Swayville’s Imperial Dragon Court is held in a room in Thelbane Tower adjacent to Swayville’s Palace.
The huge Court chamber itself is in traditional Swayville colours of Red and Gold. Splendid tapestries hang from the walls depicting the Kings before Swayville as his dynasty. There are a number of famous stained glass windows, including one of Suhuy, Keeper of the Logrus and brother to the King, scolding the Unicorn of Amber.
There is the huge dragon throne on a golden dais. There are pillows on each step going up the Dragon Throne itself for the different levels of nobleman to kneel before Swayville on. Slightly below the Dragon Throne, and to the side is the lesser throne of the Queen of Chaos.
The entire Court is expected to be standing unlike the decedent Southern Court of Amber. Only Swayville and his Queen are allowed to be seated. The court dress is complicated and reveals the intricate centuries old customs and traditions of the entire ancient kingdom and its governance.
His Royal and Imperial Majesty, King Swayville the Great
King of Chaos
Emperor of the Black Zone
Commander of the Faithful of the Dragon
Lord of Fire Gate
Right Arm of the Great Dragon
Owner of the Dragon Throne
Overlord of Chaos, Lord of The Bane, Master of Thelbane Castle
Grand Duke of Swayvilleways and Old Barrimanways
Lord of the Rim Dukes
Grand Overlord of the Abyss
King Swayville is always accompanied by an honour guard of the Dragon Guard dressed in gold and scarlet. Their armour is in rare Red Metal with gold trim with dragons carved on the breastplate. Banners signifying the High King of Chaos. He is also generally surrounded by lords and ladies from court. Mostly minor noblemen in Court Dress of different approved sorts. Oberon nicknamed it Barnum and Bailey’s Circus.
Rumours of Swayville’s good health – and otherwise – do sweep the court from time to time, most recently when he collapsed after the birth of his daughters. However, following medical treatment, he now appears to be in robust health once again.
Her Royal and Imperial Queen Florimel of Chaos
Empress of the Black Zone
Princess of Amber
Princess of Barrimanways-Oberon
Princess of House Hendrake
King Swayville’s marriage to Florimel was part of the political settlement after the end of the War Between the Powers. However, the union appears to have breathed new life into the previously sickly King.
Swayville and his Queen have been blessed with two pairs of twin daughters (see below). The Queen is currently pregnant for the third time in their marriage.
Her Royal and Imperial Highness, the Archduchess Swayvanna
Princess of Thelbane
Princess of House Swayville-Barriman
Until the recent birth of twins to King Swayville and Queen Flora, Swayvanna was the only surviving child of King Swayville from his prior marriage to Alberta (and indeed, from any marriage up until his present one). Her involvement in Courts politics has varied, depending on whether she was spending time in Shadow, although when she is in Thelbane, she likes to remain involved. She has three known sons: Ian and John with Grand Duke Bleys of House Helgram; and Edward with Benedict of Amber, with whom she also has daughters. Her preferred persona when in Shadow is that of Queen Victoria, with Benedict as her Prince Albert.
Their Royal and Imperial Highnesses, the Archduchesses Mary Rose Swayvannilla (Petuia) and Anne Peony Alberta (Violet); and Archduchesses Daisy and Marigold
The King and Queen recently became the proud parents of two pairs of twin daughters, Daisy and Marigold. There were no incidents and problems and both royal children were delivered safely. They were quickly baptized in the Ancient Rites of the Holy Dragon following the Cornelian Creed by High Priest Bances, who also anointed the two girls as part of the sacred chain from Justin the Stern to Swayville. Similar to the rites of the Church of Amber, Queen Florimel will expect to be churched in a few weeks and then resume her public duties.
King Swayville also announced that Dara will share Prime Ministerial Authority with two new deputies.
These new appointments include:
Princess Gilva Hendrake, wife of Prince Edward, and
Duchess Athena Helgram, Head Mistress of the Academy of Helgramways
They will cosign with a majority for any acts where the Prime Minister can act unilaterally.
Princess Dara welcomes this with a warm smile and says she looks forward to working with Gilva and Athena.
Bances (left) is Head of House Amblerash, and has always been Patriarch and Primate of the Church of the Serpent. He is brother to Theobald of the Church of the Unicorn.
Son of former Grand Duke Bleys and Dara of House Sawall, Andrew (right) was recently appointed to the position, following the resignation of Armand Becker. Along with his duties as Chamberlain, Andrew is responsible for the security of the Imperial family.
Mandor Sawall, Former Head of House Sawall
Mandor established himself as public enemy number one in both the Courts of Chaos, and the rest of Creation. He and a number of his sons, a daughter, and a grandson were killed or imprisoned. Mandor was killed by skewering by Dave Sawall, beheading by Edward, and psychic attack by Ian. It wasn’t his day. The former Princess Mandy was drug back to Swayville’s court in a blue crystal sack where she was stripped of all her titles and rank, and beheaded by Armand with an axe like a commoner.
Currently, his son Handorim is trying to restore the family fortunes. Unfortunately, his method of doing so is to continue his father’s course of action.
Orders of Nobility
The Orders of Precedence within the Courts of Chaos follow the British pattern (or perhaps, more accurately, Great Britain follows the Chaos Pattern). Succession is, by and large, patrilineal, although there are certain exceptions. Noble titles are ranked as follows:
His Majesty the King
Legitimate children of His Majesty are styled Prince or Princess
Legitimate grandchildren of His Majesty are styled Archduke or Archduchess (Royal Duke or Royal Duchess), and have precedence over the Grand Dukes, although the title of Archduke/duchess does not have associated lands.
Orders of nobility are as follows:
|Grand Duke/Duchess||Your Grace||Duke/Duchess||Marquis/Marquise|
|Marquis/Marquise||My Lord/My Lady||Viscount||Lord/Lady|
|Earl/Countess||My Lord/My Lady||Usually uses his father’s second title||Lord/Lady|
|Viscount/Viscountess||My Lord/My Lady||The Honourable||The Honourable|
|Baron/Baroness||My Lord/My Lady||The Honourable||The Honourable|
Some Houses use variants on these specific titles, for example, the Heydrich-Channicut branch of Channicut uses Graf and Jesby uses Count, as the equivalent of Earl. However, the position in the noble hierarchy remains equivalent.
The rank of Archduke is equivalent to that of Grand Duke, but is solely used within the Royal Line. However, it rarely comes with any land, so in reality, Grand Dukes have rather more political weight.
The rank of Baronet is the lowest hereditary title, although holders are technically titled commoners. The rank of Knight is non-hereditary.
Illegitimate children who are later accepted into the House, carry a title one lower than their equivalent position, had they been legitimate.
Orders of Chivalry
There are a number of Chaos-wide Orders of Chivalry, which are in the gift of King Swayville.
In addition, the Houses also have their own Orders of Chivalry, for example the Order of the Channicut Dragon and the Order of the Helgram Lion.
The Chaos Royal Succession is set and complicated and needs Parliament to change it. House Succession for Grand Dukes and Dukes are set by the Grand Duke/Duke.
Rexford is the Premium Duchies with Celestine second to it.
The Dragon Throne Succession currently is Rambault (his children are morganatic as he married the daughter of Baron Bayle, a left handed marriage) followed by Karl, son of Lucian of Channicut followed by Jericho of Channicut who has legitimate issue. Should the House of Jericho fail, then it goes to the sons of Dara and Gramble – Adopted Merlin, Despil and Jurt. Rumour has it that both Jericho and Dara were deeply annoyed when Geran, son of Brand Helgram, sponsored Karl’s claim.
Following the death of Tubble Channicut, Jericho, the third son, was made heir over Lucian’s son Karl. Jericho is now the new Grand Duke. Tubble spent most of his political capital ensuring financial and taxation freedom from the central government. This has prevented Swayville from raising taxes. A recent threat by Swayville to recruit Geran to his treasury and a reversal when Jericho threatened his courtiers at Chaos with demon whips for protesting tax hikes and demanding cuts, means Swayville is recently raising taxes. Channicut has been recovering for destruction of half its lands by an angry Benedict who was infuriated when Tubble did not honour his dead sons enough (Lucian and Matthias) and for remarrying (Flora before she married Swayville) and making Jericho his heir instead of Karl.
The current Prime Minister is the Grand Duchess of Sawallways, Dara Helgram-Hendrake who was old Gramble’s widow who died a number of years ago after he made her his heir over their sons. There are rumours that though he adopted Merlin, Dara’s son by Corwin, his own sons Despil and Jurt are actually sons by Corwin.
Gloriana recently outfoxed the Council of Aunties (Poisoners) and managed to bypass her cousin Rambault to become Grand Duchess of Jesby. The aunties had a proxy war rebellion a couple of years ago but Gloriana came out on top. She is Osric’s daughter as well. Jesby suffered most from Patternfall, as Benedict levelled 90% of it because of their role in poisoning his deeply beloved half brothers, Lucian and Matthias 50K years ago or so.
The widow Minobee is still Grand Duchess of Hendrake and Warlord of the Hellmaids. She stays out of politics unless she has no other option. As usual, the Hendrakes are closely aligned to Helgrams, although they do not support independence.
Bleys is the Grand Duke of Helgram, after his grandfather died and it went to the next male heir. Clarissa complains that her father wanted her to succeed and she would have preferred succession to go through her and Fiona but Swayville ignored her. Recently her son by Tubble Channicut, Karl was recognized as Second in Line to the Dragon Throne after Rambault. Bleys is a mild supporter of Helgram independence, although he officially promotes greater autonomy. His grandson Wendell champions Helgram independence openly but is a great grandson of Swayville, who tolerates Wendell’s indiscretions but assigns him to do “tutorial work” with the sons of his grand nephew Lucius von Palatine (Phillip and Alexander) when he goes too far.
The Black Zone continues to be the plantation lands of Chaos. Most Chaos nobles have many open and secret estates.
The Royal Barrimans are still headed by Swayville, The Grand Duke of Barriman is still Swayville, although Swayvanna is heir. Her heirs are Ian (by Bleys) and his family, and Edward and his families. As well, three daughters have been born to Swayville and Florimel (Daughter of Dybelle Hendrake) half sister of Geran Dalt and Deiter, although they are not in the immediate succession due to birth order and gender.