The Orlesian Empire is probably best known for two things – being the birthplace of the Chantry and for its extravagant royalty and nobility. Orlais has a large aristocracy famed for its excess, in particular the fashionable use of cosmetics and complicated clothing, from colorful shoes to elaborate masks.
The Grand Game Edit
- Main article: The Grand Game
Among the Orlesian nobility, status and appearance are set above all things. Orlesian culture is renowned for its infighting, with every family engaging in what is known as the Grand Game whose object is to one-up rival nobles.
Outside of Orlais, it is believed that the lower classes find nobility and the Game contemptible. In truth, most Orlesians aspire to become its participants – even Briala's parents were players of the Game, even though they were only servants, and elven ones at that. Some say that Orlais is a kind of meritocracy, and it is true that anyone could conceivably join the ranks of nobility if they become wealthy enough. For example, a lucky merchant with a powerful patron could gain a title through the Council of Heralds. However, it is exceptionally rare and for most commoners ennoblement remains an unattainable goal.
Emperor Drakon, the founder of the Empire, abolished all noble titles with the exception of Lord, Lady and Emperor, fearing that the Grand Game would tear the nation apart. It did not end the Game as Drakon had intended and only made it worse. The nobles began to find other ways to state their superiority and even collect unofficial titles, such as "the exalted patron of Tassus Klay" or "uncle to the champion of Tremmes". With this failure the official titles would later be restored.
Titles other than Lord and Lady were abolished again in 8:29 Blessed by Emperor Reville. He decreed that no noble of Orlais was the equal of the Imperial family and thus all would only carry the title of Lord or Lady in his presence. This resulted again in the use of unofficial titles among the nobles. Outside of the Imperial court, the use of both, the traditional titles and the ornate, unofficial ones, continued as a social matter. Reville also bestowed new titles to certain nobles during this period.
When Reville died in 8:51 Blessed, many among the gentry hoped their titles would be restored. Many nobles with pre-existing, traditional titles claimed the new Lords and Ladies only deserved their new title, which naturally placed them lowest in the hierarchy of the Game. This nearly sparked civil war within the empire. It took the assassination of Emperor Etienne II to decree that courtly titles would be maintained—with tacit recognition of “unofficial” titles being handled through the use of the Council of Heralds.
Titles are granted by the Orlesian Council of Heralds.
Aristocratic titles and appropriate forms of address Masculine Feminine Form of address Usage Emperor Empress Your Radiance,
Your Imperial Majesty
Title for the Orlesian ruler and his or her spouse. Prince Princess Your Imperial Highness Title for direct family members of the ruler, including their children and siblings. Grand Duke Grand Duchess Your Highness Title for those who were once princes or princesses but are no longer directly related to the emperor. Not hereditary. Duke Duchess Your Grace The highest noble title. Marquis Marquise Your Grace Noble title. Lower than duke/duchess. Comte Comtesse Your Lordship/Ladyship Noble title. Lower than marquis/marquise. Baron Baroness Your Lordship/Ladyship Lowest noble title, often considered the equivalent of lord or lady. Lord Lady Monsieur/Madame,
"de" or "du" honorific
Acceptable address for any nobility, no matter the rank, but not royalty. Chevalier Dame Ser Title reserved for the order of Orlesian knights.
Known royalty and nobility Edit
Emperors and Empresses Edit
- Emperors/Empresses with dated reigns:
- Emperor Kordillus Drakon I – the first Emperor of Orlais, ruled from -3 Ancient to 1:45 Divine
- Empress Area Drakon – the wife of Kordillus I
- Emperor Kordillus Drakon II – the son of Kordillus I and the second Emperor of Orlais, crowned in 1:45 Divine
- Empress Jeaneve Drakon I – one of the early Orlesian rulers. She created many of the traditions and practices of the imperial court. Her guard, the Empress's Arm, were one of the main predecessors of the chevaliers.
- Emperor Xavier Drakon – Deposed by Alphonse Valmont in the late Exalted Age, he was the last of the Drakon dynasty to hold the Orlesian throne.
- Emperor Alphonse Valmont – the first of the Valmont dynasty to rule Orlais.
- Empress Merise Valmont – ruled from 6:19-6:43 Steel
- Emperor Freyan Valmont – ascended to the throne in 7:44 Storm. It is known that he abolished the law that disallowed women from joining the Orlesian knighthood.
- Emperor Cyril Valmont – ruler during the liberation of Kirkwall from the Qunari in 7:60 Storm
- Emperor Etienne Valmont I – the Emperor who presided over the end of the Exalted Marches against the Qunari he ruled from 7:71 Storm to 8:21 Blessed
- Empress Yvette, wife of Emperor Etienne
- Emperor Reville Valmont – known as the "Mad Emperor", he ruled from 8:21-8:51 Blessed and ordered the second and successful invasion of Ferelden
- Emperor Etienne Valmont II - ruled from 8:51-8:55 Blessed, lost his life amidst the political turmoil left by Reville.
- Emperor Judicael Valmont I – ruled from 8:55-8:70 Blessed, he rebuilt the Winter Palace in Halamshiral
- Emperor Judicael Valmont II – ruled from 8:70-8:84 Blessed
- Emperor Florian Valmont – ruled from 8:84 Blessed to 9:19 Dragon, lost Ferelden to a rebellion
- Empress Celene Valmont I – crowned Empress in 9:20 Dragon after her uncle Florian died without issue. Current ruler of Orlais as of 9:41 Dragon.
- Emperor Gaspard de Chalons – can be crowned Emperor in 9:41 Dragon if his cousin Celene I is assassinated. First ruler of Chalons dynasty.
- Emperors/Empresses with undated reigns:
Princes and Princesses Edit
- Princess Charlotte – sister of Emperor Corentine
- Crown Prince Etienne III - one of Emperor Judicael II's twin sons, died during the Hundred Days Cough of 8:77 Blessed
- Princess Evangeline - daughter of Emperor Florian, died during the Hundred Days Cough of 8:77 Blessed
- Prince Arwand de Glace – son of Empress Vougiene
- Crown Prince Leopold - one of Emperor Judicael II's twin sons, died during the Hundred Days Cough of 8:77 Blessed
- Prince Reynaud – youngest son of Emperor Judicael I, brother to Emperors Judicael II and Florian, and the father of Empress Celene I
- Princess Melisande - daughter of Emperor Judicael I, and younger sister to Prince Reynaud, Emperors Judicael II and Florian
Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses Edit
- Grand Duke Gaspard de Chalons – challenged Celene I rule, sparking a civil war
- Grand Duchess Florianne de Chalons - sister of Gaspard
- Grand Duke Gratien – murdered along with his wife and children on the orders of Mad Emperor Reville who feared him as a rival
- Grand Duchess Leontine - daughter of Emperor Reville and sister to Emperors Etienne II and Judicael I
Dukes and Duchesses Edit
- Duke Isidore d'Arlesans, Duke Yvon of Savrenne, and Duke Stephan of Val Montaigne - Younger brothers of Emperor Alphonse Valmont. 
- Duchess Clarisse de Montfort - mother of Empress Celene I
- Duke Cyril de Montfort – the youngest member of the Council of Heralds, son of Duke Prosper
- Duke Prosper de Montfort – a close friend and cousin of Celene I
- Duke Remache of Lydes – Gaspard de Chalons' ally during the Orlesian Civil War, his death sparked a succession crisis between his daughter Monette, his brother Jean-Gaspard and his cousin Caralina. 
- Duchess Marissa de Ghislain - died in 8:96 Blessed of the blue death, later succeeded by her younger brother Bastien.
- Duke Bastien de Ghislain – Grand Duke Gaspard's father-in-law Head of the Council of Heralds and the lover of Madame Vivienne.
- Duchess Nicoline - Duke Bastien's wife and Grand Duke Gaspard's mother-in-law
- Duke Laurent de Ghislain - Son of Duke Bastien de Ghislain and Duchess Nicoline, and a member of the Council of Heralds
- Duke Germain de Chalons - member of the Council of Heralds, and paternal uncle to Grand Duke Gaspard
- Duke Theodore de Chalons - husband of Princess Melisande, and father of Grand Duke Gaspard & Grand Duchess Florianne
- Duke Stefan de Firmin - duke of Val Firmin and husband of Duke Remache's cousin Caralina 
- Duke de Freyen - a dignitary paying tribute to the Inquisition
- Duchess Yvonne Blanchard - duchess of Val Montaigne and a Chevalier, fought at the battle of White River during the Fereldan Rebellion
- Duke Alvin Blanchard of Val Montaigne - A cousin of the Imperial Family with connections to Florianne de Chalons and the Venatori. 
- Duke Valere Fontaine 
- Duchess Nicole de Val Montaigne - A member of the Orlesian Society for the Protection of Historic Architecture interested in restoring Judicael's Crossing in Emprise du Lion. 
- Duke Genelle 
- Duchess de Savrenne – unnamned duchess in 9:41 Dragon who's household originally ordered stone from Sahrnia, but later changed their minds and donated to the building of a Fountain in the honour of Celine's war efforts.
- Marquis de Chevin – one of Celene's closest allies; along with Houses Ghislain, Morrac and d'Argent, he makes up the "northern host" of the Empress' supporters
- Marquis de Montsimmard & Marquise Cosinne de Montsimmard – with strong ties to the Montsimmard Circle of Magi and parents of Lienne de Montsimmard
- Marquis DuRellion
- Lady Mantillon – an elite player of The Grand Game
- Marquise Mantillon – a member of the Council of Heralds
- Marquis of Salmont – a friend of Meghren
- Marquis Lambert Valmont - Father of Alphonse Valmont, the first Valmont Emperor. Served in the Orlesian Imperial Army as a Captain during the Fourth Blight.
- The "Shame of Serault" - great grandfather to the current Marquis of Serault, he was secretly an Apostate Mage who became an Abomination.
- Marquis of Serault – the young ruler of Serault in western Orlais in 9:40 Dragon; protagonist of Dragon Age: The Last Court.
- Marquis of Alyons, known as His Dour Lordship
- Marquise of the Dales- possibly granted ruler-ship over the Dales as a result of the quest Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts.
- Marquise Effiloche Bouffon - Ruler of Val Gamord and Venatori associate. 
- Marquis Wiscotte 
- Marquis Pellantaise - A collector from Ghislain 
- Marquis d'Archambon - An explorer killed by a bogfisher 
- Marquis Reginald Montclair - Granted a marquisate by Emperor Cyril Valmont for administration of Halamshiral in the Storm Age. 
- Marquis d'Lussard - Author of "The Further Journeys of Marquis d'Lussard, with an Emphasis on Food and Drink, with Full Illustrations by the Author" 
- Marquise Courtemance - A marquise from the Heartlands 
- Marquise Freyette - Writer of the play "The Sword of Drakon: an Examination of the Life and History of the Father of Orlais" 
- Marquis Etienne – a supposedly very handsome noble attending the Winter Palace during Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts.
- Marquise Solange Levesque of Montvent – ambassador of Orlais to Nevarra.
- Marquise Hedinelle – a noblewoman with many allergies and a dignitary to the Inquisition.
Comtes and Comtesses Edit
- Comte Alphonse Valmont
- Comte Reynaud de Launcet - father of Guillaume de Launcet
- Comte Guillaume de Launcet – was once engaged to Leandra Amell of Kirkwall
- Comte Dorian – he owned Fiona and used her as a slave. He was eventually slain by her with magic.
- Comtesse Jeannevere
- Comte Brevin de Chalons of Montfort
- Comte Pierre of Halamshiral – a nobleman somewhat sympathetic to the elven plight
- Comte Chantral of Velun – an ardent suitor for Celene's hand
- Comtesse d'Argent – an ally of Celene
- Comtesse Elodie
- Comtesse Helene – a patron of learning attempting to sponsor an elven math prodigy named Lennan being accepted into the University of Orlais
- Comtesse Solange Montbelliard - "The Silver Lady of Churneau" and a member of the Council of Heralds
- Comte Evram de Morrac - Ruler of Val Firmin during the late Exalted Age along with his wife Louise, previous owners of the mask Curse of Morrac.
- Comte Renald de Mourier - A distant relation of Empress Celene 
- Comte Boisvert - Owner of Boisvert Mansion in Val Royeaux
- Comte Gerard of Jader
- Comte Marius de Poisson - A comte with lands bordering the Ylenn Basin. 
- Comte Etienne - Sponsored Lord Seeker Lambert van Reeves into the Templar Order.
- Comte Lothaire Doucy - Member of the Council of Heralds.
- Comtesse de Bayard 
- Comtesse d'Arnee 
- Comtesse Simone of Savrenne - One of the previous owners of the axe Misfortune's Bite.
- Comtesse Lutetia - a dignitary with a perculiar obsession with butterflies and a patron of the arts. She was once a visitor and guest of the Inquisition.
- Comtesse Dauvern
Vicomtes and Vicomtesses Edit
- Vicomte de Melun - rumored to be conducting an affair with his stepdaughter 
- Vicomte Tremane Pontival - brother to Leontine Pontival, who died at Therinfal; challenges Commander Cullen to a duel 
- Vicomtesse Elodie de Morreau - a friend and associate of both Josephine and Enchanter Vivienne 
Barons and Baronesses Edit
- Baron Arlange
- "The Cheery Baron"
- Baron Edouard Desjardins
- Baron Remille Doucy - The original owner of the Mask of the Baron
- Baron Havard-Pierre d'Amortisan
- Baron Severin Doucy of Jader.
- Baroness Natale de Lasouche - Josephine's friend who helped the Inquisition defeat Marquise Bouffon. 
- Baron of Rosfort - A tyrannical baron who lived during the Exalted Age. 
Lords and Ladies Edit
- Lady Alcyone – Author of "The Dowager's Field Guide to Good Society".
- Lady Arlette – wife of Baron Severin Doucy of Jader.
- Lord Bellien
- Lord Bencour – a nobleman of Halamshiral; considered by the City elves something of a deadbeat regarding payment of his debts.
- Lady Wilhelmina Bonchance – Author of the portrait book The Gallery of Knaves 
- Lord Vincent Callier – An ally of Empress Celene, was murdered along his entire family in 9:35 Dragon.
- Lady Couteau, Lady Colombe and Lady Fleur – The three handmaidens of Empress Celene.
- Lord Pierren DesRosiers – Possible ally to the Inquisition.
- Lady Dever
- Lord Emile Deveraux – "the Golden Prince" of the Summer War.
- Lord Edmond – son of Baron Severin Doucy of Jader and his wife Arlette, student to the composer Emeline of Montsimmard.
- Lady Elspeth
- Lady Taraline Emmald – Sera's foster mother.
- Lord Esmeral Abernache
- Lord Ezoire – Ruler of Ezoire.
- Lady Ivaline Fernande
- Lord Ademar Garde-Haut – royal historian and author of several codex entries.
- Lord Benoit Gelinaux
- Lady Calienne de Ghislain – wife of Grand Duke Gaspard.
- Lady Simone Therese Germaine – Author of "An Illumination of the Art and Artifacts of the Imperial Court of Orlais".
- Lord Norbert de la Haine – ordered the construction of Chateau Haine in the Black Age.
- Lady Seryl of Jader – a loyal ally of Empress Celene I.
- Lord Werner Jauquin – Author of "Tales of Val Royeaux".
- Lady Ginette Lagaspe – Allied with Marquise Bouffon.
- Lord Rudalt de Lancre – Has a company of soldiers.
- Lord Giroux Lemarque – Father of Bernice Lemarque and Fairbanks' grandfather, depending on the Inquisitor's choices he could be the last of his ancient house.
- Lady Adele Lescot
- Lord Chancer de Lion – A trainer for the Inquisition.
- Lady Madeline – daughter of Marquise Solange Levesque of Montvent and renowned author and poet.
- Lord Francois Maigny – Author of "Aveline, Knight of Orlais".
- Lord Mainserai – a little-liked nobleman of Halamshiral.
- Lord Roux Marchette – Declared himself king of the Nahashin Marshes during the Glory Age.
- Lord Basile Maron
- Lady Ducette Maron – Lord Basile's daughter.
- Lord Ramond Maurel – Owner of Villa Maurel in the Emerald Graves.
- Lord Joffrey of Montfort – A courtier who left his wife Lady Chantal of Val Chevin to become a Chantry initiate.
- Lord Montlaures – Father of Area, the wife of Kordillus Drakon I.
- Lord Aurelien of Montsimmard – commissioned the Summer Sword for his youngest son Luis in 8:84 Blessed.
- Lord Avery of Montsimmard
- Lady Nester
- Lord D'Onterre – Owner of the Chateau d'Onterre in the Emerald Graves.
- Lord Ignace Poulenc – with his wife discovered the beneficial properties of "Salubrious Embrium".
- Lady Eustace Richelieu
- Lady Jonquil Severin – Author of "Lifestyles of the Wealthy and Politically Influential".
- Lady Sidonia
- Lady Marchelette – Sidonia's daughter.
- Lady Velise Thibault – Possible ally to the Inquisition.
- Lady Celeste Thibault – Lady Velise's daughter, lover of Jecin Leandre.
- Lady Amandine du Val
- Lord Eustace of Val Foret, Bosom Companion of Florian the Glorious and Principal Patron of Leorande the Younger.
- Lady Cerise – wife of Lord Eustace.
- Lord Remi Vascal – commonly known as the Black Fox.
- Lady Cecilie Vasseur – lover of music and guardian of Leliana following the death of Oisine, Leliana's mother and Cecilie's handmaiden; she and her household left Ferelden following the Fereldan Rebellion.
- Lord and Lady Verchin
- Lady Guinevere Volant – An Inquisition agent.