The Spider's Tollkeep is an Imperial title associated with the Spider's Dream that links Madruga and Sarvos. The position of tollkeeper is a sinecure, requiring minimal responsibility but offering a regular income drawn from the tolls paid by merchants crossing the bridge across the furious river Vassa.
During the reign Emperor Walter the sinecure lapsed as the bridge was allowed to fall into an increasing state of disrepair. Eventually, the cost of maintaining the sinecure in the absence of regular tolls resulted in the Senate voting to stop supporting the title. While it still existed in theory - and still had responsibility for ensuring the Spider's Dream was kept in good repair - in practice it ceased to be relevant.
Following the repairs overseen by Avisena i Ezmara i Guerra, the sinecure is once again available and was appointed for the first time in five years at the Autumn Equinox 377YE. Historically, the need for six senators from two nations to be in unanimous agreement has made this sinecure particularly difficult to assign ... The peculiar method of determining the title's holder stems from the fact that it is connected with a bridge. While it is often considered to be 'in' Madruga, the bridge spans a river and so is legally in both Madruga and Sarvos. Needless to say, this sinecure is among one of the most often contested Imperial titles, as consensus between senators from two nations has regularly proved ... difficult ... to achieve.
In Spring 380YE, Grendel orcs attached to the forces involved in the sack of Sarvos made an attempt to take advantage of unusually high flooding in the river as part of an attempt to destroy the bridge entirely, cutting the Freeborn territories off from the rest of the Empire. They were stopped by the brave action of Imperial heroes, and the bridge preserved - and along with it the ability for armies to pass from the south-western Empire into Sarvos and Tassato, and vice versa.
The title holder is expected to ensure that the Spider's Dream remains open and in a state of good repair. The actual job of operating the tollbridge falls to civil servants and locally recruited agents.
The Spider's Tollkeep gains custodianship of a sinecure. Each season they receive an income of 2 thrones drawn from the tolls paid by merchants crossing the bridge.
The Spider's Tollkeep is unusual in that it is appointed by unanimous decision of the senators of the Brass Coast and 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 either a Freeborn citizen or a citizen of the League.The Spider's Tollkeep has tenure, and serves until they die or step down.
In accordance with its peculiar method of appointment, the Spider's Tollkeep can be revoked by the General Assembly, the Freeborn National Assembly, the League National Assembly, and by the Assembly of the Nine.
|Winter Solstice 378YE||Rafa'eet i Contra i Guerra|
The title is currently held by Rafa'eet i Contra i Guerra; 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.