Social and Political Structure of Ornthas
Lord Paramount is the political title given to the Nemertingi. It is representative of the 1/7th part of Ornthasian land that they own and rule over in perpetuity. The Nemertingi have since divided this land into manageable fiefdoms and given rights and titles to those who have sworn fealty to the Lord Paramount.
Through strategic marriages and political maneuvering, some nobles have gained possession of multiple titles. These nobles then bestows their extra titles to close kin and trusted allies in return for oaths of vassalage. These nobles are referred to as High Lords, and their houses are referred to as Great Houses.
A lord is a member of a noble house who possesses a hereditary title to a fiefdom with a castle or fortified manor house. While all land is owned by the Nemertingi, the lord is given the right to use the land and govern it as he sees fit.
Of the lesser nobility, these elite warriors swear fealty to a lord, serving to protect him and his subjects from any threats to the realm.
The Freemen are commoners with the right to travel. They congregate in towns and become merchants and artisans, or sometimes join the church.
The peasants or serfs make up the bulk of the Ornthasian people. They are tied to the land that they work, in service to their lord.
Slaves have a unique situation in Ornthas, due to the personality altering rituals cast on them shortly after acquisition. This magic alters their brain so they experience a mild euphoria when serving their masters and even the thought of violence to another person bestows a crippling nausea. Their free will is also suppressed and they experience none of the day to day worries of life. Despite their lot in life, slaves are likely the happiest members of society.