Seven Kingdoms: Seowyn's Crossing
Ar-Thane is the title given to the leader of the dwarven kingdom of Kurdenheim. There is a grand mansion within the dwarven city of Balgondelve set aside for the Ar-Thane, and legend holds that the mansion was crafted by Cassada Fivebraids when she led her people to the caverns and mountains that would become their home. The Ar-Thane is traditionally from among the leaders (or thanes) of the five great families of Balgondelve, but there have been several times when an Ar-Thane has been chosen from other, lesser families. The position is something of a meritocracy. Each Ar-Thane watches the dwarven population for signs of greatness. At some point during his or her reign, the Ar-Thane chooses a successor. Although there’s no law stating that an Ar-Thane’s successor cannot be a member of their immediate family, this is traditionally frowned upon. If the Ar-Thane dies before a successor is chosen, a vote of the thanes of the five familes elects the new Ar-Thane from among worthy candidates.