As most Kingdoms do, North Mississippi has a hierarchy of nobility, from the richest and most powerful Duke to the lowly rural Gentleman. The system was codified by King Xavier in his first month as king.
At the time, his kingdom was divided into counties, squares twenty-five miles to a side, with a few adjustments here and there for geography or populations. Many of his nobles were given to him, either veterans of his father’s empire or coming from across the sea with the Imperial Commonwealth. He had a mix of experienced and inexperienced, loyal and unknown. He built a system with the advice of his friends, a mixed pack of sycophants and true noblemen, and his son, Prince Leopold.
Some noblemen have jobs and duties that take them away from their counties, leaving the control of those counties in the hands of trusted advisors or family members. Others dedicate their time to their counties entirely.
Duke (Duchess): Just below the Royal Family are the six dukes. Their territories are the big population centers of the kingdom, with hundreds of thousands of men and women in each. The Duke of Omaha is a continuation of the original line that surrendered to the Commonwealth without a fight. The other five were created by King Xavier.
- Duke of Ramsey – Royal Cities North
- Duke of Hennepin – Royal Cities West
- Duke of Mendota – Royal Cities South
- Duke of Omaha
- Duke of Des Moines
- Duke of Rochester
Marquess (Marquessa): King Xavier created the rank of Marquess to deal with a political oddity of his kingdom, the Verendrye forest. Although cut in half by the North Mississippi – Quebec border, the forest was left alone. Xavier created the Marquess as a non-hereditary nobleman, who was to act as the governor of the forest, even as the forest ignored him.
A second Marques was created after the Range Riot. The Marquess of Mesabi is a position, currently held by the Count of Virginia, to coordinate threats on the Mesabi range, which is considered the homeland of the Iron Guard.
Earl (Countess): An Earl is a nobleman who controls a normal sized county, but whose territory includes a medium or large city in it. Duluth, Waterloo and Mankato are Earldoms.
Count (Countess): A count is the nobleman who rules over a county, the most common subdivision of North Mississippi. Counts can raise yeomanry, enact ordinances, and are responsible for collecting taxes and keeping order.
Viscount (Viscountess): A viscount is a rank of nobility that is non-heredity. A viscount is given stewardship over a portion of another noble’s territory. For example, the Earl of Duluth has a Viscount of Superior. Viscounts are nominated by the noble and confirmed by the king.
Gentleman/Esquire (Lady): The lowest level, and the only level that can be bestowed by any member of the nobility. This rank is non-hereditary, and granted to men who great assist their lords.
Gentleman refers to those who handle land or resources, often in rural settings. Esquire denotes those who work in administrative or legal work, usually in cities and urban settings.