Everything is owned by the Emperor.
The Emperor appoints administrators to maintain the empire. The administration of land is normally granted to a clan. The Emperor expects certain levels of income from the land, these are required to maintain administration rights. Some services are also required by the Emperor or his representatives, these services are assigned to a clan and must meet Imperial expectations to be maintained. Administrative posts within the imperial government are granted to individuals not to clans and are based on personal honor and skill. Of course clan connections help to assure a person is even considered for a position. A basic division of power is maintained with no individual except the Emperor and his family having both civil and military authority. It is possible for a clanless person to be assigned a position but it is extremely rare and they must have performed an outstanding service for the empire. Usually that person is immediately offered clan membership. Normally a clan member will not be assigned a position with direct authority over a clan's area of responsibility. However, nothing prevents favors from being granted to allied clans. All positions are monitored by the Omnipotent Azure Legion and the Temples all have their own agents. Spies are everywhere and infractions are dealt with severly.
Clans and individuals operate on a credit and "Favor" system. Alliances are also formed by oaths. An oath is a favor to be provided on demand. Favors range from very minor to very major. The person the favor is for, determines it's value. This system is modified within the clan, any request by the clan leadership is not considered a "favor". However, favors can be done for the clan. credit limits are determined by the individual's importance to the clan.
The clan is the foundation of society. It's success or failure depends on the honor/nobility and success of it's members. A clan is made up of one or more lineages. The status of a lineage is based on the overall honor/nobility of it's members. The status of a clan is based on the overall honor/nobility of it's lineages as well the history of their accomplishments. A clan individual with no acknowledged lineage may be asked to join a lineage if their reputation would raise the lineage's honor/nobility. To be a member of a lineage the parent of that lineage has to acknowledge you. Since a husband can have multiple wives and a Aridani woman can have multiple husbands, the parents have to declare the lineage of their children. Until this is done the children are 'of the clan'. Since declaring affects the entire lineage, only some are chosen to be declared. Others have to earn recognition to be declared. Even the child of a slave can be declared if they perform noteworthy actions. Individuals with bad reputations within a clan may be disowned.
Non-clan related organizations do have a large influence within society. Being a member can help or harm promotions and assignments. Most of the organizations do not publicly recruit members. Many are completely secret. There are often even groups within groups.
Religious organizations are structured similar to the government. The main differences is that they are composed of all the same faith and will accept some clanless members. Within this hierarchy there are members with more radical religious viewpoints. There can also be members in external organizations. Sorcerers are a valuable asset to their temples and are highly valued and protected. Rarely are sorcerers found outside of the religious organization.
The military is the most open to clanless people. Even there, to achieve a high position of authority requires clan or temple connections. Most of the military Legions have Imperial or Temple support. Only a few are supported completely by a noble or a clan. Units with Temple support are dominated by followers of their faith. Imperial units are open to any faith. Most loyalties in these are to the unit and override even clan loyalty. This seldom effects family loyalty however. Temple sponsored units often have the strongest loyalty to their religion, sometimes even stronger than family ties. A legion consists of 20 cohorts. Each of these are made up of 20 companies with 20 soldiers in each company. Legions normally specialize in one troop type. Contingents from one legion are often sent on loan to another, so that each has a balance of troop types.
Most people will not deal directly with others of lesser status then themselves. In game terms this means that a 'level 4' person will be insulted if a 'level 1' person tries to deal with them personally. The clan house is a smaller example of society, with sections for each level of individuals. A person is assigned to each room of the clan house. These people direct the servants/slaves for the people higher than them. Each floor can have a manager when the occupants are high enough not to talk to a lowly room supervisor directly. There is a house director to interact with the elders and clan head. All organizations have these positions which are filled by the officials of the clans. These positions are responsible for dealing between levels and are in addition to the people who actually do work.
To achieve any position inducements must be offered to the decision makers. These can be provided by the clan, if it's in the clan's best interest, or by the individual. Ability is important in getting the opportunity to apply and keeping the position. However, inducements largely determine who gets it.