Depending on whom you ask, Rank and Title are either of supreme importance; making the entire Dreaming work properly and ensuring the flow of Glamour to all, or a bygone notion of ages past; at best quaint and at worst inimical to the lives of free fae everywhere. Whatever your take on it, the Dreaming does seem to put some stock in it as its reality is intrinsic to the workings of the Art of Sovereign. Noble Households depend on the working of the concept for structure while Commoner Motleys have done very well without it since the Interregnum, thank you very much.
Rank and Privilege
King or Queen
Among the Fae, the resonance of the Dreaming creates a close bond between the ruling monarch and the land. In many way the ruler IS the land and his or her actions have consequences for the health of the domain, no matter how inconsequential they may seem. The realm reflects the personality of the Ruler. If the queen despairs or becomes brooding the realm becomes dark and cold and physical manifestations of that emotions may appear. If the king is depressed or love-lorn his land may be filled with rain and flooding. An unruly ruler will have a chaotic land. In times of war the king or queen acts as warlord of all the armies in the realm.
- The title of address for a king or queen is "Your Majesty." Occasionally it can be "Your Royal Highness" but this is more common with a prince or princess.
- Royal Treasures - The monarch has a crown that lets them know all pennons (Territory markers) in the kingdom, a scepter that can draw Glamour from any balefire hearth in the realm, seals that can countermand any lesser noble's signet mark, and a weapon that is sen as an extension of the royal will.
Duke or Duchess
These are the highest nobles under a King or Queen. They hold claim to many freeholds which are ruled in their names by lesser nobility. Their domains tend to be whole cities or large rural areas. They can have up to five Counts or Barons as vassals. Some serve their sovereign as diplomats and travel throughout the realms on missions of import and subtlety. During wartime they act as generals and marshals of their monarch's forces and commanders of specific armies.
- The title of address for a duke or duchess is "Your Grace."
- Ducal Treasures - Dukes and Duchesses have signets that let them sign treaties, assign lands, make proclamations, and issue writs. These contracts are only binding within ducal fiefs. They also possess pennons that let them establish freeholds in their personal fief that override any lesser noble's claim and a hearthstone that lets them draw Glamour from any other hearth in their fief. Lastly, they carry a weapon that symbolizes their right to command armies.
Count or Countess
Jut below the Duke or Duchess in rank, Counts and Countesses run counties that occupy significant portions of cities or smaller swathes of rural areas. They hold the fealty of one or two barons or baronesses and some powerful knights. Holding the middle ground among the nobility, they often have a reputation for being schemers and manipulators, ever envious of those above them. Kings and queens usually keep a close watch on their counties. In wartime counts and countesses act as subcommanders, regiment organizers, and coordinators of support activities. They usually do not take the field of battle themselves unless they are known for their martial prowess.
- The proper term of address for the head of a county is "Your Excellency." A Count may occasionally be called an Earl but their is no similar female equivalent.
- County Treasures - These nobles possess pennons that identify their county. Their rule is superseded only by ducal powers or kings and queens. They have potent hearths and can demand a tithe of dross from their vassals to help feed the hearth. Each count or countess carries a weapon in service to his or her superiors.
Baron or Baroness
A Baron or Baroness usually only holds title to a single freehold. They often resent their Count or Countess, considering them greedy while they themselves covet their lord's lands and power. They cling to power tenaciously and, since they tend to be closer to their vassals, often enjoy their support. A barony usually includes three or four knights who have direct fealty to their baron or baroness. Some also host several knights errant who hold no other loyalties.
- The correct form of address for a baron or baroness is "Lord" or "Lady."
- Baronial Treasures - These nobles have only their own hearths and knightly weapons. They do have the right to gather Glamour from their fiefdom and may demand small tithes of dross from their knights.
Knighthood is both a title and a state of honor and the knight is the backbone of feudal society, serving their lords as both warriors and couriers. Occasionally they may hold a small fiefdom directly from their baron or baroness. Nobles are usually knighted when acclaimed as members of the nobility. Knights without holdings are the lowest class of noble.
- Knights are addressed as "Sir" or "Lady" but some female knights prefer "Dame."
- Knightly Treasures - A knight's weapon is the symbol of his or her honor, an extension of their will, and protection. Legend states that as long as a knight is loyal to their lord, their blade will never break.
A Squire is not a noble as such but are the personal servants to nobles, usually a knight. Most are in training to become a knight and thus enter into the nobility. Some squires attain fame fighting beside their master or mistress but most generally remain out of combat, providing support by retrieving lost weapons or rounding up wayward chimera.
- There is no formal address for a squire.
- A squire has no treasures but receives a small allowance of dross from his or her patron.
Nobles & Commoners
While Commoners have lived on Earth from the beginnings of the fae, Nobles are usually Sidhe who left Earth for Arcadia during the Shattering and returned in 1969 as part of the Resurgence. As far as they know they are only here for one reincarnation and intend to make the most of their time in the Autumn world. The uncertainty of their fate often causes them to become obsessed with gaining and maintaining power and prestige. Nobles often consider the Commoner kith to be lowly and tainted with mortality and are seen in kind as arrogant and unfeeling. Though individuals may like and respect each other, as groups they largely distrust and dislike each other.