The holder of a peerage is termed a peer.
Titles of Hereditary Stormwind Peerage / Nobility Edit
Ranking from lowest to highest in honor:
Baron / Baroness Edit
A Baron is usually a noble who oversees a small estate with adjoining lands. Baronies are usually too small to include defenses beyond that of a fortified manor and a few armsmen. In Stormwind practice, the title of a Baron may be either a place name, or a surname, or sometimes, a combination thereof. Barons are styled "Baron [X]" or "Baron [X] of [Y]" and addressed as "My Lord/Lady."
Viscount / Viscountess Edit
Viscount's in the Stormwind system do not typically hold any land or charge by virtue of their title. Rather, Viscounts, rather uniquely styled in the Stormwind system, are traditionally used as courtesy titles for the first born son of a Count or Marquess, any other sons are regarded in a similar manner to the sons of a Baron, stylized as "The Honorable [John Smith]." In Stormwind practice, the title of a viscount may be either a place name, or a surname, or sometimes, a combination thereof. The style of a viscount is "The Viscount [X]", or "The Viscount [X] of [Y]". He is addressed as "My Lord/Lady". A Viscountess will almost never be addressed as "The Viscountess [X]", but rather be addressed as "Lady [X], the Viscountess of [Y]".
Earl / Count / Countess Edit
Earls and Counts, unlike Barons, traditionally hold large amounts of land under their charge, although these lands generally only encompass a single large town and its satellite villages. It is also common for Counties to contain small fortifications such as guard towers, as well as a fairly sizable contingent of Men-At-Arms. In Stormwind practice, the title of an Earl, Count, or Countess may be either a place name, or a surname, or sometimes, a combination thereof. Earls are styled "Earl of [X]", "Count of [X]" or "Countess of [X]" and addressed as "My Lord/Lady" The wife of an Earl is always styled as his Countess, as there is no female style for Earl. The title of earl it's self seems to have mostly fallen out of favor, as most Stormwind nobles of this particular ranking have taken up the stylization of Count.
Marquess / Marquis / Marchioness Edit
A Marquis is, in many ways, very similar to a Count under the Stormwind system. The important distinction, however, between a County and a Marquis' land, called a March, being the location in relation to the Kingdom. Marches make up the borderlands of a Kingdom, and as such, a Marquis are often entrusted by the King to hold more troops, erect more solid fortifications, and maintain vigilance against possible threats. Because of this added weight of responsibility, Marquis are ranked above Counts in the order of precedence, so long as they maintain the defense of a bordercountry. In Stormwind practice, the title of a Marquess refers to a place name, such as the "Marquis of Pinehurst". Marquis' are styled "Marquis of [X]" and addressed as "The Most Honorable."
Duke / Duchess Edit
The rank of Duke or Duchess is the highest form of nobility one can hold without becoming an immediate member of the Royal House of Wrynn, though Dukes are sometimes related to the house of Wrynn--typically by virtue of a marriage to the King's non-immediate family. The land holdings of Dukes are often vast and contain large swaths of land, townships, and serious fortifications. Dukes are expected to maintain large contingents of Men-At-Arms and are often the first called upon by the monarch to supply troops to the King's army. Dukes are styled "His Grace, the Duke of [X]" or "Her Grace, the Duchess of [X]" and addressed as "Your Grace." Additionally, there are higher ranks of a Duke. Grand Dukes and Archdukes.
Other Titles Edit
The other various titles that are used, or have been used, within the Kingdom of Stormwind and recognized by the King at one point or another.
Prince / Princess Edit
A Prince, today, usually pertains to the immediate children of the reigning King of Stormwind. The title Crown Prince is applied to the heir apparent of the Kingdom of Stormwind. Princes are commonly styled "The Lord X, Prince of Stormwind" or "Prince X of Stormwind". Ranked above Dukes and below the King.
Maidens are people that are noble purely through their bloodlines and marriage connections. Maidens typically carry no land with their title, though they can commonly be found in the court of landed noblemen and women, and can be associated with the province or fief of the landed lord they are at court with. For example: A maiden in court with the Duke of Westridge would be considered a Maiden of Westridge or Elwynn. They are commonly styled "The Honourable X, Maiden of Elwynn". Ranked above Knights and below Baronets.
Baronet / Baronetess Edit
- See main article: Baronet (Stormwind)
A baronet is the holder of a hereditary honor awarded by the Kingdom of Stormwind, often considered to be a "civil knighthood". While growing increasingly rare, baronets are still commonly found as politicians and businessmen within the City of Stormwind, and make up for their lack of landed influence with that of economic advantage. Baronets are typically not landed, and name themselves after their personal estates or families. They are styled as "Sir X, Bt." or "Sir X, Baronet of Elwynn". Ranked above Knights and below Barons.
- See main article: Marquess / Marquis
Considered to be an older spelling of Marquess, the title came into disuse by the Age of Peace.
Doge / Dogaressa Edit
A Doge is an old title stating the lordship over a large port town. The word Doge comes from the Kul Tiran tongue for Duke, though it came into mainstream use as more and more smaller lords became lords over port cities and merchant towns in the early history of Azeroth. When the Kingdom of Stormwind was first founded, several cities using the title sided with the kingdom during the War for Independence. Today, this title and type of lordship is extremely, limited to a few port cities. They are styled as "The Serene Lord X, Doge of Norsann" or "Doge X of the City of Norsann". Ranked below Counts and above Viscounts.
Sovereign Prince Edit
A sovereign prince, or merely a prince in some regards, is the title used to specify the ruler of a principality. It is worth noting that a Sovereign Prince does not need to be related to the ruling house in any shape. Principalities are typically sovereign states that have been annexed in some way into the Kingdom of Stormwind. Principalities are typically not created by the Kingdom unless the holding is far enough away that dictates some degree of autonomy to be implemented in order to ensure proper management as a holding of the crown. Sovereign Princes rank below Dukes and above Counts and the title has not seen usage in modern times, likely due to the consolidated nature of Stormwind's holding (being that they are, for the most part, all within the southern reaches of the Eastern Kingdoms).
Life Peerage Edit
Life Peerage is different from Hereditary Peerage in two ways: It is not hereditary, and the title has no estate or land associated with it. They are often of baronial rank, though the rank of Viscount for a life peer isn't uncommon.
The holder of a life peerage is termed a life peer. Holders of this type of peerage are granted the same rights as noblemen of the realm, and are often given to people of merit or special prowess. Holders of life peerage are entitled to a seat within the House of Nobles.
Life peers are commonly styled as "Firstname, Lord/Lady X". X is commonly the last name of the life peer, or the name of the town or village they hail from.
Representative Peers Edit
When a nobleman or woman is unable to attend sessions of the House of Nobles, or are unable to hold a position in Stormwind due to gender/illness, they may a appoint a representative in their stead to sort their matters. They may also be appointed by people who land in vassalage to the King, but do not hail from the home provinces. Persons appointed to such a position are called Representative Peers.
Laws regarding the privileges and rights of Representative Peers are vague and often out of date. Some legal scholars argue that these people are commoners, as nobility can only be dictated by the King of Stormwind. Others say that the current nobility have the right to transfer their status and position to someone more befitting and able for the the betterment of the Kingdom.
Regardless of status, these peers have a right to sit in the House of Nobles for the noble they represent. They are often referred to as "Lord/Lady Lastname, Representative of the (Noble rank) (First and last name of the noble they represent)".
Additionally, a nobleman with more than one peerage title who is unable to attend the house of lords may obtain a writ of acceleration for his heir apparent, allowing the heir to sit in his stead using a courtesy title.
Basic Order of Precedence Edit
An order of precedence is a hierarchy of the nominal importance of items or people. Within this context, the list describes the prestige-based importance of the ranks of noblemen within the Kingdom of Stormwind. This doesn't mean that a Duke can command, say, a Count if the count is out of his land holdings. Though a Duke would deserve more respect than a Count and his advisements would likely hold significant weight.
- King of Stormwind (Anduin Wrynn)
- Queen-Consort of Stormwind
- Archduke / Archduchess
- Prince / Princess
- Grand Duke / Grand Duchess
- Duke / Duchess
- Margrave / Margravine
- Count / Countess
- Viscount / Viscountess
- Baron / Baroness
- Baronet / Baronetess
- Knight of Honor / Dame of Honor