Though once part of the Aturan Empire, Vintas has been ruled for centuries by the Calanthis family. The current king, Roderic, rules from the capital city of Renere. Other major cities include Severen, which is ruled by the Maer Alveron, and the Free City of Tinuë. Vintas also contains portions of the Eld.
Social rank is important in Vintish society. One custom reflecting this is the use of rings of various materials when sending messages or arranging appointments. A gold ring is sent to a person who outranks you, a silver ring to a person of equal or undetermined rank, and an iron ring to someone below you.
In modern times only the gold, silver and iron rings are common in the court, considered to be Court Rings, but the tradition existed among the common folk a long time before it was adopted by the gentry, and some outside of the court still use them. Some of the rings used by common folk include a ring of green grass, given to the girl someone was courting, a ring of leather promising service, a ring of horn showing powerful and lasting enmity, and a ring of bone (the one that Stapes has given Kvothe) indicating a profound and lasting debt. In the old times, this ring would have been carved from a deceased family member.
A ring of wood was used, in the past, to call servants much below your status, but with time it became an offense, as servants would be unpleased to receive one of those when a fellow servant would receive an iron ring. Now, sending someone a wooden ring is a serious offense, showing that person is considered inhuman and beneath contempt. Kvothe is given a wooden ring by Meluan before leaving the court.
In Vintas, the nobility have more privilege than in the more egalitarian Commonwealth. Some noble families can trace their lineage back hundreds of years or more. Powerful families include Calanthis, Alveron, Lackless, and Jakis.