Dark Sun: The Tyrant of Tyr
The nobles control the farms and the water of the cities. Usually, each noble family picks a senior member to sit on a parliamentary council. In theory, these councils act as advisory bodies to the monarchs, but in reality they are little more than administrative bodies through which the king passes his commands to the aristocracy.
It is not rare, however, for the interests of the nobles to be opposed to those of the templars and/or the kings. On such occasions, the advisory councils sometimes find the courage to voice their opposition. When this happens, a flurry of political assassinations usually follows. Most people assume that these assassinations are carried out by the templars on their own initiative or at the king’s request.
Though the nobles sometimes gather the courage to oppose the templars, or even the king, don’t make the mistake of believing that they have the best interests of the city populace at heart. As a class, they are interested only in preserving their hereditary land rights, and they form the largest block of slave-owners in any city.
No matter how opposed the nobles might be to the king’s policies, they can always be counted on to protect the city (as invasion would strip them of their landed rights). For this reason, every family is allowed to maintain a standing army of slave soldiers with the young men of the family serving as officers. In an emergency, the king can freely call upon these armies to supplement his own troops.
As you might expect, the nobles sometimes turn their armies on each other or the templars, but never the sorcerer-king. The king’s magic is usually more than sufficient to deal with the use of force, and any family foolish enough to challenge him in such an obvious fashion suffers terrible consequences.
Like the templars, the nobles are permitted to read and write, and they are usually equally vigilant about protecting this critical secret.
Major Noble houses in Tyr: