The Blackwood Campaign Setting
In the Blackwood, the villages under the boughs each follow their own code, but along the Way men are ruled by the River Lords. They may be virtuous or corrupt, but each city ennobles them with the same titles.
Knight: This is the lowest of the nobility. The least among them are granted a cottage and access to the armory, while the best of them command manors and incomes of their own.
Freelord: A step up from a Knight, a Freelord is always the lord of a manor. He is often the owner of profitable business, or perhaps the commander of the city guard in a larger settlement.
Lord: Slightly greater in importance to the Freelord is the Lord. This is the first title that is exclusive to members of the various noble houses of the Blackwood, even if they are only members through marriage. Lords may have several estates, and often support themselves with taxes.
Count: Aside from the High Lord, no member of the nobility can claim so much power and influence as the Count. Not only do they collect taxes from all citizens of a city or township, but they also almost always control several businesses. Counts are always the head of their house, though not every house can boat the presence of a Count.
High Lord: The High Lord of each city is its de facto ruler and protector. They owe fealty to the Elder King, but they collect oaths from Knights and Counts alike. High Lords have final word in the laws of their cities, and a portion of every tax is paid to the High Lord. It is a hereditary title, though bloodlines have risen and fell throughout history.