The community really could use some info on why sovereign death = game over - even just some hints would be nice. Someone suggested that maybe when you defeat a sovereign the winner absorbs his essence - it would be interesting to have some hints other than just speculation. It really is such a central part of the game it is hard to intellligently discuss a lot of game mechanics/balancing without understanding how this works.
I finally remembered this:
"But these Arnor did understand the power of energy very well. The dark energy (what some might call “magic”) that resided in themselves they harnessed extremely well. With enough of it, they could build a device that would let them travel anywhere.
With the only source of this energy being the Arnor themselves, the mightiest of the Arnor began to subjugate their weaker brethren. This caused the irrevocable split between the two groups of Arnor with the former becoming the Dread Lords and their minions, the Dread Knights.
In time, the Dread Lords had nearly wiped out all of the other Arnor in an effort to take their life force and place it into an orb-like object that would contain enough power to let the Dread Lords do virtually anything they wanted."
Posted December 30, 2008 16:35:58, Excerpt from "Guardians of the Telenanth" Appendix D: The Tragedy of Draginol & The Arnor
maybe the new Sovereigns can vampirize their enemies. But this text would contradict that a random monster could kill (game over) a Sovereign (which attacked but failed).