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 Negav: Nobility, Aristocracy, Wealthy and Mages

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Shady Knight
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PostSubject: Negav: Nobility, Aristocracy, Wealthy and Mages   Sat May 31, 2014 12:01 pm

Something dawned on me reading through some articles and discussions that had relevance with Negav. We all know that Negav has poor people and rich people. Hell, there's an entire tier dedicated to them alongside the magiocrats and the vishmitals. However, in many pages, and even in discussions, these people are referred to as nobles. So I have to, does Negav truly has an aristocracy? I think it should be elaborated as the aristocracy in Negav is an integral part of the city. How much power does the aristocracy have over the commoners? Is the aristocracy widely seen as evil/corrupted (My money is on "Yes", but probably so is yours)? Is a noble someone who is simply very wealthy? Is it someone who possess a high rank or a strong position in the Isolon Fist? Is it someone who has gained the favor of one or many ps'isol council members? Is it a merchant who has made it big thanks to incredible savvy? Or... is nobility sometimes tied to magic?

In other discussions, it came to light that in Negav, a Mage isn't simply a generic term to denote a spellcaster, as simply being able to cast spells isn't enough to be called a Mage. Considering that the current ruling party is an oligarchy of mages, and fairly corrupted ones, wouldn't it make sense that they, not just Thelandros, would treat mages a little better than commoners? Hell, let's not kid ourselves, if Thelandros was a monarch, he would unquestionably separate magic users and normals into nobility and commoners respectively. He would then no doubt rule over said commoners with an oppressive, iron-fisted regime, but that's neither here nor there. Karbo even mused about titles given to mages, which wouldn't make much sense if those mages were commoners, but as military ranks or even nobility titles, they would make a lot more sense.

This also ties in to this entry of Negav's Higher Tier.

Da Wiki: Negav's Higher Tier wrote:
Golden spires district

The golden spire district is where most Magiocrats and high level mages have their residence. It's a marvel to the eyes, with ornated spires soaring majestically to the sky, delicate staircases spiraling around them and thin bridges, spanning beautiful hanging gardens, linking them to each other. Most parts are private and authorized to residents only, but the Otanac square in the center is public and many Negavians come here, enjoying the beautiful and pleaseant park around it.

Now, we know there are two layers to the magiocrats. There's the council members, the actual rulers of the city, and there's the ps'isol magiocrats, which are pretty much the government official. The line is very sadly still blurred everywhere in the wiki except for their own entry. That needs to be clear in the whole wiki whether the article mean just the council members or just the bureaucrats. In any case, notice how it mentions the high level mages. Assuming that Magiocrats here means the council members and the government officials, we still have high level mages who are not affiliated with them. If we go with the premise that a Mage is also being ascended to the rank of noble, then we can also assume that these high level mages would be the high ranked mage titles Karbo mused about, like Grand Mage or Archmage.

Anyway, what are your take on this whole nobility thing?
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PostSubject: Re: Negav: Nobility, Aristocracy, Wealthy and Mages   Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:01 pm

It's a good topic of discussion ^^

There is definitely an aristocracy in Negav yes.
I try to avoid cliches but in the same time I can't really imagine the aristocracy in Negav to be of the nice and gentle type ^^; So I guess that would be the corrupt and arrogant option.
Under a magiocracy, it's clear that having magic powers is a big plus, however being a "noble" wouldn't be limited to that. A wealthy individual can enter this circle. So the response to that would be both. And of course being a magiocrat would automatically mark you as being a noble as well.
I wouldn't say that ps'isol magiocrats are like government officials though. They are nobles, being rich, respected and powerful but that wouldn't necessarily grant them a post of authority over the city.
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PostSubject: Re: Negav: Nobility, Aristocracy, Wealthy and Mages   Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:14 pm

Hmm, this seems contradictory. A magiocrat is obviously a portmanteau of Mage and Aristocrat. When people refer to Ps'isol magiocrats, they more often than not refer to the eight council members. However, you can receive the title of Ps'isol Magiocrat, and yet have no position among the government. I must ask, are the eight council members the only ones who rule over the city, meaning there is no government official or anything of the sort. If so, then wouldn't the idea of someone being named a Ps'isol Magiocrat and not have any position of power over the city, beyond the privileges of the upper class, be a misnomer?

Let's analyze the page regarding the Ps'isol Magiocrats.

Da Wiki wrote:
The Ps'isol is an order of powerful mages who govern Negav. Ps'isol means "Enlightened one" in the language of one the founder of the order, Tedomes Theraph.

Like their name implies, they rule by the sheer power of their magic. That rule is definitely authoritarian, with the Magiocrats forming a small oligarchy sharing most of the executive power among themselves, leaving very little outside their hands.

Yet you would find few Negavians who would complain, at least not too loudly. First because it's not very healthy; freedom of speech is a principle magiocrats embrace as long as it's not to criticize them or their rule. But mostly because in a world as dangerous as Felarya, security is the absolute, highest priority in the population's mind. The Ps'isol magiocrats guarantee that security, thank to their most famous creation: The Isolon Eye. This marvel of magic repels predators, and, that alone, guarantees the magiocrats a long and relatively un-challenged rules for decades to come. Indeed, for most Negavians if the price to pay to be safe from predators is to obey the rule of a bunch of rarely seen mages who hardly bother mixing into the affairs of the simple mortals anyway (seen as way too trivial and unworthy of their precious time), then so be it. Magiocrats rules through fear, but unlike most tyrants it's no through fear of their power but fear of what would happens without it. Many magiocrats are corrupted, arrogant and condescending, but the large majority of Negavians just bear with it.

Structure

The order is comprised of two layers:

-The Ps'isol mages. It's a rare title acquired after passing a very difficult test. Many candidates take it but very few ever achieve it. It's a recognition of one's excellent prowess at magic, a highly regarded status inspiring awe and respect and that opens numerous political gates in Negav. It's interesting to note that there has been Ps'isol mages stripped of their tittle in the past, although that remains an exceedingly rare event.

-The council members. It's a small gathering of the most powerful mages of Negav. They are the rulers of the city, creating laws and managing the resources at their disposal to make the city prosper. In the past, the council membership was a very tightly kept secret and only a council member knew who the other were. However, as they consolidated their power, their lifestyle became more comfortable, opulent and luxurious, and this secrecy became an annoyance with little use, and was eventually dropped altogether. Council members use a system of rotation among themselves to designate their leader. That position is currently held by the young and ambitious Lady Lesona.

The magiocrats control powerful institutions such as the Isolon University of Magic. Their official armed force is the Isolon Fist.

Ranks

under construction

First and foremost, it says that it's an order of mages who govern Negav and that they rule by the sheer power of their magic. Basically, the ps'isol magiocrats are the ruling class. Fair enough. Next, however, is the structure, being comprised of two layers: Ps'isol Mages, which were assumed to be essentially government officials, and then, the council members, the rulers of the city.

This is where the wiki and Karbo's statement contradict each other. I'll spell it out clearly: the wiki goes that the ps'isol magiocrats are the ones who govern Negav and that becoming a ps'isol mage opens numerous avenues in politics, but as Karbo just stated, you could be a ps'isol mage, but have no more power over the city than any other noble. This heavily implies that the Magiocrats are simply the eight council members, meaning that the first layer of the order, the ps'isol mages, doesn't really exist. In short, by your statement, a ps'isol mage is simply a mark of status that you are among the most powerful mages in the city, but the entry that you yourself have written states that they are a member of the order ruling the city, and thus have political power.

This needs to be mended immediately: Are there ps'isol mages other than the council members who have political power over the city, or is the title of ps'isol mage nothing but a mark of magical prowess with no political power to it beyond the simple privileges of nobility?
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PostSubject: Re: Negav: Nobility, Aristocracy, Wealthy and Mages   Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:18 am

I don't have a whole lot to say on this yet, still need to think about it a bit more, but one thing stood out to me.

Karbo wrote:

"I wouldn't say that ps'isol magiocrats are like government officials though. They are nobles, being rich, respected and powerful..."

Respected by whom exactly? I think its a rather interesting detail, because I'm not sure every mage would respect them; Bael certainly doesn't. He doesn't want to pursue a political career as a mage. (Incidentally the only reason he's an Archmage is because he's been around for a while, hasn't died, and has plenty of experience in many fields.)

Being respected by the people? I dunno, certain people would, I suppose, but many would be wary of them. Of course nobles might also think they're higher than the Psi'sols. Also, would the nobles have some kind of force in Negav they pretty much have paid off to the point where they're their own personal force? Maybe not the Psi'sols though...
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PostSubject: Re: Negav: Nobility, Aristocracy, Wealthy and Mages   Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:42 am

I think this topic should be expanded upon and that an article in Negav's page talk a little about the whole nobility aspect, such as clarify what is considered nobility in Negav. So far it seems to be more akin to the upper class in our modern society, in which they are simply the wealthiest members of Negav, and not really a class who have been granted an hereditary title. In fact, looking at it, it doesn't seem like Negav has ranks for nobility like a count, a marquis or a duke. I think it's an interesting blend of old aristocrat and "modern aristocrat", that is if that's how it works.
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PostSubject: Re: Negav: Nobility, Aristocracy, Wealthy and Mages   Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:58 pm

I'd also like for nobility to be partially related to say, a family who's descended from some original inhabitants or important people, like someone close to King Kerume who ruled for 700 years.

I've often wondered about a few neko aristocrats. Nekos are supposedly looked down upon, but they're the original inhabitants of the area, so I think it would be a nice touch to include them in the circle. Especially in the aristocracy, a family of nekos who have had control over certain trade aspects of the village -> town -> and then city since near its beginning. Some really <i> old</i> aristocratic families I would think would have to be nekos. Especially since the magiocrats are rather new still in terms of Negav's history.
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PostSubject: Re: Negav: Nobility, Aristocracy, Wealthy and Mages   Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:14 am

Well as I see it, "magiocrats" refers to the ruling elite made of Ps'isol mages in general. This means the eight council members who are the true rulers, and then various Ps'isol mages in various position of power.
However, you can be a Ps'isol mage and not be involved into politics. That's entirely possible and not that uncommon.

Many Ps'isol mages are also de facto aristocrats as they wield power and wealth. However, there are many people who are completely devoid of any magical talent but that are also aristocrats. It comes for many things, but mostly wealth, power and connections. Magic is just one component but far from the only one. I think even if Thelandros was the absolute ruler, he wouldn't commit the mistake of dividing Negav into magic and non-magic users ^^;
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PostSubject: Re: Negav: Nobility, Aristocracy, Wealthy and Mages   Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:46 am

Archmage_Bael wrote:

I've often wondered about a few neko aristocrats. Nekos are supposedly looked down upon, but they're the original inhabitants of the area, so I think it would be a nice touch to include them in the circle. Especially in the aristocracy, a family of nekos who have had control over certain trade aspects of the village -> town -> and then city since near its beginning. Some really <i> old</i> aristocratic families I would think would have to be nekos. Especially since the magiocrats are rather new still in terms of Negav's history.

I would thought most Neko aristocrats would favour taking their bisnuiess to Nekomura and form their own upper class group there, they would enjoy much better freedom and can make decisions without having to run it through the humans, they also won't have the Magiocrats breathing down their necks all the time.

That being said, I can see how at least one neko aristrocrat would have stayed at Negav to repersent the Nekos of the city, He proberly won't have much power though, the most upper class Neko in Negav, but that is not saying much when humans rule the place and all human aristocrats are more influential than he is.
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PostSubject: Re: Negav: Nobility, Aristocracy, Wealthy and Mages   Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:30 am

Karbo wrote:
Well as I see it, "magiocrats" refers to the ruling elite made of Ps'isol mages in general. This means the eight council members who are the true rulers, and then various Ps'isol mages in various position of power.
However, you can be a Ps'isol mage and not be involved into politics. That's entirely possible and not that uncommon.

Many Ps'isol mages are also de facto aristocrats as they wield power and wealth. However, there are many people who are completely devoid of any magical talent but that are also aristocrats. It comes for many things, but mostly wealth, power and connections. Magic is just one component but far from the only one. I think even if Thelandros was the absolute ruler, he wouldn't commit the mistake of dividing Negav into magic and non-magic users ^^;
So essentially, a Ps'isol mage is the equivalent of a title of nobility, like a Count.

I think the distinction between the Council Members, Magiocrats and Ps'isol Mages needs to be made clearer, because most people uses them interchangeably when it seems like that's not your intention.


I personally would divide them like so:

Aristocrat or Noble refers primarily to the upper class, essentially the wealthiest and most influential people of Negav, and not necessarily someone who holds an hereditary title like in other worlds.

Magiocrat refers to aristocrats who are also Mages, since the title of Mage in Negav doesn't appear to be very different from the title of Doctor in real life.

Lastly, Ps'isol Mage or Ps'isol Magiocrat would be a special title granted only to the mages or magiocrats who have distinguished themselves from the others, usually be becoming an authority in a certain field of magic.


It's probably a little too clear cut, but that's just how I would do it.
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