THE ACA-SANTERRAN SOCIETY
The political and social structure of Aca-Santerra is rather complex and very strongly influenced by the military structure of the kingdom. The population is split up into seven main fractions:
The Royal Court consists of the royal familiy with its leader, the so-called "High-King", and all noblemen and people related to the family who are working for them. Includes also the "High-Marshals", the rulers of the provinces, who are part of the Royal Court.
The nobility consists of all noble families ruling the lands. They're split up into two groups: The "Sealords" and the "Griffonlords". Both sides are responsible for different military sections (for the navy and for the army) and are responsible for the upkeep of a certain army unit. Furthermore nobility members are also members of the "Kuritas" the senate of their province and thus are a major part of the government.
Knights (the Frathra)
The knights are given land and/or industry from the King to supply their military expenses as mounted soldiers and thus form a loyal group of elite warriors that is totally loyal to king and country. When spread among the lands wisely by the King and the High-Marshals they often have major influence on the nobility. In recent times they began to form a completely independent group of people that are part of councils that control the decisions of their local Lords.
Landowners are free farmers that pay a tax to the local Lord who therefore guarantees them a certain amount of land and protection. Most of them are relatively prosperous and independent but as the citizens they've no major political influence but guaranteed rights.
Citizens are free people with property like the landowners but they live in the cities of the country. They often have stores or industries and so are rather prosperous as well. Their only political influence is their economical strength and when organized in guilds they have at least some influence on their leaders.
Free people are the ones who have no property on their own but enough income to stay free. They are mainly workers or small merchants. The rate of free people is rather fluctuating as free people can become unfree or unfree people can become free again.
The Unfree are those that have no money and no property. They have to work for citizens, landowners and noblemen for food and shelter and have to pay a certain debt before they become free again. Paying these debts can take some generations. You can become unfree when you are having debts, no work, you comitted a crime or you were freed from slavery.
The slaves are mainly prisoners, either criminals or captured in war. They have no rights, get no money for their work and are owned by someone. However, you can be only slave for 30 years and then you'll become unfree or - when you're a prisoner of war - even free again. Your children are automatically unfree and then according to the rules can become free.
Despite the fact that in the mining camps and stone pits hardly anyone survives 30 years this regulations has prevented Aca-Santerra from becoming a slave-state like Korwein or Anis-Anpagan whose economy heavily depends on the constant gain of new slave markets.
Information provided by Koldar Mondrakken