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Social Ranks

Secular Ranks Religious Ranks
King / Queen *Paladin
Count / Countess High Cleric
Baron / Baroness High Priest
Lord / Lady Cleric
Noble (lower noble) Priest

Clergy
Knight / Wizard (non-noble, non-commoner)


Merchants
Scholar
Professionals: Chef < skilled laborers < artisans
Servants: Innkeepers < musicians < retainers
Peasant: Farmers < candlestick makers < baker
Slaves


Nobles are to be addressed as “my lord” or “my lady” by the lower classes. The honorific “lord” is reserved for upper ranks of nobility.

Knights are not always a member of nobility, but nobles who are also knights are ranked higher than their peers. It is proper to address anyone who has been knighted as Kel.

Paladins technically outrank High Clerics - they do not exist to oversee local clergy and it is not unthinkable that a High Cleric would disagree with a paladin. They may be addressed by any honorific including: kel, brother, father, lord, highness and grace.

Clerics are referred to as Father or Mother, while priests are referred to as Brother or Sister.

Court Wizards have the honorific Arc and wear gray robes trimmed in blue with a patch over their heart that contains the sigil of the house they serve.

Local Lord

Holds audience to judge local disputes and oversee trials of knights and nobles. May dispense justice as they please up to and including permanent disfigurement. For capital crimes (rape, treason, oathbreaking, murder, theft of a noble’s property) the person in question must be judged by a count or a king.

Knight

Almost always found with a squire and a few men at arms (mounted if the knight is wealthy, else on foot). Knights have the legal authority to dispense justice. Knightships are suggested by nobles, appointed by counts and kings, and are broken up into three categories: Retainers, Landed, and Hedge.

Retainer Knight

Owes fealty to a specific noble of any rank, although it is rare for non-landed nobles to have their own knights. If a retainer knight’s lord is stripped of their title, or dies without an heir, they become a hedge knight, until some time as they swear fealty to a new lord.

Landed Knight

Function as local lord for their village / hamlet. Their fealty is to the baron of that region. If the baron is stripped of their title, a knight can choose to give up their lands rather than swear fealty to the new baron, but cannot retain lands without swearing fealty.

Hedge Knight

A knight who does not have an active oath of fealty. Hedge knights are almost exclusively created by retainer knights of disgraced nobles, and are considered of a lower social status than any other knight.

Sheriff

Head of law enforcement. Reports to and serves at the behest of the local lord. Commonly this position is held by a knight, but never a noble. A sheriff has the power to jail, whip and beat criminals, although they may only arrest nobles for transport to the local lord for their trial.

A non-knight sheriff can be overruled by any knight present, although it would be unusual for a knight to intervene with a sheriff doing their job correctly. It is possible for a non-knight sheriff to arrest a knight, and for the knight to overrule the sheriff’s arrest. This makes arresting knights a tricky thing.

Watchman

Serves under the Sheriff as town guard.

Paladin

A paladin is a vessel of the gods and given extrajudicial power over all people, regardless of rank. Their divine mandate is to stomp out evil in the world, wherever it exists. This does not make them popular figures amongst nobility and can lead to strong conflicts between church and state when paladins investigate

A paladin who strays from their path as a righteous warrior of the gods is a black mark and must be hunted down - usually to face a horrible end.

Cleric

These servants of the gods hold a similar position to paladins, but do not have a divine mandate and have no legal authority.