The Obligators were drawn from the ranks of nobles, usually Allomancers, and are trained in the arts of bureaucracy and the teachings of the Steel Ministry. They are marked by tattoos which decorate their face and body; the more tattooed an Obligator is, the higher his rank. They served as witnesses for every possible legal contract (e.g. Business deals, Marriages), which meant that they were privy to all happenings among the nobles. This gave the Lord Ruler great control over the nobility, as any contract not witnessed by one of his Obligators did not officially take place.