Ranking Structure follows a highly defined hierarchy for denizens living in the Twelve Kingdoms. Except in the case of the monarch, ranks are largely ceremonial approximations of an individuals' power and a guide for judging proper etiquette toward another person of rank.
It is customary to divide people of stature into seven ranks, with the kingdom's monarch as the highest ranking individual, followed by dukes and duchesses, then marquises, counts, barons, lords, and officials. Counts are further divided into counts and viscounts, while lords and officials are divided into greater, middle, and lesser varieties. As a result, there are actually twelve ranks in the Twelve Kingdoms.
The monarch (王, king/ruler) of one of the Twelve Kingdoms is the highest ranking person of the kingdom. Only twelve individuals at most may hold the rank within the Twelve Kingdoms, one for each country. The monarch of a kingdom can only be chosen by the kingdom's kirin, who serve as intermediaries of Tentei, the Emperor of Heaven.
The rank of kou (公, duke/duchess) is held only by the kingdom's kirin. The kirin serves the monarch as their chief advisor and governor of the provincial capital of a kingdom. The kirin's official title is saiho (宰輔) and they are addressed by the honourific title of Taiho (台輔).
- The Sankou (三公) - The three lords-of-court, the monarch's advisors who serve under the Saiho and are responsible for the monarch's education. They do not hold any power to make political decisions.
- The Chousai (冢宰, High Mandarin) - The Prime Minister of the royal court, oversees the Six Ministries.
- The Provincial Lords (州侯, Shuukou) - The governors appointed by the monarch to serve as the governor of a province in a kingdom.
The officials with the rank of Haku (伯) roughly hold the rank of a count or earl in court and is sufficiently ranked to be able to cross the Kyokai if necessary. Sennin who have ascended to their status through their own abilities are often the only individuals to be awarded the rank of haku.
The rank of keihaku (卿伯) is a subset of the rank of haku. It is roughly equivalent to a viscount or the deputy minister to the prime minister. The chief ministers of the Six Ministries are all ranked as keihaku. Flying Sages who ascended through the edict of a monarch and Oracles will also be granted the status of keihaku rather than haku.
- Taisai (大宰) - The Palace Administrator and the Minister of Court, the mandarin in charge of the Ministry of Heaven (天官, tenkan).
- Daishito (大司徒) - The Minister of Lands, in charge of the Ministry of Earth (地官, chikan).
- Daisohaku (大宗伯) - The chief minister of the Ministry of Spring (春官, shunkan), known as also as the Ministry of Rites.
- Daishiba (大司馬) - The Grand Master of Cavalry, serves as the mandarin for the Ministry of Summer (夏官, kakan), known also as the Ministry of War.
- Daishiko (大司寇) - The Steward-Marshal, the mandarin of the Ministry of Fall (秋官, shuukan), known also as the Ministry of Justice.
- Daishiku (大司空) - The mandarin of the Ministry of Winter (冬官, toukan), known also as the Ministry of Works.
Daibu-ranked officials are lower ranked government officials, approximately equivalent to a baron. They can be further divided into three sub-ranks: Upper (上), Middle (中), and Lower (下). Middle Daibu (中大夫) includes officials such as the Suijin (遂人, Chief of Land Affairs). The Lower Daibu (下大夫) consists of officials such as the Choushi (朝士, seneschal) and Gouchou (郷長, administrators of a gou-sized region consisting of 12 500 families).
Shi-ranked officials are the lowest ranking members of the government. The rank is subdivided into three groups: Upper (上), Middle (中), and Lower (下) It is roughly equivalent to the rank of a knight or official.
Each country in the Twelve Kingdoms possesses its own army (軍, gun). The highest ranking army is under the direct command of the monarch through the Ministry of Summer, while each province in the kingdom also possesses its own armed forces.
The armed forces are distributed such that there are 20 cavalry to every one air cavalry, and eight infantry to every cavalry.
The Royal Army (王師, oushi) is the highest ranking army in the kingdom and can be deployed only at the direct command of the monarch through the Ministry of Summer, which administers military affairs. The Royal Army is made up of the Forbidden Army and, by default of the kirin being the governor of the province containing the kingdom's capital, the Provincial Army of the kingdom's capital province.
The Forbidden Army (禁軍, kingun), known also as the "King's Army", is directly under the control of a kingdom's ruler. The army marches under battle flags with the insignia of a dragon mounted on a purple field. The army is divided into three parts: the Left, the Right, and the Center.
- Army of the Center (中軍, chuugun) - Composed of one Black Unit, 12,500 soldiers. Led by the General of the Center.
- Army of the Left (左軍, sagun) - Composed of one Black Unit, 12,500 soldiers. Led by the General of the Left.
- Army of the Right (右軍, yuugun) - Composed of one Black Unit, 12,500 soldiers. Led by the General of the Right.
The Provincial Army of the CapitalEdit
Each of the provinces of a kingdom possesses its own provincial army, under the control of the governor of the province. Because the kingdom's Saiho is the governor of the capital province, its army is defaulted to the control of the monarch. The Provincial Army of the Capital (首都州師, shutoshuushi) possesses the same number of soldiers as the Forbidden Army, being around 37 500 soldiers.
The Air Cavalry (空行師, kuukoushi) is a subdivision of a kingdom's army. It consists primarily of forces that specialize in airborne tactics, which can be achieved through its forces riding mounts capable of flight.
The military in the Twelve Kingdoms can be divided into quantifiable units (備, bi) for classification.
- Black Unit (黒備, heibi) — 12 500 soldiers.
- White Unit (白備, hakubi) — 10 000 soldiers.
- Yellow Unit (黄備, koubi) — 7500 soldiers.
- Blue Unit (青備, seibi) — 2500 soldiers.
Divinities are regarded as the highest ranking figures in the Twelve Kingdoms. While the people of the Twelve Kingdoms will pray to the gods, many also acknowledge that divine deities may actually be mythical and difficult to determine if they even exist.
- Main article: Sennin
Sennin (仙人, Sage) are individuals who have been granted immortal status, either by a god or entering the Divine Registry at the will of a monarch or other sennin. An individual may also obtain divine status through the merits of their own power.
In the Twelve Kingdoms, a ruler is effectively immortal after forming a pact with a kirin. Members of the ruler's court will also be granted immortality and their names will be inscribed upon the Divine Registry, which lists all the sennin of a kingdom. A ruler can also revoke an sennin's immortal status by removing their names from the Divine Registry.
- ↑ Ranka, A Twelve Kingdoms fansite, The Society
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 The Twelve Kingdoms: Skies of Dawn, Tokyopop translation
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 A Thousand Leagues of Wind, the Sky at Dawn, Eugene Woodbury's notes
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Mindstalk's translation, Higashi no Wadatsumi, Nishi no Soukai, notes on rank