An Inscrutable Conceit
Ranks and Titles
Titles of Nobility
Nobles are landowners and rulers. The King rules the Kingdom, the Dukes each rule the largest cities, Marcks hold smaller cities and so forth until we reach the tail end of the power ladder where Knights oversee an estate and the serfs that work it.
The upper nobility, that is those who hold the title of Count and their betters, hold court on a monthly basis for their domain for which vassals are required to attend on at least a semi-regular basis. It is also encouraged that all nobles attend the King’s Court a minimum of once a year.
While titles grant great power, the nobility may also hold ranks of state, church and military which grant further influence and responsibility throughout the Kingdom. Thus a Duke might also hold the title of High Chancellor or Grand Exarch and a Marck might also be a Knight Marshal or Knight Justice. Indeed one must be of the upper gentry to attain a Knight Principal rank.
- High Prince
Ranks of State
Chancellors hold power in the courts. Whereas magistrates and councilors are responsible for the everyday governance of Rhoria’s cities and towns, Chancellors preside over the courts. The Knights of the Court are the protectors of the King and the nobility, they are the Kingdom’s decision makers. Their voices are closest to the King’s ear and the High Chancellor rules in the King’s absence.
Knights of the Court
- High Chancellor
- Knight Chancellor
- Knight Justice
Ranks of Office
Ranks of Military
Marshals hold power on the field of battle, commanding vast armies of the cardinal points that have seen kings rise and fall.
- High Marshal
- Knight Marshal
- Knight Commander
Ranks of the Church
The church holds power over the people. The common folk, the freeholders and the serfs alike, hold the Goddess Erah close to their heart and the King knows too well the power of a bishop’s tongue. In many ways the church operates above the law, much to the Court’s chagrin, with the Speaker of Erah holding perhaps the greatest power in Rhoria, second only to the King.
The clergy, those holding ranks of office within the church, are devoted solely to Erah and are expected to eschew any trappings of nobility should they enter. The Knights of Erah, however, are nobles and landholders that represent the church, and in turn the people, in affairs of state and military. They wield power in the court and upon the field with their elite Protectors.
Knights of Erah, The Protectors
- Grand Exarch
- Knight Exarch
- Knight Preceptor
Ranks of Office
- Speaker of Erah
- Vassal – An individual who has entered into mutual obligation with a superior member of the nobility, in exchange for the grant of an estate that is held while the vassal maintains it’s obligations of fealty and taxes.
- Court – Held by the nobility where members aid the rulers in affairs of state. Only nobility, those with rank Knight or above may attend court, and of these only Knight Principal’s wield any real power.
- Knight Principal – A Knight who has achieved a second tier rank in either army, church or state.
- Knight Regent – An individual wielding the powers of a Knight in his absence, but who is not yet a Knight. A Knight Regent can often find themselves in an untenable position in the case that the vassal becomes deceased. While it is common for a Lord to allow a bereaved Knight Regent to continue maintaining their estate, they are not obligated to do so by law, and in time the estate is usually passed to another Knight who gains the Lord’s favour.
- Knight – Lowest member of the gentry, a person is Knighted for exceptional service to the King or other noble and is awarded an estate in return for it’s upkeep and taxes. One must be a Knight in order to progress to the highest tiers of power within the Kingdom.
- Squire – Retainer to a Knight. Also known as a Drudge for the menial work they must perform.
- High Prince – First son in line to the throne. If the High Prince is of age he will rule in a King’s absence, otherwise the High Chancellor will manage affairs of state.
- Champion – A Lord’s foremost vassal, may take the field in tourneys and other matters of honour in the Lord’s stead.