The Imperial Senate is the legislative body for the Empire. The Senate is a representative chamber; each territory in the Empire selects a single senator according to the customs of that nation. The Senate has a wide range of political powers which makes senators some of the most powerful political individuals in the Empire.

The Senate is responsible for passing new laws, authorizing expenditure by the Imperial Coffers and the power of appointment for many Imperial positions up to and including The Throne.

Role within the Empire

The Imperial Senate consider and vote on procedural measures - these are vital policy decisions required for the administration of the Empire. They authorize expenditure and are responsible for appointing individuals to positions within the Imperial Military Council, up to and including The Throne. It is the responsibility of the Senate to pass declarations of war and also to end a state of warfare. Any changes to the Imperial Law must be approved by the Senate; changes which have constitutional implications also require ratification by The Throne.

Entry requirements

A single senator is appointed by each territory in the Empire. To be eligible to return a senator, the majority of the territory must be under Imperial control. If more than half of a territory is controlled by barbarians or foreign powers, then it cannot be represented in the Senate.

A territory must be part of one of the nine nations that makes up the Empire. When new territories are captured, they are allocated to a nation by majority vote of the Senate. A territory may only return a senator who is recognized as a member of that nation by the nation's egregore.

Each nation has a traditional mechanism to return a senator for a territory. Usually, but not always, the ability to directly influence the choice is limited to those who dwell in the territory. The Imperial Civil Service are responsible for overseeing the appointment processes for senators and do their utmost to ensure due process is followed. When a new territory is assigned to a nation, the Imperial Civil Service consults the egregore of that nation to determine how the senator for the territory will be selected.


The Senate was created at the dawn of the Empire to ensure that the power to govern remained in the hands of the citizens. The Senate is a development of the Winterfolk witan which existed to help the monarch run the nation in the time before the Empire.

Powers and functions

Vote on procedural measures

The day to day running of the Empire is handled by the functionaries of the Civil Service, but all the significant decisions that need to be taken are put before the Imperial Senate. The civil service ensure that these matters are presented with all available information on the consequences for the decision. The issue is then decided by majority vote of the assembled senators. An example of a procedural measure might be the allocation of senate funds to raise a new army or construct a dam across the river Couros in Highguard. If a procedural measure requires expenditure of money by the Empire, the budget is allocated by vote by the assembled senators.

Declaration of war

The Senate can declare war on any foreign power by majority vote. Any foreign powers, nations or tribes that the Empire is at war with are considered to be barbarians. Barbarians are not protected by Imperial Law and are considered enemies of the Empire, so it is illegal to trade with them. The Senate can also declare an end to a state of war. External powers that the Empire is not at war with are classed as foreigners; it is legal to trade with them and their rights are protected by Imperial Law.

Appointment of generals to the Military Council

The Senate are responsible for appointing generals to the Imperial Military Council. The Council are the strategic commanders of the Imperial armies and are responsible for the defence of the Empire and prosecuting wars against the Empire's enemies.

The senators for a nation unanimously select one candidate for each vacant position on the Military Council that is assigned to that nation. The names of the candidates are put before the Senate and voted on by the assembly. If approved by majority vote of the Senate, then the individuals become generals on the Imperial Military Council. If a candidate is rejected then the senators must present a new candidate, they cannot resubmit a candidate for consideration during that year.

If the senators for a nation are not able to agree unanimously on the choice of generals then any citizen of that nation may present themselves before the Senate for consideration and vote.

Changes to Imperial Law

The Senate has the power to introduce new laws or to change existing laws. Any suggested changes are assessed by the Imperial Civil Service to see how they accord with the Imperial Constitution. A proposal may be consistent with the Constitution, inconsistent with the Constitution or it may require a a change to the way the Constitution is interpreted or applied (the motion is described as having constitutional implications).

  • A motion that is consistent with the constitution can be passed by majority vote of the senators present.
  • A vote that has constitutional implications requires the approval of two-thirds of all current senators in the Empire and must be ratified by The Throne.
  • The Senate is not allowed to vote on any motion that is inconsistent with the Constitution.

Oversight of territorial issues

If a procedural motion requires significant decisions to be made outside the Senate chamber, then these decisions are considered to be the responsibility of the senator for the territory most affected by the procedural motion. E.g. if the Senate passes a motion to construct a dam across the Couros river in the territory of Bastion in Highguard, then any further decisions are the responsibility of the senator for Bastion. The dam will require materials that must be purchased from the Imperial Bourse, so the Senate will vote a budget for this project. That money is then given to the senator for Bastion who can use it as they see fit to ensure that everything the Civil Service require the senator to achieve is carried out.

Structure and dynamics

Any Imperial Citizen is allowed to enter the Senate but only The Throne, the senators and members of the Civil Service may speak. Visitors may not speak unless invited to do so by the Speaker.

The Speaker is responsible for maintaining civil debate and procedure within the chamber, such as presenting motions, allowing time for motions to be considered and by counting votes.

Each motion is announced by the Speaker who invites a named individual to address the Senate on the matter. Once the opening address is complete, the Speaker allows time for a short debate followed by a vote.

Votes are conducted by sitting or standing. The Speaker will announce how a vote is to be decided, usually the Speaker will invite all senators in favour of the motion to stand and be counted. The functionaries of the Senate will then count the votes and the result is announced. If no-one present disputes the count, then it is recorded and the matter is complete.

Any senator may call for a secret ballot. To permit a secret ballot on a motion first requires the majority vote of all senators present. If that vote passes then one white and one black bead are distributed to each senator and they vote by placing a single bead into bags carried by the Senate functionaries.

If a vote requires a budget to be allocated, the Speaker will ask every senator who voted in favour to remain standing. The speaker then suggests the minimum possible amount that the Civil Service have calculated might be used to achieve the goal. If the majority of senators remain standing then the Speaker announces a higher figure. They will keep announcing higher figures until there is no longer majority support for the figure, at which point the auction ends and the funds are allocated from the Imperial Treasury.