- Here in the Tapani Sector, a Count or Countess will always be from a High Vor family line, listed in that "Landsraad" thingy the keep updated.
(Unless the individual in question married/adopted into the family.)
(Or they're House VorCadriaan in which case pretend that Clause One applies with all your might.)
- Somebody with the title Count or Countess is the noble who directly rules a particular District, which might be part of a single planet or might be an entire star system.
(The other person with the same level of title and the same Important Family Name is the spouse/oathsworn partner of the direct ruler.)
- This person's family name starts with the important "Vor" syllable.
(Except if they're also the officially designated Heir to the Province ruler, which is another complication altogether.)
- A Countess is a feminine-presenting sentient above their species' equivalent of thirty-five standard years in age.
A Count is a masculine-presenting or other-presenting sentient above their species' equivalent of thirty-five standard years in age.
Below that minimum age limit in theory one cannot claim a countship.
- Countship is hereditary, with the Count's Heir usually predesignated and preapproved by (somebody. I dunno. Sorry, Master, this bit made my eyes cross and gave me a headache.)
In the event of a disruptive emergency, the Count suddenly becomes the person of whichever gender who is 1) younger and 2) genetically closest to the deceased Count.
Except, fairly often, countship does not go directly to Younger Sibling or Direct Descendant or Closest Younger Cousin or what have they.
(Apparently at one point, the designated and formally approved Count's Heir -- who became Count for at least two standard weeks -- was the indignant prior Count's orbak.)
- The ruling Count/Countess swears fealty to the Tapani Emperor (by proxy, right now, as represented by the Prime Minister of this Sector). But they do it through their High Lord or High Lady. Everyone else in the nobility and citizenship chain swears their oaths up through their nearest relevant Countess or Count.
The ruling Count/Countess is ultimately responsible within their district for making sure that A) Taxes Get Paid and B) Municipal Programs Happen. If the non-noble Tapani citizens don't think a good job is being done in both directions, the citizens hypothetically can move to a more pleasingly run district at any time.
This is a defectively employed electro-snare of a governmental caste system, is what I'm saying, Master.
Not that we came from anything more functional. But at least it was a straighter line!
To top it off: Everyone who grew up in this Sector, including the grumbly anti-Vor merchants I interviewed in Tallaan System, automatically knows how everyone fits in this caste structure. They have to slow their thoughts down too far when they try to explain it to me. It makes things capital-letter Awkward.
- database entry updated Datunda
Update: My peer Zan makes an aggravatinglyv valid point, to whit: All of my prior essay skips over certain obvious people titled "Count" something. These would be the masculine-presenting spouses or life partners of the ruling Count or Countess.
Going along with the "Everyone who grew up in this Sector automatically knows" bit, above, I have observed that in Districts with two Counts, everyone knows which is which and who is meant in a given context -- but! I also note a trend that the inherently titled party is usually "Count Vorso-and-so" while the partner is "Count Whats-his-name Vorso-and-so".
Of course, in direct address, the correct pronoun is still a third person "milord Count", as in, "And does milord Count want more caf?"
- database entry updated Tapani Day
- must be a citizen of the Tapani Imperium
- must be High Vor
- must be at least age of majority for High Vor (in Humans, which make up the highest percentage of High Vor culture, this is legally defined as thirty-five standard years of age)
- ideally chosen by the previous ruling Count or Countess as Heir during previous ruler's lifetime
- must be ratified by Council of Counts in a simple majority vote
- oversee collection of taxes from District
- oversee distribution of funds and proper use of same in municipal works within District
- serve in defense of Tapani Imperium if called upon
- support and inform the Order of Solicitors regarding District Law
- support Bureau of Ships and Services in maintenance of hyperlane buoys
v I goofed. That's not what annoys me. I absolutely should have written all of the above to include Counts-by-association.
Everybody named "Skywalker" is savvier about politics than I am. Including, yes, both of the nineteen-year-olds. That's not what annoys me. Some forms of social structure have always been the kind of puzzle I have to rigorously study, and I will never be quick on the uptake there. I know that I have to do this extra work without prompting. I ought to have made a little more effort before I submitted the assignment.
No, what chafes my chignon is the way he tilts his head and lowers his voice and offers oh so kindly to distract his dad while I hack into your datapad and correct my error. As if I should be throwing an adolescent panic over a gap in my thinking.
Source of Authority
chosen by previous district count/countess, ratified by Council of Counts
Length of Term
Reports directly to