Within Rhovanion there are social ranks similar to castes and like castes it takes hard work to rise and is very easy to fall. The lower you are on the social spectrum the more doors will be closed to you, the less job opportunities and growth within a job are available to you. The higher you are on the social spectrum the more power, position and prestige you possess. Here is the breakdown of the social ranks below from low to high, keep in mind not all ranks are obtainable by played characters:
Indigent - you do not have employment, nor a License, and you can be out of favor of the Union and you can be impoverished. A common caste amongst the Crows as well as neverdowells, criminals, etc.
Tradesmen - you do manual labor, perhaps do the general crafts. The vNPCs who work for farms, tanneries, etc. Ideally you call yourself your trade, such as Farmer or Tanner or Bargemen, but your rank is Tradesmen. You are not a Guard. You do not belong to the Citadel. You are employed commercially be it the public craft-based jobs, in a shop where you are neither Apprentice, Manager or License Holder, for an NPC Clan or Company where you are neither Apprentice or above. There is no shame in being a Tradesman.
Peddler - you have a Peddler's License which permits you the rental of a stall for selling your Licensed wares to the public which is beholden to the limitations of said License. You are not permitted to hire employees or have an Apprentice due to the small nature of the stall. You do not receive a salary, materials kit or NPC sales. You are beholden to the profits of the wares of your rented stall.
Apprentice - you would not be covered by the License of the shop so you cannot sell to PCs. You cannot also hold a Peddler's License if you are employed by a License Holder - you are being trained in your craft and have responsibility with the understanding you are the recognized heir to the shop only if your Freeman goes to the AU and gets it certified. Only one Apprentice per License. It is important to note that you are there to support the Manager or License Holder via crafts. You make stuff for the shop, you do errands, you get a salary and if you are employed by an NPC you would get a kit of supplies for crafts. If employed by a PC, your material access, like your pay, is beholden to the handling of the License Holder.
Manager - you are a manager of a Licensed Shop and as such, you fulfill more of a Role-Play and interactive role with the rest of society more than a money-making role. You are responsible for maintaining employee growth within the Shop and report to the License Holder. Your pay is handled at the behest of the License Holder and you may or may not get materials. Generally, you are covered by the License Holder's License to sell to PCs for the Shop only within the realms of the License and there may be other stipulations or limitations placed on this depending on the License Holder's policies. It cannot be stressed enough that this is a purely RP position, this is not for spam-crafters or those who want to make boat-loads of money. If crafting is your game, please be an Apprentice. If money is your game, please go run your own business. You get a salary and kit of supplies if you want to work on your skills. The benefits are more roleplay based. Managers are expected to submit a set amount of coin per IC month to the License Holder with the expectation that this coin is a portion of the Manager to PC sales. Each License Holder has different expected profit cuts and that information can be found with the NPC License Holder.
Freemen - you are a shopholder, you run a shop and you commonly refer to yourself as your trade such as Farmer, Tanner, Draper, what have you. You do not get a salary or a kit of supplies, you are beholden to the profit of your shop and employees. You cannot have a manager, you are permitted one Apprentice at a time.
Guildsmen - You are part of the Guild as a Freeman, your shop being recognized by the Guild ad therefor held to the policies and politics of the Guild. You pay a tithe to the Guild and receive access to the Guild hall to which your License is associated with.
Mongermaster - They are, like the Guildmaster, responsible for overseeing the various traders associated with the Guilds as Guildsmen. They are a part of the AU. This is not a playable role.
Guildsmaster - They are employed by the Union, they oversee different clans pertaining the material in their Guild. They are the head of this department who represents the interest in the material of this Guild such as if you had a Fletching License, or a Cartwright or an Ebenist, etc. you would answer to the Guildsmaster of the Woodwrights Guild. You are a part of the AU. There are more Guildsmasters more than Councilors. This is not a playable role.
Chartmaster - They are employed by the Union, always NPCs, who represent jobs needed or wanted around Rhovanion by way of handing out tasks to those seeking jobs who are not Licensed or employed by the Guild otherwise. License Holders and Guildsmen are discouraged from taking jobs from the needy. This is not a playable role.
Councilor - Or Aelderman in Old Dalish. They are employed by the Union, always NPCs, they are the AU made flesh and bone. They are government officials who work between the Master and the Union to ensure the financial success of Laketown and its laws are upheld. Each Councilor/Aelderman is the head of a Guild so that every Guild has a representative beneath the Master. This is not a playable role.
Lady/Lord - Nobility, they are either nobles from Gondor, Rohan, and Merchant Princes from Dorwinion. This too can be used for those lingering of the old Dale noble families. These are RPP roles only.
Master - Always an NPC, the voice of Laketown and therefor Rhovanion. This is the highest rank within Rhovanion, it is singular and powerful as the head of the government, commerce and law.
There are other ranks within society, as well as Council representation, for the establishments owned and operated by the Kandavan, Gondor Trading Company, Iron Hills Trading Company, and the Elven embassy. While still adhering to the rules and regulations within the Artisan Union pertaining to Licenses and taxes, the Companies are permitted some exceptions as well as some limitations while granted clemency within Rhovanion in terms of their importation and exportation of goods.