Western Kingdom Nobility
Titles and Precedence
There are a wide range of noble titles in use throughout the Western Kingdom, complicated by the area using several languages and more than one system of inheritence. The titles and precedence shown here are correct for the usual case, but players will no doubt encounter exceptions and odd cases.
The first column shows the usual Western Alusian titles for nobles, and the other columns the titles used in Bowcourt and Aquila for those positions. Where equivalent titles are not shown there is no title of that status used in the area.
Depending upon the circumstance and the native languages of the speaker/writer and audience, titles may be rendered or transcribed into Common, Lalange, and Reichspiel without losing their formal equivalence (for example a Bowcourt Comte might have his title rendered in Common as Count), but will not be altered in form to another of equivalent rank. (For example, an Altgraf might have his title transcribed to Altgrave in Common, but would not have it changed to Viscount even though the titles have equivalent status in the Western Kingdom).
|Marquess or Margrave||Marchioness or Margravine||Marquis 1||Marquessa or Marquise 2||Markgraf||Markgräfin|
|Count Palatine||Countess Palatine||Pfalzgraf||Pfalzgräfin|
|Count or Earl||Countess||Comte||Comtesse||Graf||Gräfin|
|Viscount||Viscountess||Vicomte||Vicomtesse||Altgraf, Burggraf, Landgraf, Wildgraf||Altgräfin, Burggräfin, Landgräfin, Wildgräfin|
|Baron||Baroness||Baron||Baronessa or Baronne||Freiherr||Freifrau|
|Baronet||Baronetess||Chevalier-héréditaire||?||Ritter||Ritterin or Frau 3|
- Although Lalange records "Marquis" as the masculine form for the rank of Marquess, the inheritance laws of Bowcourt (which follow the matrialinear elven model) allow only for a female ruler, so the title is solely used as a Lalange translation for foreign holders of that rank.
- When the title of a foreign Marchioness is translated into Lalange the term "Marquise" is used. This term is never applied to the ruler of Bowcourt who is always entitled the "Marquessa".
- A woman who is heiress to an hereditary knighthood in her own right may be called "Ritterin"; the wife of a Ritter who gains her nobility from her husband is always entitled "Frau".
Forms of Address
Although there are some forms of address for nobles that are reasonably standard in the Western Kingdom there are also many exceptions and oddities, particularly when considering translations in Lalange and Reichspiel along with Common. The most usual forms in the Common tongue are shown below, followed by some known exceptions.
|Rank||Style of Address|
|King / Queen||Majesty|
|Duke / Duchess||Grace (eg. "Her Grace", "Your Grace"). They are also known as Most Noble.|
|Marquess / Marchioness||The Most Honourable and Lordship (e.g. "His Lordship," "Her Ladyship," "Your Lordship," and "Your Ladyship.")|
|Count / Countess||The Right Honourable and Lordship|
|Viscount / Viscountess||The Right Honourable and Lordship|
|Baron / Baroness||The Right Honourable and Lordship|
|Title||Style of Address|
|Duke of Aquila||Highness. During those periods that Aquila has claimed to be a Grand Duchy the ruler has usually been addressed as His Royal Highness.|
|Marquessa of Bowcourt||Radiance, e.g. "Her Radiance Dulciena, Marquessa de Bowcourt", or "Your Radiance"|
Noble Household Information
Cmn = Common, RS = Reichspiel, LL = Lalange
- (Cmn. Altgrave/Altgravine) A predominantly Aquilan usage, granted to nobles of the status of Viscounts with holdings in mountainous regions, particularly along passes, where they were vested with the right to garrison such points, and levy tolls for access and passage.
- A knight entitled to lead men into battle under his own standard, and ranking between a common knight and a baron. This dignity is sometimes conferred by the sovereign in person on the field of battle for feats of great valour. The Lalange equivalent "Chevalier-baniere" is usually simply styled "Chevalier" and the additional honour many not be obvious.
- The lowest grade of nobility; the Reichspiel term translates as "free warrior".
- (RS. Ritter) A form of hereditary knighthood. The Reichspiel term is the same for a non-hereditary Knight, but the usage varies. For example, "Ritter Otto" is a non-hereditary knight, whereas "Otto Ritter von Sumpfburg" holds a hereditary knighthood equivalent to a Baronet. The Lalange equivalent "Chevalier-héréditaire" is usually simply styled "Chevalier" (as in "Chevalier Henri". or "Sir Henri") and it may not be obvious that the holder is a hereditary knight.
- (Cmn. Burgrave/Burgravine) A predominantly Aquilan title; it refers to a person with the status of Viscount whose domain is primarily an urban territory, often a single city.
- A chief counselor of the realm. The Common term Count derives from an ancient term "Comes", a companion, ally, or supporter. The Reichspiel term has the same basic meaning.
- Count Palatine
- Palatine nobles are those invested not only with the honours and privileges usual to their rank, but also with certain sovereign or semi-sovereign rights as well, especially those involving the administration of justice. More often encountered outside of the Western Kingdom than within it, there are still County Palatines within the Kingdom; ancient areas that have been absorbed by the Kingdom, but whose rulers retain some sovereign powers. A Count Palatine ranks somewhat higher than a Count or Graf, and depending upon their powers and privileges may even rank with a Marquis or just below a Duke.
- The highest grade of nobility, and sometimes a sovereign title. The Common, Lalange and Reichspiel titles all derive from ancient terms meaning a war leader.
- A title equivalent in rank to Count. The title derives from a Norden word meaning "warrior" and has probably entered Common from Dwarven. The title is used in only a few places within the kingdom, notably those with a strong Dwarven population, and in some cases Dwarven nobility.
- (RS.) A title meaning "Grand Duke" and occasionally used during the Interregnum (494-793 WK) for the ruler of Aquila to differentiate them from the other Dukes created by the dissolution of the Old Kingdom. This elevation has seldom been taken entirely kindly by Aquila's neighbours.
- National ruler or sovereign leader.
- Technically a knight is someone who owes military service to a feudal lord, and is wealthy enough to own a horse, although there are usually other social barriers and requirements to claiming knighthood, and most knights will have come from gentle or noble families and been Pages and Squires when younger. The terms are variations on "Horseman" or "Rider". In most areas simple knighthoods are for the life of the recipient and are not inherited, although in some parts of the kingdom there are hereditary Knights, styled Baronets.
- (Cmn. Landgrave/Landgravine) A predominantly Aquilan title; it refers to a person with the status of Viscount who has jurisdiction over primarily rural regions.
- (Cmn. Lord/Lady; LL. Seigneur/?; RS. Herr/?) An imprecise term which can mean various things depending on context, although it usually means "One of noble birth". It is not a title of rank per se but will often be used when a persons precise title or rank is unknown.
- Originally this term refered to Counts who held frontier districts. Since such regions tended to be larger than average, and heavily militarized, March lords accumulated greater status than others, and now are the second grade of nobility, ranking below Dukes but above Counts.
- (Same in LL and RS) Derives from an ancient term meaning "A boy, a child servant". Pages are institutionalized in the Western Kingdom as the first step in becoming a Knight; a child of roughly 7 to 14 who was set to learning the fundamentals of life in a castle.
- (RS. Gutsherr) Usually refers to the servant of a knight, a young person of roughly 14 to 21 who is learning the business of being a knight. It has also been applied to landed gentry, owners of large estates who do not hold patents of nobility. The Common and LL term derives from "Shieldbearer".
- A title oringally meaning"Vice-Count", an assistant or deputy Count, it is now the fourth grade of nobility, situated between Counts on the one hand, and Barons on the other. Although there is the occasional Vizgraf in Aquila most persons of this status hold titles which refer to their holdings or duties, such as Altgraf, Wildgraf, etc. Some of these patents were granted for vice-count duties, others are hereditary offices (such as warden of a strategic castle), that have become enobled.
- (Cmn. Wildgrave/Wildgravine) A predominantly Aquilan usage, refering to a noble of the status of Viscount, who holds jurisdiction over wilderness, waste ground, forests, and uninhabited districts. They have certain legal privileges which makes them, in effect, foresters and gamekeepers.