First Families
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While actual nobles have been rare in Dartmouth since the collapse of the monarchy, the First Families fulfill a similar function. Consisting of a dozen different bloodlines, these families are all old and well established in Dartmouth and rose to prominence in the power vacuum that arose after the king fled. While there have been vicious intrigues and blood feuds between individual branches, they tend to unify against outsiders and have kept most political power in their hands. When someone new in Dartmouth gained some measure of power, they made sure that he was either adopted or married into one of the families, thus expanding their power base, or he was removed as a serious threat in one way or other, through means fair or foul.

In recent decades, their hold on power has been slipping however, as Dartmouth has attracted more and more immigrants and politics have become increasingly complex, preventing any one group from controlling everything. The most prominent proof of this is the new Lord Mayor who, while a member of a First Family himself, has made it policy not to staff any important offices with members of the First Families unless he is completely sure of that person's personal loyalty to him. As a result, many of his relatives see him as a traitor and scheme to have him removed.

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