Engines in the Dark
Patents of Nobility
Official documents showing that a person is an aristocrat and a member of the High Houses.
They show the seal of the High House making the award, along with a seal from the Council of Wisdom. While it is possible to forge a Patent, it is pretty easy for a Thyrmaster to determine whether or not the seals are valid. Most folks would be foolish to attempt to make a fake one.
Without Patents of Nobility, a Member of a High House would need others to vouch for them, while they were waiting 4-8 months for new Patents to be drawn up; these are very valuable.
Patents establish bloodline, rank, and title, along with Grand Services if any, benefitting the Empire.
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