Trade Envoy is an Imperial title with responsibility for pursuing trade in mithril, weirwood, white granite, and ilium with specific foreign nations. The first trade envoys were created by the Imperial Senate during the Spring Equinox 377YE.
Each trade envoy is responsible for pursuing opportunities with a specific foreign nation to gain mithril, weirwood, white granite, or ilium for the Empire. While the ambassadors are responsible for representing the Empire to foreign nations, the trade envoys are expected to proactively seek opportunities for trade in valuable Bourse materials. It is likely that a trade envoy will need to work closely with an ambassador in service to this goal.
The trade envoys have no legal powers. The significance with which the title is treated is likely to vary, depending on the culture and politics of the foreign nation with which they communicate.
Each trade envoy is an Imperial position appointed by the Senate. The title can be held by any Imperial citizen. A trade envoy has tenure, and serves until they die or step down. They can be revoked by the General Assembly and by the Assembly of the Nine.
When they were created, the trade envoys were ceremonial titles appointed by the Imperial Senate. This decision was challenged by the Master of the Imperial Mint Guillamo de Tassato who was successful in arguing that the titles should be auctioned through the Imperial Bourse. At the point where it was clarified that the titles were Imperial titles, then it was clear that this shift was unconstitutional. Appointment by the Senate was restored after the Autumn Equinox 381YE.
Existing Trade Envoys
Trade envoys were initially created to the Principalities of Jarm, the Asavean Archipelago, Faraden, the Commonwealth and the Sumaah Republic. A sixth trade envoy, to the Sarcophan Delves, was created in Winter 379YE.
OOC Note: In the interests of ensuring our records are correct, anyone who currently holds a trade envoy position should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with their details.
Considerable constitutional issues surrounded these posts; there were constitutional problems with the way the titles were created, as it is not possible to create multiple titles with a single senate motion in this way. In addition, the titles are appointed annually, but as the titles have no legal powers they would normally be appointed with tenure (for life). Finally there was the confusion generated by the Master of the Mint who successfully argued that the titles must be appointed through the Bourse since they concerned bourse materials. In fact, no such constitutional restriction exists, and there is no legal basis in the motions passed for the titles to be appointed by anyone but the Senate. A motion to abrogate the titles was raised in Summer 379YE, requested by the Constitutional Court as one of the steps toward creating the Imperial Consul but the Senate declined to do so.
All the ongoing problems associated with these titles were resolved when their status as Imperial titles appointed by the Senate was clarified during Autumn 381YE.
The Title in Play
The role does not provide additional information about events in the Empire, nor allow the player holding it to 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 powers beyond those explicitly listed in the section on powers.
These details exist partly to provide context and character to the role - and partly to allow our writers to use the title as a plot hook. Plot that involves the position will be rare - but all the campaign positions in Empire have these details to create the potential for it to happen.