Most of the ruling elite in the Everwind setting consists of several dynasties who have ruled their respective regions, some even for thousands of years. Their rulings styles run the gamut of human behavior, from ruling through fear to ruling through benevolence. Like any such monarchist system, sometimes these families experience tragedy. Following the Curella epidemic, several of the royal houses were assassinated and became extinct (House Doria, House Reddick, House Glengard, etc.). Others rose to prominence, taking advantage of the chaos provided by the plague (House Claverian). Whether a house rose, fell by the wayside, or remained basically in the same position, one thing is shared among them all: their time is limited.
The Turmocet vaccine caused mass sterility, even among the nobles, which meant that they can no longer produce heirs in accordance with their laws. This would not be a problem in itself; these rulers could simply rewrite the laws and implement a different method for heir selection to account for the new situation. However, some regions saw an opportunity in this, and rebelled in order to shirk the centuries-old control they had experienced under the monarchies. New forms of government came into being for the first time ever, and the thinking goes that if this can be done elsewhere, there is danger in that one's own citizens might opt for a similar course of action.
The response seems to be varied. Some choose to rule out of emotion, with a heavy hand. To rule through fear and maintain strict control (Clavermark, Gruenormark). Others choose to curry favor with their people, to maintain respect through benevolence (Averia, Praul). And yet others, realizing that new governments might set a dangerous precedent, are attempting to contrive ways to undermine these governments, to facilitate their failure, so they can use them as an example of failed experimentation.
Other exacerbating factors in ruling under such conditions are widespread famine and relative chaos, longstanding rivalries with other houses, and lack of resources to maintain a lifestyle of decadence and luxury. In conclusion, it is a hard time to be a ruler, but it is even harder to be a citizen.