Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Standard Social Structure of Algol Humankind

Although this is by no means standard across the planet, the below describes a rough sketch of the usual structure of Algol's traditional Lawfully-aligned Human civilizations.

Slavery is endemic to Algol society and slaves are marked by their collar that combine the design of a gorget and neck rings in hardened metals.

Those without clan, guild or noble ties. Landless wanderers such as nomads and adventurers. Usually distrusted or even despised by settled men.

Extended families with hereditary ties to their region. They usually pay tribute to an Armiger, Oligarch or Baron, although rare independent tribes some are led by their own Warlords.

Insular, highly skilled mercantile, trade or mercenary societies, given relative independence and sanction due to the value of their expertise or secret knowledge. Their leaders are known as Syndics.

Aristocrat-warriors of the lower noble castes, organized in families known as Houses. They wear suits of hereditary magical or advanced technological armor in battle and serve as officers. Armigers pay tribute to and follow hereditary liege Barons.

Hierarchs are a caste similar to the Armigers, but are non-noble ascetics that serve the Temples of the Lords of Light and enforce their laws. Some are warriors, others are sages, sorcerers or even assassins or mind wizards due to the inclinations of their particular sect. Their leaders are known as Hierophants. They are given sanction by the nobility due to their traditional role in Lawful civilization and their value to society. They can be great rivalry between Armiger Houses and Hierarch Sects.

The heads of powerful wealthy extended families, Oligarchs are granted title and sanction by the nobles in return for exchange for handling matters unworthy of the noble warrior castes. Oligarchs are often resented by Armigers and snubbed by Barons. Although they do not have teh full sanction to kill that the noble warrior classes do, usually a blind eye is turned to their fighting-men, who are known as Bravos and have a reputation for dishonorable killing.

The leaders of Hierarch Sects who are accorded a semi-noble status by the aristocratic castes in regard for their spiritual and worldly value.

The middling noble caste who have dominion over a settlement or region. One of non-noble heritage who attains equivalent power is usually called a Warlord. Similar to Armigers, Barons pay tribute to and pay service to a liege Archon.

The upper noble caste who usually rule a large city or an expanse of valuable territory. A non-noble personage of equivalent might is usually known as a Tyrant. Usually Archons pay tribute, of a sort, to The Autarch although often they pay tribute to an Archon or Exarch of superior might.

An Exarch is similar to an Archon but are of a higher caste that rule larger, more civilized territories. Exarchs are typically arrogant in their dealings with lower castes.

Ostensibly the supreme master of Planet Algol, the Autarch pay tribute to none is sovereign of all. In actuality there has been multiple Archons in past ages, sometimes bitter rivals other times unaware of each other due to vast distances. Ostensibly all nobles pay tribute to The Archon, but it has unknown who or where the legitimate Archon is for ages. It is known there is one known as the Emerald Archon located a vast distance eastwards, but almost nothing is known of it.


  1. Interesting. Is slavery on Algol "chattel" slavery where their essentially property and don't every have much chance of freedom, or are slaves allowed to "buy their way out" often?

  2. No wonder adventurers form parties, they are just slaves waiting to happen

  3. @Trey: Chattel definately although the specifics vary from community to community.

  4. Cool, I like the inclusion of a Gene Wolfe-ian Autarch. (You may need to change the wording under Autarch -- it gives the impression that autarch and archon are synonymous.)