Government of Transdariania
Though there is no hard and fast rule to each city and province throughout Drache, Transdariania stands as a standard example for the governmental structure of the seven provinces of Arangoth. Though there are assuredly blurred lines between different roles in the government, decisions generally follow this trickle-down structure and as such the focus of power is toward the top of the food chain. Also worth noting is that generally the provinces overrule the cities in all matters, domestic or foreign, and as such the Mayor could be considered under the Landed Orders and the Public Servants under the Ministers.
Provinces, also known as “sithrangel” in Arangothek, are autonomous states that act as a general government. They regulate and control intercity trade, though most laws are actually written at a grassroots municipal level and work their way up the chain. The province is also the body that determines such things as war and wide-spread resource allocation, though this only occurs in times of dire need and circumstance.
Similar to a governor, sithires oversee the province as a whole and is considered the head of state. Sithires traditionally are elected by the nobility from among their ranks, known as the Council of Nobles, and there is no formal term limit for a sithire’s office. However, if there is a common consensus and the sithire refuses to step down, a “false election” can occur where the winner ousts the sitting sithire. Though technically this is considered a coup, it has never led to violence between parties or citizens. The sithire is responsible for several large-scale decisions and operations, such as making the call to raise levies, taxes, or province-wide trade agreements. Foreign policy is also commonly ratified at the level of the sithire, though such policies are extremely rare even in peace-time. The sithire has the executive order in most decisions, meaning they can easily override others, but abuse of this power can often lead to a swift end of term.
Though advisors do not hold any true decision-making power, they’re key to making sure that the sithire is making conscious decisions that are supported by the citizenry. Advisors are appointed and released on the sithire’s command alone, which has led to more than a few scandals. These advisors collectively are on the privy council, which is a forum from which they can voice confidential advice or concerns away from the public eye.
If the sithire is a hand, ministers are the fingers. They control the smaller facets of the province, and everything from levy estimates to harvest tithes fall under their respective jurisdictions. They are largely allowed to work autonomously, though none of them work independently from another. There is a constant exchange of information, planning, and action between the ministers to ensure that the will of the sithire is realized.
Barons, known as “floxod” in Arangothek, are the most numerous and lowest peerage formally recognized as nobility in Transdariania. Barons own the vast majority of the land in the province, and belong to the only truly hereditary element in the government. Cities, palaces, caravansaries, and more are all found on the land of barons, and each baron will collect a tax to ensure that their land and family is well cared for. Though technically the lowest rung of the political hierarchy of provinces, they are also the most numerous and a mob mentality can often overcome an unruly sithire or group of ministers. It’s from the ranks of the barons (and the votes of the barons) that sithires are chosen in the first place. The barons are also responsible for raising levies at the call of the sithire, up to a certain amount. (More on the Bannerman System.)
Counts, known as "arangire" in Arangothek, are the least numerous and highest peerage formally recognized as nobility in Transdariania. Counts have multiple baronies under them, and thus by proxy they accumulate more power and influence than barons. For all intents and purposes their function is the same as barons, however, just on a larger scale, and answer the call of the sithire in the same manner that scales up appropriately with consideration of their higher standing.
Margraves, known as "thron ul-bain" in Arangothek, are non-hereditary military titles of which only four exist in Transdariania, one for each cardinal direction. Due to the Bannerman System in place, Transdariania has no standing peacetime army. The Margraves essentially serve as semi-autonomous private militaries (and navies) charged with the protection of the duchy from foreign and domestic threats to the land. As such, they are given far more leeway where military organization and logistics are concerned in comparison to the Barons and Counts. They answer directly to the Sithire in times of peace, and fall under the purview of the Lord Protector during times of war, gathering and organizing lesser nobles from their cardinal territories under them. Rather than a single centralized military force, the Margraves serve as a system of checks and balances to ensure no single noble accumulates too much military might.
Though provinces typically control the broader range of laws and regulations, cities are the core to an average citizen’s obligations and expectations. Laws passed at this level are much more relevant to an average dockhand or hostler, including such topics as income taxes and curfews.
The mayor is very evidently modeled after the sithire, with several characteristics being nearly identical. The mayor’s job is primarily to oversee the municipality as a whole, ratifying laws and ensuring that the populace is content. Though the method of acquiring this station varies from city to city, most use a primitive form of voting that typically involves more than a little fraud and a hefty dose of magical ballots. The mayor is also responsible for raising the defenses and militias for the city, even if the baron who owns the land staffs his own military.
The city council is typically composed of guild masters, merchants, and aldermen, with vested interests in the city’s growth and management. They oversee the management and distribution of tax funds within the city, reinvesting in civil and architectural projects that improve not only the equity of the city but of the council members themselves. These funds are also used to employ civil servants, such as magistrates and guardsmen. This often leads to a secondary motive on the behalf of the members, and generally is a boon to the city as a whole.