In Hani, the country in which you start and in which most of you were probably born and raised, there is in place a feudal caste system with three official status ranks: nobility, freemen, and peasants.
Peasants are the lowest on the social ladder. They live on the land of another, usually a noble, farming it for them, taking care of their livestock, etc. You will also find some merchants and tradesmen in this class. Often, they only have one name with a simple title referring to their location or occupation. (Carl of Tekka or Carl the Blacksmith as opposed to Carl Johnson)
Freemen are slightly better off than peasants. As their name implies, they do not "belong" to any noble. Many own their own small farms or shops, though these still fall somewhat under the authority of the local baron. Still, their socioeconomic freedom gives them a chance at prosperity not shared by peasants. Peasants who have fought in the King's military are often promoted to this rank. They are more likely to have two names, as well as any title they have picked up.
Nobility is, of course, the highest rank. It has many subdivisions, too complex to list here [okay, honestly I haven't worked it out fully]. They own land, control cities, and engage in petty little squabbles. At the top of their ranks is, of course, the royal family. All nobility tend to have as many names and titles as they dang well please, seldom with fewer than three.
It should be noted that Knighthood (on the occasion it is bestowed on a non-noble) is considered a sort of non-transferable nobility. A knight is treated with the social graces of lower nobility but his children, upon leaving his household, are considered high-class freemen.
Access to schools is generally limited as well; the more arcane the knowledge contained, the more selective and discriminatory the admittance. Good luck trying to get into an academy of magic without being at least a fairly high-class freeman.
This hierarchy is admittedly poorly researched. I had not given it much thought when creating the world, and have been quickly developing it over the past few days. I literally came up with the freeman middle class while writing this (it was originally just a higher class of peasant). For now, it should be taken as fact. I will notify all players if I change anything.
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