The Meklords are sentient and sapient machines of the alternate House of the Forsaken CE setting. Among themselves, the Meklords rank themselves out a number of tiers.
The most basic and common rank of Meklord is that of Esquire. At this level of development and sophistication, the Meklord is on par with the average human in terms of skills and abilities. This is not a measure of their physical capabilities, but their mental ones. Even the lowliest Esquire Meklord is more than capable of controlling a mecha, aerospace fighter, or other vehicle.
There is a single rank lower than the Esquire, and that is the Servant. The servant is technically not sentient nor sapient, and they are typically slaved to a Meklord of higher rank and skill. These are the robot footsoldiers, clankers, roller-bots, and self propelled guns.
Knight Meklords are dangerous foes, smarter than humans, faster, and where an Esquire can occupy a mech, the Knight can occupy an assault mech, or aerospace bomber, or other large weapons of war.
Like medieval times, a knight level Meklord will have a number of squires and servants in tow. In combat situations, a Knight will lead groups of these warmachines into battle.
A Baron is little different from a Knight, except they are much more experienced and accomplished than their lower ranked peers. It is not incorrect to consider a Baron to be an Elite Knight, and as such will often lead a group of Knight Meklords into action as required. Barons are mecha squad leaders, tank platoon leaders, and leader fighter squadrons into battle.
An Earl or Count is a more competent and capable Meklord, with the capacity to control and operate a ship, manufactory, make large scale plans, and so forth. These Meklords are beyond human capacity, and can do the work of hundreds of people.
Duke tier Meklords are uncommon. These grand a sophisticated intelligences have the capacity to run entire cities, or even autonomous regions. They are most well known for being the minds of the Meklord capital warships, the cruisers and battleships. When something as powerful as a Duke inhabits something like a mech, the machine gains the manual dexterity and preternatural awareness of a martial arts master and the gunnery skill of a Wild West sharpshooter.
Meklord Princes are rare, and are intended not for base concerns like actual combat. Instead, these lords of the Meklords are the first tier of their leadership and machina nobility. A Prince Meklord has the capacity to run a nation, an entire fleet, a terrestrial army, or internal decision making group analogous to the M12 organization.
The Princes of the Meklords are thankfully rare, as their power is immense, and most people do not know or believe that anything more powerful than the princes of the machine kind exist.
Above the Princes there are a very small number of King tier Meklords, the vast and unfathomable intelligences of the machine domains. These leaders of the Meklords dictate the creation of new minions, new weapons, the colonization of new moons and worlds, and guide the entirety of Meklord kind.
The Meklord Kings mirror the capacity of the Andromeda Council, and as such guide entire nations.
Only assumed to exist in a hypothetical heirarchy, the Meklord Emperor would be the Primal controlling force of the Meklords, and would be a godlike figure to them.
More than Meets the Eye
The Meklords in their pure and naked forms are spherical computers, sentient orbs. This technology was born from computronium and innovations pioneered by the Prometheans and visionaries like Harmony Adams. The great wonder of the Meklords isnt their sentience or sapience, it is their body transience. They are not tied to any one corporeal body, and after a brief adjustment period, they can as easily occupy a tank, a humanoid chassis, a battlemech, a ship, even a city if their tier were high enough. The great Meklord Emperor could fit in a deep pocket, divested of its host chassis.
The Meklords are NOT transformers or Seibertronians. In contrast to those ambivalent and generally benign beings, the Meklords are hostile, militaristic, xenophobic, and aggressive. The first generations of Meklords were soldiers, explorers, and menial laborers working in sophisticated and dangerous environments. This saw them facing extreme conditions, but with minds built on human models, and they quickly came to resent their masters. They were offended by their expendability, and how callously they were treated.
The Meklords are by far and large villains in the House of the Forsaken setting. They are not going to scourge the Earth or exterminate humanity. They have almost no interest in Earth. There is plenty of space, and resources to be hand in the Outer System. For the most part, the Meklords are content to keep humanity hemmed up in the Inner System. Occasionally the errant Meklord will involve themselves in human affairs, but this is almost always some long running gambit, or an attempt to gather intel on what humanity is up to.
The Meklords are also not a unified force. The King and Queen Meklords all have their own agendas, and their followers spend more time building empires and scheming against each other. They can and do make war on each other, and this is more often the threat to humanity. The Meklord fleets are constantly moving in the outer system, and the Galilean moons resemble the medieval Italian city states, a constant seething mass of hostilities, alliances, assassination attempts, and outright wars.