For Imperials, especially those with noble lineage, family names are very important. Some families claim that their ancestors were amongst the original founders of the city (although their veracity is harder to claim). There are a few designations found in the nobility:
- The "er" prefix designates an unbroken line, or at least a claim to one. There are contested claims, and a noble using an "er" prefix may be required to show legal proof. Making such a claim and not being able to prove it is a very large social faux pas.
- The "fae" prefix designates one step away from nobility. This typically marks a marriage into a noble family. In most cases, the family name is replaced by marriage, in both men and women. Sometimes, both family names are kept, such as in the case of Quirina er'Taran fae'Ceasian. The prefixes show her House Taran ancestry, and she has married into House Ceasian. The "fae" prefix is also used for children who may only have one parent of noble standing.