A Baron is a noble who has been granted a territory (oddly enough called a Barony) within one of the five Duchies by a Duke. The Baron rules over his barony which consists of Counties and/or free cities. The will of a Baron within his barony is iron and absolute. He/she is charged with the maintenance and protection of the people and its culture. Previously they have been allowed to speak in the Landsraad and were once granted the ability to vote by their Duke, but procedure has since been changed and Barons' power only reaches as far as their land. The one exception to this is Elwynn's Council in Eliria, where the Barons may vote on issues concerning the Dutchy. The other exception is Straylight which doesn't even divide its territory into baronies. The position of Baron is acquired either by appointment by the Duke or by succession within the barony. In Shireroth there are 16 Baronies in the present day.