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The Imperium never had a regular system of ranks and titles, though there were a number of notable attempts. In part this is due to the policy by the Tawmeriks to make the Imperium as unintrusive as possible in the internal affairs of worlds, even though a number of members of the Imperial family had titles of their own even before the Terran Republic had been formed. As well, the Imperium retained many aspects of the Terran Republic, and the Emperors and the Imperial Congress were traditionally unwilling to make a complete break from the old ideal, even if the notion of human-wide democracy was almost completely ceremonial within a few generations of the fall the Terran Republic.
Never the less, there were some ranks and titles, even if there was no regular heraldic system. Many of the systems that were incorporated into the Imperium were monarchial, or at least retained some form of nobility. In such systems were there had been a monarch, the Imperium generally required that titles such as King, Emperor, Sultan or Czar be retired. In their place, these rulers frequently took the title of Duke. These titles were only honorific elsewhere in the Imperium, however.
Even before the Imperium was founded, an aristocracy had developed, and these aristocratic families and clans became the nobility of the Imperium. During the last years of the Tawmeriks’ rule the first attempt by the aristocracy to create a formal system of titles and privilege was made. While the House of Patricians passed a law granting titles to these families, the other two houses of the Imperial Congress for the first time flexed their own muscle and rejected it as a betrayal of the ideals of the Imperium. A compromise was reached, a group of non-hereditary titles, the Officers of the Imperium, were created. In the end, however, the many of the aristocratic families managed to hold on to these titles by getting them renewed through the Congress.
After the failure of the Tawmeriks, the House of Patricians again attempted to create hereditary ranks and titles. They were somewhat more successful, creating dozens of Duchies, Baronies, Earldoms and a host of other ranks, though there was no regularity to how they were applied, nor to what the precise powers of these noblemen was. In fact, it created a number of problems as the interests of system governors, often appointed by the Imperium, found themselves dealing with uppety aristocrats who had gained or inherited a title with undefined rights and priveleges.
Ivan Dabrian tried to reduce these titles and regularize the rules, but the aristocracy still held a good deal of power. By the time of the Grand Reforms, however, the power and influence of many of the older families was on the wane, and as part of the package of new laws, many of these titles were abolished or made purely ceremonial. This was part of decentralization plan which sought to again reduce the influence of the Emperor and the aristocracy in the affairs of individual systems.
The final attempt to resuscitate ranks and titles came with the with the Imperial Interregnum. Hjans Kreb Lakol, though essentially a politician that held what was left of the Emperors’ old powers, thought that Durin Bonish’s idea of replacing the provincial and system governors with a series ranks; Suramans (Noble Provincials) and Tholomans (Noble Planetaries), inherited but owing allegiance to the Imperial Congress might aid in binding the Empire together as it once had been.
This new set of reforms was only partially under way when Hjans Kreb Lakol died, and his successor had no desire for such changes. However a few titles had been given, most famously to Tholoman Kresel Muthron, who attempted to turn his province into the Sabanian Empire (with the aid of the Imudring) during the Hundred Bloody Days.
- Durin Bonish
- Grand Reforms
- Hjans Kreb Lakol
- Hundred Bloody Days
- Imperial Interregnum
- Ivan Dabrian
- Sabanian Empire
- Tholoman Kresel Muthron