The Peerage of the Snow Empire is a system of ranks granted by existing nobles. Though the peerage system of the Snow Empire was once strictly hereditary, over the centuries it is shifted to a system based on appointment. The government rank system also exists in parallel to the titles of peerage, and many appointments also have a de facto government rank requirement. The only truly hereditary offices that remain in the Snow Empire are king and the heads of court.
The current ranks originated in the time of the Chela collective. As a means to consolidate power, six ranks were originally established: king, duke, marquess, count, viscount, and baron. These ranks would remain, and would often be granted to existing nobles when the Snow Empire conquered territories. However, when the dominions were first established, a new rank, Lord, was created to rule them. Viscount was phased out in order to preserve six ranks, as the number seven has been considered a bad omen in Netkhal culture. As time would go on, appointment would become the way in which the ranks were distributed; each rank would come to appoint the ones below it.
Some ranks remained hereditary in a de facto sense; certain families are always appointed, especially by lower-ranked officials such marquesses or counts. The peerage system exists in parallel to the government rank system, though as time has gone on the government ranks have become more and more important in deciding who gets appointed to noble positions, though there are exceptions.
- Duke/Head of Court