Regnal numbers and other weird customs of Taldan royalty


War for the Crown


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Something is strange about the use of regnal numbers in Taldor. I've already noticed that in Taldor, the First Empire the dead son of Grand Prince Stavian III of Taldor ist referred to as Carrius II, that is, using a regnal number even though he died while his father was still emperor and so never actually became an emperor himself. Now, in Crownfall, we learn that Stavian, like his daughter, had an older brother that also died young, while his father was still emperor. That brother is named as Carrius I, also with an unexpected regnal number.

So it could be that Taldor uses a system where heirs apparent are assigned "regnal" numbers, and it seems these are permanent, since the younger Carrius got the "II" even though Carrius I never became emperor, and we could assume that a possible later emperor Carrius would be Carrius III even though he would be the first emperor of that name. It's a weird system, and I know of no historical precedent, but it's conceivable.

However, Crownfall also lists Princess Eutropia's full name as "Princess Eutropia Stavian I", which is weird on several levels. First, she also gets a regnal number, even though she quite obviously is not heir apparent (and not even heir presumptive), and by law can never even become emperor. Why would she get a regnal number? (And shouldn't it be Eutropia I Stavian?)

Furthermore, it's highly unusual that a regnal number of "I" would be used until the time there is an actual "II". (For example, the British Queen Anne was never referred to as "Anne I", and Elizabeth I was only referred to like that after Elizabeth II was crowned.)

And then, it's also strange that Stavian seems to be a family name, and in fact the book refers to the "Stavian family" in several places. That makes it seem strange though, that Stavian III (and his father and grandfather) are just referred to and even numbered by their family name. Does he even have a first name? Weird.

I wonder if there is actually a design behind all this, and if so I'd love to hear about it.

Grand Lodge

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Judging by the pattern it would seem that all of the Taldorian ruling family are assigned a regnal number at birth whether they're set to be emperor or not.


Agreed. As a GM I like it that way.


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One thing we have established is that members of the Taldan royal family never change their names when they become emperor, since otherwise this system of assigning numbers before they become emperor wouldn't work.

As a real world example, King George VI of Great Britain (father of the current Queen Elizabeth II) was known as "Prince Albert" or "Bertie" before he became king. At this point, we have no idea whether the current Prince Charles will go by Charles III, George VII, or some other name when he become king.

In any case, if the Taldan royal family are properly superstitious, there almost certainly won't be a Carrius III since the name "Carrius" does seem to carry bad luck.

Then again, maybe members of the royal family do change their names when they become emperor. Has Taldor ever had an emperor with a name other than Stavian?


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Well, Taldor is 6,000 years old, and only three Stavians are on record, so, yes. Several other emperors are mentioned, for example, in Taldor, the First Empire


David knott 242 wrote:

Has Taldor ever had an emperor with a name other than Stavian?

- First Emperor's name was Taldaris.

- Taldor’s tenth emperor, Grand Prince
Antios.

With no order given:
- Stavian I.
- Malixari II.

Edit: More found...
- Urios III
- Remoque V
- Jalrune
- Hyrotte I
- Cydonus III
- Erophos II
- Beldam II
- Adavarine II
- Bafra
- Stavian II (first son Carrius I, who died, so Primogen Crown went to:)
- Stavian III (first son Carrius II, who died, so Primogen Crown has nowhere to go... but Eutropia wants to change things)


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Well, that is awkward, unless Stavian is the name of the dynasty as well as the regnal name of its members. The three Stavians are the three most recent emperors, correct?


edited emperors above

Silver Crusade

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Well, you can't help but chuckle when a German gentleman goes on about regnal numbers when there's the German family of House of Reuss, where the current (since 2012) head of the family is called Heinrich XIV, his late father Heinrich IV and his sons Heinrich XXIX and Heinrich V.


@David, Zaister: in other words, it appears they're 'trying' to move on from the Stavian designation, but they're having technical difficulties... :) Perhaps, as a start, they have to stop naming their second sons 'Stavian' :P

Liberty's Edge

Some aristocratic American families, like the Kennedys, name their children II, III etc, usually when naming the kid after an uncle or greatparent.
Edit: there's also George Foreman, who named all his sons George Foreman so some of them at least use regal numbers.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Well, you can't help but chuckle when a German gentleman goes on about regnal numbers when there's the German family of House of Reuss, where the current (since 2012) head of the family is called Heinrich XIV, his late father Heinrich IV and his sons Heinrich XXIX and Heinrich V.

Yes, I know about them, but their "regnal numbers" are just an affectation, basically


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GM PDK wrote:
@David, Zaister: in other words, it appears they're 'trying' to move on from the Stavian designation, but they're having technical difficulties... :) Perhaps, as a start, they have to stop naming their second sons 'Stavian' :P

Do we have any specific reference to Stavian III as Stavian before he became emperor?


David knott 242 wrote:
GM PDK wrote:
@David, Zaister: in other words, it appears they're 'trying' to move on from the Stavian designation, but they're having technical difficulties... :) Perhaps, as a start, they have to stop naming their second sons 'Stavian' :P
Do we have any specific reference to Stavian III as Stavian before he became emperor?

Yes. Crownfall: "Born in 4653 ar, Prince Stavian III was the second son of Grand Prince Stavian II."


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Interesting, I missed that reference that Stavian himself is listed with his regnal number even before he became emperor.


Yes. Case closed! --> Birth designation! :)

PS: they don't appear to have last names or House names either... --> New Case Opened! :)


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He might have gotten numbered after he became heir apparent, that is not 100% clear form the text, I think.


GM PDK wrote:

Yes. Case closed! --> Birth designation! :)

PS: they don't appear to have last names or House names either... --> New Case Opened! :)

Oh! Crownfall: "PRINCESS EUTROPIA STAVIAN I" --> Case Closed! --> Birth designation is PRINCE(SS) + Name + Last name = Emperor's First Name + Number Reset to 1! :)

(I'm gonna need boolean expressions soon... one more parameter should do it...)


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That looks like a workable hypothesis, except I'm not sure what you mean by number reset to 1, as we have Carrius II and Stavian III as samples.


For Example, repeat after me!

Prince Stavian I [INSERT FATHER NAME HERE] I - became Grand Prince Stavian I

Prince Stavian II Stavian I - became Grand Prince Stavian II

Prince Stavian III Stavian II (or should it be Prince Stavian III Stavian I because we ALWAYS reset to Number One?) - became Grand Prince Stavian III

So, now we have Princess Eutropia Stavian I - would become Grand Princess Eutropia as she is the first of that name... I believe that Stavian I (as well as all the other I's out there) only gain the 'one' i.e. Stavian I, if they name one of their children with their own name.


(in the above, perhaps naming their sons with their own name was to avoid repeating last names? such as one would not need to say Prince Stavian II Stavian I and would instead just say Prince Stavian II? anyhow, unless advice from the Great West Coast Beyond arrives to that regard, that's what I'll use when I run this i.e. just Prince Stavian II, as we all know who that is)


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Maybe someone authoritative will chime in :)


Royal matters are expected to be complicated. I mean, they have entire departments of heraldry to take care of these rules and exceptions! :)


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Now we know why! :)


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GM PDK wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
GM PDK wrote:
@David, Zaister: in other words, it appears they're 'trying' to move on from the Stavian designation, but they're having technical difficulties... :) Perhaps, as a start, they have to stop naming their second sons 'Stavian' :P
Do we have any specific reference to Stavian III as Stavian before he became emperor?
Yes. Crownfall: "Born in 4653 ar, Prince Stavian III was the second son of Grand Prince Stavian II."

Do we have any indication as to when his older brother died? Was it before or after his birth?

I have some research I want to do to refine a theory about Taldan royal names that I am working on. I think I can make it work as long as the quote from Crownfall is not contemporary with the event that it describes.


Prince Carrius I died when Prince Stavian III was 11 years old.

Hope this helps in your research!

Regards,
GM PDK


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The Stavians seem to have really bad luck with their firstborn sons. Just found this in the "Stavian I" article in the inside back cover:

Quote:
He fathered a total of 12 children, and he was succeeded by his oft-overlooked third son, Dominus II, after the death of his eldest son, Gosse, and exile of his second son, Manderval.

Note, Gosse and Manderval, no numerals. Hm.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

No numerals doesn't mean anything. Elizabeth is frequently referred to as Elizabeth in casual non-legalese text like that. Presumably Dominus II was specified a number to distinguish him from Dominus I, but Gosse and Manderval had no duplicates so it was unnecessary to specify a number.


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Zaister wrote:

The Stavians seem to have really bad luck with their firstborn sons. Just found this in the "Stavian I" article in the inside back cover:

Quote:
He fathered a total of 12 children, and he was succeeded by his oft-overlooked third son, Dominus II, after the death of his eldest son, Gosse, and exile of his second son, Manderval.
Note, Gosse and Manderval, no numerals. Hm.

No more research is needed on my theory -- the quote above proves that there was no "Stavian dynasty" since Stavian I clearly wasn't the immediate predecessor of Stavian II. My theory would have required Dominus II to change his name to Stavian II upon ascending to the throne, which evidently did not happen.

Grand Lodge

Zaister wrote:

The Stavians seem to have really bad luck with their firstborn sons. Just found this in the "Stavian I" article in the inside back cover:

Quote:
He fathered a total of 12 children, and he was succeeded by his oft-overlooked third son, Dominus II, after the death of his eldest son, Gosse, and exile of his second son, Manderval.
Note, Gosse and Manderval, no numerals. Hm.

Maybe they're given the regnal number upon reaching a certain age then? And it makes sense that an exiled member of the family wouldn't have one.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Or there are no other Gosses or Mandervals.

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This is honestly something that has always been weird about Taldor's history, dating back to some of the earliest mentions of its rulers in Pathfinder's fledgling days.

It does seem appropriate that they would assign a regnal number to all of their issue, given Taldan nobilty's fixation on pedigree and their sense of self-importance. I mean, part of why the royal family is so largely out of touch with reality could be that they're all born thinking they're destined to be emperor.

Part of the confusion surrounding this comes from the fact that we (in the real world) need an easy way to distinguish between two individuals with the same name, even if they aren't actually the coronated ruler of Taldor (as in the case of the two Carriuses).

Both were formally named Carrius Stavian I/II, since that designates their given name, family name, and sets them apart from one another in the complex annals of Taldan history. Had either one become emperor, he would have just gone by Carrius I/II. And his children would have been NAME Carrius #. Had Carrius II had a son named Stavian, he'd have been Stavian Carrius IV.

It's very likely we have been wildly inconsistent with this over the last decade, and might be in the future, though I hope not.


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Mark Moreland wrote:
It does seem appropriate that they would assign a regnal number to all of their issue, given Taldan nobilty's fixation on pedigree and their sense of self-importance. I mean, part of why the royal family is so largely out of touch with reality could be that they're all born thinking they're destined to be emperor.

Boy, those holiday dinners must be awkward.


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Thanks for weighing in, Mark. So this would mean that the current emperor's full name is actually "Grand Prince Stavian Stavian III"?

Historically the two Carriuses would have been diffentiated as "the elder" and "the younger" usually, I think.

Considering the "they're all born thinking they're destined to be emperor" bit, I imagine Eutropia doesn't officially carry a regnal number as she can't become emperor, but she's simply now styling herself like that to make her intentions clear.

Silver Crusade

Naming a child Stavian Stavian would indicate very cruel parents...
In the real world a ruler either gave his heir his name to indicate that the heir would carry on whatever dad was doing or the heir chose his name when he ascended to the throne - for example to show the people that he would carry on the work of his father or start a new tradition (or follow another one). Keeping up a succession line of rulers with the same name also helped to create the illusion of stability in a time of rampant superstition.
But it is a fantasy game, so I would not invest too much time and thinking otherwise old Cthulhu might manifest in the wardrobe...


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So how many generations use regnal numbers? If you're the twelfth son of the Grand Prince and you're (for example) Ubar I then do you give your sons regnal numbers? Do they give their sons regnal numbers?

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Who knows?! Maybe someday we'll find out if Ubar I ever features in an adventure.


I vote for Ubar I's own adventure as well. 12th is still better than 13th!

Taldor is Avistan!


Meraki wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
It does seem appropriate that they would assign a regnal number to all of their issue, given Taldan nobilty's fixation on pedigree and their sense of self-importance. I mean, part of why the royal family is so largely out of touch with reality could be that they're all born thinking they're destined to be emperor.
Boy, those holiday dinners must be awkward.

Sounds like some Social Darwinist stuff going on there; “Just give all the boys regnal numbers and let them fight it out, the strongest will rule!” Stavian III’s bad luck that he didn’t have enough boys and Eutropia won.


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Luck had nothing to do with it. Nuff said! ;)


tbug wrote:
So how many generations use regnal numbers? If you're the twelfth son of the Grand Prince and you're (for example) Ubar I then do you give your sons regnal numbers? Do they give their sons regnal numbers?

I think that the easiest solution, and the one I am going to go with until told otherwise, is that royal children receive their regnal names upon the ascension of their reigning parent.

That way you don't have to worry about numbering all your potential grandchildren, for example, until their parents ascend to the throne.


Ral'Yareth's assumption seems like a good one.

I'll add, having just read the AP, that there also seems to be a trend in Taldo of the royalty referring to themselves both via complex patrony ("firstborn of X") and by 'regnal' number, which seems to really be "number of that name in royal family history..." ("first of my name"). Both Stavian III and Eutropia do both, I think.

So to me, that argues for assigning the kids numbers at birth, at least if their parent is currently emperor.


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This works for me. I'm going to treat this as Taldane law until someone presents convincing evidence to the contrary. Thank-you for this!

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