The Citadel of the Last Moon
Nobility of the Confederation
When the Confederation of Free Nations was founded it was decided that, to increase cooperation between the participants, each nation had to create a tiered system of nobility. This would create a clear chain of command in military, religious and political matters.
The political ranks are divided between four tiers: Royal, Major Landed, Minor Landed and Landless nobility. In each tier a distinction is made between different classes. The table below ranks nobles from different states in the confederacy.
All members of the royal class are allowed a seat on the High Council of the Confederacy, commonly this seat is taken by a representative the seat holder in possession of that holders’ seal. However, only Royalty of rank R.III and up (also known as Sovereigns) have a vote in matters of the council.
The rank of a royal is determined by his or her position in the ruling lineage of a nation. Any R.III member is considered Sovereign, which means that he or she holds sovereignty over one of the confederate member nations. Royal holders are almost always members of the ruling house in a nation.
A royal is addressed as “Your Grace” and may bear a standard with a long banner (a hanging banner ending in a single point) with purple trim (in the case of a sovereign gold-purple trim is customary).
Also known as major landed nobles, these men and women are the highest power under the crown, ruling great cities or massive parts of a nation. N.III members are considered to speak with the Voice of the Sovereign and can therefore usually claim a seat on the High Council, even if they have no direct claimage to it.
A noble is addressed as “My Lord/Lady” followed by his station. A duke would therefore be correctly addressed as My Lord Duke. Nobility uses the same long banner as royalty, but is prohibited from using a purple or purple-gold trim.
Also known as minor landed nobles, while these men and women hold lands, they are owed fealty to the nobility and usually only have command over small cities or provinces. The landed gentry usually rules in place of a noble.
A landed gentleman is addressed as “My Lord/Lady”, without an added title. Landed gentlemen may bear a long rectangle banner, with the armature of their liege in the top right corner.
The landless gentry is divided by how they have come to claim the knightly title. These can be the children of nobility or they can be commoners raised in knighthood by a noble or royal, or by paying the price of a letter of peerage.
Knights by the Gold
A Knight by the Gold, also called a gold knight or a favoured knight, is a commoner or silver knight raised into knighthood by decision of a noble. This is an honor given to the few who incur the favor of a major house through remarkable bravery or other great acts. Becoming a gold knight is also the only way a commoner could ever begin a lineage. As such, this is a closely kept honor.
Knights by the Gold are addressed as “The Honorable Sir/Dame Apparent” and bear a square banner with golden trim and the armature of the house which raised them in the top right corner.
Knights by the Red
A Knight by the Red, or Red Knight, usually also referred to as Knight-Bachelor, is the landless progeny of a noble parent. For instance, the second son of a viscount would be considered a Red Knight, as only the first son can inherit the title of Viscount and his lands.
Red Knights make up the gross of Confederation Nobility. They usually find themselves in militaristic orders or the royal army, in the hope of being able to conquer a baronnety or barony for themselves.
Knights by the Red are addressed as “The Honorable Sir/Dame of House” followed by their house. They bear a square banner with their families coat of arms.
Knights by the Silver
A Knight by the Silver, Silver Knight, or derogatory Bought Gentleman, is a commoner who came into money and bought a title from a landed gentleman or up. This comes with a personal Letter of Peerage, which is non-transferable and non-inheritable. The rank of Silver Knight is only used in nations where laws prohibit the common classes from holding certain offices (for instance the office of Knight-Banneret (the leader of a banner or freebanner) in Albius).
Silver Knights are looked down upon by other nobility for having to buy the right of peerage, where they earned in by their own acts or the acts of their house. Some nations do not recognize the right of peerage of these “bought gentlemen”.