Into the Shadow
Nobles and Titles of Cormyr
The nobility is organized into a loose heirarchy with titles granted by the monarch. Many titles are also passed down through each generation. While noble families may have various debts of honour, money, property or service and contracts outlining obligations they are not permitted to swear on oath of loyalty to anyone other than the monarch. In the past title dictated how large of a personal army a noble was allowed to raise. In modern times the title serves no indication as to how powerful a house is except in social circles.
Each noble house posses a heraldic crest. In addition, each noble that has a true title (one that they have been directly granted, or gained from the death of a parent) wears a Crown of Rank. This is a simple steel circlet with two spires to which ornaments are welded to denote increasing rank and titles. Higher ranked nobles will have their crowns plated in silver or gold.
Nobles are allowed to keep an armed retinue, maintain fortified residences, hire mercenary bands, pass heraldic blazons to their children and serve as officers in the Purple Dragons. They have the power to detain and arrest (but not put on trial or punish) commoners. Nobles may also petition the Crown directly without requiring and advocate in Court. They may also openly carry weapons in cities.
In exchange for these privileges the nobles must swear fealty to both the monarch and the Crown itself. They must also maintain a retinue ready for conscription into the Purple Dragons, be prepared to serve themselves, or fund the hiring of an appropriate unit of soldiers in the event of a war. Taxes are also collected.
Titles below the rank of Duke are usually associated with a specific region or locality within Cormyr although it is purely symbolic. The association gives no official authority over the region but most nobles try to have at least a token presence in the area.
The current ruling monarch. The wife of the king is also known as Queen, but the husband of the Queen would be the Prince-Consort.
The Crown traditionally passes down to the oldest heir, male or female
Any son/daughter of the monarch that is not the heir
These titles are usually reserved for relatives of the monarch. The heads of House Truesilver and House Crownsilver are also Dukes as their families have strong blood ties to the throne. Once the Crown Prince becomes King and has an heir of his own all remaining Princes and Princesses gain a variation of the title: Duke Royal or Duchess Royal.
A rarely awarded title bestowed upon nobles who serve the Crown by settling in dangerous territories. This has not been asked of any noble for a number of years but it is considered a high honour to receive the title. This title does not typicall pass to children.
A Countess is addressed as Lady except by official documents. Most of the heads of the oldest noble houses hold this title.
Many moderately powerful houses have heads with this title.
A common title for the heads of most minor houses. Adventurers also are sometimes elevated to this title for devoted service to the Crown.
Most noble houses that have been around for a few generations are comprised of nobles with this title. It is commonly passed down to children of parents with a higher rank, who will then inherit the parents title upon their death.
A King’s Lord is a title given to administrators of smaller hamlets and villages. They do not officially own the land they are assigned but they are expected to rule and be the official presence of the King.
Knights of the realm earn their title through service, not by birth. They do not have the full powers of a true noble but through service they may be elevated to a high rank and form a new noble house. There are two higher ranks of knight – the Highknight and the Knight-Exalted.