A Turn for the Strange
In the complex political structure of <city name=”true”>, a noble house is an aristocratic family in the position to have one of its members to sit on the throne as king. Each house is associated with a specific trade which it oversees for the whole city. There can only be one noble house for each trade, but not all trades have a noble house associated with them. The one exception to this rule is the “Clear House,” who have no trades, but rather manage the interactions between houses (they are essentially the house judges). While it’s a controversial role (are they really completely unbiased?), the position has lasted for seven generations.
Occasionally, a non-noble house may ascend to nobility by paying an exorbitant sum of money to the city treasury, thus showing their ability to manage their own funds (it’s assumed that if they can manage their funds, they should do well enough managing the funds alloted to them for their specific trade). In the event that the trade already has a noble house, the two (or more, on very rare occasions) have a competition involving whatever their particular trade is.
One such event occurred in the year 3848, where House Braenathen and House Clairach competed over the rights to the Noble House of Carpentry. The City Fairgrounds was littered with tents and exhibitions of their craft for a week, and at the end of it, each noble house voted for the winner, with all the rest of the city’s population counting as a single noble house. The master artisans of each house created a single, related masterpiece in the week. Each house was allowed two votes: one for the best masterpiece, and one for the best exhibitions. When all the votes were tallied up, House Braenathen ascended to nobility, taking the place of House Clairach.