Emperor & Empress
. The rulers of the Ilian Empire, NOT inherited, but elected into the position by the Ducal Senate. "Imperial" may be used as a gender neutral term.
Address as "Your Imperial Majesty" and thereafter "Your Majesty"
Crown Prince & Princess
. The rulers regnant of each region, inherited through the bloodlines of royal houses.
Address as "Your Royal Highness" and thereafter "Your Highness"
Prince & Princess Consort
. The spouse of a crown prince or princess, or the spouse of an emperor or empress.
Address as "Your Highness"
Duke & Duchess
. A keeper of a duchy, their spouse, or the offspring of a prince and princess / imperial and their spouse.
Address as "Your Grace"
Baron & Baroness
. The holder of a barony, their spouse, or the offspring of a duke and duchess.
Address as "My Baron/Baroness" or "My Great Lord / Lady" and thereafter "My Lord / Lady"
Lord & Lady
. The holder of a county, city, town, or other tract of land; their spouse, the offspring of a baron and baroness, or the offspring of a lord and lady. A lord or lady may be referred to as a "high lord/lady" if they are the head of house.
Address as "My Lord / Lady"
. This is a title given to the widowed spouse of a landholder. They retain their old title as a formality but do not officially hold power.
Address as their usual rank
Laws & Etiquette
A noble's styling is in the pattern of highest rank to lowest, ending with their smallest seat of power. For example: Haidar Yilmaz, Duke of Ras-Allyra, Baron of Ilizantum, and Lord of Athmarina.
IILands and titles pass onto the holder's eldest child unless the holder deems them unfit to rule. In this case, they may choose to pass it to a different child, and this failing, pass it to a sibling. Should no siblings be present, their aunts and uncles will inherit, and if no aunts or uncles, their immediate liege lord. Those below eighteen years of age who inherit lands will be appointed a regent, usually their closest blood relative.
IIIAbdication, while possible, is only honorable in the case of extenuating circumstances, as it is a failure to serve one's realm, people, and house. Those who abdicate retain their birth title.
IVShould a person of lower title marry into a house of higher title, they adopt the higher title. Should a person of higher title marry into a house of lower title, they may retain their original title as a formality.
VTo address one's betters inappropriately or failure to show proper respect (not standing when they enter a room, not bowing/curtseying, interrupting, et cetera) without permission is an enormous slight and may be interpreted as treasonous, deliberate rudeness, or ignorance.
VIA child born out of wedlock (a "bastard") may not inherit lands or titles unless legitimized by a royal family member for special circumstances. It is nevertheless honorable for relatives to provide for their well-being. Acknowledged bastards will not be given the family name of their parents but rather "(Name) of (Place of Origin)," such as "Rosabella of Lucenna." The place of origin may be the region/main city or a smaller area, depending on birthplace.
Court Roles & Other Positions
Listing/claims of characters in important court roles can be found here
Imperial Council. Advisors to the imperials. More information can be found here.
Ducal Senate. The heads of ducal houses, whose most well-known task is to elect the imperials. More information can be found here.
City chambers. The heads of baronial houses, who form councils within the major cities. More information can be found here.
Ambassadors. In the absence of easy, high speed, long distance communication or travel, each territory relies on ambassadors to maintain relations with other territories.
Companions. There are a great number of terms – ladies-in-waiting, retainers, favorites – for those people whom a noble keeps close to them for whatever reason. They include handpicked friends and lovers, but people are also chosen because of important relatives. Their duties range from being drinking companions to aiding the noble dress in the morning, depending on their position.
Courtiers. Simply enough, those who reside within the court. This includes all of those above as well as court alchemists and astrologers, patronized poets and philosophers, or whomever else the noble sees fit to have in their court.
Knight Class. Knights are trained heavy cavalrymen, and the lowest rank of nobility if they do not have other titles. More information about knights can be found here.
Scholar Class. The unifying trait of scholars is the education they receive from university. Many act as advisors throughout the empire; the particularly accomplished among them serve baronies, duchies, and the imperial families, though a small core remain at the universities, teaching the next generation and pursuing their academic interests. More information about scholars can be found here.
Factions & Occupations. Characters can join various factions, such as the Goldshields, and/or have occupations that are in addition to their regular roles.
Noble Households. Every noble family has their own household, which is made up of not just their family, but also other positions such as scholar, master at arms, advisor, and so on. Higher-ranked houses tend to have lower nobility even for positions such as servants.
Ranks in Family Trees
This is a guide of how to use the above information to determine character ranks based on the canon family trees. If you are unsure about your character, ask a staff member!
The easiest way to determine ranks based on the family tree is by looking at the list of titles in the house description. The head of house (the underlined name) and their spouse are both the first rank on the list. The head's trueborn children and siblings are the next rank down, and their children are the next one down, etc. Anyone listed as "____ of ____" is a bastard.
In this tree, Yao Ming Huyan is the Prince of Zhaoshang. Ren Xiao Huyan is a Duchess of Bianzhou, and her child Jin Xia is a Baroness of Zhaoshang. Ming Xia Huyan is a deceased empress.