Wild Sorcerer" is a man or woman who gained sorcery by random chance or the will of Greymoria the line between random chance and Greymoria's will is often blurred. Many believe that Greymoria can raise or lower the odds of a wild sorcerer manifesting but she cannot guarantee the outcome.   "A Fae touched" or "Spirit touched" sorcerer is one that is descended from a mortal coupling with a Fair Folk or spirit and then their children or grand children pick up sorcerer from latent magical blood. First generation children of these couplings usually have obvious physical features of their otherworldly heritage but second generation children of these couplings are a lot harder to spot.   There are a lot of squib bastards that don't know they technically have a drop of draconic blood in their veins, especially in and around Swynfaredia.   It is entirely possible that at some point in the past, a squib bastard of a dragon blooded noble had a romantic coupling with a Faerie and produced a half Fae child and that child's grandchildren received Greymoria's blessing to become a sorceress but that complex series of events would be impossible to unravel and to a casual observer, she would be no different than a random mortal with no exotic blood in her veins spontaneously manifesting sorcery out of sheer dumb luck.   Wild sorcerers and sorceresses pop up all around Scarterra. A disproportionately high number of them pop up among Swynfaredia's lower classes (presumably from all the squib bastards unknowingly among them).   Regardless of the land of their birth, any sorcerer that comes to Swynfaredia in good faith can be offered a place at the table, in theory. Human, half-human, and gnome sorcerers tend to get a warmer welcome than other sorcerers.   Wild sorcerers who have chosen to work within the confines of Swynfaredian society are below lords and ladies but above everyone else. A wild sorcerer or sorceress who joins Swynfaredia's leader is addressed as "Rhyn Name here". So a hypothetical Khemarok sorcerer named Serapis moves to Swynfaredia as a freelance sorcerer for hire, he would be "Rhyn Serapis". If Serapis formally joined House Gorisonad he would be "Rhyn Serapis par Gorisonad." "Rhyn" is a unisex title.   Rhyns can become Fang Warriors or hold other high positions that don't come with land. In rare cases, very powerful and loyal Rhyns can become barons or baronesses but to open the door to controlling a barony or beyond, Rhyns need to have a bloodline.    


  If two bastard sorcerers marry or two Rhyns marry or a bastard marries a Rhyn, they can potentially make a Bloodline if they can produce a sorcerer or sorceress child from their union.   Assuming the couple is in good standing with Swynfaredian society, they just need to come up with a Blood line name between them and then tell their liege lord or liege lady. It is considered a feather in one's cap to endorse a successful Bloodline, so this is usually a very easy process.   Then they pay a registration fee (bribe) to the Arcane Registry and the process gets sent to the King or Queen of Swynfaredia who usually rubber stamps it without much thought but they can demand a quest or service if so inclined, perhaps the sponsoring noble is on the Queen's naughty list, so she wants the new bloodline prove they will be loyal servants of the Crown.   If the Bloodline couple, or their adult child is ambitious and bold, he/she/they can volunteer to perform a quest for the Queen. This is a good way for a new bloodline to market themselves and try to use word of mouth of their skills to secure a juicy court position or barony seat somewhere.   Bloodlines have most of the legal rights as full houses members. They get to be addressed as "Lord" or "Lady" plus "ap" plus their Bloodline name. Their squibs get to have "ap" in their name without the lord just like the squibs of the dragon blood houses.   Bloodline sorcerers and sorceresses can legally hold land or titles though it is in an uphill battle to acquire them. They can hold any position in the the Arcane Registry or apply to any court position in any dragon blood's court. They can even legally marry into the dragon families.   Bloodlines only have apples, so pears (see sidebar for apples and pears). Bloodlines bastard sorcerers are legally treated like orphaned wild sorcerers and they cannot adopt Rhyns. That is the one formal legal difference between Bloodlines and dragon blood houses though of course there is a wealth, prestige, and land gap between the two groups.   Assuming the new blood line is recognized, the blood line can persist as long as it continues to produce loyal sorcerers and sorceresses. If a bloodline gains enough power and prestige, that bloodline can be recognized as a full house. As of yet, no bloodline has made the jump to full house status without securing a County seat in the process.   There are dozens of legally recognized Bloodlines in Swynfaredia, most of don't have enough members to be counted on two hands. If Swynfaredia politics as a giant chess board, Bloodlines sorcerers are the pawns. Bloodline sorcerers are disproportionately sent to the metaphorical or literal frontlines. This makes some individuals and Bloodlines powerful and others dead.   A Bloodline can die out quietly if it fails to keep producing sorcerous heirs. Also, Bloodlines can die out by a stroke of the pen. The Queen of Swynfaredia can nullify any Bloodline she wants at any time, but this is rare.   What is less rare is for a Bloodline to be subsumed by a marriage. If a Bloodline sorcerer or sorceress marries into an established dragon blood family, 99% of the time, their children will take the surname of the established family. Their small "b" bloodline lives on, but their capital "B" Bloodline disappears. This also happens when a comparatively prestigious and powerful Bloodline intermarries with a small and barely recognized Bloodline, their children take on the more prestigious surname.  

Cutting in line

If a foreign born sorcerer or sorcress walks into Swynfaredia and physically has obvious draconic traits, they are usually welcomed into Swynfaredia faster and will have fewer barriers to social advancement than other Rhyns. Unless they are kobolds...   half-dragons and half dragon legacies often attach a draconic signifier to their names such as "Jelsa, Granddaughter of Pogerth", because Pogerth is a dragon.  
by Me using Hero Forge
  Bastards and Rhyns can also advance in social status if they the Dragons' Path and survive. Dragon blood nobles often want to have powerful sorcerers and sorcresses in their pocket (or married to their children) so powerful sorcerers of "improper birth" can often find traditional barriers and impediments to their social advancements waived.
by me with Midjourney

Apples to Apples Comparisons

  True born sorcerers and squibs have an "ap" in the middle of their names.   Swynfaredian commoners started nicknaming the upper class "Apples" as a joke. This lead to a wide variety of apple related jokes.   A minor who might be a sorcerer or socress is an "unripe apple". A squib is a rotten apple. A sorcerer child of two squibs is a "cider baby" (two old apples were mushed together and the product fermented into something valuable).   An "apple polisher" refers to a squib that is overly proud of his dragon blood name and flexes among commoners. An "apple bobber" refers to a commoner who tries to sleep with dragon bloods or a dragonblood who often sleeps with commoners.   Sometimes bastards and Rhyns with a "par" are nicknamed "Pears." If they are especially powerful or useful they might be a "Candied Pear".   Intially, the dragon bloods resisted these apple based nicknames and punished commoners who flippantly through the terms about. But they softened their stance and now some nobles use the apple based puns.  
by Me using Hero Forge
"After being called 'Swineherdian' or 'Pigf@cker' hundreds of times, the Swynfaredian nobles suddenly decided being called 'Apple Lord' wasn't too offensive."   -Sir Pie Eater, Kantoca Court Jester
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Cover image: Swynfaredian Coat of Arms by Me with Worldspinner's Heraldry program


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