Politics of Promise
Sweetwater and Firmament
The government of Sweetwater is split into two major components. One is the royal family. The Good King or Queen writes laws into action and serves as the head of military. They are the sole most important and powerful person of the nation. Beneath them is the Peoples' Council. The Council has ten seats. Any being that has been a citizen of good standing of Sweetwater for at least five years time may nominate themselves or be nominated by others for a seat. The seats are voted for yearly in the spring time. Against an incumbent, a 75% margin of vote is required to depose them for the first two years, then a simple majority will do. If a chair is vacated, then any being with the most votes will ascend to the position.
The Council's duty is to be the word of the people. When the Good King or Queen announces a new law, or a problem should arise, they will speak for the people of the nation. It is possible, though rare, for the council to overturn a royal mandate. Such requires a unanimous vote, and is often cause for much rumor and scandal when such is even attempted. The people have faith in their royalty, for good or ill, but the mechanism remains. As the first Good Queen said, "Absolute power without fear of objection will only give rise to unreasonable despots. Let my people always have a clear voice, and if a descendant of mine should lose their way, let the cry of this nation's people turn them back to their good task."
The council's other primary duty is that of jury and judge. Criminal cases are brought before them to be weighed on and decided upon. In most cases, royalty does not attend to or judge on crimes, unless the crime is of national importance, such as charges of treason. Those accused are expected to defend themselves. A counsel may be hired, but faces shared sentence with the accused. To quote, "When beings are paid to defend against the law and yet stand outside of it, we train them to look at it as an obstacle to be avoided and overcome. Let any being that stands in the way of law face its potential wrath, if their way is proven false." A harsh rule, perhaps, but it has served the nation well so far.
It should be noted that the church does not have any direct power within Sweetwater, although the Good lineage has a tendency to heed the advice given to him by the clergy none-the-less. As for the nobles... Nobles are considerably more powerful than your average commoner, in that they can circumvent the court if they wish to petition the king. Furthermore, nobles are permitted to act autonomously, explaining their actions to the king afterwards. If the Solacious detect a great military opportunity, they don't need to wait on the king's word if the beings are available to take the move. They just need to explain themselves to his satisfaction afterwards. Of course, if things go sour, their explaination'd better be a good one.
There is no one ruler of Cliffside, instead headed by a Council of Elders, whom are often leaders of various fields of research and magic. The youngest being to ever serve on the council was forty years of age, Lady Thoma Bigg, a tiger born Clever Folk that had a monopoly on the production of the manufacturing process of crystals cut finely enough for the spells of the time.
Elders rise and fall with the opinion of their fellows, with only the most prestigious and awe inspiring of the businessmen and scholars rising to the top. This exchange of power is not always clean, and violent sprees of assassinations and intrigue are not unknown when a new upstart has their eyes on a seat they feel should be vacated. Those aspiring to gain, or hold, a seat on the council must, by necessity, be skilled in the ways of political navigation, and sleep lightly.
It is important to note that the church holds little to no power in the council per se, and will only have a say in the matters if one of their members rises through the ranks. Of course, one can expect the being most versed in Creator technology to hold a seat in the council, and more often than not, they will be a representative of the church, but again, this can vary greatly.
Shralesta is governed by its collective churches, and the High Priest of the largest functions as the de-facto head of state. For matters regarding Shralesta's external policies, the collected churches of Shralesta have to, by and large, come to a consensus. With as many churches as Shralesta has, this process is considered agonizingly slow by some. Take, for example, the statement from the Grand Church regarding the creators, which was sent out over a year after the first Creators landed on promise, as quoted below.
- "Children of the Creators,
- It has become clear that not all creators are made equally. Those which gave birth to us all, our Creator Saints, are now even more than ever exceptional and worthy of praise, for they worked to create us and instill in us good values for living even as their fellows worked against them. They are our true Prometheus, suffering to bring us fire against the wish of the other gods, and we bow our collective heads in reverent thanks to them. Let us remember the words of the First Text, for it has not guided us astray."
Thera'dor has its own King, who is a member, and head, of one of the other houses in the country. When the old king dies, each of the houses can supply a candidate for succession from their own kin, who will need the support of at least five houses to take the throne.
As far as decissions go, the king and each of the houses have a vote in all matters each, although most houses will wait until House Snowmark, Underhill and Schlaufuchs, the three most powerful houses have cast their vote, and will generally go along with their decission. In the rare case that a tie occurs, House Aldermann's vote is counted as a tiebreaker.
In addition to having a tie-breaker vote, House Aldermann also functions as an advisory to each of the other houses, and enjoys the privilege of being permitted to roam all of the halls in Thera'Dor, where they can speak their mind freely as representatives of the church.