Oh goodness. Where can I start on this. This is an issue that plauges RP everywhere, its not just muds, or geas.
A king of an entire empire could be ruling everything but there will still be those commoners who'll act tough or treat the king lesser then they should just because.
In my experience outside of geas, most Roleplayers are within the age range of 15-18.
Now, i'm not going to say its explicitly because of this, but most teens in that age range are usually novice or inexperienced role-players; they take their IC goals in mind and also have them as OOC, and they also don't take into IC intimidation, or character status; Why would they? Not many teens these days actually appreciate authority, so when they're faced with it in games; they sure definitely don't or won't appreciate it on the game they're having fun on, its their fantasy after all.
But there are adults and experianced roleplayers that do this too; and while in the rare case a character might have a reason to, most of the time, they do not, but they do it anyway because they feel they could get away with it OOCly.
This is something that i used to do a lot myself, and have practically practiced forcing myself into taking the IC action my character would, everyone has their faults with roleplaying I suppose.
One of the best ways to encourage the acknowledge of postions is to make them known and, sadly, this is one way i've used, is to publicly punish or humilate those who are in a lesser postion having belittled you.
Even if that could lead to people disliking the character, it solidifies their postion, and could even creature future RP, but theres many ways to do it; for example, someone new to RP could easily just be ignorant of those postions, and simply be told about them IC, with a light punishment to add on to it to make it legit IC.
Now, there are of course those unknown people who are actually very strong that might show up, sometimes people get overlooked and even if theyre known as just as a commoner, when this underdog shows up, and perhaps a fight does happen? I just roll with it, unexpected things do happen and i -love- that.
Granted with geas's player base, thats unlikely.
Hopefully all the people im telling about geas will join up.
Just know that this isn't just a problem in geas, its a problem in roleplay everywhere.