Imperial Decrees (Shireroth)/The Systemization of Rank

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A Decree from Her Imperial Magnificence

Salome, through the intercessions of Divine Providence, Kaiseress of Shireroth,

Sovereign among Laqs, Queen of Ransenar, Rani of Tas Neemia, Emira of Sathrati, Sardar of Talenore, Princess of Hurmu, Princess among the Lakes, Duchess of Brookshire, Duchess of the Guttuli, Duchess of Chestnut, Duchess of New Aquitane, Marchioness of Zy-Rodun, Khanum of Caer Lum'ruush, Countess of Upper Macon, Countess of Andiopolis, Countess of Dracoheim, Countess of Istvan, Baroness of Port Mills, Lady of Zauberförde/Senkyōwan, Lady in Jorvik, Progeny of the Once-Living God, Scion of the King of Kings, Thane of the Shirelands, Keeper of the Apollo Legacy, Grand Master of the Orders of the Dragon, of Griffin, of Phoenix, and of Chimera, Sovereign of the Golden Mango Throne, Lord Mayor of the City of Vladagrad,

announcing for the sake of all Shireroth that,

Since the setting of Our father's reign, extraordinary measures have been necessary so that order may prevail within the Imperium. Order has indeed prevailed, the foundations of the Imperium have been made secure once again, and now so too shall prosperity prevail within the Imperium.

For prosperity to prevail within the Imperium, We shall here establish a rational and just manner to recognize and reward those who have, who are, and who will answer the call to serve Us and the Imperium. There is no greater trueness than a subject who has committed themselves to Us and to the Imperium. Their truth has revealed to the Imperium that their heart has been forged with nobility. Where Divine Providence has forged nobility, We shall recognize and reward, that this newfound nobility not be lost, but rather that it take root and prosper. Likewise, for prosperity to prevail, those whose honor is revealed to be a spent force and whose heart is a desert for truth, as Divine Providence has forged them. Here too, We shall recognize and reward. Thus, the untrue shall be hewn down that the true may proper, each in accordance with their heart. Evermore shall truth be the measure of one's fate and the fate of one's posterity. In keeping with this, that the Gods may ever show favor to Us and to the Imperium,

The following have been offered, as a sign of Our justice:

  1. Kinds of Denizens. Among the ordinary subjects, We shall recognize four kinds:
    1. those in direct service to Our government, either among the ranks of the armed forces or in the civil service;
    2. those who operate freely and have neither marks against their honor nor merit to indicate its worth;
    3. those who have bound themselves by lawful contract and are unable to operate freely, but similarly have neith marks against their honor nor merit to indicate its worth;
    4. those who have denigrated the lot of humanity by reducing themselves and others into a state of degeneration, whether by allowing their otherwise free nature to be reduced to that of servility, or by indulging in criminality, or by other means of impropriety.
  2. Grades of Citizens. Among the Imperium's nobility, We shall recognize twelve grades in four categories, in order of descending service and dignity:
    1. In the category of The Throne:
      1. The Kaiser, whom alone Divine Providence has seen fit to invest with all power and dignity, that the Imperium may be steered true.
    2. In the category of Highest Service:
      1. Princes of Shireroth, the Steward of the Imperial Republic, the Chamberlain of the Imperial Household;
      2. Dukes, Ministers;
      3. Counts-Palatine, Masters of Soldiers;
      4. Imperial Commissioners.
    3. In the category of High Service:
      1. Marquises and Counts, Standards and Legates, Lieutenants for the Golden Mango Throne, Ambassadors to lands beyond the frontier;
      2. Viscounts, Tribunes of the Broad Stripe, Directors in the Civil Service, Chief Superintendants in Law Enforcement;
      3. Tribunes of the Moderate Stripe, Professors;
      4. Lords in Shirekeep, Barons, and Untitled Lords, Tribunes of the Narrow Stripe, Councilors in the Civil Service, Consuls representing Our subjects in lands beyond the frontier, Chief Custodians for Imperial Collections, Docents;
    4. In the category of Upper Service:
      1. Captains and Ordinates, Lead Inspectors in the Civil Service and in Law Enforcement, Prosecutors in the Imperial Judex, Imperial Notaries;
      2. Undercaptains, Attachés in the service of representing Our subjects in lands beyond the frontier;
      3. Inspectors in the Civil Service and in Law Enforcement, Jurists in the Imperial Judex.
  3. Grants according to Status. All inhabitants of the Imperium shall be granted status, respect, and liberties in accordance with the degree to which their kind and rank has been measured and recognized by the Golden Mango Throne.
  4. Style of Address. Status shall be dignified through style of address. These are the prescribed styles:
    1. The Kaiser shall be addressed as "Your Magnificence";
    2. Grade II shall be addressed as "Your Serenity";
    3. Grades III through V shall be addressed as "Your Illustriousness";
    4. Grade VI shall be addressed as "The Admirable and Illustrious";
    5. Grades VII through IX shall be addressed as "The Admirable";
    6. Grades X through XII shall be addressed as "The Honorable";
    7. Ungraded Subjects of the First Kind shall be addressed by their rank in Our service;
    8. Ungraded Subjects of the Second Kind shall be addressed as "Good";
    9. Ungraded Subjects if the Third Kind shall be addressed as "Loyal";
    10. Ungraded Subjects of the Last Kind shall not be addressed.
  5. Seniority within a Grade. Within the same grade and rank, subjects shall be ordered according to length of service at that grade.
  6. Demonstrations of Respect. All Subjects shall give and receive demonstrations of respect in accordance with their rank. The prescribed manner of demonstrating respect to someone of equal or greater degree of service is as follows:
    1. For the same degree or one degree, one shall offer the head-only bow;
    2. For two Degrees, one shall offer the belt-low Bow;
    3. For three Degrees, one shall offer the belt-Low Bow augmented with one hand touching the ground;
    4. For four Degrees, one shall offer a Light Earth-Low Bow;
    5. For five Degrees, one shall offer a Heavy Earth-Low Bow;
    6. For six Degrees or more, one shall offer a full prostration to the ground.
  7. Entourages. The granting of entourages is restricted in the following manner:
    1. Grants of an entourage are specific to standing in the Imperial Presence at court or in other such public venues. When summoned for a private audience, a subject may only be accompanied by the officers of their prescribed entourage, if granted any.
    2. Prospective Men-At-Arms shall be vetted by the Chamber of the Crypteia before a household may employ them as Men-At-Arms. Only authorized Men-At-Arms may be retained by a household and counted towards an entourage.
    3. Members of the household may appear with an entourage without the presence of the grantee themselves. Such an entourage shall be limited to one Officer and a maximum of Four Men-At-Arms.
  8. Liberties. The reward for duty is increasing liberty. Thus, liberties are granted in the following cumulative manner, from the lowest to the highest subject in the Imperium:
    1. Senior ungraded subjects of the first kind are accorded the privilege to petition the Kaiser personally at court instead of through the Chamber of Petitions and Pleas and shall receive priority consideration by Our government.
    2. Those of the Upper Service are accorded also the following liberties:
      1. a personal non-heritable noble dignity;
      2. voting privileges for the Adelsraad upon obtaining majority;
      3. The ability to purchase and own real estate and right to a share of the rent and productive wealth of the estate, to be retained for personal use by a surviving spouse and/or children who have not attained majority, at which point it devolves to the lord paramount;
      4. Guaranteed admission for one's immediate descendants into the Imperial Academy;
      5. An entourage of one Man-At-Arms while in the Imperial Presence.
    3. Those of the High Service are accorded also the following liberties:
      1. a heritable, familial noble dignity to be shared with one's spouse (excepting morganatic marriage), legitimate children, and adopted children after ten years of cohabitation, inheriting a status equivalent to the most junior of the Upper Service, behind those who have demonstrated the mettle of their heart;
      2. Inheritance of real estate by the household, wherein, should the household become extinct, the property shall devolve to the lord paramount;
      3. An entourage of One Watchmaster in command over four Men-At-Arms while in the Imperial Presence.
    4. Those of the Highest Service are accorded also the following liberties:
      1. a heritable, familial noble dignity with a status equivalent to the most junior of the High Service, behind those who have demonstrated the mettle of their heart;
      2. The right to demand a private audience;
      3. An entourage of One Captain and Two Watchmasters in command over twelve Men-At-Arms while in the Imperial Presence.
  9. Courtesy Dignity. Courtesy dignity shall be given unto persons for whom grade and rank are insufficient or inapplicable to the station to which they occupy. Such courtesy dignity shall only be granted in accordance with law, shall not be inheritable by the posterity of said person, and shall not afford that person liberties beyond those of their actual grade and rank when operating beyond the station to which courtesy has been lawfully extended.
  10. Status for Corporate Bodies. Corporate bodies that have been bestowed graded status shall be accorded dignity in this manner:
    1. The corporate body as a legal entity shall be accorded the prescribed liberties to the degree to which they are applicable;
    2. The presiding officer of a corporate body shall be accorded a courtesy dignity equal to that of one grade below the corporate body while representing the corporate body;
    3. An emeritus presiding officer shall be accorded a courtesy dignity equal to that of two grades below the corporate body, unless they have disgraced themselves;
  11. Peerages. Inheritance of noble titles shall be governed by the creation, or by house rules. In cases where a unique mechanism for governance does not exist, it shall follow the norms of absolute primogeniture. Inheritance of grade and status, without title, shall conform to that which has been prescribed herein.

The following have also been offered, as a sign of Our jurisprudence:

  1. The statuses of Loyal Subject, Community Servitude, and Protected Person are discontinued and shall hereafter not be regarded as valid indications of status or trueness. The Imperial Commission for Ranks shall reevaluate the status of ungraded subjects who fall into these categories, so that they may be assigned a status in keeping with their present condition. It shall also evaluate cases in which free subjects have allowed themselves to degenerate into depravity, criminality, and servitude during the Emergency, so that their status may be properly diminished in accordance with their debased condition.
  2. Contracts previously standing for the use of loyal subjects, community servants, and debased denizens shall be compiled by the Imperial Commission for Public Works and the Cadastres and brought before the Imperial Judex to evaluate their legal standing and, if applicable, conversion into new service contracts that adequately reflects the above changes in social standing.
  3. Lieutenants for the Golden Mango Throne shall compile lists of applicable and worthy corporate bodies, including municipal corporations, within their jurisdiction for Our consideration in bestowing status.
  4. Appeals to changes in status shall be heard by the Chamber of Petitions and Pleas.

Given at Shirekeep on the First day of the First month of the Year of Our Norton Seven-Hundred Four, and the Dawn of the new Indiction,

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