elemtilas wrote:Government Structure in Auntimoanye
I need to go back and read this whole thread but since you linked to this post, I just thought I'd say I think this looks great. It's really fascinating. Although
however did such a complicated system come to be?
As for how it came to be? That's a long story. Best guess is something like lots of tinkering over a long period of time without any clear destination and no
underlying philosophy to guide. Well, no underlying philosophy as Men would understand it, anyway!
Modern Auntimoanye started life, sometime after the 350s or so of the present age as something of a string of petty kingdoms & territories of commercial
pirates. As the interior kingdoms began to coalesce and secure their power, the coastal & riparian freestates decided that they too would need to secure their
own liberties. Whereas the interior realms were more associations of noble feudal territories, the approach of the rest was much more democratic. (Well, the
democracy of a group of powerful trading house oligarchs & mercantile gangs & guild thugocrats, each with their own small army or navy.)
Eventually, perhaps by the 1000s or 1100s, all the pieces of the pie were in place: the power had shifted from the high castles of the princes to the palaces of
the urban nobility. Those same nobles already met in council (I guess a quasi House of Lords) with the monarchs; the other thugs and plutocrats formed their
own councils and grabbed the monarch's other ear. Not to be outdone, the Kristian & Jehudian Churches made it clear that they too would have their voices
heard and the Pagans weren't too far behind in joining that band waggon. By the 1200s or so the middle class merchants and craftsmen, the doctors and
philosophers, the academics and guildhouses got themselves together, trying to pull the monarch's attention their way.
As you can see, we're already pretty close to the modern situation. But the 1300s would see the social and political order trounced by outside forces in the
name of the Empire of Hoopelle, the big inland country to the west. The Hoopolitans and Avantimen are cousins by ethnicity and language, but that didn't stop
them being rivals. The latter enjoyed all the treasure flowing into the coffers from the sea trade, while the former really didn't care too much at all for
lavishing so much money on their cousins and decided that they're really just prefer to cut out the middle man. This was largely accomplished by an invasion &
several happy years of war, followed by occupation. This was still the era of the Episcopate in old Hoopelle, being as the empire was ruled from the espiscopal
From the Hoopolitan perspective, all was hunky-dory. They obtained several spanking port cities and were able to engage in trade by overlaying their imperial
bureaucracy over top of the native systems already in place. The kings became mere figureheads, and then eventually disappeared altogether. By the mid
1300s, Auntimoanye had become the stepping off point for a grand scheme of overseas conquests engineered by the mad bishops of Hoopelle. The Daine of
that country (much maligned, much repressed and much desirous of their own liberty) tried their hands at regime change by engaging the services of the Red
Brotherhood. (These were a group of terribly keen social engineers cum assassins who thought it great fun to dress up as Kristian style demons (largely by
stripping entirely naked, painting themselves red with garish black and yellow stripes and grotesque blue and black face paint with fierce eyes) and slicing the
throats of court officials, high bureaucrats, judges, nobles and military officers (.i., those same people who took great pleasure in repressing, torturing,
enslaving and otherwise tormenting the Daine of the region) while they were comfortably at home. They engendered much consternation among the higher
classes of the Empire, who lived now in perpetual fear of red & black demons lurking in their closets.
They considered it a great feather in their caps (mind you, they didn't wear caps, but did frizz their hair all up) when a small contingent of bold lads of the Red
Brotherhood descended, howling demonically, from the high ceilings or else erupted up through the crawl spaces under the crypt. There in the middle of the
liturgy, they marked a definitive end of the episcopate by garroting the dread hierophant himself.
Before anyone could cry the archbishop's dead! long live...
, other forces already on the move in the political landscape seized the opportunity thus
afforded by the Daine patriots. In this instance, the ancient Oswald clan (who had directly or indirectly ruled several petty kingdoms in the region in centuries
past), sent their acclaimed heir to seize the Mace and, presuming he was able to heft it from its resting place(*), seize the right to rule the Empire. This was
accomplished, and closer to home, life settled down much as it had been under the firm fist of the archbishops, only now Hoopelle had a proper emperor,
young and dashing and terribly romantic. Young ladies everywhere swooned, and it wasn't long before they were queuing in front of the palace for tickets to
attend to the imperial balls that had been much lacking in the prelates of the episcopate.
Many overseas territories, and among them Auntimoanye, chafed at the failure to seize the opportunity to break free of the imperium. Though young and
dashing, the new emperor knew which side of the bread was buttered (both) and also that it took money to keep that bread dripping in buttery goodness. So,
he summoned all the native governors, rulers, kings, wazirs, viziers, poobahs and nobles of his vast realms to a pleasant tete-a-tete. The basic gist was a
friendly reminder to either tow the line and keep the tribute ships sailing, or else hang yourself on that same line and we'll install someone more capable of the
This didn't sit well, as you might imagine, and a general revolt was organised. This would be the great War of 1672, the Alarian Invasion. A veritable armada of
warriors from the outlands across the seas landed at Auntimoanye and, seeing both the potential gain of siding with the rebels and the potential loss of siding
with the imperium, welcomed the invaders with open arms. A new king was chosen and while it was largely his job to tow the new party's line, he was able to
help the invaders see the sense in allowing for a stable local government to form. Largely with himself at its head. It was at this time that the Kingmakers
came into being --- they're the ones who decide who the next king is to be. They're also the ones who decide if the present king has been on the job too long
and needs to accept their generous retirement package. Certain political forces at work in the underworld of Auntimoanye, long awakened but warily observant
of current events, had by now begun to make certain moves to solidify their own position and also to shape what Auntimoanye would become over the next
five centuries into the present day.
Few among Men were even aware that certain folk, more or less hiding in plain sight, were to take an active role in shaping the government. They largely
worked through agents of the occupying government, which was mostly busy destroying the imperium and conquering its lands. Again the Daine of old Hoopelle
rose up and rather than just pinpoint regime change, had been angered to the point of boiling over. One thing you don't want to see is an army of enraged
Daine. They get the blood lust and the red rage, and they'll just fight and kill their enemy until there's simply no one, no man, no woman, no child, no weak
gammer or gaffer left to kill. They turned the long invasion into a rout and effectively cleared the lands around of all Men. The invaders weren't too keen on
pressing forth with their plans to seize and plunder the fabulously wealthy capital of the Empire. The many Daine warriors who had come along for the
excursion would have nothing to do with fighting against their own kindred, and in their (wise) perspective, the war was done. The Empire had been brought to
its knees and its head had been whacked. Let's all celebrate and head home now!
The Men who had been behind the invasion didn't quite share the Daine's clear understanding of the situation, however. Some tried to continue on, others
decided that Auntimoanye itself might be a nice place to settle, and since they were already there... But several events took place simultaneously to quash that
plan. By this time, the kings of Auntimoanye had ruled well and justly for the entirely period of the invasion (nearly 30 years) and folks were quite used to the
new government and rather liked it. So the king was pretty much ready to tell the invaders to sod off already; but word came soon enough of domestic trouble
back over the broad ocean. Most of the invaders left in such a hurry, thinking that they left a keen ally behind in the person of the King, that the vast majority
of the treasure they had plundered was left in the warehouses they had obtained at lease.
The new government was pretty quick to stabilise itself, though power rocked back and forth between the Throne and the Parliament; the general progression
of the next centuries were a gradual union of the two. Parliament absorbed more and more power to itself while the Kings devolved more and more authority
to the Magistracy (the Auntimoanian civil service bureaucracy) for safe keeping. Eventually, the two came to be seen as pretty much inseparable. It came to be
said that government functioned as "King in Parliament". The Parliament couldn't legislate without its King's approval; the King couldn't rule without Parliament's
activity and legislation.
As time went on more and more people began to think that what Auntimoanye needed was a Constitution. They already had a Constitutional Monarch, after all,
by now called an "emperor", but there was no Constitution for him to be an emperor by. This was solved very cleverly by a fellow called Baggshotte, who was
a philosopher, and wrote volumes on how governments are constituted and function and most especially on how the Auntimoanian government functions. It was
his clever idea to suggest that some comprehensive work by a loyal and deep thinking philosopher could serve as a Constitution. And, oh! what a coincidence!
It just so happened that Baggshotte himself was a loyal and deep thinking philosopher and, well, it turns out had already amassed quite the productive
collection of political philosophy and commentary at law. Well, the government fell for it and adopted Baggshotte's Constitutions
, which allowed the good
philosopher to jack up his book prices and sell hundreds of copies of all his works to the greater and lesser libraries and government houses across the empire.
He spent the rest of his rather brilliant and certainly lucrative career writing and refining his Constitutions
It was Baggshotte that wrote, for example, on various ancient ideals such as the Commission of Heaven and why proper kings don't have a Divine Right to Rule
and how a parliamentary monarchy is supposed to work, anyhow.
And lastly, mention must be made of that behind-the-scenes underground Power that exerts so much invisible influence in Auntimoanye, even at the present
day. The Government is entirely unaware of the existence and power of this particular organisation, but I'll just say that they have vastly misunderestimated
the Daine of the realm. They live their own lives according to their own customs and generally seem to have little enough to do with the affairs of Men. But,
oh! How wrong are those Men who think so! It's not well known at all, but I'd say that a very large majority of the modern trading houses are wholly or largely
owned by a small handful of shadowy holding companies of the City. A large portion of the bearer bonds and credit notes issued by the Empire are held by
unknown hands. A lot of real estate is also controlled by shadowy companies and guilds that seem to be controlled as if puppets on strings. No one seems to
know who's calling the shots, but some call it the Underqueen or the Unseen Monarch. Less friendly detractors name her the Old Spider. Those who know better
might think of her as the Unthroned One. Those who know best know she has a throne indeed and sometimes even sits on it in majesty; but not even many of
them know how far her power extends or to what extent her domains are.
You see, Men like to think they're in control. They've had a stable, workable, relatively democratic yet firmly traditional monarchical government since the late
17th century. Pretty much unheard of in any country where Men rule their own affairs unaided. But in a land where wiser heads, even if those wise heads are
hidden from view, Men may flourish if they are given good models to follow and a strong arm to lean on when they tumble.
So, I guess the short answer is because the Daine saw to it got that way
. In all the long history of contact, woe and weal between them, I think
Auntimoanye is probably the best example of where the Daine got it right.