There are a number of major noble families, all with holdings both within Sable City itself, across the Kingdom, and out into the Commonwealth. There are also a number of more minor ones – mainly at the ranks of viscount, baron, baronet or knight – who would like to improve their lot, as well as others who are ennobled for performing great services to King and Country. The Royal Court is quite busy, with representatives of many families having lesser positions around the palace – for example as pages, ladies in waiting, and functionaries working under the direction of the more senior members of the palace staff. While a certain amount of jockeying for position does go on, for the most part its reasonably good-natured.
All Sable noblemen or women, and knights or dames, are invested personally either by the King or, if he is not available, the Queen or Crown Prince Andrew. For confirmation of a hereditary title of any degree, the ceremonies are held in the Great Hall of the Royal Palace on the King’s Isle, after undertaking a night of fasting, prayer and vigil in St George’s Chapel. During the investiture ceremony, the new peer’s Letters Patent are read to the Court, and then His Majesty (or his representative) presents the postulant with the trappings of his or her position (robes, spurs, sword and sword belt, etc), plus a coronet for hereditary nobles. Hence all Sable nobles are technically ‘belted’, as per ancient tradition. In return, the new peer will swear an Oath of Allegiance to the Crown, with the Crown in turn acknowledging its responsibilities to its subjects.
Major Noble Families
The major noble families are as follows:
The Dukes of Avonbridge (the Ryan family)
The head of the is family Ian, Duke Avonbridge, who has held that position for about sixty years. The family mainly have holdings to the west of the city, and in the city of Avonbridge to the north, although they also have some business interests out into the Commonwealth. Ian is widowed, his wife having died about five years ago, and has one son, Oliver, and three daughters (including Caroline, who is married to Matthew Blake), and a number of grandchildren (including Oliver’s son Tristan, an artist of some note who has been studying with Princess Cerian). He keeps very much to himself nowadays, leaving his heir, to deal with the day-to-day running of the Avonbridge estates.
The Dukes of Fairview (the Collins family)
The head of the family is Aldous, Duke Fairview, KG. Aldous was formerly a general officer in the Sable forces, before he inherited the title of Duke on the death of his father (also called Aldous) nearly a hundred years ago. Aldous is known to be Talented, and the Talent has run pretty strongly through his family. He is married to Lucille, with whom he shares his well earned retirement, and they have two sons, Francis and Brett; four daughters – Diane, who is married to Charles de Courtney; Elizabeth, the Sable Consul to Berlin; Charlotte, and the youngest Jennifer, who is married to Martin Blake – and a collection of grandchildren, one of whom – Marion, daughter of Marquis Francis – is Commander of the Riversend Garrison.
The Dukes of Richmond (the Blake family)
At some point in the past, the Blake family did some service for the King – the details of which are lost in antiquity – and were raised to the rank of Duke as a reward. Many of them are Talented, and have been involved with magic in the Kingdom since its earliest days. Until early in SY153, James Blake, KG was Duke of Richmond and head of the house. However, his wife Alice died in January of that year, and with the King’s permission, he finally abdicated his responsibilities as Duke to his eldest son, Martin, effective on May 1st SY153.
James is ex-military and former commander of the Sable Royal Engineers, and has five children: Martin, Nigel and his twin Nadia, Anthony (commander of the Royal Engineers) and Alexandra (married to Prince Francis). His brother Simon, is head of the White Guard. He is widowed, and has two children – Mark and Theresa – and a number of grandchildren.
The new Duke, Martin, is a Professor at the Sable Mage College, specialising in Structural and Combat magic. He is married to Jennifer (neé Collins) and they, in turn, have five children (Matthew, Richard, Auzella, Alison and Peter) and a pair of young grandchildren (Matthew’s children, Jonathan and Felicity), meaning that the Blake family as a whole currently spans four living generations. The Blake and the Collins families are closely allied and have inter-married in the past.
The Marquises of Bradgate (the de Courtney family)
The head of the family is Charles de Courtney, who is married to Diane Collins, daughter of Aldous Collins. The de Courtney family are the third and final noble house which has exhibited the Talent for more than two generations. Both Charles and his wife are Talented, and have connections with Sable Mage College. They have four surviving children, two in their eighties (Peter, Marie) and two somewhat younger (Lisa, Carl). A third son, Richard, was killed in action some years ago.
The Marquises of Stratford (the Lascelles family)
Head of the family is Alexander, who became the Marquis on the death of his father Jeremy a few years ago. Alexander has several other brothers and sisters, as well as multiple grandchildren, including a granddaughter named Sarah who recently joined the Royal Court after attending Sable Mage College as the first Talented member of her family. She also has two brothers and a collection of nephews and nieces, making the Lascelles family one of the biggest noble houses in Sable. His mother, Samantha, the former Dowager Marquise died in November 153.
The Marquises of Wickstone (the Edwards family)
Whereas the Lascelles clan counts as the largest of the noble families, the Edwards family, who hold the Wickstone title, counts as the smallest. It comprises just Joseph Edwards, Marquis Wickstone, his wife Lizabeth, and a son and daughter. The son, Anthony, is married to Jemimah Lascelles, Samantha’s eldest granddaughter, although as yet there are no children of that marriage.
The Earls of Corbridge (the Kreuger family)
Originally hailing from the Reich, the Kreuger family moved to Sable City after falling foul of Herzog Delatz and his men, who thought they weren’t exactly toeing the Reich line – a valid assumption as they were heavily involved in the Reich Resistance, on Sable’s behalf. The family have a strong military tradition, and quickly after their arrival became involved with both the army and the Royal Guard, in reward for which Albrecht, the head of the family, was ennobled to the rank of Earl, and given holdings to the north of Sable City, around the town of Corbridge. Albrecht is married to Margeret, and they have three sons and two daughters – including the well-known Sable reporter Anna-Lise Kreuger – to carry on the family traditions. Anna-Lise, in turn, is married to Dr Felix Ronson, First Baron Horsley.
The Earls of Mariner (the Walsh family)
A family with a seafaring tradition, they came to the King’s attention due to a number of actions they have performed to the benefit of Sable. Members of this family are still active within the Sable navies, both military and merchant. Fraser, the previous Earl, died in late-October 153 and was succeeded by his eldest son Douglas, a serving captain in the Royal Navy. Douglas looks to be in his early-forties, with red-brown hair and dark eyes, and the gravitas of a naval captain. He is married to Heather and they have a son and two daughters. Douglas also has three brothers, two in the Merchant Navy and one who is currently Commandant of the Riversend commercial dockyard, and some of these also have children. Fraser’s elder sister, Lucille, is married to Aldous Collins.
The Earls of Masterfield (the Oriens family)
Another Talented member of society, the first member of his family to be so, Earl Paul Oriens was originally a successful businessman, who inherited a significant amount of property when his father died. He used this wisely, investing in both land and in industry and industrial innovation, and soon gained a reputation has having an eye for ’emerging technologies’ and what will be successful. He was the driving force behind establishing the Sable Rail Network, for which he was raised to the peerage. Over the years, Earl Oriens has expanded the family estates considerably by dint of his sound business sense. He and his Countess, Cynthia, have five children: Francesca (married with two children of her own), Angela (something of a black sheep), Viscount Anthony (the Earl’s son and heir, Talented) , Catherine (currently Lecturer in Theoretical Magic and Mathematics at the University of Sable), and Gabrielle (who is Talented, and recently graduated bachelors from SMC).
Precedence and Forms of Address
The order of precendence of the Sable Non-Sovereign Nobility are as follows:
|In Order of Precedence||Addressed As||Eldest Son||Other Children|
|Marquis/Marchioness||My Lord/My Lady||Viscount||Lord/Lady|
|Earl/Countess||My Lord/My Lady||Usually uses his father’s second title||Lord/Lady|
|Viscount/Viscountess||My Lord/My Lady||The Honourable||The Honourable|
|Baron/Baroness||My Lord/My Lady||The Honourable||The Honourable|
The rank of Baronet is the the lowest hereditary title, although holders are technically titled commoners. The rank of Knight is non-hereditary.