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Nobility in Velikoslavia

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The Velikoslavian Nobility arose during the early middle ages and consists of about 1,800,000 (or about 3%) of the population. Though initially a station attained by birth, the class saw a massive influx of commoners after the Table of Ascension.


Velikoslavia follows a set of laws in a system published in a document known as the Archés Diadochís (or Principles of Succession). This document was drafted and set forth by Grand Prince Eric I I of Kollavik in 1035 in order to stave off the inevitable succession war that was going to follow his death. Heavy debate over the rights of his daughter to succeed him had been raging. His second child, Erik, was vying to usurp his heir. In order to counteract his son's inability to rule and to put his chosen successor on the throne, he issued the Archés Diadochís. This still governs succession for the Tsar today, which follows Absolute Primogeniture with the eldest child inheriting the succession rather than the eldest son. This measure proved vastly unpopular and in order to secure her rule, Astrid I subsequently married and became co-ruler with her first cousin, Dagan. As a result, eligible female candidates were required to be married upon ascending the throne.

Though it was set forth that the Tsar's eldest child could inherit, this was not extended to apply to the ranks of regular nobility, who operate on the principle of Agnatic Primogeniture. Every new successor must report to the capital within two months to swear fealty to the Tsar.

Courtesy Titles

The children of a nobleman who holds hereditary nobility may be granted any courtesy titles of lower rank that the father holds. A title becomes a courtesy title after a higher rank title is granted to the lord, unless the land is granted to a new lord and the title awarded. The lord may grant his courtesy titles to his younger sons and daughters, though these titles do not represent peerages. These titles are differentiated from landed titles in that they are always considered lower in rank than a landed noble. A landed count, for example, is of higher rank than a Duke granted such as a courtesy title.


In order to be legally disinherited, the current legal heir must violate the terms of succession noted in the letters patent that pertains to their peerage. The head of a family can also file in the Court of Peers for his heir to be disinherited and a new heir designated. The monarch is able to designate his heir at his pleasure, however, in many cases upon his death the disinherited legally challenges the move. The Tsar Court of Peers both rule during such a process.

Extinct Peerages

Titles that are revoked or family lines that go extinct are transferred back to the Fount of Honor. The Tsar may choose to appoint a new holder of the peerage or award the title in some other fashion. Some Tsars have awarded titles left vacant to family members, allies, or those being honored. In the event a title is appointed, the letters patent, signet ring, and any assets and lands associated with the title are transferred legally to the appointee and they are placed into the title's line of succession. This is a rare occurrence, however, and more often than not, the peerage will simply be awarded to a sibling or relative. For example, if the 12th Count of a certain land dies with no heir and no one is available in his next of kin that can legally inherit the title, the monarch may assume the title and absorb the assets and lands into his own house. Later, he may choose to award the title again and issue a revised letters patent with the same signet ring and seat. The new Count would considered the 13th Count of a certain land even if his appointment was sometime after his predecessor.


Similar rules apply for vassals, where the new titleholder is required to swear his allegiance to his lord within the first thirty days of the title passing onto him. If he does not, then this is considered a violation of his family's vassalage. In order to justify ending a vassalage in this way, both parties must be brought before the Tsar who will hear both cases and judge whether or not the vassal should remain and under what terms he is to end his vassalage if ending it is approved. The same thing happens when a vassal's lord dies and the title changes hands. Each vassal must swear new allegiance to the new lord.


Noble status in Velikoslavia is obtained either by being bestowed by a Fount of honour, in this case the Tsar of Velikoslavia, or via inheritance from one generation to the next. Within the system exists a system of ranks in which every noble is a part of. The highest and oldest rank are the Ancient Nobility, or those who can trace their lineage back to the arrival of or in some cases even before the founding of the Principality of Kollavik. The next rank is the Titled Nobility, who posses a title such as Grand Prince of Marquis. Below these two ranks fall the Personal Nobility and the Estateless Nobility.

All forms of nobility, with the exception of Ancient Nobility, can be acquired under the Code of Meritocracy introduced in 1670. Traditionally, a noble title came with a grant of land and the ability to own and acquire more land, but this was abolished in a similar manner by the reforms of Alexis I the Preeminent in 1730. Though nobility is no longer tied to land ownership, the Tsar can theoretically grand land from his own holdings.

Velikoslavia does not employ an official nobiliary particle before a surname (such as von or de). Noblemen are accorded an official salutation, or style, that varies by rank, such as Your Grace. A key badge of rank for all nobility is being able to speak the traditional court language of Old Telerian, and one is expected to learn the language upon receiving any noble status.

Ancient nobility

The Ancient Nobility are the highest ranked and are composed of those families who can trace their lineage all the way back to the original Telerian clans of the 900s. All Telerian families occupy the rank of Grand Duke and Archduke. This is the only noble rank not attainable via merit.

Titled nobility

Titled nobility are those who hold an official title bestowed upon them via the font of honor or via inheritance. Titled nobility can either be proprietary, for those who own land in Velikoslavia, or titular, or those who are only endowed with a rank and title. The practice of granting proprietary titles mostly ceased after the Thirty Years War when the crown created the Imperial Holdings Corporation and transferred ownership of all state owned lands. Though it can still be done by command of the Tsar, virtually all titles granted since the 19th century have been titular in nature.

Hereditary nobility

Hereditary nobility denote those who inherited a title through the agnatic line. Hereditary nobility oftentimes possesses less wealth in successive generations, since aristocratic families are allowed to structure the succession terms of their estates, just not their titles. These families often have varying degrees of rank, wealth, and influence depending on the actions of their forefathers.

Personal nobility

Personal nobility is acquired generally by admission to an order of knighthood, awarded for rising to a certain rank on the xxx, or given at the behest of the Tsar as an award for services rendered or acts of valor. It is only transferable to one's wife and is not hereditary.

Estateless nobility

Estateless nobility is acquired via state service but does not come with a grant of land. It is commonly awarded to those who reach high positions within the government.


Nobility hold special privileges that are given to them with their station.

Individual ranks also bear certain rights above and beyond these.

Court of Peers

The Court of Peers is located in the Kollavik in the Old City in Vuldstrum Hall, which was constructed in 1003 under the orders of Erik I the Scholar, to keep written records pertaining to the realm. By the 1100s, the larger Ralinund Castle had been completed, which meant the archive space in the hall was no longer required. It was thus decided by Vsevolod I in 1180 to establish the Court of Peers in the hall, which was renovated for the task. The Charter of the Court of the Peers that he issued that same year became the basis for the court, though its role has expanded in the subsequent centuries.

The court's primary role is to keep records of all of those of noble birth, which eventually proved to be a monumental task as the years wore on. The institution was expanded with several off site archives where genealogies and copies of letters patent were kept on hand. When a new child is born into a noble house, it is considered their duty to send word to the Court of Peers so that the new baby may be recorded in the genealogies of the realm. When the Table of Succession was introduced, the Court was further expanded to deal with the influx of nobility. In addition to the letters patent, the court began issuing identification papers to every noble house in 1740. In modern times, the court issues special licenses of identification to those of noble birth. For those who wish to prove noble heritage, it is possible to pay the court a sum of money and have the expert Genealogists to comb the archives to attempt to verify the claim.

Today, most of the records of the court have both digital copies for quick searching held on the Prophet Super Computer, backup paper copies, and Magnetic-tape data storage and are held at various sites. Day to day affairs are still conducted at both Vuldstrum Hall for affairs of the nobility and the North 105 Office Complex in Levograv to handle commoner requests for genealogy searches.

Noble titles of Velikoslavia

Due to the reforms of Paul I the Scholar, Velikoslavian nobility was streamlined to appear more like the western nobility of the Latins and other western courts. The archaic titles of the Boyars were virtually done away with in the highest courts of the land, though boyar families remained in far-flung corners such as in Nekulturnya. Titles such as Counts and Margraves were adopted and codified and systems of rank were streamlined based on Telerian blood.

Noble titles of Velikoslavia
Title Crown Application Style of Address
Tsar of all of Velikoslavia

His Imperial Majesty The Lord Ruler and Autocrat of All Velikoslavia

Heraldic Imperial Crown of Russia.svg The ruler of the Velikoslavian Empire and its constituent entities. Your Imperial Majesty
Tsaritsa of All Velikoslavia

Her Imperial Majesty First Lady of All Velikoslavia

Heraldic Crown of the Empress of Russia.svg The legal wife of the Tsar of Velikoslavia. Your Imperial Majesty

His Imperial Highness The Lord Heir Tsesarevich

Crown of Russian Empress Anna Ivanowna.svg Heir apparent of Velikoslavia. Your Imperial Highness

His Imperial Highness the Tsarevich

T09 Herzog.svg Sons born directly in the current Imperial Line that are direct descendants of the current ruling monarch. Those with this title are considered candidates for succession to the throne and for appointment to Tsesarevich, should a ruling Tsar wish it. Your Imperial Highness


Her Imperial Highness the Tsarvena

T09 Herzog.svg Daughters born directly in the current Imperial Line that are direct descendants of the current ruling monarch. Those with this title are considered candidates for succession to the throne should a son not be available. Your Imperial Highness
Grand Prince

His Imperial Highness the Grand Prince

Russian Princely hat.svg A living direct descendant of a former Tsar inherits this title once their generation inherits the throne. Your Imperial Highness
Grand Princess

Her Imperial Highness the Grand Princess

Russian Princely hat.svg A living direct descendant of a former Tsar inherits this title once their generation inherits the throne. Your Imperial Highness
Prince of the Blood

His Highness, the Prince

Coronet of an Infante - Kingdom of Portugal.svg A child or grandchild of a Grand Prince or Princess. Your Highness
Princess of the Blood

Her Highness, the Prince

Coronet of an Infante - Kingdom of Portugal.svg A child or grandchild of a Grand Prince or Princess. Your Highness
Grand Duke

His Grace the Duke

Monomakh hat.svg A title reserved for sitting members of the Council of Nine. Only the nine heads of the highest ranking Telerian houses carry this title and new Grand Dukes cannot be created except without consent amongst all of the sitting Grand Dukes. Your Grace

His Grace the Askemann

Archducal Coronet.svg A title granted exclusively to families who can trace their lineage back to the original Telerian warriors that came with Dagan I. If one of the Nine Houses were to go extinct, an Archduke would be eligible for promotion to Grand Duke. Your Grace

His Excellency the Duke

Older Electoral hat.svg Hereditary title that is the highest title a house with no Telerian blood can hold. Your Excellency

His Serenity the Margrave

Crown of a Marquis of France (variant).svg The highest title held by middle nobility. Marquis are permitted at all court functions and are allowed to directly petition the Tsar during all of the court feasts. Your Serenity

His Serenity the Count

Rangkronen-Fig. 27.svg Rank of the vast majority of Middle nobility. Counts are the lowest rank that are permitted to visit Velikograd Palace without gaining permission from the Ministry of the Velikograd Court. They may petition the Tsar at the Feast of the Well Born every session of court. Your Serenity

His Lordship the Viscount

Rangkronen-Fig. 18.svg A rank a Baron earns in order to permit them to move within the walls of the Old City of Kollavik around the palace. A Viscout may also attend court and petition the Tsar at the Feast of Ravens. Your Serenity

The Well Born Baron

Rangkronen-Fig. 38.svg Low nobility title regularly inherited by merit. Your Well Birth

Honorable Born Noble

Rangkronen-Fig. 30.svg Title of nobility awarded to those who rise to certain ranks in the government or military. Those promoted may join individual private guard units of higher nobility or elite military units. Nobles are allowed to attend many court functions. Honored Sir


Hereditary nobility can be achieved in three ways; 1) By grant to individuals or families; 2) by attaining a certain military or civil officer's rank while in active service; 3) by being awarded an order of chivalry. It can also be earned by reaching Prime-5 rank in any of the major service branches.

Personal nobility can be acquired in the following ways: 1) by grant; 2) by attaining the Prime-7 rank in one of the possible service branches; 3) by being awarded the orders of Velikoslavia unless those gave hereditary nobility. Personal nobility was not inherited by children but was shared by the recipient's wife.

A title in any form can only be created by the Tsar. A peerage is the highest form of title and bestows the right of hereditary succession on the recipient and his direct family. Direct family are considered to be one woman as his partner, and any children he has fathered with that woman. The peerage also grants the title holder the right to request other extended family members be included in the peerage, which constitute any male siblings of the title holder. The recipient of the peerage is grated a Grámmata paténta (or Letters Patent) in which establishes an official house title featuring the surname of the individual granted the title. This directly allows the peerage holder and his family to be granted an official record in the Court of Peers, where all of the records of nobility are kept. Letters patent typically come with a financial grant, even if they do not come with land.