Innocence Seekers: The Black Rose – Likkran nobility

This post will go into some details on the nobility in Likkra. For much of the written history of the continent, there has been a significant divide between the nobility and the common people. Historically, the nobles gained their positions through their exploits in battle, and as such have historically been warriors and commanders. While the advent of the modern era has resulted in a shift of military power from the nobles to professional armies, the nobility still have a disproportionate representation in the Zodiac Warriors and Puella.

In general, there are five levels of nobility, regardless of the nation in question. This mirrors the European system of nobility, due to significant influence from Europe (both directly and via Nodaima/Cedysna). They are listed below:

  • Duke (Blylandic: ǫþlur/ęþlinj, Namari: ひこ/ひめ piko/pime)
  • Marquis (Blylandic: markl/męrklinj, Namari: まもいきみ mamoikimi)
  • Count (Blylandic: erl/irlinj, Namari: おーきみ ōkimi)
  • Viscount (Blylandic: semerl/semirlinj, Namari: わけきみ wakekimi)
  • Baron (Blylandic: bare/bęrinj, Namari: きみ kimi)

It should be noted that Blylandic, Guruni and Namari do not distinguish between “prince/princess” and “duke/duchess”. It should also be noted that there are two levels above the five given above, namely, king/queen (Blylandic: kyning/raikinj, Namari: こにきし konikishi) and emperor (Blylandic: kiisr/kiisrinj, Namari: そやきし soyakishi), but they refer to rulers of entire states.

Historically, this was not always the case. The original system involved three levels (duke, count, baron) under the king/queen. During times of warfare, the defence of the border areas was often crucial to the survival of kingdoms, hence the counts who had land in the border areas were promoted into a new level. The level of viscount was created later on, mainly to give the second and third children of counts their own titles.

While in the present day the continent is split into many states, the three major nations of Likkra, Namari and Blyland will receive the most focus in this blog post. In all three of these nations, the nobility form an important part of their respective governments. All three nations have bicameral legislative bodies, and in all three the upper house includes nobility, although the details differ. Likkra’s Royal Council is composed entirely of nobility, much like the United Kingdom’s House of Lords, and seats are offered to nobles directly by the monarch or regent after selection by the House of Representatives. Namari’s House of Councillors has only half of its members derived from nobility, and the House of Representatives elects the noble councillors (the commoner seats are elected directly by the people). The Blylandic Senate is largely similar to the Namari House of Councillors; however, the Senate is also the sole body that elects the president.

Among major characters in Innocence Seekers: The Black Rose, a fair proportion of them are Likkran nobility. In particular, the branches of the Namari royal family are well-represented. The main branches of the Kuritani, Miyana and Akagawa lineages represent duchies, while the side branches of these lineages represent lesser nobility. Historically, the females of the main branches were referred to in the same manner as the actual princesses of the Umehara lineage, but the practice stopped in 1992 at the request of the respective members of the lineages (although there are a few holdouts in Akari of the Light and April Light).

Among Blylandic nobility, so far only a single barony is represented. While it is yet to be mentioned, Emme Willemsdutter is the third cousin of a baron.
As for the nobility of the Kingdom of Likkra, up to April Light, there are no representative members. However, Flower Bud of the Blue Sky features Ui Aihara (the granddaughter of a viscount who owns an estate in Akaishi) as part of the main group of five. Ui is part of one of the few noble families of the kingdom who are of Japanese descent (just one per cent of all families, compared to Namari, where around 55 per cent are of Japanese descent, and to Blyland, where the percentage is around 25).

Anyway, that will be all for now. In the mean time, I’ve put up episodes 34 and 35 of Innocence Seekers: April Light. Hopefully I’ll complete episode 36 soon.