Ranks do not a very important role within the Free Company. Someone brand new to the company would be able to attend the very same events that a veteran, and higher rank, could attend. If someone new (A Cinder) to the Company wants to host their own event, they are welcome to do so. Due to this, ranks do not offer much purpose beyond having it as a shiny title and as a reward. Still, each rank will be explained below as people commonly ask about the difference of each rank.
Cinder is the very first rank! Once your character is interviewed, you will be promoted to this rank.
Azure Blades are veterans of the Free Company, similar to the Azure Flames rank. However, this rank is only given to members that have been with the Free Company for quite some time while also contributing to the FC in some way. While not an Officer, Azure Blades should be treated as such (ICly) if an Officer is not present.
Azure Embers are In-Character Officers. Their primary duty is to ensure IC conflict is kept to a minimum and to ensure that IC issues do not bleed into OOC. An Officer has to be an Azure Ember for awhile before being eligible for a promotion to OOC Officership.
Everyone is eligible for a promotion to this rank. You do not need to climb from rank 1 up to rank 4 to end up as an Azure Ember.
Tempered Flames are the OOC Officers of the FC. They are Officers both in-character and out-of-character. Their role is to ensure that drama and conflict are kept to a minimum both ICly and OOCly. They are also responsible for voting on new Officer promotions, enforcing the rules, and eating the left over ice cream. If there is an OOC issue with another member in the FC, a Tempered Flame should be notified.
Infernal Flames are the Head Officers for the FC. There can be only three of them, and a new one is usually chosen if one of the three steps down. If there is an issue with a Tempered Flame or Azure Ember, then an Infernal Flame should be notified. Infernal Flames are responsible for ensuring the other Officers are being officerly.
Flame is the second rank within the Flames! The rank is, typically, given after having attended a few events or after having had a presence within overall estate RP. If you are active for a few weeks, you can find yourself promoted up to this rank!
Azure Flames are either veterans of the FC or people that have been overly helpful.
To become an Azure Flame you'll need to be a member of the Free Company for a few months while remaining relatively active by attending events or engaging in estate roleplay.
Alternatively, members that host events, help with interviews, run a division, etc, may be promoted to the rank due to their contributions.