The Imperial Nobility is a narrow class of persons at the upper strata of society who hold, either personally or through their family line, noble rank from the Emperor. All but the highest noble ranks (count, duke, archduke) can be awarded in recognition of achievement or preeminence in a field of endeavor.
The nobility includes within it a subset called the peerage, which consists of all nobels except knights and baronets. Except in extraordinary situations, to hold high office in the Imperial bureaucracy, a person must be a peer. Collectively, the peerage constitues the Moot, the Imperial government's only deliberative body.
Nobility is usually hereditary. Once confirmed by the Moot, a title continues to be passed down to succeeding generation. Titles need not pass through the first born (although this is the accepted practice), and individuals with several titles may devide them among their children as they see fit.
Noble rank can be revoked by the emperor, personally or thought the Moot. Reasons for such revocation are treason, murder, kidnapping, and extortion as well as other felonies. Incompetence can also be a reson. Occasionally, a noble rank will not be confirmed upon inheritance. All noble ranks within the peerage come from the emperor. The ability to create knights and baronets, however, is shared with the Archdukes of the Imperium.
Types of Nobles
Nobles in the Third Imperium can be divided into three types: honour (achievement), rank (position), and high (service). In general a noble's status is lower when he leaves his sphere of influence.
- Honour Nobles recieve patents from the emperor for heroism in the military, success in civil or commercial enterprise, or innovation and discovery in teh sciences. Only patents for knights, baronets, barons and marquis may be issued for achievement.
- Rank Nobles
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