Raven King of Armes
The Raven King of Armes has four areas of influence and he uses these to try and hold the states of the Greater Hann Region together. He controls the patents for all Royal and Noble titles, he moderates the structure of the Chivalric Orders, he gives guidelines for local appointments, and he controls the allocation of Coats of Arms throughout the region.
His heralds are generally used to ensure fairness in an election as well.
Royalty and Nobility
The Raven King of Armes defines requirements for all levels of rank and appointment within the Greater Hann area. Beyond that he does little more than arbitrate whether the Royal or Noble ranks requirements are met.
Royal and Noble Titles and Privileges
If a Local Ruler wishes to ennoble a member of his nation, his State Herald prepares a case for submission to the Raven King of Armes. In the case of simple honorary Lordships the Raven King rarely challenges the appointment. In the case of landed titles he may chose to examine the claim more fully. If the land requirements are not seen to be met, the raven will often award an interim, unlanded, lordship, while deferring the landed title until the land requirements are met.
There are leaders who do not recognise his jurisdiction, but they tend to be few and far between and not members of the wider community. The Raven King of Armes will give any leader who can meet the requirements an appropriate title.
The Raven King of Armes, also defines the requirements for Chivalric orders and the Squirachy that is attached to them. While these orders are under the authority of the local rulers, the Raven defines what they will look like. If the Order does not conform (more or less) to the Raven's requirements - recognition of the Order is withdrawn. This means that where ever you go, in the Greater Hann area, you have some idea of what to expect from a knight.
There are two types of Chivalric Order - The Local Order and The Chaptered Order. Local Orders enable a ruler to reward his/her subjects and to set up a military defensive structure for his/her state. Chaptered Orders are designed to crusade on behalf of, or protect, members of a given religion or ideal.
Local Orders are lead by a Grand Commander, who is either the local Ruler or his nominee. S/he is assisted by a number of Knight Commanders, who lead the various sections of the order in battle and manage local affairs. Knight commanders are appointed by the Grand commander.
Chaptered orders are also lead by a Grand Commander, only this time he is elected from among the Knight Commanders of the order, with every knight and squire eligible to vote.. The Grand Commander lives at, and runs, the main preceptory for the order. Knight Commanders manage each chapter house of a chaptered order, They will lead their own house or chapter in to battle, and ensure that all the knightly requirements are met. Knight Commanders are elected, the Knights of the house are entitled to stand for the vacancy and all members of the house, including squires are allowed to vote.
Chivalric Ranks and Priviledges
The Raven King of Armes, also maintains a register of the Coats of Armes of all members of the Royalty, Nobility, Chivalry and Squirachy of the region.
When a person is first elevated to a level that attracts a Coat of Armes (Squire or above) the state herald prepares a Local Patent of Entitlement and a description of the preferred coat of arms. For Knights and Squires the Patent is issued locally and the preferred coat of Arms sent to the court of The Raven King for approval. If a preferred coat of arms has already been approved for someone else - the court will make sufficient changes to the new request to make it distinguishable. In most cases there is not a problem, as updated heraldic lists for the region are distributed to the state heralds twice a year, which allows the local herald to check for similarities before they submit the request.
In the case of ennoblement the Raven King of Armes actually issues the Patent of Ennoblement as described earlier.
While these appointments are managed locally, the Raven King of Armes lays down some guidelines that local rules can use. Most choose to do so, or to equate local positions and titles to the same status.
All hereditary titles, posts and appointments are passed to the heir of the incumbent- but many members of the family might be eligible to inherit the position. In this case tradition demands that an election be held to decide the true heir. The election is held even if the deceased named an heir before his/her death.