The Corporate Houses are dynasties often several generations old, most of them dating back to at least the OmniStat era, and some even further. The Houses are sometimes also referred to as the Original Twelve, meaning the twelve families who supported the Kruger Uprising against OmniStat. To those twelve, one more has been added in the shape of House Riken (owners of Anansi), bringing the current total to thirteen.
To be able to trace your lineage to an Original Twelve ancestor brings enormous prestige, and though the Corporate Houses have grown considerably in the last few decades through adoptions and marriage, genealogists still maintain careful records of who is true blood and who is not.
Members of the Corporate Houses live in unfathomable luxury, far removed from the realities of the low and even midCaste whom they rarely fraternize with, if at all. They are the ones leading the Corporations and thereby Cascadia, and their lives are dedicated to politics and the constantly ongoing power play.
The eXecs are those directors and executives who have yet to be adopted into the Corporate Houses but still wield considerable power and influence. They too live lives of extraordinary abundance, but while a Corporate House member is always protected by the House, an eXec is still "only" an employ and can still be made an outCaste, and so their vigilance and dedication must be absolute.
The most affluent of the ordinary castes and often found in senior positions across the nation, many of the hiCaste live together with the eXecs and House members in reserved areas of the cities – prominently represented by The View District, and Sky City in Glass and though they always stand the risk of being downcast they enjoy lives of considerable affluence.
The midCaste make up the majority of the urbanite employs and they are the ones staffing the offices and service centres, the research facilities and civic compounds. The midCaste know only work and they dedicate all their waking hours to striving upwards because there will always be someone ready to take their place should they relax, in which case they will be downcast and even made outCaste and thus lose their hard-earned rights and benefits.
Though there is a large urban loCaste population in all cities most are Greylanders and they live in the massCondos connected to the foodDomes, factories and mines. A loCaste's life is often hard and fraught with work-related danger and they have few rights and benefit – considered too expendable to be given any more. But all loCaste do (in theory) have a shot at changing their situation through hard work and every month a select few are elevated to midCaste status and offered positions in the cities. Of course, this often means that they are replacing midCaste who for different reasons were downcast.
At the bottom we find the outCaste, those whose contracts have been permanently terminated – usually as a result of breaking Policy. Many serve forced labor sentences in the mines or most dangerous factories, but some simply leave society behind, to go live on their own or with fellow outCaste in the struggling Greyland villages. A few even remain in the cities, staying out of reach of KrugerSec while scraping by at the bottom, their gridLink long since taken from them and with it any hope of ever returning the Conglomerate fold.
Then there the even fewer outCaste who rather consider themselves offGrids – rare individuals who for different reasons have decided to remove themselves completely from the Conglomerate while still living in the cities. Most have no official listing in the employ database. Many make a living as criminals and over the years they have made their services an integrated part of the Conglomerate black market economy and the ongoing Corporate House rivalry. The Runners in Glass belong to this category.
Other offGrids have joined different resistance movements where they do all they can to overthrow the Conglomerate using terror as their foremost weapon. They are constantly hunted by KrugerSec and considered a primary threat to Conglomerate security. Black November is among them.