Ok, this won't be in line with the "sovereign dies = game over" rule (or rumour?) about on the Forum, but I got so excited I had to share this thought. The replies on Frogboy's post https://forums.elementalgame.com/371029/page/1/#replies actually veered off towards this direction but I set this idea out here since it was rather off topic and there was no clear thread to follow.
The goal of the idea is to apply a Story oriented approach to Elemental, instead of the more classical "boardgame" approach (=you start as sovereign X, and if ever he is killed all is lost). It would work through the dynasty system in a very simple way, like this:
At the start, you custom-make your sovereign as usual, as the only channeller in the kingdom. He/She could also have abilities/bonuses linked to your faction and your land (details not important here).
If your sovereign dies (and he/she can't come back through any means, including magic) you lose the game if you have no living heir. If you have a living heir, then he or she will immediately inherit the channelling power of your dead sovereign, (along with possible other bonuses coming from faction or land etc).
Who is your heir, i.e. the sucession order, would be based on your faction (possibly you could customize it within the parameters set for your faction at start of game). Some factions would be patriachal with only male heirs, others matriarchal with only female heirs, and some could have the advantage of accepting both sexes (possibly the heir would then need to pass a test in order to keep game balance?)
After succession, you would thus have a new Sovereign, which immediately would be more powerful than your other heores, but weaker than your original sovereign. If your new (and weaker) sovereign manages to survive and his/her kingdom prosper, with (long) time he or she could rise to the same status as the original sovereign or even beyond.
That's for the game mechanics, now a few words on what such a system would bring and why I propose it:
Creating an EPIC game: First of all, it would place the Dynasty system at the very heart of Elemental (since it would often decide if you win or lose the whole game). Large campaigns would actually tell the HISTORY of the World of Elemental (one of them), with the rise and fall of kingdoms, but also the fate of their rulers, coming and going, rising and falling. It would be ok if your original sovereign starts with benefits that your heirs won't automatically (or ever) have, just like in Tolkien's Middle Earth, e.g. Silmarillion, where the older elves are much more powerful than the younger. Just imagine the coolness of a really long campaign where you have actually created - IN GAME - an Ancient Evil, more powerful than the younger races now ruling the neighbouring lands ...! They would need to unite to try and defeat this Older race, once and for all ... This would be truly epic stuff!
Marriage, having children and heirs should be about safeguarding the future of your kingdom, not just about getting some bonuses or an alliance. (The skeleton system proposed by SD for comments is much too basic IMHPOV, and would have the annoying effect of only allowing people to inherit other kingdoms, while there is no sucession in your own, which is after all of paramount interest ...)
It would be equally fun to play for both men and women (actually, more fun for both) and feel more modern than the classical medieval approach of always putting the man first and marrying off the girl.
There should not be a separate sucession system for the AI giving away his kingdom while the player just dies if the sovereign is killed, much better to have the same system of succession for all (otherwise it could feel like the AI is cheating).
With such sovereign sucession the game would indeed have a "soul", feel different from e.g. AoW, and be truly EPIC.
What do you think?