Overview

The Keeper of the Sapphire Stair is an Imperial title awared to a League citizen. It is a National position, appointed by unanimous decision of the League senators.

Associated with the Sapphire Stair in Tassato, the keeper is paid a portion of each toll paid for use of the lock. The majority of the monies raised goes to the maintenance and operation of the marvellous locks, but the keeper is assigned enough to ensure a comfortable lifestyle. Perhaps more importantly, this sinecure also brings with it a certain amount of influence in the politics of the city itself due to the influence it grants the holder over trade along the Vassa. As such, control of the sinecure is hotly contested by guilds on both sides of the river and on the irregular occasions when the sinecure must be re-appointed, competition to influence the League senators is extremely fierce.

The Keeper is almost always from Tassato. While there have been incidents where League citizens from other cities have been appointed to the position they have rarely found their tenure to be very satisfying. They either moved to Tassato and became involved in the politics of the city, or they found themselves shunned, villified, harassed and on one very unfortunate occasion during the reign of Empress Brannan, murdered for their temerity in involving themselves directly in a Tassatan matter.

The previous Keeper of the Sapphire Stair was Rebeca Porteiro di Tassato, a naga member of the Gilt Moth camorra - a wealthy guild from northern Madeiras known for, among other things, trade in fine cloth, dark ale and Navarr goods. Exiled from the city proper nearly two centuries ago following some scandal or other, the guild stays neutral in political affairs. Rebeca herself is known to be a rake, a bravo, and a hellraiser, and has a reputation for daring amorous adventures and remarkable skill with the sword. Rumour suggests that she was appointed to the position in 366YE following the successful seduction of all three League senators.

During Winter 379YE, Rebecca Porteiro di Tassato suffered a fatal injury, and the title passed to Domitila Sanguineo Rezia di Tassato (after some unfortunate misunderstandings around which of the two beautiful Rezia sisters had been appointed to the position). Following this new appointment there has been an increase in argument and political maneuvering between those associated with the 'Stair - including some calls for increased political representation of the lockworkers' guilds.

Responsibilities

The title holder is expected to ensure that the Sapphire Stair remains open and in a state of good repair. The actual job of operating the lock falls to civil servants and local labourers, mostly domiciled in the fortified village of Cevia. While the title comes with a comfortable house on the banks of the Vassa, few Keepers actually spend much time there preferring the entertainments of the city of Tassato.

Powers

Comfortable Income

As a sinecure, the Keeper of the Sapphire Stair provides an income drawn from the tolls paid by merchants using the lock.

The holder of the sinecure receives 20 Crowns in income each season.

The Red Rock

The Keeper of the Sapphire stair is responsible for the mural that covers the Red Rock - a naturally occuring flat area of stone that rests in the hills above the lock and is visible to travelers passing along the river. They may change the mural if they wish - provided they are prepared to pay the money to employ a team of artists. Altering or replacing the Red Rock Mural costs 5 Thrones.

To use this power, the Keeper should ensure they have 5 Thrones in their inventory, and e-mail plot with the description of their new mural between events. The text should be no more than 200 words, and may be edited before being published on the wiki.

Appointment

The Keeper of the Sapphire Stair is appointed by unanimous decision of the senators of the League. If a unanimous decision cannot be reached, the title may be appointed by the Imperial Senate instead.

The title can be held by a citizen of the League. The Keeper has tenure, and serves until they die or step down. They can be revoked by the General Assembly, the League National Assembly, and by the Assembly of the Nine.

The Red Rock Mural

The Red Rock is a large, flat naturally occurring rock surface that stands above the Sapphire Stair and is visible to boats traveling up or down the river. Following an escalating "war of pictures" between several bands of bravos in Winter 382YE, Domitila Sanguineo Rezia di Tassato of the Gilded Horn Carta stepped in to take charge of the rock and its images.

Annabella di Regario and Aldones di Sarvos are on either side of the mural, toasting one another with a single cup held betwen them. There are the runes for Prosperity and Ambition on a ribbon attached to the cup. Both are wearing fashionable League clothing in red and gold. Annabella has red hair, large horns, blue eyes, pale skin, and is curvy. Aldones is instantly recognisable - black skinned, dark haired, with brooding eyes. Beneath their arms are depicted all the famous buildings in Tassato - extolling the splendours of the city to visitors or reminding those traveling south of the riches they leave behind.

Beneath the buildings is a banner that says, "Our ambition shall challenge the stars and shame the sun." On either end of the banner is a gilded) cornucopia horn.

The background of the mural is a mosaic that, it is said, depicts a crude penis when looked at from the right angle, with the phrase "Mestra is Best-ra" just visible above it. It is not clear if this crude image is actually present, nor whether it has been intentionally placed in the image or is the result of an accident. The curious are encouraged to come and see for themselves.

Needless to say, the mural has been denounced as artistically bankrupt in Regario, and roundly applauded as a work of genius in Mestra.

SummitElected
Spring Equinox 379YEDomitila Sanguineo Rezia di Tassato
Winter Solstice 379YEOphelia Sanguineo Rezia di Tassato

Recent Elections

The title is currently held by Domitila Sanguineo Rezia di Tassato; it will be reelected Has Tenure. The table to the right shows the citizens who have been elected to hold this title in the years since Empress Britta died.