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Titles/ranking

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Halcyon Spinney, Mar 27, 2020.

  1. Halcyon Spinney

    Halcyon Spinney Acolyte

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    Does anyone else struggle with creating a unique system of titles? We all know the most popular option is to go with the Feudal system, but I'm hoping to create something new for my story. At the moment I have a king (someone who is widely recognised to be powerful), and I have knights however they are not from royal blood like normal (rather the highest rank in the army without influence of royalty). I'm looking to have at least 5 complex ranks, (like the Feudal system) e.g peasants, nobles, and barons etc but not historically accurate as this is a fantasy story. If anyone has any suggestions or comments I'd appreciate that very much :happy:
     
    Avery Moore likes this.
  2. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Inkling

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    For the more European-like setting I've used in some of my fiction, I dipped into older or out-of-the-mainstream titles. I drew from Irish/Gaelic ranks for the older Sharshite titles (now outlawed but folks remember them) before their conquest by the Muram Empire. The Pretender, their Sharshite king in exile, styles himself the Ri. For the Mura themselves I use ranks lifted from the Romans, Princeps, Dux, etc. Their 'knights' are equestors. In forgotten corners of the bordering nations we have thanes (sometimes spelled theigns) and other titles that hark back to Germanic or Anglo-Saxon usage.

    To be sure, elsewhere in the world and at other times, there are completely different names for rulers and nobles, some taken from other languages, some simply made up. That is always an option!
     
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  3. enoch driscoll

    enoch driscoll Scribe

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    I have found that names relating to the job of that class very effective. For a surf-level class, you could use the name Muds, or Stinks(these might work better as slang names). But readers take what they are told. If you say the king's title is hiflssad, readers will find it logical and creative, even though I just pushed a bunch of random keys on my keyboard to get that.
     
  4. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    In history barons, dukes, viscounts... when two countries merged, one would use small counties, the other large duchies, and so the merging systems just got pretty messy. But they’re all a form of governor.

    So if you’re using your own system, one thing to avoid is making it too neat and tidy. Reality is messy.

    Thinking about the history and setting might help. Have countries gotten stable? Are they still trying to copy and one up each other? Would there be foreign words and regions of different sizes or would it be more uniform? Are there lots of nobles or few more powerful ones?
     
  5. Avery Moore

    Avery Moore Dreamer

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    If you want to get fancy, you could use foreign titles like Marquis or Chevalier, or you could always make them up yourself. But I suppose it depends on what you're going for. Are the titles for specific occupations or rather a person's rank in society? I.E. Working class, middle class, upper class. If so, maybe look up words relating to the status of the particular class you're wanting to name and choose something that fits, like; "Serf" or "Countryman" for a peasant.

    Here's a wiki page with a long list of titles if that's useful at all: Imperial, royal and noble ranks - Wikipedia
     
    Halcyon Spinney likes this.
  6. Halcyon Spinney

    Halcyon Spinney Acolyte

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    Thank you x
     
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