The Fall of Avalon
The Royalty of Avalon is split into two races: Changeling and Dwarf.
Not much is known about Dwarven succession rights, but most assume it is a heir-type of deal with the first son taking over when the father passes away. The Dwarves nod and say “Close enough” before going back to their brew.
Changeling rule is much more widely known in Alysia and much of the rest of Avalon.
The ruler of Avalon is neither restricted to gender nor family line, but only changelings have thus far shown the qualities necessary to rule. Only those of noble blood are even considered for such a task anyway, as it has been since the Ancients first raised King Oberon and Queen Titania to power, since only those pure of magic and soul can become one with Avalon as the Monarch must.
The title of Monarch is based upon the gender of the current ruler: King Oberon if male, Queen Titania if female. The spouse of the current King or Queen retains their name; any who do not realise whom they are addressing must have been comatose for the last century.
Each Monarch reigns for roughly 6 human generations – 120 years. At the end of each reign, the current King or Queen names their successor, steps down, and then lives on a Royal estate fit for a past ruler until they pass on to the Shining Shores.
To date, there have been 23 Queen Titanias, and King Oberon XXV has been ruling for 95 years.
The Trial of Competency
Each aspirant to the Throne must undergo the trials before they are deemed worthy of being named the new Monarch. The whole process takes 20 years and takes place in the last 6th of the current Monarchs reign. Any royal or accepted noble of pure blood can aspire to the Seat of Power, as long as they are between 100 and 250 years old. No Rule has been cut short by old age, and no one would want to risk it anyway. Once an aspirant has participated in the trials, he may not do so again, regardless of his age or popularity.
The trials are set to test the aspirant for The Five Pillars, the benchmark by which every Zenith is measured by.
Fortitude: The Rite of Determination
Justice: The Rite of Balance
Temperance: The Rite of Restraint
Prudence: The Rite of Foresight
Hope: The Final Test
Each year, an event is held in the name of one Pillar – a day of festivities which the public is allowed to partake in – representing a specific virtue, often not the one the event is named after. At the end of which, each aspirant is informed of how well they did publicly. They then go back to preparing for the next event.
Every 4 years, the aspirants journey to one of the Pillars, and in its shadow, are subject to a barrage of questions and hypothetical situations. Each aspirant must initially react with only one virtue in mind: The one they now stand in the presence of. Then they must go through a similar trial, but this time reacting with every pillar but that one. This is meant to show that acting by way of one virtue alone is narrow-minded and unbefitting of a ruler, and by ignoring a virtue, all judgements made ring hollow and feel incomplete.
The Test of Hope is a strange test, and no one really knows how it works, but at the end of 20 years, the current monarch names his successor, listing his accomplishments. Then, the changing of the guard takes place and the new Lord or Lady rules until the next trial takes place.
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