Government

From the time of its founding, Outport has been a monarchy. The Innocent Prince brought with him the talent and competence of a man trained to rule, and he naturally adopted the form of government for which he had been groomed. His loyal aides and knights would have considered any other option as unworthy of their prince.
Throughout its first millennium, rulers of Outport derived their right to rule from their ability to prove direct descent from the Innocent Prince, adhering to succession laws of male primogeniture (the eldest son of the ruler inherited). However, a series of succession crises arose in the second millennium MR, because the primary royal line became extinct and cadet branches (those with descent from of female heirs of the Innocent Prince) vied for supremacy. By the time of the Dragon War, pedigrees and genealogies had become so polluted with unverified claims of royal descent that it became impossible to determine the rightful heir by descent alone, and a rule of elective monarchy gradually replaced the old system. The widespread loss of records during the Dragon War sealed the fate of primogeniture, resulting in the current system of elective monarchy.
In Outport’s succession system, each noble house is responsible for keeping its own records and determining eligibility of members, which is usually based primarily on descent from a historical or legendary house head. The current Head of the ruling House is titled the King or Queen, the monarch of Outport, and is able to designate an heir to the kingdom in accordance with the succession laws of their House, which was generally based on a combination of descent first and competence second. Removal of the crown from one House to another requires a vote of a two-thirds majority of all House Heads, after which the selection of a new ruling House is determined by a simple majority of the votes of House Heads, with candidates chosen from the pool of Grand Dukes (House Heads with a consort who is a member of the previous ruling House).
Monarchs rule for life, but must abdicate in deference to their designated heir in the event of poor health or incompetence. Governance is accomplished by a Council of Ministers. Each House receives an appointment to a ministry position from the reigning monarch; these appointments generally follow time-honored patterns. Heads of Houses (except the monarch) are typically titled as Dukes (or Grand Dukes if consorted to a member of the ruling House). Children and siblings of the monarch have the title of prince or princess. Other ranks include Marquess, Earl, Count, Baron, and knight. Most titles are inherited, but must be confirmed by the current monarch to be valid; confirmation of a title requires an oath of fealty to the monarch. Other exceptions to title inheritance (based on merit) exist depending on the particular House. Knighthoods are always conferred based on merit, and princely titles are not inherited.
Because land is scarce in Outport, relatively few titles are landed (with actual holdings). The exceptions to this rule have greater prestige, and Houses often will expend great wealth to acquire holdings and have the holdings legally attached to their title(s).

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