Noble Ranks and How They're Addressed

Where we talk about nobles, enders, and Reynard's favourite food.
Posts: 66

Noble Ranks and How They're Addressed

Post#1 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:45 am

Nobility is a large part of the storyline in Celestian Tales: Old North. It's customary to address nobles differently according to their status, and it's considered an offence, albeit slight, when such customs aren't respected.

The highest noble rank in the Old North is Count / Countess.
Formally, such as in written letters, they are addressed as [Lord / Lady] [Name] [of the] [Family Name].
At informal speech, they are addressed simply as [Lord / Lady] [Family Name].
Only three persons possess this rank: Lord Levant, Lady Belenus, and Lord Durandal.

Under their banners are numerous Barons and Baronesses.
Formally, they are addressed as [Lord / Lady] [Name] [Family Name]
At informal speech, they are addressed as [Lord / Lady] [Name].
Examples of those of the rank are Lord Robert and Lord Severin.

Nobles who have gone through training under a higher House (known as 'Squiring') are given the rank Knight.
They are formally addressed as [Sir / Dame] [Name] [Family Name], and informally [Sir / Dame] [Name].
Sons and daughters of Counts and Countesses possess this rank since birth.
Examples are Sir Abel and Dame Sophia

Sons and daughters of Barons and Knights start at the lowest strata of nobility.
They have no formal rank and are called [Master / Miss] [Name], sometimes with [Family Name] at the end.
Those of this strata can inherit neither land nor title from their parents, as they have yet proved their worth for the realm.

Arbiters are direct emissaries of The Queen, and they operate outside the noble ranks.

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Re: Noble Ranks and How They're Addressed

Post#2 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:18 pm

Will there be people who are born into the lowest social class who make up their own last names to gain a measure of respect in this world? George RR Martin, writer of the Game of Thrones series, had set last names for illegitimate children for each region of the kingdoms where his story took place, so would someone like Reed have an assumed/fake name? Or are there systems in place to keep people from pretending to be someone else?

Posts: 66

Re: Noble Ranks and How They're Addressed

Post#3 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:10 am

Other than letters wax-sealed and stamped by symbols of the House to prove the bearer is truly who he is, the most effective system to keep people from doing it is social recognition. Nobles often showcase themselves in many occasions, from joining hunting parties to attending balls, in order to make their names and faces known both by nobles and commoners.

Since the realm of Old North is quite small, most Noble Houses know and recognize each other. The constant amount of Counts / Countesses and Barons / Baronesses (since the title is only inherited to a single offspring) also makes it easier to remember them. Still, probably not everyone would remember their fourth cousin twice removed.

This means that nobles who rarely show up will be harder to recognize. Reynard's mother, for example, doesn't often make appearances in public. Most nobles would pretend to remember her to show politeness, but few actually knows what she looks like.

Even now, with all our advancements, keeping people from pretending to be someone else isn't very easy. IDs can be forged, and even personalities and physical appearance can be faked. Public recognition is still the most 'reliable' method to distinguish someone :)

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