https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/1181 ... or-rulers/
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RuneQuest uses the closest English words for the titles of Gloranthan leaders. However, these titles do not mean precisely what the English words mean and often have a different etymology and set of associations. Here are some notes that may help to better understand the title and its meaning.
Note: This list is not intended to include titles found only in the Far West or Far East or only in Pamaltela.
Dara Happan/New Pelorian. Term literally means “universal ruler.” Only one legitimate emperor can exist in the world at a time, although the title is also applied to Yelm. The emperor rules by right not only Peloria but the entire world and is responsible for maintaining both the social order and the cosmic balance. The emperor must be acclaimed at Raibanth. If during periods of civil strife or political division, more than one person claimed the title, it is understood that only a single claimant could be the true emperor – the others are false.
Dara Happan/New Pelorian/Carmanian. Term literally means “protector of the province.” Denotes a ruler with some inherent authority that is properly subordinate and loyal to the emperor.
Term literally means “power” or “authority” in Pentan. Denotes a ruler who claim almost full sovereignty, but without claiming universal rule. In the early Lunar Empire “sultan” was used synonymously with “satrap”. After the fall of Sheng Seleris, this title has largely disappeared in favor of “satrap.”
Dara Happan/New Peloria. Term literally means “illegitimate ruler”. Denotes someone who rules without lawful authority, such as a rebel, barbarian tribe, or usurper.
Dara Happan/New Pelorian/Carmanian. Denotes a ruler appointed by an emperor or satrap to serve as their representative or agent.
Dara Happan/New Pelorian/Theyalan. Literally means “delegate of the universal ruler.” Denotes an independent ruler whose authority is sanctioned by the “universal ruler,” either the emperor or even from Yelm. Used by the Yelmalio cult for the rulers of the Sun Dome Temples. Also used by the Lunar Empire for Black Horse County.
Western/Carmanian/New Pelorian. Literally means “leader”, but typically denotes a martial commander or someone who exercises martial command in an area.
Duke is not higher than Count. Means something different completely.
There aren't any baronies in Central Genertela.
Theyalan. Literally means “Great One” and denotes the leader of a kinship or other community (such as a temple). The most common Theyalan title and sometimes transliterated as “Lord”.
Instead of "Yes, Lord", if we are Orlanthi, we'd say, "Yes, Chief." If we were Lunars, we'd default to "yes, Overseer".
Theyalan. Literally means “Martial Retainer,” this denotes a member of the Orlanthi martial aristocracy. Often transliterated as “Lord”.
Theyalan. (1) Literally means “Martial Leader of the Assembly” or “Martial Leader of the Council”. (2) Husband or consort of a ruling queen.
Theyalan. Literally means “Leader.” Denotes the incarnation of Orlanth Rex. Often synonymous with King or Prince, but not always.
Theyalan. Literally means “First; Foremost”. Denotes the ruler of a confederation of tribes or cities.
Theyalan. (1) Feminine of the title “king”. (2) Wife or consort of a king. (3) Transliteration of a title that literally mean “Great Mother”. Denotes the head of an Ernalda temple or ruler of an Esrolian city or group of cities.
Theyalan. Title for the divine Ruler of the Sixths of the Holy Country.
PHARAOH has been replaced since the Guide. Greg thought Pharaoh meant "God-King" but in fact, it comes from "Big House" and so its etymology is entirely wrong for Belintar. And unlike the Egyptian "nswt" (which we would transliterate as "universal ruler" or "emperor"), Belintar NEVER made any claims of universal rule and actually went out of his way to refuse to assert authority outside of the Sixths.
SHERIFF is no longer used (Thane of Apple Lane is used, for example).
Theyalan. Literally means “Bigger” or “Greater” and is probably the same word as “Chief”. This title denotes the leader of a city council or assembly, who typically has a variety of martial and executive responsibilities.
So the Sartarites might well speak of the Chief of the Fire Bull clan, the Chief of the Sambari Tribe, or the Chief of Wilmskirk. But for our sake, we refer to Chief, King, and Mayor.
And to be super confusing, Sartarites might refer to the Chief of Sartar, King of Sartar, and Prince of Sartar. Or more precisely, "Big Man of Sartar", "Martial Leader of the Sartarite Assembly", and "Foremost of Sartar".
Argrath is First of Sartar, Sacred Husband-Protector of Dragon Pass, Martial Leader of the Assemblies of Sartar, Important Man of the White Bull society, Leader of the Assemblies of Pavis, Big Man, Dragon-important guy, and Martial Leader of the peoples of Kethaela, and more.
Praxian. Literally means “Great One.” Denotes the leader of a male-dominated group. Synonymous with the Theyalan “chief”.
Near universal. Denotes a warrior-magician dedicated to a cult.
Near universal. Denotes a full time magical specialist dedicated to a cult.
One thing that this exercise should make clear is that Gloranthan titles have not had a modern systemisation of titles (and outside of the Red Emperor - who even has the authority to do that?). Titles overlap, get used inconsistently or synonymously.