The standard ranks of Nobility are:
- Emperor / Empress
- Archduke / Archduchess
- Duke / Duchess
- Count / Countess or Contessa
- Viscount / Viscountess
- Marquis / Marchioness or Marquesa
- Baron / Baroness
- Baronet / Baronetess
- Knight / Dame
Landed Barons are awarded their Baronial titles when their world attains the potential of an Agricultural asset or has become comfortably developed as a Rich world.
Ceremonial Barons have administrative duties that may encompass a world or system, or are lesser functionaries within bureaucracies overseen by higher level nobles, depending upon the nature and importance of the office.
- The Vilani term for Baron is Iishakku.
- The land grant of a Landed Baron is known as a Barony.
History & Background (Dossier)
The Ziru Sirka
Under the Old Vilani Imperium, an Iishakku (“governor”) was in origin a regional administrator on ancient Vland, with both executive and judicial powers over a large city or its equivalent. When the Vilani developed space travel, the duties of the Iishakku were expanded to the roughly modern equivalent of an Imperial Baron, typically administering one or more worlds under a provincial governor. In some cases Iishakku served as roving troubleshooters and inspectors, and as such they wielded power and influence out of proportion to their official position.
After the establishment of the Rule of Man over the defeated Vilani Imperium, most of the old Vilani titles were rendered into rough Anglic equivalents, and Iishakku was translated as Baron, though its function within the Old Imperial social and political structure initially remained largely unchanged.
The Third Imperium
In the early years of the Imperium, barons served in lesser positions throughout the majority of the Imperial government, often assigned to act as couriers or personal representatives of higher ranked nobles on critical missions. Though all barons were landless in the founding years of the Imperium, they would eventually be awarded the oversight of worlds as they were added to the Imperium.
Though the title of baron had existed under the Sylean Federation's system of nobility, Cleon I conceived of “the baronage” as a major link between the Imperium and its member worlds, his intention being that local leaders on Imperial worlds would be given a stake in the Imperial system through the grant of landed baronial (or lesser) titles. Alongside the many barons already present in the Imperial government, barons eventually came to vastly outnumber the rest of the Imperial peerage as a result.
Today barons can be created and assigned by either the Iridium Throne or, in some parts of the Imperium, by the Archdukes of Domains. Those created by an Archduke are officially ranked below those created by the Emperor, but are usually recommended for Imperial appointment. Some barons have no associated land-grant at all, holding the title merely as an honorific. However, many have at least some territorial holdings, even if they are not representing a world to the Imperium.
- Local planetary nobility who are world-rulers are sometimes granted a barony associated with their world if they do not possess a higher Imperial title of their own both as a courtesy and in order to give them a stake in the ruling of the Imperium.
- Imperial admirals and generals are often granted the honor title of baron without a fief or duties if they achieve their rank without having acquired any other title.
References & Contributors (Sources)
- GURPS Traveller: Nobles
- MegaTraveller Imperial Encyclopedia
- T4: Milieu 0
- Traveller 5th Core Rules
- Novel: Agent of the Imperium by Marc W. Miller
- Periodical: Imperiallines 7 (magazine)