The Royal Court of Moonhaven was established shortly after the founding of Moonhaven on new soil. Led by the Duchess Larian Raleigh, who also rules over the Ridgehaven Duchy, the Court is the lighter half of the Havens' nobility.
With an emphasis on ettiquette and formality, the members of the Court see it as their duty to properly represent the people of the Havens.
The synopsis, found in the Royal Court's information notecard, reads:
"Welcome to the Court of Moonhaven, where the upper class strive to better themselves and their kingdom. This group is based around social status, our members having no specific occupation. We seek to allow people the experience of a life as a courtier, complete with the proper titles, etiquette, events, audience with the Queen, and every day goings-on that courtiers experience.
As a courtier you can expect to be held as an example of Moonhaven's best, so it is essential that you always look, and act as proper as you possibly can. We are the elite of Moonhaven, and must portray ourselves as such. It is also our job to back any event that benefits Moonhaven. We attend events such as balls, festivals, tournaments, and take part in important political events IC, and all social and political events OOC. It is our duty to help Moonhaven grow, and to see it prosper."
The Royal Court's members are recognized as one of five obtainable ranks:
Prince/Princess: May or may not be blood related to the King or Queen. They are the immediate choice of ruler should the current one be deemed incapable of ruling. Duke/Duchess: The highest ranking nobles who do not have a direct link to the throne. These nobles have been a part of the court for an extremely long time and are nearly always present at court events, important or menial. Those of the very highest ranks but are not royal blood or in line for the throne are known as an "Archduke" or "Archduchess".
Baron/Baroness: High ranking nobles who do not participate quite as much as a Duke or Duchess. Their title does not stretch as far back into their family as a Duke's as they have come to have the title by being granted it due to completing a deed or helping the Royal Family in some manner.
Lord/Lady: A courtier with little land. Lords are often wealthy merchants who have bought themselves a title and have taken classes on the proper court etiquette.
Gentleman/Gentlewoman: Having no noble title, these people are not technically courtiers but those of common birth given special rights to join the nobles at court at any informal event. This group often includes the common-born mistresses of nobles.
- i. Socialization
- a. Rank-to-rank Interaction: One must never address someone of a higher rank first. If the higher-ranking person wishes to speak to you they will do so, if not then you may not, under any circumstances, begin a conversation. However, someone of lower rank must ALWAYS bow or curtsy to those of the higher rank when coming within close proximity of them. No words are to be spoken, but a bow or curtsy is necessary. The higher rank may or may not acknowledge the show of etiquette. It is essential that one always use the proper titles for ranks. Duke, Duchess, Baron, Baroness, Sir (for knights), Prince, Princess. Never in a formal court situation may you call someone solely by their first name. Lord and Lady are also acceptable if one is unsure of a person’s actual rank. To give an example: A Lord and a Duke are both traveling down the hall. The Lord may not say anything to the Duke but is obligated to bow to him. If the Duke chooses to he may acknowledge the bow and return his own. If he does not accompany the bow with words then the Lord may not speak and both parties go on their way. If the Duke chooses to greet the Lord then a conversation may commence.
- b. Foreign Nobles: When addressing a dignitary of a foreign court you are to use the title given to them in their homeland. Although their standing may mean nothing in Moonhaven, it is only polite to make them feel welcome and honored.
- ii. Attire
- a. Men: A typical outfit for a male courtier would be a knee-length tunic and tights, or pants, stockings, loafers, tunic, vest, and/or jacket. Men are to wear proper court dress, and carry a sword at their waist while at a formal court event.
- b. Ladies: Women must have a full-length skirt or dress, the majority of their torso covered, and no weapons visible on them, be it a formal or informal event. Dress code for formal events is much stricter than a day lounging about the castle, requiring a shawl of some kind, and sometimes even white gloves.
- c. Non-Courtiers: Those who do not belong to the court must be dressed conservatively, in their best garb. Any guard, noble, or high-ranking servant reserves the right to ask a commoner to leave. Non-compliance may result in imprisonment.
- iii. Relationships
- a. Marriage: A man cannot gain rank by marrying a woman of a higher standing than himself, though a woman may do exactly that. Many women of high standings will refuse to marry, finding their status to be more important than marriage. Very few nobles marry for love; the union is seen as a way to forge or preserve political alliances between two families or kingdoms.
- b. Affairs: Affairs are a common thing as many marriages are not successful in the sense that both parties are happy with their spouse. Most affairs are ignored, tolerated even, if they are carried out in a tasteful manner.
- iv. Events
- a. Dining: One must never sit next to their significant other while dining; it is considered poor socializing. It is common for one to sit among people they do not know very well, if at all. While dining conversation is to be kept to those closest to you; yelling across the table at someone else is rude to them, those around you, around them and everyone else whose conversation was interrupted by your yelling.