arn's upper class is composed of descendants, influential synevives and wealthy or politically important titres. Occasionally an official citizen might make it into the sphere of influence, but no more than six have ever done so in Marn's history.
Publicly, the elite of Marn hold themselves to a genteel etiquette. They believe themselves to have better breeding than anyone outside of their circles, giving them the right to rule the city. They comport themselves in a manner that is similar to the aristocracy of Eyropa; by holding themselves aloof and separate in public they believe they are proving their distinction from the common rabble. They wear masks of propriety in public, and expect to earn respect for this.
In a similar fashion, most families have a public image or political leaning that is separate from the often disparate views of individual family members. This public face is, typically, what the public believes in and will respond to. It is a reassurance to the citizens that their leaders care in some fashion, and a sense of stability for the families themselves -- no matter the actual truth, it is the public image that is what will be judged in the court of public opinion.
Behind closed doors, however, things vary wildly between families and individual members. Many of Marn's upper class engage in behavior that would be considered scandalous by the majority of Marn's inhabitants. Wild parties, complete with illegal drugs, are often held in various estates. They have no compunction against questionably moral behavior, and consider it better for a man or woman to be an accomplished lover than to be a frigid virgin.
It is this behavior that informs city politics. While support from the common rabble does matter, it is not the driving force between many of the deals, alliances, and hatreds that compose the majority of internal power struggles. Gossip, rumors, and tacit investigations into other influential families are the law of the game. Power in Marn is run by secrets and uncovered knowledge that is then used as bargaining chips and leverage. While these things are rarely brought out into public knowledge -- the influential families scarcely desire their personal habits and private faces being revealed to the lesser citizens of Marn -- they do affect the ever-changing political landscape. However, despite numerous uses of underhanded tactics, it is exceedingly rare for any family to participate in the assassination of rivals due to the Puradyne ideal of sacrifice before self. Though it does not stop them from acting in any number of selfish ways, Puradyne morality does discourage them from killing their fellows.
The Guard, Religious & Judicial Arm, and Civil Ministries are all affected by this atmosphere. Each has its proponents (the Guard, especially, is largely kept as far out of the realm as possible by the Oslun and Vondstadt families), and each its detractors; the eventual goal for all of the shifting strains of power being to gain as much control of the city as a whole or individual branches, either for personal profit or for the supposed benefit of the city. The Religious & Judicial Arm holds the most political power and influence with the Guard running a close second. Civil Services comes last in power, though they are assuredly not to be taken lightly. Even a family whose sole power rests within Civil Services may upset a family whose power is cemented in the Religious & Judicial arm, should they play their cards right.
Current Marn Politics as of Spring 122, PW
n recent years, nothing has shaken the upper class of Marn quite like the disintegrating relationship between the Oslun and Morrington families. Two of the four power families within Marn (the other two being Vincas and Moryldar), it is said that once Monetario Morrington was made Minister of Finance, there was nevermore a kind word to pass between members of the two families. Though they both have been at odds for some decades due to the rather martial quality of the Oslun family and the politics of necessity Morrington followed, it came to a head once it became clear that Monetario was not only willing to use his position to benefit his allies, but that he did it in such a way that no suspicions could ever be proved.
However, the final straw came when the Morrington family used their influence to cover and then, as it is suspected, make disappear the trafficking trade scandal propagated by the Merynir family. Though Aurelio Merynir was the young scion who was made to take the fall for the scandal, in the end nothing exactly worth public rebuke was discovered. High Constable Oslun himself was said to publicly insult Minister Morrington, and while several years prior the feud has continued hence unabated.
With two of the city's most powerful families seeking to overcome the other, the remaining politically invested families in the city have, for the most part, fallen into lines demarcating their support. Though Morrington commands the alliance between themselves, Moryldar and Merynir, Oslun has garnered themselves powerful support of their own over the years. Katona and Vincus are two of the more notable families.
Synevive and titre families are left to go where they might. With all four of the most powerful families embroiled in a power struggle, it is inevitable that others have been drawn into the scheming, though there are plenty who have chosen neutrality or have their own schemes to draw out between each other.
Things are made all the more complicated by the fact that there are many families within Marn's upper class who are formed of family members who disagree with the family head's leadership and the family image, some to the degree that minor factions form within the family itself and with their allies.
Current Political & Influential Families as of Spring, 122 PW
Listed in order of approximate power.
- Morrington (descendant)
- Oslun (descendant)
- Vincas (descendant)
- Moryldar (descendant)
- Vyaduka (descendant)
- Sehkhara (elf descendant)
- Merynir (descendant)
- Calder (synevive)
- Cottrel (synevive)
- Katona (descendant)
- Marquelis (synevive)
- Chronomantique (synevive)
- Markus (synevive)
- Vonstadt (synevive)
- Abernathy (synevive)
- Malatrast (descendant)
- Mornir (descendant)
- Modestine (synevive)
Other families of some note:
- Adalius (synevive)
- Smithson (synevive)
- Bariadan (elf synevive)
- Vesurian (elf synevive)
- Varti (elf synevive)
- Gerunkind (gnome synevive)
- Fountainbloomer (gnome synevive)
- Vaporgate (gnome synevive)
- Sparkfizzler (gnome synevive)
- Tinkerton (gnome synevive)
- Llynasura (human titre)
- Dreaughan (dwarf titre)
- Mahiri (titre)