The Noblity of Eelia are the extension of Imperial Power throughout the Provinces. Most Prime Nobility known as the Tyrnal and Banal families predate the Empire, some tracing their line back to the Monarchal or even the first Imperial Age, though a rare few can trace their lineage back to the original Orien Generals who settled and conquered the land of Eelia.
In the modern Imperial age nobles serve at the pleasure of the Emperor, their power being merely an extension of the Emperors. This gives the Emperor the power to strip any noble of their title, authority and power, though such a thing has happened so infrequently that it is nearly inconceivable.
Each of the Tyrnal families hold a senior seat on the Council of Nobles and Banal families hold a lesser seat. No Kaphal or Arikal families may hold a seat on the Council though they are permitted to be in attendance during open sessions, the Adial families have no rights to the Council and may attend only by the invitation of a Tyrnal or Banal House.
The Noble ranks devide and disperse authority among the Noble ranks however the primary devide in power is between the "Housed" Nobility which would be the Tyrnal and Bannal Houses and the "Familial" or "Non-Housed" Nobles which would be the Kaphal, Arikal and Adal Families.
Tyrne / Tyrna: The most senior noble rank, only a few families carry this rank, some of whom are direct descendants of the founding Generals of Eelia.
Ban / Banness: The second highest noble rank, Banals are often the rulers and overseers of Banets (Subdivisions of provinces) and are most often blood relatives of the Tyrnal families.
Kaphan / Kaphess: The third highest noble rank, Kaphans are moderate nobles, sometime related to the Tyrnal family though usually distantly. Kaphal nobles occasionally rule over an estate or some asset deemed necessary to the well-being of the province, though often serve as high ranking members of the court.
Ariki / Arikess: A lesser title of nobility, usually a distant relative of the Banal family or Kaphal family. Arikal nobles generally serve in courtly offices in the service of their betters.
Adi / Adess: The lowest of the nobility, the Adall nobles may serve in court, though most often live the life most commonly associated with the patrician class.
Along with the standard titles nobles can also carry qualifying titles in order to separate themselves from others.
Arch: (Usage: Arch-Ban, Arch-Kaphan) This term is used to denote the bearer as the senior noble amongst his or her class. The term is never used for Tyrnal nobles, but Banal and Kaphal nobles have been known to use it often. The title is given by the Tyrne of their Province to denote the bearer as the favorite, most trusted or most capable among their rank.
Principe: (Usage: Tyrne-Principe, Ban-Principe) Used by land-controling nobles to denote their heir from amongst their children.
Father / Mother: (Usage: Tyrne-Mother, Ban-Father) Used to indicate a noble who once ruled but has abdicated peacefully (either to an heir or some other replacement) and has been permitted to retain some measure of their former power, often as an advisor.
Infintite: (Usage: Tyrne-Infintite, Ban-Infintite) Used to indicate the children of the ruler who are not first in line to take the throne, non-heirs.
Free: (Usage: Free-Kaphan, Free-Ariki) Used to indicate a noble would would normally have authority or responsibility of state, but does not. There has never been a Free-Tyrne in Eelia and Free-Bans are extremely rare, however Kaphal and Arikal nobles carry this title often. Adial nobles rarely require such qualifiers as they seldom have any such responsibilities anyway.
While there are many hundreds of families of the Adial, Arikal and Kaphal families and many, many Banal families throughout the Empire, there are but a mere twenty Tyrnal families. Those families boast the most important power base in the Empire, even more so that the Imperial family for while the nobles receive their power from the Emperor, the Emperor's power would be reduced to nothing more than an over-inflated chieftain should the Tyrnal families pull their support. The Tyrnal families are split into three categories, and while there is no difference in official power between the three categories, older families tend to carry more clout than younger families and are generally far better invested with older and stronger allies in the various factions throughout the Empire.
Prime: Prime Tyrnal families can trace their direct lineage back to the founding Nobles and General of Ori.
Traditional: Founded in the First Imperial Age or the Monarchal Age.
Modern: Founded in the Second or the Modern Imperial Age.