The society of Catreath is a feudal one. There is a strict social hierarchy which is rigidly observed. The nobility own the land, the peasantry work the land and, sandwiched in between the two, are the merchant classes, the feudal middle-class. The nobility are organised into houses of varying rank. Though noble houses may feud between themselves, few others would dare challenge them. The nobility control the knights and militia, the taxes, the trade routes, and most other amenities; their power is near absolute.
The merchant classes often also form into houses, emulating the nobility. Money is the lifeblood of these houses, many of which wish to earn enough to buy a noble title. There is a great deal of competition between houses for the most valuable and prestigious positions and trade routes.
The peasantry make up the majority of Catreath's populace. These are the workers, farmers, craftsmen and their families. They range from the most humble and impoverished serf to a comfortable yeoman.
Slaves are people owned by others. They have no rights in a society, and are just the assets of their owners. Many slaves are people taken captive from other kingdoms on raids, others are people found guilty of serious crimes who are sold into slavery as a punishment. If you are born to a slave they you are a slave by birth. All slaves, by law, must be branded on their forearms with the mark of their owner. It is possible for slaves to be granted their freedom by their masters for excellent service.
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