Lithian Aristocracy

In contrast to the well-defined titles of the Glorian Rim, the Umbral Rim has an anarchic collection of systems, honors and titles. The most common and well-used system are Lithian titles, from the bygone era of the Ranathim Tyranny, when their mystical tyrants entrenched certain offices and honors into the culture of the Umbral Rim. Back then, the Tyrant could give someone a title and the populace respected and honored that title. Today, these titles are mostly empty words.

No “fixed” aristocracy exists within the Umbral Rim. With a few highly notable exceptions, no ancient lineages trail back to the bygone days of the Ranathim Tyranny with their ancestral titles. Instead, minor potentates and warlords rule a single world or a handful of star systems and take on an ancient title to bolster their legitimacy. These titles matter less than the actual power of the man wearing the title. Nonetheless, those who claim and keep especially prestigious titles tend to impress the populace around them and thus gain additional ascribed (rather than imputed status).

The notable exception are the Mithanna, or the Peerage. In the ancestral days of Ozamanthim, he gathered about him a few powerful families, or Mithna (“Peers” or a “House”) and bound them into his service with Dark Communion oaths. These demanded the fealty of the Mithna, but offered in return real power in both a physical and metaphysical sense. Those who violated their oaths found their riches and favors vanish as Dark Communion punished them, but those that kept their oaths flourished. These oaths and their power passed from generation to generation, and the Mithanna remain remarkably powerful and influential to this day. They are the closest the Ranathim have to a true aristocracy, but they retain their position not due to a respect for tradition, but because their oaths have given their ancestors and themselves considerable wealth and power, thus cementing their rulership over the worlds around them.

Lithian Titles

In the Umbral Rim, anyone can claim a title. If they can convince enough people to use the title, then it sticks and the rest of high society begins to refer to them by this title. In a few cases, especially on the recently liberated world of Sarai, a powerful ruler will bestow titles upon especially useful servants and require all their subjects to honor the title. As with all aristocratic titles, these titles are Courtesy Titles [1] with no real weight, but offer a +1 reaction modifier to anyone impressed by titles, and the opportunity to purchase additional Ascribed status. In the case of Lithian titles, to claim the title, the character must purchase a minimum ascribed status and may purchase a maximum ascribed status; use the best status of all listed titles.

Lithian titles precede the character’s name (when used thus, the first name is usually dropped), or can be used in place of the character’s name; eg “Presenting Thamet Metria”.

Minor Titles

Ganjithim

President, Financier, Merchant Prince
Ascribed Status: +0 to +2

This is a relatively new title, borrowed from a term meaning the heads of prestigious financial institutions, trading institutions. Modern members of the Lithian culture use the to refer to the heads of powerful corporations or Trader Guildfleets, and non-Ranathim often take it upon themselves when they rule a world or region of space primarily through economic means (or want to be seen as ruling through economic, rather than military, means). Slavers often take on this title.

Khaturim

Officer, Warlord
Ascribed Status: +0 to +2

The original tyranny gave this title to high-ranking military officers, and it remains a popular martial title. Powerful rulers might bestow the title onto their highest ranking knights or to their generals, while petty warlords or potentates often take it onto themselves.

Satemo

Knight or Ronin.
Ascribed Status: +0 to +1
A “Satemo” is any fighting man highly skilled in the force sword. This title is often given to elite bodyguards or agents. Ascribed status depends on who they serve. If they serve a reputable lord (of the Thamet rank) this will be noted in their title.

Shefet or Shefem

Courtier, handmaiden
Ascribed Status: +0 to +1

Originally, this term referred to the ceremonial courtiers who performed a highly specific role in the ceremonial pageantry of the Cult of the Mystical Tyrant. Today, the title is generally bestowed upon especially important bureaucrats, courtiers or servants to a more powerful lord. Slavers often take on this title.

Major Titles

Thamet

Lord, Lady
Ascribed Status: +1 to +3

Literally “lord,” this title refers to actual aristocrats. Members of Mithna, or the Ranathim peerage, often take on the title, though rarely others might as well, or might have it bestowed upon them by a powerful ruler, though given the influence of the Mithna, most Lithians tread carefully with this title. It covers all the specific titles that the Glorian rim uses, and thus one cannot rely on the title alone to gauge how much prestige the Thamet actually has. Unlike other titles, this is almost never taken on by non-Ranathim.

Fitrem or Fitres

Prince or Princess
Ascribed Status: +3

Literally “Prince” and “Princess,” these refer to heirs or children of a tyrant. It still sees this use on Sarai, but more recently, many have taken on the title if they rule a world or a few worlds, but do not wish to style themselves as kings. In such a chase, their children often gain the Thamet title, usually with ascribed status 2. The children of a Shef Thamet or Mierastra from the Mithna might also take this title.

Mierastra or Miashan

King or Queen
Ascribed Status: +4

The original tyrant styled himself Mierastra Lithe, but no modern ruler dares take on this name out of respect (and fear) of the Cult of the Mystical Tyrant (though some Lithians will quietly refer to Emperor Valorian as the Mierastra Lithe). Instead, powerful rulers or worlds or a series of worlds refer to themselves as simply “Mierastra.” Technically, Miashan refers to the consort of the Mierastra, but powerful female rulers sometimes favor it over Mierastra. Sarai has a Mierastra and a Miashan, as does Moros.

Non-Titles

Denizens of the Umbral Rim often refer to certain people with titles that aren’t Courtesy Titles, but rather ranks, roles or a broader term. These terms can be used like titles in the spoken word, but carry no additional ascribed status (but may have Social Regard).

Chiva: Priest. The rulers of cults and the practitioners of Ranathim healing arts are often referred to as Chiva.

Zathare: Warlock, sorcerer. Powerful practitioners or psychics might be referred to respectfully (or fearfully) as Zathare.

Mithna: Peer, House. The term Mithna is ancient, and refers to a family of those oathbound to Ozamanthim and his descendants. In return for their oaths, they gained a certain measure of power over Dark Communion that ensured their financial and political power. Collectively, they are referred to as the Mithanna. Lithian-speakers sometimes refer to a member of a Mithna with the title Mithna, even though this technically incorrect (a modern colloqualism). They might also use the term Mithanna to refer to a nebulous, secretive, conspiratorial force that ruins their lives, similar to real-world usages of “the Man.”

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