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SR6 Commoners

Posted by Apostate on 09/29/19
Q: In help social rank, we see the following sentence under social rank 6: "A handful of commoners can be treated as peers and reach this rank, typically high rank members of the Compact military or holders of high offices and granted courtesy titles of Lord/Lady."

What are some specific examples of where this has been done in the past? Who would it be who would generally be authorizing this, and how rare, really, is it? What are the general societal implications of this?

A: Generally there's three categories of commoners that can be treated as peers, without being formally made one. First are the higher ranks of the Faith of the Pantheon, who are granted formal social rank due to their position for the Dominus, Legates and Archlectors. Secondly are recognized but not legitimized bastards of ducal or royal houses, who have been entrusted with responsibilities that would be appropriate for nobles. Dawn Baseborn and Victus Thrax, for example, were both technically commoners but were given the courtesy title of Lady and Lord respectively, due to being recognized but not formally legitimized until later in their lives, and entrusted with duties for their houses. And finally, there are commoners who are given the rank of nobility without formal ennoblement if and only if the reigning sovereign does two things:

1. Pointedly calls them by noble title in conversation at Court
2. Entrusts them with a duty that is worthy of nobility.

In other words, King Alaric calls someone 'lord' or 'lady', no one is willing to gainsay it, and by their word they are given that rank and courtesy, even if they lack the privileges of land and noble house. These commoners are often just referred to as 'Lord X, so named by the Crown' formally.