Eldership is a succession form in which the ruler and the elders vote on any member of the ruling dynasty to be the next heir. It requires the Holy Fury DLC.
- Available for unreformed Romuva, unreformed African, or reformed pagan religion with a doctrine that enables it (Ancestor Veneration, Defenders of Dievas, or Totem-Guardians; non-African or Romuva pagans can only choose Ancestor Veneration)
- One of the few non-gavelkind succession laws available to tribal rulers. Others are Open (requires Islam or a reformed pagan faith with relevant doctrines) and Tanistry (requires Celtic culture or certain bloodlines)
- Elders are selected from any non-imprisoned member of the realm, with preference given to age, abilities, roles, and previous positions as elders.
- If the elders are pleased with the current ruler, it is relatively easy to have any desired heir be selected.
- Relatively easy to maintain multiple kingdom and empire titles as the elders tend to vote for the same candidate for all titles.
Elders can have one of three statuses: Ecstatic, Pleased, or Displeased. Random events will occur that can either be accepted or declined to improve or worsen an elder's opinion of the current ruler. These will typically change the elder's status to either ecstatic or displeased, depending on what was selected.
Ecstatic elders are more likely if the elder is Content , is a lover/friend of the ruler, has a job as chancellor, treasurer, or spiritual.
Displeased elders are more likely if the elder is Stubborn , is a rival, or has a negative opinion of the ruler.
Ecstatic elders will almost always vote for the candidate selected by the ruler, and may trigger events that will increase the ruler's stats.
Pleased elders will use their own judgement to select a desirable candidate, but will often still vote for the candidate selected by the ruler as long as it's a fitting candidate and they like the ruler. Their evaluation is similar to other succession laws (see Succession voting for details). Special preferences apply for Eldership:
- Elders prefer older candidates (but avoid voting for other Elders)
- Elders prefer candidates with high stewardship skill
- Opinion of candidate more important than other elective laws
- Opinion of ruler more important than other elective laws
Displeased elders almost always vote against the ruler's nominee. They will intentionally pick candidates with bad traits in order to spite the ruling dynasty, or even grant claims to someone they want to take over from your dynasty.
Elders are automatically selected and are based on a number of criteria. There can be a maximum of seven elders for a realm at a given time. Characters are more likely to be selected as an elder if they:
- hold the spiritual council position or chancellor position,
- were an elder for the previous ruler,
- have high Learning scores,
- are of the same religion and/or culture,
- are not rulers or children of rulers,
- are not incapable , and of course are older.
- Education for dynasts: Control the quality of dynasts so that the "worst" pick by Displeased Elders are merely average rulers.
- If a really bad dynast is picked, consider getting rid of the dynast before succession takes place.
- Indulge the Elders: Increase Elders' opinion of you, and weigh your actions against them carefully; consider covert methods rather than overt ones (e.g. imprisonment).
- If unpopular with Elders, nominate a candidate whom you don't actually want as successor: The AI Elders do not understand reverse psychology; if you are unpopular with many Elders, by nominating a bad candidate yourself, the elders are then likely to pick a better candidate, thinking that they are voting against you.