marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

magical nobility

In a world where magic power in innately inborn, wizards rise to the top of society. Perhaps the upper class is all wizards. If it's hereditary, it will forms an aristocracy.

But not like we know it.

Real-life aristocracies are based on social power. The king commands the guard, and that is why people obey him. The crown prince can complain to his father about insolent commoners, or even thrash them himself and count on his father's judges to charge them with crimes rather than him, and have his father's guards back him up. Or maybe not. His father's guards could also throw him onto a ship for his exile to a deserted island.

Some nobles had skill sets that would help with the direct use of force. Generals, for instance, could be good, or in pseudo-Renaissance era, an artillerist who knew how to use those guns. (And even dangerous if you drove them to the other side.) But not many, and not too powerful. And even those were a form of leverage on people with the social power.

This changes if the crown prince can throw fireballs.

There is a limit if the magic requires elaborate conjuring circles and rare ingredients from distant lands, and years of study, but it's not zero. Furthermore, with standard issue fantasy magic where the wizard needs, at most, a wand and often enough just the incantation, your crown prince is, at least, an artillerist AND the cannon, with an unlimited supply of ammunition. And at most he's an animated atom bomb with opinions of its own.

Threatening to disinherit your daughter if she doesn't marry the necromancer? She runs off and becomes, not a scullery maid, but a royal wizard of the next kingdom over. Arranged marriages would not be absolutely impossible; children who were raised in expectation of them and even to regard them as more a badge of adulthood and a new liberty (as they would have their own household) would have less resistance. Throwing them together with those of their own circle and teaching them disdain for the riffraff would also help.

But there's a limit there, too. Especially since your magical law-enforcement would also have to be noble wizards and put their own safety on the line to force others to obey.
Tags: families: matrimony, world-building: law, world-building: magic (effects), world-building: nobility
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