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Titles of Peerage and Their Forms of Address

Discussion in 'The Baja Roleplaying & Event Alliance' started by WarderDragon, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. WarderDragon

    WarderDragon Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend BRPA

    Oct 9, 2008
    Likes Received:
    In an effort to promote Classical Medievalism and encourage the Low (or Heroic) Fantasy Themes that sets our fiction and IC encounters apart; I am posting this brief guide to European Titles of Peerage from the Atlantic Roleplayers Wiki.

    It is not a complete guide; but I think it is suitable for our goals and will help us to develop a habit of using historically accurate forms when addressing individuals such as the Queen of Britannia or the Grand Duchess of Dawn.

    (I've edited the piece extensively for accuracy and grammar. Compare to the original to see what I mean. I've also consolidated some sections and introduced the rarely used Nordic and German Titles; which you will be seeing in my own personal fiction very soon.)

    Caste: The mark of a people that has advanced from Barbarism to Civilization. The most common castes are the Warrior, the Priest (Shaman or Brahman), Merchantile, Peasant and Peer Castes.

    Peer: A member of the aristocratic caste in Britannic or Akalabethan society; equivalent to the Patricians of Magincia and the Daimyo of Tokunoshima. The British System has five ranks which (from highest to lowest) are: Duke, Marquis (or Margrave), Earl, Viscount (or Count), and Baron.

    Other countries (or worlds in our setting) have names for similar ranks. A Shogun in Tokunoshima might be similar to a Grand Duke in Britannia. While Knights in Britannia have their equivalents in the Thanes of the Norse and the Samurai of Japan.


    Sir Galahadrim or Dame Gwynhwyfar

    A mounted man at arms (traditionally) who serves a feudal superior; equivalent to the Hyperborean Thane, the Magincian Equite and the Zenite Samurai. The title can be either hereditary or granted by a Feudal Lord of sufficient authority.

    A Dame is a woman who has been Knighted.


    Lord Galahadrim or Lady Gwynhwyfar; My Lord or My Lady; M'Lord or M'Lady; My Liege.

    A Lord (or Lady) is a man in a position of Feudal authority; generally a land owner or belonging to a land owning family. While Feudal states often possess a King; the monarchs power is often limited affording each state a level of individual autonomy.

    The men who would be given this title as a form of address include nobles below the rank of Duke or the Sons of a Duke. The equivalent Hyperborean title is Graf and the equivalent Zenite title is Daimyo.

    'Lady' on the other hand may sometimes be applied to a commoner if the communicator is attempting to be extremely polite and respectful; or in the case of a suitor, flattering or flirtatious. But it would not be the proper form of address on a regular basis.

    One footnote which may not actually by true (but is something I have heard in the past) is that if a woman named Susan Smith, for example, is married to a man with the title of "Lord", and her father was a peer given the title of "Lord" she is addressed as Lady Susan. If her father was NOT a lord and she only married into the nobility, she is called Lady Smith. (i.e. by her husbands name.)

    Duke or Duchess

    His or Her Grace; Your Grace.

    The Feudal ruler of a Duchy or Dukedom; the highest rank of the peerage class below Royal. The non-ruling members of a monarchal family are also often given the titles of Grand Duke or Grand Duchess.

    You may also refer to a Duke or Duchess as a Lord or Lady.

    Prince or Princess

    His or Her Highness; Your Highness.

    The Son or Daughter of a King and Queen. In some countries this can also be a title granted to a full ruler. (i.e. Principalities, City States, or sometimes Protectorates of a Kingdom that maintain some functional independance.)


    His or Her Majesty, Your Majesty.

    The ruling sovereign of a Kingdom. The equivalent ranks would be Emperor (Tokunoshima), Pharaoh (Umbra), Sultan (Nujel'm) and Princeps or First Amongst Equals (Magincia). Chieftain would also be used amongst the Barbarian Tribes of the Hyperborean North and the Delucian Steppes. Warchief amongst the Orcs.

    The distinction between a Kingdom and a Empire is that a Kingdom often rules over one ethnic and lingual group. An Emperor on the other hand is the functional administrator of several races and lingual groups; and sometimes divides his or her area of influence amongst several smaller Kingdoms.

    So the Kingdom of Britannia could actually be considered an Empire (numerous ethnic groups are implied to populate the original map; Britannian [English] and Gaelic [Skara Braen] being the most well discussed.). The Andalusian Sultanate of Nujel'm would be considered a Kingdom within the administrative domain of a Greater Empire (Britannia).

    The Kingdom of Dawn would be considered a True Kingdom.

    Who shouldn't be refered to as a Lord or Lady?

    Slaves, Serfs, Peasants, Merchants, Wenches, Brothel Maidens, Craftsmen. Commoners, essentially.

    However, a commoner who conquers a new territory or founds a village is free to grant themselves a title of peerage by right of conquest.

    Other Notes:

    Mediterranean (Grecian; Roman; Carthaginian; et. al.) States such as Magincia and Luna could be infered to have a Senatoral Government. Patrician Senators (and the Council of Mages) would be refered to as 'Senator [Insert Name Here].'

    Judges (and sometimes Druids) would be refered to as 'The Honorable [Insert Name Here].' Druids in Ultima Lore take on the role of Justicars and Preservers of Virtuous Justice; a theme that is more typical of their Gaelic counterparts (who combined the roles of Judge, Shaman, Philosopher, Astrologer, and Poet) than the tree-hugging hippies of Dungeons & Dragons Lore.

    Priests and Nuns would be refered to as Father (or Padre) or Mother. A much more respectful version is 'Reverend Father' or 'Reverend Mother.' While Priests are uncommon in Ultima; they are sometimes played by players. Occlo also has Priests who adhere to a religion much different than the Philosophy of Virtue.​
  2. Brytt

    Brytt Seasoned Veteran
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Mar 16, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Awwww. Not "Red!" ? Also, good to know. I've been using the honorifics "majesty" and "your grace" to Queen Dawn interchangeably. I'll go with simply "majesty" from now on....

    The Sisters of the Cloister of the Order of Pragmatic Wisdom may feel a little over-honored being referred to as Mother. I think simply, Sister, is fine for all except current Reverend Mother Tori (Keagan).