Alphatian noble titles

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thondar
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Alphatian noble titles

Post by thondar » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:23 am

Hi, I'm looking for Alphatian noble titles. I found (in dawn of empire):
1) emperor/emperess
2) king(baron)/queen(baroness)
...
9) lord/lady (not true titles but they can work like basic ones)

I need help to fill the (huge) gap... I can (and probably I have to) make up the missing titles (I want nine titles, male/female).
Maybe something related to the gran council (gran counselor)? but these titles have to be landholder so I'm not sure that will be appropriate
Alphatia is based on what? Atlantis and...?

Thank you

Edit: I'm afraid I have posted in the wrong section, sorry

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Re: Alphatian noble titles

Post by agathokles » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:54 am

You can have a look at Bruce Heard's articles on Alphatia for some ideas. In DotE and other source material, there's only lord below King, so you won't find much else there.

Alphatia does not have a strong RW inspiration, so no luck there either. Of course, you can always use the standard hierarchy from the Companion set, which is deep enough.

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Re: Alphatian noble titles

Post by Big Mac » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:01 pm

thondar wrote:Edit: I'm afraid I have posted in the wrong section, sorry
Never mind. We all do that occasionally. I nearly did this about 2 days ago myself. I just spotted I was about to do it before posting and then posted it in a different place. :)

Topics in the wrong place is something the moderators at The Piazza can help with.

If you edit the post and add a message like this, they won't necessarily see that straight away.

If you ever do post in the wrong place, the way to let the moderators know, is to use the "report post" button on your own post. (And if you see someone else post in the wrong place, you can use the report post to help them get their topic moved.) Just add a short message to explain that you think something is posted in the wrong place and suggest where you think it needs to be moved to...if you know. (That way the moderator will know that you are not complaining about someone.)

(You don't have to report your post this time, as I've reported it on your behalf. A moderator will swing by at some point and move this topic to the standard Mystara forum.)

Anyhoo, good luck getting your list of nobles.
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Re: Alphatian noble titles

Post by thondar » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:20 pm

In Bruce Heard's articles I found marquis, count, granduke, so we are at 6 on 9... but doesn't sound too much ordinary? they are standard medieval titles instead I think of Alphatia like something magic, exotic...

What about egyptian titles like comarca, toparca, nomarca?

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Re: Alphatian noble titles

Post by Tonnichiwa » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:13 pm

Well, the symbol shown in the books from the Dawn of the Emperors set has Alphatia represented by a Lammasu so they are probably based on Assyria. But since it seems most of the names found for them so far are northern European then why not just go with that? The AD&D 1st edition Dungeon Masters Guide has some titles on page 89.

So you could have:

Emperor/Empress

King/Queen

Duke/Dutchess

Prince/Princess

Marquis/Marquise

Count (Earl)/Countess

Viscount/Viscountess

Baron/Baroness

Baronet

Knight

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Re: Alphatian noble titles

Post by Cthulhudrew » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:11 am

Don't forget that Haldemar of Haaken is a Prince! :D

By and large, it appears that Alphatia uses the standard western European nobility titles. I don't think it would be unreasonable to assume that those titles were Alphatian in origin and brought from Old Alphatia to Mystara after Landfall. The Thyatians then continued to use those titles after they threw off the Alphatian yoke of occupation, from whence they have largely been exported to many of the other civilized nations of Mystara (such as Karameikos and Glantri).

ETA: Note also that the Thothians apparently still use titles from their own dynastic (Nithian) origins, at least in terms of the ruler (Pharoah). An interesting corollary to that to perhaps point out is that the Ylari currently use neither Thyatian nor Alphatian titles, but rather titles that are (RW-wise) more of a mix of Arabic and Turkish (Sultan, Beg, etc.) This, I would posit, is a legacy of the Alasiyan nomads, and were probably the titles they held as the original inhabitants of the Isle of Dawn, before the Nithian/Thothians conquered large swaths of that land, importing their own Pharaonic titles, and transporting large numbers of the Alasiyan nomads to the mainland of Brun. The titles were probably then recovered by the (now-native) Ylari following the Spell of Obliteration wiping out memories of Nithian culture.
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Re: Alphatian noble titles

Post by Sturm » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:29 am

First of all, I would question how they govern the land. I mean, who rules under the Kings/Queens?
Do they have local administrators? governors? or just wizards?
Bruce Heard's work on Alphatia has many possible inspirations (http://bruce-heard.blogspot.it/search/label/Mystara), for example there are Counties in Ambur, Districts in Ar, Wizardates in Arogansa, Dioceses in Bettelyn and so on, basically each Kingdom has his own titles, which IMO makes sense given that Alphatia should be considered more a federation than an unified Empire.
You could also check Iranian noble titles (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_I ... _and_ranks) or other middle-eastern, as the visual inspiration of Alphatia seems to come from here. In Threshold issue #11 (http://pandius.com/thrs_mag.html#11) I imagined there were original cultures in Alphatia mainland which influenced the empire.

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Re: Alphatian noble titles

Post by agathokles » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:43 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote: By and large, it appears that Alphatia uses the standard western European nobility titles. I don't think it would be unreasonable to assume that those titles were Alphatian in origin and brought from Old Alphatia to Mystara after Landfall.
I disagree. DotE specifically states that "Baron" is a non-Alphatian (i.e., Thyatian) title that is often adopted by Alphatian Kings, thus it can't be a natively Alphatian title. Here below I provide a run-down of the diffusion and supposed origin of each title in the typical peerage (baron, viscount, count, marquess, duke, archduke, prince, king).

The Noble Titles in Mystara

Baron is used in Thyatis, Karameikos, and Glantri, as well as in the Savage Coast, particularly in the Savage Baronies, but also Robrenn, Eusdria, and Renardy (but not Bellayne or Herath, IIRC). Thus, it is IMO clearly a title Thyatian title, which expanded from there to Glantri and the Savage Coast, as well as to Alphatia, albeit in a different sense (an Alphatian Baron is a King who styles himself as a Baron to mark himself as a dashing frontier ruler).
In RW, Baron is of germanic origin, and can be therefore assumed to have originally been a Hattian title for a lesser noble, not unlike the Count (q.v.).

Then, Viscount is not used in Thyatis or Karameikos (note that while there are no Counts in Karameikos, it is assumed by the Gaz that some will be created in the near future), but is used in Glantri and in some nations along the Savage Coast. Due to the clear derivation from Count, my assumption is that it originated in Glantri as Vice-Count, where "Count" was the title of the original leader of the Thyatian settlers.

Count is another title clearly connected with Thyatis, as per the above. It is worth noting that in RW Count is of Latin origin, from comes (companion, meaning a member of the entourage of a ruler). Thus, it seems appropriate that it originated in Thyatis. It is also found along the Savage Coast (Cimarron, Herath, Robrenn, Eusdria, either directly or as part of Viscount), and Glantri, and hypothetically in Karameikos.

IIRC, also the title of Marquis is not present in Thyatis, and therefore can't be derived from Alphatia through Thyatis itself. Marquisates are relatively common in Glantri, and are present in Renardy, which is directly influenced by Glantrian (specifically Averoignese) culture (Lupins first appear as followers of Claude d'Ambreville in X2). Note that in RW, Marquis derives from Markgraf (Count of the Mark, or Borderland). My hypothesis is that Marquis is a Glantrian translation of the Darokinian term "Borderland Magistrate", and was originally associated to dominions close to the dangerous Broken Lands and Ethengar borders.
Note that the title of Margrave (same origin) is used in the Traladaran City States, and that many regions in Ostland, Vestland and Soderfjord are known as "mark", although the local rulers use the "Clan head" style.

Duke is a title that is strongly related to Thyatis (the first Dukes were the Duke of Thyatis, Kerendas and Hattias, the three Thyatian tribes). Archduke is clearly a derivative assigned to the demoted Kings of Ochalea and Pearl Islands. It is worth noting that in RW this is another title of Latin origin, from dux, or leader, a title typically assigned to military leaders who were not true kings (especially barbarian tribe chiefs). In Mystara, it is used in Glantri and in the Savage Coast. In Glantri, it is likely to have originated as the Thyatian translation of the title held by the leaders of the Vlaems. The latter were essentially of Alphatian culture, and must therefore have used a King title. However, the title of King is not used in Thyatis, except for foreign independent rulers, after the foundation of the Empire. Thus, the Alphatian "Kings" are actually translated as "Dukes", as it happens e.g. to Lornce M'Jozee in 1010 AC. The same is true for Norse Jarls, who are translated as Dukes (see Duke Stephan of Rhoona in Vestland, e.g.). Something similar happens with the Vatski dominions of Vyolstagrad and Stamtral, which are considered "Duchies".
My conclusion is that Thyatians typically translate any non-independent (or semi-independent) top level foreign noble title as "Duke".

Prince is used either as the heir of a ruler, or as a high-ranking ruler (but usually not a chief of state). This is often a translation of a local title -- for example, a "Prince" of Rockhome is actually known as a "Waiting Chief" or "Patient Chief" in the literal translation of the Dwarven title. Prince is a ruler title in Glantri, where it is used to replace King as the apical title, since there are multiple Princes (Glantri being an oligarchic republic, in essence), and in Nimmur (where it is obviously a translation of a local title, e.g., the Akkadian titles rubu or malku).

King is generally used for apical monarchs, except those who claim the title of Emperor. Emperor itself is obviously of Alphatian origin, although the word itself may be considered the Thyatian translation of the Alphatian title. IMO, what happened is that the original King of Thyatis was replaced by an Alphatian King. Thus, the Thyatians equated the two titles and translated the Alphatian King as "Rex" (I'll use the Latin word for king here to disambiguate). In modern times, however, the title is not used in Thyatis, and Duke and Archduke are the corresponding title to the Alphatian King, as well as to other non-sovereign Kings, such as the Rajahs and Maharajahs of Sind.

Emperor is also used as the translation of several similar styles, such as the Rajahdhirajah of Sind and other "King of Kings" styles.

References:
See the list of Mystaran nobles and their titles by year here: http://www.pandius.com/rulers.html

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Last edited by agathokles on Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Alphatian noble titles

Post by thondar » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:25 pm

At a second look ( :oops: ) I found something more appealling (in my opinion): Arogansa
A "Vice-" prefix connotes a lesser degree, while "High-" infers a greater status (usable for for all titles except Archmagency), for a total of nineteen discreet ranks.

Coventrie (Barony)
Conjuracy
Theurgy (Marquisate)
Thaumaturgy
Sorcelry (County)
Wizardate
Archmagency (Duchy)
of course there some problems:
1) conjuracy is a school of magic (right?) so it isn't good (where are the other?).
2) Sorcerer, wizard and mage are arcane class (in other editions).. who tells a sorcerer that he's worse than a mage? not me...
3) some titles are good for arcane classes but not for divine classes and viceversa...
also I found this more divine (maybe too much):
holy march
prelacy
see
archdiocese
primacy
Also the council mages where are they? A thousand 36° level wizards and how many are nobles? Sometimes wizard are strange (reclusive and so) but 1000?

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Re: Alphatian noble titles

Post by agathokles » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:53 pm

thondar wrote:At a second look ( :oops: ) I found something more appealling (in my opinion): Arogansa
Indeed, that's much more interesting.
of course there some problems:
1) conjuracy is a school of magic (right?) so it isn't good (where are the other?).
2) Sorcerer, wizard and mage are arcane class (in other editions).. who tells a sorcerer that he's worse than a mage? not me...
3) some titles are good for arcane classes but not for divine classes and viceversa...
1) That's conjuration, not conjuracy.
2) Class names are an out-of-game artifact, so they are not very relevant to the issue of noble titles, except for the matter of clarity.
3) That's true, but consider that Alphatian nobility originated in arcane magic. Divine spellcasters were a later solution to the problem of low-magic ability.
Also the council mages where are they? A thousand 36° level wizards and how many are nobles? Sometimes wizard are strange (reclusive and so) but 1000?
Some of the 1000 mages of the Grand Council may be noble, but not all of them need be. Nobility is mostly hereditary in Alphatia, so relatively less competent mages may end up as local rulers, whereas a 36th level mage may be uninterested in rulership -- much like billionaire in RW may not be interested in becoming an elected politician.

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Re: Alphatian noble titles

Post by Zendrolion » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:05 pm

thondar wrote:In Bruce Heard's articles I found marquis, count, granduke, so we are at 6 on 9... but doesn't sound too much ordinary? they are standard medieval titles instead I think of Alphatia like something magic, exotic...
The fact that Alphatian noble titles are translated into English it doesn't mean they sound just like that in the original Alphatian version.

Take a look here to Chinese nobility titles as an example. Original titles sound like Gong, Hu, and Bo, but they usually get translated as "Duke", "Marquis", and "Count", respectively.

The same can be true for Alphatia and other realms as well. The fact that a noble is called a "duke" in Alphatian tongue it doesn't mean that the exact word "duke" is used in the Alphatian tongue - it means that the title is translated as "duke" in Thyatian, that is in the Alphatian tongue that word has the same approximate meaning as "duke" in Thyatian, but it's not that word. In fact, as agathokles said, the exceptionality of the Alphatian Baron title comes from the fact that in this case only, due to fashion, the foreign world "baron" has been imported into Alphatian (the same that would happen if a French duke had been called "khan" or whatelse).

This, IMO, can also be used to explain a lot of placenames found in canon sources: for example, I suppose no one thinks that "Coppertown" in Dawnrim (Bellissaria) sounds that way... I suppose the original name should only mean "copper-town". Otherwise we should think that most Mystaran peoples speak the same tongue, since we find English placenames everywhere (Woodgate in Wendar, Shieldtree in Alfheim, Dwarfgate Mountains in Darokin, Threshold in Karameikos, Grey Bay in Thyatis, Landfall in Norwold, Haven and Stoutfellow in Alphatian, etc.) - but this is not the case.

So, to sum up everything, I'd devise some original, and as fantasy-inspired as possible, for Alphatian nobility, also taking into account the fact that different traditions may exist in the empire and even within the same kingdom as well (residual titles from Old Alphatia, imperial titles, local titles tied to the realm's character, surviving titles from conquered peoples, etc.).

And, by the way, "Conjuration" is a school of magic only in AD&D - no such school exist in OD&D and most other game systems (Bruce's articles about Alphatia are written with OD&D in mind). Also consider that there is no total consistency between Allston's DotE version of Alphatia (with the 1,000 Council 36th-level wizards and rather uniform and undetailed pictures of Alpahtian realms, but with stress on the misery of the slave class) and Heard's version (wizards' dominance a little downplayed, more European-like structure of the kingdoms, slavery present but apparently not the basis of the country's economy).
Thondar wrote:Also the council mages where are they? A thousand 36° level wizards and how many are nobles? Sometimes wizard are strange (reclusive and so) but 1000?
Everyone born with the ability to cast magic spells (be they arcane or divine in nature) is considered an aristocrat in Alphatia. So, all wizards and clerics (and, in OD&D, elves), from 1st to 36th level of power, are nobles - that is, they are treated as such. Among them are the 1,000 36th-level Council Wizards, some of whom might be rich and idle landowners, or run vast mercantile business, or live as respected university teacher, or conduct forbidden researches in the seclusion of their towers, or live away in some remote plane of existance for most of the time, or pursue the path to Immortality, or advise as ministers and friends the various kings or the empress - or scheme to wrest power from them, or be kings themselves, or rule part of realms and kingdoms as feudal overlords or governors, or be high generals in the empire's or kingdom's armies, etc.).

While the "1,000 36th-level wizards' council" is part of canon (since the time of CM1, and that was confirmed by DotE), since it's unlikely, in OD&D terms, that a 36th-level wizard would still pursue with some degree of interest human politics as a mere one of the 1,000 council members, I suppose it could be more loosely assumed that the council includes "high level" wizards (with each DM giving his own meaning to "high level" - ability to cast 9th-level spells, for example).
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Re: Alphatian noble titles

Post by agathokles » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:21 pm

Sturm wrote:First of all, I would question how they govern the land. I mean, who rules under the Kings/Queens?
Do they have local administrators? governors? or just wizards?
These are indeed important questions. Not only the who rules, but how they control the land. Of course, it is important to remember that the Alphatian population is clearly divided between a 20% magically-able part (in BECMI, Wizards, Clerics, Druids, and Elves), and an 80% mundane population. This creates an extremely large aristocracy (all people able to actually cast even just a spell per day), a tiny middle class (free mundaners, possibly just 2% or so; anybody who can spend at least 125 gp per month on his office/business registration and rental) and a large slave/servant population (everyone else).

Now, how do they handle the very large aristocracy?

Well, VotPA gives us a partial answer: there are many barely-talented magic users, like Ramissur Zumrulim (the boltman). These people are nominally aristocrats, but actually cannot use sufficient magic to actually make much of themselves. Ramissur occupies a position that would entitle him to the status of Servant, where he not able to cast a couple of spells. Such aristocrats may still be considered above everybody else, but are clearly not rulers. They act as part of the military, civil service, or other parts of the Imperial bureaucracy -- as aristocrats, the Empire takes care that they do not starve.

Local governors, minor rulers, administrators, and so on are Lords. Technically, they are all equal, although the administrator of a large city may be considerably more powerful than the constable of a village, and will in turn be considerably less powerful than a member of the Grand Council. Essentially, each King in Alphatia can do what he wants regarding the administration of his kingdom -- except for having to pay imperial taxes and to respect the rights of magic users, a King is completely independent. He may establish therefore any sort of peerage or other nobility system, as long as it does not infringe upon the rights of magic users -- which means such peerage systems are mostly ceremonial, or reflect administration responsibilities.

Thus, titles are almost certainly used, but they are unlikely to be similar to the noble titles -- things like Minister, Ambassador, Councillor, etc. I'd look at the imperial bureaucracies of China and Japan for useful models, or to the Persian/Iranian Empires.

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Re: Alphatian noble titles

Post by Sturm » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:28 am

Indeed I agree completely with Agathokles. Different titles like those proposed by Bruce Heard can work, but the difference between Alphatia and the Thyatian system and society should be highlighted.

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Re: Alphatian noble titles

Post by agathokles » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:26 pm

Sturm wrote:Indeed I agree completely with Agathokles. Different titles like those proposed by Bruce Heard can work, but the difference between Alphatia and the Thyatian system and society should be highlighted.
Yes. I want to underline that DotE only provides an-Empire scale overview, and explicitly says that each Kingdom has its own character and culture, which may also include different naming conventions, titles, laws, and even local languages.

This is noticeable in VotPA, where very different naming conventions apply to NPCs from different regions -- Tarias of Arogansa and Haldemar of Haaken (both of whom hail from pure Alphatian, royal families in Ar and Arogansa) have quite a different naming pattern from Ramissur Zumrulim and Talasar Ecbashur (both of whom are low-class Amburites).

Thus, it is quite acceptable that each Kingdom have its own set of titles and customs. In Bruce's version, Arogansa has a complex hierarchy of nineteen ranks (the Coventries, Conjuracies, etc. above), all of which fall within the boundaries of Alphatian Lords. Indeed, the titular of the Vice-Wizardate of Scarabellyn is called "Lord Scarabellyn", not "Vice-Wizard Scarabellyn", although he enjoys the style of Your Grace (from commoners, most likely, since local laws cannot enforce such styles on aristocrats -- even Princes are just Lords and can therefore be addressed by name by any other aristocrat).

Greenspur also has a number of unusual titles (Jurar, Defendar, etc.) all of whom (except the King) are titled "Lord" or "Lady", and the same is true for Sky-Lords and Viceroys of Floating Ar, and Bettelyn uses clerical titles, which are quite acceptable (they would still fall into the Lord class, of course).

Ambur has counties, but this may just be a translation of a local administrative title.

The real problems are related to Frisland and Randel, which use the typical peerage in full. Personally, I'd focus on those two and design specific nomenclature for each -- their cultures must be quite different, since they are distant and populated by very different folks.

Frisland has significant Antalian influences, so I would expect "Jarl" and "Konung" might have filtered in the local hierarchies, possibly translated as Duke and Count in Thyatian and related languages. There's still a marquesate to explain, but it's a relatively minor matter.

Randel needs more thought...

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