About Ognoshu Society
Education & Careers
Class StructureAn individual's social class is considered very important in Ognos and it will dictate how a person is treated by the general public. You can elevate most characters' social rank by completing prompts from the database or by spending Ribbons or Bones. The following is a guide to the current class structure, and the titles one should use in addressing another person.
The Empress or EmperorThe Emperor or Empress of Ognos is the ultimate ruler, traditionally considered to be a demigod (someone infused with divinity by the gods) and the Chosen of the Chinto. The Emperor or Empress has the utmost power in Ognos, they can be a benevolent ruler - as the past several have been - or cruel tyrants and, as a "Chosen", typically wield great Talents; have powerful Keepers; and beautiful Taim. They are rarely seen in public and rarely interact with anyone below Marquess status, so the general public may not even be aware of what they look like. The most polite/correct way to refer to them would be Your Majesty or some variation. They can also be called "Kaning" or the Common translation, "God-Like" or "Kanen" or the Common translation, "God-Touched"
The current Empress is Dandi Doarin of the Redclaw clan who inherited the title just six months ago, three months after the death of her mother, Hima; the ruling line (and therefore much of society) has been matriarchal for over 300 years. Dandi is just seventeen years old - will this young ruler sink or swim?
The ConsortThe Consort is the spouse of the Emperor or Empress. They will never inherit the Crown and have no political power (but are often a pop culture/fashion icon). They are seen more often than the Emperor or Empress and often have a close circle of trusted friends/companions from Ruling Class families (a very prestigious position for the Ruling Class clan!). Their sole purpose is to provide comfort and support for the Emperor or Empress - and to produce heirs to continue the ruling line. There are very strict regulations on social protocol and behavior in public and private and overall freedom is quite limited (ex: speaking out against the decision of a ruler could result in exile, abandonment/divorce, or even death).
Traditionally, a single Consort is chosen by the Emperor or Empress and the marriage is a love match, but technically the Emperor or Empress could have a harem if they so wished, or choose a companion through less moral means, such as stealing the wife or husband of anyone in Ognos or kidnapping an unwilling person into the position. The Consort is typically called "Consort Firstname" or "Maja", meaning "beloved".
There is currently no Consort, so the Ruling Class is in a flurry trying to put forward a candidate the Empress may fall for. The previous Consort and Dandi's step-father, Killian Doarin of the Redclaw Clan (by marriage) has been permitted to stay on the palace premises and will be cared for for the rest of his days by Dandi's decree.
The Imperial Princess or PrinceThe Imperial Prince or Princess is the firstborn child, or chosen heir, of the current Emperor or Empress and will inherit in the event of their retirement - or untimely death (as has been more often the case). They have limited powers on their own, but are considered to have the Emperor/Empress' ear and thus their suggestions carry a heavy weight. The most polite/correct way to refer to them would be "Imperial Prince/Princess Firstname" or "Your Royal (or Divine) Highness".
The current Imperial Princess is Maebee Doarin of the Redclaw clan, Dandi's two-year-old half-sister.
Princess/PrinceThe title Prince or Princess is used for any children of the Emperor/Empress (including past Emperor/Empresses) who will not inherit the crown unless both the Emperor/Empress and Imperial Princess or Princess - and any other Prince/Princesses in the way - pass away in quick succession. The most polite/correct way to refer to them would be "Prince/Princess Firstname" or "Your Highness".
There are currently two Princes and one Princess - Prince Gio Doarin of the Redclaw Clan and his twin, Prince Kiann Doarin of the Redclaw Clan (Dandi's maternal uncles, third and fourth in line for the crown respectively) and Princess Saiyanna Doarin of the Redclaw Clan (Maebee's twin sister, second in line for the crown after her sister).
ChancellorThere are currently six Council seats in Ognos, each held by a Duke or Duchess - although technically the title Chancellor can be granted to anyone whom the Empress or Emperor deem worthy. They are responsible for handing down laws and making many important legal or social decisions - kind of like a combination of the Supreme Court and Congress. While they have a lot of power, and certainly a lot of social sway, the tie-breaker and ultimate final say goes to the Empress or Emperor. They can be called "Chancellor" or "Your Grace" interchangeably.
The six Council seats are currently held by two Dukes and four Duchesses; these are: Duchess Hasetta Hayri of the Verona clan; Duchess Jidonna Jerr of the Hisstok clan; Duchess Nisea North of the Core clan; Duchess Emeri Lore of the Sword clan; Duke Terrance Terse of the Fann clan; and Duke Kayr Lore of the Sword clan. Duchess Emeri and Duke Kayr are married; the final duchy/ancient clan not represented in the Council, the Whitefangs, have been recently been blocked from holding a seat on the Council. Rumors abound, but the most salacious place a certain Duchess in bed with someone who was not her wife - and who might even be Ebani?!
Duchess/DukeThe Duchesses and Dukes are some of the most powerful people in Ognos. They wield great power and interact directly with royalty, something the average citizen will never have the chance to do. A Duke or Duchess may even claim one of the six Council seats, setting down laws and making decisions that will impact the country and individuals in huge ways. They often own several homes and properties throughout Ognos and, when Council is not in Session, often live a life of nomadic luxury as they travel from one giant, meticulously maintained estate to another. The most polite/correct way to refer to them would be "Title Lastname" ("Duke Smith") or "Your Grace".
There are six Clans with Dukes and/or Duchesses: Core, said to produce some of the finest generals and leaders in history; Fann, known for their good looks and thriving spy network (not much goes on in Ognos without the Fanns hearing about it); Hisstok, cunning snake-handlers rumored to have connections in the seedy Underground; Sword, some of the best sailors (and pirates) Ognos has ever known; Verona, inventors and artists, a number of which have been selected as Royal Consorts; and Whitefang, the current "shame of the Clans", who were once the voice of reason on the Council but have begun to crumble under inter-clan rivalries and poor money management in recent years.
Our current Dukes & Duchesses are:Duchess Hasetta Hayri of the Verona clan and her husband, Duke Horan; Duchess Jidonna Jerr of the Hisstok clan and her wife, Duchess Visa; Duchess Nisea North of the Core clan and her husband, Duke Jorr; Duchess Emeri Lore of the Sword clan and her husband, Duke Kayr; Duke Terrance Terse of the Fann clan and his husband, Duke Veni; and Duchess Gora Schade of the Whitefang clan and her wife, Duchess Ilsa.
Marchioness/MarquessMarquesses/Marchionesses are the lowest ranked members of the Ruling Class, and the title is typically reserved for the eldest child, or chosen heir, of a duchy. They have vast "allowances" and inheritances so they are very wealthy, and typically live in an inherited, very expansive estates. Many elect to be very "hands off" with the nobles in surrounding areas, but others take their duties seriously as preparation for ruling one day. The most polite/correct way to refer to them would be "Title Lastname" ("Marquess Smith") or "My Lord"/"My Lady".
The current Marquesses and Marchionesses in Ognos are: Marchioness Lilia Hayri, eldest daughter and heir of the Verona clan; Marchioness Ezia, Jidonna's eldest niece and heir of the Hisstok clan; Marchioness Kuri, daughter of Nisea and heir of the Core clan; Marchioness Selya, daughter of Emeri and heir of the Sword clan; Marchioness Peseri, eldest daughter of Terrance and heir to the Fann clan; and Duke Jorkan, son of Gora and heir of the Whitefang clan. Most are betrothed in either love or political matches, but none are married, and some are single (much to their parents' disappointment).
Note: Magical objects do exist, and are relatively easy to find, that can allow same-sex couples to reproduce. Also, Ognoshu typically do not worry about blood when it comes to family - if you are adopted, you are their child and will be treated as full-blooded/completely related to the clan from that point forward.
Countess/EarlEarls/Countesses are the most powerful noble, who are typically quite wealthy, have large, sprawling estates, and employ many people in a variety of jobs. They usually oversee six to ten villages or towns.
Viscountess/ViscountViscounts/Viscountesses are the second most powerful Noble, they typically have more money, finer estates, and more servants. They often oversee three to five villages or towns.
Baroness/BaronBarons/Baronesses are the least powerful Noble. They are typically just slightly more rich than Gentry members and large but modest estates; they usually oversee one town or village - possibly as many as two.
GentryGentry are are middle class citizens ranging from "slightly more than poor" to "quite wealthy" and usually have modest but very comfortable homes located in fairly safe areas. Some may even employ servants or household/shop assistants. They areindividuals with the title of "Sir" or "Madam" - or career-oriented titles; they can have all manner of jobs but must be certified through a Guild. Literacy is often taught during the Guild certification process so most (if not all) are literate to some extent.
They hold the second lowest social rank but are typically well-respected (if not necessarily well-liked) by higher ranks. There may be occasional conflict with commoners, especially if the Gentry become arrogant, boastful, or greedy.
CommonersCommoners are individuals hold the lowest social rank (besides convicted criminals) which grants them a different level of social freedom, but they must work hard to "overcome" their humble beginnings if they are determined to obtain a higher rank. They are without titles, and they typically have "blue collar" jobs such as servants and farmers - some are unemployed. They are rarely certified through a Guild and may not be literate (able to read/write). They live in poorer conditions and are typically not very wealthy, usually with smaller homes located in less desirable, or even dangerous, areas.