All Heirs are Commanders; those popped generally are Warlords but may possibly be Casters. It is not uncommon for an Heir to also serve as Chief Warlord, but it is not necessary for one unit to serve both functions, and both titles can be redistributed by the Ruler.
Known Sides and their Heirs
- Gobwin Knob
- Princess Cruz, presumably popped for the purpose. She may not have been serving as Chief Warlord when she was croaked. After her decryption, K.C. was serving in that post. It is not clear if he was her replacement or had been in that position prior. Queen Bea had not designated a new Heir after Cruz's croaking and decryption.
It may be that Heirs, while capable of claiming sacked and razed Capitals, may not be able to claim neutral cities. No one has spoken of claiming Unaroyal and restarting that side. Of course, this might be due to other issues. Stanley has no Heirs to claim Unaroyal. And the RCC II, while they have heirs, may not feel that the limited benefits of gaining one new unmanned city outweigh the expense of seizing and fortifying it.
Multiple Heirs and Line of Succession
It is unclear if Transylvito's heirs existed concurrently or consecutively. Each was Heir for a time but later croaked. Don King then named non-Royal Warlord Caesar Borgata as Heir Designate. Later, with Borgata still serving as Heir (and Chief Warlord), Transylvito began popping a new Royal Heir.
In the case of Jetstone, it is known that all three Princes (Ansom, Ossomer, and Tramennis) existed at the same time. It is clear that Ansom served Jetstone as Chief Warlord, to be replaced by Ossomer after his croaking, and finally Tramennis after his croaking. However, the line of succession as Heir is less clear. After the capture of Ossomer by Gobwin Knob, Parson comments that they "have [Jetstone's] heir," indicating that the death of Slately would either destroy the side or leave the side under Gobwin Knob control. This would indicate that at that moment, during Gobwin Knob's turn, Tramennis was not the Heir to the throne of Jetstone, could not be so named by the King, and did not achieve the title by default through any means of automatic succession. It also would indicate that only one Heir can be in line for the throne at a time, unlike in Stupidworld.
- It is now confirmed that Tramennis was not an Heir and did not become one automatically; He could certainly be made Heir Designate in the normal fashion.
However, this is contradictory to Slately's thoughts on Transylvito not having a royal "line of succession." Though this may only mean a single Royal Heir, which was the case at the time.
Also, it is not clear whether being a scion of the Ruler or being the Heir to the throne makes one an "Heir" in the sense of claiming Capital sites. The terminology is fuzzy; is the Heir Designate the one in line for the throne, or does that only cover those Heirs not popped?
If a side can have multiple Heirs concurrently, and an Heir can claim a Capital site, it's possible that sides have Heirs not only for security, but as a threat to rivals. It lets a Side credibly threaten to destroy their capital and start a new side.
Normally a Ruler can disband units immediately, with just a thought. However, Heirs can apparently "make a play for the throne". Does this mean an Heir can't be disbanded like a normal unit? Or that they must use other units from another Side or Natural Allies to make that happen, like Stanley may have?
Banhammer and Faq
Note that the two ideas below are conflicting ideas about King Banhammer and the Fall of Faq.
A Heir, if it escapes the destruction of its Side, becomes a Barbarian, as happened to Jillian. If it then recaptures its original Capital, the Side may be restored (as suggested by Ansom). King Banhammer popped an Heir in response to a prediction, but this would not change the Predictamancer's claim that his Kingdom will fall. With Jillian away at the time of the Fall of Faq, she was not present to commit a suicidal attack against overwhelming forces (as her demeanor would have demanded), and so she survived the event by not being present. This leaves her free to return later with adequate forces to recapture Faq and restore her Side. This may have been Banhammer's plan all along: knowing his daughter could not flee from an overwhelming force (where a philosopher Prince would have seen the wisdom of escape and so could have been kept close), she could not be kept near him in Faq. This demanded that Banhammer create friction between himself and his daughter, allowing him to send her away to do as she would willingly while ensuring her survival; whereas, had she known he was trying to protect her, she would have resisted.
Heirs may have some protection against being disbanded by the Ruler. Even though King Banhammer doesn't seem to like Jillian, he doesn't disband her. This could be due to Jillian misunderstanding his opinion of her, or perhaps, Natural Thinkamancy imparts something like parental love. It may also have been purely an expense issue.
Popping an Heir
Designating a Heir should take just as much worth or more but in actual money, instead of production time. The price to designate Prince Tramennis as Jetstone's heir during the Assault on Jetstone would be roughly 165,000 Shmuckers. (5K*28 archons=140K + 25K bonus, assuming Gobwin Knob had not lost or gained any archons in between the Battle for Gobwin Knob and the Battle of Expository Bridge.)
These may be the only means of acquiring an Heir. However, it is possible that a popped Warlord, which has a certain percentage chance of being Noble, or Royal, or a Prince, and/or a caster, also has a chance of being an Heir.
Heirs may claim sacked cities as their own. However, heirs also have inherent loyalty to the side that popped them. Therefore, it is possible that establishing an heir in a city may allow a side to create a puppet side, similar to what Transylvito did to Faq.