Comprised of the noble and wealthiest members of society, the First Tier are the highest of the high in both Tenkuni and Tentei. The members of the First Tier generally intermarry within one another and are the pool from which the Emperor selects his wives and concubines. Wealth is in abundance among the civilians in this class, and extravagance is rampant. They reside in the upper sections of Tentei and have a monopoly on the abundant lands of the North. Though many of the members of the First Tier are independently wealthy and powerful, they are some of the most active in politics and other political and military matters. These members should not be confused with members of the Governmental Tier, though there is some ambiguity between the two when concerning the highest ranked members in the Imperial government.
Those in the First Tier are typically the most fiercely loyal to traditional Tenkuni culture and its preservation. Many of them are Imperialists, supporting the Emperor and the dynasty that has seen their rise to such heights of power. The majority of Revolutionaries (those supporting Sousuke Aizen in his subversive attempt to take power) are members of the First Tier, though there are some from other classes who would rather see the Imperial system continue, simply not in the hands of the current Emperor. Very few members of the First Tier support the Vanguard and their movement for social justice. The First Tier is prosperous, despite the failing economy, and generally sees little worth changing. Some avant garde members of the Tier experiment with the available steam technology, but the traditionalists (a group that is dwindling in number) of the class often tend to shun all but the most convenient and useful technologies available to them.
The majority of the “civilized” population is part of the Second Tier. People here are more homely and less given to the airs and graces of the First Tier, though they still maintain some of their fidelity in traditional Tenkuni culture, which is sorely lacking in the Third Tier. Those in the Second Tier live in the secondary sections of Tentei and devote themselves to typical middle-class pursuits and careers. Many of those who have made some money (though not enough to push them into the First Tier) through industrial and mercantile endeavours are members of the Second Tier, and this is the class of people where steam technology not dedicated to military use is most common. Here, steam-powered vehicles are commonly used by those who can afford them, and this is the up and coming class from which most steam technology is developed.
Members of the Second Tier are often uninterested and uninvolved in the heights of Tenkuni politics, choosing to live their regular lives in neutrality. For this reason, the Second Tier is comprised of large numbers of neutral citizens who have not aligned themselves with any of the three groups that are rising in power. Because the Second Tier is also extremely large, there are also a fair number of Imperialists who are happy enough with their lives and their pursuit to achieve higher prosperity. Few members of the Second Tier are members of the Revolutionaries, but there are far more supporters of the Vanguard movement than in the First Tier. The Second Tier is typically the highest class attainable for foreigners, as there is a recent xenophobic movement within Tenkuni, barring foreigners from entering the country, and making life more difficult on those who have already come into Tenkuni.
The Governmental Tier is composed of those members of society who are the government and military officials of Tenkuni. This Tier is charged with all of the upkeep of the country, from the lowest foot soldier in the Army to the highest scholars who serve as the Emperor’s advisors. The military recruits much like any military might, from all Tiers and walks of life. For the higher ranked positions, including all officer and strategic positions in the military and all ranked bureaucrats, there is a series of examinations that are open to all males in Tenkuni. Regardless of which Tier they originate from, there is equality in the Governmental Tier that sets it apart from the rest of the country. Here, everyone has equal chances to move up through the hierarchy, no matter what. Obviously, members of the First Tier may afford tutors to prepare for the examinations, where those from the Third Tier are not as capable of such, but ones own merit is what promotes the worthy through the ranks. For this reason, many foreigners enter the military and take the examinations to join the scholar-gentry and are permitted to move beyond the regular constraints of the xenophobic culture in Tenkuni. Members of the Governmental Tier are not constrained to any particular regions of the nation or sections of Tentei unless their positions have them assigned to particular places.
By far, the conditions of the Third Tier are the worst in Tenkuni. In the dank ruins of the low country and the slums of Tentei is where the Third Tier resides, populated by the lowest class in Tenkuni. The impoverished citizens of the most rural and rundown areas of Tenkuni are the ones who take the brunt of the declining economic conditions. Furthermore, it is in the miserable countryside that the worst of the natural disasters seem to be striking, driving more and more people into the crowding capital as refugees. These are the people who most strongly support the Vanguard and are the most outspoken against the Emperor. Some of them, those that the Revolutionaries bother to recruit from the pits of despair, support the Revolutionary movement to put Sousuke Aizen on the throne. In the dredges of society, there is little of the former culture that has been maintained. There is little for these people to cling to, and so any promise of change is what they pour themselves behind. As a whole, the Third Tier is a disgruntled and seething pit threatening to strike out at any time against the Emperor. They have virtually no access to steam technology, save for that which is thrown aside to make way for newer technology, and the members of the Third Tier often attempt to adapt old technology to make new, barely functional things out of the old, to varying results which often lean toward disaster for those who dare to use these adapted technologies.