Noble Lord

Noble Lord

Noble Lords are members of the nobility with actual power and responsibility, unlike the many dilettantes who fill the courts of the Old World. Some inherit their positions, whereas others forcefully claw their way to them. All of them tend to be strong-willed, adroit public speakers, and skilled fighters. They must be adept at resolving local disputes, negotiating court politics, and leading troops in the field. Some of the most powerful Noble Lords in the Empire are the Elector Counts who choose from among their number who will be the next Emperor.[1a]

Nobility and the Law

Common knowledge has it that to be noble is to be above the law. The truth of this depends on where and who the noble is. An important Norse jarl might be able to behave in a violently sociopathic manner with no thought for the consequences, but a Reikland lord could not carve a rampage through the streets of Altdorf with impunity. Also, to be a known noble in one of the Tilean republics can be something of an imposition.[2a]

Watchmen in the Empire are careful about arresting anyone of noble birth. They might take note of nobles committing crimes, but do nothing more than report it to influential authorities such as the Cult of Verena or another noble. The drunk and disorderly behaviour of a rake is unlikely to be censured, even when indulging in dangerous pranks. Once informed of a noble's bad behaviour, his peers will tend to make an example of him, as the aristocracy realise that demonstrations of even-handedness are well received among the great unwashed masses. However this example usually extends to withdrawal of privileges, stopping far short of the public executions used to deal with common criminals.[2a]

The watch will intervene if they find a noble committing a clearly shocking or treasonous crime, but they will take care to treat the noble with utmost respect throughout the process. It is common to find nobles serving lengthy prison sentences in surroundings that most men would consider palatial, and enjoying perks their own gaolers would find luxurious. In the meantime those who informed on or captured the noble may find that they a hard time remaining employed, and could even become the targets of harassment organised by the noble's cronies.[2a]


The affiliations of any noble lord of worth encompasses all levels of society. They command the military, hobnob with the priesthood, listen to the concerns of guild masters, employ (or outright own) the peasantry, and sponsor artists and businesses. In times of unrest they broker deals to keep the peace with crime lords and watch captains alike. They meet with the ambassadors of foreign nations, and even the other races of the Old World. Members of any given profession may find themselves patronised by a noble lord, from rat catchers to coachmen, bailiffs to assassins.[2a]


  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Core Rulebook
    • 1a: pg. 79
  • 2: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Career Compendium
    • 2a: pg. 154

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