Rin is the fourth? in line for her grandfather’s throne. Some of those before her in line have recused themselves – not interested in leadership, focused on a calling in the priesthood, interested in romance with someone who didn’t want to be in a leadership position, or not interested in creating heirs for one reason or another. Many have died. Her grandfather is quite old, and has outlived handfuls of his heirs.
More than half of the royal heirs went into the army. Calenta has a heavily meritocratic society – their rulers were originally war-chiefs of nomadic tribes – and earning a high position in the Army is one way to prove your merit. However, it’s also a good way to die, especially with an active war boiling on the front.
When Rin left to study healing, she was fourteenth in line. When she left for the army she was ninth in line. Her cousin Elen was three behind her and now is one behind her.
Her mother recused herself long ago. Her mother is a scholar and prefers her books to people.
Probably –> recusing yourself is acceptable (being removed from the inheritance is not, is considered very shameful, and it /does/ happen), but it is a one-way street. You can’t decide to un-recuse yourself.
While I decided to get rid of the immensely complicated inheritance system I’d originally thought of, it still flips genders. I.e., since the Emperor is male, his heir WILL be female, his daughter or a granddaughter THROUGH a daughter, or, if one suitable cannot be found, from his mother’s or grandmother’s line.
This has made Rin’s uncle, who needs a name (though he might have one in an earlier draft), exceedingly cranky.
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