|This article is about the Imperial Position. For the coin, see Currency.|
A bleeding pox take your manners. Having a beard doesn't make you wise. We could put a pig in that chair and put a crown on it - it would still be a ruddy pig. She can have my respect when she earns it.Walter Brewer, Senator for Upwold
The Throne is the most powerful political position in the Empire. It is the formal title for the position of the head of the Imperial state, be they emperor or empress. The occupant heads the Imperial Senate, the Imperial Synod and the Imperial Military Council and serves as a rallying figure for the entire Empire.
The Throne holds a unique power: as a head of state, an Emperor or Empress is the only person who can have simultaneous influence in the Senate, the Synod and the Military Council. This gives them a signature ability to help provide unity of vision to the entire Empire and to guide it towards its manifest destiny.
The Throne is not entitled to appoint a proxy. This restriction presents any potential for fraud by a claimant as well as avoiding any possibility of two participants acting as The Throne simultaneously (the incumbent and a proxy). Ultimately though this limitation was imposed by the founders to limit the powers of The Throne - the powers of an Empress are potent, but she must be physically present to utilize them. The only exception is an Imperial favour.
The Throne may use the legal powers granted to them without approval of the Senate, but they cannot propose a Senate motion. The Throne does not even receive a vote in the Senate, as they are expected to remain above the natural politics of the chamber.
Although The Throne is needed to ratify amendments to the Imperial Constitution which have been passed by the Senate, they cannot approve an unconstitutional motion. A motion that has been struck down by the constitutional court because it is considered to violate the spirit of the Constitution cannot be ratified by an Empress.
Several powers of the Throne, such as disbursement or declaration of war are made by announcement in the Senate. As with any announcement, if the Imperial Synod choose to use their veto then the Throne may not make another announcement which is functionally the same until the next summit. For example, if Master of Magic or Hand of the Chancellor were vetoed by the Synod then they could not be used again that summit. If the Synod vetoed a a declaration of war by the Throne, the Throne could not declare war against the same country or power that summit.
Powers of State
Member of the Senate
Right of Address
The Throne has the right to make a Senate address once per summit. As a member of the Senate, The Throne is able to participate freely in the debates there, but this power allows them to deliver an impassioned speech on a subject of their choice. To make an address, The Throne must add the address to the agenda for the next Senate session.
The Hand of the Chancellor
Up to one third of the residual income to the Imperial Treasury each season can be disbursed by The Throne without approval by the Senate. They may take these funds and dispose of them as they choose. To use this power, The Throne must make an appropriate announcement in a Senate session. If the General Assembly of the Imperial Synod veto the announcement, then the Throne may not use the Hand of the Chancellor again that summit.
The maximum that The Throne may disburse in this way during a summit is equal to a third of the Senate's income for that summit, after all upkeep has been paid. The Imperial Treasury cannot go into debt, so no motion or announcement may disburse more thrones than remain in the Treasury.
If a constitutional vote in the Senate is successful, then the motion is passed but does not become law until it is ratified by signature by The Throne. This means that it is not possible to make any alterations to the constitution unless they are ratified by The Throne. The Throne may choose whether to ratify constitutional changes or not. Any constitutional changes which are not ratified remain in suspension and may be ratified by a future occupant of The Throne. One of the first jobs of a new Emperor or Empress is often to ratify several outstanding constitutional changes.
Power of Veto
The Throne may veto any motion that has been passed by the Imperial Senate. Unlike the power of veto exercised by the Synod, this power can be used any number of times without limitation. To veto legislation, The Throne must be present when the vote is taken and must exercise the veto immediately after the vote. An announcement is legally considered to be equivalent to a motion.
Exclusion from the Senate
The Throne may order a single senator removed from the Senate for the duration of a vote. They are not required to present a justification for this action. Unlike the Speaker for the Senate, they may only remove a single senator during a session and only for the duration of a single motion. Traditionally the Speaker uses their power to exclude senators whose behaviour is disorderly while The Throne acts to remove senators whose behaviour is considered to go against the best interests of the Empire.
Declaration of War
The Throne can declare war on any foreign power. Unlike the Senate, they are not able to end a state of war with another nation. To use this power, The Throne must make an appropriate announcement in a Senate session.
If the declaration of war is vetoed by the Imperial Synod, then the Throne may not make another declaration of war against the same nation for the remainder of the summit.
Address the Empire
Each summit, the Throne can grant a single citizen the right to address the Empire. The chosen citizen must provide the Imperial civil service with their words in writing over the following weeks. Their words will then be copied by scribes and spread throughout the land. The Throne may choose to address the Empire themselves or name any other Imperial citizen.
To use this power, the Throne must make an appropriate announcement in a Senate session. If the General Assembly veto the announcement, then the Throne may not nominate a citizen to address the Empire that summit.
The text of the address must be submitted by email to Profound Decisions before the end of the downtime submission period following the event. The letter will form part of the Winds of War and Winds of Fortune update that appear on the wiki for the next event, but must be submitted before they appear online.
Powers of Virtue
Member of the Assembly of Nine
The Throne is a member of the Assembly of Nine. They have a single ordinary vote in the Assembly, like all other members. In addition they may cast a deciding vote in the event of a tie between assembly members. To cast a deciding vote, they must be present in the Hub when the outcome of the vote is being determined.
Custodian of Virtue
The Throne may intercede in the creation of any judgement by any assembly that requires a lesser majority of the Imperial Synod. This intercession causes the judgement to require the greater majority to pass. To use this power, The Throne must intercede before the judgement is complete; they cannot use this power after a judgement has been rendered. The Throne does not have the ability to rescind the use of this power once they have announced its use.
If the judgement fails to pass, then any subsequent judgement raised in the same summit that would have the same outcome automatically requires the greater majority.
The Mercy of the Empress
The Throne may present an appeal for clemency on behalf of any Imperial Citizen who is being sentenced. The citizen must have pleaded guilty during their trial and The Throne must present the appeal on Virtuous grounds.
The Gift of Liao
The first portion of true liao that is produced by the Synod in each season is given to The Throne. The Throne may dispense this portion of liao as they choose.
Powers of Magic
Master of Magic
The Throne may dissolve the Imperial Conclave once a season. If this occurs then all the positions of the Imperial Conclave become vacant and must be refilled as soon as possible. The Throne cannot remove individual citizens from their position in the Imperial Conclave, they can only dissolve the entire Conclave.
To use this power, the Throne must have the floor to speak (having paid one mana crystal as normal). When they have the floor, they may announce that Conclave is dissolved. All Conclave titles are immediately vacated. The remaining addresses and declarations continue and may be voted on as normal, but only the Throne may designate any member of Conclave to speak. The civil service will announce the schedule for elections for all grandmasters at the end of the Session.
When using this power, the Throne can employ Order of the Throne to ensure they can take the floor to speak. The bearer of a favour allowing them to use this power must be recognised to speak in the usual way (by one of the grandmasters).
Order of The Throne
The Throne may nominate any citizen, including themselves, to speak during a Conclave session. To use this power, The Throne must be present during the Conclave Session. If The Throne is present during a session, then they are always asked to nominate first on any declaration or address being discussed.
Powers of War
Member of the Military Council
The Throne is a member of the Council. They are entitled to enter the Council chamber at any time, participate in the debates and cast a single vote on any issue. In addition to voting normally, the Throne may cast the deciding vote in the case that a vote is tied.
Power of Veto
The Throne may veto any vote that has been passed by the Imperial Military Council during a Council session. This power can be used any number of times without limitation. To veto a decision, The Throne must be present when the vote is taken and must exercise the veto immediately after the vote. The Throne may not veto the decision taken during the muster on which battle opportunities to take and which nations will take the field.
Right of Address
The Throne has the right to make a Council address once per summit. As a member of the Military Council, The Throne is able to participate freely in the debates there, but this power allows them to deliver an impassioned speech on a subject of their choice. To make an address, The Throne must add the address to the agenda for the next Council session.
Defender of the Empire
The Throne may remove a general from their position on the Imperial Military Council. The occupant of The Throne automatically assumes responsibility for and control of the Imperial army and all associated legal rights accorded to that general. In effect, command of the army and the right to appoint an adjutant become part of the legal powers of the Throne for the duration.
The Throne continues to operate as the general until a new election is held for the position. This happens when the assumed title of general comes due for re-election at the normal time - or when the Throne is revoked. The general that loses their position in this way is no longer considered to possess an Imperial title.
While holding the responsibilities of the removed general, The Throne cannot remove any further generals from their position. The Throne cannot choose to appoint a new general to take their responsibilities from them. This means that they they cannot use this power again before a new election takes place for the title.
The Throne has the right to award a chosen citizen with an Imperial Favour. A Favour can be presented at any time, and allows the bearer to perform a single act with the full power of The Throne. E.g. A citizen may claim the first portion of pure liao that is produced that season or they may issue a declaration of war. The Favour must be physically presented to the relevant body to be used.
It is possible for The Throne to create an Imperial Favour which must be used within a period of time stated on the favour. It is also possible for a favour to be limited in terms of what powers of the Throne can be used and it is common for favours to be created to allow the use of a single specific power. It can also be limited so that it can only be used by a named individual or group. Whatever powers are accessible by the holder of a favour - it can still only ever be used once. It is not possible to specify how a power can be used or place limits on it. For example, a favour that allows the bearer to use the Hand of the Chancellor can not set limits on how much money can be disbursed nor specify what the money must be spent on.
An Imperial Favour is a physical document describing the specific power that can be used, created with the assistance of a Magistrate. An individual occupant of The Throne may only have one favour in existence at any one time. They may not award an additional favour until their current favour has been presented and fulfilled. Any favour not presented by the time of the death of an Empress or Emperor remains valid until it is used. An Imperial favour is transferable and may be passed to another if the current owner desires.
Using an Imperial Favour
In legal terms, when an Imperial Favour is used, it counts as if it were being used by the Throne. For example, an Imperial Favour that was used to replace an Imperial general would count as if it were used by the Throne. Any existing general's position occupied by the Throne would be vacated; the new occupant would carry out the duties of the title only until the Throne used the same power again.
If a favour grants access to any power that is defined as part of the powers of state, then the bearer is automatically granted the power of a member of the Senate. The favour ceases to provide this benefit after it is invoked - the Speaker will invite the bearer to carry out the favour of the Throne and then withdraw once that is complete.
If a favour grants access to any power that is defined as part of the powers of war, then the bearer is automatically granted the power of a member of the Military Council. The favour ceases to provide this benefit after it is invoked - the Herald will invite the bearer to carry out the favour of the Throne and then withdraw once that is complete. The exception to this is that a Senator cannot attend meetings of the military council, even if they have a favour. This effectively means that a Senator is unable to use any favour granting one of the powers of war.
If a favour is used to claim membership of the Assembly of Nine then the bearer is entitled to vote on a single judgement, or to raise a judgement and vote on it.
Any Imperial citizen may seek election to The Throne but appointment requires a constitutional vote by the Imperial Senate. Although many occupants of the Throne have been senators before their accession, there is no requirement to be so. The Senate may choose any Imperial citizen.
The exact procedure is as follows:
- A motion is raised that we should have a Throne.
- Any holder of an Imperial title with the power of proposal can choose to put forward a candidate (whether that is themselves or another imperial citizen).
- Each candidate has the opportunity to give a short speech, in the order in which they were nominated.
- Every senator then stands behind the single candidate they wish to give their support to or moves to a designated 'none of the above' area.
- If any candidate has got the required two-thirds of all senators in support (constitutional majority) then they have succeeded.
- If there is no successful candidate then, with no further discussion, senators are given a short amount of time to reconsider their position and move their support if they wish.
- If any move then a recount is conducted, still seeking a constitutional majority for a successful candidate.
- This process can be repeated until it becomes apparent that there will be no successful candidate, as none of the senators wish to move their support, in which case the motion has failed.
- If any candidate is successful then they becomes emperor or empress at the start of the next Senate session and the Synod have had time to consider their position.
- The coronation of the new Throne is normally scheduled for the following summit.
The Throne serves until they die, step down or are revoked.
The Throne can only be revoked by the General Assembly of the Synod.
The powers of The Throne were codified when the Empire was first created and have remained largely unchanged since then. There have been twenty Emperors and Empresses since the Empire was created.