A House Heir is the next in line to the throne or leadership of one of the Great Houses. It is expected that the House Heir will take over leadership of the House in a crisis, or when the leader of a House passes on. In many Houses, this is somewhat determined by heredity, but it does not have to be. Some Houses assign this position by appointment or election. There are a variety of titles for House Heirs, but they are all considered to be equal within the hierarchy of the Realm.
Qualifications for becoming the House Heir vary broadly. For some Houses, it is a matter of direct primogeniture. For example, in House Meles, the House Heir is the eldest child of the current Great Badger who is also a Werebadger and Literomancer. In other Houses, succession is through heredity, but the restrictions are a bit looser. In House Chiroptera and House Mollusca, the Heir has been a niece, nephew, or nibling of the previous House Leader. In House Lapin, the Heir is selected by the current Chief Rabbit from their Wererabbit and literomancer relatives, and must also pass a series of traditional tests. Still other Houses simply appoint an Heir from the general population, especially when the family of the House Leader is small, or when their leadership is not a monarchy.
Universally, a House Heir must be a literomancer. In many Houses, the Heir must also be a Werebeast of the type associated with the House Totem. Usually, but not always, a House Heir is directly related in some way to the House Leader. Other requirements vary by House.
A House Heir is a representative of the honour of their House at all times. They are expected to provide a positive example of the qualities their Houses value. In war, they must show courage and honour in their leadership. In peace, they must show their best diplomatic qualities; integrity, generosity, compassion, justice, and so forth.
House Heirs are often called upon in war to lead troops, much in the same way that an Executive Officer is often called upon to lead in their Captain's stead. They may command troops or lead other missions, such as evacuations or raids. In peacetime, House Heirs usually serve as diplomats, working to build positive relationships between their House and the other Houses, and showing the best qualities of their House's values by hosting charity events, establishing places of scholarship and learning, and other such responsibilities. Often, they are expected to assist with finances, budgeting, and logistics.
A House Heir is afforded all the dignity that the heir to a monarchy is due. They usually receive an allowance and expense account, may possess fine castles and fortress mansions that are provided by the state, and travel widely. They have access to fine, personally tailored clothing, private jets and other vehicles, and are usually assigned a personal bodyguard for their protection. [container:authors-notes]
This article is a work in progress, and may be subject to changes.
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Form of Address
Usually "Your Royal Highness" but otherwise, may be House specific
Crown Prinx, Prince, or Princess; Lord or Lady; Scion
Source of Authority
Tradition, the people of a House, the House Leader
Length of Term
Varies according to House
Reports directly to