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{{CaptionedImage|file=Military Council Meeting.png|align=left|caption=The [[general|generals]] of the Military Council command the [[Imperial army|Imperial armies]].|width=850}}
 
==Overview==
 
==Overview==
The Military Council is the gathering of Imperial generals who determine the strategic plans for the [[Imperial armies|Empire’s armies]]. Comprised of each Imperial general and their staff, it meets during each festival to review the current state of the Empire’s wars and to plan future campaigns.
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The Military Council is the gathering of Imperial [[general|generals]] and [[General#Admiral|admirals]]. Individually, the generals have responsibility for the [[army orders|orders]] given to the [[Imperial army]] under their command, while the admirals provide the [[navy orders|orders]] for the [[Imperial navy|navies]]. Collectively, the Council has the power to determine what use will be made of the major conjunctions of the [[Sentinel Gate]]. The Council also meets regularly during events to allow generals an opportunity to share strategic information and receive [[Council address|formal presentations]] from other citizens, and wield the [[Council session#Powers of the Council|legal powers]] of the Council.
 
 
During these meetings, the Empire uses the opportunities for gate travel to send their heroes to fight pitched [[battles]] against the barbarians. The generals decide which of the opportunities divined by the Civil Service they will attempt, who will go and who will be in command.
 
  
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While each general is a member of the Military Council, there is an implicit tension between their responsibility to the nation they represent and the perceived needs of the Empire as a whole. Throughout the history of the Empire, the strength of the Military Council has waxed and waned. When the Council is dominant, the goals of the nations take second place to grand strategies. When the nations are dominant, their goals take precedence over the "good of the Empire".
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__TOC__
 
==Role within the Empire==
 
==Role within the Empire==
The Military Council prosecutes the Empire's wars against the barbarians and defending her borders. Declarations and cessations of war can only be made by the Senate, but is solely empowered to decide on how war should be prosecuted. They also play a minor role in the judicial system; the council has the power to release individuals who have been sentenced to fight to the death in battle, if service has been exemplery.  
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The [[Imperial Constitution]] clearly divides the responsibilities for [[war]] between the [[Imperial Senate]] and the Military Council. Generals are appointed by members of the Senate, but once appointed serve their full term (unless they are [[revocation|revoked]] by the [[Imperial Synod|Synod]]). Only the Senate can [[Powers_of_the_Imperial_Senate#Declaration_of_War|declare war]] on another nation - or [[Powers_of_the_Imperial_Senate#Declaration_of_Peace|end it]] - but the generals prosecute those wars and ultimately decide whether to invade a barbarian nation or not. Furthermore, the Senate is forbidden from intervening in the business of the Military Council - it is illegal for a [[senator]] to enter the Council chamber while they are in session.
  
==Entry Requirements==
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The main role of the Military Council is to determine how to best employ the [[Sentinel_Gate#Conjunctions|major conjunctions]] of the [[Sentinel Gate]]. These conjunctions allow the Empire to send hundreds of their most skilled warriors to key strategic locations on the Empire's borders, but there are always difficult decisions to be made about which conjunctions to chose, which nations are best placed to take advantage of them, and who will lead them.
The generals are appointed by the senators of that nation by unanimous vote. In the event the senators are unable to collectively agree on their choice of generals, then the Senate as a whole votes on the matter, with candidates from the nation presenting themselves to the Senate.
 
  
Each general is permitted to bring an adjutant to the council with them, but only those with a vote on the council can speak unless invited to do so. In practice the rule is rarely enforced unless the tent is crowded or those present are being disruptive. Synod members have the right of witness, but cannot speak unless invited to do so.
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When a battle opportunity leads to the capture of a significant resource, such as an enemy weapon, prisoner or significant trove of barbarian resources, it is the responsibility of the Military Council to decide who will take custody of those resources. Usually the presence of such resources is well known in advance, but an individual citizen can appeal to a magistrate for a decision if they believe that a [[Field Marshal]] has claimed treasures that were not part of the strategic objectives of the battle.
 
 
However the constitution explicitly forbids senators from entering the Military Council under any circumstances. Some historical scholars claim this reflects the importance the First Empress and her advisers placed on the separating the business of war from the busines of politics. Less flattering interpretations point out that since the Empress (or Emperor) is a member of both chambers, this ruling also enhances the prestiege and power of The Throne.
 
  
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Beyond control of the opportunities provided by the Sentinel Gate, the Military Council has relatively few legal powers and holds sessions primarily to give generals an opportunity to share military goals and strategies. It has the power to arrange the disposal of all [[spoils of war]], valuable resources that have been captured by Imperial forces on campaign. The Council also plays a minor role in the judicial system; it has the power to release individuals who have been sentenced to fight to the death in battle, if service has been exemplary.
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{{CaptionedImage|file=MilitaryCouncil.jpg|title=Starac Sijed Orzel of House Orzel, a Dawnish General|caption=The General of the Golden Sun speaks to the military council.|align=left|width=450}}
 
==History==
 
==History==
The structure of the Military Council and the Imperial armies was laid down at the creation of the Empire. The Marcher Steward, Tom Drake, argued passionately that the command of Marchers yeoman must be with a yeoman. He point blank refused to compromise, for Drake it was about the principle of representation and the right for Marchers to choose who they raised up. But his vision of armies raised within nations and led by generals of those nations appointed by their senators quickly gained ground easing concerns that the Empress might wield the might of the armies as a tyrant.
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The structure of the Military Council and the Imperial armies was laid down at the creation of the Empire. The [[The Marches|Marcher]] [[steward]], [[The_Marches_history#The Marches in the Empire|Tom Drake]], argued passionately that the command of Marcher [[Yeoman_of_the_Marches|yeomanry]] must be with a yeoman. He point blank refused to compromise; for Drake it was about the principle of representation and the right for Marchers to choose who they raised up. The military commanders of the other nations broadly agreed with him, and his vision of armies raised within nations and led by generals of those nations appointed by their senators quickly gained ground. It also eased concerns in many quarters of a future [[the Throne|Throne]] who might seek to wield the might of the armies as a tyrant, or that the Military Council itself might overthrow the Senate in a coup.
 
 
==Powers and functions==
 
===Command of an army===
 
A general commands a single Imperial army, usually of around 5000 fresh recruits, drawn from volunteers from their nation. Once a general is given their command, they have sole authority to order the army to move or attack as they choose. Traditionally the generals of one nation will cooperate but it is not a requirement and a general is within his right to give orders as they see fit.
 
 
 
Generals do not have control of the logistics of their army, all these matters are handled for them by the civil service. Some generals choose to fight in the field with their army, others prefer to issue orders only, but either way such matters are '''not handled during the political meetings at Anvil'''. Experience has shown that all attempts to plan intricate tactics for a vast military campaign that will span the next three months are worse than pointless.
 
 
 
As a result the civil service will not accept any instruction from a general for precise tactical deployments or operations. What is decided at Anvil is where the army will move and where it will fight - over the next three months and nothing more. It is this decision that the general must make when at Anvil.
 
 
 
===Battle Opportunities===
 
During the meetings at Anvil, the Empire has the opportunity to intervene in the ongoing campaigns that the armies are fighting. These interventions are critical to the fortunes of the campaign and the ability to intervene in this way is the Empire's greatest tactical asset. The goal is for the heroes of the Empire, who are gathered together at Anvil, to commit themselves to a single pitched battle with the Empire's enemies at the most pivotal point and thereby turn the tide of war in the Empire's favour.
 
 
 
The opportunities to intervene are prepared for the generals by the civil service who make extensive use of day and night magic divinations and collate numerous military intelligence reports to assess the most effective locations to strike.
 
 
 
Usually, however there are more opportunities to strike, than there are chances to use the portal. When this occurs, the military council must choose which opportunities to take. If the council cannot reach a consensus, then the Military Council most vote. In this case, each general has a single vote with ties being decided by The Throne. Deadlock has only ever occurred once in the history of the Empire - and the outcome was determined by drawing runes from a bag; since then common sense has reigned.
 
 
 
===Nation Support===
 
Once the battle opportunities are chosen, each nation must decide which battle they wish to support. The portal is not powerful enough to allow the transport of all the Imperial Heroes, so only the very best of each nation attend Anvil and the nations have to choose which battle they will fight.
 
 
 
Because of the natre of the magic involved, a nation must take the field together. The only exception is for bands with a magic standard that carries the Mercenary Banner enchantment. The members of this band can choose to fight with their nation or instead fight a different battle with their banner. Other than this, the nation's heroes take the field together.
 
 
 
The Imperial Civil service use day magic to calculate what distribution of nations may travel on each battle. They give this information to the generals and they discuss amongst themselves which nations will fight on which battles. These discussions are often heated, but are usually resolved sensibly - the generals know from bitter experience that political maneuvering that is too overt can damage a nation's morale if they are sent to fight in a battle in which they have little interest. As a result the council tries to find the best allocation for all.
 
  
If they cannot agree an allocation by the time a decision must be made, then the matter is put to a vote, with each member of the Military Council present receiving a single vote.
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==Sessions==
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Like the Senate, meetings of the military council are chaired by a civil servant, the [[Herald of the Council]]. However the rules of the Council are not as strict as those of the Senate; members may speak freely and come and go as they please during the course of the meeting. The Herald will act to ensure everyone is given an opportunity to speak but ensure that the meetings run to time and does not become repetitive.
  
===Choosing a Field Commander===
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Unlike the Imperial Conclave or the Imperial Senate, the Imperial Military Council has two distinct types of meeting. The [[muster]] takes place on the first night of each summit at [[Casinea#Anvil|Anvil]], and concerns decision about the use of the [[Sentinel Gate]]. Other meetings, called [[Council session|Council sessions]] have a broader remit and take place throughout the summit.  
After the nations have been allocated to battle then the Military Council must choose a single individual to act as overall battlefield commander for that battle. Like the issue of nation support this is often incredibly contentious; consensus is the ideal and is often reached, but if it cannot be generally agreed upon, then all suggested candidates are put to the vote, with the candidate receiving the least votes being eliminated each time until only one remains.
 
  
The field commander has the ultimate authority for determining the plan for the battle and the responsibility for winning the battle opportunity for the Empire. The field commander is legally required to report to the Senate on the conduct and outcome of a battle, including any exceptional actions undertaken by individuals or banners under her command, as well as explaining any failures that took place.
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===The Muster===
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The most important meeting of the Military Council is the [[muster]] which takes place on the first night of each summit at [[Casinea#Anvil|Anvil]]. At the start of the muster, the Herald will [[Muster#The_Presentation|brief]] the assembled generals about the major conjunctions that the civil service has been able to identify. The generals [[Muster#The_Discussion|discuss]] these opportunities, and [[Muster#The_Decision|decide]] which conjunctions to use. They then decide which nations will use each conjunction, and who will be in command on the field during each battle.  
  
===Pardon===
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Once a decision has been reached, the muster is formally over. Those in attendance are then expected to return to their nations and let everyone present know what decisions the Council has reached ([[secrecy]] is not usually a concern), so that people may prepare themselves for the battles on the following days. The civil service also ensure that the egregores are informed to try to ensure everyone has a chance to find out when they might be called upon to fight.
Imperial magistrates may condemn a character to military penal service in the Empire's armies. These individuals are legally bound to fight with their nation and are expected to be given direct orders by the generals in every battle that they fight. Military penal service is instead of the death penalty so it is considered appropriate to give them high risk orders appropriate to their status and they can be legally executed for disobeying these orders.
 
  
If a character or group sentenced to military penal service performs exceptionally well over a prolonged period of time it is possible for the Military Council to vote to grant them a pardon them for their crimes.
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===Council sessions===
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The Military Council holds further [[Council session|sessions]] on each day following the first battle of the summit. They are distinct from the muster - shorter and with a broader focus. Every session has an agenda [[Council_session#Setting_the_Agenda|set]] by the members of the council and overseen by the Herald. The sessions give individual general an opportunity to wield the collective power of the Council; receive or deliver battle reports and other military briefings; and discuss and evaluate military strategies and concerns.
  
==OOC Explanation==
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==Participation==
This is an additional OOC explanation to try to make crystal clear how war and battles happen in Empire. The Empire has approximately twenty armies at its disposal of approximately 5000 men each. These armies are sent on campaign by the general issuing a single order at each event, instructing them on where to go and whether to attack or defend.
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Each general is by default a member of the Military Council, as is the [[Warmage]]. They can participate in discussions, vote on matters of importance, and [[Council_session#Setting_the_Agenda|add items to the agenda]] for a [[Council session]].
  
Between the events Profound Decisions will compare the deployment of the Empire's armies with the deployment of the barbarian forces and will calculate, with no random factor - the rough outcome that is going to result.
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The right of [[witness]] ensures that every member of the [[Imperial Synod]] is entitled to observe meetings of the Military Council. In practice it is customary to allow any citizen who is interested in Council business to attend. However neither priests nor other Imperial citizens may speak unless invited to do so by the Herald. The Herald has the legal power to remove anyone from the chamber if their speech or behaviour is impeding the ability of the Council to act. Any Imperial Citizen can ask the Herald to remove a non-citizen from the meeting.  
  
This outcome forms the basis for the prediction produced by the Imperial Civil Service (using divination magic) for the generals. In effect, they are told what the outcome will be if they do not intervene in anyway. They then have a set of battle options to intervene, which will affect this outcome. The better they do on their battle, the more objectives they achieve, the more positive the impact on the outcome of the military campaign that their armies are engaged in. In effect the random element of the clash of armies is the represented by the dyanmic impact of the battles the players fight.
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The constitution explicitly forbids senators from entering the Military Council under any circumstances. Some historical scholars claim this reflects the importance the First Empress and her advisers placed on the separating the business of war from the business of politics. Less flattering interpretations point out that since the Empress (or Emperor) is a member of both chambers, this ruling also enhances the prestige and power of The Throne.
  
An analogy that one of the authors of the system used was that of Sharpe from the novels by Bernard Cornwall - Wellington is on campaign with his army in Spain - his army of thousands spends months maneuvering and fighting battles with the French - but the outcome is always critically affectd by the actions of Sharpe and his small band of elite soldiers.
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==Limitations==
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The Military Council cannot submit orders to the Imperial armies directly; only the appointed general or their adjutant has that authority. Although the Synod is charged with oversight of the Military Council and the generals who sit on it, neither the Military Council nor any other body may compel the generals to act in any way. They cannot even compel a general to attend a [[council session]] or [[muster]] - and every general has the ability to leave a session once they consider their business completed.
  
[[Category:The Empire]]
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{{Military Council Further Reading}}
[[Category:Military Council]]
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{{pdf}}

Latest revision as of 18:23, 14 May 2020

Military Council Meeting.png
The generals of the Military Council command the Imperial armies.

Overview

The Military Council is the gathering of Imperial generals and admirals. Individually, the generals have responsibility for the orders given to the Imperial army under their command, while the admirals provide the orders for the navies. Collectively, the Council has the power to determine what use will be made of the major conjunctions of the Sentinel Gate. The Council also meets regularly during events to allow generals an opportunity to share strategic information and receive formal presentations from other citizens, and wield the legal powers of the Council.

While each general is a member of the Military Council, there is an implicit tension between their responsibility to the nation they represent and the perceived needs of the Empire as a whole. Throughout the history of the Empire, the strength of the Military Council has waxed and waned. When the Council is dominant, the goals of the nations take second place to grand strategies. When the nations are dominant, their goals take precedence over the "good of the Empire".

Role within the Empire

The Imperial Constitution clearly divides the responsibilities for war between the Imperial Senate and the Military Council. Generals are appointed by members of the Senate, but once appointed serve their full term (unless they are revoked by the Synod). Only the Senate can declare war on another nation - or end it - but the generals prosecute those wars and ultimately decide whether to invade a barbarian nation or not. Furthermore, the Senate is forbidden from intervening in the business of the Military Council - it is illegal for a senator to enter the Council chamber while they are in session.

The main role of the Military Council is to determine how to best employ the major conjunctions of the Sentinel Gate. These conjunctions allow the Empire to send hundreds of their most skilled warriors to key strategic locations on the Empire's borders, but there are always difficult decisions to be made about which conjunctions to chose, which nations are best placed to take advantage of them, and who will lead them.

When a battle opportunity leads to the capture of a significant resource, such as an enemy weapon, prisoner or significant trove of barbarian resources, it is the responsibility of the Military Council to decide who will take custody of those resources. Usually the presence of such resources is well known in advance, but an individual citizen can appeal to a magistrate for a decision if they believe that a Field Marshal has claimed treasures that were not part of the strategic objectives of the battle.

Beyond control of the opportunities provided by the Sentinel Gate, the Military Council has relatively few legal powers and holds sessions primarily to give generals an opportunity to share military goals and strategies. It has the power to arrange the disposal of all spoils of war, valuable resources that have been captured by Imperial forces on campaign. The Council also plays a minor role in the judicial system; it has the power to release individuals who have been sentenced to fight to the death in battle, if service has been exemplary.

Starac Sijed Orzel of House Orzel, a Dawnish General
The General of the Golden Sun speaks to the military council.

History

The structure of the Military Council and the Imperial armies was laid down at the creation of the Empire. The Marcher steward, Tom Drake, argued passionately that the command of Marcher yeomanry must be with a yeoman. He point blank refused to compromise; for Drake it was about the principle of representation and the right for Marchers to choose who they raised up. The military commanders of the other nations broadly agreed with him, and his vision of armies raised within nations and led by generals of those nations appointed by their senators quickly gained ground. It also eased concerns in many quarters of a future Throne who might seek to wield the might of the armies as a tyrant, or that the Military Council itself might overthrow the Senate in a coup.

Sessions

Like the Senate, meetings of the military council are chaired by a civil servant, the Herald of the Council. However the rules of the Council are not as strict as those of the Senate; members may speak freely and come and go as they please during the course of the meeting. The Herald will act to ensure everyone is given an opportunity to speak but ensure that the meetings run to time and does not become repetitive.

Unlike the Imperial Conclave or the Imperial Senate, the Imperial Military Council has two distinct types of meeting. The muster takes place on the first night of each summit at Anvil, and concerns decision about the use of the Sentinel Gate. Other meetings, called Council sessions have a broader remit and take place throughout the summit.

The Muster

The most important meeting of the Military Council is the muster which takes place on the first night of each summit at Anvil. At the start of the muster, the Herald will brief the assembled generals about the major conjunctions that the civil service has been able to identify. The generals discuss these opportunities, and decide which conjunctions to use. They then decide which nations will use each conjunction, and who will be in command on the field during each battle.

Once a decision has been reached, the muster is formally over. Those in attendance are then expected to return to their nations and let everyone present know what decisions the Council has reached (secrecy is not usually a concern), so that people may prepare themselves for the battles on the following days. The civil service also ensure that the egregores are informed to try to ensure everyone has a chance to find out when they might be called upon to fight.

Council sessions

The Military Council holds further sessions on each day following the first battle of the summit. They are distinct from the muster - shorter and with a broader focus. Every session has an agenda set by the members of the council and overseen by the Herald. The sessions give individual general an opportunity to wield the collective power of the Council; receive or deliver battle reports and other military briefings; and discuss and evaluate military strategies and concerns.

Participation

Each general is by default a member of the Military Council, as is the Warmage. They can participate in discussions, vote on matters of importance, and add items to the agenda for a Council session.

The right of witness ensures that every member of the Imperial Synod is entitled to observe meetings of the Military Council. In practice it is customary to allow any citizen who is interested in Council business to attend. However neither priests nor other Imperial citizens may speak unless invited to do so by the Herald. The Herald has the legal power to remove anyone from the chamber if their speech or behaviour is impeding the ability of the Council to act. Any Imperial Citizen can ask the Herald to remove a non-citizen from the meeting.

The constitution explicitly forbids senators from entering the Military Council under any circumstances. Some historical scholars claim this reflects the importance the First Empress and her advisers placed on the separating the business of war from the business of politics. Less flattering interpretations point out that since the Empress (or Emperor) is a member of both chambers, this ruling also enhances the prestige and power of The Throne.

Limitations

The Military Council cannot submit orders to the Imperial armies directly; only the appointed general or their adjutant has that authority. Although the Synod is charged with oversight of the Military Council and the generals who sit on it, neither the Military Council nor any other body may compel the generals to act in any way. They cannot even compel a general to attend a council session or muster - and every general has the ability to leave a session once they consider their business completed.

Further Reading

Core Brief

Additional Information

This selection of articles can be downloaded as a PDF book (or as html only)