Data File Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018

In the Loroi Fleet, there are five primary warrior castes: two conventional combat tracks (Soroin and Tenoin), and two specialist psi-oriented combat tracks (Teidar and Mizol) all four of which lead to a fifth command track (Torrai). There are also a number of support castes (Listel, Doranzer, Gallen and others) that are considered outside the normal command structure. For certain administrative functions, each Loroi caste has its own bureaucratic hierarchy, but in terms of field command, there is a carefully defined chain of command based on position that runs from top to bottom of a given unit.

Armor is the badge of office for the warrior class. Each caste has its own armored uniform of distinctive style and color (for example, silver and green for Soroin, bronze and teal for Teidar, white and purple for Listel). Each caste uniform has additional variations based on rank and title, the most obvious of which are the light-up colored tabs on the wrist, shoulder and collar. The rank tab colors generally follow a pattern from lowest (white) through blue, green, yellow, orange and red to the highest (purple, worn only by the Emperor). 

Caste uniform examples. From left to right: Doranzer, Torrai, Listel, Teidar, Soroin, Mizol, Tenoin.

The colored rank tabs are used to mark relative rank within a caste -- they aren't an absolute measure in the way that our military ranks are. In our system, although there is a chain of command, ranks are absolute -- a military doctor with the rank of Major would outrank a combat infantry company leader with a rank of of Captain, and the Captain would be require to salute and show deference to the doctor... such a situation would be unacceptable to the proud Loroi, who view the fighting arts as the epitome of civilization. Each caste has its own internal hierarchy, and aboard a ship with multiple castes, there is a somewhat Byzantine interplay of the various titles, who reports to whom, and who has what function in the running of a ship. Beryl is a relatively high-ranking officer aboard the Tempest in the sense that she has gold rank tabs and is a member of commander's senior staff, but as a member of the Listel which is a support caste, she has very limited authority in terms of being able to give combat orders to even a junior Soroin officer. 

Title Description US Rank Equiv. Insignia Color Example
Soroin Paset Novice / Midshipman OC MIDN n/a Cloud 
Soroin Pideir Warrior / Junior Officer O1 ENS white Reed
Soroin Tiris Section Leader O2 LTJG blue Redriver
Soroin Nedeil Fire Control Chief O3 LTSG dark green Cobalt
Soroin Nozotel Subsystems Chief O3 LTSG dark green Curve
Soroin Seinen Operations Chief O4 LCDR emerald green  
Soroin Mallas Ship’s Master (First Officer) O5 CDR yellow Rune Laurel
Soroin Torret Captain O6 CAPT yellow Nova
Tenoin Narrat Pilot / Helmsman O1 ENS white Spiral
Tenoin Arrir Flight Leader / Senior Nav O2 LTJG cobalt blue Talon
Tenoin Baistil Squadron Leader / Chief Nav O3 LTSG dark green Hope
Tenoin Seinen Wing Leader / Operations Chief O4 LCDR emerald green Forest
Tenoin Mallas Ship’s Master (First Officer) O5 CDR yellow Rubyrod
Listel Observer O1 ENS royal blue   
Listel Sininran Overseer O2 LTJG emerald green   
Listel Tozet Tactical Analyst O3 LTSG gold Beryl
Listel Saszet Chronicler O4 LCDR orange  
Listel Saszet-Toza Senior Chronicler (Elder) O5 CDR red  
Doranzer Medical Technician O1 2LT white  
Doranzer Mazil Medical Specialist O2 1LT turquoise  
Doranzer Mazil-Toza Chief Medical Specialist O3 CPT yellow Desire
Doranzer Disis Surgeon O4 MAJ gold  
Gallen Lonzet Mechanic O1 2LT white  
Gallen Ranzadi Machinist O2 1LT blue  
Gallen Bastobar Engineer O3 CPT dark green  
Gallen Lopeiladi Artificer O4 MAJ yellow  
Gallen Sobatadi Planner O5 LTC gold  
Teidar Marine O1 2LT white Mothwing
Teidar Ragan Marine Lieutenant O2 1LT cyan Razorthorn
Teidar Sezon Marine Captain O3 CPT cobalt blue  
Teidar Pallan Marine Major O4 MAJ emerald green Fireblade
Teidar Rozerrei Marine Colonel O6 COL ruby red  
Mizol Lennai Operative O2 1LT white*  
Mizol Sanzet Envoy O3 CPT dark blue  
Mizol Losat Analyst O4 MAJ dark green  
Mizol Parat Senior Analyst O5 LTC dark red Tempo
Mizol Torimor Ambassador O6 COL ruby red Silvermist
Torrai Sorimi Adjutant O4 LCDR silver Opal
Torrai Torret Captain O6 CAPT yellow Arclight
Torrai Mazeit Senior Captain (Commodore) O7 RDML yellow Moonglow
Torrai Lashret Group Commander O8 RADM gold Stillstorm
Torrai Soshret Admiral, Fleet Commander O9 VADM orange Sunfury
Torrai Tazites Admiral, Sector Commander O10 ADM red Duskcrown
Torrai Oirel Admiral, Imperial Chief of Staff O11 FADM dark red Lodestone
Torrai Azerein Emperor (Commander in Chief) n/a purple Greywind

* Mizol Operatives are frequently not in uniform.

Note that the above table is not an exhaustive list, and concentrates primarily on shipboard titles. A little bit of the ground force rank structure is discussed here.

The two primary combat castes, the Soroin and Tenoin, make up the majority of a ship's crew and officers. The relationship between the Tenoin and Soroin can probably be compared to that of the fliers of the US Navy and the Army Air Corps in the 1930's and 40's: two groups with similar and sometimes overlapping responsibilities, but who come from very different backgrounds and traditions. The Soroin are usually the most numerous, and arise from the land-based warrior traditions of Deinar, whereas the Tenoin owe their roots to the seafaring traditions of Taben. At the lower-rank levels, the Soroin tend to fill roles dealing with weaponry and physical security, and the Tenoin deal more with navigation and the operation of small craft. At the middle and upper ranks, there is more overlap between the two, and the most senior titles on the ship for each caste are the same -- a first officer, for example, can be either Tenoin or Soroin. Either caste can also go on to special training as a Torrai and rise to command grade. Overall, the Tenoin, Soroin and Torrai share a more or less combined rank structure and chain of command aboard a ship.

Specialist castes such as the Teidar and Mizol are not part of the regular chain of command, except as exists within their own departments, but they interact with the regular command structure in complex ways. As you might expect, Teidar are regularly placed in command of Soroin security forces, and while Teidar are not permitted in most circumstances to directly command a ship, she may be required to resolve disputes over succession of command in unusual circumstances (such as where there is no clear senior officer aboard a captured prize vessel, or such as when the whereabouts, condition or competence of the current senior officer is in dispute). Mizol usually report directly to a unit commander, and have few direct reports besides Farseers or other Mizol, but they can occasionally take part in Teidar-style direct action and so may also be put in charge small units of Soroin or even Teidar. Mizol are also prohibited from taking direct command of a vessel, but the senior Mizol usually fills a role (in addition to that of diplomat) across between an intelligence officer and a political officer, and is often in a position to deliver Admiralty-level commands to the ship's captain (sometimes through Farseer contact). Higher-ranking Teidar and Mizol do have the possibility of moving up to the Torrai command caste, but this is rarer and these will usually be in staff positions rather than ones in direct command of line units.

The support castes such as the Listel or Doranzer or Gallen are generally entirely outside of the regular chain of command, and generally can rise only into the upper echelons of their own internal caste hierarchies.

To complicate matters further, ships of different sizes may be missing some of these positions -- a smaller vessel might not have a Mizol, a senior Teidar, or even perhaps a Torrai captain (the commander in this case being a Soroin or Tenoin "Torret", or even a Mallas in the case of a very small ship). The Loroi seem to like their societal mechanisms complicated. Also, an officer's responsibilities in terms of her caste hierarchy may not always be totally compatible with her responsibilities within the command structure of her current assignment.

I think you mentioned that the Loroi don't have a fixed hierarchical rank structure like we use now, but more of a "positional" one. Two Loroi may both be "Navigators", but the one who's the navigator for the flagship Tempest has a higher "rank" than the navigator on the frigate Bucket of Rust. Likewise if Fireblade is the ranking (I noticed you didn't say "commanding") Unsheathed on the flagship, she would be of higher rank than an Unsheathed on a lesser ship?

That's essentially correct, but there's a limit to how far that can be stretched. Fireblade would outrank the Unsheathed on a lesser ship, but she's still just essentially a platoon leader; it doesn't make her anything like a General.

Are Torrai limited to being taken from the Soroin and Tenoin castes? Or is is possible for others to rise to it as well? Also, are there any intermediate ranks below the O5 equivalent? Or would that fall under the Soroin?

Any caste member can be promoted to Torrai; once you go high enough in your own caste, there's nowhere higher to go except Torrai. That's why there are few caste ranks higher than O5 and no Torrai rank lower than O5. The internal hierarchy of each caste will have Torrai at the top, and the Diadem will have Torrai members from the appropriate specialty castes for the equivalent positions of Surgeon General, CIA Director, Marine Commandant, etc.

The Loroi rank structure is lacking something very important: enlisted rank equivalents. Unless officers are doing what we have enlisted doing (in which case their hierarchy is a bit truncated), I don't see how their military operates. Who does the maintenance?

The Loroi military has low ranks, but they don't have a class distinction between enlisted and officer; even the lowest-ranking Loroi warrior has been through a training regimen that gives her significant social status, and they're all essentially what we would think of as "officers." There are always menial tasks required in any combat unit, and these will be performed by the lower-ranking warriors (or those who have pissed off their commander in some way). These won't be popular duties, but warriors shouldn't be afraid to get their hands dirty.

The rank list above concentrates on shipboard titles; ground-based infantry will probably have a greater variety of low-ranking titles, and many menial functions may be provided by civilian personnel. On board a starship, however, civilians are usually not allowed, and the cost of operating such a unit is so extreme that it doesn't make much sense to put anyone but your best available people at every position. Sometimes this will mean that a person with the equivalent of a college education is turning a wrench or cleaning a toilet, but you don't have to look any farther than our own space program to see that principle already in action today. Also, at this technology level there is a significant amount of automation, so there will be some non-humanoid robots to help with some of the most difficult and menial tasks.

See also: Loroi, Loroi Warrior Rites, Ground Warfare