It’s easy to think of Alliances as a group of Houses in the same way that a House is a group of warlords - essentially with the same rules and structure but on a much bigger scale. In many ways that is indeed the case, but the Alliance dynamic is slightly different and it’s important to know the difference between the more rigid House system before seeking one out thinking that joining an Alliance takes you to the proverbial next level.
The Main House
An alliance can contain three Houses, one of which - typically the founding House - is deemed to be the Main House. There is no fundamental or functional difference between the houses of an alliances, but essentially, he main house leader is by default the alliance leader. Since the main house leader is the only player who can assign leadership, it is they who decides who the next alliance leader will be from within their own house.
While Houses do not need to control any territory to be able to function, in order for an Alliance to be formed the Main House must have a city at its heart. Establishing an Alliance also requires a substantial investment of Silver, an original name and a unique emblem.
Unlike its member Houses, an Alliance has no separate headquarters (the city serves as the de facto alliance capital) and there are no formal Alliance roles to assign. Players are free to create their own informal roles, and, since there’s no for members to pay a tax or contribute towards alliance upkeep, leaders might insist on some other levy instead. Fundamentally Alliances are very informal compared to Houses and are only as healthy or as strong as its weakest house, since Alliances cannot in themselves control territory.
State of Independents
Up to 80 individual generals of a sufficiently high level can join alliances without being a member of a House. This means they can benefit from the security that comes with membership of an alliance without any of the contribution costs and taxes they might incur while being the member of a house. Obviously, this means that independent warlords cannot lead alliances and might lack the capacity for “Honour”, but that’s not so say they can’t be motivated by other means.
Disbanding an Alliance
When the only House left in an Alliance is the Main House, the leader can disband the Alliance. Otherwise the leader can withdraw their house from the alliance, at which point the oldest house left in the alliance becomes the main alliance and its oldest city will become the new capital. Without a Main House and a city to act as its administrative capital, an Alliance will cease to exist.