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The badge for the rank of Count or Countess. Party per pale (divided down the middle, "halved vertically"), dexter argent and sinister azure. Facing the shield like this, dexter is the left, sinister is the right.

As defined by the New OutRider's Charter the Count is the second lowest officer rank in order of precedence in the New OutRiders. Barons form the second to last ring on the chain of command.

Count Mandate

As officers of the order, Counts have the following mandate:

  1. Meet with the Baron/ess's assigned to you as often as necessary to keep the Duchy running smoothly.
  2. Promote up to BA/BS those who are deserving with Ducal consent.
  3. Compile the rosters sent to you by the BA/BS's and forward to the DK/DC of your host at least once per week.
  4. Forward to the BA/BS's any letters for mass mailing (i.e. Newsletters, Notices, etc.) The word "DISTRIBUTE" will appear beneath the return address indicating a letter for mass mailing.
  5. Answer questions from the lower ranks. If you do not know the answer, forward it to the DK/DC of your host.
  6. Notify the DK/DC of your host of any members wishing to apply for transfer to the Dungeon Master Group.
  7. Carry out ALL NOR tasks assigned to you by your DK/DC.
  8. Act as BARKEEP during NOR festivals and parties.

This mandate was revised 3/5/95.

County Titles

There are four titles at the Count rank:

  • Count - an active male Count
  • Countess - an active female Count
  • Viscount - an inactive/retired male Count
  • Contessa - an inactive/retired female Count

These titles are generally considered equal in weight and significance. The difference being that the Count and Countess are active officers of the order. Viscount/Contessa are no longer active officers and lose the rights and privileges attached to the office.

Historical Background

Count (male) or Countess (female) is a title in European countries for a noble of varying status, but historically deemed to convey an approximate rank intermediate between the highest and lowest titles of nobility.

In the late Roman Empire, the Latin title comes, meaning (imperial) "companion", denoted the high rank of various courtiers and provincial officials, either military or administrative: before Anthemius became emperor in the West in 467, he was military comes charged with strengthening defenses on the Danube frontier.

In the Western Roman Empire, Count came to indicate generically a military commander, but was not a specific rank. In the Eastern Roman Empire, from about the seventh century, "count" was a specific rank indicating the commander of two centuries (i.e. 200 men).

Military counts in the Late Empire and the Germanic successor kingdoms were often appointed by a dux and later by a king. From the start the count was not in charge of a roving warband, but settled in a locality, known as a countship; his main rival for power was the bishop, whose diocese was often coterminous with the countship.

A viscount or viscountess (Contessa) is a member of the European nobility whose comital title ranks usually, as in the British peerage, below an earl or a count (the earl's continental equivalent), and above a baron (in the United Kingdom).

Ranks of the Order
Preceded by Rank Succeeded by
Baron Count Duke