New Imperial titles
- 1 Overview
- 2 Powers
- 3 Appointment
- 4 The Imperial Senate
- 5 The Imperial Synod
- 6 The Imperial Bourse
- 7 The Imperial Military Council
- 8 The Imperial Conclave
- 9 Automatic Titles
- 10 Further Reading
Only the Imperial Senate has the power to create a new Imperial title. If another house, such as the Imperial Synod wants a new Imperial title to be created to help them discharge their responsibilities then they must request the Senate create the position for them.
New titles have the potential to possess wide-ranging powers with little or no oversight or constraint. Because of this new titles are especially subject to constitutional Scrutiny to ensure that they preserve the spirit of the Imperial Constitution and do not unduly change the separation of powers between the five great houses of the Empire, Imperial Synod, Imperial Senate, Imperial Bourse, Imperial Conclave, and the Imperial Military Council.
A title may be assigned one or more legal powers. In the vast majority of cases these are either powers exercised by members of one of the arms of government - or they are powers exercised by that house collectively. For example a bursar created by the Senate to investigate expenditure by senators and seek out malfeasance, could be granted the power of Inquisition (a power normally exercised collectively by the Synod) and the right of address in the Senate (a legal power normally granted to senators and the like).
Titles created by the Senate in this way do not need to follow the normal restrictions on their usage. For example, for the Senate to employ the power of commission requires a motion be proposed by a senator and approved by majority vote. In 377, the Senate wished to give greater support to the Imperial Military Council and created the title of Imperial Quartermaster with a limited power of Commission - and the duty to arrange the resupply of Imperial armies.
It is possible for the Senate to create an Imperial title that can circumvent the normal legal checks and balances by accessing legal powers without the house that controls those powers having to vote each time they are used. The accompanying ease with which this allows these powers to be used is often cited as the reason for creating a new Imperial title, although historically the same reason is often given for abrogating the title later.
However it is never possible to create an Imperial title that is able to use powers in secret that would normally require a vote or official process of some kind. Normally the magistrates will insist that such powers are authorised using a suitable announcement to the relevant house, such as a Senate announcement. This allows the members of that house to be aware how their powers are being used, it allows the civil servants to determine when powers are being legally accessed and in the Senate it allows the decisions to remain subject to the veto of the Imperial Synod.
It is not possible to dictate how a power may be used - the Senate is forbidden from extending its power by creating titles under their direct control. However the Senate can set limitations on how any legal powers can be used. The standard limitations are by nation, territory or house - the holder of that title can then only use those powers on members of that nation, territory or house or commissions based in that nation or territory.
For example, a title might carry the responsibility to secure the defences of Holberg. This title could come with the legal authority to resupply armies of The League and repair fortifications in Holberg. The holder of this title would not be able to resupply other armies or fortify other regions.
It is not acceptable to limit a title in other ways. For instance, it is possible to create a title with the responsibility to support the welfare of the Church of the Little Mother, with the legal authority to authorise the construction of churches and cathedrals. But legal authority could not be constrained in any way so that only the Church of the Little Mother could benefit from the construction.
All Imperial citizens are forbidden to hold more than one Imperial title concurrently. Attempts to create an Imperial title which appears to have more powers than are appropriate for the position are usually ruled unconstitutional - as an attempt to bundle too many responsibilities and power together.
Senators are encouraged to define carefully what the responsibilities of any Imperial title they propose to create. It is not possible to place legal requirements on how the powers a title possess must be discharged, the holder of an office cannot legally be directed on what actions to undertake to uphold their office. However the responsibilities of an office are important - the Synod is expected to use the stated responsibilities of an office to judge whether a citizen is failing in their duties and needs to be removed by revocation.
Any title may be granted a stipend - a regular income which is drawn directly from the Imperial treasury. Titles with responsibilities that are likely to incur significant costs are the most eligible for a stipend, but any post can have one attached to it in theory. The minimum amount that a stipend can be set is one Throne per season.
Creating New Powers
The powers of the houses and the titles associated with those houses are well known and understood by constitutional scholars. It is perfectly possible for the Senate to create a new legal power - but any attempt to do so will bring close scrutiny from the Constitutional Court to ensure it is compliant with the ethos of the Constitution. It is usually simpler to incorporate existing legal powers rather than create new ones.
The Senate can grant an Imperial title the custodianship of a commission. A custodian is not automatically assumed to be involved in the day to day operation of the commission but is assumed to direct those efforts. If the commission were to be threatened in any way, it would be their responsibility of the custodian to deal with those threats. Likewise, if any opportunity relating to the commission presented itself, they would make any decisions needed to take advantage of that. The custodian cannot take any action that would require a legal power to authorize, such as abrogating or ceding the commission (which are powers of the Imperial Senate).
The custodian does not receive additional information about events in the Empire, nor can they request special reports or downtime actions. These details are assumed to be below the abstraction layer. The title holder is encouraged to create their own stories about their activities within reasonable limits and to get involved in events appropriate to their title during the game, but they do not have any options beyond those explicitly listed for the commission or provided by an opportunity. Plot that involves a commission will be rare - but the power exists to create the potential for it to happen.
If an Imperial title is automatically created as part of a commission - then custodianship is included as a constitutional requirement. For example, the general of an army must always have custodianship of the army. It is not constitutional for two Imperial titles to share custodianship of a single commission.
When a title is created, the Senate must decide how the position is appointed. The normal constitutional approach is that an Imperial title will be appointed by whichever arm of the Imperial government it draws most of its powers from.
For example, the Quartermaster General of the Imperial Armies helps the Military Council by resupplying their armies. However the power to authorise the resupply of Imperial armies lies with the Senate - so the most common method is to have the Imperial Senate appoint the position.
The magistrates will almost always allow the Imperial Senate to divest this responsibility to another house if they feel it is appropriate. So the Senate could have choose to have the Military Council appoint the Quartermaster General directly if they had felt this was appropriate. However the Constitutional Court will normally act to prevent the Senate drawing undue power to itself by claiming the appointment of new Imperial titles which are more properly the business of another house. For example, if another Imperial college of magic were constructed, the magistrates would almost certainly insist that a dean be appointed by the Conclave.
Well Worn Paths
It is possible for the Senate to create an Imperial title which is appointed in a different way, but varying the mechanism from the traditional forms ensures that the motion will require much greater scrutiny to ensure it is compatible with the Imperial Constitution. Appointments that follow these "well worn paths" are far less likely to be classed as unconstitutional or require a constitutional vote to pass.
Imperial, National, and Virtue Positions
Most Imperial titles are Imperial positions. Any citizen of the Empire is eligible to hold an Imperial position.
The Senate can declare that a new title they have created is a national appointment. A national position is still an Imperial title, but only a citizen of that nation may hold the title. Most of the five houses have standard mechanisms for appointing national positions to allow the people of that nation to make the decision more easily.
In addition a title that is appointed by the Synod may be declared a virtue appointment. Any citizen may hold a virtue appointment, but the title is either appointed by the virtue assembly or the cardinal of that virtue. If the Senate chooses to have a title appointed by the cardinal, then a newly appointed cardinal may choose to re-appoint it when they are elected.
The standard processes for appointing a citizen vary with each house. The methods described represent "well worn paths", common approaches that have been used for decades or more and consequently are known to commonly pass constitutional scrutiny without issue.
It is possible for a Senate motion to request that an Imperial title employ a novel method of election or have an unusual tenure or method of removal. All such motives are automatically subject to a high degree of scrutiny by the Constitutional Court; the Court tend to be very conservative figures and anything that is novel or unique is often regarded with suspicion, just on principle.
According to the constitution Imperial titles that are appointed by the Senate, Synod, or Military Council should be subject to revocation by appropriate assemblies of the Imperial Synod. Imperial titles that are appointed by the Conclave or the Bourse are not. As with the election, it is theoretically possible for a Senate motion to request that an Imperial title be subject to removal by different or additional means, but such originality is usually frowned upon and rarely passes constitutional scrutiny. In particular attempts to grant the Senate the power to remove a citizen from an Imperial title are always declared unconstitutional.
The Imperial Senate
The Senate has a traditional set of guidelines for all appointments by the Senate.
The Imperial Synod
An Imperial position appointed by the Synod is usually elected by judgement of the General Assembly or by judgement of the Assembly of Nine. The position would normally be eligible to be revoked by both assemblies.
A national position appointed by the Synod is usually elected by judgement of the appropriate National Assembly. The title would then be subject to revocation by the national assembly as well as the General Assembly and the Assembly of Nine.
A virtue position appointed by the Synod is usually elected by judgement of the relevant virtue assembly. The title can then be revoked by their Virtue Assembly and by the General Assembly. If the method of appointment for a virtue title is appointment by cardinal, then this includes the expectation that when a new cardinal is appointed, they may name a replacement.
The gatekeepers are examples of virtue appointments elected by the Synod, one for each virtue.
In each case, voting for a national bourse position depends on ownership of a specific personal resource. A personal resource provides 10 votes, plus an extra 2 votes for each time it has been upgraded for each season during the previous year that the resource was active. Only the actual rank of the military unit counts in this calculation. Enchantments, curses, penalties or bonuses for downtime effects and so on have no effect. When the senator is elected, the number of votes they have accrued over the previous year is tallied.Characters new to the nation who have the appropriate personal resource are assumed to have had that resource for the previous year (and taken the appropriate action in the case of the Imperial Orcs and Brass Coast). Likewise, players with the resource who have missed an event similarly receive votes for events they did not attend. We've made this rule for game balance reasons - so that new characters and players unable to attend every event are not unfairly penalised.
The Imperial Bourse
An Imperial position appointed by the Bourse is auctioned to the highest bidder. The money paid by the successful bid is added to the Imperial treasury.
The Bourse appoints national positions by vote of members of that nation who hold the resources traditional for that nation. For example, a League position in the Bourse is usually elected by vote of League business owners. Each citizen who owns the right resource receives a number of votes proportional to the size of their resource which they can cast for a single candidate of their choice whenever the position is elected. To be eligible to vote the required resources are:
- The Brass Coast - fleets engaging in privateering during the previous year
- Dawn - Military unit
- Highguard - Congregation
- Imperial Orcs - Military unit supporting an Imperial army during the previous year.
- Navarr - Herb garden
- The League - Business
- The Marches - Farm
- Urizen - Mana site
- Varushka - Mine and Forest owners
- Wintermark - Military unit
No titles appointed by the Imperial Bourse can be revoked by the Synod - but these positions are usually reappointed each year. It is unconstitutional to create an Imperial position with tenure that is auctioned through the Bourse.
The Imperial Military Council
An Imperial position appointed by the Military Council is elected by simple majority of any members of the Military Council who are eligible to vote and are present when the election takes place. It is customary to carry out the election with a show of hands at a Council session. A national position appointed by the Military Council follows the same process, but only the generals of that nation are allowed to vote.
An Imperial appointment by the Military Council can normally be revoked by the General Assembly and the Assembly of Nine, while a national appointment can also be revoked by the appropriate National Assembly.
The Quartermaster General of the Imperial Armies is an example of a title appointed by the Military Council.
The Imperial Conclave
An Imperial or national position that is appointed by the Conclave is normally elected by a standard process of declaration of candidacy. Conclave positions cannot be revoked by the Synod, but can be reappointed at any time by the Conclave following a new declaration of candidacy.
The Dean of the Lyceum is an example of an Imperial position appointed by the Conclave.
Some motions of the Senate result in the automatic creation of a new title. For example, if the Senate create a new Highborn army, then this results in the automatic creation of a new Highborn General. If the Imperial armies complete the conquest of a territory, then this results in the automatic creation of a new Senator. If a motion causes a title to be created then any variation to the powers or appointment of the title desired by the Senate must be specified at the point where the motion is passed; the title is assumed to come into being at that point - even though the position usually remains vacant until any work required is complete.