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 Baronets are given the responsibility to promote the growth and development of fledgling worlds that show some promise of expanding their role in the Imperium. Such Baronets are often equated with being a "Baron in Training", though it is the world they oversee that is really being tested.
Ceremonial Baronets have administrative duties as lesser functionaries within bureaucracies overseen by higher level nobles, depending upon the nature and importance of the office.
- The land grant of a Landed Baronet is known as a Baronetcy.
- The title of baronet is hereditary, but is otherwise similar to that of a "senior knight". The title of baronet is often awarded to members of local planetary nobility who are not world-rulers in order to enhance their off-world prestige. It is common (though not required) for a baronetcy to be accompanied by a knighthood, further reinforcing the “senior knight” image.
History & Background (Dossier)
At the beginning of the Pacification Campaigns in 76, the Emperor Artemsus created a new form of Archduke to oversee each of the new Domains of the Imperium. One of the privileges granted to these new Archdukes was the right to create both Knights and a new form of lesser Baron called a Baronet for his own needs within his Domain.
Today Baronets can be created and assigned by either the Iridium Throne or, in some parts of the Imperium, by the Archdukes of Domains. Like Knights, Baronets are not normally considered to be part of the Peerage, although those appointed by the Emperors as Imperial Landed Baronets have access to and voting rights within the Imperial Moot. Many Baronets have no associated land-grant at all, holding the title merely as an honorific.