Reign: 71 YE to 91 YE
Called: the Pious
Early life and Election
Teleri of the Summerdance Striding spent most of her life as a successful broker, negotiating trades between steadings and later between nations. She became a Senator in 68 YE and used her natural aptitude for brokering trades between nations to build a solid base of support within the Senate. She was elected by a small majority in 71 YE.
Once Empress, Teleri used her influence to partake of the Imperial liao. She was guided on her vision by Simon Kingstoke, Cardinal of the Way. There is no record of the vision she saw, as neither the Marcher Cardinal nor Teleri ever spoke of it. However, from that day, the Empress used her skills and influence toward increasing the remit of the Synod to care for the spiritual well-being of the Empire. Together they worked to increase the presence of the Synod in the Imperial Senate, going so far as to secure full voting rights for the eight Cardinals - rights they would retain until the reign of Empress Varkula.
It is during her reign that the Synod first begins to find a role for itself in Imperial politics, using their political, rather than simply spiritual, powers to full effect. The role Assembly of the Way as a facilitator and enhancer of the other assemblies is cemented during this time, as well as the right of The Throne to claim the first potion of Imperial Liao for its own use, or the use of a favoured individual. Using that right, Teleri would go on to utilise the visionary substance several more times, but no record of any of the visions remains.
Under Teleri, the Synod first used the power of Revocation; the Marcher general Hereford holds the dubious honour of being the first to be removed from his Imperial office for gross offences against Prosperity and Ambition. This caused quite a stir, and the Senate immediately moved to try and block the revocation, only for the Empress and the entire Imperial Synod to descend on the Senate chamber en masse. The Assembly of Nine indicated that the General Assembly was in righteous accord - not only would any attempt to reverse their decision be unconstitutional, they would immediately employ their power of Veto to block the Senate.
Tense negotiations ensued, during which the constitutional right of the Synod to actually use the powers it possessed was explained in detail. The Senate took some time to get used to the idea that the Synod was not merely a ceremonial body, but a house of their peers who absolutely intended to use their powers in pursuit of their remit. Over the next few years a major 'house-cleaning' took place in the Senate and among the Generals, as a commitment to Virtue (or an appearance of the same) was finally accepted as an important requirement for high office in the Empire.
Outside of her role in support of the Synod, Empress Teleri’s reign is generally regarded as unexceptional although the Synod did push for a short-lived border war with the Faraden which involved a lot of sabre-rattling on both sides but comparatively little actual fighting.
Death and Legacy
Empress Teleri stepped down from the Throne voluntarily in 91 YE as the rigours of age began to catch up with her. She made a final pilgrimage to the Necropolis and passed away peacefully in her sleep. She is interred in a beautiful tomb set at the centre of a sprawling garden laid out in the pattern of the sevenfold labyrinth.
Towards the end of Teleri's reign, the Senate granted the Cardinals of the Synod a vote each in the Senate. While there were challenges on constitutional grounds, the civil service at the time ruled that the virtue assemblies could be said to have similar weight as representing the will of the citizens of the Empire as the territories did. Initially, the Cardinals abstained from voting on motions that did not directly relate to matters of virtue, but in the years following Teleri's reign (a period known as the First Interregnum) they increasingly flexed their political muscle. They would continue to do so until the reign of Empress Varkula. While the Cardinals potentially wielded a powerful 'block vote' of eight votes in the senate, they were rarely united in their voting - except most notably when the Senate attempted to remove their votes during the reign of Empress Aenea.
Over the next few centuries, the power of the Synod would wax and wane, but it was under Empress Teleri that they first found the strength to assert their power.